Flower Friday: Surprise! January 19th

I learned about Flower Friday last year from Lorilin@Bugbugbooks and have been having a blast sharing some flower pics. Please check out Lorilin’s blog if you haven’t already for book reviews and more!

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It was such a surprise last week when our Christmas cactus decided to bloom. So, I decided  to share some pictures of it for Flower Friday today!

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My mom had this huge Christmas cactus at one point in time, but she had to find a home for it because she was moving and this plant was so huge! She saved a piece and we cloned it.

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As that one started to grow, my dogs were rough-housing one day and there went the cactus all over the floor in shambles. So again, we took a piece and cloned it. My mom worked on nursing it back to health and here it is today.

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There are multiple buds on it that will grow into the double bloom-like flowers you see above. It’s a small one now, but in time it will grow to be huge like its parent plant. Continue reading “Flower Friday: Surprise! January 19th”

Enter to Win a copy of N.N. Light’s Book of Daily Inspiration – Ends tonight!

This is your last chance to enter to win a free eBook copy of N.N. Light’s Book of Daily Inspiration which ends in 6 hours! Just a click away from an entire year of inspiration!

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Enter to win by clicking on the image to be redirected!

Continue reading “Enter to Win a copy of N.N. Light’s Book of Daily Inspiration – Ends tonight!”

Throwback Thursday: Archer’s Voice by Mia Sheridan – January 18th

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme created by Renee @ It’s Book Talk. This meme is an awesome way to share old favorites that were published over a year ago or even books that you’re finally reading after much time has passed. I have plenty of those to share! If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, and you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic as well. Please link back to her@It’s Book Talk.

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This Week’s Pick:

Archer’s Voice

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Blurb: When Bree Prescott arrives in the sleepy, lakeside town of Pelion, Maine, she hopes against hope that this is the place where she will finally find the peace she so desperately seeks. On her first day there, her life collides with Archer Hale, an isolated man who holds a secret agony of his own. A man no one else sees.

Archer’s Voice is the story of a woman chained to the memory of one horrifying night and the man whose love is the key to her freedom. It is the story of a silent man who lives with an excruciating wound and the woman who helps him find his voice. It is the story of suffering, fate, and the transformative power of love.

My Thoughts:

I found Archer’s Voice floating around on Goodreads sometime in 2016 and went right to Amazon to grab a copy. The story grabbed my attention from the very first words.

Bree has moved to a little town in Maine. She’s looking for a new start and finds herself a little cabin to move into. After finding a job at a diner and meeting some new people in town, she runs into a man named Archer. Archer looks fairly disheveled and at first she can’t figure out what it is, but she sees something in him. Why on Earth won’t he talk to her? She’s persistent and reaches out to Archer in hope for a breakthrough, but Arthur has been damaged. He’s been shown unkindness far too many times and Bree has her work cut out for her. The angst is almost unbearable.

“I’m afraid to love you. I’m afraid that you’ll leave and that I’ll go back to being alone again. Only it will be a hundred times worse because I’ll know what I’m missing. I can’t…” He sucked in a shaky breath. “I want to be able to love you more than I fear losing you, and I don’t know how. Teach me, Bree. Please teach me. Don’t let me destroy this.”Archer

I just loved Bree and Archer’s characters. Bree is so kind-hearted and she’s willing to go the extra mile to break through to Archer and help him heal. She’s battling her own demons and both of them need to overcome the pain they’ve experienced in the past. Archer is equally kind, but he needs help materializing everything–someone patient, caring, and willing to give him a chance. He has to learn to trust again.

This was a favorite in 2016 and I hope more people who enjoy reading romance will pick this one up. It’s wonderful. I’m thinking this will be a reread in 2018 for me. I rated this one 5*****.

I’ve since learned that the book will be adapted into a movie! I was so excited. It’s in the works, but here’s a book trailer for you to enjoy.

 

Get in on Amazon or find it on Goodreads.
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Forever (February 13, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1538727358
  • ISBN-13: 978-1538727355

Continue reading “Throwback Thursday: Archer’s Voice by Mia Sheridan – January 18th”

Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book – Baked Oatmeal – One For Sorrow – The Tenth Circle

Howdy everyone! I hope you’re all doing well and having a great week so far. I’m doing pretty good and getting caught up on reading. I’ve added a few books to my challenge and seem to be on track for the most part so far.

Today I wanted to share a recipe I found online for baked oatmeal. I’ve been aiming to try baked oatmeal for some time after chatting with my friend Jennifer about it. Can you believe I’ve never made it? Well, here’s the recipe that I found, but I ran into some problems.

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Baked Oatmeal II

Recipe Credit: BLANCHL from allrecipes.com

Ingredients

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, mix together oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Beat in milk, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla extract. Stir in dried cranberries. Spread into a 9×13 inch baking dish.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes.

—–

So the issue I had with this recipe is that I can’t use dairy, eggs, or butter because I’m working on sticking to the protocol in the Thyroid Healing book I discussed last week. So, I got online and found a link at sheknows.com for egg substitutes. Here’s what I found out!

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I decided to substitute the eggs with applesauce. Then I went over to Dr. Axe’s site ❤ to find some good butter substitutions. I decided to sub the butter with coconut oil and I used almond milk in place of cow’s milk. If you don’t have issues with dairy, eggs, and butter, just make it the way it appears above! I just know this is going to be delicious either way.

Here’s what I did:

I put all my dry ingredients in a bowl and mixed it up a bit.

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Then I added in the wet ingredients and mixed it well. This includes the vanilla which isn’t pictured.

 

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I mixed in the raisins last. The recipe calls for cranberries, but I’m not a huge fan of cranberries when it comes to oatmeal, though I do use them occasionally.

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I put the mix into a 13×9 glass pan and baked at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes. I set the timer for 40 minutes, but it needed extra time to crisp up at the top.

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It pretty much came out looking the same way it went in.

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I cut it into pieces and served with a drizzle of honey and fresh almond milk.

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This was pretty good even with the substitutions, but looking back, I think an hour in the oven would’ve been better. It had a crisp top and was quite soft on the bottom. It sort of reminded me of a soft, warm granola bar.

Continue reading “Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book – Baked Oatmeal – One For Sorrow – The Tenth Circle”

Music Monday: Rollins Band “Liar”

-Music Monday-

This meme was created by Drew @ The Tattooed Book Geek. You pick a song that you really like and share it on Monday. I love this meme and look forward to sharing a new song every week! Hope you enjoy. 🖤

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Henry Rollins has been a favorite of mine since Black Flag. Here’s a song from Weight titled “Liar.”

I’ve always thought this song was about a man who preys on vulnerable women, but some people say it’s about living with a schitzophrenic or bipolar person. What do you think? Either way, I think it’s an awesome song.

I also learned while researching the song that it happened by chance. They were tuning up for practice and the song just came together unexpectedly. I guess they had to idea it would become as popular as it did. I love stories like that.

Lyrics: [Video Version]

So you think you’re going to live your life alone
In darkness and seclusion… yeah, I know
You’ve been out there and tried to mix with the animals
And it just left you full of humiliated confusion
But the feeling of loneliness never leaves you
It haunts you everywhere you go
And then you meet me and your whole world changes
Because everything I say is everything you’ve ever wanted to hear
So you drop your defenses, and you drop all your fears
And you’re so busy feeling good that you never
Question why things are going so well

You wanna know why?

Cause I’m a liar
Yeah I’m a liar
I’ll tear your mind out
I’ll burn your soul
I’ll turn you into me
I’ll turn you into me
Cause I’m a liar, a liar
A liar, a liar

I’ll hide behind a smile
And understanding eyes
And I’ll tell you things that you already know
So you can say, “I really identify with you, so much”
And all the time that you’re needing me
Is just the time that I’m bleeding you
Don’t you get it yet?
I’ll come to you like an affliction
And I’ll leave you like an addiction
You’ll never forget me
You wanna know why?

Cause I’m a liar
Yeah I’m a liar
I’ll tear your mind out
I’ll burn your soul
I’ll turn you into me
I’ll turn you into me
Cause I’m a liar, a liar
A liar, a liar

Liar, liar, liar, liar

I don’t know why I feel the need to lie
And cause you so much pain
Maybe it’s something inside
Maybe it’s something I can’t explain
Cause all I do
Is mess you up and lie to you

I’m a liar

Oh, I’m a liar

But if you’ll give just one more chance I swear I will never lie to you again
‘Cause now I see the destructive power of a lie,
That’s stronger than truth
I can’t believe I ever hurt you, I swear I will never lie to you again
Please, just give me more chance, I’ll never lie to you again, no,
I swear… I will never tell a lie, I will never tell a lie, no, no…
Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ho Ho Ho Ho! Sucker! Sucker! Sucker!

I am a liar, yeah, I am a liar, yeah
I like it, I feel good, I am a liar, yeah
I lie, I lie, I lie… oh, I lie,
I’ll lie again, I’ll lie again and again… I’ll keep lying, I promise.


Here’s his quick background story below. Worth watching every minute.

Continue reading “Music Monday: Rollins Band “Liar””

White Fur by Jardine Libaire: Book Review – #NGEW2018

White Fur

 

Left: Wolverine Camper, 1979. Right: Ann Magnuson, Avenue A, 1984.

 

Blurb: When Elise Perez meets Jamey Hyde on a desolate winter afternoon, fate implodes, and neither of their lives will ever be the same. Although they are next-door neighbors in New Haven, they come from different worlds. Elise grew up in a housing project without a father and didn’t graduate from high school. Jamey is a junior at Yale, heir to a private investment bank fortune and beholden to high family expectations. The attraction is instant, and what starts out as sexual obsession turns into something greater, stranger, and impossible to ignore.

The unlikely couple moves to Manhattan in hopes of forging an adult life together, but Jamey’s family intervenes in desperation, and the consequences of staying together are suddenly severe. And when a night out with old friends takes a shocking turn, Jamey and Elise find themselves fighting not just for their love but also for their lives.

My Thoughts:

I read some reviews for White Fur last year and after reading the blurb, it sounded like a book I would enjoy. Books like The Notebook and movies like “Pretty in Pink” are faves, and this story is about a rich boy who falls for a low class girl and they do fall in love, but it certainly isn’t that simple and not really what I expected.

*May contain mild spoilers*

Jamie is a Yale boy who comes from a wealthy family. They have high expectations of him and there’s no question about the direction of his future, until Jamey meets his neighbor Elise, and discovers he’s both fascinated by her and repulsed at the same time. He develops a hot and heavy sexual relationship with her, but fears intimacy. Elise is like a polar opposite. She’s low class, comes from a multi-racial background, never graduated high school, doesn’t know her dad, and learned about sex, violence, and drugs at a young age. She wonders about Jamey and why he’s distant from her outside of their sexual encounters. She wants a normal relationship with him and wants him to see her–the real her. She wants him to be interested in her. The truth is, Jamey knows he shouldn’t want Elise. She smokes, curses, and he has issues with her behavior. Not only that, he’s reminded by his best friend and family repeatedly that this simply can’t happen, but he can’t seem to shake the feelings he has for her.

