Friday, January 22, 2021


What a week.  So so glad that inauguration is behind us and we can get back to the business of running a competent government.  Also, I've gone 24 plus hours without hearing a certain someones name and it is GLORIOUS.  So nice.  So nice not to worry about what twitter shitstorm he will create while we sleep.  So in book nerd news, I am coaching Battle of the Books for my oldest.  And I have only heard back from two parents about potential times their child can meet over zoom.  Whomp whomp.  It stinks because I cannot go into the school so we have to do all of our meeting on zooms.  And, since some kids are in a different class, THEY cannot get together in the school either.  So many logistics to get around.  But oh hey, parents respond to my email so we can get this show on the road!

My favorite pictures from the week:

My oldest didn't have school on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, so we read some books together, watched a civil rights documentary and then did a word search I had leftover from my teaching days, and a coloring sheet I found.

The high of my week was watching Kamala Harris become the first woman vice president!!!!!

The low of my week was my dad having some cancer spots removed.

Meal plan for the week was 

Monday -  Skillet Chili Mac and Cheese, roasted broccoli
Tuesday -  Brisket Tacos, roasted sweet potatoes and corn
Wednesday -  leftovers
Thursday -  Cashew Chicken and cottage cheese (this was delicious!!!) I think I got this idea from Lisa ?
Friday - take out .  I think we are doing Burgers/fries/milkshakes from a local specialty burger food truck turned store front.  and because we are cheap, going through the drive thru for the oldests burger/fries because it's cheaper and she would never be able to finish the burger from the other place.  plus, Burger King to her is a HUUUUUUUUGE treat.

Intention Check In

Saturday - 10,050 steps  / did not hit water goal
Sunday - 10,096 steps / did not hit water goal
Tuesday - 10,195 steps / did not hit water goal
Wednesday - 10,229 steps / did not hit water goal
Thursday - 10,148 steps / did not hit water goal

I really hit a wall in the water department.  I will say that every day I did drink over 50 ounces, but just couldn't quite get to the 100 ounces.

The best money I spent was on nothing really.

What I’m listening to Undistracted by Britney Packnett-Cunningham --- I am trying to catch up on old episodes.  Really liking it! Also catching up on Already Gone.

What I’m watching  Matlock, NCIS...

What I’m reading: about to re-read The Tale of Desperaux for a Battle Book

My plans for the weekend include we need to drop off my nieces birthday present.  Besides that nada.

What are you watching/reading/listening to?

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Things I Want To Remember

The way that Adeline grins with her entire face and claps her hands and says “yaaaaay.”  The way Adeline will point to the kitchen and I will say, do you need to nurse? And She will smile and go, “uh uh uh uh,” and then we will settle into my chair and nurse.  The way she slides down off my lap when she’s done nursing and looks at me and waves and says, “bye bye.”  Then I say, “do you need to take a rest,” and she will agree and I will carry her into her room to her sleep sack.  She will wave to the room and say, “byeeee.” All the way to lay down.  Then as I’m putting her window shade down she will snuggle in and make happy noises.

How she beats me up every time we nurse.  Feet kicking my face, hands pulling my hair, and will yell if I'm trying to stop her.

The way she tips her head down when you are carrying her so her face is in your face and then will smile and say your name.

The way she will grab books and say , “boo boo.’ And how I can say, do you want me to read to you? Bring me a book and she will go across the room and bring me some books.

The way she plays in her kitchen and says , “mmmmm” as she cooks.

How excited she gets when she looks out the window and sees trees.  She will point and say, “treeeeee.’

Also, her love of cheese.

The way she yells at our Roomba, “stteeeeeeeve,” whenever he is running or when she seems him in the corner.

The way she yells, “weeeeeeeeee” as she flies down the hill in her sled.

The way she lays down and is a completely dead weight model as you are trying to get her ready to go outside.  Equally parts funny, helpful, and not helpful.  She also removes her socks in about 2 seconds after they are on her feet.

The way she yells for her sister, “EYE YA, EYE YA, EE YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA”.

How excited she gets when she seems my mom and nestles into her.

The way she waves at people on the TV because she thinks it’s a zoom call and they can talk back.

Her love of music.

The way she listens intently.

