The Jean Skirt: Whack or Back?

Monday, August 7, 2017

I'm sure you've seen the jean skirt circling fashion blogs everywhere, but its time to weigh in. Is it whack, or is it back? Personally, I think its back! But everyone has a right to their own opinion, and I want to hear yours so comment and let me know what you think! Below you will find links to the items I'm wearing as well as other similar products. 

Watermelon Jalapeno Margarita Recipe

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Happy  National Watermelon Day!

This Watermelon Jalapeno Margarita is a spicy and sweet cocktail that you will be begging for all summer long! I made a batch today and just can't get enough. 

Yield: 4 drinks 
Prep Time: 10 minutes 
Cook Time: 0 minutes 
Total: 10 minutes 

3 cups of pureed watermelon 
1 tablespoon of sugar
3/4 cups of tequila (1 cup if you like it strong!)
1/4 cup orange liqueur 
1/2 cup lime juice
2 jalapeƱos sliced (leave the seeds for a hotter drink!) 
Slices of lime for garnish 
Kosher salt for cup rim

Mix all ingredients in a large pitcher and stir gently. Press a few of the jalapeƱos with your spoon to add a little extra spice. Add a few ice cubes to a glass for immediate drinks or let the pitcher chill in the fridge for a few minutes. Before drinking, add optional salt to the rim of your glass. Enjoy! 

Leave a comment below with your favorite cocktail recipe. If you try this recipe, let me know what you think! 

The Lying Game by Ruth Ware -- Review

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Title: The Lying Game 
Author: Ruth Ware 
Pages: 384
Publishing: July 25th 2017 by Gallery/Scout Press 
ISBN: 1501156004 

The text message is just three words: I need you.

Isa drops everything, takes her baby daughter and heads straight to Salten. She spent the most significant days of her life at boarding school on the marshes there, days which still cast their shadow over her now.

Something terrible has been found on the beach. Something which will force Isa to confront her past, together with the three best friends she hasn't seen for years, but has never forgotten. Theirs is no cosy reunion: Salten isn't a safe place for them, after what they did.

At school the girls used to play the Lying Game. They competed to convince people of the most outrageous stories. But for some, did the boundary between fact and fantasy become too blurred?

And how much can you really trust your friends?


The Lying Game was one of my most anticipated reads of the summer. I absolutely loved The Woman in Cabin 10 as well as In a Dark, Dark Wood. I was hoping for the best with Ware's latest novel, but it fell a little short. The atmosphere was great, the characters were interesting, but I found it to be a little boring. 

I loved Ware's first two novels because the reader and the characters felt trapped in one place with terrible events surrounding them. There was constant suspense and I felt like I was trying to flip each page faster and faster to get to the finish line. The Lying Game was definitely slower to build and even though the characters were at the mill house for a majority of the book, I never felt that creepy atmospheric suspense that I loved so much in the other novels. Now don't get me wrong, it was still an interesting book, it just wasn't my favorite.

Ware's writing skills continue to grow in her latest novel. I enjoyed the depth of the characters as well as the insight into their past. It was definitely a bit different than I was expecting, but I would still highly recommend this to readers who enjoy a slow burning suspense novel. It doesn't have the same amount of chill and violence as her other novels, but it is definitely an enjoyable read! 

Rating 3.5/5

*Thank you to Scout Press/Gallery and NetGalley for sending the novel in exchange for an honest review. 

Beautiful Bodies by Kimberly Rae Miller -- Review

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Title: Beautiful Bodies 
Author: Kimberly Rae Miller 
Pages: 234
Publishing: July 25th 2017 by Little A (Amazon Publishing)
ISBN: 1477829571


A brave and witty examination of how and why we try to control our bodies with food.

