18 September 2017

Reading Challenge - Book 18

As promised last time I posted, I've finished reading a few more books, but haven't gotten to writing about them yet. So no promises on the order anymore ;)

The book I'm listing for the ninth category of the reading challenge (an espionage thriller) is The Whistler by John Grisham. Picking up a Grisham book pretty much guarantees me some pleasant reading for a week or so. I'll take it! I'm being a bit liberal with the definition of 'espionage' for the purpose of categorizing, but I assume you'll keep reading.

The Whistler is a tangled thriller about a whistle-blower unknown to the narrator, and most of the other category. Someone knows a lot of what's going on to make the nearby Indian reservation very wealthy with its casino and developments. And they're ready to see those who are cheating the system, pay the price. But there is no straight line from point A to point B here. It isn't even a regular law enforcement investigation. While it officially should go to the FBI, the whistler (the code name for their informant) wants it to start out as an investigation into a particular judge, through the Board on Judicial Conduct. Usually just a paper-chasing agency, the BJC isn't equipped for the threats that come as they dig deeper into this judge's conduct, and what's going on at the reservation.

While some of the reviews say this is far from Grisham's best work, I found it to be an entertaining page-turner. I liked the look into a non-traditional agency to try and solve the crime, or at least find out what it all is. And as I'm sure you've seen if you've read my reviews before, I liked the characters. That's vital for me. The first link to the informant is a man fleeing his past and its consequences, and he does it with interesting style. The investigator and her partner were also likable people. If I'm going to escape in a book, it should always be with people I'd like to consider friends, right?

15 September 2017

10 Random Things for Friday

  1. I'm feeling very Friday today. Usually, a day is a day, and I'm more productive when the kids are at school, so I don't mind Mondays - just back to work, right? But right now, I'm ready for some down time. 
  2. Tomorrow we have to leave earlier than usual - what happened to that down time?? I've got an event scheduled to share Posh, and Maggie is even coming with me. 
  3. I really, really, really hope my ear infection is improving by then. My ears got cold and windy last weekend. I should have known better and had them covered. Now I'm paying the price.
  4. I still have Cherry Coke flowing through my veins, in case you're wondering.
  5. I'm so grateful for a nice looking day today. Hubby and I are on our way to an outdoor wedding and reception. This could definitely be risky in Michigan in mid-September.
  6. I've still got a Stitch-Fix review, and kidpik review, and several book reviews up my sleeve! While I wrote a bit more this week, there's still more to be done once I hit my groove.
  7. Oops! Wedding time - what would be YOUR 8, 9, and 10 random things?

13 September 2017

Bus Buddies Forever

Last weekend, my kindergarten son went on a boat ride with his bus buddy. It was a privately-owned boat, and they went to Mackinac Island for the day. He listened to her direction as well as he always does, and she kept him safe yet again.

His bus buddy this year, who is showing him around school, and making sure he gets safely to his classroom each day, and back home again every afternoon, is his older sister. Luckily, they're crazy about each other.

This is the only year they'll have at the same school (officially - his preschool was in the same building last year, but that program didn't interact with the rest of the school as much). For years, they'd looked forward to having their classes in the same hallway, or neighborhood, as we called it. But the school district did some restructuring beginning this year, and the neighborhood thing isn't what it was.

Each morning, they get on the bus together, then when they get to school she makes sure he gets to the kindergarten class line, sometimes picking up a few more kids on her way (our pied-piper of younger children). At the end of each school day, some designated volunteers from her class line up and go to the kindergarten classrooms to get their young charges and take them to the right bus. In our case, they find a seat on the bus together (she says the kindergarteners usually sit up front, but she can keep a better eye on him by having him sit with her). They play rock-paper-scissors, or laugh and play with the friends on the bus, until they get off at the last stop and come home together.

He loves his bus buddy. She loves her little bus buddy. It is such a joy to watch them care for each other and look out for their happiness and welfare. I know they get mad at each other too, but I love watching them as a united force against the rest of the world. I hope they'll be bus buddies forever.

