Wednesday, November 30, 2016

What's Hap-Pinning

So I usually try not to buy myself anything during Black Friday or Cyber Monday, but this year I couldn't help myself. I didn't go overboard (thankfully) and I told Rory there were a few things that I purchased but didn't ask for. Luckily, Rory bought himself some dress shoes on Cyber Monday, so all is even.

Remember how I returned a pair of pants to Loft last week since they didn't fit (the third pair that hasn't fit)? Well I took the money that I got back and bought these two shirts in exchange and I still have leftover money.
Loft Grey Dot shirt
Loft vintage Tee

And then I was browsing IG and I saw the prettiest jacket at J Crew, but they were sold out in the color and size that I wanted. Whomp whomp. But I looked around the site just in case I saw something else and of course I did. I bought myself a new dress jacket since mine is years old and is in desperate need of being replaced. Say hello to this beauty. Originally $228.
J Crew dress jacket

And that is all the shopping I will do for myself unless Pearl and Monroe brings back the reindeer sweater. Then I may have to break my promise. Maybe.

And onto other kitchen will be finished on Friday. That is music to my ears since I haven't had a working kitchen in about 6 to 7 weeks. I lost count.

So now that I will have a brand new kitchen, I want to try some new recipes. I have been saving some the last few weeks, but I want to hear about your favorite recipes as of late. So send them my way. 

So far, I am dying to make a homemade chicken potpie. And one that only has the crust on top. I have had my fair share of potpies and the crust that is on the bottom always is soggy. This one looks perfect except the crust on the bottom.
Chicken pot pie

I love winter squashes and this Creamy Butternut Squash Alfredo came up on my Pinterest feed and I am dying to make it.
Creamy Butternut Squash Alfredo

And one for my cast iron/new oven. I love roasted chicken and my husband has been begging me to make this. It sounds really good. I have never had harissa before, but everyone raves about it.
Roasted Chicken with Harissa and Chickpeas

As I said, if you have any recipes to share, please do. 

I am linking up with Jenn.
Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Cyber Monday Deals for Toddlers

I hit up Cyber Monday full force. I sought out every deal and made a huge dent in my Christmas shopping list.

Here is what I scored for my little ladies:
Toddler Christmas Gifts

Art Easel | Crayons | Do-A-Dot Art | Kindle Kids | Schwinn Bikes

Some of these gifts will be for their birthday and some for Christmas. I also hit up the dollar spot at Target this weekend and got them a bunch of stuff.

My girls are into art big time right now, so we decided an art easel would be great for them. It has a chalkboard side and a paper side. And to go with the art easel, we got them the dot markers and crayons.

We went big with the bikes because they came highly recommended. Friends told me of other brands that were harder to put together, so we went with these. Plus I got them for $25 off.

Another big purchase was their kindles. My girls are still young for tv, but they are very interested in my iPad and our phones. Since amazon offers a 2 year warranty on them, we couldn't pass them up.

I have a few other things that are on my list, but haven't pulled the trigger. Mainly these guys:

Toddler Christmas and Birthday Gifts

Home Alone | Step 2 Table | Crayola Stamper | V-tech Pet | Whale SoapSox

Lindsay from Lindsay's Sweet World talked about the Home Alone book and now I really want it for my girls. 

The Step 2 table is perfect for my growing girls. They used one at families house this weekend and they loved it. They can eat there, draw there, play there, etc. 

The V-tech pet carrier and Crayola Stamper were also recommended (by Lizzie from This Happy Life). The girls are obsessed with Walter and I think it would be fun to introduce them to a play pet so they can help take care of Walter when they get older.

The SoapSox I have talked about before, but never bought. I hate using simple wash cloths, so this is a great alternative to them.

Do you have any recommendations on Toddler stocking stuffers? Or other toddler toys?
Monday, November 28, 2016

Thanksgiving Weekending

Wow what a whirlwind the last few days have been. In both good and bad ways. I am dropping in to recap my weekend, but then I am off to shop Cyber Monday. I have my list ready and I am hoping to find some amazing deals. Stay tuned.

