Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Review: Girl In The Blue Coat by Monica Hesse

Publisher: Little Brown Books For Young Readers
Pages: 264
Released: 2006
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 5/5

Amsterdam, 1943. Hanneke spends her days finding and delivering sought-after black market goods to paying customers, nights hiding the true nature of her work from her concerned parents, and every waking moment mourning her boyfriend, who was killed on the Dutch front lines when the German army invaded. Her illegal work keeps her family afloat, and Hanneke also likes to think of it as a small act of rebellion against the Nazis.

On a routine delivery, a client asks Hanneke for help. Expecting to hear that Mrs. Janssen wants meat or kerosene, Hanneke is shocked by the older woman’s frantic plea to find a person: a Jewish teenager Mrs. Janssen had been hiding, who has vanished without a trace from a secret room. Hanneke initially wants nothing to do with such a dangerous task but is ultimately drawn into a web of mysteries and stunning revelations—where the only way out is through.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Let's Chat | Books| Toddler | Shows


This weekend I started reading It Happens All The Time by Amy Hatvany. I love her books, and couldn't wait to get to this one. I believe it releases next month. I was reading The Break for Canada Reads but I felt like I wasn't getting anywhere with it. It feels like the type of book that I really need to sit down and read in order to really understand what is happening. I'll pick it back up soon. Reading is for me, and if I feel stuck because I'm not liking the book that I'm reading...put it down. I don't like feeling stuck because my current book isn't making me want to pick it up. I'm a mood reading, and not liking a book doesn't mean it isn't a good book- it just means I'm not in the mood to read it.

I've also been checking out alot of books from my library and review books. I want to get better at reading ARC's. I primarily use Edelweiss and Netgalley. I might try to sign up for some blog tours and really try to get back into having a blogging schedule.

Toddler Life

Caleb is such a smart little boy. He amazes me every day. When he loves something, he wants to know all about it. He's currently interested in dinosaurs. He loves learning all the different names, and facts about them.

This weekend we went to a Hunting/Fishing Exhibit and Caleb had a blast. He got to fish from a kiddie pool and he tested out all the ATV's. We're still working on toilet training. It comes and goes. He seems to do much better at home than daycare. It's coming along, and we're being patient.


I downloaded Riverland on Netflix and want to start watching it. I keep seeing people commenting about it on twitter. I've mostly been watching Big Bang Theory on CraveTV in the evenings. I also want to get back into This is Us. I forgot about it for a few weeks. I still watch quite a bit of youtube when I'm cleaning, folding laundry and stuff like that. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Upcoming Releases: The Bridge Across the Ocean and Secret Sisters

The Bridge Across the Ocean by Susan Meissner (March 14th)

Edelweiss Description

Wartime intrigue spans the lives of three women—past and present—in the latest novel from the acclaimed author of Secrets of a Charmed Life.

February, 1946. World War Two is over, and Annaliese Lange, a German ballerina, and Simone Deveraux, the wronged daughter of a French Resistance spy, join hundreds of other European war brides aboard the renowned RMS Queen Mary to be reunited with their American husbands. But when the voyage ends at New York Harbor, only one of them will disembark…

Present day. Facing a crossroads in her own life, Brette Caslake visits the famously haunted Queen Mary. What she finds will set her on a course to solve a seventy-year-old tragedy that will draw her into the heartaches and triumphs of the courageous war brides—and will ultimately lead her to reconsider what she has to sacrifice to achieve her own deepest longings.

Story Locale: San Diego, France; Belgium, Germany

Secret Sisters by Joy Callaway (June 21st)

Edelweiss Description

A Paperback Original
From the author of The Fifth Avenue Artists Society comes this unforgettable historical novel based on the founding of the country’s first sororities

Illinois, 1881: Whitsitt College sophomore Beth Carrington has two goals to fulfill by the time she graduates: obtain a medical degree, and establish a women’s fraternity, Beta Xi Beta, that will help young women like herself to connect with and support one another while attending the male-dominated Whitsitt.

Neither is an easy task. The sole female student in the physicians’ program, Beth is constantly called out by her professors and peers for having the audacity not to concentrate on a more “fitting” subject like secretarial studies. Meanwhile, secret organizations are off-limits, and simply by crowding together in a dank basement room and creating a sense of camaraderie, she and her small group of fraternity sisters risk expulsion.

