Tuesday, October 27, 2015

What Wyatt's Reading - Halloween Edition

I love reading to Wyatt, and he seems to enjoy it too. At least, he likes grabbing the pages, hitting the pages, and trying to close and open the book the whole time I am reading. Every once in a while though, an illustration will grab his complete and total attention, and he will just put both hands on the page, like "Look at this masterpiece!".

This month we read a lot of fall and Halloween themed books. Some were old favorites of mine, others were new to me. Some were stinkers, some were so good they are on my list to permanently add to his library.

We have a few days to go, and I plan on reading a few more to him, but for now, these are the books we have read.

These two were my favorites! I am definitely adding them to our own personal library.

I am a Witch's Cat: Super adorable - a very cute look at a mother-daughter relationship but also could be just mother and child, even though the child in the book is female. 

Sophie's Squash: This was a random pick and I am in love with this book. I am glad I "picked" it hanging out on the shelf. It is based on a true story - the author's daughter really fell in love with a squash. Very unique! 

Duck and Goose Find a Pumpkin: This was a super simple, cute little read. 

Creepy Carrots!: I love this book. It has just enough creep factor for a kid I think, to keep them in suspense, if young enough, without being too scary. Hopefully!


 Fall Leaves Fall - This book was a nice look at fall leaves, and included a few small lessons. It contained some simple leaf identification, and also explained how leaves change color in the fall. Loved it and will read it to Wyatt again in the future, when he can understand the small science lesson as well as enjoy the story and pictures. Not buying it though, it's like $50!

The Apple Pie Tree: I didn't like this one as much but it was still cute. I will probably buy this one, since we have our own apple tree in the front yard. And it's not $50!

Halloween: This one fascinated Wyatt! The illustrations were so vibrant, he loved them. 

Jeoffrey's Halloween: I loved the story for this book but I wish the colors of the illustrations would have been a little more vivid and bright. 

Pumpkin Town: So, my husband read this one to Wyatt and he hated it - my husband that is. :( He said "it just wasn't that good."

Scary, Scary Halloween: Eve Bunting's books never go out of style for me. This one is perfect for Halloween.

Scaredy-Cat, Splat: Another author you can't go wrong with!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, at no cost to you!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

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

I can't believe Halloween is almost here! We have our candy bought, and Wyatt's costume almost finished. Our plans are made - my brother, sister-in-law,  and niece are coming over for Halloween and we are going to watch movies, hand out candy, and hang out with the babies. A laid back Halloween compared to our previous years, but much more fun.

This weekend was full of fall fun - and soup! On Saturday we went to our friends' house and made soup together, a Carrot Soup with Ranch Whipped Cream. It was delicious!!! Then on Sunday my brother and company came over and we made Broccoli Cheddar soup from the Pioneer Woman's recipe. Also delicious!!

Read Last Week:

Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray: I read this all last week but just could not get interested. :( I think I am going to have to say no to it for now, and maybe go back another time.

Reading This Week:


Season of the Witch by Christopher Knight (Johnathan Rand of Chillers fame! I met him once and he is a really nice guy)

This could change - I am going to the library tomorrow, and we all know that going to the library can change everything!


The Walking Dead - so far this season is amazing!!
The Originals, Supernatural, iZombie,  and The Vampire Diaries

Friday, October 23, 2015

A Trip to the Orchard

 Is visiting the orchard in the fall a midwest thing? Or is it done all over the U.S.? Whatever the answer, it is a yearly tradition that I love. One of my favorite times of the year, autumn is so beautiful, and going to the orchard is a great way to spend a fall afternoon.

This was our first year going with a little one in tow! Wyatt is still a bit young to appreciate it, but I think he still had fun, although I think he was a bit bewildered by the whole experience. He was taking it all in, wide-eyed with wonderment it seemed the whole time we were there. 

The hay certainly threw him for a loop!!

We went to Bennett's Orchard in Ottawa Lake, MI. We have been on the lookout for a non-gimmicky, simple orchard for a while, and we found this place last year. It is not very big, and has the apple orchard, produce including the all-important pumpkins and apples, doughnuts, cider, and a few other things for sale. And that is about it! It is quaint and quiet, not overrun with too many people or games or bounce houses or karaoke or whatever else some places do these days. It is just good plain old-fashioned fun.

