21 May 2018

Jack's Kidbox Box - Spring

Jack got another Kidbox styled for spring! Let me tell you about what he received.

First was this cute Losan graphic tee (Kidbox price - $31) and French Toast crab print shorts (Kidbox price - $17). I love em both! He hasn't worn them yet, and please don't base his approval on his expression. Lately he insists on not smiling for pictures. Oh, where does he get these ideas??
The shorts are more tailored than anything else he has, but the crab print still makes them fun. He just last week started wearing short-sleeved shirts (he says you have to wear long sleeves with long pants, and short sleeves only with shorts). I'm hoping we'll get more wear out of this outfit as the weather warms up.

The other summer outfit I liked best was this Nanette dino print tee (Kidbox price - $11) and Eland chino shorts (Kidbox price - $24). He said the dino shirt was his favorite thing from the box, but he isn't quite up to speed for wearing short sleeves yet.
While I think both of these outfits look nice and are hopefully still comfy enough for casual wear, he's still waiting for true summer to settle in. Fingers crossed it warms up soon!!

Honestly, he's a reasonably happy kid!

Here he is in the Eland raglan long sleeve tee (Kidbox price - $25) and Reebok short (Kidbox price - $21). The color of this shirt is deep and flattering on Jack. His dad also has one the same color, so I'm sure I'll get 'twinsie' pictures of them in them sometime. The shorts are super-soft and comfortable. He wore them for 'yellow' day at school because the stripe on the side is bright yellow.

The last item in Jack's Kidbox for spring was this U.S. Polo Assn zip front fleece hoodie (Kidbox price $31). He tried it on over his favorite Super Mario outfit. The jacket definitely came in handy, as his winter coat has a broken zipper, and the cold days weren't yet gone when our spring box arrived. He's worn it quite a few times as a coat for school.

Overall, this box was nothing super-wow, but we kept it all. The long-sleeves were sort of a surprise for spring, but apparently whoever was shipping it knew about Michigan's moods. LOL
We kept everything for $98 (vs their stated retail price of $217.50 :O ).

If you'd like to check out your own Kidbox, user our link to get $25 toward your first box!

19 May 2018

Peter Rabbit - My Review

The kids and I went and saw Peter Rabbit a little while ago as part of our 'Easter weekend' celebration. After watching the movie and having popcorn for lunch, we went and had our picture taken with the REAL Easter rabbit.

All three of us really enjoyed the movie. While the trailer has lots of the funny lines, there were even more in the movie. Mrs. Tiggy Winkle was one of our favorite characters, especially when she couldn't resist the peanut butter on the electric fence. Another favorite was the attempts of the badger to hide when people come to the house.

We also love a happy ending. Peter Rabbit is a great movie for the whole family. There were a few jokes understood more by the adults in the theater, but not off-color for the kiddos. And what's not to love about talking animals? I'd give it 4 out of 5 stars, and plan to watch it again when I'm looking for something to watch via Redbox or Netflix.

18 May 2018

Book Review - TwoSpells by Mark Morrison

I was provided an electronic copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Beautiful cover!

Sarah and Jon (twins, with Jon just a couple minutes older) were expecting a boring summer visiting their grandparents in Wales. But after hitting a large creature with the car, and passing the same TwoSpells sign multiple times while feeling like they’re lost, everything starts to seem a bit out of the ordinary.

Upon arrival at their grandparents’ home, their mother disappears on a mysterious errand, and the twins are left to do their grandparents bidding around the farm. In the evening, though, they’re delighted to listen to stories of their supposedly magical heritage, things they’d never known about, since they were raised far away as ‘Regular’ non-magical people.

The story really gets moving when they finally visit the legendary TwoSpells library with their grandparents. There is indeed a magical battle, as their grandparents told them about. The library is the middle of a family battle in which the twins are critical players, even though they never knew til days before. They suddenly have to learn how to use their magical library cards to travel in and out of stories, as well as how to fight creatures they’ve never seen or heard of before. Luckily they have the help of manufactured Golems, a couple of library Guardians, and even their mother as a magical being they’ve never witnessed.

TwoSpells, the first book by author Mark Morrison, is a great mystical read of a classic good vs evil struggle. There’s so much more to find out in books still to come! I’d give this book 3.5 out of 5 stars, and recommend it for middle-grade readers who enjoy fantasy.

