Friday, June 30, 2017

Turkey Turkey Goose #FunnyFriday

Today’s post is June’s Funny Friday, a regular feature published on the last Friday of every month. Funny Friday is a collaborative project. Each month one of the participants submits a picture, then we all write five captions or thoughts inspired by that month’s picture. Links to the other bloggers’ posts are below, click on them and see what they have come up with. I hope we bring a smile to your face as you start your weekend.

Funny Friday  150 X 150.jpg

Here’s today’s picture. It was submitted by Baking In A Tornado             http://www.BakingInATornado.com



41 - Baking In A Tornado - June 2017.JPG



1. Turkey to self: They won't find me here. Enjoy your Thanksgiving Ham, suckers! Wait. What was that noise?

2. Wife to Hubby: You better not shoot the swingset.
Hubby: Shhhhhh
Wife: I am serious. Don't shoot the swing set.
Hubby: I won't need to shoot if you don't hush.
Wife: I know your aim, and it isn't the best. The toilet is a lot closer than that bird. Do. Not. Miss.
Hubby: Shhhhhhhhhh

3. Tom began wondering if his hiding skills were too good, when he hit his ninth hour in hiding. His buddies should have found him by now. Maybe the loud bangs had distracted them.

4. All Tom wanted was to play, but the kids all seemed to be scared of him. He would wait. Eventually someone would want to play with him. Right?! The kids always made it look so fun.

5. I have a sudden craving for Thanksgiving Dinner. Anyone else?


Click on the links below and let some other bloggers make you smile:

Friday, June 16, 2017

Death of Me #UseYourWords

Welcome to June's Use Your Word challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers submitted four to six words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That is the challenge, here is a fun twist; no one who is participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.


My words are: Omega ~ train ~ spectacular ~ river ~ Oreo ~ construction site
They were submitted by: Tamara from http://thethreegerbers.blogspot.ch/ (Thank you for such varied, interesting words! <3)

I am beginning to notice a common occurrence with these monthly challenges. I often end up posting blogs, that are nothing like what I had originally planned, when I first read my prompt e-mail. This post is no exception to this common occurrence. That is exactly what happened. I read these words, and I immediately tried to figure out if I could write a post about Gigi's fourth birthday (which is quickly approaching). While I was trying to figure that out, I actually thought of a way to fit four of the words into a Stable Layne post, and just knew I could make the others fit. Yet, once I sat down to actually write, neither of those things were on the agenda. All I could think about was motherhood.

Motherhood. That is what is on my mind. Specifically my journey as a mother. It has been a wild ride. I think more wild than I could have ever imagined motherhood being. Though, in fairness to motherhood, I really had no solid clue of what motherhood would be like, when I discovered I was going to be a mom. I think that is mostly due to the fact that I have not had much experience with kids, especially very young kids. Most of my experience has been with slightly older kids. Mostly tweens and teens. I have had some experience with babies, and for that I am grateful. Could you imagine become a mom, and have zero idea how to change diapers or prepare bottles? That would be so difficult. Luckily, I did know the basics.

Despite knowing the basics, I had no real idea about what motherhood is really like. The struggles moms face. The milestones kids go through. The phases kids go through. So, on one hand, I feel like I have done REALLY well. On the other hand, I definitely know I have stumbled, and the critic inside of me, likes to dwell on all the times I have stumbled. I am probably way harder on myself than I should be. I think that is okay though. If I didn't dwell at least a little, I probably wouldn't be so motivated to be a better mom. 

I am definitely not the best mom to ever live, but I have not exactly been a spectacular failure either. I have definitely had some success as a mom. I find myself feeling sorry for Gigi though. I guess because I LOVE her so MUCH, and think she is SO amazing, that I feel she deserves the absolute BEST mom EVER, and that isn't me. So, I feel kinda bad she is stuck with me. Not too bad though, because I wouldn't want to have any other kid. I want her. My perfectly imperfectly, amazingly amazing Gigi. 

Lately, I feel like I am drowning in the river of motherhood. I am overwhelmed. So, so overwhelmed. To be honest, I think I have been overwhelmed since day one. I remember the day we were bringing her home from the hospital. I remember I had dressed her, and was getting her into her car seat. She was so tiny, at 4 lbs 12 oz, and her car seat swallowed her whole. Chad had gone to pull the car up to pick up zone, and the nurse was going over our discharge paperwork. I was outwardly calm, but internally I was FREAKING OUT. I remember thinking... Are they crazy?! They are sending ME home with this precious baby?! They are trusting me?! Just like that?! I don't know what in this world I am doing. 

