Eighteen years!

Eighteen years!

Eighteen years ago today happened to be a Wednesday. Eighteen years ago today I married Jeffy. Who gets married on a Wednesday, right?

We were engaged on July 8th and married on the 24th. Yes, we got all sorts of comments about that. But like in the story I told here, we met when I was 15, so it wasn’t like we just started dating or something…

We got married at my mom’s house with just a handful of people present. We lived next door to a church..so, that was pretty convenient. ;) I feel bad that more people couldn’t be there since we changed the date at the last minute. Neither one of us like being the center of attention though, and our wedding, as unassuming as it was, was still a special day.

It has been quite the ride the last eighteen years…we’ve had ups and downs and a lot of side to sides…but we have made it this far! Smile at the camera and go again!

A few years ago he went along with my idea to get photos together for our anniversary. If it is one thing he doesn’t like is getting his picture taken. Getting his picture taken on a busy street is even worse. But he did it for me…. I appreciate my friend Jen for every single image that she got of us…. Look, we are youngins!



If Jeffy can always do something, it is make me laugh. I think most people that know him will say the same thing about him.. :)

I googled what the customary gift was for the 18th year.. and well, it is feathers. Feathers? I guess I can go get him some from the yard. Guinea feathers are actually quite pretty. :) The more modern choices were porcelain or cat’s eye jewelry. :shrug:

Our anniversary gift is something that we will be excited about every day. It’s kind of large and it took a bunch of people to get it ready for our special day…

What is it you ask? It is a brand new air conditioner and a bunch of new duct work. Romantic, eh? ;) But really, this is so exciting because ever since we moved into this house the ac has not worked. We had to buy window units for each room upstairs and one for downstairs. Seriously, no air flow upstairs at all. Summer was miserable but winter was brutal.

I told him we need to make a plan to do something for our 20th..so that is next on our list. I have plenty of ideas, but not sure it will be feasible..

Do you have any wonderful ideas to celebrate 20 years of marriage? :) What are some things that you have done? Inquiring minds want to know!

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Thursday Things

So, today is a special Thursday Things.. It’s Ryan’s birthday and he is turning 15!

Of course, it was pretty uneventful…hopefully this weekend will be more celebratory!

It is getting late, so I wanted to make sure and get this posted.. See, life is hectic right now and I am really trying to post more, lol.

So, here are this weeks Thursday Things..

Ryan babyThis is Ryan when he was a baby. I total remember taking this pic. He was right by the fish tank stand.. Check it out, film camera, lol. This is just a scan.

This Trek Mix from Costco is sooo yummy. :) I love everything in it! You know sometimes there are trail mixes out there and you pick things out and leave other things? This one, I eat everything.. Yum yum!

EOS Shave Cream. I love their lip products and now I love their shave cream. This is an actual cream, not a gel or anything else. It is thick! And this vanilla flavor??  Smells soo good.. I won’t go back to gel again!

airplaneI can’t say much about this yet…but I am loving it this week. :)


This song. I know it has been everywhere lately. But I do love it. :)

What are things that you have enjoyed about this week? I love hearing good news…

Have a great rest of the week!! :)


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Samurai Sam’s Teriyaki Sauce

Before we moved to NC, we made sure to buy as many bottles of Samurai Sam’s teriyaki sauce that would be able to fit in the RV. Why, you ask? Well, the combination of the sauce and white rice was one more meal that Lauren could eat…and with driving across the country, we knew that we would need such a thing!

We made it to North Carolina, and even into our house a few months later…we finally ran out of sauce. :gasp: Luckily, it said on one of the old bottles that we could order some! Yay!!! So, we did what anyone who has a child with sensory issues would do…..we ordered two cases. :P

We eventually ran out and I went to order some more only to find out that they don’t do that anymore. :gasp: What!?!

Seriously, Lauren eats only a handful of different things…things that we know she will eat and be ok with. I talk about it a little bit more here in case you were curious.

I wrote to Samurai Sam’s off of their contact form on their website asking if there was any way that I could get some of the sauce. I think it was the VP of something or other that got back to me..she commented that I should just go into my nearest restaurant and purchase some. Well sure…our nearest Samurai Sam’s is in Virginia…and is about 2.5 hours away. We made a plan to go there but decided to call first to see if they even sell the bottles of sauce. Guess what? They don’t. Saved us a trip, although Lauren was disappointed that she wouldn’t even get a meal.

