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Connect Through Reading: Oh My Heart

Oh friends… do I have some good books to tell you about today! I think two of these books will probably make my top ten best books for 2013… they were *that* good! I am so excited to share them with you.

Connect Through Reading Book Reviews - Me Before You, The Fault in Our Stars, The Interestings and The Undomestic Goddess


First up is The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. 

Fault In Our Stars by John Green reviewed at

I’ll admit, I’m a big “judge a book by the cover” girl, and I honestly avoided reading this book (and the one following) because of their covers. They just didn’t pull me in or grab me. I am so very thankful I was convinced by some friends to pick this book up because once I did, I couldn’t put it down.

The Fault in Our Stars is a story about two teenagers who meet in cancer support group, develop a friendship and fall in love. It’s about finding hope and meaning on their journey and sharing a common ground with someone who “gets it”. I can’t tell you much about the story without giving it away, but you will laugh, and you will cry and you will be so heartbroken when this book is over because it will be a permanent part of your heart, forever. I read this book weeks ago and am tearing up writing this because this book touched me so. Oh, and full disclosure… it’s young adult fiction, but please don’t let that stop you from reading it! [Continue reading]

Recipe: California Avocado Breakfast Casserole

California Avocado Breakfast Casserole from www.dineanddish.netWake up!

Are you one of those people who wakes up quickly and gets out of bed to get ready for the day right away? Maybe you hit the snooze button a few times, catching a few extra winks? Or maybe you are like me and open your eyes as soon as your alarm goes off, but then continues to spend and extra 10 minutes in bed browsing Instagram before starting your day?

Either way, I find if I have a great breakfast to look forward to in the morning, I tend to have a little more hustle and bustle in my step than normal. Any breakfast, like this California Avocado Breakfast Casserole, will definitely get me moving fast so I can enjoy it! [Continue reading]

Pumpkin Magic Brownie Bars with Pumpkin Magic Frosting

I’m honored to be a part of the 2013 Kraft Tastemaker Community, where I am teaming up with Kraft Foods to bring you family friendly recipes using common ingredients found in your pantry!

Pumpkin Magic Bars with Pumpkin Magic Frosting

I can’t hold myself back… it’s well into September now, which I think is quite the safe time to go full throttle pumpkin. Goodbye white pants and shoes, hello pumpkin!

I love summer, there’s no doubt about that, but I love fall just as much. Our family always takes a trip out to the apple orchard and pumpkin patch for a full day of fall activities. It is one of my most favorite days each year! Plus, as a photographer, I can’t help but love the photo opportunities at the pumpkin patch. The light is always the most wonderful, golden hue and the natural props all around are just too hard to pass up. By the time the sun sets, my kids are pictured out but my heart is always full and happy! [Continue reading]

Save the Date for Wake Up Breakfast with California Avocados


  Dara from Cookin' Canuck and I are excited to partner up with California Avocados to bring our readers a fun and interactive recipe link up party with over $1500 in great prizes!  Save the Date! School is in full swing and simple breakfasts to get kids out the door in a jiffy are on every parents mind right now. Have you thought about introducing California Avocados into your morning breakfast repoitre? If not, you might be surprised to find out that avocados are a healthy, filling way to start the day! Dara, our friends at California Avocados and I are so excited share that we will be hosting Wake Up Breakfast with California Avocados, and we want to see your favorite avocado breakfast recipes. Smashed avocados and toast are one of my favorite ways to have this fruit at breakfast. I also love adding chopped California Avocados to omelets as well as breakfast smoothies! The possibilities are endless when it comes to avocados and breakfast time! … [Continue reading]

Stop Giving It All or Nothing

How Training for a Half Marathon has made me dislike running from

Alternate titles for this post: "How Training For a Half Marathon Has Made Me Dislike Running" "What the hell is wrong with me and why can't I stick to anything?" "Tales of a non-perfectionist, perfectionist" You get the point. Running and I are not being friends right now. "Well, how can that be?" you ask. "Aren't you training to run a half-marathon in October? Didn't you write out all of these lofty goals on your 39th birthday and said you were going to make 39 the best year ever?" Yes, yes I did... and I have some explaining to do.  … [Continue reading]