Sunday, March 25, 2018

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 all about change. Wyatt started preschool, and we are having to redo our routine. It's a work in progress! I feel like there is more time to blog and read on my horizon, at least on the days he goes to school. Or that is the plan anyway for now!

We had some great family time this Saturday, hanging out at the metropark then going out for lunch. It was a nice time - the weather was sunny but still cold. I am so ready to not have to wear a coat!

Read Last Week:


The Family Gathering by Robyn Carr: I really love reading about this family! This maybe was my favorite in this series so far! 

Hello, Sunshine by Laura Dave: Another great read for the week. I devoured it. So good. I do have to say I was a little shocked by the end!

Reading This Week:

It's time for my annual reread! My favorite book on earth. 

I also have a bunch of books on hold - if one comes in, I will read that one as well.


Superstore - this show is hilarious. It surprised us on how funny it is!! 

Supernatural - we are trying to catch up but we aren't going to make it before the Scooby Doo episode that airs this week. 

I'm also watching Drop Dead Diva on Netflix. I think I am feeling like easy breezy type tv and reads right now. Maybe because I have spring fever?

What about you all? Anything going on? 

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Book Review: Harry: Life, Loss, and Love

Source: Received from Little Bird Publicity in exchange for an honest review

Goodreads Summary:

Respected biographer Katie Nicholl details the most insightful book on Prince Harry to date, based on exclusive interviews with former Palace aides, courtiers, friends, and family members, and including stories, clandestine lovers, family feuds, and family secrets never before revealed.

My Thoughts:

Honestly, I am not a big reader of biographies. My mom reads them almost exclusively, but I just never have gotten that into them. However, I was very much looking forward to this one, and it did not disappoint!

Yep, I am one of the Americans who loves the Royals. And Harry is Harry - in and out of trouble, it has seemed over the years. I really wanted to read this story, about the prince who lost his mother at a very young age, and who had to very publicly, grow up in the eye of the whole world really. He seems to have settled down, and I am looking forward to seeing what he does in this next chapter of his life.

It must be hard, to be a member of the royal family, and one who was third in line for the throne for most of his life. It seems a weird thing to say, doesn't it? These are people with just about anything they want at their fingertips. Yet everything they do is scrutinized to the nth degree, every move they make, every word they speak. Unlike celebrities, who choose to put themselves in the public eye, you can't help the family you are born into. You don't necessarily want that attention, yet you are going to have it. We have seen throughout history, struggles - Margaret, Andrew to name a few. And it seems Harry is part of those family members who struggled. The "spare" perhaps, has it maybe even harder, without knowing their exact true role. This is all very weird to, as an American. I don't necessarily understand how it all works - the titles, the language to describe it even at times. I was really thrown by the fact that Harry was called Harry Wales while in the military, and in different situations. I realize he is Prince Henry of Wales, so does that substitute as a last name, even though they are from the family of Windsor?

Anyway - I really felt for Harry in this book. No child should lose a parent when they are so young. How lost he must have felt. According to Nicholl, Harry had a special relationship with his mother, who always made sure her second born was taken care of, and not left behind or pushed aside. Or if he was, she was there for him. As a mother does. And being part of a family that is not really at liberty to be free with their emotions, or speak their feelings, it seems, made it even harder. It is no wonder that he wrestled with who he was and where he was headed, and made missteps - anyone would, losing their mother and then not dealing with it.

Then it appears that he also lost two loves of his life to the very fact that he is a part of the royal family. Too much pressure, not enough privacy, the women he loved could not reconcile themselves to the fact that their lives would have to change dramatically if they were to stay with Harry. It is a tall order, to have your life put under the microscope, and these women couldn't do it. Everyone knows what they can handle, and they knew that ultimately they could not bear it forever.

Not all sadness and loss, Harry seems to be full of hi jinks and mischief, energy and passion for living. Reading about him makes me think of how his grandfather Prince Philip is represented in The Crown. I am unsure about the accuracy of that portrayal, but he does remind me of Prince Philip. Active, love of sports and movement and energy, a desire to be in the military. And Harry was in the military, flying Apache helicopters, no small thing there. No matter who you are, they don't just let you fly one. He had to learn along with everyone else, and pass the same tests. You have to know what you are doing, and he showed his mettle. He even served in Afghanistan, which I didn't know. He is also following in his mother's footsteps, with his charitable works, founding a charity in Africa; working with William and Kate in the Heads Together campaign; working with wounded veterans; and finally, the work that Diana started and didn't get a chance to finish, removing land mines from countries.