Time moves forward and Jamey invites Elise to live with him in New York where there are less distractions. The hope is that they can continue their relationship without drama, but unfortunately, Jamey’s gang of a family won’t leave it alone.

The story is gritty and definitely cringeworthy. I felt that the writing was beautiful and detailed, but for me, it was way too wordy for this type of story. I found the multiple breaks in the narrative confusing and didn’t like the characters. Jamey and Elise’s relationship is pretty much all sex with zero romance for the majority of the book and I can’t understand how this book is described as a modern ‘Romeo and Juliet.’ To me, in a Romeo and Juliet like story, couples don’t have sex with other people, nor do people in love for that matter, but that’s just my personal opinion. I didn’t have any emotion until the last 30-40 pages or so as things started to pick up, and it was more or less over the dog. There just wasn’t enough going on to keep my interest. It had an unexpected ending, but not one that I was really pleased with because I felt like the future was still so uncertain for them. I’m wondering if there might be another book?

This is obviously just not my favorite kind of book, but I know others will like it. Don’t skip the book because of my review if this sounds like one you’d enjoy!

3***

I’d like to thank Netgalley, the publisher, and author for an ARC of White Fur in exchange for a review.

Continue reading “White Fur by Jardine Libaire: Book Review – #NGEW2018”

Shabby Sunday: Favorite Stories Old and New by Sidonie Matsner Gruenberg – 1955

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Shabby Sunday Meme

I have a lot of old vintage books and one of my plans when I first started blogging was to do a post every week or so that shared one of my cherished vintage books. Then I thought that maybe there might be other book bloggers out there that have some vintage books, heirlooms, or maybe some old books from childhood that they might want to share. I decided to start a weekly meme titled ‘Shabby Sunday’ for those who would like to participate and share some of their old vintage books. Do you have some shabby books you’d like to share? Please feel free to participate. Feel free to use the picture I’ve provided if you’d like to. If you decide to do this meme, please consider linking back to me so that I can see the book you’re sharing.


Today’s shabby share is:

Favorite Stories Old and New

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Blurb: This revised edition is enlarged by twenty-six stories. The divisions are as follows: Real children and real things, Stories about animals, Stories of make-believe, Fairy tales, Folk tales, Myths and fables, Bible stories and Tales of laughter.
*I apologize for the cramming of content. WordPress is not cooperating today.*

My Thoughts:

This book is a really special one! It belonged to my grandfather and is one of the only books I have left from him. This one sat on the shelf in our living room the whole time I was growing up and now it sits on mine.
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It’s a book of short stories that were compiled for children to read. Some are about real people and events, animals, make-believe, folk tales, and even some Bible stories. There are also a few fables included. Many are stories that are well known, like Cinderella, The Three Bears, David and Goliath, Davy Crockett, and Pandora’s Box. They’re short enough that young readers won’t lose interest.
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Some of my favorites include: The Middle Bear, Indians in the House, The Coyote and the Fox, Black Face, The Lion-Hearted Kitten, Snow White, Cinderella, The Snow Maiden, and The Wind and the Sun. This isn’t just a book for children and can be enjoyed by all ages.
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My version is a hardcover Doubleday edition from 1955. It lacks the dust jacket and has very bad wear to the fabric cover. The pages are still fairly clean and crisp to read with only minor smudging.
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There really aren’t a lot of illustrations in the book, but the sketches that are included are whimsical and interesting.
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Without the dust jacket, the cover is very plain with only a few black illustrations on the front cover and binding.
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I’m very happy to have this book and won’t ever part with it. It’s not just limited to children! Even with it’s age, my children and I are still interested in these classic stories that boost their imagination. It’s a real gem of a book to have.

Continue reading “Shabby Sunday: Favorite Stories Old and New by Sidonie Matsner Gruenberg – 1955”

Think Forward to Thrive: How to Use the Mind’s Power of Anticipation to Transcend Your Past and Transform Your Life by Jennice Vilhauer *Book review*

Think Forward to Thrive: How to Use the Mind’s Power of Anticipation to Transcend Your Past and Transform Your Life

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by Jennice Vilhauer

 

Blurb: Anticipating a positive future is the key to well-being and mental health. Yet when many people think of the future they experience anxiety, depression, fear, self-doubt, and feelings of being overwhelmed. Most people, unaware of how to change the future, are trapped in a cycle of recreating their past over and over again. However, your past does not have to define who you are or where you are going. You can break free, but only if you know how and have the necessary skills to do something different. Future Directed Therapy (FDT) is a new psychological intervention developed to teach people to create their future with awareness and choice. Unlike other books about creating a better future, the skills in Think Forward to Thrive, are based on cutting edge cognitive science. Think Forward to Thrive will teach you step-by-step the psychological skills that can transform your life. Think Forward to Thrive is filled with information and exercises that will help you: Overcome negative emotions Identify what you want in life Transform limiting beliefs Take action Live ready for success Stop talking about your past and start creating your future!

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My Thoughts:

I purchased Think forward to Thrive after reading an article online about how people can learn with Future Directed Therapy to let go of unwanted thoughts and redirect their way of thinking to help them meet their goals and anticipate a positive future. I’d never heard about Future Directed Therapy and was intrigued.

Forward_thinkingI was pleasantly surprised with the book. It includes stories concerning multiple people and their experiences, discloses what they can do to help themselves, and offers worksheets where you can assess yourself. In these, they help train you to change your thought patterns. Whether you’re in a bad relationship, sick with a disease, just plain stuck because of your past, or simply want to work on changing your thoughts, this book might help you. We are in charge of our thoughts, we don’t have to limit ourselves, and we have the control to change.

I like that each chapter has a famous quote in addition to the quotes throughout the book. One of my favorites is a powerful one…

“Past experiences do not define who you are unless you allow them too. You are free to change at any time.”

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On the other hand, there are a few sections I felt unsure about. In one section, the book discusses people and how you can work toward getting them to admire you. Let’s face it, it’s possible that some people just aren’t going to like you and there are some things that we just aren’t in control of. Bad people exist and bad things do happen, however, I think the book can help us to keep our minds on track and thinking positively in these cases.

I like the layout and structure. The worksheets help personalize the experience because, we’re all different and we all think differently. We all have different pasts and have had different experiences in life. The worksheets allow you to personally narrow in on what you want to change. I feel that’s it’s written well and easy to understand. In my opinion, this isn’t a book you can read once and be on your way. It’s full of information. I think its a work in progress over time. Overall, it’s an uplifting book that can help you redirect your future.

4****

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Continue reading “Think Forward to Thrive: How to Use the Mind’s Power of Anticipation to Transcend Your Past and Transform Your Life by Jennice Vilhauer *Book review*”

My Story + Book Review : Thyroid Healing by Anthony William

In 2006 I was stricken with a horrible autoimmune condition my endocrinologist would diagnose as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. I was first diagnosed with an under active thyroid during my second pregnancy and then went on to develop the worst symptoms I’ve had in my life around the time my newborn daughter was about 6 months old. I was tired, cold, in complete brain fog, had tons of heart palpitations, cramped up, weak, and the most debilitating symptom was anxiety–anxiety that would send me to the emergency room on Thanksgiving Eve, 2006. I had no idea at the time that my body was in a complete state of panic.

After my visit to the ER roughly a week later, I sat in my endocrinologist’s office for 45 minutes asking him question after question about why I was going through Hell with this condition. I was told to take my medication every morning and that’s that because in no way would he treat my symtpoms. His main goal was to get my TSH back down where it needed to be because it was so high, apparently higher than he’d ever seen. I was sent to at least 3 different psychologists for the anxiety and not one could help me. All they could do was prescribe me a benzodiazepine–a medication I never wanted to take and one that I refused to take in the ER, the night before Thanksgiving. I had just graduated college with a degree in the health field and had clear knowledge of many medications. I also went through cardiac testing to find out what was causing the palpitations. No answers– even after visiting Chicago University and undergoing more extensive cardiac testing.

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Time went on, a year to be exact, and I was prescribed Lexapro which did nothing. I was also finally prescribed Klonopin, another benzodiazepine that I didn’t want to take, but felt that I had no choice. I had to do something to stop the panic attacks. I had a family to raise! I knew that all of these symptoms were physiological and everything these psychiatrists were trying to tell me was malarkey. After being prescribed a normal dose, I would cut the dose in half and take it as I needed it, and deal with the anxiety on a daily basis. I also underwent cognitive behavioral therapy to help stop the panic, which did help, but the anxiety, including a constant feeling of being on edge, remained and for no apparent reason. I was told by multiple doctors that my symptoms had nothing to do with the condition I had just been diagnosed with.

By the end of 2007, the anxiety started to simmer down a bit and I wanted to have another child. I wasn’t going to let anything get in the way of having the family I always wanted. I weaned myself off the medication and started to have anxiety again, but it gradually got better and my TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone – which was originally the highest my doctor had every seen) had now returned to a normal safe level.

I continued to have symptoms throughout the rest of my pregnancies and after each child, would come the cruel punishment of going through this exact scenario again. After my 5th child in 2013, I was then diagnosed with another more serious autoimmune disorder and spent one horrible week in the hospital just after she was born. Again, no explanation, but my blood work was way off and I had to have a transfusion. I never once got an explanation as to what was happening inside my body, other than my immune system had become confused and was now attacking my own tissues and organs. I had an enlarged (unexplained) spleen and my blood cells were all over the place. I underwent a bone marrow aspiration for study. Still no answers.

Eventually, my symptoms gave me the title ‘hypochondriac’ by multiple people. I had one doctor tell me it was all in my head–even though I had plenty of abnormal tests to prove something was happening, including a dead thyroid. Another doctor blamed the anxiety on parts of my childhood, family genetics, and another asked me if I’d ever smoked weed. One doctor even told me it was my daughter’s heart condition that was wearing on me and I began to wonder where these people got their educations. There wasn’t a single doctor that was willing to admit that these symptoms were physiological and coming from some sort of condition in my body. All they wanted to do was blame me and tell me that ‘I’ was the reason for all of it. I was at my wit’s end. If the symptoms weren’t enough to make me go crazy, all of these wacko doctors were going to do the trick. One of the huge reasons I wanted to get off the benzodiazepine was because they don’t want to write prescriptions for those medicines anyhow! These medications are tranquilizers and I wanted no part of them. I knew that they could be habit forming and didn’t want them to become a crutch. I had to find a way to stay off these medications.

