Tracy

Earl to the Rescue by Jane Ashford

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Earl to the Rescue by Jane Ashford
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on December 4, 2018
Genres: Fiction, Historical, Romance
Pages: 384
Format: ebook
Source: Netgalley
Goodreads
three-stars

Who needs a knight in shining armor when there's an earl at your side...?
Gwendeline Gregory doesn't know what to think when she encounters the dashing Alex St. Audley, Earl of Merryn. She's in over her head in London Society, trying to fend off a scoundrel who will stop at nothing to ruin her. On the brink of a devastating scandal, the earl arrives just when she needs him most. But are his motivations trustworthy? And can he avert ruin for both of them?

This story starts out with Gwendeline about ready to lose her home and everything she knows after the untimely death of her parents. Who really wasn’t that parental and spent more time traveling and tending to their own interests instead of their daughter. Unsure of what to do with herself due to her upbringing and her station among the English society and having no relatives to rely on. Gwendeline is in a real pickle, until Alex St Audley, the fifth Earl of Merryn arrives on her doorstep. Now Alex thought that she was a much younger girl and figured he would be her benefactor setting her up in a school. Much to both their surprises things turned out differently and while slow going seeing Gwendeline learn to navigate London and the Ton and Alex trying to help her. I enjoyed this story, the interactions between Alex and Gwendeline are good and the story does eventually pull you in after the slow start.

three-stars

The Spiritual Vixen’s Guide To An Unapologetic Life by Maureen Muldoon

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Spiritual Vixen's Guide to an Unapologetic Life by Maureen Muldoon
Published by She Writes Press on November 20, 2018
Pages: 232
Goodreads
four-stars

This story begins with an ending: the day Maureen Muldoon realized the devastating fact that her husband was having an affair―and leaving her for Miss Universe. Miss freaking Universe! How does this even happen?
An intimate examination of Muldoon’s unraveling in the face of this betrayal, A Spiritual Vixen’s Guide to An Unapologetic Life takes a fresh, funny and fearless look at loss, denial, anger, grace, and liberation. Muldoon reveals the strength that comes from facing one’s fears, the humor that arrives in the darkest hours, and the miracles that happen when you least expect them in this grand tapestry of tales from the dark side. Ultimately, with wit and wisdom, she walks herself out of hell in a pair of sexy stilettos and manages to do what the all the king’s horse and all the king’s men could not: she puts herself back together. And in doing so, she comes to find more beauty and strength in the fractured places than anyone would have ever imagined.

I enjoyed this book. I think it’s very helpful to see how people get through things in life and not just ready their advice. It makes the book so much more relatable. I liked seeing Maureen’s wit and humor come through in this book, and the theme of picking your self up and brushing the dirt off and keep on moving forward is a very good and worthwhile message to see.

four-stars

Tips and Tricks – Use Cash

Another easy step you can make to save money is to shop your local Goodwill or resale shop. I have done this many times over the years for myself or the kids. Now I will admit that I do become very picky when shopping there. But I can afford to because we have very rarely been in the position where we desperately need something.  When my kids were still growing I would always be shopping for the next size up. So it was easy enough to pass on the things that didn’t meet my approval.

In fact, right now I am going to be hitting GoodWill/Salvation Army stores by me searching for a pair of tuxedo pants for my daughter. She wants them for one of the choir outfits she needs for this year.

The New Vegetarian South 105 Inspired Dishes for Everyone by Jennifer Brulé

The New Vegetarian South: 105 Inspired Dishes for Everyone by Jennifer Brule
Published by University of North Carolina Press on September 17, 2018
Pages: 192
Goodreads
five-stars

In this enlightening cookbook, chef Jennifer Brule brings southern-style food together with plant-based approaches to eating. Her down-to-earth style and 105 recipes will immediately appeal to vegetarians, vegans, and meat-eaters alike. These dishes are also a boon for those who simply love southern food and want to learn more about options for flexitarian eating. Brule deliciously demystifies meat substitutes and flavors up familiar vegetables. Imagine vegetarian barbecue: Brule's recipe for spicing, saucing, and oven-roasting jackfruit offers a robustly tasty alternative to pulled pork. Tofu is the perfect base for crispy Southern Fried Buttermilk Nuggets, and cauliflower beautifully fills in for shrimp in a Cajun-inspired etouffee.
Brule also highlights just how many traditional southern dishes are in fact vegetarian, and they're gathered together for you in this gorgeously illustrated book. Beloved foods like tomato pie, pimento cheese, grits casserole, and more will encourage you to skip the meat without a second thought. With step-by-step instructions and notes on how to easily find new ingredients, The New Vegetarian South gathers a feast for everyone.

