What I read in September

For some reason it seems like September was reallllly long.. I am hoping that I can have some time to enjoy this fall…it’s my favorite season!

I keep trying to find certain books at my library, but they don’t have them in, so I just grab what catches my eye. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t… But, here is what I read in September. :)

What I read Sept 2015


The Mapmaker’s Children by Sarah McCoy – When Sarah Brown, daughter of abolitionist John Brown, realizes that her artistic talents may be able to help save the lives of slaves fleeing north, she becomes one of the Underground Railroad’s leading mapmakers, taking her cues from the slave code quilts and hiding her maps within her paintings. She boldly embraces this calling after being told the shocking news that she can’t bear children, but as the country steers toward bloody civil war, Sarah faces difficult sacrifices that could put all she loves in peril.
Eden, a modern woman desperate to conceive a child with her husband, moves to an old house in the suburbs and discovers a porcelain head hidden in the root cellar—the remains of an Underground Railroad doll with an extraordinary past of secret messages, danger and deliverance.
Ingeniously plotted to a riveting end, Sarah and Eden’s woven lives connect the past to the present, forcing each of them to define courage, family, love, and legacy in a new way.

What I thought: I loved this book! The attention to detail, the history, the two stories intertwined.. It just worked. :)


The Remedy by Suzanne Young – Quinlan McKee is a closer. Since the age of seven, Quinn has held the responsibility of providing closure to grieving families with a special skill—she can “become” anyone.

Recommended by grief counselors, Quinn is hired by families to take on the short-term role of a deceased loved one between the ages of fifteen and twenty. She’s not an exact copy, of course, but she wears their clothes and changes her hair, studies them through pictures and videos, and soon, Quinn can act like them, smell like them, and be them for all intents and purposes. But to do her job successfully, she can’t get attached.

Now seventeen, Quinn is deft at recreating herself, sometimes confusing her own past with those of the people she’s portrayed. When she’s given her longest assignment, playing the role of Catalina Barnes, Quinn begins to bond with the deceased girl’s boyfriend. But that’s only the beginning of the complications, especially when Quinn finds out the truth about Catalina’s death. And the epidemic it could start.

What I thought:  This book kept my interest. The story was different. The ending was a little off for me. I liked the book though!


Made You Up by Francesca Zappia – Reality, it turns out, is often not what you perceive it to be—sometimes, there really is someone out to get you. Made You Up tells the story of Alex, a high school senior unable to tell the difference between real life and delusion. This is a compelling and provoking literary debut that will appeal to fans of Wes Anderson, Silver Linings Playbook, and Liar.

Alex fights a daily battle to figure out the difference between reality and delusion. Armed with a take-no-prisoners attitude, her camera, a Magic 8-Ball, and her only ally (her little sister), Alex wages a war against her schizophrenia, determined to stay sane long enough to get into college. She’s pretty optimistic about her chances until classes begin, and she runs into Miles. Didn’t she imagine him? Before she knows it, Alex is making friends, going to parties, falling in love, and experiencing all the usual rites of passage for teenagers. But Alex is used to being crazy. She’s not prepared for normal.

Funny, provoking, and ultimately moving, this debut novel featuring the quintessential unreliable narrator will have readers turning the pages and trying to figure out what is real and what is made up.

What I thought: Well, this book kept me interested in the story! I was surprised at a couple things.. I thought it was a well told story! :)


If I Could Turn Back Time by Beth Harbison – Thirty-seven year old Ramie Phillips has led a very successful life. She made her fortune and now she hob nobs with the very rich and occasionally the semi-famous, and she enjoys luxuries she only dreamed of as a middle-class kid growing up in Potomac, Maryland. But despite it all, she can’t ignore the fact that she isn’t necessarily happy. In fact, lately Ramie has begun to feel more than a little empty.

