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Book Review: The Here and Now by Ann Brashares

Buy this book at Amazon or Barnes & Noble

I get excited the moment you mention Time Travel, so when I saw that Ann Brashares had written a Time Travel novel, I was all over it! This book did not disappoint. Prenna and her mom and friends have immigrated to NY from the future due to a horrible blood plague carried by mosquitos.

They have a strict set of rules designed for not messing things up in the future, and their community’s leaders are constantly watching them. One of the major rules is that they cannot have any sort of intimate relationship with any of the “natives” – and Prenna is having trouble with that, since she has feelings for a boy in her class, Ethan, and he feels the same way towards her.

There are a lot of crazy things going on in this book. It is very thought provoking and interesting. It makes you consider all kinds of things in life, how everything you do affects everyone else, how time works, the past the present, the future… This book is full of so many insane plot twists and fun mysteries. It was really enjoyable to read, so much that I read it all in one sitting.

I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 because I felt that the ending was rushed. Enough was wrapped up that I was satisfied with the ending, but I still felt like more could have been given to us. Especially since the rest of the book was SO enjoyable, it was a bit disappointing to have the ending taken care of more on the quick side. That said, I really hope that there is a follow up book to THE HERE AND NOW, as I would definitely buy it!

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Maya’s Haircut

We decided to send Maya to the groomers to get her hair cut. She has not been feeling well lately and was recently diagnosed with Cushings disease. She has been responding well to the medication, but really needed some pampering. We got her a close haircut… and it may be a coincidence, but she has seemed noticeably happier lately. It is so nice to see her acting more like herself again.

She turns 11 year old this year. Having an aging dog is tough, but it is a reward to see the look in her eyes of how much she loves us.

Here are some cute photos of Maya after we picked her up from her grooming appointment.

Maya after a visit to the groomers... She looks like a short haired #dachshund now! #pictapgo_app #doxie #dog #dogs #dogstagram #dogsofinstagram #petstagram

Maya after a visit to the groomers... She looks like a short haired #dachshund now! #pictapgo_app #doxie #dog #dogs #dogstagram #dogsofinstagram #petstagram

It is still funny to see her shaved since we are used to a fluffball, but this is so much easier for all of us and keeps her much cleaner too! Her fur feels like velvet now. :) We plan to have her hair cut on a regular basis after seeing how beneficial this is for her and us.

We used the groomers over at our nearby PetSmart and were very happy with the service. The groomer was very warm, they explained everything very well, the prices were extremely reasonable, and they offered the ability to schedule an early appointment at 7AM and pick the dog up later in the day if needed. Our dog returned home in a very happy mood, and I felt comfortable leaving her for the day. I wasn’t paid for this review, by the way, just a happy customer!

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JudyApril 23, 2014 - 12:25 pm

Maya is such a special girl. Sometimes it just takes a new style to lift one’s spirits. Great review and story!

Album Review – Laurie Berkner’s Lullabies

Laurie Berkner’s latest album, Lullabies, is a joy for children and parents alike. The first thing you’ll notice when you open up the CD is that there are 21 songs! I was so excited to see that. Usually you only see about 12-15 songs on albums, but I was thrilled to see so many. The second thing that you’ll notice is that Laurie has written a blurb about each song and what they mean to her. As a music lover, I adore hearing the stories behind the songs, so I thought that this was a great inclusion to the album’s packaging.

Reading through the track list, I noticed a few songs that Laurie had re-worked as lullabies, like Under a Shady Tree and Five Days Old, as well as brand new, original songs, like All Around My Room, and Stars are Shining. Additionally, there are some nursery rhymes and traditional folk songs, which really round the album out and make it feel complete.

Laurie’s beautiful voice is crystal clear as always, and lends itself well to each and every song, but some of my favorites included Fireflies, I Gave My Love a Cherry (The Riddle Song), All the Planets, Nona Nona, and Five Days Old.

I Gave My Love a Cherry was one of the most beautiful songs on the album, in my opinion, because Laurie’s daughter Lucy is singing along with her. I just love when Zachary and I sing together, and I’m certainly not a professional singer – haha – so I can imagine how special it was for her to have her daughter sing with her. And this may sound a little silly, but Five Days Old has been one of my very favorite songs since I heard it for the first time on Nick Jr, when Zachary started watching TV as a toddler. I love it and was just so happy to hear it as a lullaby. It is a special song for me.

If you pick this album up, I guarantee that you and your children will enjoy listening to it. Laurie Berkner is a master at what she does. This album is lovely and will make a wonderful addition to your children’s music collection.

Click here to visit Laurie’s website.

Click here to purchase the album on Amazon.

Disclosure: A copy of the album was provided in exchange for an honest review. 

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JudyApril 22, 2014 - 1:23 pm

Excellent review. This lovely CD will make a wonderful gift for Mother & Grandmothers for Mother’s Day or Birthdays.