Tuesday 15 May 2012

Book Review: Momaholic

Book Title: Momaholic
Author: Dena Higley
Cost: $15.99
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (Booksneeze)
How I got it: Review from Booksneeze
My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Every mom has felt the need to be perfect.
MOMAHOLIC is one woman’s private, dramatic, and often comical invitation to peek inside a time in her life when everything fell apart, causing her to take an honest look at what she was doing right and what she’d been doing terribly wrong. With this discovery, her wacky family’s season of becoming unraveled found a new glue that would re-bond her family and unite them in a deeper and more functional way than ever before.

The real life characters: A MOM who is literally the head writer of a network soap opera … at work and at home; A HUSBAND who can’t help but scratch his head in frustration as his family’s troubles seem to spiral out of his control; an autistic SON; a popular DAUGHTER who is suddenly pregnant; an ADOPTED DAUGHTER pulled from the jungles of Vietnam; and an ADOPTED SON rescued from the streets of Ethiopia.

This is a story showing the speed with which a “normal” family can fall apart. With the family running around as the tornado sirens roared warnings to take cover, mom becomes the biggest mess of all and ends up finding a whole new freedom for her soul.
My Review:
I enjoyed this book, I got a few chuckles and even thought about things I never thought of before. Now granted this book is written from a Christian perspective and the author discussed her faith a bit, but it wasn't a 'preach to the masses' kind of book, she simply shared how her faith helped her navigate through her life.

Even as I read I took a few notes and these are the things that occurred to me while reading, many of them she answered and many more are for each of us to ponder, but mostly I loved that she pointed out that many women who are mothers are setting themselves up for some serious disasters later on in life.  She got down and dirty about what she was doing wrong and how she learnt the hard way to fix it. I loved that she didn't attempt to make it seem as if her life was better because she lived a certain way or went to a certain church, she shared the good the bad and the ugly about her family and her life and what gave her the strength to make it through those tough spots and come out better on the other side.  I personally think if more people shared their stories this way then more people would be willing to listen to them instead of writing them off because they are attempting to say they are better than everyone else because of their chosen faith.

While I was reading it occurred to me to be very thankful for my mother, she was never a helicopter mom, she worked and we had a nanny, but my mother passed off most of the household cleaning to the nanny so that she could spend time with us doing the important things which included everything from homework to teaching us how to cook, and bake. As I was reading i wondered where did American women get the concept that they had to do 'everything', it was only a few generations ago that women had helpers in the home, heck when I was younger my mom had one, if you suck at cleaning why stress over it?? Why not pass it on to someone who can?? And why aren't your children allowed to help in the home?? My mother NEVER came into my room to clean, for as long as I had a room as a child it was my duty to clean it up, the only thing the nanny would do is the things I wasn't physically able to do, like dusting the tall furniture or the windows, but I learnt early on how to sort my laundry so the nanny could wash it and when i was old enough I learnt how to use the machines.

Perhaps this is a class issues?? I grew up solidly upper middle class, I went to private school, but my mother wasn't one to believe that meant I wasn't allowed to learn how to take care of myself, as she pointed out, the only way I was getting her money or her house was when she dies and she wasn't ( and still isn't) dead yet so I have to do it on my own. I met many girls in college who had my similar background who didn't know how to operate washing machines, how to hem a dress or even some who didn't know how to iron; I also had classmates and friends who were from the lower socioeconomic scale who could do a whole lot more, is it that those who don't have it teach their kids how to get it, keep it, maintain it, & appreciate it?? One of my classmates bought enough sweaters to wear everyday so she didn't have to do laundry because her mother never taught her, so she needed to last until her mom drove into school in two weeks to pick up her laundry.  I read this book and laughed but totally understood what she was talking about because I knew so many classmates who had these parents. In the book Higley talked about women she knew who refused to let their children work for minimum wage because they shouldn't work so little, and that right there explains so much about the American culture. People act as if they are too good to do 'those jobs', what happens when you get laid off?? In this economy it's best to teach your children to get an education but NEVER turn your nose up at a paying HONEST job.

