March 29, 2012

March 28, 2012

McCormick Hot Shot!

I bought some McCormick Hot Shot! over the weekend because I was looking for something different to spice up my dinners. I liked the mixture of Black and Red Pepper as my family likes spicy foods. It was very reasonably priced with it being under $2 for the bottle. It smelled fantastic so I knew it was going to be good! I added it to my chicken breasts and wow it was just as I thought. It was spicy, but not hot and it tasted delicious! I didn't add any salt to my chicken and it really didn't need it. I love McCormick spices so I was glad I grabbed this up. I'll definitely be adding it to my personal spice stash. 

Review Seduction of Sebastian St James by R. Van Dyken

Seduction of Sebastion St. James
 by Rachel Van Dyken

When the angelic Duke of Tempest, Sebastian St. James, appeared unexpectedly at his boyhood friend’s home, he had but one goal: Find a suitable wife as soon as possible. However, his impeccable reputation made him a prime target for ambitious mothers of debutante daughters. He needed a plan. Help came in the form of an unlikely alliance with Miss Emma Gates, the beautiful daughter of a wealthy viscount, who has deemed herself on the shelf, and only wants to marry in order to appease her parents. Together they could sort through the mire of would-be mates to find their perfect matches. That is, if they could keep their hands off each other long enough to pursue likely candidates.

My Review:
This story mainly focuses on the angelic Duke of Tempest, Sebastian St James and of a "ruined" young woman named Emma Gates. The Duke is in his 30s and its time he find a suitable wife, even if he doesn't want one. So when Ms Emma Gates shows up he jumps at the opportunity to get her help in the matter. Emma is in her early 20s and is looking for a husband who will overlook her sordid past. She also doesn't really want a husband so she easily conspires with the Duke to fool everyone. The only problem is they're the ones that get fooled as they fall in love with each other.

This was a quintessential romance story of two people who don't like each other in the beginning only to fall madly in love. The characters are all well thought out and are extremely likable. Even though the story has its serious moments the characters say or do something funny to lighten the mood. One thing that was unexpected was that it is really funny. It had me laughing at the antics that both the Duke and Emma get into.

Things get a bit more serious though when a man from Emma's past comes around and basically tries to ruin everything. He knows the real truth as to why Emma isn't married yet and threatens to tell the Duke about it. 

The book is after all a romance and you get your fair share of steamy moments, but not too steamy. It was a little predictable in the fact that I kind of knew they'd end up together, but it never stopped me from reading it. This story has it all romance, comedy, and suspense all neatly wrapped up. It was a great afternoon read and I'd highly recommend looking up other books written by Rachel Van Dyken.

I'm basically re-sharing this review because I'll be reading another book by Rachel Van Dyken and doing a review on it. It's another romance book, but hey we all need a little romance in our lives right? 

March 27, 2012

L'Oreal Nail Polish

Another great find I found while walking around Target was this L'Oreal Nail Polish in...#307 Target Red! This was the first L'Oreal polish I have ever bought but it will not be my last. It too was on clearance, but I'm not really sure why. This polish was super red and it looked fantastic. It went on smoothly and dried fast. It was durable and lasted a little over a week for me. The regular price is around $4.00 which is still very affordable for such a great polish. I definitely will be going back to get my hands on some more polishes. They had great variety in colors and shimmery type polish. 

Sally Hansen Polish

I LOVE Sally Hansen polishes because they are affordable, available practically everywhere and always deliver. They have a wide range of polishes from glitters to nail strengtheners. Not to mention the fact that they sometimes have coupons available just sweetens the deal. So while in Target the other day I came across this Sally Hansen - Hard As Nails polish on clearance! Yes it was on clearance and I got it for less than a dollar. How sweet is that!?

So I added #770 Rock Bottom to my ever growing polish collection. I love the deep dark purple color it has. It goes on super smooth and with 2 coats looks fantastic. It dries really quickly and is really durable lasting for about 6 days. Now I am a stay at home auntie and I am the dishwasher so that 6 days was with constant rubbing and scrubbing. 