My weekend started on Wednesday since I took the day off to get a bunch of errands done while Rory worked and the girls were at daycare. I returned a pair of pants to Loft, I tried to get my battery replaced at Apple, I hit up Sephora, had lunch, went to Hobby Lobby, then donated blood and ended up at Costco for a few items. I was pretty busy on my day to myself.
donating blood

Wednesday evening, I tried to go back to Apple since the lines were insane, but was told I would be put in a cue for 4 hours. Ugh. So I headed back home to pizza with my family and my in-laws. Then around 7:30, I got the call to head to Apple to get my phone looked at. My phone started to randomly die on Tuesday and would say I had no battery left when I had over 50% battery power. This got way worse on Wednesday and I heard about the iPhone 6S having battery recalls. Turns out my phone is one of the ones that is under recall. And Apple is so far behind on the stock of batteries that I have to wait until December 7th to receive a new one. In the meantime, they put a battery pack on my phone so it will keep a charge. Oh joy. But at least it is fixed temporarily and only after 3 visits to Apple in one day.

Thursday morning we got up and I grabbed us coffee and pastries. We had those and then bundled up for a walk.
Radio Flyer Wagon Thanksgiving walk
Radio Flyer Wagon Thanksgiving walk
Radio Flyer Wagon Thanksgiving walk
Radio Flyer Wagon Thanksgiving walk

After naps and a coffee run, we headed to Rory's cousins house to hang out for a bit. We saw family and the girls played while we had a few snacks and then headed to my aunts house for dinner.

We had all of the fixings and I was stuffed by nights end.
Thanksgiving with the twins

After dinner, we headed home with some sleepy babies who didn't want to sleep much once we got home. 

Friday morning we got up and headed out to meet my family to cut down our Christmas tree. We have the tradition of going out on Black Friday to search for our Christmas tree and cut it down. The trees are pine and smell heavenly and they are never perfect trees, but they are the best. 

We have a great time hunting for trees, having snacks together once everyone has their trees and sometimes we play a little flag football.
Christmas tree cutting
The girls had a blast

After hanging out for a bit, we headed back home (about an hour and a half drive home) to relax for the evening.

After the girls went to bed, I promptly watched an episode and a half of Gilmore Girls. I was soooo excited for the revival, but I am not sure it has lived up to my expectations just yet.

Saturday morning, we went out to breakfast and then Rory headed to an appointment and the girls and I hit up Target. We were there pretty early, so the girls were in a good mood. I bought more Christmas decorations plus some stuff we needed around the house.

Once we got home, we set up the Christmas tree and I got to decorating. The girls were in awe of all the Christmas lights and decor. 

The girls went down for a nap and I finished decorating the inside of the house plus I painted the corbels that go under our counter tops. We also watched the Nevada vs. UNLV game and I am happy to say that Nevada won and we are taking back the cannon and painting it blue again. #tradition
Christmas tree
Our perfectly imperfect tree

The girls didn't nap that long, so we ended up taking another walk and tried to keep them preoccupied. We fed them dinner, gave them baths and off to bed they went. I watched the rest of Spring and a bit of Summer (Gilmore Girls) before heading to bed. But not for long as the girls woke up in a tissy at 11:30 and I had to go sleep aka lay down on their floor with my blanket and pillow until they fell back asleep. Sleep hasn't been that great for Sutton in the last two weeks. Send help. Mama needs sleep.

Sunday we hung out at the house for a bit before deciding to go to My Favorite Muffin for muffins and coffee. Then we went back to Costco for diapers and a few miscellaneous items. We came home to hang out, feed the girls lunch and then a very short nap time followed by cranky toddlers. 

We had to pack up our kitchen (all the cabinets) while the girls played and napped. We went through everything and had a huge donation.

I ran to the grocery store and by the time I got back, their grandparents came over to hang out with them. The girls had asked for Papa all day (not sure which papa they wanted, but they wanted to see their grandparents) and so they came to visit.

Once my in-laws came over, we dropped off our donation, went to get Walter dog food and headed to Total Wine to redeem a coupon I had for $0.01 wine. Big time win even though we bought a bunch of other stuff.

