Sunday, October 18, 2020

The Unofficial Disney Parks Cookbooks by Ashley Craft

 


*Disclosure of material collection- I received the book 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-

Stroll right down the middle of Main Street USA, journey from Adventureland to Infinity and Beyond at Pixar Pier, and explore every avenue in between to taste the flavors of the Disney Parks…all without leaving your kitchen.

With The Unofficial Disney Parks Cookbook you can bring the magic of Disneyland and Walt Disney World snacks and treats right to your home. Recreate favorites like the classic Dole Whip and Mickey Pretzels to new favorites like blue milk from Star Wars land and Jack Jack’s Cookie Num Nums from Pixar Pier.

My thoughts-

There are so many people who are just itching to go travel right now, but some people are still not feeling comfortable doing so or some places are still closed down or they lost jobs during the pandemic and it just isn't possible. Disney parks are open but for those who can not make the trip but who want to bring a little magic home, The Unofficial Disney Parks Cookbokok is a great way to do so. The ever popular, and my favorite Disney treat, the Dole Whip makes an appearance here, but there are also so many different treats, drinks, and foods to try at your home. If you are ever planning a Disney themed party, this could be the sole resource for food. It is also a great go to for fun treats for your kids (or the Disney kid in your) especially during this tough time we are all going through right now with the pandemic. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a little magic and light or of course to Disney lovers. 

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Liar Liar by Laurie Katz

 


*Disclosure of material collection- I received the book 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-

Like any student about to start university, Laurie Katz was excited to see what the year would bring. Little did she know that just three weeks into her first term, her life would come crashing down around her. What had started as a fun night out with friends ended with Laurie, alone with a terrible secret: she had been raped. Traumatized and confused, she set out to get justice against her attacker. But when the authorities at her university dismissed her case, and warned her that she could be expelled, she was left unsure where to turn. It seemed as though things couldn't get worse, then her attacker filed his own case. Laurie's story is a brave and honest reminder of the injustice still felt in society around sexual abuse. Laurie offers readers her advice, and provides them with the hope that they too can overcome a similar trauma.

My thoughts-

First of all, props to Lauri Katz for being candid and vunerable. This could not have been an easy book to write. She shared pretty much everything, including the parts that some might perceive as making her look bad. I was enraged during the good majority of this book about the way the university handled this case, but sadly I wasn't shocked. We have seen it time and again in the news, even still in 2020, where the victims of these assaults at colleges all over the country get blamed and the actual assaultors get off either scott free or with maybe a slap on the wrist. Laurie's school took it to a new extreme, opening a case against her and finding her guilty of making it all up. It is evident that the school was attempting to bury that this happened to save face and not make the school look bad and some of the things the adults in charge at the university said to her were absolutely atrotious. This account of Ms. Katz's case really resonates with me because she was in college at the same time as my little sister and this could have easily been her story. Or any college woman's story. And it is definitely time to change that. The victim blaming has got to stop. The holding the guilty party accountable needs to be the new normal- which it always should have been.

If you have a similar story and need to talk to someone, there is help. Please reach out to 
National Sexual Assault Hotline or 
call them at 1-800-656-4673






Sunday, September 20, 2020

The 30-Minute Cooking from Frozen Cookbook

 


*Disclosure of material collection- I received the book 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-

If you’re not someone who plans out their weekly menu days in advance, then this cookbook is for you. Thanks to your freezer, you can create more than 100 different recipes for fresh, delicious meals that you can devour in less than 30 minutes. No need to wait hours for the ingredients to thaw and defrost, simply grab your ingredients and start cooking.

Filled with simple solutions to your dinner dilemmas, The 30-Minute Cooking from Frozen Cookbook allows you to spend less time shopping, prepping, and planning your meals and spend more time doing the things you actually enjoy! Save money and eliminate food waste by storing the ingredients you buy in the freezer, keeping them fresher for longer. Cooking from frozen ingredients is a quick, cost-effective way to feed your family and with this cookbook to guide you, it is now easier—and tastier—than ever.

My thoughts-

I recently started working again after not working for over a decade of dedicating my life solely to taking care of my 3 kids. The last time I was working full time I was pregnant with my twin boys who just turned 11 a few weeks ago. I am finding it difficult to balance mom and wife life with work life, even though I am working from home. We are also renovating our house, which throws an extra challenge into me fitting in all that needs to be fit in to a 24 hour day. The 30-Minute Cooking from Frozen Cookbook makes meal planning even easier than regular meal planning cookbooks by including many recipes that are cooked from frozen foods which takes an extra step or two out of cooking and condensing time for people like me who really don't have any to spare. This will be a go to cookbook for the modern day busy person. 

Sunday, September 6, 2020

In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren

 

*Disclosure of material collection- I received the book 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-

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…but not for Maelyn Jones. She’s living with her parents, hates her going-nowhere job, and has just made a romantic error of epic proportions.

But perhaps worst of all, this is the last Christmas Mae will be at her favorite place in the world—the snowy Utah cabin where she and her family have spent every holiday since she was born, along with two other beloved families. Mentally melting down as she drives away from the cabin for the final time, Mae throws out what she thinks is a simple plea to the universe: Please. Show me what will make me happy.

