Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Book Review: Tiago

Tiago (A Kurupira Romance #1)Tiago by Reily Garrett
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Brielle has just witnessed the brutal mother of her mother, and received cryptic instructions from her right before she died. Brielle and her mom have always loved traveling the Amazon together, but why is it so critical for her to go now? How is her destiny wrapped up in the jungle? And who is the strange, glowing protector she finds there?

I have read other Reily Garrett books before, and while those were YA this is definitely a more adult romance, including sex. Disclaimer aside, if you like supernatural/paranormal romance this book fits well with Garrett’s succinct but deliberate style that unfolds a story into an adventure. Like her other books, I actually thought the book could have used a little bit more leading and tension rather than such a quick resolution, but it was still a great quick read, perfect for a beach book or surviving the airport.

View all my reviews Please note, while there may be affiliate links or payment for reviews, all opinions are my own. You can't buy a good review from me, people. I am way too mouthy for that.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Last Call for UHB2016!

Today is the last day to buy the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle 2016, which includes my ebook, Adoption Options: For Prospective Adoptive Parents! Please do not miss out on this huge resource! (My book is pictured below - but this is only ONE category in this bundle, there are so many more resources on organizing, cooking, routines, self care, etc.!)

As a courtesy, I thought I’d remind you that your chance to buy The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle (2016 Edition) expires in a few hours.

Although over 40,000 people have already bought their bundle and said hello to stress-less homemaking, others are hesitating, wondering if this bundle is really for them.
Well, I guess that depends…
Do any of these situations describe you?
  • You’ve known for quite some time that you needed to make changes in your home or your family, but just don’t know how.
  • You’ve been eyeing some of the eBooks and eCourses, but they’ve just been a bit too expensive to justify (or maybe you’ve been wondering if they’re any good?).
  • You’re eager to get your home more organized, and you’re tired of feeling like there’s just too much to do (and not enough time).
  • You want to practice self-care in the midst of it all, but it’s hard to justify the time and cost to do the things that will help you feel and function better.
If any of these resonate with you, I invite you to pick up The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle (2016 Edition), which contains 93 hand-picked, high-quality eBooks and eCourses that will help you feel more like you’re winning at homemaking and mothering.

On the flip side, if all these statements are true, you should NOT pick up this year’s bundle:
  • You’ve already got from-scratch, eat-at-home meals totally perfected.
  • Your family is 100% on board with household routines and helping out with chores.
  • You’re taking great care of yourself, feeling fit, energetic and happy all the time.
  • You possess infinite amounts of patience and wisdom in mothering.
  • You’re saving money left, right and center with all the frugal, DIY goodness you’re constantly whipping up.
  • You’re the queen of birthday parties, holidays and celebrations, and never feel frazzled in the slightest.
The combined value of the resources and bonuses in the bundle is over $1,000, but you get EVERYTHING for 97% off!

Click here to get your bundle today:

If you buy the bundle and realize it’s not a perfect fit for you, no problem. As always, the bundle comes with a 30-day no-hassle guarantee. UB will happily refund your money if it’s not right for you.
So there’s really no risk in trying. But there IS a tremendous amount of upside for you, your family, and your home.

Join me, and open the door to new possibilities in your homemaking!

P.S. Don’t forget that after 11:59 P.M Eastern Time, the bundle comes off sale for good. Now is the time to act if you think this bundle might be just what you need!

Plus, it comes with these FREE bonus offers from companies who know what homemakers need and want. Some are 100% free; other are yours for the cost of shipping only. You’ll get:
  • FREE Mrs. Meyer’s Dish Soap, Mrs. Meyer’s Multi Surface Spray, Grove Collaborative Spray Bottle, Grove Collaborative Scrubber Sponges and FREE 60-day VIP trial with FREE shipping from Grove Collaborative ($30 value)
  • FREE Online Class from Craftsy ($29.99-$69.99 value)
  • FREE Kids Discovery Box from ($19.95 value)
  • $15 Gift Certificate to InkWELL Press ($15 value)
  • $15 Credit to Hope Ink Shop PLUS Two FREE 8×10 Art Prints with Any Purchase ($71)
  • FREE SPOT Treatment for Acne & Eczema OR a $15 Gift Certificate from Bloom Naturals ($15 value)
  • FREE 90-Day Pro Membership to ($30)
  • FREE 1-Year Membership ($29 value)
  • FREE Hand Massage Routine Videos from Melt Couples Massage ($24 value)
Please note, while there may be affiliate links or payment for reviews, all opinions are my own. You can't buy a good review from me, people. I am way too mouthy for that.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Book Review: Awakening

