Thursday, May 26, 2016

2 A.M. at The Cat's Pajamas



My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

I wanted to love 2 A.M. at The Cat's Pajamas but it fell a bit short for me. I liked it enough to keep reading, however I didn't feel especially moved. The writing was good enough to keep me engaged but the very, very end just lost me.

What I did enjoy was how Bertino was able to connect the many characters together. Not that they were particularly like-able, the three major characters were unconventional and had their own personal stories happening within the pages. You've got a sad but sassy nine year old girl who smokes, sings and curses; a too-nice teacher who has a vulnerable heart and a disheveled bar owner who is on the brink of losing it all. How these characters weave in out out of each other's lives and the interactions with the minor characters on a Christmas Eve, Eve makes for a promising story.

I'd recommend this book to anyone looking for an easy and quick read. The author's style is fun and quirky, definitely worth experiencing.

For more info
About the Author

I received this book from Blogging for Books to review.


Saturday, May 21, 2016

DIY - Sweet Vanilla Sugar Scrub

This simple recipe for the Sweet Vanilla Sugar Scrub is probably my favorite. Sugar scrubs are great for pampering yourself after a long day or even to give as an inexpensive but thoughtful gift. All you need are a few simple ingredients and 10 minutes!



What you need:
 White Granulated Sugar ~3/4 cup
 Brown Sugar ~ 1/4 cup
 Coconut Oil ~ 1/4 cup
 Vitamin E (optional) ~ two gel tabs (pierce and sqeeze the liquid into your mix)
 Jojoba Oil (optional) ~ 8 drops
your favorite vanilla essential oils or extract ~ 5-8 drops oil or 1 tsp of extract (this is personal preference... and remember that the more oil you use, the stronger the scent)

mix, mix, mix and store in a container of your choice - I just went with a simple mason jar.
For scent, I used aVanilla Orange scented oil and it makes the scrub smell a bit like pizzelle cookies! yummo!

This recipe calls for Coconut and Jojoba Oils, which have so many great health benefits. To learn more about these oils, please check out the links below:

Also, let me know if you try this recipe and what you think! What type of essential oil did you use?

Thursday, May 19, 2016

TBT - I am a Dog Person

I originally wrote this post in February of 2013... It has always been one of my favorites, as it was one of the most "real" posts I have ever written. It was what was on my heart at that time. 

My dogs have always been a part of my family. I treat them the same as I treat any family member. They are not less than or lower than. They are special and so very loved. 

Sadly, the beautiful pup in this post passed away on Mother's Day in 2014. It was a painful loss and something I know many other's can identify with. I still miss this sweet girl and think of her often. Because that is what you do when you lose a member of your family. 


I am a Dog Person

A dog is never just a dog… they are companions, best friends, travel buddies. They offer wet kisses when you least expect them. They know when you are sad or sick… or just feel empty and alone. And when you need them, they respond because no matter what, they love you unconditionally. 

I never understood what it took to be a dog person. I always had a dog in the house growing up but it was never “my” pet – they belonged to my parents. I was a cat person. Cat’s don’t require a lot of work and like chin scratches… they were hardly needy or fussy like dogs. At least that was my experience… 

Then I got my own dog. 

Rain was my first “MY” dog. She was cutest Weimaraner puppy with the biggest blue eyes and shiny beige/blue fur. She was tiny and fragile as a pup… I remember when I first brought her home, her health was not very good and we weren’t sure if she would make it. At only 10lbs, I would hold her and stay up with her all night just to make sure she was OK. We bonded fast. This was my puppy… my needy, sweet, loving puppy. 

Rain was always very aloof growing up. She would walk into tables and trip over herself. Greg graced her with the name of The Brown Swan. At a whopping 80+ lbs, she grew into the largest lapdog I have ever known. But still… she is my puppy. Still needy, still sweet and every bit as much loving. She loves to love so, so much! 

Rain is not a young girl anymore. She is nearly 12 and in Weimaraner ages, that’s an old lady. It makes me sad because I know what this means… and the signs are so apparent. Her arthritis is bad. She prefers naps to playtime. She can no longer manage the stairs. 

We have been taking countless trips to the vet and have undergone countless tests to try to determine if there was anything we could do to help Rain’s health. These trips are stressful for Rain. She pants, gets nervous, and usually has an accident in the waiting room. It’s no fun for me but it is terrifying for her. 

Yesterday I witnessed my “puppy” struggling to stand and walk. Negotiating right, left, right… forward… It was too much for her. I took her to the vet where I sobbed into her fur, trying to make sense of what would  be the right thing. I had the option of letting her sleep and find peace – but I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t convinced it was the right time. 

Rain came home with me yesterday where I gave her some pain medicine and made a comfortable place for her to rest. Her sisters comforted her with their snuggles and warmth. I continued to stroke her fur, whispering to her that I loved her more than I ever thought possible. Because I do. She managed to eat her dinner and go outside with her sisters in the evening – on her own. I don’t think she is ready to leave me just yet. 

Right now she is sleeping beside me. Her snores are soft and she appears to be comfortable. I have witnessed several wags from her. Several more than yesterday. 

I have decided there will be no more tests, no more stressful car rides to the vet, no more poking and prodding and no more painful examinations. I am going to keep her happy, content, warm and loved for as long as I can… and when the bad days outweigh the good days… I will have to make some hard decisions. 

This is my puppy… and now I understand what it is to be a “dog person”. It takes heart, patience, understanding and the ability love so much that it can sometimes hurt.

always loved. always in our hearts. we miss you.