The next thing she knows, tires screech and metal collides, everything goes black. But when Mae gasps awake…she’s on an airplane bound for Utah, where she begins the same holiday all over again. With one hilarious disaster after another sending her back to the plane, Mae must figure out how to break free of the strange time loop—and finally get her true love under the mistletoe.

My thoughts-

I love books that have elements of time hopping/time travel/any kind of time distortion type things. In a Holidaze takes a page from Groundhog Day and the same day is repeated several different times. I am also obessesed with books set during Christmas and this one is the week of Christmas on repeat (hello movie adaptation, PLEASE happen!). I enjoyed the unraveling of Maelyn's crush on her childhood best friend's brother. There is tons of great juicy tension and tons of wonderful romantic comedy holiday vibes. If you enjoy cute romantic comedies you will love In a Holidaze

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Christmas Charms by Teri Wilson

 

*Disclosure of material collection- I received the book 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-
She never dreamed her holiday would include her hometown, a dog, or a firefighter. But a mysterious charm bracelet predicted it all…

Ashley’s supposed to be having the Christmas of her dreams. After four years of working at an upscale jewelry store in Manhattan, she’s finally going to get a little velvet box of her own—from her boyfriend Jeremy, who’s taking her on a romantic trip to Paris. What could go wrong?

Well, everything.

Ashley heads home to Owl Lake instead, falling asleep on the train ride there…and waking up with a beautiful antique charm bracelet on her wrist. Soon, she realizes that each silver charm predicts an event that happens in real life. What does this mean for her and Jeremy…or her and Aidan, her former high school boyfriend, who’s now a local firefighter? Is there still a chance that she could have the perfect Christmas?


My thoughts-

If you love Hallmark movies and you are already aching for the holiday tradition of watching them, Christmas Charms is definitely a great book to read to get yourself into the holiday spirit. I am going to have to read it again when it comes out in October, and maybe again in December. It was such a charming novel! It was full of Christmas magic and romance. I absolutely could see this story in my mind as a live action Hallmark movie so I hope they do turn it into one! I loved the small town charm and the rekindling first love story, and well anything involving firemen is up my alley! This was a sweet and pure romance great for people who love sweet love stories. I will definitely be re-reading it again soon! 

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Christmas on Reindeer Road by Debbie Mason

 *Disclosure of material connection- I received a copy of the book from the publisher 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-


Mallory Maitland knows all too well what it's like to feel abandoned, which is why she's sworn never to give up on her two stepsons - her late husband's children. But when the teens land in hot water, she's got a whole new problem: how to resist the caring and incredibly hot Chief of Police Gabriel Buchanan. All Mallory wants is to give the boys a magical holiday. She doesn't need the distraction of wondering what it would be like to kiss Gabriel under the mistletoe.

After his wife died, Gabriel left his job as an adrenaline-chasing New York City homicide detective to focus on raising his three sons. But back in Highland Falls, he doesn't have to go looking for trouble. It finds him - in the form of a beautiful neighbor and her troublemaking stepchildren. With Gabriel's mother-in-law looking for any excuse to gain custody of his sons, Gabriel can't risk getting involved with Mallory, even though she's the only woman capable of making this Christmas - and all the rest to come - his best ever.


My thoughts-


This was pretty much the cutest romance novel I have read in a long time! I absolutely loved the first book in the Highland Falls series (Summer on Honeysuckle Ridge) and I was so excited to get to see a focus on Mallory and Gabe. Christmas on Reindeer Road was equal parts endearing, heartwarming, and hiliarous. I particulary enjoyed the always adorable and incredibly precocious Teddy, who I think stole the show a lot of the times and added a new level of heart to the story. This is the perfect book to usher in the fall holidays and get in the Christms spirit early. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good love story.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

What You Wish For by Katherine Center (Audio Version)

*Disclosure of material connection- I received a copy of the book from the publisher 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-


Samantha Casey is a school librarian who loves her job, the kids, and her school family with passion and joy for living.
But she wasn’t always that way.

Duncan Carpenter is the new school principal who lives by rules and regulations, guided by the knowledge that bad things can happen.
But he wasn’t always that way.

And Sam knows it. Because she knew him before—at another school, in a different life. Back then, she loved him—but she was invisible. To him. To everyone. Even to herself. She escaped to a new school, a new job, a new chance at living. But when Duncan, of all people, gets hired as the new principal there, it feels like the best thing that could possibly happen to the school—and the worst thing that could possibly happen to Sam. Until the opposite turns out to be true. The lovable Duncan she’d known is now a suit-and-tie wearing, rule-enforcing tough guy so hell-bent on protecting the school that he’s willing to destroy it.

As the school community spirals into chaos, and danger from all corners looms large, Sam and Duncan must find their way to who they really are, what it means to be brave, and how to take a chance on love—which is the riskiest move of all.

With Katherine Center’s sparkling dialogue, unforgettable characters, heart, hope, and humanity, What You Wish For is the author at her most compelling best.


My thoughts-

What You Wish For was engaging right out of the gate. Sometimes I have difficulty getting into audio books when they are fiction because they can be very long and I am usually a fast reader and get inpatient. However, when there is an excellent narrator and the story is fast paced I can get behind them and this narrarator was great at keeping me interested! I also liked that it was set in Galveston, TX where I was born. There are not a lot of books I have come across set in Galveston, and it's a cool place so it's nice to see it featured in a book. I absolutely loved the story. It was funny, emotional, and an overall great contemporary book.