August 17, 2014

Its Book Time

Could I be any more of a slacker when it comes to my blog? I am still trying to work out a regular schedule for blogging, but like I said before I am not going to stress over it...I want to make sure this is fun for me again and I am starting to formulate ideas on blog topics, books to review, and tons of recipes to share!! So without further ado here are a bunch of books I've read lately that I've loved!!

Since the list is long I'll keep the reviews brief but all the ones I'm listing I absolutely loved and could not put down!! I've definitely been on a reading kick the last few weeks :)

1. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
Courtesy of Amazon.com
I resisted reading this book for sooooooo long. I had talked to my Sister about it to see if she thought I'd like it and she said probably not. With that said I wrote the book off....that is until I saw the preview for the movie and I just had to read it! I didn't go in with high hopes of enjoying but let me tell you I read it over a weekend. I was hooked! It helps that the book is an easy read and you can just enjoy it. I know everyone knows about this book so I won't even bother with a summary BUT all I can say is that the minute I finished the first one I put in a request for the second at the library and waited on pins and needles to pick it up!

2. The Silent Wife by A.S.A Harrison
Courtesy of Amazon.com
I picked this one up because it sounded similar to Gone Girl (which I LOVED) and I had read some good reviews about. This book was such an easy read and not very long. It revolves around a couple, Jodi and Todd, who have been together for many years but never legally were married. When Todd makes a choice to completely disrupt their lives Jodi takes matters into her own hands. The one thing I disliked about this book was that I didn't like any of the characters. I found Jodi to be pathetic, Todd to be a disgusting man, and the supporting characters to be just background noises. Despite that I really liked the book. It was another one of those books that take you into the minds of people who need some serious help with their own personal issues. I'd recommend it for anyone who liked Gone Girl, just don't expect it to be anywhere close to that level of amazingness.

3. Chocolate, Chocolate by Frances Park and Ginger Park
Courtesy of Amazon.com
I was browsing my local library looking for something new and random to read when I came across this one. It was in the cooking/baking section and the minute I read the back cover I knew I had to read it! This book is a true story and it was soooooo much fun to read. I fell in love with the two sisters! It's about Ginger and Francis Park who decide to open a chocolate shop in D.C. Anyone who loves success stories and ones about anything chocolate related should definitely pick this one up!

4. The Selection by Kiera Cass
Courtesy of Amazon.com
I had been craving some young adult fiction lately and while I had started to read the Matched trilogy I was having a hard time getting into the second book. I remembered hearing about The Selection a long time ago and decided to check it out! Its another dystopian novel where the society is divided into castes ranging from 1-8. When its determined the Prince needs to find a wife they invite all girls in a certain age range to apply to be placed in the competition. The book follows America Singer, a 5 in the caste system (one of the lower levels), and how the Selection process changes her entire life. This book is full of decadence when it comes to palace life and you can't help but fall in love with the characters. Any one who is interested in young adult fiction should read this one. I have already put in a request for the second novel at the library and I really hope it comes in this week!!

I have read a few others recently too but these were my most favorite!! You should also check out The Cat's Table by Michael Ondaatje, The Goldfinch by Donna Tartlett, The Secret of Magic by Deborah Johnson, and The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty.

Happy Reading!

July 5, 2014

Weekly Favorites

Another round of weekly favorites coming your way!

Let's just get right to it shall we?

1. Books in the mail. I love getting any mail but one of my favorite things to get are books! I recently placed a large order on Amazon.com for used books and impatiently checked my mail every day for a sign of them. Normally I check my mail once a week but I parked my car close to mail boxes every day in order to check for books! I finally received the last of the 9 books that I ordered and I am soooo happy!! On top of that I also received my Old Navy order of a couple new dresses and some capri's!!


I've started Frances & Bernard (2nd book from the bottom) but I'll be honest I am soooo anxious to start The Secret of Magic!! Watch for a bunch of book reviews coming up!

