Monday, July 21, 2014

An ebook review! I know right. The Princess Sisters


May contain spoilers!!!!


In my last post I mentioned I was reading an ebook that somewhere along the line I downloaded.  Probably because I love the cover photo.  Isn't it awesome?!



The Princess Sisters.  Book one of a series.  Since I didn't have a back of a book to read I read this description on goodreads.

The only thing she stands to lose are her shoes.

Cinderella is an ordinary teenage girl, with an extraordinary name. But because of that name, she and her cousins, Belle, Aurora, Ariel, and Snow White suffer years of torment from their peers. Then as the girls enter high school and the enticing world of dating, a life-altering decision must be made. Is it finally time to stop fighting, and surrender to the fairy tale clich├ęs that have been holding them back? By embracing their names, the girls discover an inner-strength they never knew existed. And by putting everything they have on the line, maybe, just maybe they will discover there really is such a thing as ‘happily ever after’.



Sounds pretty good right?
It was actually.  It was a cute story about 15 year old cousins that are named after princesses.  I can see girls of a few years younger enjoying this book.   Although there is a slip in language once and alot of talk of kissing.
For a while the whole story seems to revolve around the five cousins getting their first kisses (from the same boy!).  Then comes the plot twist... and where it goes from (MOVE ON prince charming) to (THANK GOD they are done).   The girls find out a girl from school put Dave (the kisser) up to kissing them all and finding out all their weaknesses.  She then uses those weaknesses to make them miserable at school. This is where the princesses have to figure out how to overcome the weaknesses and prove their are awesome!
The beginning and the end were great.  The middle felt drawn out.  It seemed to last forever.  If I had a book instead of my kindle I think I would have probably skipped pages to move it along faster.  There was some humor and I actually laughed out loud (late at night almost waking up my family!).

One of my favorite scenes is when Belle is super mad at Dave.  She runs outside and is standing and waiting.
Here is the scene:
"Are you waiting for someone?" Dave asked, holding his hand out to display the empty road.
"A car, a train, a bus, I don't care at this point."
"To hitchhike?" Dave asked.
"No! I'm going to push you in front of it!

Another one I liked..
"We're done being teased. This time, we're going to fight back," Aurora added.
"Just so long as nobody gets hurt," Dana said.
"Guess we'll have to get rid of the lighter fluid then," Ariel said.
Dana whipped around so fast in her chair that the car swerved and barely missed a collision with the car in the next lane.
"Mom! She's joking!" Cinderella said.

These little glimmers of humor combined with a memory of wanting to fit in with the crowd were what pushed me through the middle part to an enjoyable ending.

Hope my rambling didn't give away the whole story and my reviews are getting somewhat more readable. :)

Happy reading!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Ebooks... a slight rant

I have a kindle, a kindle app on my phone, an old sony ebook reader, and my kids have a kindle and a nook.  We have all kinds of means to read in this house.  Including 10 full size bookshelves double stacked and many more smaller stacks in the kids rooms.  There are no excuses for not reading at my house.  That being said.....
I do not like ebooks.
OMG did I just say that!  Yes, I did.  I have thousands on my kindle so that totally makes me a hypocrit!  I realize this.  Sorry.
I will read on my kindle.  Matter of fact I am reading a book now.  Maybe a review to come.
But there is NOTHING like having a book in your hand.  My daughters hand me the kindle back after playing subway surfer after I ask them if they want to read a book.  They head down to the library and pick up a book... or run off to their rooms to hide.  Sigh.
Here is my problem.  There are sooo many books on kindle.  Free ebooks everywhere.  Everyone is saying here read my book and review it.  Win this ebook in this contest.  I need so many downloads on Amazon.  And I do.  I download them.  Then they are swallowed up in my kindle.  I can't figure out what to read. I don't remember what book it is or why I wanted it.  With a real book I can see it. I can pick it up.  I can read the cover.  Maybe even sniff it or crack the spine.

Give me a real book any day.



Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Goodbye Witch... No I'm not leaving.. I'm reading..




