Must Read Monday: Reapers Motorcycle Club series

A friend turned me on to the Reapers Motorcycle Club series by Joanna Wylde and I loved it!! I was so engrossed in the stories that, not only did I pull all night read-a-thons, I actually dreamed about the characters. Definitely cannot remember being able to say that about any other books I've read. The dreams even included my hubby being a Reaper and me as his old lady which surprising seemed like a perfect fit for us. I will add that if you have a problem with rough sex or women being called "property" then these books will not be for you. 

Book 1: Reaper's Property tells the story of Horse and Marie. Marie's brother steals money from the MC and after Horse takes one look at Marie decides to kidnap her as motivation for her brother to repay the money. Even though I loved the series by the end I will say that this one was not my favorite book or couple and honestly I almost did not go on except for the reassurance from my enabling friend Janice that they got better to just keep reading.

Book 2: Reaper's Legacy tells Ruger and Sophie's story. Ruger first sees Sophie when she is dating his brother in high school. Sophie ends up pregnant and has to call Ruger to help her get to the hospital. Over the years he continues to watch out for her and his nephew but being a single parent comes with it's own special problems. When Ruger gets a call from his terrified nephew he rides all night to him and demands that Sophie and Noah move into his house.

Book 3: Reaper's Stand is about Hunter and Em. Em is the Reaper MC president's daughter . Em meets Liam online and ends up being tricked into meeting him where she is kidnapped by Liam/Hunter who is a member of the Devil's Jacks MC which is a rival of the Reapers. Through all of their online contact Hunter falls for Em and decides that he wants her for his old lady. This was my favorite couple of all! I cannot explain it but there was just something about these two that made you want everything to work out for them.

Book 4: Devil's Game tells Picnic and London's story. Picnic is the Reapers' president and London is the owner of a cleaning company the club hires to clean their businesses. Picnic is immediately drawn to London even though she is so far outside of understanding the club's lifestyle. London's niece who she has raised as her own winds up kidnapped by a drug cartel and London and the Reapers must try to save her. This one was an all-nighter and kept me up til 4 am because I could not put it down. Those damn Reapers get under your skin.

There are no cliffhangers and you do not have to read them in order. The characters do carryover through each of the books and each book just gets better and better. This series involves lots of alpha males, some criminal activity, new friendships, brotherhood, some rough sex & hard loving, kidnapping and even a drug cartel. I'm so glad I did not stop with the first one!


2014 a Fresh New Year

Here we are at the start of a brand new year. Lots of new things going on in our lives that I will share before I get to the list of things I want/need to work on this year.

Last year the hubby had several companies wanting him to interview with them. This was a surprise considering that he had not been looking for a new job. He had been with his previous company for 8 years ever since he retired from the Navy after 24-1/2 years service. After much discussion we decided that he would interview with one of the companies. He ended up interview at 2 of their locations and having both locations wanting him. We discussed it and made pros & cons lists and discussed it some more and in the end the decision was made that he would take the offer for their Virginia location.

We had 2 weeks from the time we received the written offer to get our house sold and everything moved. Unfortunately we ended up having to do our move in 2 parts. The hubby left Tennessee on November 1st with a truck load and then flew back on November 15th to pick up the rest of us with a second truck load. So we are starting out the new year in a new place with a new job for the hubby and our oldest son. Temporarily renting a condo for 6 months while we figure out where we want to live so that we can look for a house to buy.

Now on to the things that I want to focus on this year:

  • Eat better - I did so well for about 8 months with watching what I ate and then it all fell apart. 
  • Create more - I am ready to get back to creating again. I'm contemplating starting an art journal.
  • Start moving - Ever since I ended up having to stop studying martial arts 3 years ago I have done nothing but sit and I can feel it in my joints.
  • Read lots - Last year I read 134 books so this one should be pretty easy.
  • Save money - We have been working on this for a while now but I want to see where I can cut cost and try to get a good emergency fund built up so we can start investing for retirement.
  • Improve skincare - This is something that I was so good about in my 20s but in my 30s and early 40s I gave up on and my skin shows it terrible. 
  • Create a wearable closet - After gaining a good deal of weight I stopped buying anymore clothes than absolutely necessary and things are starting to look worn out and old. I just need to figure out to dress not too young and not too old either. I have a ton of ideas saved on Pinterest.


