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Weekly Book Club {2.21.18}

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The Soul Mate by Kendall Ryan– The smoking-hot one-night stand I was never supposed to see again? Yeah, well, I might be pregnant, and he’s my OB-GYN. Get ready to fall head over heels madly in love with the hottest OBGYN doctor you have ever met! This full-length standalone contains the most hilariously awkward lady-doctor visit, lots of playful banter and some good ol’ fashioned baby-makin’! One-click now for this summer’s swooniest read.

My Rating: 4 Stars

This book was not at all what I expected. It was good, it was just not the story I thought I was getting. At all. I enjoyed it but the blurb is misleading. It’s well written and I really enjoyed the banter between the main characters. I liked Mason more than Bren, I found her to be annoying for most of the book. This was a quick enjoyable fluffy read which is what I needed after a couple of heavy books. 

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Built by Jay Crownover– Sometimes you have to tear everything down to build something new. Sayer Cole is frozen inside. At least, that’s what it’s felt like for as long as she can remember. She’s yet to let anyone past her icy exterior – and the one guy she thinks might melt her heart couldn’t possibly be interested in someone so uptight. Rough, hard and hot-as-hell, Zeb Fuller has rebuilt his life and his construction business since protecting his family sent him to jail all those years ago. His elegant client, Sayer, makes him feel like a Neanderthal in denim, but despite the many hints that he’s been dropping to get to know her better, she seems oblivious to his charms. Just as things finally start to heat up, Zeb’s past comes back to haunt him and he needs Sayer’s professional help to right a wrong and to save more than himself. As these opposites dig in for the fight of their lives, fire and ice collide in an unstoppable explosion of steam.

My Rating: 5 Stars

I knew I would love this book. This series is a spin off of the Marked Men series, which was so fabulous. The characters in this new series, Saints of Denver, were secondary characters in the Marked Men series. I enjoyed every bit of this book. Sayer was a tough cookie who I was so frustrated with for the majority of the book but one you get into her history it’s easy to see why she was that way. Zeb, on the other hand, was swoon worthy. They had to really work for their relationship and nothing came easy for them. But man, it was an amazing read! I had this one in my unread shelf for so long and I’m kicking myself that I didn’t read it long before now. 

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Delicious Crockpot Chicken Taco Soup

I’ve had this recipe for awhile and have never tried it before. I’m not sure why, maybe because I have several taco soup recipes in my collection already that we really enjoy. But this one is made with beer….I had to give it a try. And I’m so glad I did because it was AMAZING! 

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Ingredients:
2 frozen chicken breasts
12oz can of beer
1 can pinto beans, drained
1 can black beans, drained
1 can corn, drained
1 can tomato sauce
1 can rotel
1 can diced tomatoes
1 pkt taco seasoning

Directions:
1. Combine all ingredients in crockpot.
2. Cook on High for 4 hours.
3. Shred chicken and mix well.
4. Serve topped with cheese, if desired.

Seriously, this was so amazingly delicious! I actually ended up loving this more than my go-to taco soup recipe. I’ll be making this one from now on. It has enough of a kick because of the rotel and it’s not too creamy because of the beer. Definitely going to be on my meal plan more often!

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Weekly Book Club {2.14.18}

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Today I’m sharing 2 books that have been on my unread shelf for awhile. I was really excited about both of these books and then they just got buried underneath all the other books.

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The Man I Thought You Were by Leah Mercer– One fine autumn evening, Anna returns from work and starts making dinner, eager to welcome home her husband, Mark. It’s just like any other day in their ten-year, Pinterest-perfect marriage—until he says he’s leaving her. Discovering that the man she thought she knew better than anyone else is capable of abandoning it all sends Anna reeling. She believed the life they’d built together—and the bright future they’d imagined—counted for everything. How can he walk away? The truth is Mark is battling secrets of his own—secrets Anna knows nothing about. A painful past and an uncertain future threaten to bring his life down around him—and he’ll do anything not to expose her to that. But unravelling the past is lonelier than Mark could ever have imagined and, as the days turn to months, Anna worries the separation will break them forever. Can she bring him back from the brink of self-destruction before it’s too late, or will she discover that she never really knew him at all?

My Rating: 3.5 Stars

I’m not sure what I expected from this book but it was very different than I anticipated. I was expecting a big dark secret life of some kind so I was a bit thrown off by the direction the book went. I’m still not sure how I feel about it. The writing was good but I had a hard time feeling the connection between Mark and Anna. There was very little build up to their relationship so it made what happened less shocking. I wasn’t invested in their marriage so the big reveal was a bit ho-hum for me. 