I did however have a few issues with her writing, in the very beginning of the book, when she discussed her children she made a distinction I'm not even sure she herself noticed, but it stuck out to me, or maybe I'm sensitive because I'm Black, but when discussing her children, she noted her son Conner, her daughter Jensen & her other daughter Addie, then she states " my Ethiopian son" when she mentions her last child the FIRST thing she mentions is his race and the fact that he is adopted. Umm looking at the pictures we can see that their are two adopted children, yet when she first discusses her second daughter she doesn't mention that she is Asian and adopted. Perhaps because I am currently studying to become a foster mother, and have read and know that making the distinction like these separates the child and puts them at a distance, even as she was describing his endeavours she kind of distanced him from the rest of the family. I don't know maybe I'm being sensitive, but it stuck out to me in those first few chapters, she then later on discusses the adoption and the birth of all her children and how they fit in the family and you can read how much she loves them and how they fit as a unit (at least from what she has written it , it's almost as if two different people wrote the book, it started out distant and then she gets more personal.

Even though she doesn't get into all the deeper issues that clearly there in her life, including her relationship with her husband, she did grow( at least that's what she said). I recommend this as a good what the heck not to do (she even says so). It's a quick fun read.  She does have some stuff in there I wasn't really sure she needed especially the story about the Cat who had AIDS (didn't know it was possible but there you go you learn something new everyday).

Friday 11 May 2012

Feature & Follow Friday (4)

It's Friday again (OMG where did the week go) and as promised it's the Coupon Edition of Follow Friday.  I love using coupons and saving some cash at the register. I'm not the extreme couponer my bestie is, but I do know how to make those little itty bitty papers work for me.

Most of the strategy for using coupons I have, comes from the blog CouponMom. She shares with you how to match your coupons to the weekly sales flyers on your town, even how to get stuff for free!!!

I also spend time surfing the awesomeness that is The Krazy Coupon Lady, she has the most amazing ordered website.  From a beginner section, to a section for the pros, you can find EVERYTHING on here.

To get discounts and coupons from companies that normally don't provide them, like say Method or Seventh Generation, I have signed up on their pages to receive newsletters from them, most of the newsletters also come with the coupons.  There are also websites much like coupons that give discounts on vacations, events, movies, everything you can think of, starting here on Groupon, as well as Living Social, here in CT we have the Entertainment coupon book that costs about $15 (when you wait until it's almost two months into the new year), if you find it in your town, it will help you save some serious money, it's a regional book so it'll have coupons from your town & local dealerships.

Several of the companies that print the coupons in the newspaper also have a chance for you to print them online as well. Another method I have used is to email or write the companies themselves and let them know how much I love their product. I have written Shady Brook farms about their turkey and gotten .50 off coupon which worked out great because they were on sale at the time and our store did coupon doubling, so i ended up with some almost free turkey.

So there it is, almost all of the coupon blogs and methods that I have and use.  Have some awesome methods?? Please share in the comment section.

This week hasn't been the best for reading or any of the other challenges, I seem to be reverting. It was a full week of craziness and I didn't get all I wanted done, but hey it's only the beginning of the month. I still have three weeks to make this month awesome.  Here are the stats, so you can see for yourself:
What I have Read So Far:
Promises in Death by JD Robb **Review Link Below**
The Lucky Penny by Catherine Anderson **Review Pending**
What I'm Currently Reading: 
  • The Accidental Bride by Denise Hunter
  • Deadly Politics by Maggie Shefton
  • Dark Celebration by Christine Feehan
  • Change Comes to Dinner by Katherine Gusftarson

Recent Reviews Posted:
Well that's it for today. Happy reading, and coupon cutting my loves I will see you tomorrow.

Tuesday 8 May 2012

Book Review: Coexist

Book Title: Coexist: Keegan's Chronicles Book 1
Author: Julia Crane
Publisher: Valknut Press
Cost: $2.99
Pages: 202
How I got it: Kindle Freebie
My Rating: ★★★★☆
Sixteen-year-old Keegan is struggling to keep her huge secret from her friends--she's an elf, descended from a long line of elves that live in secrecy alongside humans. In elfin society, mates are predetermined but not allowed to meet until they are eighteen. Against tradition, Keegan's brother Thaddeus told her Rourk's name because his visions warned him she'd need Rourk's protection, especially since Keegan will play a key role in the coming war between the dark and light elves.

