Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Book Review: Breaking a Legend by Sarah Robinson

Synopsis: Perfect for fans of Katy Evans and Monica Murphy, Sarah Robinson’s blistering-hot series debut introduces the Kavanagh brothers—mixed martial arts fighters who work hard, play hard, and love with all their hearts.

As one of the big names at his family’s gym, Legends, MMA star Rory Kavanagh is used to being in the spotlight—until a gruesome leg injury knocks him out of the cage. Rory is left feeling sidelined in more ways than one, battling the inner demons that come with losing the one shot at his dreams. Then Clare walks into his life and gives him a new dream: winning her heart. There aren’t many new faces in Woodlawn these days, but this tough, beautiful stranger makes Rory want to get his life back into fighting shape.

Clare Ivers doesn’t think she’ll be able to tell anyone what really brought her to the close-knit Bronx neighborhood where she just started bartending. But her life’s on pause and her past is catching up fast, try as she might to move on—with new friends, steady work, and a chiseled alpha male trying to get her attention. Even though Rory’s more than a little intense, she can’t deny that her heart beats faster when he looks at her with those soulful silver eyes. Clare thought she was done with love, but Rory might just be man enough to show her she thought wrong.


I think my biggest praise for Breaking a Legend is that the relationship develops as slowly as it can in a book and it felt like a lot of love stories I've seen in my own life. The book starts with their first meeting and then it's not like he's putting the moves on her, he's simply being there for her and holding back the possessive alpha that a lot of romance novels have right away.

Don't worry though, he eventually lets it out and it may be just what Clare needs.

The pacing for this book was perfect for me and I could not put it down. I loved the relationship between Rory and his family and the way they brought Clare in the fold. Clare makes Rory want to be better than he has been, especially recently and that's what relationships are supposed to be like, right?

The climax of this book brought tears to my eyes and I am so excited to see where Robinson takes the rest of this series as we get to know the sexy Kavanaugh brothers. Book 2, Saving a Legend will be out in March 2016, so make sure to add both of these to your TBR!

I initially gave this book 4 stars, but I'm thinking it might be a 4.5 or 5 the more I think about how good it was. Do you ever change your mind about a rating for a book?

Are you a reader? Check out my other book reviews here. Also make sure we're friends on Goodreads!!

I was provided with a copy of Breaking a Legend in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Book Review: The Closer You Come by Gena Showalter

The Closer You Come by Gena Showalter definitely could have been a five star book. I think the heroine that seemed to be missing a screw part of the time is what really stole that final star for me.

Synopsis: New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter introduces the Original Heartbreakers, where three not-quite-reformed bad boys are about to meet the women who will bring them to their knees.

Just released from prison, Jase Hollister has a dark and twisted past. And now, he has only one goal: stay out of trouble. Strawberry Valley, Oklahoma, sounds like the perfect place for him and his two brothers-by-circumstance to settle down and live a nice, simple life. But model citizen isn’t exactly this rugged bachelor’s default setting—especially when it comes to a certain hot-blooded Southern beauty…

Brook Lynn Dillon has always been responsible. Not that it’s done her much good. The down-on-her-luck waitress is broke, single and fun-deprived. Until Jase comes along. He is dangerous, stunningly protective, breathtakingly sexy and as tempting as sin, and the passion sizzling between them is undeniable. But can it melt her resistance? After all, the right kind of trouble might be just what they both need.


That first part about these bad boys being brought to their knees immediately drew me in.

I love the setting of a small town that Showalter set up. Everybody knows everybody's business and while you think there are preconceived notions, not everybody is following the crowd.

Brook tries too hard to take care of her wayward sister and sometimes it almost seemed like she lost all common sense when it came to everything she was sacrificing for her sister.

It always makes me swoon when a bad boy ends up being a good guy and swoops in to save the woman that's down on her luck. It helps that they always seem to have whatever resources needed to help them out, but it's fiction and I love it. I will say I'm interested in seeing what the rest of this series brings for Jase's friends and just reserved book two at the library!