Fast forward to 2017 and I still have every symptom that I had in 2007, but I’ve learned to deal with it. Symptoms are better, and it’s no longer debilitating. I’m off all meds except my thyroid hormone pill (which I’m sure I’ll have to take the rest of my life) considering my thyroid has been killed by my immune system. I’ve become numb to most of the symptoms and do the best I can with diet and exercise. Truthfully, most times, I just ignore what’s happening. My heart rate can shoot up into the 100’s for no reason. I can be cooking at the stove in a relaxed state and place of happiness, when anxiety will suddenly strike me, bad enough that it makes me want to run out of the front door and out of my house as far away as I can possibly go.

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My body goes into a complete state of ‘fight or flight’ as if there is a serious impending danger for absolutely no reason. I’ve learned to not be afraid of it, but it still continues with zero answers.

My ‘other’ more serious autoimmune condition (luckily) I was able to combat. With all the changes I’ve made and some that I’ve just continued–juicing, smoothies, raw food diet, essential oils, stress reduction, systemic allergy testing, supplements, and elimination of everything that was irritating my system, I was able to get my labs back to normal and I’ve been told that I beat Lupus. When visiting my rheumatologist one last time this year,  I was still questioning my high ANA test. He does believe it’s possible that the Hashimoto’s is responsible for the ‘left overs.’ He looked at me and said, “Everyone has thyroid problems.” Surely not everyone does, I thought, but it’s true that thyroid disorders are out of control and at an all time high. More and more people I talk to say they have one thyroid condition or another. Some have mystery illnesses that they can’t figure out. All of this floats around in my head and I still wonder why people (including myself) aren’t living their best lives? Why are so many people sick? Why are so many people fighting cancer? Does it all boil down to how we live and the choices we make, or is it something else?

After all the books I’ve read, I’ve learned about genetics, epigenetics,  food triggers, and even virus infections that can lead to autoimmune disorders. I also had the virus testing to prove that I had already been infected (at some point) with Cytomegalovirus and Epstein Barr, and I’d recently had a transfusion after my 5th child which might explain some of that, even the enlarged spleen. Regardless, I have never gotten answers for any of my symptoms and until now, I’ve considered all of this speculation. Could a virus really be responsible for what has caused all of my autoimmune issues?

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I came across this book called Thyroid Healing by Anthony William. I almost didn’t grab it because I’ve read pretty much every book there is on thyroid conditions and they all seem to have the same things to say. I brought it home, and I could barely put it down once I started.

Everything that Mr. William is saying in this book made complete sense to me. I had many aha moments and couldn’t believe my eyes. In a nutshell, it’s all about this ‘Thyroid Virus’ he says is Epstein Barr (EBV). *Light bulb goes on* I already know I’ve been infected with this virus. Could this be the reason for all my symptoms all this time?

Of course, Anthony William is saying that most of the symptoms will come from the virus and it’s four stages. Some of the symptoms that ring a bell for me are the anxiety, headaches, coldness, heart palpitations, insomnia, aches and pains, as well as a few others which have never left, but mainly sort of waxed and waned over time. Symptoms come and go, but emotional stress, introducing foods that my body can’t handle, pregnancy, hormone fluctuations in general, or any disruption in my body like using antibiotics always sets me back to the start. Basically, I’m the person he’s explaining in this book. Any one of these triggers above happen, it fuels the fire (EBV), and starts the symptoms all over again. Could this be the answer?

He goes on to explain every one of these symptoms and why thyroid condition sufferers have them. He also talks about supplements and foods to help, what to avoid, gives a series of action plans, and includes recipes. I’ve already started one of the plans and want to see how this pans out. Even though I’ve remained fairly healthy and kept up with what I know to stay in what I call ‘homeostasis mode’ – the symptoms almost always break through at some point and I’m left to question what is going on inside my body.

Throughout reading the book, I began to ask myself, “Who is Anthony William?” I flipped to the back of the book and read about how Anthony William is not a doctor, he’s a medical medium– a person who was born with the special ability to converse with a higher spiritual being, which is the basis for all of the healing information in this book. I found that compelling, although I still remain skeptical. What I find most compelling about the book is that it makes complete sense. This is the first book that has addressed many of my personal symptoms that have gone unanswered to this point.

So, here I am on the first protocol which involves the removal of certain foods (many I have already been avoiding) and the addition to a few simple things like lemon water and celery juice. I’m going to do everything outlined in the book and I’ll update my results every 2-3 weeks. The whole process should take roughly 90 days, but I know that the work doesn’t stop there. I plan to continue on with the healthy choices I’ve made up to this point as well.

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Celery Juice
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Thyroid Healing Smoothie
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Thyroid Healing Broth

Once I got to the end of the book, I did question why there weren’t more stories regarding people that Anthony William’s has helped heal. The case study mentioned in the book involves Sally, a woman with many of the same symptoms I have. I started to do a little more research and found a video with Anthony Williams and Sally on YouTube. You can watch it below.

Continue reading “My Story + Book Review : Thyroid Healing by Anthony William”

Throwback Thursday: The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult – January 11th 2018

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme created by Renee @ It’s Book Talk. This meme is an awesome way to share old favorites that were published over a year ago or even books that you’re finally reading after much time has passed. I have plenty of those to share! If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, and you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic as well. Please link back to her@It’s Book Talk.

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This Week’s Pick:

The Tenth Circle

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Blurb: Fourteen-year-old Trixie Stone is in love for the first time. She’s also the light of her father, Daniel’s life — a straight-A student; a pretty, popular freshman in high school; a girl who’s always seen her father as a hero. That is, until her world is turned upside down with a single act of violence. Suddenly everything Trixie has believed about her family — and herself — seems to be a lie. Could the boyfriend who once made Trixie wild with happiness have been the one to end her childhood forever? She says that he is, and that is all it takes to make Daniel, a seemingly mild-mannered comic book artist with a secret tumultuous past he has hidden even from his family, venture to hell and back to protect his daughter.

With The Tenth Circle, Jodi Picoult offers her most powerful chronicle yet as she explores the unbreakable bond between parent and child, and questions whether you can reinvent yourself in the course of a lifetime — or if your mistakes are carried forever.

My Thoughts:

I read this book just after it was published sometime around 2007 and really enjoyed it. Jodi Picoult has always been a favorite author, but this book really hit me and the ending was so shocking, I had to give it five stars. It does cover some difficult topics and it’s hard to say that I ‘enjoyed’ the book because of that, but I’ve always considered this one of my favorites, although it’s been some time since I read it.

I’m currently reading it all over again for the Ultimate Reading Challenge that I’m participating in with a few other friends. I hope I enjoy it as much as I did the first time around.

Find it on Goodreads and Amazon:

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Washington Square Press (October 24, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 074349671X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743496711

Continue reading “Throwback Thursday: The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult – January 11th 2018”

N. N. Light’s Book of Daily Inspiration – Book Review and Author Interview + Giveaway!

I had the pleasure of reading N.N. Light’s new book N. N. Light’s Book of Daily Inspiration recently. You can read my thoughts on the book and see an interview with the authors below.

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N. N. Light’s Book of Daily Inspiration

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Blurb: “Spread the Light and inspire others to do the same.” — N. N. Light

In 2013, we wrote a mission statement and started the Princess of the Light (POTL) blog. We wanted to test a theory. Could one person (or in our case, one couple) use uplifting words to create change?

The answer is a resounding yes! People from all over the world responded to our short inspirational thoughts of the day, and our following grew. What started out as a few people promoting kindness and goodwill turned into a movement. In every city, there are Light-Bearers making a difference and we want you to join us.

Everyone needs inspiration. It doesn’t matter what spiritual belief you hold dear, you have the Light inside you. Kindness, compassion, empathy, encouragement are all attributes of the Light. In this book, you’ll find a ninety second inspirational thought for each day of the year. You’ll be inspiring people to spread the Light daily with our collection of inspirational thoughts. From giving of yourself to simply smiling, these are easy concepts for anyone to apply!

My Thoughts:

I already follow the authors’ blog Princess of the Light and enjoy the inspirational messages they have to share, so picking up this book to read was a no-brainer. I actually read this book along with another book I’m still reading titled, Think Forward to Thrive and it was a perfect combination. Both books are enlightening and have helped me realize that I have more work to do in my life. It’s far too easy to let the negative thoughts creep in and what I learned is that you are the one who’s in control of how things effect you. You don’t have to waste time with negative thoughts unless you choose to. You don’t have to accept what others say to you as truth. Choose to be happy and seek the truth. You can do anything you put your mind to! Also, why wait for Thanksgiving to have gratitude? Have it every single day! These are the positive messages I want to concentrate on in 2018.

This book essentially reminds me of an inspirational calendar I once had, but it’s so much more. Each daily quote is written along with an experience or story from the authors’ life journeys and I was astonished with how many of the stories applied to myself as if this was my own personal guide. Some of my favorite parts in the book referenced the author’s grandfather which prompted me to think of my own grandfather and the lessons he taught me in life. The inspirational quotes can be a tool to help all people live their best lives in 2018 and beyond. I plan to reread this throughout the year for daily inspiration myself.

Something I plan to do every morning when I wake up this year is to think of something I’m grateful for, whether it be the healthy food I have to eat or the hot shower I take for granite. There are so many things to be thankful for in life and I want to remind myself and my family of these everyday.

Overall, I loved it and I’d recommend it to anyone. Of course, we can all use a little inspiration!

5*****


Find this book on Goodreads and Amazon:

  • Paperback: 546 pages
  • Publisher: Independently published (October 31, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1973171589
  • ISBN-13: 978-1973171584

Author Interview with N.N. Light

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Q: Can you tell readers something interesting about yourself?

A: We’re a husband-wife writing team and we’re huge sports fans. We’ve been big NFL fans since 1985 and we cheer for rival teams. Mr. N roots for the Chicago Bears and Mrs. N is a huge Minnesota Vikings fan. Our teams face each other twice a year and we can get quite competitive. We’ve been known to place a few fun side bets on the game. No money exchanges hands but there’s stakes on the line. *wink*

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Q: Did you enjoy reading as a child? What are some of your childhood favorites?

A: Yes, we were voracious readers as children. While Mr. N was all about adventure, horror and war battles, Mrs. N devoured any fantasy book she could get her hands on. Growing up in the 1970’s and 1980’s, we read a lot in school and lived at the library. Books were an escape and still are.

Here are some of Mrs. N’s favorites:

George’s Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster and Jules Feiffer

Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard Atwater and Florence Atwater

 

Q: Do you enjoy reading now? Who are some of your favorite authors?

A: Yes, books are a huge part of our lives and the focus of our business. We’re literary matchmaker; we couple up readers with outstanding books. We read a variety of genres and have a hard time picking our favorite authors.

 

Q: What have you written so far?

A: N.N. Light’s Book of Daily Inspiration is our fifth published work. We’ve written contemporary romance, young adult paranormal, paranormal romance and love poetry. We don’t write in just one genre but write stories that are meant to inspire and uplift.

 

Q: Do you have a day job in addition to being a writer?

A: Mr. N is a retired chef and is a numismatist for one of the largest coin dealers in Canada. His primary duties include appraising and grading historical coins from around the world.

