Music Monday: Hunter Hayes 21


Where It All Begins (feat Lady Antebellum)
Young and In Love
Someday Girl
Saint of a Sinner
The Trouble with Love

21 is the latest EP from Hunter Hayes that was released in a different format – through Spotify – and have become the EP known as “21”, or “The Drop”.  Hunter will be embarking on a 21 tour this fall where he will visit 21 cities in the US to support the EP / single of the same name.  A few dates have been released already but I am keeping my fingers crossed that somewhere in CT is one of them!

You can tell how the music industry is shifting and how artists are trying out new things with this EP. It was released digitally and the songs were released as singles only and not part of a full album.

I heard a few of these live a couple weeks ago when I saw Hunter in concert – but I have to say that I think that “The Trouble With Love” is my favorite from this group of songs and I’m pretty sure it was not one that he did live. (Of course I messed up keeping track of the setlist when he smiled at me and I totally forgot that I had a job to do… but yeah. It didn’t sound familiar lol)

Book Review: Scar Girl

                  Scar Girl is the sequel to Scar Boys, which I had not read. However, that didn’t make a difference as Scar Girl works as a stand alone book as well. The book is written in interview format – with the interviewer talking to the band The Scar Boys.  Each section of the book starts with a question and then one of the characters goes a bit more in depth to tell the story.

The Scar Boys is made up of Harry – who was struck by lightning and has scars on his face, Johnny who was in an accident and lost his leg, Richie and Chey.  Chey finds out she is pregnant and is keeping it a secret, but Richie figures out what is going on. A little while later, Chey finds herself bleeding a lot and heads to Planned Parenthood to find out she is having a miscarriage. Again, Richie figures out what is going on – but not the rest of the band – and Johnny was the father.

This starts a downward spiral for Chey, as she decides that she needs to drink to wash the pain away and her playing in the band is suffering because of it.  Despite a bad performance, a guy named Jeff wants to be the bands manager. He tells them that they are not to hang out with each other outside the band, for the sake of the band.  Of course, then he ends up sleeping with Chey.

When something tragic happens, the band must once again decide if they can power through or if it is time to call it quits.

I really liked this book I thought it would be more about Chey since she is the “Scar Girl”, but it was really more about the band as a whole. It was a quick read, I liked the “interview” style of it too.

I received a free e-copy in exchange for this review.

About the Book

Love, music, and heartbreak take the stage in Len Vlahos’s follow-up to The Scar Boys.

Told as an interview with the band after they reach the pinnacle of success, readers will hear from Cheyenne, Harry, and Richie as they discover the ups and downs of being a rock musician, complete with meltdowns on stage and fights that test the limits of the band.

This is the Scar Boys in their own words.

What defines you?

You mean aside from my face?

I guess I’d say that I’m not good at asking people for help.

How the hell should I know? What defines you?

Praise for The Scar Boys:

“Distinguished in every way.”- School and Library Journal *Starred Review

“…wry, stylish tale” —The New York Times

“Etches its way onto the heart and leaves a mark.”-Kirkus Reviews

“Compelling. This book not only captures the feeling of what it is like to form a band, but also the reasons why you form a band. It took me back to that time of being a van on my very first tour.” – Peter Buck, R.E.M.

Book Review: Rainy Day Women


Rainy Day Women is about Austin Starr.  She received a call from her friend Larissa that one of her coworkers and friends was killed and she is the prime suspect.  Larissa swears she is innocent and asks Austin to fly out to Vancouver to help her solve the murder.

Since Austin’s husband won’t be able to stay home and watch their baby, she brings Wyatt along.  This added an interesting element because you were wondering how much danger she would get into and how much danger her baby might be put in and how that might effect her working on solving this case.

The book is set in the 60s, around Woodstock.  This is the second book in a series.  I didn’t read the first one and while I maybe would have liked a bit more back story, but I think that it worked fine as a standalone.

I also, of course, love mystery books with strong female leads! It is a bit rare for this era and you can see the men who work in the chemistry lab where Larissa and her (now dead) friend Shona worked looked down on them because they were women. (Which is actually something that sadly still happens today!)

I enjoyed this book and would like to read more of Austin’s adventures!

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

Rainy Day Women is set in 1969 right after the Manson murders and during Woodstock. Intrepid amateur sleuth Austin Starr headlines this historic mystery series. In her second case, with her infant in tow, she flies across the continent to support a friend suspected of murdering women’s liberation activists in Seattle and Vancouver. Then her former CIA trainer warns that an old enemy has contracted a hit on her. How much should Austin risk when tracking the killer puts her and her baby’s life in danger?