16 May 2018

Books - April 2018

You could not even believe right now how much I'm looking forward to summer, and more time to read! Working with the schools has been great for me this year, but as it's occurred to me that I don't work when the kids don't go to school, I've been hustling and working lots of extra hours while I can.

In April, I only finished two books! Here they are.

The first book I read in April was Guilt by Amanda Robson. It's a great story of two sisters and the man who turns them against each other. I reviewed this one for Books I Think You Should Read.

In short, I think this would make an intriguing beach read. It was a bit confusing toward the beginning, so it wouldn't give away the end. This helped make it a page-turner for me - I wanted to find out what had really happened!

The other book I read in April was one of the best books I've read in a while! A Blood Thing by James Hankins is scheduled to be published June 5, 2018, and you should get it. The governor of Vermont (and his family) are being blackmailed by someone framing their disabled brother for a terrible crime. The plan is so intricate, I never saw most of it coming.

Check out my full review for this one on Books I Think You Should Read. She's also having a giveaway (ends May 24, 2018).

Summer is coming - what do you recommend as a great read? Or what would you like me to check out for you? I'm all ears. :)

09 May 2018

Stop the Ride - I Need to GET OFF!!

What a spring! Sorry I've sort of disappeared on ya'll (both of you? LOL).

Anyway, my schedule (which is mine and the kids, obvs) has been off the hook. I think I mentioned already about test scoring. That was 'just' from home for maybe a month or so? But the company asks for at least 20 hours/week. And they pay more than my kitchen job by a little bit. So I'll make it work, right?
Around the same time, the kitchen people had some staffing issues at another building close to mine, so I filled in a few shifts for them. I like helping out, the co-workers are fun, and I'm saving up money for summer, right?
When all was said and done, I had a few weeks where I think I worked pretty darn close to 40 hours. Between my '10 hours/week' job, subbing in other kitchens, and my test scoring, that is.
Somehow all that sounds less exhausting now that I've written it out.....

But now I can't seem to catch up. Don't get me wrong, even with all that work, I never had less than eight hours/night in my bed, asleep. Everyone knows I turn in to a pumpkin at 10pm (unless I can get away with 9pm...), and get up again at 6am to get ready to serve breakfast.
So why am I so tired???

I honestly don't know, and the next part shouldn't have anything to do with it.

A few weeks ago, I went for my annual lady-appointment, to get a refill on my hormones. Yes, other people call them birth control pills, but for me, I take them to control the side effects of having my period. I LOVE the seasonale pill, which regulates me to four cycles/year. I still tend to get sick and have bad headaches when I finally do have my period, but at only four times a year, it was somewhat bearable. (TMI? Sorry.)

Unfortunately at this appointment, she said my blood pressure was high, so she wouldn't give me any more of my magic pills. What?!?!? Stroke risk. Great.
I went for a blood pressure re-check. Just as high. (Around 150/90, if you're wondering.)
So I had to go to my primary doc to get that taken care of, and got switched on to the 'mini pill.' She told me that a lot of people don't cycle on the mini pill. I, on the other hand, started just a few days later and have had a headache ever since.

I finally got an appointment with a PA in my doctor's office, and they did a work-up yesterday, along with putting me on a high blood pressure pill. And I get to go in next week to find out about my blood tests, etc.

But I'm still tired, probably need different hormones, and am generally pissed off at the world. Because mine and my kids' schedules aren't going to get easier. And I always need a nap.

You're still reading? Thanks, I suppose. Anyway, I really hope to get back to my regular posts soon! I've got a book review to finish up for Books I Think You Should Read, I'm almost done with another book I'm reviewing, I've got TWO Stitch Fix boxes to tell you about, and I think I still have another subscription box for one of the kids that I haven't posted yet.

Believe it or not, in the midst of everything, I miss writing. I hope to have the time and/or energy to get back more regularly soon.