The way she grabs your face and then hugs you with her arms around you tight.

The way she calls me, “mum, mum.”

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

2020 Reading Stats

 Time for my 2020 Reading Recap. This may be slightly inaccurate as it is based upon my faulty sleep deprived memory! 

 How many books read in 2020? – 81! Which was 7 less than 2019.  My goal for 2020 was 60, so I succeeded that goal!

How many fiction and non-fiction? 8 non-fiction, which was 3 more than last year.  My favorite non-fiction I read was Caste: The Origins of our Discontent by Isabel Wilkerson.  I’ve been recommending this book to EVERYONE.  73 fiction books and out of those I have recommended Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner to many people!

Male/Female author ratio? 62 women (a few repeats), 12 men, and 1 that uses they/them pronouns.  Some authors I really enjoyed this year are Jason Reynolds, Dan Gemeinhart, Ruth Ware, and Jenny Han.

Which author was new to you in 2019 that you now want to read the entire works of? Ruth Ware or Helen Hoang.

Favorite book read in 2019?  Besides the two I mentioned before I also really enjoyed The Parker Inheritance, The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise, Felix Ever After, The Kiss Quotient, Anxious People, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, The Giver of Stars, Burn Baby Burn, The Bookish Life of Nina Hill and The Hate U Give.



Least favorite? Probably Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie or November Road by Lou Berney

Any that you simply couldn’t finish and why? I think the only one I didn’t finish was Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library.  The 9 year old and I started it together and then she finished it by herself and I meant to finish it and I never got back to it.  We own it, but I do plan on getting to it!

How many pages did you read? 26,152


How many books from the library? 64! Which is 11 more than last year. I’ve really utilized our library, especially since they finally eliminated late fees and no fees to reserve books!

How many books read did I purchase? I think 6 of these, not all last year.  I bought a TON of books, but mostly for the girls and gifts.

How many were gifts?  3 I think.

How many borrowed from others? I borrowed one from my mom.

How many were given to me for reviews? 3 and I won one of the books I read in a goodreads giveaway.

How many books read on kindle
? The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah.

Any re-reads? Saving CeeCee Honeycutt.  My book club picked it and it was one of my favorites from when I read it.


Which countries did you go to through the page in your year of reading? United States, England, Ireland, Nigeria, France, Sweden, Iceland, Qatar, Germany, Australia, and Pakistan.



What states did you go through the page in your year of reading? New York, Michigan, Alaska, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, West Virginia Georgia, Minnesota, Ohio, Alabama, Washington D.C. (calling it a state), South Carolina, Maine, Tennessee, Idaho, California, Oklahoma, Texas, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Mississippi, Virginia, and Louisiana.

Which book wouldn’t you have read without someone’s specific recommendation?  The Butterfly Garden, The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise, and The Parker Inheritance.

Which author did you read the most of? 3, Charlaine Harris, 2 Susan Boyers, 2 Patricia Harman, 2 Linda Castillo, and 2 Nic Stone.

What was your best reading month? September.  I read 11 books then.

What was your worst reading month? May, I only read 2 books.


I seemed to average about 8 per month for the most part.

Top Ten Reading Moments of 2020


-      Having the 9 year old recommend books for me to read.

-      Reading on the porch.

-      Reading with both of my girls.

-      Talking about books with the 9 year old.

-      Discussing Educated with Book Club.

-      Making the cookie recipe in the Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder book

-      Discussing Amal Unbound with the nine year old

-      Reading my first graphic novel

-      Reserving books through my libraries pick up with NO CHARGE!!! (Big deal because it used to be 25 cents per hold!!!)

-      Have the one year old sing and dance to Down by the Bay 243434234 times

2020 Reading Goals - Revisited

Read 60 books. – Success! I read 81. 

2.   Read more books from my shelf and clear them out.  – This did not go so well.  With the ease of curbside pick ups and not charging for library holds, I read a TON of library books this year. 

