*Dusts Off The Blog*


It has been a LONG while since I have last posted…so here’s a quick update.

I have been working virtually since March. One would think I would have all this extra time and with the start of the new school year, I have been SWAMPED. Trying to navigate teaching from home all while helping my 2 kids has been exhausting. I think I’m finally in a routine now where all is better.

My family was affected (temporarily) due to COVID. My husband lost his job and thankfully we’ve been able to stay afloat and he’s back to work now. During this time I also decided to take a stab into direct sales (I know, I know) and started to sell Scentsy (I love it, shoot me, haha). It actually took off better than I anticipated and I’ve been putting more energy into that. (Don’t worry, I won’t be bringing any of that over here, I’m a very, eh, if you want it you’ll come to me, low pressure, won’t even message you to see if you need anything hahahaha. Apparently my method is working, so that’s good news.)

I have recently picked up reading again. It took me awhile and I didn’t make my goal last year to read 52 books in a year. Bummer. I set my Goodreads goal for the same 52 books and so far I’ve read 4! I’ve also challenged myself not to buy a book this year (with the exception of Elin Hilderbrand). So far I’m holding strong. I’ve been using the library a lot and hope to get back into Netgalley after I catch up a bit.

We’ve also changed our spending habits and so my non-book buying should help with that. I have plenty of books in the house to go through and always have my library. I can even request 5 books a month if my library doesn’t carry them (oh you bet I use all 5 requests haha). We’re cooking at home more which kills me, because I love to eat out (well…take out at the moment with everything happening around us). So I’ll be looking for more easy and delicious recipes and maybe even share a few here too.

I have a backlog of reviews to do and I will slowly write them and post them. I can’t wait to catch up with all your blogs and get back into writing and more reading!!! Here’s to 2021!


Amazon & The Kindle: Part 1

Owning a Kindle can be overwhelming.  Every day on Facebook I see people who are excited about owning their first Kindle and then suddenly become overwhelmed with all of the information thrown at them.  I get it.  In this mini series I am going to help you through all the perks of owning a Kindle and show you how to get the most out of it!

Let’s break it down into simple steps:

  1. The Kindle Device itself (Part 1: released today)
  2. Kindle Owners’ Lending Library & The Amazon Store (Part 2: released August 4th)
  3. Amazon Prime & The Kindle (Part 3: released August 11th)
  4. Free (yes free) Newsletters For Kindle Reads (Part 4: released August 18th)
  5. Kindle Unlimited (Part 5: released August 25th)
  6. Your Local Library & Your Kindle (Part 6: released September 1st)

First thing first, you need a Kindle.  If you have been on the fence about getting a device I am going to break down all of the e-readers Amazon has to offer.  If you are a Kindle owner, feel free to skip this part, but, come back when I review the perks of the Kindle.

If you are unsure about purchasing a Kindle here is the best advice I can give.  Try it out first to see if you will even enjoy reading on a device.  Some people do not like it and cannot get into it and that is ok.  It is not for everyone.  I still read physical books, but, I love the world of books my Kindle has opened up for me!  So how can  you try it before you buy it?


YOUR PHONE!  Using your Smartphone, download the Amazon Kindle app.  Find a book that looks appealing and interesting to you (there are cheap & free options out there, keep browsing) and download it to the app and read it!  If you can keep your attention and find yourself going back to your phone to read, viola, invest in an e-reader (trust me, the Kindles offer a much more eye appealing, larger screen than your phone).  If you find yourself uninterested in reading (and make sure it is not the book itself) then you know you probably would just waste your money on a Kindle.  Personally, I find this is the best way to know before you make the Kindle plunge if you’ll enjoy it or not!

Now that you have decided you want a Kindle, let’s learn about the different ones out there. **DISCLAIMER** I am not going to include the Kindle Fire in this review, it is NOT an e-reader, but a tablet.  The screen is the same as your phone and personally I enjoy reading on a screen that emulates a book page.  Let’s review the current Kindles available out on the market today; the entry Kindle, Kindle Paperwhite, and Kindle Oasis.

***I did not receive any compensation from any company for this post.  I wrote this post purely to inform you, the consumer, on e-reader options out there.  I chose to highlight Amazon Kindles because I personally own the Kindle Paperwhite…and LOVE it.  But, Amazon, if you’re out there, feel free to send me one of the new Paperwhite models, or an Oasis if you’re feeling froggy!***



Kindle $89.99 or 5 monthly payments of $18.00

What You’ll Get: 6″ screen, 4 GB storage (~2,200 books), wi-fi only, built in audible (you’ll need a bluetooth speaker), and ads (for $20 more you can opt to not have ads, but, they aren’t that big of a deal, they just show up on the lock screen)

Note: They just came out with the new Kindle and it has an adjustable front light setting now!  We have an old version of this Kindle and I absolute cannot stand that the screen is not lit at all.  My 6 year old uses it so she doesn’t mind clamping on the reading light to it.  Keep this in mind if you buy an older generation of this one!