I think if you don't have any Sally Hansen polishes you need to go out and get some. They are well worth the price and work excellently. 

Shake and Bake Review

So I actually have never used Shake'N Bake before so when they came out in a meal deal I scooped it up. There was a $2.00 off coupon for pork when you bought Shake'N Bake. So I got my stuff ready and got to work. 

When you first get the box you get two "Crumb" packs and a bag. 1 pack was supposed to be able to cover 8 chops, but it didn't for me. Although my chops were a bit bigger than normal so it was okay. I just left the last two "un-crumbed" and put them in the oven.  It says 10min prep and it really didn't even take me that long to get everything covered. 

The bread did stick to the foil a bit, but it wasn't too big a deal. The bread was very tasty and ended up pretty crusty as well. The kids loved it and even asked if I'd do it again but with chicken. I had to go back and get one for chicken as well. Can't wait to make it because I know it'll be just as good as the pork was. 

mmm tasty looking right?

Orchid Nail Polish

There was a new polish I came across while shopping in HEB grocery stores. Orchid is a pretty affordable polish at $3.99 and they have a wide range of colors with about 50-60 different ones.. 

First up is "Cougarville" and its a very deep bright red and the polish is a a bit thicker than "Girls Night Out". All I really needed was one coat of polish to cover my nail completely. While my skin is a little darker I like the way this color looked and I wear it often. 

Second was #147 "Girls Night Out" it is a very shiny glittery pink. It goes on smoothly and dries pretty quickly. It looks okay by itself with about 3 coats or you can wear it on top of another color. It changes the shade of pink depending on the color you put on underneath.  I really liked it and for $3.99 is was a great value. 

March 26, 2012


Join SheSpeaks  this Thursday March 29th, for the Joie de Vivre #Cravebox Twitter Party at 9PM ET! They will be giving out prizes every 10 minutes. Most of the parties only last 1hr and believe me it goes by really fast!
Just follow #cravebox and join in the chat about making the switch to spring fashion & beauty. They'll be talking about fashion styles and make-up great for spring.  You can win some terrific products from the brands in this month's Cravebox and a full Cravebox (or two) will also be up for grabs. RSVP to be eligible to win the door prize worth $150, by commenting with your Twitter handle on the Cravebox party post.

Party Details:When: Thursday, March 29th
Time: 9:00pm EST
Who: You and your friends!
Hashtag: #cravebox
Party Sponsors: @cravebox@puristics@nyxcosmetics@drinkmercy@beautytruths,@mightyleaf 
Party Hosts: @cravebox
Party Panelists: @RachelFerrucci,@StacieInAtlanta @RockOnmommies @RobynsWorld
To get started all you need to do isclick here to tweet: "Join me at the #cravebox Twitter Party w/ @cravebox 3/29 at 9pm ET! RSVP";

They have a Pre-Party:
From 3/27 through 3/29 @cravebox will be tweeting out some questions related to the March Cravebox. RT and Tweet back your answers for a chance to win a prize for each question. The winner for each question will be announced before the next question is asked. 

Shespeaks is a great website for women and you can get great input on many products that women use. I highly recommend you join them if you like to get advice and give advice.

March 24, 2012


Winner from the whale necklace form Treasured Heirlooms by Tabitha has been announced. Congrats Tracy Webb!

March 22, 2012

Book Review & Giveaway



When I first opened up the package and saw the cover I knew it would be good. I loved the wax stamp and the gothic font, it reminded me of Dracula. Now this story would remind me of what real vampires were like. Not the kind that sparkle and ooze teenage angst. No this story would be about the kind of vampire you wouldn't want to meet in a dark alley. 