11 September 2017

Disney on Ice - October 12 -15

One of my favorite shows every year is back, for the first time ever at the new Little Caesar's Arena in Detroit. Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy are bringing the Reach for the Stars show from October 12 - 15, 2017. Tickets start at $15. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at OlympiaEntertainment.com, The Fox Theatre and Joe Louis Arena box offices and Ticketmaster.com. To charge tickets by phone, call (800) 745-3000. For additional information, call (313) 471-6611.

“The most exciting part of bringing characters like Anna and Elsa to the ice is knowing that they have a powerful and inspiring message the resonates with audiences as the sisters discover the true meaning of love,” says Producer Nicole Feld, “As parents, we strive to find role models who will empower our children to find their inner strength and believe in themselves”.

Reach For The Stars is an exhilarating showcase of royalty, highlighting the stories of Disney’s most beloved heroines and their faithful companions with energetic choreography that will have audiences singing, dancing and cheering for their favorite Disney characters as they each embark on their own epic journeys. Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse guide fans through a whimsical wonderland where they encounter Sebastian and the Daughters of Triton from Disney’s The Little Mermaid, the rowdy pub thugs from Disney’s Tangled and the loyal enchanted servants from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.

“By pulling together moments from classic Disney stories to the breakout feature film sensation Frozen and combining them with elements of comedy and music, we developed a truly unique way to re-tell each fairytale,” says Producer Juliette Feld.

My kids can't wait!! We always love the ice show, and are doubly excited to be checking out the new arena.

Visit DisneyOnIce.com for the shows and dates coming to your hometown. Stay current on the latest developments through social media, including instructions on how to access presale codes for future Disney On Ice productions:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/DisneyOnIce
Twitter: @DisneyOnIce #DisneyOnIce #ReachForTheStars @NicoleFeld (Show Producer)
YouTube: www.youtube.com/DisneyOnIce
Instagram: @DisneyOnIce

I have received tickets to the show in exchange for posting, but all opinions are mine.

05 September 2017

Reading Challenge - Book 17

While I've read a few books in the meantime, the last book I've finished so far this year was Evening Class by Maeve Binchy. I'm listing it as the 17th book I read this year, but really I'm just writing about it now since I've already passed it on and I don't want to forget about it. My mom read it years ago, and when I told her how good it was, she decided to read it again. I'm listing it as a 'book where the main character is a different ethnicity than you.'

While this book was really all about the characters, the one who tied them all together was Signora. Formerly Nora O'Donaghue, she left Ireland to move to Italy and follow her true love in her 20s - and stayed through her 30s and beyond while her love married the woman he was always expected to marry and raise a family with.

It's only a slight spoiler to say she ends up back in Ireland, and is excited to teach an evening class of Italian language and culture. The book gives the stories of the attendees and those they are close to, and how amazingly all their lives seem to intersect.

While I definitely had a couple favorite character stories, there really weren't any that I didn't like. For a relatively busy book, there weren't any notable parts that I didn't like. I would recommend this as a great book to read to pass the time. But if I recall correctly, most Maeve Binchy books would fall in this category. She has the ability to make me feel as if I'm reading about another life I could have chosen to live. Great escapism, and I'm usually left with a smile on my face.

01 September 2017

Maggie's kidpik Box - June 2017

Yes, summer has gotten away from me. LOL While I've been out enjoying it all, I haven't been writing about it as much. Kidpik is still my daughter's wardrobe of choice, and they've even started a referral program, so you can use my link for $15 off your first box!

I've got our spring/early summer box to tell you about now, and we just received another box for fall, so I'll bring you up to date on that one in the next week or so.

This is Maggie wearing the Hello Lace Tank in white. It's regular retail is $15.50, so if we had kept the whole box, it would have been $10.85 with the 30% discount. We did keep this shirt, and she's gotten plenty of wear out of it this summer. The different shades of blue in the print on the shirt made it go with her denim shorts super cute. We kept it.

 The second item (and third, as it turns out) are a few she plans to wear to a wedding party tomorrow. It's the Garden Floral Flutter Dress in multi ($27.50 regular price, or $19.26 with the discount) which she's wearing here with the Beth Perforated Ballet shoe in white ($17.50 regular price, or $12.25 with the discount). Adorable! The picture here is at our local science center the day after the box came - she couldn't wait for our regular fashion show pictures. All of her dresses have been looking a little short to me lately, but I think that's the fault of her long legs. Hahaha... We solve it by always wearing biking shorts underneath in case she forgets how to sit still. This is a great summer-weight dress with a light lining. We kept it. She hasn't worn the shoes as much, but there's not a lot of call for ballet flats on a kid in summer. I think she'll get a lot more use from them now that school is starting back.

