Blackberry Winter Review!

Wow…is all I have to say after this book! I am reviewing Blackberry Winter by Sarah Jio for Julie’s book review over at peanut butter fingers ! This will be a spoiler so if you plan on reading this book exit now! This book is actually the book I had voted for and I am so glad it won! I really have been enjoying being able to really curl up with a good book lately and this was no exception! This book had me from the first page! Absolutely a thrilling book that kept me guessing until the very end! I enjoyed how the book went back and forth telling the story of the two main characters! I was trying to figure out what happened to that poor little boy that went missing throughout the story and honestly I thought that the awful landlord had taken him…I don’t know what made me think that but I would have never thought that the sister of the father had taken him. But then again the act that Eva kept giving the clue about the woman in the park watching them play …which clearly now is the aunt that abducted Daniel! I have to hand it to Sarah Jio she did a fabulous job of keeping the reader entertained and really engaged in the book and that is really what I appreciate about a good book is that I feel involved while reading. The ending….that was the true wow factor. I closed the book thinking I wish there is a sequel to see how this all pans out and to find out more about Daniels life as a child! If you have no read this book…run, don’t walk to your nearest library and get yourself a copy! This book is well worth the 286 pages!

Did you get the chance to read this book?
Have you read a book that made you feel truly engaged?
What books have you been reading lately?

Snowed IN!

So after my post yesterday I headed out to try some shopping, I made it out to two stores and the got to the third and it was closed! Wahhh…the snow really didn’t come and hit us until after 11pm yesterday because when we woke up this is what it looked liked…please enjoy these snowy pictures!

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These are all taken out of our hotel window, we haven’t gone out yet because we still have a blizzard warning until 7pm and nothing is open! We aren’t even sure what we are going to do for lunch! Ahhh!

Anyways, after shopping yesterday I met Chris for lunch at Amatos, my favorite sub restaurant! I got a small original italian.

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We hung around the room until about 5pm yesterday and then headed out to a local Mexican restaurant…it was okay but I like the ones in our town better… it was lacking flavor for sure! After dinner we went to the grocery store because obviously if a blizzard is coming you need to have ice cream on hand! We bought Ben and Jerry’s Strawberry Cheesecake! It definintely made up for the fact that dinner was sub par! Also, we got two cookies at the front lobby! And hot chocolate because the hotel has a hot bar all the time!

This morning we woke up to 2 feet of snow and still snowing! We hit up the hotels breakfast buffet and have literally just been staying warm in our room until we decide to venture out! What I think is awesome is that the hotel gave all of their staff member and families rooms for the night so that the staff could actually be here for work today!
Here is breakfast from today, french toast sticks, bagel sandwich, fruit salad, maple sausage! Yum!

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Did you get snow today?
Hows the weather where you are?

The Secret Keeper …book review!

So this past month I have been reading the Secret Keeper for Julie’s book review!

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Book Description (taken from Amazon):
From the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of The Distant Hours, The Forgotten Garden, and The House at Riverton, a spellbinding new novel filled with mystery, thievery, murder, and enduring love.
During a summer party at the family farm in the English countryside, sixteen-year-old Laurel Nicolson has escaped to her childhood tree house and is happily dreaming of the future. She spies a stranger coming up the long road to the farm and watches as her mother speaks to him. Before the afternoon is over, Laurel will witness a shocking crime. A crime that challenges everything she knows about her family and especially her mother, Dorothy—her vivacious, loving, nearly perfect mother.

Now, fifty years later, Laurel is a successful and well-regarded actress living in London. The family is gathering at Greenacres farm for Dorothy’s ninetieth birthday. Realizing that this may be her last chance, Laurel searches for answers to the questions that still haunt her from that long-ago day, answers that can only be found in Dorothy’s past.

Dorothy’s story takes the reader from pre–WWII England through the blitz, to the ’60s and beyond. It is the secret history of three strangers from vastly different worlds—Dorothy, Vivien, and Jimmy—who meet by chance in wartime London and whose lives are forever entwined. The Secret Keeper explores longings and dreams and the unexpected consequences they sometimes bring. It is an unforgettable story of lovers and friends, deception and passion that is told—in Morton’s signature style—against a backdrop of events that changed the world.