2. Peanut Butter M&M's!! These have always been a weakness of mine but recently I bought a 1lb bag on sale at Target! Was it a bad idea? More than likely but I poured them into a tupperware bowl and only allow myself one handful each night. And since I only get one handful I spread them out over the evening so I don't feel too guilty :)


3. Keeping a journal. I have always loved to write and bought this amazing journal late last year. Do I journal every night? No, but I am getting into the habit of journaling every night now. It's an amazing relief to get out my thoughts and feelings on paper. And since no one is ever going to read it, heck I probably won't even go back and read it, I can say whatever is on my mind. If I want to bitch and complain I can without raining on anyone's day. I can also cry into my journal over frustrations and I can share happy times without sounding like I'm bragging. I can say stupid things, feel sorry for myself, and pump myself up. If you haven't journaled I highly recommend giving it a try. In fact I recently had to purchase another journal as this one is filling up! I find the cutest and most inspiring journals at TJ Maxx and Home Goods!!


4. Boysenberry syrup! I love this syrup more than any other syrup I have ever had in my life. And because it's a little on the pricey side and never seems to be on sale I use it sparingly! I like to treat myself every once in awhile and there are just certain foods I only indulge in once in awhile...I hate when things lose their luxury. Does anyone have a food or beverage they feel is a special treat? I grew up with this syrup thanks to my Dad, well more so my Mom cause she did the grocery shopping but my Dad is the reason we got to have this syrup! I recently indulged in this syrup when I made Buttermilk Blueberry Pancakes (recipe coming soon) and man oh man was it heaven!! Amazing...that's all I can say! Pick some up if you haven't tried it before...it's worth it!


5. My Cuisinart Electric Grill! This has been one of the best purchases I've made! I am very lucky to have a large patio and I spend as much time as possible out there!! And one of my favorite things to do is BBQ dinner! I love BBQing during the summer and the winter! It's easy and the food tastes so much better than when I cook it off in the oven! I have been trying to BBQ as much as possible and this little baby makes it easy! No propane, no charcoal, no mess!! It just plugs into the wall and cooks like an electric stove! I actually purchased this off BeyondtheRack.com and got a steal of a deal! It's perfect for an apartment balcony!!



And there you have it folks...this weeks favorites!! I hope it's been a great week for everyone! And that you all are recovering from all the 4th of July fun! I personally am not a fan of 4th of July Festivities! I love the meaning of the holiday but I am not a fan of the actual fireworks so I can assure you I am up bright and early today! Going to try out Yoga for the first time and get in some good reading. And hopefully if my toe isn't bothering me too much I'd like to take Roxy for a good walk, she's been so good and deserves a nice walk!

Have a wonderful day!

July 4, 2014

Buttermilk Blueberry Breakfast Cake

I have been pretty obsessed lately with trying out new recipes...so much that I haven't had much time to blog! I will admit that I have spent most of my evenings at home watching Grey's Anatomy and baking up a storm! I made this one recently and brought it into work...it was devoured pretty quickly :)

I found this recipe for Buttermilk Blueberry Breakfast Cake on Pinterest...yes I still get most of my new recipes from there. I have been dying to get my hands on some blueberries and bake up something amazing but I wasn't sure exactly what it was I wanted to bake. I scrolled through my Pinterest boards in an attempt to bake something that I pinned awhile back...still trying to be more diligent about actually making the things I pinned. This one just happens to be one that I pinned when I first got hooked on Pinterest.

Wouldn't you love to wake up to this for breakfast?

This recipe was so easy but you do need to have a few things on hand in order to make it. I had to go to the store to pick up the Buttermilk, Blueberries, and Lemon...I just don't keep those stocked!

The first thing you'll want to do is zest your lemon! After you've done that combine your butter, sugar, and lemon.

Set aside and in another bowl toss some flour and your blueberries.