I wrote to the VP again and explained our story…she offered to go into a store herself and purchase one for me and to send her our address. That was nice of her!!  But, I told her that it wasn’t necessary, that a bottle would only last for a couple days and it wasn’t worth her doing all of that…

I posted my disappointment on Facebook, just because I was really frustrated that the ability of getting sauce for Lauren was looking more and more impossible.

I was so surprised when a few people offered to pick up some and send it to us. I had no idea that anything would come of it!

Well, guess what we got in the mail two days in a row?!?!?!?! Seriously you guys….this is just amazing. Nine bottles. Crazy!!!

Lauren couldn’t stop smiling and cheering….no exaggeration.

Thank you to the two lovely gals that went and did this for Lauren, for our family… Jen and Chrissy, you guys are awesome… :)

You can tell that we all had a celebratory dinner last night already, with the almost empty bottle…lol.

Samurai Sam's teriyaki sauce and Lauren

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What I read in June

I can’t believe half of the year is over.. Maybe because with the ice storm, winter seemed to stay longer in my thoughts than before. Hard to imagine that in just a couple months it will be Fall again!

June only had me reading four books, I knew it wasn’t going to be a lot. I had a lot of deadlines to meet all at the same time it seemed… Of course right now I have started a book that is kind of slow going at the moment. I hope it picks up!

Here is what I read in June!


The Summer I Saved the World…in 65 Days by Michele Weber Hurwitz – It’s summertime, and thirteen-year-old Nina Ross is feeling kind of lost. Her beloved grandma died last year; her parents work all the time; her brother’s busy; and her best friend is into clothes, makeup, and boys. While Nina doesn’t know what “her thing” is yet, it’s definitely not shopping and makeup. And it’s not boys, either. Though . . . has Eli, the boy next door, always been so cute?
This summer, Nina decides to change things. She hatches a plan. There are sixty-five days of summer. Every day, she’ll anonymously do one small but remarkable good thing for someone in her neighborhood, and find out: does doing good actually make a difference? Along the way, she discovers that her neighborhood, and her family, are full of surprises and secrets.
In this bighearted, sweetly romantic novel, things may not turn out exactly as Nina expects. They might be better.

What I thought: This is totally a teen book…I wouldn’t even classify it as YA. But it was cute. And if filled the quick read that I needed this month. It is a nice story of someone trying to do a certain number of ‘nice’ things. I would definitely recommend this book…


My Real Children by Jo Walton – It’s 2015, and Patricia Cowan is very old. “Confused today,” read the notes clipped to the end of her bed. She forgets things she should know—what year it is, major events in the lives of her children. But she remembers things that don’t seem possible. She remembers marrying Mark and having four children. And she remembers not marrying Mark and raising three children with Bee instead. She remembers the bomb that killed President Kennedy in 1963, and she remembers Kennedy in 1964, declining to run again after the nuclear exchange that took out Miami and Kiev.

Her childhood, her years at Oxford during the Second World War—those were solid things. But after that, did she marry Mark or not? Did her friends all call her Trish, or Pat? Had she been a housewife who escaped a terrible marriage after her children were grown, or a successful travel writer with homes in Britain and Italy? And the moon outside her window: does it host a benign research station, or a command post bristling with nuclear missiles?

Two lives, two worlds, two versions of modern history. Each with their loves and losses, their sorrows and triumphs. My Real Children is the tale of both of Patricia Cowan’s lives…and of how every life means the entire world.

What I thought: Woah…what an interesting idea for a book. I am sure there have been other similar stories, but I loved the way this one was told. A woman having lived two different lives.. and during the story, you imagine that one of them is true..but then you realize that she remembers both lives.


This Dark Road to Mercy by Wiley Cash – The critically-acclaimed author of the New York Times bestseller A Land More Kind Than Home returns with a resonant novel of love and atonement, blood and vengeance, involving two young sisters, a wayward father, and an enemy determined to see him pay for his sins

When their mother dies unexpectedly, twelve-year-old Easter and her six-year-old sister Ruby are shuffled into the foster care system in Gastonia, North Carolina, a town not far from the Appalachian mountains. But just as they settle into their new life, their errant father, Wade, an ex-minor league baseball player whom they haven’t seen in years, suddenly appears and wants to spend more time with them. Unfortunately, Wade has signed away legal rights to his daughters, and the only way he can get Easter and Ruby back is to steal them away in the middle of the night.