Mrs. N, after being in the book business for more than twenty years, switched careers and is a social media marketer by trade.

Together, we own and operate a very successful family-run PR firm specializing in books and authors.

 

Q: What do you love most about writing?download.jpg

A: We love the freedom in expressing our thoughts and our characters’ personal stories in book form for anyone to read.

 

Q: How do you publish and market your books?

A: We self-publish and are proud to do so. It allows us to have complete artistic control, which is stressful sometimes, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. We hire professionals for editing, formatting and book cover design but we get the final say on what the end product becomes.

As for marketing, we do the same things we do for our clients. We create buzz and get our name out there. We have a solid reach and our followers love what we write.

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Q: Do you have any advice for others on publishing and marketing?

A: It’s tough being an author and publishing books. It takes a lot of hard work and patience. Yes, patience. Success doesn’t happen overnight, contrary to popular belief. It’s a marathon not a sprint.

Publishing Tip – Make sure the book you publish is as perfect as you can make it. It’s your one chance to grab a reader and if it’s riddled with mistakes and/or has a cheap-looking cover, they’ll never come back. Stake your reputation on everything you publish, and you’ll be fine.

Marketing Tip – Be consistent. Whether it’s on social media or your blog, keep at it. Studies show that a customer needs to see an advertisement eight times before it registers in their brain they need to have it. Why do you think there’s so many fast food commercials on television? They’ve embraced this idea and you should too. Remember, be creative in your advertisements and you’ll get noticed.

 

Q: How much research did you do for this book and how long did it take you to write it?

A: This book was four years in the making. Back in 2013, Mrs. N started writing inspirational thoughts. We never imagined how it would take off and last year, we decided to publish a year’s worth of motivation. So, we combed through all the thoughts and chose only the best ones for this book. The compiling itself took six months, the editing another three months and here it is.

 

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Q: If you could give your readers one piece of inspirational advice about life, what would it be?

A: Spread the Light. Each of us, no matter what we believe, have the Light inside us. We’re all bearers of the Light and have the potential to make a difference. Through kindness, love, understanding and exuding positivity, we can inspire others to do the same.

 

Q: How do you feel about e-books?

A: I used to hate them. I love the feel and even the smell of books, but I need e-books to run our business, so I’ve accepted them.

 

Q: Do you have a favorite quote?

…Writing is something that you can never do as well as it can be done. It is a perpetual challenge and it is more difficult than anything else that I have ever done—so I do it. And it makes me happy when I do it well.”
― Ernest Hemingway, Ernest Hemingway on Writing

Continue reading “N. N. Light’s Book of Daily Inspiration – Book Review and Author Interview + Giveaway!”

Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book – White Fur – Thyroid Healing – Mango Smoothie

Hello again, friends. 🙂 I have a new smoothie to share for breakfast today and a few new books that I’m reading this week as well.

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I picked up a new book regarding healing thyroid conditions which I almost didn’t do because I’ve read so many of these types of books. I honestly thought it would just be repetitious. I was very wrong! I read this author’s other book Life Changing Foods and really enjoyed it, so I gave this one a go.

One of the recipes in the book is titled “Thyroid Healing Smoothie.” Of course, this is a basic mango smoothie that’s healthy for everyone, so here it is!

Ingredients: (1 serving)

  • 2 cups frozen mango
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup water

Suggested additions which are optional: spinach, arugula, kelp powder, ginger, orange, cilantro, aloe vera gel, raspberries.

Directions:

Combine chosen ingredients into the blender and blend until smooth.

Here’s what I did…

I ended up making this a few times on different occasions. The first time I added in some cilantro and ginger. It was fairly spicy and thick because I used all frozen mango and banana.

This morning I did it without the two added ingredients and just stuck with mango, banana, and water with a handful of almonds for some creaminess.

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It was pretty good and filling! I figure it runs right around 400 calories so it’s a nice breakfast smoothie with tons of vitamins and minerals. You can easily add in more calories by adding any suggestions above or some of your own.


This Week’s Books:

Yesterday, I introduced a few challenges that I’m working on and I added my first two books. Another book I’m currently reading is the Thyroid Healing book you see above. I have a lot to say about this book and will be reviewing it very soon! I’m working on the protocol he recommends and I want to see if it helps with some of my symptoms. I’ll be doing an analysis of the book and I’ll also share my review and my story later in the week. This is an eye-opener! 

Medical Medium Thyroid Healing: The Truth behind Hashimoto’s, Graves’, Insomnia, Hypothyroidism, Thyroid Nodules Epstein-Barr

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Blurb: If you’re an avid reader of health books and articles and you think you’re aware of the latest thyroid health information, you’re going to be more than surprised—maybe even shocked—at how much more there is to know. Thyroid Healing is like nothing you have read or heard, and it will bring you true comprehension of the undiscovered inner mechanics of our thyroids for the first time ever.

Experience the epic truth about your thyroid from the #1 New York Times best-selling author of the Medical Medium series!

The thyroid is the new hot topic in health. Across age groups, from baby boomers and their parents to millennials and even children, more and more people—women especially—are hearing that their thyroids are to blame for their fatigue, weight gain, brain fog, memory issues, aches and pains, tingles and numbness, insomnia, hair loss, hot flashes, sensitivity to cold, constipation, bloating, anxiety, depression, heart palpitations, loss of libido, restless legs, and more. Everyone wants to know how to free themselves from the thyroid trap.

As the thyroid has gotten more and more attention, though, these symptoms haven’t gone away—people aren’t healing. Labeling someone with “Hashimoto’s,” “hypothyroidism,” or the like doesn’t explain the myriad health issues that person may experience. That’s because there’s a pivotal truth that goes by unnoticed: A thyroid problem is not the ultimate reason for a person’s illness. A problematic thyroid is yet one more symptom of something much larger than this one small gland in the neck. It’s something much more pervasive in the body, something invasive, that’s responsible for the laundry list of symptoms and conditions attributed to thyroid disease.

In Medical Medium Thyroid Healing, Anthony William, the Medical Medium, reveals an entirely new take on the epidemic of thyroid illness. Empowering readers to become their own thyroid experts, he explains in detail what the source problem really is, including what’s going on with inflammation, autoimmune disease, and dozens more symptoms and conditions, then offers a life-changing toolkit and many new recipes to rescue the thyroid and bring readers back to health and vitality. It’s an approach unlike any other, and as his millions of fans and followers will tell you, it’s the approach that gets results.

MORE on BOOK 3 of the MEDICAL MEDIUM SERIES:

If you’ve struggled with any chronic health issue, you’re not alone—you are one among millions confronting the mysterious symptoms that medical communities have begun to connect with thyroid illness. Like so many, you want the greater truth about the thyroid.

We’ve already waited 100-plus years for real insights from medical communities into thyroid problems, and they haven’t come. Even the most recent expert opinions don’t yet have a handle on what’s really behind your suffering. Hashimoto’s is not the body attacking itself. There’s more to thyroid cancer than we’re being told. You’re not hopeless if you don’t have a thyroid anymore. Thyroid illness should not be blamed on your genes. Today’s thyroid diagnoses do not explain your years of suffering with mystery symptoms.

You shouldn’t have to wait another 10, 20, 30, or more years for scientific research to find the real answers. If you’re stuck in bed, dragging through your days, or feeling lost about your health, you shouldn’t have to go through one more day of it, let alone another decade. You shouldn’t have to watch your children go through it, either.

The meaning behind today’s widespread thyroid illness is so much bigger than anyone has yet discovered—what you’re about to read is unlike any information you’ve ever seen. It’s time for you to take control and become a true thyroid expert. Discover the real reasons and the healing path for dozens of symptoms and conditions, including:

ACHES AND PAINS
ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION
AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE
BRAIN FOG AND FOCUS
CANCER
EPSTEIN-BARR VIRUS
PREGNANCY COMPLICATIONS
FATIGUE
MONONUCLEOSIS
FIBROMYALGIA AND CFS
HAIR THINNING AND LOSS
HASHIMOTO’S THYROIDITIS
HEADACHES AND MIGRAINES
HEART PALPITATIONS
VERTIGO
HYPERTHYROIDISM
HYPOTHYROIDISM
MENOPAUSAL SYMPTOMS
MYSTERY WEIGHT GAIN
SLEEP DISORDERS
TINGLES AND NUMBNESS
“Since reading Medical Medium Thyroid Healing, I have expanded my approach and treatments of thyroid disease and am seeing enormous value for patients. The results are rewarding and gratifying.”

— from the foreword by Prudence Hall, M.D., founder and medical director of The Hall Center – Goodreads

Find it on Goodreads and Amazon:

Continue reading “Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book – White Fur – Thyroid Healing – Mango Smoothie”

Reading Challenges 2018 – Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge #NGEW2018 and Ultimate Reading Challenge #UltimateReadingChallenge

Hello, friends! I hope everyone is having a great week so far. I decided to add on a few reading challenges this year. Well, actually one, until a good friend tagged me for another, so now it’s two! Here they are below:

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Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge

I found this one over at Claire’s blog. I need this challenge so bad! I’m behind on Netgalley and Edelweiss, so I’m giving this one a go. If you’d like to sign up for this, click here.

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Challenge Guidelines:

  • The challenge will run from Jan 1, 2018 – Dec 31, 2018.
  • Anyone is welcome to join. You do not need to be a blogger, just post your reviews and come back every month to link them up.
  • Any genre, release date, request date, length, etc. counts so long as it came from Edelweiss or Netgalley.
  • At the beginning of each month there will be a roundup post for you to add your reviews.
  • If you forget to link up one month it’s not a problem just add your reviews next month.
  • If you would like to move up or down levels that is completely fine and at your discretion.
  • If you have any questions tweet me @BookishThings or e-mail bookishthingsandmore@yahoo.com!
  • Hashtag: #NGEW2018

Levels

Bronze – 10 Books

Silver – 25 Books

Gold – 50 Books

Platinum – 75 Books

Diamond – 100 Books

*I’ve decided to go with Silver. I have a little less than 25 books to read right now and in case I add a few more on, this one should get me caught up! I’ll update this page with a link for each review.

Like Claire, I’ll list the books here and also include a link for each review. *

2018 NetGalley/Edelweiss Challenge Reading List:

1. White Fur by Jardine Libaire - Review
2. Animals at Night by Anne Jankeliowitch and Delphine Chedru - Review  
3. One For Sorrow by Mary Downing Hahn - Review
4. The Superbowl: Chasing Football Mortality by Matt Doeden - Review
5. Tots! A Cookbook by Dan Whalen - Review
6. A Bear's Life by Ian Mcallister and Nicholas Read - Review
7. Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage - Review
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.
16.
17.
18.
19.
20
21.
22.
23.
24.
25.

Ultimate Reading Challenge

I had no idea about this challenge, but then my great friend Nel tagged me for it on Twitter and I’m really excited, although I have no idea what I’m doing. 😉 Wish me luck!

