Reading List #9

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For four days, I was felled by an incredibly nasty gastrointestinal virus. All I could do was read, watch TV, and sleep. Now that the Evil Humors have left my body, I can return to my usual activities. Reading, watching TV, and sleeping. Oh Goddess, I need to get a life.

READING LIST #9:

Sugar Cookie Murder (Hannah Swensen Series Book 6)

Hannah and half the town are stranded at the Lake Eden community center during a blizzard. There’s a dead body in the parking lot, and the murderer must still be amongst the snowbound residents.

Peach Cobbler Murder (Hannah Swensen Series Book 7)

Shawna Lee, Hannah’s chief rival for boyfriend Mike’s attentions, is back in town. She’s opened a bakery and is intent on stealing Hannah’s business, as well as her man. That gives Hannah the perfect motive for murder.

Cherry Cheesecake Murder (Hannah Swensen Series Book 8)

A Hollywood movie producer is using picturesque Lake Eden for location shots. Unfortunately, the film’s director has a bad habit of making enemies out of just about everyone he meets.

Key Lime Pie Murder (Hannah Swenson Series Book 9)

Hannah’s judging baked goods at the county fair. When she discovers a dead body after hours at the fairground, she can’t help but get involved, no matter much danger she puts herself in.

Hmmm, I couldn’t make a link to Cherry Cheesecake Murder. Harumph!

I also read The Parrot Talks in Chocolate (The Life and Times of a Hawaiian Tiki Bar Book 1)

This is a charming, quirky, novel about the magic of life in paradise. It made me wish I was at a Hawaiian Tiki bar drinking fruit punch instead of lying sick in bed. And in frozen Minnesota, no less.

Stay tuned…

Note to readers: This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase using the link (whether it’s the product I recommend or another). Thanks for helping me earn virgin margarita money!

Reading List #8

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I’m continuing to read the Hannah Swensen series of cozy mysteries.

Blueberry Muffin Murder (Hannah Swensen Series Book 3)

Famous lifestyle maven Connie Mac is found dead in Hannah’s bakery. Now Hannah’s business is shut down until she can find the murderer.

Lemon Meringue Pie Murder (Hannah Swensen Series Book 4)

Hannah’s sometimes date, Norman, is building the dream house they designed together for a contest. But will all of Norman’s plans be put on hold when a body is found in the basement?

Fudge Cupcake Murder (Hannah Swensen Series Book 5)

Hannah’s brother-in-law Bill is running for sheriff. Unfortunately, that makes him the prime suspect when the current sheriff is found dead.

I also watched the documentary “Advanced Style” (also available on Netflix). It’s a documentary about New York women in their 50’s through their 90’s who are all about fashion. They prove that style is ageless. I smiled all the way through it.

Stay tuned…

Note to readers: This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase using the link (whether it’s the product I recommend or another). Thanks for helping me earn virgin margarita money!

Reading List #7

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Do you ever dread getting out of bed in the morning? Dread spending the day in your cell  cubicle  country club? I sure do, pretty much five days a week. I decided to read some books on creating a morning ritual in the hope that I can develop a more positive morning attitude.

Morning Ritual Guide by Richard Carroll

This is a very short book with a few good basic ideas. My favorite chapter was “A Leap of Faith”. I have to pass on the prayer and the Scripture reading, but meditation and inspirational readings would be good ideas. I also like the idea of listing what I want to accomplish during the day, and visualizing it happening.

Amazon readers gave this book an average of three stars (out of five). I rate it at two and a half.

Morning Ritual Secrets by Stephen James

This is an even shorter book, but I found enough inspiration to take notes, and I think I’ll develop much of my morning ritual from this book. My favorite idea was to ask yourself empowering questions like, “What am I happy about in my life?” “What am I proud of?” “What am I committed to?” “Who do I love?” “Who loves me?”

Amazon readers gave this book an average of four stars, but I think it’s a five star book. Warning, there was a little cursing, which was part of why it was rated lower by some reviewers.