Brady Weller, the girls’ court-appointed guardian, begins looking for Wade, and he quickly turns up unsettling information linking Wade to a recent armored car heist, one with a whopping $14.5 million missing. But Brady Weller isn’t the only one hunting the desperate father. Robert Pruitt, a shady and mercurial man nursing a years-old vendetta, is also determined to find Wade and claim his due.

What I thought: I enjoyed this story. That’s pretty much what it was, a story…someone telling events that happened. I didn’t get into the characters as much in this book. I had an issue with how it ended.. It wasn’t a strong ending for me. I still did enjoy the story though..


To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee – The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it, To Kill A Mockingbird became both an instant bestseller and a critical success when it was first published in 1960. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and was later made into an Academy Award-winning film, also a classic.

Compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving, To Kill A Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior – to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos. Now with over 18 million copies in print and translated into forty languages, this regional story by a young Alabama woman claims universal appeal. Harper Lee always considered her book to be a simple love story. Today it is regarded as a masterpiece of American literature.

What I thought: What can I say about this book that so many people have read? lol. It was a great story. I hated some of the language in it since we were reading it in school. But it is such an interesting story…

Let me know what books you have read lately and enjoyed! I have a list here to take with me to the library next time. We live in the middle of nowhere so some of your suggestions might be on the list a while, lol.

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The Power in Your Hands

The search for the ‘perfect’ curriculum seems never ending sometimes.. I think I have math taken care of, science and language arts.. But writing? Goodness. I have tried so many things! There are books that I have gotten recently that I totally love…but they aren’t substantial enough to stand alone… Argh!!

So you can understand how excited I was when  asked to review The Power in Your Hands. (Writing Nonfiction in High School) This is made for high school ages, around grades 9-12. We just started our school year in January this year, so Ryan was only a few months into grade 9.

The Power in Your HandsI received the teacher and student book and, in my opinion, you need both!

I will start with the student book! (click here for a sample!) What I like about this book is that there are noted end points where to stop for each day. Oftentimes in a book like this, I just keep going until it feels time to stop. This book tells you when to stop!

The book starts with a little questionnaire to get a feel on how you feel about different areas in writing. Some may like reports, others stories…it also asks about writing utensils you prefer, and times of day for writing.. Very interesting reading the results from that!

It pretty much jumps right in with learning the structure of an essay and different ways to start and end an essay. Meanwhile it is asking for your opinion on a matter and asks you to brainstorm the idea…and then come up with a beginning…and an end… and eventually you are asked to write an opinion paper! Woah..that was fast, right? But not really, because each day you already had been working on little bits and pieces! I love that!!


Now, a little about the teacher book. (click here for a sample) This thing is pretty full of…stuff. It is hard to narrow down what is in it!  The first 40+ pages give you hints on grading and proofreading. You would probably want to read that before starting these as it was very informative! Then it tells you what is going to be covered in the student book. After that is a section that includes 14-minute power surges. What in the world are those? Well, basically they are daily prompts…given Monday-Thursday. Write for 14 minutes, keep the work until Friday when you pick which paper you like best, complete it and turn it in Monday to be graded! They are listed by month and week, which is nice if you are like me and tend to lose your place on things like that. :nodding:

The rest of the teacher book pretty much goes over each lesson. If there are questions in the student book, the answers are in the teacher book. It is very helpful! You might be able to start seeing how having both books would come in handy!

The prices are really great too! $39.98 for the student book and $14.98 for the teacher book! The books are so thorough that I would have thought it would be double the price!

Now, how did our first essay go? Well, I involved all three kids in this first round just to see how it would work out. Which, my kids are almost 11, 12 and almost 15. The essay itself went great! I was very impressed with what they came up with! I know my youngest had a little help with her dad, which is totally fine as the subject was to explain why it is, or isn’t, a good idea for teens to have credit cards. She wasn’t sure about some things.