Combine all your ingredients into one bowl and mix just until combined. You'll add your blueberries last and will want to gently fold them into your batter.

Pour into a greased pan and sprinkle with sugar. I used a cake pan because I didn't have a square pan but it worked out just fine. Then you pop that baby into a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes.



Be prepared for your home to smell lovely! I actually baked this on a Saturday night so I'd have a wonderful breakfast to heat up while enjoying a cup of coffee and my book on Sunday but it was really hard not to eat a slice fresh from the oven.


This recipe was amazing! There was just a slight lemon flavor to it but the blueberries overpowered everything...in a great way! I am a huge fan of anything blueberry flavored so this was a hit for me. And it was wonderful when warmed up in the oven and the microwave!

Just check out those blueberries...YUM!



This amazingly easy and delicious recipe is courtesy of the blog Alexandra Kitchen and you can bet I'll be trying more of her recipes! Make sure to go check out her blog and be sure to try this one if you are a lover of breakfast dishes and blueberries!

I hope everyone has a Safe and Happy Fourth of July!

June 30, 2014

Thirty by Thirty

I have been on a roll with reading lately and it's been amazing! Yes I know I promised recipes and I can assure you those are coming...I've been baking, reading, and binge watching Grey's Anatomy!! Since I broke my toe my social life has kind of taken a dive but I am enjoying every minute of being at home and engaging in my favorite hobbies!

This past weekend I sat down and read a wonderful book in a day! It was easy to read in a day because it wasn't a fictional novel, it was short, and it was applicable to where I am at in my life!


Photo courtesy of Amazon


I first heard about this book from one of those random book lists on Pinterest...yes I am still hopelessly addicted to Pinterest and I don't foresee that changing any time soon. I am all about self improvement books and while this isn't necessarily a self improvement book it is a practical checklist of what you should have and know by 30. Does it all apply to every individual? Absolutely not. But this book does give you hope that entering your thirties isn't as bad as some people make it seem.

While I'm perfectly content at staying 28 for the moment I am feeling less anxious about entering my thirties in a couple years and I am determined to achieve everything in this book. I can already check off a few things...For example:

  • An email address, a voice mailbox, and a bank account -- all of which nobody has access to but you.
  • One friend who always makes you laugh and one who lets you cry.
  • How you feel about having kids.
  • Where to go -- be it your best friend’s kitchen table or a yoga mat -- when your soul needs soothing.


And I am so looking forward to discovering these things:

  • The realization that you are actually going to have an old age -- and some money set aside to help fund it.
  • Something ridiculously expensive that you bought for yourself, just because you deserve it.
  • When to try harder and when to walk away.
  • How to live alone, even if you don’t like to.
  • Why they say life begins at 30


For those of you on the cusp of turning 30 I highly recommend you check out this book. My copy now resides on my entertainment stand for future reading and referencing when I start one of my million freak outs about turning 30.

And don't tell anyone but I think I'm almost to the point of being perfectly happy to kiss my twenties good bye! I'll enjoy the last two years of being in my twenties but I think I'm ready to be in my thirties and just moving forward in my life!

June 27, 2014

Weekly Favorites!

Another week full of favorites coming at you!! I think it's amazing how easy it is to come up with favorites but soooo hard to narrow it down to 5...but I promised only 5 so here you go :)

1. Clif Crunch bars in Chocolate Chip!! This granola bar is amazing!! I first discovered these at work and I am officially hooked!! I'm not usually a fan of granola bars because lets be honest....they really aren't that healthy for you. Don't get wrong I used to devour Chewy bars, Kudos bars, and Fiber One bars but once I realized that they aren't low in Weight Watcher points I stopped enjoying them.

But one bite of these and I was officially hooked!! I do however limit myself to only have them when I haven't had time for breakfast before I leave the house and I keep my stash at work! If these babies lived in my pantry I'd devour them every single day!! I highly recommend you check them out if you're a fan of granola bars!


