Friday, October 24, 2014

What I’ve Been Reading #64 #WhosReadingYou

Move aside, Gone Girl. You by Caroline Kepnes is the most amazing psychological thriller I have read in a very long time. The description of the book doesn’t begin to explain how creepy, twisted, and obsessive this book actually is. “When aspiring writer Guinevere Beck strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe works, he’s instantly smitten. Beck is everything Joe has ever wanted: She’s gorgeous, tough, razor-smart, and as sexy as his wildest dreams. Beck doesn’t know it yet, but she’s perfect for him, and soon she can’t resist her feelings for a guy who seems custom made for her. But there’s more to Joe than Beck realizes, and much more to Beck than her oh-so-perfect fa├žade. Their mutual obsession quickly spirals into a whirlwind of deadly consequences . . .” Joe is a manager at a book store in New York City who has a lot of thoughts about things like Stephen King and Ikea. As the book’s narrator, he tells “you” his thoughts – you being Beck. The entire book is written as Joe addressing Beck in the second person. Joe is an accomplished stalker who uses social media (and in person stalking) to discover everything he needs to know about Beck, her best friends, her love interests, and her therapist. What he does with his information is what makes the book insane! Joe is crazy, but Beck has her own issues that are revealed as the story continues. I received this book as a perk from and I highly recommend it!

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Have you read anything good lately?

Thursday, October 23, 2014

What My Kids Are Reading #5–Cindy Lou and Sammy Too

My kids have recently gotten into the habit of approaching dog owners and asking to pet their dogs. Of course, I taught them this, as you should never run up to a dog you don’t know without asking! However, my kids had not yet learned about the fact that you can not pet a guide dog while he or she is working. This is just one of the things they learned about from Cindy Lou and Sammy Too Go To The Mall: The Adventures of a Guide Dog Team by Cheryl McNeil Fisher.

“Cheryl McNeil Fisher often meets children who ask her about her constant companion, Sanka, her devoted guide dog. Their genuine curiosity and interest in her guide dog moved Fisher to tell Sanka’s story in the form of an early chapter picture book, allowing young ones to better understand the challenges of her life, and how her guide dog provides invaluable support. The end result follows Fisher’s alter ego, Cindy, and her Golden Retriever, Sammy, as the beloved and trusted canine who narrates a shopping trip first-hand. As Cindy Lou and Sammy travel through the shops, people stop to pet Sammy, but Cindy kindly asks them not to, explaining that he’s working and needs to remain focused on his job. The book expertly explains why others should never disrupt a guide dog. Sammy also shares the rules he follows in his daily life, such as why he is only allowed to eat at certain times during the day, and what certain commands from Cindy mean to him. Readers learn that although guide dogs are allowed everywhere with their owners, managers of stores and restaurants will often ask for proof that Sammy is in fact a service dog. Sammy tells readers that if he and Cindy are only one step
out of sync with each other, Cindy can easily get hurt.”

I love that the book is told from the point of view of the dog. Sammy is a loveable character who cares for his partner while she navigates a shopping trip. The view point shows that the dog understands his job and has feelings about his daily life. The reading level of the book is great for grades 1-3. We very much enjoyed learning about blind people and their dog companions from this book.

I was excited to hear that book number two will be released in April 2015. Cindy and Sammy will be going to school. They will have fun and educate the children in situations taking place in the lunch room, the gym, and during other activities throughout the school. They will also concentrate on how Cindy and Sammy relate in their individual ways to children with sensory sensitivities.

Cheryl McNeil Fisher has a bachelor’s degree in counseling from SUNY and attended the divinity program at Bethel University. For the past twenty years, she has been speaking throughout the United States about blindness and how her guide dog has transformed her life, even appearing on Martha Stewart’s radio program.

If you are interested in this book, the kindle version is free through the end of October! If you would like an autographed copy, you can email the author at and pay her directly via paypal.

I received this book in exchange for my review. No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Chiquita Cooking Lab Recipe Contest #ChiquitaCookingLab #MMLovesChiquita


I’m not a cook. I don’t make up recipes. And yet, when I heard about the Chiquita Cooking Lab Recipe Contest I thought maybe I could participate. The Chiquita Cooking Lab is a series of eight weekly recipe contests. Every week,
three featured ingredients will be revealed and participants are tasked with creating a unique recipe that incorporates these three ingredients. So, last week I checked the ingredients and discovered bananas, apples, and oats.


And then I came back and realized that it’s a new week! This week’s ingredients aren’t the same as last week’s ingredients. Oops! Of course, I could have entered the contest last week and participated again this week, but like I said, I’m not a cook.


If you are a cook, the above are the ingredients for this week. It’s easy to enter – just submit your recipe at the contest website or through the official Chiquita FanFun app. One winner will be chosen each week to win a $4000 cash prize, and will have their recipe turned into a stop motion video and promoted on Chiquita’s digital and social channels. Four random winners will also be chosen weekly to receive a Chiquita gift bag.


You can also connect with Chiquita online to see their latest products and get exclusive access to discounts and special offers: | | | |

Can you think of an awesome recipe that includes bananas, pineapples, and spinach?

This post is sponsored by Moms Meet and May Media Group LLC. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of the product.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

It’s Okay #43

It’s okay…

…that every time I go to the supermarket I come home and realize there are more things that I need.

…that the kids are supposed to wear Royal Blue to school every day that the World Series is played – but they don’t have that many Royal Blue shirts!

Go Royals!

…that I kind of forgot about the schizophrenic fall weather here until last week.

…that all the holidays have passed by – next up is my birthday!

