Thursday, April 2, 2015

Light it Up Blue!!!

Today, April 2, 2015, is World Autism Day which is the kickoff for Autism Awareness Month. Just like Breast Cancer paints the town pink in October Autism likes to light up April with BLUE. As anyone (or the only one lol) reading my blog knows Autism touches my life everyday, just like it touches millions of others all over the world. Zilla and I are wearing blue today (I'm even sporting some blue tips in my hair!) and so are plenty of our friends and family to show support.

I've seen in many places (blogs and articles) that blast the whole "Awareness" message that gets sent out for Autism and really any of the others. These people feel like this is just a ploy for companies to sell merchandise and exploit this cause because really who isn't "Aware" of Autism or Breast Cancer. I personally don't agree these people no matter how well meaning they are. In my opinion the purpose of having an "Awareness" month is as much to spread the word as it is to show support for the individuals and families that are affected by that cause. You'd have to be living under a rock to not know what Autism is but when I see people wearing blue in April, sporting a pin or piece of clothing  or just posting something about it for others to see I feel nothing but gratitude. Many of the people who will show support this month will have no clue at all what families affected by Autism really go through on a daily basis but why should I be upset by that? Just the fact that they are acknowledging my struggles IS important. So many things get brushed aside in our fast paced world but if for even that brief moment they take time out to show me and my son support I'm not going to thumb my nose at them.

So LIGHT IT UP BLUE during April!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

50 Shades of a Great Movie!!!

Like plenty of others I ventured out this past weekend to see the 50 Shades of Grey movie. I had actually read this when it was only a fanfiction from Twilight so obviously I'm a fan. I own and have read multiple times the books so I was excited that they were going to make a movie adaptation.

I went into the theater hoping it would be good but I didn't have super high expectations for a couple reasons. The first reason I was slightly apprehensive was because a lot of times they take a good book and butcher it in the movie leaving out a lot of good stuff and changing things they should have left alone. Another reason is that when you read a book you obviously form some thoughts of what the characters will look like and well Jamie Dornan just didn't fit my thoughts of Mr. Grey. Don't get me wrong he is very attractive and goodness his real life accent is Delicious but he just wasn't very stern and solemn looking like I thought Christian should have been.

Okay now that I've told you why I wasn't expecting much let me tell you why I was WRONG. Yep you read that correctly I was totally wrong because both Jamie and Dakota did a wonderful job. There was obviously lots of sexy time in this movie but I thought that everything was pretty tasteful (or as tasteful as you can get in a BDSM movie). There was quite a bit of humor in the movie and I liked the play of the characters. We went on Friday the 13th and the theater was pretty packed but not too bad. The first boob shot got lots of giggling and snickers, which I thought was ridiculous I mean seriously who let the 12 year old boys in the movie? They are just boobs people so get a grip. There was also a lot of commotion when we see Mr. Grey's butt the first time - I can understand that though because it was a very nice rear. :) I very much enjoyed the way these two portrayed Christian and Anastasia. They certainly won me over. I can't wait until the next movie because although I liked all three books the first wasn't my favorite of them.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Another Mountain

Zilla has been diagnosed for several years now and every single day is a new day with a new hurdle. Some days that hurdle is tiny and barely even registers and other days that 'hurdle' is really a huge mountain. Today's mountain is school related.

Zilla's school years started off pretty rough and that's actually how I came to recognize that Zilla needed to be evaluated. One of the teachers at his private Pre-K recognized that he didn't make eye contact and he was having a lot of problems engaging and a whole list of other things that she pointed out to me. I'm sure I would have realized that my son was "different" at some point but luckily a wonderful teacher caught it. Early prevention is beyond important for a whole host of reasons and my little monkey was diagnosed before he even entered the public school system which really proved useful for us.

Kindergarten was really really rough. There isn't any other way to describe it and honestly even thinking about that year makes me want to cry so just suffice it to say we'll leave it at that. First grade was a huge turnaround year for us and second grade continued in that same way. Luckily for us Zilla has been blessed with soooo many awesome teachers and school staff that we were able to make it through to the preset. Without them I don't know where Zilla would be academically. Even though I think this year we may have the best teacher yet, recently Zilla has been going through some problems and seems to be regressing a bit emotionally/behaviourally. Everything scares him and he has wanted more help doing things he knows how to do.