We came home and hung out while watching the Panthers game and then fed the girls dinner, played and tried to wear the girls out for a peaceful night of sleep. Spoiler: it didn't work. Once the girls were down, I headed out to grab us pizza (I can't wait for my kitchen to be done, so I can cook more) and came back to watch the Broncos game which turned out to be a really good one. 

After dinner and the game, I watched the rest of Summer and I am waiting for Fall for tonight or tomorrow when Rory is at the basketball game. It took everything in me to not binge Gilmore Girls and I am glad I didn't. So far Summer was my least favorite. Stay tuned to see what I think of the rest of the season.

Sutton woke up at 11 pm again and I had to lay down in her room again for another hour. Then once I was able to go back to our room, I couldn't sleep. Too much on my mind. I slept for 2 to 3 hours last night. Ugh. I need a good nights rest so badly. That is what I want for Christmas.

And so that wraps up Thanksgiving weekend. How was your Thanksgiving?

I am linking up with Biana from B Loved Boston.
Friday, November 25, 2016

Friday Favorites

Happy Black Friday all! I hope you are relaxed on your couch instead of in the throes of Black Friday shopping. I wait until Cyber Monday. Online shopping is my thing.

I thought about taking the day off from blogging, but I threw this post together to share some of my favorite things this week. Enjoy.

ONE. Emily at A Little Bit of Emily, talked about the song Closer that was done by The Chainsmokers and Sarah Hyland (yes, from Modern Family) and I can't stop listening to it. It is sooooo good. Love this version. Check it out for yourself.

TWO. We are cutting down our Christmas tree today with my family, my in-laws and our friends. This is one of my favorite traditions and one that never disappoints. We all meet at a general store and follow each other out to a Christmas tree cutting area. We all spread out, search for the perfect tree, cut it down and take it back to our camp of trucks. After everyone gets back, we enjoy a tailgate like experience. We have a ton of food (my dad's best friends amazing chili for one), some libations and some tag football.

My girls went last year and we had a blast. This year should be even more fun!
twins cutting down trees
twins cutting down trees

THREE. I may have bought one of these shirts this week. Maybe.
Song Play Shirts
Song Play Shirts

FOUR. Did you see my post on Tuesday about shopping with Uncommon Goods? So many cute and unique Christmas gift ideas. I have already snagged a few items for friends and family.

FIVE. I set up Santa pictures this year a bit different than last year. Last year, we went to the local mall and paid through the nose for a cd with a few different shots. They turned out nice and we were happy with them, but if you live in this area, everyone had the same ones. I wanted something a little different and when we stopped in a local store Monday night to pick up a Wubba Nub (don't ask), they had a deal going on. You can set up an appointment online, go to their store at said time and have pictures with Santa with a professional photographer. They have a different set up each year, have limited spots, give you the best photo and it only costs $25. I call that a win in my book.

The girls have their photos set up on Sunday December 4th. I can't wait to see them experience Santa this year. I ordered their dresses (the navy sparkly one that everyone loved), they have their new hair cuts and we are all set. 

I am linking up with Karli, April and Erica.
Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

I just wanted to drop by and say Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families. There will be no confessions or link up today as I just want to sit back, relax and enjoy my time with my beautiful family.
Since Rory already let this one out on FB, I decided to use it to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving.
Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The Thanksgiving Questionnaire

In honor of Thanksgiving (tomorrow), I decided to partake in a Thanksgiving Questionnaire that both Jenn and Biana posted within the last week. Enjoy.

Favorite part of the Thanksgiving Day meal.
Easy...pumpkin pie. I love pumpkin pie, but I rarely get to have it. I love spending time with my family and friends eating a big delicious meal and catching up, but I savor the time when pumpkin pie and a nice big dollop of whipped cream is served. It is even better with homemade whipped cream.

Favorite side(s)
I love mashed potatoes and gravy. It is another thing that I rarely eat unless I am at a steakhouse and then I don't get the gravy on it. I could drink the gravy, it is that good. Yes, that is gross, but gravy is soooo good.

I also love stuffing if it is done right. I don't like stuffing that has been cooked in turkey since it is all mushy. But if you make the stuffing and bake it in its own dish, it is really good. I love the crispy top and it is even better with gravy.

