From the monthly archives:

January 2011

January 2011 Book List

by Julie Kohl on January 30, 2011

It has been a LONG time since I did a book review list!  I have read a ton of books since the last list but I guess I just got a little tired of doing it for a  while.  I have 6 books to share for this month.

First, let me tell you about my Kindle!  I got an Amazon Kindle e-Reader for Christmas from my husband and I love it!  It is easy to hold, easy to read and I never have to be without a book.  When I finish one, I can download another and don’t have to make a trip out to the store. (Although I still LOVE to look at bookstores. I just bring my Kindle along and add the books I find to my wish-list to download later.  Plus they are always cheaper on the Kindle than they are in the store!)

There are a lot of e-Readers out there with the two most popular being the Amazon Kindle and and The Barnes and Noble COLOR Nook.  I researched both and decided that for me the Kindle was the best option.  The Color Nook was at first glance pretty cool. It is a lot like a giant iPhone.  It is touch screen, has “apps”, and is in color which means the book covers and any pictures in the books are in color.  There were some things I really did like about the Nook.  First, was the “Library” screen where all your books are on virtual shelves and you pick the book of the shelf that you wish to read. 

 There were some major drawbacks to the Nook.  First the Color Nook was HEAVY!  The Nook weighs 15.8 ounces! Just shy of a pound where as the Kindle only weighs 8.7.  Even with a lighted cover for my Kindle it still weighs less than the Nook without a cover.  Second was the price.  The Nook Color is currently $249.  My Kindle was only $139 and even after I added in a lighted leather cover for my Kindle and a few book purchases it was still cheaper than the Nook.  But the biggest draw back to me was the back-lit LCD screen of the Nook.  Sure it looks pretty but I look at a computer screen or a smart phone all day.  I read books to relax and I do not think of a bright LCD screen as relaxing.  My eyes get very tired looking at a computer screen but I have never experienced that tired eye feeling from the screen of my Kindle. 

I think the Nook has some GREAT features but in effort to be the “First” to offer a color e-Reader I think they jumped the gun a little. I applaud Amazon for making the decisicion to research color options more and to develop e-ink technology that is up to Amazons high standards before putting an inferior product on the market.  I love the Kindle and it was the right choice for me.

Kindle Wireless Reading Device, Wi-Fi, Graphite, 6" Display with New E Ink Pearl Technology

You can click the picture to purchase you very own Kindle e-Reader for only $139.00!






Sweetie by Kathryn Magendie  ****


This book is about Friendship and the lengths to which friends will go for each other.  Two girls who are labeled as social outcasts come together and become close friends until tragedy and heartbreak touch the lives of both girls and their friendship is tested.  This book was well written and was hard to put down. It was happy and sad, made me laugh and made me cry. I would give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Click here to purchase the book in paper back for $14.50.

Click here to purchase the Kindle e-book for $9.99.



Fireflies in December by Jennifer Erin Valent *****

Fireflies in December

Fireflies in December takes place in the 1930 South where the rights of black people are still being tested and challenged.  A young white girls family decides to adopt the black daughter of a couple that worked on the families farm after they are killed in a tragic accident.  The book tells the story of two unlikely paired girls who grow up as sister. It chronicles the good times and the bad times and the heartache and joy both girls must face as they grow up in a community which refuses to understand or accept their relationship as sisters and a family.

Click hereto purchase Fireflies in December in pape back for $10.41.

Click here to purchase Fireflies in December e-book for $8.79.



Cottonwood Whispers

Jennifer Erin Valent  has also written two sequels to this book.  Both were equally as good as Fireflies in December.

Click here to purchase Cottonwood Whispers in paperback for $10.59.

   Click here to purchase Cottonwood Whispers for Kindle for $8.79.




Catching Moondrops

  Click here to purchase Catching Moondrops in paperback for $10.13.

  Click here to purchase Catching Moondrops for Kindle for $8.59.





