Sunday, December 31, 2017

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

Happy New Year's Eve! 

We spent the morning being lazy and cozy - listening to music, dancing with the boy, eating French toast and tater tots, with many cups of coffee as it is freezing outside! We followed that up with a short ride, where I saw many magical things. A swooping hawk, clouds edged in rainbows, and an 80 year old woman dressed in head to toe black leather, snow blowing her walk and driveway, with perfectly coiffed hair. We are home now, and I plan on spending a few hours cleaning, as is a New Year's Eve tradition for our family. We must start the new year with a clean house, actual cash in our pockets, and the first person into our home after midnight needs to be a dark haired man. Tomorrow we will honor my husband's traditions, and eat a Southern good luck dinner.

I haven't been great at posting lately, holidays and then that weird period between Christmas and New Years where you just flounder about I spent putting together and playing with toddler toys. Wyatt and I had a great time playing with his new stuff - and he also enjoyed playing in an empty Amazon box. Lol. 

I am not sure if I met my Goodreads challenge or not, as I was terrible at entering my reads this year! I am going to do better next year though. And finally, I posted my favorite reads of 2017! Did you read any of them? Like them, love them, hate them?


Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe was a fun read before the holiday season. It was easy and quick and fit into my schedule. It was lighthearted, which helped with stress. It was a perfect read!

There's No Such Thing as Bad Weather was an excellent read! I plan on reviewing it soon, as I had many thoughts.

The River at Night I am only halfway through but I am loving it. It is scary, tension filled, and I can't wait to see what happens next!

Reading Next:

I'm thinking I am going to start the year off with the sequel to The Bear and the Nightingale, The Girl in the Tower. My first book of the year last year was The Bear, so it would be neat to follow it up with the sequel this year. I'm a nerd, I know. 


Longmire. We love this show so so much and I am sad that this is the last season. We are also watching The Ranch. We are all Western over here. We just finished up Mindhunter, which blew my mind it was so awesome. And scary! I need a season 2 right now!

Here's to a great 2018 everyone! Stay safe tonight, call a friend, call a cab, call an Uber, but don't drink and drive! :)

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

My Favorite Reads of 2017

Wow, did this year fly by! It has been a whirlwind of moments, books, and what all have you. It was a year that I didn't buy ANY books for myself. In fact, I am getting rid of most of my collection - but that is a story for another post. 

I read so many good books this year - and also a few bummers! 

Here are my favorites of the year, in no particular order. Also, these are just my favorites that I read this year, but they may not have necessarily been published this year.


Honorable Mentions

Rekindled Love

How about you? Any standouts? Any royal stinkers?

Sunday, December 17, 2017

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

Hey all!! I am such a flibbertigibbet these days. I can't focus on one thing for too long, moving from one project to the next. It's even affected my reading! I'm behind on so many things, including reviews. Note to self - do not promise any book reviews for December next year! I need more hours in a day - or else I need to just stop sleeping until Christmas is over. 

We took boyo on a walk through the woods, pulling him on a little sled. It was so fun! We also took him to see Santa, where he did ok until they bopped him on the nose with a stuffed animal and he made a wicked little face. Lol. I can't help but wish that would have been his photo expression!

Christmas Eve is next week, I can't believe it! I probably won't be around until after the holiday, so I wish everyone who is celebrating a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah to those who celebrate Hanukkah, and well wishes to everyone else as well! 

Read Last Week:

I managed to finish this short YA book. I wasn't too excited about it, but I kept reading it because the setting was so unique. The main character lived on a Christmas tree farm most of the year, but the month between Thanksgiving and Christmas, she and her family lived in a trailer on a Christmas tree lot. It was pretty cool, and I learned some neat facts about trees. Lol.

Reading This Week:

I have a whole laundry list of books that I need to be reading, but I am sure I will read some other short, lighthearted read instead. 


Christmas movies, Riverdale, Top Chef, The Gifted, and Mindhunter. (scary but good, that one)

I pop on Youtube on our TV while I am cleaning, usually to play music, but lately I have been watching vloggers too. My son gets really excited whenever this vlogger named Zoella comes on. Lol. It's cute.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

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

Hey all! Snow! I love snow! I am sorry though if the snow caused any of you hardships. I'm kind of snow fan and I am slowly turning my son into one too. Lol. I showed him the snow falling out the window the other morning and he kept wanting to look at it all day. :) Although, it seems like the south got more snow than we did here in Michigan, at least my corner of Michigan.

Prayers for all those affected by the California wildfires. This year has been so bad for disasters. :(

Read Last Week:


This was a cute little read for the holidays! A shortie but goodie that brought a smile to my face. I also started rereading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - one of my favorites in the series! Isn't there just something about Christmas that makes you want to read HP again?  I guess it's all those Hogwarts Christmas'!

Reading This Week:

I am going to be reading a bunch of books at once for a bit, I think. I'm kind of a in a book grazing mode. Little bit of this one, little bit of that.


