Friday, October 21, 2016

Friday Musings

Normally I am all too ready to put the heavy lifting aside and enjoy some light hearted Friday fun by sharing some things that have made my week a little easier.  However, this week has been h.a.r.d.

I tried to ignore my dull, dreary attitude and head over to pinterest anyway to find some pretty things to share in all the usual Friday revelry.  I made it about 45 seconds before closing out of it in a huff.

I am not here to perpetuate "pretty".  I am sick and tired of people pushing and pulling "pretty."

I need easy.  Or at least easier.  I need practical.  I need fun.  And I need clean.

I have been percolating over our society's pressure for "pretty" for a good while now, but I'm not ready to get full on rant here.  It is still Friday.

My brain is fuzzy and worn out from toddler wear and tear.  I am emotionally drained.  I'm going to go find some way to shake it off and be grateful and get through it.  But, if anyone out there is wondering and questioning, I think it's the hardest thing ever too.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

What I'm Reading Wednesdays

Autumn Leaves
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Don't forget to check out this post for a Giveaway of my newest novel, Autumn Leaves.  Quick synopsis:

Angie Demarco is a small town, family girl. She’s the ultimate peace keeping middle daughter of a tight knit family in southeastern Tennessee. When the youngest girl announces to the family that she’s pregnant at 17, it sends shock waves through the family, and Angie finds herself picking up the pieces.

Carter Haage is an active duty soldier stationed two hours north of Angie and her family at Fort Campbell. Upon returning from an arduous deployment, he and some friends take a much needed retreat to her small town.

While Angie and Carter are instantly drawn to each other, the timing is terrible for both of them. Angie is trying to untangle her family’s drama. Carter has committed himself to serve our country. This is a contemporary clean romance novel with a lot of heart, redemption, and family angst.

Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton

Love Warrior
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This is a memoir that hit my radar before it was published.  I don't remember how now, but I was jazzed to see my library pick it up immediately.  I put my name on the hold list, and I had no idea I'd really want to be reading Pierce Brown's next installment, Golden Sun, instead.  The only reason I'm not is that I haven't actually checked it out from the library yet.

Luckily for me, this memoir is written so beautifully.  I'm about a third of the way through, and Melton's struggles speak volumes about the concern I have about our society.  It is very thought provoking and deep while urging the reader along her life.  Her metaphor for mining canaries is alone worth the read.  Surprisingly, it reads quickly.  I hesitate to call it a light read, but I think I'll have it done in 3 or 4 days which is lightning speed for me these days.

Love Released: Women of Courage Episode One by Geri Foster

Love Released (Women of Courage, #1)
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This is my first BookBub freebie read.  I was hesitate to actually pick this one out of my list of 5 or so downloaded for right now because Golden Sun!  I'm often like a broken record player.

I am still a little hesitant because I couldn't track down how explicit this author or this novel is, but I'm enjoying the read so far.  It's a very short read, maybe even novella length.  It's immediately intriguing.  I am already devoted to the characters, and I am really enjoying it.

While I am completely impatient to get my next Brown book, both of these books are very satisfying and enjoyable to read in the meantime.

What are you reading?

Monday, October 17, 2016

GIVEAWAY Time!

I am so pleased to mail out an actual, physical copy of my first novel, Autumn Leaves.  If you love sweet, heart warming stories full of lovable characters trying to get their lives sorted out, you will fall in love with my first novel.

Autumn Leaves
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Check out my first amazon review:

Lovely little read, especially good for lazy afternoons or before bed. If you like a little love story with a predictable and happy ending, you will enjoy this book. In this day and age with nothing left to the imagination anymore, it is so sweet to read something that is nicely written and clean and leaves all the "lovin'" to your imagination :) I recommend this for ladies everywhere who like a tidily wrapped up love-story that keeps your interest piqued throughout the novel :)

For a quick synopsis of the book, check it out here.

You have one week until the contest is closed, and I notify the winner.  And get an original cover copy to the winner!

Just leave a comment below to enter.  Who's your favorite romance author?

Hope you all have a great week!  See you on Wednesday for a reading check in.

