Saturday, August 22, 2015

Fun with Munchkin: Garden Results

I have decided to add a new post to my list of things that could happen on the weekends.  As part of my resolutions for 2015, I wanted to do more fun things with Munchkin and as a family.  I will be posting sporadically about some of the fun adventures we are having together.
If you remember way back this spring we planted a garden with Munchkin (See This Post). Munchkin has done a great job reminding me to care for the garden and we have had successes and failures but all in all it has been a fun venture and we will probably do it again next year.
Here are a few 'fruits' of our labors.
Look how pretty all those carrots are, I have only every seen the rainbow carrots on TV
Our biggest zucchini of the year! Our single zucchini plant has been an outstanding producer with over a dozen zucchini, good thing we love them and eat them as fast as they grow!
I think next year we will do zucchini again and maybe some more carrots, and maybe some different lettuces. I would love to do some peas and green beans as well.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Bedtime Story: Little Critter Astronaut by Mercer Mayer

Read for: Children's Book Challenge and again Munchkin is obsessed with Astronauts
Synopsis: "Pretending to be an astronaut, a little critter launches his spacecraft, sights the moon, lands, and explores the moon in his lunar rover. On board pages."

My Review: This was a fun book for the little future astronauts. It helps encourage the imaginative play. It is a short story great for toddlers or even some preschoolers and of course the familiar Little Critter characters. Munchkin had a blast with this book even though it is a little young for him.
My Rating: This is a fun book, of course we love Little Critter books and the fact that this was an astronaut book on top was perfect. Munchkin seems to prefer the non-fiction astronaut books over the pretend but he still really enjoyed it. We give it a rating of Four Paws.
Good Night! Sweet Dreams!                 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

After Dark Review of Servicing the Target by Cherise Sinclair

I have added After Dark Reviews to my blog as a way of notifying you of a review of a book with Adult themes and scenes. From now on I will keep my reviews of all books I read that have explicit scenes in them for late night posts for those of you who prefer to avoid them or easy to find for those of you who seek them out ;)
Read For: Because I simply love this author and series
Synopsis: "A discharged Army Ranger, Ben considers his job as a BDSM club security guard to be an excellent hobby. He’s never been tempted to join in. But everything changes when the notorious Mistress Anne inadvertently reveals the caring heart concealed beneath her Domme armor.

Now, he’s set his sights on the beautiful Shadowlands Mistress. Maybe he’d considered himself vanilla, but she can put her stiletto on his chest any day, any time. He’ll trust her delicate hands to hold his heart. And if she wants to whip his ass on the way to an outstanding climax, he’s just fine with that too.

Sure, he knows she likes “pretty boy” slaves. And he’s older. Craggy and rough. And six-five. Minor hindrances. The mission is a go."

My Review: It has been quite a while since I last read a Shadowlands book and I was happy to return. I really enjoyed having the roles reversed for a change and reading a Domme book. I adore Ben and it was great to get to see the different layers to Anne as well. I really enjoyed the storyline for these characters as well as the brief visits to old favorites of the series (I particularly appreciated the fact that we got to spend enough time with them to remember their stories and personalities instead of a brief mention and backstory dump we see so often). Another great book in the series and I am looking forward to any more that Sinclair can put out there!
My Rating: I still so enjoy this series and really loved the Domme aspect for a change. Ben has been a background character for so long, it was nice to get to know him. Of course not everything is 100% realistic, the relationships move way faster than they would in reality but that doesn't matter so much to me.  I give it a rating of Four Paws!

