Apr 202015
 

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Where They Found Her by Kimberly McCreight

Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Harper (April 14, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062225464
ISBN-13: 978-0062225467

An idyllic suburban town.

A devastating discovery.

Shocking revelations that will change three lives forever.

At the end of a long winter in well-to-do Ridgedale, New Jersey, the body of a newborn is found in the woods fringing the campus of the town’s prestigious university. No one knows the identity of the baby, what ended her very short life, or how she came to be found among the fallen leaves. But for the residents of Ridgedale, there is no shortage of opinions.

When freelance journalist and recent Ridgedale transplant Molly Sanderson is unexpectedly called upon to cover the disturbing news for the Ridgedale Reader—the town’s local paper—she has good reason to hesitate. A severe depression followed the loss of her own baby, and this assignment could unearth memories she has tried hard to bury. But the disturbing history Molly uncovers is not her own. Her investigation reveals a decades-old trail of dark secrets hiding behind Ridgedale’s white picket fences.

Told from the perspectives of three Ridgedale women, Kimberly McCreight’s taut and profoundly moving novel unwinds the tangled truth behind the tragedy, revealing that these women have far more in common than they could ever have imagined: that the very worst crimes are committed against those we love. And that—sooner or later—the past catches up to all of us.

Thoughts
The beginning of this book had me glued to the pages with a horrible story of the body of a baby found in the woods. Suddenly there were numerous characters being introduced, which is something I don’t particularly care for. It makes it hard to keep track of everyone. That being said, the characters were very well developed with their own personalities.

There are many twists in the story and it is a very emotional read. At times I thought a few things seemed unrelated, but how they were connected was explained later in the book. The book is told from various POV’s, and you have to pay attention or else you’ll get confused on who said what.

I love a good mystery and this kept me guessing. In the end all my guesses were wrong, and I loved that.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book, and would love to read more from this author.

 

Meet Kimberly McCreight
5130FVaYMpL._UX250_Kimberly McCreight is the New York Times bestselling author of Reconstructing Amelia, which was nominated for the Edgar, Anthony and Alex awards and has been acquired in 17 countries. She attended Vassar College and graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two daughters.

 

 

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Apr 202015
 

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I’m doing the 30 Day Walkabout Challenge @ Sparkpeople during the month of April. It not only gives you physical things to do like walking and strength training, it also has articles to read to help you get the most out of your walks.

Tuesday: 1 1/2 mile and did the 4-Minute Lower Body Stretching Routine

Wednesday: 2 miles and did

Thursday: 3 miles plus 30-Minute Indoor Power Walking Workout

Friday: 1 mile plus 2 sets of 10 reps of skater squats, forward lunges, calf raises, planks, supermans, pendulums, push ups, and tricep dips

Saturday: 1 mile plus read Health and Fitness Benefits of Walking

Sunday: 1 mile and read Walking Workouts with Intervals

Monday: 1 mile plus 2 sets of 10 reps of skater squats, forward lunges, calf raises, planks, supermans, pendulums, push ups, and tricep dips

Apr 192015
 

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Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week.

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

Every Wednesday for Books That Caught Our Eye, Serena, Leslie and I will each share 2 books that grabbed our attention from today’s Mailbox Monday post. We hope you’ll join us by posting a comment letting us know the books that caught your eye.

From the library:
1325047Widow To Widow by Genevieve Davis Ginsburg
(this was the book most recommended to me by other widows)
In this remarkably useful guide, widow, author, and therapist Genevieve Davis Ginsburg offers fellow widows-as well as their family and friends-sage advice for coping with the loss of a husband. From learning to travel and eat alone to creating new routines to surviving the holidays and anniversaries that reopen emotional wounds, Widow to Widow walks readers through the challenges of widowhood and encourages them on their path to building a new life.

 

22635858The Bookseller by Cynthia Swanson
(one of the She Reads books of spring picks)
A provocative and hauntingly powerful debut novel reminiscent of Sliding Doors, The Bookseller follows a woman in the 1960s who must reconcile her reality with the tantalizing alternate world of her dreams

Nothing is as permanent as it appears . . .

