From the monthly archives:

June 2012

My goal is to read 52 books in 2012.  Good or bad, as I read, I will be reviewing the books here.  Be sure to leave a comment and tell me about your favorite books!

Lost in Shangri-la  by Mitchell Zuckoff

(Book overview found on

“A lost world, man-eating tribesmen, lush and impenetrable jungles, stranded American fliers (one of them “a dame with great gams,” for heaven’s sake), a startling rescue mission. . . . This is a true story made in heaven for a writer as talented as Mitchell Zuckoff. Whew–what an utterly compelling and deeply satisfying read ” –Simon Winchester, author of “Atlantic” “.

Award-winning former “Boston Globe” reporter Mitchell Zuckoff unleashes the exhilarating, untold story of an extraordinary World War II rescue mission, where a plane crash in the South Pacific plunged a trio of U.S. military personnel into a land that time forgot. Fans of Hampton Sides’ “Ghost Soldiers,” Marcus Luttrell’s “Lone Survivor,” and David Grann’s “The Lost City of Z “will be captivated by Zuckoff’s masterfully recounted, all-true story of danger, daring, determination, and discovery in jungle-clad New Guinea during the final days of WWII.

My Thoughts…

Lost in Shangri-laLost in Shangri-la by Mitchell Zuckoff

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you enjoy books about historical events then you will love this book. This is an amazing and TRUE story written about a plane that goes down with 24 servicemen and WAC’s in 1945 in the mountainous jungle of Dutch New Guinea. Because 1945 technology limits the ability for rescue troops to navigate the high mountain terrain to reach the three survivors. The three survivors are left, injured and hungry, to navigate the terrain, the jungle and the natives in this unexplored territory for nearly seven weeks before they are rescued.

What was so amazing to me about this book was the amount of thorough research that the author Mitchell Zuckoff did in order to write this story so accurately. I also loved how he wove each new character into the story!

I gave the book four stars because while the crash and the rescue were so expertly covered I was really interested to learn more about how life went on for the three survivors and their rescuers after the fact. While there lives were covered briefly in an epilogue I really wanted to know more. The story built very dramatically and they were rescued in a dramatic way and then it was over. I’d like to think there was more to the story than just that. This story doesn’t really end on June 28, 1945.

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Jersey Summer {Arts and Crafts}

by Julie Kohl on June 27, 2012

I have long had an infatuation with Jersey cows.  Not only are they beautiful creatures they are sweet and produce amazing milk.  I have yet to take the plunge but SOMEDAY I will own a Jersey cow which I will raise for its milk.

I have been wanting to paint a Jersey for a very long time.  I have hesitated because I have not always been as confident in my ability to draw animals and people as I am now.  When I studied art in college I focused mainly on landscapes, buildings and still life and avoided drawing people and animals at all costs.

As an art teacher I find that most of my students want tips on how to draw people and animals.  The one area where I really felt I couldn’t help them as best as I should be able to.  During the 2011-2012 school year one of my goals was to become more confident in this area.

In the fall, I took an online class through Dirty Footprints Studio called BIG.  It is part of the Fearless® Painting Series.  The class was AMAZING but also very emotional for me and helped me to work through some feelings I have kept bottled up for a long time.  I took this time to focus on my painting of people in a more freeing and uncontrolled manner.  Being free helped me to tone up my skill.

In January I began an online class called Life Book through Willowing.  This year long class is an exploration of art meant to honor and celebrate YOU.  The class is comprised of weekly projects many which focus on self-portraits.  Additionally because of the nature of the class I have also had the opportunity to really practice a lot of animal drawing as well. (By the way – Willowings art classes are amazing and are very beginner friendly!  See that little icon over in the side bar? ——————————> Over there! If you happen to sign up for one of her classes please do so by clicking this button.  I am an affiliate and will get a few pennies if you sign up through my site.  PLUS, enter the code MOONBEAM77 to get 10% off of your first class! And, thanks!)

Today I decided to tackle my fear head on and paint a picture, on canvas, of that beautiful Jersey cow I have wanted to paint for so long!



Flying Fish – Little Rock, AR {In the Kitchen – Restaurant Review}

June 25, 2012

A few months ago Richie and I discovered a really great restaurant in Little Rock called Flying Fish.  They also have locations in Bentonville, AR, Memphis, TN and several in Texas. On any given day the lunch line at the Little Rock location is out the door and their large seating area is typically full. […]

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Herbed Goat Cheese Omelette {In the Kitchen}

June 23, 2012

Last week I met with my good friends Stephanie and Beth at the Skillet Restaurant at the Ozark Folk Center for a working lunch to plan our upcoming Arkansas Women Bloggers retreat.  The park is home to Tina Marie Wilcox who is an AMAZING herbalist. She is the head gardener and herbalist in the park […]

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Emerald Coast {Drink of the Week}

June 21, 2012

I debuted my {Drink of the Week} feature last week with my Coconut Watermelon Margarita that was really delicious. This week I am bringing you a coffee inspired drink I have named the Emerald Coast. I’ll explain why I have named it the Emerald Coast a little further down but here is a sneak peek […]

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Peak by Roland Smith {52 Books in a Year}

June 19, 2012

My goal is to read 52 books in 2012.  Good or bad, as I read, I will be reviewing the books here.  Be sure to leave a comment and tell me about your favorite books! Peak by Roland Smith (Book overview found on After Peak Marcello is arrested for scaling a New York City skyscraper, he’s […]

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Visiting Virginia

June 18, 2012

A few weeks ago we took some time to go visit my mom and dad in Virginia. They own a Bed & Breakfast called the Orchard House. They live right near the Blue Ridge Parkway so the area is totally beautiful.  We ate at a local brewery, relaxed in the backyard, played in the pool and […]

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Crystal Bridges Museum of America Art

June 16, 2012

Sometimes (actually a lot of times) I think the rest of the country underestimates how cool Arkansas can be.  Sure we have a decent population of country boys and girls and our fair share of “hill people” but we are not as backwards as the rest of the world thinks.  In fact, Arkansas boasts a […]

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Coconut Watermelon Margarita {Drink of the Week}

June 15, 2012

One of my favorite parts of summer and summer vacation is TROPICAL DRINKS!  I love a good frozen drink with pineapple, coconut, strawberry, lime, and all the flavors of summer.  To me no dessert is better in the summer than an icy cold flavored beverage.  I love to get out my blender and mix up […]

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The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins {52 Books in a Year}

June 14, 2012

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1) by Suzanne Collins (Book Overview from Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone out to make sure you don’t live to see the morning? In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve […]

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