I Like to Write:: Bath Bombs

31 December 2018

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My children are obsessed. They are in love with bath bombs, and I am kinda still on the fence. I am so behind on the times anymore. Sometimes I am still in 1995. They're okay. They made my bath smell good and fizz a little. My kids though get the biggest kick out of the bubbling and water changing.
So I tried this lavender, I don't know what I was expecting if anything but it did relax me. I love lavender was excited to see this smell. I personally don't think I will buy anymore but I think my kids will somehow get them out of me. For the moment we have plenty to get us through.
This is such a good market though. We have bath bombs for seasons, different reasoning behind the smell, and they even have kits to make your own. No clue if I will ever get on board with this completely, I love my bubbles more, but as long as the kids are happy who am I to ruin it. 



I Like to Write:: Might be the best thing for me

30 December 2018

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Writing my way through furlough? Maybe? Who knows what will come of all of this. What I do know is that I have been thinking budget. I have been thinking saving. I have been analyzing what will be coming in and how it needs to go out. We have been saying for months that we were going to try out the Walmart Pick Up Grocery app. We haven't. We have sat on it. We have continued to go to Martin's or Walmart ourselves with lists and kids in toe.
This creates nothing but impulse buying, at least with me. I can see something that I might never have wanted but its there in front of me and I want it. The kids see candy and goodies and ask and are told sure why not? So with money being at the forefront of my head, I got on the app and began adding items.
With a code from my wonderful sister for $10 off of our first order, we placed the order. It was a success and easy. Thank goodness this is a thing now. We saved so much more than we would have going in and looking at all the yummies.
We didn't though purchase fruit or meat. My hubby isn't too sure of that just yet, but we have the basics. The kids lunches will be good to go for school this upcoming week. 



Dollar Tree might be my best friend by the end of this also. Everything a dollar and I can keep up with the simple things we need for the house. I am list making. I am coupon clipping. I am looking at all options to make sure that I am getting the most out of the dollar.


I Like to Write:: For Hire??

28 December 2018

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Is it too early to panic? This news is stressful. I should stay away. I feel like I need a sign that states "For Hire but only until the government reopens"....will anyone do that? I am computing bills and what will be coming in and man it is becoming stressful. Making sure that my family is taken care of while trying not to give the impression that we need to worry. I don't want my kids to worry. So for now I am putting on a smiling face and saying how much I am enjoying my 'vacation'.
So I am budgeting like crazy, thankfully this is what I wanted to do in 2019 anyways. I am making sure our checks will go far. Last time was 16 days and we weren't prepared. This time I can say we have been saving just for this, however I believe that it may be closed longer than 16 days which means I will miss a paycheck. Last time I was due a check and it came just as normal.
Thankfully the family has had lots of time together, until they all go back to work and school and I will be left at home. I am slowly reorganizing drawers and such, I think this will get progressively worse once I am left alone. I am thinking of painting, we have lots of paint but havent had the time to wipe all the walls down, sand them, and paint. I have plenty now. 
So here's to down time and maybe a little panic. The grown up in me will not allow me to enjoy this time as much as I want to. 


I Like to Write:: After Christmas Blues

26 December 2018

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Not that I am having a lot of blues, but sometimes it's just like wow it's over already. As I sat here today and helped my oldest sew with her new kit and my youngest put a bracelet together, I just kept thinking all the magic of the season is over. Now it's time to clean up the clutter, check the bank account, start saving all over again for next year.
There is so much done in November and December and then all of a sudden, you sit and you look and there is nothing to be done. I have no shopping to complete, no sales to check out, and I am not thinking of my 'list'. It's all done. How can that be?
Now we are looking forward, 2019 is upon us. What changes will be? What exciting trips will we take? How will the school year go? Will the government ever reopen?
Now however I am thinking, how will I rearrange our living room when we put all the decorations away? I am looking at completely redoing my bill budget system. I am hoping to go through my craft area and clean up. I have let so much go because of the shopping and darkness. I am so excited for new beginnings. The new year always comes with so much newness.
For those that do get the After Christmas Blues, I hope that you have family and friends that make you see that there is light at the end of the tunnel. That the sun will shine. That just because the magical season is over doesn't mean that your magic has to leave. I tend to have a little of this and I try my hardest to stay out of the funk. I try to look forward instead of backwards.
So here's to 2019, a year of many changes or maybe a year with a few changes or maybe a year with no changes. I may not achieve anything I want, but as long as I have my family and health I will be happy.


