Friday, April 29, 2016

April Wrap Up

Hi Everyone,

April was a good reading month. Of the four books I read, Medicine Walk was by favorite. That's not a surprise because Richard Wagamese is on of my favorite authors. I still have some of his books to read, and I'll slowly get to them. Here's a breakdown of my reading:

Confess by Colleen Hoover 3/5

Thoughts:

I thought this was a interesting book but a little too dramatic for me. Auburn's high school sweetheart Adam passed away and now years later she moves to Texas. We know Adam was in the hospital in Texas, and now for some reason Auburn has returned. She meets Owen at his art studio, and for the first time in a long time, she's wants to explore their relationship further. The first half of the book was mysterious and the characters were not really holding my attention. Half way through the book, I really started to enjoy it but towards the end I just wanted to finish. Overall, I gave it 3 stars. I would have like a clearer picture from the beginning and I think I would have enjoyed it more. It also felt too coincidental that the characters all had a past with each other. I felt like that took away from the story.

The Guest Room by Chris Bohjalian 3/5

I like this book, but it's not the type of book that I would normally pick up. A bachelor party turns into sex slaves killing their guards and trying to get away with it. The book was okay, but I had a hard time with it. The main character Richard, is struggling with legal issues and marital issues after this innocent bachelor party turns crazy. Everyone's life is turned upside down. The men seemed to really want pity and I couldn't. Even Richard, he wasn't that innocent. The ending wasn't very realistic to me. It was good, but I wouldn't want to read it again.

Bunheads by Sophie Flack 3/5

Thoughts:

Bunheads has been on my reader for years, and I finally picked it up. I really enjoyed the ballerina world and Hannah trying to figure out if this career is really what she wants. I think all teenagers and young adults go through this stage. It's normal, it's realistic and she's sacrificed so much of herself. It's one of those books I liked but didn't love. I'm happy to finally have it checked off as read.

Medicine Walk by Richard Wagamese 5/5 

Thoughts:

When Franklin Star is asked to go see his biological father Eldon, he's does so out of duty. His father has been in and out of his life, alcohol has always been a problem for Eldon. Now he's on his last days, and wants to set out into the woods with Franklin. What happens is a father comes clean to his son, and it's brutal and amazing.  Franklin deserved to know the truth and I was so happy that he got closure. Eldon started out as a despicable man, but throughout the book I saw how broken he really was. I loved this book!! Loved it.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Product Review: Foreo Issa Hybrid Toothbrush





I received the FOREO ISSA Hybrid toothbrush for review, and didn’t think I would like it as much as I do. I’ve been these toothbrushes around at Sephora and was really curious about them. The FOREO ISSA Hybrid allows for vigorous brushing but it’s gentle on the gums. I’ve tried other battery operated toothbrushes and always found them too harsh on my gums. I would use them for a few weeks and put them to the side. The FOREO is perfect for my sensitive gums. The gentle silicon bristles cover the surface of my teeth and gums. When I put the toothbrush down, I’m so satisfied with the cleaning. The battery is also amazing!! I don’t have a power outlet in my bathroom, and the FOREOcharges in 1 hour, with no dock. It also lasts up to 365 users per full charge. My husband has a Philips Sonicare toothbrush and he has to charge it every few weeks and bring the dock when on vacation. The FOREO was a great surprise and I don’t think I’ll be going back to regular battery operated toothbrushes. The FOREO ISSA Hybrid was exactly what I was looking for.

Here are some of the things to know about the FOREO ISSA Hybrid:

  • 100% Waterproof with a sealed charging port
  • 8 power settings, and it will remember your preferences the next time you use it
  • Integrated timer will pause every 30 secs to remind the user to move the device to other quadrant. (This is really helpful when you’re being lazy and want to brush as fast as possible. It reminds me to take my time.)
  • The ISSA Hybrid will turn itself off after 3 mins to prevent overuse
  • Locking/Unlocking: You may lock or unlock the controls


I’m really interested in the child version of this toothbrush. My 2 year old chews on toothbrushes and we’re constantly replacing them. The brush heads are ruined in a few weeks. I think the silicon bristles will really hold up to a child's chewing. Below is the ISSA Mini:




The only thing I would suggest is a better travel case. It came with a leather sleeve to travel with. I would prefer a hard case, but it will do.


If you're interested, I have a promo code for 15% off on the ISSA and ISSA Mini.
Code: BBISSA15
Valid until April 30th.




*I was provided the product in exchange for an honest review*


Shop now at FOREO.com for LUNA mini.


Shop now at FOREO.com for LUNA mini.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Books Read in March

March was a good reading month for me. I read The Illegal by Lawrence Hill and it was a great read. It wasn't my choice for the Canada Reads winner, but Clara Hughes was such a passionate debater, that I was really happy she won. This is the second win for Lawrence Hill. He previously won for The Book of Negros. If you haven't read this one, I would recommend either one. The story of the Illegal is about Keita who only ever wanted to run. He lives in fictional Zantoroland and is forced to leave when the tyrants kill his journalist father. Keita knows he could be next if he doesn't leave. In Freedom State he must learn to live as an Illegal. If he's found, he'll be returned to Zantoroland. This book is action packed, and a great read.

