Tuesday, February 28, 2023

February 2023 Books

I'll preface this by saying I was not fond of several upcoming novels of authors I typically like, which always feels like something wrong with me and not them when it happens in a string, but actually might be the books this time? I don't know. 

February reads: 

Engrossing Reads
Exiles by Jane Harper (Aaron Falk #3) - Big love for this book, I devoured it. I was so happy to be back with Aaron Falk again. Good story, I liked the characters a lot. OCNJ library hard cover

The Weight by Jeff Boyd - About a 4.5- I can’t believe this is a debut novel. Loved the writing, storylines, the pace, characters, and everything. There’s a part describing what it feels like to be in the zone (for lack of a better term) with band mates on stage in front of a crowd and it was so well done people who have no musical experience whatsoever (me) can feel it humming through them. Gold.
Thanks to Netgalley for the free advanced copy in exchange for an honest debut, book comes out April 11

Out of the Ashes by Kara Thomas - Close to a 4.5, so many threads to grasp at throughout. I couldn’t put it down. Excellent pacing Thanks to Netgalley for the free advanced copy in exchange for an honest review, book comes out May 1

The Girls Who Disappeared by Claire Douglas - Love the podcast angle that reminds me of several recent books but which I am not sick of yet. I was glued to this one. OCNJ library hard cover
What Have We Done by Alex Finlay - This felt a little piecey and strung together but I really liked Jenna's arc (I'd read another book about her alone) and the concept overall. It was a quick read that held my attention. Thanks to Netgalley for the free advanced copy in exchange for an honest review, book publishes March 7

I Will Find You by Harlan Coben - I live for new releases by Harlan Coben, and then I rip through them so fast it feels like it took five minutes. This was no different. I could not wait to see what was next.
Thanks to Netgalley for the free advanced copy in exchange for an honest review, book comes out March 14

Passed the Time Just Fine

Woman Without Shame: Poems by Sandra Cisneros - A good collection, I read a few a day and several spoke to me. That's all I can ask for of poems, right? OCNJ library hard cover

Quietly Hostile by Samantha Irby - Made me think and bust out laughing, what more can you ask for from a collection of essays? Each piece was strong, some hit a little better for me than others which is to be expected. Look at me with poems and a collection of essays thrown into my typical fiction shit.
Thanks to Netgalley for the free advanced copy in exchange for an honest review, publishes May 16

The Twenty by Sam Holland - I need to preface with the fact that I read many books in this genre and this is definitely more graphic regarding abuse and violence, specifically against women and children.
The end was a surprise to me, the deaths were frequent, and there was a lot of personal soap opera throughout that probably extended the book by 50 pages it didn’t need. Thanks to Netgalley for the free advanced copy in exchange for an honest review, book comes out May 11

Recipe for a Perfect Wife by Karma Brown - Sooo I got this book from Netgalley in 2020 and just now read it. If this book was Nellie alone, I would have loved it. Alice and Nate are completely unlikeable and the present storyline is a whole mess. All of the past chapters are great Free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

The Fake by Zoe Whittall - Yikes! This was good but drove me crazy with the scamming. I felt bad for one of the main characters but really bad for the other. A quick read, thanks to Netgalley for the free advanced copy in exchanged for an honest review, comes out March 21

Not For Me/Did Not Finish

The Shards by Bret Easton Ellis - Alt title: Self indulgent overwriting killed the radio star. There was a good story here and he killed it with his own hubris as he is wont to do. I loathed the over detail and name dropping of roads, places, brands, but loved the consistent soundtrack he created that someone nicely made into a spotify playlist of every song mentioned in the book. That was the prize for slogging through this too long by 400 pages novel. OCNJ library hard cover

With My Little Eye by Joshilyn Jackson - It pains me to put a JJ book in the not for me category, but this was not for me. There were too many storylines, zero likable characters, it lacked cohesion, and it read like it was written down - her smart and dark edginess was missing here. This one was not for me. Thanks to Netgalley for the free advanced copy in exchange for an honest review, book publishes April 25