Denver, 1962: Kitty Miller has come to terms with her unconventional single life. She loves the bookshop she runs with her best friend, Frieda, and enjoys complete control over her day-to-day existence. She can come and go as she pleases, answering to no one. There was a man once, a doctor named Kevin, but it didn’t quite work out the way Kitty had hoped.

Then the dreams begin.

Denver, 1963: Katharyn Andersson is married to Lars, the love of her life. They have beautiful children, an elegant home, and good friends. It’s everything Kitty Miller once believed she wanted—but it only exists when she sleeps.

Convinced that these dreams are simply due to her overactive imagination, Kitty enjoys her nighttime forays into this alternate world. But with each visit, the more irresistibly real Katharyn’s life becomes. Can she choose which life she wants? If so, what is the cost of staying Kitty, or becoming Katharyn?

As the lines between her worlds begin to blur, Kitty must figure out what is real and what is imagined. And how do we know where that boundary lies in our own lives?

 

For Review:
24585815The Joy Of Ballpark Food by Bennett Jacobstein
(my BIL took me, my brother and nephews to many Cincinnati Reds games when we were kids & seeing this book brought back lots of memories)
Baseball is a game that is identified with food. We even sing about it at every ballpark during the seventh inning stretch: “….buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack…” The famous song was written by Jack Norworth in 1908.

From the early part of the twentieth century until the 1980s, classic baseball fare consisted mostly of hot dogs, ice cream, peanuts, and Cracker Jack. Then ballparks slowly began to sell new items. A proliferation of new food offerings during the 1990s was fueled by the opening of twelve new major league ballparks.

Now, teams around the country sell a variety of exotic food as well as wide variety of hot dogs.

The Joy of Ballpark Food: From Hot Dogs to Haute Cuisine begins with the history of the first hot dog at a ball game and concludes with a culinary tour of all 30 major league ballparks.

 

25316393Calming the Chaos: A Soulful Guide to Managing Your Energy Rather Than Your Time by Jackie Woodside
(not a lot of chaos in my life, but hopefully this book will help me go through my husbands things with less stress)
In Calming the Chaos, you will learn the step-by-step skills and thought processes that lead to increased productivity and peace of mind. Jackie’s approach stems from the new frontier of human performance called energetic consciousness. Part philosophy, part psychology, fully practical application, you will learn:
– Why there is no such thing as time management and what to do instead.- How to manage your energy instead of your time and stress.- The three-step formula for managing every component of your life for the rest of your life!- Why “to-do lists” are a set up for failure and what really works.- “The Three Strikes Rule” that will end procrastination for good!- How to always know that you have the time for what you want and need to do!
Many books promise to change your life. Applying these principles will make this a reality!

 

25287611Kidnap, Part 1. of Guy Erma and the Son of Empire by Sally Ann Melia
(not my usual read, but I feel like it’s time for something different)
An Action Adventure set a long time ago on a planet far far away…

I don’t want to go… Do I have to go?

13-year-old Prince Teodor of Freyne knows his duty to the memory of his father and his kingdom. Always, he must help those less fortunate than himself. Yet a frightening nightmare fills him with foreboding, but still he must do – into the Dome.
13-year-old Guy Erma lives in the shadow of the Dome, he has no father and no mother and his future is uncertain, he must start earning a living when he turns 14. He knows not where he will live or even how he will eat, and his only dream is to enter the military academy – at the heart of the Dome.
Two boys as different as any two boys might be. One act of cruelty will throw their lives together, but who dare they trust?

Apr 162015
 

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Hosted @ Feeling Beachie

 
 
If I could I’d change the time a traffic light stays yellow.

I’d rather be at the beach some where than sitting at home.

Seeing my kids and grandkids makes me very happy.

Could you still  finish a movie after someone tells you how it ends?

