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Whole30 – Week 3 Are we done yet?

Whole30 – Week 3 Are we done yet?

Hi friends! I have to be honest, this week on Whole30 was super rough for me. I am so ready to be done! At this point during my last Whole30, I was feeling great, both mentally and physically. I was sleeping better, not getting tired […]

Book Review: The Alienist by Caleb Carr

Book Review: The Alienist by Caleb Carr

Hi friends! I’m so excited about the book review I have for you today. If you’re like me, you’ve seen signs/ads for TNT’s new show, The Alienist.  And if you’re anything like me, you like to read the book before watching the movie/TV show. Caleb […]

Whole30 – Week 2 eats

Whole30 – Week 2 eats

Hey guys!

I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend and got a chance to relax, read, run, watch a little football or anything else you do to unwind.

Week 2 of Whole30 has come to a close and I’m feel really great. Of course I still want a piece of bread, but I’m feeling really good about my lack of sweets right now, and I’m almost over the craving hump. A lot of people say day 10 and 11 are the hardest but I was so busy at work those days I hardly had time to blink, let alone think about what I wanted to eat so I actually made it through those days fairly easy.

Breakfasts

Monday – Wednesday = Our standard breakfast egg bake (recipe here).

Thursday/Friday = Omelet – with spinach, tomatoes, and salsa.

Saturday/Sunday = Sweet potato breakfast bowl from Peanut Butter Runner. I added raisins, unsweetened coconut flakes and crushed walnuts to mine. It doesn’t look super pretty but trust me it’s really good.

Lunches

Monday – Tuesday = Salads (spinach, tomatoes, carrots, peppers, beets, chicken, walnuts  – with olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing)

Wednesday – Thursday = Cauliflower fried rice with chicken (this had carrots and celery and I added tomatoes and green onions after baking) – I got the recipe from @pretenditsadonut’s Instagram.

Friday – Sunday = Salads (spinach, beets, carrots, tomatoes, hard-boiled egg, one smoked,  chicken sausage from Trader Joe’s – make sure to check your labels only some of the TJ’s sausages are compliant).

 

Dinners

Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday = Fish (Salmon, swordfish, and shrimp) with veggies (parsnips, beets, brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, peppers).

Wednesday = Chili (ground beef, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, veggie stock).

Saturday = Chicken with sun-dried tomatoes, kale, pesto and green beans.

Sunday = Acorn squash with chicken sausage, apple, and spinach. Jeff tried something different for this meal and I thought it was really good.

Making anything interesting tonight for dinner?

Book Review: The English Wife by Lauren Willig

Book Review: The English Wife by Lauren Willig

Hi Readers! Thanks to Goodreads Giveaways (and St. Martin’s Press) I got a chance to read The English Wife by Lauren Willig, which comes out today (January 9th), and this one did not disappoint! When Janie’s brother Bayard is found with a knife in his […]

Whole30 – Week 1 in the books!

Whole30 – Week 1 in the books!

Hey friends! I hope everyone is enjoying their first week of 2018. Week 1 of my second Whole30 is in the books and so far, so good (check out my first day post here). I really struggled on day 2: work was super stressful and […]

Book Review: The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

Book Review: The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

Hey Readers!

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin comes out January 9, 2018, and I was lucky enough to snag an ARC last month. Check out what I thought about this book that is already starting to get a lot of attention this year!

 

The Immortalists

If you could find out the day you would die, would you want to know? The four Gold children take the risk one hot summer day when they are young and bored and what they learn from the fortune teller shapes they’re lives forever.

I love how this book was set up. Each section features a different Gold sibling and is told from their point of view. Each successive section picks up in time where the one before it left off, but with the next Gold sibling (there is a pattern to the order that I loved, but don’t want to spoil). The story flowed so well as time moved on that I hardly noticed that years had passed since the book started.

I wasn’t as sucked into this book from the start.  It took me getting through the first quarter of the book before I got into the story line. I never felt the need stay up reading late hoping to find out what happened to the Gold siblings. I also thought this book would have more magical realism from the blurb and what I’ve heard about it, but that’s not the case at all. This story is definitely more literary fiction/family drama than anything else.

