Just Finished Reading…

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What books have you finished reading? Loved it? Hated it? Going to read more by that author? Let us know by linking up… 

 

2015 Reading Challenge

2015 Reading Challenge
Karen has
read 11 books toward her goal of 60 books.
hide

 

Goodreads Summary: Sharp Objects

WICKED above her hipbone, GIRL across her heart 
Words are like a road map to reporter Camille Preaker’s troubled past. Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, Camille’s first assignment from the second-rate daily paper where she works brings her reluctantly back to her hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls.

NASTY on her kneecap, BABYDOLL on her leg
Since she left town eight years ago, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed again in her family’s Victorian mansion, Camille is haunted by the childhood tragedy she has spent her whole life trying to cut from her memory.

HARMFUL on her wrist, WHORE on her ankle
As Camille works to uncover the truth about these violent crimes, she finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Clues keep leading to dead ends, forcing Camille to unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past to get at the story. Dogged by her own demons, Camille will have to confront what happened to her years before if she wants to survive this homecoming.

With its taut, crafted writing, Sharp Objects is addictive, haunting, and unforgettable.

MY REVIEW: 5 Stars

WTF????? THIS IS CRAZY IN 3D! Wow, what a trip into crazy land. Okay, if you want a book that is going to make you sick and want to walk away, but you can’t because you NEED to know what the f&ck is going on and why no one else sees the truth.

I knew who it was halfway through the story, I can’t blame Camille for not realizing it, she was so deep in it, so sadly twisted and destroyed by her mother.

Want to read my spoilers? click HERE.

 

Goodreads Summary: No Second Chance

From Harlan Coben, author of back-to-back New York Times best-sellers Tell No One and Gone for Good, comes his most accomplished and electrifying work to date. The novelist who “serves up everything you could ask for in a can’t-put-it-down book . . . rocket-fast pace with solid emotional underpinning” (San Francisco Chronicle) returns with a thriller of explosive tension and breathless psychological suspense. No Second Chance is a breakneck ride where nothing is what it seems–and where hope and fear collide in the most surprising ways. Both a white-knuckle thriller and a story about the loyalty of old friends and the love of a father, No Second Chance is another masterpiece from an author who writes “suspense at its finest” (Jeffrey Deaver). PRAISE FOR HARLEN COBEN AND Gone for Good: “A killer thriller with more twists and turns than an amusement park ride. . . . Gone for Good is great.” –USA Today. “Coben stands on the accelerator and never lets up . . . riveting.” –People (PAGE-TURNER OF THE WEEK)

MY REVIEW: 5 Stars

WOW…I was so off on who did this and why. What a tangled web of craziness and twisted loyalty. Do you move on? Do you live with the guilt? Do you decide to be happy for a second chance? Or do you forgive and forget? Really left me wondering what I would do? Would I ever be able to trust again?   