Rourk finds himself drawn to Keegan's side every time she thinks his name. He wants to talk to her but remains in the shadows, silently guarding her every time she mentally beckons him. A twist of fate thrusts the two of them together when Rourk is forced to step up his protection and make his presence known. An ancient prophecy deeply entwines Keegan's family and the future of their society. Somehow they must find a way to thwart fate and win the battle...without losing Keegan. With war brewing, and dark forces aligning, will Keegan and Rourk ever have the life together that they both desire?~~~~ From Goodreads.
My Review:
I loved this book. I'm so going to get the other books like right now. I'm not normally a huge fan of YA books, I tend not to read them anymore, because well I'm no long a young adult. I like my books with a little more raunchy than YA can give me, but I saw this one the cover looked cool and it was a free kindle download, so clicked and read in my spare time. Let me tell you how happy I am that I did so, this book was pretty freaking awesome.

It's about the Fae!! I LOVE reading about the Fae, and this author's interpretation of the Fae was pretty cool, intense, and engaging. I did have a few little issues with the story, more editing issues than anything else, in the very first page actually the very first sentence, it's states that "Keegan's call echoed in his head" then a few pages (page 4) later while he's watching her, Rourk states "he doesn't even know her name"; um but you just said it a few pages ago, that doesn't make sense.  There was another scene were he was told to follow her and an incident happened he called her dad to let him know, then a few pages later when her dad pulled him from the case Rourk wanted to know if he was being punished because her dad figured out what he did, he already told Keegan's dad so the continuity there is off.

I also found it odd that the Fae would battle in such a way, it was organized and with rules, it kinda didn't go with the story, like slightly off tune; before the end of the story I was  wondering what made the 'light elves' better than the 'dark elves' if they are both on the battlefield wholesale slaughtering each other simply because they were different. That elf showed up for his people just like you showed up for yours. And of course as I continue to read she answers these questions. I knew the last few chapters of the book were going to be heartbreaking from she heard the roar; I knew that the price she would pay would be horrible, and yet I couldn't feel sorry for her, she was a bit of an idiot. I did shed a few tears for Rourk, but I won't tell you why, you have to read to find out

It's a very engaging, quick read, the author managed to build her version of the Fae world without bogging the book down in chapters of information that wasn't pertinent to the story.  The way it was written, you didn't feel like this was the first book, more like your peeking to the world of Keegan & Rourk and when you stop reading there story still continues. I loved that the dialogue flowed well, her parents clearly were in love and shared that love with their children.  I thought it was awesome that her parents were willing to break the rules about soul~mates and allowed them a great little time together,

I can't wait to read the other adventures of Keegan & Rourk and what happens now to their world, once the battle has begun.

I hope you enjoy it too
Happy reading

Book Review: Promises in Death

Book Title: Promises in Death
Author: JD Robb
Publisher:Putnam & Sons
Pages: 342
How I got it: Borrowed from Library
My Rating: ★★★☆☆
Amarylis Coltraine may have recently transferred to the New York City police force from Atlanta, but she's been a cop long enough to know how to defend herself against an assailant. When she's taken down just steps away from her apartment, killed with her own weapon, for Eve the victim isn't just "one of us."
Dallas' friend, Chief Medical Examiner Morris, and Coltraine had started a serious relationship, and from all accounts the two were headed for a happy future together. But someone has put an end to all that. After breaking the news to Morris, Eve starts questioning everyone from Coltraine's squad, informants, and neighbors, while Eve's husband, Roarke, digs into computer data on Coltraine's life back in Atlanta. To their shock, they discover a connection between this case and their own painful, shadowy pasts.
The truth will need to be uncovered one layer at a time, starting with the box that arrives at Cop Central addressed to Eve containing Coltraine's guns, badge, and a note from her killer: "You can have them back. Maybe someday soon, I'll be sending yours to somebody else."
But Eve Dallas doesn't take too kindly to personal threats, and she is going to break this case, whatever it takes. And that's a promise.
My Review:
I'm remembering now why Eve and I parted ways. It's not as bad in this book as in the other book, but it's still there. I keep saying I'm going to do a series post and I have it mostly written up it will be up on Saturday.