Are you a reader? Check out my other book reviews here. Also make sure we're friends on Goodreads!!

I was provided with a copy of The closer You Come in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Last Weekend in September

I was not one that ventured out to see the BLOOD MOON last night, but I saw some awesome pictures. I tried to see if I could see it from my balcony since I was already in bed in my PJs but it wasn't on my side. If I would have been at my parents house, my sister said she could see it!

This pic is actually from Thursday night, but it definitely got me ready for the weekend!! If you have a Bahama Breeze in the area they have rum specials for Rumtoberfest right now and these are 2/3 of the Mama's Hooch and Holler or the Shark Attack. We tried both, and they were strong so my memory is a little fuzzy.


I found the Starbucks 1/2 gallon Iced Peppermint Mocha on my trip to Target and have been enjoying that in the mornings, I'm always so sad when the Holiday season is over and I can't get this stuff anymore. If you're a PSL fan, they have a Pumpkin Spice version of this as well.

Friday night I went over to my parents house and enjoyed some stir fry that my sister made using some of my dads recipe and then her touches, it was delicious!


Saturday morning we had brunch before heading out to Hobby Lobby and various thrift stores. I forgot to take pics of what I got at Hobby Lobby, but these are the books and a table I found at Goodwill for CHEAP!!

The table came in the day before for $25, in good condition and perfect height for me to stand at AND my sister found her preferred DVD racks for $6 vs. $40. It was a good thrifting day!


I spent most of Sunday in front of the camera filming a few vids and editing ONE video. I downloaded an update and it changed the way I import and export my vids between programs. I don't know what is up, but my computer is not liking all of the video files I've been putting on it, it's moving slow and it is still showing a TON of memory so I need to look into that.

Anyway, with the addition of the table and my NEW lights, I had the perfect setup even though it rained and poured all weekend. Florida has not been the sunshine state lately.

I ordered the latest QVC Tarte foundation that came with a brush for $35 + S&H and did an application tutorial/review. Is it one I would order again, I don't think so but it's definitely moisturizing and feels light.

Another video I filmed and took pics for was my Harlequin #whateveryoureinto House Party box that came in so I thought some glamour shots were in order, lol. I can't wait to share more about this party next week!

This weekend we're supposed to be heading to Charleston and Columbia South Carolina so I've been busy pinning things to do. I woke up with some post nasal drip this morning and am hoping a few rounds of the neti pot will do battle because I can't be sick again! Along those lines there are multiple people sick at my office again so I'm hoping it's just sinus drainage and not something else.

How was your weekend?!

Linking up for weekending with B Loved Boston!

Friday, September 25, 2015

September Favorites

It's the LAST Friday of the month so that means it's time for my monthly favorites!!

The Last Ship
So technically I discovered this in August, but I didn't put it in the August favorites because I hadn't hit complete addiction yet. I could go on and on about this show. I finished all of the two seasons available and if I wasn't so busy with other things like subscription boxes I would be going through withdrawals!

Raisin Bran
Now, this is something I ate as a kid and had to put sugar on but as I got older I just make sure to get plenty of the raisins and I'm good to go. I love breakfast for cereal, I just wish it was better for your waistline.

Twilight 10 Year Anniversary and my Trip to Washington

I will always be so amazed that I made this impromptu trip and had such a great time even though we were only there for a short while. The sights were absolutely amazing and I can't wait to go back to visit, maybe Oregon this time!

Booties | Similar
These were the perfect addition to my Fall wardrobe and came at just the right price and time when we were in Seattle.

Black African Soap

We actually buy ours from a local soap store so I'm linking to this one because it has the same coloring and texture as the one I use. It has a lot of claims and I sent it off to a couple other bloggers to see how they like it and I'm excited to hear what they think!