Book Review: The Princess and the Fog

princessfogThe Princess and the Fog is a children’s book about dealing with depression. I really liked this book because it showed what the princesses signs were (she didn’t want to do anything she used to like to do, she didn’t want to do anything her friends offered, she wanted to stay inside and felt like she was always alone, even when she wasn’t, etc.) and how the princess was able to get help from her community and just talking to them about the fog.  And while the fog did go away, it also talks about what the princess did on the days that the fog did end up coming back.

This is a great tool to help teach kids about depression and help them realize that there are a lot of people all around them – parents, friends, professionals, who care about them and are there to help them and that they should talk about it if they feel like they have the fog too.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review.

About the book

Once upon a time there was a Princess. She had everything a little girl could ever want, and she was happy. That is, until the fog came…

The Princess and the Fog is picture book to help sufferers of depression aged 5-7 cope with their difficult feelings. It uses vibrant illustrations, a sense of humour and metaphor to create a relatable, enjoyable story that describes the symptoms of childhood depression while also providing hope that things can get better with a little help and support. The story is also a great starting point for explaining depression to all children, especially those who may have a parent or close family member with depression.

With an essential guide for parents and carers by clinical paediatric psychologists, Dr Melinda Edwards MBE and Linda Bayliss, this book will be of immeasurable value to anyone supporting a child with, or affected by, depression, including social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, counsellors, arts therapists, pastoral care workers and school staff, as well as parents and carers.

Book Review: The Worst Witch and the Wishing Star

worstThe Worst Witch and the wishing star is about Mildred Hubble and is the 7th book in a series.  I haven’t read any of the previous books and it worked as a stand-alone book.  This is a children’s book and is a quick read with short chapters if your child is looking to read 1 or 2 before bed. There are some great illustrations throughout as well!  Mildred and her friends are working on broomstick management and Mildred is in charge of lighting the lanterns. She’s a bit clumsy so she is trying to be careful and stay out of trouble.  But then she wishes on as star for a dog – and her wish comes true! Now in addition to being careful with the lanterns, she has to sneak off and take her dog for a walk as well.  Will everyone find out about the dog? And what happens if they do?

This was a cute book and maybe I’ll get to read a few others in the series soon!

I received a free e-copy of this book in exchange for this review.

About the Book

Be careful what you wish for! Mildred Hubble, disaster-prone witch in training, is back in a seventh charming magical adventure.

Mildred Hubble may be the clumsiest witch at Miss Cackle’s Academy, but as a senior student she’s been assigned the important task of lighting lanterns and candelabras each evening. Inspired by this responsibility, Mildred tries to stay out of trouble. But there are many opportunities for mayhem when a wish on a star leads to a lovable stray pup who, unlike Mildred’s timid tabby, loves to fly on a broomstick. Can Mildred keep Star a secret and avoid setting fire to the school despite an impending talent competition, the disapproving Miss Hardbroom, and her ever-spiteful classmate Ethel Hallow?


Throwback Thursday: Hanson 11/5/05


Headliner: Hanson
Opener(s): These Green Eyes, Averi
Venue: Hampton Beach Casino, Hampton Beach NH


Minute Without You
Thinking of You
Can’t Stop
Hand in Hand
When You’re Gone
Change In My Life
Every Word I Say
Penny and Me
If Only
Long Train Runnin’
Where’s The Love
Crazy Beautiful
Rock N Roll Razorblade
Feeling Alright
This Time Around



Product Review: International Delight® Iced Coffee and Chai Tea Latte

International Delight has that coffeehouse taste without the coffeehouse hassle! As a bzzagent, I’m always being made aware of the latest new items out there to try. I have to say I am absolutely loving the Caramel Chai Tea Latte I got to try from International Delight.  It’s fridge-friendly and always there when I have a craving – without having to take a trip to the coffee house!  It tastes great cold, over ice, or even hot! (Although with how hot this summer has been, I’ve been using it for cooling off only and have not yet tried it warmed up!)

In addition to the Tea Lattes they also now offer some great Iced Coffee varieties in stores.

Now when you’re taking a coffee break you can take more time to “break” and less time waiting for your coffee or tea!

I received a free product in exchange for this review.

Love with Food Box – July


Break out the shades, because we’re beach bound! Whether you’re into catching waves or soaking up the rays, you’ve earned the right to relax. Why? Because you helped fight hunger by purchasing a Love with Food box. So let the ocean nurture your soul. We say bring on summer sun, offshore winds and a full cooler!



Kids Organic Sour Citrus Chews by Honey Stinger

100% RDA of Vitamin C and a variety of sunshine flavors. When’s the last time you found something so right at the boardwalk snack shack?

