Tuesday, July 29, 2014

i want to be justine montgomery when i grow up.

While scowering the ridiculously over priced airport convenient stores for my obligatory airport mass paperback (it's my favorite tradition), I was SOOOO excited to discover that the third installment of the Inn BoonsBoro Trilogy was available in tiny copy! I loved the first two books but lost touch with the series, I blame Stephanie Plum and Cathy Dollanganger for taking over my life. But anyways, The Perfect Hope was THE PERFECT book to read on my honeymoon. Super romantic and adorable, and an excellent finish to the trilogy. The first two books covered the budding relationships of Claire and Beckett and Avery and Owen, which leaves the third Montgomery brother Ryder, and the last of the bestie threesome, Hope to fall for each other even though they are total opposites. Ryder is super rough around the edges, musky, sexy, moody, doesn't like to talk about his feelings. Hope is the classiest broad ever, organized, sweet, former beauty queen. Hope is the manager of the inn, and Lizzy, our inn ghost plays matchmaker again, pushing these two together just as she did to the other couples.

The Perfect Hope is a wonderful continuation of The Last Boyfriend, the small town of BoonsBoro is expanding with Avery's new restaurant and tap house, also a bakery and gym are being built in town, keeping the Montgomery boys very busy, but not busy enough for Ryder and Hope to stop the urge strike up a casual sex relationship that turns into something so much more. Hope also finds more information on Lizzy's past, and what's keeping her in the inn, who is she waiting for?

Monday, July 28, 2014

get ready to be moved.

Lilly and Dennis Klepp sold everything they owned and moved to Sudan, Africa to give themselves to the poor. Mama Lilly wrote a journal along the way and titled it, Adventures Under the Mango Tree, A Story of Hope in War-Torn Sudan and what an adventure it was reading this inspiring story about two people who gave up their own comfort to serve others, and are still doing so today. Since 2001, the Klepp’s have opened two orphanages, a school, and a hospital, serving more than 500 children and thousands of families through their ministry of the Gospel, along with health care and education. Keep in mind, this is a war-torn country and the civil war didn't end until 2005 so bombs, land mines, even death were all a packaged deal with their big move. The Klepp's asked God what they should do to help and He sent them to Africa. Are you brave enough to ask God how you can help the world?

Sunday, July 27, 2014

our trip to the moon.

I have a great excuse for my disappearing act this past week and a half. I was on my honeymoon! And it was glorious. I read two amazing books on my trip and will be reviewing them this week. Here is a little taste of my 7 days in paradise, also known as Secrets Maroma Beach Resort in Cancun.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

society it is a changing.

The Next America by Paul Taylor is a quantitatively based book on demography and sociology in America today vs. the past. It applies a generational lens to explore the many ways America is changing. Taylor pays particularly close attention to our two outsize generations, the Baby Boomers (fifty and sixty-something's) and the Millennials (twenty-something's) by examining how the generations relate to one another not only as citizens, voters, and interest groups, but as parents, children, and caregivers. (I may have stolen some wording from the preface, but it was just so good).

We are living in a world where people are living longer, having less children, and developing entirely new family structures than in the past. What does this mean for future generations and our economy? With the help of Pew Research Center's archive of public opinion surveys, Taylor covers that, too. Don't be turned off by the statistics, numbers and graphs, I'd still consider this informational read kick ass.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

they tried to make me go to rehab...

The abuse of drugs in this country is just plain sad. I mean, Whitney! Amy! Philip Seymour Hoffman! It's a damn shame. In The Sober Truth: Debunking the Bad Science behind 12-Step Programs and the Rehab Industry, addiction specialist Dr. Lance Dodes exposes the deeply flawed science of 12-step programs including true stories from the doc's thirty-five years of practice. And you couldn't have written this BEFORE Whitney jumped ship? Jeesh. The horrific part is that these 12-step programs, AA, NA, etc. are the ONLY court mandated options for most addicts who wind up in the system. Dr. Dodes takes his research and case studies and proves how useless these programs are. That's fricken scary. What can we do to really save our addicts? Honestly, I don't believe that Dodes has all of the answers (no offense, doc) but I do think he did an excellent job proving what is without a doubt wrong with these rehab programs (other than the people getting rich off them), which brings us closer to figuring out what needs to be done to save the seemingly unsavable.

Monday, July 14, 2014

NYC restaurant style cooking.

Marc Forgione is one of the Iron Chefs competing on Food Network's Iron Chef America and owner of restaurant Marc Forgione in New York City. Chef Forgione came out with his very first cookbook tilted (shockingly) Marc Forgione: Recipes and Stories from the Acclaimed Chef and Restaurant which is filled with 170 recipes including his signature favorites. Along with the recipes are beautiful photographs and his personal story of how he came to be one of America's Top Chefs.

Reasons why YOU should buy this book:
  1. Chef Forgione shares the best notes and guidelines I've ever seen in a cookbook. They are super helpful and will ensure the perfect dish.
  2. The signature Chili Lobster recipe.
  3. The step-by-step instructions on how to debone a whole fish (with pictures).
  4. The recipes aren't too intimidating and will be super impressive to dinner guests.
  5. His story and writing which is inspiring and hospitable, just like him.

Friday, July 11, 2014

jennifer's way.

I LOVE Jennifer Esposito. I was super sad when she left Blue Bloods, I just loved her sass. Anyways, she recently came out with a book telling her story about living with celiac disease titled Jennifer's Way: My Journey with Celiac Disease - What Doctors Don't Tell You and How You Can Learn to Live Again.

Jennifer grew up with chronic health issues and dealing with uneducated doctors who couldn't seem to help her get healthy. Once she was diagnosed with celiac disease, she decided to get educated so that she could help herself and others. What a babe. Since there is no cure for this disease, Jennifer had to change her lifestyle. She went gluten-free and has even opened a gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, peanut-free, allergy-friendly, organic bakery in NYC for her fellow man. Her book has already helped so many of the 1 in 133 American's who suffer from this disease so that they don't have to go through what Jennifer went through alone. She gives suggestions on recipes, books, and blogs that she uses. Jennifer's message of empowerment and advocating for your own needs will benefit anyone going through this struggle.