 

 ~~~Now I’m Reading~~~

 

Goodreads Summary: Lying With Strangers

Peyton Shields had always wanted to be a doctor, and now, thanks to her relentless drive, stellar academic credentials, and a mountain of debt to Harvard Medical School, she’s a first-year resident at a major Boston children’s hospital. The hours are impossibly long but it’s the life she wants, complete with a husband who’s an up-and-coming young lawyer.

But a late-night drive home in a heavy snowstorm changes everything. A car coming straight at her drives her off the road and into a frozen pond. Peyton knows she’d be dead if a stranger hadn’t pulled her from the wreckage before vanishing into the darkness. In an instant her wonderful life has turned dark. No one believes her claims that the “accident” was deliberate—not even her husband. Without explanation, he has become distant and bitter, calling her paranoid and accusing her of having an affair with a former lover.

Yet the terror has only begun, for a series of strange, increasingly dangerous events begin to plague Peyton, moving her closer to a faceless and very deadly enemy who seems to know her every move.

This is going to be a crazy and wild ride…almost like watching a Lifetime movie. 

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 My read shelf:

Karen's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)

You can find all books reviews by me HERE

LINKING UP WITH 

            Wit and Wanderings   Wit and Wanderings   

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

LINK UP YOUR BOOK REVIEWS

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Please post as many book reviews as you’d like.

Please visit other book review posts…what better way to add to your ‘to read’ list?

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Fly on the Wall MARCH 2015

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Fly on the Wall

Buzz around, see what you think, then click on these links for a peek into some other homes:

 

 

Welcome to a Fly on the Wall group post. Today 15 bloggers are inviting you to catch a glimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in our homes. Come on in and buzz around my house.

Buzz around, see what you think, then click on these links for a peek into some other homes:

http://www.BakingInATornado.com Baking In A Tornado
http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com/ Spatulas on Parade
http://followmehome.shellybean.com Follow me home
http://www.menopausalmom.com/ Menopausal Mother
http://stacysewsandschools.blogspot.com/ Stacy Sews and Schools
http://batteredhope.blogspot.com Battered Hope
http://www.justalittlenutty.com/ Just A Little Nutty
http://themomisodes.com The Momisodes
http://www.someoneelsesgenius.com Someone Else’s Genius
http://thesadderbutwisergirl.com  The Sadder But Wiser Girl
http://dinoheromommy.com/  Dinosaur Superhero Mommy
http://gndisney.wordpress.com Disneyland in Kentucky
http://www.juiceboxconfession.com Juicebox Confession
http://singlemumplusone.blogspot.com Searching for Sanity
http://www.gomamao.com Go Mama O

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On a recent snow day, Anthony and Daddy were sitting on the couch.

“I’m hot. I want to take off my shirt.”

“Put on a t-shirt.”

“No Mommy said I can take off my shirt in the house if I want.”

“Okay, but it’s better to wear a t-shirt.”

“Daddy stop, all your talking is making me hotter.”

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We order lots of things from Amazon, while I was out Saturday morning, my order came in the mail. It’s all under my name, so Tony opened it, which is fine, we never know what package is whose. What he did wrong was seeing a package of play foam, opening it and giving it to Dino.

Dino took it and played with it all over our rug. I came home to see the little foams embedded in the rub. I was so mad. Not only did he give it to Anthony when I needed it for an activity with him, but he let him play with it in the living room.

His punishment was to pick up every peace from the rug. Of course Dino gave up and is relaxing watching TV.

play foam

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We watched Narnia during one of our many snow days. The next day, he wanted Daddy to watch it. I reminded Anthony what was happening at the beginning of the movie. (Trying to avoid the million and one questions). Dino looks at me, rolls his eyes and raises his hands. “I know what is happening, I know everything.” He huffs and looks back at the TV.

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In an attempt to get Dino to do more chores. He used to clean up after himself while at daycare (they taught him this) now in kindergarten these skills are sliding away. I told him when he’s done with his snack to wash it, dry it, and put it away. He’s knows what to do, but looks at me. “I’m a kid. I don’t need to clean.”

I looked at him, trying not to yell or laugh. “Oh yes you do, or you can eat off dirty plates.” 

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Dino: “I got a story, Mommy and Daddy. One night there was an alien who killed people every night.”

Daddy: I can show you some aliens (think’s he’s being funny)

Dino: (Gets mad) Shakes finger in Daddy’s face. “I’ll kick you in the eye and make you bleed, then you’ll learn your lesson.” 

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One morning Dino was begging me to order a Disney show. We have ROKU so I would have to subscribe and pay for the Dinsey app. There is no way that is happening, between Netflix, Amazon, Hulu Plus, PBS kids, and Popcorn flix for Kids he has more choices that a boy could ask for. He kept asking and begging though and finally said, “You’re a mean witch.”

My reaction was pure instinct. I hunched over, clawed my hand, snarled my face and spoke like a witch. His face showed pure terror and I though he was either going to piss or poop his pants. He was beside himself in terror, now begging me to stop and be his mommy again.

I stopped and went back to “mommy mode” and told him not to call me names or I might become what he calls me.

When I picked him up later that day he kept looking at me scared sh*tless and asked, “You’re still my mommy, right?”

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Dino singing opera….turn down your volume and enjoy! 

 

Mommy and Dino’s Real Food Meals

meal plan blank 00197c color (2)

All recipes and meals are made with organic, real food and/or NON-GMO products.

Dino is still an omnivore…

Leftover Rice and Beans Made into Nachos

COLLAGE leftover rice and beans

Ingredients:

~ tortilla chips
~ leftover rice and beans with veggies
~ shredded cheese

 

Directions:

1. scoop rice and bean mixture on chips
2. cover with cheese, and your choice of guacamole and sour cream
3. heat and serve

Super tasty dinner 

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Pork and Turkey Meatloaf with Potatoes, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, and Carrots

COLLAGE meatloaf2

COLLAGE LEFTOVER meatloaf

Sauce Ingredients:

~ olive oil
~ water
~ cut peppers 
~ cut onions
~ cut leeks
~ cut garlic
~ seasoning of choice

Sauce Directions:

1. saute all ingredients
2. then puree until all smooth
3. Pour some over uncooked meat, then save the rest for dinner and reheats

Dinner Ingredients:

~ ground pork and turkey
~ cut leeks, carrots, onions, garlic, and peas
~ seasoning of choice, olive oil,
~ bread crumbs
~ one egg
~ brussel sprouts
~ carrots
~ broccoli
~ potatoes

Dinner Directions:

1. mix meats, with seasoning, eggs, veggies and breadcrumbs
2. make into three small loafs and pour a little sauce over
3. bake at 350 until full cooked
4. remove and serve, pour remaining sauce over eat slice

Hubby was worried it would taste awful…but he wound of having seconds and Dino ate everything on his plate…EXCEPT the brussel sprouts. 

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Spaghetti, Sauce, and Chicken Parm

COLLAGE chicken parm and spaghetti

Ingredients:

~ chicken thighs (cut into strips)
~ sauce (with purred veggies mixed in)
~ bread crumbs
~ pasta of choice
~ shredded cheese
~ seasoning with olive oil and water

 

Directions:

1. marinate chicken with seasoning of choice, water, and olive oil
2. cook pasta and set aside
3. place bread crumbs on plate and cover each strip of chicken in bread crumbs
4. baked chicken in oven at 350 degrees for ten minutes, then…
5. spread sauce over chicken and continue baking until cooked
6. Remove chicken and sprinkle cheese on top and let melt
7. serve and enjoy

One of Dino’s favorites…as longs as I don’t cook it too often. 

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Gnocchi with Veggies

 COLLAGE Gnocchi

Ingredients:

~ frozen gnocchi
~ butter
~ seasoning and olive oil
~ broccoli
~ carrots
~ leeks  

Directions:

1. saute seasoning, butter, olive oil and leeks
2. then add gnocchi and veggies
3. simmer on stove top until all cooked 

This was so tasty and light…a BIG hit

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 I made pizza, but forgot to take pics of it. Yes, the pizza had meatballs on it, just like Dino wanted. 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Yes, buying organic/NON-GMO is expensive. Until there is a big change in food production and what consumers buy, healthy choices will always be more expensive. If you want to start small with organic…here are some great tips.

How to eat organic on a budget. Practical ways to eat well when you can’t afford organic. Dear Mom who can’t afford organic.

http://foodbabe.com/ http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/

Products that participate in and are NON-GMO can be found here

LINKING UP WITH:

 

Mini Van Dreams http://www.jugglingrealfoodandreallife.com

 

Just Finished Reading…

bookk Collage

What books have you finished reading? Loved it? Hated it? Going to read more by that author? Let us know by linking up… 

 

2015 Reading Challenge

2015 Reading Challenge
Karen has
read 9 books toward her goal of 60 books.
hide

 

Goodreads Summary: The Widow Waltz

Georgia Waltz has things many people only dream of: a plush Manhattan apartment overlooking Central Park, a Hamptons beach house, valuable jewels and art, two bright daughters, and a husband she adores, even after decades of marriage. It’s only when Ben suddenly drops dead from a massive coronary while training for the New York City Marathon that Georgia discovers her husband—a successful lawyer—has left them nearly penniless. Their wonderland was built on lies.

      
As the family attorney scours emptied bank accounts, Georgia must not only look for a way to support her family, she needs to face the revelation that Ben was not the perfect husband he appeared to be, just as her daughters—now ensconced back at home with secrets of their own—have to accept that they may not be returning to their lives in Paris and at Stanford subsidized by the Bank of Mom and Dad. As she uncovers hidden resilience, Georgia’s sudden midlife shift forces her to consider who she is and what she truly values. That Georgia may also find new love in the land of Spanx and stretch marks surprises everyone—most of all, her.
 
Sally Koslow’s fourth novel is deftly told through the alternating viewpoints of her remarkable female protagonists as they plumb for the grit required to reinvent their lives. Inspiring, funny, and deeply satisfying, The Widow Waltz explores in a profound way the bonds between mothers and daughters, belligerent siblings, skittish lovers, and bitter rivals as they discover the power of forgiveness, and healing, all while asking, “What is family, really?”

MY REVIEW: 5 Stars

Another total jerk, douche bag, ass hat of a man who thinks he can have whoever he wants and do whatever he wants. 


Now, while I do think Georgia, Louisa, and Nicola are all spoiled princesses who lived in a fantasy land, they at least came out normal in the end. They took their new life and went running. 

Spoilers below……

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Yes, Naomi was a cheater…a marriage destroyer, no excuses. Did she care about the other family, no? Now she felt bad when she had to come to terms with Ben giving her money did to another family. I wanted to hate her with a passion, but couldn’t. I wanted her to be destroyed, but loved that she teamed up with Georgia to create a new kind of family. 

I think it was a great way to end, Georgia didn’t curse Naomi out, take the money and run like so many other cookie cutter books do. She did the brave thing and smart thing, she grew up, became a smart adult for the first time and took charge of her life. She made the grown up choice for not just her, but for her family… 

 