Yet, they did. They trusted me, and sent me home with the most amazing kid I have ever known. I am glad they did. I still question their sanity. These days, I find myself questioning my own sanity. Mostly because of motherhood. No joke. I think I have gone a little nuts. I guess worrying twenty-four seven for the safety of a little human will do that to you. The sleepless nights. The tantrums. The milestones. The falls. The scrapes. The colds. It all kinda makes you a little bit crazier than you were before.

When I was younger, I had these ideas of what I would be like as a mom. How I would act. What I would do. How my kids would act. What my kids would do. Let me tell you, reality is nothing like the image I had in my head all those years ago. I was seriously clueless. These days, I often find myself doing things I never thought I would. Gigi does things I never thought a kid of mine would do. 

I mean, sometimes, I actually will give Gigi the Oreo she wants, despite her not eating her entire dinner, just to keep the peace, and by myself some sanity, and avoid her having a meltdown. When it is almost time for her to go to sleep, and I know she is at that stage of sleepy where she will cry over being denied an Oreo, but she isn't quite ready to go to bed yet, yes, she gets the Oreo. Yes, I get to avoid another meltdown, and yes we both go to bed a little bit happier.

I always envisioned myself as the Alpha, and my kids as the Omega. I would lead. They would follow. My word would be law. Things would be as I wanted them to be. Well, let me tell you.... Gigi is more of a Beta. She is like my right hand gal. She gets her way, more than I would probably want to admit. She successfully changes my mind, more than I ever thought possible. She makes me think. She keeps me on my toes. It is way less black and white, than I knew it would be. There are definitely some gray areas. 

My parenting isn't exactly a train wreck. It is more of a construction site. Constantly changing, growing, building, falling down occasionally, in flux, being repaired and altered, and messy. So much mess. Life with kids is way messier than I knew it could be. So much mess. Though, Gigi is getting so great at picking up her toys. I love that. There was a time, not too long ago, I thought I would be picking up toys for the rest of my life. Then, one of those unexpected milestones struck, and she just started picking up after herself. It isn't perfect, but it is nice. Life is still messy though.

I think that is part of the appeal though. I mean, a day will come when my house isn't messy. When everything is exactly where I want it to me. When Gigi's room is empty, and she is out living her own life, starting her own independent journey. When that happens, I know I will think back at the messes of the past, and long for the discarded books on her living room 'bed', and the scattered toys across her bedroom floor. I will remember all the moments where I was overwhelmed, and wish I were still overwhelmed. I will miss her. I will miss this. 

So, for now, I will try my hardest to be the best mom I am able to be. I will hug her as often as possible. I will enjoy the kisses. I will constantly think that I am losing my mind. I will give her the Oreo. I will put a band aid on the scrape. I will feel needed. I will love her endlessly. I will cherish it all. The struggles. The successes. The crazy. Motherhood. For now, it all feels like it will be the death of me, but it will be a beautiful death. I am not looking forward to the days, where I feel like the quiet or the distance between our homes, will be the death of me. 

I will enjoy this. I will appreciate it. I will survive motherhood.

Don't forget to check out all the other blogs, featuring this month's Use Your Words challenge. Check out what words they received, and how they used them! I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts:

Friday, June 9, 2017

Best Served Cold #SecretSubjectSwap

Welcome to June's Secret Subject Swap. This week eleven brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.


My “Secret Subject” is:
Tell us a revenge story, truth or fiction.
It was submitted by: Jenniy of http://climaxedtheblog.blogspot.com (Thank you for such an awesome topic!!)

Revenge is a dish best served cold. That is how it goes, right? They also say revenge is sweet. Cold and sweet. Sounds like sorbet or ice cream. Sounds yummy and sticky. When I read this prompt, I immediately thought of one story. It is really all I ever think of, when I think of revenge. 

This really isn't my story to tell, but I know my friend won't mind me telling y'all, because I have asked permission many times over the years, and she always tells me I can. The she I am talking about, is my friend Opie. She is this amazing woman, who is one of my greatest friends of all time. She was like a mother to me, but we were more like sisters, if that makes any sense.