Pen to Paper: Where to get Stationary

See, I knew things were going to get really crazy come the second half of the year (this is my way of apologizing for missing the post last week and the future posts I will be missing for the next several months hahaha).
Anyway, did you all try to complete your last mission? Did you write on something you don't normally write on? I actually wrote on both unlined paper (and of course my writing was all slanted and uneven) and then on grid paper, that was really different.
So we had started out a couple weeks ago talking about stationary, and I told you a few different options when shopping for it. Hopefully you have an idea of what type of stationary you want to use, so now we are going to talk about where to get that lovely stationary for all your letters.
I have yet to find a good, reliable brick and mortar store that I can turn to for stationary supplies. Barnes and Noble is getting a better variety now but they are awfully pricey for their limited supply.  Occasionally you can find some unique pads at stores like Target or Walmart but they are also inconsistent. I even have a shop in the mall call The Paper Store, do you think they would have stationary? Of course not, they have list pads that they call stationary, so disappointing.
So as a result of the lack of a local stationary market I have turned to the trusty internet. Here are a few of my favorite places to get stationary.
Etsy is by far my favorite place to get new stationary. You can find something to suit your every mood or taste and even have it personalized. The only issue with Etsy is that there really too much to choose from, so you really need to go in knowing exactly what you are looking for.
A couple of my favorite shops include:
The Fox and the Tea Cup - has a wonderful selection of bookish stationary
Tattered Roses Paperie - I love the vintage feel and nothing says friendship quite like Winnie the Pooh
I also love searching for vintage stationary, seasonal stationary and favorite books, quotes or characters.
I stumbled upon this site when I was trying to print postcards of Munchkin and found it to have an unbelievable amount of stationary. I fell in love. Again there is a huge variety so just search for what you want. I have ordered postcards, note cards and stationary and it is always great.
Don't want to spend money for stationary, check out Pinterest. You can find free printable stationary in all kinds of styles as well.
Of course there are many, many individual shops online. I have found though that a lot of them also have shops on Etsy, so I haven't used individual sites much.
I hope that helps you get started on building your own stash of stationary.
Your Mission this Week: Send a quote. Find a quote that you think someone might enjoy or need in their life and write a letter or note based on that quote.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Review of Nostromo the Dwarf by Sam Carr

Read for: Netgalley/ Requested Review
Synopsis: "A young father gets lost in the mountains and meets a mysterious stranger and his dog. Nostromo the Dwarf is a rough man with good manners, a bad temper, and the ability to talk to animals. He tells the young father the wondrous tale of his perilous trip to the mountains in the colonial past, of a ghost and storms and deserted islands and abandoned riches and creating a new life in the New World. But where is he from and why is he here?"
My Review: I really enjoyed everything about this book. I loved the format as to how the story is told (like it was being told by the father to the child), some chapters gave a perfect end point if you were reading to your own children. I also really enjoyed the characters, they were all so vivid and fully developed. The little bit of realism and little bit of fantasy together made a really fun story. This is the type of book I can't wait to start reading to Munchkin when he gets a little older and can appreciate the story.
My Rating: This is a fantastic book that can be enjoyed by readers of all ages (and even non-readers). It can be a short read for a single sitting or can be spaced out with no worries about forgetting the plot line. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and give it a rating of Four Paws and a Stump Wag!
This book was a request through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Tasty Attempts: Snickers Salad

Last year I had started posting What's For Dinner. While I really enjoyed those posts, it was hard to keep up with a weekly post, especially since Munchkin is getting a little more picky about his diet and we are having a lot of repeat meals (sometimes the same thing several times a week). I still wanted to keep posting tasty recipes but include a little more variety (like the appetizers and desserts that I make for various parties). So I am now posting Tasty Attempts every other Tuesday. The posts will include a variety of recipes, maybe some of them turn out tasty, maybe others are failed attempts.
That's correct, you read that right, it says Snickers Salad! As some of you have read we had a pretty rough couple of weeks earlier this month and end of last month. So I was feeling the need for some good comfort food. I haven't had Snickers Salad since last time I was really homesick years ago. This was something my mom used to make when I was a kid, especially in the summer. 
So I know that doesn't look all that appetizing but it is delicious and simple to make. Granted it really isn't healthy but it makes a nice treat once in a while.
So here is how to make it:
Dice up some apples (I buy the pre-sliced and treated for browning for Munchkin's lunches but if you don't you just need to soak your apple chunks in some water with a little lemon juice, or dissolved vitamin C tablets). Then dice up some snickers bars into bite sized pieces. Last mix it all up in a tub of cool whip and enjoy (it is best if you let it chill in the fridge for an hour but who is waiting that long).

Monday, August 17, 2015

Monday Reading List

Its Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Shelia at Book Journey. Share what books you have finished in the last week, are currently reading and what might be coming up next!

