First of all...

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Second Book in a Witchy Cozy! #TwoWickedDesserts #NetGalley

 Two Wicked Desserts
 is the second book in Lynn Cahoon's Kitchen Witch Mystery series. I would say that this is a paranormal lite cozy.  I think if you are not interested in a cozy that really leans into the magic, you will probably enjoy this series as while there is some magic, the amateur sleuth still solves the murder using traditional questioning and observations.

I like Mia our main character, she is steadfast and remains calm even when bad people are after her.  There is a nice slow romance with Trent, who is a grocery store owner and not in law enforcement, which is nice.  Instead we have a competent sherrif in Mark Baldwin and Mark and Mia have an entertaining bit of bickering throughout the book. 

The food and catering talk in the book is mouth-watering and the pets and Mia's grandma give the story just right amount of magic.  This second book is a nice continuation of the first and I look forward to what happens next!

4.5 Stars for Two Wicked Desserts


Now that it is August is it time to start reading books about Autumn? What do you think?  I think anytime after my birthday (which is in August) is a fine time to start dreaming of the fall. 

Saturday, July 31, 2021

#TheSundayPost! Bye July! Hello Air Fryer August!


The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted here @ Caffeinated Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.  See rules here: Sunday Post Meme

Hi, Hi! I'm starting to feel much more like myself, I think it is the ton of water I am drinking and the adherence to small meals.  I am happy to report that even with the new medication, I managed to run 11 miles today! Thank goodness the weather was less humid, that helped so much.  I am hoping this month I will be up to speed with my reading.  We are going on vacation and I am thinking I should take like 5 books, just in case the WiFi is dicey, plus it's a long drive. 

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I decided to start selling Tastefully Simple again; and since my favorite part of that is talking about making meals, so starting in August I'm going to do Zoom meal preps.  I'm looking forward to figuring out how to my own little cooking shows. This month I'm starting with meal prep with our Air Fryer 5-meal kit! We have a recipe for Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower I'm going to try!

How was your week?  We enjoyed watching Outer Banks Season 2 on Netflix. It's a great little escape. 

Books I'll be posting about this week:

And hopefully at least one more book TBD! 
Happy August!

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Fanciful, Magical Cozy Hits The Spot! The Ghost Camper's Tall Tales by Elizabeth Pantley

 This is the third book in Elizabeth Pantley's Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic series. I enjoy the whimsy of this series and the real coziness of the magic.  Houses and gardens changing daily to suit the needs of their occupants--how cozy! 

I was having a rough week and this book was a perfect escape for me.  On one hand, you have the ongoing mystery of Hayden's missing mother, and a new murder in Destiny Falls and on the other hand you have the magical mansion and grounds of the Caldwell Family ---plus a witch, ghosts and telepathic cats. This is a book to read and forget all your worries. 

The book is out on Monday 8/2 via Amazon. Treat yourself to a fun tale, that could be even more fun read around a campfire! 

The twist with the solo ticket to Gladstone at the end was so sweet.  

4 Stars!  Whimsy at it's best! 

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Week 2: Thursday #BCSM Post: Notes on taking Lynparza aka Olaparib


Yeah I'm still trying to navigate side effects. I'm starting to wonder if I have anticipatory nausea and if that is even a thing. 

Thursday (361 to go) I struggled with fatigue and then when I tried to take a nap, then I wasn't able to sleep. For dinner we got carryout and I ate too much and didn't feel very good afterward.  

Friday (360 to go) I went for a run and felt good for the run. I made sure to eat small meals/snacks and that helped me feel less queasy.  Overall I felt the best since starting the drug, but then after the second dose at night then I felt more nausea and had real trouble falling asleep. 

Saturday (359 to go) Long run today, 7 miles it was really tough, but it was also really hot so I don't know if it was the medication or the weather. I made sure to practice better-eating habits and drank lots of water. This helps.  I also found a little bottle of peppermint essential oil. I am going to try putting a little on my pillow to help at night. 

Sunday (358 to go)  Day of rest, so no running for me. Hot and humid as can be outside so I spent time in my little pool and took the dog for a walk.  Also went to Aldi to get groceries. I had to push myself to do the grocery shopping since I felt queasy, food didn't appeal to me in the store, which reduced impulse purchases, but that was offset by having the hubs with--he did some impulse shopping! The best time of day was late afternoon/evening. Had trouble falling asleep, which is the opposite of how this drug is supposed to work!