Have you hosted before?
No I have not. I have hosted Christmas dinner plenty of times, but never had an oven big enough for a turkey and the sides. But now that my kitchen is almost complete, game on...for another year. We are hosting Christmas dinner though.

Favorite decor for Thanksgiving.
I love all of the Fall decorations. I keep it simple with my pumpkins, a cornucopia, a festive table cloth, Fall candles and thankful signs. Unfortunately, this year, I don't have much up since kitchen renovations.

Tree up before or after Thanksgiving (if you celebrate).
We put ours up a few days after because it is a tradition to cut down our Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving. While a bunch of people are fighting over Black Friday deals, we are knee deep in snow finding the perfect Christmas tree. And then by Saturday, I have the tree and all the Christmas decorations up.

Gravy or no gravy?
Ummm give me all the gravy!

Smooth or chunky cranberry sauce.
I used to love the smooth sauce, but now that my sister makes a mean chunky one, I prefer that one.

Pumpkin pie or another.
As I said in the first question, bring on the pumpkin pie. It is the best pie....during the Fall.

Biggest thing you're thankful for this year.
Having a happy, healthy and beautiful family. I am so thankful that we are all healthy as I have had several friends that have recently had cancer diagnosis or another major health related issue. I hope they all have speedy and healthy recoveries.

What are you looking forward to this holiday season? What is your favorite thing(s) about Thanksgiving?
Thanksgiving 2014 and 2015
If you partake in this questionnaire, please let me know. I would love to read all of your responses.
Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Uncommon Goods - Christmas Gift Ideas for Everyone

Can you believe that Christmas is a little over a month away? I can't. I can't wait to decorate (my husband won't let me until after Thanksgiving) and introduce my girls to all of our Christmas traditions.

But in the meantime, I have been getting a jump on our Christmas shopping and making lists of gift ideas.

I was recently contacted by Uncommon Goods for a collaboration that I couldn't pass up. They have so many unique gift ideas. They have unique jewelry, designer decor, kitchen and bar goods and handcrafted gifts. I am even eyeing a few things that I would love to receive under the tree. They have something for everyone. Even for the babies in your life.


Whether you are shopping for your wife, girlfriend, mom, sister or grandmother, they have you covered.

I have picked out a few items that I have in mind for the women in my life. I also wouldn't mind receiving any of these either.
Uncommon Goods Womens Christmas Gifts

The bracelet has the stone made from sand. Either sand that you choose from their list of beaches in Christensen's Sand Bank or you can send in your own sand. So if you went on a vacation to Costa Rica and kept sand from your trip, this is the perfect time to transform it into a keepsake.

The coasters are made from agate from Brazil and they are beautiful.

The wine glasses remind me of some we got when we were in Mexico. They are thick and have the beautiful ombre coloring.


I always have a harder time shopping for the men in my life because my father and father-in-law have everything they want or they go out and buy it. And my husband is a tricky one to shop for. But I have went through Uncommon Goods and found some items I know they will like and the man in your life will too.
Uncommon Goods Mens Christmas Gifts

The city map glass is perfect for the traveler. When I saw that they had the New York city map, I knew this would be perfect for my husband. We love traveling and NY is one of our favorite places to visit. The map is pretty amazing and a fun way to show off your city love.

The rain gauge is for someone who loves following the weather and tracking the snow and rain. We got my father-in-law a weather gauge a few years back and this would be perfect to accompany it. You can see how much it rains during any storm. Plus it is super easy to use and clean.

The yard dice are fun for parties. We plan to have a lot more parties at our house since we remodeled our kitchen. Yard dice allow you to play drinking games and just games for fun. It is the perfect item to add to your growing list of yard games.


I have an ever growing list of items for my girls and for my nephew. As my girls get older, shopping for them gets even better. 
Uncommon Goods Childrens Gifts

The Sleeper Hero gift is pretty cool. You can read the book to them before bedtime and then the doll signals when it is time to sleep and when it is time to get up. My girls are still a bit young for the light part as they may not understand it, but it will become very useful in the coming months.