So here is what I thought! *Spoiler*

During the first couple of chapters of The Secret Keeper I had a hard time following along with the characters. Because the chapters switched between characters so often and new characters were being thrown into the mix I had to make sure I knew which era I was trying to read into. Also, in the beginning of the book it almost started off backwards because by the end of the book it was like I was reading the same chapters as I had read in the first couple of chapters…once I could differentiate who was who the book was extremely intriguing and left me guessing until the last page.

I was not entirely “feeling” the book until about the 100th page of so and because it was such a large book I am very happy that i stuck with it. After about 1/3 of the way through the book I did not want to put it down. Kate Morton certainly knew how to keep the readers guessing until the final page of the book! I honestly could not have predicted how the book was going to end, in fact I had to actually go back and reread the final chapter to make sure I hadn’t missed anything because I was not prepared for what happened! Every single possibility went through my head except for the fact that Dorothy was actually Vivienne…I mean seriously?! I thought maybe the Thank You card was written by Vivienne after Dorothy had killed Vivienne ex husband… I thought maybe Jimmy was actually Laurels dad… I was seriously guessing the entire book… but what I did not pay attention to or did not see if it was actually answered was who was the Thank You card written from? Anyone have an answer to that question?

I almost found myself hoping the Dorothy had married Jimmy and that Vivienne had been able to leave her god awful husband! Or that if Dorothy and Jimmy had not worked out that Vivienne and Jimmy could have found a way to be together!

All in all I would highly recommend this book but just know that it definitely takes a little while for the book to pick up its pace but once it does, rest assured that you will not be able to put it down! I look forward to reading other books written by Kate Morton and I hope you join us for next months book review!

Where have I been?! Don’t forget about the giveaway!

Sorry I haven’t been around for a few days! Tuesday and Wednesday I had to wake up at 5AM to watch this little cutie!

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He truly is one of the most fun and cute one year olds I have had the pleasure of entertaining! He is Chris’ godson and his Mama works early and Dad works overnights so they needed someone to watch him for a couple hours! He slept most of the time but when he did wake up he was too cute!
So I have been extra tired by the time I get out of work so I really have just grabbed my book The Secret Keeper and read it until my eyes were too heavy to keep open! I finished the book last night and am going to start writing my book review for Peanut Butter Finger book review! If you haven’t read this book I highly recommend it! I couldn’t have predicted what was going to happen in the last chapter! I had to re-read the last chapter to make sure I understood what was going on! This is a winner!

Here are a few pictures of things I have been eating over the past few days!

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Lots of yummies! Although I only worked a four day work week I am very happy that today is my Friday! I feel like I have been going non stop this week and I need a break! On Tuesday I went and looked at another house and I love this one but the price is at the top of our budget and we Wally wouldn’t have too much of a backyard which is hard for because because I grew up in the middle of nowhere with hardly any neighbors! This neighborhood is highly residential!

In other news a friend of mine told me that she is pregnant again and I am so happy for her! It’s such an exciting time! Although Chris and I aren’t getting married for another year and a half I couldn’t picture myself having children right now so I am happy that my friends are so I get to spend time with their kids!

This morning I slept in because I needed a little extra rest! Remember a few days ago when it was only 3 degrees? Ya well today and yesterday temperatures reach about 60 degrees…oh New England! I headed right to the gym after I woke up and did an awesome running workout!

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DONT FORGET ABOUT THE GIVEAWAY!
We have a few more days left for the Jamberry Nail giveaway so make sure you get those entries in! Read about the giveaway here!
Click here to enter the Giveaway!

Have you entered the giveaway yet?!
How has your week been?

Uneventful Sunday!

Well…Sunday was an uneventful day with a few errands and a lot of reading! I usually work on Sundays but luckily I switched with a coworker and I had a three day weekend! And now only a four day work week! I woke up relatively early yesterday morning because I wanted to get grocery shopping out of the way! I grabbed a lot of great food and ingredients to make some yummy recipes from my Taste of Home diet Comfort Food cookbook!

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Lunch yesterday was a rueben, Trader Joe’s butternut squash soup and mango and peach smoothie!

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After grocery shopping I literally parked my butt on the couch and really got into the book The Secret Keeper for PBFingers book review! I’m almost done with it and it is really good!

For dinner I made buffalo turkey burgers with crumbled blue cheese on top! Yummy!! That’s a recipe from the Taste of Home diet Comfort Food cookbook!

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I served it with some oven roasted green beans and raw red pepper strips!