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READING FRENZY BOOK BLOG AND COLLECTORS OF BOOK BOYFRIENDS AND GIRLFRIENDS HAVE COMBINED THEIR AWESOMENESS TO BRING YOU TO 2018’S ULTIMATE READING CHALLENGE. THEY CHALLENGE YOU TO READ A BOOK EACH MONTH BASED ON THE THEME OF THE MONTH.

Continue reading “Reading Challenges 2018 – Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge #NGEW2018 and Ultimate Reading Challenge #UltimateReadingChallenge”

Music Monday: Soundgarden “Slaves and Bulldozers”

Music Monday-

This meme was created by Drew @ The Tattooed Book Geek. You pick a song that you really like and share it on Monday. I love this meme and look forward to sharing a new song every week! Hope you enjoy. 🖤

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I had every intention to lay off my thoughts about Chris Cornell in 2018. Not to forget him, but to let go of the fact that he’s gone and not dwell on it anymore. I’m not sure that dwell is a good word to use, I mean, it’s not disrupting my life, but the thoughts still remain.

On New Year’s Eve I had this very vivid dream of him and the other Soungarden members coming to a concert event I had planned. I was chatting with him and asked if he’d like to be part of the show. He agreed, showed up, performed, and there I was right in the front, singing and stomping around to “Slaves and Bulldozers.” The weirdest part of the dream was that there weren’t many people there and tons of seats were empty. After the show we chatted and I had this very confused feeling like the show wasn’t right–like they weren’t happy about something. I had this horrible, sad feeling and then I woke up in tears. I hate those dreams when you wake up and it feels so real until reality kicks in and you realize it wasn’t. I’m pretty sure what sparked the dream was watching clips from the May 2017 performance in Detroit from the night he passed. It was horrendous and seemed very obvious that Chris wasn’t himself, in my opinion. The fact that he complained to his wife about how he blew out his voice that night left me thinking he was down on himself. I’ve thought about that a lot, that maybe he felt burned out, or felt that he wasn’t performing well enough. Hence, the empty seats in my dream maybe, but who really knows. The freakiest part about dreaming them performing this song is that “Slaves and Bulldozers” was indeed the last song they played that night in Detroit and I didn’t even realize it until afterwards.

Anyhow, I can’t hide the sadness I have inside, but I know I have to accept that he’s gone. It’ll be a year in May and I’m still in mourning, but that’s ok. Some people say, “who cares?” Well, plenty of people care and I’m one of them. I’m not going to try and suppress the feelings anymore because someone tells me I need to. These feelings are part of me and expressing them surprisingly makes me feel better.

So, here it is. “Slaves and Bulldozers” from my favorite Soundgarden album of all time, Badmotorfinger. 

 

LYRICS

Every word I said is what I mean
Every word I said is what I mean
Everything I gave is what I need
Virgin eyes and dirty looks
On what I have and why I took
Counting all the hands I shook

Now I know why you’ve been shaking
Now I know why you’ve been shaking
Now I know why you’ve been shaking
Now I know why you’ve been shaking

So bleed your heart out
There’s no more rides for free
Bleed your heart out
I said what’s in it for me, what’s in it for me

Everything I’ve held is what I’ve freed
Everything I’ve held is what I’ve freed
Everything I’ve shown is what I feel
Buying lies and stealing jokes
And laughing every time I choke
Biding all the time you took

Now I know why you’ve been taken
Now I know why you’ve been taken
Now I know why you’ve been taken
Now I know why you’ve been taken

So bleed your heart out
There’s no more rides for free, yeah
Bleed your heart out
I said what’s in it for me, what’s in it for me
What’s in it for, what’s in it for

Every word I said is what I mean
Everything I gave is what I need
Everything I’ve held is what I’ve freed
Everything I’ve shown is what I feel

Virgin eyes and dirty looks
On what I have and why I took
Counting all the hands I shook
Now I know why you’ve been shaking

Buying lies and stealing jokes
And laughing every time I choke
Biding all the time you took
Now I know why you’ve been taken Continue reading “Music Monday: Soundgarden “Slaves and Bulldozers””

Shabby Sunday: Animal Farm by George Orwell – 1946

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Shabby Sunday Meme

I have a lot of old vintage books and one of my plans when I first started blogging was to do a post every week or so that shared one of my cherished vintage books. Then I thought that maybe there might be other book bloggers out there that have some vintage books, heirlooms, or maybe some old books from childhood that they might want to share. I decided to start a weekly meme titled ‘Shabby Sunday’ for those who would like to participate and share some of their old vintage books. Do you have some shabby books you’d like to share? Please feel free to participate. Feel free to use the picture I’ve provided if you’d like to. If you decide to do this meme, please consider linking back to me so that I can see the book you’re sharing.


Today’s shabby share is:

Animal Farm (A Signet Classic)

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Blurb: George Orwell’s timeless fable—a parable for would-be liberators everywhere, glimpsed through the lens of our own history.

As ferociously fresh as it was more than a half century ago, this remarkable allegory of a downtrodden society of overworked, mistreated animals, and their quest to create a paradise of progress, justice, and equality is one of the most scathing satires ever published. As we witness the rise and bloody fall of the revolutionary animals, we begin to recognize the seeds of totalitarianism in the most idealistic organization; and in our most charismatic leaders, the souls of our cruelest oppressors. – Amazon

My Thoughts:

I read Animal Farm when I was in college and it was one of those reads where you think it’s going to be boring, but it turns out to be a favorite. It’s an allegorical tale representing the Russian Revolution where the characters in the book represent people during this time.

I won’t go into the plot too much, but in a nutshell, this story is about a group of farm animals who rise up against the evil farmer who cares for them. They basically take over the farm by cause of Old Major (Marx/Lenen), the pig all about change. He get’s all the animals together into an uprising against Mr. Jones, the farmer (Tsar Nicholas II). The animal characters then run the farm themselves and develop their own hierarchy being lead by Snowball (Trotsky) and Napoleon (Stalin). In a way, the story reminds me of an Aesop’s Fable because the animal characters in the book have human characteristics and there are morals and messages that are quite obvious. Young readers can read it and they won’t pick up on the meaning–they’ll just think it’s a story about a group of  rebellious farm animals against humans, but I believe the message that Orwell wanted to express is that power corrupts. Also that people need to think for themselves, educate yourself and make your own decisions. Don’t let others think for you.

Someone recently asked me who my favorite character was in the book which is a really difficult question to ask, in my opinion. I liked a handful of the characters including Boxer, Snowball, Benjamin, and Clover, but if I had to choose a favorite, it would have to be Snowball. Snowball’s ideas were in the best interests of the animals and he was always fair. He wanted to educate the other animals and make life easier for them. He was intelligent, brave, and stood up for his beliefs which is why he’s my favorite character in the book.

I’m not sure exactly how old my edition is of Animal Farm because no publication date is given, however, Goodreads seems to have this Signet Classic published in 1956. This thin paperback is in great shape for it’s age with clean, crisp pages.

My rating on this one is 5*****

Here’s the song “Beasts of England” passed on to the animals by Old Major: 


Beasts of England

Beasts of England, Beasts of Ireland,
Beasts of every land and clime,
Hearken to my joyful tidings
Of the Golden future time.
 
Soon or late the day is coming,
Tyrant Man shall be o’erthrown,
And the fruitful fields of England
Shall be trod by beasts alone.
 
Rings shall vanish from our noses,
And the harness from our back,
Bit and spur shall rust forever,
Cruel whips no more shall crack.
 
Riches more than mind can picture,
Wheat and barley, oats and hay,
Clover, beans, and mangel-wurzels
Shall be ours upon that day.
 
Bright will shine the fields of England,
Purer shall its waters be,
Sweeter yet shall blow its breezes
On the day that sets us free.
 
For that day we all must labour,
Though we die before it break;
Cows and horses, geese and turkeys,
All must toil for freedom’s sake.
 
Beasts of England, Beasts of Ireland,
Beasts of every land and clime,
Hearken well, and spread my tidings
Of the Golden future time.
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Continue reading “Shabby Sunday: Animal Farm by George Orwell – 1946”

Saturday’s Kitchen: January 6th – Sally’s Cookie Addiction by Sally McKenney – Book Review and Recipe Results!

Hello friends! I’m here today with another Saturday’s Kitchen where I share with you some recipes from our Saturday cooking adventures. Today I’m going to  talk about one of my new favorite cookie books. We’ve made some scrumptious cookies from this book and I think you’ll be pleased with our results. You can read my review of the book and see our recipe results below.

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Sally’s Cookie Addiction: Irresistible Cookies, Cookie Bars, Shortbread, and More from the Creator of Sally’s Baking Addiction

by Sally McKenney 

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Blurb: Bake exquisite cookies, bars, and doughs perfectly every time with Sally’s Cookie Addiction. A world of baking wonder awaits you and all the lucky people you’ll share them with.

Are you ready to sink your teeth into Brown Butter Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies? How about Peanut Butter Nutella Swirl Cookies or Pumpkin Spice Sugar Cookies? Featuring a mouthwatering selection of cookiescookie barscookie dough dipsslice-and-bakesno-bakes, and more, Sally’s Cookie Addiction features dozens of exciting flavors, including chocolate, butterscotch, peanut butter, sugar, coconut, lemon, s’more, and oatmeal, oh my!

The best part? Sally’s Cookie Addiction, Sally will tell you how to make each and every cookie in the book ahead of time. So, if you want to start preparing for the holidays, or if you just like keeping cookie dough in your freezer for those critical cookie emergencies!

Complete with tips on how to bake the perfect cookie and gorgeous photographySally’s Cookie Addiction is the only cookie book you need on your shelf. Get ready for your kitchen to be the most popular room in the house while the smells of Warm Chocolate Chunk Skillet CookiesLemon Crème Sandwich Cookies, and Soft-Baked Sugar Cookie Bars emanate from the oven!

My Thoughts:

I was browsing through some cookbooks at my local library a few weeks ago and came across this cookbook in the new section. The cover spoke to me and I had to grab it. My family loves cookies and I’m always interested in trying some new recipes and was I ever surprised!

This cookbook has over 80 different cookie recipes. The author covers the basics, frostings, equipment, and includes helpful tips. There are tons of beautiful photographs too. What surprised me? There are some gluten free recipes in here too which is exactly what I needed! There’s even a dog biscuit recipe for your pups. This is pretty much a ‘something for everyone’ cookie book.

We ended up making a handful of cookie recipes from the book. Here are a few below with our reviews of each recipe.

Jude and Franklin’s Favorite Dog Biscuits:

What dog wouldn’t love some homemade peanut butter and pumpkin treats? These were so easy to make and my kids loved helping make them. All it takes is six ingredients! Dogs love pumpkin and peanut butter and they make the whole house smell wonderful when cooking.

We only had cat shaped cookie cutters which worked out perfect. Our dogs love cats!

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They loved these and could barely wait.

