Friday Favorites | Memorial Day Weekend

Well Memorial Day weekend is here. I am so looking forward to it. I have some building to do, my office to finish and lots of book reading and relaxing to do. I am hoping to get some hiking in too!

While I do enjoy the fact it is a long weekend, I can’t forget that it is a day to remember those who gave their freedom up for us. My hearts go out to their families, I will be forever grateful. I also know that for the veterans who fought beside those men, it will be a tough day as well. My heart and hugs go out to you. 

 

Favorite Quote: Learn to forgive and apologize, it makes for a shorter argument. 


Favorite DIY Inspiration: A new media center/tv stand is on my list of things to make since the one I have doesn’t work. This would be perfect, though I don’t want it to be that tall. I’d want it to be longer and only half as tall. I think I need to work on a plan to build one. Love the sliding barn door part. It may be way out of my skill level but I want to try. 

Love this Entertainment center. sliding doors.. & that decor.. beautiful! I really, really want this but $5600 seems a bit pricey, YIKES! Can someone build it for me??

Favorite Bedroom: Why can’t this be my bedroom!!

Favorite Recipe: This sounds really good and I have everything already in my house to make it. 

Anti-Inflammatory Frozen Watermelon Pineapple Smoothie 008
 

Favorite Funnies:

 

I laughed too long and hard at this so I had to share it. 

Im dying, like omg

Seamus really can’t make this claim because he is truly a stinker, but my Dad’s dog can. 

 

Linking up with Amanda

Meet At The Barre

 Also linking up with Natasha for 5 on Friday.

 

THE GOOD LIFE BLOG


 

 

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Happy Is A Choice

For the last few weeks I have been letting my stress get the better of me. While I still find myself smiling and saying hello to everyone I am still letting in moments of frustration cloud my overall feeling of the day. Yes, this is a normal reaction and it makes me human.

I just don’t want it to creep in too much or too often in a day or week. If it lingers it becomes more of a outlook rather than a moment. So I am trying to remember to practice looking for the happy so in those moments I can almost use them as a mantra to see the happy. So what makes me happy?

happy
 

 

Source

 
 

Having Ice Cream for dinner. Not that I did this last night! 😉 

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Going to bed early. Sleep is always something I could always use more of. 

 

Puppy kisses and smiles. 

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Being recognized for a job well done. 

 

Giving back to others. 

 

Spending a day just reading. Currently reading. Very sad and emotional but good read. 

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Link to Goodreads

 

The perfect cup of coffee. I don’t need to add cream, perfection. 

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A clean house you yourself didn’t have to clean. 

 

Source

 

What makes you happy? 

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I Hope You Dance

How is this weekend over already?! It seemed to go so fast, maybe because I ended up working from home for a bit on Friday night, or because the dance recital for my nieces was an all day event. Either way it was a full and happy weekend.

I am looking forward to this upcoming weekend though so I can do a complete cleaning overhaul of my house and also build some new pieces and finish my office. Enough about next weekend, here is some of this past weekend.

I Did

 

Saturday was my day to get all my cleaning and chores done. After a trip to Target and Lowe’s I hit up the Trader Joe’s in my neighborhood to get flowers for my nieces recital. 

The rest of the night I relaxed, napped, and finished my most recent book

Sunday was an early morning, I had to start getting ready at 7am in order to head south for my nieces recital. 

 

 

dancing-1
 

dancing
 

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I finally tried the Cantalope smoothie I shared on this Friday Favorites post. It was good though I think I would add pineapple next time to sweeten it up. 

After the recital we headed back to my brother’s house for some lunch. We lounged for a little bit, okay I took over the hammock. 

Their pup wouldn’t let me lay there without petting her. 

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Seamus Sightings

 

I didn’t get home on Sunday until about 4:30 and Seamus was exhausted from playing with my Dad’s dog. He was out like a light. 

 

Seamus

 

 

How was your weekend? 

Linking up with Biana from B Loved Boston.

Weekending
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Friday Favorites | Workout!

Happy Friday!! It’s been a weird week. Bloglovin was acting weird, I moved to Feedly, and work is still busy. Such is life. I am trying to find balance. I think I am going to join my old gym. My nieces have their dance recital this weekend so it should be a blast. They are just so darn cute. That was the weirdest stream of consciousness, forgive me. My brain really isn’t working much lately. It’s Friday so let’s get to it, shall we? 

 

Favorite Recipe: I am not eating bread right now so someone eat this for me?!?! 

Salted Caramel Apple Pie Biscuit Bites
Favorite Quote: Working on this so much right now!

Favorite Workout: Great workout to do at home and with just one kettlebell. I think I might start doing this one in the morning. 

Favorite DIY: I don’t have a huge lawn and even so my soil is pretty terrible so this is a great idea for planting some veggies. 

 

Favorite Funnies: Clearly I am focused on eating healthy right now. Haha!  

 

meme weight watchers cat
 

 

Linking up with Amanda

Meet At The Barre

 Also linking up with Natasha for 5 on Friday.

