20210222

Recent Reads

I started the year in a reading funk. I am not too picky a reader. I have a few genres I try to avoid but I try to keep an open mind. I'll overlook a few inconsistencies if it's a fun and thrilling experience. As we do with other forms of entertainment like movies and tv.

The Girl in the Mirror by Rose Carlyle`

The Girl in the Mirror by Rose Carlyle

Synopsis - Twin sisters Iris and Summer are startlingly alike, but beyond what the eye can see lies a darkness that sets them apart. Cynical and insecure, Iris has long been envious of Summer’s seemingly never-ending good fortune, including her perfect husband Adam.
Iris is called to Thailand to help her sister sail the family yacht to the Seychelles. But when she unexpectedly finds herself alone in the middle of the Indian Ocean, everything changes. When she makes it to land, Iris allows herself to be swept up by Adam, who assumes that she is Summer.
Iris recklessly goes along with his mistake. Not only does she finally have the golden life she’s always envied, with her sister gone, she’s one step closer to the hundred-million-dollar inheritance left by her manipulative father. All Iris has to do is be the first of his seven children to produce an heir.
Iris’s “new” life lurches between glamorous dream and paranoid nightmare. On the edge of being exposed, how far will she go to ensure no one discovers the truth?
And just what did happen to Summer on the yacht? Only Iris knows . . .

Thoughts - This was a fun thriller to get me out of my reading funk. It was almost like one of those Lifetime movies with crazy twists and turns. So while I won't say it's recommended reading it did what I needed it to do... get me reading again.

                             

Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren

Synopsis - Hazel Camille Bradford knows she’s a lot to take—and frankly, most men aren’t up to the challenge. If her army of pets and thrill for the absurd don’t send them running, her lack of filter means she’ll say exactly the wrong thing in a delicate moment. Their loss. She’s a good soul in search of honest fun.
Josh Im has known Hazel since college, where her zany playfulness proved completely incompatible with his mellow restraint. From the first night they met—when she gracelessly threw up on his shoes—to when she sent him an unintelligible email while in a post-surgical haze, Josh has always thought of Hazel more as a spectacle than a peer. But now, ten years later, after a cheating girlfriend has turned his life upside down, going out with Hazel is a breath of fresh air.
Not that Josh and Hazel date. At least, not each other. Because setting each other up on progressively terrible double blind dates means there’s nothing between them...right?

Thoughts - This is my second Christina Lauren book and it was positively adorable. Even had a few laugh out loud moments. It does have a few R moments for those not interested.


A Vow So Bold and Deadly by Brigid Kremmerer

Synopsis - Emberfall is crumbling fast, torn between those who believe Rhen is the rightful prince and those who are eager to begin a new era under Grey, the true heir. Grey has agreed to wait two months before attacking Emberfall, and in that time, Rhen has turned away from everyone—even Harper, as she desperately tries to help him find a path to peace.
Meanwhile, Lia Mara struggles to rule Syhl Shallow with a gentler hand than her mother. But after enjoying decades of peace once magic was driven out of their lands, some of her subjects are angry Lia Mara has an enchanted prince and magical scraver by her side. As Grey's deadline draws nearer, Lia Mara questions if she can be the queen her country needs.
As two kingdoms come closer to conflict, loyalties are tested, love is threatened, and an old enemy resurfaces who could destroy them all, in this stunning conclusion to bestselling author Brigid Kemmerer’s Cursebreaker series.

Thoughts - This was the third and last book in the Cursebreaker series. I reviewed the first two books here. I started out as a retelling of Beauty and the Beast but then the world the author created grew and the story turned into much more. I read this in a day and a half.. I would have read it faster if I didn't have small humans to feed and entertain. After the mixed feelings the second book left me with I was prepared to be disappointed with the conclusion and while I was not a hundred percent in love with the way it ended it was still pretty good. 

ps. we did go back to ski last weekend and with all of your words of encouragement and H's advice to not think so much I was able to put my skis on and get back on that mountain. Half way through I broke down into more sobs and officially gave up. Sat out the next run and then M gave me an incredible corny 'I believe in you' kind of pep talk.. and miraculously I skied two days straight.. with some hesitancy but no tears and crippling fear. Wohoo! 
      
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20210219

Friday Photography

Picturesque Eilean Donan Castle in the Scottish Highlands

Scottish Highlands Horizontal Travel Art Print Home Decor

Eilean Donan - A picturesque castle standing on a small tidal island of Eilean Donan where three sea lochs meet. Located in the Scottish Highlands. To read more about our trip to Scotland click here.

