Saturday, March 31, 2012

What I Read: March

We'll Always Have Summer (Summer, #3)We'll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I don't really know why I stuck with this series, and this book in particular. The characters really drove me crazy in this one, even Jeremiah who I loved in the other books. There was just too much drama, too many stupid things said or not said. Some of their childish behavior was kind of excusable in the first two books because of age (Belly was only 15 in the first one) but as 19 & 20 year olds I think they should be a *little* more mature by now. I really don't think Belly deserved either of the guys and I don't think either of them deserved her. I hate who she ended up with. I wish she would have gone on and married someone completely different. I don't know. I just didn't really enjoy this book.

Shattered Souls (Souls #1)Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book. I loved the characters and the story, even if it was a little creepy. ;) The book was fast paced and I found myself thinking about it even when I wasn't reading it. My only real issue was with the way it ended. It ended too abruptly for me and I wasn't crazy about the whole hearing and I didn't get enough of Lenzi & Alden at the end. Oh, and SPOILER ALERT [I also didn't like that she said her name was Rose at the end. I kinda like Lenzi's character a lot more than Rose and was hoping she would stay.] I'm looking forward to another book for all of my unanswered questions. :)

Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane (Underland Chronicles, #2)Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane (The Underland Chronicles, Book 2) by Suzanne Collins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I thoroughly enjoyed this book! Even though this is written for a younger audience, Suzanne just has a way of writing such amazing characters and telling such a wonderful story that you forget about that. I have also really come to appreciate Suzanne's subtle humor that catches you off guard and found myself literally laughing out loud a few times. Can't wait to read more in the series.

If I Stay (If I Stay, #1)If I Stay by Gayle Forman
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

This was a very interesting book and it made me grateful that I haven't had to experience this sort of tragedy in my life. I just had a hard time with the overall flow of the book. I loved the hospital scenes because that was the present and what was crucial. I know the flashbacks were necessary to tell the story but I found myself getting a little bored with them and wanting to rush ahead to find out what would happen with Mia. It was an emotional book, especially at the hospital and there were many tear-jerker moments. Overall it was an interesting book, good but not great.

Rot & Ruin (Benny Imura, #1)Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

This was my first "zombie" book and I have to admit that in the beginning, I wasn't sure I was going to love this book. I kinda thought it was a little ..... silly. But as I kept reading I was surprised by how much depth there was and how much these characters grew on me. I loved watching their transformation and how they grew through this journey they were on. Yes, this was a book about the "living dead" but the heart of it was about the living, and I cannot wait to read the others in this series!

The Giver (The Giver, #1)The Giver by Lois Lowry
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

This was definitely an interesting book. I really like the premise of it and I thought Jonas was a great main character. It was definitely geared for a bit younger audience, but was still pretty good and was a quick read. I must admit, though, that I really didn't get the ending. I'm hoping maybe the other books in the series explain more.

The Language of FlowersThe Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a beautiful and moving story about love, life, and flowers. I was instantly drawn to Victoria's story. She had many flaws and insecurities but she was so real and I loved watching her slow & cautious growth. I loved how the author told the story, switching from the present to the past, weaving the two together beautifully. I've always held a fondness for flowers and reading this makes me wish I had all the knowledge that Elizabeth and Victoria shared -- to see the beauty and message in them. I was so moved by the love Elizabeth had, as well as many of the people in Victoria's life. It makes me want to be a better person and show more kindness and love to those I encounter. I love when a good book touches me so deeply.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Frugal Friday - Veggie Alfredo Pizza

Every Friday in our home is pizza/movie night. I'm constantly on the lookout for new pizza recipes so we have a variety of pizzas to eat each week.  One of our favorite take-out pizzas is the Veggie Gourmet at Round Table Pizza.  This is our version of it.  Much cheaper but sooooo delicious!