With that said, I think I may purchase the middle school version, Jump In and start with that. It will be nice to keep this high school one to use in a year or two.

I think it is definitely worth checking out both products, to fit in what age group you are working with! The author did such a great job with these books! The way she writes in the student books is like she is chatting to you in person, which makes it easy for independent work, or if you do like I did and read aloud. There are some Christian based content, so keep that in mind.

If you’d like to read other reviews of The Power in Your Hands or the other items for sale, click here!

mosaic reviews


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Vain Pursuits

I have wacky skin. Yes. I do. You may too… My pores are huge, I have oily skin with dry patches and my skin is very sensitive. With all of that, skin care is just, well…a nightmare.

I hear about a great product that has awesome reviews, I buy it and I have a reaction to it, or it just does nothing for me. You know spf in lip balms? Yeah…no. I look like Angelina Jolie and my lips hurt like crazy!
SOOOO Frustrating!!

I recently got to try out a service that Vain Pursuits provides and let me tell you, they have won me over.

I know a lot of you have tried Stitch Fix or have heard of that…well, this is along those same lines! Your $20 ‘styling fee’ will go toward any full size product that you end up purchasing.

I went to the website, answered a brief survey about my skin and products that I use, what I liked about certain products and not too long after that I opened my mailbox to my very own Vain Kit that included three samples made just for me!

Vain Pursuits packageVain Pursuits samplesNow, I know a lot of my friends are into the essential oil thing. You will LOVE these. Love love love.  Each of my samples, (well, except for one that I chose as unscented) is scented with essential oils!

Everything that was on my survey was done for each sample I received. For some things I like a thicker consistency and others I prefer thin. For some things I like a stronger scent and others a very light or even no scent. They took into account each one!

Along with the ingredient list that was sent with each sample, on the back is a personal note from my skincare confidant letting me know what was added to it and why they picked this certain combination.

I was very excited to read that their products are paraben-free, sulfate-free, phthalate-free and synthetic fragrance-free. They use natural ingredients, are cruelty free and they even use recyclable packaging. It is totally my kind of company! I am always on the lookout for this type of product and sometimes it is hard to find!

I will go through my samples!

Vain Pursuits PeacekeeperVain Pursuits PeacekeeperFirst is the Peacekeeper Night Lotion. I loved everything about this combination. It wasn’t too strong, since being a night cream I just didn’t want to be suffocated by scent while trying to sleep. It is scented with the essential oils of frankincense and litsea. Great consistency too!

Vain Pursuits Self-AbsorbedVain Pursuits Self-AbsorbedNext is the Self-Absorbed sample! This is a facial moisturizer and this is the one that I chose to be unscented.  It has a light texture with gentle ingredients which is what I wanted since it would be on my face for most of the time.

IMG_2945Vain Pursuits Soft-SpokenMy last sample is Soft-Spoken which is a day lotion. I enjoyed this one a lot. It was Jeffy’s favorite scent too. It was scented with lavender, orange and litsea. Wonderful combination!

Once you get your samples, they want you to try them on your wrist and let them know your first impression…like how the consistency is, the scent, that sort of thing. They give you tips and ideas on how to test certain samples and really walk you through the process.

Then, they take your feedback and create the perfect full size product for you! You can change anything! I had two scents that I liked and couldn’t decide between the two. But I liked one of my samples just the way it was, so I stuck with that. I am so excited to get it, I will make another post when I do!

If you want to check it out, feel free to go to their website! If you use my link, you can save $5 off your first order!
Let me know if you do, I would love to hear of the combinations that you are sent!! :)

Besides going to their website, you can find Vain Pursuits on twitter, facebook, instagram and pinterest. They also have a blog which has a lot of interesting infomation. The latest blog post really has me wanting to look at the ingredients and scents of random things I may purchase! Ew!!

I really think this is a fresh way of buying skin care!!

Note: Products in this post were provided by the brand for review. All opinions stated above are my own based on my personal experience and have not been influenced by the brand.




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Two years ago…

I am loving the Timehop app. Yes, I know it is kind of annoying seeing all of the repeat posts on facebook, but come on, it is kinda awesome knowing what was going on last year, two years ago or even six years ago!

Yesterday it reminded me that we were all packed up to start our move to NC that evening two years ago. In some ways it feels like it was yesterday, and other ways it feels like we have been here for a long time.