I Like To Write:: Organizing Myself

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Seriously every year I have this dilemma, I want to be organized and I plan to be organized, yet I don't follow through. This year I have decided that enough is enough. Talk is cheap. I need to get our paperwork under control and my filing needs to get better. It's not like I don't have the time. I just don't want to do it. I have been searching pinterest for a few days, trying to find the best that I think would work for me. I think my biggest set back has been I haven't found a system that I like or works best.I am hoping that by looking at the hundreds shown on pinterest that I can find one that sets well for this family. We don't have much paperwork but what we have I would like to keep straight. 




I have a small filing cabinet in the bedroom for monthly items and the big one for yearly items. I need to start using these more. I just pile stuff on top of my printer then a couple times of the year I do a big clean. It takes forever going through the paperwork and deciding what we need to keep and which file it needs to stay in. First I think I need to transform my bedroom, which I plan on doing during this break. I need to clean up and get all the end of the year things filed away and thrown away and begin new. 

Thanks to others ideas, there are different ways that I never thought of. Simple things that others are doing that would help me keep things straight. Just as simple at magazine holders for a clutter of paperwork until you can get it instead of it all sitting on the kitchen table or on our counter. 


I recently started a binder for 2019. A binder that can be taken with me in my Cindy Tote from 31 and carried to work, home, or on vacation to keep our spending recorded. I have printed out the sheets I believe will help us and continue to help us save. I am hoping this binder will keep me organized, I have had months of forgetting a bill or thinking I have paid something because the bill isn't with me when it's still in my bill holder. But like before I have been really excited and started but by March I am back to old habits. 



Here's to 2019. Maybe it will hold a little better and be more organized. Maybe I will be able to keep it all together. Maybe it will all fall apart, but I am starting new and fresh. I love the beginning of the year with all the goals and habits to begin. I hope that it continues longer than the cold weather is around. 



I Like To Write:: Christmas Eve

24 December 2018

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This is our 2nd Christmas eve in 10 years that we haven't had our firefighter. The first time our oldest was only 3 months old, easy, we really didn't have gifts and preparation to be done. This time we have a 9 year old and a 7 year old. Hate to say it but I am freaking out a little about making sure it's all done. Funny though because for the past several years, I do most of it all on my own anyways, my husband is great back up, but I like to make sure it's all done a certain way. For years, he has been my look out during the gift wrapping portion of Christmas Even while watching his favorite movie, The Christmas Story. This year I took a day to wrap and hide so tonight all I need to do is grab and place under the tree. 


We are going to visit and celebrate then continue our evening. I love that my kids adjust well. They are used to his schedule and the fact that he can't always be there but I will say he has us spoiled because more than likely he is there. He has almost always found ways to be at big events. He is one of the most involved daddys I have seen.  We certainly got lucky with our little family. So our Christmas isn't normal but we make it work. So tomorrow we will be waiting patiently for him to get off and home.

Release with Review:: Hoops Holiday by Kennedy Ryan

23 December 2018

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HOOPS Holiday, a Christmas bundle featuring all-new, never-before-published content by Kennedy Ryan, is available now!

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MacKenzie Decker was a question Avery never got to ask, much less answer.
They met when she was a young reporter fueled by ambition, and the ink on Deck's first NBA contract was barely dry. Years later, they've climbed so high and lost so much, but one thing hasn't changed. The attraction that simmered between them in a locker room before is still there. With success like theirs, everything has been possible . . .
except them.
But that was then.
The only question is...what about now?
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Grab your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!
Add HOOPS Holiday to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2EU5RVg
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** Hoops Holiday consists of FULL-COURT PRESS, a HOOPS novella originally published in the TEAM PLAYER Anthology. It has been expanded with all-new, never before published content & epilogue.
It also includes Christmas-themed bonus material for LONG SHOT (Iris & August) and BLOCK SHOT (Banner & Jared).
*All HOOPS Stories are standalone, and can be enjoyed individually or in order.
Excerpt:
Soft and fresh like petals. I’m a jock. Not a dumb one, but a jock nonetheless. I don’t describe a woman’s lips as soft and fresh or compare a kiss to flowers. Besides the few years I was married to Tara, if it opened its legs and said yes or please, I fucked it. I always rushed it. A man’s got needs, but I got in and I got out. This woman, this kiss, I have to savor. I’d be a fool not to. It’s a first kiss. I understand the difference now between the first time you kiss someone, and a first kiss. This is a discovery of tongues and lips and heat. An introduction of our souls, if that doesn’t sound too pussy-ish. It’s how I feel, though. Like as our lips brush back and forth, as our tongues tangle, as I taste her, mouthful by delicious mouthful, I’m learning her secrets. I’m telling her mine. My hand slides from the door to flatten into the warmth of her back through the silk blouse, bringing her incrementally closer. The air shifts and takes the shape of lust; assumes the form of want. The sound of her moaning, the slight lift and fall of her breasts against my chest, testifies that she feels it, too. The elevator dings, and our bodies go still even as we keep exchanging breaths and heartbeats through our clothes; even though my mouth is still poised above hers. I have her against the door, and every curve of her body is impressing itself on me, making sure I’ll never forget how right we fit together. I look over my shoulder toward the elevator. The doors open, but no one gets off. That interruption was enough to bring her back to her senses, though. God knows I can’t find mine. “Um . . . you should go,” she whispers, a muscle rippling along the smooth line of her jaw. I bend to breathe over her mouth, so she can taste our kisses lingering on my lips. “Or you could invite me in.” Her scent and the warmth of her body take my senses hostage. I smell her and want to kiss her again so badly it stings my taste buds. Her eyes already regret the last few moments I thought were so perfect. I can’t calm my emotions or my body that quickly. “You don’t want to come in, Deck.” “I assure you I do.” A short laugh, deceptively light, breezes past her lips. She glances down to the floor and shakes her head. “I’d make the worst one-night stand ever,” she says. “One-night stand?” I take her chin in hand and lift, forcing her to look at me. “I’ve waited a long time for this path to be clear. No conflict of interest. No other people standing in our way. I don’t know exactly what I want, Avery, but it’s damn sure more than one night.”
Catch up on the other HOOPS novels:
Add HOOPS Holiday to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2EU5RVg
ENTER THE RELEASE GIVEAWAY!
ANY Signed HOOPS Novel signed paperback!
Want more from Kennedy? Love audiobooks?
Listen to her audio-first story SWIPE for FREE on the Read Me Romance podcast!

