**This is a guest review. My stepmother, Brenda, saw this book & asked to read it. I told her sure if she would write the review for it.**

Plated by Elana Karp and Szanne Dumaine



The more than 125 inventive, repertoire-building recipes in Plated will help you cook and eat food you love without having to think so hard about it. Every dish here will work no matter how much (or little) time you have to cook, whether it’s quick dinner on a Monday for two or a backyard barbecue for a crowd. The recipes are all rooted in a core technique—think One-Pan Roasted Chicken, Slow-Simmered Turkey Chili, or Cheesy Baked Penne—but can also be customized according to peak produce and just what you’re in the mood for. Step-by-step prep instructions and menu ideas take the stress out of cooking, so you know exactly what to do and when. Here, too, are ways for you to stretch these recipes, like basic marinades and spice rubs that can be used on almost anything, reinventions for leftovers, big-batch make-aheads, company-worthy feasts, and perfect sides. Plated is sure to become a well-loved, sauce-splattered staple in your kitchen.

Brenda’s Review

**QUICK INFO: I do my best not to have spoilers, but I will warn you I may accidentally have them in my review.**

This Is that rare cookbook that one would not only love to own, but would have no qualms giving to anyone on their gift list: brides, girlfriends, daughters, sisters, and brothers etc.

For the accomplished cook, it teaches new techniques with aplomb; and for novices, it explains procedures and reveals kitchen basics, putting together a menu and entertaining for a crowd.

As a seasoned cook, what I love about “Plated” is the book’s sections on using herbs and making rubs, (“Flavoring,” chapter 1”) and its reliance on simple – and found in stores – ingredients. I recommend this book for absolutely anyone. It is also an excellent read.


I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

The Perfect Horse


Title: The Perfect Horse: The Daring American Mission to Rescue the Priceless Stallions Kidnapped by the Nazis
Author: Elizabeth Letts
Published: August 23, 2016
Pages: 384
Category: History | Animals | Nonfiction | War

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Eighty-Dollar Champion, the remarkable story of the heroic rescue of priceless horses in the closing days of World War II

In the chaotic last days of the war a small troop of battle-weary American soldiers captures a German spy and makes an astonishing find—his briefcase is empty but for photos of beautiful white horses that have been stolen and kept on a secret farm behind enemy lines. Hitler has stockpiled the world’s finest purebreds in order to breed the perfect military machine—an equine master race. But with the starving Russian army closing in, the animals are in imminent danger of being slaughtered for food.

With only hours to spare, one of the Army’s last great cavalrymen, American colonel Hank Reed, makes a bold decision—with General George Patton’s blessing—to mount a covert rescue operation. Racing against time, Reed’s small but determined force of soldiers, aided by several turncoat Germans, steals across enemy lines in a last-ditch effort to save the horses.
[…] Continue Reading…

Marie Antoinette’s Darkest Days


Title: Marie Antoinette’s Darkest Days: Prisoner No. 280 in the Conciergerie
Author: Will Bashor
Published: Dec 1 2016
Pages: 396 pages
Category: Nonfiction | History | Cultural | France

This compelling book begins on the 2nd of August 1793, the day Marie Antoinette was torn from her family’s arms and escorted from the Temple to the Conciergerie, a thick-walled fortress turned prison. It was also known as the “waiting room for the guillotine” because prisoners only spent a day or two here before their conviction and subsequent execution. The ex-queen surely knew her days were numbered, but she could never have known that two and a half months would pass before she would finally stand trial and be convicted of the most ungodly charges.

