Books We're Reading, Tea and Books

Book Review – The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton …. Opinion and Quotes

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Kate Morton is hands down one of my favorite authors. I generally prefer reading classics to modern literature because it’s harder for me to get lost in modern stories. There’s no nostalgia for a bygone age to color the mundane rose in a modern novel, but somehow Kate Morton always manages to capture the nostalgia of the present – or what will become nostalgia. This book didn’t disappoint. Part of the reason I really love her books is that they’re sort of modern gothics, without the predictability of your typical whodunnit – I never see the end coming. In this one she had me doubly fooled – I was so certain I had it figured out (and a little smug about it too!) but at the end there was an unexpected twist. It makes me feel like a child again – the delicious surprise of not knowing how a story will end – the  battle between the absolute irresistibility of it and never wanting it to end. Well worth the read and the space on your shelf.

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Rating Scale

1/5 – Awful / would not read again / maybe could not finish.

2/5 – Low quality work / some enjoyment / not worth the time

3/5 – Don’t regret, Don’t love / would add to my shelf if it is a piece of literature

4/5 – Would read again / Definitely would add to my shelf because BOOKS!

5/5 – Would definitely read more than once / Must buy / Gives you the happy book love feels.

Quotes, Tea and Books

Book Review – Don Quixote … Opinion and Favorite Quotes.

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Don Quixote was a difficult book for me to finish. It took a long time for me to get through it, and I can’t say I loved it. But, something about it had me hooked so I persevered. It’s long, repetitive and written in language that doesn’t resonate well with today’s world. It’s also funny and insightful and full of personalities that are the opposite of what they seem. I thought the end of the book was the best and also the more developed portion – which made it go faster as I got closer to the end. I loved that nearly every character was the opposite of what they purported to be and the fun the author had with those contradictions. It was also an interesting look into the state of Spain during the Inquisition and how it affected the lives of ordinary people. There were frequent run ins with persecuted “Moors” and consideration was given at all times to what the inquisitorial officials would think of things. This part of the book is sadly relevant today in our world – we still haven’t learned kindness.

Here are my favorite quotes from the book:

“Sleep thou, who wa’st born to sleep, or follow thy own inclinations; for my part, I will behave as becomes a person of my aspirations.”

“I myself have experienced that the mountains produce learned men, and that philosophers are to be found within the shepherd’s cot.”

“Blood is hereditary, but virtue is acquired, consequently, this last has an intrinsic value which the other does not possess.”

“Let the tears of the poor find more compassion in thy breast, tho’ not more justice, than the testimony of the rich.”

“If ever you suffer the rod of justice to be bent a little, let it not be warped, by the weight of corruption, but by the heart of sympathy.”

“Give thyself no concern about what thou mayest hear, otherwise there will be no end of thy vexation: console thyself with a good conscience and let them say what they will; for, it is as impracticable to tie up the tongue of malice as to erect barricades in open fields.”

“Liberty is one of the most precious gifts which heaven hath bestowed on man, exceeding all the treasures which earth encloses or which ocean hides; and for this blessing, as well as for honour, we may and ought to venture life itself: on the other hand, captivity and restraint are the greatest evils that human nature can endure.”

Great advice from a madman.

Rating Scale

1/5 – Awful / would not read again / maybe could not finish.

2/5 – Low quality work / some enjoyment / not worth the time

3/5 – Don’t regret, Don’t love / would add to my shelf if it is a piece of literature

4/5 – Would read again / Definitely would add to my shelf because BOOKS!

5/5 – Would definitely read more than once / Must buy / Gives you the happy book love feels.

Childhood, D.I.Y.

DIY Shapes and Colors Felt Toy Game for Toddlers.

My son is quite a bit too young to be ready for any formal education, but my husband and I think that learning is so important and we’re really excited to start teaching him things – anything! We like to incorporate learning into as much as possible, that includes solo play time. Recently, I made a wall-hanging felt game for Charlie that he loves to play with. Right now, he can’t play with it the way it was intended, but he loves that the felt pieces come off and stick back on, the bright colors keep him occupied, and he’s being exposed to the idea of shapes and colors. When Dave and I see him playing with it, we often take a few minutes to sit with him and talk him through what color and shape he’s currently playing with. It’s fun for everyone and it’s so so easy to make!

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Cooking

Gluten Free Meatloaf that isn’t Dry!

I love good food and cooking, but I really love only cooking one meal for my family. Since I am the lone gluten-free eater in a family who loves to eat, I’m really really motivated to find food that my husband and son will eat, that is both gluten-free and delicious. Meatloaf was a staple in my house growing up, but most gluten free recipes I try are dry and tasteless. My meatloaf recipe is a favorite at our house and it has sneaky veggies! (Shhh! Don’t tell my son!)

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Books We're Reading

Books We’re Reading (03/03/2018)

This week at the library, we got eclectic… It’s probably how it’s going to stay. Structure is important but reading good stories is too amazing to force yourself to read only color books for a week. I’m always hunting for books I would consider purchasing and adding to our collection and I think we found some winners.

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Homestead

Backyard Chicken Basics – 8 Things I Wish I Had Known.

My husband and I have been backyard chicken owners for about 4 years now and we absolutely love it. However, I have learned a few things along the way that I wish I had known before we started this adventure. (My husband, on the other hand, would definitely have taken the time to learn these things had I not just come home with them one day.) There are lots of small things that make owning chickens a little easier than it already is. Here is a list of 8 things I wish I had known before I had started.

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Cooking

BEST GF PANCAKES EVER using my Sourdough Starter

The irony of me posting my own recipes is that I’m pretty terrible at following recipes myself. I like to experiment and play with the feel with whatever I’m cooking so all of my recipes are estimates of what I cook based on the day. It usually works though 🙂 These pancakes can be adjusted depending on how much starter you use and how fluffy the starter is on a given day. I usually just adjust the ingredients until it resembles thick pancake batter. They always come out golden, fluffy, delicious and they melt in your mouth.

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Cooking

EASY! Gluten Free Sourdough Starter

I have a friend on Instagram who is constantly posting pictures of the delicious baked goods she makes using her homemade starter. My sister-in-law got to try one of her sourdough English muffins and raved about. The jealousy went into overdrive! Of course, baking anything gluten free is always an adventure. After reading about 5 million other blog posts about how other people made their GF starter I decided I was going to wing it. My first attempt was a disaster… My second attempt though is looking good to go – Delicious bread countdown begins!

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Books We're Reading

Books We’re Reading (Feb 23 2018)

This past week, I was going to put my grand new plan of going to the library every Monday into action. We ended up at the the library Thursday afternoon. We were supposed to be focusing on picture books to help learn colors. One would think that with an extra three days to prepare for our trip to the library, I would have had a list ready and some idea of the books I wanted to get…. but nope – winging it all the way this week. The choices ended up being a bit more random because I was unprepared, but Charlie is enjoying the books anyway and it was a good chance to really familiarize myself with my library’s children’s section (Or at least try with a busy 13 month old on the loose!) We took home six books and we’ve read them all multiple times except for one that is a little too old for Charlie right now, but I’ve put it on a list to come back to when he’s a little older.

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