*US Addresses only.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, October 14, 2016

Favorites on Friday

1. Modern Mrs. Darcy What Should I Read Next podcast

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I am not an auditory person.  I am very very visual.  I want to read my books, not listen to them.  In fact, I have a hard time following along when being read to.  I struggle with podcasts as well, but the few that I like are amazing.  They are easy to follow, understand, rescue a child from a halfhearted attack from the cat, and come back to.  And this one is my favorite.

Perfect for the bookishly obsessed.  Please share any of your favorite bookish podcasts!

2. Fall Television

Remember the time when you only had 5 working channels that didn't require banging on the tv and repositioning the antennae.:
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I am still old school.  I pay $10/month for a very basic Xfinity cable package, but I do have onDemand or I might truly only watch the news and Modern Family.  9pm is just too late for me to be watching television, and it seems like that's when the best shows are on.

I don't have Netflix.  I tried it plus Hulu.  It didn't work out for me.  With little miss devouring my time, I sit down for maybe an hour in the evenings to watch tv, read, then bed.  No binge watching is happening here.

Here's a couple new shows my husband and I love.

This Is Us

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No surprise that this is on the top of the list.  Everyone is talking about it.  It's a moving, compelling family drama that we BOTH love.  Go watch it now.  Unless you are a Netflix person in which case you'll have to wait.

Designated Survivor

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I picked this one out of our onDemand lineup last Saturday night when we both knew we would not last through a movie, but we didn't have any shows that we knew of to watch.  It is fast paced, thoroughly interesting and well done.  The politics, so far, are not overwhelming or preachy.  The new President is probably liberal, but he comes off very middle of the road and level headed.  More like a very smart, well informed, average joe than an average politician.

What are your favorites today?


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

What I'm Reading Wednesdays

I am a little late getting this post together.   Better late than never?  My 13 month old has recently decided that she doesn't want 2 naps a day anymore.  Today we are trying 1.  Wish us luck.


Red Rising by Pierce Brown
I was in the mood for a total escape and adventure.  This is a dystopian sci-fi trilogy.  It is pretty brutal with violence and language, but it is the perfect escape after a long mom day.  It has me totally engrossed and sucked into this multi-tiered hierarchy spanning Earth, Mars, and into the whole solar system.  A wild ride!

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Eyes Unveiled by Crystal Walton
I am still enjoying this fun,  lighthearted read.   Ebooks are a little tougher for me to get to during my large chunks of time so I'm not getting through it as quickly as I would like.  Plus the contemporary college day trials are exactly the things I struggled with.  Right now, it's not exactly the escape that I'm looking for at the end of the day, but I'm still enjoying it in little pieces as I have time to fit it in during the day.

Eyes Unveiled (Unveiled #1)
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Completed

I did get all the way through The Paris Wife by Paula McLain.   My Goodreads's account is linked to the side of the blog *upper right* if you'd like to see my final review on it.

The Paris Wife
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What are you reading?

Friday, October 7, 2016

Favorites on Friday

1.  This Slow Cooker Chicken, Bacon, and Potato Soup from Cooking Light

Slow Cooker Chicken, Bacon, and Potato Soup
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This is the second time I've made this recipe with a few alterations I'll note in just a moment, and my family devours it.  While it does take a little upfront time, morning prep is so much easier in my house than afternoon prep.  By the afternoon, both me and the little one are crankier and less motivated to do anything other than just play outside.  Slow cooker to the rescue.  In fact, I'm prepping a roast as I type.

I made a few alterations to make this recipe simpler.  Instead of a specific seasoning mixture that I am not going out to buy, my go to mixture is salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Woks like a charm.

I substituted onion for leek, because I buy a bag of onions every week.

I threw all the ingredients into the slow cooker at once and cooked on low most of the day.  The whole point of the slow cooker is 15 minutes of prep, throw it in the pot, and done!  Ready at dinner.  I'm not going to be fussing over it all day.

I also ditched the spinach.

2.  Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes from the Oh She Glows Every Day Edition of Angela Liddon's newest cookbook

Oh She Glows Every Day: Simply Satisfying Plant-Based Recipes to Keep You Glowing from the Inside Out
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While I don't always have tremendous success with her entrees, her breakfasts, smoothies, and desserts are on the mark every single time.