Summer Lovin'

Here we are at the end of summer already. It's going way too fast! This has been a summer of unusual weather and lots of craziness and laziness and even a little travel involved. I thought I would share several things that I/we have been enjoying this summer. So here they are in no particular order:

J.Crew Chino Shorts
Source: J. Crew

The J.Crew Chino shorts with the 7 inch inseam are the perfect length for me. I know there are many who have been wearing them for years but this is my first time and I am thrilled! The fit is great and unlike all the other companies you get more than 2 length choices and the choice of colors is great too. I bought all of the colors above and I will definitely be sure to check out the new colors each year to add to my summer wardrobe.

Customer Service Praise:
I also want to add praise for the J.Crew online customer service too. When I originally ordered my shorts I did so after trying on the 5 inch inseam style in the store and since they seemed snug I went one size up. It was only 2 weeks before my trip that they arrived and I discovered they were too big. I was in a panic about not having any shorts to take to Florida with me. The customer service informed me it would take two weeks to get a reorder.

I explained to Samantha (the customer service rep) that I was leaving for a trip in just over a week and not only did she place my reorder matching the original sale price that I paid but she also gave me 3 day shipping at no extra cost to make sure that I received them in time. I was shocked that she went to so much trouble to help me out when most companies would have just said "I'm sorry all I can do is place the reorder and maybe they will get there in time". Needless to say that I will definitely do more shopping at J.Crew.com after getting such good customer service.

Vintage V-neck Tees

This has been my standard summer look this year. I know not very exciting but cool & comfortable. I love a good v-neck tee any other neckline make me crazy when it touches my neck. I know...I have issues let's just over look those shall we. The ones I've been wearing this summer are the Mossimo Supply Co Textured tee from Target and Women's Vintage tee from Old Navy. They have a vintage look to them, there are many colors to choose from and they are very comfortable. I wear them with shorts, jeans, skirts, etc.

Nail Polish

I keep my toenails painted year around so I guess this really isn't a summer lovin' item but I have found a couple of new favorite colors for summertime. OPI Purple with a Purpose - purple with a bit of shimmer (you know the Ace Hardware paint commercial where the woman says I want a purple but not a purple more like a purrrple...well this is it!) and OPI Teal the Cows Come Home - metallic teal blue.

Body Butter

I have been using the Body Shop brand on my feet. So far I've tried the Coconut, Mango, and Chocomania. They all smell so scrumptious and almost edible. It also seems to be very moisturizing if you have really dry skin. I have not tried it anywhere other than my feet because these are very fragrant so I don't want it on my hands all the time and I don't like heavy moisturizers on my body. My feet are so dry and regular lotion does not do anything for them so I do need the extra moisture on them.

Summer Television

Source: USA Network

Hubby and I have been watching this since the pilot episode; unfortunately I think there is only 2 episodes left. We are loving it and hate to see it come to an end. It is full of intrigue and suspicion and all kinds of unexpected twists & turns. We are really hoping that this isn't a one season show.

What have been your summer loves?


Home Schooling Part Zwei (Two)

So we have made the decision to try another year of home schooling with our youngest child. This is our extremely ADHD child who at 8 looked at us and said "I don't want to take my focus pills anymore because they make me feel sad ALL the time". What do you say to your child when they come to you in a very reasonable manner and state very clearly why they want to stop taking medication? Well in our case we said if you stop taking them you will have to do school at home because you cannot be in a classroom causing disruptions of other children. And that is what we did last year.

It definitely wasn't an easy decision for any of us. Him because he had to leave behind all of his friends and me because I knew that I was going to be at home with him ALL the time. Trust me when I tell you that being with someone who cannot sit still and cannot stop talking all day every day can be VERY tiring. But let me tell you what we did get...a kid who is funny and very animated when he tells you about something, a kid think clearly and LAUGH and SMILE many times a day!!

So here we are getting ready to start year 2 of home schooling. I will be teaching my child 6th grade school work. It has been a LONG time since 6th grade for this girl and I discovered last year that I am NOT smarter than a 5th grader so I can only image what this year is going to bring.

I think I have finally decided on what our curriculum for this school year will be after much research and hand wringing.

