Sunday, January 21, 2018

500 Ketogenic Recipes by Dana Carpender

*Disclosure of material connection- I received a copy of the book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest thoughts. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are 100% my own. 

About the book-

At last, a comprehensive cookbook to the hottest eating plan around! 500 Ketogenic Recipes is the ultimate starter guide to getting healthy, building muscle, and managing blood sugar.

The ketogenic diet emphasizes high ratios of healthy fats, moderate protein, and low carbohydrate intake. While the ketogenic diet isn't new -- there is newly emerging research that the ketogenic lifestyle may help reverse illness, promote longevity, and be the best diet for losing weight. Millions of people are transitioning to a ketogenic diet to look and feel their best.

However, doing the ketogenic lifestyle the right way isn't always easy. How do you keep your macronutrients properly balanced? Which foods are keto-friendly and which aren't? 500 Ketogenic Recipes is here with the answers.

Low-carb queen and bestselling author Dana Carpender shows how to live the ketogenic lifestyle deliciously with 500 easy-to-prepare recipes for everything from snacks and appetizers, to main dishes, to drinks and dessert. 500 Ketogenic Recipesmakes staying in the ketogenic zone simple with hundreds of recipes, pantry and shopping lists, and ketogenic do's and don't's.


My thoughts-

I always feel like I am going to run out of new things to try doing Keto but books like this one are constantly proving me wrong. There are a lot of staple meals for many of us ketoers- omelets, salads, burgers, sweet treats- and what I absolutely love about 500 Ketogenic Recipes is that there are countless variations on each of these staple meals allowing for variance instead of repetition for when we get tired of eating the same old thing. I know that many people on the Keto groups I am a member of on Facebook are worried that they can't have a drink every now and again and I absolutely love that there is a section on keto friendly alcoholic beverages so you can still have a drink! I even found a new strawberry tea recipe for my morning tea fix! 500 Ketogenic Recipes should be a book on every ketoers book shelf, so I recommend this book to anyone trying to follow a Keto lifestyle. These recipes will keep you busy for quite some time! 

Two Girls Down by Louisa Luna

*Disclosure of material connection- I received a copy of the book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest thoughts. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are 100% my own. 

About the book-

When two young sisters disappear from a strip mall parking lot in a small Pennsylvania town, their devastated mother hires an enigmatic bounty hunter, Alice Vega, to help find the girls. Immediately shut out by a local police department already stretched thin by budget cuts and the growing OxyContin and meth epidemic, Vega enlists the help of a disgraced former cop, Max Caplan. Cap is a man trying to put the scandal of his past behind him and move on, but Vega needs his help to find the girls, and she will not be denied. 
   With little to go on, Vega and Cap will go to extraordinary lengths to untangle a dangerous web of lies, false leads, and complex relationships to find the girls before time runs out, and they are gone forever.


My thoughts-

It has been a while since I read a suspense novel and I was ready for something fresh from someone new. Two Girls Down sounded interesting, so I was excited to read this new book from a debut author. I found the book to move a little slower paced than I like my suspense novels to be, but I liked the book as a whole. I thought there were some great twists and intense moments that are really important for books in this genre. I also liked the aspect of the bounty hunter working with the former police officer. It made for an interesting dynamic. I could see the pair continue on as partners in a book series. I would love to see more of them together in future novels. I would recommend this book to fans of Gone Girl and Girl on the Train.




Thursday, January 4, 2018

Washington D.C. Monsters

*Disclosure of material connection- I received a copy of the book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest thoughts. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are 100% my own. 

About the book-

Do you know Washington D.C.? The nation's capital attracts people from all over the world—even little monsters! Did you know that? Monsters are masters of camouflage who can easily hide in plain sight. They get lost among the Cherry Blossoms at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, go undercover in the National Gallery of Art and even stow away at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum! Have fun spotting them all as you explore some of The District’s most iconic landmarks and sights, including the United States Capitol Building, the National Mall, the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, the National Museum of Natural History, the Kennedy Center and Georgetown

My thoughts- 

My geography loving 8 year old loved Texas Monsters so I knew we needed to check out Washington D.C. Monsters. He has a secondary interests in presidents so he finds Washington D.C. Interesting too. We enjoyed this book as well. These "Monster" books are a great way to introduce your kids to geography and help them learn about other states and landmarks to go visit. I can't wait to see what else comes up in this series. I would love to see Philedelphia, New York City, New Orleans, ect. The options are limitless.  I recommend this book to any aged kids. The monsters make it fun and may spark a new interest! 

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Madame Tussaud's Las Vegas Review

Disclosure of material connection- My friend and I were provided complimentary entry into the museum in exchange for my honest thoughts. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are 100% my own. 

Madame Tussaud's in Las Vegas holds a special place in my heart because I went there on my honeymoon in 2006 with my husband. Everything about that trip was amazing, but I remember being really impressed with the wax museum, so I was very excited to go with my friend Christina on her first trip to Vegas when we went for a girl's getaway last week! We had an absolute blast! Many of the same wax figures were still there and in immaculate shape, but there were so many new ones and great new photo opportunities.

