November 7, 2015

November Goals

Last month was a pretty awesome month. There have been a lot of up’s and down’s and work has been crazy hard lately what with our boss being out sick for almost 2 weeks now and our assistant manager calling out all the time, but I’ve managed to have a great month and complete several of my goals. I still can’t believe that it’s November and therefore Thanksgiving is just around the corner, not to mention Christmas and the end of 2015. Holy moly. It’s passing by so fast! But, moving on, let’s see how I did for October shall we?

01) Play bingo for the first time ever.
My roommate Rachel and I had a blast playing Bingo up at the Elks Lodge. Neither of us won but it was a cheap way to spend a day, get out of the house and forget our worries. We both played at least 10 games and got some food and bought daubers and neither of us spent over $15.

02) Go to a Halloween party. NOPE.
Had planned on having one but it never happened and pretty much everyone I knew either had to work or had other plans so didn’t have a party themselves. Oh well.

03) Check off 2 items from my Fall Bucket List.
I actually checked off more than that! I managed to jump in some leaf piles, go on a ghost tour, and make a new Halloween playlist plus my roommate also went to a house that was actually haunted – and did a ghost investigation there as well!

04) Make 3 items from my Fall Recipes Bucket List. NOPE.
I managed to bake one item from that last so far. This will be carried over this month as well.

05) Find a new signature fall scent.
I succeeded in finding a new signature scent for the fall. I have chosen Forever Red from Bath and Body Works. It’s absolutely delicious with it’s intense scent of pomegranate, peony and vanilla rum. It’s spicy and mellow all at the same time. Perfection.

06) Walk 160 miles. NOPE.
I made it to 137.68 miles. One of these days I will break 160.

07) Donate food items to charity.
There was a food drive at work so my roommate and I managed to donate 12 cans from our pantry. Considering we didn’t have a lot of canned foods, that was a pretty decent number. We hope to make food donation a monthly goal.

Not too shabby if I do say so myself! Now, let’s see what I have planned for this month!

+ Send out my completely awesome Thanksgiving cards! (Do you want one?)

+ Reply to my new pen pal letters.

+ Have my Christmas shopping done by November 30th.

+ Cook a complete Thanksgiving dinner.

+ Donate food items to charity.

+ Walk 160 miles.

+ Make 3 items from my Fall Recipes Bucket List.

+ Share a new recipe on this blog.

I’m ready for you November. Let’s do this!

What are your goals for November? I’d love to hear all about them. Let me know in a comment!

November 5, 2015

Review: The Girl With No Past by Kathryn Croft

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I wondered if karma really was a possibility. And then I decided right then that I wouldn’t, couldn’t allow myself to believe it. Not anymore.

Synopsis:
Leah Mills lives a life of a fugitive – kept on the run by one terrible day from her past. It is a lonely life, without a social life or friends until – longing for a connection – she meets Julian. For the first time she dares to believe she can live a normal life.

Then, on the fourteenth anniversary of that day, she receives a card. Someone knows the truth about what happened. Someone who won’t stop until they’ve destroyed the life Leah has created.

But is Leah all she seems? Or does she deserve everything she gets?

Everyone has secrets. But some are deadly.

 

I think it’s pretty clear that I’m a sucker for psychological thrillers. Usually the darker, the better. So when Netgalley approved my request for this novel, I was ridiculously excited. The Girl With No Past has been compared to Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train and while it was in fact thrilling, I don’t agree with the comparison.

I had a hard time getting into the storyline. Leah is very hard to read, which is all the point of the story, I know, but it doesn’t make for a smooth read. Once I got the feel for the the flow, I actually read it pretty fast and found myself wanting to know what happened in Leah’s past and who was taunting her now. It’s definitely an intriguing story and I don’t regret reading it at all. However I had some issues with the novel as a whole.

While complex, Leah actually isn’t a very strong character. Most of the time while I was reading the story I wanted her to grow a backbone and actually stand up for herself. I understand she felt horribly guilty for the past events but I feel that part of the reason she felt so much guilt was because of her lack of strength to begin with. There was no exploration into why she was so meek before her crime and that really bothered me. I wanted to see her stand up to someone, at some point and that never came.

Also, I felt that the climax of the story was just too much, too fast and I didn’t find most of it plausible. It’s hard to explain what I mean without spoiling the plot twist but I wanted, no, I needed more information as to what made one of the supporting characters do what they did in the first place. It just came out of nowhere and escalated so fast. I needed more exploration of what had caused so much rage and I felt cheated that I never got that.

But there were plenty of things I did quite enjoy about the story. I loved the flashbacks. It helped give a lot more background and helped to flesh out some of the characters some more, plus it was a great way to break up some of the current day storyline. I also enjoyed the “who dun it” moment when Leah’s taunter was revealed. I had a moment of “Aha! I thought so!” But I won’t lie, I had thought that of a couple other characters as well so the revelation was quite satisfying as well.

All in all, while I felt the story had several faults, I did enjoy it and it did keep my attention fairly well. I do recommend it to anyone who enjoys psychological thrillers.

THREE STARS

November 3, 2015

In Our Town Of Halloween

leaves

Oh hello November, sorry, I didn’t see you there for a second! I’m still stuck on this weekend. It was a blast, even if it didn’t go the way that I had planned. At all.

I had originally planned on having a small Halloween party with a few good friends where we watched some slasher movies, indulged in way too much chocolate, laughed and compared silly costumes, but because of work and all the crazy things that have been happening as of late, I literally had no time to plan a party. So since I had already requested the day off, I talked to a friend of mine (Twitchy) who had mentioned that his son Trey may lose out on trick or treating because he had to work, and volunteered to watch Trey for the day. I ended up with both kiddos and boy, did we have a blast!

A co-worker friend of mine suggested that we take her daughter and my honorary niece and nephew to the Bug Museum and then to the corn maze for some Halloween fun. It was a fantastic idea. So after a hearty autumn breakfast of eggs and waffles and a viewing of The Corpse Bride, we all bundled up and headed out to brave the wind. The happiness on their faces and the laughter I heard all day today me that I made the best decision ever.

movie timestacking bugs

stella!that punim

llamas!farmer trey

feed the goatswhat a stash!

The kids wore out easily after the corn maze. The little one, Kaydynn, exhausted herself by running through the maze after her brother, yelling “My Trey! My Trey!” They are both adorable. I love them so much and consider myself lucky to be in their lives. After we went back to he house, I put little Kay down for a nap and my friend took the other two out for an early trick or treat, downtown. Three hours later, after Kay woke up and her mom had taken her mom, my roommate and I took Trey out trick or treating, for the second time that night. He had so much candy, it completely filled a plastic grocery bag! That kid will be hyped up for months! That’s the best part of being an auntie. I get to spoil them and hype them up and then send them home ;)

After the kiddos were both picked up, roomie and I settled back and ate some pizza and watched a few movies. The boyfriend was supposed to come over for the night to join us in our movie night, but told me at the last minute that he wasn’t going to make it. That’s been happening a lot lately, it seems. Oh well. Hey, more pizza for us!

What did you all get up to this weekend? Any fun Halloween plans? What did you dress up as? I’d love to hear all about it, so let me know in a comment!