Young Adult Fiction

All posts in the Young Adult Fiction category

My Third Pregnancy: Overcoming the Challenges & Road Blocks

Published June 8, 2016 by Jennifer Elizabeth

Long before finding out I had my third baby boy on the way, I had a premonition that a third pregnancy would not be easy. I was correct. 🙂 Right off the rip I suffered from nausea—nearly all food …

Source: My Third Pregnancy: Overcoming the Challenges & Road Blocks

This Mom in Quarters

Published February 23, 2015 by Jennifer Elizabeth

… I haven’t blogged in forever. I feel oddly detached from something I once considered ‘mine’—yet here I am. Because, it’s time to write.

This past year has been a struggle.

Oh the Commitments

Last spring I committed myself to a new job, working part-time from home. I could swing it. Both of my boys would be in school three days a week.

And then, in the summer, I was presented with an opportunity to assist as a teacher in my youngest son’s preschool class twice a week. I figured I could find a balance, so I said yes. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see my sweet little boy make his first friends. And he’s only four years old once.

But in November, a mini-bomb dropped. (I call it a mini-bomb because my problems are nothing compared to what some go through. I completely acknowledge that. I am very blessed.)

Sayonara Brick and Morter

A series of … shall I say, “unfortunate events” led my husband and I to pulling our oldest son from his school. In the middle of the day.

Yes, it was that bad.

I quickly enrolled my son in a cyber school, trying to make the transition as smooth as possible, and am now responsible for being his 2nd grade teacher (along with my husband and sister-in-law who help on the days I am with my youngest in preschool).

And yes, it was the only option we felt was best.

Cut in Quarters

Aside from these three roles, I am also mom/wife.mom going crazy

Being split into four different roles—working mom, teaching preschool mom, teaching second grade mom, and everyday mom/wife—each requiring it’s own specific needs/time, is tough.

I feel I’m giving each role 25 percent, at best. I want to be super mom.  I want to give 100 percent to everything—especially as mom and wife.

Yet I’m not. I know I’m not. No one is going to tell me I’m not.

Who would say it anyways? That’s like telling someone they are a terrible person.

 But I am ‘quartering it.’ And I dislike it, very much.

On top of all of this, I have a story that is clawing away at my brain. I want to write it down. I want to find the time to write it down. But by the end of the day, I am mentally exhausted. The idea of spending any additional time—either in front of a computer screen or brainstorming in a note book—makes me cringe.

All I want to do is curl up under my down comforter and sleep … so I have enough energy and motivation to do it all over again the next day.

Sadly, “snow days” have become my best friend. I live in the polar vortex. Because of the cold, my youngest’s school has been closed a few times this month. I revel in these days. one.less.thing.to.do.

Grocery shopping? I’d rather not.

Cook dinner? My brain shuts down. I completely lack culinary creativity.

Cleaning? Sheesh, it never ends. So sometimes I just ignore it. But don’t judge. I know you ignore it sometimes too. 😉

HOWEVER … There is Light

Church. Faith. Both of which I am thankful.

My priest spoke beautiful words of truth the other Sunday …

Whatever you do, you shouldn’t be doing it for YOU. It’s not about YOU. It’s about HIM. It’s about LOVE. Your love for Him. Change how you do it, and do it out of love. ❤faith2

So I have been trying my hardest to recall these words every single time I start to feel the “ughs” and the “whys” and the discouragement roll around.

There is a REASON why for everything. I don’t have all the answers right now. And it may not all be perfect. But I need to have faith. I need to trust. I need to love. I will love.

Life is quite the journey. Perspective and faith are essential.

Peace.

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte Paired with a Great Book

Published August 31, 2013 by Jennifer Elizabeth

This past week I noticed several Facebook updates from friends who purchased their first Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte (A BIG fan favorite!) for the upcoming Fall season. It makes sense.  School started and we all know that once that happens, Fall arrives immediately! (Well, at least where I live it does!)

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte

So what is better than curling up with a great book and pairing it with a warm,  pumpkin spice latte? Even better, make it yourself and save yourself A LOT of money!

And so, since I am also a coffee and pumpkin lover (but am not a fan of spending money on things I can make myself), I decided to go recipe exploring for a homemade pumpkin spice latter and I discovered this one.

It’s a great recipe, but I decided to adapt it a bit ;).