Those are my favs from this month...I feel like I had a longer list at home but I can't remember if there was anything else important on there or not...

I don't have a video up right now because I was celebrating my sister's first week at work last night but I'll get one up this weekend! I'm so excited, I ordered in new lighting after agonizing for DAYS which one to get. Any single item over $50 makes me really question if I need it yet I'll spend that on a few things at target without a care in the world. #weird

We may also be moving my little brother weekend and I'm jonesing for a Hobby Lobby trip! I have at least one subscription box due in this weekend. If just ONE company wanted to send those at the beginning of the month it would be awesome because I'm sure my mail people think I'm crazy with the amount of boxes I've received this week.

What's on your agenda for the weekend?!

Linking up for Friday Favs with Amanda and High Five for Friday with Bright on a Budget, Coffee with Caitlin, Cup of Tea, and Della Devoted!!!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Subscription Box Review: Owlcrate for Readers

I LOVED this box!! September was themed Literary Ladies and Owlcrate did a perfect job putting this box together. A lot of the comments on other videos were that this has been their best box yet and even though this is my first, I am going to have to agree!

September Leading Ladies

Of course there have been a lot of leading ladies throughout the history of literature, but a lot of things included in this box are centered around more recent heroines. I wouldn't have had a problem with either, but I love that I recognized or could place all of the items in the box with the exception of the extra prints.

Dumplin by Julie Murphy | $17.99 (on back) or $10.29 Amazon
Synopsis: Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked . . . until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.

Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.

With starry Texas nights, red candy suckers, Dolly Parton songs, and a wildly unforgettable heroine— Dumplin’ is guaranteed to steal your heart.

Divergent Inspired Tote | $20.33 + $4.93 Shipping (store)

Photo Print
by Megan Lara | $5.00 + $3.00 Shipping (to FL)

Arrow Necklace by Crystal Compass | $8.50 - $9.50 + $3.25 Shipping (to FL)

Key Chain by Funko | $6.03 Amazon Prime

Total Box Worth $50.15 + Shipping so that's a GREAT deal for only $37 total for this US book lover.

What is Owlcrate?

Can't get enough YA in your life? This is such a great box with more than just a young adult book. OwlCrate is a subscription service that sends you magical monthly boxes tailored to a chosen theme. Each OwlCrate will contain one new Young Adult novel, as well as 3-5 other bookish treats to help you get your nerd on.

Owlcrate is committed to sending you a new'ish YA book that has been published within the last 45 days, awesome!

How Much Does Owlcrate Cost

$29.99 (+shipping) / US = $6.99 / CANADA = $10.99
Those are the prices listed and I'm not sure how much it is for other parts of the world, but I've heard it's quite expensive.

How Do I Get Owlcrate?

Ugh! The dreaded wait list, but I'll let you know that I was on the wait list for September and I was released in the same month so you have good chances too!

If you want to watch my unboxing and hear me talk about the stuff as well check it out below!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Book Review: Spinster by Kate Bolick

I wanted to love this book. I did love this book, until I started reading it and then I realized it was not what I was expecting at all. Sometimes, that can be a great thing to go into a book with a hopeful heart and other times...

Spinster: Making a Life of One's Own by Kate Bolick

“Whom to marry, and when will it happen—these two questions define every woman’s existence.”

So begins Spinster, a revelatory and slyly erudite look at the pleasures and possibilities of remaining single. Using her own experiences as a starting point, journalist and cultural critic Kate Bolick invites us into her carefully considered, passionately lived life, weaving together the past and present to examine why­ she—along with over 100 million American women, whose ranks keep growing—remains unmarried.

This unprecedented demographic shift, Bolick explains, is the logical outcome of hundreds of years of change that has neither been fully understood, nor appreciated. Spinster introduces a cast of pioneering women from the last century whose genius, tenacity, and flair for drama have emboldened Bolick to fashion her life on her own terms: columnist Neith Boyce, essayist Maeve Brennan, social visionary Charlotte Perkins Gilman, poet Edna St. Vincent Millay, and novelist Edith Wharton. By animating their unconventional ideas and choices, Bolick shows us that contemporary debates about settling down, and having it all, are timeless—the crucible upon which all thoughtful women have tried for centuries to forge a good life.

