May 29, 2018

The Unofficial Start of Summer!

Memorial Day weekend is when we remember all who courageously gave their lives for our freedom!  Growing up, in addition to the ceremonies at local VFW Posts I would attend, it was also the unofficial start of the summer, white shoes and bags could now be used!  If memory serves me correctly, I don’t remember many Memorial Day weekends that weather was not conducive to outdoor activities.  Unlike this Memorial Day weekend that challenged my balance, short sleeve shirts and shorts during the day, the fireplace on in the evening, and leaving home with an umbrella.  I’ve had a lot of time to read while recuperating and I thought with the summer approaching, I would share some of my favorite reads from previous weeks!

‘Simplified Life: Tactical Tools For Intentional Living by Emily Ley’

Yes, a self-help book by the creator of the Simplified Planner, a daily agenda. This is an easy read, totally relatable content that includes practical steps to simplify your life.  I found it to have useful ideas with the outline of steps to take one by one, day by day, easy to follow and doable.  Not a big fan of self-help books, but this one is a worthy read.  

‘Oh She Glows Every Day: Quick and Satisfying Plant-Based Recipes by Angela Liddon

I’ve mastered meatless Monday meals and needed to find quick and easy vegan recipes to add variety to my Monday menus.  I enjoyed the full-page pictures and the recipes I have tried have been full of flavor and satisfying.  I’ve only tried the Thai Crunch Salad, Pasta with Sun-dried Tomato, Smoothies, and Chia Pudding recipes and loved all!  

‘Design Your Life:  Creating Success Through Personal Style by Rachel Roy’

This was a grab and go on the bookshelf while I was exiting the library.  It encourages you to present yourself in your best way and therefore you will feel good about yourself.  I liked it!  The advice regarding developing your own personal style, given by way of tips on how to use clothing was rather interesting.  It is an easy read, I read it on the train in one round trip and took some good pointers away from the book.  

‘An Irish Country Courtship:  A Novel by Patrick Taylor

This was not the first book I’ve read from Taylor’s series of Irish Country Books. The books are set in Ballybucklebo, Northern Ireland, during the 1960’s.  A general practitioner is mentoring a young doctor and you are entertained by the many characters they interact with.  It is a relaxing and humorous read, as you follow the goings on of the characters in this small and rural town.  

Have a great week!



May 16, 2017



Summer:  A time from June through August when the days are longest and the nights shortest.  A time to smell freshly cut grass, take meandering bike rides, watch skyrocketing fireworks, and lots of leisurely reading!  Here is my first installment of “Summer Reads”!

Here’s to Us by Elin Hilderbrand

Celebrity chef Deacon Thorpe is found dead at his vacation home.  All of Thorpe’s family, current wife, two ex-wives, and children are summoned to Nantucket, where they will spread his ashes.  The story is told through each character’s point of view.  This is a story of complicated relationships, both past and present, Hilderbrand’s lively character development enhances the entertainment value of this book!  A quick and easy read, exactly what I like on hot and muggy days!

The End of The Point by Elizabeth Graver

A loving look at family over four generations, focusing on a second generation woman who succeeds.  There are triumphs and tragedies; friends and strangers.  The measured pace of the tale is comforting throughout.  I loved it!

The Rumor by Elin Hilderbrand

Affairs, tragedy, broken hearts and betrayals can be entertaining, remember Dallas and Dynasty?  This is another Hilderbrand novel told from multiple view points.  This read is filled with descriptions of restaurants, houses, and beaches on the island of Nantucket.  Quick and interesting beach read that will add a little intrigue to a lazy summer day.

In The Company of Women by Grace Bonney

A compilation of beautiful photography and answers to questions posed to creative women entrepreneurs.  Inspiring art and practical advise shared from the women.  Extremely interesting and inspirational!  A great coffee table book that will not disappoint!


Sean Patrick on the road to get his first summer styling!

Two hours later we have a puppy cut Sean Patrick!


