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Hi! I am Hardly A Goddess: Mom to twin boys, and two tween-age girls. I am a Librarian, a Blogger, and someone who loves her life, running, cooking, reading, and most of all laughing out loud. Really loud.

What’s on Your Nightstand? April Edition

Let’s talk about BOOKS! It’s the last Tuesday of the month, and I actually got a lot done as far as reading goes this April, but not nearly as much as last month… but I was reading and I am slowing getting through my pile! Scroll through and have your Goodreads account open- there are lots you will add to your “To Be Read (TBR)” piles!

nightstand (2)

*This post contains affiliate links, where if you click on them and make a purchase, I make a small percentage. I include them so that you can find what I am referencing and loving!*

“The Blended Book (Tbb)” reads:

Actually, this month, the TBB group had 4 chosen books, only 2 of which I wanted to read.

The first, was Small Great Things, by Jodi Piccoult:

I really enjoyed this book and am still thinking about it a week later! It is classic Jodi Piccolt, where you learn a lot about a topic and also see all sides of a story. I always like this approach, as I love to learn about new important topics, and I also tend to see all sides of an issue myself, so this resonates with me. The topic is racism both explicit and unintended. How interesting and disturbing and uncomfortable it was to read how I myself have privileges that are assumed, rather than earned as opposed to people who feel they are under a microscope to constantly prove themselves. A current issue and very important to read books that challenge ourselves like this. I didn’t love it half way through, but her style of writing is so good, that it propelled me forward and the conclusion of the books was very satisfactory for me. I would recommend this for sure for Piccoult fans.

I wanted to read another TBB pick, The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, as most of my friends have read and loved this, but I am bogged down with too many other reads in my pile. I did go back and read (listened) to this one from January’s TBB picks and really enjoyed it:

A Man Called Ove, by Fredrik Backman

It was the audio version, and I read My Grandmother Told Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, by the same author, but this was read by a different person. Actually, it was weird because the narrator of this one also read another book, Moonglow (reviewed last month) so I was totally thrown off until the 2nd disk or so. He is such a talented story-teller, this author. I am going to read Brit Marie next, as I just love his writing style- kind of weird characters, showing complete honesty in a sort of dark, but also funny way. Sort of Fargo-like (the movie). It features a man Ove (pronounce, UVah) who is grumpy, and somewhat obsessive/compulsive, and a loner. He lives in a housing complex surrounded by people whom he despises and tries never to deal with, until one day when a new family moves in, disrupting his routine, and his life changes to open him up to the world around him. A beautifully written book. Highly recommend this author.

What I listened to:

 Before the Fall, by Noah Hawley

I loved this audio book. I am not sure I would ever have read this, although it was highly recommended, but as audio, it was really good. About a plane crash and the survivors and how their lives unfold.  There is mystery surrounding the reasons why the plane crashed at all and the book is told backwards from the event, showing each character’s viewpoint (and possible motivation).  While I was mad at myself for picking another plane crash book (Judy Blume’s book), this was quite different in that it is more about the survivors and the crash then the plane industry. Quite a fun little history lesson on Jack LaLane within the story too- Recommended.

Currently, I am listening to:

Comfort Food, by Kate Jacobs

I honestly just picked this up because I needed an audio book STAT- and this seemed interesting: A food-network star ages out of a job and has to reinvent herself and finds that she learns a lot about herself in the process. This author wrote The Friday Night Knitting Club, which was a big hit, so I thought maybe I’d like it. So far, it’s okay. Seems like a Martha Stewart based persona and I don’t really love her, so I am having to remind myself that this is NOT about her, but is Fiction! I am still reading this though, so if you are considering it, I will have more information on my rating on Goodreads later.


Super Genes, by Deepak Chopra and Rudolph Tanzi

See my full review from last week.

Reading Now:

Difficult Women by Roxane Gay

OMG. This is an unbelievable book. It is short stories, all about women. Some strong, some crazy. The stories. This book is staying with me. Her ability to get right to the core of who women are and their inner lives is just amazing. I am seriously crushing on Roxane Gay, who if you don’t know her, take a look at this TED talk– it is long, but she is fierce. I like her personality, her views on life, but her writing…whoa. So good! Another of her books, Bad Feminist is on my list!

Under Her Skin by Adriana Anders

I just started this but already I am intrigued by the story of a woman after a dark and abusive relationship, leaves and tries to move on- is she able to move forward with her life get beyond the bad and not only survive, but actually live and possibly love (this IS a contemporary Romance book!)? Her second book just came out, but I wanted to read this first in the series before I moved on- I have put the full series on TBR. This is going to be a fun read, I can tell, but stay tuned for a full review next month!

So that is IT! Whew! I am loving all this reading and wondering if I can keep up the awesome pace as my Spring is just so crazy with kid-events and blogging and job craziness. H.A.G. is supposed to remind us women that we don’t have to do EVERYTHING, we just need to try to enjoy the things that we DO, do. I am enjoying the reading that I’m doing, and the activities too, so I won’t complain- but my house. That is the “something’s gotta give” that gave! I think I will Spring-clean soon…or… at least clean the bathrooms. HAha!

Happy Reading & Doing whatever it is that you ENJOY!

What are you reading? I’d love to know- Lemme’ know in the comments!!

Check out these nightstands at : 5 Minutes for MomBookDate, &  Booknificient along with the Blended Blog Virtual Book Club on Thursday!

What are you reading and loving right now?