Review:I loved Deck and Avery's story. So many times through this story I didn't think it was going to work out, Kennedy definitely kept me on my toes during this. They have amazing chemistry and the story is just amazing. 

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Swipe is available NOW exclusively on Read Me Romance!
Listen here:
On May 2nd, an EXPANDED e-book version of SWIPE will be released!
Pre-Order on Apple Books, Kobo & B&N:
Sign up here to be notified as soon as it’s live on Amazon:
Coming March 2019!
Add HOOK SHOT, Hoops 3, to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/KeLoGoodreads
About Kennedy
A Top 30 Amazon Bestseller, Kennedy Ryan writes about women from all walks of life, empowering them and placing them firmly at the center of each story and in charge of their own destinies. Her heroes respect, cherish and lose their minds for the women who capture their hearts. She is a wife to her lifetime lover and mother to an extraordinary son. She has always leveraged her journalism background to write for charity and non-profit organizations, but enjoys writing to raise Autism awareness most. A contributor for Modern Mom Magazine and Frolic, Kennedy’s writings have appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul, USA Today and many others. The founder and executive director of a foundation serving Atlanta Autism families, she has appeared on Headline News, Montel Williams, NPR and other media outlets as an advocate for families living with autism.

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Release with Review:: Faith by Andi Jaxon and AJ Alexander

