Currently // Nonfiction is the Word

August 23, 2015 Currently, Miscellaneous 9

Right this minute | I’m sitting on the couch with my morning chai latte, writing up this post and thinking about breakfast.

Feeling | Pretty chill, for me.

Reading | I finished a book this week guys! A great book! Which I now have to go look up the title to because I can’t remember it…oh…right! In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick, read by Scott Brick. YES IT WAS AN AUDIO, but it was damn good. Way more exciting than Moby Dick. Like, way way. I should finish up Mr. Mac and Me by Esther Freud today. It’s damn good too.

Listening | I listened to the Philbrick pretty fast (in like three days), so I’ve been listening to podcasts to 1) catch up because I have over 100 unlistened to and 2) to “cleanse my palette” and 3) also to have something to listen to until I figure out which book to listen to next. I’m feeling like nonfiction is the word of the moment for me. Whenever I can’t read, nonfic seems to pull me out of it.

Watching | We’re watching Heroes at work, to catch up before the new series begins. It has Zachary Levi dudes. I will so watch it. I can’t wait for Blacklist to come back too. I’m hoping for some free time tomorrow to color and perhaps watch more of Bomb Girls on Netflix.

Blogging | I’ve worked up a new, loose, schedule for myself. I’m having a bit of a Blog Identity Crisis (BIC) and I need to branch out. This BIC is really hitting my book review desire, as in, I don’t want to do it, and I need other things to talk about. I hope that 1) it works and 2) you’ll still be interested in what I have to say…just…about other things.

Promoting | Something VERY EXCITING VERY SOON. I die.

Loving | The lack of itching going on. I’m still itchy, but not as bad. And also, SCHOOL STARTS TOMORROW! I’m so ready to have that structure in our life again.

Hating | The heat. I am so ready for fall. I think I’ve mentioned that a few times.

Eating | I posted my meal plan yesterday! And I got some gluten free goodies at the Farmer’s Market. There is a lovely girl who makes treats and I always pick up a couple. I have an amazing Tomato Tart, a Cranberry Apricot Scone, and POUND CAKE. The pound cake was not only delicious, I swear it tasted like the real thing.

Exercising | I’m going to start, I swear. No, don’t look behind my back, my fingers are not crossed.

Anticipating | So many things. Details soon. Promise.



This Week For Dinner – Week 1

August 22, 2015 Food, Weekend Cooking 10


I cannot believe it, but school starts next week. I really can’t believe that my daughter is starting middle school. Middle. School. How did we get here?

With school starting, and all the new things middle school brings, plus having a newly minted second grader, I’m expecting time to become a premium around here. Considering school lunches around here look completely gross, I have to buckle down and pack lunches too.

Which means I need to super plan. And, since I love to share and get opinions, I’m going to post my meal plans here every Saturday. Luck you!

Sunday – Breakfast for supper most likely, since I’ll be busy getting SO MANY SCHOOL SUPPLIES ready to go, making sure obstinate children take their baths, and get to bed at a decent hour.

Monday – I have the day off, because there was no way in happy hour I was going to miss the first day of 6th grade. Since I have the day off, I plan to make spaghetti for supper. My spaghetti is my own recipe, so I have no link to it. For lunch, the kids will have ham subs, sliced cucumbers, strawberries, and a cookie. For snack, I’m packing them each an apple because they are finally in at the farmer’s market and they are soooo delicious.

Tuesday – I’m altering one of my favorite recipes for supper on Tuesday. I love Mississippi Roast, but it’s amazing when adapted for Beef Stew. Oh mama. I follow the Mississippi Roast recipe but add sliced onions, red potatoes, and big chunks of carrot. I plan to serve it over rice and have roasted asparagus on the side. For lunch, I will have left over spaghetti, while the kids will have a salad with cucumber, carrot, olives, cheese, and diced ham. On the side they will have crackers and a cookie. Snack will be blueberries and strawberries.

