Rumor Has It

ABOUT RUMOR HAS IT

This is one bad boy who’s fit to print. A notorious jock tackles life—and love—after football with a type-A journalist in this sexy standalone from the author of Eye Candy.

Touché Jessica Lemmon! Think: How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days. I absolutely loved this book and am upset it’s over. Instantly I had a clear picture of Barrett and Catarina, I loved his stereotypical cockiness and so unsubstle charm and her drive and worth ethic were something to aspire to. While the story line was somewhat predictable I didn’t care and was feeling as giddy as Catarina as she began to fall unexpectedly in love. I’d highly recommend this especially as a quick summer beach read.

Thank you to Penguin Random House + NetGalley for my advanced copy.

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Italy at Home

This is a recipe I found on Pinterest a really long time ago and have been repeating year after year. It was titled Prosciutto Tomato and Olive Spaghetti, I title it Yum.

Every time I search my Pinterest the link is blocked or broken so I cannot give credit to anyone, unfortunately.

It’s light but full of big flavors and when cooked while listening to Italian music you may have feelings of actually being in Italy!

Ingredients

▪ (1 pound) dried spaghetti

▪ (8 cups) cold water

▪ 2 teaspoons sea salt

▪ 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

▪ 5 garlic cloves, finely minced

▪ 2 shallots, finely minced

▪ (~ 1 cup) pitted kalamata olives)

▪ 3 to 4 tomatoes, diced

▪ 1/2 cup dry white wine

▪ 2 tablespoons tomato paste or concentrate

▪ (3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut up

▪ reserved pasta water (optional)

▪ FRESH Parmesan cheese, grated

▪ a handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

▪ (less than 1/2 pound) prosciutto, preferably Parma , at room temerature

Instructions:

In a large pot, bring 8 cups) of cold water to a boil. When it boils, add salt and pasta. Cook according to package instructions, stirring often to loosen up the sticky strands.

Drain the cooked spaghetti, but save about 1 cup of the pasta water. Set aside.

Wipe clean the same pot and set over medium heat with olive oil. When oil is hot, lower heat to medium-low and sauté garlic and shallots until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Increase heat to medium again, add olives, and cook for 1 minute.

Add the diced tomatoes and cook until soft, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the wine and stir until the alcohol has evaporated, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Stir in tomato paste and butter until dissolved.

Put the pasta back in the pot and gently mix until each strand is coated in the sauce. Add reserved pasta water if the sauce seems too dry.

Toss with Parmesan cheese and sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Serve on warmed plates and garnish with prosciutto slices.

Preparation time: 25 minute(s)

Cooking time: 30 minute(s)

Reduce your Amazon Packaging

Between the packaging, the transportation fuel, and their ability to get orders to customers within a few hours, there’s no denying that Amazon has a huge carbon footprint. The fact is: online shopping requires massive amounts of energy and resources, but there are several things that we as consumers can do to minimize that footprint. Click below for their article and how this quick and easy site contacts Amazon for you to help to reduce plastic packaging !

Contact Amazon: Tell them you want less packaging.

Miso-Ginger Dressing

(⬆️ image is the recipe tripled)

I’d always been a fan of ginger dressing growing up but since we’ve moved a few times I’ve had a difficult time finding the brand I love (even on Amazon!). After going to multiple grocery stores I gave up my search and decided it would be more fresh and probably cheaper to make my own. I originally found this recipe in The NY Times but have since tweaked it here and there based off of what I have available around the kitchen. If you make it let me know what you think, enjoy!

INGREDIENTS

• ¼ cup grapeseed oil

• ¼ cup rice vinegar

• 3 tablespoons miso

• 1 tablespoon sesame oil

• 2 medium carrots, roughly chopped

• 1 inch long piece fresh ginger, cut into coins

At the end:

• Salt

• freshly ground black pepper

1 Put all ingredients except salt and pepper into a food processor and pulse a few times to mince carrots. Then let machine run for a minute or so, until mixture is chunky-smooth. (If you want it smoother, use a blender.) Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.

The Favorite Sister Review

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When five hyper-successful women agree to appear on a reality series set in New York City called Goal Diggers, the producers never expect the season will end in murder…

Brett’s the fan favorite. Tattooed and only twenty-seven, the meteoric success of her spin studio—and her recent engagement to her girlfriend—has made her the object of jealousy and vitriol from her cast mates.

Kelly, Brett’s older sister and business partner, is the most recent recruit, dismissed as a hanger-on by veteran cast. The golden child growing up, she defers to Brett now—a role which requires her to protect their shocking secret.

Stephanie, the first black cast member and the oldest, is a successful bestselling author of erotic novels. There have long been whispers about her hot, non-working actor-husband and his wandering eye, but this season the focus is on the rift that has opened between her and Brett, former best friends—and resentment soon breeds contempt.