So recently I won a book in a blog giveaway.  Woohoo.  I love getting fresh new crisp books in the mail!  I love it even more when it happens in the summer when I can hide and read it.  My kids love reading... just not mom reading.  I do have to admit I feel really bad.  I can't remember which blog it was!  (gasp)  I will look for it and link to it when I find it.  Yeah, I am redeemed.  I found it.  Stuff and Nonsense  Go check it out!  She does easy to read reviews and giveaways so you can read them too.

I loved this book.  Its the 4th book in the Wishcraft series by Heather Blake.  You can find it on goodreads or on amazon.

Here's the blurb on the back.
Darcy's closet friend and fellow witch, Starla Sullivan, hoped she'd never lay eyes on her ex-husband, Kyle, again.  Two years ago he tried to kill her, and he's been a fugitive ever since.  Now Starla claims to have spotted him back in the Enchanted Village, but it seems she's the only one who can see him.  To everyone else, her ex is invisible.
Darcy only wishes his motives were as transparent as the rest of him.  Since the police can't arrest someone they can't see, it's up to Darcy to find the secret behind Kyle's latest disappearing act -- before he does something they can't see coming...

I now need books 1-3 as I love this author.  I'm a cozy-mystery person.  But its the cozies that are about books and magic that really pull me in.  This one had magic. The town Enchanted Village is very well named.  Every shop (almost) in the town is run by people who specialize in that department.. in a magical way.  I don't really want to go into detail about what happens in the book.. I mean its in the description and that kinda gives away the ending.  The whole who-dun-it part.  Its very well written and honestly you aren't completely sure who is the bad guy in the book.  The person you think is bad isn't really bad and everything is sorta mixed up in a good way.   Okay, if that didn't run you off, then go pick up the book and read it.  You'll see what I mean.
Loved it!

This is my first book review on here.  I'm sure it needs some work.  Suggestions (nicely worded) are always appreciated.



Thursday, July 3, 2014

Restarting Homeschool

       



         Its been nearly 4 years since I have home schooled any of my children.  My daughter was diagnosed with vestibular auditory and visual disorders.  That was a mouthful.  Basically it means that she has trouble with noises and seeing moving objects.  They make her feel nauseous.  So public school is not right for her while she is going through therapy.  For now we have signed up through K12.  Its a long, almost painful process but if they provide everything and she works well with it, then we will take it.
          BUT after hearing so many negative reviews, I have decided to make a backup curriculum "just in case".  So I'm book marking links and sharing them with you.  We are on a budget so I'm looking for free or inexpensive 3rd grade level secular options.  I'm going to share some here, too.  And you are more than welcome to share some in the comments if you see any!

My first share is a link to a complete 10 week poetry unit..
http://www.examiner.com/article/the-complete-10-week-poetry-for-kids-course

Here's to a good homeschool experience!




Friday, December 7, 2012

Being frugal.. thoughts and rambling

Have you ever tried to explain to someone how your household makes it on one income?  Or how you can be a single parent and still pay bills in a time when it takes two people working to pay all the bills?  Ever tried to explain how you are "frugal" without making the person think you are scrooge or just plain crazy?

This morning I have a phone interview and I suspect that one of the topics will be on how I manage on so little money. So I have been really thinking about what it means for me to be frugal.

Frugal.  So here are a few things I do.  I coupon.  Not extreme couponing like they do on tv.  No I don't have the patience or awesome stores around here like that.  Just enough to buy in bulk when things go on sale.  I stretch my money as far as I possibly can. Am I religious about it?  No.  Some days you just need to stop and grab a pizza for the kids because its just been that kinda day.  I also know how to make things when I run out.  For example.  I have been watching the sales ads for laundry soap.  I haven't seen a stock up price so instead of paying more than I am willing for a small bottle... I made my own.  A few years ago I exclusively made my own laundry soap.  We have alot of skin sensitivities in this family (mostly me).  So I already had the needed items on hand.  Here's another thing I do.. When I buy things like this (washing soda and borax),  I buy TWO of each so that the next time something pops up I have it on hand.  Frugal?  You decide.  Having it on hand when I was broke?  Positively a life saver.   Want to try it?  Here is the link I used when I first started.  http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/laundrysoap2.htm
Awesome page.  Lots of pictures.  I don't know about you but I need pictures to help me! lol
Another example of making it myself.  Thanksgiving dinner.  I am cooking.  Knee deep in with things boiling, smoking, heating up all around me.  What do I discover??  No canned cream of mushroom soup!  OF course!  Never fails.  So I bring in my 12 year old son and put him in front of a sauce pan.  Open my made from scratch recipe book I have been putting together for quite some time.. and put him to work.  Easy, quick and delicious.  My son mixed his finished product in the green bean casserole we were making and we were done!  If you don't have a made from scratch recipe book, start one!  Its a life saver.  Think of all the things you buy at the store, then start searching recipes.  Make sure you try them out.  :)   If you need ideas, pinterest is my favorite go to site.  Here is my board with all my homemade recipe that I want to try.  

