Friday, December 30, 2016

What Wyatt's Reading - December Edition

So, I am narrowing this post down to the top five books we read this month, as it would be a mammoth blog post. Lol. Being Christmas, we read so many holiday books. Rather than list off the multitudes, I narrowed down the list to the favorites. The ones that elicited the most squeals of joy, clapping, and also, frankly, a few that I liked the most too.

(clicking on the covers should take you to the Goodreads page..hopefully!)

Wyatt loves loves loves Llama Llama! I do too honestly, they are so cute, and easy to read aloud with their simple, sing-songy rhymes. It is so sad that Anna Dewdney passed away this year, and so young.

Wyatt spotted this on display at the library and would not rest until I grabbed it for him. I have to admit, I was a little in love with it too, after I read it. The illustrations are so detailed and interesting, I found myself going back and flipping through the book to look at them without little hands pawing at the page. The story was really cute too - and the main character little girl looks a lot like my friend's daughter!

I picked this one out for him for Christmas, and read it to him on Christmas Eve. We read about Iceland's tradition of giving and reading books on Christmas Eve (and eating chocolate!) and so our little family decided to have our own Icelandic style Christmas Eve. We exchanged books and had some reading time, although it was not all that we did. This was Wyatt's book. I adored it! 

Another book gift for Wyatt. I saw this book when we vacationed in Saugatuck this summer, and knew I had to get it. Billy and I both have multiple tattoos so I thought this book would be fun. We have appointments in February to get a new tattoo - we are each getting a tattoo, "the best tattoo of all". We are getting acorn tattoos to represent our little guy. I can't wait!

This book is absolutely gorgeous. It is also really fun! Wyatt and I had fun finding the little foxes together, and I enjoyed the unique page design. Some of the pages were cutouts, delicate and beautiful, and while I loved them, they frustrated Wyatt since they were fragile and he couldn't really grab onto them - especially since this was a library book! I am going to buy it for him, both because I love it, and also so that he can touch the pages. I can use it to help teach him how to respect books, but also still interact with it the way that it was intended. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

My Favorite Books of 2016

This year was a pretty good year - it was rough at times, to be honest, but despite its challenges we laughed, loved, and made good memories. And along the way I read a few books! These were a few of my favorites, in no particular order..

I am looking forward to seeing what next year's reading brings to me. I am also having a hard time deciding on the first book I am going to read in 2017! The first book I read in 2016 actually made this favorites list - Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None. I went on to read a million little mysteries this year afterwards too! Probably out of these, my top favorites have to be Readers of Broken Wheel and The Oregon Trail. The Oregon Trail was fun because I mini book club'd it with my husband. And now, of course, I want a mule. If you read this book, you probably do too!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

I hope everyone had a great November, and Thanksgiving if you celebrate! My month has been spent doing a ton of homework and hanging out with the family. Our Thanksgiving was a little unconventional this year; my family had various illnesses so we split up, and had little individual Thanksgivings. It was just the three of us for dinner! Wyatt really loved the cheesy potatoes the best. Friday I spent lazing about the house with the boy and husband, and it was nice. Billy actually went out early and got us a doorbuster television from Best Buy; ours was going and he got us a great new tv for under $300! Saturday was completely different - we went on an Owl Prowl at our favorite metropark. Usually there are 50 people there; this year, it was just Billy and I and one of the park rangers we know! It was pretty cool - we spent a long time tromping through the woods in the dark, calling for owls. We heard so many and a few flew in close, but we never could spot them entirely. It was pretty cool walking around the woods and fields in the dark, bu I have to admit, my overactive imagination started going crazy and I got a little spooked!! We had a great time out together. We have weird date nights, I guess. Lol. I also spent the weekend watching the Gilmore Girls revival - anyone else watch it? What the what was that ending!!!!

Read Last Week/Reading This Week:

So, I have had to really focus on school work, these classes kill me, so I am reading a lot of articles and books. We have read some really fascinating things, and I am sharing the two books with you. I am not linking the articles although if anyone is interested let me know! These two books have some great information in them, and both are written in a way that is easy to read, and is actually interesting, unlike some material that you read for school. 



Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Longmire (holy crap I love this show!!), and I am going to start watching Good Girls Revolt. And of course, it is now the Christmas season! I can't wait to start watching Christmas movies with the kiddo!

Monday, November 7, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

I hope everyone had a great Halloween! We had a great time; Wyatt was still a little congested so we just went a block trick or treating, which honestly, would probably all we would have done anyway. He's little still, and it's not like he's going to eat all that candy...he can leave that to his parents. Lol.

Read Last Week:


On Second Thought and Behind Closed Doors are both review books from the publisher. On Second Thought was so good, and just what I needed!! Behind Closed Doors was equally good, but so freaky!! I had to put it down for a bit!!

Reading This Week:


So one of these is required reading...guess which one? Lol. I am sure it will be interesting, I just have to finish it before Monday. So, here it is on my list!