 ~~~Now I’m Reading~~~

 

Goodreads Summary: Sharp Objects

WICKED above her hipbone, GIRL across her heart 
Words are like a road map to reporter Camille Preaker’s troubled past. Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, Camille’s first assignment from the second-rate daily paper where she works brings her reluctantly back to her hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls.

NASTY on her kneecap, BABYDOLL on her leg
Since she left town eight years ago, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed again in her family’s Victorian mansion, Camille is haunted by the childhood tragedy she has spent her whole life trying to cut from her memory.

HARMFUL on her wrist, WHORE on her ankle
As Camille works to uncover the truth about these violent crimes, she finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Clues keep leading to dead ends, forcing Camille to unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past to get at the story. Dogged by her own demons, Camille will have to confront what happened to her years before if she wants to survive this homecoming.

With its taut, crafted writing, Sharp Objects is addictive, haunting, and unforgettable.

Immediately you are pulled into this sick and twisted situation. You want to pop out the CD and run away, but you NEED to know what happens. Who is doing this? Why? Who is next? What f^cked up things did Camille’s mom do? What is wrong with her family? What is wrong with that town?

I have two suspects based on some clues and comments…can’t wait to see if I’m right or wrong.  

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 My read shelf:

Karen's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)

You can find all books reviews by me HERE

LINKING UP WITH 

            Wit and Wanderings   Wit and Wanderings   

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

LINK UP YOUR BOOK REVIEWS

Please link directly to a post, not your blog.

Please post as many book reviews as you’d like.

Please visit other book review posts…what better way to add to your ‘to read’ list?

Dinosaur Superhero Mommy
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Mommy and Dino’s Real Food Meals

meal plan blank 00197c color (2)

All recipes and meals are made with organic, real food and/or NON-GMO products.

Now Dino is an omnivore again…excuse me while I try to stop my head from spinning.

Sighs…I think I may have overdid it with chicken dinners. So I’m going to only plan one chicken dinner, one meat dinner, the rest will be leftovers and vegetarian meals. Depending on money, I may throw in a fish meal. 