Apr 142015
 

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I’m doing the 30 Day Walkabout Challenge @ Sparkpeople during the month of April. It not only gives you physical things to do like walking and strength training, it also has articles to read to help you get the most out of your walks. If you’re a Sparkpeople,you can find me here

Tuesday: Rest day, but I walked 1 mile

Wednesday: 1/2 mile and read the article Goal Buddies Are Golden

Thursday: 1 1/2 miles and read the article: Find the Perfect Workout Shoe for You

Friday: 1 mile and 1 set of 10 repetitions of skater squats, forward lunges, calf raises, planks, supermans, pendulums, push ups, and tricep dips

Sunday: 1 mile and read the article How to Walk with Proper Form and Technique

Monday: 1 1/2 miles and read the article 8 Strength Training Exercises for Walkers

Apr 122015
 

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Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week.

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

Every Wednesday for Books That Caught Our Eye, Serena, Leslie and I will each share 2 books that grabbed our attention from today’s Mailbox Monday post. We hope you’ll join us by posting a comment letting us know the books that caught your eye.

I’m back to one book:

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Dear Carolina by Kristy Woodson Harvey

A moving debut novel about two mothers—one biological and one adoptive—from a compelling new voice in Southern women’s fiction.

One baby girl.
Two strong Southern women.
And the most difficult decision they’ll ever make.

Frances “Khaki” Mason has it all: a thriving interior design career, a loving husband and son, homes in North Carolina and Manhattan—everything except the second child she has always wanted. Jodi, her husband’s nineteen-year-old cousin, is fresh out of rehab, pregnant, and alone. Although the two women couldn’t seem more different, they forge a lifelong connection as Khaki reaches out to Jodi, encouraging her to have her baby. But as Jodi struggles to be the mother she knows her daughter deserves, she will ask Khaki the ultimate favor…

Written to baby Carolina, by both her birth mother and her adoptive one, this is a story that proves that life circumstances shape us but don’t define us—and that families aren’t born, they’re made…

Apr 092015
 

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Dog Crazy: A Novel of Love Lost and Found by Meg Donohue

Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (March 10, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062331035
ISBN-13: 978-0062331038

The USA Today bestselling author of How to Eat a Cupcake and All the Summer Girls returns with an unforgettably poignant and funny tale of love and loss, confronting our fears, and moving on . . . with the help of a poodle, a mutt, and a Basset retriever named Seymour

As a pet bereavement counselor, Maggie Brennan uses a combination of empathy, insight, and humor to help patients cope with the anguish of losing their beloved four-legged friends. Though she has a gift for guiding others through difficult situations, Maggie has major troubles of her own that threaten the success of her counseling practice and her volunteer work with a dog rescue organization.

Everything changes when a distraught woman shows up at Maggie’s office and claims that her dog has been stolen. Searching the streets of San Francisco for the missing pooch, Maggie finds herself entangled in a mystery that forces her to finally face her biggest fear-and to open her heart to new love.

Packed with deep emotion and charming surprises, Dog Crazy is a bighearted and entertaining story that skillfully captures the bonds of love, the pain of separation, and the power of our dogs to heal us.

Thoughts
I’m a huge dog lover so I was filled with all kinds of emotions while reading this book. I know how painful it is to lose a dog. Some parts of the book were deeply sad while others were filled with wonderful memories.

I loved Maggie. Even though she was a pet bereavement counselor, she was dealing with her own issues. I loved the relationships she had with her patients and the way she struggled to free herself of her own phobia so she could help one of them try to find her lost dog. The story is full of heartache, compassion, humor and most of all the love we feel for our dogs and the enormous loss we feel when they die. There was also a little bit of romance. As for the ending, I loved it.

I loved this book and hope to read more from this author.

About The Author
7159SD1wftL._UX250_Meg Donohue is the USA Today bestselling author of DOG CRAZY, ALL THE SUMMER GIRLS, and HOW TO EAT A CUPCAKE. She has an MFA from Columbia University and a BA from Dartmouth College. Born and raised in Philadelphia, she now lives in San Francisco with her husband, three young daughters, and dog, and is working on her next novel.

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Purchase Links: Amazon | IndieBound | Barnes & Noble
Author Links:  Website, Facebook, and Twitter
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Apr 072015
 

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I’m doing the 30 Day Walkabout Challenge @ Sparkpeople during the month of April.