Awakening (The Last Anakim Trilogy, #1)Awakening by Janet V. Forster

Kate has always wanted to search for her birth parents, and now that she’s 18 it’s time to take the plunge. Her mom probably won’t like it, but every adoptee needs to find their roots if they can. However, Kate gets a lot more than she bargained for when she locates her birth father, Nick. His family history brings her into a world that she had no idea even existed, and one where she plays a huge role, like it or not.

Full disclosure - I work for an adoption agency. I generally cringe when I read adoption stories because of all the misconceptions and myths. I am unashamedly pro adoption because I feel like it is an often underutilized alternative for tough situations that can work for everyone if you put the effort into it. Although not perfect, I was honestly okay with the adoption story in this one, although I’m wondering how it will play out with the supernatural element. I think that the portrayal of a desire to know your roots is accurate, but the acknowledgement of your adoptive family as your real family too is present. Kate’s birth mother is in a totally relatable situation and obviously places her out of love and the desire to protect her, rather than rejection, which is true for most voluntary placements, although the totally closed aspect of it is not as accurate now with open adoption being the more common scenario. What I hope continues in this series is while Kate inherited supernatural stuff from her bio family that she has to engage, her parents are still her biggest champions, and her greatest allies, and the adoption story, much like the Christian salvation story that the Nephilim and other supernatural elements seem to be drawn from, becomes the reason she can be the heroine, rather than the convenient plot point to which it is usually relegated.

Giveaway - there is a giveaway for this book on Goodreads right now! Go enter to win a copy. Ends 5/4/16.

View all my reviews
Please note, while there may be affiliate links or payment for reviews, all opinions are my own. You can't buy a good review from me, people. I am way too mouthy for that.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Mid-Mo Summer Reading Resources

My sister, the librarian, was on the ball enough to send me Barnes & Noble's summer reading program in April (when I am running on fumes to get through the rest of the school year much less plan for summer enhancement) and I realized that now that I have moved back to Mid-Mo I wasn't as aware of everything that is offered in terms of summer reading programs. Last year my daughter got 3 different books from summer reading, and I am personally thrilled to report that MU pediatrics offers books instead of candy as rewards for regular ped visits. Since I was compiling a list for myself and this is a blog about books, I thought I'd list it here for your convenience. Hope it helps!

 Available Online:
I will update as I find more, and please comment if you know of any not on this list and I will add. Also some of these places have adult reading programs too - parents model good behavior by reading both to and in front of your kids! Let your kids in on a secret...reading isn't just for school.

Stay at home parents especially, are you looking for some good homemaking and household organization reads? This week only, check out the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle 2016! It is a huge ebook library of resources all about modern homemaking, and includes some really cool bonuses too! This will totally last you through your summer reading! You'll notice an ebook about adoption in there...pssst, I wrote it :)

Please note, while there may be affiliate links or payment for reviews, all opinions are my own. You can't buy a good review from me, people. I am way too mouthy for that.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

My Ebook is in UHB 2016!

Most of you know I love my babies, and I love my ebook bundles. So honestly, I usually buy the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle, because I want all the info I can get on creating a peaceful home. And reading is peaceful, so it all dovetails together nicely for me.

But this year I'm actually rather un-peacefully pumped about this bundle .... because I am a contributing author! Details of this year's Ultimate Homemaking Bundle are below, and of course if you have any questions let me know. But please share this with any friends you know who may be interested in adoption and homemaking, and since one generally follows the other, that would be all of them. So just share :)

Sidenote - this is A LOT of product, over $1,000 for a little money, $29.97. Do not be overwhelmed by the sheer volume; it's a library so pick and choose, and save some for later. Use some of those organizing resources :)
Ultimate Homemaking Bundle 2016 All books  
But wait, there's more! This bundle includes over $300 in bonus offers too!