A Vampire's Rise is the first stand alone book in the Stone Masters Vampire Series. There are three books and all can be read in any order. I am a little OCD about order so I definately had to read the first in the series. This book is about Daumia Velde, a young man who has to make a difficult or death. Daumia is human for most of the books as it goes deep into his life before he is turned. The love he finds and loses to finding love again from an unlikely source. The struggles he goes through about losing his humanity when that time finely does come. It shows his struggles at being a vampire and a father. Having to kill other humans in order to survive was something he had issues with. 

VMK Fewings highlights major points in Daumia's life showing you why he makes the choices he has made. The issue I had with this is that there were moments when I wanted the story to continue in a particular direction, but it didn't. That was okay though as there was always something interesting around the bend. I liked that sexual situations were hinted and indulged just enough, but not overdone. Little tiny glimpses into the passions between the characters without being too "adult". 

This is the quintessential vampire book with them being stronger, sexier, irresistible, and non glittery. If you like vampire books without all the angst, lovesick, sappy teenage vampire then this book is sure to please. 

If you'd like to purchase this book, or her other books, you can visit her blog at:

But you can also win one from me! That's right enter here for a chance to win an autographed paperback copy of, "A Vampire's Rise" by VMK Fewings! I'll also include a wonderful bookmark from the wonderfully talented Treasured Heirlooms by Tabitha!

March 21, 2012

Beauty Corner Review


So a very sweet fan of mine sent me some eyeshadows that she had extras of. It was very sweet of her so I decided to try them out. I actually haven't ever seen these before, but I was never really a make-up type gal so that could be the reason. Anyway she sent me 5 different shades and I ended up opening 3 of them. The colors are sultry black, trendy blue, and sophisticated wine. The colors looked great but it didn't really transfer well onto my eyelids. 

(**picture of the product will go here as soon as I get a good pic. Taking pictures at 3am isn't such a good idea)

First I tried the sophisticated wine, it is a reddish color, like a rusty brown. The color looks good but not very pigmented. It's very light but went on really smoothly.

The next color was trendy blue and its a pretty light colored blue. This was with a few coats on it, it too went on smoothly. I really liked it even though I thought it might be a little too light for my skin color. You know you have to do a blue eyeshadow the right way or it looks like crud.

The last color was sultry black and it was kind of more grey than anything. I reapplied a couple of times and still couldn't get a deeper black. It wasn't very pigmented so I think it would make a better grey color thank black. It still went on really smooth and even though it wasn't a true black, I really liked the result. 

The colors weren't very creative, but they were still nice. The thing I didn't like the most was the sponge tip applicator. It doesn't really have a point so it was kind of hard for me to be more precise with it and keep it where I wanted it to go. I actually took a different eyeshadow brush and just ran it over the tip so I could be more precise. 



**How's that for a name lol xD 

March 20, 2012

Review: Garnier BB Cream

Garnier B.B. Cream 
Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector

So received a full size sample to review and was pleasantly surprised. Now I normally don't wear foundations of any type on my skin so I was a little wary that this would look "fake". I like natural looking make-up, ones that don't remind me of my high school days. You know, the times you'd see those girls with full make-up on; too light colored and too heavy. I stayed away from foundation, powders, anything that would alter my skin color in any way. I want my skin to look like my skin and not as if it belonged on someone else, someone lighter or darker. I stink at picking a color for myself so when I had to choose which shade I wanted I was worried. I went with a Medium/Deep as the first two options looked to light. I was worried that I'd picked the wrong choice when I received it and squeezed a small dot onto my palm. The color was different the tone not right, darn I had messed up again, right? Well I might as well try it and I was actually really happy with the results. It was very light and went on smoothly. While it didn't cover all my blemishes it did even out my skintone. With some extra concealer my look was complete and it actually looked good. 

It says over time the more you use it the better it will make your skin look. B.B. Cream offers advanced skincare and immediate skin perfecting coverage in one single beauty product. It combines intense moisturizing skincare and immediate skin perfecting coverage for skin that looks naturally more even, radiant and smooth. If you look at my nose you can hardly see my scar going across the bridge. I actually got it while trying to unhook a drying filmstrip in high school. I really liked that it covered it up well as I have issues with it. 

