In Reading, Review on
August 4, 2016

Book Review and Giveaway: There Once Were Stars by Melanie McFarlane

BookTube Tour and Blog Tour - There Once Were Stars by Melanie McFarlane

Hello, Kind Friends! Today I’m bringing to you a book review video from the LovingDemBooks BookTubeTour group. This month I’m featuring There Once Were Stars by Melanie McFarlane and it’s one of my favorite reads so far this year. I’m sure you all will love it!

Here is the book synopsis:

Peace. Love. Order. Dome. That’s the motto that the Order has given the residents of Dome 1618 to live by. Natalia Greyes is a resident of Dome 1618, a covered city protected from the deadly radiation that has poisoned the world outside for four generations. Nat never questioned the Order, until one day she sees a stranger on the outside of her dome. Now Nat wants answers. What else might her government be hiding from the good and loyal people of Dome 1618?

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In Motherhood, My Journal on
July 12, 2016

Third Trimester Update – 7 Month Pregnancy Symptoms (31 Weeks)

I am seven months pregnant, holy crap!

Hey there, Kind Friends. Today I’m going into some details about my seventh month of pregnancy. It’s insane to me that I have less than two months to go until Chris and I get to meet the little alien/monkey in my stomach (also known as Jack).

As of the time I’m writing this, I’m 31 weeks pregnant, so one week shy of eight months. Insert my freaking out face here, because I just did that math now and I had no idea I was already almost done with my seventh month! To say I feel underprepared is an understatement, especially since Chris and I are just starting to set up the house now and don’t even have a crib or car seat yet. Yeah, it’s #CrunchTime.

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In My Journal, Writing on
July 9, 2016

Camp NaNoWriMo – Writing Challenges to Encourage Aspiring Authors

How to Win at Camp NaNoWriMo

If you have seen me in person the past few weeks, you may know that I’ve been obsessing over an online month-long event called Camp NaNoWriMo, an offshoot of NaNoWriMo (known in long hand as National Novel Writing Month).

The original NaNoWriMo is set during November, making it my absolute favorite month. I’ve mentioned this event several times in the past, as it’s a really exciting way to become involved in a writing project (check out my thoughts the first year I “won” the NaNoWriMo, but since November is going to be a really intense month for me (Hello first-time-mommy status!), I wanted to make sure I also participated in the smaller (but equally as fun) self-paced summer session of NaNoWriMo.
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In My Journal on
July 3, 2016

What I Ate While Pregnant – Second Trimester Pregnancy Diet

Second Trimerester Pregnancy Diet

I can’t believe I’m seven months pregnant now, that’s insane! Jack will be here in two short months and we are only just now starting to prepare the house. Wish us luck! These next few weekends are packed with home projects.

As time has gone on, my pregnancy diet has really changed. I’ve filmed two What I Ate videos over the course of my pregnancy so far, one at five months pregnant and one at six months pregnant, and it’s fun to me to look back and see the differences in them. Now that I’m at seven months, I’m thinking about filming one again. What do you guys think? Should I film a video every month until I’m due?

What I Eat In a Day – 5 Months Pregnancy Diet

  1. Iced Vanilla Coffee (Mio Energy Iced Vanilla Java with Milk)
  2. Energy Bites (Peanut butter, rice crispies, dates, and maple syrup or honey)
  3. In my Honest Company lunchbox (eaten during work hours)
    1. Apple
    2. Peanut butter and jelly sandwich
    3. Vanilla Snackpack
    4. Brightside soft baked granola in cinnamon brown sugar
    5. Snapea Crisps in XO Eco by Blue Avocado container
    6. Cheese and crackers
    7. Orange juice
  4. Pastellitos
  5. Chicken and pasta
  6. Orange creamsicle push pop

What I Eat in a Day – 6 Months Pregnancy Diet

  1. Smoothie bowl (strawberries, bananas, Welch’s  white grape juice, homemade granola, kiwis) – I’ve been obsessed with these!
  2. French vanilla Folgers coffee with Dunkin Donuts vanilla creamer
  3. Hamburger with Cape Cod original chips
  4. Chips and cowboy caviar (made with mixed vegetables, beans, and homemade dressing)
  5. Caesar salad
  6. Pizza
  7. Coffee Cake

Thinking on it, I get a lot hungrier at work! I definitely snack more when I’m not at home.

Thankfully I haven’t craved weird things. Did you have any of those funny movie-worthy cravings, like pickles and chocolate, when you were pregnant?

Keep up with more day-to-day pregnancy updates on my snapchat (rebecca.kelsey) and on Instagram @rebeccakelsey.

In Beauty, My Journal on
June 18, 2016

If I Had $100, What Would I Buy? (June 2016 Edition)

For the third post in this series (check out my March wishlist and April wishlist posts if you missed them), I actually had a hard time coming up with a list that reached $100. My brain the past two months has been on a minimalist kick, reducing/reusing everything and anything to the absolute most that I can, which is good news in my book.