 

Spaghetti with Roasted Garlic, Broccoli, and Cauliflower

COLLAGE roasted garlic broccoli spaghetti

Ingredients:

~ spaghetti
~ garlic
~ broccoli
~ cauliflower
~ olive oil
~ butter
~ seasoning of choice

 

Directions:

1. boil spaghetti
2. saute garlic, broccoli and cauliflower in olive oil and butter
3. mix together and serve

Super tasty dinner 

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Meatballs and Veggie Roll Lasagna

COLLAGE veggie lasagna nad meatballs7  

Ingredients:

~ lasagna noodles
~ shredded cheese
~ ricotta cheese
~ veggies of choice
~ eggs
~ ground beef and turkey
~ sauce
~ bread crumbs
~ olive oil and butter
~ seasonings of choice

Directions:

1. lightly boil lasagna noodles until they are softened
2. at the same time mix seasoning, ricotta, 1 egg and half of the cheese
3. take one noodle out at a time, layer ricotta mix on top, then veggies
4. fold over twice, and place in cast iron skillet with a small amount of water
5. spread sauce on top
6. bake at 350 for about 20-30 minutes
7. after removing from oven, sprinkle shredded cheese on top and let melt

1. pour some olive oil in a bowl to keep meet mixture from sticking to hands
2. mix ground beef and turkey with seasoning, egg, garlic, leeks, and breadcrumbs
2. roll meat mixture into balls and place on iron cast skillet
3. bake at 350 for about 30 minutes
4. let cool and eat 

AS SOON AS DINO SAW THE MEATBALLS HE WANTED THEM. I guess his vegetarian diet is over.  I will plan to have 1 meat, 1 chicken/fish dinner, the rest meatless and leftovers. 

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Sweet Potato, Leek, and Pinto Bean Quesadillas

COLLAGE sweet potatoe bean quesadilla2

Ingredients:

~ flour tortillas
~ shredded cheese
~ sweet potato
~ pinto beans (already softened)
~ seasonings
~ leeks
~ olive oil

1. cut sweet potato into small skinless cubes and place in oiled skillet
2. add seasoning and leeks
3. cover and bake at 350 for 20 min or until softened
4. uncover and add pinto beans and bake for another ten minutes
5. remove from oven, and mash potatoes until all flattened
6. in another skillet, place tortilla down
7. spread some cheese on one half, then the potato mixture, then more cheese
8. Fold over and repeat so you have two quesadillas cooking at the same time
9. Flip over when toasty on one side
10. Cut in half, eat, and enjoy

How can you beat cheesy, sweet, and savory? 

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Baked Fried Chicken, cheesy potatoes and cauliflower

COLLAGE potatoes and chicken2

Ingredients:

~ chicken tenders
~ flour
~ seasoning with olive oil
~ garlic
~ cauliflower
~ shredded cheese
~ potatoes

1. marinate chicken in bag with seasoning of choice, olive oil, and water
2. cut potatoes into cubes with cauliflower, and garlic, cover and mix with seasoning, olive oil, and water
3. Place potatoes in cast iron skillet
4. Cover potatoes and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until fully cooked
5. At the same time, get out flour and coat marinated chicken in flour and place on cast iron skillet
6. bake (uncovered) for about thirty minutes
7. remove potatoes, and sprinkle cheese on top
8. Then remove chicken and sprinkle cheese on top as well

A quick and easy meal…and yes Dino ate all his chicken. 

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Easy Stove Top Rice, Beans, and Veggies

 rice beans and veggies\

Ingredients:

~ rice 2 cups
~ water 4 1/2 cups
~ diced onions and peppers
~ sliced garlic
~ cut leek
~ seasoning
~ olive oil
~ butter
~ cannellini beans canned or already cooked

 

1. put water, onions, garlic, peppers, leeks, butter, olive oil, and seasoning in pot and boil
2. once boiled, add rice and stir
3. then turn down heat to simmer
4. once there is little water left, add the beans
5. stir all together and serve. 

you can add feta or shredded cheese, extra veggies or meat to this meal…it’s beyond versatile. Dino has not eaten it yet. I made it and we will be having it for the next night. 

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Polenta, Eggs, and Cheese

COLLAGE polenta and eggand cheese

Ingredients:

~ 1 cup polenta (dry) NOT the one already cooked
~ 2 1/2 cups water
~ seasoning
~ olive oil
~ butter
~ eggs
~ shredded cheese

1. in water add olive oil, butter, seasoning and boil
2. add polenta, boil, then let simmer
3. make two eggs, sunny side up
4. once polenta is cooked, scoop some into a bowl, top with egg and cheese and mix

 

it was a wonderful way to have eggs without the bread. Polenta is cheaper than bread and can be make into an porridge or then baked in the oven to make pizza crusts or bread…so versatile! 

I made more eggs on the baked polenta, but didn’t get a picture of that. It was so delicious though.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Yes, buying organic/NON-GMO is expensive. Until there is a big change in food production and what consumers buy, healthy choices will always be more expensive. If you want to start small with organic…here are some great tips.

How to eat organic on a budget. Practical ways to eat well when you can’t afford organic. Dear Mom who can’t afford organic.

http://foodbabe.com/ http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/

Products that participate in and are NON-GMO can be found here

LINKING UP WITH:

 

Mini Van Dreams http://www.jugglingrealfoodandreallife.com

 

Just Finished Reading…

bookk Collage

What books have you finished reading? Loved it? Hated it? Going to read more by that author? Let us know by linking up… 

 

2015 Reading Challenge

2015 Reading Challenge
Karen has
read 8 books toward her goal of 60 books.
hide

 

Goodreads Summary: The Silent Wife

Jodi and Todd are at a bad place in their marriage. Much is at stake, including the affluent life they lead in their beautiful waterfront condo in Chicago, as she, the killer, and he, the victim,rush haplessly toward the main event. He is a committed cheater; she lives and breathes denial. He exists in dual worlds; she likes to settle scores. He plays for keeps; she has nothing left to lose. Told in alternating voices,The Silent Wife is about a marriage in the throes of dissolution, a couple headed for catastrophe, concessions that cant be made, and promises that wont be kept. Expertly plotted,this debut novel ensnares the listener from page one and never lets go.