Sorry my face looks all shiny had to use flash.

The price isn't too bad pretty affordable for the quality and quantity that you get. They also are always putting coupons in the Sunday paper so you get some extra savings. Overall I really like the coverage and the way it make my skin smell, also no icky smell! 

*** I recieved a full size sample from Expo strictly to do a review. All opinions are mine and no other compensation was made.

700 followers and counting...

So I hadn't even realized I was over 700 followers on Facebook. Wow I didn't even realize I was over 500! So I'll be trying to get some people together to do a Fantastic 500 Fan giveaway! I've got some items that I can put up, but am looking for more sponsors. If you'd like to sponsor a gift for the giveaway please email me at 

This giveaway will take place on Facebook and people entering will have to like your page or whatever you choose (etsy, blog, etc). If you sponsor for me I'll sponsor for yours as well. 

Pasta Prima Recipe

Quick Tomato Sauce Great ravioli needs great sauce. One of our favorite quick Tomato Sauce recipes is perfect for everything from Chicken and Mozzarella Ravioli to Spinach and Cheese Ravioli. Enjoy!

1 can (28 oz) whole peeled tomatoes in puree, remove tomatoes and chop or 2 lb vine-ripened tomatoes peeled, seeded and chopped.
2 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
2 bay leaves1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves, finely chopped or 1 teaspoon dried basil
Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste

Directions: Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat.    Add garlic to pan and cook for 30 seconds, add in onion and cook for 2 minutes, until soft. Add in chopped tomatoes with the puree, bay leaves, basil, and salt and pepper. Heat to a simmer for 15 minutes. Serve with your favorite Pasta Prima ravioli.


Sounds delish and looks fantastic as well. I'll definitely be trying this one out!

March 19, 2012

Well that wasn't smart...

So trying to add stuff and take stuff off and I deleted my google+ account. 0_o wait that wasn't really what I wanted to do. lol Anyway I'll have to start following people all over again. Darn! I wish things were just a tad bit easier to work together.

Coupon - Nestle

SAVE $1.00/2 NESTLE NESTEGGS (assrt varieties) -- HERE

New Business Venture

So some of you may know that I may doll clothing as a way to bring in extra money for my household. Lately though I've started making some headbands. They're pretty simple to make and super easy to sew. I have tons of fabric anyway so might as well as try them out. I actually really like how they turned out and actually sent one to a nice fan of mine to try out and basically review. I love putting patterns together and have really been having fun with it. What do you think?

March 18, 2012


Winner of "The Soul Collector" book giveaway is FRANCE GARCIA! Congrats France! 

For the Boys Flash Giveaway

Flash Giveaway

This will be for a Superman coloring book, 1 sheet of Spiderman stickers, and 2 sheets of tattoos. 

All you need to do is tell me what was your favorite cartoon character growing up?


The people have spoken!

So I was going over all the comments for The Soul Collector giveaway and seems quite a few folks would like to read "The Folks" as well. So I'm thinking of doing another giveaway for that book as well, but it would have to be a kindle edition unless I can talk to Tracy Carbone and see if she would be willing to do another giveaway with "The Folks" as well. How exciting! :D

March 17, 2012

Polish Giveaway

I love nail polishes so whenever I get the chance to get my hands on some I jump at it. I love all kinds of polishes and am always buying them that sometimes I end up with doubles. I will be giving away two polishes in this giveaway. The first is a top coat Nicole by OPI, I have about 3 top coats and this one is not getting used. It is about $8.00 in stores and online and it does work really well. 

The second polish will be a Revlon Top Speed #340 Ocean. It has a great metallic green color with hints of blue in it. It is really smooth and it does dry pretty fast. It lasts for up to 5 days for me, for you it may be longer. I'm giving this one up because I have a similar color by a different brand that I ended up using. It would make a great addition to your collection.

Review: mark. Hand It Over Cream

BY mark.