2. Snuggling with Belle! This cat literally sleeps with me every single night and cuddles me more than Roxy at night. But she rarely cuddles me like this when I'm laying on the couch. I let her sleep like this for about 20 minutes....only because I know she misses her sister Jasmine (who now resides with my ex) and this is exactly how they would sleep together. I will gladly let her snuggle me like this any time she wants!


3.  Grey's Anatomy. Netflix has done it again! I took a small break from Scandal and ended up getting hooked on a show that I really didn't think I would. But nope this show has now taken over my TV! I baked all day this past Sunday (recipes coming soon) and I had it on the whole day! I don't know if it's a good thing or bad thing but from my kitchen I can slightly move the TV and have a perfect angle while I whisk away! If you haven't checked out Grey's Anatomy and you are looking for a new show to get sucked into I highly recommend this one...and yes I still think everyone should check out Scandal!!


4. A few weeks ago I ended up in the hospital because I was having some deficiencies in nutrients...Iron being a major one! I used to be really good about cooking dinners that included all the basics but since living on my own I got really lazy. Dinners didn't happen or they consisted of cereal or popcorn! But since my doctor recommended that I start taking a bunch of supplements and that I needed to increase my Iron levels I went out and bought myself london broil! And thanks to my awesome new grill I have been enjoying delicious steak dinners with spinach salads!! I must say I could not be happier that I am back to cooking dinner for myself..and the leftovers are wonderful for lunch the next day!!


5. Bath & Body Works Velvet Sugar body spray! This is my new scent!! I am obsessed with this from Bath and Body! I have the body spray, the lotion and the body wash...in fact I should stock up soon on the body wash before they take it away....unless they already have...note to self check on that! I use this spray on the daily and I have received quite a few compliments on how lovely it smells!!


There you have it folks!! My Weekly Favorites!! I hope everyone has had a wonderful week and here's to a beautiful weekend!!

P.S. Stay tuned for quite a few new recipes...Brown Butter Snickerdoodles, Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars, Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Butterscotch cookies, and Thai Peanut Chicken Wraps :)

June 24, 2014

City Girl, Country Vet

Last weekend I was able to finish City Girl, Country Vet by Cathy Woodman. This book was a gift from my friend Alycia and I'm sure she selected it for me because A. It's all about animals and B. It's a British Chick Lit!!

The book revolves around Maz who ventures out to the country to fill in as a relief Vet. Her friend Emma owns a vet practice and is taking some time off to travel and decompress with her husband. Maz, who hails from London agrees, but soon discovers that she may not be cut out for small town country life! Between a deep rooted vet rivalry, your typical town odd balls, and a romantic interest it's a fun read! I never got to a point where I was bored and I was always rooting for the best for a majority of the characters.

And a huge shout out to Alycia because this book was already a winner before I was even 20 pages in...



I had to do a double take as soon as I saw my name in the book!! I was like oh yes I'm already sold on this book!! It was amazing so of course I took a picture right away :)

For those who love British Lit this is another must read! And it was a quick read for me! I read this over two days and enjoyed every minute! It's a little predictable and of course it's a chick lit so there's a bit of unrealistic romance in there but who doesn't love that??

Overall I give this book an A+!! Thank you to Miss Alycia for providing me with yet another great novel!

June 20, 2014

Weekly Favorites!

One post that I absolutely love to read from other bloggers are the Friday Favorites! I'm not even going to kid myself on this one...last time I tried to do a Friday Favorites I think I may have gotten one done. I have found that by committing myself to doing a post on a specific day I just don't end up doing it. I usually get busy or have nothing to report so instead of committing to listing out my favorites on a Friday...I'm just going to do a weekly favorites. It will probably always be posted on a weekend because no matter what I can find time on a Saturday or Sunday to blog!

So without further ado here is the first of many weekly favorites.