One part did make me laugh. Nicholl was talking about William and Harry and their teen years and how Prince Charles allowed them to turn a basement room in one of their homes into their den. LOL. Just like every kid on earth, practically. I am sure their basement room was much larger and filled with many more gadgets and electronics and toys, but the idea is the same. It made me chuckle to even imagine.

Finally, Meghan. Seriously, she is beautiful! And I of course love that she is an American. She seems to be the perfect match for Harry. Confident in herself, confident in the new level of attention she is receiving, and loves him so much that she is willing to give up her career, her citizenship, and move to England to become whatever it is that she will become. The two seem made for each other, and I hope that they have a wonderful life together, full of happiness. And I of course, can't wait to watch the royal wedding!

I found this book to be a quick read, fast paced, interesting, with a natural flow. I really enjoyed it! I recommend it to those who are interested in reading about Harry Wales, and his life, and how he came to where he is now.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

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

It was a gross, gray week - but today and the rest of this week look like they are going to be beautiful! I am so ready for spring, and no coats, and flowers, and my garden. And walks outside without being cold. And sunshine. Ok, so lots of things. Lol. 

I have also been fully immersed in spring cleaning. I feel like I am always purging stuff. Today was outgrown toddler/baby clothes and toys. And Purple Heart is already lined up to pick it up tomorrow. I feel like that is usually an impediment to me getting rid of things - I will bag and box it up, then never take it. We got wise this time and are leaving that to someone else. Hopefully our items are put to good use wherever they may go next.

Wyatt was also sick with a cold - he had a visit to his preschool last Monday, so of course two days later he was sick. :( I don't know how I am going to handle this preschool thing guys! How do moms and dads do this? I don't want him sick all the time, and I am being a big time baby about him going. Lol. Not in front of him of course, and I know it is super good for him to go, but, I'll miss him. Lol. When is summer break? :)

Read Last Week: 

Since Wyatt was sick, I actually read a lot! Poor buddy took lots of naps. And since I will pathetically be sitting in my car in the school parking lot this week, I am sure I will get some reading in this week as well. Next week, I think I will start volunteering some days at the animal clinic that my sister-n-law manages - it is only a mile from Wyatt's school, so I will be close!


Harry - Life, Loss, and Love. I really enjoyed this book! I'm not a big biography reader, but I devoured this. Review soon! 

The Sacrifice of Sunshine Girl by Paige McKenzie - this was a cute supernatural read. It reminded me Buffy the Vampire Slayer, True Blood, Mary Janice Davidson. I would say it is YA/Middle Grade. It was entertaining. 

Reading This Week:


The Family Gathering: Received in exchange for an honest review. I am actually almost done and I am really enjoying it!

Women in Sunlight by Frances Mayes: I loved Under the Tuscan Sun, so I am looking forward to this read. From NetGalley.


iZombie - so excited this show is back on, I love it and it's clever witticisms. (the Butcher shop named Meat Cute, for instance.) Supernatural - It is time to catch up! I want to be caught up before the Scooby Doo episode they are going to do! The Path is back on too, woohoo! We always try to save "quiet shows" for when Wyatt goes to bed. The Path is good for that. 

How about you all? What have you been up to?

Saturday, March 10, 2018

My Sunday/Monday Post - Early!

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 am early this week! I can't believe how quickly this week went by. Seriously, I blinked and it was gone. I'm not sure I even did anything? Lol. We had plans for today but they fell through, which was a bummer. :( Tomorrow is my cousin's daughter's birthday, which should be fun - and cake! Cake is always good. 

Read Last Week:

School for Psychics by K.C. Archer:  This was pretty good. I loved the idea of this book so much, and most of the characters. Except the main character! I didn't hate her, but she was kind of unlikeable in some ways, and she even knew it. Lol. Regardless, I still enjoyed this book. Review soon.

Reading This Week:


Harry: Life, Loss, and Love: I can't wait to read this! I love Prince Harry!! Sure, Prince William is the future king, but Prince Harry is, well Prince Harry! And now he is marrying an American and I am super excited.