Yesterdays workout was done in the comfort of my apartment because all I had to do was sit ups and push ups! They are getting harder slowly each time I do them because the amount keeps increasing so my arms and abs are usually burning by the end!

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I love how in the upper right corner it tells you how many you have done since the beginning of the program!

For my dessert after my workout I recently discovered that health choice makes frozen yogurt and they come in three packs. Each cup is only 100 calories which is great! I bought the strawberry and the vanilla! Last night I had the vanilla with craisins!

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This morning is back to the work grind so I woke up early to hit the gym but of course I forgot my gym card so I had to head back to my apartment to get it…luckily we live a minute from the club house! I felt really good after this workout! Full of energy and ready to tackle Monday!

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The running durations are quickly getting longer and my tolerance levels are way higher!

After my workout I had a filling breakfast of chicken sausage, one egg, and multigrain toast with butter! Now it’s off to work I go! I’m hoping that when I get out tonight I can finish my book so I can write my review!

Wow! That’s a lot of pictures! That’s what is get for not posting yesterday!

Check back this week because I’m going to be having a giveaway and there will be (5) winners!!!

Making lists

After getting 10 hours of sleep last night I decided to get up around 8am and do something productive. Yesterday was my rest day and this morning on the agenda for working out was my push ups an sit ups!
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I dropped another three pounds and feel great! Hopefully I can keep this up! The best part is I don’t feel like I’m starving at all which is a huge mistake I made trying to diet before, I would eat a salad and no carbs and be hungry all day! Not any more!!

So, onto making lists. Making lists is something that I have done since I was in middle school. It has helped me determine what priorities I get done and when I need to do them. It has helped me keep track of my spending and my bills and allowed me to save money. Recently Chris and I have been making lots of lists, our to do list on the weekends, grocery list so we don’t over spend, and our must have list for home buying! I find it so much easier to organize my thoughts when I can see them written down on paper! How do you keep track of everything you do? Do you write lists as well?

I was peaking around some other blogs last night and found this website called skinnytaste.com . I found this one recipe for buffalo cauliflower and it looks absolutely amazing, I would probably demolish the entire plate in one sitting!

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I know what is on my shopping list the next time I go grocery shopping! Cauliflower!!!

This morning after my workout I had a fried egg, a piece of chicken sausage, a slice of 12 grain toast with a laughing cow cheese wedge, and a clementine (love these)! Oh, and a giant glass of milk! I use to hate milk but now all of the sudden I have been drinking it like its going out of style!

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Off to continue The Secret Keeper until I have to go to work!

Don’t forget o check out my post about Nature Box! My box should be arriving very soon!!

Early to bed…early to rise?!

Early to bed, early to rise is not the case in my book! I do enjoy my sleep especially when I don’t have to work until noon! Right now, at 8:45pm I am sitting in my bed debating on actually going to sleep but I feel that would make me rather unproductive so I think I will just continue with my book the secret keeper!

I had an extremely short day at work today which is unusual but greatly appreciated! Before I headed to work I had a grilled cheese and a bowl of homemade french onion soup! (I was too hungry to take a pic)

Also, before I headed in to work I had a snack of carrot sticks and spinach and artichoke hummus. I had never seen this flavor before but I had to try it! It is fantastic! I love spinach artichoke cheese dip but this is much healthier!

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When I got home I had a similar snack, tortilla chips with the same hummus. The hummus is made by cedars and the chips are made by food should taste good which is one of my favorite brands! They tortillas were olive flavor and they were awesome! I had never tried those either…it was a day of firsts!

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Onto dinner, it was totally simple and spur of the moment. I had some left over chicken tenders that I tossed in panko breading and shredded cheese and baked those along with some oven roasted mushrooms, brussels sprouts, and corn. It was all very delicious and simple! I even have plenty leftover for tomorrows lunch!

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Excuse the picture I was about half way through before I decided I should take a picture! Also, when I was much younger I loved eating honey on my chicken nuggets, I tried it again tonight and wondered why I ever stopped!

Off to read my book! If you haven’t read the post about Nature Box that I posted early make sure to! Very cool site and if you send me an email I can get you $5 off your first order!

Have you ever tried something again that you use to eat all the time and wonder why you ever stopped?

Long eventful day!