It not only gives you physical things to do like walking and strength training, it also has articles to read to help you get the most out of your walks.

Tuesday: I mile

Wednesday: 1 mile and strength training

Thursday:  1mile and read 5 Common Walking and Running Injuries for the challenge

Friday: 1 mile and 1 set of 10 repetitions of skater squats, forward lunges, calf raises, planks, supermans, pendulums, push ups, and tricep dips

Saturday: 1 mile and read A Guide to Walking Meditation

Sunday: supposed to be a rest day but I walked a mile and read Reference Guide to Exercise Intensity

Monday: 1 mile and 1 set of 10 repetitions of skater squats, forward lunges, calf raises, planks, supermans, pendulums, push ups, and tricep dips

Apr 052015
 

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Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week.

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

Every Wednesday for Books That Caught Our Eye, Serena, Leslie and I will each share 2 books that grabbed our attention from today’s Mailbox Monday post. We hope you’ll join us by posting a comment letting us know the books that caught your eye.

My mailbox was pretty busy compared to the last few weeks. I received 3 books:

22504485Finding Me by Kathryn Cushman
A Contemporary Drama of Family Lies and Forgotten Loves
After her father and stepmother’s accidental death, Kelli Huddleston sorts through their belongings and learns a shocking secret. Years before, her father faked his death during a boat wreck at sea–and faked Kelli’s as well. He’d run from a wife, a son, and a daughter back in Tennessee, meaning Kelli has a family she’s never known.
She’s already cashed the payout on her dad’s life insurance check and looks at it as her ticket to a new life. The lure and puzzle of digging into this hidden past is too much to resist, and she soon finds herself in Tennessee. When the trip threatens to open doors to the past better left shut, and her plans for the future are threatened, Kelli must make an agonizing choice that will change her life forever.

22097519Cozy Food by 128 Cozy Mystery Writers (how cool is that?)
What happens when 128 cozy mystery writers get together to do a cookbook? You get more than 220 recipes that are as varied and interesting as an amateur sleuth’s day job. Regional recipes come from every part of the United States and England — a couple find their way from Australia and Italy, too — and from diverse times. There are recipes from people looking to keep gluten out of their lives, eat vegetarian, or make a treat or two for their furry four-legged friends. And yes, there are recipes that appeal to the sweet tooth, lots of them, in fact. There’s no mystery about what happens when cozy writers get together. They bring the wit, inventiveness, and adventure found in their books right along with their recipes. The recipes are introduced by their authors and linked to the writer bios in the back of the book. You can look up your favorite cozy writer and see which recipes are their favorites; they’ll tell you what the recipe means to them. Or you can enjoy a dish and then link to the recipe’s author’s biography and books. Either way you enjoy the cookbook, you’re sure to find great new recipes to make and terrific new cozy authors to read.

24898759Going Against The Grain-Italian Style by Nuccia Ardagna
This two-part book is a vital adjunct to any home attempting to be gluten-free. The first part guides you through early diagnosis and is an essential guide for any beginner diagnosed with celiac disease or some form of gluten sensitivity. You will learn how to identify symptoms of the disease, how celiac disease is diagnosed, and the consequences if left untreated. It will help you to understand how to read labels and how to manage your gluten-free home in a shared environment. It outlines practical advice for parents of children with celiac disease as well as tips for eating out and dealing with social settings such as special occasions or when traveling. Honorary foreword provided by renowned Dr. Peter HR Green, MD – Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University.

Growing up authentically Sicilian, Nuccia Ardagna thought that getting rid of gluten meant giving up her favorite traditional foods, but that could not be further from the truth! Nuccia combines her passion for eating amazingly Italian with her new dietary needs to bring you scrumptious, traditional Italian (and Sicilian) recipes. From simple, classic appetizers to decadent desserts you thought you could never enjoy, every recipe is easy-to-follow and offers beautiful full-color pictures throughout. You can feel confident about entertaining guests and family with these mouth-watering recipes. You can eat healthier, feel better, and truly enjoy living gluten-free while never having to sacrifice great taste!