Poison - which I have started for NetGalley and I am really enjoying, but I keep letting my Kindle accidentally die!

The River at Night - for my online book club, Hike Like a Woman book club

and the aforementioned Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. 


Christmas stuff, but none of my favorites really yet except Love, Actually. Those are coming up this week and next, all the way to Christmas. Any must watches for the season? I have to watch Emmett Otter's Jugband Christmas every year, Chevy Chase's Christmas Vacation, and The Muppet Christmas Carol. I think I am going to add in The Polar Express this year too - Wyatt will love it. I think we will also give him his first taste of hot cocoa too! Any suggestions or favorites for hot chocolate?

For television, we are watching The Gifted (not too bad!) and Riverdale. 

How about you guys? What's going on in your part of the world?

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Christmas Book Reviews: The Rancher's Christmas Song and Christmas in Icicle Falls

If you have visited my blog before, you might already know of my love for Christmas romances - especially those by RaeAnne Thayne. This one was no exception, as I thoroughly enjoyed reading about music teacher Ella and her adjustment to life out west. Ella may have spent most of her formative years in the city with her mother, yet her love of her dad's ranch didn't diminish, despite an accident as a child that left lingering scars. She has returned the ranch she once spent joyful summers riding horses to take care of her ailing father, and to confront a few demons as well - including two little twin imps from the ranch next door, whose father makes her weak in the knees. I loved the touching story of the twins love for the father, and what they do to make his Christmas special, along with the role that Ella plays. I love Beckett and his love for his high spirited but good hearted boys. And I love that Ella go to prove once and for all that she belongs to the ranching life, with her spirit, perseverance, and mettle. A heartwarming read for the season!  Thank you NetGalley for providing me with a free galley of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Reminiscent of the little Charlie Brown Christmas tree, Muriel Sterling, renowned in the town of Icicle Falls for her books, her family's candy factory that is central to the town, and for her parties, especially at Christmas, unboxes her tree to find that it is not what she expected - in fact, it's kind of ugly. After discovering that there is no other tree to be had, Muriel realizes her "ugly tree" just needs a little love and bam, it is no longer an ugly tree. She just had to see its potential. After telling her friends Sienna, Olivia, and Pat about her ugly tree, they realize they all have their own ugly trees in their lives, in the form of people who are hard to get along with for one reason or another. They resolve to conquer their own "ugly trees", see the potential, nurture it. I loved this concept, as well all have those people in our lives, who test us, just a little - or a lot! Sienna has her grouchy neighbor, who in turn has a good looking nephew, while Olivia is dealing with a new daughter-in-law she is skeptical of, while Pat puts up with the landlord to her bookstore. And Muriel - she has someone else that she is seeing the potential in, all of a sudden... I really enjoyed this book, once I got all the characters straight. I haven't read all the books in this series, so some of the back story was lost on me, but it didn't matter once I got into it. And once I got into it, I was hooked! I may even have to read the rest of the series! Thanks to NetGalley for the chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

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

I had a non-stop to do list last week! The holidays are definitely getting closer - and my list is getting longer and longer. We've had unseasonably warm weather too, that has us wanting to go outside and play more than focus on what we need to do. This is just a family of Grasshoppers! This week however is going to be much colder - I see soup in our future!

Yesterday we went to The Pottery Market, which is an art show of just pottery. It was amazing to see all the creations and to shop from all the choices! There were ornaments on up to bird baths - even a small Christmas tree - for sale. I purchased a few small things for my book club. My talented mother-in-law had a booth there, and it was awesome to see her work on display. (we also get first dibs on all her "seconds", the pieces that would get pitched) When we got home we decorated for Christmas. This year we just put up a little tree but I love it. 

Read Last Week:

I was bad and didn't read the review book I had planned! I did read a different review book though, so, redemption?

This was a fun holiday read.  Review soon. I'm a holiday book addict. I apologize in advance for going nuts this month. You will see.

Reading This Week:



Riverdale - That last episode was amazing!! Anyone else catch the reference to Miskatonic University and HP Lovecraft? And Tony Todd delivered an amazing cameo performance! 

Grace and Frankie. And a lot of YouTube weirdly. Lol.

How are all of you doing? What's new in your world?

Monday, November 27, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

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

Thanks everyone for all the well wishes for Wyatt last week! He is feeling better!

I've been a bit AWOL from the blogging world, it's been a really really long twelve days! But hopefully things will be back to normal starting soon. Today would be good actually. 

I can't believe it is almost already December! November disappeared before I knew it. I think tonight we are going to have a simple dinner, one of our comfort foods, Pannukkau and go for a walk to look at Christmas lights, then come back and have some tea. I love winter walks, even more so when there is snow. I can't wait!

Read Last Week:


I needed some happy reading, and The Rancher's Christmas Song fit the bill. It made me want lots of snow though! And horses. 