Reviews Posted Last Week:
Links will take you to my review
Daughter of Earth and Sky by Kaitlin Bevis
Sonnets by Charles Gerard Timm
Moonwalk by Judy Donnelly (Early Reader)
Astronauts by Charlotte Guillian (Bedtime Story)
Loki Agent of Asgard Vol. 1: Trust Me by Al Ewing (Graphic Novel)

 Books Finished Last Week:
Reviews will be posted at a later date

Currently Reading:

Searching for Perfect - Print - on page 121 of 352
Sun Tea Chronicles by Quinton Blue - Kindle - 15%

 Books to be Read Soon:

True Grit by Charles Port - Mount TBR/ Reading Across the States
Friday Night Lights by HG Bissinger - Mount TBR/ Reading Across the States
Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas - Mount TBR/ Series Challenge
Searching For Series by Jennifer Probst - Mount TBR/ Audio/ Series Challenge

Total Points Earned
253 points + None :(

Pages Read/ Time Listened
38,936 pages read
129:11 listening time

Books Added to Shelves

Interesting Tidbits on the Web:



Holy Cow! What a whirl wind of a week last week was! After a day off on Monday things went crazy! I put down the wrong date for a friend's wedding and it ended up being on Thursday, so thankfully it was one I was attending via webcast. Then we had a rehearsal and rehearsal dinner on Thursday night. Then my sister-in-laws wedding on Friday. Saturday ended up being a day of rest and recover (and of course pay up to Munchkin for a job very well done as ring bearer). We also got the never ending shed rebuild nearly complete. Now we only have this coming weekend to prepare for Munchkin's 3rd Birthday and our annual summer party.

Even with all of this going on I plan to participate in the Bout of Books readathon this week. I may not be able to get as much reading done as I had originally planned but will still be throwing every spare minute into reading as possible.

I figured you might all want to see how adorable Munchkin was at the wedding
And of course his reward was to ride the carousel, he will only ride the rabbit.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Bout of Books 14 Sign Up & Updates

I have been feeling the need for another Readathon, and thankfully Bout of Books has me covered. It is time again for Bout of Books Readathon 14!
Here is the information you need in case you want to sign up too!
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 17th and runs through Sunday, August 23rd in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 14 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team


So this post is going to be my base for the week, I will continue to come back and update it each day with my progress (as I already have a lot of posts planned for this week and don't want things too jumbled up).  I will also be updating via twitter at @EasternSunset9




Time Devoted to Reading

I would like to read between 3-4 hours each day and read about 200 pages each day.

Averaging about 2 hours and work and another 1 to 2 at home after Munchkin goes to bed.

My Goals

Read a total of 1,300 pages
Read at least 4 hours each day
Read and finish at least 3 requested review novels 
My goal is to read at least a total of 5 books this week

Books to Read

Friday Night Lights - Print - 357 pages
How to Live Life - Digital - 156 pages (requested review)
Summer Haikus - Digital - 304 pages (requested review)
Nostromo the Dwarf - Digital - 120 pages (requested review)
The Assassin's Blade - Digital - 448 pages
Throne of Glass - Digital - 404 pages
Crown of Midnight - Digital - 418 pages
Extras Just in Case:
 Heir of Fire - Digital - 562 pages
Reckless - Digital - 280 pages


Number of Pages I've read today: 281
Total Number of Pages:  281
Time spent reading today: 1.5 hours at work & 2.5 hours at home  = 4 hours
Total number of books I've read: 3 (started How to Live Life & continued Searching for Perfect)
Books completed: Nostromo the Dwarf
Thoughts: As I said in my Monday Reading List, this week is turning out to be a lot busier than I expected.  I didn't get as much time to read at work as I had hoped. I am happy with the amount of reading I have done so far though and very happy with the books I am reading too! I hope to increase the amount of reading over the next couple of days to make up for the lack of reading over the weekend and the end of the week.

Number of Pages I've read today: 320
Total Number of Pages: 601
Time spent reading today: 2 hours at work & 2 hours at home = 4 hours
Total number of books I've read: 4 (started Summer Haikus)
Books completed: Nostromo the Dwarf, Searching for Perfect, How to Live Life
Thoughts: I am really happy with how my Tuesday went, especially considering how much I had going on both at work and at home. I have managed to finish 2 of my requested review books and have started the 3rd so at least I will be able to finish that goal. I have also finished 3 of the 5 books I wanted to read so I am confident I can complete that goal as well.  I even managed to participate in a challenge, something I don't normally do!