Wednesday – For supper, we’ll have a family favorite. The kids love sauerkraut and weenies and we haven’t had it in awhile. I was thinking of having latkes on the side. My grandmother used to make something similar all the time and, stupid me, didn’t get her recipe before she died. So I found a recipe and will wing it. She didn’t put chives on them, but it sounds so delicious I’m going to do it anyway. Opinion sought: to make it gluten free should I use gf flour or gf panko? It calls for matzo meal and I don’t really know what the consistency of that is. Lunch for me will, hopefully, be leftover Mississippi Beef Stew! The kids will have ham subs again, with grapes (grape tomatoes for the girl), and crackers. Snack will be  black olives and cheese sticks.

Thursday – For supper, we’ll eat at my aunt’s house. For lunch, since I loooove Chipotle so much, I’m going to wing it and try to recreate a veggie burrito bowl (with my own spin on it). I’ll use brown rice, black beans, roasted corn, lettuce, cheese, guacamole, cilantro, tomato, and grilled onions. I’ll make this for my daughter as well, but my son will have leftover hot dogs from the sauerkraut, mandarin oranges, pretzels, and cheese sticks. For snack, they’ll get cheese crackers.

Friday – I typically eat out on Friday with everyone from work. The kids will get ham kebabs (sliced ham, cheese, and bread on a stick), carrots, celery, and ranch for dipping, and a cookie. For snack I’ll probably send sliced cucumbers and grape tomatoes for the girl and a yogurt for the boy.

Saturday – Do this all over again!

Let’s hope making this list will help me stay organized, focuses, and get it done quickly! How do you plan for the week?

I’m linking up to Weekend Cooking this week. Visit for more on all things food!

weekendcookingWeekend Cooking hosted by BethFishReads every weekend.  It is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog’s home page. For more information, see the welcome post.



The Shore by Sara Taylor

August 20, 2015 Books 8 ★★★★★

The Shore by Sara TaylorThe Shore
by Sara Taylor
Published by Hogarth
on May 26, 2015
Genres: Historical Fiction
Pages: 320
Source: Purchased
Situated off the coast of Virginia's Chesapeake Bay, the group of islands known as the Shore has been home to generations of fierce and resilient women. Sanctuary to some but nightmare to others, it's a place they've inhabited, fled, and returned to for hundreds of years. From a half-Shawnee Indian's bold choice to flee an abusive home only to find herself with a man who will one day try to kill her to a brave young girl's determination to protect her younger sister as methamphetamine ravages their family, to a lesson in summoning storm clouds to help end a drought, these women struggle against domestic violence, savage wilderness, and the corrosive effects of poverty and addiction to secure a sense of well-being for themselves and for those they love.

I received this book for free from Purchased in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


You know how sometimes you start a book and it feels like home? Sometimes it’s because it is so similar to home and sometimes you just feel like you belong there. For me, The Shore felt like home, probably because, being set in the South, it IS home. Taylor did an amazing job evoking the setting, the people, the absolute feeling – down to the cadence of words and, weirdly enough, accents – of living in the South.

I loved it. I loved the way the stories looped around each other, coming in to focus on one person, then another, then a family, or someone in the past, someone in the future, then back to the same person from the beginning; all told in short stories…. It just reminded me so much of what it is like being Southern (for me. I have no idea what life is like in other areas of the world). If the family gets together (at least in my family), so many generations are there, so many lost ones are discussed, with the future generation crawling around under your feet. It is how this book felt to me. Like a big family reunion with all the good, bad, and crazy invited in. Some of the family is mean, some are nice. Some are depressed and some are lecherous. Some would help y0u anyway they can and some would just as soon kill you as look at you.

See? Family.

Taylor is a terrific writer. I’ll be on the watch for more by her. Highly recommended.



Bout of Books: Wednesday Update

August 19, 2015 Books 4

Bout of Books

So, yeah. Reading. I was supposed to be using this week to like, read, right?


I have been, but, mostly of the…audiobook…sort. Monday I finished listening to What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe. It was pretty much everything that title makes you think it is. Readers submitted Absurd Hypothetical Questions (although, in listening to the questions, one gets the feeling some of these people were Absurdly Serious) to Munroe’s website and he answered them. With real science, real wit, and real laughs. I seriously loved it.

