Saturday, December 26, 2015

2015 Challenge Wrap Up!

Holy Cow! What an insane year it was for reading. I read more books than usual and I read a much wider variety of books too.  Here are a list of my challenges, links to my reviews and the end of year totals.
Personal Re-Read Challenge
My goal was to read 15 books.
 This challenge is COMPLETE! I didn't think I would get there on this one but I managed.
1. North of Need
5. Nobody's Prize
7. Om Kas Toe
8. Secret Santa
9. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
10. Thirty Nights with a Highland Husband
11. Highland Guardian
12. Rikki Tikki Tavi
13. Bunnicula
14. Fire
15. King of the Wind

Personal Children's Book Challenge
This Challenge is COMPLETE! I got a little carried away with this challenge as I do every year, but I will try to keep it under control next year.
1. Peter Loves Penguin
13. Again!
 35. I Took the Moon for a Walk
36. We're Going on a Bear Hunt
37. The Little Red Caboose
38. Happy to Help!
39. Pony Brushes his Teeth
40. A Hole in the Road
41. The Lost Dinosaur Bone
42. Grandpa & the Truck 2
43. Emergency Vehicles
44. C is for Cornhusker
45. Curious George and the Dump Truck
46. Curious George Goes Fishing
47. Mr. Mischief
48. The Best Show & Share
49. Frogs!
50. The Mitten
51. Curiouse George Goes to a Bookstore
52. Oscar the Almost Butterfly
53. Elmo ABCs book with Sound
54. Happy Easter, Curious George
55. Littlest Bunny in Rhode Island
56. The Happy Man and His Dump Truck
57. The Thank You Prayer
58. Pout Pout Fish in the Big Big Dark
59. Scuffy the Tugboat
60. I'm a Bulldozer
61. The Pout Pout Fish
62. A Rainbow of My Own
63. Follow the Leader
64. The Bear Went Over the Mountain
65. Five Green and Speckled Frogs
66. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
67. Five Little Monkeys Sitting in a Tree
68. Jesus Loves Me
69. Winnie the Pooh
70. Tadpole Trouble
71. Mr. Cheerful
72. A Cuddle for Little Duck
73. Time Together: Me and Mom
74. Wheedle and the Noodle
75. Just a Little Music
76. Mr. Noisy
77. Rain!
78. Storm Song
79. The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear
80. The Best Teacher Ever
81. Tow Truck Trouble and Lights Out
82. Pete the Cat: Rock On Mom and Dad
83. Look, A Book!
84. Mr. Perfect
85. Outer Space Bedtime Race
86. Pete the Cat: Construction Destruction
87. Meet the Penguins
88. Mr. Strong
89. The Sandcastle
90. Otter in Space
91. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day
92. Curious George Gets a Medal
93. Numbers! Take the Dog Out
94. Whose Nose and Toes
95. Mr. Funny
96. Llama Llama Mad at Momma
97. Llama Llama Home with Mama
98. No More Hitting
99. Letters from Felix
100. Elmo's First Babysitter
101. Astronauts
102. Bye Bye Mom and Dad
103. Little Critter Astronaut
104. The Night before Preschool
105. Mr. Slow
106. Octonauts and the Undersea Eruption
 107. The New Bear at School
108. Slowly, Slowly, Slowly said the Sloth
109. Sweet Dreams Pout-Pout Fish
110. Daylight, Night Light
111. Octonauts and the Colossal Squid
112. The Jolly Postman
113. Giraffes Can't Dance
114. Pete the Cat and his Magic Sunglasses
115. There's No Place like Space
116. Look and Find Elmo
117. Book of Planets
118. Big Book of Space
119. Trapped in Toyland
120. When Will it Snow
121. The Gingerbread Man
122. It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown
123. How to Read a Story
124. Sixteen Runaway Pumpkins
125. Otis and the Scarecrow
126. Pete The Cat: The First Thanksgiving
127. Dinosaur Christmas
128. Tractor Mac Saves Christmas
129. Froggy's Best Christmas
130. Corduroy's Christmas Surprise
131. Worms for Lunch