Minister Without Portfolio by Michael Winter was an okay read. Henry's girlfriend Nora decides that she wants the relationship to end, and Henry doesn't know what to do. His friend suggests to get away and go work in Afghanistan. A tragic roadside patrol suddenly becomes fatal and Henry blames himself for his friend Tender's death. He returns home and starts to fix up the home Tender dreamed of living in.He starts to fall in love with Tender's girlfriend. The story started out strong but by the middle and end, I wasn't enjoying it as much. I loved the setting of Newfoundland. The style didn't really work for me, especially the dialogue parts. I didn't really see progress with the characters and that bothered me.

The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey is the only financial book that really stuck with me. The ten baby steps, are now a goal for me. I'm an emotional spender. I'm working on changing my spending habits and looking at money and our financial goals. Dave Ramsey lays it out for people like me. I don't need to buy every single book, knowing I might not get to it for years. I don't have to have every single new ereader just because I want it. It actually sparked discussions about money between my husband and I. We haven't been really good with that. I'm the spender and Daniel is the planner and budgeter. I think we're finally on the same page and happily discussing it.

Skipping a Beat by Sarah Pekkanen has been on my ereader for years, literally. I finally decided to open it on my Kobo and I was sucked in right away. Julia and Michael were high school sweethearts and vowed to make it big. Julia always felt like money was important for security since her father was a compulsive gambler. Michael never had the mother or family life that he wanted. Together they had a sense of security. When Michael has a near death experience, he decides that his multi-million dollar company is no longer a priority and he decides to give it all away. Yes, GIVE it away. Julia struggles with knowing this will all be gone. Should she stay married to Michael? Is he really the man she married. Again, it was a favorite this month and I loved it.

Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Little Golden Book by Diane Muldrow. There was something missing from this book. I checked it out from my libary ebook catalogue and it was so short. I see on Goodreads it should be 96 pages and mine was much shorter. I'm not sure what happened with this one.


I also read Medicine Walk by Richard Wagamese, I finished it just as April started. I'm hoping to put up a full review since I LOVED it. Richard Wagamese is one of my favorite authors. I haven't read all of his books yet, but I'm working on it. I discovered his books last year.



Monday, April 4, 2016

Chapters/Indigo April Book Club Pick



A wickedly smart, funny and deeply felt debut novel about four adult siblings and the fate of their long depended-upon family inheritance
On a wintry afternoon in New York City, Melody, Beatrice and Jack Plumb gather to confront their charismatic and reckless older brother, Leo, who has just been released from rehab. Leo’s bad behavior before entering rehab, culminating in a car crash while under the influence—a nineteen-year-old waitress beside him—has left the Plumbs’ joint trust fund—“The Nest,” as they’ve taken to calling it—endangered. All four siblings, at very different places in their lives, believe that this money will solve a host of self-inflicted problems and their consequences. And until Leo’s accident, they’d been mere months away from receiving it.
Can Leo get the Plumbs out of this mess, as he’s always been able to do for himself before? Or will the Plumb siblings have to do without the money and the future lives they’ve envisioned? As the siblings grapple with family tensions, old histories, and the significant emotional and financial cost of the accident, Sweeney introduces an unforgettable cast of supporting characters: Leo’s stalwart ex-girlfriend who now thinks that maybe, just maybe, he is capable of change; the waitress whose life was shattered in the accident; the Iraqi war veteran who falls in love with her; and a retired, grieving firefighter with a very big secret.
Tender, funny and deftly written, The Nest explores what money does to relationships, what happens to our ambitions over the course of our lives, and the fraught but unbreakable ties we have with our families.


Did you know that Chapter's had an online book club that discusses books on Twitter? I haven't participated before but I really want to try it this month. The Nest is on my tbr list, and I think it would be fun to join. It's on April 27th at 7 PM EST. It might be difficult because of Caleb's bedtime, but I'm going to try. This one seems like a great read. If you're interested Chapters is selling it for 40% off. Happy reading! 


Friday, April 1, 2016

My #fridayreads and update



I started reading Bunheads and its been good so far. I needed something fun and easy to read so I picked this one up. I'm still reading Fates and Furies but I had to put it down for a bit. I wasn't in the mood for it. I'm hoping to get some reading done this weekend, but that doesn't always happen. I get alot of my reading done during my commute and work breaks/lunch hour.

This week was a good week, it went by fast. I had Monday off, and the rest of the week flew by. Caleb actually slept the night once this week, but last night he was up 3 times and awake before 5 am. He's two, and his sleeping is still so unpredictable. I can't figure him out. We still cosleep.