Longmire (love this so far!!), Supernatural, Van Helsing, The Walking Dead, The Gilmore Girls. I just finished watching the whole series of The Office - wow, that show was really good, and had one of the best final seasons I have ever seen!


Sunday, November 6, 2016

Goodbye October, Hello November!

With your trips to the cider mill and apple orchard,

Your warm days and cool nights,
hayrides and ghost stories.

This month I learned that Wyatt loves pumpkin spice anything. 
That I love pumpkin spice lattes - I just had my first one!

We had fun collecting things for Wyatt's fall nature discovery box.

I was reminded of the infinite creativity and talents of my husband. He made Wyatt's viking costume - not the hat - and turned a wagon into a viking ship...

And about how awesome my family is in general. I had a moment, standing and watching my husband, son, sister-in-law, and niece (er.. dragon) trick or treating. My brother and I hung back and just watched, and I thought of how many years I trick or treated with that kid, my brother, and how now, how lucky we are that we can take our kids out together. 

So hello November! I am looking forward to seeing what this month brings! 

Sunday, October 30, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

Happy Halloween!!! May all of you who celebrate have a great night!

I am kind of sad to say goodbye to October, my favorite month. It was a good October though, so I won't complain too much. Onward to November, the month of Thanksgiving and of my birth! 

Little man caught a cold last week~ it was the first one we really had to deal with, and it wasn't fun for any of us, most of all him! He is still recovering from it, but is getting better. We stayed in all weekend allowing him time to rest and do what he needed to do to get better. Hopefully tomorrow (Halloween) he will be well enough to venture out for a block or two and to hang out with his cousin! They are both going to look so cute! W. is going to be a viking, and his cousin L. is going to be a dragon!

I did some reading and movie watching, but didn't get a chance to finish up all my R.I.P. posts. Ah well, there is always next year!

Read last Week:


Witch at Odds by Juliette Harper: I am enjoying this series I found through Amazon Kindle. Mini-review here.

Sisters' Fate by Jessica Spotswood: I started this series a few years ago and remembered I never finished it! 

Reading This Week:

My mailbox was busy this week! I was lucky enough to receive three books, yay! I am starting one this week - so far, so good!

Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris: From St. Martins Press. I am not too far in, but so far I am liking it!


Supernatural, Van Helsing, Gilmore Girls (rewatch -so excited for the new stuff!!), How to Get Away with Murder, and TWD, although I couldn't actually watch last week's episode, too brutal for me. :(

We also watched 10 Cloverfield Lane over the weekend - I am unsure how I felt about it, honestly. It felt like two different movies to me. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

A Cold Damp Day and Some R.I.P. Mini Reviews

It is a cold and dreary autumn day today. Wyatt has the right idea and is napping all snug in his bed right now; my version is more curl up with my coffee cup, in my snugly new crazy pants and a giant sweatshirt. Have you guys heard of these Lularoe leggings? I won a Halloween pair, and they are perfect for days like today, lazy rainy days. They seem kind of rockabilly, vintage horror to me. 

I've been busy doing some school reading and making Wyatt's costume, and I missed my regular Monday post! My classes this semester are fascinating but very work intensive, actually more than I expected! We have read some really interesting articles and books, and if you are at all interested, I am going to do a quick post soon about what we've been reading, I think they are that good, I have to share. Other than school, I have gotten stuck on the Jinx Hamilton series by Juliette Harper. Which brings me to my mini-reviews!

R.I.P. is hosted by Stainless Steel Droppings every Halloween....Read at your own peril!


Witch at Heart and Witch at Odds by Juliette Harper: 

Book 1 begins the journey of Jinx Hamilton into her new reality - that of a witch. She has inherited her Aunt Fiona's crazy store, and with it, has discovered her very own witchy witch powers. With the help of her good friend Tori, and that of the supernatural, Jinx solves the mystery of a string of missing women and finds their killer. I thought that the reason behind the murders was very original - it was not one I had ever read anywhere else, and I love originality when it works, and it definitely worked here. In Book 2, Jinx is still finding her way through this new life of hers. She is starting to branch out, try new things, experiment with her powers, and accidentally sets off a chain of events that requires some heavy duty fixing. We get to know her, Tori, and a few other characters better in this book, and I think every reader will enjoy the character of Beau! Her writing style and pace and just in general, these books have a feel about them that reminds me of Charlaine Harris. I am enjoying these witchy reads this time of year, and the best part is, they are not super scary! 

