Last week was a bit of a doozy! Summer hit with both barrels here in Michigan, with 90 degree temps- and of course my air went out!! And then my hard drive died! I felt sort of a like a jinx. Lol. Luckily we now have air again (Wyatt is very sensitive to heat) but alas, still no laptop. I am using my husband’s work laptop so I can’t use it much, so I might be hit or miss on here for a bit until I get a new one of my own. I am hoping for good 4th of July sale! I don’t need it to do much, really to surf the interwebs and blog. However, I do need a lot of memory I think, I have a ton of photos. Anyway, other than that nonsense, we had a pretty decent week, which ended in a shared family meal at my brother’s house. It was a good night.
Read Last Week:
So this arrived!! And I promptly devoured it. I am calling it my favorite read of the year so far, it was amazing. Thanks Dad for surprising me with a copy!
Reading This Week:
When I first read Karen White ages ago, I didn’t care for her work. I had been reading her Tradd Street series and had a hard time liking the main character. But then I picked up a book of hers that was not part of that series, and fell in love. I am slowly but surely making my way through all of her books. I needed a less intense follow up to Crawdads and Karen White is a go to author for me. So far, I am loving this one.
Posted Last Week:
A summertime giveaway! Enter to win the above decorative book stack by following this link here.
It has been a while since I have participated in anything bloggy other than the Weekly Sunday/Monday meme I do; four years, to be exact, since the birth of my son. I never knew if I would be able to commit! This Paris in July event, hosted by Thyme for Tea, will be my first in four years, and I am very excited! I felt like this would be a fun, very doable type of experience for me, and I am looking forward to it.
I am planning on reading a few books set in France, watching a French movie, and without a doubt, watching the Tour de France, as we do every year. We are big fans, and this year promises to be an exciting one, with some of the big names out of the race already before it has even begun. I also hope to do a mini Bastille Day celebration and eat a little French food too!
A little bit about the event from Thyme for Tea:
Paris in July is a French themed blogging experience running from the 1st – 31st July this year.
The aim of the month is to celebrate our French experiences through actual visits, or through reading, watching, listening, observing, cooking and eating all things French! Here’s a link to some of my previous reviews.
There will be no rules or targets in terms of how much you need to do or complete in order to be a part of this experience – just blog about anything French and you can join in! Some ideas might include;
reading a French themed book – fiction or non-fiction,
watching a French movie,
listening to French music,
cooking French food,
experiencing French, art, architecture and travel
If you are interested in learning more or signing up, visit Thyme for Tea here!
Father’s Day morning was awful. Rainy, cold, gray. But we were undeterred by the bad weather, and tucked ourselves into our rain gear and continued on with our plan for the day!
Greenfield Village was having its annual “Motor Muster”, where people from all over drive their classic cars to the village and show them off. I have to admit, I am not super into cars. But Billy is, and it was Father’s Day, so there we were. He’s a good guy and a great father so whatever he wanted, it was his day. There was one thing I did want to do though, and that was ride the train. A month ago my stepfather passed away, and he was a huge train enthusiast, and I wanted us to take a ride on the steam train around the village, in memory of him on Father’s Day. So we made that our first stop – it was a good way to stay out of the rain too. It was actually pretty atmospheric in the rain, with the thick steam wrapping around the sides of the train. Wyatt loved it, and Jerry would have too.
When our ride ended, the rain pretty much had too, luckily. We wandered about looking at the cars, and I found that I was actually really interested this time. Lol. Call it my summer of retro, I guess! We saw some really cool vehicles though, and we had the village pretty much to ourselves for a while, due to the morning’s rain.
Those wood paneled cars are really cool looking! Billy loved all the International Harvesters, which I guess are very rare. There were three at the Motor Muster, one of which was a wagon type version, which Billy had never seen and was super excited about. I was more of a fan of the Vernor’s truck, so classic Michigan! I also liked this one:
After we had walked around and checked out all the cars, we checked out the rest of the sights! This year the village had added in vintage era music shows, food stalls, and living history type exhibits, if you could call them that. I thought these ladies looked amazing and so very retro cool, working on their Victory Garden.
