Stuff: My Itty-Bitty Interview Over At Whatmatterstomommy.com

Not gonna lie, I’m kind of loving Michelle’s blog, What Matters To Mommy. She’s full of great advice on making money, saving money, and all things blogging. It’s basically a mom’s place to hangout and learn how to be more than just “mom”.  I think a lot of mother’s tend to lose their identity after their kids are born, and I know for me it has definitely happened. But I do still yearn for something to call my own. Cue my starting up this blog.

Having not worked in so many years, I have kind of forgotten how to deal with things besides making lunches and being a mom taxi. (You’d think scheduling would be easy peasy for me but I literally just came home defeated because I missed lunch duty at my youngest daughter’s school.) With that said, blogging is a good reintroduction to finding yourself again while *possibly* making a little moola on the side. Clearly, I’m not there yet but am hopeful that once I really figure this stuff out, I’ll actually get some readers!

Anyway, Michelle asked me to do a little interview for her blog about introverted bloggers and I certainly fit that description. I’m feeling a bit badly as my answers are so minimal but that’s who I am, a woman of few words (not in this particular post I suppose) so I kept true to myself…hopefully not to the detriment of what she was trying to accomplish.

Michelle has started a Facebook group called Introverted Bloggers Unite so if you feel you fit in with that, go check it out, the more we can do to help each other, the better!

Thanks Michelle!!

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Book Chat: The Square

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The Square by Rosie Millard

From Amazon UK

Jane has the ideal life: loving husband, beautiful house and delightful son. Her fashionable dinner parties are perfect – and so are her secret assignations with her neighbour’s husband, Jay. From Tracey and her ‘New Money’ lottery winnings to eccentric artist Philip and his pornographic portraits, the residents of North London’s most privileged enclave The Square are a very satisfied bunch. To raise money for communal fencing, the Residents’ Association decides to hold a Talent Show, produced by Jane and hosted by TV celebrity Alan Makin. But when the show lurches into public disarray, reputations are shattered and everyone has to learn to live with a far less glossy reality than before.

 

My Take:

This was a kicky little book about neighbors in an upper class London square. It was a bit Melrose Place except with married, wealthy families instead of gorgeous single people. It was written from multiple perspectives, with the viewpoint of the Square’s bitchiest occupant, Jane to the children who live in the households, including George, Jane’s son. I was never quite able to figure out how old he was; at times he sounded and acted much older than he would at other moments throughout the book. Strange. You also hear from other neighbors like the lucky lottery winners and the eccentric artist and his bizarre companion. Each of them is flawed in their own special way, which makes for an entertaining read.

The premise of the book was fun, being a fly on the wall in the households where things may look great on the outside but underneath all the fluff there was some seriously dissatisfied people, cheating on one another here, there, and everywhere. I found the characters to be only somewhat developed, I never really cared to know any of them further though. Again, it was fluff, but that was what I knew it was so it delivered perfectly.

It wrapped itself up fairly well, although I would have liked a bit more closure on some of the happenings. Overall, it was a fun, punchy read that I would definitely bring along to a beach and read while soaking up some Vitamin D.

**Full disclosure: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

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Stuff: What I do besides ogle stationery and shiny things!

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I haven’t been terribly with it in relation to the blog and it’s for a multitude of reasons but one of the main things I do is study Aromatherapy.  I initially started out getting a starter kit from Young Living from a friend of mine and jumped in whole hog. I have always been a crunchy, granola type (if anyone takes offense to those terms I’m sorry because I find them fantastically complimentary!) of gal but didn’t really know the proper outlet until I stumbled upon essential oils and herbalism.

I was hesitant at first because I didn’t really know the proper way to use oils and was honestly almost afraid of them but I’ve been learning slowly. While I enjoy learning from my Facebook groups, I did take it upon myself to do my own research and started with a FREE introductory course from Aromahead. I enjoyed that so much I decided to go ahead and do the full-0n certification course and I couldn’t be happier.

As a mom, it’s important to me that I do things that will benefit my kids and some of the information I found online was misleading to say the least. I prefer to err on the side of caution and believe that less is more in just about every capacity (except maybe chocolate). What I was seeing on sites like Pinterest and the like were EO recipes that were far too strong or just not consistent with findings from leading people in the aromatherapy industry like Robert Tisserand.

