Book Reviews

Pet Treater Welcome Box

20180423_17105220180423_171118

I think we all like to spoil out pets. So, I figured I would try Pet Treater without going way overboard in budget. Some of the other boxes looked really cool, but were very expensive. Pet Treater costs $24.99 per month and includes a variety of items. Your first month, they send the above “Welcome Box” that provides some of the customer’s favorite items, as well as, a pet bed.

20180423_171458

 

Retail Value: $8 – $13 based on other Animal Planet plush dog toys

 

 

 

 

20180423_171326

 

Retail Value: $9.99

 

 

 

 

20180423_171331

 

Retail Value: $4.99

 

 

 

 

 20180423_171400

Retail Value: $17.95

 

 

20180423_171428

 

Retail Value: $9.99

 

 

20180423_171446

 

Retail Value: $11.99

 

 

20180427_123321

 

Retail Value: $8.50

 

 

 

 

 

Total Retail Value: $71.41 – $76.41

This is a program that I will be doing monthly. Sarge knows exactly what this is when I bring it in the door. And surprisingly enough, he loves all of the treats and toys (an obviously the bed!). The only thing I think there is improvement for is the dog-related items that are not for the enjoyment of the dog, like the odor or the book. I’ll be honest, I’m not going to use those items. I wanted this box specifically for Sarge to get treats and toys. But overall, the value of the box is worth it.

Food

HMR Peppermint Dark Chocolate Shake

output (14)

Recipe: HMR Peppermint Dark Chocolate Shake
Vendor: HMR
Calories: ∼110

Time: 2 min

 

I started the HMR diet in March and have lost almost 15 lbs so far (granted, I really didn’t have much to lose). I joined mainly because I had some stomach fat that wouldn’t disappear and I needed a more convenient way to fit in meals because fastfood was not cutting it haha!

If you’re a texture person like me, then you don’t necessarily enjoy the shakes. For me, I need some extra flavor in order to muscle through. So, here is one of them…

Ingredients

  • 1 packet of HMR Chocolate Shake OR 1 scoop HMR Chocolate 120
  • 1 tsp. Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate Cocoa Powder
  • 3 drops Peppermint Extract
  • 6 oz. water
  • 3 Ice Cubes

 

  1. Pour water into blender.
  2. Add in 1 packet HMR Chocolate Shake, the Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate Cocoa Powder, and Peppermint Extract.
  3. Blend.
  4. Add in the Ice Cubes and blend.

 

 

Book Reviews

WWW Wednesday – May 16, 2018

WWW Wednesday is a book blog meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words where bloggers answer three questions: What are you currently reading? What did you just finish reading? What are you going to read next?

Currently Reading:

Victoria Vanishes

I am currently reading Victoria Vanishes by Christopher Fowler. This is my June 2018 Mystery Book Discussion novel for the book club at my local library.

Just Finished:

Twisted Traffick

Since my last post, I finished Twisted Traffick by Geza Tatrallyay. The novel definitely exceeded my expectations. This is the second book in the trilogy. The author personally reached out to me since his third installment will be published in June 2018. Review is listed here

Reading Next:

Wraith Lords of Zeiglon

Next, I will be reading Wraith Lords of Zeiglon by Steve Stephenson & K.M. Tedrick. This is the second novel of the War of the Staffs series.

What’s on your WWW Wednesday this week? Be sure to comment below and I’ll check it out!

Book Reviews

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Disliked/Hated but Am Really Glad I Read (Maybe Just for Bragging Rights)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. For most of these, I mean the series as a whole.

1. “The Mortal Instruments”, Cassandra Clare

2. “Vampire Academy”, Richelle Mead

3. “The Giver”, Lois Lowry

4. “My Sister’s Keeper”, Jodi Picoult

5. “Shatter Me”, Laura Powell

6. “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children”, Ranson Riggs

7. “Throne of Glass”, Sarah J. Maas

8. “The Catcher in the Rye”, J.D. Salinger

9. “The Lovely Bones”, Alice Sebold

10. “Big Little Lies”, Liane Moriarty

 

Book Reviews

Twisted Traffick (Twisted Trilogy #2) by Geza Tatrallyay

Twisted TraffickTitle: Twisted Traffick (Twisted Trilogy #2)
Author: Geza Tatrallyay
Rating: ★★★★

I received this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Twisted Traffick is the second book in the “Twisted” trilogy. We find ourselves back at it with Greg Martens, the author, and now wife, Anne Rossiter. Anne is called back to assist her former Interpol boss when her Russian friend, Julia Saparova, also known as Adam Kallay’s former stripper girlfriend, is missing. 

Generally speaking, the second novel in a trilogy holds a lot of filler. It gears us up for the final installment. This, however, was not the case in Twisted Traffick. And if anything, it makes it a little better of a read due to the fact that the readers now know most of the main characters. 

