Thoughtful Thursday’s: Whole30 Review!

We have finally arrived ya'll! My husband and I have officially and successfully completed Whole30. I couldn't decide if this was a true book review or not, but I'm more so writing about my personal experience, not the book. For those of you that don't know, Whole30 is an elimination diet where you remove various food groups from your diet for 30 days and slowly reintroduce them back in to see how they affect your body and the way you feel. I'm not going to be giving any advice (other than, if you do Whole30, meal planning is super important) but rather, just giving my experiences on the way we've felt and what we've thought throughout this process. 

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Every Heart a Doorway Review + Tortilla Soup Recipe!

What does that title say? Does it say RECIPE?! Yes, yes it does my friends - so without further ado, welcome back to the table! I'm getting back into the swing of things and I plan on bringing ya'll a lot more Recipe and a Read posts so buckle in folks - it's gonna be a good time! Today's review is for Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire! I'm pairing today's review with a recipe for my very own recipe for Tortilla Soup. This soup is super versatile, healthy, warm, comforting and super easy!

I honestly don't even know where to begin with this review because this book was both what I expected and nothing like I expected at the same time. Eleanor West's Home For Wayward Children, is exactly what the name describes and nothing like the name describes. This is a common theme throughout this book. Eleanor West takes in lost, disoriented, troubled children from their parents with a vow to rehabilitate them so they can become functioning members of society. What she doesn't tell the parents of these troubled children - is that the reason for their newfound affliction is not trauma in a traditional sense but that they've "tumbled" into and out of another world. Only to return to this one feeling helpless and like they've left the only real home they've ever known.

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Top 5 Tuesday: Badass Female Characters!

Ya'll, I can not get enough of this topic! One of the tropes I love the most in reading is women who overcome adversity - and in general, strong and amazing female leads. I don't know if it's just my general passion for women and their strength, or because the entertainment industry is so dominated by men. Either way, strong female characters are a MUST for me. It's so refreshing that there's so many to find in books these days, and I look forward to seeing more and more of this in the future. So, obviously, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to participate in this topic so you're getting TWO posts in ONE day! T5T is a weekly meme hosted by Bionic Book Worm where different topics are explored. if you haven’t checked out her weekly prompts you definitely should – they’re super fun!

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ARC Review: The Line Between by Tosca Lee!

Wynter Roth has lived in the doomsday cult known as "New Earth" for the last 15 years. Brought to the settlement by her mother, along with her older sister Jaclyn when they were fleeing their alcoholic and abusive father. New Earth is led by the charming, enigmatic, handsome and all-knowing, all-caring leader Magnus Theisen. Wynter is raised within the confines of the compound and gives up all her worldly wants, and possessions upon her family being accepted into the waiting arms of her new "family". While Jaclyn seems to flourish within the strict rules and confines set by the leaders of New Earth, Wynter struggles and fails to meet their expectations growing up.

As time elapses, and Wynter opens her eyes more and more to the world around her she begins to see this life she's been thrust into a little bit differently. She sees the cracks in the testaments that Magnus has written, the cracks and flaws within Magnus himself.  However, this is the only life Wynter has ever known, she has been brought up to believe that the world outside their walls is doomed to crumble, and if she is not within the safety of her new home - she will perish with a world of sinners. When Wynter is cast out in shame from the only community she ever called a home, she is thrust into a cruel world that has begun to tear apart at it's seems.

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Blogger Insider Book Tag!

Why do Monday's have to exist? However, I can't lament the dreaded Monday blues too much because I had a fab-u-lous weekend. My husband and I finally bought a beautiful new sectional couch (which I've been arguing for, for YEARS) and it's perfect!! My husband is also DIY-ing me some hexagon shelves that are almost done and I got a boat load of chores done and read nearly three books this weekend alone. So all in all, I'm gonna go ahead and throw that in the win column! First on today's docket is to give a huge shout out to Alexandra Wolfe for tagging me in today's book tag! As I mentioned the other day, I love these things - they're so cute! Also Alexandra's blog is full of great reviews and books to add to your ever growing TBR - so go check it out ya'll!

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Review: Unwind by Neal Shusterman!

It's Friday my dudes! So what does that mean? It means it's review time!! Also, that I have so much time in my very near future to read, read, read! All my holds are coming in from the library so I'm super amped to get to them. Between reading, I'll be working on my house, couch shopping and finishing up our DIY hexagonal shelves! I was tagged in another book tag/award thing that I'll throw up on here sometime this weekend as well. Anyway, onto today's main event! A review for Unwind by Neal Shusterman! As I mentioned in my last review, I've been re-reading a bunch of books I read a super long time ago (IDK why, it's just happened that way) and this is the second book I'm very happy to have revisited.