I made this cupcakes for the little's birthday a month ago, and they were heavenly.  I was thinking about them because my husband requested them for his birthday this weekend.

3. Best Cooking Tip

The Chew
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Since I seem to have a food theme going here - anyone else hungry? - I thought I'd stick with it.  On The Chew, Mario Batali suggested layering seasoning.  A big pitfall for my home cooking is lack of flavor.  He suggested that every time you add a new "layer" to your skillet or whathaveyou that you also add a pinch of salt.  Genius!  It has made such a difference in my humble kitchen.

What are your favorites this week?

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

What I'm Reading Wednesdays

I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

I Let You Go
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I abandoned this psychological thriller about 2/3rds of the way through.  If you remember from last week, I was struggling with really getting hooked into this book.  If you ask me, that's a pretty serious flaw in a thriller novel.  It's inherently supposed to get you wanting to read the next page and the next chapter as quickly as your hands can fly through the pages.  I found myself putting it down after each and every chapter in search of social media distraction.  Not good.

I can't really put a finger on why I didn't like it up until the event that had me say, Enough.  The characters were dynamic, the twist hit me like a falling piano, but I couldn't relate to anyone.  I guess I need that.  To have at least one likable, relatable character in the bunch.

If you want to see the event that finally convinced me that life is too short to read fiction that is too graphic, explicit, and dark for me, check out my Goodreads account.

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

The Paris Wife
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I know.  I know.  I am super late to the party for this one, but when you're a library goer, this tends to happen.

I'm around page 100.  I am enjoying it, but I don't have a sweet spot for the Roaring 20s.  Boozing, partying, and lazing around in near poverty to write seems fairly irresponsible to me.  However, Hadley, the wife of the infamous Ernest Hemingway, is a sweet narrator that I'm enjoying.

The writing itself is beautiful, easy, and I hope enough to keep me going through a book that would not be for me inherently based on the subject and characters.

Eyes Unveiled by Crystal Walton

Eyes Unveiled (Unveiled #1)
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I am reading this one on Kindle which is challenging for me.  I vastly prefer a physical copy of a book, but alas, this was the more economical option for me.

I just got through the initial, I'm not sure if this book is for me, blind date phase (the first 10 to 15 pages), and now I'm entranced with the characters.  They are so sweet and likable.  This cozy, contemporary romance is just want I need right now after some very discouraging reads.  I am excited to keep returning to this one even though it's on my phone.


What are you reading?

Friday, September 30, 2016

Favorites on Friday

1. Autumn!  Monday a cool front rolled in all nonchalant like with a few rain drops, but like it was no big deal.  It was a big deal!  Those 90F+ days were getting old.  Mornings are now in the mid50s and highs in the high 70s or low 80s.  Thank you!  And finally!

Nothing is more American than an old pickup driving down a country road filled with pumpkins, apples and straw.:
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2. This relatively new Yoga with Adriene video.



Every single day my life is a little different or a lot different from the one that came before.  Habits change as quickly as my toddler's moods.  In other words, hourly, sometimes every few seconds.  To say I have a habit or routine seems silly and like I'm jinxing it.

I have, however, been in a good flow with a few minutes of morning yoga and at least five minutes of yoga as soon as the little one is put to bed.  This is mandatory on Sundays through Thursdays in the evening.  More than five minutes is great, but I have to do at least five minutes.

This video is longer, but it's super gentle and a very sweet way to end the day if you're looking for mostly stretching and being easy with yourself.

3. Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson

I have the hardest time finding children's board books that I love.  Maybe it's because I end up reading the ones we buy 5,000 times or because I think it's CRAZY to spend more than $5 on a board book.  That means I buy a lot of used children's books.  Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.  We happened to be out and about without enough nap time reads... blasphemy in my family and splurged on a few new ones.  This was one, and I LOVE it.

It rhymes.  I want my toddler stories to sound like poetry and be fun to read.  It has a cute, sweet story about inclusion.  No bullies or meanies in this story except the actual fire breathing dragon.  Gold star, Donaldson.  I must go get her other one.