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Enough by Dawn L. Chiletz– My name is Everly. I’m a stay-at-home mom of two beautiful kids. I have a husband who provides for our family, but I don’t think he loves me anymore. Inside I die a little every day. I am not enough. Not enough of a mother, a wife, a friend, a woman… I’m not enough to get you to stay, to love me or to accept me. There’s a battle I’m fighting. It’s a battle within myself. I’m a fixer; I help others. I try to make everyone around me happy and whole, yet I haven’t figured out a way to fix myself. When time and circumstances push me to my breaking point, I’m forced to take a hard look at what I’ve become. A failed marriage, a failed attempt at a career, and a failed attempt at being a mother. I’m not enough to hold any of it. This is my story. It’s about trying to figure out how to be happy with who I am, how to love myself again, and how to allow others to love me. When a second chance at love is standing in front of me, will I be able to see anything more than my broken reflection in his eyes? Will I be able to rebuild and reinvent myself when everything falls apart? Can I find the love I truly deserve? Will I ever be enough?

My Rating: 4 Stars

This book has some definite trigger warnings attached to it. It is a very realistic portrayal of emotional abuse within a marriage. It was hard to read, uncomfortable to digest, and it made my heart ache for Everly. I was fully invested in this story. I was cheering for her, I was hoping a large piano fell on her husband’s head, and I was completely all in for her new relationship. All in, y’all! I highly recommend this book!

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Chronicles Of A Flu Stricken Family

So I completely disappeared from this blog last week. There was a good reason. Our entire family, with the exception of Tyler, was stricken down with the dreaded flu. If you follow me on Instagram then you saw me chronicle parts of the week. Here’s a glimpse into the week of a family struck down by Influenza.

Day One:

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That’s patient zero up there. Saturday evening Mason started feeling crummy. 3 hours later he had a fever of 103 and was miserable. So first thing Sunday morning we were at Target Minute Clinic for a flu test and exam. He was positive for Influenza A. I took the prescription for Tamiflu and the doctor’s not very optimistic “good luck” and we went home. I called around to all 34 pharmacies nearest me until I found one with Tamiflu in stock. $50 later we had the last 2 bottles of medicine that was so awful it made Mason gag and cry every time he had to take it. 

Day Two:

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Monday morning came in like a wrecking ball. All 3 younger kids had fevers hovering between 103-104 all day long. They were sad, miserable, and impossible to please. I spent the day catering to a hoard of tiny dictators who insisted on sharing their germs with me. I almost lost a finger trying to sneak a Kit-Kat out of their Halloween candy but flu germs? Those they’re willing to share. Matt came home early Monday afternoon with the dreaded Man Flu. And Tyler refused to set foot in our house until all the flu germs were gone. He packed a bag for the week and took off for a friend’s house. Lucky. 

Day 3:

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All that lovely sharing of flu germs worked and I woke up with a high fever and a general feeling of death. Matt stayed home from work- his first sick day in 12 years! Dang Asian immune system. The entire day consisted of lying on the couch and occasionally tossing medicine at sick kids. I don’t remember anything else. 

Day 4:

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That picture pretty much sums it up. A gazillion dollars spent at the pharmacy just to keep us alive. Day four brought with it fun tummy troubles for the kids which led to more moaning and whining. After I made the trip up the stairs for the millionth time to take a kid a fresh water bottle while Matt moaned on the couch, I started to wonder just how long I’d have to hold that pillow over his face……luckily for him the stairs sucked out all my strength. 

Day 5:

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Day 5 brought total misery for Zoey. Her cough turned into wheezing and severe congestion, her ears started hurting, and the dreaded white patches appeared in the back of her throat. We did some spoonfuls of honey and peppermint essential oil in the diffuser to help with her coughing. Then we did a detox bath with more oils. It definitely did help! I got her into the doctors that afternoon and sure enough- strep throat and a double ear infection. Go big or go home, Zoey!

Day 6:

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Day 6 saw some improvements finally. Mason was fever free for the entire day. Maliah was also fever free. She declined to have any pictures taken of her while battling the flu. I don’t understand her reluctance. Ha. Once Zoey got a few doses of her antibiotics in her, she felt much better. 

Day 7:

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We finally left the house. Finally. Everyone was fever free and starting to go crazy in the house. So we headed out to Target. We needed some stuff- like Lysol and food. The kids were so excited to re-enter the land of the living again. 

So ends the week of misery. Everyone went back to school today and Matt went back to work. Tyler finally came home last night. I spent the entire day washing and sanitizing bedrooms and bedding. Every square inch of this house has been disinfected and cleaned. I’m not taking any chances!

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Crockpot BBQ Chicken Soup

I’m always on the look out for new ways to make soup in the crockpot with chicken breasts because I buy the chicken breasts frozen in bulk at Sam’s Club once a month. This recipe came about because I was missing 3 ingredients to make a different recipe. Ha! And it turned out really good. Everyone in my house ate it without complaint, which is akin to a real miracle these days. 

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Ingredients:
2 frozen chicken breasts
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 can white beans, drained
5 cups chicken broth
1 cup BBQ sauce
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp garlic granules

Directions:
1. Add chicken, corn, and beans to crockpot.
2. In bowl, combine broth, BBQ sauce, and seasonings together.
3. Pour over top of chicken.
4. Cook on HIGH for 4 hours.
5. Shred chicken before serving.

I definitely will make this again but next time I will add some chili powder or red pepper flakes for a little kick. This made quite a bit! We had enough for 3 lunches the next day!

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