Monday, July 30, 2012

The Beach Life...

The girls and I recently took a trip to Dauphin Island with my family while Leo was TDY in Peru. Dauphin Island is off the coast of Alabama and is beyond gorgeous. Definitely a place to go for relaxing and being unconnected to the world ( in a good way ).

We had a great time laughing, walking on our own private dock to the beach, and just relaxing in general. While there we got to celebrate Madelyn's 3rd Birthday ( a post for another day ).

Here are a few of my favorite pictures...I need to edit many more, but here are my three favorites of the girls:

She basically cried unless she was in the water...

Enjoying a sunset on the deck...

Beach babe soaking up everything the beach offered...

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


* The hot summer months, the summer evening storms, the lazy summer days. Summer may be my new favorite season...but, shhhh....don't tell fall that.

* Pretty Little Liars, Big Brother, and the start of Bachelor Pad. Love me some quality tv!

* That Brynlie walks around saying "Bay-beee". She loves her babies and it's her first word that has two different syllables.

* My new Whirley Pop. Seriously. It makes the best. popcorn. ever. Trust me on this one.

* Essie and their collection of new summer shades. Currently on my toes? Mojito Madness. It's fun and makes me feel young. Love.

* Drinking iced coffee in the mornings. I have been making batch after batch of the Pioneer Woman's iced coffee recipe and it is all sorts of amazing. I haven't used my coffee pot all summer!

* That even though Leo is out of the country we can still text thanks to Apple and their amazing capabilities. Thank you, Apple!

Kat Fight by Dina Silver {Book Review}

There are often times when I feel connected with an author. Whether by their writing style, the characters that they develop, or if it is a connection with the actual author herself, there are some out there that you can feel connected to. Enter Dina Silver, one of my favorite authors that I have had the pleasure of reading. I was introduced to Dina's literary world a few months ago and knew right when I read her first book, One Pink Line, that she would be an author that I could declare a favorite. I recently finished Kat Fight, her latest novel, and fell in love all over again. 

About the Book

Meet Kat Porter. Kat has finally had enough with her long term boyfriend, Marc. Together for four years she has finally had enough. Too many late nights of being alone, too many unanswered phone calls. When Kat gives him the ultimate ultimatum of staying with her, the only thing that Kat receives from Marc is silence. No phone calls, no attempts to contact her. 

Kat's best friend, Julie,  decides that it is time to set Kat up on a blind date. While her actual date didn't send her the chemistry that she desired, one person did: Ryan (aka Julie's date). Ryan is everything that Kat has ever wanted in a husband. The passion they feel is unbelievable, he honestly takes her breath away. But can Kat be with Ryan and not hurt Julie? Can Kat leave Ryan for the sake of her friendship with Julie?

Book Excerpt

There I was, all dressed in white, with a soft veil loosely brushing against the skin on my face, feeling blissful and resplendent. I wore a strapless satin sheath and in my hands was a bouquet of dark red roses. I started walking slowly towards my groom standing curiously far away from me at the end of the aisle. So far away, in fact, that I was having a difficult time focusing on his face. The more I walked the further he seemed. 

My Thoughts

It's no secret that I am already a huge fan of Dina Silver. She absolutely nailed Kat Fight and had me turning page after page. I felt as if I couldn't possibly read fast enough. I wanted to know that Kat would find true love, I wanted to know how the story ended. She captivated my attention with her flawless writing and characters that seemed to be friends of mine in my life. I recommend this book to anyone who loves a good story and that loves to root on the main character. 

My Rating

Kat Fight definitely receives 5 out of 5 stars. A fabulous book to read into the night and definitely worth the sleep deprivation you will surely have.

Where to Buy

Barnes & Noble 

About the Author

Dina Silver is a writer, red wine drinker, cheese fry lover, and future cat hoarder. She currently lives with her family in suburban Chicago. Inspired by how she met her husband, Kat Fight is Dina's second novel. 

You can connect with Dina Silver on Facebook, Twitter, and/or her website

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Pickin' Tomatoes

As the days of summer continue to go forward, I continue to read and relish great books. I have to admit that this summer I have been reading more than I have in years--and I love it. 

One book that piqued my interest this summer? Pickin' Tomatoes by J.W. Bull. A delightful read from start to finish I loved reading about the main character, Maggie Malone, and her journey towards singledom and independence.

About the Book

Meet Maggie Malone. Recently single new mother and 40 years old. With no job bringing in money to support her and her baby girl, Maggie decides to apply for a magazine columnist job at Cooking and Women. The requirements? You dish advice and serve it with a yummy recipe for the readers to try.The requirements are simple: you must be an experienced chef and single. Sounds easy enough, right?

Well, maybe it would be easy if you could, you know, cook. Maggie is a disaster in the kitchen and technically she is still married. She applies anyway (what are a couple of little white lies?), dishes up an amazing article complete with cheeky advice and a recipe for homemade salsa. She compares finding "Mister Right" with picking out a perfect tomato for a great homemade salsa recipe. 

Maggie captures the heart and attention of the editor, wins the contest and is the new "Chef of Hearts" for Cooking and Women. Through her journey she learns a lot about not only cooking, but about herself in general. 

My Thoughts

I loved Pickin' Tomatoes. Not only was it a quick read, but it was also hilarious! J.W. Bull has a niche for writing and humor. I instantly connected with Maggie Malone and silently rooted for her throughout the book. I definitely recommend it to anyone in need of a light, quirky book to tide them over this summer.

My Rating

I give Pickin' Tomatoes 4 out of 5 stars. Loved J.W. Bull's writing style and look forward to reading what she comes out with next.

Where to Buy

Barnes & Noble

About the Author

J.W. Bull lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and two sons. Although she has worked as a sous chef for Lavande Restaurant, she currently is a private violin teacher and a member of The Georgia Symphony. She is also finishing another novel, Musical Chairs, a mystery involving Maggie's cousin, Molly Malone, plucky part-time symphony player and full-time Irish fiddler. It's a hilarious spoof on symphonies, Irish fiddling, and mysteries that continues the Malone saga.  

You can connect with J.W. Bull on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Goodreads!

Monday, July 2, 2012

A Lesson in Being Brave.

Back at the end of May a certain 4 year old chopped off her hair. She wanted short hair. Her reasoning? Less tangles. Tangles are an enemy here in our home. They hurt. They make someone cry. They had to be gone.

She was scared. She made Madelyn go first and Madelyn showed her that haircuts were fun. She couldn't let her baby sister be the brave one, so up in the chair she went. Inches of hair were gone in moments. I was choked up but tried to be the brave one. I succeeded. she succeeded, we made it through yet another haircut.

After haircuts Isabella announced she wanted earrings. I'm ready, Mommy. I want earrings.

So another choked up momma moment and we were sitting and waiting to get earrings. Pink, sparkly earrings. Prin-press earrings. When the moment came to have it done she didn't back out. She sat there bravely and didn't shed a tear. No screaming. No tears. Just a happy girl with two earrings and a lollipop.

It's funny how in a span of one day she grew up in more ways than one. She was certainly braver than I was. How is that even possible? 

So for now I think we have hit a few major milestones in the whole growing up area. I need a break from it...I need to sit back and enjoy every moment that comes our way....and hope that my girls will stay little for a long, long time...