Please note, my pumpkin spice latte recipe is HALF the original. I also decreased the amount of canned pumpkin by more than half because I am not a big fan of drinking liquid pumpkin ;). I think the recipe I developed tastes great. It’s not overwhelming in the pumpkin department and you can still taste the coffee–but it also is not overpowering.

AND, the end result is just sweet enough ;). Both my husband and my 3 year-old tried it and loved it. So, I think this pumpkin spice latte recipe is a success!

OK, so below is the recipe that I created. 😉 For those interested, I have posted images of the ingredients I used to create this recipe at the bottom of the post, as well as where I purchased them. ENJOY! 

Warm Pumpkin Spice Latte

1 Cup Almond Milk

1 1/2 tbsp. canned pumpkin

1 tsp. raw honey

1 tsp. organic vanilla extract

1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

6 oz. Brewed Coffee or Expresso

First, prepare your coffee:

I used 2 scoops of Maxwell House Coffee (original roast) and about 1 cup (6 oz.) water. I made my coffee is an Imusa stove top espresso maker (I found one at the Grove City outlets for under $5!!)

But you if have no idea what I’m talking about, you can find the Imusa stove top expresso maker here. Basically, it’s a percolator. It makes your coffee much stronger than a regular old coffee maker.

I love mine!

Imusa stovetop expresso maker

Next:

While  coffee is getting ready, combine the almond milk, pumpkin and raw honey in a small saucepan, and cook it on medium heat, stirring until steaming.

mix pumpkin, almond milk and raw honey

Next, remove saucepan from heat, stir in vanilla and spice. Then, grab your whisk and get to it! When a lot of foam is created, you’re ready to transfer to your cup 🙂

mixing in vanilla and spices

Pour pumpkin mix into one large mug or two mugs.

Then, add the hot espresso or coffee on top. Once poured, you can top with whipped cream and sprinkle pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg or cinnamon on top.

I just left my plain. 🙂

The end result

Ingredients:

Friendly Farms Almond Milk found at Aldi's grocery

Friendly Farms regular Almond Milk found at Aldi’s grocery store

Libby's Pure Pumpkin

Libby’s Pure Pumpkin

Crystal's All Natural Raw Honey found at Wegman's

Crystal’s All Natural Raw Honey found at Wegman’s

McCormick Pumpkin Pie Spice (found at Walmart)

McCormick Pumpkin Pie Spice (found at Walmart)

Simply Organic Pure Vanilla Extract

Simply Organic Pure Vanilla Extract

Who is the Miley Cyrus of Young Adult Fiction?

Published August 27, 2013 by Jennifer Elizabeth

The Miley Cyrus of Young Adult Fiction:

Is there One?

Unless you live under a rock, you have heard about (if not seen) the Miley Cyrus “music performance” at the 2013 VMA’s on Sunday, August 25.  It’s impossible to miss, especially if you’re active on Facebook.

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 25:  Miley Cyrus performs during the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards at the Barclays Center on August 25, 2013 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for MTV) via http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1713082/miley-cyrus-vma-performance-reactions.jhtml

NEW YORK, NY – AUGUST 25: Miley Cyrus performs during the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards at the Barclays Center on August 25, 2013 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for MTV) via http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1713082/miley-cyrus-vma-performance-reactions.jhtml

Various words have been attached to this girl: skank, disgusting, slut, outrageous, vile, repulsive…the list goes on. She is currently the “villain” of our culture. Parents are outraged, reporters are groveling in the coverage and many of us are asking, “What the hell happened to this girl?”

Sadly, here is one chic who clearly does not know who she is and she is trying to figure it out by meshing a load of different characters into one: Britney Spears, Madonna, Pink, Lady Gaga, even KISS. Sorry Miley, but your lack of originality reeks.

...Moving On

Well, of course, this event got me thinking about the young adult books I’ve read over the years, and I asked myself, “Has there been a character, so vile, that has absolutely repulsed me the way Miley Cyrus just did?” Of course I immediately thought of one specific character:

Bellatrix Lestrange from “Harry Potter”

Harry Potter

Bellatrix throws her knife as the prisoners escape (via http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Bellatrix_Lestrange)

If you have read “Harry Potter” then you probably understand why I made the connection. Bellatrix is pretty hideous to look at. She’s evil. She’s out to get the good guys. Readers hated her. And when I read various parts of “Harry Potter,” I absolutely despised her character. But does she meet the level of “vile” that Miley Cyrus displayed at the VMA’s? I’m not quite sure. Bellatrix was legit. Original. Miley? Not so much.

