Meeting Pierce Brown

Hey everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. On Saturday I went to a book signing for Pierce Brown’s newest book, Iron Gold. I wanted to take a little time to tell you about that experience.

This was the first book signing I have been to, so I was not really sure what to expect when I went. One of the things I did not expect was how long it would take. I thought it would be two hours tops, and it ended up being 4 1/2 hours. However, it was well worth the wait! The signing started out with a Q & A session, which was great! There were not many spoilers about the books either, which was good. I am only on the first book in the series so the fact that not much was spoiled for me! After the Q & A session it was time for the signing and meeting part.  This part was such a great experience! Pierce Brown was so nice, and was amazing at interacting with all of his readers! Even when I mentioned that I had not read his books yet, he was still very kind.

I could not have picked a better author for my first book signing. Pierce Brown’s books are so engaging and you will not want to put them down! Be sure to keep an eye out for my book review on Red Rising.  Have you been to  a book signing before? Let me know in the comments below!

-A

It’s Not Okay: Turning Heartbreak into Happily Never After

Hi everyone! Today Andi Dorfman’s second book came out, and to mark this day I wanted to do a review of her first book. The first book came out in 2016; however I read it this past year. I immediately loved it and could not put it down! For those of you who do not know, Andi Dorman was in season 10 of The Bachelorette. At the end of the show Andi did get engaged, but in the end it did not work out and her engagement ended. Throughout the book Andi talks about her time on The Bachelorette, her engagement, and how she got through everything after her engagement ended. There were so many great parts in this book, but I am only going to focus on a few points!

The first thing I want to mention is the very first page.  It says, “To all the brokenhearteds of the world…One day all the pain will make sense.” While I loved this whole part the part where she writes “…One day all the pain will make sense.” I believe this 100 percent, and it was definitely the case for me when my engagement ended! After my engagement ended I noticed I became more outgoing and willing to take more risks. I also met a really great guy this past year too, and I know if I had been with my ex still that would not have happened.  I would have missed out on a lot of great moments.

The next part I want to talk about is a few pages later when Andi is talking about how this break up will define her for the rest of her life and how the label of being an ex-fiancee is the worst. As I read these few pages I was sobbing! This really hit home with me. I know for me personally knowing that I will always have an ex-fiancee and I can never get that first proposal back.  While I do not regret getting engaged to my ex and having that relationship with him, I do regret not being able to say I was only engaged once. I will never get to spend the rest of my life with the person I thought that I would love and would love me forever, and that is a terrible feeling to have.

The last part I am going to mention is toward the end, and Andi asks, “Why do men always seem to move on faster than woman?”  I have asked this so many times! I will not say how quickly my ex moved on after things ended, but for me it took me two years to finally start to date again! In that time I have only dated one other person while my ex has dated more than one. It does hurt to think that I may have meant so little to him that he was able to date again quickly. One thing I did learn from that moment though was that the time did help me to heal better and I was more open to dating.  I do believe that the guy I dated really helped too. If he were not to have been so wonderful to me I most likely would still be not willing to date.

It’s Not Okay was exactly what I needed to read and I really do recommend it to everyone! I will say that I do not regret getting engaged, but I do regret how I handled it after and do wish I would have moved on with my normal life a little bit quicker. Have any of you read Andi’s book? Let me know in the comments below what you thought!

-A

2018 Reading Challenge

Hey everyone! I have seen a ton of reading challenges popping up for the New Year. Some of the lists had a ton of book topics and others had very few. I decided to make my own challenge of 12 topics that combined things from all the lists I saw. The topics on the list I created are below! I even wrote the books I plan to read next to them, if you need some ideas!