So, if I had $100 to spare in my budget this month what would I buy? Read more

In Review, Sponsored on
June 14, 2016

Simply Heaven Candles Review

Hello there, Kind Friends! Today I have a review of the two products I mentioned in my six-month pregnancy update (it’s actually almost time for my seven-month update, whoa), a lemon-scented candle and a lavender reed diffuser from Simply Heaven Candles.

This review has been sponsored by Simply Heaven Candles, but my opinion has not been swayed by compensation in any way. Check out the pros and cons of each product below.

all-Natural Soy Candle Review

Lemon Drop: Hand Poured Soy Candle Review

I love lemon scents, especially in the kitchen, so I was more than a little pumped to be getting this soy candle for review. With my pregnancy senses going crazy, I can smell pretty much everything, so the kitchen hasn’t been a great place for me to be if I don’t have a candle burning.

The pros of this product are it’s even-burning and long lasting flame. I’ve used this candle fairly frequently and it’s only half burned through, while in other candles I’ve had I believe in this amount of hours I would have already had to buy a new one. Thankfully the wax also burns evenly, so I don’t have any of those awkward wax dips or hollow middles.

The one con I’ve noticed so far with this candle is it’s undertone smokey smell. Chris doesn’t seem to notice this, so maybe it’s just my super senses, but underneath the lemon, I smell something similar to a campfire. It doesn’t take away from the lemon entirely, but I do think it detracts from the overall pleasantness.

Reed Diffuser Review

Lavender: Richly Scented Reed Diffuser Review

I tend to associate lavender scents with relaxation, probably along the rest of the world, so this reed diffuser was made for my bedroom.

The lavender smell itself is wonderful, and I love the presentation of the bottle for this product, but in the end, it doesn’t spread across the room as much as I’d like. I don’t think I have a big bedroom, so that was a little disappointing, however, I noticed the smell fills up my small bathroom well so I moved the product into that smaller space.

Overall, I would definitely purchase these products myself and try more from the candle line. I, in particular, would be interested in seeing how their fragrance oils and oil warmers measure up.

Thank you Simply Heaven for sponsoring this review! I am enjoying the products immensely.

Check out Simply Heaven Candles on Instagram to see more updates on their products and while you are on the platform, follow me as well.

See you all with another pregnancy update soon!

In Reading, Review on
June 5, 2016

Review + Giveaway – Kindling Flames: Gathering Tinder by Julie Wetzel

Hello Kind Friends! Today I’m happy to be sharing with you a book review in collaboration with the LovingDemBooks BookTube Tours for Kindling Flames: Gathering Tinder by Julie Wetzel.

I received this book in exchange for a review, but this post has not been sponsored and my options are my own.

This story is set in New York City where Vicky gets a job as the personal assistant to the CEO of Ritter Industries. Before she knows it she is thrown into the world vampires and her boss is one of the most admired of them all. There is a light romance in the book, but it looks like the actual vampire romance elements will come more into the picture in book two.

 

Kindling Flames: Gathering Tinder Book Thoughts

Overall, I enjoyed turning off my brain as I entered into Vicky’s life. The writing style of the author is usually not what I’d chose in a novel, as I prefer more descriptions and comparative language while this story was more straightforward, but as a whole this book entertained me and kept me stress-free on hard days. That’s exactly what I hope to find when I’m reading!

Kindling Flames: Gathering Tinder by Julie Wetzel Book Review

I was pretty much binging this book during my work lunch breaks. I wonder what books baby Jack will enjoy reading?

As for things I think could be improved upon; the main character didn’t seem to have any flaws in the story, which made her come off at times as slightly Mary Sue. As I move through the series I hope to see a little more development of this character. I also had trouble moving past some of the typos in the story, as I felt there were a little more than I’d typically see in a published novel.

On another note, if you actually read the acknowledgements of the first two books, you find out that they were initially combined in one manuscript. The story was written by Julie to help keep her sister entertained while she was deployed and I just love that idea. It made me happy to have that little sneak peek into the origins of this novel.

Enter the International Book Giveaway for Julie Wetzel’s Debut Novel

On Goodreads I gave this book a 3 out of 5 stars. I’m about 20% into the sequel, so make sure to add me on Goodreads to see my review once I finish part two of Kindling Flames.

Don’t forget to also enter the international giveaway to win a swag pack of Kindling Flames. You can also get five additional entries if you purchase the eBook or physical book of Kindling Flames. To get those entries, make sure to email a copy of your receipt to LovingDemBooks@gmail.com. 

You can purchase Kindling Flames on Amazon, Book Depository, and Barnes and Noble. Add it to your Want to Read list on Goodreads and check out reviews here.

What have you been reading lately? Send me your thoughts in the comments!