Author Archives: hardlyagoddess@gmail.com

About hardlyagoddess@gmail.com

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.

Think Out Loud Thursday: Falling into things

I am going to start “reflecting.” But quickly, don’t worry. Just a theme and a quick thought. Nothing too crazy, to be worried that I am getting too analytical or reflective in all this “free time” of mine!!! Keeping it fun but real:

*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.

Thinking..

About all the things I need to do tomorrow…(from Sportsmomshop.com)

So freakin’ true. If my husband is travelling, all bets are off for anything being on-time or going in a straight line!

Reading…

I just finished two great books: The Chesapeake Bride , which was romantic & a fast read (click here for the review & giveaway), and Still Here  which is contemporary literary fiction- also fun! (click here for the review of this one).

Now I am reading Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel. It is my town’s book pick of the month which is sort of fun, but I had gotten it for Christmas as a gift and it’s been sitting in my TBR pile! After the first 10 pages, I am already excited to get into this one…stay tuned for more.

Playing…

Lots and lots of games. My kids are kind of over playing pretend with me, but they ask me every day to play something with them. If it’s not just basketball or soccer in our yard, we choose a game. My favorites (because, really, the mom should pick what she likes I think!) are:

Yahtzee

and this SUPER fun and one that I NEVER win, Rubik’s Race:

I love Yahtzee because I know how to play it! It was super easy for my kids to pick up- even the younger 7 year olds can play with my 12 year old or me and still win, which makes them super happy.

And the Rubik’s race is cool since I NEVER win, they can all feel smarter than me, which is of course true, but this way it’s proven!

Listening to…

Nothing. Really just the news on the radio since otherwise I never hear or see news. Boring I know, but my life is not super exciting my friends, and that is a good thing…

Cooking…

Since being unemployed, I bake WAY too much, and cook meals on time. I hear you moms…dinner on time is work! I start really early to get my kids fed before practice- otherwise it is cereal beforehand and something light after that most times is not a real meal.

Moms that work outside the home have it a bit harder I have to say- they have to meal plan and use their crockpots probably twice as often to get a decent dinner on the table. That said, I love this lady and her meal plans, and not just because I am an affiliate- I am an affiliate because I bought her books and plans so often, I figured I should make some money from it!

A Month of Quick & Easy Meals

Planning is key, seriously and I may just start up my meal plans here again- what do you think?

september meal plan

Doing…

Training for a marathon at the end of October. With my new shoes, I feel cushioned, but with my old body I am not sure I feel ready! We shall see!

Happy belated to me! These bad boys feel like slippers! I cannot wait…@brooksrunning!

A post shared by Barrie Mooney (@hardlyagoddess) on

Looking forward to…

Wrapping myself up in a blanket…darn it got cold soon, right?!

Favorite of the week so far…

This quote:


Linking up with Thinking out Loud Thursday!

*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.

Book Review: Still Here by Lara Vapnyar

As a book reviewer, I received a copy of this book for free from Blogging For Books to facilitate this review. I received no other compensation and as always my review and opinion is 100% my own. Links within the post are affiliate links (read full disclosure).

Let’s start this review by me telling you that I really enjoyed the book. Now you can keep reading all about it and know that I am not wasting your time!

I didn’t know if I’d like the premise, but ended up very interested:

Four friends who separately leave Russia to live in New York City. The book details how their lives are intertwined, and different since leaving Russia, their expectations and experiences as immigrants in a new city, and how their outlooks on life change, the longer they stay in the US.

For those of you reading from Book Beginnings…the first few line (s) of the book are:

“Promise me you won’t call it ‘Virtual Grave,'” Vica said as they turned onto the West Side Highway.

“You were the one who hated ‘The Voice from the Grave’!” Sergey said.

“‘The Voice from the Grave’ is even worse. We can’t afford a name that’s a downer.”

“Well, the entire idea is about death. And death happens to be a downer,” Sergey said.

From the New York Times Book Reviewe, 100 Notable Books of 2016:

Vica, Vadik, Sergey and Regina met in Russia in their school days, but remained in touch and now have very different American lives. Sergey cycles through jobs as an analyst, hoping his idea for an app will finally bring him success. His wife Vica, a medical technician struggling to keep her family afloat, hungers for a better life. Sergey’s former girlfriend Regina, once a famous translator is married to a wealthy startup owner, spends her days at home grieving over a recent loss. Sergey’s best friend Vadik, a programmer ever in search of perfection, keeps trying on different women and different neighborhoods, all while pining for the one who got away.