  • pizza dough - premade or homemade
  • olive oil
  • garlic salt
  • shredded mozzarella cheese
  • alfredo sauce (I cut THIS recipe in half and use half on the pizza and half as dipping sauce)
  •  red onions, sliced
  • green onions, sliced
  • baby spinach, chopped
  • zuchinni, sliced and quartered
  • artichoke hearts, chopped
  • sliced mushrooms (we like the baby portabella)
  • tomatoes, chopped
  • minced garlic
Preheat the oven to 425°.  Roll out dough onto a greased pizza pan and brush lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic salt.  Using a fork poke holes in the dough and then bake for 7 minutes.  Spread on the alfredo sauce, cheese and toppings and bake an additional 7 minutes until crust is golden and cheese is melted.  

***A great tip for any leftover toppings is to use them in omelets the next morning.  So good!***

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Things We Love Thursdays- Texas Roadhouse Grill

The girls had a day to ourselves when the boys were out at a sporting event, so we went shopping and then out to lunch! We chose Texas Roadhouse Grill! I LOVE LOVE LOVE their rolls and honey butter, so I was anxious to sink my teeth into them and I was not disappointed! I have a huge weakness when it comes to bread and these rolls are my favorite.

I had the Smokehouse Burger, they have a Sweet and Zesty sauce(AMAZING) that you can add to it for free. It was so big that I could not put my mouth around the burger and had to eat it with a knife and fork. It was a great burger!

Buff had the Prime Rib and it was so juicy and delicious! She had plenty to bring home in a box. The fries were great the service was even better!

I will definitely be going back sometime soon and would recommend it to those who have not tried it! The atmosphere is great and the food is amazing!

-chelz & Buff 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

WIWW: I {heart} Stripes

I just can't seem to get enough of stripes lately.  I see them everywhere and it seems like my "style" board on Pinterest is flooded with stripes.  :)

tank & necklace: Styles for Less
cardigan: Target
jeans: Kohls
shoes: Discount Shoe Factory
earrings & headband: 99cent store

Linked to: Rae Gun Ramblings, The Pleated Poppy, Real Momma, Rolled Up Pretty & Transatlantic Blonde

Planting our Garden: Miracle-Gro Expand 'n Gro

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Scotts® for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
I love this time of year because it means I get to start planning and planting my vegetable garden and spring flowers.  I'll admit I don't have the greenest thumb, but I sure do love doing it and I love that gardening is something our whole family can get involved in.  The kids love to help pick out & plant vegetable seeds.  They also get to pick out one type of flower and can plant it anywhere in the yard so it becomes "their" flower.
I was so excited when I was asked to do a review for Miracle-Gro Expand ‘n Gro™ Planting Mix.  I always use Miracle-Gro products in my garden and was excited about trying out this product in their line.
EnG Product Shot.png
I took the kids to the garden center and they each picked out some flowers.  Landon went with his favorite colors -- red & orange.  Cailyn wanted some beautiful "dragon flowers" (aka: snap dragons!).   Can you tell they were super excited aobut their plants?!


We mixed the Miracle-Gro with the garden soil and planted the flowers.  This product is awesome because it expands as it's watered and it continues to feed the plants with these tiny little pellets.  My kids were completely fascinated by those.  They start out as tiny beads but they retain water and expand to get bigger and bigger and then feed the plants.  

Some other key features of Miracle-Gro Expand 'n Gro Planting Mix:
-Up to 3X the Flowers and Vegetables!* *versus native soil
-Significantly improves soil for multiple years
-Concentrated planting mix expands up to 3X when water is added
-Feeds for up to 6 months
-All natural fibers hold up to 50% more water than basic potting soil

I'm so excited to keep working on my garden as Spring draws ever closer.  Hopefully the bunnies will leave our garden alone this year!

Visit Sponsor's Site

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Snowball Bunnies

I wanted to make a fun and cute treat for my grandkids and had seen this idea and decided to try it.

Things you will need:
1 Packet of Hostess Snowball Cakes- head
Jelly Beans- eyes
Salt Water Taffies- ears
Heart shaped candy-nose
Tooth picks- ears

I took the Salt Water Taffies and stretched and molded them into the shape of ears. Then I put toothpicks in the taffy to get it to stand up straight. I had to cut the jelly beans down to the size I wanted for the eyes. I had a packet of heart shaped candies from Valentine's that I used for the nose.

Then, it was ready for the kids to eat! This was a simple and cute snack for the kids to enjoy!



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