While I thought this Mini Floral Ruffle Back Top was super cute on her, she insisted the 'mini' in the name applied somehow to some of the measurements - it was a little snug in places and not very comfortable to get on and off. It's regular price would have been $17.50, or $12.25 with the discount. By her grumbling and squirming during the fashion show, I knew she'd keep finding excuses not to wear it again, no matter how cute I thought it was. We sent it back.

The last thing she tried on from this box was the Drop Waist Dress in Mazarine Blue (regular price $14.50, or $10.15 with the discount). I just didn't think this one was very flattering on her. Add that to the fact that she doesn't wear a lot of dresses anyway, and this was in the bag on its way back right away.

Besides these things, she also got a plain seamless tank in white (she wears camisoles and things like this nearly every day, so we kept it), and a pack of ponytail holders. Those things grow legs, so we collect as many as we can!

Overall, it was another successful box to give Maggie some new goodies to wear on her way into summer, and keep me out enjoying the beautiful weather instead of in stores hunting down something we could agree on.

Have you tried Kidpik yet? It's a super-fun, risk-free way to possibly get some shopping done without leaving home! They authorize your card but charge you nothing to ship it out to you, and they include a postage paid shipping envelope to send back anything you decide not to keep! One better, there's always a free gift (this time it was a bag of pins she's happy to be putting on her backpack). Even if you send back everything, you keep the gift. Use my link to get $15 off your first box! And let me know what you think of your box.

25 August 2017

10 Random Things for Friday

  1. I almost didn't do this, because I somehow keep forgetting it's Friday. Hubby has been home with some medical issues for two weeks. Once he leaves, it will be Monday again. I think.
  2. My mom and I are scheduled to do micro-blading for our eyebrows next week. Have you done it or know someone who has? Advice? I know I'm pretty excited, because I am mostly pretty lax about personal grooming. Brows done for a couple years? Count me in!
  3. Today started out as great hoodie weather. Now I'm a little warm, but I feel like it would be wasteful to dirty another shirt. So hopefully it cools off again really soon.
  4. I'm kind of looking more and more forward to the kids going back to school. I keep feeling like I could get more writing done (catching up book reviews, Stitch Fix posts, KidPik posts, and Yelp reviews) if I had some time alone to focus. Oh, and I want to start doing some Posh-y YouTube videos too, but right now I KNOW I'd be photobombed by the five-year-old who wants to talk to everyone.
  5. I've spent the last couple months without slippers. In the hot summer, it was bearable (although I still don't like the feeling of the changing floor under my feet). Now that it's starting to cool off...we're gonna need some slippers up in here STAT.
  6. My daughter and I had an interesting experience at the grocery store the other day. Someone had hidden artichokes all over the store. There was one at the meat counter, one in with the chips, one mixed in with the sushi. It was rather amusing, especially since the first thing we'd put in our cart was the 'four for $5' artichokes. 
  7. Both of the kids are pleased with their teacher assignments. All of their options were teachers who have been with our school for years, so it really is coming down to just who else is in their class. And each of them has found one friend they already know in their class. Hopefully there will be even more familiar faces at the meet and greet this coming week, and when school starts the week after that. 
  8. I think we may have lost another fish to the great water beyond... The other neon tetra is not obviously seen, and he usually swims near the top. It was time to clean the aquarium anyway, but now I'm dreading bringing out another corpse. 
  9. We have retired the bird feeders to give the hanging flower baskets a better spot to get more sun and water (without me getting the hose out for them each day). I'd left the flower baskets sitting on the walkway so the sprinklers would get them while we were on the run the last couple weeks, and last night hubby put them on the hooks, and the empty bird feeders on the porch. I think it will work, til winter when the birds appreciate the seed more again.
  10. And speaking of our last grocery shopping trip, I get to have another artichoke tonight. Better yet? My daughter says she likes them, but is always full by the time we get to the heart. More for me!