I was given the mark. "hand it over" super moisture hand cream and I love it! It has a great light citrus scent, which happens to be one of my favorite scents. It leaves your skin soft and smooth all day long. It is a little bit small for $6, but it does definitely work. It doesn't leave any greasiness on your hands and a little goes a long way. I really liked it overall and have used it multiple times since getting it.

March 16, 2012

GIVEAWAY: Whale Necklace


This is yet another wonderful item I received from Tabitha. She is a fantastic person and an even better artist! She has wonderful things available from bookmarks to necklaces! The best thing is that all her products are super affordable so you can splurge and not feel the hurt on your wallet. She is also willing to work with you to make your piece custom and to your likes. 

Now on to the prize! It is a blue and silver beaded necklace with a small whale pendant. It is a perfect size for a little girl that loves the sea. It will fit adults but for me it was a little tight. If you like smaller chains then it'll be perfect for you! It has a "silver" clasp that is easy to open, but stays securely closed.

If you'd like to buy your own you can go to Treasured Heirlooms by Tabitha on Facebook. Or you can win this awesome necklace from me, just fill out the rafflecopter below. Please to not unlike after the giveaway. 

March 15, 2012

Review: Mark on the dot Compact


I have bought mark. products in the past but honestly had never gotten any eyeshadow. So when I was presented the opportunity to get some I jumped at the chance. I got "on the dot" eye color compact in color. They also offer a compact in neutral which has much more browns in it. I like that there is a good choice of colors on the compact. As you can see in the picture there is something for everyone, I think anyway.

The colors are very shimmery and glittery, but not to the point where it dissuades me from using it.  The colors are vibrant and pigmented and look great on my eyes. I used the green, brown, and the lightest color on the top left to do my eye below. I think it looks pretty good, especially for someone who doesn't really put eye-shadow on.

My biggest gripe has to be the fact that it doesn't have a large mirror on it. The mirror is pretty small and is actually were the eye-shadow brushes are placed.

sorry for the blurriness I just picked the best one; I was seeing dots for a while afterwards.
Along with the eye-shadow I got, I got some eye-shadow brushes which worked great. Even though they are the mini kind, they do a fantastic job. They are easy to use and hold. You can purchase the on the dot compact for $16.00 and the mini brushes for $6.50 each. They are great on your eyes and easy on your wallet, what's better than that?

March 13, 2012

Review: Simple Skincare

Simple Smoothing Facial Scrub

 Kind To Skin is a perfect blend of beneficial ingredients and vitamin goodness. It gently lifts dry, dead skin cells to help your skin look brighter and even textured. Kind To Skin Smoothing Facial Scrub is perfect for people with sensitive skin because it doesn't contain perfume, dyes or harsh irritants. 

It containes Pro Vitamin b5 to help restore, soften and smooth your skin. It also has Vitamin E to moisturize and improve skin condition. 

I used it for the first time last night and was happy with the results. Yes just one use and my skin feels smooth, clean, and look brighter. It is safe to use everyday if needed, but I think 3 times a week should be okay. The great thing is, is that it is not as expensive as other products and it does just a good a job. So if you're looking for something that is gentle on your skin and won't kill it, I'd recommend trying Simple Skincare Products.

**Opinions are my own, I received this bottle to review in my own home.

















March 11, 2012

Miracle Gro Sample - still available!

Book Review & Giveaway: A Rat and A Ransom

A Rat and a Ransom
by Yvonne Lee 

This was such a lovely book even though it was about a rat. Yes I am not very fond of our rodent friends, but I have to say the rat in this book may have swayed me. 

The main character is a little boy named, Tom, whose parents are of the working class. Because of this he is often alone at home so he desperately wants a pet. He finds an unlikely one hiding from a cat in the garden. Enter, Mask, our rodent friend who is smart and such a great character, well for a rat anyway. Tom and Mask are kidnapped and end up going on an adventure of sorts. In the end Tom is found and reunited with his parents and all is well. Or is it? 