Room on the Broom
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4. Shameless Plugs!  Go check out my newest novel Autumn Leaves.  It's a clean romance which basically means a sweet love story about a small town girl and a soldier minus the explicit scenes and cursing.

Autumn Leaves
Go Get Here


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

What I'm Reading Wednesdays


Hello!  I'm back in this little space to rejoin the wonderful world of bloggers.  I was struggling with several things when I hastily departed and focused on my whirlwind life.

1. Mommy dilemmas!  I am now a mother to little miss who just turned 1.  As other moms will know,  that first year is very time consuming.   I had to scale way, way back to basics to keep my sanity.

I was and do really struggle with what parts of my life to share and what to keep personal.  While I easily got wrapped up in the beauty of sharing little miss's journey in my life, I also want to protect her.  I didn't know how to open up here but also keep some boundaries intact.  I'm not sure I know how to do this now even, but I'm ready to give it a try.

2. Hubs got a new job, and we moved!  Crazypants, right?  We didn't move far, but it knocked all our socks off for a hot minute there.

3.  Reading slowed way down when little miss stopped sleeping on me.  I still manage to get one book read every 2 or 3 weeks, but it made generating content really tough.


And without further adieu, here's What I'm Reading...

I am a little more than halfway through I Let You Go by Clare MacKintosh which is fortunate, because I've got it on loan from the library with holds on it so it MUST go back next Wednesday.  I was being a little sluggish with it for a lot of reasons, not all of which are Ms. MacKintosh's doing.

My first novel launched on Monday!  That has been taking up a lot of my non baby time which is very minimal to start with, and it has been taking up lots of brain activity.  If you want to check it out, look me up on Facebook or Amazon under Cassie Zabek.

Also, the book didn't hook me right at first.  I am going through a serious mystery thriller phase, and I thought this one would hit the spot.  The writing is engaging and pleasant.  The story and plot are interesting.  Somewhere near the 30% mark, however, I asked myself why I was reading about these peoples' lives.

Being the optimist that I am, I kept reading, and I am glad I did!  Part 2 hit me like a wallop!  For the first time in years, I had to flip back to the beginning to figure out what was going on!  I'm still a little confused, honestly, but in a good way.  Here's hoping when I report back next Wednesday that I will be finished with it since I have to give it back then.
I Let You Go
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What are you reading?

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The Girl on the Train: Book Club

The Girl on the Train - Paula Hawkins’ debut psychological thriller follows Rachel, a woman nearing rock bottom. She rides the commuter train to London every day so no one knows she lost her job, she’s a barely functioning alcoholic, and she is still pining for her cheating ex-husband. When she finds herself invested in the story of a missing local woman, she starts unraveling a chain of dangerous secrets — but no one will believe her.:


We all do it—actively watch life around us. In this way, with her own voyeuristic curiosity, Rachel Watson is not so unusual. What do you think accounts for this nosey, all-too-human impulse?”

I pulled this discussion question from the Penguin site.

It seems to me that this simple impulse, people watching as I’ve heard it so often called, might be diminishing.  In fact, it seems that many types of watching are being replaced with the accessibility of cell phones, tablets, and on the go internet.

Before you toss out that old smart phone, you should consider turning it into a home surveillance system.:
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Not to sound too school marmy but I remember car watching on long car trips or playing twenty questions even as an adult driving from LA to Monterey with my husband to pass the time.

Even now, I still sit in terribly uncomfortable airport lounge chairs, my book in my lap – ignored, watching people on their devices or getting to and fro with scenes of Love Actually playing in my head.

Travel tips that even an experienced traveller can use.:
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I’m sure things were not always better with less technology.  I am sure there are a thousand things that are better because of it.  However, I am an old stick in the mud that is continually questioning how much is too much.  You know, when I’m not typing up a blog post.  Insert winky smile here.


What do you think?  Is your cell phone your life saver when stuck out and needing a bit of diversion or is it distracting you from seeing the life that teems around you?

The Girl on the Train: Review

The Girl on the Train


By Paula Hawkins

I like good books.  Books that transport me to another time and place other than my couch, surround me with characters I love and love to hate, and are put down sadly as if saying good bye to a friend.  These books can be romance novels, mystery novels, science fiction novels, young adult novels, non fiction works, or anything else so long as it's a good book.