My Review 5 Stars

STOP COMPARING THIS TO GONE GIRL…IT’S NOT LIKE THAT BOOK AT ALL

Okay that being said…TODD IS A PIECE OF SH*T DOUCHE BAG. How he destroyed all he had with Jodi for his friend’s daughter…and that Vanessa was so f*cked up too. How dare she!?!?!?! SERIOUSLY TODD, to just throw Jodi away like garbage. 

They both came from f&cked up home where their parents where horrible people, no wonder they are both so messed up. 

SPOILERS BELOW!!!!

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I think…

Allison took the money and ran, I think she played Jodi from the beginning, she knew Jodi would have no idea what to do, so she planned taking her money and not caring what happened to her. And to think Jodi thought she was the best friend she had. 

Dean hired his own killers…and so glad Todd got what he deserved. Though, is he really happy that his grandchild has no father?????

Vanessa so played on Todd, she just wanted his money, not his love. She saw an easy way out and knew she could make him do what she wanted. Now she has a father in jail and a son with no dad, any money Jodi settles with her should go towards the baby NOT her. 

Jodi, so she and Ryan were abused by their older brother and their parents were oblivious…so sad. I knew something happened, besides her parents being horribly unaware and selfish. She was STUPID to not marry him, but she didn’t want to be like her parents. She was NAIVE AND PATHEITIC in that she had no idea what to do other than cook, clean, and see a few patients. Glad she finally came to her senses, kept her mouth shut, and GOT EVERYTHING! 