It is nice getting to places without the gps always being on, but we still use it like crazy..

The seasons have been so wonderful! When we first arrived here there were notices about breaking heat records, hot hot hot… We didn’t think it was all that bad, sure it was humid, but hot? Not really.. ;)   Then, this past winter we had a huge ice storm. I mean, it was like walking through a war zone.. Well, you get my point. If that was year one and year two, I can’t imagine what year three is going to bring, weather wise!

I miss my friends like crazy. I miss my neighbor! You know when someone just gets you immediately after meeting them? Yeah, that’s her. Gah.. Everyone here lives so far away from me and honestly, I don’t think anyone gets me…lol.

We are surrounded by birds. I dunno, but I think we have close to 80. We stop counting once it gets up there because we really don’t want to know. We do have to get rid of a lot of our smaller chickens as there are a lot of roosters and that just won’t be pretty in the end.

Like last year, I thought it would be fun to take a pic of us in the same position that we were in the pic of us getting ready to leave AZ. It is cool to see how much everyone has grown or changed.. This was the middle of the day with the sun overhead, sooo not flattering for anyone, but I knew there was supposed to be rain later in the day and that would be even less flattering…so, here ya go.. :)

Two years ago…AZ to NC in the RVLast year…

One year in NCAnd this years pic..
Two years in NCLooks like we need to step it up on the grass color but it was just mowed, so… ;)
But yeah, looks like it was the year of inches gained..pretty soon everyone is going to be taller than me. lol.

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What I read in May

Yes… I am so far behind on blogging. There are so many things that I wanted to do on here this month, but alas, time got away from me! In a serious way!

My mom and brother came to visit and that took up half the month. The other half? Well, I think I just blanked on that whole time.  One of those things that I had too much to do so I just gave up and didn’t get any of it done… Please tell me I am not the only one that does this…

This month will be better…she says hopefully. :)

Anyway…this is what I read in May!


City of Darkness and Light by Rhys Bowen – Molly and Daniel Sullivan are settling happily into the new routines of parenthood, but their domestic bliss is shattered the night a gang retaliates against Daniel for making a big arrest. Daniel wants his family safely out of New York City as soon as possible. In shock and grieving, but knowing she needs to protect their infant son Liam, Molly agrees to take him on the long journey to Paris to stay with her friends Sid and Gus, who are studying art in the City of Light.

But upon arriving in Paris, nothing goes as planned. Sid and Gus seem to have vanished into thin air, and Molly’s search to figure out what happened to them will lead her through all levels of Parisian society, from extravagant salons to the dingy cafes where starving artists linger over coffee and loud philosophical debates. And when in the course of her search she stumbles across a dead body, Molly, on her own in a foreign country, starts to wonder if she and Liam might be in even more danger in Paris than they had been at home.

As Impressionism gives way to Fauvism and Cubism, and the Dreyfus affair rocks France, Molly races through Paris to outsmart a killer in City of Darkness and Light, Rhys Bowen’s most spectacular Molly Murphy novel yet.

What I thought: I enjoyed this book! The main character was written well. I could have done with a better end part, but it is what it is… I enjoyed reading about this time period and some of the artists mentioned…


The Stench of Honolulu by Jack Handey – Are you a fan of books in which famous tourist destinations are repurposed as unlivable hellholes for no particular reason? Read on!

Jack Handey’s exotic tale is full of laugh-out-loud twists and unforgettable characters whose names escape me right now. A reliably unreliable narrator and his friend, who is some other guy, need to get out of town. They have a taste for adventure, so they pay a visit to a relic of bygone days-a travel agent-and discover an old treasure map. She might have been a witch, by the way. Our heroes soon embark on a quest for the Golden Monkey, which takes them into the mysterious and stinky foreign land of Honolulu. There, they meet untold dangers, confront strange natives, kill and eat Turtle People, kill some other things and people, eat another thing, and discover the ruins of ancient civilizations.

As our narrator says, “The ruins were impressive. But like so many civilizations, they forgot the rule that might have saved them: Don’t let vines grow all over you.”

What I thought: Ok, I am a fan of Deep Thoughts and so I thought I would give this book a go. I liked it for the silliness that it is. I definitely chuckled a few times and other times I was almost embarrassed to be reading it.. Very quick read!


