Monday, October 31, 2016


Happy Halloween, my friends! Today is one of, if not the, best day of the entire year in my humble opinion! I love Fall; I love Halloween; I love my BIRTHDAY!

That's right, peeps; it's muh burfday!

So while I'm off celebrating today, and let's be honest, all week, I thought I'd share some Halloweens from years past. Thanks for the inspiration, Kristi! :)

Let me preface by saying I'm not one to be scared of making a fool of myself. I will go ALL OUT when it comes to being ready for an event or party. 

Case in point- here I am at a Christmas party one year. Just call me Mrs. Frosty.

Or when we had Camp Discovery for our VBS at church and I went as a camper. What you cant see are my tall socks and hiking boots (borrowed, because let's be real...I don't hike).

And just a random night with some masks....

Now let's get into the Halloween costumes.

Here we are with my bestie, Meg. This may be my favorite costume- a 1920s era flapper. 

One of my more fun costumes- GRUMPY CAT! I'll be honest, a lot of people didn't know what I was dressed as. And to that I say, they've been living under an awfully boring rock!

Cleopatra was in the house one Halloween. 
With the devil, aka another bestie, Whitney!

And finally, another funny favorite of mine was none other than......

AMY FARRAH FOWLER from The Big Bang Theory!

This was a fun one too. You all remember the tiara scene? Too fun!

Hope you've had as much fun as I have on this trip down Halloween memory lane. 

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm sure I have some cake to consume!

What was your favorite costume? 
What are you dressing up for this Halloween?!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

October Book Reviews

I only have 3 to chat about this month. If you like to read, I hope you'll find a book or two, or three, to add to your list. And if you don't like to read, maybe one of these will inspire you to try again! :)


After reading this synopsis, I was super excited to read this book. I've been in a suspense/thriller phase in my reading, and this seemed like it would be a good one. 

Immediately after starting, I was hooked and couldn't put it down. Anne and Marco, the normal couple from next door leave their months old baby daughter while they attend a dinner next door. But it's ok, because they have the baby monitor and and check on her every half hour. Until they get home and discover she's missing. As the detective starts questioning the couple and Anne's family, it is revealed that Anne has a surprising history, Marco was never welcomed into the family and his business is in ruins, and Anne's family also has a bit of history they want to keep hidden.

This is why I only gave the book 3 stars instead of 4 or 5, because there weren't really any flooring surprises and the ending was too predictable. However, because I couldn't put the book down, I did give it 3.

My book club chose this book all because of Carmen (My Fifth House)'s book club review. 

Kristy, a mom of 3, living the seemingly perfect life in the perfect house with the perfect husband, realizes something is missing. On a trip to Texas, she finds it- passion. Passion with a man she's known for 2 days. After a return home, she struggles with staying with her perfect life with no passion, or leaving it all for a man she doesn't know but that sparked something inside of her. 

It's all about perspective and Kristy shares her life and her new perspective on her life. She takes you through the ups and the downs and the book ends with you wanting your own "forever and always." I loved the tone and Kristy's easy to follow, emotional writing style. I gave it 5 stars. 


You read this book review a few days ago during my #CollaboReads linkup. 
Click here to read the full review.

If you want the short version, here ya go.
Allison, a super busy blogger, wife, and stay at home Mom, starts using a few too many (I mean 1 is too many, but bear with me....) prescription pills to "make" it through her day. Her family finds out, and she is sent to rehab. In this book, you get a look into an average suburbia mom's ups and downs with a drug addiction. 

The Rumor

I picked up this Hilderbrand novel because I've heard so many good things about Elin, and this was the latest that a fellow blogger had reviewed. 

The story is of Grace and Madeline, two middle-aged friends who live in Nantucket with their husbands and children, respectively. They go through a little more than the average person, but share heartache, lonliness, grief, and make bad decisions, just like the rest of us. 

Hilderbrand's writing flows easily and makes the appx 400 page book go by fast. I couldn't wait to keep reading to see what rumor would be next, if the islanders would find out the real stories, and how it would all effect Grace, Madeline, and their families.

If you want to stay up to date with what I'm reading, check out my Mel Reads tab at the top of my page or follow me on Goodreads

Tell me, which of these books listed today do you think you'd like? 
Have you read something great this month? Share with me!

Friday, October 28, 2016

October Recap

October is my absolute favorite month!
1. Cooler temps
2. Fall clothes!
3. Halloween
4. My Birthday! 

Today I'm going to share my favorite things from this month. Have a seat and enjoy!

At the top of my list has to be seeing Adele live. Amazing!

It was finally cool enough for soups, so I made my favorite potato soup.

I absolutely loved making haunted houses with my family.

It was fun hearing about my quirks from other friends. Too funny!
Plays are one of my favorite things to see, and seeing Arsenic and Old Lace last week was the best.

We had a chilly, rainy fall day last week, and it was the epitome of Fall! My happy face!

I got a library card (again), and I just love looking through the shelves at all of the books. 

The Fall Pinterest Party was one of my favorite activities this month! Can't wait to craft again! 
Check back next week for a class review, and I've got another class planned for the end of November! #happyfingers!

I'm ashamed to admit how often I've enjoyed a pumpkin Snickers or Reeses. I mean, you've got to take advantage of the holiday shapes!

I loved having dinner with some of my favorite women from church and their kiddos. Fun night with some awesome people!