I really enjoyed this book. I have dabbled in cooking more vegetarian meals at home. But not really looked into any cookbooks filled with recipes before. The pictures in this cookbook are so colorful and amazing I have found many that I want to try. It will take me time to try them all because my kids are pretty picky and I have to bring new recipes into our repertoire slowly. So I will enjoy trying out the many recipes from this book for quite some time.

five-stars

The Forbidden Door A Jane Hawk Novel by Dean Koontz

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Forbidden Door (Jane Hawk, #4) by Dean Koontz
Published by Bantam on October 9, 2018
Pages: 480
Source: Netgalley
Goodreads
four-stars


Jane Hawk--rogue FBI agent and the country's #1 fugitive--confronts her worst nightmare when her enemies strike shockingly close to home in the explosive new thriller from Dean Koontz, bestselling author of

The Silent Corner

.

Jane Hawk thinks her precious five-year-old son is hidden safely away, with vigilant, indomitable friends. But the malice and resources of her powerful adversaries are boundless and their hunters are circling ever closer to the boy, hoping to draw his mother into their trap. Jane's courage, wits, discipline, and skill will be tested as never before, as she searches for a way through an ever-contracting labyrinth of terror.

Oh my goodness this book just sucks you in. Now I’ve not read any of the previous Jane Hawk books and I thought that would hinder my enjoyment of this book. Bot oh was I wrong, and now I’m off to read those previous books.

Jane is a woman after my own heart, she is there to protect those who need it. And she’s smart and strong enough to do that, even when she is being hunted by killers and the law.

The cat and mouse story in this book made it a very interesting. I want to say fun but seeing Jane hunted and her fear for her son takes the fun out of the story and turns it into interesting.

I’ve not read a book like this in a long time, I’ve been reading more Romance and Historical fiction lately. So this book was a very nice change of pace. And I highly recommend this book to you. You will be sucked into it and not able to put it down until you finish it.

 

four-stars

Why you should be budgeting

Are you are in a constant state of wondering, worrying, terrified over how you are going to pay your bills?

Do you just never have any money, but you make a good salary?

Is it true that you have enough for your needs but not much else?

Do you deal with money?

If you can answer yes to any of these questions than you should be budgeting your money. By budgeting I mean that you are tracking the inflow and outflow of money that passes through you. I believe in the zero based budget, and keeping only the amount of money that is needed in my main accounts. Because for most of us, me included if you see money in your account you automatically think that you can spend it. You are not seeing that phone bill coming in a few days, or rent at the end of the month. Then once you’ve spent the money and its the day before a bill is due you are panicked over how you will pay it.

For those of you who always have enough money to spend and to keep paying the bills. A budget will allow you to plan for those big expenses like a car, vacation, house, retirement or college for your kids. And anyone who has enough money for all of that without worrying about paying for it. Think if you were budgeting how much you could send on to those who could really benefit from some extra money. Like any of the endangered animals of the world, or the local homeless shelter or food pantry by where you are.

The people who need to budget the most are the ones who are living paycheck to paycheck worried about the next bill to come in. Where one bad thing happening to them could cause some real hardship.

This is a hard place to start from, because you are so worried and distracted by life. But you need to do this. You need to find those little leaks where your money is flowing through and plug them. You need to know if you just are not making enough money right now and you have to get a second job or a side hustle to bring in enough to balance the budget. Those are hard truths to face, but I can promise you the relief you will feel when you have things under control will be well worth stepping out of your comfort zone.

Know that you are not alone, I have been where you were with nothing. I’m now at the point where our needs are meet and some of the extras are starting to happen. But the thought of spending money on a vacation or even a new couch is something that starts me sweating in fear. But I know in my head I have enough money coming in, that with some planning and discipline (my weakness here) I could do both of those.

So while I’m currently in a better place than some I still have a way to go before I get to true financial freedom. And this is why I am re committing to getting a budget in place that I can follow. And that I can spend money on something my kids want or need and I’m not just taking money that really should be going someplace else.

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