The Senator's Wife by Liv Constantine - I was really looking forward to this one and it comes in about a 2.5. This is not a thriller, which I think it’s billed as. It’s domestic drama and a repetitive one at that. Thanks to Netgalley for the free advanced copy in exchange for an honest review, book publishes May 23

The Soulmate by Sally Hepworth - Great concept for a story, something unraveled along the way though. Thanks to Netgalley for the free advanced copy in exchange for an honest review, publishes April 4

For You and Only You (You #4) by Caroline Kepnes - Unfortunately I think Joe and The Formula of Joe have run their course in my life. This seemed to drag and drag. Thanks to Netgalley for the free advanced copy in exchange for an honest review, book comes out April 4

The Chateau by Jaclyn Goldis - DNF, free advanced copy from Netgalley, publishes May 23

What have you been reading?

Monday, February 27, 2023

snippets of the weekend 2.27.2023

Friday started early with final prep work for floor replacement at the shore - the installers were at our house before 8 am and the banging commenced. I cannot believe the difference, it is fantastic. All the baseboard and moldings were replaced also, and they were cobbled together and measured incorrectly and just a complete fucking mess. I am absolutely thrilled to have this planned to be done in 2020 project actually done albeit in 2023, all by 5 pm. MFD was supposed to come down to be here for this as it was going to happen Monday but I was here and he had things this weekend so I just stayed. 
Otherwise it was a small amount of putting shit back, a large amount of looking for a chair I'd like to jam in next to the couch as well as new contact paper for the kitchen island, staying inside due to shitty weather Saturday afternoon., and Facetiming with MFD.

Finished Joshilyn Jackson's newest, read the extremely overindulgent newest from Bret Easton Ellis, and started the fourth You novel by Caroline Kepnes which I am struggling to finish. Yawn. I also watched all of season two of Euphoria.

Monday, February 20, 2023

snippets of the weekend 2.20.2023

Friday I painted my nails at lunch and worked until just after 3. We headed to Dad & Carol's in rain and holiday weekend traffic, coming through at the right time to see a magnificent on the road sunset. We were welcomed to our B&B with pillow candy and signage. Carol had pulled pork and salad and snacks out. Stephen & Aubrey and the kids arrived soon after us. We were all up Saturday morning by 7 for Lola's pancakes. 
We headed out to Cape Henlopen State Park and walked up one of the observation towers and around the historic parts from WWII, then down to see the lighthouse. It was low tide and I got some great rocks and pics. We headed back to the house to eat, read, relax, and play Barbies. LOL
In the afternoon we bowled and snacked at Lefty's, and most did the arcade while Aubrey and I took a quick walk over to HomeGoods. Stephen, Dad, and Carol took the kids to the pool while me, MFD, and Aubrey lolled around watching TV and reading.

Sunday we had coffee and bagels and around noon we headed into town to walk around, do the playground and some shops, and have lunch outside. We hit it at the right time because it was chilly by the end! Back to the cars through the troll hole sidewalk. The town is really cute and I love walking around down there. We drove around some of the older houses on the way back to Dad & Carol's and plan to do some wandering around those streets next time we're down. Denny & Fran popped in when we got back and then MFD and I packed up and hit the road. We made it home before 7 and I was in bed by 10. 

 Another great family weekend in the books! It's always nice to be together and it was great to be outside so much in February, which always feels like a gift. Thanks to Dad & Carol for hosting us!

No three day weekend here, you know the drill.

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Are you prepared for your next awesome vacation?

Are you prepared for your next awesome vacation? If the answer is no, then this is something that you want to get working on as soon as possible. You want to enjoy yourself as much as possible while you are there, which means that you want to take on the planning now. In this article, we’re going to be taking a look at some of the things that you can do to plan for your next awesome vacation, so keep reading down below if you would like to find out more.

