May 2016 recap.


↠ May started with a bang: a few friends and I went to the Pittsburgh Veganfest which was a ton of fun – and I probably gained about 50lbs! The best part by far was the ice cream – it was flash-frozen with liquid nitrogen! There was also the amazing hot dog shop, Onion Maiden. Yum!

↠ It was also Mother’s Day, aka Race for the Cure.

↠ We celebrated our 9-month adoptionversary!

↠ Every year my town hosts Sewickley Unleashed, a street fair/5K/pet parade and it’s ALWAYS a blast – especially the costumes! Unfortunately, this year it was raining that entire weekend, so Matt and I didn’t do much browsing, though we did stop by for lunch at our favorite sandwich place!

↠ It’s officially ice cream weather and Baylor is thrilled!

↠ My grandparents took an impromptu trip over the Memorial Day weekend and I got to house- and dog-sit. ♥

↠ When I was growing up we had a literal zoo: I’m from farm country and our next-door neighbor was a horse, there was a llama farm not far from my school, and we always had a variety of chickens and ducks roaming about. As a present for my nieces, my dad recently picked up two ducks and I hadn’t seen them since they were babies. They’re now a few months old and I’m floored by how big they are! Naturally they were a total hit with the relatives at our holiday cookout.

↠ We held our second BookClubFix chat where we discussed Lyndsay Faye’s Jane Steele!


THE GIRL FROM SUMMER HILL BY JUDE DEVERAUX is SUCH a fun, modern take on Pride & Prejudice! I’m a little ashamed to admit this, but I had always assumed Jude Deveraux was a written for older ladies…um, NOT SO! This was a funny, swoony read that I devoured and cannot wait for the next book!

A KILLER BALL AT HONEYCHURCH HALL BY HANNAH DENNISON + a behind the scenes look at where she found inspiration for the series! Honeychurch Hall is quickly becoming one of my favorite cozies and this latest installment just might be the best one yet! A body discovered in a hidden room brings several long-held secrets to light.

EIGHT HUNDRED GRAPES BY LAURA DAVE was a quick read, but not nearly as enjoyable as I had been expecting. I mentioned in my review that I could see it being made into a Lifetime or a made-for-tv movie: there’s the small town charm, a family vineyard, two brothers in love with the same woman, a TON of family drama. What I couldn’t get past, though, was how no one took a stand. Not a single backbone existed in the entire family and when their wishy-washy attitudes lead to disappointment, they all act as those they’re the victims. No thanks.

THE ONLY THING WORSE THAN ME IS YOU BY LILY ANDERSON is, by far, one of the best YA novels I’ve read in a long, long time! There’s a fandom and geekery and one of my all-time favorite guilty pleasure tropes: a romance that begins with a rivalry. LOVED this one and I cannot recommend it highly enough!

DON’T YOU CRY BY MARY KUBICA solidifies her spot as one of my favorite suspense authors. While her last book lost some steam toward the end, Don’t You Cry keeps right on rolling until the final page. Secret identities, local legends, a roommate who wants to know just WHAT is going on…I was purposefully vague in my review and continue to be here – this is a novel to relish in and I won’t spoil it for anyone!

AT THE EDGE OF SUMMER BY JESSICA BROCKMOLE is a top read of 2016, y’all. World War One, young love that’s quickly torn apart, art, letters…Brockmole’s latest novel is an absolute treasure and I got a liiiitle flaily and gushy in my review!

MINI REVIEW ROUND-UP is a mix of excellent (Claire Legrand’s Some Kind of Happiness, Sharon M. Draper’s Stella by Starlight,) the really good (Terry Pratchett’s Dodger, Sandra Block’s The Girl Without a Name,) and the how did this get published (Ed Gray’s Left in the Wind.)

A DOUBLE DOSE OF YA THRILLERS: Megan Miranda’s The Safest Lies is a Panic Room-esque that had me captivated until the very end. Also featured is Teresa Toten’s Beware That Girl, a mind-bendy, psychological novel full of unreliable narrators, secrets, lies, and a super cute puppy.







5 thoughts on “May 2016 recap.

  1. Veganfests are so much fun. I couldn’t go to Cleveland’s this year because I was working. I was so sad.

    • How did I MISS this?! #VeganFest?! Is there a website about it?! I’m a veghead vegan whose currently an omnivore who wants to get her veg/veg back on! lol Partially why I want to relocate – I seriously want better access to locavore movements & farm to table choices that make my baker’s heart swoon for the possibilities of cookery delights! Hmm…

  2. Hallo, Hallo Leah Renee!

    Love the style of your monthly re-queue of what is happening on your blog! :) This is one reason I finally resolved to sort out a way to start by being consistently intentional in maintaining my #WWWeds posts! I liked the format of the style of that particular meme, whilst it granted me licence to make it my own, too! (the memes do; another favourite is ‘Bookish Not Bookish Thoughts’ soon to be resumed!)

    I caught sight of your displeasure of #800Grapes and knew I’d read that after I finish my own readings therein! You see, it’s part of my backlogue – leftover from #SRC2015! :( I simply never could attach myself to my #summerreading & #fallreading challenge books til now; thus, I’m on a journey back through both as Summer 2016 kicks-off! I’ll definitely drop back & let you know what I felt and how the story resonated with me. Doesn’t sound too promising as much as I was enjoying it’s beginning last year! :( Hmm,…

    Love adoption stories!! (or celebrations in this case!) I’ve been rescuing my animals since I was a kid! :) Rock on!

    Never read Mary Kubica either – her Pretty Baby is part of my #SRC2015 backlogue – thus, forthcoming review! I’ll drop back and read yours for this latest release to see if it might interest me past this initial reading!

    I was so miffed I had forgotten about #bookclubfix – so happy I could participate after the fact and get in on the action for the Voting process! Lost sight of that — which book was picked?!

    Hadn’t know this — I had a farm as a teenager and I long to have a farm again! :) Those ducks are a beaut! My favourite tv shows ATM are “Unlikely Animal Friends” and “United States of Animals” via #ondeman NatGeo Wild! Have you seen either programme?! You’d go all smiles! Esp about the duck who was adopted by the twin cats!

    *waves happily!*

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