Saturday, December 29, 2018

Second Hand Wishes by Anna Staniszewski #scholastic

Lexi has to keep the universe in balance. If she does enough good things, like being on time, then the bad things, like her little brother needing more surgery, won't happen. It doesn't always work, but she has to keep trying. Just in case. On an extra bad day, Lexi finds a bag of four wishing stones in the antique shop in town, and wishes that her BFF Cassa and the new girl would stop talking to each other. That night, Cassa calls Lexi, crying over the end of her friendship with Marina. The wishes work!

Sort of. When she wishes on the Success stone for the courage to try out for dance club, Lexi wows the entire auditorium with. . .singing? And when she wishes on the Health stone, her little brother starts squeaking like a hamster. This isn't the first time those wishing stones have been wished on--and secondhand wishes come with unexpected consequences!

This sweet and funny story from Anna Staniszewski is perfect for anyone who's wished for a dash of magic in their day!

The 411:

I loved this quick read for ages 8-12 about Lexi who believes she needs to keep balance in life. If something good happens, she knows something will happen and vice versa. When she finds a bag containing Wish Stones in her BFF mom's antique shop she starts asking the universe for favors. Once her first wish comes true she makes a second wish and this time for her sick brother. He suddenly gets better but with consequences.  What should Lexi do? How can she right things in the universe?

Wonderfully written by Anna Staniszewski about friendship, lies, supernatural, and family.

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Disclaimer: I received a complimentary product for my honest opinion. All opinions are my own. No monetary compensation was offered.

My Life In Pictures - December 20 - December 29, 2018

December 20 - Sage nursing on my shirt. She is very sweet but only when nursing.

December 21, 2018 - When you go to the same pizzeria every Friday they sometimes give you extra. This time it was Italian Cake.

December 22, 2018 - Snapchat Maria is always better than just Maria. Let's pretend this is really me without a filter. Cute!

December 23, 2018 - Just a drive by shot while out looking at Christmas lights with Goddess but it was a wonderful view and I love sharing.

December 24 - Christmas Eve 13 and 15 years old. Man time flies. I love these babies. They will forever be my babies no matter how old they get and God willing I will be here to watch it happen.

December 25, 2018 - They all look wonderful so I am sharing it even though I am not happy with mine. I was probably talking to my niece asking if we were all in the picture but my daughter holding my arms is everything and my boys always look good.

December 26 - My sister-in-law and niece came in from California for Christmas week. They always come up one day out of their stay to spent the day with us. I loved that my daughter opened up a bit more with them. She is so shy and I really want them to see just how dynamic and amazing she is.  We ended up heading out for an hour without the boys and hopefully they will continue to come and spend time with us maybe even taking Goddess with them for a little while to get to know her better.

December 27 - Christmas gift from my girl Clary; Dinner and a movie but in reverse. We headed out to see Aquaman because she knows how much I love Jason Momoa the headed to Outback for some steak and drinks. All the shots are grainy. I couldn't see what I was shouting and didn't want to blind the person behind us.

December 28 - Luna loves the tree as much as I do. I don't want to see it go but eventually I guess we will  have no choice.

December 29 - Not planned but so cute. Sage hanging out in our wreath for next year. Walmart's 50% off was awesome.

My Life In Pictures - December 12 - December 19

December 12 - I have wanted so badly to try FabFitFun after seeing everyone and their mother showing theirs off on Instagram. I received my box and LOVED it.

December 13 - My new favorite dinner has been oregano shrimp and some sort of green. At least twice a week and I love it.

December 14 - Sage and her huge eyes. We love this cat even though she could care less for any of us unless she just woke and wants to nurse on our shirts. She is adorable.

December 15 - Goddess and I did our second year of baking. We made about 8 different cookies but I think my favorites were these Linzer cookies.

December 16 - Getting ready for my preschool class goody bag assembling. I love doing bags for them. It is fun and since my kids are big now it is fun to get gets together for toddlers.

December 17- One of my little guys using the Paint Sation. They love it and we love that they can independently paint without making a mess. See my review here.

December 18 - OMG Handsome has matured so much over the past year and I am not ready. This was right after his new haircut. He was loving himself and I love him so took a few shots. He liked this one so much he asked me to send it to him so he could put it on his Instagram.

December 19 - My preschool class stringing bells onto pipe cleaners for the holiday concert. This is a great fine motor skill exercise for kids under supervision.

My Life In Pictures - December 1 - December 11

December 1 - My doorway made me so happy this year. My husband did a fantastic job. Next year we have big plans.

