Books Lately Vol. 12

Wowza, I am failing miserably at reading this summer.  Four books in two months is pretty disappointing!  It's not like we've had a super busy summer or anything like that.  I think I've just been struggling with the motivation to read lately.  Maybe that will change as the weather gets cooler.

Burntown - Jennifer McMahon
Eva grew up watching her father, Miles, invent strange and wonderful things in the small workshop behind their house on the river that runs through their old mill town. But the most important invention of all was the one that Miles claimed came from the mind of Thomas Edison himself--a machine that allowed one to speak with loved ones long passed. Smuggled out of Edison's laboratory, the blueprints were passed down to Miles, and he's been using them to protect Eva, her mother, Lily, and her brother, Errol, ever since.

Then, one night when a storm is raging and the river is threatening to flood, the machine whirrs to life on its own. Danger, it says. You're in terrible danger. The next thing Eva knows is waking up on the side of the river and seeing her mother's grim face. Eva's father and brother are dead, their house has been washed away and an evil man is searching for them both. They need to hide.

Eva changes her name to Necco--a candy she always loved--and tries to put everything in her past behind her as she adapts to her new life off the grid. But when her boyfriend is murdered and her mother disappears, she knows that the past is starting to catch up to her.

What really happened the night of the flood? As Necco searches for the truth, her journey unites her with two women who are on desperate quests of their own. And as the trio follows the clues to solving the mystery of Necco's past, they discover that sometimes it's the smallest towns that hold the strangest secrets.

I've had this book on my TBR list for a long time & finally decided to read it after seeing it on the shelf at the library.  I couldn't really remember what it was about & sort of skimmed the synopsis before starting it.  At first, I didn't think I would really like it but then it hooked me about 1/3 of the way through and I finished it within a few days.  The characters all felt SO random with how they connected to one another.  Even though it was sort of a serious book, Pru cracked me up throughout each of her chapters.  Overall, I really liked it and glad that I finally read it.

The Outsider - Stephen King
When an eleven-year-old boy is found murdered in a town park, reliable eyewitnesses undeniably point to the town's popular Little League coach, Terry Maitland, as the culprit. DNA evidence and fingerprints confirm the crime was committed by this well-loved family man.

Horrified by the brutal killing, Detective Ralph Anderson, whose own son was once coached by Maitland, orders the suspect to be arrested in a public spectacle. But Maitland has an alibi. And further research confirms he was indeed out of town that day.

As Anderson and the District Attorney trace the clues, the investigation expands from Ohio to Texas. And as horrifying answers begin to emerge, so King's propulsive story of almost unbearable suspense kicks into high gear.

Terry Maitland seems like a nice guy but there is one rock-hard fact, as unassailable as gravity: a man cannot be in two places at the same time. Can he?

I put this book on hold as soon as I saw that the library was ordering it.  I have enjoyed some of Stephen King's last few books lately and this one did not disappoint at all.  I was a little overwhelmed when I picked up it from the library as it's almost 600 pages but I finished it in 8 days which is a record!  It hooked me right from the start & I had to force myself to put it down most nights so I could get a decent amount of sleep.  I would say that this is probably my favorite book so far this year.

Girl Wash Your Face - Rachel Hollis
Founder of the lifestyle website and CEO of her own media company, Chic Media, Rachel Hollis has created an online fan base of hundreds of thousands of fans by sharing tips for living a better life while fearlessly revealing the messiness of her own. Now comes her highly anticipated first book featuring her signature combination of honesty, humor, and direct, no-nonsense advice.

Each chapter of Girl, Wash Your Face begins with a specific lie Hollis once believed that left her feeling overwhelmed, unworthy, or ready to give up. As a working mother, a former foster parent, and a woman who has dealt with insecurities about her body and relationships, she speaks with the insight and kindness of a BFF, helping women unpack the limiting mind-sets that destroy their self-confidence and keep them from moving forward.

From her temporary obsession with marrying Matt Damon to a daydream involving hypnotic iguanas to her son's request that she buy a necklace to "be like the other moms," Hollis holds nothing back. With unflinching faith and tenacity, Hollis spurs other women to live with passion and hustle and to awaken their slumbering goals.

I had been on the fence about reading this book.  I'm not usually into preachy self help type books but I kind of wanted to see what all the hype was about.  It actually came up on hold for me at the library at just the right time too -  I was feeling pretty down about myself about some things at work.  I can be somewhat of a Negative Nancy.  While I liked some parts of this book plus it was a good reminder to not be so hard on myself.  However, I wouldn't say that it was life changing in any way.

Shutter Island - Dennis Lehane
The year is 1954. U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels and his new partner, Chuck Aule, have come to Shutter Island, home of Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane, to investigate the disappearance of a patient. Multiple murderess Rachel Solando is loose somewhere on this remote and barren island, despite having been kept in a locked cell under constant surveillance. As a killer hurricane relentlessly bears down on them, a strange case takes on even darker, more sinister shades—with hints of radical experimentation, horrifying surgeries, and lethal countermoves made in the cause of a covert shadow war. No one is going to escape Shutter Island unscathed, because nothing at Ashecliffe Hospital is what it seems. But then neither is Teddy Daniels.