Last year they added hard cider to their line of products, and this year they had a few more to try. Billy and I of course had to try them! I love hard cider and only drink it in the fall, and Bennett's is doing a great job with their versions. They have three varieties, the Dust Bowl, Crisp Apple Crisp, and Broken Barrel. We ended up buying a bottle of the Broken Barrel and a pint of the Dust Bowl, which I compared to champagne, but a cidery champagne. Lol. 

The prices were fair - and the pears delicious! 

We took a ton of photos - I am a bit of a shutterbug and am blessed with a baby who doesn't mind posing - for now! We will see how he likes it in a few months!

Please do not use photos without my permission. Thanks! :)

Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Sunday Post/It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


Check out the The Caffeinated Book Review for the Sunday Post
It's Monday! What Are You Reading is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date (congrats!)

I have been trying to soak up this lovely fall weather as much as I can the past week. Today we went to the orchard for Wyatt's first visit - so many delicious doughnuts live there too! Yum apple fritters!

Read Last Week:

Witch by Barbara Michaels: It was fun to revisit a Barbara Michaels book. There is just something comforting about them. 

I had planned on reading Need, but I think I am going to have to give up on reading e-books until I find a proper replacement for my e-reader. I asked for a Kindle Fire for my birthday, which is next month - fingers crossed my husband gets it for me! 

Reading This Week:

 Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray: I was excited to see this on the shelf at the library! It is so big and fat, it is going to be hard to read while holding a baby but I can do it! (I think!)

Posted Last Week:


The Middle, The Originals, Vampire Diaries and Supernatural are heading our list these days. I think we are going to throw in a few scary movies soon too!

Friday, October 16, 2015

RIP X: Book Review: Deceptions by Kelley Armstrong

R.I.P. X is hosted this year by The Estella Society

Goodreads Summary:

Olivia Taylor Jones's life has exploded. She's discovered she is not only adopted, but her real parents are convicted serial killers. Fleeing the media frenzy, she took refuge in the oddly secluded town of Cainsville. She has since solved the town's mysteries and finds herself not only the target of its secretive elders but also her stalker ex-fiancé.

Visions continue to haunt her: particularly a little blond girl in a green sundress who insists she has an important message for Olivia, one that may help her balance the light and darkness within herself. Death stalks both Olivia and the two men most important to her, as she desperately searches to understand whether ancient scripts are dictating the triangle that connects them. Will darkness prevail, or does Olivia have the power to prevent a tragic fate?

My Thoughts:

I love when a series just gets better and better. When I first started reading the Cainsville series, I was unimpressed.  Then I read the second book in the series, and thought wow this is so much better than the first! Now, after reading the third installment, I am in love. 

Things are picking up speed, and more is being revealed about Olivia, Gabriel, Ricky, and especially her parents! I don't want to get spoilery so this will be a very vague review, I apologize. I just hate when I read a review then feel like I don't need to bother reading the book. So let me just say, this book has action, secrets are revealed, and best of all, there is Gabriel. I am Team Gabriel all the way and in this book the reader is treated to more of his innermost thoughts. We learn more about him, his vulnerabilities, and his character shows real growth. 

Aside from the inevitable love triangle stuff, we learn more about the murders, which had me a bit lost. I am still a bit lost, but feel like I do know slightly more than I did. Also, the fae. Always a favorite of mine in the supernatural/paranormal genre, and in this book we get treated to more fae. 


I really enjoyed this book, and was sad when it ended! I can't wait for the next in the series. 

Creepy Factor:

I like things creepy, and in my opinion, this book was not so creepy. But still really good!

My Arm is Breaking (or why I love babywearing)

Before I had Wyatt, I read a ton of parenting articles and books. Most of that has been forgotten or gone out the window for one reason or another, but the one thing that has stuck has been the idea of baby wearing. I am not a big person. My baby is actually not very big either, but put him in a car seat and carry him around for ten minutes and he feels like a giant. Lugging him around in his car seat/carrier is for the birds. It's a struggle to lift and cart him around in it, and when I have to rely on that method I seriously consider whether or not I really need to leave the house that badly. It is also spectacular for having your hands free, for things like coffee and keys. I like to travel fast and light, and it is tough to go somewhere and push Wyatt around in a stroller at times, like in large crowds at street fairs, or even push him while holding a coffee! You end up pushing the stroller one handed and that just makes you push all crazy. Billy and I have even each pushed with one hand, leaving our other hand free for our coffees. Lol. So the convenience of babywearing is amazing as well.