In order to have the fraternity recognized, she knows she needs help. She turns to the most powerful student on campus: senior Grant Richardson, Iota Gamma fraternity president and the scion of a Whitsitt family—a man she’s only acquainted with because of her longstanding friendship with his fraternity brother Will Buchannan. Staunchly traditional, Grant doesn’t see the purpose of this women’s organization, but captivated by Beth, he agrees to give her a helping hand. What she doesn’t know is how many will stop at nothing to keep her burgeoning organization out of the record books—and who she can actually trust along the way.

As Beth fights for her beloved Beta Xi Beta to be recognized, she will uncover deep secrets about the college and those who surround her, and will have to put both love and friendship on the line so that history can be made.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Money Monday: Sinking Funds

Do you have sinking funds? Do you know what a sinking fund is?

Sinking Funds is a savings tool for something you will have come up. You're planning for unexpected budget items that come up occasionally. Having a sinking fund allows you to put money aside for Christmas, clothing, car repairs, or medical expenses. You save for those things, so that when they do come up it doesn't throw your budget off.

Another example that you can use a sinking fund for is something that doesn't come up every month, but you know it will come up eventually; such as a yearly bill, or yearly maintenance. You can figure out how much that will be, and save for it monthly.

For example, you want to save 1000$ for Christmas and it's March. If you budget 100$ a month for 10 months. You'll have the 1000$ by Christmas. You have that money set aside specifically for Christmas and you can spend it knowing that you saved for it. No guilt!

How do you keep track of sinking funds?

Online Savings Account

I have a separate savings account for each of the things that I'm saving for. These online savings accounts do not cost money and I can transfer out money without any fees. It's really fast, and can be done on my phone. Having these separate accounts allows me to see how much is put away for each thing. I'm really not a numbers person, and having everything in one account doesn't work for me.

Cash Envelopes

You can also have separate envelopes and put money into these each month.


If you keep every thing in one account, and have a spreadsheet to track each fund that can work too.

Sinking funds have really changed the way I manage money. It has helped me prioritize, and be more in control. You want to have this money easily accessible, and the more money you have set aside, make sure it's secure. This is different from an emergency fund, because an emergency fund is money set aside for an unknown. A sinking fund is money set aside for a specific thing.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Review: Paper Princess, Broken Prince and Twisted Palace by Erin Watt


From strip clubs and truck stops to southern coast mansions and prep schools, one girl tries to stay true to herself.

These Royals will ruin you…

Ella Harper is a survivor—a pragmatic optimist. She’s spent her whole life moving from town to town with her flighty mother, struggling to make ends meet and believing that someday she’ll climb out of the gutter. After her mother’s death, Ella is truly alone. 

Until Callum Royal appears, plucking Ella out of poverty and tossing her into his posh mansion among his five sons who all hate her. Each Royal boy is more magnetic than the last, but none as captivating as Reed Royal, the boy who is determined to send her back to the slums she came from.

Reed doesn’t want her. He says she doesn’t belong with the Royals.

He might be right.

Wealth. Excess. Deception. It’s like nothing Ella has ever experienced, and if she’s going to survive her time in the Royal palace, she’ll need to learn to issue her own Royal decrees. 


When I first hear fellow bloggers and Youtubers raving about these books, I really didn't think I would like it. The description doesn't sound like anything I would read. I decided to give it a try and see. Well, I LOVED them. I actually read them back to back and I never do that with a series. I read them so quickly, that I didn't get bored with the characters. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Canada Reads 2017 Shortlist

You guys, I'm so excited! I look forward to the Canada Reads debates every year and this year is no different. These are the 5 books that were chosen from the longlist. If  you haven't heard about Canada Reads- it's a yearly "battle of the books" that revolve around a theme. This year the theme is "What is the one book that Canadians need now?" These 5 books are new to me, and I will be reading them all and listening in to the debates in March.

Here are the contenders this year:

Can we take a moment to appreciate the diverse group of contenders? Canada is a diverse, multicultural country and this makes me so happy. I'm so excited that Candy Palmater is on the show this year. I tweeted her last year, hoping she would host the show when Wab Kinew wasn't able to host. She's a fellow native american, and Mik'maw. 

So far, I have The Break and Fifteen Dogs. The other books are on my wishlist. I'm jumping in and starting with The Break. 

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