And yes, as any good Hawaiian blooded man does, my husband ate the grilled spam sandwich. Which he said was excellent!
All in all, it was a great way to spend the day and we had a fun with this blast from the past! And hey, since you are here, check out my giveaway!
Summer has finally arrived in Michigan! It’s warm, birds are singing, the sun is shining and there are multiple opportunities for fun everyday, from road trips to ice cream to summertime reading on your front porch!
Last week I was talking about how when you are a kid, summer feels endless, and full of promise, brand new adventures whenever you are ready. I realized I want a little of that back, that feeling of summer stretching out in front of us like a blank slate, despite having adult responsibilities. These moments can be small or large, summer vacations or a trip to the library, whatever you make it. A chance to make your own summer story.
When I saw this decorative stack of books, I knew that it would help inspire me to keep to my goal – and then I realized I wanted to give an opportunity to one of you to have this as well. When I was talking to Michelle of Bombshell Redesign about what I wanted to do, she generously gifted a matching stack for someone to have the chance to win!
A little bit about Michelle and Bombshell Redesign: She is a firecracker, a whirl of energy and creativity, with an eye for repurposing things that may just get thrown away or recycled. She is a mother, an avid reader, an entrepreneur, an artist. Bombshell Redesign is a quirky, quotable, bookish way to upcycle books headed for recycling or a landfill. She offers many different options, including personalizations and special requests. These decorative stacks are fun and perfect gifts for friends, grandparents, book clubs, and teachers – or for anyone for that matter!
To enter, we are doing this old school! Leave a comment below on my blog, and please be a U.S. resident. You do not need to be a blogger just have an email. Bonus points if you follow me on Instagram @crackercrumblife and @BombshellRedesign! If you do, just leave me your Instagram name in the comments, or email it to me at email@example.com so I can check. Then I will use a randomizer online to find the winner! Winner will be announced July 7. 🙂
So far, summer break has not been much break for me, but it is nice to have Wyatt here. Last week we did a bunch of non-fun things but still stuff that needed to get done, so I think..we might be ready to just kick back and relax for a bit! Friday Billy took the day off work and the three of us went to the zoo to celebrate World Giraffe Day, as giraffes are Wyatt’s favorite animal currently. We spent the rest of the weekend pretty much just hanging out around the house and with family, and it was nice to have a long weekend together.
Read last week:
Last week, I said I was going to read Where the Crawdads Sing, and I really honestly thought I was going to. Lol. Then I got a lot of comments from people mentioning that their library hold lists were seriously long and that they had a long wait, and I started to wonder. I went up to the library to see if it was in for me, and well, it wasn’t. So I asked about it, as my online account did not show that I was any number in line, so I assumed it was in for me. I learned that the library changed its policy and no longer is telling people where they are on the list, and that it appears I do have a while to wait. I was kind of bummed about this change in policy – I don’t understand it. My dad called as I was leaving the library and I was telling him about my book woes, so he surprised me later by calling and telling me that he ordered it for me from Amazon! Yay Dad to the rescue! In the meantime, I read Last Summer. I plan on reviewing it July 10.
Reading this week:
I usually love Lorna Landvik so I am looking forward to this one! It’s all lined up in case Where the Crawdads Sing comes later in the week.
Friday was World Giraffe Day and also summer solstice, celebrating the longest necked animal on the longest day (or night depending on your hemisphere) of the year.
Wyatt loves giraffes. They are his favorite (coincidentally, his favorite colors are also orange and yellow..) We were already planning on celebrating solstice in our own small way, by eating summery fruits like strawberries and getting together with some friends, but when I read about Giraffe day, I decided to make a whole day of it. Billy even took the day off from work so that he could celebrate with us all day as well!
We headed out early, basically waking up and packing up our “adventure backpack” as we call it and hitting the road, zoo bound. The giraffe festivities at the zoo were starting at 10, but I like to get to the zoo, or anywhere, right when they open as I have found places are less crowded earlier. We found the parking lot empty and the zoo almost to ourselves when we got there, and since we had time before the giraffe day things we visited some of the new exhibits, like the red panda’s new enclosure, with its rope swinging bridge, which puts zoogoers closer to the treetops where the red panda’s hang out, and the arctic exhibit which is usually jam packed. We had both exhibits to ourselves, which was kind of neat, especially the arctic exhibit. I finally got a chance to view the artwork that is inside! We were able to get very close to the glass as well with our kiddo, so close that a passing seal startled him a little! Most of the seals at the Detroit Zoo have cataracts and would not be able to survive in the wild and it is amazing how they still can perform their water acrobatics and swim and dive with limited vision. Nature is so cool.