In this book, Nuccia not only shares her personal story with celiac disease but also the recipes she grew up with at home and uses to entertain guests. Look for the bonus section at the end of the book along with a section dedicated to her favorite links and resources.

Apr 012015
 

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Rating: PG
Genre: Musical & Performing Arts , Kids & Family
Runtime: 2 hr. 5 min.

As the result of the curse of a once-beautiful witch, a baker and his wife are childless. Three days before the rise of a blue moon, they venture into the forest to find the ingredients that will reverse the spell and restore the witch’s beauty: a milk-white cow, hair as yellow as corn, a blood-red cape, and a slipper of gold. During their journey, they meet Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and Jack, each one on a quest to fulfill a wish.

Thoughts
I loved this movie. It was neat seeing all the characters from different classic fairy tales coming together and interacting with each other. The story is at times cute and funny, but also has some more serious scenes. It was very easy to follow. At one point I thought the movie was gearing down to end, but it picked back up and kept going. The movie seemed a bit long, but I don’t know how they could have cut anything out. Each scene was important to lead up to the next. The ending wasn’t what I expected, but I liked it.

Somehow we missed that this was a musical. Since I’m not really a fan of musicals, I didn’t expect to like that aspect much, but it grew on me. I was amazed at how well everyone could sing (all the cast members did their own singing). They all did a great job of acting their parts too.

Meryl Streep did an awesome job of playing the witch. Of course she did, she’s amazing in everything. I also think the other actors were perfectly cast. The one that stands out in my mind the most was Depp as the wolf, but like Streep, he is awesome in everything he does. I wish his part in the film would have been longer.

James Corden as the Baker and Emily Blunt as the Baker’s Wife were perfect. I’ve never seen Lilla Crawford or Daniel Huttlestone in anything before, but they too did awesome jobs as Little Red Riding Hood and Jack. The rest of the cast were also very good. In fact, there wasn’t anyone I didn’t think did a great job.

This would be great for families to watch together, and I would recommend it to everyone.

 

Cast:
Meryl Streep ~ Witch
Johnny Depp ~ Wolf
Anna Kendrick ~ Cinderella
Daniel Huttlestone ~ Jack
James Corden ~ Baker
Emily Blunt ~ Baker’s Wife
Christine Baranski ~ Stepmother
Tammy Blanchard ~ Florinda
Lucy Punch ~ Lucinda
Tracey Ullman ~ Jack’s Mother
Lilla Crawford ~ Little Red Riding Hood
Billy Magnussen ~ Rapunzel’s Prince
Mackenzie Mauzy ~ Rapunzel
Chris Pine ~ Cinderella’s Prince
Frances de la Tour ~ Giant
Tug ~ Milky-White

Mar 312015
 

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I’ve missed the last few Reader’s Workouts, but I finally tracked everything last week.

Tuesday: 2 miles
Wednesday: 1 mile
Thursday: 1 mile
Friday: 1 mile
Saturday: 1.6 miles & played Putt Putt
Sunday: rest day
Monday: 1 mile

I didn’t do any strength training :(

I’m doing the 30 Day Walkabout Challenge @ Sparkpeople starting tomorrow, April 1st.

Mar 292015
 

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Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week.

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

Every Wednesday for Books That Caught Our Eye, Serena, Leslie and I will each share 2 books that grabbed our attention from today’s Mailbox Monday post. We hope you’ll join us by posting a comment letting us know the books that caught your eye.

There was one book in my mailbox last week:
I’m so excited I received this book from Simon & Schuster.
I love Pauley Perrette, and can’t wait to get to it.

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Donna Bell’s Bake Shop by PauleyPerrette, Darren Greenblatt, and Matthew Sandusky

The heartwarming story of how NCIS star Pauley Perrette and her two best friends created a Southern-style bake shop in Manhattan—a celebration of love and friendship with gorgeous photographs and delicious recipes.