The personalized book is just fun. Growing up, I always wanted things personalized and I think having books personalized to the girls with their names will make it even more fun to read.

The taco booties are just way too cute. I plan on getting my nephew either these or the hotdog booties. I can't wait to see him in these.


These are gifts you can give a friend for their housewarming, to a family member who you aren't sure what to get but want to impress or for a co-worker or boss. These are items that anyone would want to receive.
Uncommon Goods Home Gifts

This candle is pretty cool. It allows just a bit of wax to burn at a time. This allows you to get the most out of the candle. A three inch piece will burn for an hour. The design is unique and even has refills.

This cutting board is beautiful. I love serving cheese, crackers and meats together and this just add the nice touch to it.

So whether you are shopping for yourself, your spouse, your partner, your children or a friend, Uncommon Goods has something for everyone.

What is on your Christmas list?

Monday, November 21, 2016


Wow and just like that it is Monday. This weekend flew by in an instant and I think I need another day off just to recover and sleep. Yes, Sutton is getting her two year old molars and life in the Butler household is rough....sleep wise.

But let's get down to it anyways.

Friday, I worked all day which is unusual since I have half days. It was only me and another agent in my division plus bosses. So so so quiet. After work, I picked up the girls and headed home. I inspected the work that was done on my kitchen and found some flaws that need to be addressed, but was overall happy with the progress.

Rory had a Nevada basketball game that evening (3 and 1 baby), so I watched the girls. They were pretty good until Sutton woke up screaming owie due to her teeth hurting. Needless to say, we didn't sleep much Friday night. But I did catch up on some tv shows while I had the house to myself.

Saturday morning, we headed out to an early breakfast and then my sister came over. We showed her the progress on the kitchen and then headed to the last game/tailgate of the year. The chili cook off. It did not disappoint even though I only tried 4 chilis and they were small bites.
Nevada Wolf Pack football walk
 Pre-game walk
Nevada Wolf Pack band
The band always visits our tailgate

The game was a good one actually. But it was really cold out. Don't let those sunny blue skies fool you. At half time, we were invited into the Coaches Club to hang out and keep warm. This was the way to watch the game when it is that breezy out.
Nevada Wolf Pack Coaches Club

The Pack squeaked out a win and then we were off to relieve my sister of babysitting. The girls had a blast with their auntie.

We got home and I hit the store for a few items and picked up salads for dinner. Then after building a fire and watching some football, I headed out to hang out with my 9:30 pm. When did I get so old that 9:30 was late to go out? Ha. But we went to a local bar and caught up. It was the perfect ending to the day.

Sunday morning, we headed to breakfast and then to Home Depot for painting supplies. Yes I had more painting to do. When will it ever end?

We headed home for a few to give the girls a snack and some milk and then we took them to get haircuts. We were told this was the place to go for kids haircuts and get there when they opened on the weekends. We were there 10 minutes after opening and there was a huge line. But since they had toys galore for the kids to play with, we stuck around. We waited for almost an hour, ugh, before Avery was called back.
Hollylocks play area

This is when her meltdown ensued. She did not want to sit in the chair and was scared. After trying to bribe her with a lollipop, we took her down and put Sutton up. Sutton was scared and cried for me, but she was doing better than Avery. We wanted to get their bangs cut and a trim around the sides. I wanted to keep their curls intact.
Hollylocks twins first haircut
Hollylocks twins first haircut

We tried Avery again and she was still fussy, but she managed. The girl next to us was talking to her and calmed her down. These pictures were at the beginning of her second try. 
Hollylocks twins first haircut
Hollylocks twins first haircut

They both ended up getting their haircut and all is better now. And we saved a snippet of hair for their baby books. They look so cute. I will have to snap the after pictures this week as they were not having it last night.

After haircuts we went home and put the girls down for their naps. Sutton did nap very well due to her teeth, so she was up pretty fast. I went grocery shopping and then came home to paint our mud room. The mudroom took longer than planned and Rory had to take the girls on an impromptu walk around 3:30. The girls wanted to go outside and play and fortunately there was a break in the weather. About half way, I grabbed Walter and we met up with them for a short walk.