Intellectually substantial and deeply personal, Spinster is both an unreservedly inquisitive memoir and a broader cultural exploration that asks us to acknowledge the opportunities within ourselves to live authentically. Bolick offers us a way back into our own lives—a chance to see those splendid years when we were young and unencumbered, or middle-aged and finally left to our own devices, for what they really are: unbounded and our own to savor.


I feel like I should preface this with I've never given a two star review before that I can remember. If a rating is that low I tend to sweep it under the rug. Nobody needs negativity like that in the book universe, but sadly I signed up to blog about this book so I had to share my thoughts.

I should have known I was setting up myself for failure when I read this synopsis. It was almost too good to be true and that turned out to be exactly right. Now, this book had it's awesome one liners and I even thought that last chapter was going to pull it up another star because it started off so well but I just wasn't interested in such a heavy history lesson.

Kate Bolick is obviously talented, that much is plain from her witty segments that the reader only gets glimpses of in this story. It was my mistake for not realizing how heavily Bolick would feature these pioneering women throughout the book. Yes, you need to read and learn from history, but that's now what a lot of women are going to pick this book up for.

I wanted to know what the Spinster woman is like NOW and maybe how she compares to women in history. Even some of the women that were the pioneers were not in fact Spinsters.

Then there's the topic of the non-spinster life that Bolick has lead and continues to lead in relationship after relationship.

It took me forever to get through this and I held out til the very end for that redemption and it never came.

In other news: Dear authors, I STILL want to read about the Spinster life as it is now outside of NYC. I have the library, the internet and old spinsters I can interview at work. I don't need someone else to do the research for me and then write it like a well written secondary education history paper with proper annotations and the like.

I received this book free from Blogging for Books for this review. All opinions are my own. No affiliate links, if you want to read it check your library. Better yet, I can mail it to you because I have a nice hard copy that will sit sadly on my shelf or be donated to the library.

My last Blogging for Books experience was so wonderful, that I'm not letting this one taint my experience with them at all. Make sure you check them out!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Story Behind the Pic - Summer Reads

I knew when Elle posted about this link up that I wanted to start participating right away, I just didn't know what pictures would maybe be new to some of ya'll and that might have a story behind them.

I thought I'd look back at old posts from the last two years when I started this blog and the one that jumped out was my Summer Reads post with Rachael. I just so happened to have a behind the scenes, scene shot too!

Most of us probably have one or a few people we go to bounce ideas off. For me it's my family (parents, sister or brother) and S. When I mentioned this Summer reads I knew I wanted to do it at the beach, because duh. She lived there for a while, but she wasn't living there at the time so we had to truck these from the other side of the bridge in her SUV, glad she had that! We loaded up these colorful, plastic Adirondack chairs and parked at her old house across the street from the houses on the beach.

We didn't have to lug them far and I'm sure it was super hot, but we started to get everything set up and I was like I have to take a pic of this behind the scenes so I can share it too. As you can see from that first pic, there were people in the water just beyond us and lots of ewww seaweed! It's always messing up my pics!

I know we didn't bring a rake so I had to photoshop out the seaweed, but the people I managed to place the chairs just right.

Now, let's talk about the self timer on the camera and getting the shots with us sitting in them I ultimately used for the post.

S got to sit there and just relax while I ran back and forth from the camera. If I had a photographer friend (I'm trying to get my sister to take an interest again) I would have brought them along, but sadly none of them live in Florida. Anyway, while S was lounging and actually reading I was of course running back and forth and trying to make sure I wasn't mid-move when the shot went off.

