Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Who Am I? Blog Tag

I saw this tag on Rebel Mommy Book Blog, and I couldn't resist doing it. I love categorizing myself, and this tag is the ultimate. There are so many quizzes!


The meaning of the name Kate is: Pure. (source)


I didn't take this test because I already know I am an...


The ISTJ personality type is thought to be the most abundant, making up around 13% of the population. Their defining characteristics of integrity, practical logic and tireless dedication to duty make ISTJs a vital core to many families, as well as organizations that uphold traditions, rules and standards, such as law offices, regulatory bodies and military. People with the ISTJ personality type enjoy taking responsibility for their actions, and take pride in the work they do – when working towards a goal, ISTJs hold back none of their time and energy completing each relevant task with accuracy and patience.


The Aquarius-born people are humanitarians to the core. They are a progressive and modern lot. Broad-minded and creative, they are the real truth-seekers. Being affectionate and friendly by nature, the Aquarius-born are very attractive and popular. However, their frankness can cut both ways. Within limits it can be a positive quality, but when it borders on the insensitive, it can really hurt people and alienate them from their friends and loved ones. Besides, as they do not open up emotionally too soon, not many people can relate to them. So, though they may have many friends, not many of them will be close friends. Being unpredictable is another negative trait that works against them. (source)

Interesting...the attractive and popular stuff doesn't really apply, but I am frank to the point of being insensitive, and I am slow to open up emotionally. Hmm.




I took the quiz and this is what I got:

Visual 1
Aural 4
Read/Write 10
Kinesthetic 1

You have a very strong read/write learning preference.

No surprise there!


I would have said left brain for sure. But I got this...



I donate blood often. That's the only reason I know this fact.


Scientist...that's pretty accurate.


Candor...not surprised about that.

You belong with the honest. You believe that honesty really is the best policy. You stay honest to yourself, your friends, and family. While you may tell some white lies here and there, you’re blunt and truthful. You’re trusted by all those around you, and your friends come to you all the time for some honest advice. You probably have a hit blog, and you love sharing your thoughts. Your direct way of speaking may scare away some people, but the friends you make stay by you for life.


The Baby

Stereotype: Free spirit, risk taker, charming.

This is tricky. Since I am the younger of twins, I never really fit the baby category. My sister likes to say that we're a family of first borns. My mother is a true first born, and my father is a first born male, so all three of us kids have pretty dominant personality. I am really only submissive when I'm around my sister.

Have you done this tag yet? Give it a try!

Kid Lit: Me Tall, You Small

I received this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

Me Tall, You Small by Lilli L'Arronge

Published on March 14, 2017.

Goodreads Summary:
Me Tall, You Small is a series of playful vignettes in the daily life of a pair of weasels, parent and child. Whether they are having a bubble bath, kicking a soccer ball, or eating ice cream together, simple paired phrases showcase their loving—and amusingly realistic—relationship. After a fall: You boo-boo. Me bandage. At bedtime: Me tired. You wired.

Creative use of language with wordplay, onomatopoeia, and rhyme infuses this book with humor and surprise. Together with the text, expressive line-drawn artwork drives home the funny differences between life as a parent and a child. This silly, touching read-aloud will have both parties celebrating their role, whether tall or small.

My Thoughts:
This book is really sweet. It's a fun and funny representation of the parent/child relationship. Some things are straightforward: "Me Tall, You Small." (The narrator is the parent.) But others are more subtle. After the child pounces on the parent, "You Whoop, Me Droop."

Later in the book it gets more deep. The parent cares for the child's wounds and is physically in pain from seeing his child hurt. And of course as any parent/child book ends, this one does with expressions of love and belonging.

The illustrations of an adult and a child squirrel (or are they chipmunks?) are perfect for the text. They capture the emotions and feeling of the words so perfectly.

My Rating: 4 Stars

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Great Reads from February 2017

I did a much better job of blogging regularly on Opinionated Book Lover this month, and I read a lot of great books, so I have 7 books to share with you today. These are books that received 4-stars or 5-stars from me and were reviewed between February 16, 2017 and March 15, 2017.

Click on the book title to open my full review from Opinionated Book Lover.

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favorite of the unmarried King, but her interests lie elsewhere.

Marissa Meyer did a great job of playing within Lewis Carroll's Wonderland. I really enjoyed the characters in this book, but the pacing was a little off for a stand alone novel. All of the action is in the second half of the book. I love re-tellings and prequels and this book was fairly well done.

4 Stars

Rules for 50/50 Chances by Kate McGovern

Seventeen-year-old Rose Levenson has a decision to make: Does she want to know how she’s going to die? Because when Rose turns eighteen, she can take the test that will tell her if she carries the genetic mutation for Huntington’s disease

Wow! So much plot in this book, and an unexpectedly interracial relationship. I had a lot of fun reading this book. Rose is so me!