After getting home, it was dinner time for the girls (early) and while they ate, I finished the last coat on the wall. Rory left to another basketball game, so it was just me and the girls and Walter. After dinner, I gave the girls their bath and then we played for another hour and a half. The girls were tired and wanted to go to bed early, but 5:30 is too early, so I kept them playing and they helped me with the fire. And by help, I mean they watched me and oohh'd and ahh'd at it. 

I put the girls down to bed around 7 pm and then watched the rest of the Packers game. Rory came home with dinner after the game and we watched more football before calling it an early night.

Sutton slept until 2 am which was a god send since she has been waking up way earlier with her teething problems and we have had to bring her into our bed a few times. We tried calming her down, but she wasn't having it. We let her cry it out for a half hour and then she was out again. I crashed out hard again after that and now we are here in Monday land.

I only work two days this week and then have Wednesday off to get stuff done around the house. Plus a million errands. And you best bet that the house will be partially decorated by the time Rory and the girls get home. 

I hope you had a good weekend.

I am linking up with Biana from B Loved Boston.
Friday, November 18, 2016

Friday Favorites

It's Friday and I have a long day ahead of me, but at least it is Friday. Bring on the weekend.

ONE. Tomorrow is the last home game of the season for my beloved Wolf Pack. While this season has been quite the failure (too many loses to count), I still enjoy going to the games and tailgating. And this is one of my favorite tailgates of the year. We have a huge chili cookoff and are always stuffed to the brim come game time.

This year we will not be participating in the cookoff with our own batch of chili, but we will bring some sides, toppings or corn bread in lieu of the chili. My kitchen is coming along, but I don't have enough of it together to make a huge batch of chili. Next year.

Let's just hope this weekend's game is a lot warmer than last weekends game. And for a win please and thank you. We could use a big win because we have our rivalry game (UNLV) next week and we will see if we can take the cannon home and paint it blue again.

TWO. I am apparently late to the game and haven't bought my girls Christmas dresses yet and everywhere is sold out of the ones I had chosen for the girls. So I have narrowed it down to three. Which one do you prefer?
Old navy Christmas outfit

Zara and Gap Christmas Toddler Outfit

Dress Tights Shoes

Gymboree Toddler Christmas Outfit

THREE. When I flew to Las Vegas on Tuesday, I got a lot of questions on the dress I was wearing. I bought this dress about two years ago and love wearing it. I wore it while working in England and have worn it on several occasions...mostly for work. But since I got such a great response from it, I wanted to share it with you all. It is the most comfy dress. It is retro looking, but brand new. It hits at all the right spots and has been a favorite of mine. Even though it wasn't one of my readers who complimented me, I wanted to share it anyways. And no, I am not being paid to put this up. I just love the dress.

FOUR. Speaking of Christmas and how excited I am about this upcoming holiday season. I wanted to share with you all three sweatshirts that may make an appearance in my life soon. Ok, maybe one of them will because my husband would kill me if I bought all three of them.

FIVE. One week from today, I will be watching Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life of. I hope to binge watch it all once my girls go to sleep for the evening. Reviews came out saying it is everything the fans want for an ending. Bring it on. I. CAN'T. WAIT.

Have a great weekend all!

I am linking up with Karli, April and Erica.
Thursday, November 17, 2016

Confessional Thursday

It's Thursday and I have a few confessions for you today.

grab button for Sparkles and Lattes
<div class="sparkles-and-lattes-button" style="width: 250px; margin: 0 auto;"> <a href="" rel="nofollow"> <img src="" alt="Sparkles and Lattes" width="250" height="250" /> </a> </div>


/ that I wrote a lot of my confessions on Monday while I was still in the office. I wish I had more time to blog at home, but kitchen renovations.

/ that tomorrow we are having the tile sealed and then in about a week everything else should be done....completely. I can't wait. Yes we are sort of using our kitchen, but not really.

/ it was a good thing that I wasn't the driver of the rental car the last couple days because shopping in Vegas would have been disastrous on my wallet. Give me all the things, but not really because Christmas is coming up. I have got to save my money for gifts and not buy myself all the things. But shopping in Vegas is glorious when they have it ALL.