Of course this was when I had a remote but thought it didn't work. How the times have changed. I still have that same remote and it works like a charm. You just have to know how to use it.

I had several where I tried to cross my legs and it just looked all kinds of awkward, lol.

This was definitely one of my most memorable blog photoshoots and it was for a fun one.

What's one of your stories behind the picture?

Linking up with Elle!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Cheers to the Freakin' Weekend

Today I'm supposed to be linking up with all the book lvoers that participated in the Literary Ladies Summer Challenge, BUT it's also weekend recap MOnday around these parts so I'm holding off on that until tomorrow AND that gives me another 24 hours to finish ALL MY BOOKS!!

Let's see what I did this weekend?!


I had a much needed vaca day planned. I slept in, finally got caught up on the sleep I missed out on from traveling last weekend and then I spent the day cleaning. I had A LOT of extra design work last month and definitely let myself get lax in putting things away so clutter was surrounding me. I also hadn't done a really good clean, think shower, since June so I wanted to just get it ALL DONE!

I ended the day with a trip to Ikea and Target. With the traffic I have pockets when I'll attempt to cross town and they are as follows:

9-11 am
1-3 pm
After 7 pm

Well, I missed all but the after 7 and decided I would actually take a shower before I ran my errands after doing cleaning all day so I didn't leave until 8! For a girl that is normally in bed by 10, I felt so scandalous waltzing around Target so late, lol.

Also, why is there Christmas stuff up already? I haven't even gotten all of my Halloween stuff out!


I had a whole plan about what and when things were going to happen, but by 3:00 pm I realized I had missed my chance to go by the post office which closes at 1:00, and nobody was coming over so we could go to the mall. So, I packed up my stuff and headed to my parents to see what the game plan was.

I had purchased the Bygel "bar cart" Friday night and wanted to get spray paint the silver part gold to give it that little extra something and I won't do any DIY stuff at my apartment so I had to do it at my parents. Well, I didn't prep/prime it properly and it was getting scratches so I left it at my parents house to see if we could put some sort of sealer on it.

Saturday night we got caught up on the Great Food Truck Race which is one of my favorite Summer shows and we only have an episode or two left!


Another glorious morning of sleeping in, and then I needed to get my sister up to run some errands and pick up my mom from church. We got everything done, and closed out the day watching an episode of The Last Ship. My sister, who got us started is the only one that hasn't finished the second season, lol.

This perfectly sums me up, haha! Since I also spent the weekend re-reading the Driven series that just went on sale as a complete set!! It's $9.99, but I got the intro price at $4.99 which shared on Facebook, so make sure you're following me there!!

How was YOUR Weekend?!

Linking up for weekending with B Loved Boston!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

40 Hours in Washington State for a Stephenie Meyer Signing

We're back!!

We had such a great time, a few bumps but they were handled and we really were able to do everything we "had" to do. It was absolutely gorgeous and the few pics I have just don't do it justice. I've fallen asleep the last few nights and haven't gotten a chance to finish this yet but I was determined not to let the week pass without it happening!


We were surprised to encounter sunshine on our arrival at 10 am and it continued to last throughout the weekend. We did get a chance to see the fog roll into Forks, but of course I didn't get a picture. This is the building Stephenie Meyer was in and the line wrapped back and around. It was crazy!

I was so thankful we stopped at the welcome sign on our way INTO town because by the time we left it was dark and I would have missed this iconic shot for any Twilight fan!

All of our flights were on time and the drive from SeaTac to Forks took the amount of time GPS said it would. We arrived to Forks around 2:30 and got in line between then and 3:00 after refreshing and walking to the line. Everything we read said if you were in line before 4:00 you would be able to meet Stephenie. They delivered, but it took a lot longer than anybody thought it would.

We ended up standing in line for about FIVE hours. Stephenie Meyer was exhausted by the end, but I'm so glad we got to meet her, get a quick picture and our books signed!

