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Weekly Book Club {3.14.17}

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The two books I’m sharing this week were both ones I borrowed from the library on my iPad and they were good! Part of my reading goals this year were to branch out into different genres and to save money on books. I’m doing a great job with both of those goals! 

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The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks– When you read this book, you will make many assumptions. You will assume you are reading about a jealous wife and her obsession with her replacement. You will assume you are reading about a woman about to enter a new marriage with the man she loves. You will assume the first wife was a disaster and that the husband was well rid of her. You will assume you know the motives, the history, the anatomy of the relationships. Assume nothing.

My Rating: 4.5 Stars

This book! THIS BOOK. I had no idea what I was getting into. I didn’t read any spoilers or skip ahead. I just started it and then 10 hours later I could not go to sleep until I finished the remaining 100 pages. It was nothing like what I expected and those are the books I love the most. This book took twists and turns and changed directions until I was so invested that I had to know how it ended. Definitely recommend! But do yourself a favor and go into it blind. Don’t read spoilers. Just experience it.

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Fake Wife by Stacey Lynn– Corbin: I loved my grandma, but I don’t need her money. All I care about is keeping the house—the only place that’s ever felt like home. That, and screwing over my dad, who wants to turn the property into a mall. There’s only one catch: To receive my inheritance, I have to get married within six months. Me, the guy who’s never dated a girl for more than six minutes. Now I need to find a woman I can trust. So when I’m rear-ended by a Prius, I figure it’s a sign that I’m supposed to meet gorgeous, down-to-earth Teagan Monroe. Teagan: First I lose my job. Then I come home and find out—in the most graphic way possible . . . yeah, that way—that my boyfriend is a cheating jerk. And then I speed off and nearly kill Portland’s sexiest bachelor. Corbin Lane should be pissed. Instead, he offers me more money than I’ve ever seen in my life to marry him and live together in a mansion for two years. No sex. No feelings. Just cash—enough to make all my dreams come true. Then we go and break all our rules . . . and I realize I’m falling in love with my fake fiancé.

My Rating: 3.5 Stars

I got sucked in by this one because I’m a real sucker for the whole marriage of convenience storyline. I don’t know why. Same reason I love that Married at First Sight show on TV. This book was good. It held my interest and I was invested in the relationship and how it ended. It was a light read that didn’t make me have all the feels, which I needed after reading the book I shared above!

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Things I Learned Lately

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*Painting an entire house full of trim in less than a month will lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. 

*Carpal tunnel syndrome sucks.

*Preparing a house for sale also sucks and possibly will lead to alcoholism.

*When you finally find a rental house that you love get the lease signed immediately or said house will be gone.

*Finding a house big enough for 7 people and 3 dogs on a budget in the most expensive part of the city is hard.

*Spending 3 days researching living in an RV is not a good use of time.

*There’s no way I’m living in an RV with all these people.

*Adulting is hard.

*7th grade mean girls are just as awful as they were when I was in 7th grade.

*Teenage boys are stupid. 

*There are not enough hours in a day to get everything done that needs to be done.

*Daylight savings time is much much easier when you don’t have little kids.

*We have 11 school days left until Spring Break and I cannot wait. 

*Being the non-affluent family in a very affluent school is hard. 

*I tell the kids it’s character building but it really just sucks.

*This list of things I’ve learned is really depressing.

*I think my funny bone is broken right now. Broken by stress. 

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5 Things Friday {3.9.18}

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1. So we pretty much have a revolving door of kids in our house every weekend. Maliah has a handful of friends who rotate sleeping here most Friday and Saturday nights. Mason has his best friend here fairly often. Zoey and her bestie take turns having playdates at each other’s houses. And we never know who or how many friends Tyler is going to show up with. It’s awesome and I love it. I love knowing their friends and what is going on in their lives. 

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2. I shared this picture on IG and captioned it “How you know offseason football training is starting back up this week” haha! Tyler has weights several afternoons a week plus field work several afternoons and on Saturday’s. He also has a combine coming up at the end of the month so he’s working hard to get back into peak shape and shed his winter body. I’m still not pleased that he wants to go back to football but at this point he’s been cleared by his sports medicine doctor and the neurologist has given his tentative approval. Tyler’s completed another round of concussion specific physical therapy that concentrated on brain function and his grades have come up. Still….it’s scary. 

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3. We spent last weekend cleaning out the garage. Holy clutter. We threw away or donated several car loads full of stuff. Some of it I’m still trying to figure out where it came from. I don’t remember buying it. But it’s done. We were hoping to get the garage painted this weekend but of course the weather isn’t cooperating. We’re supposed to get torrential rain both Saturday and Sunday and temps are COLD. Maybe next weekend. 