On a boat with friends off the Florida coast, she tries to fight her feelings of discontent with steel will and hard liquor. No one even notices as she gets up and goes to the diving board and dives off…

Suddenly Ramie is waking up, straining to understand a voice calling in the distance…It’s her mother: “Wake up! You’re going to be late for school again. I’m not writing a note this time…”

Ramie finds herself back on the eve of her eighteenth birthday, with a second chance to see the people she’s lost and change the choices she regrets. How did she get back here? Has she gone off the deep end? Is she really back in time? Above all, she’ll have to answer the question that no one else can: What it is that she really wants from the past, and for her future?

What I thought: I liked this book as well! It definitely had me doing the ‘what if’ questions.. It was told well and didn’t make you feel like it was a dumb story.

Well, that’s all I read in September! We took some time off school so we haven’t finished any of our books yet for that, but I imagine we might in October.. Please, let me know any titles that you have read lately and I will see if the library has them! :)

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Thursday Things

This has been such a crazy week!! The weekdays saw not a lot of sleep being had, which isn’t very fun.. But I hope everything resets itself by the weekend!

What did you enjoy about this past week? :)

Here is my Thursday Things post to share what I liked!

bike trail in NCFirst thing… Last weekend we did a ‘family weekend’ time.. We did a family dinner on Friday night, which is pretty hard with all of the sensory issues… And on Sunday we went to this park that is five minutes from our house. We had piled ALL of our bikes in the Durango, which wasn’t very easy, and did the bike trail. We had no idea what it would be like, but it was pretty dang amazing!!! Kyle wasn’t sure about it, and Jeffy’s bike died half way through, but I loved it! Then we grilled burgers after. It was a great day! :)

surf sweets sour berry bearsNext up are these yummy gummy bears! Now, I am not usually a fan of gummy candy at all…but I got these for the boys to try. I had tried one just to see what they tasted like and they were pretty dang yummy! They taste like fruit juice! Makes me sick to think what’s in those other brands. :P And they aren’t very sour, which is fine by me because I don’t care for sour all that much.

nc dlSo, a couple weeks ago we were taking Ryan to get his permit and I decided at the last minute to FINALLY get my NC drivers license. I mean, AZ licenses are good until you are 65! lol But yeah, I realize I needed to switch over. It was a rainy day and I was NOT expecting anyone to take my pic, but whatever…it will do. It could always be worse, lol.  But I am glad that I am finally a legal NC resident. ;)

kalua pig nom nomNom Nom Paleo Slow Cooker Kalua Pig. I have had numerous people suggest I make this…and it always looks SO yummy.. But our crock pot as the old style and it just wouldn’t work. But the other day at the store, I picked up a new crock pot and I happened to pick up the meat as well! It is so easy to do! We just finished eating and it was dang yummy! We will definitely be making this again!

Ok. It’s a big deal with Jimmy and Justin are together on The Tonight Show…but to have Ellen as well?? Goodness, imagine hanging out with those three!?! :sigh: Anyway, I am so glad they did the lip sync battle…lol. IT was just awesome… :D

Anyway, that was my week! What did you like about your week?? :) Always good to think positive!

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The Biggest Story {Review and Giveaway}

You guys…I am so excited about this book! The illustrations are so fantastic!

The book is called The Biggest Story: How the Snake Crusher Brings Us Back to the Garden


If you can’t tell, this is a Bible story. The Bible is full of exciting stories that fill children with awe and wonder. But kids need to know how all those classic stories connect to Scripture’s overarching message about God’s glorious plan to redeem his rebellious people.

In this book, Kevin DeYoung – a best-selling author and father of six – leads kids and parents alike on an exciting journey through the Bible, connecting the dots from the garden of Eden to Christ’s death on the cross to the new heaven and new earth. It is told in such a way as to not be overwhelming at all, but kids can understand the whole story!

the biggest story first pageWith powerful illustrations by award-winning artist Don Clark, this imaginative retelling of the Bible’s core message – how the Snake Crusher brings us back to the garden – will draw children into the biblical story, teaching them that God’s promises are even bigger and better than we think. Here is an interview with him that includes his thoughts on his illustrations for this book!