The Ultimate Morning Ritual by Stephen Hall

This book had a lot of the same philosophy of the previous one (both are students of self-help guru Tony Robbins), but was denser and a slower read. It had more explanation and background material for the suggested ritual components. Frankly, I liked the writing style in Morning Ritual secrets better. I found it much more inspiring.

Amazon readers gave The Ultimate Morning Ritual four stars. I give it three.

So, after reading these three books, I think this is what my morning ritual will consist of:

  1. Smile.
  2. Stretch.
  3. Take 3 deep breaths.
  4. Drink 2 glasses of water.
  5. Ask and answer empowering questions. (Can I do it in Telly Savalas’ voice, “Who loves ya, baby”?)
  6. Plan 3 accomplishments for the day.
  7. Affirmations, geared towards accomplishments or the way I want to feel during the day.

I also read Strawberry Shortcake Murder (Hannah Swensen Mysteries Book 2)
Coach Boyd Watson is murdered and his wife, Danielle, has motive, means and opportunity. Hannah can’t let her friend Danielle go to jail, so she does a little investigating on her own.

Stay tuned…

Note to readers: This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase using the link (whether it’s the product I recommend or another). Thanks for helping me earn virgin margarita money!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading List # 6

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This week I read book 1 of the Hannah Swensen Mysteries, Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder.  Even though it’s over 400 pages, it’s a light, easy read. I love that it’s set in my home state, Minnesota, and the small town details ring true. My only criticism is that Hannah could throw in a “Yah, you betcha!” once in a while. Yah, some of us Minnesotans do really say that.

I also read “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”. This book is much different from any decluttering and/or organizing book I’ve ever read. Marie Kondo, the author, talks about clearing by category instead of by room , and says to do it all at once, not a little at a time. Sort of the opposite of what I’ve been doing.

She also is a very amusing writer, and you know that earns her tons of extra points from me. In one section, she gasps with horror when she sees her client’s drawer full of balled-up socks. Your socks should be on vacation in your drawer! How can they rest when they’re tied up knots? Awesome!

I also watched the movie “Johnny English Reborn” starring Rowan Atkinson. It’s a James Bond spoof, and it had me in stitches.

If you don’t want to buy movies anymore, you can stream tons of videos and TV shows with Amazon Prime! Try it free for 30 days!

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That’s it for my recommendations for the week. I have to go unball my socks now.

Stay tuned…

Note to readers: This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase using the link (whether it’s the product I recommend or another). Thanks for helping me earn virgin margarita money!

 

 

Reading List #5

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Happy Wednesday! We’re over the hump!

READING LIST #5:

This week I finished Turkey Ranch Road Rage (A Jolene Jackson Mystery Book 3).

Jolene finds herself back in her home town of Kickapoo, Texas, bailing her mother, Lucille, out of jail again. This time Lucille is protesting a RV park being planned for right next door to her house. Unfortunately, Lucille protested with her handgun, The Little Lady. At least the latest crisis gives Jolene a chance to reconnect with her sexy high school sweetheart, Sheriff Jerry Don Parker.

Love the laughs, and the mystery had me guessing right up to the end.

I also read 7 Day DIY Housekeeping Handbook and 7 Day Organization Blueprint, just for laughs. I really didn’t believe I could clean and organize my house in 7 days, and I still don’t believe it. Maybe it works for some people though, because reviewers gave these little books an average of 4.5 stars. There’s a lot of overlap between the two books, so if you’re tempted to buy, just get one or the other.

Stay tuned…

Note to readers: This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase using the link (whether it’s the product I recommend or another). Thanks for helping me earn “virgin” margarita money!

Reading List #4, & Where’s the Walleye?

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I was craving walleye for dinner so I went to the drive-through at Culver’s. Turns out that they only have walleye during Lent. What is the link between Jesus and walleye? Did the loaves and fishes miracle consist of butter buns and walleyes? Were there walleyes in the Sea of Galilee? Because I know there are walleyes in Minnesota; it’s our state fish. Harumph, no walleye, indeed.

I had the North Atlantic cod instead, and it was excellent. Take that, Jesus.