Some lines in the story were weirdly graphic/vulgar/crass for seemingly no reason and other parts almost made me cry. Which is all the more interesting because I never actually really liked any of the siblings when I was reading about them. There were moments when I understood why one of the siblings did something, but I didn’t find myself rooting for them or agreeing with their choices.

The overarching question of “did the siblings act they way they did because they believe what the fortune teller told them about when they would die” (or would everything have been the same if they had never known when they would die) was done really well. The story kept circling back around to it in subtle and not so subtle ways.

Rating: 3/ 5 – While there were some parts of the story I really enjoyed and I liked the flow of the story something about this one fell a little flat for me.

Let me know if you pick this one up on the 9th and what you thought about it! 

Thank you to the following for permitting me access to an advance reader’s copy (ARC) of The Immortalists. This generosity did not impact my honesty when rating/reviewing.
Source: NetGalley
Author: Chloe Benjamin
Publisher: Penguin Group Putnam
Pub Date: 09 January 2018

Whole 30 take two

Whole 30 take two

Happy 2018! Last March I convinced Jeff to try Whole30 with me. I’m a sugar fiend and love it almost as much as I love Michigan football.  But all the sugar I was eating wasn’t serving me any purpose. After doing a ton of research […]

Running Out Of Pages 2018 Reading Challenge

Running Out Of Pages 2018 Reading Challenge

Hi friends! In the last few years I have really gotten into participating in reading challenges. I read a lot and I feel like picking a challenge or two helps me branch out from my normal reading habits and be more deliberate with my reading […]

Book Review: The Vanishing Season by Joanna Schaffhausen

Book Review: The Vanishing Season by Joanna Schaffhausen


Hi Friends!

I picked up the below book as part of the Black Hearts Reads (check them out on Instagram @blackheartreads) book club. They pick a new “creepy, dark, and twisted” book each month with a discussion on Instagram at the end of the month. It seemed low key and easy to be involved as it’s all on Instagram right now. I missed the first month (they just started) but thought this book sounded interesting so I picked up the book to join along with the club.

Ellery Hathaway, the only victim who survived when abducted by serial killer Francis Michael when she was younger, has changed her name and is trying to keep the past away as a cop in a small town in Massachusetts. As people start to go missing every year around her birthday, Ellery knows something is wrong and that someone is trying to send her a message. With the help of the FBI agent who saved her life, whose own life is a complete mess right now, Ellery will try to stop whoever is out there bringing back her past nightmares.

I enjoyed the plot and trying to figure out the mystery as the story went on. There were several layers to the story with Ellery’s past and the current crime which added some depth that made the plot more interesting. I still have a few unanswered questions about things at the end, but overall I thought the story wrapped up nicely.

Ellery and Reed were both characters who were battling their own demons while trying to solve the current case. Although that story line is used frequently in thrillers, I still enjoyed it, the author used a little of the “character with a rough past has a drinking problem so no one believes them” concept, which I hate, but fortunately it wasn’t a huge part of the story. Ellery’s dog Bump added light-hearted moments to the dark story, and I really thought bump was used well throughout the story, especially at the end. There is a good amount of police work/FBI behavioral analysis in this story, which I personally really enjoyed, but I can see why some readers might feel parts of the book were a little slow. 

The book has several typos and mistakes, which always takes away from a book for me. There were at least 2 sentences where I had to go back and re-read because there was an additional or incorrect word that was not supposed to be there, and it just messed with the flow of the story. 

Rating 4/ 5 – While still a thriller that uses many of the standard story lines, The Vanishing Girls added interesting plot points (including a healthy dose of police procedural) to distinguish this book from others. A fast read, I couldn’t wait to get to the end to see who did it.

What do you want out of your thrillers? More or less police procedural? 

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! I just wanted to drop in and wish everyone a Merry Christmas and happy holidays. I hope everyone has a wonderful day!


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