Brother tried these since I am not a sour fan. “These are good. Are they good for me? Can I eat them every day? I want to eat them all the time.”

Coconut Almond Curry Granola by Bear Naked

Can’t get your bikini to Bali? with exotic flavors like coconut and curry, the sand will be a little whiter and the ocean calmer wherever you are.

This was way too spicy for my liking.

Simply Toasted Crunchy Coconut Chips by Bare Snacks

They say coconut is a superfood that’s great for the brain as well as the bod. But when it’s toasted like this, we say it’s all about the taste, buds!

Dad tried this one and liked it. He liked that they were big chips.

Gum Pops by Glee Gum

Flavored with pure cane sugar and natural citrus peels, these pops are tops when you’re in need of a good chew.

As of writing i haven’t gotten around to trying this. I think I’m afraid because it is mango flavored.

Hawaiian BBQ by One Potato Two Potato

Cooked in small batches and kissed with Aloha spirit, why be a couch potato when you can hit the beach with these instead?

I’m not a BBQ fan (I’m realizing I’m not a fan of much that was in this box!) but I tried one or two and they weren’t bad.

True Lemon, True Lime, True Orange and True Grapefruit by True Citrus

A little citrus kick that doesn’t put you in a squeeze? Flavor your bevies with sugar-free juice crystals and you’ll get 25% RDA Vitamin C, too!

Since Im not much of a sour/citrus fan these haven’t been tried yet either.

Lemon Almond Biscotti by Biscotti Di Suzy

Biting into this biscotti is like a sprinkle of sunshine with bright zesty lemon, a hint of vanilla and hearty almonds. Soak it up!

Probably my favorite from this months box!

Blueberry Acai Flax Oatmeal Fruit Squeeze by Munk Pack

Did someone say sunrise surf sesh? Grab your board and one of these pups and you’ll be ready to hang ten before 8am.

Very blueberry tasting but overall not bad and something I wouldn’t mind grabbing on the go to make sure I had breakfast!

Music Monday: Sam Hunt Montevallo


Take Your Time
Leave the Night On
House Party
Break Up In A Small Town
Single for the Summer
Ex to See
Make You Miss Me
Cop Car
Raised On It

Montevallo was released by Sam Hunt in October of 2014.  Since I don’t listen to country radio, he didn’t make it on to my radar until I heard “Take Your Time” on Top 40 radio sometime last month. I saw him live a couple of weeks ago with Lady A and he did most of the songs during his set.  I have to say, for someone who is still trying to claim she hates country music, I do enjoy most of this CD. It reminds me a bit of Mat Kearney if he was country with the talking during the songs.  His songs also have a bit more of R&B and pop in them in addition to country – which is probably why I liked it too. I’m more into the rock/country or pop/country. (And one of these days… maybe… I’ll admit I am a tiny bit of a country fan? But that day is not today.)

Book Review: The Twinkies Cookbook

twinkiesThe Twinkies Cookbook is celebrating 85 years of twinkies! This book contains all sorts of recipes using twinkies – including twinkies + cake, + pie, + fruit, + chocolate, + cream, + meat and + novelty.  The book starts out with a bit of history on the tasty treat – of course talking about how the company went bankrupt in 2012 and many were unsure of the fate of the golden tasty treats! Fortunately in 2013 they were saved and back on the shelves to be enjoyed, hopefully for years to come.

All of the recipes in this book sound (and look) mighty tasty – but I’ll narrow it down to a few favorites that I may have to try making – Twinkie Strawberry Shortcake, Twinkie Toast Pie, Twinkie Orange Bavarian Dream, Twinkie Burritos, Twinkie Bomb, Chicken and Winkies, and French Twinkies.

I’m not sure all the meat recipes are something I would try though. But maybe for those of you who are more adventurous they would be something to try! I figure Chicken and Winkies is a safe enough bet, since I eat chicken & waffles.

I received a free e-copy in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

A comeback cookbook for the perennially popular snack cake, with 50 unique sweet and savory recipes that highlight the whimsical nostalgia of America’s favorite dessert.

For more than 80 years, Twinkies have captivated the cravings of Americans both young and old. The Twinkies Cookbook, Second Edition explores the snack cake’s heritage in the United States while celebrating its popularity in recipes for snacks both sweet and savory. For the first edition, Hostess urged Twinkie-aficionados across the nation to submit their favorite dishes featuring the cream-filled sponge cake. This new edition compiles the best of these colorful concoctions with 25 new recipes and additional photography. From a Twinkie-filled take on chicken and waffles to Twinkie pumpkin pie, these surprising and innovative recipes are a small slice of Americana that will be a hit with Twinkies fans across the country.

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