MATH: Teaching Textbook 7
LANGUAGE ARTS: Analytical Grammar, Wordly Wise 6, ESP Writing Skills (writing, cursive writing for left handed, and keyboarding skills)
SCIENCE: Holt Science - Physical Science
HISTORY: Harcourt Horizons - World History
FOREIGN LANGUAGE: Rosetta Stone German


Firmoo Review

Recently I was contacted by Firmoo and asked to do a review of their glasses. Thankfully I still have 20/20 vision so I was able to choose sunglasses in place of the regular glasses. I received the sunglasses last week when we unfortunately had rain & snow so I wasn't able to try them in actual sunlight until this past week.

Ordering was simple and considering that they shipped from overseas they arrived surprising fast. There are lots of styles to choose from and new customers can receive their first pair for shipping only.

They have sunglasses and prescription glasses which you can also have turned into sunglasses. You can choose your lens color and the amount of tint that you want applied.

Everything arrived in good condition. In addition to the sunglasses I also received a nice hard case, a soft pouch, a cleaning cloth, and a screwdriver key ring with extra screws. In my opinion the hard case is just as nice as the hard case that came with my expensive sunglasses.

The glasses seem to be of good quality and fit well but I've only had them a little while so I can't tell you how well they hold up yet. I chose the brown tint at 80% because I like my sunglasses to be very dark. The only thing I don't like about the ones I received is that the lenses are not polarized and they change the color of what you are seeing. My expensive sunglasses are polarized and so they do not change the colors of everything & have a little less distortion in different areas of the lens.

These will be a great pair to have as an extra pair to keep in my hubby's car. If you are on a budget or want to have several different pairs in different styles or colors these would be a good budget option. Check out the information about getting your first pair for shipping only at Firmoo.


Friendships or Lack Thereof

Today I took a few minutes in the reading room (also known as the master bathroom in my house) to read the newest Redbook magazine. The article about Kellie Pickler shaving her head made me sad. If you haven't read it you can find it here - What Kellie Pickler Learned From Being Bald.

And it wasn't that she shaved her head or even the reason for why that made me sad. Yes I know she isn't the first person to do something like this for a friend but it is still such a sweet gesture. This story made me have to face again that I have no one that would drop everything for me or that would love me enough to go to this kind of extreme gesture of love and kindness. 

I'm sure that my friends care about me but never in my life have I felt the kind of friendship that I hear others speak of when they talk about their BFF. I have definitely tried to find that one special girlfriend and at the age of 45 I cannot think of one person that I could call and know that they would drop everything for me. What exactly does that say about me as a person?

Not sure if I should take it as a sign that after reading that article I happened to have the Katie Couric show on (not a show I normally watch) and her whole show was talking about friendships. You can see more about that show here - The Friendship Show. It just added to the sad thoughts about this subject and how it is something that I am very much lacking in my life.

As with normal life I grew away from my school friendships after graduation and moving away from my hometown. Although we have reconnected with one another after many years thanks to Facebook. I didn't attend college so I don't have those friendships that most people obtain that tend to last a lifetime. And with the many moves that I have made over the years being married to a military man it hasn't afforded me time to nurture friendships the way they need. I have people here locally that I consider friends but not any that I would call a best friend or that I know without a shadow of a doubt that I could count on no matter what comes along in my life. My online friends are great to chat with but it isn't the same as being able to do lunch or go shopping with your BFF.

At this time in my life I am really craving that kind of relationship and I'm not sure even how to begin to find it and make it happen.  So how do I go about changing this and finding that one person to have in my life?


Lack of Style and Why

After moving to Georgia I gained some a lot of weight. Sixty pounds worth and on my 5'6" medium-build frame that is a huge amount. It didn't give me a lot of choices for cute and stylish clothes. I started wearing pant suits...PANT SUITS!?! Stuff that only a grandmother might wear. What was I thinking!?! It was not pretty and what's worth is NO one stopped me from doing it!

I have been trying off and on for the last 2 years to find  me again. Unfortunately at 45 it is not an easy thing to do because there are so many things that I can no longer wear because I am too mature for them.

 Four Thousand, Four Hundred Seventy-One (4471) days - that is approximately how many days I have missed out on wearing cute & stylist clothes. Why you might ask? I have no idea. Well something happened 15 years ago when we moved from Virginia  to Georgia. I wish I knew what it was that happened but to this day I have no clue why this happened.

I am trying to figure out what my style is and have started working on leaning how to dress myself after a lot of years  in sweat & yoga pants.