 

THE GOOD LIFE BLOG


 

 

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Book Review and Giveaway | The Far End of Happy

I think the thing that intrigued me the most about this book when I was contacted by the publisher was that the author herself went through this experience first hand and put to words her experience, in this fictional novel. I did read her other book The Art of Falling and loved how beautifully it was happy to get the chance to read this book. 

Disclaimer: I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, all opinions are my own. 

About The Author:

Kathryn Craft, a former dance critic who wrote for The Morning Call daily newspaper in Allentown, Pennsylvania, for nineteen years. Craft wrote exclusively nonfiction until she was plunged in the kind of real-life drama that demands attention. In 1997, after fifteen years of marriage, her husband committed suicide in a police standoff, leaving her and their two young sons.

The Far End of Happy was born from Craft’s need to make sense of what her husband had done. Kathryn has been a leader in the southeastern Pennsylvania writing scene for more than a decade and is also the author of The Art of Falling. She lives in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads

 

My thoughts: 

This story is told mostly from Ronnie’s point of view who is the wife of Jeff. After struggling for years within her marriage the day has come for Jeff to move out. The problem is that Jeff doesn’t want to let his family go, even though he’s had years to change. Jeff has locked himself into his office after his rifle fired off a few rounds. 

The SWAT team is called in and the standoff begins. Ronnie’s mother has her own ideas of how Ronnie should handle the situation, as well as Jeff’s own mother who struggles with her own demons. Jeff’s mother wants Ronnie to see how much he still loves her and their two kids. This story begs the question of just when is it time to give up, is hope enough, just how responsible are you for other people’s happiness. 

Ronnie has been keeping secrets in order to survive and raise her kids, but they play a big part in the story unfolding. The decisions to be made, can change the course of all their lives. Deeply moving, fast paced, heart wrenching, yet remaining hopeful. 

 

 The Far End of Happy
The Far End of Happy is a powerful new novel based on author Kathryn Craft’s personal experience with a stand-off involving her husband.  Here Craft delivers “real, raw emotion” (Library Journal) exploring a marriage unraveled by mental illness; and one man’s spiral towards a violent conclusion that tests the courage, love, and hope of the three women he leaves behind.

“Framing the novel within a 12-hour period keeps the pages turning (Library Jounral).” Narrating from the alternating perspectives of three women, whose lives will be forever altered by Jeff Farnham, gives an intimate look at the steps a woman will take to get the help her husband so urgently needs while desperately trying to keep her children safe.

When the emotionally troubled Jeff engages police in a deadly stand-off, his wife, mother-in-law, and mother struggle to understand why the man they love has turned his back on the life they have given him, the one they all believe is still worth living.

Amazon | B&N | BAM |!ndigo| IndieBound| Kindle | Kobo | Nook

 

Excerpt from The Far End of Happy:

 

Ronnie already wanted to rewrite this story. To edit the cop’s words. To distance herself, change “husband” to “the man.” The man now staggering around the property with a gun; the man who may already have taken a shot; the man whose angst was seeping into her own nerves. Her husband—the gentle soul she’d married—would never have acted like the man she’d engaged with earlier today.

“Call him Jeff, please,” she said quietly.

“I’m going to need you to recount all that transpired this morning with your—” He caught himself. “With Jeff. Leave nothing out. You never know what will be important.”

The recitation she gave was devoid of animation. She felt empty and prickly, like an October cornfield in need of nutrients and a long, restorative winter. An evacuation from her home, beneath the cover of a helicopter dispatched from the state capitol, to protect her from her own husband? Ronnie felt as if her family had suddenly been thrust into an unwanted audition for a high-stakes reality show. Every few moments, as she delivered facts, she looked over at her mother, who was speaking quietly to Janet. She wondered if Beverly’s version differed. If her mother, or Jeff’s, blamed her. Because to them, and the rest of the world, it must look as if Jeff had been knocked off balance because Ronnie had decided to leave him.

It even looked that way to her.

The officer told Ronnie their primary goal was to locate Jeff, since he was armed and dangerous.

“Please don’t say that in front of his mother,” she said. “Or the boys. Jeff isn’t a dangerous person. He’s sweet. Everyone would tell you how nice he is. Very laid back.” Too laid back. He never cared enough. “It’s just that we’re getting a divorce, and today was the day he promised to move out. He’s…” Drunk off his ass. “Agitated.”

Ronnie rubbed her arms—the room suddenly chilled her. She hadn’t thought to grab a jacket. The room’s narrow, high-set windows, made of glass bricks, were meant to obscure natural light. This was a room designed to allow sparkles from a mirror ball, gropes in the shadows.

And so what? She was cold. She felt selfish thinking about it, with Jeff frozen all the way to the center of his soul.

“Could you give me a physical description of your husband so we can identify him by sight?”

All that she and Jeff had meant to each other, all the intricacies of their marriage, boiled down to the same physical attributes that had first attracted her to him. “Five foot ten. Dark brown hair, thick, trimmed over ears some might call large.” Soft ears that lay flat against his head beneath her kisses. “Blue eyes.” Eyes that used to pierce her through with their naked honesty. “Broad hands.” Strong hands that always needed a project, now wrapped around a gun.

 

Want to win a copy of The Far End of Happy, well the publisher is giving away two copies so enter to win! 

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