So far, I have tried four different babywearing wraps or carriers. We have the Moby, a Boba Wrap, a Boba 4G, and a Jeep 2-in-1 carrier. We were lucky enough to have friends donate their gently used Moby and Jeep carriers to us, we got the Boba Wrap as a shower gift, and then we bought the 4G ourselves. Wyatt's OT recently told us to start carrying him around facing forward in one of these carriers about an hour a day, to help him out a bit with strengthening some of his muscles. 

We have had Wyatt in them all, with various success rates. 

The Moby and the Boba Wrap: My favorites for the comfort level for myself, but Wyatt's least favorite so far. I am confused by this because he loves being swaddled and he loves being snuggled. It could be user error on my part. As for the ease of wearing around the house, this one is perfect!

Boba 4G: I love this one for long hauls. We love to hike, and go on "urban adventures" like Eastern Market in Detroit, nature zoos, etc. and this works amazingly for these types of situations. It was also perfect for Ikea shopping. Wyatt also loves this carrier.

Jeep 2-in-1 Carrier: We used this for the first time last weekend on a hike, and it was so awesome to see Wyatt's expressions at experiencing the world like that. He was not just stuck looking around and over the carrier, he could see far into the distance, and be part of the his world and environment. My husband also felt the most comfortable wearing this one.

I've got my eyes peeled for a gently used Ergobaby,and a Tula Carrier as well - I would love to try them out and add them to our collection. In addition I would love a Lille Carrier! Since we use all of them depending on the event we are going to, I don't feel like it would be a useless purchase. 

Overall, my opinion is that no matter which carrier you use, your baby will benefit. Every baby is different and will have their own preferences, so it's important to try a few out. If you're lucky enough to have friends who pass their baby gear on to you, even better. If you are only able to buy one carrier, I would suggest finding a store or babywearing group that will allow you to try different kinds out before you decide on one and buy it. Safety is also an issue as well - you need to make sure to wear the baby safely, so make sure to follow all the safety checks. 

Babywearing, like everything baby related, has a million different opinions and viewpoints on what is the best way to do it. My solution is to read all I can and make an informed decision based on what I have read, along with my pediatrician's recommendations. I also really liked this website for information on babywearing. 

What about you? Is there one that worked better for you than another?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, at no cost to you!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

The Sunday Post/It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


Check out the The Caffeinated Book Review for the Sunday Post
It's Monday What Are You Reading is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey

We had such gorgeous weather this week! Fall in Michigan is so beautiful - everything is bathed in gold, orange and red; even the light is different, more warm and golden edged. The air is crisp, the nights are getting chillier, and good for cuddling and bonfires. Our bird feeders are going crazy, and we have had two different kinds of woodpeckers lately visiting us. 

Wyatt and I went on a hayride the other day with our friends Karen and her 2 month old Emmett. I think Wyatt enjoyed it - he fell asleep! Lol. 

Read Last Week:

Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave: This was an enjoyable read! It made me want to drink wine though - not such a bad thing in moderation. Lol. Review soon. 

Reading This Week:


Witch by Barbara Michaels:  I love reading Michaels this time of year. She is one of my go-to authors.

Need by Carrie Jones:  I know nothing about this other than I saw it on this list. 

Posted Last Week:

What Wyatt's Reading- a list of picture books we are making our way through


Woohoo for the return of old favorites! We are watching Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, and iZombie.  We are also watching The Middle for the first time and we love it!

Friday, October 9, 2015

What Wyatt's Reading

Ok, so he's not actually doing the reading, I am. But he loves to be read to! And I of course love reading to him. We read old favorites of mine and also books I just randomly grab off the library shelves. My mom laughed at me the other day - I went to the library and came home with more books for my 7 month old son than I did for me!

