Yell and Shout and Cry and Pout

Yell and Shout 2

From the Back of the Book:

“Yell and Shout, Cry and Pout: A Kid’s Guide to Feelings is an essential guidebook for adults in helping children identify and understand their emotions. Each of the eight emotions is clearly defined thorough vignettes and illustrations, keeping both adult and child captivated, thus creating an opportune time for discussion. By recognizing that all humans experience these emotions throughout their lives, the book provides a true sense of comfort. Emotions are not to be shunned, but rather embraced and explained to provide a positive development environment for all children.”

My Thoughts:

Did everyone see the movie Inside Out? It was probably one of the best kid movies that deal with emotion. My kids loved the way that each of the emotions were shown as a person; how they work together to make you, well, you. After watching it, all three of my girls wanted (and demanded to know more about their emotions. In particular what other emotions that they have.)

It was the perfect timing for the book Yell and Shout and Cry and Pout by Peggy Krugertietz Ph.D. to show up on in my mailbox. Immediately the girls opened it up and started to explore their emotions.

They loved learning more about their emotions that they learned about in Inside Out: Anger, Sadness and Disgust. Then they were thrilled to learn about the emotions that they know well: Happiness and Love. Last, there were new emotions: Fear, Shame, Surprise. After the initial reading they have gone back and looked through it. Even asking each other when they have felt certain emotions.

They really did enjoy this book. Not in a “story at bedtime” type of way. But in a “lets look through it together” type of way. With the book sitting at $13 for a paperback, I think that it is a good book to have in your kids bookshelf. At the very least, it would be a reference book for them when they are feeling something without quite knowing what it is.

What about you guys. Do you keep reference books for your kids, or just story books? Is this something that you would have in their bookcase? What do you think of the price point ($13 for a 40 page book)?

Welcome Reluctant Stranger

Welcome, Reluctant Stranger!

A Riveting Tale of Love, Loss, and Finding Your Own Way
From the Back of the Book-

Can a family bury its secret past? Like her long-lost doctor father, Leilani Torres heals people.  But can she heal herself?  Having fled the troubled Pacific country, Costa Mora, for America when she was nine, she still doesn’t know what happened to her father, or what mysterious reasons prevented him from leaving with his family. But Leilani remembers that as a child, she learned to use a gun to protect herself against danger.

A lovable computer nerd who’s failed at love.  Brokenhearted after his relationship of seven years ended, Justin just wants to drown his sorrows. But he finds more trouble than he’s looking for, when he is assaulted by thugs. An exotic woman with a dead aim rescues him. They’re drawn to each other, but Leilani hesitates. Justin is on the rebound or thinks of her as his rescuer.

A hero or a villain? Suddenly, Leilani’s past is not so past, as a friend of her father turns up at her mother’s door with unexpected news.  Caught in a deadly political web, Dr. Torres’s alleged  crime shocks and unsettles Leilani. She isn’t sure if he is a hero or a villain, but only she and Justin can rescue him from their old island home.

The many faces of love spun into a tale of past political intrigue and a young woman’s inner journey, accepting her past.

About the Author

EJourney is a realist who thinks she has little imagination. Credit that to her training (Ph. D., University of Illinois) and work in mental health, writing for academics and bureaucrats.

A well-traveled flâneuse–a female observer-wanderer–she watches, observes, listens. And writes. A sucker for happy endings and an admirer of Jane Austen’s novel of manners approach to women’s fiction, she finds enough that depresses her about real life, but seeks no catharsis by writing about it. For her, writing is escape, entertainment.

Her author website: Evy Writes here
Her book blog: Escape Into Reality here
Her blog on art, food, travel (mostly Paris), and state of being: Journey on a Limb here

My Thoughts

This was my favorite book in the Between Two Worlds series. While this is book three in the series, you certainly don’t have to read them in order, or even all of them. Each book has its own set of characters and its own story line. So pick up anywhere in the series, with a story that sounds good.

I was intrigued with the back of the book info, but it happened to sit on my shelf until the very last moment. (In fact I actually finished it this morning, but shhh) To be honest, I don’t know why that was. I liked the premise of the book, I liked the author’s other books, this one though just didn’t scream at me to read it.