  1. A book of poetry, a play, or essay collection- I am choosing to read Diamonds +Hearts by Chris Siegfried and Desiree Hartsock
  2. A book on a bestseller list- I am choosing to read Capital Gaines by Chip Gaines. I found this book on the USA Today list.
  3. A book turned into a movie you’ve seen but haven’t read- There are a ton of books to come to mind, but I am choosing to read The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks.
  4. A book published in 2018- Even though it is not 2018 yet I already know that I plan on reading Single State of Mind by Andi Dorfman. I am currently finishing up her first book and I look forward to her new one!
  5. A book published the year you were born- I was born in 1993 so I plan on reading Little House on Rocky Ridge by Roger Lea MacBride. My dad used to read this series to me when I was younger so I am excited to read this again.
  6. A book recommended by a friend- I asked my best friend to suggest a book, and she suggested The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. I have taken the quiz and I am really looking forward to reading the book!
  7. A book written by someone under 30- I am going to read Red Rising by Pierce Brown. With this one I am cutting it close, because his birthday is in January and he will turn 30. I am hoping to finish this before his birthday!
  8. A modern classic- I am going to read To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I read this in high school and I am so excited to read it again!
  9. A book with bad reviews- For this I did a quick search on Goodreads, and decided to read Women Who Work: Rewriting the Rules for Success by Ivanka Trump. On Goodreads this book was given 2 ½ stars out of 5. I am interested to see what my take on the book will be.
  10. A book by an author with your first name- My name is Annmarie so after another search on Goodreads I decided to read the book The Happy Closet by Annmarie O’Connor. I never heard of this author before, but I am looking forward to reading her books.
  11. A modern retelling of a classic novel- There are so many retellings out there, but I am choosing to read Sense and Sensibility by Joanna Trollope. This is a modern retelling of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility. I have never been a huge fan of Jane Austen so I am hoping the modern version will be a better fit for me!
  12. A children’s book- Being a nanny I am super stoked for this one. My favorite thing is to read books with “D”, “B”, and Baby P. I am not sure what we will read yet, but I am definitely looking forward to what it will be.

I am excited to participate in this challenge and I hope you will join me in reading through this challenge. There is a link below that you can print and keep track of your challenge progress! What books do you plan on reading in the New Year? Let me know in the comments!

-A

Reading Challenge Document: file:///C:/Users/Annmarie/Downloads/2018%20Reading%20(1).pdf

Children’s Books to Read

Hey everyone! Today I am going to tell you about a few books your children will love! Yesterday “D” and I went to the library and ended up bringing home a ton of books. However, there were three books that really stuck out to both “D” and I.

The first book I am going to tell you about is Give Please a Chance by Bill O’Reilly and James Patterson. When “D” first put this book in the bag I was unsure about it. I read a few of Bill O’Reilly’s books before, and in my opinion they were a little bit much. I did end up letting “D” get the book, and it was one of the first books we read when we got back to the house. I was pleasantly surprised! The book was filled with different examples of children saying please. This book has amazing illustrations and such a great storyline. After reading this, “D” started saying please all day!

The second book we read was Bobby Bramble Loses His Brain by Dave Keane. “D” absolutely loves this book! We have read it so many times since checking it out. This book is about a boy who takes a fall and loses his brain. Throughout the book, Bobby and his family search for his brain. It is a hilarious book, and “D” laughed through the entire thing! It is a must read!

The third and last book I am going to talk about is Skippyjon Jones Snow What by Judy Chachner. This is such a cute book! “D” loved hearing about the adventure Skippyjon Jones went on to save the princess, Snow What. I honestly believe that “D’s” absolute favorite thing about this book was saying the name Skippyjon Jones. This is part of a series of books, and I look forward to reading more from this series with “D”!

Going to the library with “D” has been such an amazing experience! Getting to read all of these books with “D” has been an even greater experience. What books do you and your children read together? Let me know in the comments below!

-A

Story Websites for Kids

Hey everyone! Today I want to talk about websites that have stories for kids. Today I was looking on Pinterest to see if I could find some websites or apps that “D” would like. I ended up finding a couple that were great!

The first app I want to talk about is the Read Me Stories app. This app is free to download, but does offer in app purchases. Read Me will have a new story every day. The story you get depends on which category you choose. “D” and I chose Tales of Adventure, so the book we read today was Is the Moon Made of Cheese? When opening the book two options popped up. One is to read the book by yourself and the second is to have the book read to you aloud. The first time we read the book I read it to “D”. She loved it so much that she listened to it again, this time with the app reading it to her. After every sentence that was read to her, she would repeat the same sentence back. This app was great! The one thing that I would change is that we have access to more books without having to pay for them all upfront!