The Justice Game by Randy Singer ****

The Justice Game

  Randy Singer is a real-life attorney turned author so his writing is authentic and well detailed.  This book was based on a real trial that looks at both sides of the never-ending gun rights battle.  The book was exciting and thrilling and was hard to put down. By reading the Author’s Note at the beginning of the book I learned that while writing this book he presented the facts of the case to his readers and allowed his readers to cast the verdict in the book.  I thought this was a really neat and interesting concept.  There are a lot of characters in this book, some with slightly similar names, so you do have to pay close attention to the character introductions. 

Click here to purchase the Justice Game in paperback for $11.41.

Click here to purchase the Justice Game for Kindle for $9.39.

The Perfect Women by James Andrus ***

The Perfect Woman

 The Perfect Women was the only book I read in January that I didn’t enjoy 100%.  It was a well written book and the story line was interesting but it was also very creepy and scary.  I don’t usually like things that scare me.  I found that I was unable to read this book close to bedtime because I would have nightmares about it.  In the book a Detective John Stallings discovers a body while searching for a runaway teen.  After the body is discovered the police begin to realize they have a serial killer on the loose.  The story is told from the perspective of the detectives, the girls involved and the serial killer. It gets very creepy and gruesome at times.

Click here to purchase The Perfect Women in paperback for $6.99.

Click here to purchase The Perfect Women for Kindle for $4.39.

You can view many of the books I have read in the past by clicking over to my Amazon aStore.  Thanks and happy reading!


Meal Plan Monday

by Julie Kohl on January 24, 2011

Last week I mentioned that I would be making a Pork and Chicken Tortilla Casserole.  This was a new recipe for us and I can not say enough good things about it! It was SOOOOO YUMMY! And it was so easy.  I used up some leftover pork from pork tenderloin we had had earlier in the week but I also cooked up one chicken breast because it just wasn’t quite enough pork.  The only change I would recommend from the published recipe is to leave out the 2 cups of chicken broth.  It seems that canned cream soups are much “runnier” than they were a few years ago and that may account for the difference or perhaps I just prefer a “drier” casserole.  We enjoyed this with some refried beans and fresh salsa.  I also topped my serving of casserole with a little sour cream and some cilantro.  The leftovers were also very good!

This week I start teaching art for the after-school program on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Since I wont get home from work until after 5:30 you may notice that Tuesday and Thursday dinner options are either something my husband can get started or something that is very simple and quick to make.

Mon – Ribeyes, Baked Potato, Creamed Spinach and Salad
Tues – TaterTot Casserole (From the freezer) and peas
Wed – Homemade Clam Chowder and Lobster Rolls
Thur – Hot Dogs and Mac&Cheese, Sauerkraut
Fri – chicken strips, loaded roasted potatoes, broccoli
Sat – ??? Richie may be going to a chess tournament in LR so this day is undecided.
Sun – Stuffed Chicken Parmesan, Salad,  fresh bread


Getting the most for your money

January 17, 2011

There are a lot of great websites and blogs out there that aim to help you to save money on groceries and other household items.  Many of these sites offer some really great advice and helpful hints but many of these sites seem to have two major drawbacks.  First many of the sites assume that […]

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Snow Day

January 11, 2011

Snow days are great in the first few weeks of February when its been over a month since we’ve had a long weekend and will be over a month before spring break.  But I honestly hate having snow days right after we’ve just returned from Christmas vacation, especially when that means that we will now have […]

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Meal Plan Monday

January 10, 2011

It is cold and snowy today.  Richie and I are home with a snow day.  We’ve been out playing in the snow and are now warming up with a mug of hot chocolate.  I have formulated a menu plan but depending on the weather it could possibly change if we don’t make it to Searcy […]

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Not On My Worst Enemy

January 9, 2011

I was SICK this week.  It was the worst sickness I experienced in my adult memory.  It hit me like a ton of bricks at about 10 am on Wednesday – right in the middle of work.  I made it home, barely, and spent the next 8 hours camped in front of the toilet.  I […]

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Meal Plan Monday

January 3, 2011

Richie and I have been working hard to decrease the amount of money we spend on groceries each month.  Over the summer we looked at our spending and realized a TON of our money was going to Walmart each month and we weren’t quite sure what exactly we were spending it on.  Due to the […]

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