Number of Pages I've read today: 94 plus 4 hours of listening (estimating at roughly 142 pages)
Total Number of Pages: 837 (including listening estimate)
Time spent reading today: 1/2 an hour at work + 5 at home = 5 1/2 hours
Total number of books I've read: 6 (started True Grit & Searching for Beautiful and continued Summer Haikus)
Books completed: Nostromo the Dwarf, Searching for Perfect, How to Live Life
Thoughts: I ended up having an extremely busy day at the office yesterday so it threw my game plan off. That said I some crafty things to work on at home so I started listening to the audio book Searching for Beautiful and love it. I also ended up starting True Grit since Munchkin seems to be on a sleep strike so there was no point in trying to go to bed. I am hoping for a little better day today in the office and hope to finish my 3rd requested review novel.
Number of Pages I've read today: 97 plus 1 1/2  hours reading (about 75 pages worth) = 162
Total Number of Pages: 999
Time spent reading today: 1 hour at the office + 1 1/2 hours listening + 1 hour at home = 3 1/2 hours

Total number of books I've read: 6 (started True Grit & Searching for Beautiful and continued Summer Haikus)
Books completed: Nostromo the Dwarf, Searching for Perfect, How to Live Life

Thoughts: I was planning on getting a lot more reading done Thursday than I did, it ended up being a little busier at the office than expected and then Munchkin actually slept last night (for the first time in a good 4 or 5 days) so I took advantage and also slept. I am really enjoying Searching for Beautiful and wish I had more time I could listen to it, hopefully tonight I can while I get some packages ready, fill favor bags for Munchkin's birthday, do the accounting, etc. I don't normally get much reading time on the weekends but I am going to have to make time in order to meet all my goals!

Number of Pages I've read today: 189 + 1 hour listening (60 pages roughly) = 249
Total Number of Pages: 1,248
Time spent reading today:  1 1/2 hr at work + 1 hr listening + 4 hours at home = 6 1/2 hours
Total number of books I've read: 6 (still listening to Searching for Beautiful & reading True Grit)
Books completed:  Nostromo the Dwarf, Searching for Perfect, How to Live Life, Summer Haikus
Thoughts: Woohoo! I managed to finish my 3rd requested review for the week and book number 4. I only need to read a little over 50 pages and finish one more book to meet all my goals. It took me a lot longer than I expected to finish Summer Haikus but it was fun. I plan to listen some more to Searching for Beautiful while I am cleaning the house this weekend and hope to finish reading the last 130 pages of True Grit. It has been a really good reading Bout of Books week for me so far!

Saturday & Sunday
Number of Pages I've read today: 2 hours of listening (about 100 pages) = 100
Total Number of Pages: 1,348
Time spent reading today: 2 hours of listening
Total number of books I've read: 6
Books completed: Nostromo the Dwarf, Searching for Perfect, How to Live Life, Summer Haikus
Thoughts: I didn't quite get as much reading done over the weekend as I had hoped but that is pretty par for the course around here. Weekends are always bonkers since it is the only time our little family is all together and we always have visiting to do, projects to work on and cleaning to catch up on.



I don't normally participate in challenges in the Bout of Books because I like to focus my time on getting as much reading in as I can but if I do participate you will see my answers and or photos or whatever the challenge requires posted here with a link to the challenge.

The Book Monsters Challenge: Book Scavenger Hunt (posted 8/18/2015)
I am posting cover pictures from Goodreads since I don't have all the books in print

1. A Book that begins with “B”  (for Bout of Books!)
2. A book you’re planning to read/currently reading for Bout of Books
3. Blue Book(s)
4. Books from your favorite genre!
One of my all time favorite fantasy books (not to mention top 5 books of all time)
5. A book on your TBR shelf, or your full TBR shelves
This one has been on my shelf for YEARS and gosh darn it, I will read it this year!
Again because I don't always read print books and some are ebooks I have posted the covers here.