No better way to 'watch' a story unfold than in your mimd... You can picture it as you read it... Not how someone else thinks it should look:
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The Girl on the Train is a mystery and psychological thriller, not typically my favorite genre.

This book is a good book.  It is written simply, letting the pace of the plot take center stage.  I do not inundate myself with mystery or crime thrillers, because most of them fall a little flat for my taste.

Get your reading glasses on because it's time to get buckwild and by buckwild we mean reading a ton of books. We wide selection of hilarious nerd content is sure to get your brain buzzing.  Get 25% off everything on our site Jan 29-31 only.  No promo code required.:
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This is one that breaks its genre barrier.  If you're looking for an engrossing, fun read, give this one a try.

Happy reading.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Things That Are Saving My Life Right Now

I'm joining up with Anne over on Modern Mrs. Darcy with this post.

what's saving my life
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Winter months are tough for me.  I love seasons, and I love a decent dash of snow for a small amount of time.  I like steely skies and bare trees.    I like warm, crackling fires and a hot mug of cocoa or tea.  I like bundling up in sweats ALL day with no guilt.

Because I like all these things, I am not inclined to desire a warmer locale.  In fact, we lived in Monterey, California for just over a year, and for the most part, I found the lack of seasons oppressive.

Rain drops.:
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However, I like winter and summer for about six weeks before I'm ready for the next season.  I find myself a little ridiculous in that I love the change of seasons, but in general, hate change.  No telling what that's about.

I'm not sure I have any real perspective on the doldrums of winter just yet as our 8 inches of snow last weekend turned into 65F sunny weather this weekend.  With a 20 week old baby whom I don't take out much, these are the things getting me through right now.

One.  Trashy and not so trashy television.

The Evolution of Television Sets - http://www.fastcodesign.com/3033336/infographic-of-the-day/how-the-television-has-evolved:
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It's a little ridiculous that it takes me nearly all day to get through one hour long episode, but it's just the reprieve I need while giving the little her bottle or bouncing her to sleep.  On the queue are generally Keeping Up With the Kardashians (the trashiest!), Downton Abbey, Just Jillian (I haven't quite decided if I like it or not yet), Hollywood's Medium, Long Island Medium, Fixer Upper, and Mercy Street.

All of this is brought to you care of our DVR without which I would likely just watch the Kardashian channel... aka E!.

Two. Winter Shape Up workouts.

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I love Gina's variety of workouts and having the structure of a pre-planned schedule.  Plus I love all the support and love from all the other ladies also doing Winter Shape Up.

Three. Switching rooms.

love is... holding the whole world in your arms...
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This one is probably a little silly, but I've noticed that me and little one need to rotate rooms in the house periodically throughout the day since we can't spend more than a few minutes outside on typical days.  We just need new things to look at.

What helps you get through winter?

Friday, January 29, 2016

Friday Five Around the Web

I am sorry I missed yesterday.  The little one - who turned 5 months old on Wednesday - has been fighting off a cold and feeling yucky.  Yesterday, I spent the day cuddling her and getting our fretful selves to the doctor. Happily, she is feeling better today.

Here's five things I'm loving reading around the web:

One.  Winter Shape up over on Gina's page and Anne's page.

2016shapeup general 2
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Two. This spot on blog about being a stay at home mommy.  Love it or hate it or both?

And that without your coffee you’ll be no good to anyone. | 20 Shirts That Understand Your Life As A Mom:
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Three.Can you believe how serious this Zika virus is?  I can't imagine how horrifying it must be to be a woman in Brazil right now especially if you're ready to have children, and the government says hold your horses, ladies.  We recommend waiting at least TWO years for us to get this under control.  Here's an article about it.

Four. I actually skipped the GOP debate last night.  I feel good about seeing three of the never ending Republican debates.  What do you think of Trump skipping it?  Here's the coverage I've been following.

Political Cartoons of the Week: New GOP Debate Rules:
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Five. This facebook post from Rebekah Borucki.  I'm not going to post all of it, because I don't want to nab it without her getting her due credit.  But I also can't link it, because my profile is private.  If you're interested, track down her site, and go from there.