This is my fourth Shusterman title to read in the last couple of months and man, this guy is KILLIN' IT - he just doesn't disappoint, time after time. Each of the worlds and scenarios he builds are so unique and vibrant that I'm consistently in awe of his imagination. Unwind takes place in a future where America has lived to see and survived a second civil war known as The Heartland War. Following the war, abortion laws are changed. Abortion is now illegal, but what does become the legal opportunity for parents who don't want their children is known as "unwinding" from the ages of 13 to 18 parents are allowed to sign orders to have their children unwound. The idea behind this, that makes it palatable for society, is that no part of the child dies, 99.6% of the child still lives on, as every piece of your baby, that you sent off because they're difficult or you didn't want them, lives on through another person.

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One Lovely Blog Award: 7 Random Facts about Christina!

First and foremost, a huge thank you to Norie @ Reading Under a Blankie for tagging me in the One Lovely Blog Award / Tag! Ya'll, I love her reviews so if you haven't checked out her page - you need to! This is actually the second tag I've been tagged in in the last 24 hours (I feel like the prettiest princess at the ball) and I'll be participating in the other later this weekend because these are cute and fun and a great way to connect with and learn about other bloggers! So without further ado, for those who are interested, here are 7 random facts about me!

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Review: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon!

I doubt many readers don't already know about Outlander - whether it's from it's cult following, it's 4.22 rating on Goodreads, or it's over half-million reviews, or it's Television adaptation - you'd kind of have to be living under a rock to not already know about this book. So while I doubt many of you need a real synopsis for this book but bear with me, cause you're gonna get it.

Claire Randall (Beauchamp) is on her second honeymoon with her husband Frank. Frank Randall is a good man and he loves Claire deeply, and she him. Claire and Frank have both been tied up in WWII, Claire as a combat nurse while Frank trained as an officer. When the war ended, Claire and Frank traveled to Scotland to reacquaint themselves with one another after many years apart - sometimes only seeing each other once or twice a year. While they're in Scotland Claire and Frank not only get to know each other once again, but they get to know the Highlands. The lore, the folktales, the history - both magical and brutal.

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Top 5 Tuesday: Books That Should Be Movies!

It's Tuesday, which means only one good thing: it isn't Monday! It also means it's time for another round of Top 5 Tuesday. T5T is a weekly meme hosted by Bionic Book Worm where different topics are explored. This weeks topic is "books that need to be made into movies"! If you haven't checked out her weekly prompts you definitely should - they're super fun!

So I wouldn't call myself particularly into movies and TV. However, I am also not someone who says I don't like them either. I'm just a fan of good stories and well made entertainment. Whether that be in my favorite form (books) or in movies or TV, I'm not a stickler about it. What I am a stickler about is book to film adaptations. Most of the time, they're simply just not as good. You can't get the range of detail and finesse into a movie that you can into a book. HOWEVER, there's also something so magical about seeing something you've loved in a book come to life on the screen. *Obviously, it can also be terrible if it's done horribly (looking @ u, directors of My Sisters Keeper) and they miss the whole point of the book. But when it's done well (GoT 5Ever) it's a real thrill to relive a story through the screen. So without further ado, here are the books I think should be made into movies!

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[Belated] Sneak Peek Sunday: My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing + Upcoming Reads!

As I sit here and lament the fact that it's Monday, and therefore the very beginning of another long work week I am simultaneously jumping for joy for all the great books out there in the world just waiting for me to read them! Today I'm linking up with Kim of It's All About The Thrill and Brenda and Norma of Two Sisters Lost in a Coulee! Last year I got a little over zealous with my reading, and this year I'm trying to tone it down a bit. I've still set my reading goal at 100 books, but I'm working on broadening my reading scope further and selecting books I really want to read.

However, that's not the only thing I wanted to do today, I also wanted to take some time to give ya'll a sneak peek of my upcoming 2019 short list of reads! I've put in a bunch of requests at my library, I'm eagerly awaiting some 2019 releases and finishing up some of my top 2018 TBR books as well. It's been a long time coming but I'm gearing up to bring you guys not just a lot of reviews - but a lot of recipes to go with them as well!

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