Source Credit - CC0 License

Budget In Place

You want to make sure that your budget is firmly in place before you leave for your vacation. You need to make sure that you have looked at your budget as a whole before you booked anything, and then worked out how much you have to spend on things going forward. If food was not included in your bookings, then you need to factor in that you have to pay for this in your budget, and then you have to think about how much you want to spend on gifts and other little things while you are there.

Don’t forget that you also might want to do some activities while you are out there that you haven’t discovered yet that you’re going to have to pay for. Keep all of this in mind when sorting out the budget.

Everything Taken Care Of

You also want to make sure that everything is taken care of beforehand so that you are not stressing two days before you are due to leave. You want to ensure that you have your accommodation booked, your flights are all sorted, that you and the rest of your travel party have all of the necessary documentation sorted and so much more. While it might all sound very boring, it’s the stepping stones to having a great time while you are there. 

Excitement For Activities

The last thing that we’re going to say is that you can do some research to start getting excited for the activities you will be doing when you are there. Take a look at the top attractions such as the best rides at Animal Kingdom if you are heading to Disney World, or some of the other surrounding attractions. There are so many different things that you can do around the world, so it’s just a case of working out what you want to do, and then starting to feel the excitement! 

This is a great time to get your kids involved as well, as they can look up the different things to do, and start getting excited themselves!

We hope that you have found this article helpful, and now see some of the things that you can do to make sure that you are prepared for your next awesome vacation. If you keep yourself organized, everything is going to be so much fun, and that’s exactly what you want from your vacation. We wish you the very best of luck, and hope that you manage to have an amazing time while you are away.

Friday, February 17, 2023

Those essential activities you have to try with your kids

Image Credit - CCO License

When you are looking for things to do with your kids, there are always a lot of options available to you. This is something that you can approach in so many ways, and which you are going to be able to do however you want. However, if you’re on the lookout for inspiration, it’s vital that you are aware of some of the most enjoyable activities that are out there. In this post, we’ll take you through some of the activities that you really must try doing with your kids at some point or another, and which they are bound to love doing.


This is something that so many young boys love to do, though it is of course open to all. If you’re keen on trying it out, you should be prepared for something of an experience, and it can actually be a little painful as well. However, it’s normally perfectly safe, especially if you are doing it through a trusted place. It’s definitely something your kids are going to love doing as a family, and it could therefore make a great surprise, so it’s something to think about for their next birthday that might be coming up or something similar.

Go Karting

Another classic, but whether or not you have done it before, go karting is definitely the kind of thing that you are going to want to try out. If you have teenagers, they are probably going to really enjoy this, and you will find that you are definitely going to be parent of the year if you take them to this. You’ll need to look for go karts in your local area as there might be quite a few to choose from, and then you’ll of course have to choose between them. In any case it’s a great day out for all.

Theme Parks

Of course, you can always take your family to the theme park as well. That is something that every family should do at least once or twice, and often you’ll be making more memories than you might have thought this way. A good theme park can be an entire day if not weekend of fun, so it’s definitely something you should think about. If you’re keen on this, make sure you look into getting a family ticket, which will normally save you quite a lot of money on the whole and make it more worthwhile.


Finally, it’s a really good idea to take your kids traveling every now and then. This is something that can prove to be incredibly fun and enjoyable, and of course it can be quite varied too, especially if you go to a different destination each year. In any case, it’s something to think about, and you will find that you can spend a great time with your kids in this way if you want to. Travel is also one of the best things to do for your kids’ futures and their development as well.

This post was written with the Life According to Steph audience in mind

Friday Files 2.17.2023

This week has been like a grown up obstacle course personally and professionally. TGIF