The Hive by Gill Hornby – It’s the start of another school year at St. Ambrose. While the children are busy in the classroom, their mothers are learning sharper lessons. Lessons in friendship. Lessons in betrayal. Lessons in the laws of community, the transience of power…and how to get invited to lunch.

Beatrice — undisputed queen bee. Ruler, by Divine Right, of all school fundraising, this year, last year, and, surely, for many to come.

Heather — desperate to volunteer, desperate to be noticed, desperate to belong.

Georgie — desperate for a cigarette.

And Rachel — watching them all, keeping her distance. But soon to discover taht the line between amused observer and miserable outcast is a thin one.

THE HIVE is a wickedly funny and brilliantly observed story about female friendship, power plays, and the joys and perils (well, mainly perils) of trying to do one’s part.

What I thought: Ok, this book was written by someone in England and I could NOT keep up with all of the terminology and slang used. I just guessed at a lot of it. I can see the idea that the author had for the storyline, but I think it could have been written differently. The switching of characters was confusing at times. I did witness a bunch of girls acting this way though, desperately wanting to be acccepted, so there is truth in what she is saying. The book was ok, and it took me a long time to get through.


Number the Stars by Lois Lowry – Ten-year-old Annemarie Johansen and her best friend Ellen Rosen often think of life before the war. It’s now 1943 and their life in Copenhagen is filled with school, food shortages, and the Nazi soldiers marching through town. When the Jews of Denmark are “relocated,” Ellen moves in with the Johansens and pretends to be one of the family. Soon Annemarie is asked to go on a dangerous mission to save Ellen’s life.

What I thought: Yes, I am late to the game on this book…but we read it for school.. :) I really enjoyed this book, as short as it was. I liked what the author wrote in the back of the book too, that was interesting.


Pretenders by Lisi Harrison – It takes place at a high school in New Jersey. Summer is over. Sophomore year begins tomorrow. Outfits are being planned. Lunch buddies are being secured. Texts are flying. All seems normal when…ping! Everyone in the sophomore class gets an email.

SUBJECT: The Phoenix Five: License To Spill.

Attached is a mega document.

A letter from a mysterious student starts the book. It explains that at the end of each year the school yearbook- The Phoenix- names the five most outstanding freshman. She (or he) always suspected that last years’ five (3 girls, 2 boys) were phonies. She (or he) always thought they tried too hard to be popular. But she (or he) never had the proof. Until now. She (or he) stole the secret diaries they were asked to keep by their English teacher. She (or he) has compiled them into a book.

This is that book.

What I thought: Ok… I was really liking this book and the stories it was telling. The author has a great way of personalizing her characters. I didn’t quite understand how the book had anything to do with the Phoenix 5 that was briefly mentioned, and I am assuming that will all come out in the sequel? I think there should have been a little more in the letter leading up to all of the journal entries and a totally different ending. I don’t think books should have a ‘to be continued’ feel to them, there should be a definite ending of some sort. But maybe that is just me..

Anyway, have you read any of these? What did you think? Let me know any titles you have read recently!! :)

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What I read in April

Woah, I didn’t read much this month at all! I was stuck with one book for quite some time and that slowed down my reading of other books. This month my mom and brother will be visiting, so I don’t know how much I will read either…

But, in case you were wondering….here is what I read in April. :)


First Love by James Patterson and Emily Raymond – Axi Moore is a “good girl”: She studies hard, stays out of the spotlight, and doesn’t tell anyone that what she really wants is to run away from it all. The only person she can tell is her best friend, Robinson–who she also happens to be madly in love with.

When Axi impulsively invites Robinson to come with her on an unplanned cross-country road trip, she breaks the rules for the first time in her life. But the adventure quickly turns from carefree to out-of-control…

A remarkably moving tale with its origins in James Patterson’s own past, First Love is testament to the power of first love–and how it can change the rest of your life.

What I thought: I really enjoyed how this story was written. I had no idea the way the story was going to go, it was a surprise for sure! It was a very short easy read for the most part. The characters were intriguing…


Cartwheel by Jennifer duBois – When Lily Hayes arrives in Buenos Aires for her semester abroad, she is enchanted by everything she encounters: the colorful buildings, the street food, the handsome, elusive man next door. Her studious roommate Katy is a bit of a bore, but Lily didn’t come to Argentina to hang out with other Americans.