I always listen to a few podcasts or music after finishing an audiobook, so I listened to a couple. You know, to clean the palate. I started In the Heart of the Seas: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick yesterday morning and by bedtime last night I had listened to almost half of it. I’m over halfway through this morning. I cannot put it down and DUDE this is SO MUCH MORE exciting that Moby Dick. Wow.

As for physical books, this is such a busy week. I’ve reached 170 pages read in Mr. Mac and Me by Esther Freud but I’m not sure when if I’ll get to pick it up again until Friday. I almost pushed it aside, but somehow I got interested around 50 pages in.

So, that’s my Bout so far! How is yours going?



Top Ten Tuesday – Get In My Buggy!

August 18, 2015 Meme 9


I have very few auto-buy authors. I have been burned too many times going after books just because I liked one by an author. You know, the whole, “I read this book by this awesome author and now I have to read everything by that author,” very rarely works for me. Hello Diane Setterfield.

1. Neil Gaiman – you knew he’d be here, right? I mean, I admitted just last week, I’ve read 17 of his books. I still can’t believe it.

2. Sarah Addison Allen – Once one has reached 6 books written and 6 books loved, it feels less likely I’ll get burned, ya know? I trust her pretty implicitly.

3. Holly Black – This lovely writer wrote Doll Bones. ‘Nuff said.

4. Maggie Stiefvater – Raven Cycle. Scorpio Races. ‘Nuff said.

5. Patrick Ness – Even though he loves to pull my heart out and stomp all over it. It’s totes worth it. ::boy colt::

6. Anthony Bourdain – I always love a side of sarcasm with my excellent foodie reading. He gives it in spades and I just can’t get enough.

And…that’s all I’ve got. I honestly can’t think of another author whose work I go out and buy as soon as it comes out.

How about you? Which authors are automatic buys for you? 


Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. More HERE.



It’s Monday! What Are You Reading This Week?

August 17, 2015 Books, Meme 8


Last week: Zero. Zilch. Nada. NOTHING. ::sigh::

macandme whatif

This week: I’m trying this really novel approach where you read ONLY ONE BOOK AT A TIME. This is so not my style, but not reading at all is really really REALLY not my style either, so I thought what the hey? right? Also it’s the start of Bout of Books and yo, I gotta be reading, right?

I can hear you thinking…girl, you have two books pictured? Yes! You are right! One is my work audiobook. What If? is soooo hilariously informatively awesome and it’s read by Wil Wheaton. So made of win. Mr. Mac and Me is my read in print. Since my focus feels so scattered, we’re gonna try this for a bit. So far it’s working, I read quite a bit of Mr. Mac and Me yesterday. I’ll finish What If? at work today.

A Darker Shade final for Irene 22435497 missingreels

Up next: I’m taking this one day at a time. That being said, these are the ones catching my eye the most at the moment. It could change without notice. It’ll be Book Roulette again, as soon as I finish the two I’m working on.

What are your plans for the reading week? Reading anything good this week?

It's Monday What Are  You Reading

It’s Monday, What are you Reading is hosted weekly by super-awesome Sheila from BookJourney.




Currently // So Made of Win

August 16, 2015 Currently, Miscellaneous 7

Right this minute | I’m writing this, right? Then I’m going to do some serious shifting through books to find something that grabs me. I’m tired of this ‘no reading’ curse! I haven’t finished a book in over two weeks. This will not stand.

Feeling | Slightly irritated! This rash and lack of reading is really getting to me.

Reading | I’m picking at Mr. Mac and Me by Esther Freud, but I think it’s getting tossed. I need something snappier.

Listening | Lots and lots of Jamestown Revival and The Heavy while coloring.

Watching | I watched the first episode of Bomb Girls and guuuuuurl, I’m hooked.

Blogging | Ain’t hitting on much, am I? Please bear with me, I’m in a funk.

Promoting | Nothing…yet. Plans are being made!

Loving | Coloring. It’s just so relaxing.

Hating | This itching. Apparently it’s eczema and eczema sucks.

Eating | The hubs and I went to a local restaurant for our anniversary. It’s one we don’t normally go to because it’s a tad fancy and a little over budget. But, anniversary. I had pasta. Really, live (GF) pasta and it felt so great to get something “normal!” And it was delicious.