The Sacrifice of Sunshine Girl by Paige McKenzie:  So this is the third book in a series, which I didn't know when I agreed to review it, but whatever. I know I am super weird since I don't mind reading books out of order. I stumble into the middle of a series a lot honestly. So far, I like it! The style reminds me of Mary Janice Davidson and Charlaine Harris, just for YA instead of adults. I am intrigued and I am going to check out that YouTube series tonight.


We finished up The Finder, which I loved. Only 13 episodes and ended on a cliffhanger forever, as Michael Clark Duncan actually died during the time frame that they were working on it. He was excellent in it by the way. We are also watching Top Chef (just watched the finale!), and just went back to Riverdale, which is super weird this season. I just noticed the other day that all of the episode titles are the names of horror movies - which I find interesting, as this season is so dark. I still like the show, although I wonder where it is headed. We have also started so many different series that we have DNF'd. The Alienist, The Miniaturist are two off the top of my head. They just didn't hold my interest. 

What about you guys? What have you been up to? 

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Book Review: Twist of Faith

Title: Twist of Faith
Author: Ellen J. Green
Source:  Amazon Publishing in return for an honest review 

Goodreads Summary:

After the death of her adoptive mother, Ava Saunders comes upon a peculiar photograph, sealed and hidden away in a crawl space. The photo shows a shuttered, ramshackle house on top of a steep hill. On the back, a puzzling inscription: Destiny calls us.

Ava is certain that it’s a clue to her elusive past. Twenty-three years ago, she’d been found wrapped in a yellow blanket in the narthex of the Holy Saviour Catholic Church—and rescued—or so she’d been told. Her mother claimed there was no more to the story, so the questions of her abandonment were left unanswered. For Ava, now is the time to find the roots of her mother’s lies. It begins with the house itself—once the scene of a brutal double murder.

When Ava enlists the help of the two people closest to her, a police detective and her best friend, she fears that investigating her past could be a fatal mistake. Someone is following them there. And what’s been buried in Ava’s nightmares isn’t just a crime. It’s a holy conspiracy.

My Thoughts:

This book was super cuckoo pants but in a good way! It was riveting, I couldn't put it down.  I loved the character Ava, and found her absolutely fascinating. She is a giant mess, her family is a giant mess, even her house is a giant mess. The only thing not a giant mess about Ava, honestly, is her pure drive and desire to solve a mystery that she is sure is tied to her own past, about which she knows nothing, other than that she was found abandoned in a church. Following the clues lead to more questions, and her friends become quickly as swallowed up by the desire to find out the answers as Ava. 

Then boom - in the middle a gigantic twist. 

I couldn't believe it. I won't spoil it but holy moses, I wasn't expecting what happened!

Then boom - the ending! Another crazy twist! This book was definitely edge of your seat kind of stuff, riveting, twisty and dark, with oh so many secrets. 

A great read for a rainy or stormy spring evening. (or day!) 

Sunday, March 4, 2018

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

We had a great week, celebrating Wyatt's birthday! The weather was just nice enough for us to spend a little time at the zoo, seeing some of our favorites (the river otters and penguins!) and celebrating with our family. We are lucky to have such a loving family close by. 

And his cake was so good! Omg. The bakery did an amazing job decorating the cake, and the cake itself was delicious! Wyatt loves vanilla and cherry, so we ordered vanilla batter with cherry jam filling and it was fantastic. There was not one piece left!

Read Last Week:


Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson: I feel like I am having a great reading year! Not necessarily in quantity, but definitely in the level of enjoyment from what I have read. I completely devoured this book! I even got up super early, like 530-6, and read for 3 hours in the morning before Wyatt got up so that I could finish it! I loved it!

The New Bohemians Handbook: This was an interesting read. I love this sort of boho feel, and got a lot of great ideas from this book. Especially about plants! I also found out that my spirit environment is the mountains. I feel like it just confirmed what I already knew - that the mountains are calling and I must go..(John Muir) I love the mountains. 

Reading This Week:

I really want to read the next installment of Truly Devious, but it doesn't exist yet. Or is not out. So I am concentrating on review books. I am even going to skip the library this week! I have enough books for little man from last week's haul, and I need to buckle down and get some reviews done. I want to read them, I just have Kindle avoidance issues. I really don't care for it, and will almost go out of my way to not read on it. :(


and for the third week in a row, 


The Finder on Netflix. We are flying through it though and I know it was only one season! I don't even know if it was a full season. I love it though, and will be sad when it is done. :(