1. I discovered these the other day when I picked up a sandwich from Subway! I've been going out on a limb lately and trying all sorts of new foods! These are hands down a winner!! And bonus less fat!! I am all about lots of flavor and these do not disappoint. If you are a fan of jalapenos at all....which I am a HUGE fan of them....make sure to check these out next time you stop at a sandwich shop or the grocery store!!


2. The local newspaper...hard copy. Whenever my coworkers landlords go on vacation she brings in their daily paper and I always snatch it up! I wait until the end of the day before taking it and then devour it the minute I get home! Don't get me wrong I love that there are so many news sources online and available for free but there is nothing like reading the hard copy of a newspaper. There are so many little articles that I wouldn't find online unless I knew exactly where to look! It also brings me back to when I was younger and I'd get up with Paps in the morning. I would only read the funnies but he'd read the paper and we'd have breakfast together! One of my favorite memories with my Paps!



3. Another perk of work! We have Safeway deliver all of our food items for our new hire Academy as well as our creamers and milk...yes we are very spoiled by our company and they provide us with coffee, half & half, milk, and creamer. It's definitely a major perk...and I do all of the ordering so when we get samples in I get first pick!! I was super excited to get these samples of Quaker Warm & Crunchy Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal! You warm up some milk with this and it is delightful! I will definitely be purchasing these as a regular breakfast moving forward!


4. Netflix has been an evil thing for me but I do enjoy it so much! I finally finished watching all of the Sons of Anarchy and I cannot wait until the final season this fall...Until then I knew I needed another new show to start. I'd heard great things about the tv show Scandal and I can officially say that I am obsessed! I cannot stop watching this show! I am already onto season 3 and it takes everything in me to force myself to go to bed at a decent hour. If you haven't checked it out and you enjoy political drama make sure to start from season 1...however be prepared to be hooked from the start!!


5. Country Concerts!! I have forgotten how much I enjoy going to country concerts!! My friend Jules and I scored some free tickets for the Friday night concert where we saw Joe Nichols and Hunter Hayes!! Not only that but our coworker and friend Nicole snuck us into the VIP area and then got us seats up in the front!! We had a blast and it was the perfect way to end the work week!! I cannot wait to go to more country concerts!!

Yup we went Cowboy Hunting :)
 
Hunter Hayes rocked it!!
There you have it folks! These are just a few of my favorites from the past week but if I didn't limit myself to 5!!

I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend! I am planning on some new recipes coming up and will be starting up another book soon!

June 19, 2014

The End of Bridget Jones

Any one who knows me well knows that I LOVE LOVE LOVE British Chick Lit! I am obsessed with the Brits and all their quirkiness!! In fact if I could sell my soul to become British I would!! I love everything about them....well everything that I know about them anyways :)

One of my all time favorite British Chick Lits is of course Bridget Jones! I love the books and adore the movies! Renee Zellweger is the perfect Bridget Jones...don't even try and fight me on it!

One of my Christmas gifts from my parents was the third and I'm guessing final novel for Bridget Jones. I have waited 6 months to read it because I wasn't sure I was ready for it to end. I am one of those readers who will have less than 100 pages in a book and set it down for a few days because I am just not ready for the book to be over. Unlike movies which I can watch over and over again until I can quote the entire thing....I can't seem to reread books. The magic isn't there once I know how it's going to end.

There are few books that I can reread....for example Harry Potter...I will always read the Harry Potter novels over and over again! And yes I am still waiting on my Hogwarts Letter even though I am well past the age! I can reread all the Hunger Games, The Treachery of Beautiful Things, anything by Gillian Flynn, The Help, and almost all of Sophie Kinsella's books. Okay so I guess that's quite a few but I know people who will reread a million books over and over again!

Unfortunately the Bridget Jones' books are not included in that last...the movies yes absolutely. I put them on all the time when I'm falling asleep at night but the books not so much! Do I keep them?? Absolutely!

Once I finally started Bridget Jones Mad About the Boy I couldn't put it down....at least not until I had a little over 30 pages to go and then I set it aside for three days before I finally finished it. I was just not ready for it to end!!