Exercising | I think I’m going to remove this category. I can’t even exercise until this stupid eczema clears up. And even then, from what I read, it can cause a flare up. U.G.H.

Anticipating | AUTUMN!!! Have I already said that?

Meal Planning | I didn’t really do that for this week. We have open house at two schools on two different nights (the girl is going to middle school just kill me now) and we usually just go out on those nights. Monday and Tuesday will probably just be something thrown together from what I have in the fridge. Ham sandwich anyone?

Have a great week!!



Bout of Books 14!

August 14, 2015 Books 7

Bout of Books

Considering the last couple of (miserable) months for my reading, I debated on whether I would join in for this round of Bout of Books. Then I smacked myself in the forehead because DUH OF COURSE I AM.

I’m hoping it will reboot my reading.

I’m not making an official list because it would take a miracle to make me stick to it. It will probably be a week of playing Book Roulette. Thank God it’s a fun game.

Is there a Bout of Reviewing books? lol



Top Ten Tuesday – Hey, I Think I Like You…

August 11, 2015 Meme 9


Can I say I was a bit surprised by this? I expected Neil Gaiman, even though I had to go back and check that number to see that yes, it is indeed 17! And JK Rowling, by virtue of having a long series of books. CS Lewis, Cassandra Clare, Diana Gabaldon, and John Marsden are here for the same reason-they all have excellent, and long, series that kept me engaged, for the most part (I need to catch up on Clare and Gabaldon’s series). Holly Black actually really surprised me, although once I thought about it I realized yes, I probably have read everything she’s written, with a couple of exceptions (dang it). Terry Pratchett should be higher (also dang it) and so should Gabrielle Zevin (write faster!). Maggie Stiefvater just narrowly missed it (6), as well as Sarah Addison Allen (also 5). If I had allowed comic book writers, this list would have been completely different!

1. Neil Gaiman – 18 [American Gods; The Graveyard Book; Coraline; Fortunately, the Milk; Sandman: Volume 1 Preludes and Nocturnes; Neverwhere; The Ocean at the End of the Lane; Stardust; Fragile Things; Trigger Warning; Odd and the Frost Giants; The Wolves in the Walls; Hansel and Gretel; Make Good Art; A Study in Emerald; Blueberry Girl; Chu’s Day; Click-Clack the Rattlebag]

2. Holly Black – 15 [The Spiderwick Chronicles 1-5; Tithe; Valiant; Ironside; Kith; Kin; Kind; White Cat; The Coldest Girl in Coldtown; Doll Bones; The Darkest Part of the Forest]

Terry Pratchett – 9 [Tiffany Aching series 1-4; Dodger; Mort; Equal Rites; Nation; The Amazing Maurice and his Education Rates]

4. JK Rowling – 7 [Harry Potter series]

5. Alice Hoffman – 7 [Blackbird House; Practical Magic; The Probably Future; Incantation; The Ice Queen, Aquamarine; The Story Sisters]

6. CS Lewis – 7 [Narnia series]

7. John Marsden – 7 [Tomorrow series]

8. Cassandra Clare – 7 [Mortal Instruments series]

9. Gabrielle Zevin – 7 [Margarettown; Elsewhere; Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac; Birthright series 1-3; The Storied Life of AJ Fikry]

10. Diana Gabaldon – 7 [Outlander series 1-4; The Exile Graphic Novel]

Which authors have you read the most books from?


Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. More HERE.



It’s Monday! What Are You Reading This Week?

August 10, 2015 Books, Meme 9


Last week: I did not finish a book last week. :(


This week: So. I am obviously not in a good reading place right now. I didn’t read a lick last week. I listened to podcasts and I colored, along with all the normal everyday life activities. So, I played a bit of Book Roulette and came up with two books that grabbed me (at least at that moment). We’ll see what happens.


Up next: Honestly, I have no idea. I have a feeling I’ll be playing Book Roulette again to figure it out. I know WHAT I’d LIKE to read next, so that’s what I put here. Let’s hope one sticks.

What are your plans for the reading week? Reading anything good this week?

It's Monday What Are  You Reading

It’s Monday, What are you Reading is hosted weekly by super-awesome Sheila from BookJourney.