READING LIST #4

Back to the cozy mysteries. This week it’s the Jolene Jackson mysteries. Jolene gets a call from her mother, Lucille, who’s in jail on suspicion of murder. Jolene doesn’t want to return to her home town of Kickapoo, Texas, but she has to rescue Lucille. Which also means she has to face her handsome, sexy high school sweetheart, Jerry Don Parker.

Hot Enough to Kill (A Jolene Jackson Mystery Book 1)

Dead Man Falls (A Jolene Jackson Mystery Book 2)

Lots of humor and a little romance, just the way I like them.

Stay tuned…

Note to readers: This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase using the link (whether it’s the product I recommend or another). Thanks for helping me earn margarita money!

 

 

 

Reading List #3, & Decluttering Books Reviewed

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READING LIST #3:

If you’ve never read Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum books, you must start now! They’re laugh out loud funny! Stephanie Plum is a klutzy, hapless, gun-averse bail bondswoman (bounty hunter) who has a really bad habit of blowing up cars and falling down stairs. She’s also juggling the affections of two VERY hot and sexy guys. I started at “One For The Money” a few years ago and worked my way up to “Takedown Twenty” this week. I’m saving “Top Secret Twenty-one” for a day when I really need a lift.

I highly recommend all twenty-one of the books (plus a few holiday novellas), but I won’t list them all for you. Click on “Takedown Twenty” and you’ll be able to find the rest.

I also read a few organizing books that I’ll review for you.

Declutter Your Life: Quick and Easy Tips for Busy People by Jenny Davis

Amazon gives this book 4.5 out of 5 stars. I really got the feeling the author understood the causes and costs of having a lot of clutter in your life, and had a good process laid out for dealing with it. She not only tackled clutter room by room, but she also gave tips on dealing with paper and electronic clutter.

She did say proceed at your own pace, but I got the feeling she’d be surprised I’m still decluttering after a year. What can I say? I’m slow, and my hoard was huge. Also, I think her idea of using seven (seven!) sorting boxes is excessive. Other than that, I recommend this book.

Home Organization For a Stress Free Life: Organize Your Home and Eliminate Stress From Your Life in the Process by Alice Richards

Amazon gives this book 5 out of 5 stars. There were a lot of tips about how to organize each room in your house, but most of it just sounded like “buy more shelves”. Maybe it’s just beyond my abilities right now, because I’m still decluttering. I don’t recommend this book if you’re looking for help on how to decrease the clutter.

Declutter: How To Organize Your Life, Maximize Your Productivity, and Enjoy a Clutter-Free Life by Jennifer S. Edwards

Amazon gives this book 4.5 out of 5 stars. This book was pretty short, so it didn’t get into the causes and cures of clutter too deeply. It did give a lot of tips, however, on how to break the sometimes overwhelming job of decluttering into smaller tasks.  The author also gave a lot of organizing tips that I haven’t heard anywhere else. The best part is, she recommended using two containers to sort objects; one is for trash and one is for donations. That’s WAY more my speed than the seven boxes. I recommend this book.

Stay tuned…

Note to readers: This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase using the link (whether it’s the product I recommend or another). Thanks for helping me earn margarita money!

 

Reading List #2, & Vacation Plans

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My boss at “The Company” told us that we all had to tentatively schedule our vacation times for 2015. He figures this will help him project man/woman hours we have available and compare it to how much work we have in-house.

Let’s see, an eastern Mediterranean cruise in January, a fly-in canoe trip up in northern Canada in May, and a Kenyan safari in September. Oh, seriously, you want our real plans? Sigh. Las Vegas in January, Nashville in May, and Seattle in September. I really can’t take an international trip until I pay off my credit card. I’m not even sure I can afford to take the domestic trips.

I love, love, LOVE to travel abroad, but I have to admit, the plane rides are less than comfortable. And the airlines do tend to lose my luggage. And boats and buses give me motion sickness. And I can’t really eat foreign food (I’ve learned to say ham & cheese sandwich in several languages). But, really, I can’t wait to take another international trip! I’m going as soon as I hit zero balance on the card!