Like most people, Kimberly Rae Miller does not have the perfect body, but that hasn’t stopped her from trying. And trying. And trying some more. Her first attempt to use food to change her body came at age four, when she learned that the Inuit ate fat to stay warm in the winter. If this diet worked in the Arctic, she reasoned, why not in Long Island? Postcollege, after a brief stint as a diet-pill model, she became a health-and-fitness writer and editor working on celebrities’ bestselling bios—sugarcoating the trials and tribulations celebs endure to stay thin.

But what is the ideal body? Knowing she’s far from alone in this struggle, Kim sets out to find the objective definition of this seemingly unattainable level of perfection. While on a fascinating and hilarious journey through time that takes her from obese Paleolithic cavewomen, to the bland menus that Drs. Graham and Kellogg prescribed to promote good morals in addition to good health, to the binge-drinking-prone regimen that caused William the Conqueror’s body to explode at his own funeral, Kim ends up discovering a lot about her relationship with her own body.

Warm, funny, and brutally honest, Beautiful Bodies is a blend of memoir and social history that will speak to anyone who’s ever been caught in a power struggle with his or her own body…in other words, just about everyone.


Beautiful Bodies is not just a story about body image, but it is a fact filled memoir that is backed up with solid research about dieting and the science of weight loss. I enjoyed that the research is not forced at the reader like a high school health class. Instead, it is beautifully incorporated into the story of Kimberly Rae Miller's life. 

I went into this book with high hopes and I wasn't let down. I loved how Miller was so open and honest about her childhood and about how her body image began to change at such a young age. Her story is not so different from others and I found it to be comforting and enlightening. I hope that others will read this novel and find some peace about their body image and begin to love the way they see themselves.

Beautiful Bodies is an insightful and brave memoir about body image in which Miller discusses her struggles with having the perfect body. I would highly recommend this novel to all readers. It is a wonderful story filled with real life experiences and scientific research. Thank you so much to the author and Little A publishing for sending this book my way. 

Rating 4/5

Hello, Sunshine by Laura Dave -- Review

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Title: Hello, Sunshine
Author: Laura Dave
Pages: 256
Publishing: July 11th 2017 by Simon Schuster
ISBN: 1476789347 


From Laura Dave—the author of the “addictive” (Us Weekly), “winning” (Publishers Weekly) and critically acclaimed bestseller Eight Hundred Grapes—comes a new novel about the secrets we keep…even from ourselves.

Sunshine Mackenzie has it all…until her secrets come to light.

Sunshine Mackenzie is living the dream—she’s a culinary star with millions of fans, a line of #1 bestselling cookbooks, and a devoted husband happy to support her every endeavor.

And then she gets hacked.

When Sunshine’s secrets are revealed, her fall from grace is catastrophic. She loses the husband, her show, the fans, and her apartment. She’s forced to return to the childhood home—and the estranged sister—she’s tried hard to forget. But what Sunshine does amid the ashes of her own destruction may well save her life.

In a world where celebrity is a careful construct, Hello, Sunshine is a compelling, funny, and evocative novel about what it means to live an authentic life in an inauthentic age.


This was my first novel by Laura Dave and I wasn't disappointed. Hello, Sunshine was the perfect summer read and I couldn't put it down. From work drama, to family and romance drama, this novel had it all. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Sunshine and her personality and this novel hit on a lot of important topics. I especially liked how Dave made the reader contemplate if a person becomes "bad" all at once or over a period of time. 

Hello, Sunshine could be described as a "chic-lit" novel, but it didn't have the typical romance theme, and it included a little bit of mystery as well. Sunshine's career secrets were blown up on social media, and when the reader finds out who it was that leaked the information, well... let's just say it's pretty surprising! I loved the fast paced story and the characters were entertaining and complex. This was such a fun novel and I would highly recommend it to readers who enjoy chic-lit and easy reads. 

Rating 4/5 

*Thank you NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for sending this novel in exchange for an honest review. 