Nestled in the heart of midtown New York is a little shop with a big story. An all-natural bake shop that specializes in Southern baked goods, Donna Bell’s is owned by Pauley Perrette, the actress who plays Abby Sciuto on CBS’s NCIS, and her two best friends, Darren Greenblatt and Matthew Sandusky. It was named in honor of Pauley’s late mother, who is the beloved inspiration for everything they bake.

It all started in 1993, when Pauley met Darren in New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen, just blocks away from where the shop is currently located. The two became inseparable friends and Pauley’s Southern mom would welcome Darren to their home with mouthwatering treats. Darren loved this food and soon left his successful career in fashion to open a food truck that sold Southern desserts at the Jersey Shore. Eventually he wanted to expand and turned to Pauley and their friend Matthew—who worked in the Los Angeles food industry—for help. Soon Matthew was on his way to New York to open Donna Bell’s Bake Shop with Pauley and Darren.

With recipes for favorites like buttermilk biscuits, chocolate chip-almond scones, and peach streusel muffins; personal photographs from Pauley, Darren, Matthew, and Donna Bell herself; this is the story how one fantastic bake shop brings warmth and happiness—one treat at a time—to the urban jungle that is New York City.

I bought the following books at a library sale:

unnamedThe Reading Group by Elizabeth Noble
I Am No One You Know by Joyce Carol Oates
Last Days: Stories by Joyce Carol Oates
The Hot Flash Club by Nancy Thayer
Crazy in Alabama by Mark Childress
unnamed (1)Crow Lake by Mary Lawson
Love Adds a Little Chocolate by Medard Laz
Pack Up Your Gloomees by Barbara Johnson
Pushing Murder by Eleanor Boylan
A Quiet Life by Beryl Bainbridge
The Sweet By and By by Todd Johnson

It was $1.00 a bag day at the library sale. They’re older books that I’ve never read. I’m pretty sure I already own a copy of  The Reading Group, but I always seem to buy books I already have so 1 out of 11 isn’t bad.

 

Mar 222015
 

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Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week.

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

Every Wednesday for Books That Caught Our Eye, Serena, Leslie and I will each share 2 books that grabbed our attention from today’s Mailbox Monday post. We hope you’ll join us by posting a comment letting us know the books that caught your eye.

As usual, I had one book in my mailbox last week:

I love books by Joanne Demaio. She never leaves me disappointed.
Can’t wait to read this, and look at that gorgeous cover!!!

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The Denim Blue Sea by Joanne Demaio

During two August weeks, denim designer Maris Carrington and coastal architect Jason Barlow prepare for their much-anticipated wedding. Guests arrive early, turning keys in charming cottage doors to begin their New England summer escape. The wedding is a reason for old friends to gather again; to meet in their shabby beach hangout and get the jukebox cranking; to walk that weathered boardwalk beneath a starry sky; to breathe the sweet salt air. “Cures what ails you,” one of the friends, Neil, always said long before his life was sadly claimed. But his legacy was not.

When Maris discovers Neil’s long-lost journal, its passages reveal a heartbreaking secret. Can truths be found within its timeworn pages? Can this leather-bound journal unite the friends as their lives begin to fray? A bittersweet family reunion, a surprising encounter from a devastating accident, a shocking confession leaving one marriage shattered–all will test the once close-knit circle. Suddenly this safe haven on the tranquil Connecticut shoreline churns with emotional turmoil, threatening even the beach wedding just days before it is to happen.

Yet like a silver cap on a breaking wave, love and friendship wash ashore with hope, ever shimmering, in The Denim Blue Sea.

 

I love books by Joanne Demaio. She never leaves me disappointed. Can’t wait to read this, and look at that gorgeous cover!!!

Mar 202015
 

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Life From Scratch by Sasha Martin

Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: National Geographic (March 3, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1426213743
ISBN-13: 978-1426213748

It was a culinary journey like no other: Over the course of 195 weeks, food writer and blogger Sasha Martin set out to cook—and eat—a meal from every country in the world. As cooking unlocked the memories of her rough-and-tumble childhood and the loss and heartbreak that came with it, Martin became more determined than ever to find peace and elevate her life through the prism of food and world cultures. From the tiny, makeshift kitchen of her eccentric, creative mother to a string of foster homes to the house from which she launches her own cooking adventure, Martin’s heartfelt, brutally honest memoir reveals the power of cooking to bond, to empower, and to heal—and celebrates the simple truth that happiness is created from within.