3.   Write more about what I read. – FAIL.  FAIL FAIL FAIL.  I blame lack of sleep, a baby, and the pandemic.  Whoops. 



2021 Goals


1.   Read 60 Books

2.   Read 12 books from my shelves.

3.   Read 12 books that my friends have read.

4.   Read a biography of a president or first lady.

5.   Use Book Riot’s Read Harder challenge as a way to find books to read when I need one.

How many books did you read this year? Did you complete your 2020 reading goals? What are your goals for 2020? Which author did you read the most of? What was your most recommended book? What book do I NEED to read in 2021?

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

January Intentions

 After the dumpster fire that has been 2020 and the political dumpster fire of the last four years, I'm ready for a reset.  I am taking January 2021 has a new beginning, probably followed by a lot of new beginnings after that but I needed a push and January 1st was the push.

I am breaking down some intentions I have for January.

The biggest that is taking the most effort is healthier choices time.  My intention for January is to drink 100 ounces of water a day and hit 10,000 steps a day.  So far I've checked that off every day.  I am keeping accountable to myself by recording in Fitbit and posting my completed steps on insta.

Reading wise I went through the year and put down some books that I want to complete during certain months, but with the caveat that if I get to them sooner, that's great, I just needed to work on clearing off some already purchased books and already chosen book club books.

For January, I need to complete Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlin, White Fragility, Nobody Will You This But Me (library dependent) and My life as Villainous by Laura Lippman.  

I also have a list that I'm tackling throughout the year and my first big project on there was locating a spot for my file cabinet that was homeless for a year and going through boxes in our storage area to throwing stuff away.  This I have started.

I am also back to meal planning on a monthly basis.

Here is what I have for this week.

4 Stuffed Pepper Casserole, salad

5 Chicken Fajitas, guacamole/chips, pineapple

6 eggs, bacon, baked potatoes, oranges, broccoli

7 orange chicken (Costco), broccoli

8 pizza (takeout)

We usually decide weekend meals on the fly. We have a freezer in the basement full of stuff and my husband usually cooks on the weekend, which equals steak or beef something!

Do you have any intentions for January? How are you keeping yourself accountable?

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

2020 Books Read Meme

 I first came across this book meme in 2018 and decided to play along! Feel free to do so yourself!

Describe yourself: The Searcher

How do you feel? Mrs. Everything

Describe where you currently live: Snow Blind

If you could go anywhere...? Butterfly Bayou

Favorite form of transportation: Silver Sparrow

Your best friend is: The Last Mrs. Parrish

You and your friends are: The Mothers

What's the weather like? Ask Again, Yes

Your favorite time of day is: Stargazing

What is life for you? Everything Beautiful in It's Time

You fear: Burn Baby Burn

Best advice: Look Both Ways

Thought for the day:  Look Alive Twenty-Five

How you would like to die: Educated

If you don't want to do the whole list, please humor me with the following...  You and your friends are?  How do you feel ? Best advice?

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Lowcountry Boughs of Holly


Tis the season for people to be picking up Christmas reads! I tend to not flock to seasonally based books (movies are another thing, which was a new obsession last year) only in that season.  If it sounds good, I'll pick it up in April, or July, most of the time right after the season/holiday, because I will not conform.  I don't like being told what to do, even when no one gives a poop.  Okay, okay, I'm a rebel who follows rules.  But only the rules I've determined are okay.

I started reading Lowcountry Boughs of Holly by Susan Boyer, two days before Christmas.  And then underestimated the amount of stuff I had to do, because I was certain I'd wrap it up by Christmas.  Alas, I finished it the day after Christmas!

It is the 10th book in the Liza Talbot series.  I haven't read all of them, but the ones I've picked up I've enjoyed! They are cozy mysteries set in South Carolina.  Liz is a private investigator with her husband Nate, and she gets a little help from her deceased childhood best friend.  These books are not meant to be serious!

In this Christmas time based book, Liz and Nate are investigating the death of a Santa Clause following the annual Santa Boat Parade.  They are led back to past characters (but I don't remember them and I'm not sure if I read the book they were in, however this didn't make the book hard to follow) and boy, were they entertaining! Rich people drama!

There is a wayward reindeer, delicious descriptions of Liz's Momma's food, and actions packed with the help of some mysterious powers to be! If you are looking for a light read or a series to get started on, the Liz Talbot series is for you!

Does your town have any holiday traditions? Do you enjoy reading books set in the South?