Wow! Today went quick which stinks because it’s my day off! We started our errands at CVS where I picked up a rocking deal on treseme shampoo! I got nine bottles for .17¢ a bottle! Each bottle was on sale for $3.33 each and they all had $1.75 coupons on them! If you haven’t shopped at CVS they have this machine called the magic coupon machine…so I scanned my card and out popped a $2.50 off $12 shampoo purchase! Plus I had $2 extra care buck (cvs rewards program) so …i am totally stocked up on shampoo for a while! I hadn’t even planned on picking anything up and I normally shop with coupons but had not brought any with me this time!

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After CVS we headed over to the dollar tree because they have bubble wrap and we needed to ship something out I also wanted to look for more books even though I have a huge stack from last time… I did pick up two that look really good!

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The dollar tree also had Planters Nutrition peanut butter and I have heard great things about it but never tried it myself! It’s banana nut flavor…sounds yummy!

We were in the area of a great whole foods market…not the chain just a local store…we purchased our Christmas tree from them this year and wanted to go back and buy some groceries..

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We bought some agave syrup, two maple yogurts…I didn’t even know these existed and am so happy to have found them, pickles….can’t go anywhere without buying a jar of pickles, and pistachios…already peeled! These babies were our snack on the way to the grocery store..

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Onto grocery shopping and $150 later…yikes!! But some really awesome meals planned this week! In fact I have potato corn chowder on the stove right now! Bolt house farms drinks have become a staple to our grocery shopping ritual! These things are delicious if you haven’t tried them…go get one!!!

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We came home and had a veryyyyyy late lunch …around 4PM but it was delicious…it was a quick fix and very unplanned…we had purchased some naan bread and decided to make personal pizzas.. Here are the pizzas before they went into the oven… Mushroom, onion, and mozarella

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And the final result …

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We headed out again for a quick trip to get our library cards finally!!!! And visit a friend of ours and Chris’ godson! He is the cutest but he has a double ear infection so he was very clingy to mommy tonight…poor baby!

Once we got home Chris headed over to the club house to run and I stayed in the apartment to do my push ups and sit ups … Today’s workout looked like this…

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All in all a very eventful day and tomorrow is the same! Going to eat potato corn chowdaaaa …recipe to follow!

Have you had any nonstop days lately?!
How often do you use your library card?

Going back to childhood

This morning I really didn’t feel like cooking breakfast so I went to the cabinet and grabbed a flash from my childhood…cinnamon toast crunch! Yum!

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We woke up very late this morning and are finally getting the ball rolling on our “laundry list” of things to do today… We always make a hue list of things we need to do so we only end up making one trip out. I have some excellent meals planned for this week though I can’t wait to share!

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Do you ever go back to your favorite childhood cereal even if it is extra sugary?!
Do you have a laundry list of things to do this weekend?

Polish kind of night

After I got out of work I had to speed over to the bus station to pick up Chris because his bus had arrived an hour earlier and he was waiting for me! It’s nice to have him home because I don’t like eating dinner by myself! I seem to eat a lot slow when I have someone to all to…but of course he’s leaving in another week for six weeks…ugh! But at least he can rack up Hilton hotel rewards and enterprise points so when we go on vacation we have free hotel nights and rental car!! work has been extremely busy which is goo and bad..it goes by super quick but it’s tough because we are short staffed…so there’s always a lot to do.
Dinner was an all Polish meal! Kielbasa, sauerkraut, and salatka jarzynowa which literally translates to vegetable salad. Chris has been attempting to teach me Polish but so far all I know are inappropriate words and how to say hello/ goodbye, I love you…basics. I did however teach myself to sing a song about two kittens …it’s like a nursery song.. Hahah well…I’m trying!

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We got the kielbasa at a store called Fresh Market that recently opened a few months ago…great food a lot like a whole foods or trader joes but it really is awfully expensive! We are making a trip to Trader Joes this weekend when we go get my engagement ring cleaned..can’t wait for it to be really sparkly again! While it’s getting cleaned we will venture over to Trader Joes!

We have lots to do tomorrow, laundry, house hunting, grocery shopping…oh boy! But tonight..we relax! Looking forward to cracking into Dishing with the Kitchen Virgin again tonight..oh ya and we are getting library cards tomorrow. We have lived in this town for over a year and still haven’t been to the library…shameful!

Do you have/ use your library card?
Do you ever make a meal based on a certain ethnicity or country? (strange question lol)
Do you speak another language fluently?