Todd, I am so glad he saw it all coming, I am so glad he knew he was about to die…even in the end he was an complete ass*hole.

 ~~~Now I’m Reading~~~

 

Goodreads Summary: The Widow Waltz

Georgia Waltz has things many people only dream of: a plush Manhattan apartment overlooking Central Park, a Hamptons beach house, valuable jewels and art, two bright daughters, and a husband she adores, even after decades of marriage. It’s only when Ben suddenly drops dead from a massive coronary while training for the New York City Marathon that Georgia discovers her husband—a successful lawyer—has left them nearly penniless. Their wonderland was built on lies.
      
As the family attorney scours emptied bank accounts, Georgia must not only look for a way to support her family, she needs to face the revelation that Ben was not the perfect husband he appeared to be, just as her daughters—now ensconced back at home with secrets of their own—have to accept that they may not be returning to their lives in Paris and at Stanford subsidized by the Bank of Mom and Dad. As she uncovers hidden resilience, Georgia’s sudden midlife shift forces her to consider who she is and what she truly values. That Georgia may also find new love in the land of Spanx and stretch marks surprises everyone—most of all, her.
 
Sally Koslow’s fourth novel is deftly told through the alternating viewpoints of her remarkable female protagonists as they plumb for the grit required to reinvent their lives. Inspiring, funny, and deeply satisfying, The Widow Waltz explores in a profound way the bonds between mothers and daughters, belligerent siblings, skittish lovers, and bitter rivals as they discover the power of forgiveness, and healing, all while asking, “What is family, really?”

Georgia and her daughters seem to be beyond spoiled and out of touch with the real world. They have no clue what it means to live within or under your means. I can not relate to any of them, maybe this will change them and make them relateable.

Ben, what the f&ck did you do with all their money? Was he having an affair or did he make poor financial decisions? 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 My read shelf:

Karen's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)

You can find all books reviews by me HERE

LINKING UP WITH 

            Wit and Wanderings   Wit and Wanderings   

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

LINK UP YOUR BOOK REVIEWS

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Please post as many book reviews as you’d like.

Please visit other book review posts…what better way to add to your ‘to read’ list?

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Too Much Joy???

too muchjopy

Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week, 14 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

Secret Subject Swap

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts.  Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

http://www.BakingInATornado.com Baking In A Tornado
http://stacysewsandschools.blogspot.com/ Stacy Sews and Schools
http://berghamchronicles.blogspot.com The Bergham’s Life Chronicles
http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com  Spatulas on Parade
http://dinoheromommy.com/ Dinosaur Superhero Mommy
http://themomisodes.com The Momisodes
http://climaxedtheblog.blogspot.com Climaxed
http://www.someoneelsesgenius.com Someone Else’s Genius
http://thethreegerbers.blogspot.ch Confessions of a part-time working mom
http://thelieberfamily.com The Lieber Family
http://www.southernbellecharm.com Southern Belle Charm
http://singlemumplusone.blogspot.com Searching for Sanity
http://sparklyjenn.blogspot.com Sparkly Poetic Weirdo
http://www.smalltalkmama.com Small Talk Mama

 

My subject is In a world where emotions are considered drugs, your family has sat you down to talk about your addiction to joy. It was submitted by http://www.someoneelsesgenius.com Here goes: 

I sit there, shocked out of my mind. Is this really happening? Am I the center of an intervention because of feeling too much joy? Am I enjoying too many things? Who the f&ck decided there should be a limit?

I look down at all the incidences of feeling too much joy. I want to rip it up into a million pieces and throw it in everyone’s faces. How about all the pure anger I’m feeling now? Will I be in trouble for all this anger and wanting to kill everyone in this room? Then I really read the items and I can’t stop the joy I feel.

 

Karen ###### you have felt high levels of joy when….

  • correctly guessing the ending of a book I am reading
  • being totally wrong about the ending of a book and pulled into a total mind f%ck
  • an audio book I placed on hold at the library become available
  • I start a new book
  • Dino says “I love you.”
  • Dino cleans up without being told
  • Dino hugs me
  • Dino reads one of his sight words
  • Dino spells one of his sight words
  • Dino goes to bed and I don’t fall asleep in his bed, then I can do some important things at night
  • Dino goes to bed and I fall asleep, because I’m so flipping tired
  • Dino sleeps till 6 am (few and far between)
  • Dino tells me I’m the “best mommy” for no reason other than to tell me
  • I fall asleep right away
  • I have a deep sleep and wake up rested (few and far between)
  • I came home to a clean home after hubby cleaned
  • I come home to a clean home after the cleaning ladies were there
  • food is placed in front of me at a restaurant
  • that first bite of food at a restaurant and it’s like pure heaven
  • one of my meals comes out awesome!
  • Dino and Tony love a dinner I made
  • getting all items I wanted on my shopping list
  • seeing a new product with the NON-GMO label…change is coming
  • learning about a new homeopathic way to prevent colds and keep healthy
  • chatting with others who are also organic and NON-GMO believers
  • informing someone on organic and NON-GMO and helping them to see the evils of Monsanto
  • slowly eating a piece of chocolate and savoring the taste and feel
  • eating a HUGE piece of chocolate and savoring the taste and feel
  • starting a new crochet project
  • finishing a crochet project
  • texting with friends I haven’t spoken to in a long time
  • hanging out with friends I haven’t seen in a long time and feeling like we haven’t been apart at all
  • someone else confesses their love of Twilight and knows every little detail and we can trade information
  • someone else loves Jackson Rathbone and we can share in his hotness
  • Jackson Rathbone tweets about a latest movie or shares a pic..swoons
  • a fellow mom shares that look “I’m with you, I love my kid(s) too, but really want them to shut up and leave me alone for five minutes”
  • getting me time

 

As they try to talk sense into me, I just think about each of these moments and relive each one. I see the anger rise on their faces and hear the curses fly from their mouths. I sit down and ask who will talk to them about their addiction to anger? Then my sweet Dino walks in, turns around and farts in direction. Slowly he turns around and says, “I parted.”

All I can do is laugh as the stench of his fart hits my nose, which causes others to laugh as well. I turn and look at them. “What were you saying about too much joy?”

What causes you “too much joy?”

Mommy and Dino’s Real Food Meals

meal plan blank 00197c color (2)

All recipes and meals are made with organic, real food and/or NON-GMO products.

Even though I am cooking vegetarian for Dino, I have eaten leftover chicken dinners for lunch. Next week I’m going to make more baked chicken for hubby and I.

 

Rice, Chick Peas, and Veggies

COLLAGE beans, couscous, and veggies

Ingredients:

~ chick peas (already softened)
~ rice
~ onions
~ peppers
~ leeks
~ tomatoes
~ butter
~ olive oil
~ coconut oil

Directions:

1. saute garlic, onions, tomatoes, peppers, and leeks
2. cook rice, add butter and coconut oil to the water
3. once all items are sauteed, add chick peas and cooked
4. mix all ingredients together

Super tasty dinner and full of protein

