Sunday, January 24, 2016

Why do I blog? For books of course!

I may not blog here very often, but if I can get free books in exchange for writing a review, you bet I will be here! Luckily, I found Blogging For Books! It sounds exactly like it is! You register online, pick a book, they send it to you free of charge and all they want in return is a blog post review!

I picked The Dinner by Herman Koch.


From Goodreads: A summer's evening in Amsterdam and two couples meet at a fashionable restaurant. Between mouthfuls of food and over the delicate scraping of cutlery, the conversation remains a gentle hum of politeness - the banality of work, the triviality of holidays.

But the empty words hide a terrible conflict and, with every forced smile and every new course, the knives are being sharpened... Each couple has a fifteen-year-old son. Together, the boys have committed a horrifying act, caught on camera, and their grainy images have been beamed into living rooms across the nation; despite a police manhunt, the boys remain unidentified - by everyone except their parents.

As the dinner reaches its culinary climax, the conversation finally touches on their children and, as civility and friendship disintegrate, each couple shows just how far they are prepared to go to protect those they love.
 


This book was a little different because it's based in the Netherlands so some of the lingo was different and took a little getting used to, not to mention the food they ordered was way different than I have ever eaten! I loved how the storyline was divided up into 5 different courses along with their meal. Very unique and very interesting! The story started with me feeling annoyance towards, Serge and his rich, well off life. He's running for Prime Minister and has a seemingly perfect life. His brother Paul narrates the story. But once the story starts unfolding, you see that everything and everyone are not what you thought! It was a very good read and you definitely do not see it coming! 








Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Time flies!!

December? Already? How can that be? I've been meaning to get back here and write something but we are just so busy it seems like and then when I am at home, I want to catch up on my reading and watching our shows. I really lead a pretty boring life, but yet, it seems like I'm busy. It's mostly Kahle and Izzie's activities that keep me busy.

Izzie is in Kindergarten this year! She has a wonderful teacher whom she really likes!


 It's also fun that my cousin's son, Cash, is also in Izzie's class!  She's learning to read and doing a great job! I am always surprised at how well she reads when she does her homework. And yes, homework in Kindergarten! It's crazy but it's just to review what they are learning at school and she gets it done pretty quickly. I've been lucky enough to eat lunch with her twice so far this year. It's so much fun! I even spend recess with her and she introduces me to friends and runs around to play. The second time I ate with her, the weather was rainy/snowy so they had indoor recess. That was a lot of fun too!

She's in dance again this year. She does tap/ballet and hip hop and I can't believe at how good she is!! I mean, she's been doing dance since she was 3 (almost 4) but she is so good and really loves it this year! It helps that her teacher, Miss Ashley, is my little sister's best friend so my kids know her and love her so much!


 Izzie turned 6 in October and I just can't hardly believe it!


It really seems like she was just born. I'm pretty sure that this little sassy pants is 6 going on 16 though. She has so much attitude....I'm a little worried for the teenage years. Maybe she'll cool off by then. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Kahle is in 7th grade this year and is really doing well. We had some attitude issues last year that resulted in some phone calls from the Principal (who was my Principal in Middle School!) but this year there has been none of that! Whew! Kahle did Football this year!


I never took him for a football player but he had a great time and I really think it helped to boost his self confidence! He is now doing wrestling and working really hard! I'm just so glad he is active. He is also doing dance again this year but is doing clogging in addition to hip-hop! There are not very many boys this year for an all boys hip-hop group so he got stuck in with 7th-12th grade girls hip-hop. He loves being around all those girls. They tease him and he soaks it all up. That boy! He's definitely girl crazy this year!

In other news....my little Chihuahua, Finnegan turned 4! We bought him that little sombrero and he hates it but it's so funny!



And these two......


decided to act like naughty little teenagers and we are expecting puppies the last week of this month. I really, really did not want puppies and we tried our hardest to keep them apart when Halia was in heat but they didn't care what I wanted. Oh well!

I guess that's all for now. Christmas will be here before we know it! I think we are done with a little more than half of what we planned to buy for gifts. I plan on wrapping this weekend and sticking them under the tree. The kids hate having the tree up with no gifts.


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Friday, October 9, 2015

Prayers for the Stolen


From Goodreads:
Ladydi Garcia Martínez is fierce, funny and smart. She was born into a world where being a girl is a dangerous thing. In the mountains of Guerrero, Mexico, women must fend for themselves, as their men have left to seek opportunities elsewhere. Here in the shadow of the drug war, bodies turn up on the outskirts of the village to be taken back to the earth by scorpions and snakes. School is held sporadically, when a volunteer can be coerced away from the big city for a semester. In Guerrero the drug lords are kings, and mothers disguise their daughters as sons, or when that fails they “make them ugly” – cropping their hair, blackening their teeth- anything to protect them from the rapacious grasp of the cartels. And when the black SUVs roll through town, Ladydi and her friends burrow into holes in their backyards like animals, tucked safely out of sight.
 
While her mother waits in vain for her husband’s return, Ladydi and her friends dream of a future that holds more promise than mere survival, finding humor, solidarity and fun in the face of so much tragedy. When Ladydi is offered work as a nanny for a wealthy family in Acapulco, she seizes the chance, and finds her first taste of love with a young caretaker there. But when a local murder tied to the cartel implicates a friend, Ladydi’s future takes a dark turn. Despite the odds against her, this spirited heroine’s resilience and resolve bring hope to otherwise heartbreaking conditions.
 
An illuminating and affecting portrait of women in rural Mexico, and a stunning exploration of the hidden consequences of an unjust war, PRAYERS FOR THE STOLEN is an unforgettable story of friendship, family, and determination.