This book was fun to read and it really surprised me at the end. This would be a great book for any child to read as it it very entertaining and engaging. The pictures are just darling and do the characters justice. 

Visit her on Facebook and tell her how excited you are to get a chance at winning her book! Yvonne Lee

You can buy her book on the kindle edition is only $3.50 while the paperback is $8.00. Such a small amount to pay for a wonderful book!

March 10, 2012

Book Review & Giveaway: The Soul Collector


The Synopsis: Abby McNabb is a typical sixth grader. She hates her hair, thinks her mom is too strict, envies her best friend…Oh, and Abby's father is crazy. Andy McNabb is a famous author known for his investigations of aliens, ghosts and all things paranormal. This embarrasses Abby to no end, until the day he takes her on one of his learning adventures … and for the first time in her life, she sees a ghost, too.  As Abby, along with her friend Claudia and cousin, Chase, work to uncover the truth about her father's past and his future, she is faced with losing him forever when destiny pushes him toward his forgotten life. Join Abby and her loving but troubled father as she learns what it means to believe in make-believe and trust what you cannot see. 

My Review:
I was given the chance to review a great book by author Tracy L. Carbone. The Soul Collector is a YA (young adult) book that has a Sci-Fi twist to it. Even though it is YA it is totally safe for younger kids to read. There are no sexual undertones or anything violent. It is a shorter book at 209pgs, but that's a great size for a weekend read. 

The story centers around Abby Mcnabb, who at the age of 11 is a young adult herself. Abby parents are divorced and the story centers more around her relationship with her father Andy. Andy Mcnabb is a paranormal author and is a bit unusual. He was a really fun character to read and as crazy as he was he was also believable. The whole stories really begins when Andy and Abby along with her cousin, Chase, and best friend, Claudia, all go to America's Stonehenge to do an investigation. Abby ends up seeing a ghost like the ones her father writes about and things definitely start to change. Without giving away the whole story, things are way more "alien" than Abby first thought. 

The story has some great teaching moments scattered all throughout the book. It focuses on acceptance, dealing with bullies, and divorces. I think the way Carbone approaches the touchy subject of being a child with divorced parents, was in a way that so many kids and adults can identify with. It is so full of exciting imagery from the first page till the last page, it will surely have your own little young adult wanting more. 

Want the chance to read this book for yourself? You can find it HERE at her page.  
You can also visit her website at Tracy Carbone to see what other books she has written. 

Would you like a chance to win a cop of this great book? Well enter at the rafflecopter!

March 8, 2012

Pssst...I have Hamburger Helper

So I received two boxes of Hamburger Helper from Pssst, a program run by General Mills. I got two flavors Ultimate Beef Stroganoff and Cheesy Italian Beef. Also sent with the package was 10 coupons for .70 off of one box of either of those flavors. 

So I grabbed some ground beef out of the freezer to defrost while I made a quick run to the store. Now I have a family of 8 living here so one box was not going to cut it. While at the store I had to make a choice, which flavor would I make. First off neither flavor was being carried at my HEB store but regular Stroganoff was. So I decided to get one box of that to add to my Ultimate Beef Stroganoff. 

In order for this to come out just right, I needed to use 2 1/4 cups of milk and 1 1/4 cup of water per box. There was no difference in the amount of ingredients used per box which was a bit surprising to me. I guess the Ultimate had to be in the flavor packet. Once I had added everything the kids came around to tell me how great it smelled, but of my boys said, "Eww I don't think I'll like that!" Well we will have to see about that, won't we?

So after about 20 minutes it was all done and ready to be eaten. I think the color is definitely lacking, it looks like a colorless mess, but believe me it was really tasty. All the kids ate and even had seconds! The flavor was good and more intense, which  I believe is where the Ultimate comes from. Again, I wish there was more color and maybe that's something that I can look into when adding veggies or herbs in next time I cook it. 