Delving back into the uranium heist business, we find ourselves with Hetzel, Polyakov, and all of their friends once again. This time… in the human trafficking industry. In fact, these same men have taken Julia. But not only her, the criminals are targeting the families of parents holding jobs at the Mayak Corporation, or those similar, where uranium contamination was at an all-time high. These parents were provided with a story that these horrible  men would find jobs and a better life for their children. So, who wouldn’t want to do that for their own children?! Little did they know, their children (conveniently all females were accepted into the program) were sent into sex trafficking unbeknownst. I can’t even to begin the fathom the guilt that the girls’ parents felt.

This was anything but a filler story. It was a story within itself and could definitely be read as a standalone for someone not having read the first story. I think that is the key to any good novel. I’m curious as to what the last novel in the trilogy holds. Let’s all hope Julia finds a nice guy, right?! She seems to have the worst luck!

Tatrallyay not only provides us with the history and reality of life in post-Soviet Russia, but with an entertaining back story of how our foes came to be and how they are connected with some of our main characters.

Overall, I really enjoyed this novel. Romance doesn’t play a major role in the story. The characters are realistic and well-described. I think the topic is one that more people should know about. Fortunately, for the reader, it was not too graphic, but enough to understand the implications that people suffered from these horrible monsters. A great read for someone who is looking for a little more substance than those who mainly resort to fiction!

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Geza

Born in Budapest, Hungary, Geza escaped with his family in 1956 during the Hungarian Revolution, immigrating to Canada the same year. He grew up in Toronto, attending the University of Toronto Schools, where he was School Captain. He graduated from Harvard University with a BA in Human Ecology in 1972 (after taking a break in his studies to work as a host in the Ontario Pavilion at Expo70 in Osaka, Japan). Geza was selected as a Rhodes Scholar from Ontario, attending Oxford University and graduating with a BA/MA in Human Sciences in 1974; he completed his studies with a MSc in Economics from London School of Economics in 1975. Geza represented Canada as an epée fencer in the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal.

Geza’s professional experience has included government, international organizations, finance and environmental entrepreneurship. Since 2004, he has been semi-retired, managing investments mainly in the clean energy sector and devoting himself to his family and his writing. Geza is a citizen of Canada and Hungary, a green card holder with an American wife, a daughter living in San Francisco and a son in Nairobi, and currently divides his time between Barnard, Vermont, and San Francisco.

The third book in Geza’s ‘Twisted’ trilogy, TWISTED FATES, will be coming out in June. Besides the three “Twisted’ thrillers, Geza has published an e-thriller, ARCTIC MELTDOWN, and has another international political thriller, THE RAINBOW VIINTNER, under contract and due to be published later this year.

Besides his novels, Geza had had two memoirs published: FOR THR CHILDREN, the true story of his family’s harrowing escape from Stalinist Hungary during the Revolution in 1956, and THE EXPO AFFAIR, the story of three Czechoslovak girls he tried to help defect to Canada at EXPO 70 the world’s fair in Osaka, Japan in 1970.

Geza’s poems have been published in journals and two of his poetry collections – CELLO’S TEARS and SIGHS AND MURMURS – were published by P.R.A. Publishing. You can find more out about all these books at www.gezatatrallyay.com.

Food

Winner Winner Chicken Orzo Dinner

20180312_200308.jpgRecipe: Winner Winner Chicken Orzo Dinner
Vendor: HelloFresh
Calories: 730

Time: 30 min
Rating: ★★★

This dish was just “alright” for me. There wasn’t really anything special about it and I felt it was kind of bland. Not to mention, it is not the easiest to butterfly chicken if you’ve never done it before. I wish they would’ve pre-cut the chicken. The orzo was pretty bland and didn’t really have any seasoning flavor to it. 

The part I did like was the zucchini and tomato. Baked in a Italian seasoning, the flavor was already there. Add the mozzarella, panko, and parmesan, and there is no denying the added flavor! It was crisp and stringy and really, for me, made the meal.

Had it not been for the veggies, the overall rating would be down. This is not a meal I would recommend and found myself not even wanting the leftovers.

 

Book Reviews

WWW Wednesday – May 9, 2018

WWW Wednesday is a book blog meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words where bloggers answer three questions: What are you currently reading? What did you just finish reading? What are you going to read next?

Currently Reading:

Twisted Traffick

I am currently reading Twisted Traffick by Geza Tatrallyay.

Just Finished:

Twisted Reasons

Since my last post, I finished Twisted Reasons by Geza Tatrallyay. The novel definitely exceeded my expectations. This is the second book in the trilogy. The author personally reached out to me since his third installment will be published in June 2018. Review is as follows: Twisted Reasons (Twisted Trilogy #1) by Geza Tatrallyay

Reading Next:

Victoria Vanishes

Next, I will be reading Victoria Vanishes by Christopher Fowler.  This is my June 2018 Mystery Book Discussion novel for the book club at my local library.

What’s on your WWW Wednesday this week? Be sure to comment below and I’ll check it out!