/ that it has been HOT in Vegas all week. Ugh. No Fall here.

/ that I had a ginger ale on my 6 am flight to Vegas. I have been craving them since my last flight and still hadn't had one single one. So yep, instead of coffee, I got a ginger ale. #freegingeraleisthebestgingerale

/ that I made my co-worker drive us to Starbucks before our meeting for a coffee.

/ that I can't stand when people smack their food around me. Chew with your mouth closed. Gross.

/ that I can't wait for my really short week next week. We have family time, Christmas tree cutting and Christmas decorating going to happen. Bring it on.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Book Reviews

I get into big reading kicks and I knock out two to four books in a month and then a month passes and I hardly touch a book. It comes and goes along with the season of life. Recently, I went to Europe (September) and I had a bit of a lull at work before that, so I read quite a few books. Here are a few that I read recently and my review of them.

The Girl You Lost
The Girl You Lost

Eighteen years ago, Simone and Matt had a baby girl not long after they were married. Matt's mother took her to the park and Helena went missing. They searched and searched for her, but she was never found.

Fast forward eighteen years and a woman by the name of Grace appears in Simone's life telling her she may be her long lost daughter. Grace fears for her life and needs help from Simone. Simone brushes it off and moves on with her life. But the small details about Grace's story reveal that maybe Grace really is Simone. But by the time Simone finds this out, Grace has gone missing.

Is Grace really Helena? What happened that night Helena disappeared?

This story had a lot of twists and turns and kept me wanting to read more.

I would rate this 5 out of 5 stars.

No One Knows
No One Knows book

This book came recommended by Emelia at Dream Big and Buy the Shoes.

Aubrey goes to a bachelorette party at a hotel while her husband attends the bachelor party at the same hotel. Aubrey takes a little detour and ends up in a different bar at the hotel. Someone sends her her favorite drink and she knows it must be her husband, but he never shows up. She sends him a text and later tries to find him. But she finds out that he never made it to the bachelor party and he is missing.

After checking their house, she and Josh's friend find a large amount of blood there. Josh has been missing for five years and they have declared him dead. But as she moves on, signs point to him possibly being alive.

I really enjoyed this book. I saw some of the mystery coming, but not all of it.

I would give it 4 out of 5 starts. Maybe even 4 1/2.

The Good Girl
The Good Girl book

This book came recommended by a few bloggers. It has a Gone Girl feel to it.

Mia is kidnapped by a man named Colin after she goes home with him after a night of drinking. You really feel sorry for Mia as she is taken to a remote cabin in Minnesota. She is losing weight, they are stuck in the bitter cold all the while trying to figure out who paid Colin to kidnap her.

Mia comes from a wealthy family, but is an outcast from them as she went the course in life as a teacher. Mia is well liked by everyone and no one knows why she would be kidnapped. Well maybe her father, the judge in town, has some enemies.

The book grabbed me and I didn't expect the ending.

I would give it 4 stars out of 5.

The Luckiest Girl Alive
Luckiest girl alive

Ani went to a public school, but was transferred to a private school where she had to make new friends. Ani was a smart girl. She was befriended by the popular group at school and the boys humiliated her after a party at one of their houses.

Ani spent the rest of her life re-inventing herself to be "the best". This comes off as very egotistical in the book. To the point, I didn't like Ani at all. I wanted to stop reading the book, but I had to know what the mystery was. So I read on and the book does get better.

The book goes back and forth from present day back to high school. Something big happened during Ani's high school days because her and her classmates are being featured in a documentary. It is Ani's chance to show them what she has become (engaged, successful and beautiful) and set the story straight.

Once the book got to the mystery, it got a lot better. So if you do read this book, just hang in there until the end or email me and I can give you the condensed version of what happens.

I would give this book 3 out of 5 stars.

And there you have it. I am still trying to read Pretty Baby which is the same author as The Good Girl. It isn't because the book isn't good because so far it is. It is just been a lack of time with kitchen renovation projects. But I am in Las Vegas for work part of this week, so I am tackling my book. Any good recommendations for when I finish this one?