Once started, it was a great story though. It read in the same manor as her other books. Meaning that while it is a slower pace book, it jumps right into the thick of it, and you get caught up in the characters. The stories are all well told, you get a full sense of what is going on. She is an amazing story teller. This book, unlike book two, had me guessing. I did not see the plot twist coming. That was a huge perk.

Do you guys like books with lots of action? Or does a slower, simmering type book appeal to you every once in a while? What type of romance books are your favorite?

Great Teen Series


About the Book:

Title: Evolved
Author: Aubrey Coletti
Publisher: Escape Artist Press
Genre: YA/Scifi/Thriller

The boarders of J. Alter High have fought their school, sabotaged their school, and attempted to destroy their school. Yet the powerful Academy and its enigmatic Headmistress have remained always one step ahead of them. Now they must decide whether or not to work with the school, to unlock the abilities that brought them there — a decision that could tear them all apart. But choose they must, before they are out of moves, out of options . . . and out of time.

About the Author

Aubrey Coletti is a twenty-three year old singer-songwriter, dancer, and author, who began her first novel while still in high school. Now graduated from Sarah Lawrence College, she has three published novels in The Academy Series, Altered, Shattered, and Evolved.

For More Information:

My Thoughts

I LOVED this series. It was incredibly fast moving, engaging plot twists, and characters that are so well developed that you can’t help but care about them. They form an unbreakable bond, that develops naturally. What I liked the best, it kept my daughter fully engaged. She finished the books late at night and was actually mad when they were done.

A few words to the wise. There is quite a bit of language used. If you are wanting a clean book, this would not be it. But lets be honest, teens cuss. Also, there is quite a bit of physical abuse in the name of “behavior modification”. I was a bit taken aback for the graphic nature of it. However, throughout the series there is very little sex. This is the third book in the series, and you do need to read them in order.

Do you guys mind your teens/high school students reading books with lots of language and abuse? Or is it something that you stay away from? Personally I have more issues with sex scenes, what about you guys? What do you let your teens read?

**I did receive this book at no cost, in exchange for an honest review**

Online Parenting VS Real Life Parenting

Online VS Real Life


There seems to be a growing number of moms using social media these days. We use FaceBook, Twitter, Pinterest, SnapChat, Instagram and so many other platforms to keep in touch with family and friends. As moms, we love to show off pictures of our kids (when they are cute and behaving correctly; nobody is showing off pictures of their kids throwing tantrums in the middle of the grocery store). We want to show off that perfect dinner that we got on the table, on time. Lets face it, online we are all perfect moms. But what about real life?

Maybe I am alone here, but my online face is no where near my real life face. There are filters to help everything look just a little bit better. That dinner that was so perfectly on the table, well the picture that is missing is the one from the night before, where dinner was forgotten in the oven and burnt to a crisp. Thank goodness for take out pizza. The backgrounds might be picked up in the picture, I can assure you there is a mess just outside of the view finder. While in the picture my girls are smiling, clean and dressed; the moment that the photo is snapped, the clothes are ripped off, they are back to screaming at each other, and some how they are now sticky. How do they manage to get dirty so fast?

Now don’t get me wrong, we are a happy, busy family and my online face certainly shows that. It just doesn’t show everything else going on.

So while we have moments, of being picture perfect; they are just that- moments. What about you guys? Does your online face show the real family or they also just moments of being picture perfect.

Going Off Script- Giuliana Rancic

Going Off Script

From The Back Of The Book

“A witty, warm, and inspiring memoir from the E News! host, Fashion Police panelist, red-carpet correspondent, author, and reality show star Giuliana Rancic.

Giuliana Rancic is best known for interviewing A-listers on the red carpet and E! News, skewering their shocking style choices on Fashion Police, and giving viewers a front row seat to her marriage and family life on her reality show, Giuliana & Bill. What fans may not know is that she learned English from Eddie Murphy, got her American citizenship so she could be a beauty queen, and used to have a bad habit of stealing cars for fun.