July 19, 2016

2016 Summer Book Edit


Summer is usually a time that I read books/magazines that require little attention or thought, and have no purpose.  They are books and magazines that I pick up over the summer, read put down, and don’t take very seriously unless we have days of rain and then they become my best friend.  This summer is different!  On June 17th I had my second hip replacement.  Unlike the first one, I’m not recuperating at the same rate as the first one, and here I am four weeks out and still using a crutch and having the visiting nurse check/changing my dressing and home physical therapy.  This has left lots of time, with limited physical activity, so I decided to get some reading material that would be beneficial to my school schedule that I will resume in six weeks.  I sent my husband Jeff to Target to pick up a few books that would improve my organizational habits and acquire new cooking skills that would simplify my life during the school year.  I also wanted a mystery romance novel for some mindless activity.  He returned with the following books:

First off, what a surprise, Gwyneth Patrow’s book, “It’s All Easy“!  I spent at least two hours of my life that I will not get back perusing this cookbook.  I do understand Jeff’s choice in chosing this book thinking that easy weekday recipes would be doable during the school year.  What a surprise to find this book to be an introspective of how limited my culinary knowledge is, and I possessed a palette that was still in infancy!  Most of the two hours was spent online looking up ingredients that were as foreign to me as a size two bikini!  Who has a kitchen large enough to store a matcha whisk, chickpea flour, za’atar, hazelnut oil, coconut sugar, and the list went on and on.  I’m still baffled by airline chicken breast (or boneless, skin on), and was getting punch drunk trying to decipher what I was reading and then discovered the pantry list.  If I had read the two pages of ingredients needed for these recipes I probably would have just perused the lovely pictures of her and called it a day after 10 minutes.  I just couldn’t relate to the recipes and found this cookbook pretentious at best.

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Thank God Jeff redeemed himself with a cookbook author he knows I love, Ina Garten, the “barefoot contessa”.   Her cookbook, “making it ahead” is similar to her other cookbooks, foolproof recipes, and a joy to read.

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The recipes are easy to follow, written in a clear and concise manner.  I find myself having to prioritize what I will be making first and a list of any ingredients I may need, which is usually not the case. My results are what you see in the pictures of the book and I believe the recipes are written for all levels of cooks.  From this book I’ve made the Skillet Brownies and the Easy Tzatzike for the 4th of July.  They went so fast, I didn’t get a chance to take any pictures.  Whether you’re a cook or not, her cookbooks have stories that are paired with recipes that will inspire you to want to try her recipes or just enjoy her pictures of delicious foods.

Next,whatever possessed Jeff to pick “the life-changing magic of tidying up” is beyond me!  I made it to page 73 and couldn’t take it anymore!the life-changing magic of tidying up - 1

Just knowing this book is out there to help people live a more organized life lit a fire under me to reorganize my home workspace and bedroom so I wouldn’t need this book’s assistance.  What I took away from the 73 pages that I read was that I needed to finish the process of discarding before I could tidy in the right order.  The criterion for discarding is; “Does it spark joy?”.  I have a houseful of stuff that does not spark joy in my life!  I find no joy in many articles of clothing, toiletries, or cooking utensils in my life, yet, I cannot discard them, they are a functional part of my life.  I had no problem continuing to read this book that I found cluttered with useless information until I hit page 73 when the author wrote; “The act of folding is far more than making clothes compact for storage.  It is an act of caring, an expression of love, and appreciation for the way these clothes support your lifestyle.”  My head began to hurt, and I knew this book was maybe a little too deep for me! (sarcasm)  Even if my life was in shambles, my idea of tidying up is drastically different from the authors.  I pride myself on being able to read and value printed text but this was quite the challenge that I wasn’t willing to undertake!

Finally, a book that was not a cookbook that I found most enjoyable!

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As stated in the above description I wanted a mystery/romance novel for a quick read, and this one did the trick!  It certainly was not deep, yet it kept me engaged.  “Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Cafe” was a fast paced read and just a typical romance novel that you don’t read for any intellectual content!  I loved it!

Hope you enjoyed my first book edit!  In the future I will share on a monthly basis reviews, of the book I found most exciting each month!

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