The thing you need to know about Opie, to really grasp the impact of this story, when she first told it to me, is that Opie is very proper. Opie could easily have tea with the Queen, and act perfectly in accordance with proper manners. She is very well read, intelligent, well traveled, and an all around wonderful human being. She is a philanthropist. A genuinely good, well mannered person.

She was married for many years to a man she loved dearly. They had beautiful children, and a wonderful life. She ran a perfect home. Always clean. Always organized. A well oiled machine of a household. Her husband ended up having an affair. It seems to be a mid-life crisis type of thing. Well, one day Opie told us about what finding out was like.

She explained how devastated and dumbfounded she was. They had been so happy. Then she went into this phase where she realized it wasn't her. It was him. He made his choices, and that was that. Then she began to clean. Like she often did when she was upset. While cleaning, she decided to do a deep cleaning on the bathroom. She decided the best tool in the house, was a toothbrush. It just so happens, her husband's toothbrush worked very well. She also noticed that his bottle of cologne was running a bit low. So, she carefully gathered some replacement yellow liquid, and refilled the bottle for him. While deep cleaning the bedroom and closets, she found some condoms. She did what many angry, betrayed wives would do. Then she informed us that her children's stepbrother would be sixteen in a few weeks. 

I was so blown away. Never in my life, would I imagine that the best revenge story to ever be told to me, would come from Opie. In her proper British accent. Knowing she is one of the most wonderful human beings I have ever met. One of the kindest, most giving, most loving people I have ever known. Her ex and her have mended things. She has healed. He loves all his children. They can come together at family events, and still make new happy memories. I don't think he knows about her revenge. It is probably for the best. I know, at that time, during those moments, that revenge is what her soul needed. It helped her push forward.

I think sometimes revenge is necessary. I personally don't go there. I guess I just haven't needed it. Maybe one day I will. I don't know if I will look to Opie for inspiration, but I still giggle thinking about my proper friend telling us her tale of revenge. So, there you have it. There is a story about revenge. 

As for if it is true or not... Well, you decide.


Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts.  Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

The Game by Anna Bloom #BookReview


I was a bit nervous when I started reading this book. I know absolutely nothing about Cricket, and I was about to read a book about two avid Cricket players. Luckily for me, I did not need to know anything about Cricket, to follow and enjoy this story. However, after finishing the book, I did find myself wanting to learn more about Cricket. My interest has definitely been piqued. 

I found this story by Anna Bloom to be quite lovely. It was easy to read, entertaining, and kept my attention. I did not get bored, and once I was into the story, I found myself wanting to finish it as soon as possible. Then, once it was over, I found myself wanting more. I think that is how the best books are. They give you a feeling of satisfaction, knowing the whole story, but at the same time you simply want more. 

Anna Bloom did a great job telling the story of Alyssa and Jase. She developed the characters and the plot well. It was a book that I thoroughly enjoyed. I wasn't bothered by the fact, that I know nothing about Cricket, and Cricket is a main part of the plot. She did a wonderful job keeping us in the know, without it being too laden with information or explanation. I feel like anyone could read and enjoy this book, no matter how much of a knowledge you have about Cricket. 

Definitely a great read, and worth getting a copy to enjoy yourself!! Read on to learn more about this story, the author, how to get a copy of your own, and how to enter the release blitz giveaway!! 


Book: The Game
Author: Anna Bloom
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: 7th June Goodreads


Synopsis

When Alyssa Rivers accepts the coveted trainer's position with England’s top cricket team, The Red Cats, she knows it's going to be nothing short of hard work.
A woman in a man’s world, Lyssa not only has to prove she is the right person for the job, but she must earn the respect of cricket’s most elite players, including the surly team captain, Jase Willis. Known for his less than cooperative attitude on and off the pitch, he has the power to end her career before it’s even started … if she doesn’t end his first.
In a game where there is no room for big egos or bearing grudges, Lys and Jase are going to have to find a way to work together ... but can the woman who sacrificed everything for love find a way to reach the man whose only love is the game?




Meet The Author
A book hoarder and coffee addict by heart Anna Bloom loves to write extraordinary stories about real love. Based south of London with her husband, three children and a dog with a beard, Anna likes to connect with readers, fan girl over her favourite authors and binge watch Supernatural while drinking lots of wine.