Personal Beginning Reader Challenge:
This Challenge is COMPLETE! My goal for this challenge was 30 books.  Next year will be a little different but expect to see many more of these books.
1. Charlie's Snow Day
2. Monsters Munch Lunch
3. Brave Dragon
4. Kick Pass and Run
5. Charlie The Ranch Dog: Where's the Bacon
6. Big Bear, Little Bear
7. Chase on the Case
8. Look for Lorax
9. Curious George, Dinosaur Tracks
10. Danny and the Dinosaur
11. Curious George Colors Eggs
12. Penguins!
13. Pete's Big Lunch
14. Dusty Flies High
15. Ponies Love Pets
16. Just Saving My Money
17. Go, Go, Go!
18. Play Ball
19. Biscuit and the Lost Teddy Bear
20. The Three Little Grouches
21. To the Rescue
22. Just Helping My Dad
23. Little Critter: This is My Town
24. Danny and the Dinosaur Go to Camp
25. Amelia Bedelia Goes Camping
26. Going to the Sea Park
27. Life in Space
28. Best Chef in Second Grade
29. Dixie
30. Mittens at School
31. What's That Mittens
32. Dixie and the Class Treat
33. Moonwalk
34. Snowball Soup

Personal Read Across the States Challenge
Obviously there are 50 books in this challenge. It took some changes of books and a lot more stress towards the end but I managed to COMPLETE this Challenge! I am glad I took the time to do this one, I read a lot of books outside my comfort zone and enjoyed reading the personality of each of those states.

Alabama  - A Redbird Christmas
Alaska - If you Lived Here
Arizona - Veil of Roses
Arkansas - A Suitable Wife
California - Starter Wife
Colorado - Calves in the Mud Room
Connecticut - A Whole Latte Life
Delaware - A Catered Affair
Florida - Because of Winn Dixie
Georgia - Deep Dish
Hawaii - Birth
Idaho - Whatchago Stew
Illinois - The Untouchables
Indiana - The Sun Tea Chronicles
Iowa - Little Heathens
Kansas - A Dog Named Christmas
Kentucky - Bluegrass State of Mind
Louisiana - Taste the Heat
Maine - Stone Bay
Maryland - Dinner at Homesick Restaurant
Massachusetts - The Dante Club
Michigan - South of Superior
Minnesota - Pontoon
Mississippi - The Help
Missouri - The Borrower
Montana - The Smoke Jumper
Nebraska - C is for Cornhusker
Nevada - The Missing Ink
New Hampshire - Love and Leftovers
New Jersey - The Fighting Ground
New Mexico - Pegasus
New York - The Magicians
North Carolina -  Peach Keeper
North Dakota - Codename Zero
Ohio - Dragons of Spratt Ohio
Oklahoma - True Grit
Oregon - Rose Suitors of Seattle
Pennsylvania - The Turncoat
Rhode Island - By the Sea Tess
South Carolina - Girls in Trucks
South Dakota - Buffalo Gal
Tennessee - When Love Finds you in Camelot Tennessee
Texas -  Friday Night Lights
Utah - Wright on Time - Utah
Vermont - Lumberjack Love
Virginia - Crazy VA
Washington - Silver Linings
West Virginia - Locking Horns
Wisconsin - Blankets
Wyoming - Stone Fox

Audio Book Challenge
This challenge is COMPLETE! I surpassed my original goal of I believe 10 very easily and I have become obsessed with audio books. I will definitely be upping the number for 2016.

 1. The Fighting Ground
2. The Last Valentine
3. Deep Dish
4. The Tao of Pooh
5. Little Heathens
6. Veil of Roses
7. The Borrower
8. Winnie The Pooh Classic Tales
9. Rush
10. The Song of Achilles
11. The Lost Continent: Travels in Small Town America
12. The Smokejumper
13 The Turncoat
14. Fever
15. Classic Love Poems
16. Burn
17. Searching for Beautiful
18. Searching for Always
19. Pontoon
20. The Help
21.  The House at Pooh Corner
22. Dante Club

Graphic Novel Challenge
This Challenge is COMPLETE! Again, this is a challenge I really enjoy, I could definitely add to it but I am trying to limit the number I read each year.