Here is what we have been reading lately:

Next week, we start reading Halloween picture books! I am pretty excited - I still love picture books and the Halloween ones are my favorites. I wonder if that will rub off on Wyatt? 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

R.I.P. X Book Review: The Night Sister by Jennifer McMahon

R.I.P. X is hosted this year by The Estella Society

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

Goodreads Summary:

The latest novel from New York Times best-selling author Jennifer McMahon is an atmospheric, gripping, and suspenseful tale that probes the bond between sisters and the peril of keeping secrets.

Once the thriving attraction of rural Vermont, the Tower Motel now stands in disrepair, alive only in the memories of Amy, Piper, and Piper's kid sister, Margot. The three played there as girls until the day that their games uncovered something dark and twisted in the motel's past, something that ruined their friendship forever.

Now adult, Piper and Margot have tried to forget what they found that fateful summer, but their lives are upended when Piper receives a panicked midnight call from Margot, with news of a horrific crime for which Amy stands accused. Suddenly, Margot and Piper are forced to relive the time that they found the suitcase that once belonged to Silvie Slater, the aunt that Amy claimed had run away to Hollywood to live out her dream of becoming Hitchcock's next blonde bombshell leading lady. As Margot and Piper investigate, a cleverly woven plot unfolds—revealing the story of Sylvie and Rose, two other sisters who lived at the motel during its 1950s heyday. Each believed the other to be something truly monstrous, but only one carries the secret that would haunt the generations to come.

My thoughts:

A lonely stretch of road, a crumbling hotel, a house filled with secrets..it's beginning to sound a bit like a Hitchcock movie isn't it? Vaguely reminiscent of Psycho's Bates Motel, Hitchcock does have a bit role to play in this book, although a small one.

This book is told through three different points of view, at three different time periods. Rose in the 1950s, Amy, Rose's daughter in the 1980s, and Piper in the present day. Amy, Piper, and Piper's sister Margot were close childhood friends until the summer of 1989, when something happened to split them up, a secret that started all the way back in the 50s with Rose and her sister Sylvie. The reader is also treated to the occasional point of view from Sylvie, in her letters to Mr. Hitchcock.  

McMahon does an incredible job of building suspense ~ I had to put the book down sometimes because just wondering what was going to happen freaked me out. The settings and atmospheres were perfect for each time frame, and really added to the story. The Night Sister had so many twists and turns and secrets that even though it scared me, I absolutely had to finish the book to find out what was going on, and what really happened ~ in the 50s and in present day. Two mysteries for the price of one! The ending once revealed was just a teensy bit so-so for me ~ I had a little bit higher expectations after such a big build up, but it really wasn't bad. McMahon had a different take on a familiar theme, so that was pretty cool. 

Overall, this book is a perfectly spooky read, especially this time of the year! You just might find yourself listening to those sounds that go bump in the night a little more closely, after reading this one.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Sunday Post/It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


Check out the The Caffeinated Book Review for the Sunday Post
It's Monday What Are You Reading is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. 

It was a pretty fun week this past week. On Friday, my friend Kelly and I got together and made Cheesy Corn Chowder soup for dinner, and hung out with our husbands and kids. It was a really low key night out and we had a great time. It was nice to get out! We also were celebrating the first month celebration of her new daughter, and the 7 month celebration for Wyatt! They are exactly 6 months apart. 

Then Saturday we got together with my cousin and her son, my aunt, and my brother, sister-in-law and my little niece. It was a fabulous way to spend a rainy Saturday afternoon. We hung out eating macaroni and cheese and brownies, passing around each other's babies and catching up. My cousin lives in Chicago so we don't get to see her too often and it was so nice to visit with her and her son. 

Read Last Week:

The Night Sister by Jennifer McMahon: I am almost done with this - I actually have to put it down a lot and not read it at night! The scary factor is slowing me down. It is good but scares me! Which is the point, I guess. Lol.

Reading This Week:

Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave: I picked this up at the library to read in between bouts of the Night Sister. I saw this originally on Book Haven and thought it sounded pretty good. So far, I am enjoying it!

Posted Last Week:

Banned Book Week: Fahrenheit 451 - I had forgotten how much I liked this book!

Currently Watching:

We are watching Heroes Reborn, Scream Queens, and we just finished up with Hell on Wheels for the current season. I can't wait for Grimm, Supernatural, and The Vampire Diaries to begin again!