Well its almost time for my phone call, so I better wrap up my post and get ready.  If you would like to see more posts about being frugal, what I do, or just anything in particular.. Just give me a comment about what you would like to see!  I will be happy to see what I can do.


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Chicken and Rice Wraps

I thought I would share another really easy and delicious family favorite.  Even the kids like this one. 

Its Chicken and Rice Wraps from the 4 Ingredient Cookbook.

 (An awesome cookbook!)


















Ingredients:

8 boneless skinless chicken breast (cubed)
2 cups water
1 box Long Grain and Wild Rice
1/2 cup ranch salad dressing
1 cup shredded lettuce
8 (10-inch) tortilla shells

Ok.  When I make these I either use Uncle Ben's or Zatarains.  Both are really good.
I also don't use the premade ranch dressing.  I use the Hidden Valley packets with mayo. 

First, cook your cubed chicken until lightly browned on each side.  Add water, rice, and seasoning packet from your box mix.  Bring it to a boil.  Cover; reduce heat and let simmer until liquid is absorbed.  ((This can also be done in a different pan if you want to get the rice going for a quicker meal.  Both ways work well.))
Stir in salad dressing.

Then make like a taco.  Place a couple spoonfuls in the center of your heated tortilla shell.  Sprinkle with lettuce.  Wrap and eat!  We also sprinkle with cheese.

You can also add some chopped up bacon strips for more flavor. 

Note: This is not the recipe verbatim from the book.  It is my shortened version.  If you would like the exact wording in the book, let me know.  Its basically the same.




















Monday, June 11, 2012

Parmesan-Ranch Roasted Potatoes

Its been a while since I did a dinner post.  So today I made Cubed Steak and Gravy with Parmesan-Ranch Potatoes and a rice/vegetable mix.  I thought I would share with you my recipe for the potatoes.  Now, I know at some point (somewhere) I came across the basis of this recipe.  I would totally credit them but I can't remember where I saw it.  Its supper easy and everyone loves it.  More importantly the KIDS love it.  That's such a hard thing to do around here!

My list of ingredients:
Potatoes (The smaller the pieces the less cooking time but make them big enough to eat with your fingers or a fork)
Parmesan
Hidden Valley Ranch Packet
Olive Oil
Parsley
Garlic salt
Paprika





Start by pour enough olive oil to coat all the potatoes.  I add the whole packet of ranch dressing mix.  Then I add enough parmesan that I see everything getting coated.  Then I add my seasons.  I do not measure these out.  I am sure when I did this recipe the first time that I used a specific amount but I've made it enough to know what my family does and doesn't like.  I then added the parsley, garlic, and paprika.  Now the parsley and garlic are optional.  There is enough flavor in the ranch packet to make it good without the extra.  But I like a little extra.  We've even added hot and spicy stuff to see how it tasted.  Mix it all up.  I recommend (from experience) that you put aluminum foil down on your pan And spray it with cooking spray.  I forgot the cooking spray on this batch and it STUCK.  ha That was fun to get off!


I baked these on 375 while frying up the cube steak coated in flour.  Probably between 30 - 45 minutes depending on how big your potatoes are.  Here they are all ready to eat.  

While I was cooking and surfing pinterest for ideas on tomorrow's dinner I came across a recipe for Parmesan Ranch potatoes with bacon.  Any recipe that calls for bacon and cheese will automatically catch my interest.   So I think the next time I make this there will be bacon involved!  

Hope you all enjoy.