Thoughts
I love memoirs, and I love cookbooks, so this book grabbed my attention right away. I loved reading about Sasha’s childhood. Her mother wasn’t your ordinary mother.  She was quite the character.  I loved reading about her, through the good and the bad.

Subsequently, Sasha and her brother had a very different  childhood from anyone I know. At times it was very good, but a lot of her young years were very bad, and had a lasting effect on her. She ultimately finds peace and forgiveness through her love of cooking.

This is such a good book! Not only does it have the fascinating story of Sasha’s life, it also had recipes from around the world. One that I’d like to try is Muamba de Galinha, which is a spicy Angolan Chicken Stew:

Juice and zest of 1 lemon
4 large garlic cloves, crushed
Generous pinch of salt
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
4-5 whole chicken legs
1/4 to 1/3 cup red palm oil
2 large onions, chopped
3 tomatoes, quartered
1 habanero pepper, as desired
1 cup water
salt and pepper
1 small pumpkin (about 1 1/2 pounds) to make 1 pounds cubed
1/2 pound okra (fresh or frozen) sliced in rounds

Mix lemon juice, zest, crushed garlic, salt and chili powder and rub into the chicken.
Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour, or overnight
Add the oil to a large pot and heat on medium-high heat
Brown the chicken (avoid crowding) 5-10 minutes a side
Cook the onions until soft and beginning to brown
Add in the remaining marinade and tomatoes.
Slit the habanero in half and deseed (for more fire, just chop it) and add to mix
Add the water and season with salt and pepper
Cover and cook at a gently bubble for 30 to 45 minuets, or until the chicken is tender
Meanwhile, peel, seed and cut the pumpkin into 1.5 inch cubes
Stir the pumpkin and sliced okra into the broth
Cover and cook until all the ingredients are cooked through (about 30 minuets)
Adjust seasoning and serve hot
*can be served on its own, with boiled yucca, or served over rice

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves memoirs or recipes.

About The Author
smSasha Martin is an award-winning writer and blogger who spent almost four years cooking her way around the world. She graduated from Wesleyan University and was an MFK Fisher Scholar at the Culinary Institute of America. She lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma with her husband Keith and their daughter Ava.

Sasha’s work has been featured on NPR, as well as in Whole Living, Bon Appetit, The Smithsonian, The Huffington Post, and CNNgo. Her website, Global Table Adventure, is a go-to hub for foodies around the world.

Her first book, Life From Scratch chronicles her lifelong struggle to find inner-peace, including the years she spent cooking the world as a new mother.

 

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Purchase Links: Amazon | IndieBound | Barnes & Noble
 
Author Links: Website, Global Table AdventureTwitter, and Facebook

 

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Mar 192015
 

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It Girl 4 Life by Tamara Branch

Paperback: 98 pages
Publisher: Heart Project Publishing; 1 edition (June 13, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0985964804
ISBN-13: 978-0985964801

“YOU have IT. IT is the GREATNESS you were born with.” – from the book
Writer, artist, and speaker, Tamara Branch serves up 40 bite-sized chapters on how to build unshakable self-confidence, honor your life and shine bright in the world, in ITGIRL4LIFE: How to bring out your special something and so much more. Packed with sage advice, life-changing insights, and affirmations to help you soar, ITGIRL4LIFE offers ideas, tools, and principles, that you can reference and build upon, supporting you in becoming your best. Get ready to fall in love with your own wisdom, beauty and strength.

Thoughts
The cover of the book says “how to bring out your special something & so much more.” And there are many steps inside the book to help you do that. The chapters are only 1-2 pages, but each can have a huge impact on how you value yourself.

The chapters cover topics like Love Yourself, Smile, Laugh Play & Have Fun, Celebrate Your Unique Beauty, Express Yourself As Only You Can, and Meditate. It’s full of motivational quotes and will help the reader begin to build self-worth and stop worrying what others think.