1. Tiny Book of Tiny Stories Vol. 3
2. Blankets
3. Shadows of Endor
4. From Fabletown with Love
5. The Books of Magic
6. Mouse Guard: Winter 1152
7. Korgi Vol.2: Cosmic Collector
8. Thor: God of Thunder Vol. 1: The God Butcher
9. Fables are Forever
10. Fables Vol. 4: March of the Wooden Soldiers
11. Saga Vol. 1
12. Saga Vol. 2
13. Hinterkind Vol.1: The Waking World
14. Ravine Vol. 1
15. Ares: Bringer of War
16. Donald Hamlet, Prince of Dunemark
17. Loki Vol. 1 Agent of Asgard: Trust Me
18. Persepolis: A Story of a Childhood
19. Fables Vol. 5: The Mean Seasons
20. Swamp Thing Vol. 1
21. Hinterkind Vol. 2: Written in Blood
22. Northlanders Vol. 3: Blood in the Snow
23. An Age of License
24. Fables Vol. 6: Homelands
25. The Unwritten Vol. 2: Inside Man
26. Camelot 3000

Series Challenge
This Challenge is COMPLETE with a full 7 series read! I didn't get all the series read that I had wanted to but a couple of them have been waiting for quite some time to be completed and some were rather long too! I will continue with series challenges in the future.

1. The Hearts of Anemoi - Book 1, Book 2, Book 3, Book 4 - COMPLETE
2. Pride Series - Book 1, Book 2, Book 3, Book 4, Book 5, Book 6, Book .5, Book 7, Book 8, Book 9 - COMPLETE
3. Princesses of Myth Series - Book 1, Book 2
4. Warrior Series - Book 1, Book 2, Book 3, Book 4, Book 5, Book 6 - COMPLETE
5. Bluegrass Series - Book 1, Book 2, Book 3, Book 3.5 - COMPLETE
6. Searching For Series -  Book 1, Book 2, Book 3, Book 4, Book 2.5 - COMPLETE
7. Throne of Glass Series - Book 1, Book 2, Book 3, Books .1-.5, Book 4 - COMPLETE
8. Daughters of the Glen Series - Book 1,  Book 2, Book 3, Book 4, Book 5, Book 6, Book 7, Book 8 - COMPLETE

