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I’m Still Alive, I Swear

Hi friends! I’m still alive, I promise. This has been the biggest whirwind of a month. I did not mean to disappear for the last couple of weeks. I don’t have a lot of time right now but I wanted to pop in and give a quick update. As most of you know, we have been working hard to get our house ready for sale. Our goal was to be ready to put the house on the market in May so we could move after the school year ended. Well, the state of our current housing market necessitated us moving up our timeline. Houses are literally selling in days in our neighborhood with bidding wars and multiple offers. So we spent the last month working like dogs to finish up any last minute projects. I think I’ve slept 5 hours since March haha! But we did it. Every project was finished and we called our realtor. Our house was on the market within 5 days of calling her. And the offers began rolling in, even before we had showings. I’m happy to tell you that our house is officially under contract. We had multiple good offers and accepted an all cash offer over asking price. They requested a quick closing so we’ve been scrambling to find and secure our rental house and all the hoops that requires us to jump through. 

We’ve had so much going on other than our house stuff too. Tyler went to prom. Maliah has a boyfriend. The little kids spent the weekend at their grandparents….I’ll do a real catch up life lately post soon when my head is finally above water again. I can’t wait to share the professional pictures that we had done of our house for the MLS listing! 

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Weekly Book Club {3.28.18}

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I haven’t had a lot of free time lately but I’m trying to fit in at least 20 minutes of reading a night before bed. Every spare second has been consumed with getting this house ready to go on the market. I’m so ready to move so I can read books again!

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Need to Know by Karen Cleveland– Vivian Miller is a dedicated CIA counterintelligence analyst assigned to uncover the leaders of Russian sleeper cells in the United States. On track for a much-needed promotion, she’s developed a system for identifying Russian agents, seemingly normal people living in plain sight. After accessing the computer of a potential Russian operative, Vivian stumbles on a secret dossier of deep-cover agents within America’s borders. A few clicks later, everything that matters to her—her job, her husband, even her four children—are threatened. Vivian has vowed to defend her country against all enemies, foreign and domestic. But now she’s facing impossible choices. Torn between loyalty and betrayal, allegiance and treason, love and suspicion, who can she trust?

My Rating: 4.5 Stars

This one was so close to a 5 Star read for me. I really enjoyed it. The story line flowed nicely with good pace, there was enough tension to keep me interested the entire time, and the characters were well developed. The angst of Vivian’s situation was almost palpable throughout the entire book and I thought the way she handled things was portrayed very realistically. My only complaint was the ending. I thought it wrapped up the story and drama a little too quickly and neatly despite the author leaving room for future books. I hope she does write a second one! Definitely recommend!

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Into the Black Nowhere by Meg Gardiner– In southern Texas, on Saturday nights, women are disappearing. One vanishes from a movie theater. Another is ripped from her car at a stoplight. Another vanishes from her home while checking on her baby. Rookie FBI agent Caitlin Hendrix, newly assigned to the FBI’s elite Behavioral Analysis Unit, fears that a serial killer is roaming the dark roads outside Austin. Caitlin and the FBI’s serial crime unit discover the first victim’s body in the woods. She’s laid out in a bloodstained, white baby-doll nightgown. A second victim in a white nightie lies deeper in the forest’s darkness. Both bodies are surrounded by Polaroid photos, stuck in the earth like headstones. Each photo pictures a woman in a white negligee, wrists slashed, suicide-style–posed like Snow White awaiting her prince’s kiss. To track the UNSUB, Caitlin must get inside his mind. How is he selecting these women? Working with a legendary FBI profiler, Caitlin searches for a homology–that elusive point where character and action come together. She profiles a confident, meticulous killer who convinces his victims to lower their guard until he can overpower and take them in plain sight. He then reduces them to objects in a twisted fantasy–dolls for him to possess, control, and ultimately destroy. Caitlin’s profile leads the FBI to focus on one man: a charismatic, successful professional who easily gains people’s trust. But with only circumstantial evidence linking him to the murders, the police allow him to escape. As Saturday night approaches, Caitlin and the FBI enter a desperate game of cat and mouse, racing to capture the cunning predator before he claims more victims.

My Rating: 4.5 Stars

This was a truly gripping book. It was a gritty, dark read that was uncomfortable at times but I enjoyed every minute of it, if that makes any sense. I finished this book in 6 hours because I could not put it down! I started it around 9pm and woke up at 4am with my iPad on my face and only 1 chapter left to read. Ha! I loved the suspense, the mystery, the police procedure of this story. I liked the main characters and I can’t wait to read more from this series!

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5 Things Friday {3.23.18}

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It’s been a week, y’all. I’m literally counting the days until Spring Break. It cannot get here fast enough for me. I need a break and I need to blow through this to do list so we can get our house on the market within the next 2 weeks! ugh. 

1. Little Miss Sassy Pants here had a birthday party last weekend and she wanted her hair in the top knot “just like mom”. I’m so proud. She rocked that top knot and had the sassy attitude to go with it. Ha!