We always have his IEP meeting in December and this time we all decided that it was time to do away with the behavior plan because he'd been doing so well. I guess maybe we should have thought twice about doing that. Since December I've been called at work a handful of times because my sweet boy is freaking out and causing a distraction for the other students. Today he did something he's never really done - he threw things at one of the staff that was trying to work with him while screaming his head off. They had to clear the classroom so that everyone else could actually work and learn.

What has silent tears streaming down my face is that while she was telling me what was happening she mentioned that all the rest of the students "did really well and even just stepped over or around him when he was on the floor and in their way" and this was a positive statement. I know logically that it's a good thing that Zilla's classmates were able to work around him up to a point but the mother in me just wants to burst out in huge fat ugly tears with the thought that they have to get used to my son and things he does. At some point (and I'm guessing this is coming soon) the kids are going to stop being understanding and start being mean to my sweetface. I know it's coming and that Mountain sure looks Mt Everest sized to me.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Feeling Sick

Ugh I hate being sick. I'm not sure if one of my super awesome co-workers or my darling Zilla contributed to my current feeling but I'd like to find the culprit and maybe smack them.

I know us gals always joke that men become huge babies when they are sick and how awesome we handle ourselves in the same situation. Well I have to say I'm not very fun when I'm sick at all because I get whiny and just want it to be over already. In general when I'm not feeling well (headache, sore, sick etc...) I tend to become impatient, okay more impatient, than I usually am and that never bodes well for anyone. I usually have too much stuff going on in my life and in my head so being sick doesn't do anything for me what so ever. Don't get me wrong I still have to do all the mom things that I have to but I'm not very fun to be around when I'm doing them lol.

Unfortunately I have an eight year old and he is around too many kids and they all carry germs so more often than not I can't smack my germ dealer around. Luckily though my little bug is sympathetic to my plight - as long as I take care of his needs anyway lol. The life of a parent.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

My Thoughts on Served Hot

Served Hot by Annabeth Albert is a delightfully short read about Robby and David, both of whom have been in closeted unhealthy sounding relationships prior to meeting. Robby who runs a coffee cart in a downtown area of Portland waits everyday for David to come in to get his daily dose of coffee but can't seem to make himself flirt. David comes in every day from his job but seems to be giving some mixed signals for sure in the beginning. Robby and David both come across as shy and reluctant to put themselves out there.

I really enjoyed these two characters because they were just so real and had to fight not only for each other but for themselves. Robby was in a previous relationship for several years where his boyfriend wanted to keep him a secret and controlled a lot of what happened with them. David was previously living in a very small town and in a relationship with a friend who was very much in the closet and liked it that way. David moved to Portland after his relationship was discovered in a very traumatic way. It certainly felt like Davids past 'boyfriend' was the giant elephant in the room throughout much of the book. Robby doesn't want to be a secret ever again so he has to decide if his relationship with David is worth waiting for. David needs to decide if he's ready to be out and open after so many years being pushed into the back of the closet.

I liked that both David and Robby come with some baggage (like real people) and didn't instantly fall in love and act like everything was perfect. Nothing is more annoying in a book than everything falling into place perfectly and all problems evaporate instantly with love. I mean seriously Love is not some magic potion designed to fix your life. I also liked that although it took him a little bit Robby stood up for himself and made it known what he needed. Keeping your feelings bottled up doesn't usually do very well in the end. Once David really shared what he went through I think that helped him realize what he deserved to have and allowed him to fight for his relationship. I was a little worried that Davids past might be too much for them both to get over but I'm glad I was wrong. 

There were several times in the book where the author jumped time and then explained what happened in a sentence or two. That would have been great but this was important stuff we were missing! I wanted to see how the meet the parents went after all the work up for it but I was ROBBED! 

Overall I enjoyed this book quite a bit and I will be checking out this authors other work for sure cause I love me some M/M stories.

This book was provided to me by NetGalley for my honest review.