READING LIST #2

As I’ve said before, I love cozy mysteries. The series I’ve been reading this week is the Dusty Deals Mysteries. I read the first one a while back, then read the rest this week. The series is about Lucy, a 30ish, single, crime reporter turned antiques dealer, in Helena, Montana. Again, lots of humor and a little romance, in addition to the mystery in each book.

1. Loose Screw: Dusty Deals Mystery Book 1

2. Cut Loose: Dusty Deals Mystery Book 2

3. Loosey Goosey: Dusty Deals Mystery Book 3

4. Let Loose: Dusty Deals Mystery Book 4

5. Lucy and the Valentine Verdict: Dusty Deals Book 4.5 (a novella)

You can save some money by buying the first three books as a set:

Loose and Lethal: Dusty Deals Mystery Series Box Set: Books 1-3

I also read George Takei’s book on how he came to be an internet sensation. If you’re an old Geek Orthodox like I am, you’ll remember him as “Sulu” on the original Star Trek.

Oh Myyy- There Goes the Internet (Life, the Internet and Everything, Book 1)

I like to intersperse my humor reading with a little spiritual exploration. Actually, this spiritual book has a good bit of humor, too, which makes it especially entertaining and inspiring.

The Top Ten Things Dead People Want to Tell You

Stay tuned…

Note to readers: This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase using the link (whether it’s the product I recommend or another). Thanks for helping me earn margarita money!

 

 

 

Reading List #1, or Why I’m Not Getting Much Done

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WEEKEND MAINTENANCE:

Queen Bath: 7 minutes to pick up jewelry and clothes.

Queen Bedroom: 10 minutes to pick up clothes and make bed.

Kitchen: 18 minutes to do dishes, and put away stuff on counters. I still need to clean the freezer. I have an order coming from Omaha Steaks so I need the freezer space. 44 pieces of meat for $107 dollars, including shipping! The deal I got seems to have expired, but check their website (here) for new deals daily.

Living room: 25 minutes to pick up Stamples, books, magazines, mail, totes, and general junk. I never got to this room last weekend, so it’s bad.

Living room.

Living room.

Living room

Much better.

Damn, it took me until Tuesday to finish my weekly home maintenance, so I didn’t get any more bags or boxes filled. I even forgot to do my personal maintenance, that is, trim my mustache. I mentioned to my friend that I’d forgotten to use my tweezers this weekend and she said, “Don’t worry, your beard and mustache are barely noticeable”. What, I have a beard too? Ah, the joys of menopause.

READING LIST #1:

Here’s the real reason I get so little done. I read, I read a lot. This week I read #7 in the Jolie Gentil (means “pretty nice” in French) cozy mystery series. In the process of a divorce, Jolie moves to the small town of Ocean Alley, New Jersey, to live with her Aunt. The series has mysteries, of course, but also lots of humor and a little romance.

I love the series, so before reading #7, I went back and read #1-6. I also read 1 non-fiction book, How Not to Run a B & B. That was quite entertaining, too!

Appraisal for Murder (Jolie Gentil Mysteries Book 1)

Rekindling Motives (Jolie Gentil Mysteries Book 2)

When the Carny Comes to Town (Jolie Gentil Mysteries Book 3)

Any Port in a Storm (Jolie Gentil Mysteries Book 4)

Trouble on the Doorstep (Jolie Gentil Mysteries Book 5)

Behind the Walls (Jolie Gentil Mysteries Book 6)

Vague Images (Jolie Gentil Mysteries Book 7)

Or, you can go for the gusto and save some money, and buy books 1-3 and 4-6 as sets.

Ocean Alley Adventures (Jolie Gentil Mysteries Books 1-3)

Jolie Gentil Translates to Trouble (Jolie Gentil Mysteries Books 4-6)

Here’s the link to the non-fiction book:

How Not to Run a B & B

Stay tuned…

 

Note to readers: This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase using the link (whether it’s the product I recommend or another). Thanks for helping me earn margarita money!