The backdrop of the story is the concept of our digital lives. How we present ourselves one way on social media, either hoping to present our best-selves or the self we want to be. The book raises questions about whether our online life is actually our life, and should it live on once we are gone (dead). The characters in the story debate this idea, and the perception about the value of our digital lives is reflected back and forth as we see the characters live ACTUAL lives.

Huh. Super interesting to me, as I have a sense that I hate Facebook and know everyone presents only what they want people to see, but I also use it a ton for this blog – it is a platform for what I want to show the world about HAG, so I find value in using it in my life. The book was expert in mirroring the absurdity of our digital lives in these characters.

Aside from the story itself, I loved the insight into immigrants from Russia in a city. I liked that I could relate to the characters who were approaching 40 years of age, who were at points in their lives where they are focused on jobs, family, or their futures. I liked that I could relate on that level but also gain some insight into how different living in the US is to someone from outside of it.

Overall Take:

There is romance, technology, contemporary life, urban sensibility and philosophical rambling in here. Maybe not for everyone, but I found it fun and satisfying.

 


Still Here, by Lara Vapnyar
Hogarth Press (reprint), 2017, 336 pages

HAG Reads, a Book Review: The Chesapeake Bride

I am thrilled to share with you THE CHESAPEAKE BRIDE by Mariah Stewart.

DETAILS:

(From the Publisher) [tThis is] the charming story of a jaded architect who meets the one man who could finally melt her heart—if she’s willing to let him in.

Cassidy Logan has sworn off good-looking adventurers, having just divorced the one she’d married. Now working with her father’s construction company to build ecologically friendly, historically accurate homes on the Chesapeake Bay, she’s designing them for Cannonball Island. Knowing there’s been no new construction on the island in almost one hundred years, Cass is sensitive to the heritage and history of the sparsely populated island, and has come up with plans so perfect she’s determined to buy one for herself to live in. Even the fact that Owen Parker—whom she dismisses as a lightweight and a player— seems to be everywhere she goes isn’t enough to deter her from building her dream house.

Owen is and always has been sinfully handsome and wickedly clever, a magnet for mischief as well as the girls in St. Dennis. He’s also a rolling stone, going and doing whatever appeals to him, from flying a mail plane in Alaska to working on a cattle ranch in Australia and a shrimp boat in Louisiana, to surfing and diving in Costa Rica. When an old friend offers him a job salvaging a sunken ship in the Chesapeake, Owen gladly accepts. Something’s been telling him it’s about time to head home to Cannonball Island, and a job is as good an excuse as any. He’s totally smitten with the pretty architect, but it seems he’s finally met a woman who’s immune to his charms. Sooner or later, Owen will have to face the reason why he always runs, because this time, leaving just might be harder than staying.

*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.

MY TAKE:

Love! It is a good feeling, cozy romance with a contemporary story and vibe to it- Having not read the first 10 books, I was worried that I wouldn’t love this- but it was just great! Yes, cheese sounding here as you don’t get the full context of Stewart’s writing, but it reads really well and fast and fun and not cheese-ball at all actually! It is a light, contemporary romance for the non-romance reader!!

I LOVE THIS REVIEW:

Praise for That Chesapeake Summer, Book 9 in The Chesapeake Diaries:

“[That Chesapeake Summer] deftly uses the tools of the genre to explore issues of identity, truth, and smalltown kinship…Stewart offers a strong statement on the power of love and trust, a fitting theme for this big-hearted small town romance.”

—Publishers Weekly

THE DEETS: The Chesapeake Bride

11th in The Chesapeake Diaries series
Mariah Stewart
Pocket Books
August 29, 2017
ISBN 9781501154355
$7.99

Andddd….You guys…here’s an END OF SUMMER GIVEAWAY (Whoot hooot!) to help get you up to speed at least a little on the series:

I am giving away copy of Driftwood Point, 10th in the Chesapeake Diaries (the one right before the Chesapeake Bride, for via UPS. (U.S. only, please.)

We’re celebrating The Chesapeake Bride and Summer 2017 with one giveaway for Driftwood Point, 10th in The Chesapeake Diaries Series by Mariah Stewart! The last day for entries will be Friday, September 22nd (the official last day of summer!) The winner will receive one copy of Driftwood Point. U.S. only, please.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

And a little side-note:

Look for Gallery Books’ second installment in Mariah Stewart’s all-new trade original women’s fiction series, The Hudson Sisters, from The Last Chance Matinee, following a trio of reluctant sisters as they set out to fulfill their father’s dying wish—and discover themselves in the process. Remember I reviewed it way back when?!

Well, now Book 2, The Sugarhouse Blues, will publish March 2018, so be on the look out, because the first one was a super cute, feel-good book that I want to keep reading!


*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.

Check out what other blogs I linked this article with: What are you reading, Monday?