This book is definitely something to hold on to once you get it! It is told in such a great story like way. It also has a ribbon book mark. It is a hardcover book with 132 pages.

Here is a little video to hear a little about the book!

You can purchase it at this website or on Amazon. Or…..you can enter for your chance to win a copy down below! :) If you check out that first link you can also see some of the book inside and get more information as well!

The Biggest Story {Review and Giveaway}


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90 Minutes in Heaven {Review and Giveaway}


On January 18, 1989, Don Piper died when a semi-tractor truck crushed his car. Declared dead by the first rescue workers to arrive on the scene, Don’s body lay under a tarp for the next 90 minutes. Don’s soul, meanwhile, was experiencing love, joy, and life like he’d never known before. Don was in Heaven.

When another pastor’s prayers helped bring Don back to life, he became a living miracle! Yet this is one miracle Don wished never happened. Heaven’s bliss was replaced by excruciating pain and emotional turmoil. With the support and prayers of his beloved Eva, their three kids, and friends near and far, Don clings to his faith in God and fights to regain a semblance of his previous life. The Piper family’s incredible true story of perseverance and overcoming the challenges of life – and death – will bring hope and encouragement to all who see it.

90 Minutes in Heaven is a movie based on Don Piper’s experience. I was able to watch the first five minutes or so and it looks pretty good!! It is in theaters on September 11, which is right around the corner! It has been in the media quite a bit so I am sure you have heard of it! The movie stars Hayden Christensen who you know from a couple Star Wars movies as well as Kate Bosworth from Remember the Titans and Blue Crush. Michael W. Smith, Fred Thompson, Dwight Yoakam, and Jason Kennedy are also in the movie.

The movie is rated PG-13 due to intense accident and injury images.

Here is the trailer so you can check it out for yourself!!

90 Minutes in Heaven is presented by Giving Films. Have you heard of them? I think what they are doing is fantastic!! Giving Films is passionate about sharing hope-filled movies and donating ALL of their profits to charities and ministries who serve those in need. Beginning with their first film, which happens to be this one, Giving Films is allowing all of us to be a part of making a difference. Anytime you go to a Giving Films movie in theaters, visit http://www.givingfilms.com and select which charities you want to receive the profits from your ticket. Their charitable organizations are Christian Alliance for Orphans, Faith Bridge Foster Care, Hire Heroes USA, Hope International, LifeWater, Street Grace, and World Vision. I love, love, love this!!

The movie is based on the book of the same name that has sold 7 million copies!! I have a copy of the book to give away too!! Exciting right?? The book has 245 pages. It has an updated section in the front of the book that includes an update from Don Piper. There are some photos in the middle of the book and a section in the back of the book that includes favorite quotes and Bible verses. You can enter to win your own copy below!! :)

90 Minutes in Heaven {Review and Giveaway}

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

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6 of my favorite Instagram accounts!

So, I spend a lot of time on Instagram. It is just so easy. It’s pictures. I don’t have to scroll through any nonsense, be invited to things I don’t care about, see things that I don’t understand. It’s just photos.

I thought I would make a post on 6 of my favorite Instagram accounts! :)

Six of my favorite Instagram accounts


I do a daily photo using the prompts from this account. It gets me to take photos of things that I probably would never have! Some of the prompts are really hard for me but others are just perfect for my day.


This is a newer account that I found a month or so ago. It is just…so funny. The pictures are actually pretty good, nice lighting, etc.. :D


I have been a fan of his since he had a blog way back in the day. Some of the words that he comes up with are just wonderful… He definitely has a way with words..


This one makes me laugh so many times. :D He takes photos from accounts that are submitted and he draws little cartoons on them. Some of them are just hilarious, others are just cute…Each one definitely took some thought though!


Now, most everyone has heard of this account I am sure. I have read his book and follow his posts quite often. I think it is fascinating. I know there are others doing this too now, but it isn’t the same. Some of the stories he includes from these people are heartbreaking… Some are funny, and some just show what toddlers are wearing that day. :) Love it all!