As for this book, it's okay. The mystery is good, it takes a while to figure out who did it and even their motivation.  I enjoyed working up to that, the learning of who, and why. I however found this book to be Eve's most hypocritical book. Sometimes she works my nerves with her self righteousness and know it all attitude, but this time?? It just hit a few wrong notes for me. This time the cop who is killed has a relationship that is so much like Eve's yet Eve insists that she is a good person and anyone who looks at her was wrong for it. I just wanted to slap her.

I had a few laughs especially when Roarke discusses her new ride, but I'm beginning to get tired of the same rerun with Eve that happens in every single book.  You can't freaking tell me that at this age in your life you don't how to cut loose, let go and unwind.  Why is ok for her to be abusive in her position as a cop but when another cop does it (I'm not saying either of them should be doing it, but it's highly hypocritical) he's a "prick" (Eve's words not mine). I get that the story needs Roarke to be a genius, but you can't tell me that an entire department of young and fresh e-geeks who do this thing daily and their Captain aren't as good as Roarke is on the computer. Why does she insist on bringing him in on EVERY case?? Why has Capt Whitney not called BS on the 'expert consultant' gig??

Why are these women her friends?? In one scene she makes fun of the fact that all these 'smart women' yet it's the street kid turned mom who figured out who the killer was.  I'm really beginning to feel like Eve doesn't like other women, especially women who are confident or even okay with sex, or anything 'girlie' and feminine. I get that her life was hard when she was little, I get where she is coming from, but after a while the excuse of your childhood can only go so far. I need for Eve to freaking EVOLVE already and stop using that as an excuse to be a all around bitch.

The story also had some great side stories including the advancement of the Louis/Charles story line; we got to see Mavis and the new baby, and see Dr.Myra unwind and have fun at the party.  I enjoyed this story, I more enjoyed the scenes without Eve as the focus, I would recommend this book if your reading the series, otherwise, I don't honestly know, this isn't a bad book or even close to being bad, I'm just tired of Eve's refrain and the fact that none of her friends or the people who love her haven't called her on her BS yet.  It's okay, maybe it's annoying to me because I have read the latest book and know that she has evolved somewhat and I just want to get there and figure out what happened to bring the changes between this Eve and the Eve in Celebrity in Death.

Either way, Happy Reading

Sunday 6 May 2012

In My Mailbox (13)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi over at the Story Siren. It's a chance to showcase the books you have made their way into your home through the post, through email, from the library, as gifts, or purchased during the week. You get a chance to show off the books that you may not get a chance to review or read, but want your bloggie friends to see.

Here's what I got in the mail this week:
From Paperbackswap:
Skin Trade by Laurell K Hamilton, I'm trying to finish out the anita series and I needed this book before I could read the other two on my shelf. 
When a vampire serial killer sends Anita Blake a grisly souvenir from Las Vegas, she has to warn Sin City's local authorities what they're dealing with. Only it's worse than she thought. Ten officers and one executioner have been slain-paranormal style. Anita heads to Vegas, where's she's joined by three other federal marshals, including the ruthless Edward. It's a good thing he always has her back, because when she gets close to the bodies, Anita senses "tiger" too strongly to ignore it. The weretigers are very powerful in Las Vegas, which means the odds of her rubbing someone important the wrong way just got a lot higher.
I also got My Favorite Witch by Annette Blair which is book two in the accidental witch series, I have books 1 and 3 but I was missing book two.
The Kitchen Witch author Annette Blair serves up a charming tale of a beautiful witch--cursed by her ex-boyfriend--who is appointed to work with a former hockey star, the one man who can melt the ice around her heart.