…that I’m going to work on the Letter of the Week curriculum with Simon. We started the Preparatory Curriculum when he was younger but never finished it!

…that you can receive 30% Off Dream Team Pets with Promo Code: USFGUIDE.

Dream Team Pets is much more than a bedtime toy-it’s an innovative kids’ sleep aid that helps end the bedtime battles of trying to keep your child in bed. Developed with the help of a pediatrician, Dream Team Pets bedtime routine empowers kids as they reward their Pet with stickers and a certificate for a good night's sleep. If the child wakes up from a nightmare, there are no hard feelings because the responsibility is on their Pet, but when they successfully sleep in their own bed, the kids feel a sense of accomplishment as they reward their Dream Team Pet.


What’s okay with you this week?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Back To College With Campus Book Rentals

I’m going back to college! Okay, not really. But I am going to a college football game this weekend. I’m very excited to cheer on my alma mater, Rutgers University, in the (relatively) nearby town of Lincoln, Nebraska! And the best part of going to college just for a game? I don’t have to worry about buying books! If you do have to worry about books though, I’m happy to once again share information here about Campus Book Rentals.


Here are some of the perks of renting textbooks:

  • You can save 40-90% off of bookstore prices.
  • Free shipping both ways.
  • You can still highlight in the textbooks.
  • Offers flexible renting periods.
  • Donations to Operation Smile are made with each textbook rented – see more on that below.

Campus Book Rentals also offers RentBack, an initiative that allows students to rent the textbooks they own to other students, which is awesome because it makes them 2-4x more money compared to what they’d make through buyback options such as selling their books back at the end of the semester! Isn't that awesome?! Here’s how it works:


One more very cool thing about Campus Book Rentals, as I mentioned above, is that for every rented textbook, they make a donation to Operation Smile. Operation Smile provides free surgeries to repair cleft lip, cleft palate and other facial deformities for children around the globe. The long term improvement in quality of life for the children that receive these surgeries is almost incomprehensible. With every rented textbook, Campus Book Rentals donates to Operation Smile. That right there seems as good a reason as any to rent books through them!


I know if I was in college still I’d be trying out this program. How about you?

This post has been sponsored by Campus Book Rentals. All opinions are my own.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Scandal Sunday 4.4–Like Father Like Daughter


When the cast did their table read for Season 4 Episode 4 of Scandal, their tweets afterwards indicated that the episode was crazy. After watching it, I would have to agree.

Originally titled “The Bleep,” the name of the episode was changed to “Like Father, Like Daughter,” in reference to the fact that Karen Grant was filmed in a compromising position with two guys – and her father, the president, was also once featured on a sex tape (Season 1, Episode 6). What was not mentioned was the fact that Olivia Pope was also recorded having sex (with Jake) and Karen caught her mother in her own compromising position with Andrew Nichols (Season 2, Episode 15)! All of these people have been so many awful situations, and being that Karen is a young teen, it is really not a surprise that she is acting out in the way she did in this episode.

While Karen’s situation was the main focal point of the episode and the reason that Olivia was at the White House, much to Mellie’s consternation, the actual shocking story came at the very end. From the beginning of the episode, Jake was trying to tell Olivia that her father, not her mother, killed the president’s son. And now Jake’s own life was at risk – he even noted a bomb under his car and walked in the other direction. Olivia, being distracted by the situation at the White House, didn’t listen to Jake when he told her he needed to talk to her. Jake took his proof of Papa Pope’s involvement straight to Fitz, but unfortunately, he was too late. By then, Fitz had realized that when Olivia left for two months, she’d left with Jake, and he found out that Tom was involved in his son’s death. So when Jake arrived, Fitz was on his way out to attend Tom’s interrogation and had no time or desire to listen to Jake.

Stupidly, Fitz finds himself trusting Papa Pope, and when Tom is about to disclose that Papa Pope gave him the order to kill Fitz’s son, Papa Pope himself walks into the room and takes over the interrogation. Tom turns around and pins the whole thing on Jake. Now Jake is screwed because not only does Fitz believe he gave the order to kill his son, he also knows that Jake went with Olivia when she left him (and by the way, when he said he almost died without her, that might be literally true, due to his suicide attempt). What a mess!


I don’t even like Jake and I’m literally scared for him. Next week’s episode is part two of this week’s episode, titled “The Key.” And although my two loyal blog commenters don’t even watch the show, I’m going to continue to post my recaps because they make me happy.

The below contains affiliate links and if you make a purchase I will receive compensation.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Fall Swag Swap Reveal

Fall Swag Swap

It’s been awhile since I participated in a swap! When my friend Desiree posted about the Fall Swag Swap that she and a few friends were hosting, I was quick to sign up. And this swap did not disappoint! I was partnered with Meg, and I love everything she sent me! The card that she wrote me was so sweet. She explained that the theme of the box she sent was “Mom’s Survival Kit.” Look what I got!


1. Toffee Crunch Ghirardelli chocolates. 2. EOS Lip Balm in my favorite color teal, which is “Sweet Mint,” and Meg says it’s her favorite type of lip balm. 3. Hand Sanitizer. 4. “Mom’s Scandal Cup”! How awesome!! It is an insulated wine tumbler, but Meg wrote that although she wasn’t sure if I drink wine, she knows I watch Scandal and thought I’d like the cup. I do! I’d even put water in it just to be cool. 5. Milk & Caramel Ghirardelli chocolate. My favorite! 6. Tissues. 7. Pens. 8. A scarf!


I’m in love with everything Meg sent me – thanks Meg! And thanks Desiree and friends for setting up this swap!