This was an account that I followed forever ago and I admit it gets kind of old sometimes, but some of the posts are so spot on with what is being posted on instagram… :D


I have plenty more, but I thought I would end it here. I follow so many different types of accounts, but these always make me happy. :)

What accounts are you following that you love? I would love to check ‘em out!!




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Nichole Nordeman – The Unmaking {Review and Giveaway}

“Before things in our lives can be resurrected and given new life, certain things must die.  Before beauty blooms in spring, roots must do the hard work under the hard frozen soil of winter.  Before you renovate and re-build, you tear down the parts of the structure that are weak or damaged or dangerous.  Before we make, we must unmake.”  Nichole Nordeman

Nichole Nordeman The Unmaking

This is the theme of Nichole Nordeman’s new CD The Unmaking. There are six songs on this new CD and they just get better and better. She has such a beautiful voice, I think she could sing the ABC’s and it would be amazing. :D

Songs on the album:
1. The Unmaking
2. Not To Us
3. Name
4. Love You More
5. Something Out Of Me
6. Slow Down

Nichole Nordeman is a recording artist and songwriter for Sparrow/EMI CMG, with numerous number-one and top ten singles to her credit and cumulative CD sales of over one million.  A two-time Gospel Music Association winner for Female Vocalist of the Year, she has won a total of nine Dove Awards, including the best-selling album,  Music Inspired by The Story.  Her best-known songs include “Holy”, “Legacy”, “Brave”, “This Mystery”, “Why”, and “What If”.  She lives with her family in Tulsa, OK.

Here is the title song from the CD, take a listen!

What did you think?? Ahhh, I love it!

And I know almost everyone reading my blog is a parent….you MUST listen to the song ‘Slow Down’… I mean….ALL THE FEELS right there!!

You can see more of her songs on her YouTube channel here. The ‘Slow Down’ song isn’t on there yet, but I know it will be soon. I hear the video should be done sometime in October. You can check her out on Spotify too… Nichole Nordeman Spotify

The lyrics on all of the songs are just perfect. They tell stories the way a lot of songs now days really don’t. And I love when CD’s include the lyrics…it makes such a difference!

I know I have a few Nichole Nordeman fans as friends, so I am assuming that they especially will want to enter this contest for a free cd of The Unmaking!! Right!?! :D

Nichole Nordeman – The Unmaking {Review and Giveaway}



Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

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What I read in August

This was a busy month! I didn’t read as many books for me as I did books during school. But that’s how it goes sometimes! I do think that I should probably up my Goodreads challenge though. I am 8 books ahead of schedule now! I guess I didn’t factor in how many books we would read during school! I am thinking of changing it to 75 for the year. I am not sure though….

Anyway, here is what I read in August and I hope, as always, that you let me know what books to check out! :)


The Door in the Wall by Marguerite De Angeli – The bells clang above plague-ridden London as Robin lies helpless, cold, and hungry. The great house is empty, his father is fighting the Scots in the north, his mother is traveling with the Queen, and the servants have fled. He calls for help but only the stones hear his cries. Suddenly someone else is in the house, coming towards Robin. It is Brother Luke, a wandering friar, who takes Robin to St. Mark’s Monastery, where he will be cared for until his father sends for him.

At last, a message comes–Robin is to meet his father at Castle Lindsay. The journey is dangerous, and the castle is located near the hostile Welsh border. Perched high in the hills, the castle appears invincible. But it is not. Under the cover of a thick fog the Welsh attack the castle. And Robin is the only one who can save it…

What I thought: Well, this seems typical of the books that we read for school. It had a good story line though. I liked it.


Blue Willow by Doris Gates – To Janey Larkin, the blue willow plate was the most beautiful thing in her life, a symbol of the home she could only dimly remember. Now that her father was an itinerant worker, Janey didn’t have a home she could call her own or any real friends, as her family had to keep moving, following the crops from farm to farm. Someday, Janey promised the willow plate, with its picture of a real house, her family would once again be able to set down roots in a community.