"Truth for my mamas:
Parenting isn't something to be mastered or controlled or scheduled.
Birthing a baby isn't a sport.
Newborns aren't meant to be managed.
The key to successful parenting is allowing... understanding that it's a process bigger than you and that surrender is necessary to survival.
Attempts at mastery and perfection are only going to bring you misery and struggle.
Motherhood is not a competition!!
Babies don't care how fast you get back to pre-pregnancy weight or if you ever do at all! And they don't care about schedules or what time of day it is or what the appropriate times for eating or sleeping or pooping are. They do it all when they need to. They are born with the infinite wisdom of the whole Universe.
Just stop it. Put the book down. Stop crowdsourcing for advice. Just stop everything you're doing that doesn't feel good. Find a loving, compassionate, non-judgmental friend who really knows and loves you, and ask for her support. Tell her your worries, and she'll tell you everything is going to be just fine.
Talk to your doctor. Confide in your partner.
Spend lots and lots and lots of time just doing nothing... with your baby.
Surrender to the process. Accept that new parenthood isn't a time for control. It's a time for letting go and learning... receiving."


It was just the reminder I needed after a rough couple of sick days with the baby.

The 8 Things You Need to Do When Your Baby Gets Sick via @PureWow:
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I am linking up this week with these lovely ladies.

THE GOOD LIFE BLOG
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What are you reading and following this week?

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Library Dilemmas

The day before yesterday I got the dreaded email: Your items are due in 3 days.  Ugg.

After a change in the baby's sleeping pattern and my workout routine, my reading has taken a sharp decline.  As a result, I had only gotten through 1 checked out book and half way through 2 others of the four I had nabbed at the beginning of January.

This looks like a place where I would love to spend the afternoon.:
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I HATE dealing with a book I've only gotten halfway through when it's due date rolls around.  I also HATE dealing with no books at home or waiting through the day for my husband to return books back to me.

This got me thinking about my check out strategy.  At the beginning of the month, it seemed like a fantastic idea to max out my allowance to reduce library visits as the twenty week old baby makes trips out a little challenging especially in the middle of winter.

"Snow was falling, so much like stars filling the dark trees that one could easily imagine its reason for being was nothing more than prettiness.” ~Mary Oliver:
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Now, I'm rethinking it and considering a more staggered check out schedule.  It would be nice to still have one or two books at home now so that I'm not without books.

What do you think?  All at once or staggered?

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Gilead: Recommendations

2016 Reading Challenge care of Modern Mrs. Darcy
A book you’ve Previously Abandoned

Photo: 18 Pulitzer Prize-Winning Books by Women You Should Read Right Now | Bustle:
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It is not particularly easy to recommend based on a book that I did not enjoy reading in the first place.  However, for the entirety of this novel, I felt like I was reading a Faulkner novel.

I have read exactly two Faulkner novels.  In high school, I read Light in August which I hated.  However, there were very few literature teachers who could help me enjoy a novel.  I always felt like they over analyzed and butchered the joy of novels.  Plus, I feel that it wasn't until I was early to mid twenties that I was old enough to appreciate more complicated time period literature pieces.

Light in August


In my twenties I voluntarily picked up The Unvanquished mostly because it was a quarter at a used bookstore, and I used to have purchasing and hoarding used book problems.  I ended up greatly enjoying it.  Now I don't know how I feel about Faulkner over all.

The Unvanquished


Did you enjoy great works of literature in high school?  Or struggle through them?

Monday, January 25, 2016

Gilead: Book Club

2016 Reading Challenge care of Modern Mrs. Darcy
A book you’ve Previously Abandoned

In Gilead, the novel is set up as a letter to John Ames’s little boy.  Here’s what I would write to my little girl about my life in a much more abbreviated style than Robinson.

♥♥♥ SALE For 15% off your order, enter SMILE (all capitals) above Item total at checkout.♥♥♥    Mommy Carry Me is a large fine art print of an:
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Dear baby girl,

Before I tell you anything else, I want you to know that everyone will have an opinion on how you should live your life.  Live it for yourself, sweet girl.

I have lived a very blessed life, and I hope you also get to appreciate one.  My parents are some of the best.  They have shown me support, love, and guidance – but only when I asked for it.  That’s pretty huge.  Unsolicited advice is the worst.