Lauren, the start-up world’s darling whose drinking has gotten out of control, is Goal Diggers’ recovery narrative—everyone loves a comeback story.

And Jen, made rich and famous through her cultishly popular vegan food line plays a holistic hippie for the cameras, but is perhaps the most ruthless of them all when the cameras are off.

REVIEW

I loved the way Jessica Knoll wrote her first novel and so I was extremely anxious to get my hands on this one. I applied for giveaway after giveaway and finally I got it! Off the bat I must say – this is NOT a thriller or suspense novel and perhaps thats where I was thrown off, I wasn’t sitting on the edge of my seat, biting tooth and nail to get through another chapter the way I was with her first novel, The Favorite Sister should definitely be described as a drama, as any good reality show is. I read another review of the book and he stated The Favorite Sister = When the Real Housewives and Big Little Lies collide and I couldn’t agree more. This book provides pop culture, drama, juicy gossip and mystery. The characters were described very well, I have a great picture of each Goal Digger in my head (Goal Diggers is a reality show that strives to show millennial women successfully undertaking careers, while pushing gender norms aside). Off the bat I couldn’t put all the pieces together for quite awhile. I felt that there was too much being thrown at me at once and throughout felt overloaded with feminist political agenda. There were many times I put the book down and had to try again later but I refuse to NOT finish a book. Reading the ‘behind the scenes’ of reality television was fascinating and disappointing at the same time, I found myself wanting to befriend Jessica just to find out if her research proved this to be true?! At the end, I’m very glad I followed this one through. Once I finished I realized the twists and the turns and I saw the plot for the written reality show that it was, exploring how self absorbed , catty and vindictive women (and the one man in the book) can be especially about their own agendas. But let’s be honest, I wouldn’t want to be on the edge of the couch for the reunion show.

Thank you to Simon and Schuster + NetGalley for my advanced copy.

Beautiful Planning Printables

Happy Monday friends! The great @chirppaperie created our beautiful wedding invitations and she graciously posted these #free printables to her website! I love meal prepping, lists, and most importantly, checking off items on my lists.. Who doesn’t love ✍️ on beautiful paper?? Click here to DOWNLOAD

Have a wonderful week!

New Favorite Appetizer Alert

I went to a party yesterday and the hostess with the mostest had this phenomenal spread out 😋I LOVE entertaining and will definitely be copying some of these apps!

My most favorite dish here was a baked feta, recipe as follows. (Derived from Michael Symon)

BAKED FETA:

• 1 cup cherry tomatoes (halved)

• 1/2 cup Kalamata olives (pitted and chopped)

• 1 clove garlic (minced)

• 2-3 tablespoons finely-chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (divided)

• 1 teaspoon dried oregano

• 3 tablespoons olive oil

• 1 pound block Greek feta

• 4 scallions (sliced)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400ºF.

In a bowl, mix the tomatoes, olives, garlic, 2 tablespoons parsley, oregano, olive oil and a few grinds of pepper.

Place the block of feta in the middle of an 8″x8″ baking dish. Pile the tomato mixture on top of the feta. Bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese has softened and melted.

Remove from the oven and garnish with the remaining parsley and scallions and serve immediately while still warm. This can be placed back in the oven to melt if the cheese starts to firm up again.

Bookworm: 2018 So Far

The Luckiest Girl Alive 

516O2pMlB+L._SX315_BO1,204,203,200_As a teenager at the prestigious Bradley School, Ani FaNelli endured a shocking, public humiliation that left her desperate to reinvent herself. Now, with a glamorous job, expensive wardrobe, and handsome blue blood fiancé, she’s this close to living the perfect life she’s worked so hard to achieve. But Ani has a secret. There’s something else buried in her past that still haunts her, something private and painful that threatens to bubble to the surface and destroy everything.

THIS BOOK! Luckiest Girl Alive was my bookclubs first book and WOW was it twisted and dark and surprising. Off that bat I felt that Ani was every girl I went to college with, exploring the pressures of the need to ‘have it all’ … but then it completely shifts gears when she brings you into her story and has you thinking back to high school and stories you may or may not have heard or experiences you may or may not have experienced. Bullying, peer pressure, rape, murder, lies, truths and some psychological mind games. While I’m not sure this review would sell you on reading the book, I thought it was a great, but dark, mystery thriller. I look forward to her next book, out next month. 

The Couple Next Door couple_us_paperA domestic suspense debut about a young couple and their apparently friendly neighbors–a twisty, rollercoaster ride of lies, betrayal, and the secrets between husbands and wives. . .