Kindle Paperwhite $129.99 or 5 monthly payments of $26.00

What You’ll Get: 6″ screen, waterproof, 8 GB storage (~4,400 books) (or 32 GB +$30, ~more books than you’ll ever read in your lifetime), wi-fi (or option for cellular service), built in audible (you’ll need a bluetooth speaker), ads (again you can upgrade to get rid of them for $20 but I wouldn’t bother), and built in adjustable light

Note: For this Kindle and the Oasis you have the option to have your Kindle work on free cellular connectivity based off of AT&T’s towers.  You also will be able to roam in over 100 countries and connect to the Kindle store without needing wi-fi.  WARNING, to get that on the Paperwhite, it will cost you $249 total.  Personally, you don’t need the cellular connectivity, wi-fi is all around us.  Just make sure if you are going on a trip you download all the books before you go and you’ll be fine!  I feel this is the best bang for your buck.  You get a lot of storage, waterproof device (I’m jealous, mine isn’t, it’s the version before), and the backlit display.  This is the most affordable option where you get the most bang for your buck.  I appreciate that Amazon also lets you make monthly payments to help ease the up front cost!



Kindle Oasis $249.00 or 5 monthly payments of $50.00

What You’ll Get: 7″ display, waterproof, 8 GB storage (~4,400 books) or 32 GB storage (+$30, ~more books than you’ll ever read in your lifetime), wi-fi (with cellular option), built in audible (you’ll need a bluetooth speaker), ads (again, you can pay for the upgrade but I would not waste your money, you’ll hardly notice them), customizable and auto-adjusting screen from white light to warm amber

Note: If you really want that cellular connectivity for some reason it will cost you $349.99 for the Oasis.  This Kindle boasts a better processing speed and has the built in page turn buttons.  Is that worth a difference of $120 from the Paperwhite and Oasis?  If you have the money to burn, sure, otherwise get the Paperwhite!


To review them side by side:

                                                  Kindle                           Paperwhite                      Oasis

Screen Size 6″ glare-free 6″ glare-free 7″ glare-free
Waterproof No Yes – IPX8 (2 meters, 60 minutes in fresh water) Yes – IPX8 (2 meters, 60 minutes in fresh water)
Resolution 167 ppi 300 ppi 300 ppi
Battery Life Weeks Weeks Weeks
Audible Yes – when paired with Bluetooth-enabled speakers or headphones Yes – when paired with Bluetooth-enabled speakers or headphones Yes – when paired with Bluetooth-enabled speakers or headphones
Storage 4 GB 8 GB or 32 GB 8 GB or 32 GB
Built-in Light Yes – 4 LEDs Yes – 5 LEDs Yes – 25 LEDs + adaptive light sensor
Page Turns Touchscreen Touchscreen Touchscreen + page turn buttons
Colors Black, White Black Graphite, Champagne Gold 
Connectivity Wi-Fi Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi + Free Cellular Connectivity Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi + Free Cellular Connectivity
Weight 6.1 oz (174 g) Wi-Fi: 6.4 oz (182 g); Wi-Fi + 4G LTE: 6.8 oz (191 g) Wi-Fi: 6.8 oz (194 g); Wi-Fi + Free Cellular Connectivity: 6.8 oz (194 g)
Dimensions 6.3″ x 4.5″ x 0.34″ (160 mm x 113 mm x 8.7 mm) 6.6″ x 4.6″ x 0.3″ (167 mm x 116 mm x 8.18 mm) 6.3″ x 5.6″ x 0.13″-0.33″ (159 mm x 141 mm x 3.4-8.4 mm)


Final Note: In any of the Kindles the power adapter is NOT included.  It comes with a charging cord, but, not the actual plug.  If you need one, make sure you pick one up locally or order it when you get the Kindle.  I also recommend a cover for your Kindle.  It will help protect it!!  I am just drooling over the newly released and updated Oasis…I’m trying to think of a reason I need to upgrade from my Paperwhite!

I hope this has helped you in some way shape or form.  If you read on something that isn’t a Kindle drop me a line and let me know how it is!  Part 2 coming next Sunday, August 4th!

Book Review: Once A Liar

Thank you to Netgalley for access to reading Once A Liar in exchange for my honest review!