The Cottage on Pumpkin and Vine by Kate Angell/Jennifer Dawson and Sharla Lovelace: This book is really three short stories, all taking place in the small town of Moonbright, Maine, which is an awesome name for a town, and center around the big annual town party at the local B&B. The party is said to be magical for those who stay overnight at the B&B, and three partygoers find out just what that means. We get stories from before, during, and after the party, which was kind of a fun way to do it. The first story, Charmed by You, was my least favorite of the three. Cade, the main guy in the story, hated Halloween and had the stupidest reason ever for hating it. He got in trouble once for a Halloween prank as a kid and therefore, hates Halloween. Whatever. Beyond that, it was just the weakest story of the three. The next story, Mesmerized by you, was super cute. It was fun, as was the third story, which was my favorite - Enchanted by You. Overall, this quick romantic Halloween read is perfect for the person who wants to read something seasonal but likes their Halloween minus the scary element.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

R.I.P. Movie Review: Crimson Peak

I used to LOVE scary horror movies- but I have found now that I am older I don't have the capacity to watch them as much anymore. We used to even have Horrible Horror Movie nights at our house every Monday for years and years, but now I wouldn't be able to face it. Lol. 

However, it is Halloween, so I bucked up and watched one. I plan to watch at least two more before Halloween but we will see.

This is also I think my very first movie review!

I have wanted to see this movie for a long time - like a year. I love Tom Hiddleston (Hiddles!) and also Jessica Chastain and Mia Wasikowska. And this poster - amazing, right? Creepy and super visual. 

I ended up loving this movie, and in terms of scary, I put it high on my list! Mia Wasikowska plays American Edith Cushing, an aspiring writer and avid bookworm. She's not interested in romance, just her books, or so she thinks, as that all changes when she meets Tom Hiddleston, who plays Thomas Sharpe. Thomas and his sister Lucille are English, titled, and penniless. Edith can't resist Thomas and the two marry, and the threesome heads back to the Sharpe home, Allerdale Hall, set in the wilds of Cumberland, England. 

Of course, this is where the movie gets really good. Lucille is creepy. There is something weird about the brother and sister, and the Hall is in serious disrepair.  Huge, black, imposing, it sits ominously on a sea of red earth. Edith begins to start seeing things. Scary things. And here is where I missed a bunch of the movie due to creep outs! 

There were some scary ghosts crawling around this place and I just couldn't look! About halfway through I was able to finally not look away, and I have to say, although this movie was scary, it was beautiful. The hall was gorgeous in its ruin, the cinematography was brilliant, the colors vivid and striking all the right moods and ambiance. The costumes, Edith and Lucille's hair - all of it was masterfully done. I couldn't look away, it was stunning, yet horrific all at the same time. 

Edith learns some disturbing truths about her new life and the end becomes a life or death struggle, in the cold and fog and bleeding ground. The ending had a few small twists, and felt in a way, a little sad. Overall though, I thought it was well done and for me, creepy. 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

R.I.P. Review: And The Trees Crept In

R.I.P. is hosted by Stainless Steel Droppings every Halloween....Read at your own peril!

Goodreads Summary:

Stay away from the woods…

When Silla and Nori arrive at their aunt’s home, it’s immediately clear that the manor is cursed. The endless creaking of the house at night and the eerie stillness of the woods surrounding them would be enough of a sign, but there are secrets too—questions that Silla can’t ignore: Why does it seem that, ever since they arrived, the trees have been creeping closer? Who is the beautiful boy who’s appeared from the woods? And who is the tall man with no eyes who Nori plays with in the basement at nigh…a man no one else can see?

My Thoughts:

It is very rare that I say this, but I didn't like this book. The cover is awesome, and it had an interesting premise, but..I didn't like it. I thought it was a little boring, and I didn't care for the all the different stylized fonts. It felt gimmicky. I wish this story had been tweaked just a little more, and then I think I would have liked it. It was almost, almost there. I don't really have much to say about it, other than I think there was a lot going on, yet nothing going on, all at the same time.


Sunday, October 16, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

It was a beautiful week, even the rainy days. We had a great time at the orchard and cider mill on Saturday and then had a day of getting stuff done around the house on Sunday. Not quite as fun, but it's nice to check off some boxes. Plus, Billy made homemade apple butter which is delicious!

I love Halloween, and I have so many plans, thanks to Pinterest. I think this week we are going to finally try to get to decorating outside. We are aiming for not too scary, just a giant spider farm...

Read Last Week:

The Perfect Girl by Gilly MacMillan: The first 50 pages or so I was a little meh, then I started to really get into it and had to know the truth and how it ended. Review soon!

Reading This Week:

It's a witchy week ahead!


Witch at Heart: I am enjoying this small town witchly mystery! Enough that I am going to read the second in the series, for sure, and I haven't even finished this one yet!

Season of the Witch: This is a reread. This book was given to me by Jonathan Rand, of American Chillers/Michigan Chillers fame, who is also Christopher Knight, a Michigan author. All the stories in the book are set in Michigan too, so it's a Michigan read too!

Goals this week:

To catch up on my R.I.P. reviews!


Van Helsing (SyFy), How to Get Away With Murder, The Good Place, The Goldbergs, The Middle - we are all about the situational comedy this month!! Lol. We also watched the movie Crimson Peak, which was awesome, and It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. We might watch it again before Halloween hits though. You can never have enough of the Great Pumpkin! In fact, we might have The Great Pumpkin leave a small gift for Wyatt on Halloween night to be found in the morning. We are big time Halloween fans over here!