This is a book that I've had in my collection for quite awhile but never read it!  It was a pretty fast read and although I already knew what happens (because of the movie), I still enjoyed it.

Did Not Finish
The Broken Girls by Simone St. James
Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King & Owen King

** I could not get into The Broken Girls or Something Wicked for anything.  However, I do want to try to read Sleeping Beauties again someday.  That book was a little daunting and I just couldn't finish it in time before I had to return it back to the library.

What you are reading currently?

Have a great day!  Linking up with Steph & Jana!

Weekending-- Another Day Off + Wedding Shenanigans

Hello hello! 

And it's Monday again.. boo.  Have TWO three-day weekends in a row has been wonderful but now it's back to the regular grind.  I was able to catch up on a lot of stuff at work on Thursday so hopefully today will be nice & easy.

Friday morning, we took Maggie in to the vet as she needed to get another vaccine.  Afterward, we came back home but then headed out again shortly after for lunch at Early Bird.  I got their pb&j french toast... SO good!

We stopped at GNC and Walmart after lunch and then it was back home again.  We finally replaced the blinds in our kitchen.  I'm so embarrassed to admit that we've been using broken blinds for over a year now and never replaced them.  🙈 It's one of those things that you don't really think about all that often though.  Like, I would see them daily and tell myself that we need to replace them but then would just completely forget about it until I looked at them again. 

Friday evening was pretty laid back.  Curtis had football practice from 5:30 until 8:00 (he's helping coach a freshman team for a local high school).  After he got home, his friend Tom came over and they went out for a little bit while I stayed home and caught up on some blogs.

Saturday morning, I was up around 8:30 and laid around for a little bit before heading to the gym around 10.  I did a quick full body workout, stopped at the grocery store, and then home to start getting ready for Kayla's wedding.  Curtis had football practice again & didn't get home until noon.  I had everything packed and ready to go so we took off for Lincoln around 1:00.  The wedding was only about 30-ish minutes from my mom's house and we weren't sure how late it would go so she watched Maggie for us while we were at the wedding.

The entire wedding was held at Glacial Till Winery which is pretty much out in the middle of nowhere.  I had never been there before but it was beautiful!  I definitely want to go back someday just for some wine tasting.

I mentioned it in my post on Friday but Kayla and I have been friends since 9th grade!  We hung out all the time throughout high school, worked together at Runza for awhile, and then lived together for about a year after I graduated from college + started working full time.  She has been living in Denver for the past few years so I really haven't seen her much since!  

I love that they included their pup, Lola, in the wedding!  She was so adorable!  

I also got to catch up with Abbie, another really good high school friend.  It was a total blast from the past seeing her again and talking about high school but I loved it.  I also hadn't seen her in years!  It's just crazy how life happens and you lose touch with people that you were so close with for so many years. 

We stayed until the end of the reception and headed back to my mom's house to pick up Maggie.  We sat around and talked about the wedding for awhile but finally left around 1:00am and got back to Omaha around 2am.... oof.

So, Sunday was a little rough, haha.  I hadn't stayed up that late in a LONG time so getting out of bed was tough.  We decided to get some coffee and a late breakfast at Amateur Coffee and then ran a few errands afterward.

The rest of Sunday was spent doing all the usual stuff --  grocery shopping, cleaning, laundry, food prepping for the week, and Big Brother.  Even Maggie was struggling with the fact that we got home so late the night before & barely moved from the couch all afternoon.

Have a great week everyone!

Linking up with LindsayJohannah, and Heather!

Friday Favorites #20

Happy happy Friday! 

I took today off from work (again!) and am enjoying a nice, quiet morning so far.  Curtis also has the day off but we don't really have anything planned other than taking Maggie to the vet later this morning.  Regardless, it's nice to not be at work right now! 

Yesterday was Curtis's birthday -- finally joining the 3-0 club!  We went to our usual boot camp class at 5:30 and we all did 30 burpees as a "gift", haha. 

After class, we came home & got ready to go out with some friends for dinner at Wings & Rings.  SO good.  Afterward, we stopped at Orange Leaf for some froyo and called it a night.  Pretty wild birthday celebration! 

I'm excited for tomorrow because one of my oldest friends is getting married!  We were good friends all throughout high school and she was also my first roommate after I graduated college & moved into an apartment.  Here's a throwback to 2010 at one of the many bars we frequented that summer.

Speaking of weddings, we just booked a trip to Texas next month!  One of Curtis's college roommates is getting married in a town about an hour north of Houston.  We have been sort of going back & forth with the idea ever since we got the invite but decided to pull the trigger.  I'm not a big traveler and probably the most sheltered person you have ever met but I think it will be a good time.  I've never been to Texas before and have only been on a plane twice in my life.  Plus, we are also including a day trip to Waco to check out the Silos while we're there! 