So yes, I still use my Young Living oils, love them in fact, but I use them in ways that make me feel confident and comfortable. If you’ve ever wanted to experiment with oils, let me know, I’d be happy to chat with you, no pressure, I promise. I’m not in this to make money, I truly love, love, love all things oils! One of the best smells in the world is diffused Frankincense and Bergamot, especially when I’m doing yoga or meditating, but even if I’m not, it is a welcome scent any old time.

Other things I use my oils for are: diffusing Tea Tree in my bedrooms to help with mold spores as we live in a super humid climate where mold loves to grow; using Pine, Lavender, and Mandarin in a baking soda, Castile soap base to make a “soft scrub” for sinks and tubs. The list is endless and they truly are an amazing, non-toxic option for today’s overly chemical world.

Book Chat: Two Days Gone

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Two Days Gone by Randall Silvis

From Amazon:

The perfect family. The perfect house. The perfect life. All gone now.

What could cause a man, when all the stars of fortune are shining upon him, to suddenly snap and destroy everything he has built? This is the question that haunts Sergeant Ryan DeMarco after the wife and children of beloved college professor and bestselling author Thomas Huston are found slaughtered in their home. Huston himself has disappeared and so is immediately cast as the prime suspect.

DeMarco knows―or thinks he knows―that Huston couldn’t have been capable of murdering his family. But if Huston is innocent, why is he on the run? And does the half-finished manuscript he left behind contain clues to the mystery of his family’s killer?

A masterful new thriller by acclaimed author Randall Silvis, Two Days Gone is a taut, suspenseful story that will will break your heart as much as it will haunt your dreams.

My Take:

Hey all, hope everyone had a great holiday!! Sorry for being all non-posty and stuff but this book took me forever to finish and it wasn’t necessarily that it wasn’t good, because I did look forward to when I could sit down and read it but as most of you can probably relate, this time of year is so full-on packed with things to do, Christmas concerts, holiday parties, shopping for presents, getting tangled in wrapping paper and tape, etc., etc.

So back to the book, the first thing I should say is that it was a hard read based on the format on my Kindle, as it was all over the place format wise. But I’m hopeful that it is only because it was a pre-copy and I assume it won’t be like that regularly. As for the story itself, it was ok. I can’t say great because it just didn’t engage me as much as previous books I’ve reviewed but perhaps I’m not being fair due to all the other stuff that kept my mind occupied. It was a pretty dark storyline though, which is right up my alley (weird, because I’m like, the most peaceful person in real life unless you count road rage!) so it called to me for that reason. I must admit, as a parent, some of this was really hard to think about but it wasn’t so intense as to keep me from reading. I generally shy away from any book where something happens to kids, and animals if I’m being truthful, lol.

I didn’t really understand why Sergeant DeMarco was so captivated by Huston, the man accused of killing his own family. He seemed to think he knew him far better than someone who only hung out with him a few times should. It was little things like that which bugged me a bit but overall, I thought the storyline was ok, and subplots like DeMarco’s wife and his history were included but didn’t do much to enhance the story. But did it keep me wondering who actually did it? For sure! Did I enjoy reading it? Not really. Did I look forward to finishing it to move on to another story? Yes. So from that, you can reach your own conclusion!

**Full disclosure: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

 

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Book Chat: Because She Loves Me

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Because She Loves Me by Mark Edwards

From Amazon:

A gripping tale of jealousy, obsession and murder, from the No.1 Bestselling author of The Magpies.

When Andrew Sumner meets beautiful, edgy Charlie, he is certain his run of bad luck has finally come to an end.

But as the two of them embark on an intense affair, Andrew wonders if his grasp on reality is slipping. Items go missing in his apartment. Somebody appears to be following him. And as misfortune and tragedy strike his friends and loved ones, Andrew is forced to confront the frightening truth…

Is Charlie really the girl of his dreams – or the woman of his nightmares?

My Take:

I just finished this as, weirdly, I fell asleep last night with like, two pages left. But don’t let that fool you, this book was anything but boring!! In fact, it was a super read, full of drama, suspense, and a twist at the end that I honestly didn’t see coming.  There were times in the book that I would roll my eyes at the absurdity of Andrew’s thought processes (case in point: “She had, I believed, committed murder. But, in a way, my crime against her was even worse. I’d betrayed her behind her back.” Whaaaat?? Please!) but for entertainment value, you know why the author made him that way. He was the perfect candidate for a psycho stalker and to be honest, it was a bit maddening that he didn’t catch on sooner but who am I to say when I wasn’t expecting it to end the way it did?