So then I thought about a book I recently finished reading: “The Opportunist” by Tarryn Fisher.

There is a character in this book that I wanted to stab. She’s beautiful but manipulative. She’s rich with money but lacking in character. She is Leah Smith. Yes, I despised her. I wanted her OUT of the picture. But was she repulsive and vile? I cannot say that she was…and again, she was pretty original. Miley Cyrus, again not so much.

So, my fellow Young Adult book readers, can you point out a character that is so skanky, repulsive and “unoriginal” that we can easily say, “Now SHE is the Miley Cyrus of Young Adult Fiction” ??? I keep trying to pinpoint one character that can easily match up…but I’ve got nothing. What do you think? If anything, Miley could definitely inspire the creation of one!

Oh Why Not? #BoutofBooks 8.0 is ON!

Published August 5, 2013 by Jennifer Elizabeth

Updates

(I’ve moved everything around a little bit so that you don’t have to scroll forever!..beginning of Bout of Books is at the end of the post ;).)

Sunday – 8/25

*Number of books I’ve read today: 1; The Opportunist (Love Me With Lies #1) by Tarryn Fisher (Caleb Drake!!)

*Total number of books I’ve read: 1 (I’m still working on Timepiece by Myra McEntire.)

* Books read: 1 (YAY!!)

*Books in progress: 1

*How I’m feeling: Ok, so I was a speed reader with “The Opportunist (Love Me With Lies #1)” by Tarryn Fisher. Seriously could not put this book down. I’m happy that I made it through ONE book :). Viva la Read-a-thon!!!

*Interesting stuff: I started screaming (in my head, not out load, lol) about 60% of the way through this book. I LOVED the characters, cringed at the ending (but wait, there’s two more books in this series, so who knows where it may lead ;)) and could NOT put it down. It was an easy read, a fast read (quite a few pages, but the flow was good). I hope to post a review of it soon :).

Saturday – 8/24

*Number of books I’ve read today: 0
*Total number of books I’ve read: 0
* Books read: 0

*Books in progress: Bet you can’t guess…LOL…oh, wow! I’m still reading Timepiece by Myra McEntire. There’s a shocker! Ha! 😉 I am now 24% of the way through!

*How I’m feeling: I’m good. I’m not going to complain about my lack of reading or time for reading. Today was an awesome day. My husband and I took our boys to the air show in our town, and then took them to a birthday party at the roller skating rink. It was their first time roller skating (and it was at the same exact place that I used to go skating at when I was a kid). It was an awesome day :).

*Interesting stuff: See above 🙂

Friday – 8/23

*Number of books I’ve read today: 0
*Total number of books I’ve read: 0
* Books read: 0

*Books in progress:  Believe it or not, I’m still reading Timepiece by Myra McEntire. I’m now at 23% of the way through.

*How I’m feeling: Perhaps joining a read-a-thon the week before school starts was not the best of ideas!! 🙂 Today I spent a lot of time outside with my kids. I read little bit, but mostly played wiffle ball and pushed my boys on the swings. It is what it is. 🙂 I’ll have a lot more time to read when my oldest goes back to school…and yet I am not looking forward to all that down time…I love my babies ❤

*Interesting stuff: ….I’ve got nothing!!

 Thursday – 8/22

*Number of books I’ve read today: 0
*Total number of books I’ve read: 0
*Books read: 0

*Books in progress: I feel like a broken record here! ha! I’m still reading Timepiece by Myra McEntire. Today I went from 20% of the way through to 21%.

*How I’m feeling: Many of my fellow bout-of-bookers have thrown some awesome encouragement my way, so I’m not feeling so bad about my lack of progress anymore. 🙂 I love bookish friends!!

*Interesting stuff: Today I didn’t get too much reading done (shocker!) because I decided to take my little guys to the amusement park. School starts on Monday, so this was kind of our last summer “hoo-rah” before school begins. Perfect weather. Perfect memories. I won’t complain :). I may hit up the beach with the kiddos tomorrow…perhaps I will dive into “The Opportunist (Love Me With Lies #1)” by Tarryn Fisher. I’ve heard many many good things about this Caleb Drake character :).

Wednesday – 8/21

*Number of books I’ve read today: 0

*Total number of books I’ve read: 0
*Books read: 0

*Books in progress: Same story. Different day. I went from 19% to 20% on my Kindle…ugh. So, not many…I’m still reading Timepiece by Myra McEntire.