Will Bashor traces the final days of the prisoner registered only as Widow Capet, No. 280, a time that was a cruel mixture of grandeur, humiliation, and terror. Marie Antoinette’s reign amidst the splendors of the court of Versailles is a familiar story, but her final imprisonment in a fetid, dank dungeon is a little-known coda to a once-charmed life. Her seventy-six days in this terrifying prison can only be described as the darkest and most horrific of the fallen […] Continue Reading…

Book Review: The Mask


Title: The Mask
Author: Taylor Stevens
Published: Mar 29, 2016
Pages: 352
Category: Mystery & Suspense


“Munroe is a sensational character and Stevens is a sensational writer.” —Lee Child, New York Times bestselling author of the Jack Reacher series

For fans of Lee Child, Terry Hayes, and Laura Lippman comes a blistering thriller in which Vanessa Michael Munroe faces the fight of her life

Vanessa Michael Munroe, chameleon and information hunter, has a reputation for getting things done: dangerous and not quite legal things that have taken her undercover into some of the world’s deadliest places. Still healing from a Somali hijacking gone wrong and a brutal attack that left her near death, Munroe joins her lover, Miles Bradford, in Japan where he’s working as a security consultant protecting high-value technology from industrial espionage. In the domesticity of their routine she finds long sought-after peace—until Bradford is arrested for murder, and the same interests who targeted him come after her, too.
Searching for answers and fighting to stay alive, Munroe will soon discover how far she’ll go to save Bradford from spending the […] Continue Reading…

Book Review: By Helen’s Hand


Title: By Helen’s Hand (Helen of Sparta #2)
Author: Amalia Carosella
Published: May 10, 2016
Pages: 429
Category: Historical Fiction | Fantasy | Mythology

Helen believed she could escape her destiny and save her people from utter destruction. After defying her family and betraying her intended husband, she found peace with her beloved Theseus, the king of Athens and son of Poseidon.

But peace did not last long. Cruelly separated from Theseus by the gods, and uncertain whether he will live or die, Helen is forced to return to Sparta. In order to avoid marriage to Menelaus, a powerful prince unhinged by desire, Helen assembles an array of suitors to compete for her hand. As the men circle like vultures, Helen dreams again of war—and of a strange prince, meant to steal her away. Every step she takes to protect herself and her people seems to bring destruction nearer. Without Theseus’s strength to support her, can Helen thwart the gods and stop her nightmare from coming to pass?

My Review

**QUICK INFO: I do my best not to have spoilers, but I will warn you I may accidentally have them in my review.**

This book was a pick up cause I LOVE Mythology lore. It was […] Continue Reading…

Book Review: Knitlandia


Title: Knitlandia
Author: Clara Parkes
Published: February 16th 2016
Pages: 160
Category: Crafts / Knitting / Nonfiction / Travel / Writing / Essays / Autobiography / Memoir


Building on the success of The Yarn Whisperer, Parkes’s rich personal essays invite readers and devoted crafters on excursions to be savored, from a guide who quickly comes to feel like a trusted confidante. In Knitlandia, she takes readers along on 17 of her most memorable journeys across the globe over the last 15 years, with stories spanning from the fjords of Iceland to a cozy yarn shop in Paris’s 13th arrondissement.

Also known for her PBS television appearances and hugely popular line of small-batch handcrafted yarns, Parkes weaves her personal blend of wisdom and humor into this eloquently down-to-earth guide that is part personal travel narrative and part cultural history, touching the heart of what it means to live creatively. Join Parkes as she ventures to locales both foreign and familiar in chapters like:

Chasing a Legend in Taos
Glass, Grass, and the Power of Place: Tacoma, Washington
[…] Continue Reading…

Book Review: Cable Left, Cable Right


Title: Cable Left, Cable Right: 94 Knitted Cables
Author: Judith Durant
Published: May 31st 2016
Pages: 216 pages
Category: Craft | Knitting | DIY


Knitted cables, with their three-dimensional twists and turns, are a common element in lots of patterns — but most patterns don’t include directions for executing them. Cable Left, Cable Right, by expert knitter Judith Durant, eliminates the mystery with detailed, in-depth instructions for creating 94 different styles of cable, from perfectly plain to fantastically fancy. Close-up photos and clear instructions teach you the techniques you need, including design options like braids, diamonds, and pretzels so you can make your cables truly one-of-a-kind. This book is the perfect companion to any knitting pattern featuring cables, giving you the information and skills to make polished, beautiful, and unique cables for any project.