TBR Challenge
I set a goal of 50 books and obviously COMPLETED this challenge far to easily. I am definitely going to have to set a higher goal for myself next year since I own nearly all the books I plan to read!
1. Girls in Trucks
2. Because of Winn Dixie
3. Athena the Brain
4. Nubiana
5. Persephone the Phony
6. The Fighting Ground
7. Aphrodite the Beauty
8. The Last Valentine
9. Artemis the Brave
10. By The Sea, Book One, Tess
11. Hickory Daiquiri Dock
12. Locking Horns
13. Stone Bay
14. Dragons of Spratt, Ohio
15. Deep Dish
16. Stone Fox
17. Dragon in the Sock Drawer
18. Birth
19. The Tao of Pooh
20. West of Want
21. South of Surrender
22. Taste the Heat
23. If You Lived Here I'd Know Your Name
24. Fish Perfume
25. More Than Pancakes
26. Reading Between the Lines
27. I'll Never Forget
28. This Point Forward
29. Risking It All
30. East of Ecstasy
31. Sand Dollar
32. Glassblowers Apprentice
33. A Whole Latte of Life
34. Every Sunday
35. Missing Ink
36. Little Heathens
37. Toe to Toe
38. Warrior Beautiful
39. Buffalo Gal
40. To Serve a King
41. Veil of Roses
42. Francesca's Kitchen
43. Wright on Time - Utah
44. My Favorite Witch
45. Aure the Topaz
46. A Catered Affair
47. The Scot The Witch and the Wardrobe
48. Storm Glass
49. If You're Reading This
50. Sea Glass
51. The Borrower
52. Spy Glass
53. Whatchagot Stew
54. Into the Wild
55. Rush
56. Hush: An Irish Princess' Tale
57. Fire and Ice
58. The Mane Attraction
59. The Song of Achilles
60. Crazy, VA
61. A Suitable Wife
62. Forest of Secrets
63. The Mane Squeeze
64. Rose
65. Rising Storm
66. Beast Behaving Badly
67. The Last Continent
68. Big Bad Beast
69. A Dangerous Path
70. Howl For It
71. The Smoke Jumper
72. Darkest Hour
73. Bear Meets Girl
74. Bluegrass State of Mind
75. Dead Heat
76. Risky Shot
77. Wolf with Benefits
78. The Turncoat
79. Bite Me
80. Codename Zero
81. Fever
82. The Peach Keeper
83. Burn
84. Searching for Someday
85. Searching for Perfect
86. The Sun Tea Chronicles
87. Reckless
88. True Grit
89. Throne of Glass
90. Lumberjack in Love
91. Pontoon
92. Dinner at Homesick Restaurant
93. Soul of a Highlander
94. A Highlander of her Own
95. Crown of Midnight
96. The Help
97. A Highlander's Destiny
98. South of Superior
99. Heir of Fire
100. The Assassin's Blade
101. Highlander's Homecoming
102. Healing a Highlander
103. Highlander's Curse
104. Achilles in Vietnam
105. The Dante Club
106. The Starter Wife
107. The Magician
108. Pegasus
109. Friday Night Lights

Requested Reviews My original limit of only 25 books this year which I clearly went over, the ease of Netgalley was far too appealing. It was a little much I think though for one year and I will be cutting way back on the number of requested reviews I will be accepting.
1. Dear Hank Williams
2. Jesper Jinx and the Sneezing Season
3. Calves in the Mud Room
4. Gooseberry Island
5. Dizzy Miss Lizzie
6. Just Not Ready Yet
7. Poole's Paradise
8. Darkness
9. Don't Forget Me Bro
10. Paint
11. Spawn of Medusa
12. The Queen's Dagger
13. One of the Guys
14. Me and Grandpa
15. The Unleashing
16. Jesper Jinx and the Turkish Pepper
17. The Novice
18. HA Rey Treasury of Stories
19. Irona700
20. Parsen Holt- Slinger
21. Rules of Riders
22. Persephone
23. Ratha's Creature
24. Paladin
25. Daughter of Earth and Sky
26. Sonnets
27. How to Live Life
28. Summer Haikus
29. Nostromo the Dwarf
30. How 2 Live Life
31. Summer Haikus
32. Jesper Jinx Goes Fishing
33. Broken
34. Simon
35. In From the Cold
36. Get Yourself Organized for Christmas
37. A Cherry Cola Christmas
38. The Right Hand Rule
39. Gearteeth
40. Next Stop: Nina
41. Dark Sun, Bright Moon

Goodreads Challenge - COMPLETE My Goodreads challenge is complete, I am past my original goal of 312 and am sitting at 389.  I wasn't quite able to reach 400 but I am beyond thrilled with the amount of books I read this year and the variety as well!

As far as my other goals and resolutions . . .
- I did a really good job with keeping up with my letters and mailings this year, and I have met some new and wonderful people I hope to continue corresponding with in the future.
-For the most part I managed to keep up with painting my nails every week (often twice a week) and it was nice to have something to make me feel pretty.
-As far as my goal to spend more time together as a family and give Munchkin some new and fun experiences, I did okay. Munchkin definitely got to experience a lot this year, and it is so much fun now that he is old enough to do these things. Though I wasn't able to get much time with Hubby and definitely no dates.