Giuliana bares this and so much more in her hilarious, warm, and inspiring memoir, Going Off Script. From a young age she dreamed of being a TV anchorwoman but, because of her inclination toward mischief and away from schoolwork, her path to her dream job was far from straight. After a fateful (and mortifying) encounter with the late Senator Ted Kennedy, she learned that Hollywood news was where she belonged. Thankfully for readers, this epiphany led her to a bounty of LA misadventures (featuring notables such as Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Russell Crowe) and an entertaining behind-the-scenes perspective on what our favorite celebrities are really like.

In spite of her glamorous Hollywood life, however, Giuliana could not escape some rockier times, including her battles with infertility and breast cancer. Here, for the first time, she reveals the whole truth behind her well-publicized struggles, and the highly controversial decisions she had to make. And, of course, at the heart of it all are the two loves of her life who keep her strong through everything, her husband Bill and her son, Duke.

Candid, funny, and poignant, Going Off Script is an autobiography that proves you don’t always have to follow the rules to get the life you’ve always dreamed of.”

I LOVED this book. It was a nice break from all the fiction and romance that I have been reading lately. If you have never heard of Giuliana Rancic then you have lived under a rock for over a decade. She has lived on TV E! doing the job that everyone wants: interviewing amazing celebs and co-hosting Fashion Police. She also had her own reality show. She is someone that everyone needs to know. (Side note to myself- the next time that my daughters have to write a bio on someone, I need to make them do it on her)

Lets be honest for a moment, we all secretly hate celebs. They always look amazing, they always bounce right back after any trauma, their lives have this air where nothing can get them down. They are not “real” people, they never have a bad hair day, they never get bad news, the troubles that plague most of us seem to miss them. And we love and hate the celebs for this persona.

In Giuliana’s book, her memoirs, she shows us what went on backstage. While her reality show showed us a more real version of her life; it still had a smile through it all. Her book is a no hold back look at what that all was really like. It shows the fight she had to get to where she was, it shows the fear of scoliosis, the heartbreak of infertility, and the real life recover of breast cancer. A must read for anyone!!!!

Do you like to read memoirs?  Do the lives of celebrities intrigue you? Do you want to read books about their lives, or is it a waste of time?

Hello My Love

hello my love - ebook_72

From Back of Book

“Beyond broad shoulders and heaving bosoms. This thoughtful woman’s romance novel explores the inner life (thoughts, hopes, and doubts) of a couple as they contend with the realities of compelling relationships.

A modern-day pastiche of Jane Austen novels. Elise is a bright, beautiful law student, focused on a career and distrustful of men. She butts heads with Greg at her parents’ dinner parties. Dark, good-looking, internet-business owner, he finds Elise intriguing, so unlike the dark-haired seductive beauties he used to escort around.

Specter of revenge. Unable to deny their attraction for each other, they spend an unexpected night together two days before he is to wed someone else. Lori, the jilted fiancée, exacts revenge, tearing Greg and Elise apart and forcing them to face who they are and what they really want.

An accident. Older and wiser, Greg and Else reunite two years later. He is in for a surprise. Later, their lives are thrown again into disarray when Elise becomes the victim of a hit-and-run. Is Lori back to haunt them again?

A delicious romance with a literary slant, spiced with a twist of whodunit.”

This was a quick fun read that I was really looking forward to loving. The characters are wonderful. The writer does a great job letting us into each of the main characters minds, and lets us know what they are thinking. You get to know each of them inside and out. They both are relatable, and real. There is no “we locked eyes and fell in love” type.

However, with that said, I had a hard time following this book. The author’s timeline jumps around a lot. It goes from present day, back to the past to tell some back story from one perspective. Then rolls the timeline all the back to present. Then would jump back to the past, so you could get the back story from the other perspective. Then it would jump into the future, missing a big chunk of time.


The main character ends up pregnant, but as we near the end of her pregnancy, the story jumps two years into the future. We miss the birth, we miss her moving out of her parents house, we miss her graduating, and getting the job she had her eyes on. I would have liked to have those moments in the story.