The next thing I am going to talk about is a website. It is called Funbrain.com and it is awesome! This site offers books and games. “D” and I started out reading Gonk Wrecks Everything. “D” loved this story, because it was about a little monster that destroyed everything he played with. She thought it was so funny! After we finished the story she played a few of the learning games that the site offers. She really enjoyed funbrain.com!

The last thing I am going to mention is the YouTube channel, Storybook Nanny. This is such a great channel for your young children to watch. There are a ton of videos to choose from! Each video is of the Storybook Nanny reading a children’s story. “D” listened to five stories! They are not long videos, but they do entertain. A couple of the stories “D” listened to were Pinkalicious and No David! This is an amazing YouTube channel and I definitely recommend it for all your kids!

All of the things I mentioned were great resources and “D” loved them all! It is great, because not only does she get to play on my phone, but she is also learning something. She spent the rest of the afternoon talking about the stories she heard and was making jokes about things from the stories. Do you use any learning or reading apps? Let me know in the comments below!

-A

From Dark to Light

Hey everyone! Fall is here and I figured I would do a book review on what is probably the cutest fall themed book you and your kids will ever read. From Dark to Light is a children’s book written by Isabella Murphy and illustrated by Natalia Perez. The book was published by Pink Umbrella Books just this year!
From Dark to Light is about a little pumpkin seed named Pumpker and his desire to turn into a pumpkin and go live with a family. Along with Pumpker are his two sisters, Plumpilina and Plumpilicious. All three pumpkin seeds lived on a farm with the farmer and his wife. In the beginning his sisters made him feel alone and left out. Pumpker just wanted to fit in! I do not want to spoil the ending for you and your little ones, but in the end all the pumpkins were happy!
I read through this book alone before I read it to “D”. As I was reading through the book I could not help but ooh and awe at the adorable illustrations! The story was so cute too. I loved the story as a whole and felt it was perfect for the season. It brought me so much joy to read this book. From Dark to Light is happy and light hearted, and I recommend it to everybody!
As I read the book to “D” I was a little worried about the length of the book, and if she would be able to sit through the story. There were even times when I was sure she was not listening. However, much to my surprise she was! Every couple pages she would ask a question about what we read. Some of her questions were; “Where is the farmer’s wife?” and “What are the pumpkins names again?” She really surprised me with those questions! “D” really loved the farmer’s wife. In fact, I am almost positive that she was “D”’s favorite character in the book. As I finished reading, “D” asked for me to read it again! From Dark to Light was a huge hit with her, and we will definitely be reading it again!
From Dark to Light is one of quite a few books published by Pink Umbrella Books. All of the books that are sold by Pink Umbrella Books are so cute, and all have been huge hits with “D”. If you would like to buy a copy of From Dark to Light I will leave a link below. If you would like to see what other books are sold you can go to Pink Umbrella Publishing’s website, link below, and take a look! I have also done book reviews on a couple of the other books they sell. I will link those below too! I really enjoyed reading this book with “D” and I know she enjoyed it too! We look forward to more books coming out. Have you read any of Pink Umbrella Book’s books? Let me know in the comments!

-A

From Dark to Light: https://www.amazon.com/Dark-Light-Isabella-Murphy/dp/0998516228/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1510895253&sr=8-2&keywords=From+Dark+to+light

Pink Umbrella Publishing: https://pinkumbrellapublishing.com/books/

 The Box

 Ladybug’s Garden

Ladybug’s Garden

I recently got the opportunity to review Ladybug’s Garden, a children’s book written and illustrated by Anabella and Sofia Schofield. I read the book to two girls I babysit.

When I first showed the cover to the girls they were not so sure about it. As we went through the rest of the book both girls loved it!  They were so concerned about snail and why he was crying. The book teaches there is always time to help a friend. This sparked a conversation between the girls about how they would be mean to friends, but now they will start to be nice. For the rest of the afternoon, both girls kept talking about “the ladybug book”.

As I read the book I enjoyed it. It is such a cute book! I loved how it rhymes throughout the book. I think it is a great book for children learning to read. The storyline is fun and teaches a great lesson to the kids. I highly recommend this book! This book is on sale now and you can buy it on amazon! It is definitely worth reading to your children!