I met your dad when I was just shy of twenty years old, and that has been the best adventure yet.  He has loved me in such a sweet, special way just like he is loving you in such a sweet, special way. 

I hope you know that when it comes to love that you deserve someone that you are crazy about but that is also kind to you.  And will love you no matter what.  That’s what I’ve had, and I couldn’t ask for more.


Love you baby girl.  So much.

Jessie Wilcox Smith...15 Lieblingstag 12.2015 Einmal etwas ins Herz geschlossen, weil von Herzen geschenkt bekommen. ...ist wie das Licht von einem Leuchtturm, dass den Durch-, Überblick bewahrt und die ÜberS-'ich't ins rechte L-'ich't einbettet! Wunderschönes Licht':
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What would you write?

Friday, January 22, 2016

Gilead: Review

2016 Reading Challenge care of Modern Mrs. Darcy


Gilead by Marilynne Robinson


By Marilynne Robinson

A book you’ve Previously Abandoned

Oh gosh, y’all.  I should have kept this one abandoned.  To be honest, I had forgotten that I’d tried to read this one already.  It was before the handy dandy record keeping days of goodreads, and it’s a Pulitzer Prize winner that I hear about all the time.

This was not for me.  It was suppose to be written in the style of a letter of  a dying man to his son.  But often is takes on the tone of a journal.  And it reads like a haphazard, willy nilly journal.  Not like a novel journal that follows some logical order and some reason for the different scenes included.

The Journal Diaries - JOSE'S MOLESKINE http://www.seaweedkisses.com/2014/07/the-journal-diaries-joses-moleskine.html:



Maybe there is some high brow literary theme that went over my head, but all I can comment on is how tedious this book was.  Unless you are hard core into southern literature or religious literature, I’d skip this one if I could go back in time.

Happy reading.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Nightingale: Recommends

The Lake House by Kate Morton

The Lake House

This is a multi generational book where parts reside in WW2 as well.  Morton's style incorporates a little more suspense and mystery than Hannah, but they both have beautiful prose and a compelling story.

American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld

American Wife


This novel is more present day than Nightingale.  However, Sittenfeld's prose style reminds me of Hannah's.  It is detail oriented without being heavy with detail.  It focuses on female character's trials and tribulations.

Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah

Winter Garden


This was the first Kristin Hannah novel I would recommend prior to Nightingale's publication.  It is heart breakingly beautiful so be prepared for a tear jerker.  It is complex and haunting, and one of Hannah's best.

Is there any novel you would add to this list?

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Nightingale: Book Club

This book reminded me why I want to have more than one child, God willing.  I was one of three girls, and the companionship I had as a child and as an adult is unparalleled in any other relationships I have.  I read an article about having a newborn by a dad that said there is a reason no one makes any major decisions during these six (if you are the luckiest human on earth) to twelve weeks of severe sleep deprivation.

How true is this as I scroll through Pinterest at 5AM after hours of listening to my son cough through the night? Sigh.:
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In the middle of mind numbing crying jags and sleeplessness that I’d had no understanding of BEFORE baby, I couldn’t imagine emerging from that fog and wanting to do it ever. ever again.  Even in the midst of that, crying and blubbering, I said that if I ever had another one it would be for our little one’s sake, because there’s only the one way to have a sibling.

Baby girl is almost 19 weeks old, and already the mania those first dozen weeks has lifted.  There are moments when I still think I must be mad to consider having another one, but then I video chat with my sister and her new little baby.  The cousins are six months apart.  Adorable.

PRE ORDER Baby Girl Take Home Outfit Newborn Baby Girl Hello World Onesie Grey Bloomers Pink & Grey Headband Set:
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In Nightingale, the sisters are very different and have their issues.  But at the end of the day, there is this unspoken bound that you don’t walk away from your sister.  And I want my little one to know that when life has broken apart around you, when your parents have passed, and when no one else understands you, you still have your sister.

God willing, this is what I pray for for my little one.

S.W.A.L.K. Stamp Collection 2-My Sister - Rakuten.com:
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How about you?  Only child?  Get along with your siblings?