For Review: 
Where Lilacs Still Bloom by Jane Kirkpatrick
German immigrant and farm wife Hulda Klager possesses only an eighth-grade education—and a burning desire to create something beautiful. What begins as a hobby to create an easy-peeling apple for her pies becomes Hulda’s driving purpose: a time-consuming interest in plant hybridization that puts her at odds with family and community, as she challenges the early twentieth-century expectations for a simple housewife.  Through the years, seasonal floods continually threaten to erase her Woodland, Washington garden and a series of family tragedies cause even Hulda to question her focus. In a time of practicality, can one person’s simple gifts of beauty make a difference?  
So that's my list this week what did you get?? Be sure to check on my progress for this week here. Happy Reading

Friday 4 May 2012

Follow Up & Follow Friday (3):

It's another week of Follow Friday, I'm going to be sharing all the Youtube channels, websites and blogs that I love and think you should check out.  If you have blogs, vlogs or websites you think we should hop on over to, share in the comments!! Thanks.

This week's websites are:
Check out my fave green girl Sara Snow
She has everything we need to know about being green, growing your own veggies, making green and healthy decisions for moms and babies. In a word Sara is awesome, I became a fan after watching her show on directtv called Living Green with Sara Snow, I fell in love with her book Fresh Living *almost didn't return it to the library*.

On the Green tip there are so many really good companies to check out, one of my favorite blogs about being green comes from Yahoo, yes I said Yahoo Green. Here you can learn all about the newest, latest and greatest things happening in the "green" world.  From newest books coming out, to who is the newest actor/actress jumping on the green bandwagon, to which companies are actually green vs who are green washing their advertisements.  Yahoo Green is the place to go!!!
I used to get IDEAL BITES in my email, each was a daily tip to help you become a little green each day. They were purchased by Disney recently, although I haven't followed them over to Disney, a friend of mine still loves them. I'm still working through the backlog of email hints they sent me each day. Recently I found tips on how to green clean that I have added to my collection of recipes.

Well those are my blogs, and websites to check out this week, tune in next week for the Coupon edition of this Follow Friday!!!!
Welcome back to my follow up on IMM, here is the master list I am working from. Here's are my stats for the week:

What I have Read So Far:
Intangible by J Meyers:** Review pending.**
Lust Plague by Cari Silverwood **Review Pending**
Burn by Heath Gibson ** Review Pending**

What I'm Currently Reading:
  • Promises in Death  ~ JD Robb
  • Dark Celebration ~ C. Feehan
Recent Reivews Posted:
Click each to name to see the review:
Non Reading Challenge Recap:
  • 1/2 can of coke on April 30th, yeah yeah don't gimmie that look, my sister was going to throw it out, I was taught not to waste. Le Sigh I know I know.
  • I have done three days out of four of the Yoga challenge. YAYAYAY me!!
Well that's what I have done so far. How was your week?? Please share in the comments!!!
Be Blessed

Thursday 3 May 2012

Paranormal Telly: WitchBlade

Show: WitchBlade
Seasons: 2: 23 episodes
Run Time: 40 mins
Air Dates & Time: Cancelled
Reruns can be seen:  Youtube

Now this a show that had a lot of potential. Much like the Alex Archer series, except the lead is a cop not a archaeologist; she does however find the Witch Blade which in this story arc once belonged to Joan of Arc and many other powerful women in history.
The WitchBlade goes to a deserving user, which it will protect and give all manner of awesome powers to. It's funny to watch the show and realize how far technology has come since 2000-2001 which is when the show was filmed. A note to producers, native New Yorkers can tell when your not filming in NY so don't try to BS us that the character is a cop in NY. Okay??!?! Okay moving on, I personally enjoyed the show and was trying to understand the female lead and what made her the chosen for he blade, the many different people who interacted with her and wished to get their hands on the blade made the show interesting,. Even more interesting was her back story that was beginning to be revealed when the show was cancelled.
Hopefully someday soon they will take a stab at this again, my understanding was the lead was a bit of an alcoholic and was unreliable in her work ethics, which didn't help keep the show up and running smoothly. However you really couldn't tell on the show, it was pretty good!!

It's a check out if you don't have anything else lined up since it's been cancelled. I'm sure you can find it a more legitimate way, but I couldn't.

Happy Viewing

Wednesday 2 May 2012

KWW: Container Gardening (2)

Welcome back to the second edition of my container garden.  I don't know if I have ever mentioned how much i love gardening. It's relaxing and pretty awesome way to meditate or even worship without there being any formal circle, your in nature that's your circle.