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4. Have I mentioned how much I love our charter school? Maybe a time or two? Or a thousand? I get pictures all the time from teachers, parent volunteers, and on the Facebook and IG feeds. I love seeing my kids during their day. The pictures of Tyler at the varsity basketball playoff game were posted on IG. He was so so bummed to have to miss basketball season this year due to the concussion but he’s been at every game supporting his teammates and friends. The pictures of Maliah were taken on the 7th grade trip to Washington DC and posted on Facebook by a parent chaperone. The pictures of Zoey were taken by a parent volunteer during her STEM class and the pictures of Mason were taken by his teacher and sent out to parents. I really love this!

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5. Maliah has had such a rough transition to school this year. It’s so hard to jump into middle school not knowing anyone, especially when it’s a smaller school and most of the kids have been together for years. She’s made friends and her grades are fantastic. But recently she’s been dealing with a mean girl situation. This girl is someone Maliah considered a friend so to have her all of a sudden turn on Maliah and start some false rumors has been hard. Mean girls suck. Maliah seems to be handling it well. There were some tears and then she got angry. She introduced this girl to the definition of slander and let her know that bullying will not be tolerated. It helps having an older brother who is uber popular and known by everyone…including the mean girl’s older sister. That helps a lot. 

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Weekly Book Club {3.7.18}

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I’m sharing two good books this week! 1 by a favorite author and one that was recommended to me by a friend. I loved one and really liked the other one. I’m trying hard to branch out and read more genres than just romance. I’ve gotten a bit bored with the romance books and find myself gravitating towards mystery and suspense or contemporary books right now. 

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Rescuing Casey by Susan Stoker– One minute Casey Shea was minding her own business, doing her job, teaching entomology to college students, and the next she was in the middle of the Costa Rican jungle fighting for her life.  Troy “Beatle” Lennon had watched his friends fall head over heels in love, but never thought it would happen to him. Until he sees a picture of one of his teammates’ sisters. That was it. The absolute joy in her eyes calls to him in a way he can’t understand. But that joy is currently being threatened by an unknown person who’d had Casey kidnapped and hidden deep in the jungle. It’s up to Beatle to find her and keep her safe until the threat against her can be neutralized. Surviving the dangers of the jungle turns out to be the easy part…staying ahead of the killer is much more complicated…and deadly. 

My Rating: 5 Stars

I don’t think there has been one book by this author that I haven’t loved. This one is number 7 in her Delta Force Heroes series and it’s as good as all the others. Full of suspense, romance, and hot alpha males. Yum. I love that even though each book in each series is a standalone they all connect with the same characters. It makes it so much more enjoyable to read when all the characters are the same. I’ll be so sad when these series end. 

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24 Hours by Greg Iles– 24 HOURS — that’s how long it takes a madman to pull off the perfect crime. He’s done it before, he’ll do it again, and no one can stop him. But this time, he’s just picked the wrong family to terrorize. Because Will and Karen Jennings aren’t going to watch helplessly as he victimizes them. And they aren’t going to let him get away with it.

My Rating: 4 Stars

This book was a recommendation from a friend when I confessed that I was bored with some of the books on my unread shelf. I’ve read a few books by this author before and enjoyed them so I gave this one a try. It was good! I was sucked in to the story and had to see how it ended! I kept putting myself into the position of the main characters and wondering how I would react and what I would do. I read this book in less than 13 hours! Definitely recommend.

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Fiesta Chicken Pasta Salad

My family loves pasta salads, for many reasons. I love that I can prepare it early in the day and chill it until dinner. The kids love that it usually means Spring is right around the corner when I start making pasta salads. Matt loves that there is always enough leftovers for lunch the next day. I made it a goal for March to find some new pasta salad recipes to try and this one was at the top of my list. It was really good- lots of flavoring and good veggie combinations. I used spicy salsa for an extra kick and I’m glad I did!

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Ingredients:
1 box favorite pasta, cooked
1-2 cups cooked and shredded chicken
1 pkt taco seasoning
1 can black beans, drained
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup chopped peppers
1 cup cubed cheese
16 oz sour cream
1 jar salsa

Directions:
1. Combine first 8 ingredients in large serving bowl.
2. Mix sour cream and salsa together in small bowl.
3. Pour salsa mix over pasta salad; stir to combine.
4. Chill at least an hour before serving.

I will definitely be making this one again. It would also be a great side dish if you left out the chicken! I enjoy some vegetarian pasta salads every once in awhile but Matt does not believe it’s a true meal without meat. Such a carnivore. Ha. 

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