Friday, January 30, 2015

My Thoughts on Gluten Free Breakfast, Brunch & Beyond

I am not allergic to Gluten although I have found that I am sensitive to it and as I've said before Zilla is Autistic and all the doctors say to get off gluten ASAP for kids on the spectrum. When I saw this book I got very excited because I felt that breakfast was so limited without Gluten but Linda Amendt sure did blow that out of the water. There are a TON of awesome recipes in this book and I can't wait to make them all. Well maybe not all of them (there is a Carrot Waffle recipe!). I really liked all of the in depth information she gave in regards to the ingredients and making your meals and kitchen Gluten free. There are a lot of variations for the recipes like for example the Banana Nut Pancakes can turn into Banana Blueberry or Banana Spice or Tropical pancakes - YUM. I never thought that sweet rolls would be remotely good when you take the gluten out but I was wrong. There was also a lot of good info in the back about making your kitchen and recipes you already have gluten free.

A few things I wouldn't mind to be different: There were pictures but none of them said what they actually were and although it wasn't hard to guess I shouldn't really have had to guess. Maybe in print this wouldn't be an issue because the picture would be opposite the recipe but in my e-book copy it was annoying. I also would have really appreciated for maybe a small picture of the finished product on the page - there was plenty of room - so I know if what I'm making was huge fail or not. I also would have liked Amendt to mention using coconut oil as a substitution but it was no where to be seen. This was definitely NOT a healthy baking book though because sugar was liberally used and there were zero substitutions offered - in fact it almost seemed like she was saying that you can't cook these things without that amount of sugar. I plan to make several of these recipes and maybe I can get Zilla to eat some of them lol.

Overall a great cookbook that I will be enjoying for some time to come!!  I don't know that my waistline will say thanks but I'm sure the taste buds will lol.

I got this book from NetGalley for my honest review.

Why Your Gonna See A Bunch Of Book Reviews

At the beginning of the year I found, on the devil site aka Pinterest, a 2015 Reading Challenge that I decided to do with a friend. It's not really about the amount of books, for me anyway, as I'm already a crazy reader but I wanted to try and expand the subjects I'm reading about. So I'm going to be reading even more than I usually do - cause I'm not going to stop reading books I like just because they don't fit into that list!

As I just said I REALLY enjoy reading like seriously it's my fav hobby. Just like any single parent I heart free stuff so... I recently found a fun site that combines my fav hobby and getting free stuff, NetGalley, that allows you to sign up and get ARC (advanced reader copies) of books so that you can go and review them for the publisher. Well this wouldn't have worked out if they just handed you any old book, because I can't finish books I don't like, but NetGalley lets you pick books you think you'll like so I signed up. I have to post the reviews online for the publishers to hopefully get the word out about their books so ta da you get to see all the cool books I'm reading.

I thought about just doing certain book review days but honestly sometimes I read more than one book in a week and stuff might get backed up. Not to mention that NetGalley probably doesn't want you to sit on the review so that means I'm gonna post it whenever I finish. I'm actually going to probably end up refraining from posting about every book I read because it might be embarrassing how much time I spend reading lol. In fact this week I read the books I posted about so far plus two books I didn't get from NetGalley!

I hope someone enjoys my postings about these books and maybe you'll find a new fav author/book!!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

My Thoughts on Cowboy Delight

This short Novella by Cheryl Brooks is about Lauren who is on the way to meet her future in-laws for the very first time. Lauren decides to drive there on her own after her fiance, Fredrick, had to rush home to attend to his mother after she broke her ankle. Unfortunately Lauren's car breaks down in the middle of nowhere Texas and she has to walk several miles to a small town diner. The Waitress convinces Lauren that a Cowboy named Steve would be a suitable candidate to drive her to Houston because he'd be a gentlemen. Now Steve is a widower and agrees to drive Lauren to Houston while her car is being fixed. 

During their drive Lauren begins to consider if agreeing to marry Fredrick is the best idea because she has some serious and instant chemistry with Steve that she's never felt with her fiance. Steve is feeling the chemistry and certainly isn't interested in acting like a gentlemen. Things really heat up between the two and Lauren is left to decide if she is willing to give up her life (Fredrick is rolling in the dough and his dad owns the company she works for not to mention that she doesn't live in Texas!) for someone who makes her feel the way that Steve does. 