You can buy this print here. Get Free Shipping with code BLOGGER

Prints also available in larger sizes. Contact for more information and special requests.

I am open to wholesale and licensing opportunities. Get in touch for more information.
       


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20210208

Birthday Weekend

This past weekend M and I both celebrated our birthdays. Saturday night we went out for dinner. One of our favorites even before the Covid. They have been doing a marvelous job with a tables placed great distances apart, sanitizing the tables after every course. 


The kids couldn't agree on what dessert to order.. so as the little one requested huffed and puffed till we settled on a slice of cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory. I assumed being my birthday I'd at least be able to choose the flavor. 


As you can see H was not pleased. 

Sunday was M's birthday and we woke up to more snow. Could there be anything lovelier?


Sunday was also Super Bowl. The boys in my house are all football lovers. So we made an event of it. We weren't rooting for any team in particular but were a little disappointed the game wasn't more of a nail bitter. 




     
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20210205

Friday Photography

Photograph Black and White Dutch Round Circular Curved Tower in Copenhagen

       
Danish Architecture Vertical Art Print Home Decor

Vertical Art Print Home Decor

Round Tower - Inside the unique spiral curved walkway of The Round Tower in the center of Copenhagen, Denmark. Built as an astronomical observatory in the 17th century. Read more about our trip to Copenhagen here.

You can buy this print here. Get Free Shipping with code BLOGGER

Prints also available in larger sizes. Contact for more information and special requests.

I am open to wholesale and licensing opportunities. Get in touch for more information.

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20210201

Panic on the Slopes

We went skiing over the weekend. We went back up to Plattekill Mountain in Upstate New York. We hired the same instructor we had last time to guide us down the green slopes. Once you graduate the bunny hill the next step is the green slope. We were all pumped to try it out. 


This was not our first time on a chair lift.. but this was a lot longer and higher than the one I had been on before. Then I remembered some celebrity recently having their son falling off the chair lift and breaking their arm or leg.. 


The dismount was smooth.. last year, the last chair lift I had been on had a steeper dismount, D had ended up crashing into me and I had bent my knee in an odd angle.. the knee still hurts sometimes. So this was great.. a good start. The kids zoomed down the slope, fearless (so proud of them), the instructor had to remind them to slow down and wait for us. M was a little rusty on his turns.. the instructor commented on how well I was doing, better turns then the three boys, such great control. I am not a sporty person. I beamed at the compliment. But then I came to our first turn, I could see the over hang and I recalled someone else dying on the slopes after a head injury.. Natasha Richardson. And panic took over me. 

A couple of weeks ago a guy we knew.. not a friend per se, a couple of years older than me died in the Pcoconos. It wasn't a ski injury, he had a heart attack but all I could think of was his kids. I kept skiing.. it was a long trail.. took us over 20 minutes to get though.. our instructor could tell I was nervous. He was great.. 'You did it!' he said. The first time isn't always easy, I took a deep breath and we went up the chair lift again. 

The second time around the instructor stayed closer to me, the boys sped ahead. This time my panic was rising.. I lost all self confidence. I was on the verge of tears. I fell.. and then I fell again.. I think I fell five.. probably six more time. Our instructor encouraging.. soothing. I was on the verge of crying, I just couldn't do it here, in front of him, on a freaking mountain. I saw M at the foot of the mountain and started to bawl. Pretty sure I freaked the kids out too. We talked about it later that day. Not sure if they understood the complexity of it but they understood.

I sat out for the next round... but I couldn't let fear win. I wanted to give up. Not the sport for me, I could say.

When we were leaving there was an ambulance outside. Somebody got injured. What if it had been me. And I know that kind of thinking doesn't make sense.. people die everyday.. car accidents, planes crashes, walking down the street. 

We came back the next day and I got back on that chair lift. 


Went down the slope three more times but I was still frightened. No more crying... lots of deep breathing. I'm not going to be the mom who sits in the lodge while my family skis. And while there is nothing wrong with that.. I just don't want to be that person. 

By the time I hit the slopes for the fourth time I had lost the confidence again.. every time I picked up a bit of speed my brain was screaming at me.. I fell and tumbled twice. I was done. There was an ambulance outside again when we were leaving. 

We have tickets booked for President's Day weekend as well.. I'm not sure how it's going to go. I'm not ready to throw in the towel just yet. I need my brain to shut up. Any tips on how to do that? 

We are back home now.. we have had almost 2 feet of snow and it's still coming down. Thankfully the schools called it a snow day.. not even virtual school. Phew.

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