Friday, July 25, 2014

What I’ve Been Reading #56

When Lorena Bathey, the author of Beatrice Munson, contacted me and offered to send me a copy of her book, I was intrigued. She told me that her novel is a book that moms love, saying “It’s the story of Marissa, a woman that lives in a suburban community as a single mom when her high school nemesis moves in across the street. Beatrice Munson’s defining moment in life was to either get a boob job or go to Egypt, she chose the latter. Now she’s moved home and shakes up the neighborhood of Vista Heights where the women have become like their homes, varying shades of grey.”

I must admit, the idea of my high school nemesis moving in nearby is something that would terrify me, and while Marissa was initially nervous to see Beatrice after all this time, it turns out that Beatrice was not to be feared – and probably wasn’t much of a nemesis in the first place. Beatrice really shook up the neighborhood, encouraging the women to fulfill their dreams – from Andrea who opens a bakery, to Deidre who takes over a hair salon, to Marissa following her dreams towards professional photography, the women support one another and grow together. Beatrice also reintroduces Marissa to her high school crush, who is not exactly how Marissa remembers him, and to her new love interest, Graydon. For me, the definition of a good chick lit is female friendships and a love story, which this book definitely has!

While it took me a bit of time to get into, there were times when I couldn’t put the book down and I always wanted to find out more about each of the characters. I imagine the author could have named this book after Marissa and then written books named after each of the other characters, but by naming it after Beatrice, it shows that the main point of the book was how one person can change several lives. Many of us could use a friend like Beatrice!

Find out more: Author’s Website | Author’s Facebook Page | Author’s Twitter

Disclaimer: I did not receive any compensation in exchange for this review.

The following contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Tea Collection’s new arrivals are here! These new styles are inspired by Germany’s early 20th century school of Bauhaus, which became famous for its radical union of art and design, and transformed everything from architecture to music. Tea Collection’s new arrivals feature bold primary colors and modern geometric shapes; fairy tale romance meets art nouveau. The perfect combination for little ones ready for fun and adventure, and perfect for back-to-school too! Go take a peek at the Tea Collection’s new arrivals today!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Photo Shutter


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For a long time, I  have had a shuttered door standing in my garage. Dave was afraid it was going to fall over and break the car, so I finally decided to use it the way I’d planned to originally – as a photo shutter. I really like how it came out!

This is what it looked like originally.

After one coat of spray paint.

More spray paint.

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I added a drawer pull that I had purchased at a garage sale and never used.

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Bought some decorative clothespins and attached the photos!

Wouldn’t you like a photo shutter in your bedroom? I sure love mine!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Great Clips Back to School List #GREATLIST

This post is sponsored by Great Clips


Sometime during the summer, we get an email reminding us to check out our back-to-school supply lists on our school website. These lists always contain very specific items that our teachers are requesting for the school year. Sometimes I find the lists amusing – for example, Zachary’s list requests a box of 16 Crayola crayons and it is specified that the box should be no bigger than 16 crayons. Gabbie on the other hand, needs a box of 48 crayons. I happen to have two unused boxes of 24 crayons, so technically I can’t send these in with either kid! Also, Gabbie’s list requests a “zipper-closure 3.5” expansion folder called Wallet with Divider.” I have no idea what this is! A trip to the store to find the remaining items we need is on my to-do list!

While I might find our lists amusing and I may complain about the process of shopping for school supplies, I am actually happy to help out our teachers, especially knowing that on average, teachers spend $1,000 of their own money just to make sure their students have the resources they need to learn. Since Great Clips is all about GREAT, they have teamed up with, an organization that helps deserving teachers while giving families a place to address their back to school needs. Great Clips has already fulfilled two teachers’ lists and you can watch their video of their classroom makeover.


Right now, with every download of Great Clips’ Online Check-In app, Great Clips will contribute to (up to $20,000) to help continue to support teachers and students. The Online Check-In app lets you add your name to the waiting list at your local Great Clips salon. Many Great Clips salons are offering back-to-school pricing for haircuts! This app is great because it benefits both families and teachers getting ready to go back to school.

Not only that, you can upload your own back-to-school supplies list for a chance to win! Every day, one lucky winner will get their school supplies bought and shipped to their front door for free, up to a $100 value! #GREATLIST contest entrants receive a $2-off Great Clips coupon with their confirmation email the first time you submit a school supply list. Full contest details can be found here.

Teachers surely know that any donation of money or supplies can go a long way to support their classrooms. What little we can do to help is surely appreciated!

Have you done your back-to-school supply shopping yet?

This post is sponsored by Great Clips, but all opinions are my own!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

It’s Okay #31

It’s okay…

…that I tried to turn a skirt that was too long on me into a dress. Of course, it didn’t work like it was supposed to!


…that I started watching Castle and I find it funny that half the cast of Scandal has already appeared in the first season – Abby is actually Castle’s ex! Quinn and Charlie have also appeared, plus April and Derek’s sister Amelia from Grey’s Anatomy have been spotted as well!

…that I’m upset that Scandal is premiering on Rosh Hashanah. Oh, Josh Malina agrees with me:


…that this is the last week of camp. Next week I have to plan Mommy Camp activities again!

…that I finally printed out part of Gabbie’s Hebrew homework.

…that I really need to clean out my dresser drawers

Monday, July 21, 2014

Powell Gardens #GardensGoneWild

Last summer, we visited Powell Gardens and I was very excited to visit again this summer. Powell Gardens is Kansas City’s Botanical Garden. I wish we lived closer because we would definitely visit more often! It is really a beautiful place, plus, there is plenty for the kids to enjoy as well. Right now, the gardens is hosting Gardens Gone Wild, a summer exhibition featuring 26 works by sculptor Dan Ostermiller. So, along with viewing the amazing flowers, picking berries, trying vegetables at the taste station, and playing in the fountains, we were able to join in the Amazing Animal Quest, where we searched for these fun sculptures throughout the gardens. Also, I took way too many pictures.

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My favorite part of the gardens is the Monet-inspired water garden area.


The Gardens Gone Wild exhibit is open through October 5, and if you add #GardensGoneWild when you post your photos to Facebook and Instagram and get at least three of the photo opportunities listed in the adventure guide, you have a chance to win a great prize!

Powell Gardens provided my family with tickets to the gardens in exchange for this post, but I truly love the gardens and all opinions expressed here are my own!