Monday (357 to go) My main focus today is on eating.  I began the day with greek yogurt.  Small meals often are going to be key in me being able to tame the constant queasiness. If I can manage that, then I'll be (knock on wood) golden. 

Tuesday (356 to go) Changing my eating to small meals and snacks is paying off in a big reduction in queasiness. I am finding random foods I usually like have lost appeal, a bummer, but I can handle that. In the late afternoon, I have fatigue. I do not have fatigue at the right time--which would be at bedtime! 

Wednesday (355 to go) The number #1 most common side effect of this drug is diarrhea. For me, this means the number one side effect I will have is the opposite of that, at least I have experience in how to manage that side effect.  

Overall, I feel much better than last week. Thank goodness.  Now to manage the latest side effect, I need to go buy some Benefiber. The Hubs asked if they will be able to do a test to show if the drug is working and I explained to him that there isn't. Monday I have bloodwork to make sure my red and white blood cells are doing well. I don't have much fatigue so I *think* they are in good shape. 

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Death Bee Comes Her - The July Book of the Month for The Cozy Mystery Book Club!



 Join us tomorrow for the youtube live stream! There are some great DIY honey recipes in this book. I am definitely going to make the salve for the dog's paws for our dog. If you like a cozy mystery where the amateur sleuth is very connected to her cozy companion, you will like this book. If you are looking for spooky season reads, this one is pretty Halloweeny! 

 Overall I thought this was a decent first book in a cozy mystery series, I found the sheriff to be very cookie cutter and I thought the other love interest would have more to do with the central mystery. This book could have been turned into a real psychological thriller if Porsche was the murderer instead of the best friend...but don't worry this is cozy! 

I really enjoyed the honey recipes, tips, and general information about bees shared in the book. I thought Wren was likable enough, I didn't really connect with her that much. I appreciated that for a change, our main character called a lawyer instead of running around talking to everyone and waiting to get themselves arrested.  However, I felt that we don't really learn very much about Wren in this first book, lots of backstories to come I assume. 

 My star rating is 3.5. The best part of the book for me was bee talk.

Saturday, July 24, 2021

#TheSundayPost It was a Rough Week.


The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted here @ Caffeinated Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.  See rules here: Sunday Post Meme

Side effect stink. I'm a week into taking a medication I talked about last week and that I blog about on Thursdays and medication really kicked my butt last week. The best way to describe it is, if you've ever been a little hungover, it's like that.  Or if you've ever had a touch of the flu while recovering from a mild case of food poisoning. I'm hoping the side effects lessen over the next week--or that I figure out good mitigation techniques.

And so with feeling crummy, I didn't get enough reading done. I am still reading these two books :

And I'm almost done reading the Cozy Mystery Book Club book of the month.  The live stream will be on Tuesday if you want to join us to talk about this book:

How was your week?  Did you do anything fun? 

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Thursday #BCSM Post: Notes on taking Lynparza

 On Thursdays for the next year (ideally), I will be posting about how things are going for me as I take a drug called Lynparza to reduce my risk of a cancer recurrence. This drug is called a PARP inhibitor here is  very short blog post that give you the gist of what they do.  

Recently a study was done on people like me who have a BRCA 1 or 2 mutation and who had early stage breast cancer that was aggressive and more likely to come back than other breast cancers.  This study found that if people took Lynparza for one year after completing other cancer treatments (surgery, chemo and radiation) they had a lower risk of cancer coming back or a new cancer.  

I read the research and I read articles about the research and in June the American Society of Clinical Oncologists determined that this drug was impactful enough to warrant recommending it for people like me. You see this drug has been around for a while in use for people who have BRCA 1/2 mutation in the Stage IV setting--so it is not new, new. I talked about it with the Hubs and we decided that if I could get it covered by insurance, I would go ahead and take it for the year.  

Then I had my regular appointment with my oncologist and we talked about it. She put in the order for the drug and much to my surprise my insurance is covering it. (surprise because it is new for early stage patients).

Sunday I started taking the drug.  Like I said, I will only be taking it for one year and it is the newest possible way to reduce my risk of recurrence. I thought long and hard about whether or not I wanted to do this. This drug is considered chemo, but it isn't nearly as brutal as IV Chemo.  

Frankly if this drug made my hair fall out, I don't know that I'd be taking it. I take 2 pills in the morning and 2 pills at night. Day one I felt queasy.  Like you would if you were experiencing low grade morning sickness or a little hangover.