To enter this giveaway, visit Anna Bloom's page and check out the pinned post: https://www.facebook.com/AnnaBloomBooks/



What I need you to know.... I received a free ARC of The Game, to read and give an HONEST review on. I was not paid to say I liked the book. I was not influenced in anyway. I simply read the book, decided I liked it, and told you guys about it. So, go forth, get a copy, and read!! 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Orphaned by Lyz Kelley #BookReview


Hello! It is that time again, I have a book review for you guys. So, listen, if you have not figured it out by now, I am not great at writing book reviews. I really don't know what I am doing. I also struggle with the desire to tell you guys every single reason why you NEED to read the book, and with not wanting to spoil a single detail for you. So, I fall back on what I like. When I am about to read a book, or choosing which book to read, I tend to rely on the blurb on the cover, and on any reviews that may be available. That being said, I will admit, I have often disliked books others loved, and loved books others did not seem to love. So, reviews only so far. So, when I approach giving a book review, I mostly just go by if I think you should read it or not. Honestly, if ever I find a book you should not read, I would tell you. I would also hope you do read it, and decide for yourself. Yes, I am weird.

I don't know that I will find a book, that I feel you should not read, because I tend to just review books from a cherished few authors, and they never seem to disappoint. That is the case with Liz Kelley. Her newest addition to the Elkridge series, did not disappoint. Quite the contrary. I found "Orphaned" to be an amazing story. Also, and I could be very wrong, but if you have been reading all the stories along with me, I am pretty sure we were given a HUGE clue in this book, to the overall mystery woven throughout all the books. In my opinion, I think we got a huge clue into the mystery surrounding Sheriff Sam's death. I am getting SO excited about solving that mystery. With every new book in the series, I find myself obsessed with finding any clues. I really hope I can solve it all, before the final reveal in the last book of the series. 

It is my opinion that Lyz Kelley's Elkridge series, is a MUST read series, and if you haven't been reading along with me, you should definitely start. With each book's release, I fall more in love with the town of Elkridge and its occupants. Lyz is an amazing writer, and the tale she is weaving is so complex and wonderful. Orphaned has solidified my obsession with finishing this entire series, and knowing every single detail, about all the characters involved.

Lyz does an amazing job telling a complete story. She is entertaining and endearing. She creates some amazing characters, and her character development is top notch. She paints the entire scene for you, and with each additional book, she adds more to the masterpiece, that is the Elkridge series. So, do yourself a favor... If you have read all the books, definitely don't stop now. Get Orphaned and read it. If you have not read any of the books, start at the beginning, and read them all. I should add, you really could just read Orphaned and be fully entertained. It can standalone. However, I feel you should read the entire series. With each additional book, we meet new characters, and receive much wanted updates about the characters we already know and love. 

You will definitely fall in love with Jenna and Grant, and their story. So, go ahead, get a copy and read it. You will thank me later. You are most welcome, in advance. Be sure to find me here or on my Facebook page, so we can discuss this book, or any of the Elkridge books. I cannot wait to hear what you think!!

Read on for more information about this book, the other books in this series, the author Lyz Kelley, where to get your own copies, and a giveaway!! 


Orphaned by Lyz Kelley
(An Elkridge Series Novel)
Release Date: 6th June
Genre: Contemporary Romance 
#OrphanedTour

Synopsis

THE SEARCH FOR A SISTER. DECADES OF GUILT. WHO TO TRUST? Jenna is desperate to find her younger sister, who was taken from her when she was seven years old. She believed Caitlyn, who was adopted by a wealthy family, was doing fine, only to discover her sibling vanished under eerie circumstances. Unfortunately, Jenna’s attracted the attention of the last man to see her sister alive.  Grant has returned to town to take over his ailing father’s law practice. When his socialite parents try to interfere in his relationship with Jenna, a woman they consider lower class, he puts his foot down. He intends to marry the adorable baker, and no one will change his mind—{add hyphen or comma} not even Jenna.   Jenna and Grant’s future together is challenged when a stranger brings upheaval, and their trust in each other is severely tested by this shocking surprise.  WILL JENNA AND GRANT LEARN TO TRUST ONE ANOTHER BEFORE ALL IS LOST?  The ELKRIDGE SERIES is a set of steamy contemporary romance novels about wounded women and the men who heal them.  If you like heartfelt characters, deep topics with powerful emotional cores, and happy endings, then you’ll love Lyz Kelley’s incredible tales of strength, love, and survival. 
Buy The Book
Meet the Author