Total # of Books Read in 2015: 390
Total # of Pages Read in 2015: 56,646
Total Hours Listened in 2015: 198:04 (that is the equivalent of 8 days, 6 hours & 4 minutes!)

Favorite Books in 2015


Least Favorite Books in 2015


Check in next week to see my goals for 2016 reading and personally!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Advent Reads Day 25: Bedtime Story: Corduroy's Christmas Surprise by Don Freeman

Synopsis: "Christmas is coming, and Corduroy has a list of gifts he'd like from Santa-until he discovers the true meaning of Christmas is not about train sets and ice skates, but about good friends. Celebrate the season with Corduroy in this Christmas story that is sure to be a holiday read-aloud favorite."

My Review: This is a fun and sweet book for the little ones during the holiday season. It includes several favorite traditions including gingerbread houses, decorating, making gifts and caroling, as well as letters to Santa. With all those traditions involved the story still really focuses on the spirit of giving and not receiving. It is a touching story that children will enjoy.
My Rating: This is a cute book with the same loveable character and has a sweet message that little ones will be able to grasp. We give it a rating of Four Paws!
From My Family to Yours, We hope you have had a wonderful Christmas and holiday season!
Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Advent Reads Day 24: Snow Cones and Dimes by Jason F. Wright

Synopsis: "Christmas Jars, a New York Times Bestselling novella by Jason Wright, first became a phenomenon during the 2005 holiday season. Readers across America reacted to the message of daily giving and sacrifice by creating their own Christmas Jars.

Today, thousands of glass jars rest on kitchen countertops, slowly collecting the spare change generated each and every day. On Christmas Eve, each jar, now overflowing with both money and goodwill, will anonymously find a new home. In turn, the grateful recipients will put the money to good use in their lives and begin their own jar. Thus hearts and lives are changed and the cycle continues.

This short story follows in the tradition and spirit of Christmas Jars. If you've read the original, you'll love this sweet addition to the Christmas Jars family."

My Review: Another great Christmas Jars story! I loved the original books and am really enjoying these short little stories to remind us of the original ones and the great tradition. As always with these books there is a great amount of emotion involved and even though it is only a few short pages long it reminds us of the meaning of Christmas.
My Rating: While Wright tends to write Christian books, this one didn't get into it too much, it was more about the giving to others with less during the holiday season. As almost always with his books there is a lot of emotion involved.  I give this one a rating of Four Paws!

Pen to Paper: Thank You Notes

Merry Christmas Eve Everyone!
I hope you are having a wonderful, fun filled day with all your loved ones!
While we are all enjoying the time together, and many of us are enjoying giving gifts and receiving, don't forget the very meaningful thank you. It is wonderful to say thank you in person or even over the phone, but nothing quite conveys your thanks like a note you took the time to write.  I can't tell you how many times I have had someone come to me and thank me for writing a thank you note, it means that much to people.
Your thank you notes don't need to be really long, a simple note card with a handwritten message is perfect. You should start your note with a thank you for the gift. If it is a monetary gift there is no need to mention the amount or even say money, a great way to say thanks is 'thank you for your generosity'. Continue your note with an expansion on that thank you, maybe how you are going to use that item, or have already used the item, or maybe how you are thrilled the giver found just the right color, etc. It is always a good idea to also thank them again at the end of the note and of course sign your name.  If it is a gift to a child it is also fun to include a picture of them playing with or wearing their new gift.
It only takes a few minutes to write a thank you note, and while it can be exhausting to write a bunch at the same time, it still means so much.  It is best to try to get those thank you notes out within 2 weeks or so from receiving the gift. One way I remember to write my thank you notes is to not put the item away until I have written their thank you, it helps me keep track of who I have written to and who I still need to thank.
Again, I hope you all have a wonderful Holiday!
Much love from me and my family!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Advent Reads Day 23: Snow Sometimes Falls by Brian Ming

Synopsis: "At age six, Dave was alone swinging in his backyard and heard a heavenly voice, “SNOW SOMETIMES FALLS!” It takes over thirty years, along with several calamities to discover what God was telling him that day. Dave learns, even through the tragic death of his mother, the thirty-year revelation was well worth the wait."