Description: It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but Private Investigator Liz Talbot is struggling to feel festive. She hasn’t seen her best friend, Colleen, in weeks and fears she may never see her again in this life. Meanwhile Nate, Liz’s husband and partner, is spending money like he prints it in the attic on a mysterious family Christmas celebration. Liz’s nerves are shot, and she hasn’t even decked a single hall. But there’s simply no time to fret.

On a morning beach run, Liz spots a wooden rowboat run aground with Santa inside. Did Old Saint Nick have too much eggnog at the boat parade? No indeedy—Santa’s been shot. And he’s none other than C.C. Bounetheau, patriarch of one of Charleston’s wealthiest families.

Liz and Nate already unwrapped quite a few family secrets while searching for the Bounetheau’s missing granddaughter last year—enough to make them swear to steer forever clear of the entire clan. But as Mr. Bounetheau’s body is found in Stella Maris, and Liz and Nate are the police chief’s on-call detectives, they’re on the case.

With no shortage of suspects, Liz and Nate dash to find a killer who may be working his or her way down a naughty list.

Spend Christmas in the Lowcountry with the Talbot family and their friends in Susan M. Boyer’s latest Southern charmer, Lowcountry Boughs of Holly. Tis the season for merry mayhem!

I received this book for free from the author.  All thoughts and opinions are my own!

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Currently: December

 Reading:  Everything Beautiful in Its Time by Jenna Bush Hager

Loving:  having my family safe at home with me for at least one more day

Feeling: blah, not really into the holiday spirit this year.

Anticipating not even sure anymore.

Grateful: My people are healthy and safe.

Working: Christmas cards, finalizing Christmas gifts.. wondering how I am going to wrap.

Listening: Hallmark movies in the background for the most part.

Watching: Hallmark and other Christmas movies...

Wishing: for a vaccine that all can safely get sooner than later... 

What are you currently reading/watching/listening to?

Monday, December 7, 2020

Holiday Board Book Recommendations 2020 Edition

 Tis the season of what do I get her/him/he/she/they/everyone.  I thought I'd share a few of the board books that we have enjoyed this last year.

A is for Awesome is such a great shero alphabet book.  It mentions women who are famous from A-Z and my 9 year old loves reading it and using it as a point of looking up information on some of the women shared.

On the Night You were Born is such a sweet book about how everyone is so very excited on the night the child is born.  It was my oldests and she LOVES reading it to her sister.

Music Is....  this book is so delightful and fun to read with expression.  My 1 year old LOVES music and her body immediately starts to dance when you say the word music.  She loves this book.  And I love the illustrations.

Down By the Bay is another hold over from the oldest that the youngest requests far more often than her big sister did.  She loves music and this book REQUIRES you to sing it, of course. :)

Your Baby's first word will be Dada is a love here as well.   My 1 year old is obsessed with her DADA and this book is meant to be read with a lot of DADAs, yelled with expression.  

Alfie and Bet's ABC book is one of my favorite ABC books for kids because it has more unusual words for A-Z, and as the most often reader of the books, I appreciate talking about more unique objects than the typical ball, cow, cat, etc...

Little Blue Truck is just a sweet tale of helping each other out. A little wordy but just a good good story!

Goodnight Moon is an old classic and I probably like it more than either of my kids requests it, but I just love it!

Colorful World: Sea find what's different is nicely illustrated and is good for pointing out how things are different and about different colors.

Good Night Michigan is a fun book that talks about a boy and girl traveling around the state for the day and includes fun touristy things to see and do in the Mitten state.  Other states have their own versions and I've been known to send them out to friends as baby gifts

ABC what Can she Be? Is an awesome book we just got for the one year olds birthday.  I love that it talks about professions that you can be when you grow up and doesn't include a lot of the stereotypical professions that women are usually suggested to be.  LOVE.

Okay, so pretty much all of Vashti Harrison's books are needed in your child's library. LOVE LOVE LOVE.  And I also love listening to my oldest read these to her sister.

Tomie's Little Mother Goose is a cute condensed version of nursery rhymes for little ones.  It's my favorite out of the few we own.

What boards were wins in your household this year? What books are on your childs wish list? What books do your kids love to hear but you can't stand to read?? (Mine would be Corduroy shhhh)