Overall it was really good and with 2lbs of ground meat, some milk, water, and the Hamburger Helper I was able to feed my family of 8 for less than $10 in only 20 minutes. You can't beat that!

March 6, 2012

Book Review: The Whisperer

So I am in the process of reading - The Whisperer by Donato Carrissi

Synopsis: Six severed arms are discovered buried in a forest clearing. They are arranged in a mysterious circle, and appear to belong to missing girls between the ages of eight and thirteen. But the rest of the bodies are nowhere to be found. Criminologist Goran Gavila is given the case. A dishevelled, instinctively rebellious man, he is forced to work with young female police officer Mila Vasquez. Lithe, boyish, answering to no one, Mila has a reputation as a specialist in missing children. She also has a tragic history of her own that has left her damaged, unable to feel or to relate to others. Theirs is a fiery but strangely affecting working relationship - and as they uncover more secrets about the dark secrets in the forest, their lives are increasingly in each other's hands...A gripping literary thriller that has taken Italy by storm, The Whisperer has been as sensational a bestseller in Europe as the Stieg Larsson novels. 

My Review: Will be coming once I've read all the book! Once I have I'll come back here and leave a review and start the giveaway! Sounds like a really interesting read.

Book Review: Lost Book of Mala R.

The Lost Book of Mala R.The Lost Book of Mala R. by Rose MacDowell

In a once-grand Southern California neighborhood, Linda, a New York City transplant, is panicking over the disappearance of her precocious ten-year-old stepdaughter. Christine, who has struggled to get pregnant for years, finds herself expecting a baby—just as her husband is accused of murder. And Audrey, who’s always played it safe because of her family’s history of bad luck, takes a romantic risk and suddenly finds herself facing a disaster of her own. 

When an old journal surfaces at a neighbor’s tag sale, the women are inexorably drawn into the life of Mala Rinehart, an itinerant Romany woman who wrote down spells and predictions in a cryptic, slanting hand. As the three women feel the pull from across sixty intervening years, they vow to discover what became of Mala. For through the worn pages, their happiness has intertwined with hers, their futures spelled out in her chants and recipes. And as they unravel the mystery of Mala’s origins, their lives transform in ways they never could have expected.

My Review:
I was pretty excited when I got an email saying I won this book. When it got here I didn't pick it up right away as I was reading another book. Once I picked it up though I couldn't put it down. The story involved 4 different women and their very different lives. Even though there were four different stories being told, I never once got lost. The characters were developed really well and were like-able. It told a great story of losing it all, but getting so much more in the end. 

My biggest gripe is the end, I would have loved to have heard more about the character, Zina, and what happened to her. I am really looking forward to reading a sequel

Book Review: Almost Paradise

Almost ParadiseAlmost Paradise by Laurie Hanan

Synopsis: Louise, a mail carrier in Kaneohe, Hawaii, searches for Conchita Santos, an elderly customer on her delivery route who has mysteriously vanished. Louise encounters a murderer, who stalks her, but she get the better of him and solves the mystery of the missing woman...and two other unsolved police cases.

My Review:
This book is a murder mystery and it keeps you guessing all the way to the end. Just when you think you have it figured out, you're totally wrong. The story takes place in Hawaii and has some great Hawaiian words, which are explained in the glossary. The main character is a woman named Louise Golden who is a postal worker. She takes her job seriously and really gets to know her "customers". Things start to go bad when one of the older women she takes mail to goes missing. Louise just can't let it go and with every step she gets closer to solving the case...or does she?

This was a great read and I actually read it in about 2 days because I just couldn't put it down. There were a couple of areas where it was just a little bit unbelievable, but then again it's a book! If you're into murder mysteries this is a good book to pick up and read.

A.M. Ramblings

So as I'm sitting here at 2am I figured maybe an introduction was needed. My name is Sally and I'm an aunt of 9 nephews and one lonely niece. I am the only girl with 4 brothers, I was right smack in the middle (two older and two younger). I never once in my life envisioned myself helping to raise my brother's children. But here I am and there they are, sound asleep without a care in the world.