On our way out of town we stopped at their Thriftway to get some souvenirs and see the Forks Outfitters where Bella worked in the books!!

One of the things we didn't do much of on this trip was eat. We ate trail mix that we made the night before on the way to forks, a single serving size of Cheez-Its and then found a Wendy's on the way back to Seattle. Lame, I know BUT eating just wasn't a priority which is NOT something I ever thought I'd say. Plus, everything had a schedule and we didn't want to miss anything like the ferry ride, or our free parking time ending.

We got to the hotel around 1:00 am and were told by Hilton that they had overbooked. I was so delirious right about now, sister and I had just had a fight before getting on the ferry and were working on 48 hours of about 3 hours of sleep, lol so I'm sure I wasn't my normal self.

Apparently this is something that happens often for them? We're from Florida and have stayed in Orlando plenty of times but haven't heard of this happening. They did set us up at a nicer hotel next door that was a members only and I have to check the CC statement but I'm pretty sure they comped us the hotel stay since it was on them. Tired Heather doesn't ask a lot of questions, lol.


We slept in a little bit, then we hit the road. I love that we stayed downtown, everything really was within walking distance from Hilton on 6th. When we were checking out from the WAC, the girl saw our jackets and said it wasn't cold but sprinkling. I let her know 70's was jacket weather for Florida and didn't think anything about the rain, forgetting we would be walking and my flats would totally soak through.

I remembered Biana talking about the City Target in Boston and just knew Seattle had to have one. It was straight down from where we stayed a few blocks away, so we got to experience that and I found a cute pair of low heel booties!!

After a few more stops, we headed toward the first Starbucks, that turns out isn't the first but still a unique location at First and Pike. We bought some mugs you could only buy there and overheard directions to the original where the line was a thirty minute wait. Robin helped us out, talked to us about checking the line before we left the area and it might be shorter.

After walking back through the market, we stopped back by and it still looked long but was only about 15 minutes!! So glad I got an original mug because I'm crazy, lol.

We walked down to the edge where you could see the ferris wheel and the stadium so I snapped a pic. We had wanted to visit the ferris wheel, but seeing it was enough this time.

Then it was off to the Space Needle. We talked about taking a cab, but it's not like NYC where they're everywhere and you can just hail one. I hate calling for things like that, not a city girl at heart and just trucked along. We made it and got to visit the gift shop, get some pics from outside and decided it wasn't worth it to go up. I had tried to get reservations but they were booked since I was doing everything a week out and we've been to the top of the Empire State Building where you get to go outside and the line was long.

One of the cool things about Seattle for me was the Chihuly presence. I did a huge study/report of the artist when I was in college and have visited several of his installations. This is a pretty cool outdoor one and I wish we would have had time to go inside and see more.

They did have a really cool 50 year Hawiian celebration just outside of the Space Needle and we got to experience that, plus smell all of the food. We happened upon the Monorail which we had been told to take back downtown and it was the perfect little trip.

Since we're both Fifty fans, we had to stop at Escala and take a pic. Don't worry, we weren't the only ones! Someone before AND after us had the same idea.

Our free parking ended at 4:00 and my sister has a really good friend/old roommate that lives about 25 minutes outside Seattle so we headed out there to see her and sit at the bar where she works. It really was the perfect way to just chill while we waited for our time to head back to catch the red eye back to Florida.

We stopped to fill up the rental car tank, obviously and saw that there was a huge lake just down the street and we had time to stop so we headed down the hill, OMG hills were everywhere! Florida is soooo flat and Kansas is too, so we're not used to hills! Anyway, we got to see the sunset off this lake and it was just gorgeous!

Just a few more scenery pics to leave you with.

The Pacific Northwest was like nothing this Midwest, Florida transplant had ever experienced and I can't wait to go back. We're definitely talking about a trip to Portland because A. it's also gorgeous but B. a lot of the films were filmed there. Twihard Forever!!

Have you ever been to Washington State?