Of course I'm already thinking about what to wear for the wedding.  It's in the evening & cocktail attire so of course I checked Amazon first.  I'm really drawn to this dress and might order it! 

After almost two months of being in a reading rut, I feel like I've gotten my groove back!  I picked up a few books at the library earlier this week that I'm really excited to read.  I'm halfway through Sunburn right now and sort of on the fence about it.  I've seen mixed reviews but I'm interested to find out what happens.

Alright, time to wrap this up!  We are about to watch the Big Brother episode from last night since we missed it!    Have a great weekend everyone!

Linking up with TifAndreaErikaNarci, and Amanda!

Prime Purchases


We were gifted Amazon Prime for Christmas and pretty sure it is one of the best inventions out there.  I think we will continue with our membership once it's up in December because it's just so convenient!  

Here are a few things that I've ordered lately:

Amazon Basics Wireless Mouse
I realized that I have been using the same mouse for my computer for over TEN years!  How it's lasted this long, I have no idea.  However, it's been acting up lately & likes to restart several times while I'm using it so when I saw that this was only $10, I decided to order it.  Now that I've been using it for awhile, I don't know why I waited so long to get a new one!  🙈

Since we have been updating our bathroom, I thought a new mat was in order & this was a lightning deal one day.  The one we had before was sort of a navy blue & showed all of the dirt/dog hair.  This one is a little darker than the picture but thankfully hides things a little better.

JYM Supplement Science - Post Jym Active Matrix BCAAs
We have been using supplements from the Jym line over the past few years & really like them.  The BCAAs being one of my favorites to use, especially during a tough workout.  This one usually runs almost $40 at GNC or but it was on sale on Prime Day so we couldn't pass it up!

PEScience High Volume Caffeine Free Pre Workout 
This was a re-purchase as I ran out of the one I had.  I only take this on days that I lift as I feel like it gives me a little bit of a boost.

What have you purchased lately??

Have a great day everyone! Linking up with Tanya!

Weekending- Day Off, Softball, and Early Birthday Celebration

Happy Monday!

And it's the start of another week.  I'm not too thrilled to be back at work again because I know I am so behind on stuff and it's only going to continue to pile up as I will be working in another office for the afternoon.  However, I have another three day weekend thanks to taking this Friday off as well which I'm definitely looking forward to!

I mentioned in my post on Friday that I took the day off because my vacation accrual is getting a little too close to the cap so I needed to take some time off.  I was still up around 8:00, fed Maggie, and laid around on the couch for awhile.  Then it was off to the gym around 10:30 where I spent a good hour doing legs.  Oof, I'm still sore today as it has been a minute since I did some heavy lifting!  After the gym, I stopped at GNC and the grocery store for a few things before heading back home.  The afternoon was spent doing some cleaning and painting the cabinets for our bathroom as we were planning on getting that installed some time this weekend.

Friday evening, Maggie and I tagged along with Curtis for his last softball game of the season.  She seems to enjoy going out to the softball fields because there are so many smells & people to pet her!

After the game, we went to Coneflower for some ice cream.  They have the best vegan peanut butter chocolate chip ice cream!  Once we finished there, we called it a night & headed home.

Saturday was a fairly productive day.  Got up, ate breakfast, and then hit up the mall + a few other stores for Curtis's birthday present.  It never fails that when I'm shopping for someone else that I end up buying more things for myself.  🙈  However, I couldn't pass up a $15 pair of wedge sandals or black skinny jeans that actually fit my legs perfectly!  After shopping, I came back home to do some laundry and clean up the house a little more.  Curtis's parents came over around 4:00 and they worked on installing the cabinet in the bathroom.  We then went to Pitch for an early dinner and had amazing onion rings & pizza.

After dinner, they finished up the cabinet & his parents headed out around 7:00.  We ended up staying home the rest of the evening & didn't do any more celebrating.  (his actual birthday is on Thursday but we celebrated with his parents a few days early!)

And then Sunday.  We were up early once again thanks to Maggie demanding food at 7:30am.  So, we got ready and went to the gym a little after 9 and then got our usual groceries on the way home.  After getting home & putting everything away, we took Maggie to get her nails trimmed and then grabbed lunch at Best Bison.  We had a pretty lazy afternoon which was definitely much needed.  I did some decluttering in our spare room (my room) and put a few more things on Poshmark.  I was having such good luck with Poshmark about a month ago but it seems like all of my sales have stalled!  😳

The rest of Sunday was spent doing all the usual things -- food prepping for the week, more cleaning, self tanning, and Big Brother at 7! 

Here's to hoping that it's an easy week and that I'm somewhat overreacting about all the work I'll have to do.   Have a good one! 

Linking up with Lindsay, Johannah, and Heather!