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2. On Sunday Zoey had her best friend over for a playdate and they had the best time. They watched a movie, drew pictures, played Minecraft, and took a dip in the hot tub. A good time was had by all and Zoey was so tired after her friend left that she slept for 4 hours. That’s a win!

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3. Tyler did his promposal this week. It was adorable. He’s taking the sweetest girl and I’m so happy! He did the whole thing himself. He bought the donuts and sweet tea (her favorite), made the poster, bought the paint and recruited some football and basketball teammates to help out. And a good friend of his videoed the whole thing so I could see it. I love this school. 

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4. We love Spring. And we especially love the first day of Spring when Dairy Queen gives out free ice cream cones and Rita’s italian ice gives out free italian ices. Win! We hit both up on Tuesday night despite the fact it was freezing cold and raining. We don’t pass up free dessert at our house!

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5. And on Wednesday I woke up not feeling great. By Wednesday afternoon I was so sick that I had to hit urgent care. What I thought was just a sinus infection ended up being a very serious sinus infection, an ear infection with a perforated ear drum, and the infection had spread to the lymph nodes under my jaw. Sigh. So I’m on heavy duty antibiotics and feeling like death right now. 

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Turkey Bacon Ranch Sliders

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I’ve been searching for some easy slider recipes for Spring. I’m tired of all my winter recipes and I’m looking so forward to pulling out some Spring pasta salads and sliders! I gave this one a try last week and it was delicious! I’ll definitely be making this again. 

Ingredients:
1 pkg slider rolls
20 slices turkey deli meat
6 slices provolone cheese
4 Tbsp ranch dressing
1 pkg bacon, cooked

Directions:
1. Slice top half of rolls off and lay bottom half in baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.
2. Spread ranch dressing on top.
3. Break bacon pieces in half and lay on top of ranch dressing.
4. Layer turkey over bacon.
5. Top with cheese slices.
6. Cover with top half of slider rolls.
7. Spread thin layer of margarine on top of rolls and sprinkle with garlic granules.
8. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

So good, y’all! The kids ate every bite and I made TWO pans! Matt was mad that he didn’t have any to take to work the next day. I used the fully cooked microwavable bacon because I was short on time and it was the perfect amount of crispiness. 

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Weekly Book Club {3.21.18}

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Today I’m sharing 2 books by 2 of my most favorite authors! These authors are must reads for me no matter what they write. I borrowed both these books from the local library and enjoyed them so much!

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Judgment Road by Christine Feehan– As the enforcer of the Torpedo Ink motorcycle club, Reaper lives for riding and fighting. He’s a stone-cold killer who turns his wrath on those who deserve it. Feelings are a weakness he can’t afford–until a gorgeous bartender gets under his skin…Near Sea Haven, the small town of Caspar has given Anya Rafferty a new lease on life. And she’s desperate to hold on to her job at the biker bar, even if the scariest member of the club seems to have it out for her. But Reaper’s imposing presence and smoldering looks just ratchet up the heat. Anya’s touch is everything Reaper doesn’t want–and it brands him to the bone. But when her secrets catch up to her, Reaper will have to choose between Anya and his club–his heart and his soul.

My Rating: 5 Stars

This is the first book in a new series that’s a spinoff of both the Sea Haven and Sisters of the Heart series. You see a lot of the same characters and that makes it so much fun for me to read. It’s like reuniting with old friends! I enjoyed this book a lot. I wasn’t sure how much I would love this second spin off series but it started with a bang! I can’t wait to read the rest of the books!

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Dark in Death by J.D. Robb– It was a stab in the dark. On a chilly February night, during a screening of Psycho in midtown, someone sunk an ice pick into the back of Chanel Rylan’s neck, then disappeared quietly into the crowds of drunks and tourists in Times Square. To Chanel’s best friend, who had just slipped out of the theater for a moment to take a call, it felt as unreal as the ancient black-and-white movie up on the screen. But Chanel’s blood ran red, and her death was anything but fictional. Then, as Eve Dallas puzzles over a homicide that seems carefully planned and yet oddly personal, she receives a tip from an unexpected source: an author of police thrillers who recognizes the crime—from the pages of her own book. Dallas doesn’t think it’s coincidence, since a recent strangulation of a sex worker resembles a scene from her writing as well. Cops look for patterns of behavior: similar weapons, similar MOs. But this killer seems to find inspiration in someone else’s imagination, and if the theory holds, this may be only the second of a long-running series. The good news is that Eve and her billionaire husband Roarke have an excuse to curl up in front of the fireplace with their cat, Galahad, reading mystery stories for research. The bad news is that time is running out before the next victim plays an unwitting role in a murderer’s deranged private drama—and only Eve can put a stop to a creative impulse gone horribly, destructively wrong.

My Rating: 5 Stars

And yet another awesome installment in the In Death series that I love so much! This is book #46 and I still get so excited with every new story she writes. I highly recommend this one…and all of them! The mystery was good, the plot flowed, and the characters were as amazing as ever. 

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