Blue Willow is an important fictional account of the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression, and has been called The Grapes of Wrath for children. It won a Newbery Honor and many other awards.

What I thought: I really enjoyed this book that we read in school. It was told well and had a lot of historical mentions. It was easy to picture everything in your mind, the author is a great story teller..


The Country of Ice Cream Star by Sandra Newman – In the aftermath of a devastating plague, a fearless young heroine embarks on a dangerous and surprising journey to save her world in this brilliantly inventive thriller

In the ruins of a future America, fifteen-year-old Ice Cream Star and her nomadic tribe live off the detritus of a crumbled civilization. Theirs is a world of children; before reaching the age of twenty, they all die of a strange disease they call Posies–a plague that has killed for generations. There is no medicine, no treatment; only the mysterious rumor of a cure.

When her brother begins showing signs of the disease, Ice Cream Star sets off on a bold journey to find this cure. Led by a stranger, a captured prisoner named Pasha who becomes her devoted protector and friend, Ice Cream Star plunges into the unknown, risking her freedom and ultimately her life. Traveling hundreds of miles across treacherous, unfamiliar territory, she will experience love, heartbreak, cruelty, terror, and betrayal, fighting to protect the only world she has ever known.

A postapocalyptic literary epic as imaginative as The Passage and as linguistically ambitious as Cloud Atlas, The Country of Ice Cream Star is a breathtaking work from a writer of rare and unconventional talent.

What I thought: So, the story took a long time to be told. I got so hung up on the language…it was like an English slang throughout the whole book. Some words I had to guess what they meant. That really took a lot of out me while reading, lol. I could totally see this book as a movie.


No Parking at the End Times by Bryan Bliss – Abigail’s parents have made mistake after mistake, and now they’ve lost everything. She’s left to decide: Does she still believe in them? Or is it time to believe in herself? Fans of Sara Zarr, David Levithan, and Rainbow Rowell will connect with this moving debut.

Abigail doesn’t know how her dad found Brother John. Maybe it was the billboards. Or the radio. What she does know is that he never should have made that first donation. Or the next, or the next. Her parents shouldn’t have sold their house. Or packed Abigail and her twin brother, Aaron, into their old van to drive across the country to San Francisco, to be there with Brother John for the “end of the world.” Because of course the end didn’t come. And now they’re living in their van. And Aaron’s disappearing to who-knows-where every night. Their family is falling apart. All Abigail wants is to hold them together, to get them back to the place where things were right. But maybe it’s too big a task for one teenage girl. Bryan Bliss’s thoughtful, literary debut novel is about losing everything—and about what you will do for the people you love.

What I thought:  This book had me envision cults and the people in them and family members.. Ick. The story was short and had a typical ending, but it was a quick read that I needed after the previous book…


99 Days by Katie Cotungno – Day 1: Julia Donnelly eggs my house my first night back in Star Lake, and that’s how I know everyone still remembers everything—how I destroyed my relationship with Patrick the night everything happened with his brother, Gabe. How I wrecked their whole family. Now I’m serving out my summer like a jail sentence: Just ninety-nine days till I can leave for college, and be done.

Day 4: A nasty note on my windshield makes it clear Julia isn’t finished. I’m expecting a fight when someone taps me on the shoulder, but it’s just Gabe, home from college and actually happy to see me. “For what it’s worth, Molly Barlow,” he says, “I’m really glad you’re back.”

Day 12: Gabe got me to come to this party, and I’m actually having fun. I think he’s about to kiss me—and that’s when I see Patrick. My Patrick, who’s supposed to be clear across the country. My Patrick, who’s never going to forgive me.

What I thought: I love how the book had the days as chapters. Some were one sentence and some were a few pages. You can see everything changing as the days go on. I really enjoyed reading it.


Homer Price by Robert McCloskey – Welcome to Centerburg! Where you can win a hundred dollars by eating all the doughnuts you want; where houses are built in a day; and where a boy named Homer Price can foil four slick bandits using nothing but his wits and pet skunk.The comic genius of Robert McCloskey and his wry look at small-town America has kept readers in stitches for generations!