My Review

**QUICK INFO: I do my best not to have spoilers, but I will warn you I may accidentally have them in my review.**

When I saw that this book was going to be published I was almost jumping for joy. I have previously gotten Increase, Decrease: 99 Step-by-Step Methods by Judith […] Continue Reading…

Jimmy Beans Wool Big Beanie Bag 05-16

As I was surfing Facebook one day I came across a ad for Jimmy Beans Wool Big Beanie Bag. I thought that would be interesting but I had seen the cost of other yarn monthly subscriptions & automatically figured that it would be too expensive. So I skipped it & moved on down my feed. The problem? It kept showing up. So I decided to check it out. For $25 per month you get enough yarn for the pattern & notions along with a wonderful project bag. I thought what the heck, & ordered one. I am so happy I did. The first bag has pretty much sold me. I love the surprise of that you don’t know what your getting but at the same time you are not getting a whole skein of yarn that you may not like. It is perfect for me.

  This is the project bag. I love that it is a simple drawstring without a lot of fancy smanchy looks. I love the tips for knitting on the back of the bag. the bag is big enough for socks, lace shawl, or lace blanket this size bag is the […] Continue Reading…

Tip Time: Bras!

OK, I am a big, heavy busted female. I hate bras, they are one of the worse things women have to wear, in my opinion. Yes, I have been fitted. Yes, I am wearing my correct size. Yes, I have tried every single type of bra they make. Trust me, that was very interesting. Strapless is not suited for me at all! So what is my tip?

I wear a 46DD get your mind out of the gutter people. I am NOT blessed with DD cups. They are horrible & very heavy. Every time I wear my bra the buckle slides down the strap & by the end of the day it is where it is at in the photo. Hmm…not very good for when you are trying for support. So how did I fix this problem??? I realize that someone out there in the wide world has this tip & is thinking I am crazy for posting a entire post about it. Guess what? My blog, my content, lol. It is really simple & invisible if using the same color thread as your bra strap. If you can handle a sewing needle then you can do this. […] Continue Reading…

In The Year….2015

Did you get the song reference?1 I wanna know that I am not the only one that knows this song, lol.

So I thought I would do a year in review this year since so much has happened to me. I don’t know that you will be that interested or that it will be that interesting, lol. But figured that I needed to or should do it. This is going to be a long post (though honestly I think all my posts are long, lol). So bear with me.

I am currently sitting in my bed writing this out the “old-fashioned” way by pen & paper. No telling how many revisions it will go through as I type it into the site, lol. Who knows it probably won’t be anywhere near the same by the time it goes live on the site, lol. Hence, why I normally just type my entries on the fly instead of writing them out. But I am downstairs & my computer is upstairs. Plus, I hate using my computer in my bed cause I try to keep my bed my reading, watching tv, & most importantly sleeping area only. But alas, I am getting off point […] Continue Reading…

Las Vegas – November 2015

This blog entry is gong through my vacation to Las Vegas, Nevada on November 23, 2015 through November30, 2015. I am going with my Father & Step-Mother.

!!WARNING!!: This post is very photo intense. Please be patient in letting it load.

November 23, 2015 at 7:35pm:
So I am sitting in the Kansas City Airport typing this entry. This is the first time I have ever been on a plane. To say that I am scared & anxious is a minor thing. If you have read most of what I write you know that I suffer from severe agoraphobia (fear of the open market, i.e. crowds & loud noises), panic disorder, & social anxiety disorder. If you agree that all this makes it very hard for me to leave my house you would be correct. Hence, why I go to my father’s office every weekday. Plus, that is why I live with him & my stepmother. So this trip is a HUGE deal for me. I really want to go to London sometime in my life. I have never been on a plane & agree with my father that I need to have a few domestic flights under my belt so […] Continue Reading…