Zodiac by Romina Russell - Review

Friday, July 14, 2017

Title: Zodiac 
Author: Romina Russell 
Pages: 325
Publishing: December 9th 2014 by Razorbill
ISBN: 1595147403 


At the dawn of time, there were 13 Houses in the Zodiac Galaxy. Now only 12 remain….

Rhoma Grace is a 16-year-old student from House Cancer with an unusual way of reading the stars. While her classmates use measurements to make accurate astrological predictions, Rho can’t solve for ‘x’ to save her life—so instead, she looks up at the night sky and makes up stories.

When a violent blast strikes the moons of Cancer, sending its ocean planet off-kilter and killing thousands of citizens—including its beloved Guardian—Rho is more surprised than anyone when she is named the House’s new leader. But, a true Cancerian who loves her home fiercely and will protect her people no matter what, Rho accepts.

Then, when more Houses fall victim to freak weather catastrophes, Rho starts seeing a pattern in the stars. She suspects Ophiuchus—the exiled 13th Guardian of Zodiac legend—has returned to exact his revenge across the Galaxy. Now Rho—along with Hysan Dax, a young envoy from House Libra, and Mathias, her guide and a member of her Royal Guard—must travel through the Zodiac to warn the other Guardians.

But who will believe anything this young novice says? Whom can Rho trust in a universe defined by differences? And how can she convince twelve worlds to unite as one Zodiac?


Zodiac is the first book in the Zodiac series, and it is absolutely OUT OF THIS WORLD (pun intended)! I've been hearing so much about this series, but I never had the chance to sit down and read all of the books. I'm so glad I finally took the time because I absolutely love the world that Russell has created. 

The world building involved in Zodiac was absolutely stunning. At first, the strange words and descriptions were a little overwhelming, but I was able to quickly visualize the world Russell envisioned. I loved the characters and the constant adventure and action. The main character Rho was ambitious and daring and I loved her fearless attitude. As always, I enjoy a bit of romance, and there was definitely a good bit of romance involved in Zodiac. 

I absolutely loved this novel and could not put it down. I can't wait to read the rest of the novels in the series in preparation for the release of the fourth book, Thirteen Rising on August 29th. Thank you so much to Penguin Teen and NetGalley for sending this novel in exchange for an honest review. I highly recommend this novel to readers who enjoy YA fantasy novels. 

Rating 4/5 


GIVEAWAY: Enter for a chance to win either one (1) grand prize set of Romina Russell’s Zodiac Series in paperback, including Zodiac, Wandering Star, and Black Moon (32.97) or to be one (1) of five (5) second place winners to receive a copy of Zodiac by Romina Russell (ARV: $10.99 each).

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on June 26th, 2017 and 12:00 AM on July 17, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about July 21, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

ZODIAC REREAD SCHEDULE: Check out these blogs for reviews, spotlights, mood boards and fun Zodiac themed activities! 

Week One:
June 26 – Paper Trail YA 
June 26 – Live Love Read 
June 26 – Novel Knight 
June 27 – The Book Lounge
June 28 – YA and Wine  
June 29 – Life Within The Pages 
June 29 – In Wonderland 
June 30 – The Book Talk 
Week Two
July 3 – Picture Books to YA 
July 4 – The Hardcover Lover
July 4 – Wandering Bark Books 
July 5 – The Eater of Books!
July 5 – Teacher of YA
July 6 – The Hermit Librarian 
July 6 – Swoony Boys Podcast 
July 7 – Mundie Moms
July 8 – Quirky and Peculiar

Week Three
July 10 – The Biblio Life 
July 10 – The Book Vortex
July 11 – Fly Leaf Chronicles 
July 11 – The Book Nut 
July 12 – Resch Reads and Reviews 
July 13 – Four Violet
July 14 – Novel Novice 
July 14 – The Blonde Bookworm
July 15 – The Book’s Buzz