December 2 - One of the best things about working where I work is the baby room. I love going in just to get a baby fix.

December 3 - It wouldn't be good if I didn't have a Goddess sketch to put into this month. I love this drawing and once again she colored in her digital program. She is so good it makes me smile just to think about it.

December 4 - Some of my favorite December snacks. I cannot get enough of those Munk Pack cookies.

December 5 - This is why girls love Snapchat. Me 15 seconds apart without the app versus with. I love me with the app!

December 6 - Working on my preschool classes Christmas project. They ended up coming out great even though I only did some cutting and can't take credit for anything else I wanted to include this in my memory.

December 7 - Luna taking a peek even though her window seat is in use these days. She is so cute.

December 8 - I am in love with this shot of Goddess and Sage which ended up going on our Christmas card this year.

December 9 - Just one of the many adorable cats we take care of at the shelter! Adopted since this photo but OMG that face.

December 10 - Wellness day for the kids and I as we took a day off to visit Santa for our yearly pic. My daughter and I were off and my son was offered the opportunity to come with us or go to school but only because he was unsure as to whether he wanted to take the day off of school. Before you go thinking it is because he really doesn't want to miss a day of school. It was because he didn't want to miss study hall. UGH. He of courses decided to come. How could he miss? Look how happy my son is!

My Life In Pictures - November 24- November 30

November 24 - Thanksgiving was wonderful this year. This is my view as I was placing out the food. We reconfigured our small living space to move the tree to a different part of the living space and really love it. I have a wonderful view when I sit to write at the computer or eat. My husband and kids decorated the tree and placed out the decorations and my husband spent time with the window using his theater curtains and wrapping lights, garland and hanging ornaments which really made the room festive. Probably my favorite ever.

November 25 - Luna looks gorgeous sitting and looking at the tree. I couldn't take enough photos of her this year. We love having our three cats after not having a pet for the longest time. We have the guinea pig but not one that becomes part of the family and is with you all the time.

November 26 - A little homework help. She was studying for chemistry when dad came over to see what she was doing. They spoke periodic tables for a half hour and then we all tested each other on our knowledge. I wasn't as good as I thought I would be.

November 27 - I had to snap a quick picture so I could download this song when I got home. Every time I hear it, I think, why didn't I write that!? Don't know it? Check it out!

November 28 - I went to my daughter's back to school night and her homeroom teacher/math teacher showed me the Red Ribbon that was given to her to decorate for the classroom door. She said they all were given a ribbon to decorate but she couldn't throw this one out because my daughter had put to much work into it. It is adorable right?!

November 29 - OMG just looking at this makes me hungry. I had taken my girl out to lunch for Thai Food.

November 30 - Goddess and Mr. Jinxy taking a snooze are just too cute. I was going to wake her for school when I saw this and just had to take a shot. When she saw the pic she said, "he does love me!"

Darling by Rachel Edwards

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary product for my honest opinion. No monetary compensation was offered. 

Darling by Rachel Edwards
Release Date: 1/15/19

A teenage girl clashes with her new stepmother in this debut thriller with an unforgettable twist
I knew she was trouble from the moment I saw her. I felt it as she stood in the doorway that day: disaster. Not just because she was so different, that skin and that hair, as different from me as it’s possible to be. There was something wrong about her. Wrong for us. It was never going to work.
Now she is dead and only I am left to love him.She is dead, and it’s all my fault

The 411:

Lola doesn't like that her father Thomas has taken a new wife named Darling especially a black mother with a sick son. This  definitely not someone she expected and Darling wasn't expecting such a spoiled, rude stepdaughter either but they both love the same man so they will have to make it work or will they? 

It didn't take long to get into this read. I had to remind myself that I was reading a current and not a period piece focusing on racism and love. 

In the end if it a love story but I was confused at times mostly because I wasn't sure why Thomas and Darling had gotten together and wish there was more to the relationship as the book mostly focused on the stories of Lola as the angsty teen and Darling as the "new" adult in the life of a young girl. Was Darling a gold digger? Was Thomas just a lonely man? I don't know because eventually the story became a thriller and while I am into that, I found myself wanting to knock Lola down a few pegs, smack Thomas in the back of the head to get him to open his eyes and scream at Darling for being so mysterious. There is so much more to cover because the book did jump around a lot. 

I enjoyed how Lola was written. All choppy and teenage like with hashtags and angst. She is angry and you know it. She is also very calculated and cunning it is a dangerous combination which Darling finds out early on.  

All in all the story was decent and a quick read. 

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