New exterior front and back storm doors in Philly FINALLY installed on Wednesday. If you are in Northeast Philly I highly recommend Gallagher Brothers - they know what they're doing both in measurement/styling your new doors with you and in installation. I got these factory painted which is not what I've done at the shore - I painted all of those myself. These doors have needed replacing for years - the back door could have been broken down in a second and the storm door back there was literally held together with a zip tie - but they are so fucking expensive for quality doors. We did all of them at the shore over a two year period as well and I wish they told you when you were growing up how much shit like this would cost because I swear I thought this was a small/cheap home improvement project and it is absolutely fucking not. Back to a yellow door up front - gere are shitty befores & afters  - the manufacturer has to come replace the screen part of the storm door because it's off as you can sort of see here:
but no befores of the back because they arrived and started that immediately and I refuse to ask people to stop working so I can take a before photo. I wish I had them as the exterior door was peeling on the outside, like wood curling up, and the entire frame was fucked with busted locks etc, and the screen door was circa early 1970s, handle-less at this point, and held in place with a fucking zip tie as a latch LOLOL
People who know about our key fuckery will be pleased to find that we are using keypads now which will hopefully cut down on being locked out.

New couches were delivered at the shore yesterday  as well because yes let’s schedule two anxiety-producing items back to back. They had to be hoisted over the railing and the door removed but they are in! MFD took one for the team to go and be there for this since the door had to be taken off. Big Wally's Furniture and my old friend Billy D are awesome.
Floors in two weeks, and I need to address a pipe issue in March then the big things are done for the year at the shore. After that we're about caught up in both houses for things we had planned to do pre-Covid that got pushed off due to lack of availability of supplies or folks doing the work we needed being well jammed up schedule-wise with the exception of basement ceiling in Philly and starting the process to get quotes for windows here. 

Pets of the week. Billy Hicks spent a day in my home office this week, which he rarely visits during the day.
I was in my office Wednesday and I absolutely love being in Old City. 

I was very happy to see AEB for a quick coffee when I was In the city - we haven’t seen each other since pre-Covid! Excuse the wind tunnel, it was wild on Wednesday.

My uncle and I got to see my cousin and her boyfriend Monday as they were in from Chicago

I hit the meat markdown day at the grocery store and got over $52 of meat to freeze for just over $24. Peak adult shit there.

One of the best batches of mashed potatoes I’ve ever made. 
This is an entire fucking disgrace. Fuck Joe Biden (see how easy that is to say, Go Brandon people?) for intervening in favor of corporations to divert a strike and fuck all the politicians on both sides who supported that. Sacrificing people's lives and the environment so corporations can rack up money for the rich to get richer. What a fucking joke. Another de-railment outside of Detroit yesterday too.

I try to hang in with crew neck tees and I end up cutting them all at the neck. Let me be freeeee

That's that about that for this week. Have a great weekend, it's a long one for a lot of you! Not here, ever. 

Monday, February 13, 2023

snippets of the weekend 2.13.2023

Friday was a glorious day - got work done, was alone all day with pets - took a long lunch walk and dipped my feet in the ocean - tried out a new bakery two blocks from my house, read a great book, took a nice sunset walk, and got a lot of sleep.
Saturday I read and walked most of the morning. MFD arrived in the afternoon. I saw his new car and we headed right upstairs to clear the main floor out of everything except four pieces of furniture. Lots of up and down to the second and third floors. When we got hot and took sweatshirts off we realized we were wearing the same tees.
We took a walk on the beach and saw a ton of dead sea things much to the delight of the dogs. This happens in the winter a lot after beach replenishment work. It's like a purge since stuff has been moved around off-shore and while sand was being brought in. We went to the Anchorage for dinner. MFD had creamy dill pickle soup as a starter and it was freaking delicious, as was my burger and fries. I might try and replicate the soup at home next week. We drove by the Wonderland ferris wheel lit up green for the Eagles. Back at home I started a new book and painted my nails.
Sunday I woke up early despite staying up late to read. I ran errands with no phone which feels wild these days especially when store cards etc are in my phone wallet LOL. I returned a library book, put gas in the car, picked up a bakery order at Baked by the Ocean in Marmora, stopped to grab a bottle of wine, and picked up a few things from ShopRite. Back at home I made spinach dip then packed up and headed back to Philly. A bit of rest there and then off to Frank & Amanda's for the Super Bowl. We had a good time. Better luck next year Eagles!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Blogging tips
Pin It button on image hover