*How I’m feeling: Yesterday was just a mentally draining day for me.  School starts on Monday, and I’m just not ready to send my baby away for 7+ hours a day, 5 days a week. I struggled through it last year for Kindergarten and I’m still struggling. I love my kids. I have a teaching background and am constantly researching homeschooling. But my oldest enjoys people…he enjoys attention and can command a room like none-other…so I go back and forth as to what is best for him. Our neighborhood isn’t exactly “kid friendly,” so he doesn’t get the socialization with other neighborhood kids that a lot of kids get….so I don’t know. Sometimes I just feel like it’s a lose-lose situation. Blah..sorry, I’m in a mood. Fingers crossed this school year is better than last.

*Interesting stuff: One of the best parts of my day was seeing everyone’s creativity in poetry 🙂 I wish I could be more active with Bout of Books. I’m trying…I get caught up in work and kids, and I sometimes forget to make “me time.” But I do my random 20 second searching a few times a day…so all is not lost. 🙂

 Tuesday – 8/20

*Number of books I’ve read today: 0
*Total number of books I’ve read: 0
*Books read: 0

*Books in progress: Ugh. I am officially 19% through Timepiece by Myra McEntire

*How I’m feeling: Defeated!! …but I am still pushing forward!!!!

*Interesting stuff: (really not that interesting, but more so about my life..lol)

SO! Today  I did laundry, cleaned both kitchen and bathroom floors, changed bed sheets in all the rooms…and then in the evening it was “meet and greet” night at my son’s school (my oldest is going into 1st grade). It was a rough evening when my son realized he is only 1 of 6 kids from his Kindergarten class now on his 1st grade class. And none of his “BFFs” are in his class…. 😦  I tried my best to put a “positive spin” on the situation, but I feel like I failed miserably. Anyways, after that I spent quite some time hashing it out with fellow “mom friends” from his school…analyzing the situation and trying to make sense of logistics.

With that said, my reading for the day failed miserably as well. Ugh. Vivia la read-a-thon…let’s try for day 3 success!

Monday – 8/19
*Number of books I’ve read today: 0
*Total number of books I’ve read: 0
*Books read: 0

*Books in progress: I am officially 17% through Timepiece by Myra McEntire

*How I’m feeling: I LOVE that this book (Book #2 of the Hourglass Series) is written from Kaleb’s perspective *swoon* lol 🙂

*Interesting stuff: My reading started out great today–was able to get my #readathon on for a bit. And then I had to hit up the grocery store for some back-to-school lunch box essentials. After that it was off to the dentist for my 6 month check-up and cleaning as well as my  3 year-old’s very first visit to the dentist. Finally, my husband and I had to pick up our second car that had been getting inspected all day (our other car was inspected last week–two car inspections in less than a week IS NOT FUN. It puts a nice hole in your pocket, that’s for sure! Ha!

Bout of Books Day 3 Challenges

Challege #1: TBR List Challenge @ Musings of a Bookship Girl
My Top 5 in my TBR list are as follows in no particular order:

1. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
2. Losing Hope by Colleen Hoover
3. Slated by Teri Terry
4. My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
5. Unremembered by Jessica Brody

If I won this contest, all 5 of these would be the ones I would purchase (if I had enough cash to do so! =))

Challenge #2: Book Spine Poetry @ Such a Novel Idea

Bout of books

The eternal ones fated the truth about forever.

If I stay the lucky one, lock and key wither.

Crossed, evercrossed.

**Leave me a link to your book spine poetry!***

I’d love to read it!

 

In the beginning…

I’ve been treating myself to some fantastic books lately (as well as writing a bit each day!!)–so I decided, why not participate in the Bout of Books 8.0 read-a-thon? After all, this is exactly where my connections to fellow book lovers were built (as seen here). So, this is my official “sign-up.” 🙂

If you want to join me in the Bout of Books read-a-thon, just click on the challenge badge (image) below!

Official Blurb:

Bout of Books 8.0
Bout of Books 8.0

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week-long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 19th and runs through Sunday, August 25th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 8.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

My Reading Goals and Such:

The Opportunist (Love Me With Lies #1) by Tarryn Fisher (I have only heard good things about this Caleb Drake character!!)

Timepiece: An Hourglass Novel by Myra McEntire

*Participate in at least one challenge*

**Connect with new book lovers**

So, what are your reading goals? Please share with me!

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