Ok I did like this book but there were a few things that bugged me. First the things that bothered me (so I can leave on a good note):

- Lauren worries an awful lot about leaving the security that Fredrick can give her and not much at all about the actual relationship. Seems like this might be related to her childhood but really the book was too short to delve into this so who knows.
- I don't really like that she seems like she wants to "try" out Steve while still keeping ole Freddy on the line. Seems unfair to both guys and I am not much one for cheating so that didn't do anything for me at all. I mean don't get me wrong I understand wanting to make sure your not giving up everything for nothing but thats still isn't right unless ALL parties are aware then they are making the choice with you but that didn't happen here.
- Lauren seems to be fine with letting Fredrick twist her into some sort of stepford type wife; she's okay with changing almost everything about herself just for security. After meeting Steve she seems more at ease with herself.
- Felt like it would have been better just being a smidge longer because she could have drawn some things out and explored their pasts a little better. It wasn't needed but I would have liked it better.
- The Butter..made me gag a little. Butter should NEVER be used as lube people!!! EVER!!!! That's all I'm saying there.
- When trying new 'things' couples really should ease into them - not use nasty lube and go full tilt. I guess in a book no one needs to prepare things.

Now the good:

- This was a short read and who doesn't love sexy cowboys? 
- That's some very sexy cowboy on that cover and that's exactly what I pictured when I think of Steve!
- I do like that Lauren was honest with Steve about her feelings regarding him and Fredrick. She should have been a little more honest with Fredrick though. 
- I also loved that Steve fully made his stance clear and went for the prize regardless - gotta love a man who knows what he wants and is willing to fight for you. 
- Little Skipper was a trip - Always makes me laugh to see big strong guys with sweet fluffy puppies.
- Loved this:
"The local women gave up on him a long time ago. Nowadays they mostly just gaze at him and drool"
"I've got a fiance waiting for me in Houston" I said as a reminder to myself "He'll be safe with me"
Kate snorted "I hope you love that man in Houston with all your heart"
"So do I" I muttered.
- "I raise delicious beef" - makes me think of a that's what she said joke LMAO
- She did acknowledge that she 'should' feel selfish about this whole thing so I guess that's something at least. 
- There was humor sprinkled in everywhere so that you could laugh at and with them. 
- Loved the drama at the end - HA take that you snobby bunch!

Overall I liked the book and will definitely check out this authors other work.

I got this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

My Thoughts on Reasons To Leave

I was provided a copy of this book from NetGalley for an honest review. 

Reasons to Leave by Lisa Hobman was a easy read and we all know I appreciate an easy read! It's about Stevie who is the daughter of a single mother, and abandoned by her father, she thought she had finally found a man she could trust. At age eighteen she thought she would be with Jason forever. Everything between them was perfect until the night of the leaver's ball when he disappeared without trace. Ten years on, can Stevie ever learn to trust again enough to give her heart? Or are the ghosts of her past determined to stop her from ever finding true love?

 I liked the storyline of this book a lot  but I did notice that she kinda jumped around a bit in the beginning. There were certainly some grammar issues that did grab my attention but were easy enough to ignore. There was some inconsistency regarding Stevie and Miles' marriage that bothered me a bit throuout the story. I was not a fan of Miles and didn't think it was cool that her mom interfered in her relationship like that. Stevie and Jason to me both came across as a smidge bipolar throughout the whole Book. I did very much adore the Dallas reference with Jason's nickname. I liked the setting in the story and appreciated the descriptions. I'm hoping that David doesn't cause any problems in the next book maybe Stevie will actually try to push him in Mollie's direction. I was surprised that Stevie didn't try to push David in that direction here butthen again I got the impression that Stevie didn't mind the attention. I also didn't understand why on earth Stevie didn't just explain why she wanted to stay close to her mom but then again that probably would have messed up the sequel. I didn't really appreciate the ending (hate cliffhangers) and I wanted to smack Jason a little or well actually a lot. I honestly probably won't read the next book not because this one was bad but just because it didn't grab me and I wasn't into the characters enough.