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You can see Bowie licking her lips in this picture.

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Speaking for my dogs, I’d say this recipe gets:

5*****


Giant Funfetti Cookie Pizza:

I’ve never had luck with cookie pizzas. Most times they just don’t come out soft enough. This recipe is a new keeper.

This giant funfetti cookie pizza is in the sprinkle chapter, no surprise. It calls for 2/3 cup sprinkles!

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I cooked this on a pizza stone because I don’t use pizza pans much and usually end up using cast iron. I wasn’t sure about that, so we went with a stone. It turned out perfect!

We ended up using 1/3 cup of sprinkles in the recipe and then added on some more for decoration.

I used a 1M wilton tip as suggestion in the recipe for the icing. I had to sneak a bite of this! It was delicious and there wasn’t anything left of it!

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This recipe also gets:

5*****


Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies:

Cookies with only five ingredients always catch my attention. These are made with mainly peanut butter! I even used Skippy crunchy natural peanut butter which isn’t recommended, and they still came out perfect.

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These were delicious and I didn’t feel guilty eating a few because they’re gluten free. This recipe gets:

5*****


Continue reading “Saturday’s Kitchen: January 6th – Sally’s Cookie Addiction by Sally McKenney – Book Review and Recipe Results!”

Flower Friday: Nigra Hollyhock – January 5th

I learned about Flower Friday last year from Lorilin@Bugbugbooks and have been having a blast sharing some flower pics. Please check out Lorilin’s blog if you haven’t already for book reviews and more!

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A few years ago I obtained some Nigra Hollyhock seed online. I’d always wanted these majestic flowers in my garden, but never knew much about them. I was astonished with how easy they are to grow! I must have planted a dozen different colors, but my absolute favorite are Nigra. Here’s a picture of one below that I planted in front of my vegetable garden.

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The sun is shining so brightly that it makes the flower look like a darker plum, but they are black. Seeing this picture gets me excited for spring! The nice thing about hollyhocks is that you get a ton of seeds from one plant! Check out this stash hanging out in my fridge just raring to grow this spring.

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The only downside to these is that they’re biennials. In their first year, they put down roots and leaves. In their second year, they bloom, then they die. I usually start the seed in late February and get blooms the first year for a growing zone of 4-5, but you have to start early if you want blooms the first year. Some will come back and bloom in the second year, but it’s hit and miss. These are so simple to grow though, and you can have blooms every year if you save the seed. ❤

Continue reading “Flower Friday: Nigra Hollyhock – January 5th”

Throwback Thursday: The V Girl by Mya Robarts

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme created by Renee @ It’s Book Talk. This meme is an awesome way to share old favorites that were published over a year ago or even books that you’re finally reading after much time has passed. I have plenty of those to share! If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, and you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic as well. Please link back to her@It’s Book Talk.

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This Week’s Pick:

The V Girl

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ROMANCE SET IN A DYSTOPIAN FUTURE

In post-apocalyptic North America, sexual slavery is legal. Lila Velez desperately wants to lose her virginity before the troops visit her town and take it away by force. She makes plans to seduce her only friend. Lila does not love him, but he is the only man who has shown her true affection, an affection she is willing to take as a substitute for love.
Lila’s coping mechanism to deal with her mother’s loss is her secret. A secret that will bring her closer to Aleksey Fürst, a foreign, broody man who she distrusts because of his links to the troops and his rough, yet irresistible appearance. He offers Lila an alternative to her plans, a possibility that terrifies her…and tempts her in spite of herself.
With threats looming at every turn and no way to escape, Lila fears that falling in love will only lead to more heartache. The consequences of laying down her arms for Aleksey and welcoming hope might destroy more than her heart. They might force her to face the worst of her nightmares becoming a reality. Is love possible in a world that has forgotten what the human touch is?

NOTES FROM THE AUTHOR
* This is a book full of romance and anti-rape messages. I didn’t write this book to romanticize violence against women but to tell the story of a girl who has to come of age under the most terrible circumstances.

* This full-length novel is a stand alone. No cliffhanger

* Alpha male hero. No cheating. No slut-shaming.

* Includes a discussion guide for bookclubs

* Possible triggers for abuse survivors.


My Thoughts: 

The V Girl by Mya Robarts is disturbing, yet extraordinary. I really enjoyed the story, loved the characters, and stayed interested throughout the book. I did find it extremely hard to read at times due to the mutilation and rape. The fear is felt for many of the characters throughout the story, but mainly for Lila.

I was really happy with the last 20% of the book including the ending. I LOVE the discussion questions at the end which educate you on the statistics of rape, and mass rape during war. Also the epilogue was a wonderful addition with descriptions of the present and possible future.

4 ****


Find this book on Goodreads and Amazon:

  • Paperback: 338 pages
  • Publisher: V Books; 2nd edition (November 28, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0997203102
  • ISBN-13: 978-0997203103

Continue reading “Throwback Thursday: The V Girl by Mya Robarts”

Puppy: 12 Months of Rhymes and Smiles by Patricia Furstenberg – Children’s Book Review and Author Interview

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Puppy: 12 Months of Rhymes and Smiles

by Patricia Furstenberg

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Blurb:

From the author of “Joyful Trouble”, No.1 Bestseller Children’s Historical Fiction, No.1 Most Gifted Young Adult and Top reviewed Kindle Storyteller book.

A puppy’s first year is filled with findings, wiggles and laughter.
Puppies squirm in all the odd places, sniff all the strange objects, lick everything they can and find something to splash into even when we don’t want them to!
This book of poems explores the first year of a puppy’s life, going through an adventure after the other, one month at a time.
Puppy’s first days, puppy’s first weeks in a new home, puppy’s encounters with snow and the school bag, puppy’s duty to protect… What happens when puppy is full of good intentions, yet his actions go wrong?
Read the rhymes and laugh with your little one.

“Puppy, 12 Months of Rhymes and Smiles: is an auditory feast for children, a fun read-aloud for parents, and treat for dog-lovers, young and old.

From the author of “Joyful Trouble”, No.1 Bestseller Children’s Historical Fiction, No.1 Most Gifted Young Adult and Top reviewed Kindle Storyteller book. – Goodreads

My Thoughts:

This cute little children’s book follows a puppy through its first 12 months of life, through all the seasons, through Christmas and the New Year, and back to spring again. The story is told from the puppy’s point of view and includes colorful illustrations throughout.

We enjoyed reading this sweet book that highlights the importance of family and will influence children to cherish and care for their pets. It’s educational, and the format is easy enough for young readers, yet perfect for reading out loud with your kids as well. Children will love following along in the story through each month and learning of puppy’s adventures with his ‘human pup’ friend. With the story coming from the puppy’s POV, my children began to ask themselves if our new little puppy might be thinking some of these same thoughts in the morning when the house is still quiet, or when it’s time to protect the house when strangers arrive, and even when they leave for the day. What goes on inside their little heads?

We enjoyed this book so much and we’re looking forward to reading more children’s books by Patricia Furstenberg.

5****

You can find this book on Goodreads and also at the sites below:

Continue reading “Puppy: 12 Months of Rhymes and Smiles by Patricia Furstenberg – Children’s Book Review and Author Interview”

Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book – N. N. Light’s Book of Daily Inspiration – Gluten Free Biscuits – Sherwood Forest Tea

Hello everyone! I hope everyone is having a great week. I’m back today for Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book with a new recipe, tea, book, and update!

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It was -17 degrees yesterday morning and with all the snow and cold weather, I was really craving biscuits. I don’t know what it is about a hot drink and biscuit in the morning, but it’s what I was craving and because I’m gluten free, I had to figure something out. I’ve been trying to go completely 100% gluten free for some time now, but sometimes I slip up and have wheat. The truth is, I love wheat, but my body doesn’t and it makes me so sick. So, here’s a gluten free biscuit recipe that I found online. It’s pretty good. This is the second time I’ve made it and this time they came out much better. I did learn a few things this time around that I need to improve on. Gluten free baking isn’t always easy, but I’m learning.

GLUTEN FREE BISCUIT RECIPE  from Spinachtiger.com   by Angela Roberts

Author: Angela Roberts
Recipe type: Biscuit
Cuisine: American
Prep time:  
Cook time:  
Total time:  
Serves: 8
INGREDIENTS
  • 6 tbsp Butter, unsalted
  • 2¼ cups (342 grams) plus more for dusting I recommend Bob’s Red Mill 1-1 Flour order here
  • 1 tablespoon gluten-free baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons of golden flax meal (see notes)
  • 2 tablespoon sugar (optional)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk (see notes for substitutes)
  • 3 tablespoon whole milk ricotta cheese (see notes)

Instructions:

  1. Cut butter into small pieces. Freeze for 15 minutes.
  2. Whisk together the dry ingredients, flour, salt, baking powder, golden flax meal, sugar.
  3. Add in butter with your hands or pastry cutter. (The Video shows how to do this).
  4. Mix Ricotta Cheese with Buttermilk. Add egg to the milk mixture. Stir.
  5. Add in to mixture. Use a wooden spoon.
  6. Mixture should be wet. Put some more flour on bottom and top of sticky dough.
  7. Form into a disc. Cut Biscuits.
  8. Put on a baking dish separated.
  9. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.
  10. Let them cool at least 5 minutes or longer. Until they cool, the biscuits are gummy. They get better as they cool, very different from biscuits with gluten.
NOTES
If you don’t have golden flax meal, you can leave it out.
However, if you are skipping the ricotta cheese, adding the two tablespoons of golden flax meal will make a difference.Milk Substitutes: You can use water with a teaspoon of vinegar. Some have also been successful using coconut milk. (Still use vinegar). Vinegar is a tenderizer.

 

Here’s what I did:

I mixed together all the dry ingredients. I used Namaste Foods Gluten Free Flour that I picked up at Costco.

I didn’t have ricotta cheese, so I used cottage cheese that I pulverized in my Vitamix. I also didn’t have fresh buttermilk on hand, so I added a little vinegar to the milk and let it sit for about 5 minutes or so. I chopped up the butter into dice sized pieces and froze it for about 10 minutes.

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I mixed the butter into my flour mixture and used my hands to break up the pieces into crumbs. I ended up using a really large fork to help out.

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I whisked in the egg and cheese into the milk and added it all to my flour mixture, turning with a wooden spoon until just mixed.

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The dough was very sticky and I couldn’t get a picture with my hands so messy, but basically, I patted it out on the counter with a little flour underneath and on top.

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I put them in a nicely greased cast iron pan, sides touching. I had four extra biscuits and put them into a separate cast iron pan, sides not touching, just to sort of experiment a bit.

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I baked these in a  475 degree oven on convect, which means the oven was lowered to a temp of 450 degrees. I could tell that the separated biscuits looked a little more brown with nice edges at around 17 minutes.

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The other pan turned out okay, but the edges were more soft. These biscuits also didn’t cook as quick and I ended up cooking them another five minutes or so. We completely cooled them before eating as Angela suggests with her recipe.