I don’t think I have ever disliked a protagonist as much I have in this book.  Almost immediately I could not stand Peter Caine; egotistical, disrespectful, liar, cheater, and borderline psychopath are words I would use to describe him, but, I couldn’t get enough.

The book flips between then and now and we follow Peter from a marriage to his law firm partner’s daughter, birth of his son, cheating on his wife, death of his law firm partner, divorce, new girlfriend, death of his ex-wife, and then the death of his side girl, Charlie Doyle.  Did you get all that?

The primary focus of this book is who killed Charlie Doyle, the daughter of the district attorney.  The district attorney who would pimp her out to people to bribe them.  The district attorney who so desperately wanted Peter to join his side and work for him.  The district attorney who wasn’t aware of the affair Peter was carrying on with her, in fact, only his ex-wife knew.  How long had the affair been going on?  Well, let’s just say it hadn’t really stopped…

Peter has no remorse for anything he does and is just so focused on being on top and making money.  The job of being a criminal defense attorney has taken a toll on him and turned his heart into stone.  Someone could absolutely be guilty on all counts, but, Peter would make sure they would walk away without a slap on the wrist.  He even walked away from his own son, never forming a relationship with him.

I had to see how this ended because I had to see SOMETHING happen to Peter Caine.  I found the book to be fairly predictable early on with who killed Charlie.  If *I* could guess who did it, I don’t see how anyone couldn’t predict it.  You guys know I never see endings coming.  The book reaches it climatic part right at the end of the book and gets resolved quickly.  I felt a little conflicted about the end because I ended up hating a lot of people, ha!  That’s all I will say!  I used to feel bad for everyone who knew Peter and then, nope, I take back all of my sorrow I once had for all of you cold, heartless people!

I am going to give this book 3.5 stars which I will round up to 4 on sites like Goodreads and Amazon.  It was pretty predictable and it felt odd to read a book where you can’t stand the protagonist the entire read.  I also felt like the death of Charlie wasn’t justified enough.  I mean, I get it and the whole point of the book was revenge, but, I just didn’t enjoy how the death of an innocent person was used for it.  It felt a little much for me.  Does that make sense?  The writing was great, I just did not particularly care for the way revenge took place.  Have you read this book?  What are your thoughts?



Title: Once A Liar

Author:  A. F. Brady

Publisher: Park Row

Release Date: January 29, 2019

Find it here on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: The Beach House

I am not sure if you know this or not but last summer I decided to read The Kissing Booth and then watch the movie on Netflix during a family trek to Europe.  I was not a huge fan of the book until I watched the movie…odd, right?  Well, Netflix just announced they are creating a sequel to The Kissing Booth so when I investigated and saw that Elle and Noah still had some romance going, I had to check it out!  I downloaded the Wattpad app and got to reading!

You really have to read The Kissing Booth first to fully get this novella.  It is a short story that highlights the annual trip to Lee & Noah’s beach house the summer before Noah leaves.  (Quick background if you haven’t read The Kissing Booth: Noah is Lee’s older brother and Elle’s boyfriend.  Lee is Elle’s best friend.)  Will this be where the movie takes us?  A summer break?  Who knows.  Even though I was not a huge fan of how they changed Elle in the movie. I still have to check it out.  Maybe Netflix will redeem themselves with me in this soon to be made sequel!

Also, in The Kissing Booth we see Elle say goodbye to Noah when he goes away to college.  This is set before then for a week at their beach house.  I’m a little fuzzy at how this is a “sequel” but, to each their own I guess.

part of me wishes I did not read this.  There really was no point.  It isn’t really a sequel as it is more of some extra information with what happened during The Kissing Booth really.  I am giving this novella 3 stars.  Why?  Their time spent at the beach house was really anti-climatic.  I love the tale of Elle, Noah, and Lee, but, this just left me thinking, what did I just read?!  I want to know more about what happens when Noah goes away to college and Elle is left behind.  I went back in time instead of going further ahead, which is usually what a proclaimed sequel does.  There is enough in this book that I am sure Netflix will use some of it for what happens in their sequel.  We will find out soon won’t we?

Have you read this?  Do you read books on Wattpad?  Let me know of some can’t miss books on there and I’ll add them to my list and check them out!  Wattpad is a whole new world for me and if you have not checked it out, you should!  The app is SUPER easy to use!


Title: The Beach House

Author:  Beth Reekles

Publisher: Wattpad

Release Date: December 31, 2011

Find it here on Goodreads

Book Review: The Silent Patient

Let me start this review off by saying when I finished this book I threw it across the room.  This review is going to be one of unpopular opinion, fair warning.