27 April 2018

10 Random Things for Friday

  1. Happy Friday! I missed posting last Friday because my daughter and I drove 10 hours to attend a baton competition in Manalapan, New Jersey. This was our third time attending this particular competition. Our coach is from New Jersey and likes to go and visit, and I have a great friend in New Jersey who I usually visit on this trip. This time (since both of our families go), the coach wrote an extra small group routine for our daughters, and they earned a first place trophy for that too! Both girls also did very well in their individual events. 
  2. So also from last weekend's trip - Maggie doesn't like to pass up a chance to go swimming in a pool. Last Saturday we were both a bit tired from dealing with the competition all day, but she was excited to go swimming because it was just the two of us, so I said of course I'd go with her. She admitted she was pretty tired too, but wanted to go because I didn't usually. So I told her I'd go to the next open swim at home instead. Guess what I get to do tonight? :P
  3. I have roughly one month (okay, maybe two) each year when I score standardized tests from home. It's a great job, and I've been doing it for more than 10 years. But this is the first year that I also have another job, and my kitchen job has been having me fill in at another kitchen as well lately. So my two cute lil part-time jobs suddenly have me working around 40 hours each week. :O Can't wait for these paychecks, eh?
  4. I am so looking forward to next Friday. My mom and I are going to the Michigan International Women's Show. I haven't been in years, and I think the last time I attended it was as a vendor, so I still didn't get to walk around through it all. 
  5. Next Friday is also School Lunch Hero Day. So thank your lunch lady (or breakfast lady...).
  6. Don't get me wrong - I'm so grateful it isn't snowing, and the weather is a bit warmer. Now, if my skin could feel a bit of sunshine...
  7. I get to go shopping this weekend for work pants. They're supposed to be khaki or black, but the khaki ones I have now have had bleach splashed on them a couple times. So I should probably stick with khaki. Do you know anywhere besides Target or Old Navy to find comfy, business-style (not jeans) khaki pants? We'll probably head to Old Navy. I got my other ones at Target, and the Target employees said they find them in those two stores.
  8. While I do really like my job, I'm really looking forward to sleeping in this summer. Like, a lot.
  9. Plans are also starting to happen to actually have a deck put back on our house this summer!! The financing is just about done, so hopefully hubby calls for construction quotes/bids soon. I did it all last year (or the year before), and it felt like it took all summer just compiling info.
  10. Hope you have wonderful weekend plans, and the weather cooperates :)

26 April 2018

Books - March 2018

As promised, I've read a greater percentage of 'grown-up' books now that the fifth grade Battle of the Books is done. I thought I had more time to read in March, but I still just finished up three books, all of which were reviewed for Books I Think You Should Read. Check out all my thoughts there.

I really enjoyed A Beautiful Poison by Lydia Kang. The story was based in 1918, and was about three young adults who had been best friends growing up, until two of their families lost their social standing and were ostracized from the proper society of the third friend. Some deaths occur that they begin investigating together. A couple times, I thought I had this 'whodunit' figured out, but then a new twist would happen. The ending was definitely not one I saw coming.
As an interesting aside, one of the main characters was also suffering from radiation poisoning, but in history, this was not recognized until the 1920s. It caught my interest from my previous interest in stories of the 'Radium Girls,' and had me intrigued with this book from the beginning.

Next of Kin by James Tucker was another mystery that I completely did not predict. Without giving too much away, this book was about a ten-year-old boy who escapes when he hears his parents and sister being murdered. While that's terrible enough on its own, it's not the end of the killing of those close to the young boy. In this first book of the 'Detective Buddy Lock Thriller' series, the boy goes to stay with Detective Buddy Lock and his fiance, while Lock devotes himself to keeping the boy safe, and solving the crimes.

I wrapped up March with even more action-packed mystery! In True Fiction by Lee Goldberg, Ian Ludlow is a fictional author who believes he was recruited by the CIA (along with a few other authors) to brainstorm terrorist plots so the government can be equipped to deal with any possibility. Sounds like a cutting-edge idea and a great way to gather intel from people with great imaginations. Or maybe a way to plan a unique terrorist attack?
Three years later, Ludlow watches his idea come to life. He's soon on the run with an author guide from his book tour, and they're not quite sure who they're running from. The only thing they do know is that they're running for their lives, and he better have some great ideas to outsmart whoever is after them.

That's what I read in March, and April has been super busy so far with working and other spring activities. I've just got two books in so far, with maybe a brief nod to some audio books my daughter and I took on our recent road trip. You'll have to wait and see! What have you read lately that you'd recommend to read (or stay away from! LOL)?