Ok I know this is a long post with a lot of info, so comment if you have questions or are annoyed with me. But mostly, I'm really thrilled that adoption information has been included in a homemaking bundle, because adoptive moms are moms too, and want the best for their kids. If for no other reason, buy the bundle and tell them you are encouraged that they are including some slightly non traditional elements in their bundle, since some of us are slightly non traditional families :)

Please note, while there may be affiliate links or payment for reviews, all opinions are my own. You can't buy a good review from me, people. I am way too mouthy for that.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Book Review: Help Baby Sleep

When I first became a mom, nearly (gulp) 10 years ago, one of the sagest pieces of advice my mom gave me was, "If the baby wants to sleep, then LET HIM SLEEP!!!!" This was quickly followed by, "and if you can sleep while he sleeps then DO IT." That worked out well because this particular position was his favorite, and sometimes only sleep position.

Also popular was:
Which of course is the only way you are NOT supposed to let your baby sleep. Except that the first time I gave in and let him sleep on his tummy - complete with me hovering outside his nursery after having removed every thing in his crib that could restrict his airway, he slept for 2 hours. TWO WHOLE HOURS. Guess how he slept on his back?
Yup, exactly like that. Every time. I maybe got 45 min of solid sleep time for the first couple of months. Brutal honesty, that's how I play it.

I had read all the books, reviewed all the parenting style recommendations, and could rattle off CIO, attachment parenting, Babywise, back to sleep, don't spoil your newborn, you can't spoil your newborn, blah blah blah blah etc etc etc etc. Mommy wars have been going on for at least 10 years, I can vouch, and I suspect much much longer, like, millennia.

I don't make a habit of reviewing baby books because I feel like what no one tells you is that your kid not only is probably not going to fit the mold, but that every kid is a different mold. Not the gross black stuff, although I did not clean for so long it was probably around. And probably still is, hey I have 3 kids now.  (Pro tip - get new moms food and cleaning. They have 9 million onesies, but they don't have time to cook or clean. Best gifts ever were happy church ladies bringing me food every other day after my mom left and my sister getting me a house cleaner gift certificate.) However, one of the nice things about Help Baby Sleep is the acknowledgement of the overwhelmed mommy brain and the comparison of the first few weeks with a newborn to Ranger school. I like knowing I can say hey, I survived a newborn so I could probably be a Ranger. Okay that may be a stretch, but I could probably rock a Ranger back to sleep if I needed to.

I also like that author Janeen Maxwell tells you to check for and address any medical issues first. You can call your ped and say hey is this normal or not - in fact you should. And if your mommy guy is telling you something is wrong, then get some answers. I say this from experience with my tongue tied child. Same goes with nursing, development, etc. I also appreciated the practical tips as well as the "do what works - every kid is different!" approach, and above all, the advice to give yourself a break! I don't care if you just gave birth or are adopting or fostering, newborns are tough. Adorable little needy love bugs who demand every ounce of energy you have to give. I'm not gonna lie - I LOVE the newborn stage, but that did not make it easy. Just hard awesome. And the rest of it is hard too, but still awesome. I appreciate her use of rhythm vs. schedule, and addressing a common mom fear, which is but will my baby hate me if I let him/her fuss before naps? It is a short ebook but it packs a punch. If you are expecting - whether by birth or adoption! - or know someone who is it's worth adding to the pile. Yes I know there's a pile. I was there too, once upon a 10 years ago time....

Do you need some mommy encouragement? In your sleep deprived haze are you still pretty sure you are a #momfail? Check out this video series and keep your eyes peeled for the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle - sale starts this week!

Please note, while there may be affiliate links or payment for reviews, all opinions are my own. You can't buy a good review from me, people. I am way too mouthy for that.

Friday, April 22, 2016

My sticky #momfail today

My mom fail today? Cleaning up OJ my daughter spilled IN her backpack. Seriously. Despite the "only water goes in the school water bottle" conversation, my very strong willed daughter figured that since today was a special read-a-thon day it warranted OJ, while not even bothering to check to see if this was all right with me. So this morning as we were supposed to be leaving for school I was dumping orange juice, complete with floating Skittles (NO idea where the Skittles came from) into the sink and telling her that she was just not going to have her homework folder, because she didn't bother to obey mommy.


Guess I should go ahead and watch today's video... Are you having a #momfail day today? Join me in my attempt to remind myself that it happens to all of us.

Please note, while there may be affiliate links or payment for reviews, all opinions are my own. You can't buy a good review from me, people. I am way too mouthy for that.