4 Stars

We Are Still Tornadoes by Michael Kun & Susan Mullen

Scott and Cath have been best friends for most of their lives. Now they've graduated high school, and Cath is off to college while Scott stays at home trying to get his band off the ground. Neither of them realized that their first year after high school would be so hard.

This book is entirely letters between Cath and Scott in 1982. I loved it! They have some big things happening in their lives...and also some big feelings.

5 Stars (my first 5-star read of 2017)

Dumplin' by Julie Murphy

Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean has always been at home in her own skin...until she meets Bo. Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant.

Great girl power story! I enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would. It's kind of like Miss Congeniality set in high school.

4 Stars

The Girl Before by J. P. Delaney

A damaged young woman gets the unique opportunity to rent a one-of-a-kind house. When she falls in love with the sexy, enigmatic architect who designed it, she has no idea she is following in the footsteps of the girl who came before: the house’s former tenant.

This book had such good suspense. It unfolds in past and present and details are revealed at the perfect pace. I was totally creeped a good way.

4 Stars

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

“Are you happy with your life?” Those are the last words Jason hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious. Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits. Before a man Jason’s never met says, “Welcome back, my friend.”

This book lives up to the hype. It's classified as sci-fi, but it's really more of a suspense book that happens to have science in it. Fans of The Martian will love this book.

4 Stars

Our Revolution by Bernie Sanders

Sanders shares experiences from the campaign trail and outlines his ideas for continuing a political revolution to fight for a progressive economic, environmental, racial and social justice agenda that creates jobs, raises wages, protects the environment and provides health care for all.

This book is a great primer for anyone wanting to learn the inside truth about the issues facing our nation. Bernie gives his political history and outlines the Progressive platform and our way forward.

4 Stars

Today's post will be linked up with Modern Mrs. Darcy for her Quick Lit series.

What great books have you read lately?

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Juvenile Pile: Migthy Robot, Fly Guy, and the Cat

Our chapter book reading continues...

Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. The Naughty Nightcrawlers From Neptune (Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot #8) by Dav Pilkey

I got to hear the first chapter of this book and the last few chapters. I missed all of the fun about the fort that Ricky builds, but I got to see the epic battle in flip-o-rama, a standard in every book. Christopher enjoyed this book immensely, like all the rest. As a parent, I love the full page color illustrations, the interactive flip pages, and the limited words that build confidence in early readers.

4 Stars

Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. The Unpleasant Penguins from Pluto (Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot #9) by Dav Pilkey

We finally made it to the end of the series! Again, I only heard the second half of this book. I enjoyed the twist at the end - it's a little different from the formula of the other books. I don't have much else to say other than I'm sure we're going to return to this series over and over, until Christopher outgrows them. I kind of wish there was a boxset, so we could buy them all.

4 Stars

The Austere Academy (A Series of Unfortunate Events #5) by Lemony Snicket

Christopher loved the new series on Netflix, so I thought we'd try reading the rest of the books to tide us over until the next season starts. I got book 5 from the library, and he surprised me by being able to read the first chapter. Then I took over, but we only made it about 1/3 of the way through the book. There's just so much description and so few pictures. I think we'll try this series again in a couple of years.

No Rating (since we didn't finish)

Fly Guy Meets Fly Girl (Fly Guy #8) by Tedd Arnold

Christopher checked this book out from the library at school. Here are his thoughts:

"I like this book because he meets a girl, and they're exactly the same. They both eat gross things (like a dead worm - yuck! - and squashed tomatoes)."

It was a decent early chapter book. The illustrations were funny, and the text was simple. It just didn't stand out anything special to me.

3 Stars

The Cat in the Hat the Movie!: Cooking with the Cat (Step into Reading, Step 1) by Bonnie Worth

Another school library pick for Christopher, this book was definitely too easy for him. The words are very basic - a true level 1 book, which I appreciated. But that resulted in some rather odd text. Some of it was about cooking, but a lot of it was pretty bizarre. I guess it was fitting of The Cat in the Hat, but certainly not a Dr. Seuss classic.

2 Stars (from Christopher)

What has your family been reading this week?

Friday, March 3, 2017

Review: Whole30 Cookbook

Goodreads Summary:
Still think the Whole30 is a diet? Not with recipes like these.

The groundbreaking Whole30 program has helped countless people transform their lives by bringing them better sleep, more energy, fewer cravings, weight loss, and new healthy habits that last a lifetime. In this cookbook, best-selling author and Whole30 co-creator Melissa Hartwig delivers over 150 all-new recipes to help readers prepare delicious, healthy meals during their Whole30 and beyond.