After checking out the most popular attractions, we went to our other favorites, the wolves and the bears, who were all out and up front and center that early in the morning. I have actually never seen either the wolves or bears so close to visitor areas, we were able to get great views of them. By the time we were done, it was time to head over to the giraffes, our whole reason for going!
The zoo had volunteers standing by to answer questions, as well as information tables and signs laid out everywhere. We saw the skull of a giraffe, and signed the card for Kuvali, the mom giraffe at the zoo. We have a family of giraffes, Kuvali, Jabari (dad), and Mpenzi, their son at our zoo, and they were showing off in the yard, playing and posing for photos.
Wyatt and I had been doing some reading in preparation for World Giraffe Day, to expand our (my) knowledge of giraffes, and I learned quite a few crazy things! We learned that the collective noun for giraffes is a tower, which makes sense, and that giraffes actually have the same number of vertebrae in its neck as a human. Giraffes also have blue-black tongues to protect the tongue from sunburns, and fight by swinging their necks around, which I never want to see.
Sadly, these gentle, quiet, beautiful creatures have become endangered. According to bornfree.uk, giraffe numbers plummeted by a staggering 40% in the last three decades, and less than 100,000 remain today. I hate hearing about all of our animals slowly disappearing; it is hard to imagine a world where these magnificent beasts no longer roam. To read more about their plight and what you can do, visit the Giraffe Conservation Foundation here. I have already signed up to make a monthly donation and “adopted” a giraffe, but there are other ways to help, which can be as easy as just making people aware that these amazing animals are in danger.
A love worth fighting for. A dream worth dying for. An ending worth waiting for.
It’s been two months since the Fates were freed from a deck of cards, two months since Legend claimed the throne for his own, and two months since Tella discovered the boy she fell in love with doesn’t really exist.
With lives, empires, and hearts hanging in the balance, Tella must decide if she’s going to trust Legend or a former enemy. After uncovering a secret that upends her life, Scarlett will need to do the impossible. And Legend has a choice to make that will forever change and define him.
Caraval is over, but perhaps the greatest game of all has begun. There are no spectators this time—only those who will win, and those who will lose everything.
Welcome, welcome to Finale. All games must come to an end…
I was so excited to read this final installment in the Caraval series. I have been enchanted by this world since I first picked Caraval up on a whim- I think it is such a unique story, and so visual for a book. I can totally imagine this series as a movie or television show – everything just feels so alive and bursting off of the pages, in glittering technicolor. There is a sense of vivaciousness, excess, beauty from this world and Scarlett and Tella are such great characters, and their fierce love for each other. They are truly sisters, so different yet loyal and devoted to the other. In this book, we got to hear almost equally from both and I loved it reading a book that had both of their perspectives.
Holy Love Triangles Batman! Not just one character with a love triangle, but two. I have a slight favoritism for Scarlett and Julian though, so I have to say I enjoyed their journey in Finale a wee bit more. Tella and Legend, I’m just not as into their story as I am Scarlett and Julian’s. Maybe it is because we met Scarlett first? Regardless, I still greatly enjoyed seeing their stories spin out and finally conclude.
There were some pretty big surprises in this book! From sad ones to ones that I didn’t see coming, it was a bit of a roller coaster from start to finish. I found myself drawn more to the character of Jacks, and was almost sort of rooting for him over Legend! Of course, you will not find out until the very end who Tella ultimately ends up with..
I also really enjoyed hearing the stories of the Fates, how they came to be, their history and the lore surrounding them. That was actually really cool. They played a huge part in this book, and I really loved it.
Overall, I really enjoyed Finale!
Thank you to NetGalley and Flatiron Books for the advanced reading copy in exchange for an honest review!