-A

Here is the link so you can buy your copy of Ladybug’s Garden! https://www.amazon.com/Ladybugs-Garden-Anabella-Schofield/dp/0998516201/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1487139831&sr=8-2&keywords=Ladybug%27s+Garden

Year of Yes

Right before the New Year I read Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes. I was so impressed by the book that I will most likely read it again this year. I absolutely loved this book and the premise around it!

In the book Shonda Rhimes tells about her life and how she never said yes to anything. She always found an excuse to not go to events or to make appearances on shows. Throughout the book the reader followed Shonda Rhimes as she began saying yes to things. Some of the things she said yes to were; making a commencement speech, getting healthier, going to more events, and playing with her kids more.

While I was reading this I began to think of my own life. I realized that I do not say yes to things enough in my own life. I am the type of person who is content with shutting myself in my room and watching hours of Netflix in bed. In fact I do that a lot! However, after reading this I decided that I would make it a point to say yes to more things.

One of the things that I decided to say yes to more is going on more dates, which was harder than imagined. I found that I wanted to stay in and see if my favorite characters from Greys Anatomy would get together or see how the house Chip and Joanna Gaines fixed up ended. I can say that I have gone on more dates than I did last year, but have stayed in a lot.

The second thing I said yes to was more of a social life. I made it a goal to spend more time with friends and would not make up lame excuses as to why I could not hang out. Just from doing that I have noticed that I have more people to talk to and am happier.

The last thing I made a point to say yes to is to not being as shy and afraid of the outcome of things. As I said a few posts back I took a chance and asked someone out. It took a few months of me trying to get the words out, but it took a year of me telling friends I would do it. I finally said yes to asking and I did it. After saying yes to that it became easier to stepping up and talking to more people. I’ve realized that it does not matter what they think of me and in the end at least I tried.

Year of Yes is a great book and definitely a must read! In the comment section below tell me what some of the things in your life you want to say yes to more.

-A

The Magnolia Story

This year I made it a goal to read more. In order to keep myself accountable I am going to do more book reviews. Today I am going to be focusing on The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines.

The Magnolia Story is about Chip and Joanna Gaines life as a newly married couple. The book leads up to the Gaines getting their show, Fixer Upper. Not only does the book have funny stories about when they dated and their marriage, but it also talks about the struggles they went through. Not only did they put their faith in each other, but they also put their faith in God.  Throughout the book you see that they really had their struggles and they worked hard to make it to where they are today. They did not have things easy at the beginning and they went through a lot of struggles.

I loved reading this book! Once I finished reading this I immediately started reading the book again. The Magnolia Story is definitely worth the read. It is very relatable and you will find yourself smiling and laughing through this book. You will not regret reading this book!

-A

The Box

I was given the opportunity to participate in the blog tour for the book The Box. The Box is a children’s book written by Yvette Cragun and illustrated by Alex Smith. I was able to read the book to the little girl I babysit.

The Box is about a boy who uses his imagination to turn a cardboard box into different things such as  a fort, a pirate ship, and race car. I thought the book was a great book and that it is a great book for young children! This book is also a good form of bribery for when the little ones in your life are not listening. I used the book ten times over as bribery, and it worked every time!

The little girl I babysit had quite a few opinions and thoughts on the book. Once we were able to start the book she really got excited. The book rhymed which she really liked. She even brought it up multiple times. At one point the box became a fort that had a “no girls allowed” sign. When she heard that she turned to me and stated that she was offended, because she is a girl. All in all she loved the book and said, “This book is really great!” This book was very relatable to the little girl, and she definitely enjoyed that. She really enjoys turning boxes into forts, which she calls her sleeping box. About a month ago her parents ordered a bunch of new chairs and since the little girl was being super difficult that day her mom gave her the box to decorate. She spent hours coloring the box and putting stickers all over it. After she finished she begged to sleep in it. She began calling it her sleeping box. I do not want to give away the ending, but she really related to the end of the book!

I would definitely suggest this book for the children in your life! As the little girl I watch would say, “It’s pretty awesome.”

-A