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The family consensus was that you really need jam, peanut butter, or butter to make these taste great. They were sort of bland without something on them. The consistency is definitely not like a wheat biscuit, but it was pretty good! I think Angela did an awesome job creating this recipe. I had my biscuit with homemade plum jam.

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Next time, I’ll make it with the ricotta cheese and I’ll cook them on a cookie sheet with sides not touching. I think this will make a huge difference. The consistency of this biscuit sort of reminded me of a English muffin, which I love!

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Tea:

For my tea this morning, I used this little packet of herbal tea that I received in my Owlcrate a few months ago. It’s an Owlcrate exclusive from Riddles Tea Shoppe and Curiosities titled Sherwood Forest, which is decaf Ceylon tea with sweet blueberry.

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Here are the ingredients below. This is a new favorite! The blueberry aroma when steeping this tea was so enticing. You could smell it throughout the kitchen.

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Continue reading “Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book – N. N. Light’s Book of Daily Inspiration – Gluten Free Biscuits – Sherwood Forest Tea”

2017 Scrapbook

I was recently tagged by Hadeer@Hadeerwrites for this 2017 Scrapbook Tag. I’d like to thank her for tagging me! Please check out her blog if you haven’t yet for book reviews, tags, awards, TV show posts, theatre, and more!

This tag was very hard for me–even though it’s just a matter of grabbing your favorites in 2017. It requires narrowing down to a few favorites versus hundreds and it’s always difficult for me to pick just a few. A few of these are not ‘current’ in 2017, but here are some that I enjoyed in 2017.

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TV Series:

 

Movies:

 

Albums:

 

Books:

Continue reading “2017 Scrapbook”

Music Monday: Foster The People “Pumped Up Kicks”

-Music Monday-

This meme was created by Drew @ The Tattooed Book Geek. You pick a song that you really like and share it on Monday. I love this meme and look forward to sharing a new song every week! Hope you enjoy. 🖤

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This Week’s Pick:

Foster The People

“Pumped Up Kicks”

It’s hard to believe this song will be 8 years old this year. I fell in love with it the first time I heard it and this incredibly catchy tune is still a fave in 2018! A lot of people originally thought that the song’s dark lyrics encouraged violence, but it’s not true. The song was written to bring awareness to the subject.

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“I like to write about real-life topics, and I like to write about different walks of life. For me, that song was really an observation about something that’s happening in the youth culture these days. I guess I wanted to reveal that internal dialogue of a kid who doesn’t have anywhere to turn, and I think the song has kind of done its job. I think people are talking about it, and it’s become a point of conversation, which I think is a really healthy thing.”

Mark Foster

 

Lyrics-

Robert’s got a quick hand
He’ll look around the room, he won’t tell you his plan
He’s got a rolled cigarette, hanging out his mouth he’s a cowboy kid
Yeah found a six shooter gun
In his dad’s closet hidden oh in a box of fun things, I don’t even know what
But he’s coming for you, yeah he’s coming for you All the other kids with the pumped up kicks

You’d better run, better run, out run my gun
All the other kids with the pumped up kicks
You’d better run, better run, faster than my bullet
All the other kids with the pumped up kicks
You’d better run, better run, out run my gun
All the other kids with the pumped up kicks
You’d better run, better run, faster than my bullet

Daddy works a long day
He be coming home late, he’s coming home late
And he’s bringing me a surprise
‘Cause dinner’s in the kitchen and it’s packed in ice
I’ve waited for a long time
Yeah the slight of my hand is now a quick pull trigger
I reason with my cigarette
And say your hair’s on fire, you must have lost your wits, yeah

All the other kids with the pumped up kicks
You’d better run, better run, out run my gun
All the other kids with the pumped up kicks
You’d better run, better run, faster than my bullet
All the other kids with the pumped up kicks
You’d better run, better run, out run my gun
All the other kids with the pumped up kicks
You’d better run, better run, faster than my bullet

All the other kids with the pumped up kicks
You’d better run, better run, out run my gun
All the other kids with the pumped up kicks
You’d better run, better run, faster than my bullet
All the other kids with the pumped up kicks
You’d better run, better run, out run my gun
All the other kids with the pumped up kicks
You’d better run, better run, faster than my bullet

All the other kids with the pumped up kicks
You’d better run, better run, out run my gun
All the other kids with the pumped up kicks
You’d better run, better run, faster than my bullet


Continue reading “Music Monday: Foster The People “Pumped Up Kicks””

Shabby Sunday: Death Not Be Proud by John Gunther – 1965

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Shabby Sunday Meme

I have a lot of old vintage books and one of my plans when I first started blogging was to do a post every week or so that shared one of my cherished vintage books. Then I thought that maybe there might be other book bloggers out there that have some vintage books, heirlooms, or maybe some old books from childhood that they might want to share. I decided to start a weekly meme titled ‘Shabby Sunday’ for those who would like to participate and share some of their old vintage books. Do you have some shabby books you’d like to share? Please feel free to participate. Feel free to use the picture I’ve provided if you’d like to. If you decide to do this meme, please consider linking back to me so that I can see the book you’re sharing.


Today’s shabby share is:

Death Be Not Proud

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 Blurb: Death Be Not Proud chronicles Johnny Gunther’s gallant struggle against the malignant brain tumor that killed him at the age of seventeen. The book opens with his father’s fond, vivid portrait of his son – a young man of extraordinary intellectual promise, who excelled at physics, math, and chess, but was also an active, good-hearted, and fun-loving kid. But the heart of the book is a description of the agonized months during which Gunther and his former wife Frances try everything in their power to halt the spread of Johnny’s cancer and to make him as happy and comfortable as possible. In the last months of his life, Johnny strove hard to complete his high school studies. The scene of his graduation ceremony from Deerfield Academy is one of the most powerful – and heartbreaking – in the entire book. Johnny maintained his courage, wit and quiet friendliness up to the end of his life. He died on June 30, 1947, less than a month after graduating from Deerfield.

My Thoughts:

This isn’t a book I normally pick up, but I purchased it in a box of books from a church sale years ago, and after going through some of these books recently, it caught my attention. I love reading memoirs, but not so much when it’s a story about a child with cancer. I took a chance and continued reading because I’d already read the blurb and knew what to expect. If you plan to read this book, you may want to skip my review altogether. The edition I’m reviewing is from 1965.

In the beginning of the book, John Gunther writes about his son Johnny and describes him as a happy child who loves to spend time with his parents when he’s not in school. Not only is he a happy and active child, but he’s extremely intelligent and loves school. When he returns home in 1946 for a break, he begins to have some strange symptoms and eventually is diagnosed with a brain tumor. Of course, this was back in a day before there were better treatments for cancer like there are now, and some of the treatments that Johnny undertakes are unorthodox. In fact, this is the first book I’ve read that documents a patient’s story after attempting Dr. Gerson’s methods for battling cancer.

The book is written in two parts. In the first part, the reader learns about Johnny, his diagnosis and some of his treatments. This was definitely a difficult part for me to finish. It’s heart-wrenching, but Johnny was so strong. His parents are with him constantly and move mountains to find him the best treatments possible. They continually search for a cure.

The second part contains a short diary that Johnny wrote and also letters, many from before his diagnosis. I would’ve liked to read the letters from before his diagnosis first, before reading Part 1, but this isn’t the way the book is organized. The final pages in the book contain a note from Johnny’s mother, Frances. In the note, she discusses the many questions you ask with the impending death of a child and there’s a statement that we all hear too often. A statement that reminds us we are never guaranteed any exact measure of time.

“Yet at the end of them all, when one has put away all the books, and all the words, when one is alone with oneself, when one is alone with God, what is left in one’s heart? Just this: I wish we had loved Johnny more.”  

Overall, even with all the agonizing parts of the story, I’m glad I finished the book. In my opinion, it’s written very well. I’d recommend it to anyone who likes to read memoirs.

4****

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Continue reading “Shabby Sunday: Death Not Be Proud by John Gunther – 1965”

2017: Year in Review

It’s truly been one incredible year of reading! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed discussing reviews, learning about new authors and books, making new friends, and increasing my TBR up to 13,700! I thought it would be good to look back at some of the books I’ve read this year by doing this Year in Review for 2017!

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Starting this blog was a pretty good decision for me and I’ve made some wonderful friendships and met some incredible authors too. I enjoy sharing my reviews in the blogging world and on Goodreads.

This year I’ve completed:

Book Reviews: I counted roughly 390 reviews that I wrote in 2017. I don’t have all of them added here on the blog, but they can be found on Goodreads.

Shortest book= Toby – by Margaret Wild

Longest Book= A Little Life – by Hanya Yanagihara

I read 52,845 pages across 421 books

This year I’ve read 421 books after setting my Goodread’s challenge to 400. Honestly, a great number of those are children’s books which makes the number seem insanely high! There’s no way I could read that many full-length books in one year!


Memes and more:

Music Monday –  18 songs

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Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book – 25 posts

Tags: 20 Tags

Awards: 21 Awards

Meet The Reader Series – 8 Interviews

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Author Interviews – 30 author interviews

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Throwback Thursday – 19 Throwbacks

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Saturday’s Kitchen – 1

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Flower Friday – 8 Flower Fridays

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Shabby Sunday – 16 shabby book posts

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Lessons from Grandpa– 6 posts

 

I hope to post more Breakfast and a Book posts in 2018 as well as Saturday’s Kitchen and Lessons from Grandpa. I’ll be continuing with all of these in 2018.

As of today I’ve published 347 Blog posts.


 

I may have missed a couple, but here are the book’s that stand out for 2017.