I'm having a problem with daycare drop offs. Caleb seems to not like the educator and cries every time it's her. She was off for a few weeks and he had a new teacher that he fell in love with. Now when he sees his regular breakfast club teacher, he cries. I try to ask him why he cries and let him know that Isabelle is nice to him. He says "No, I want Catherine." It's so hard because Isabelle will comment about how hard his mornings are, but it's only with her. If he has a different teacher, he doesn't cry. If he has Catherine, he gives me a kiss and runs into the room. I know Isabelle is good with him, he's had her since he was in the baby room. It's only a problem now. I'm hoping this will fix itself. Caleb is so headstrong about what he wants...

I really want to work on more book reviews. It's hard to push myself to get them written but I really want to get back into reviewing books. I finished Medicine Walk by Richard Wagamese and it was so good! I think I'll review that one first.

Happy reading everyone!


Thursday, March 31, 2016

Product Review: EZ Squeezees Refillable Pouch

I wanted to write a product review for these refillable pouches, because I absolutely love them. Caleb is two years old, and really good with a spoon but in the mornings, I don't have time to clean up potential messes. I like to give him yogurt to go along with his breakfast and these pouches make it so easy to give it to him.


The pouch opens up on the side, and it's easy to fill. It's also very easy to clean because it opens so wide. I can really get in there and wash it. I purchased the 3 pack, and it's been very useful. I think it's also great for roadtrips and having snacks that are easy to give a toddler.

I've looked at other pouches but they looked hard to clean. I know some companies also have yogurt in these pouches, but we always buy yogurt and I don't want to pay more when we always have yogurt in the house anyway. I think these would also be good for smoothies, apple sauce, pudding.

Here  is the company website. I believe I purchased mine on Amazon.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Spring TBR



I've been doing really well with my tbr lists lately. I read all the Canada Reads books and it feels so good to be back into reading. I wanted to put together a spring tbr of the books that I really want to read. I'm also trying to read backlist titles that I have had on my reader for so long. Montreal weather has been decent, almost all the snow is gone and it might actually feel like spring soon. What are some of your favorite backlist titles? I'm looking to add more to my list. I always tend to pick out more recent reads and I want to find some older titles too. I also want to focus on the books in my ereader.


Goodreads Description:

Every story has two sides. Every relationship has two perspectives. And sometimes, it turns out, the key to a great marriage is not its truths but its secrets. At the core of this rich, expansive, layered novel, Lauren Groff presents the story of one such marriage over the course of twenty-four years.

At age twenty-two, Lotto and Mathilde are tall, glamorous, madly in love, and destined for greatness. A decade later, their marriage is still the envy of their friends, but with an electric thrill we understand that things are even more complicated and remarkable than they have seemed.
 





Goodreads Description:

A fresh, funny look at growing up Native in the North, by award-winning author Richard Van Camp.

Larry is a Dogrib Indian growing up in the small northern town of Fort Simmer. His tongue, his hallucinations and his fantasies are hotter than the sun. At sixteen, he loves Iron Maiden, the North and Juliet Hope, the high school "tramp." When Johnny Beck, a Metis from Hay River, moves to town, Larry is ready for almost anything.
In this powerful and often very funny first novel, Richard Van Camp gives us one of the most original teenage characters in fiction. Skinny as spaghetti, nervy and self-deprecating, Larry is an appealing mixture of bravado and vulnerability. His past holds many terrors: an abusive father, blackouts from sniffing gasoline, an accident that killed several of his cousins. But through his friendship with Johnny, he’s ready now to face his memories—and his future.

Marking the debut of an exciting new writer, The Lesser Blessed is an eye-opening depiction of what it is to be a young Native man in the age of AIDS, disillusionment with Catholicism and a growing world consciousness.
A coming-of-age story that any fan of The Catcher in the Rye will enjoy.

Goodreads Description:

On the day she was abducted, Annie O’Sullivan, a 32-year-old realtor, had three goals—sell a house, forget about a recent argument with her mother, and be on time for dinner with her ever-patient boyfriend. The open house is slow, but when her last visitor pulls up in a van as she's about to leave, Annie thinks it just might be her lucky day after all. 

Still Missing interweaves the year Annie spent as the captive of a psychopath in a remote mountain cabin, which unfold through sessions with her psychiatrist, with a second narrative following the events after her escape—her struggle to piece her shattered life back together and the ongoing police investigation into the identity of her captor.

Still Missing is a shocking, visceral, brutal and beautifully crafted novel.

Goodreads Description:

As a dancer with the ultra-prestigious Manhattan Ballet Company, nineteen-year-old Hannah Ward juggles intense rehearsals, dazzling performances and complicated backstage relationships. Up until now, Hannah has happily devoted her entire life to ballet.

But when she meets a handsome musician named Jacob, Hannah's universe begins to change, and she must decide if she wants to compete against the other "bunheads" in the company for a star soloist spot or strike out on her own in the real world. Does she dare give up the gilded confines of the ballet for the freedoms of everyday life?