Monday Day 2- (364 days to go)  I had trouble sleeping, not a typical side effect.  I felt like I was on the brink of stomach upset all day, but didn't have any stomach problems so that was good. I did my Monday run w/hills. Suprisingly my heart rate was really good during my run.

Tuesday Day 3 (363 days to go) Better sleep. I feel like I am at the start or the end of a cold.  A little queasy, a little tired, about 20% off my game.  Drank coffee and didn't eat too close to taking morning pill and almost wound up w/serious nausea.

Wednesday Day 4 (362 days to go) Slept more than usual. I can tell I have fatigue from the drug, I have to make the effort to stay active or I can feel it will creep up. I am glad this is only for one year and I hope it ensures I don't have to ever take a cancer drug again. 


After next week I will have bloodwork.  I need to make sure to get lots of protein.   

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Audio Challenge Update! Halfway to December- #AudiobookChallenge

This is a little belated, so I'm glad I've remembered to get this post up!  It's time for my midyear Audiobook Challenge check in!  The 2021 Audiobook Challenge is being run by Caffeinated Reviewer, you can check it out here and join us! 

My goal for this challenge is Marthoner level (no surprise there) and that means 50 audiobooks over 2021. Where am I at?  Great question... I went back through my posts from this year and so far I've listened to 22 audiobooks. So I'm only about 4 books behind where I should be at this point of the year. 

Lucky for me it's easier to catch up on a listening challenge than it is actual marathon training.  Lately I have not found myself absorbed by an audiobook. I have three books currently in progress.  Nothing has been catching my ear lately!  On the plus side, in a couple days I'll have 2 credits added to my Audible account and I'll be able to pick up a new release or two with those credits. 

The garden is starting to really produce zuchinni and I'm trying to get creative in ways I can shred zuchinni and add it to meals. Tonight I put a cup of shredded zucchini with a pound of ground turkey and 1/4 cup of Bacon Pepper Jam mixed that together to make burgers.  They turned out very well and now I have a new way to use up my produce.  Next up, zuchinni shredded and added to pasta sauce. 

The Subtitle of This Book Could Have Been Men Who Suck and Women Who Deal With Them


Taylor Jenkins Reid has written several other well-known books.  Her work includes Daisy Jones & The Six and The Seven Husbands of  Evelyn Hugo.  Malibu Rising is the first book by Taylor Jenkins Reid that I have read.  When I began reading the book, I had to check to see if the book was based on a true story or if it was fiction. Turns out the book is fiction, it does reference some actual people, but all of the action and pertinent characters are not real people. 

The book is engaging, I kept reading because I wanted to see what becomes of Mick Riva and what causes the fire.  The book starts with the promise of a fire and so I was waiting and waiting to see if it came to be. Much of the book is about women who have selfish men in their lives. There are many POVs and short scenes involving people who aren't a core part of the story. I might have struggled to keep everyone straight if I had listened to it.

I appreciated the depiction of an alcoholic parent in this story; it felt realistic and not over-the-top. This book is a good read, not too long, I don't think any of the four children is written as well as Nina she is the most fleshed-out character in the book, aside from her mother June.  

My star rating is 3.0. 

Nice line in the book. 


Friday, July 16, 2021

#TheSundayPost Boy Are My Dogs Tired!


The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted here @ Caffeinated Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.  See rules here: Sunday Post Meme

I thought I was prepared to run a 10-mile long run this week for marathon training, and boy was it hard! The last two miles were rough!  Thankfully next week is a cut-back week and I only have to run 7 miles next Saturdays. I tell you it is the cut-back weeks that give one the strength to continue on with the training.

This week was a busy week, but it was a good week. On the personal front, I had a visit with my oncologist and after a discussion with her, she put in an order for me to take a drug that has been shown in clinical trials to reduce the rate of cancer recurrence for people with BRCA1/2 mutations. This drug has been approved for some kinds of advanced cancer patients, but now the American Society of Clinical Oncologists has recommended this drug for 1 year for early stage people like me that have a high rate of recurrence.  It's considered a chemo drug.
 I was surprised and happy that my insurance is covering it. It's a serious drug and I am hoping that based on my overall health that I will be able to take it w/low side effects. The whole point of doing this is it's an added level of protection. I am planning to track my experience with the drug--since it's just now being used for people like me. I plan to blog about it on Thursdays. 

Book talk!  There are just a few more weeks left of the summer reading program at my library! I need to keep earning points so I can win a gift card! What I'll be reading this week:

How are you doing How was your week?  Watch anything good? Read anything good?