My Review: I wasn't expecting this one to be quite so religious or to be quite so emotional but it certainly was both. I didn't mind the religion all that much, I tend to be a little more open about it this time of year. With that said there is a crazy amount of emotion involved in this book, I was near tears many times and would have to stop reading while at work. It had a wealth and variety of characters that was very interesting, and it almost seemed as they each had their own individual storyline. A lot going on for such a short book but it didn't seem rushed either. All in all a wonderful book for the Christmas season.
My Rating: I am really surprised at how much I enjoyed this book but I can't help but give it a rating of Four Paws.

Fun with Munchkin: Birdfeeder Ornaments

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.
So I always try to hand make at least a few Christmas gifts each year. And when faced with a preschool class of 20 kids not including the 6 different teachers Munchkin encounters each week at preschool, I knew we would have to make something inexpensive or nothing at all. And I wanted it to be something useful and something Munchkin could make. As a result I was on a hunt on pinterest when I came across THIS PIN for birdfeeder ornaments and knew we found just the right thing.
It took a little while for the mixture to cool enough to trust Munchkin with and it was a little messy (but the best projects usually are).

They chilled in the fridge for an hour and were ready just before bedtime (and of course we couldn't go to bed until we saw them).

They are very simple but you need a lot of gelatin to make as many as we had to, this was only the first test batch, we had to make 5 more batches to get them all done but I think they will make a cute (not overly Christmasy gift since not all of the kids in his class celebrate the same way) and inexpensive gifts for his classmates.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Advent Reads Day 22: After Dark Review of In the Clear by Tamara Morgan

Synopsis: "Fletcher Owens is full of secrets.

Few people know he spends his nights volunteering for a Search and Rescue team, saving lives while risking his own. Even fewer know he’s in love with his best friend’s sister. And since he’s not willing to give up their friendship for a chance at something more, that’s exactly how things will stay.

Lexie Sinclair has nothing to hide.

The zany daughter, the wacky sister, the quirky fundraiser for a children’s charity — Lexie couldn’t hide her true self even if she wanted to. So when her brother’s best friend is revealed to be a local hero, she’s determined to stand up and prove she’s ready to be more than just friends."

My Review: This book started out pretty good with some unique and quirky characters and an interesting storyline, unfortunately things just didn't work out. The narration and even the dialogue was jerky and the personalities of the characters started jumping all over the place, one minute flirting the next infuriated but no clue as to why that jump was made. I definitely didn't feel the connection between the characters and found the conclusion to be a bit uncomfortable because you knew where it was going but the emotions involved didn't really jive with the story. It was just all a little too bizarre and all over the place for me
My Rating: The characters, the writing and the storyline were just too all over the place for me. As a novella it was also too hard for me to develop any kind of connection, though I have seen other people have enjoyed this one.  I give it a rating of One Paw and a Stump Wag.

Tasty Attempts: Family Recipe - Cheese Ball

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.
So there is almost always that dish that your family is required to bring to every event, you have constant requests for the recipe and everyone always loves it.  Oddly enough for me it is a cheese ball (more like a spread honestly) that my mom has been making since I can remember. I then brought the recipe with me when I moved to RI and been making it ever since.  I mainly only make it from Thanksgiving through New Years but occasionally I will make it for another special event.
So here it is:
2 - 8oz bricks of Cream Cheese
8 oz. Velveeta brick cheese (you could also use 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese)
1 Tbsp Chopped Pimentos (you know those red things in the green olives, yes you can buy those in a jar)
1 Tbsp Chopped onion
2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
2 tsp Lemon Juice
Dash Salt
Dash of Cayenne Pepper (more if you want some kick)
Dried Parsley & Finely Chopped Nuts if you want to roll it into a ball (I honestly never do this)
Let it all come to room temperature (this is especially important for the cheeses) toss them all in a bowl
and mix thoroughly until there are no lumps of cheese left. This is best done with your hands and it is a messy, sticky job. This is best enjoyed after letting chill for at least 4 hours to let the flavors meld.  Can be enjoyed with cheese, crusty bread or even pretzels.
I hope you enjoy this, our family certainly does and so do all of our friends & co-workers. I make at least 4 batches over the holidays!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Advent Reads Day 21: Dinosaur Christmas by Jerry Pallotta