Five weeks later, Katy is found brutally murdered in their shared home, and Lily is the prime suspect. But who is Lily Hayes? It depends on who’s asking. As the case takes shape—revealing deceptions, secrets, and suspicious DNA—Lily appears alternately sinister and guileless through the eyes of those around her: the media, her family, the man who loves her and the man who seeks her conviction. With mordant wit and keen emotional insight, Cartwheel offers a prismatic investigation of the ways we decide what to see—and to believe—in one another and ourselves.

Jennifer duBois’s debut novel, A Partial History of Lost Causes, was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Fiction and was honored by the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 program. In Cartwheel, duBois delivers a novel of propulsive psychological suspense and rare moral nuance. Who is Lily Hayes? What happened to her roommate? No two readers will agree. Cartwheel will keep you guessing until the final page, and its questions about how much we really know about ourselves will linger well beyond.

What I thought: Well, I think I expected more from this book. I liked it, overall, but not a strong like. lol. Parts seemed to drag, although I enjoyed some of the extra scenes written. I still don’t understand parts of the book…

All The Truth That’s In Me by Julie Berry – Four years ago, Judith and her best friend disappeared from their small town of Roswell Station. Two years ago, only Judith returned, permanently mutilated, reviled and ignored by those who were once her friends and family. Unable to speak, Judith lives like a ghost in her own home, silently pouring out her thoughts to the boy who’s owned her heart as long as she can remember—even if he doesn’t know it—her childhood friend, Lucas. But when Roswell Station is attacked, long-buried secrets come to light, and Judith is forced to choose: continue to live in silence, or recover her voice, even if it means changing her world, and the lives around her, forever. This startlingly original novel will shock and disturb you; it will fill you with Judith’s passion and longing; and its mysteries will keep you feverishly turning the pages until the very last.

What I thought: I really enjoyed this book! I was surprised at the time period that this took place, there really wasn’t a mention of that in the description. The story line was great, the main character told a great story!


The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn by Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler – While attempting to solve the mystery of a stolen jewel, Seikei, a merchant’s son who longs to be a samurai, joins a group of kabuki actors in eighteenth-century Japan.

What I thought: We read this together for school. It was an enjoyable story, a lot of history mentioned that was pretty fascinating. Interesting that the Judge mentioned in the story was a real person, although this particular story is not real.

As usual, let me know any good books that you have read lately! Or let me know if you have read any of these, and what you thought! :)

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Thursday Things

Long time, no see!! I have been sat at my computer working on photos and yearbooks and more photos… If I am not doing school, I am here on the computer…

I thought I would do a quick Thursday Things since it has been a while!

1. I have been craving strawberries like crazy lately! Our local strawberry patch is opening later than normal because of the wacky weather we had…but these are a great thing to snack on! I grab a handful and it takes my craving away! I had to laugh at the serving size as being the whole bag! I couldn’t imagine!! :D Someone mentioned to me to try the pineapple, I will definitely be looking for that next time!

2. Yes, another Trader Joe’s product.. I can’t help it!! I was so excited to find this and add it to my morning shake. So yummy!! I used to add flax all the time, but I couldn’t resist the added blueberries!!

3. FOUR DAY WEEKEND, YO!! Ok, it hasn’t happened yet, but it officially started today, so….we are going to enjoy it! Well, I am going to be working on photos and such, and Jeffy and the kids are going to be building a structure to put the ducks in….but still.. ;)

ham sliders

4. These ham sliders. OH my goodness. I had thought to make some sliders with the leftover ham anyway, but I looked online to see if anyone had anything special for a recipe. I found one and kind of used the ingredients suggested and brushed it on top. AMAZING!! I will definitely make these again with any leftover ham we have. :) I mixed some honey mustard, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and some melted butter, brushed it on top of each roll and stuck it in the toaster over for ten minutes or so.


This song has seemed to keep popping up lately, it’s been in my head because of it…  Who doesn’t want to be ok anyway, right?


Let me know what you have enjoyed about this last week, or if you have any favorites from Trader Joe’s! :)


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