Since moving to my new apartment I have seriously been missing out on my garden walks, or even having any plants around. Well I made the decision to change all that and as if the universe was just waiting for me to catch on. seeds have come to me out the woodwork. I went to the local Monday magic classes at my local witch shop and they had a class about Fairies and having a magical garden and gave out seeds!!! I got aniseed and cardamom, which I will be planting post haste.  Of course cardamom is going to be a little harder since it's a tropical plant but hey if my mom can keep her African violet growing then I can do this.

I planted a few plants to draw fairies to my little patch of garden space, as well as a few herbs. i will be going out to get more containers because I have even more seeds than I expected. I still wished to showcase all the things I have planted already though, so here goes:

I planted the garlic bulbs which stated to grow: my mom normally just plops them in the ground and the next spring or late fall she has some to harvest, mine probably won't be ready for a little while I have six pots with garlic. Once they get a little bigger I will transplant them into bigger pots, but for now they are fine here:
I also planted lettuce, two different varieties, including iceberg and black seeded simpson (kind of a curly lettuce)
I also did Okra (which I absolutely LOVE) they are in the front row of the egg carton, and also have their own container. i need more pots for when they have grown a little bigger as well.
I also have potatoes which sprouted so I cut them and put the sprouted part in the dirt make sure the cut has dried out a little otherwise the potato won't grow it will just compost. I then planted snapdragons in a little pot for the fairies, and some of my herbs, my sweet basil has started to sprout:
Once they get a little bigger, I will move them into their own pots.

Yesterday was May Day, and here in CT it rained so I put all my pots outside to be blessed and watered by Maia (the Goddess of May). I also collected May Day rain water, oh man the energy from this is amazing!!!

This weekend I will be going to the city to get my free compost bins, I have already started saving scraps. I will also be getting some cuttings from my mother and new pots to finish planting everything.   How was your May Day?? Do anything fun?? Share below please.

Happy New Month!!

Tuesday 1 May 2012

Book Review: A Teaching Handbook for Wiccans & Pagans

Book Title: A Teaching Handbook for Wiccans & Pagans
Author: Thea Sabin
Publisher: Llewellyn Publishing
Cost: $16.95
Pages: 312
How I got it: ARC due out May 8,2012
My Rating: ★★★★☆
Synopsis: As the Pagan/Wiccan community grows, so does the need for teachers-and Pagans who have never before taught are stepping up. For those who want to share their knowledge, teaching can be a very empowering experience. But practicing a spiritual path and teaching it are two very different things.
This timely guide by popular Wiccan author and teacher Thea Sabin presents clear and effective techniques for creating a curriculum (including sample syllabi), teaching methods for adult learners, and instruction on group dynamics. Sabin reveals how to find and screen students, give great presentations, and set up effective online classes. Also featured are interviews and advice from several respected Pagan teachers. ~ from NetGalley's Press Kit
My Review:
I liked this book. It was well researched, very well written and laid out in a way that made it easy for the reader to go back and forth as they needed to. Thea made creating a syllabus easy for those who aren't trained as teachers.  There were enough stories from new and old pagan teachers that highlighted each point, I particularly liked reading Chris Penzack's quotes, he was very funny.

Even though I may not wish to become a teacher, I believe this book will make it easier for those who choose this path. Thea made you look deep within for not just what you wished to impart to your students but what you wished they would learn ( which yes, it's very different). The author pushed the reader to truly examine why they wished to teach, what were the true goals of becoming a teacher. She even tackled the sticky subject of charging or not charging for teaching. She imparted much information about how to control your class, control your message and control your image.

I particularly loved that there were so many different styles of teaching talked about as well as how to work with different and sometimes difficult students.  She highlighted how to network and create a class, how to research and find good students (basically students who fit with you and your teaching style); she even covers legalities of teaching, of space rental and what happens if you teach from home. Online teaching is also covered, I must say that as a student I never really thought about how much goes into the teacher getting to stand in front of the class, but now I have a little more respect for the ones who are willing to throw themselves up there and actually impart some serious knowledge.
If your belief is that teaching is for you, I would highly recommend this book as a resource. If you wish to know more about teaching then this book is also for you.  I will be adding this to my collection.

Happy Reading