Synopsis: "Everyone knows that reindeer pull Santa's sleigh. But did you ever wonder who pulled it before he had reindeer?"

My Review: This was a fun book to read, especially for any dinosaur lovers. Thankfully Munchkin enjoys dinosaurs but isn't obsessed with them other wise I would have gotten in trouble for all the mispronunciations of their names. Munchkin did have a lot of fun with the pictures in the story, especially the Stegosaurus getting tangled in the decorations.
My Rating: Definitely a very fun Christmas story for the dinosaur lovers out there (and honestly there don't seem to be a lot available), but gosh I feel bad for you parents that have to pronounce dinosaur names all the time! We had a lot of fun with this one and give it a rating of Four Paws.

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
Picturing Christmas by Jason F. Wright
Froggy's Best Christmas by Jonathan London
A Cherry Cola Christmas by Ashton Lee
Dec the Holls by Jasinda Wilder (After Dark)
Snowball Soup by Mercer Mayer (Early Reader)
Tractor Mac Saves Christmas by Billy Steers (Bedtime Story)
A Christmas to Remember by D. Morgan (Graphic Novel)
Survival of the Christmas Spirit by Aimee Horton

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

Love and Leftovers = 3pts
A Redbird Christmas = 3pts

Currently Reading:

 Books to be Read Soon:

Dark Sun, Bright Moon by Oliver Sparrow - Requested Review


Total Points Earned
  214 points + 6pts earned = 220 points

Pages Read/ Time Listened
56,070 pages read (625 read this week)
198:04 listening time

Books Added to Shelves

Interesting Tidbits on the Web:



Finally starting to feel better and so is Munchkin, but things have fallen way behind.  This time of year is always so stressful from everyone and this year just seems so much worse with Hubby's 3rd shift schedule, Munchkin just isn't adjusting well to it.  So as a result many things have been adjusted this last week. Normal Christmas decorations just aren't going to be put up, the usual Christmas day meals are being set aside for things easy to prepare and even be prepared early. I have even had to adjust my planned reading to find shorter and easier books to read to finish out my challenges. I only have one book left that I plan to read this year but I have several reviews to catch up on and some posts to get done too in order to officially close out 2015!

I hope that all of you are doing well and that the holiday season has found you surrounded by loved ones and wrapped in joy!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Advent Reads Day 20: Survival of the Christmas Spirit by Aimee Horton

Synopsis: "“Why the hell did I think cooking for nineteen people would be a good idea?”

It's Christmas and Dottie Harris is planning the biggest and best celebration ever, especially as she's planning to announce the news of her third pregnancy to her family.

But as always, nothing runs smoothly for Dottie, and it's not long before her two gruesome children, hapless husband and a nasty case of morning sickness are playing havoc with her carefully planned spreadsheets.

Can Dottie throw the perfect family Christmas (without so much as a swig of gin to help her through!) or will her burned pigs in blankets and her sister-in-law throwing up in the loo leave a bad taste in everyone’s mouth?"

My Review: This was a very short story but quite comical with everything that could and does go wrong. It also has a seasonal sentimental side with how everyone can come together and still make a less than perfect dinner one for the memory bank. I definitely could relate and sympathize with Dottie as she has to juggle kids, last minute store runs, extra guests to plan for and a meal to prepare.
My Rating: This was a fun but brief story, I enjoyed it and am even thinking about finding the rest of the series if they are all quick reads like this one. I give it a rating of Three Paws.