What I thought: Well, we had quite a few laughs at this book when we read it in school. :D The little stories were cute and humorous.

The Shadow Throne by Jennifer A. Nielsen – One war.
Too many deadly battles.
Can a king save his kingdom, when his own survival seems unlikely?

War has come to Carthya. It knocks at every door and window in the land. And when Jaron learns that King Vargan of Avenia has kidnapped Imogen in a plot to bring Carthya to its knees, Jaron knows it is up to him to embark on a daring rescue mission. But everything that can go wrong does.

His friends are flung far and wide across Carthya and its neighbouring lands. In a last-ditch effort to stave off what looks to be a devastating loss for the kingdom, Jaron undertakes what may be his last journey to save everything and everyone he loves. But even with his lightning-quick wit, Jaron cannot forestall the terrible danger that descends on him and his country. Along the way, will he lose what matters most? And in the end, who will sit on Carthya’s throne?

What I thought: What a great trilogy! Every book was good, which is always nice. The kids said something about it being a movie and I can totally see that! This story was well told just like the previous two. Had you guessing how it was going to end which is nice. I really enjoyed it.. :)

Well, that’s all for what I read in August and I am on to my September books! The library didn’t have a ton of books on our last visit, but I can always try to request some, so make sure to send me your titles! :)

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The Bridge Builder {Review and Giveaway}

I am fascinated hearing from people…about their lives, their travels…what makes them tick. I was very interested to read this book when I first heard about it! I looked around on social media a bit and came across the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews  YouTube channel. He talks about the moment he decided to do what he is doing, bringing Christians and Jews together. It was a very simple moment.

The book is called The Bridge Builder and it was written by Zef Chafets who is the bestselling author of fourteen books of fiction, media criticism, and social and political commentary. He has been a frequent contributor to the New York Times Magazine and is a former columnist for the New York Daily News.

zev chafetsThis is an authorized biography of the life and continuing legacy of Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, who is founder and President of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews and Goodwill Ambassador for the State of Israel. He has devoted more than 35 years to building bridges of understanding between Christians and Jews and broad support for the State of Israel. He is recognized as the world’s leading Jewish authority on evangelical Christians. Rabbi Eckstein received Orthodox Rabbinic ordination for Yeshiva University in New York. He holds master’s degrees from Yeshiva University and Columbia University, where he also completed studies for his doctorate. Rabbi Eckstein has served on the faculties of Columbia University, Chicago Theological Seminary, and Northern Baptist Sminary. He currently serves on the executive committee of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.

the bridge builder book coverThe International Fellowship of Christians and Jews was founded in 1983 by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein to promote understanding between Jews and Christians and build broad support for Israel and other shared concerns.  Their ministry’s vision is that Jews and Christians will reverse their 2,000-year history of discord and replace it with a relationship marked by dialogue, respect, and cooperation.  Among the many things they do as an organization, they also create materials for teaching about the significance of connecting Israel and Christianity through such resources as A Woman of Valor: Celebrating The Proverbs 31 Women In Our Lives, A Man Of Faith: Reflections On Godly Leadership From The Ancient Shepherds Of Israel (both devotionals by Rabbi Eckstein), and Seven Fruits of Israel: Recipes And Devotions From The Holy Land (by Yael Eckstein).

The website is very informative. They even have a Hebrew word of the day! I love stuff like that! You know, us homeschooling parents are giddy about something new. :D

international fellowship of christians and jews

The book starts out in 1989 and continues the story of Rabbi Eckstein and his family, travels and works trying to bring two religions together. In the book are included photos that show a little about all of these things. It was a very interesting read! I will definitely be holding on to this book to read again in the future. It is nice reading about people wanting to fix things rather than tear them apart…

If this book seems interesting to you too, you are in luck! You can enter the contest below to win your own copy! :) If you enter but don’t end up winning, feel free to purchase your own here on Amazon!