More than 150 recipes for main dishes, sides, dressings, and sauces
Tips to simplify, plan, and prepare meals to save time and money
Variations to turn one easy dish into two or three meals

Whether you’ve done the Whole30 once or five times—or just want to make a variety of satisfying, nourishing meals—this book will inspire you to change your life in 30 days with the Whole30 program.

My Thoughts:
Since doing an official Whole30 in September, I have been trying to cook Whole30 whenever possible. When I heard this cookbook was coming out, I knew I had to have it. I got Jim to buy it for me for Christmas. Since then I have made many recipes from this cookbook, and I have loved them all. I don't want to give an official star rating on this book, but if you're looking for a healthy way of eating, I highly recommend Whole30. And being prepared with good recipes makes that program possible. These recipes are flavorful and relatively simple. I am a very picky eater, and I have been able to find many recipes that appeal to me within this book. I need to let Jim go through it because I do tend to pick out similar recipes, and I'm sure he'd select some more adventurous ones for me. I am so happy we got this cookbook, and there have been several recipes that I've made multiple times already in the last two months. 

Brussel Sprouts that were so tasty I almost ate them all in one sitting

Sweet potato chili - good but not amazing

Mushrooms and greens, our new go-to side for steaks

Pork chops with apples and greens - this whole meal was one recipe and I loved it!

Sausage kale soup - rather bland, but I still didn't mind eating it all week 
(I used pre-made sausage, so I'll add spices to the soup next time)

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Juvenile Pile: All Chapter Books All the Time

Ok, so I know you're not supposed to stop reading picture books just because your child can read chapter books, but we have read almost no picture books lately. And the chapter books we're reading have pictures, so that sort of counts, right? Christopher's reading has really taken off. He surprised me by being able to read an entire Captain Underpants book, which he wasn't able to read this past summer when we bought it from a yard sale.

Plus his teacher required reading time has gone up to 20 minutes per night, so chapter books are really working well for us. With picture books he'd have to read so many to reach the 20 minute mark, and with chapter books sometimes he gets so into the story that he keeps going for more than 20 minutes, which of course I don't mind one bit.

Here's what we've been enjoying lately...

Where Are You Going, Baby Lincoln? (Tales from Deckawoo Drive #3) by Kate DiCamillo

I had this book on my Kids TBR list for a while. I don't remember where I heard about it. Christopher started reading this to me, but it wasn't holding his attention, so I ended up reading the rest to him over several nights. It's a very strange story, and it's actually the third book in a series, which I didn't realize. Baby Lincoln has always been bossed around by her older sister, even though they're very old. She strikes out on her own to have an adventure. It's full of quirky characters and surprisingly not much plot. We didn't really care for it.

2 Stars

Captain Underpants and the Perilous Plot of Professor Poopypants (Captain Underpants #4) by Dav Pikey

I couldn't remember the details of Captain Underpants origin, so thankfully there's a little recap comic at the beginning of the book. Christopher read this whole book to me over several nights. There was more chapter style writing than comic books - which didn't align with my memories of this series. I enjoyed the characters and the crazy plot. He loved it and quickly started book 5 with Jim, although I'm not sure he finished it.

4 Stars

Dog Man Unleashed (Dog Man #2) by Dav Pilkey

I ordered this book from Amazon, and I think I may have been even more excited to receive it than Christopher was. We loved the first Dog Man book. Christopher read this book in three sittings - although he re-read what he'd read with Jim with me, so I could hear the whole book. He actually read this book for 50 minutes straight. The plot wasn't as good as the first book. Dog Man was more dog-like in this book, which was unexpected. But the comic style writing was still tons of fun.

4 Stars

Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Stupid Stinkbugs from Saturn (Ricky Ricotta #6) by Dav Pilkey

We love Ricky Ricotta and his Mighty Robot. Christopher read this whole book in a couple of nights. There was a lot of alliteration in this book, and it was a fun opportunity to teach him that word. These books are pretty formulaic, but they're some much fun. Earth is in danger from Stinkbugs from Saturn in this book, but of course good triumphs over evil.

4 Stars
Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Uranium Unicorns from Uranus (Ricky Ricotta #7) by Dav Pilkey

Christopher read this book in one sitting at one of our recent reading parties. Somehow they're morphed into him reading to me, but it's OK (for now at least). I enjoy listening to him read. This book had a funny Trojan horse like decoy plot. It was absurd but fun as usual. I love the mix of chapters with full picture pages, comics, and flip-o-rama fighting in these books. It breaks it up for young readers, and it makes the books go fairly quickly.

4 Stars

What have your kids been reading lately?