Books I’ve Read (So Far) in 2018

truly madly guilty the good daughter surprise me the handmaid's tale the perfect mother books i've read liane moriarty karin slaughter sophie kinsella margaret atwood aimee molloy

I’ve recently started reading books more. I’ve set my goal to be 15 books this year for my Goodreads challenge (follow me here!), but I can already tell it will be more than that! I got a late start and started in April, but I’ve already read 5 books! Considering I hadn’t finished a book for fun since I had my son January 2017, I’m already calling 2018 a success for reading! Here are the 5 books I’ve read so far.

Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty (April 2018)

**/5 stars

I really disliked this book, but had to finish to know what happened “at the barbecue”. It’s very vague and has a lot of tension in the story, but you don’t know what happened until 50-60% of the way through the book. The last half of the book was a bit quicker of a pace, but it was still painful watching all the loose ends be tied up. If you’re looking for a Liane Moriarty book, I’d pick up a different one like Big Little Lies or The Husband’s Secret!

The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter (April 2018)

****/5 stars

This was the book we read in April for my book club. It was a great mystery/thriller (probably more mystery than thriller although there is some pretty graphic violence described). We were also able to have some great discussion questions from it, as there are some heavy themes throughout. The book has a lot of drama in it and focuses a lot on relationships which I enjoyed. This would be a great mystery to pick up for vacation!

Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella (May 2018)

**/5 stars

This was the book for May for book club. I really despised this book. The premise of the book is that the couple finds out they have 68 years together when they have a physical and are very upset by the thought and how they’re going to fill that much time together. The fact that they were that affected by finding this out was really annoying to me since you never know what will happen. I definitely wouldn’t have finished this one had it not been for book club, and I know several others dropped out along the way for book club!

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (June 2018)

*****/5 stars

I honestly had no interest in reading this book until recently. I had made some assumptions on what the book was about previously based on the cover (I know, never judge a book by the cover), and when the Hulu series started getting really popular, my husband and I started watching it. I was instantly gripped by the story and knew I had to read the book! We read this in June for book club, and it was a huge hit. This is a great pick for a book club since there are so many possible discussion questions to bring up. It is extremely disturbing, but a valuable and entertaining read.

The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy (June/July 2018)

****/5 stars

This was a great thriller! I grabbed this when it was on sale for $2.99 on Kindle and it was a great find! I finished the book in under a week (which is fast for me considering I have a 17 month old, work full time, it was my husband’s birthday in the middle, and I’m reading another book for book club too)! A baby goes missing from a group of moms called the May Mothers that have met through an online moms group and the book follows several of the moms as they try to figure out who did it and adjust to being new moms. I loved this book since I could really relate to a lot of the sub-topics about becoming a mom, and the mystery/twist at the end was also unexpected! Highly recommend for a quick summer read!

I’ll be back at the end of the month with an update on a few books I’m reading now!

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Meal Plan #1

Dinners This Week

The prices used for ingredients are from Pay Less ClickList prices. Calculations for total meal price only use ingredients specifically bought for that recipe (doesn’t include staples or milk/eggs/butter typically) or things used all or mostly for that recipe.

Meal One

Meal Two

Meal Three

Lunch


Grocery List – $82.47

Dairy – $10.35

  • Eggs (2), (5) – $0.99
  • Milk (2) – $2.29
  • Butter (4), (5), (7) – $2.99
  • Grated Parmesan cheese (5) – $2.49
  • Sour cream (7) – $1.59

Meat – $32.72

  • 12 oz andouille sausage (1) – $5.49
  • 1 4-6 lb boneless pork butt or shoulder (3) $2.99/lb
  • Maple bacon (4), (6) – $4.99
  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (or chicken tenders) (5)  – $6.29
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts (7) – $3.99/lb

Grocery – $19.18

  • Instant Rice (1), (7) – $2.19
  • 1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes (1) – $1.00
  • Tomato paste (1) – $0.45
  • Jiffy cornbread mix (2) – $0.50
  • Buns (3) – $1.00
  • Bourbon (4) –
  • Real maple syrup (4) – $5.79
  • Bisquick (5) – $2.59
  • Dried cranberries, optional (6)
  • Chicken broth (6), (7) – $1.29
  • 1 can Mexicorn (southwestern corn or regular corn) (7) – $1.89
  • 1 can black beans (7) – $0.59
  • Ranch seasoning mix (7) – $1.89

Produce – $20.22

  • 1 stalk celery (1) – $1.39
  • 1/2 yellow onion (1) – $0.67
  • 1 small green pepper (1) – $0.69
  • Fresh parsley, optional (1)
  • 1 small zucchini, optional (1)
  • 1 large Vidalia onion (3) – $0.67
  • 4 cups (3 ears) sweet corn (4) – $2.00
  • 2 green onions (4) – $0.50
  • 2-3 lb Brussels sprouts (6) – $3.99
  • Cilantro (7) – $0.59
  • 2 large heads or hearts of Romaine lettuce (7) – $1.99
  • 4 limes, optional (7)
  • 1 package with 4-5 2oz store-bought snack pack guacamole (7) – $4.99
  • 1 container (10 oz) store-bought pico de gallo (7) – $2.49
  • Tomatillo (7) – $0.25
  • Jalapeno, optional (7)

Staples

  • Olive oil (1)
  • Cajun seasoning (1)
  • Ground cayenne pepper (1), (3)
  • Dried parsley (1)
  • Dried thyme (1)
  • Dried sage, optional (1)
  • Seasoned salt, optional (1)
  • Pepper (1), (3), (4), (6), (7)
  • Brown sugar (3)
  • Paprika (3), (5)
  • Salt (3), (4), (5), (6), (7)
  • 3/4 cup cider vinegar (3)
  • Worcestershire sauce (3)
  • Crushed red pepper flakes (3)
  • Sugar (3)
  • Dry mustard (3)
  • Garlic salt (3)
  • Balsamic vinegar (6)
  • Taco seasoning (7)
  • Flour (7)
  • Minced garlic (7)
  • Mayo (7)