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Eggplant Parm with Spaghetti

COLLAGE eggplant parm

Ingredients:

~ pre-baked, breaded eggplant
~ spaghetti
~ shredded cheese
~ sauce

Directions:

1. boil spaghetti and put on the side
2. pour sauce over breaded eggplants and reheat in the oven
3. once heated, remove from oven and sprinkle cheese on top

 

While Dino happily ate the spghetti he did not like the eggplant. He previously tried and hated zucchini as well. Guess watery veggies are not his thing. 

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LEFTOVER Pasta with Roasted Garlic and Broccoli

 

COLLAGE leftover spaghetti with broccoli

Ingredients:

~ leftover spaghetti
~ garlic

~ broccoli
~ olive oil
~ sesame seed oil
~ butter

Directions:

1. cut garlic and saute in cast iron skillet with olive oil
2. add broccoli and butter and mix, lower heat and cover
3. heat spaghetti by pour boiling water on top through a colander
4. mix broccoli mixture with sesame seed oil and mix into spaghetti

Dino LOVED this dinner…I could eat pasta with veggies and olive oil and butter all the time.

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Quinoa and Roasted Veggies

COLLAGE quinoa and broccoli2

Ingredients:

~ quinoa
~ leftover roasted veggies

~ sesame seed oil
~ butter
~ seasoning of choice

Directions:

1. cook quinoa according to directions, add butter and seasoning to water
2. mix in heated up veggies
3. toss in sesame seed oil and mix

Dino was home sick Monday and Tuesd`ay. He started feeling a bit better and needed protein. I made him eat quinoa and told him to eat it. He had some but begged for peanut butter and jelly. I caved, just this once. 

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Mac and Cheese with Roasted Garlic, Cauliflower, and Spinach

mac and cheese with roasted garlic, spinach and cauliflower

Ingredients:

~ mac and cheese
~ spinach
~ garlic
~ olive oil
~ shredded cheese

Directions:

1. make mac and cheese and add shredded cheese
2. saute garlic and spinach in olive oil
3. mix ingredients together and enjoy. 

This was my dinner and lunch for school…so good. Dino just wasn’t in the mood for it. 

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Yes, buying organic/NON-GMO is expensive. Until there is a big change in food production and what consumers buy, healthy choices will always be more expensive. If you want to start small with organic…here are some great tips.

How to eat organic on a budget. Practical ways to eat well when you can’t afford organic. Dear Mom who can’t afford organic.

http://foodbabe.com/ http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/

Products that participate in and are NON-GMO can be found here

LINKING UP WITH:

 

Mini Van Dreams http://www.jugglingrealfoodandreallife.com

 

Just Finished Reading…

bookk Collage

What books have you finished reading? Loved it? Hated it? Going to read more by that author? Let us know by linking up… 

 

2015 Reading Challenge

2015 Reading Challenge
Karen has
read 7 books toward her goal of 60 books.
hide

 

Goodreads Summary: The Dead Will Tell

Everyone in Painters Mill knows the abandoned Hochstetler farm is haunted. But only a handful of the residents remember the terrible secrets lost in the muted/hushed whispers of time—and now death is stalking them, seemingly from the grave.

On a late-night shift, Chief of Police Kate Burkholder is called to the scene of an apparent suicide—an old man found hanging from the rafters in his dilapidated barn. But evidence quickly points to murder and Kate finds herself chasing a singularly difficult and elusive trail of evidence that somehow points back to the tragedy of that long ago incident. Meanwhile, Kate has moved in with state agent John Tomasetti and for the first time in so long, they’re both happy; a bliss quickly shattered when one of the men responsible for the murders of Tomasetti’s family four years ago is found not guilty, and walks away a free man. Will Tomasetti be pulled back to his own haunted past?

When a second man is found dead—also seemingly by his own hand—Kate discovers a link in the case that sends the investigation in a direction no one could imagine and revealing the horrifying truth of what really happened that terrible night thirty-five years ago, when an Amish father and his four children perished—and his young wife disappeared without a trace.

And, as Kate knows—the past never truly dies . . . in The Dead Will Tell by Linda Castillo

My Review 4 Stars

Sadly I knew who it was as soon as the character was introduced…it was so obvious…too obvious for the detectives to not figure it out. Come on people, get with the program, LOL. 

I did like how it all unfolded and the entire sick and twisted revelations, the karma the murders got, and how in the end everyone everyone has secrets and fears. 

I think those who committed the crimes all got the justice they needed…especially if you not only commit and crime but try to hide it and move on with your life. 

Goodreads Summary: Plain Truth

Jodi Picoult has touched readers deeply with her acclaimed novels, such as Keeping Faith and The Pact. Gifted with a remarkable ability to make us share her characters’ feelings (People), Picoult now explores the complex choices of the heart for a young Amish woman — the compelling journey of discovery for an urban lawyer who befriends and protects her. 

The small town of Paradise, Pennsylvania, is a jewel in Lancaster County — known for its picture-postcard landscapes and bucolic lifestyle. But that peace is shattered by the discovery of a dead infant in the barn of an Amish farmer. A police investigation quickly leads to two startling disclosures: the newborn’s mother is an unmarried Amish woman, eighteen-year-old Katie Fisher. And the infant did not die of natural causes. Although Katie denies the medical proof that she gave birth to the child, circumstantial evidence leads to her arrest for the murder of her baby. 

One hundred miles away, Philadelphia defense attorney Ellie Hathaway has achieved an enviable, high-profile career. But her latest court victory has set the sands shifting beneath her. Single at thirty-nine and unsatisfied with her relationship, Ellie doesn’t look back when she turns down her chance to make partner and takes off for an open-ended stay at her great-aunt’s home in Paradise. Fate brings her to Katie Fisher. Suddenly, Ellie sees the chance to defend a client who truly needs her, not just one who can afford her. But taking on this case challenges Ellie in more ways than one. She finds herself not only in a clash of wills with a client who does not want to be defended but also in a clash of cultures with a people whose channels of justice are markedly different from her own. Immersing herself in Katie Fisher’s life — and in a world founded on faith, humility, duty, and honesty — Ellie begins to understand the pressures and sacrifices of those who to live plain. As she peels away the layers of fact and fantasy, Ellie calls on an old friend for guidance. Now, just as this man from Ellie’s past reenters her life, she must uncover the truth about a complex case, a tragic loss, the bonds of love — and her own deepest fears and desires. 

Moving seamlessly from psychological drama to courtroom suspense, Plain Truth is a triumph of contemporary storytelling. Jodi Picoult presents a fascinating portrait of Amish life rarely witnessed by those outside the faith — and discovers a place where circumstances are not always what they seem, where love meets falsehood, and where relationships grow strong enough to span two worlds.

My Review 3 stars

WOW…I did NOT see that end coming. From all the other books I’ve read about the amish, I can’t believe that person killed the infant. It doesn’t make sense. The amish would have forgiven Katie for getting pregnant. Just like the elders said, forgiveness is who we are. It angers me most of all because this person had no backbone or voice, but yet they did that?!?!?!?!

On the flip side, they are still human not perfect.

Ellie learned so much from the Fishers. She learns what it means to really live and win.

 