My review:  I really enjoyed this book. While I'll admit I partially wanted to read this because of my Mexican heritage and family, I was also really interested in finding out life in Ladydi's world of trying to hide from the drug wars and living her life in the jungle and dealing with bugs and deadly scorpions. Jennifer Clement's writing is very unique. It's all told from Ladydi herself but there are no quotation marks used and it's almost as if you are sitting down with Ladydi and she is telling you the story. I found it very easy to read and loved it! It's very interesting how Ladydi, her mother, her friends and everyone on the mountain get along without any men around. Ladydi also has a lot to deal with because of her mother. Ever since her father left, her mother does nothing but drink and obsesses over her father. As soon as it seems Ladydi is going to have a good life working as a nanny for a rich family, things all just fall apart. The end ends well and leaves you wondering what next. If you are looking for a quick read that will keep you entertained, I suggest reading Prayers for the Stolen by Jennifer Clement.





I received a copy of this book free from Blogging For Books in exchange for my review.



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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

An update of sorts


My goodness it's been so long since I've wrote anything here.  I've done the occasional Influenster post but I guess I've just had a major case of writer's block. I have not been able to think of ANYTHING to write. It's really very sad.

I can't believe it's already halfway through April and school is almost over! Kahle's in 6th grade and has been trudging along. I've talked to the Principal more than I have wanted to this year (he was my Principal too in Middle School) but he did make Honor Roll this last Quarter so we celebrated with a dinner at Red Lobster. It's his absolute favorite!! He decided to join the boys Hip Hop group with dance this year and I could not be more proud of him. He is the oldest boy there but he loves it!


Izzie is almost done with Pre-School and we will be going to Kindergarten round up next week. I can't believe she's old enough already! She absolutely loves Pre-School but says she doesn't want to go to Kindergarten. She's strange. I know she'll love it once she gets there. Izzie is in Hip Hop and Tap/Ballet again this year. Hip Hop is her favorite but she does good in Tap/Ballet too.


The kids have their recital in 2 weeks. I think they are ready and I can't wait to see them!!

We also got a new puppy! Not my idea, but I can't hate a puppy! His name is Ramses and he's such a cuddly little sweetheart!




We still have Halia and Finnegan and they are both my babies. They are adjusting to having a new brother around....well, Halia loves him but Finnegan is such a grouch, he would prefer if they would both move out! 



Well, I guess that's all I have for now. I'm hoping I can come back and keep writing, but I guess we'll just see what  happens.


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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Reese's VoxBox

I was so incredibly excited to receive the Reese's VoxBox from Influenster!


This stuff is seriously delicious!!! It tastes EXACTLY like a Reese's peanut butter cup, well....a melted one.

A photo posted by Vicki Garrett (@vickimarie2002) on
My favorite way was with apples! I'm not the biggest fan of Nutella (I know, what's wrong with me?) and so I prefer this yumminess.


Izzie and I experimented also.



And honestly, it was pretty tasty!!!

I would love to melt some of it too and make Chocolate Covered Strawberries. It would be soooo good!!


"I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes."


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Monday, January 5, 2015

Blogging For Books: Fiend: A Novel



 When Chase first sees the little girl in umbrella socks disemboweling the Rottweiler, he's not too concerned. As a longtime meth addict, he’s no stranger to such horrifying, drug-fueled hallucinations.  
   But as he and his fellow junkies soon discover, the little girl is no illusion. The end of the world really has arrived. And with Chase’s life already shattered by addiction, the apocalypse might actually be an opportunity—a last chance to hit restart, win back the love of his life, and become the person he once dreamed of being. 
   That is, if the darkness inside him doesn't destroy everything—again.
(From Goodreads)



I'm finally back reviewing a book I received from Blogging For Books and I did not enjoy this at all. There are just way too much drug talk for me.  I thought it would be a more "thinking" type of book and it wasn't at all. I mean, I understand the concept of zombies and being a meth user is a lot like being a zombie. Basically, in this book, there is a zombie apocalypse and the only people left are meth users. It's Chase's journey along with his friend, his ex and some other users and how they plan on surviving and possibly saving the world. I was kind of cheering for them to figure out a cure, but when I looked at it as my own logical, non-drug using ways, I knew it would be impossible. I never usually hate books, but I just couldn't wait to be finished with this one.





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Sunday, November 2, 2014

To touch or not to touch?

If you are a Mom, let me introduce you to my new favorite product!
It's the Braun No Touch + Forehead thermometer! I seriously love this thing!!


The Braun® No touch + forehead thermometer is the first thermometer to take professionally accurate temperatures with a gentle touch of the the forhead or no touch at all. Braun's clinically proven tehcnology won't disturb your sleeping little one, and the large color-coded display with temperature guidance system is easy to read. For professional accuracy, gentle convenience, and peace of mind, choose Braun. 

When I first opened the box, I tried it immediately out on Kahle and Izzie. When I used it touching their forehead and then a few inches away, I got the same result. I was thrilled. I set it away and didn't touch it again until a few weeks later when Kahle was feeling sick. Sure enough, he had a fever. This thermometer takes the temp pretty quickly and it has different colors to let you know what you are dealing with. It's green if the temp falls less than 99.4, it is yellow if it's between 99.4 and 101.3 and it will be red if it's higher than 101.3.  Also, you will hear 10 beeps of the temp is above 99.4. 

It is seriously so simple to use. You press the power button, put the thermometer on the forehead, just between the eyebrows or 2 inches away and press the thermometer button. If you are not close enough, it will show an arrow and the FWD meaning go forward. 

I really recommend this on your baby registry for all you expecting mama's and it would also be a great gift to give to new parents. 


"I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes."


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