I am linking up with Jenn and Jessi.
Monday, November 14, 2016


I can't believe the weekend is over and it was a long one too. We kept ourselves pretty busy as usual. We painted, went to a football game, had crazy toddlers running around, went to the park and on several long walks.

But let me back up. Friday, we did have work as we had the day off for Veteran's Day. We also had the crew over at the house trying to finish up the kitchen. Spoiler, they didn't get it done. While they worked on the house, we went over to my cousin in-laws house for an engagement brunch. We drank mimosas, had frittata, french toast, potatoes, sausages and peppers and a blueberry compote casserole. It was all heavenly. Plus I talked to the bride on vendors in the area (they don't live here, but are getting married here).

After brunch, we headed up to my in-laws house to put the girls down for a nap. While they napped, we drank some coffee, took Walter for a walk and hung out. After the girls got up, we played a bunch. Around 4:30, Rory and I left to get some take-out from a little Italian place that we love. While we waited, the owner gave us a caprese salad to try since they were just adding it to the menu (they haven't been open that long) and it was really good. I also had a glass of wine while we waited.

We got back to my in-laws house and indulged on pasta, cheese bread and salads. It was the best. We took the girls home to put them to bed and we watched South Paw which was really sad and emotional, but very good.

Saturday morning, the crew came over again to tackle the rest of the kitchen, or what they can do until our appliances come in. Rory grabbed us some breakfast to go and we watched the crew work. I also had to empty our fridge so they could move it to the garage since we don't want the delivery people ruining or damaging our tile floors when they bring the new one in. We also had Walter home, so he was panicked with all the people there.

The crew left around 11 am and we headed to Target to get a few things. I didn't get to browse the dollar section since everyone and their moms were there and I had two crazy toddlers with me. But we did get the girls some Christmas pjs, some snacks and a few other items. We stopped at a ice cream shop on the way home to get some milkshakes and fries.

Once we got home, it was nap time for the girls and relaxation time for Rory. Ha. I had to touch up the paint in two areas because it was scraped when the crew put in the leftover quartz counters into our cabinet and indoor pizza bbq.

After nap time, we took Walter and the girls on a walk while we waited for my parents to get to the house. They were watching the girls while Rory and I went to tailgate and then the football game.

The game was fun, but it got really cold and I was bundled in two blankets. We brought one blanket and bought another at the game which was definitely needed. There was barely anyone left in the stands during the 4th quarter, but we stayed for almost the entire game. We left with a couple minutes left to get home and relieve my parents of babysitting duty. Plus the Pack lost and we just wanted to get home. But on the way out there were a ton of cops at our exit. We later found out that a pedestrian was hit and is in severe condition. And this comes 5 years later to the day that a person was killed in a hit and run in the same place. Very sad.
Nevada Wolf Pack Football game

Sunday morning we got up and took the girls to breakfast. They were a little unruly there. After breakfast, Rory wanted to take the girls to a nature park to let them play.
Oxbow Nature Park
Oxbow Nature Park
Oxbow Nature Park
Oxbow Nature Park

The girls decided they didn't want to walk anymore, so we had to carry them part of the way back. We headed home and the girls played while I painted the inside of a cabinet in the kitchen and touched up the whitewash on the brick wall. I also did some house cleaning while they were outside playing.

Once the girls had lunch and went down for their naps, I headed to the grocery store. I was even able to get something to make for dinner. Sure it was for the bbq, but it felt good to cook at home.

After naps, we went on another walk and this time we stopped at a park along the way. The girls had a blast playing in the playground and Walter ran around sniffing everything.
Chrissy Caughlin Park
Chrissy Caughlin Park

The girls didn't want to leave, but we wanted to give Walter a proper walk. We finally got the girls in their wagon and continued on for another 45 minutes.

Once we got home, we watched more football, had dinner and gave the girls their baths. After bath time, we let the girls play a bit and then we put them down. Rory and I bbq'd dinner and watched the Pats vs. Seahawks game. We ended the evening with an episode of Parenthood and went to bed.

How was your weekend?

I am linking up with Biana from B Loved Boston.