In fact I had to back read to figure out what was going on. Maybe I just needed a more straightforward story, chasing after three kids makes reading hard. But it felt a bit disjointed.


Even with the timeline issues, I enjoyed the story. Would it be one that I tell my girlfriends they NEED to read? Probably not. But if someone was going on a end of summer vaca and needed something for the beach, sure it would be acceptable for that.

Does it bother you when an author jumps around on the timeline? Do you like it when they go back in time so you get some more back story? What type of beach romance do you like to read?

Martian Girl #2

Aoleon The Martian Girl PART 2

From the Back of the Book:

“Gilbert never knew that school could be so dangerous! Determined to accompany his new friend, Aoleon, wherever she goes, Gilbert soon finds himself back in school – at the Martian Space Academy.  There he’s introduced to Martian society, hears a history lesson on the Draconian and Andromedan races, and even gets invited to a psiball match.  But Gilbert soon finds out it’s not all fun and games.  Not only is Aoleon’s arch nemesis, Charm Lepton, determined to make sure that Aoleon doesn’t make it through the psiball game, but Gilbert also comes under attack when a mysterious force attempts to control him. Do our two heroes have what it takes to survive?  Find out in this exciting middle-grade science fiction adventure that’s sure to please young readers!”

Meet the Author

Mr. LeVasseur enjoys crafting good stories based on lovable characters designed to translate well to multiple media formats such as books, games, movies, and toys. He lives in New York when he is not commuting between Southern California and Olympus Mons, Mars. His hobbies include writing, 3D animation, musical composition, and intergalactic space travel. He also enjoys various sports such as skiing, running, and exospheric skydiving.

Connect with Brent:   Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~  Aoléon: The Martian Girl

My Review

If you have not read my thoughts on the first book yet, go here to check it out. As you can see we had some mixed feelings about it. While it was not a 100% hit for my girls, they were still happy to get started on book number #2. Let me say that we are so glad that we did. Number 2 was a much better book for us. My girls were way more interested in the story line of this book.

Maybe it had to do with the fact that they were just starting a new year of school and so was the main character, Gilbert, of the story was too. One big difference, he was going to martian school. The girls were so interested in all the differences between Earth schools and Aoleon’s school.

It has a dash of Harry Potter: with a new sport to learn, and someone trying to control Gilbert.

All three of my girls really enjoyed this one. I think that it was a little over the head of my youngest, were she was not completely following and enjoying the story line. However, the illustrations were amazing, she fully enjoyed exploring each one.

Overall, a great book and they are very much looking forward to book #3.

Exciting News To Share


There is a secret that I have been keeping from all of you. You may have seen little sneak peaks, if you are paying close attention. But I am ready to let the cat out of the bag (no pun intended), and officially announce my HUGE news!! Are you ready for it? Do you think that you can handle it?

Confessions of the Perfect Mom has launched its first book. Yup you read that right! There is a new parenting book on the market, and you are going to love it!

Confessions Of The Perfect Mom: Baby and Toddler Years is all about those not so perfect moments during the first few years of being a mom. Everything from yelling at nurses during labor, to stinky diapers, to temper tantrums and everything in between. I am pulling back the curtain on the facade of “perfect” moms everywhere. It is a quick, witty, laugh out loud funny glimpse into the life of motherhood.

You can get a copy at the following places:
Barnes and Noble
Books A Million

Enter here for a signed copy:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 One more secret, there is no such thing as perfect!


Aoleon The Martian Girl- Part 1

Aoleon The Martian Girl PART 1


From The Back Of The Book:

“Mars wants our cows (yes, cows!), and they’re sending an invasion fleet to take them from us. Only Gilbert and Aoleon the Martian Girl stand in their way! Gilbert always longed for adventure, but now that he has it, he’s not sure that it’s everything it’s cracked up to be.