Beyond that amazing life like wax figurines, there were a few other neat opportunities, like singing karaoke with Ariana Grande:


Sitting backstage at Jerry Springer and having your "reason" for being there run across the tv screen:



And of course the super cool 4D Polar Express experience. We had a blast messing around and taking pictures with all of our favorite celebrities! I am going back to Vegas in May with my kids and I can't wait to take them to Madame Tussaud's to see what kind of fun we can have together there!





Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The Monster at Recess by Shira C. Potter

*Disclosure of material connection- I received a copy of the book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest thoughts. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are 100% my own. 

About the book-

Meet misfit Sophie, too used to being bullied at Grey Stone Day School. Her classmates Julia and Molly tease her to no end and her teacher, Mrs. Cook ignores the bullying.
The playground at Grey Stone has a special secret though: it's shared with the students of a monster school! Craving acceptance and diversity, and trying to defeat her feelings of fear towards these strange and colorful monsters, Sophie bravely steps into the unknown and meets a little monster at recess--and makes her first friend. Through her friendship with the monster, she develops stronger feelings of self-confidence and self-esteem.

My thoughts-

I remember growing up in the late 80's and early 90's that there was always a group of kids no matter what school I went to who would ostracize the other kids from their world. 
Maybe it was because the other kids weren't playing sports like them, or maybe it was because they looked different, or maybe even because they didn't grow up in that place their whole lives that these kids wouldn't be friends with you. I never understood this as a kid. I always tried to interact with all of the other kids, but I found myself on the rejected end of things every now and then and that is so difficult for a kid. Fast forward to current day and I have seen with my own eyes my own kid get bullied by other kids. Yes, you read that right, I have seen a kid say mean things to her with me standing there right next to her. It is one thing to not include a kid in your group, I totally get not everyone can be friends with everyone), but I do not understand why the bullying epidemic has become as bad as it has. The Monster At Recess is a children's book that I think should be in the hands of every kid. This book should be in every young elementary classroom from Kindergarten to Second Grade. It is a short book, but makes a great point about how it doesn't matter how someone else looks or how different we are from each other, that we can still get along, and even be friends. I don't  know what the answer to the bullying epidemic is, but I think books like this one are a great start.





Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Keto Slow Cooker & One-Pot Meals (Bookbook Reviews)

*Disclosure of material connection- I received a copy of the book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest thoughts. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are 100% my own. 

About the book-

Slow cooker and one pot meals are the ultimate convenience food. Just fix and forget, then enjoy a nourishing meal when everyone gets home.

Unfortunately, most slow cooker and one-pot recipes depend on processed, high-carbohydrate ingredients like noodles, potatoes, and other high-glycemic ingredients which aren’t allowed on the ketogenic diet.
Keto Slow Cooker & One-Pot Meals lets you enjoy your slow cooker while maintaining your ketogenic diet, too!
Filled with 100 keto recipes for everything from satisfying soups, to quick skillet meals, and savory stews, you'll always be able to get a healthy ketogenic meal on the table with no fuss!

My thoughts-

I am always looking for ways to diversify the ketogenic diet that I follow. This, for me, has been the absolute best way to not only lose weight, but feel and look healthier. Keto Slow Cooker & One-Pot Meals is a great addition to my cookbook collection. I like that there is a healthy mixture of foods from all kinds of different regions. I love a variety of foods, and like recipes like chicken tikka masala, and moussaka. It is easier to eat well when you have a variety of delicious options! I also like that the nutrition facts are listed, particularly the fat and fiber which are both extremely important to track or at least have an idea of when eating this way. Particularly of note is the dessert section, which is full of delicious ways to conquer my sweet tooth without compromising the Keto way of life. I highly recommend this cookbook to anyone following any kind of low carbohydrate diet. 








Picturing Heaven: 40 Hope-filled Devotions with Coloring Pages

*Disclosure of material connection- I received a copy of the book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for my honest thoughts. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions are 100% my own.

About the book-

Foster a deeper connection with God through coloring! Picturing Heaven is a unique coloring book featuring 40 illustrations to help you imagine the beauty of heaven, each accompanied by a devotion by Randy Alcorn, who writes frequently on the topic of heaven. Featuring metallic gold accents, lay-flat binding, and bright white paper.

My thoughts-

I think with the climate of today's society, many of us long for Heaven. There are definitely moments of high stress and anxiety for me within my own family life, and in life over all and sometimes I just need something to calm my nerves and remind me what awaits. Picturing Heaven is a great devotional focusing completely on Heaven. It is uplifting with wonderful Bible verses and has great reminders that our big picture is paradise with God. The gold and black color scheme of the pages are absolutely gorgeous and I love that Randy Alcorn has combined a devotional book with the calming art of coloring, which makes for a very peaceful experience. Picturing Heaven is the perfect gift to pair with gel pens or some nice colored pencils!