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive compensation. It does not affect your price at all. For more information, see my full disclosure page



Easy, Healthy Meals with Noodles & a Thai Peanut Noodle Recipe

Look what I just made in 10 minutes:

Thai Peanut Noodles

This is an easy Thai Peanut Noodle dish that took me all of 10 minutes and a handful of ingredients.

Disclosure: I received samples of product from Fortune Noodles in order to review them for you here on the blog. As always I only give you my 100% honest opinion. See my full disclosures here.

Do you love noodles? I am not talking pasta. I am talking about the ramen-style noodles that you ate every day once you moved out of your parent’s house!  Honestly, I pack them in my kids’ lunches every week, and they are just about the only lunch that comes back totally eaten! We love it around here, and for a  hot meal, it is a great way to feed my kids fast!  I love that I can serve them alone with seasoning, or amp them up with lots of veggies or meat- and depending on what I put on them, my meal changes completely.

My kids love either plain buttered noodles, or instant soup Yakisoba style noodles (the thin, long, kind), but my husband and I love Thai sauces over rice noodles (flat, long) or Udon style (the round, wheat) noodles with teriaki or curry sauces.

Here’s a quick description of each kind that I got to sample from Fortune Noodles:


Teriyaki SG Fortune Noodles


7_Chkn_Udon_3D_Pkg Fortune Noodles


7_Chkn_Udon_3D_Pkg Fortune Noodles

I love keeping “easy” food that is healthy on hand to make for easy meals in our busy schedules to make my life so much easier. These noodles are awesome. Unlike the dried up kind that sits in the cupboard, the Fortune Brand noodles are fresh, so you keep them refrigerated. They use no-GMO oils, natural colors, and no MSG. I love that their ingredients are 100% natural.

For my Thai Peanut Noodles, here’s what I did:

Thai Peanut Noodles

Thai Peanut Noodles


  • 1 package Fortune Thai Peanut Rice Noodles
  • 1 package firm tofu
  • 1 Tsp.oil
  • 1 cup broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and shredded
  • 2 TBSP peanuts
  • *Squeeze of lime, and sprinkle of cilantro or chives optional


  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium/high heat. Meanwhile drain and cut the tofu into cubes. Layer it between 4 paper towels and press to absorb the extra water. Place the cubes into the hot oil. Flip to brown both sides.
  2. Add the vegetables and cover for 2 minutes.
  3. Open the Fortune Rice Noodles and puncture the bag- heat in the microwave for one minute to loosen the noodles (or you can run them under hot water).
  4. Add the noodles, 1/2 cup of water and the seasoning bag to the skillet and mix it all together. Cover and continue to cook 2 more minutes.
  5. Remove from the heat and add your chopped peanuts and cilantro or chives if desired. Squeeze a little lime over the top, and serve.
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I literally could eat noodles every day, as I sit here now dreaming of my favorite Thai places to eat and slurp up my noodles like they were running out of them. Back in the day (before kids!) and I had no food in my house at all, I would still find enough money to go out with my sister in law to our favorite Pho or Thai places just to get our fix on some noodles drenched in hot broth or yummy sauce! It was always worth it and crave-worthy. When I got married and then pregnant, my cravings were always for Thai rice noodles with peanut sauce. always. And so now, I still love noodles, but I can’t go out all the time- Making it myself is easier and usually healthier, but can be time consuming. I love that I can get a healthy, pre-packaged meal that is halfway homemade, but still gets me my craving indulgence!

The Fortune Noodles website has some great recipes too for making their packaged noodles and complete meal with added vegetables and meat (or tofu). Check them out here:

Website, Facebook, Twitter.

Make this, I know you will love it!

Thai Peanut Noodles2

Disclosure: I received samples of product from Fortune Noodles in order to review them for you here on the blog. As always I only give you my 100% honest opinion. See my full disclosures here.

Linking up this week with Deborah & Sarah for Meatless Monday along withFood, Pleasure and Health and The Fit Foodie Mama for another ALL veggie link-up! Great way to start the week! Come by and check them out!

Sweet Potato Corn Chowder #SoupSwappers

sweet potato corn chowderThis is starting to be my favorite type of post. When someone picks a theme and I get to play along but make my own recipe based on that idea. This month’s Soup Swappers theme is Root Vegetables.

I made this Sweet Potato Corn Chowder, since I love corn chowder, and make it all the time. Just switching up the potato for sweet potato made a nice difference! Guess what? The sweet potato is sweet! It adds a really nice balance to the rich little bites of bacon that I put in here. And if this doesn’t float your particular boat, there are lots more recipes for Root Vegetable Soups at the end of the post too.

Sweet Potato Corn Chowder #SoupSwappers

Sweet Potato Corn Chowder #SoupSwappers

This is such a great and fast soup to make for a rainy day or to have for the weekend.


  • 4-5 slices bacon
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 medium sized sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups frozen corn nibblets
  • 1 Tbsp. all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup low fat milk


  1. In a saute pan, cook the bacon, until crispy. Set aside. Cool and then crumble.
  2. While this cooks, get a large soup pot, add the oil and heat to medium.
  3. Add your celery, carrot and onion. Cook until the onion is translucent.
  4. Add the broth. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Add the sweet potato and corn. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  6. In a glass jar with a lid, add the flour, salt and pepper. Add the milk (and lid). Shake the jar until totally combined. Pour into the broth. Simmer for another 5 minutes.
  7. Stir in the bacon crumbles and serve!


*Garnish with chopped parsley to brighten up the color and add a fresh taste.

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sweet potato corn chowder

Come check out all the other soups featured at #SoupSwappers this month!