Ever since the night he met Aoleon the Martian Girl sitting in the middle of a crop circle in Farmer Johnson’s field, it’s been nothing but one wild ride after another. From fighting off swarms of giant killer robots to dealing with strange aliens from another world – never mind trekking across the vast Martian desert and skyboarding deep into the center of a (hopefully) extinct volcano – Gilbert has had his hands full just trying to keep up with it all. And now it’s up to him and his new friend, Aoleon, to face off against the evil Martian overlord and keep our cows safe at home where they belong. The launch of this exciting and innovatively illustrated new series takes the reader deep into the heart of an unforgettable and out-of-this-world friendship in a story full of hijinks, hilarity, and good old-fashioned fun.

Join Gilbert and Aoleon in this exciting middle-grade science fiction adventure today!”

About the Author:

Mr. LeVasseur (love this name btw) enjoys crafting good stories based on lovable characters designed to translate well to multiple media formats such as books, games, movies, and toys. He lives in New York when he is not commuting between Southern California and Olympus Mons, Mars. His hobbies include writing, 3D animation, musical composition, and intergalactic space travel. He also enjoys various sports such as skiing, running, and exospheric skydiving.

Connect with Brent:
Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~  Aoléon: The Martian Girl

This is a quick read, my girls and I finished it in about 3 nights. It is right around 150 pages, but there are lots of graphics and illustrations. So the good and the not so great.

It entertained all three of my girls. They did look forward to hearing about Gilbert’s adventures with the martian girl. My youngest was captivated with the way the illustrator captured Aoleon, and could not get enough of her. (As a side note, she has even started making her own stories about Aoleon. Telling them to Belle and having Belle write them down. It is very cute.) The story line moved along at a steady pace, and while there is a cliff hanger at the end, it is does not just drop out mid sentence. A huge pet peeve over here in the Ryan house.

So the not so great. We had a hard time figuring out who it was written for. My oldest would be age wise what this book claims to be aimed for, but there was not enough meat to keep her fully engaged in the story. While my middle princess was more entertained, the verbiage used was over her head. And she often had to ask what words meant. To me the book would have been better, if they made it closer to a 4th to 5th grade reading level as opposed to shooting for that middle grade read. HOWEVER, that being said….. I have girls and they most want to hear about princess falling in love with a prince. Or the nerd girl winning the heart of the jock (for my oldest). There is a chance that this book, being so outside of what they want to hear about, never really stood a chance.

While they were good, and everyone enjoyed part one of this story; we did not immediately jump into part 2.  My recommendation would be to get part one, it is only $1.00 on Amazon; you can’t go wrong at that price point. See if YOUR kids like it and go from there.

How To Keep A Clean House


Isn’t this what every person wants? To come home and have a clean (and presentable house)? Now in my fantasy, I would have the little cleaning fairies come in and clean my house for me. That way I don’t have to do any actual cleaning. Cause lets be honest who likes doing that? But alas, the fairies have lost my address and don’t visit me. This forced me to come up with a system to keep my house acceptable, without it being all that I do.

There are two ways to tackling cleaning your house. First, you can pick a day and have a once a week cleaning day. This is what we did growing up, and it was always Saturday morning. Trust me it stunk to waste my Saturday scrubbing bathrooms. The second, is what I prefer now and what I will be showing you, break it out into little bits every day.

I am a HUGE fan of breaking things up. As you could tell from my post How To Prepare For Overnight Guests, which you can find here. It makes it easy to check it off your list and move on. Plus, your house will always be ready for people to pop by. Well in theory, it will always be ready.

How To Clean


There is my break out. I have a few items to do every morning, and a few items to do every night. Easy, quick, little things that make life a little easier and prettier.

My daily chores are the bigger items, the ones that you don’t really want to do but have to do. The breakout is:

  • Monday
    • Meal Plan
    • Grocery Shop
  • Tuesday
    • Bathrooms
  • Wednesday
    • Dust (including blinds, shutters and so on)
  • Thursday
    • Vacuum or Mop
  • Friday
    • Scrub Kitchen (including cleaning out the fridge)

And you can see that I am boycotting cleaning on the weekends all together now as an adult. There is no need to waste your precious downtime scrubbing the floor. My girls have to take care of their own bedrooms and the school room.

That is my plan, how do you tackling cleaning your house? Did I miss any big chores that need to be done? Let me know.