Twitter Chat: July 16th @ 8PM EST Hosted by Brittany @ Brittany’s Book Rambles

Witchtown by Cory Putnam Oakes -- Review & Blog Tour

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Author: Cory Putman Oakes
Release Date: July 18, 2017
Pages: 320
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook
Find it: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | iBooks | TBD

When sixteen-year-old Macie O’Sullivan and her masterfully manipulative mother Aubra arrive at the gates of Witchtown—the most famous and mysterious witch-only haven in the world—they have one goal in mind: to rob it for all it’s worth.
But that plan derails when Macie and Aubra start to dig deeper into Witchtown’s history and uncover that there is more to the quirky haven than meets the eye.
Exploring the haven by herself, Macie finds that secrets are worth more than money in Witchtown.
Secrets have their own power.

About Cory:
Sometime around sixth grade, Cory was forced to face the sad truth that being a heroine in a Tamora Pierce, Robin McKinley, or Madeleine L’Engle book was not, in fact, a valid future career choice. But since she thought it might be almost as much fun to grow up to be Tamora Pierce, Robin McKinley, or Madeleine L’Engle, she decided to do just that. She’s still working on it.
Cory’s path to being an author did not go in a straight line. There was the whole “maybe-I’ll-be-a-psychologist” thing (just on the side, until the writing took off) which led her to UCLA and an eventual B.A. in Psychology. Then there was the “maybe-I’ll-be-a-lawyer” thing (just on the side, until the writing took off) which led her to Cornell Law School, a J.D., and a year of working as a litigation associate at Sullivan & Cromwell. There was also a brief “maybe-I’ll-teach-law” phase (just on the . . . well, you know) where she taught business law to undergraduates at Texas State University.
But the writing thing was a bug that she just couldn’t shake, and she officially made her sixth grade dream come true in 2011, with her debut young adult novel, THE VEIL. Cory’s debut middle grade, DINOSAUR BOY, came out from Sourcebooks in February of 2015 and it’s sequel, DINOSAUR BOY SAVES MARS, launched in February 2016. Cory’s next young adult novel, WITCHTOWN, will come out from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers on July 18, 2017.
Cory lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband, Mark (who, luckily for all concerned, decided to stick with the whole “maybe-I’ll-be-a-lawyer” thing), their two kids, and their pets. In addition to writing, Cory enjoys running, cooking, and hanging out with her family. She is proud to be represented by Sarah LaPolla of Bradford Literary Agency. Photo by Sam Bond Photography
Witchtown caught my eye a while back and I placed it on a tentative read list. When the opportunity came about to read it along with the Rockstar Book Tours crew, I knew I needed to jump aboard and read it. It was a fun middle grade novel about a young girl and her mother who travel between witch havens in order to get rich quick. The leading lady Macie begins to uncover some secrets in Witchtown and the story flows from there.
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and found the characters entertaining. It was fast paced and fun, but it also had some unexpected twists and turn towards the end. Each of the characters had their own secrets and I loved being able to follow along with Macie as she searched for answers about herself, her new home, and her new friends. 
All in all, Witchtown was a well written and entertaining read. It was definitely a "read in one sitting" type of book and I really enjoyed the fantasy and magic involved. I would definitely recommend this to readers who enjoy middle grade reads with a hint suspense! A big thank you to HMH Books for Young Readers, NetGalley and Rockstar Book Tours for sending my this novel in exchange for an honest review. 
Rating 4/5
Giveaway Details:

3 winners will receive a hardcover of WITCHTOWN! US Only. Click HERE to enter.
Week One:
7/10/2017- Brittany's Book Rambles- Interview
7/11/2017- Book BriefsReview
7/12/2017Always MeGuest Post
7/13/2017The Blonde BookwormReview
7/14/2017YA and WineInterview

Week Two:
7/17/2017Savings in SecondsReview
7/18/2017Wandering Bark BooksGuest Post
7/19/2017Eli to the nthReview
7/20/2017Don't Judge, ReadReview
7/21/2017YA Book MadnessInterview
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