I've loved attending some Fall marketplaces this month. My wallet....not so much!

Some of my fall goodies from these marketplaces are my fave! 

Oh, and I'm still loving my bangles from The Sandy Pearls.

Those are my favorites from October, my favorite month. How was your Oct?

Linking up with Momfessionals today for Friday Faves!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Arsenic & Old Lace

Our little town is home to a lot of cool places, one being the historic, Plaza Theatre. 

Ages ago, you could go see a movie and get snacks. Now, the Plaza plays host to concerts, school productions, movies during the summer days, and most recently, to the production of Arsenic and Old Lace by Far Off Broadway players, local actors who volunteer. 

The Plaza is downtown among other small businesses. 

It has been completely remodeled, but still has the feel of an old theater.

I love everything about theater; the music, the acting, the feel of sitting in a theatre and seeing people perform live. It just makes me happy happy!

Really pretty, right???

My friend, Tammy, and her girls went with me to see the play. It was phenomenal!

I'll be honest, the marquee may just be my favorite part of the theater.

Almost a year to the day ago, I got to see Frankenstein. There must be something about a scary play in the fall that calls my name.

What about you? Are you a theatre junkie?

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

#collaboReads: A Book with Fall in the Title

I started this book as a #collaboReads linkup. The month's criteria was to read a book with the word "fall" in the title. After searching B&N for "fall", I found All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner. I've read Weiner's books before and thought she had a great sense of humor and very relateable characters, so this was an easy choice.

#collaboreads uses the READS review system, so here we go!

R- Riveting. What part of the book could you not get enough of?
I couldn't wait to see how Allison would get caught. And when she was, I couldn't wait to see what Allison was like after rehab. Would she change? Would her marriage survive?

E- Elements. How did you relate to/care for the characters? What are your thoughts on the plot line and twists and turns?
I really liked and related to what the protagonist was going through. Unlike Allison, I'm not a wife and mother and taking care of ailing parents, BUT I do know what it is like to stress and to want something to help me through the day. To want something to handle the stress. Weiner does a great job of making someone with an addiction like me. I could see how easily it was for Allison to add one or two more pills to her day until it became a full on addiction. I have no personal knowledge or relations to anything or anyone with addiction so I can't understand, but Weiner makes the issue seem real and like it could happen to anyone. I do wonder how accurate her details of the life and rehab are. I have no idea.

A- Associate. What other books are like this? If none, did it remind you of a particular TV show or movie with it's themes and characters? Does it go along with what's going on in your life or the news right now?
All Fall Down did remind me of 28 Days with Sandra Bullock, which was mentioned in the book. Also of Girl, Interrupted, which is totally different, but I kept seeing scenes in that movie while reading the book. Not sure why.

D- Design. You know you judged this book by the cover. What did you think? How did it relate to the contents of the novel? And the font and layout of the pages?
It took me a minute, but I now get why Weiner chose a roller coaster as the front cover. Because life is like a crazy one. You're up and down and it flies by and you are thrown curves every day. Interesting.

S- Stars. How many stars out of 5 do you give this book?
I liked the book, but I had trouble staying with it. It wasn't something I just couldn't put down. Perhaps because addiction is so foreign to me. Maybe because I'm not a mom or wife or as busy as Allison. Not sure. Weiner did a great job of writing, but I wasn't dying to get through the pages to see what was coming.

Other thoughts?
I'd love to hear from or read a review of someone, like Allison, who seemingly has it all together, has the "perfect life", but has an addiction. Was this book accurate? I'd love to know.

Visit Rachel A. Dawson blog for more details about the #collaboReads linkup and what we're all reading.

(from Rachel's blog):


November's theme is A Foodie Book. Since we'll be gearing up for Thanksgiving and cooking/eating all the delicious things, it just makes sense to read a book about food! Choose a cookbook or a memoir or a book with a food-ish title or whatever you'd like!

We'll link up on November 30!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Pinterest Party Review

I mentioned a few posts ago that I attended a Pinterest Party with my friend Megan, and had the. best. time. ever! 

Brittany, the host of the Pinterest Party also has a blog to showcase her business, and yesterday, she featured my review on the blog! Can you believe that??? I was a guest blogger!

Go on over to Certified Celebrator to see what went down at the party!

Please note: the format of my post didn't transfer well to her blog. Sorry about that, friends!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Haunted House Cookie Kit

Would you believe that before Friday I had never made a gingerbread house?!?!?
In my 32 years, not one measly sad looking cookie house graced my kitchen table. 
I'm not bitter at all. 

All jokes aside, my mom bought two haunted houses for us to attempt to build, and we got together Friday night to make them. Let me just say.... it is hard!

We may or may not have had trouble with the icing keeping the cookies together, so we may or may not have used some canned goods to help hold the cookies in place. 

Putting together these houses is tedious work for a 4 year old. 
So she found her own way to entertain herself. Popping bubbles!

And eating the black icing....

Thankfully my sister had done this before and had a little more patience than yours truly.

Of course we had to get Owen in on the action.

Imagine my apprehension when Raelyn wanted to help do our house. "LEAVE IT ALONE!"  I was thinking.... I had worked so hard on it. But it's just a cookie house, right? RIGHT?

Finished products!

And then someone said MAKE SCARY FACES!

Next time, someone give me a house put together and I'll decorate. That building is hard!

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