I loved this book, because it will help girls (and women) be the confident, happy, strong person you were meant to be. I plan on passing this book on to my granddaughter Alecia who is at the age where she’s very confident in some aspects of her life, and not very confident in others. She’ll be a teen next year and I think this book will help her a lot.

Would definitely recommend this for girls of any age.

Mar 152015
 

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Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week.

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

Every Wednesday for Books That Caught Our Eye, Serena, Leslie and I will each share 2 books that grabbed our attention from today’s Mailbox Monday post. We hope you’ll join us by posting a comment letting us know the books that caught your eye.

 

Again, I only received one book in my mailbox last week. This time it was from Blogging For Books. This book sounds really good, and I can’t wait to read it.

20484545It Was Me All Along by Andie Mitchell

A heartbreakingly honest, endearing memoir of incredible weight loss by a young food blogger who battles body image issues and overcomes food addiction to find self-acceptance.

All her life, Andie Mitchell had eaten lustily and mindlessly. Food was her babysitter, her best friend, her confidant, and it provided a refuge from her fractured family. But when she stepped on the scale on her twentieth birthday and it registered a shocking 268 pounds, she knew she had to change the way she thought about food and herself; that her life was at stake.

It Was Me All Along takes Andie from working class Boston to the romantic streets of Rome, from morbidly obese to half her size, from seeking comfort in anything that came cream-filled and two-to-a-pack to finding balance in exquisite (but modest) bowls of handmade pasta. This story is about much more than a woman who loves food and abhors her body. It is about someone who made changes when her situation seemed too far gone and how she discovered balance in an off-kilter world. More than anything, though, it is the story of her finding beauty in acceptance and learning to love all parts of herself.

Mar 142015
 

I love kitchen gadgets. I don’t even know how many gadgets I’ve bought over the years. I’ve also always loved yard sales, thrift stores, flea markets… You never know what you’ll find. The other day I had to pick up a few things from the store and decided to stop first at the thrift store a few doors down. It’s been a long time since I’ve been there so I was really glad I decided to go in, because I saw this.

 

 

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So adorable! If you look closely at the bottom photo, you can see they are measuring cups!! I love them!!

Do you like yard sales, thrift stores, etc.?

 

wkendcookingiconHosted @ Beth Fish Reads. Share anything book related whether it’s a Book, cookbook, movie, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs.

 

Mar 112015
 
828289
Paperback: 30 pages
Publisher: Thought Bubble Publishing; 3 edition (November 16, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0692335404
ISBN-13: 978-0692335406

 

A young boy, who is about to be grounded for going through so many socks, discovers that a monster has been eating them.Max is a young boy who is constantly getting in trouble for his socks disappearing. He doesn’t know where they go, but he does know that if he doesn’t do something quickly his mom will ground him for summer. Max soon discovers that a little green monster is sneaking into his room at night and eating his sweaty socks. His mother, of course, doesn’t believe him, so Max calls on his best friend to come for a sleepover to catch the monster.
They devise a trap and capture the monster only to learn that the creature can speak. It hasn’t meant to cause any harm, it’s just trying to feed its family. The monster shows them his home and his three little children and begs the boys not to turn them over to the adults. Adults, he says, want to destroy monsters.The boys are left in a pickle. Allow the monsters to be and get grounded, or turn the monsters in knowing what will happen to them? Neither idea seems good, so they come up with a new plan!

My Thoughts
This is a cute book that will finally explain where all your missing socks have gone. The story and illustrations are adorable. The monster is friendly and hungry, and just wants to find food and take some back to his three little monsters because they are hungry too.

I can’t wait to read this book to my grandson. I think he will love it!

Buy the Book

Meet The Author:
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A.J. Cosmo’s stories are crafted to help parents teach their children
simple everyday lessons in an easy to understand manner. By artfully
marrying beautiful illustrations and language, children are challenged to
explore his magical worlds. Written for the transitional reader, A.J.’s
stories allow your child to develop and master a new level of reading.

Connect with A.J.:  Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter