Dress – JCPenney / Shoes – Target
We are currently in the third state/country of our kid’s lives. My daughter is in her fifth house and my son in his sixth. They’ve had more travels than a lot of kids their age, so I thought it would be fun to make one of the cork board maps I kept seeing on Pinterest. This way we could pin the different places we’ve lived, visited, and where family lives.
I couldn’t find a cork board at any thrift shop, so I took to looking at buying a new one. Those babies are expensive! I ended up buying a 4 pack of 12 x 12 cork board pieces at Staples for like $12.99. Then I started to actually think about how I was going to do this. I’m not the best drawer, so I started searching for a template for the outline of the U.S. I found one here. I printed the template out, taped all the pieces together (it’s in 6 different pieces). I then cut the template out, positioned it on 2 of the cork board pieces, and traced it in pencil. When I posted a picture on Instagram, every one commented that my Michigan was missing it’s mitten. That’s how the template was and I honestly didn’t think about it. Be advised when you trace it, it’s an easy fix. After I traced it and was happy with it, I went over the outline in a black, Sharpie like marker.
I honestly let it sit for a few weeks at that point. I couldn’t quite figure out how to do the states. A lot of the tutorials I saw didn’t have states on their maps, but I thought it would be easier for the kids if we did have them. Finally, I just free handed them in pencil. I started with Florida, worked my may along the border west, then the border up to Canada, and then worked back east. It’s not perfect by any means, some states are too skinny while others are too fat, but I’m impressed with myself. I erased a few times and made corrections, but once I was happy, I went over all the lines in marker again.
I still had 2 more pieces of cork board, so I decided to do a map of Okinawa too. I found a relatively simple map (similar to this one), printed it and cut it out. I traced the main island onto the cork board in pencil, then eyeballed the smaller islands as to where they go and traced them as well. Once I was happy, I went over them all in marker. Okinawa was a lot easier since there isn’t states.
After that, they just need to be hung! The cork board I bought came with double sided sticky things to hang them, so that’s what I used. I may go back and staple a ribbon on them to hang them up, but I don’t know how well that will work for the U.S. map since it’s 2 pieces of board. I bought flagged pins to mark the places we’ve lived, visited, and future places we want to visit.
Sorry for the horrible pictures. I didn’t really take pictures as I went, so you get what was posted on Instagram.
MacMillan Audio sent me an audiobook copy of Save The Date by Mary Kay Andrews. They have got me hooked on her books. This is the fourth one they’ve sent me and I’ve enjoyed them all.
About the book:
Savannah florist Cara Kryzik is making a name for herself designing society weddings, and her latest event, planning an enormous country wedding between two important southern families, will allow her to pay back the loan her father gave her. Divorced not long ago, she may be ready to finally reopen her heart, and by some sweet chance, local heartthrob Jack Finnerty keeps popping up at her weddings. Though Andrews does rely on a few contemporary-romance conventions—a protagonist with a fun, feminine job; a down-to-earth hero from a well-connected family; and a misunderstanding that nearly keeps them apart—her lively and expansive variations on tried-and-trusted tropes are fresh and pleasing. Readers will cheer Cara on as she deals with a runaway bride and a smarmy and cutthroat competing florist, and all will swoon over her steamy scenes with Jack, right up to the wholly satisfying happy ending
Like all the other Mary Kay Andrews books I’ve read/listened to, this was set in Savannah. Cara (great name by the way) is running a small floral shop, but does a lot of weddings and they are starting to get bigger and fancier. It’s just her and her trusty, gay sidekick/shop assistant Burt, but they make it work. Then everything starts going wrong. She meets a great guy, but there are problems there. Problems start to happen at work. She all of a sudden has a HUGE competitor in town. I like how the story adds a bit of romance, but it’s not overpowering. You are more concerned with all of Cara’s other problems, than you are about that. There are prediciatble parts, but then other things you really have no idea are coming. I do think it kinda ended abruptly. Yes, there was an epilogue, but it left a lot of questions unanswered. What happened with the competition? What happened with the building? Overall, I really liked this. It was on the longer side (11 discs and each had like 16 tracks), but I enjoy listening to these books on my commute. It makes the drive go so much faster, but then I get to work and want to keep listening and not actually go in the office. Amazon gives this 4.6/5, so I’m not the only one who liked it!
Kathleen McInerney reads the book. She has done some if not all of the other Mary Kay Andrews audiobooks I’ve listened to. She has a nice voice with just a hint of a Southern accent. She also does a good job with the different characters, including making the men sound manly, but not in a fake way.
I was contacted and asked if I would read and review the three books that make up The Three Mrs. Monroes by Bernadette Marie. I looked it up and the military aspect is what sold me.
Basically, The Three Mrs. Monroes tells the story of the three wives of an Army soldier. Each wife has her own book. My first thought was how is that going to work? The military won’t let you have three wives! That is what sold me. I was dying of curiosity.
The first book is from Amelia’s point of view. She is wife number 2. The book starts out with her at the funeral of Adam, her recently deceased husband. He died while deployed overseas. She found out about wife number 1 after Adam’s death, from his lawyer. That’s when they discover wife number 3. Wife 1, Vivian, is bitter and automatically hates Amelia and wife 3, Penelope. She has every right to be bitter. Amelia feels sorry for Penelope, knowing it’s Adam she should be mad at, not these women. He lied to and deceived all of them. They meet with the lawyer, Sam, to find out who gets what. That’s when they find out who was legally married to him and who wasn’t. That didn’t go how one would think. Amelia keeps her head and goes above and beyond what’s is needed for the other two. In the process, her and Sam kinda shack up and get a thing going on. While they are all hurt and grieving over Adam’s death, they also realize he is not the man they thought he was. With this, they start to form a friendship with each other, which as unrealistic as it may sound, wasn’t too far fetched in the book.
The second book is from Penelope’s point of view and pretty much continues where the first left off. Vivian’s book is the third. The stories could almost be read individually. They do a short recap at the beginning of the second and third book to get you up to speed. A short recap, not this whole chapter stuff. We are not reading The Baby-Sitter’s Club and getting aggravated that we’re reading book #76 and have totally got all the backstory down already. Anyways, each woman has her own romance. These are unrealistic in how and how fast they happen, but it’s a book and I’m a sucker for a love story. I can get past that. As the books go on, they discover more about Adam that helps explain why he did what he did. They also discover a truly great friendship and consider themselves to almost be sisters.
Now, the military part. I wondered how this would work. One wife, the legal one, ended up getting the life insurance and government benefits. I always wondered about the Tricare thing myself. Who got the health insurance?!?!? The military part of it was actually talked about so little, that it worked for me. If the author would have gone into more detail, it just wouldn’t have made sense. There were a few things I noticed, but most people wouldn’t think anything of them. I’m a stickler for accurate details though. It drives me crazy when they are wrong. Dude showed up in fatigues once and he said he had just gotten out of the Army. No one wears fatigues anymore and pretty sure you aren’t wearing them while driving across country after you’ve EASed, but that’s no big thang in my mind. Only one wife lived close to a post (I’m assuming anyways considering she met him on post). The other two were so far removed they probably had no idea. Wife #1 did live with him in Germany for a short time, but that brings up a whole new set of questions for me, but if I bring up, will give stuff away! The books were also written in that it could take place now or 15 years ago, way before we used the internet for everything.
Overall, I liked them. I read a lot of romances though too. They were quick reads. I read each book in an evening.
I received the books in exchange for a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Shirt, Boots – Target / Jeans – Old Navy / Hair Bow