This was the first book that I was a little hesitant to read because I’m a Mom and what you learn in the first chapter would be any parents worst nightmare. That being said, I had no idea where each page was taking me next and I think that a great suspense writer will do that to you! The twists and turns Shari Lapena created will leave you not wanting to put this down until you finally figure out WHAT HAPPENED TO BABY CORA?! 

The Light We Lost

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Lucy and Gabe meet as seniors at Columbia University on a day that changes both of their lives forever. Together, they decide they want their lives to mean something, to matter. When they meet again a year later, it seems fated—perhaps they’ll find life’s meaning in each other. But then Gabe becomes a photojournalist assigned to the Middle East and Lucy pursues a career in New York. What follows is a thirteen-year journey of dreams, desires, jealousies, betrayals, and, ultimately, of love. Was it fate that brought them together? Is it choice that has kept them away? Their journey takes Lucy and Gabe continents apart, but never out of each other’s hearts.

I first saw this recommendation from Reese’s Book Club and I’m so glad I was able read it. I felt very connected to the characters in this book and I think a lot of people struggle with the ‘what ifs’ in life. What if I took this job instead of that, moved here versus there, what if this never happened would I still be in this marriage? I’m glad that Lucy was able to explore her what ifs and take us on this journey of love, fate, and maybe some loss. 

The Hypnotists Love Story

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Ellen O’Farrell is a professional hypnotherapist who works out of the eccentric beachfront home she inherited from her grandparents. It’s a nice life, except for her tumultuous relationship history. She’s stoic about it, but at this point, Ellen wouldn’t mind a lasting one. When she meets Patrick, she’s optimistic. He’s attractive, single, employed, and best of all, he seems to like her back. Then comes that dreaded moment: He thinks they should have a talk. Braced for the worst, Ellen is pleasantly surprised. It turns out that Patrick’s ex-girlfriend is stalking him. Ellen thinks, Actually, that’s kind of interesting. She’s dating someone worth stalking. She’s intrigued by the woman’s motives. In fact, she’d even love to meet her. Ellen doesn’t know it, but she already has.

Let me begin by saying I LOVE Liane Moriarty’s books. But I can’t say I love this one. I thought it was a good story line but I couldn’t connect with the characters. I didn’t believe them or understand their decisions. While I don’t want to compare one of her books to another, I felt with her other books I found myself relating to a character one way or another and this one made me feel flat. If you read this I would love to know what you thought! 

The Last Mrs. Parrish

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Amber Patterson is fed up. She’s tired of being a nobody: a plain, invisible woman who blends into the background. She deserves more—a life of money and power like the one blond-haired, blue-eyed goddess Daphne Parrish takes for granted. To everyone in the exclusive town of Bishops Harbor, Connecticut, Daphne and her husband, Jackson—the beautiful philanthropist and the confident real estate mogul—are a golden couple straight out of a fairy tale, blessed with two lovely young daughters.
Amber’s envy could eat her alive–if she didn’t have a plan. Amber uses Daphne’s compassion and caring to insinuate herself into the family’s life, the first step in a meticulous scheme to undermine her. Before long, Amber is Daphne’s closest confidante, traveling to Europe with the Parrish family, and growing closer to Jackson. But a skeleton from her past may undermine everything that Amber has worked towards, and if it is discovered, her well-laid plan may fall to pieces.

I loved this book. It’s a psychological thriller and I highly recommend it. Amber was the perfect villain and someone you’ll love to hate. Jackson and Daphne come off as the picture perfect couple… but you never know what goes on behind closed doors. You may figure out the general plot while reading it but the juicy details, twists and turns are worth reading it through. This would be a great vacation read! 

The Rules of Magic

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From the start Susanna sets down rules for her children: No walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic. And most importantly, never, ever, fall in love. But when her children visit their Aunt Isabelle, in the small Massachusetts town where the Owens family has been blamed for everything that has ever gone wrong, they uncover family secrets and begin to understand the truth of who they are. Back in New York City each begins a risky journey as they try to escape the family curse. The Owens children cannot escape love even if they try, just as they cannot escape the pains of the human heart. The two beautiful sisters will grow up to be the revered, and sometimes feared, aunts in Practical Magic, while Vincent, their beloved brother, will leave an unexpected legacy.

I must start off by saying, Practical Magic was a real favorite of mine, this is the prequel. When Reese’s Bookclub recommended this I jumped on Amazon and bought it immediately. I’m not exactly sure why, but this took me longer than usual to get started, perhaps it was the kids schedules or mine but I finally got to it and all I can say is, it’s magical. It was everything I wanted it to be, I spent so much time visualizing EVERYTHING, the characters, the homes, the gardens, the MAGIC! If you love magical realism, this is the perfect read for you.

QUESTIONS:

Does anyone know if they’re making a movie out of The Rules of Magic?

Do you have any books to recommend?