Award-winning, contemporary romance author Lyz Kelley lives in a small community in Colorado with her husband and several four-legged family members. Lyz writes about brave women who have faced extraordinary challenges, and the honorable men who have an enormous capacity to love, even if they may not know it. 
A healing love is at the heart of her book series. Creating wounded yet amazing characters—discovering what drives them, frightens them, heals them, makes them laugh—is what gives her joy. Lyz is pleased to share that joy through her masterfully written stories. 
To keep tabs on her award-winning novels, connect with Lyz by signing up for her newsletter at LyzKelley.com. Also visit LyzKelleysHeroes.com to join Kelley's Heroes, Lyz's VIP club. Members receive an exclusive copy of A Soldier’s Wife, learn about thoughtful giveaways, and get a sneak peek at upcoming releases. Members may even get the opportunity to receive advanced reader copies. Check out LyzKelley.com for more information.
Newsletter Sign Up: www.LyzKelley.com

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Why would I want to read the Elkridge Series?  Each book in the Elkridge series is a piece to a puzzle—a suspenseful mystery involving the murder of a small-town sheriff. You get six contemporary romance books to figure out the mystery and a bunch of happy ever after (HEA) endings. Two novels in this fiction series—Blinded and Orphaned—are award-winning romance books.
Where is Elkridge, Colorado?  Elkridge exists only in my mind. On any given day, I can stop at River Creek Café for Jenna's fresh baked cinnamon rolls, or shop for a birthday present at Mara's Blooms, or get my nails done at Kym’s nail salon. Sitting in the park eating lunch, I can watch the kids play and hear the latest gossip from neighbors. Later, if I want, I can stop at Mad Jack’s to hear a local band play and get some dinner. Elkridge is a great small town where the sun shines 360 days a year and people do their best to make ends meet.
Would you tell us about your writing process?  It takes me awhile to write each stand-alone story because I am passionate about creating the very best stories for my readers. These contemporary romance books have complex plots and sub-plots and include suspense romance threads, with deep emotional women’s fiction elements, humor and even a bit of quirkiness. I’m so excited to see the 5-star ratings because it means I’ve created the ideal mix to provide readers with a few hours of enjoyment.  


Review Giveaway

Book FAQ:


Why did you choose the storyline for Orphaned?

I started thinking about this story more than 10 years ago after I chatted with New York Times best-selling author Grace Burrowes following a writing workshop. A child advocate attorney in Maryland, she told tales of wonderful foster families in the area, no names included, who warmed my heart. Years later, I volunteered at Mount Saint Vincent’s, a non-profit in Denver, where I discovered teachers, psychologists, and administrators who were passionate about helping kids removed from abusive homes. Add those two things together, and I started to ask, what if. What if there were two sisters: the older one is placed in foster care, and the younger is adopted by what seemed to be perfect parents? What if the one, who didn’t get a forever family, had a happy and healthy upbringing? From there, the story came alive and ORPHANED was born.

How did you come up with the idea for Grant’s character?
When the story opens, Grant’s love for Jenna never wavers. How odd. Right? Usually, it takes pages and pages for the hero to fall in love with the heroine. That’s the normal course of things, but I’ve never liked rigid rules. Grant falling in love with Jenna before he really knows her is what intrigued me about him. He’s already in love, and then that love is tested to the point of breaking. That’s what creates a good drama.
Jenna is a diabetic baker. How does that work?
Can you see the irony in having a diabetic baker?  I can. But this combination fits Jenna’s need for family. She must rely on others to taste her baked goods, which creates a conflict for the independent baker. Baking is her way of creating a family.
Finding a cure for diabetes is also something I care about. Several of my family members have diabetes, and I wanted to highlight the struggle, the embarrassment, the challenge of living with the condition. I hope a cure is found soon.
Are you still adding clues to Sheriff Sam’s murder?
Yep…big time. Hope you are enjoying playing detective and finding the clues as to who murdered Sam.


Other Books in The Series

Blinded - Buy Here












Spurned - Buy Here
Abandoned - Buy Here

What I need you to know.... I received a free ARC of Orphaned by Lyz Kelley. I was asked to read it, and then write a post with my HONEST opinion about the book. I was not paid to paint the book in a positive light. I was not forced to say I love the book. The above opinion is my honest opinion. Had I disliked the book, I would have said as much. Luckily, I LOVED it. So, quit reading this, and go read the book!!! :)

Rambling Outlet #UseYourWords

Welcome to May's Use Your Words round-up! This is how it works: participating bloggers chose four to six words or short phrases for anot...