Photo Courtesy of Amazon.



The book picks up with Bridget years later...2 children and the unfortunate death of her beloved Mark Darcy...not spoiling anything that is clearly in the synopsis of the novel. It follows Bridget through the trials of moving on in the only way Bridget Jones could do it....awkwardly! This woman could make anyone look like a picture of perfection! She is so quirky and such a hilarious mess! What can I say I absolutely adore her!

The book is set again in diary format...could it be any other way? She details her feelings on being a single mother, the joys and pitfalls of having a young toy boy (referred to here in the States as a boy toy), helping her still single friends through their relationships, and trying to start her career up again following the loss of Mark.

Now if I had it my way and could create a happily ever after I'd leave the third book out of the publishing world. I rather liked imagining her and Mark Darcy living happily ever after...just the way they are. But of course life isn't about happily ever after and I will say Helen Fielding did an amazing job of disposing of a beloved character and still leaving you happy with the way life goes on for Bridget. You will find that you like all characters in this novel and that you really are rooting for them all to find happiness.

If you are a fan of Bridget Jones be sure to read this one. She is....as can only be described...the Bridget Jones we all love!

Overall grade - A+++...Now Helen Fielding needs to leave it alone and be good with how she finished Bridget's story. I can't take another heartbreak for Bridget!!

June 10, 2014

Welcome Back to Life

Is anybody still out there??

I have resurfaced my blogging friends! And let's just cut to the chase and start with life updates...

1. I am currently going through a divorce. It's not messy, we remain friends and now we both are moving on with our lives!

2. Because of going through a divorce that entailed a lot of stress and a lot of figuring things out.

3. I am now living happily in my one bedroom (gorgeous) apartment with little Miss Roxy and Miss Belle! Just us girls!


4. I am extremely lucky to be supported by my amazing family and friends!
 
My parents and I at the Straight No Chaser show!
 
My beautiful Sister and I at a Wine & Canvas Event!

 
My awesome brother in law Steve with his amazing photo bomb skills! And my adorable nephew Quigley!


 The bestie Alycia! She has been nothing but supportive and made sure I got all the fun of the Holiday Season!! :)
 
So lucky to have met this amazing woman through work. Lisa and I at our work holiday party.


My friend soul mate Jules! We also met through REACH and instantly bonded!
There are so many other amazing people in my life but all of these have helped me through everything I've been going through! They've all been the shining lights at the end of my tunnel and I am forever grateful for all their love and support!

5. I absolutely love going to work every day and feel so lucky to have an amazing work family! And I recently got to take my first helicopter ride!! YAY!

 
6. I modeled in a bridal fashion last year which was such a fun experience and I look forward to doing it again!


 
 
 
7. I just had the most amazing Golden Birthday!!
One spoiled girl!! Pink KitchenAid Mixer from my family!
And the experience that will be hard to top....SKY DIVING!!
Jules and I walking out to the plane!
 
There are no words for how amazing this was!
 
Jumped from 9000 feet!
 Sky Diving is by the far the coolest thing I've ever done! It was the perfect way to spend my actual birthday and is an experience I will never forget!! And it's one I will definitely be doing again!!

8. Happiness! After months of feeling like my whole world was crashing in I have found my happiness again! I am starting to feel like I am living life again and I am so excited to continue on my new journey.

And what does this new journey entail? Lots of fun, lots of sun, lots of family time, lots of adventures, back to blogging, getting back to a healthy life style, and enjoying every single minute of life!!

I hope all you faithful readers are still out there and still interested in what this girl has to share! I know that I am excited to be back to the blogging community!!

Stay tuned for a new cookie recipe and a few book reviews! I've read quite a few good ones in the past few months!!

Thanks for sticking through this very long post and for those you joining me on this new chapter of life...thank you for supporting me!

XOX
Kendall