 ~~~Now I’m Reading~~~

 

Goodreads Summary: The Silent Wife

Jodi and Todd are at a bad place in their marriage. Much is at stake, including the affluent life they lead in their beautiful waterfront condo in Chicago, as she, the killer, and he, the victim,rush haplessly toward the main event. He is a committed cheater; she lives and breathes denial. He exists in dual worlds; she likes to settle scores. He plays for keeps; she has nothing left to lose. Told in alternating voices,The Silent Wife is about a marriage in the throes of dissolution, a couple headed for catastrophe, concessions that cant be made, and promises that won’t be kept. Expertly plotted,this debut novel ensnares the listener from page one and never lets go

Hmmmm this cold go either way. Will it be too crazy or just the right amount to keep me captivated? 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 My read shelf:

Karen's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)

You can find all books reviews by me HERE

LINKING UP WITH 

            Wit and Wanderings   Wit and Wanderings   

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

LINK UP YOUR BOOK REVIEWS

Please link directly to a post, not your blog.

Please post as many book reviews as you’d like.

Please visit other book review posts…what better way to add to your ‘to read’ list?

Dinosaur Superhero Mommy
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Mommy and Dino’s Real Food Meals

meal plan blank 00197c color (2)

All recipes and meals are made with organic, real food and/or NON-GMO products.


Even though I am cooking vegetarian for Dino, I have eaten leftover chicken dinners for lunch. Next week I’m going to make more baked chicken for hubby and I.

 

Couscous with Feta, Broccoli, and Parsnips

feta couscous

Ingredients:

~ couscous
~ sliced parsnips
~ fresh broccoli
~ crumbled feta
~ seasonings of choice
~ olive and coconut oil
~ butter

Directions:

1. In a pot, cook couscous according to directions (I added olive oil, curry and a latin seasoning to give it flavor and make it a yellow and flavorful)
2. In a plan, add butter and coconut oil and cook parsnips and broccoli with extra seasonings
3. when both are done, mix together in a large bowl and toss in feta

Dino LOVED this…of course it was tasty, so what’s not to love

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Karate Test Night
Quick leftover slow cooked beans made into Cheese Melts

COLLAGE karat night3blue belt3

Ingredients:

~ bread 
~ leftover slow cooked beans
~ shredded cheese
~ olive oil and butter

Directions:

1. In a pan add olive oil and heat leftover bean mixture
2. sprinkle cheese on bread, layer heated bean mix on top, sprinkle more cheese on top, fold bread over twice
3.add butter to another pan and heat bread on both sides until cheese is melted

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Baked Breaded Eggplant (for eggplant parm next week)

COLLAGE breaded egglplant

Ingredients:

~ whole wheat panko
~ eggplant
~ olive oil
~ eggs
~ seasoning

Directions:

1. create an egg mixture with eggs and seasonings of your choice 
2. slice eggplant and dip in egg mixture, then in panko
3. place on pan and bake in oven at 350 degrees for about 15 mins on each side

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Veggie Lasagna

COLLAGE veggie lasagna3

Original recipe can be found here

Ingredients:

~ 2 cups ricotta cheese
~ 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese, divided
~ 1 cup grated 3-cheese blend, divided
~ 1 egg, lightly beaten
~ 1 (16-ounce) bag frozen spinach, thawed, chopped and drained well
~ Salt and pepper to taste
~ 2 teaspoons dried oregano
~ 1 (25-ounce) jar pasta sauce
~ 9 no-boil uncooked lasagna noodles

My changes:

  • I used Whole Foods organic noodles were are thinner and was able to get three across and made four layers
  • I used an italian blend of seasonings and some turmeric

 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. create an egg mixture with eggs and seasonings of your choice
2. In a large bowl mix ricotta, 1/2 cup of the mozzarella, 1/2 cup of the 3-cheese blend, egg, spinach, salt, pepper and oregano.
3. In another bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella and 1/2 cup 3-cheese blend.
4. Set both bowls aside.
5. In a 9×13-inch non-reactive baking pan, layer 1 cup of the sauce, then a layer of noodles and a layer of the ricotta-spinach mixture; repeat.
6. Top with sauce then sprinkle with remaining cheeses.
7. Pour 1 cup water around the edges of pan, then cover with parchment paper, then very tightly with foil.
8. Bake 1 1/4 hours, then set aside to let stand for 15 minutes before serving.

 

My changes: 

  • I forgot to add other veggies, so I sauteed them later on and just added them to each bowl and leftovers

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Bowtie Pasta with Feta and Veggies 

COLLAGE pasta, feta, spinach, tomato, mushroom

Ingredients:

~ bow tie pasta
~ feta cheese
~ mushrooms cut 
~ spinach thawed and cut
~ tomatoes sliced
~ olive and sesame oil
~ seasonings of choice

Directions:

1. Boil pasta according to directions
2. saute onions and garlic
3. Once onions and garlic are brown, add spinach, tomatoes, and mushrooms
4. Drain pasta, add to large bowl and pour in sesame seed oil
5. Mix in veggies then sprinkle in feta cheese
6. cover and mix well

Dino wanted more!

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I made rice and beans for dinner one night, but forgot to take any pics.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Yes, buying organic/NON-GMO is expensive. Until there is a big change in food production and what consumers buy, healthy choices will always be more expensive. If you want to start small with organic…here are some great tips.

How to eat organic on a budget. Practical ways to eat well when you can’t afford organic. Dear Mom who can’t afford organic.

http://foodbabe.com/ http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/

Products that participate in and are NON-GMO can be found here

LINKING UP WITH:

 

Mini Van Dreams http://www.jugglingrealfoodandreallife.com