13 December 2018

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Title: Faith
Series: SEAL'ed #5
Author: Andi Jaxon and AJ Alexander
Genre: Contemporary/Military Romance
Release Date: December 12, 2018
Justin
I originally joined the Navy as an escape, to become more than a country farm boy. Being a Navy SEAL turned me into a man, but one without a life outside the military. I thought that was all I needed. Until everyone around began to find their Happily Ever Afters’. I realized my life was missing love, something I've been longing for. All it took was one simple letter from home to remind me that everything I ever needed was right there waiting for me.
Becca
Losing the love of your life before he was able to meet his child was the hardest thing I’d ever gone through. I tried to move on with my life, and find a new sense of normalcy with my daughter and myself. One simple holiday act of kindness has set my carefully choreographed life into a tailspin. I could never have guessed writing a simple letter to a deployed sailor would bring us to a place we can finally call ‘Home’ again.
Can these two trust in the things they can not see to find true happiness?
JUSTIN It’s just another day over here, sitting and waiting for something interesting to happen. It has been about a month since we got here, and I still haven’t heard anything from the pen pal services I signed up for. I’m guess that I must be a little to boring for someone to write a letter too. No matter keeping these knuckle heads in line and out of trouble is a full-time job when we are on mission. Just as I am about to hop in my bunk, I head the call for mail sound from the chow hall. “Hey LT, aren’t you coming?” Cowboy asks as he hops of his bunk and heads in that direction “What’s the point? There ain’t nothing in there for me, besides there the makings of a sandstorm brewing out there. I don’t want to be caught in that.” I grumble as I lay back, placing my hands behind my head. “Aww no lady friends pinning after you old man? More than enough of me to go around I guess.” Hard-on responds as he claps Logan on the back before heading out the bunkhouse. “Maybe I need to call the girls and let them know about all the ladies writing you letters?” I hope off my bunk and follow them, it wouldn’t hurt just to see if maybe I got lucky and someone sent me something. There is always hope, right? 
“Fuck you LT! You know I am a one woman, I mean two-woman kind of man.” Hard-On shouts over his shoulder. However, the panicked look on his face is priceless! I have never seen a man more in love with anyone that Charlie is with Avery and Amber. Who would have thought that it would take two women to tame that one. Once we enter the Chow Hall, I notice Brass and head his way. It was a close call on whether he would be making this mission or not, with his motorcycle accident and all. I think in part of his new-found back bone and that stubborn as hell woman of his he was pronounced fit for duty just in time. “Hey Brass, waiting on something from that lady of yours?” I ask, taking the seat next to him. Don’t you mean his Mama?” Hard-On plops down on the other side of him, barely missing the right hook Brass throws his way. “Layla always sends me something, never know what it is going to be. So, I’m here impatiently waiting just like the rest of you assholes” He grows. I guess Hard-on is till giving him a hard time about his relationship with his girl. I don’t know much about what’s going but I do know it’s not the norm. As long as it isn’t illegal, he can do whatever the hell he wants. Brass sudden becomes fixated on the door, “Hey Newb, where’s my shit?” The newest member of our team, Brady, is headed our way. Now that Brass has finally lost the title of Newb he has taken to giving of Brady here a hard time. I can’t say that I blame him, it is a rite of passage in the SEALs. Although it took him longer than most, he is a better SEAL and man for it. “What shit are you talking about, Brass?” Newb responds “My laundry you ass. Ain’t nobody got time to be doing their own laundry. That’s what we have you for.” “Brass, last time I checked you had a Mama for that shit. I ain’t your Mama. Do your own fucking laundry.” Newb says before turning to head out. Guess seeing if he had any mail wasn’t that important. “Damn! Now I know why you asses gave me such a hard time. That shit feels good as fuck!” Brass says, and we all begin to chuckle. Suddenly I feel a tap on my shoulder, turning to see who it is. “Sorry to bother your sir, but there is a letter here for you.” I don’t even register who is speaking before I take the letter and rip it open. The pages smell like a warm spring day and are covered with elegant handwriting that can only come from a woman,
Dear Lieutenant McMillon, With the holidays approaching much faster than I would like, I wanted to write you a letter to thank you for volunteering to defend our country. Military service is often a thankless job; under paid and over worked. Deployed for months at a time, taken away from friends, family, and loved ones. I am a CNA at one of the local hospitals and all of us on my shift decided to volunteer to bring happiness to someone else’s life. I am a Marine Corp widow, my late husband always said that mail call the highlight of everyone’s day. Just knowing that someone was thinking about them on the other side of the world made things a little better. I’ve never been overseas or even on an airplane. I can’t imagine what it’s like to live in a different country for months at a time, especially some place as dangerous as an active war zone. I hope you’re as safe as you can be. The only thing I’ve done is move from Texas to California. Do you have family or loved ones that write to you or is that why you joined this program? Do you enjoy being in the Navy? I have a little girl who is three going on thirteen. I can’t imagine being away from her for months at a time. I barley like going to work every day, time is precious, and we must spend every minute as if it is our last. I’m not sure what to say except thank you. Thank you for keeping me safe. Thank you for everything that you do, all the things that people not in the military don’t know you do. Sincerely, Becca  I can’t help but smile. Just this simple letter had changed my outlooking on the day. I’m going to write her back, just to say thank you of course. I’m not expecting anything to come of this, but just knowing that Becca took the time to write me is enough. Maybe she will want to correspond further after this? This definitely gives me something to look forward too, which is a godsend around here.

Review:
Oh my this one tugged my heart and made me feel everything. I really enjoyed the flow of this story and watching the heart of a man grow. 
Raised all over the country, I'm a interesting mix of East Coast meets West Coast with a little bit of Southern thrown in, just for good measure. I married a sexy man in uniform who let me spawn and am now raising a mutinous army of hell raisers that I created myself, all while he defends our country. I drink too much coffee until it's late enough to drink too much wine and am sexually frustrated for your freedom. If you see me online, I'm probably sitting in a closet, hiding from my kids. 

Want to know more about Andi Jaxon? Follow her on social media or subscribe to her mailing list to receive the latest information on new releases, sales, and more!

AJ Alexander is a wanna be psychologist, writer, and author of the recently completed, SEAL’ed Series. AJ’s passion is writing angst filled, happily ever afters that have to be earned by her characters. Women with no backbone need not apply. AJ uses sarcasm and an unlimited supply of song lyrics to bring her romance novels to life.
AJ lives in the angst capital of the world, Seattle Washington with her own personal knight in shining armour and her two beautiful girls.
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