This is a quick read.  A woman is found guilty of killing her husband, but, instead of being in jail, she’s in a psychiatric hospital.  Why?  Ever since she killed him she has not spoken, she’s been silent.  Enter Theo Faber, a criminal psychotherapist who has been obsessed with Alicia ever since her case gained media attention.  He gets a job at her care facility with the intention of getting her to talk once again.  And when I say obsessed, I mean OBSESSED.  He tracks down people that knew her and question them like he’s a detective, it gets a little bizarre.

This was a weird one guys.  I read it and completed the book in just a few days, however, I never felt that into it.  It was enough for me to read it, but, it wasn’t a heart racing, can’t turn the the page fast enough thriller for me.  It felt like a mystery with some messed up characters.

Unreliable narrator.  Without giving much away this is all I will say on that.

The twist?  I cursed out loud.  It was a huge shock and from that point on I picked up my reading speed.  The end?  I cursed again.  By now you should know I love a solid ending…the author tells us, x happened.  This one I felt was open too much.  Reflecting upon the ending maybe the author plans on writing a sequel because you certainly could.  Without giving too much away once again, there are a few characters in here who are batshat crazy.  You could write an entire novel based off of where it leaves us.  If you have read this one, you’ll understand…and you’ll also understand why I threw the book BECAUSE I NEED TO KNOW WHAT THE EFF HAPPENED!

3 star read for me.  It wasn’t pulling me in from the get go, it was alright.  It is an easy read.  The book is separated into 4 parts which I feel is a little unnecessary as it all flowed continuously with flashbacks to what happened to before the murder courtesy of Alicia’s diary.  This reminds me of when I read another book and described it to someone saying, “I read it and I wanted to read it, but, it just fell flat and was not that interesting.  It doesn’t make sense I know, but, it was just a weird read.”  And when they read the book they told me the exact same thing, haha.

Have you read this?  Have this on your list?  I know everyone is raving about it right now, but, I just can’t get in to the hype.  Have you read a book like this where all you see are rave reviews and you’re like, what?????


Title: The Silent Patient

Author:  Alex Michaelides

Publisher: Celadon Books

Release Date: Expected February 5, 2019

ISBN-10: 1250301696

Amazon //\\ Goodreads

Book Review: Slay Bells

Thank you to Netgalley for the opportunity to read this in exchange for an honest review. I apologize for the late holiday review (yes, I finished this in 2018), but, I’m still watching Hallmark Christmas movies.  I love the holidays!

This was my first cozy mystery read.  I will warn you right now, I am apparently not a cozy mystery genre fan.  I found this book to be too cheesy at times and lacked some substance for me.  However, I can look past what makes a cozy mystery a cozy mystery and provide an honest review about the overall writing. 

Despite all the cheesiness, I was hooked in to this book.  The premise is a troupe of performers stay at Plum Cottage while they perform nightly during the Christmas Festival in Christmas Village.  There are a lot of characters introduced in the beginning, to the point where it’s overwhelming, and are quite eccentric.  Mrs. Claus helps her friend who owns Plum Cottage and suddenly one of the troupe members is murdered.

What intrigued me was how the murder happened and who did it.  I could not forecast how exactly the murder happened nor could I figure out who did it (until much later in the book).  A second murder also occurs which is also as equally puzzling as the first; this is why I kept reading.

The premise of the murders was so mind boggling that I ignore the cheesiness of the book just to figure out how they were committed.  Mrs. Claus has a lot to do with solving the murders, which is something that is a bit bizarre.  And yes, there are references to her husband who is very busy this time of year, along with her pet ferrets, coincidentally named after famous reindeer.  I would have preferred a more realistic storyline instead of a happier, light one, but, to each their own.

I will say I was shocked with how both murders were committed.  I was not surprised at who did it, the author alludes to who did it as the book progresses.  However, those murders!  I really could not figure out in my head how they were committed and just wow.  The first body is found in the snow with no footprints around it.  I will say that how the murder occurred is revealed at the very end and blew my mind.  The second murder is crazy in its own right as well.  If not for the uniqueness of these murders, I doubt I would have kept reading.

Overall, I would rate this book 3.5 stars (which ultimately rounds up to 4 stars on Goodreads and Amazon).  I would recommend this book if you’re into a puzzling murder case around Christmas time and can look past an overly cheesy barrage of characters and storyline.  If you know you do not like cozy mysteries, don’t pick this book up.  If you are curious, go ahead and try it, just know that I warned you.



Title: Slay Bells: A Christmas Village Mystery

Author: T.C. Wescott

Publisher: Better Mousetrap Books

Release Date: November 23, 2018

ISBN-10: 1732135819

Quick Link To Amazon Here