I really enjoyed The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow too! The department store setting in London made me think of the tv show The Paradise, and the story itself was really entertaining. I liked the characters too, especially quick witted Sophie. 

Reading This Week:

I have seen mixed reviews on this title, so I am looking forward to reading it. 


Lots of Christmas movies. I've been soaking it all in - the two that stand out in my mind are The Christmas Bunny (set in Michigan!) and The Christmas Prince. I'm a sucker for these type of movies. Lol. I also watched Love Actually for the first time this season. It's my all time favorite movie ever.

What about you? What's been going on in your world?

Sunday, November 19, 2017

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

Last week was a doozy. Tuesday Wyatt and I were on the way to one of his appointments when another driver hit our car, waved to me, then drove away. I have never been in a hit and run accident before, and honestly, I had no idea what to do. We were on an overpass so there was no shoulder to pull over onto, but the doctor's office was about a quarter mile up the road so I just went there. It was not a big accident, no damage was done to us or the car, thank goodness, but it was traumatic. I was worried about Wyatt of course, but he seemed ok at the appointment. Them the very next day, Wyatt came down with the stomach flu. My little guy is little, so after a few episodes we had to take him to the emergency room, and after some blood tests they admitted him for dehydration. Dehydration sounds so minor but it is so serious, especially in little kids.  To top it off, it was my birthday. It was a crazy crazy week. I must admit, I am feeling kind of drained, physically and emotionally. 

Needless to say, I didn't get any reading done, other than magazines. (Country Living and Birds and Blooms to be specific). I did get some Christmas shopping done - thanks internet!

Reading This Week:

Same plan. This is a review book so I need to get it done ASAP!


Well, I watched quite a bit of tv. Lol. I binge watched Hart of Dixie (love that show!), HGTV, and Grace and Frankie. I love that darn show. Jane Fonda looks amazing, and I want to be a version of Frankie when I get older. Lol.

What about you all? How was your week?

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Weekend Update

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

Posting a little early for me, but tomorrow (Sunday) we are going to be out, visiting my stepmom. Billy is going to do a few chores for her, while she teaches me how to felt stuff. I am looking forward to it!

This past week was pretty much, just you know, life. Routine. But it was a good week nonetheless. I read another amazing book - two five star books in a row! 

Read Last Week:

Omgilovedthisbook! It was just so so good. I loved all the things about it. And, it was so perfectly autumn on top of it all. Except now, I want ooey gooey appley desserts and I want to eat them up while drinking some ice cold tart cider. Goals, right? 

Reading This Week:

I kind of have book hangover. Two great books in a row - how to follow that up?? I'm going with a Christmas romance! 


We just finished up Stranger Things, and have moved on to Alias, Grace and Grace and Frankie. (weird, all that Grace). Plus, Riverdale! 

How about you guys? 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

A Few Quick Reviews

I waited very impatiently for this to come in from my library holds, and it was very much worth the wait. I absolutely loved this book! It was one I couldn't put down. I wanted to read it for the setting - the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, near the Seney Wildlife Refuge, one of my favorite spots in all Michigan. If you have ever been there, you are familiar with the Seney stretch, and just how far you are from cities and well, other people.

The characters are amazing, and I loved how this story is told. It begins in the now, present day, with Helena as a married woman with two daughters. Her father, who had kidnapped her mother and held her prisoner for fourteen years or so, has escaped from prison. And Helena, raised by the Marsh King himself, knows his ways better than anyone, and has the skill set to match his. She knows she is the one who will have to catch him, that no one will be able to beat him on his own turf. As the chase wears on, the reader learns about the years in captivity through Helena's memories - and while her mother was a true prisoner, Helena's experience was different. The Marsh King is her father, and while he was not a good man, she spent twelve years of her life learning from him, and trying to impress him. She wanted to follow in his footsteps, and was starving for any affection from him. While he was abusive, callous, and a kidnapper, he did seem to care about Helena, as much as he was able to care about another human being, or at least that is my opinion, as he did take the time to teach her the things important to him. And when Helena and her mother were free, Helena had to adjust to an entirely different world, one that was confusing and had many rules - and people. This whole book was fascinating, riveting, and fast paced; as I said, I couldn't put it down. I highly recommend it.

Caraval was another great read - entirely different, but definitely worth reading. It was fun, like a crazy mixed up Alice in Wonderland meets Willy Wonka meets...something not so nice. While this crazy kaleidoscope of magic and fantasy and game play is all supposed to be part of the show, with everyone either a player or an actor, there is maybe a bit more going on than meets the eye. Scarlett is a little annoying at first, but she grows on you, as the game takes over and she is further from her horrible father, who is a perfect villain. I loved all the magic and color and imagery in this imaginative story; I loved the setting and the characters, and I really enjoyed every bit .

 I can't wait for the second book in the series, Legendary, to come out - I am looking forward to reading more in this world, and about these characters.