I’d like to give away more but don’t want to spoil it so if you’ve read it I’d love to hear your take!

**Full disclosure: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

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Stuff: UO Ruthie Velvet Floor Pillow

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Random? Perhaps. But if you like to be comfy then I can’t see it being a bad thing. I bought two of these pillows for my daughter’s playroom with the thought that I’d buy more if I liked them when I saw them in person. Needless to say, I loved them and promptly went onto Urban Outfitters to buy 3 more but to my dismay they were sold out. So I’ve been obsessively checking in to see if they’ve put them back up and lo and behold, to my delight, there they were the other day, in all their muted pink, crushed velvet glory!! I quickly scooped up three more, not caring that they are backordered until February. My derriere can wait…

Paper: This Is Ground ‘Mod Tablet 3’

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Keeping in the vein of organisation, The Mod Tablet 3 by This is Ground is the older, more sophisticated version of my last post, when it comes to a place to keep your goodies. I bought one of these bad boys a couple of years ago and it’s gorgeous. The leather is beautifully worn and flexible and just looks rich. I have it in this particular colour, which is called “Toffee” and it’s been fabulous for traveling and keeping all my important documents together as well as all essentials like my headphones, iPhone and most importantly, the pen & paper to fill out those customs forms!

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Paper: Mochi Things

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When I was little I was obsessed with going to the Sanrio store at our local mall, begging my dad to take me on the weekend to get a cute little Hello Kitty notebook and pen set. I can even remember crying when he said no, my addiction to all things cute and involving paper having started early apparently. Well, Mochi Things is like the big sister of Sanrio, still kind of cutesy but with a grown up feel. They have all the cool stuff to keep you organised, or at least give the illusion that you are.

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Book Chat: The Sister

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The Sister by Louise Jensen

From Amazon:

Grace hasn’t been the same since the death of her best friend Charlie. She is haunted by Charlie’s last words, and in a bid for answers, opens an old memory box of Charlie’s. It soon becomes clear there was a lot she didn’t know about her best friend.

When Grace starts a campaign to find Charlie’s father, Anna, a girl claiming to be Charlie’s sister steps forward. For Grace, finding Anna is like finding a new family, and soon Anna has made herself very comfortable in Grace and boyfriend Dan’s home.

But something isn’t right. Things disappear, Dan’s acting strangely and Grace is sure that someone is following her. Is it all in Grace’s mind? Or as she gets closer to discovering the truth about both Charlie and Anna, is Grace in terrible danger?

There was nothing she could have done to save Charlie …or was there?

My take:

So yeah, I’m on a roll with books that are reaaaaalllly good…Characters were nicely developed, although I did think Grace was a bit on the annoying side, I mean, who let’s some girl you just met go out with their boyfriend to some fancy shindig, is there not even a hint of something askew?!  Anyway, Dan was the obligingly nice boyfriend, or was he? The ghost of Charlie is ever-present which helps the reader to understand and almost feel the grief that Grace feels. And Anna, well, c’mon.

The storyline is something right off a Lifetime Movie but if you know me, I’m not above a good Lifetime flick! In fact, I quite enjoy a good revenge story and this one is certainly that! I love fast-paced prose where I can’t wait to turn the page and I’ve seriously been hitting the jackpot with this lately. The writing was nicely done too, very detailed and descriptive without droning on with non-essentials. Overall, I’d definitely recommend this book to friends, it was a fun read!

**Full disclosure: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

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Stuff: Fed + Fit Blog

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Has anyone else checked out the blog Fed +Fit by Cassy Joy Garcia? I’ve just discovered it and let me tell you, GIRL CRUSH TIME! She is amazing! Her blog is filled with fantastically yummy things to eat that keep you healthy and satisfied, IF you’re paleo (mostly) that is. After stumbling onto the blog,  I recently discovered her Snapchat account, which is kind of a big deal because dude, I’m like 40-something and all these newfangled apps can sometimes be out of my realm. Like, I don’t even know what half of the new slang means and I’ve given up watching MTV because I don’t know any of the performers anymore. (Insert frowny face that no amount of Botox can remedy)…but I digress.

Back to Snapchat. If you haven’t checked out Cassy Joy’s account, it is a must do! There is something soooooo cute about her, when she talks for her dog ‘Gus’, I end up having a big dorky grin on my face. I love her quirkiness and her passion for helping others and she literally makes me happy, how great is that?!

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