Favorite Adult Reads:
Dark Matter
A Little Life
Sweet Bean Paste
Watching Glass Shatter
Until Tuesday: A Wounded Warrior and the Golden Retriever Who Saved Him

A World Without Color: A True Story Of the Last Three Days With My Cat
The Bear and the Nightingale
The White Raven
The Song of the Sirin
Tuesday’s Promise: One Veteran, One Dog, and Their Bold Quest to Change Lives
All the Ugly and Wonderful Things
The Last Bar In NYC
The Appointment: Lost and Found (Book 1): Volume 1
Wintersong
The Sword of Goliath
The True Story of Hansel and Gretel
Panther in the Sun

 

Eye-Openers:
Just Around The Bend: Más o Menos
The Dead Inside
S.O.P.H.I.E. / The World Might Not Live Through the Night
Trance: Formation of America
What a Waste: Where Does Garbage Go?
Thanks For The Memories … The Truth Has Set Me Free! The Memoirs of Bob Hope’s and Henry Kissinger’s Mind-Controlled Slave
Standing Strong: An Unlikely Sisterhood and the Court Case That Made History

 

 

 

Favorite Children’s Reads:
The Frightened Little Flower Bud
The Secret Life of the Red Fox
Swimming with Sharks: The Daring Discoveries of Eugenie Clark
Tarra & Bella: The Elephant and Dog Who Became Best Friends
The Unicorn in the Barn
Meatless?: A Fresh Look At What You Eat
Vampyre
Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla
Saving Audie: A Pit Bull Puppy Gets a Second Chance
Woolvs in the Sitee
The Bear Report
Escaping the Nazis on the Kindertransport
Pig the Pug
Moto and Me: My Year as a Wildcat’s Foster Mom
We’re All Wonders
The Raven and Other Poems
Tuesday Tucks Me In: The Loyal Bond between a Soldier and his Service Dog
Ida, Always

 

 

 

Favorite Biography:
Otis Redding: An Unfinished Life

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Western:
The Wild Country

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Military/Police Thriller:
The Policewoman

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Favorite YA:
A Monster Calls
Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book
It Starts With L
Hearts Are Like Balloons
The First Time She Drowned

 

 

 

Crime Fiction:
The Pull and Kick Murder: Competition can be deadly

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Favorite Cookbooks:
A Really Big Lunch: Meditations on Food and Life from the Roving Gourmand
My Mother’s Kitchen: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and the Meaning of Life
Heal Your Gut with Bone Broth: The Natural Way to get Minerals, Amino Acids, Gelatin and Other Vital Nutrients to Fix Your Digestion
EveryDayCook
Infuse: Herbal teas to cleanse, nourish and heal
Cultured Food in a Jar: 100+ Probiotic Recipes to Inspire and Change Your Life

 

 

 

Christmas Reads:
A Boy Called Christmas
Merry and Bright
Ronaldo: The Reindeer Flying Academy: Ronaldo the Flying Reindeer children’s book series
The Deal of a Lifetime

 

Self Help:
Note to Self
Healing Lyme Disease Naturally
Unfu*k Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and Into Your Life

 

 

 

Most Disliked:
The Happiest Mommy You Know: Why Putting Your Kids First is the Last Thing You Should Do

Continue reading “2017: Year in Review”

TAG: Currently Reading Book Tag

I was tagged a very long time ago for this super fun Currently Reading Book Tag by Noriko@Diaryofabookfiend. I have to apologize for my tardiness on this one! I’m just getting caught up on book tags. I’d like to thank Noriko for tagging me. Noriko is a wonderful friend with an amazing blog. She writes beautiful book reviews and I’m always interested in what she has to say! Please check out her blog if you haven’t already. I feel blessed to know her. ❤

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The original creator of this tag is Charly Reynhorse and you can see it here.

Questions:

How many books do you usually read at once?

I’m used to reading four books or more at a time. Right now, I’m reading eight, but two are cookbooks, two children’s, and one is my Orthodox Study Bible which will probably take me two years to read.  If I’m reading a book with tons of characters or maybe an in depth fantasy, I really prefer to finish that type of book alone to avoid confusion. Sometimes, a book is so good, that I simply can’t stop reading it. When that happens I don’t read anything else alongside it because I obviously can’t put it down! 😉

If you are reading more than one book at a time, how do you decide when to switch books?

I sort of have some attention deficit when it comes to reading. If a book isn’t captivating or interesting to me, I’ll switch to something else. Sometimes, I just put it back on the shelf and start something completely different. I’ve discovered this year that I’m more of a mood reader that I thought and that’s okay.

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Do you ever switch bookmarks while you are partway through a book?

Yes! Sometimes, I just grab whatever I have nearby. It might be a piece of mail, my phone, or another book. A lot of times, I just turn it upside down until I can get back to it.

Where do you keep the book(s) you are currently reading?

All over the house. Wherever I set it down is where it stays. The only thing I have to be careful with is not putting the books where Bowie (puppy) can get them. She’s in the chewing stage and her dad has eaten a few of my books before! Just check out my first “Lessons from Grandpa” post. Aggressive chewers!

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What time of day do you spend the most time reading?

It depends. During Christmas break (now) I’m reading a lot during the days because I have more time available. During the school year, I read more at night. In the summer, I also read more at night. My favorite time to read is right before bed because it helps me relax and fall asleep.

How long do you typically read in one setting?

It just depends on what I’m reading and when. If the book is awesome, I might not stop reading until I finish it. Sometimes chores interrupt my reading and I’ll read bits throughout the day. Real life is the huge determiner.

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Do you read hardbacks with the dust jacket on or off?

I never remove the dust jackets. I don’t know why, I just don’t. I will say, I’m always super careful with my books because a torn dust jacket is a pet peeve of mine.

What position do you mainly use to read?

I really enjoy reading in bed, but I also have a very comfortable chair in my bedroom where I like to read. If I’m reading there or on the couch, I usually sit with my legs up on an ottoman or sometimes up on the chair. Here are my favorites…

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Do you take the book you are currently reading with you everywhere?

If it’s a physical book, yes. If it’s an eBook, no. My tablet is sort of large with a bulky case on it for protection and I don’t like to carry it everywhere. With Audible, it’s always with me on my phone, which is why I love it so much. I dont like reading eBooks on my phone much.

How often do you update your Goodreads progress on the book you’re currently reading?

All the time. Every time I stop and put the book down, I update my progress.

Continue reading “TAG: Currently Reading Book Tag”

TAG: Anything But Books Tag

I was tagged by Claire @ BrizzleLassBooks for the Anything But Books Tag. This is such a fun tag!  If you haven’t been to Claire’s blog yet, please check it out. There’s always something interesting, great posts, and plenty of books to learn about on her blog. Thanks for tagging me, Claire. ❤

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Here are the questions:

Name a cartoon that you love.

It’s hard to pick one, but Dungeons & Dragons was always a favorite and still is…

What is your favorite song right now?

What could you do for hours that isn’t reading?

I could listen to music for hours and do it often. Music is an escape for me and I honestly don’t know what I would do without it.

What is something that you love to do that your followers would be surprised by?

I love to crochet and knit! I became obsessed with making Claire’s cowl from Outlander and started making them for everyone a few years ago. It was fun! Here’s a picture of one below.

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What is your favorite, unnecessarily specific thing to learn about?

I love learning about everything, but I think my most favorite thing to learn about are people and their life stories. I love reading memoirs and learning about people’s experiences in life.

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What is something unusual you know how to do?

Hmm, I don’t think I really know how to do anything unusual, but I did do something a little unusual once which was debarking over 100 locust tree fence posts for our horse fence with a really old draw shave hand tool. Is that unusual? 😀

Name something that you’ve made in the last year

I made this really neat hat that’s crocheted, but it looks like it’s knitted. It’s super thick and I want to make one for myself now. I used this incredibly soft merino yarn and it’s nice and stretchy.

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What is your most recent personal project?

Right now as I type this post my family and I are in the process of purging our house of all things that we don’t necessarily need. I’m quite the collector, and because I sell vintage items online, I have way too much stuff and it’s gotten out of hand. I’m really looking forward to having everything cleaned up and tidy by the New Year. That’s the goal!

Tell us something that you think of often.

I think about the future way too often. I tend to be a worrier and wonder often what the future holds for my family, health, life–pretty much everything under the sun. I think I’m getting better though and this is something I hope to completely change in 2018–to try and live one day at a time without wondering about what might come about in my future. Life is way to short to worry, but when you’ve been doing it most of your life, it’s a hard habit to break!

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Tell us something that’s your favorite, but make it oddly specific.

I love my Doc Marten patent leather boots. I wear them everywhere. I had a pair of these when I was a teen and went for over a decade without having a pair in my wardrobe. I seriously can’t live with out them. They lace up perfectly, fit comfortably, and they are undoubtedly my favorite boot EVER!

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Continue reading “TAG: Anything But Books Tag”

The Deal of a Lifetime by Fredrik Backman – Audible Review

The Deal of a Lifetime

by Fredrik Backman

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Blurb:

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove and Beartown delivers an insightful and poignant holiday novella about a man who sacrificed his family in the single-minded pursuit of success and the courageous little girl fighting for her life who crosses his path.

It all begins with a father telling a story to his son on Christmas Eve. But this isn’t your typical Christmas story. The father admits to his son that he’s taken a life but he won’t say whose—not yet.

One week earlier, in a hospital late at night, the man met a five-year-old girl with cancer. She’s a smart kid—smart enough to know that she won’t beat cancer by drawing with crayons all day, but it seems to make the adults happy, so she keeps doing it.

As the man tells his son about this plucky little girl, he slowly reveals more about himself: while he may be a successful businessman, idolized by the media and his peers, he knows he failed as a parent. Overwhelmed by the responsibility of fatherhood, he took the easy way out and left his wife and little boy twenty years ago to pursue professional success. Now he is left wondering if it’s too late to forge a relationship with his son, who seems to be his opposite in every way—prizing happiness over money, surrounded by loving friends in a cozy town where he feels right at home.

Face to face with the idea that something is missing, the man is given the unexpected chance to do something selfless that could change the destiny of the little girl in the hospital bed. But before he can make the deal of a lifetime, he needs to find out what his own life has actually been worth in the eyes of his son. And so, he seeks him out and tells him this story…

Written with Fredrik Backman’s signature humor, compassion, and “knack for weaving tales that are believable and fanciful” (St. Louis Post-Dispatch), The Deal of a Lifetime reminds us that life is a fleeting gift, and our only legacy is how we share that gift with those we love. –Goodreads

My Thoughts:

I read two books by Fredrik Backman this year and enjoyed them both. When I saw The Deal of a Lifetime floating around on Goodreads, the cover and author sent me right into an impulse buy and I used an Audible credit to purchase it. I didn’t even read the blurb and assumed I was purchasing a Christmas read. It turned out to be very different from what I expected and my review below might contain something you consider a spoiler if you want to go in completely blind. Although, I don’t feel that I reveal anything more than the blurb does.

The story begins with a father telling his son a story on Christmas Eve about how he killed someone. He’s not disclosing details and you won’t find out until the end of the story what really happens, but basically, he knows he hasn’t been an exceptional father. He explains that he’s been obsessed with his legacy and has chosen what ‘he’ considers success over being a good parent to his son. That’s what’s been most important to him–leaving behind a legacy full of everything he thinks is important–wealth and security. Then he meets someone who’s dying of cancer and he begins to question the decisions he’s made. He begins to question how important life is. Do other people’s lives matter? How important is someone else’s life to you if you don’t know them?

When I first started listening to this I began to feel that I wasn’t going to be pleased with it. I appreciated that the places described in the story were real, taking place in the author’s hometown, but when I started to contemplate that there might be a death, I was thinking for sure that I would hate it. By the time I got to the end, it hit me. Had my husband not been in the vehicle with me for the hour drive, I may have used an entire box of Kleenex and bawled my eyes out for another hour. The story is short and it’s quite expensive to buy, but It’s truly thought-provoking and what a powerful and meaningful message it sends. For that I’m giving this 5*****.

Continue reading “The Deal of a Lifetime by Fredrik Backman – Audible Review”