The Bridge Builder {Review and Giveaway}

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
Thursday Things

Another week is on the books!! That seemed fast…as usual!

I have been kind of frustrated today, so it is good for me to think about the things that were good about this week. ;)

Let’s get right on to this weeks Thursday Things shall we?

that's it fruit barFirst thing is this little bit of yumminess. I looked for the ingredients on this package and it is literally JUST apple and blueberries. I have tried the pear and apricot as well and it is the same thing! I didn’t realize they had strawberry, but if I find that, for sure I will buying it!

solarcaineNext up is this little guy. I got a sunburn from the pool and this stuff takes the edge off. I used to use the aloe from the actual plant when we were in AZ, but well, we don’t have that here, so this will have to do. It feels good for a little bit anyway… :)

private selection panko crumbs parmesan herbWe make baked chicken with bread crumbs and I always try to have these bread crumbs on hand. I haven’t gone to Kroger in ages…but was on my way home from the dentist the other day and knew we were planning on chicken this week so I picked some up. It has such good flavor and since they are Panko break crumbs, they are a little lighter than regular bread crumbs. :)

watermelon lemonade bath and body works soapOh goodness…this soap is the best smelling thing! I was on a Method brand of soap forever…and then their scents just started not appealing to me as much. I am still holding out hope that they will win me over with new scents again, but whatever. So, a few months ago I placed an order for a big ‘ol box of their soaps. From the internet it can be hit or miss on what it actually smells like in person, but I just clicked on the things that sounded good. I have been about 50/50 on the soaps so far, but this one was pretty dang good. I wish I had gotten more! I do need to order more soaps, but I know it is all about the fall now….which I really don’t mind either….hmm….

I know this is kind of old, but I found myself showing it to Ryan while he was waiting for Kyle to get his haircut. I love going on Smule and seeing the combinations of people singing together. That one guy with the high voice?? Dude… I just like this combo though.. ;)

So, that’s it for this week and yeah, I feel better thinking of good things from this week. :) Y’all should make sure you take time out at least once a week and think of all the good things! Let me know some of them, I like to know what makes other people happy…

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Hawk release

Around-NCThis past weekend I was happy to check my email and see that a local organization, CLAWS, was doing a hawk release. We had no plans, so Jeffy, Lauren and I took our Saturday morning to check it out! These are hawks that needed to grow, get healthy, or fix any other problems they  may have in order to be released.

They met at a park that was only 15 minutes away which was nice.. They started out talking a little about what they do, showing some of the birds that they use for educational purposes. This guy only had half a wing. But I think he liked my camera. :)

CLAWS hawkCLAWS hawk

Then we moved over to the dog park for the release. They had four hawks that were being released! I took photos of all four, but I figure I will just show some pictures from the first one. This one just wasn’t sure that it wanted to be released. It was fun to watch it being raised…and then lowered…raised…and then lowered…and then raised one more time.

CLAWS hawk release

CLAWS Hawk release

CLAWS Hawk releaseI don’t think anyone was ready for when it actually did take off! It was a wonderful sight to see though, it flying off…it went toward the trees that surround the park. Another hawk flew real low over the dog park and that was kind of funny too..the dogs were very interested!

All of the hawks ended up in the trees, probably just wanting to hang out and observe their surroundings a bit.

Now, even though hawks are things that we don’t like to see around our birds that we have…I still think it is wonderful that there are people out there that take their own time and resources to help these hawks. CLAWS deal with other animals too! All out of their home! They do educational shows around town too…I attended one previously and we learned plenty of new things!

They could always use donations, or, if you are local, there are some wants lists for some of the animals. Some are simple like nuts…or even baby rattles for raccoons! Check out their wish list here and see if you have any of these things to help them out! :)

If you are local in the general Durham/Chapel  Hill area, feel free to check them out! The show I went to was in Carborro and this hawk release was in Hillsborough. I am looking forward to keeping up on their facebook page for any more programs and/or releases!!

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