Things all changed when 2 years ago my older brother made a decision that would change all of our lives. It's said and done and I'd like to move on, but really can you ever move on from losing a loved one? His children are now learning to live without a father and well they don't have their mother either. Sometimes I wonder how a woman could not feel that intense love for their children you hear and see. For whatever reasons she isn't around and I'm on the fence on if it's better for the kids or not. I was not a mother nor did I really want to be. I remember being very young and telling my mother that I would never have children. She laughed and said, "Just wait till you get older." I was 9 then and now I'm 30 and the closest I've come to having children are my two furry babies.

So how do you move forward when you don't really want to? I didn't really want to be a "mother" taking on the responsibility of 4 children. My mother, who is now 52, is having to start all over and it sure isn't the same. When did being a kid become so hard? I don't remember having to deal with the bullying, the sexual promiscuity, the drugs. Now I'm not saying that it wasn't around, but it was nowhere near the way it is now. I see it in my nephew who cried about not having skinny jeans and Nike shoes. I see it in my niece whose "friends" constantly ask her why she doesn't wear more skirts and dresses. I'm now seeing it in my younger nephews who have begun to ask why can't they have the more expensive stuff. I hadn't realized that you needed those designer brands to make friends. That your clothes really do make you instead of you making your clothes.

I also hadn't realized how much sex is on tv...on kids shows. I see it because I know what they're trying to say. I understand what they are insinuating, but the kids don't. All they see are like-able characters and cool looking clothes. I shake my head as they laugh and long for tv shows that actually taught you a "lesson". I don't find them funny or cute, I don't think they need to be on t.v., but really....who am I?

So yea, it's late and I'm tired and I just wish things could move forward without moving backward at the same time. Progress is fantastic, but at what cost?

March 5, 2012

Coupon Post

$1.50 off of Biore Skin Product: HERE

Psst...Have you joined?

So General Mills has a program called Pssst, and I really think you should join if you haven't already. Normally I have just gotten coupons from them, which is awesome, but today I got an email. It said I'd be trying some new Hamburger Helper flavors and I should get them in a few weeks. How great is that? I didn't have to fill out any forms, no running to FB to deal with 1,000s of people. All I had to do was sign up for the program!

To join the Pssst Panel just click HERE. I'll be doing a review on the stuff when I get it so just a little heads up.

March 4, 2012

Book Review - Starlighter

Starlighter (Dragons Of Starlight, #1)Starlighter by Bryan Davis

Synopsis: Dragons are enslaving humankind and a black egg signals the end of the world. Jason Masters must journey to another realm and join forces with a slave girl named Koren to rescue the captives and save two worlds from destruction. What if the Legends Are True? Jason Masters doubted the myths: people taken through a portal to another realm and enslaved by dragons. But when his brother is taken, he must uncover the truth and find the portal before it's too late. Once he's through the portal, he meets Koren, a slave in the dragons’ realm, who struggles to destroy a black egg prophesied to doom all mankind. Jason and Koren must work together to save their two worlds before the dragons learn that their secrets have been discovered. In Starlighter, bestselling author Bryan Davis masterfully weaves fantasy and inspiration into a captivating novel for young adults.

My Review:
So I finished ready Book 1 in the Dragons of Starlight: Starlighter. This book focuses on two main characters: a boy named Jason Masters and a girl named Koren. It goes back and forth between their two stories.

With Jason's character I wish he had been described more as I couldn't really envision what he looked like. He kind of is the typical hero that must overcome his adversities and learn to work with others.

With Koren she is a bit more mysterious with her red hair and green eyes. She is quick witted and very intelligent, always pulling from her abilities as a Starlighter. She is the more obvious choice for a hero, in my opinion anyway.

Overall, I liked the book and look forward to reading the second in the series, Warrior. I hope that a lot of the questions that I am left with will be answered in the next installment. Bryan Davis did get me to enjoy his book and have me waiting for the next.