Before Evil by Alex Kava

Before Evil by Alex Kava is the prequel in the Maggie O’Dell series.

Maggie O’Dell is a crime profiler at Quantico. Her speciality is to look at pictures, files, and cases from her office to solve crimes. She is good at what she does and coworkers have come to respect her for her knowledge.

At her first crime scene, Maggie encounters the madman Albert Stucky’s gruesome work. He is taunting and evil of how he takes parts of his victims and then displays them.

Stucky finds out that is work is being reviewed by an attractive FBI profiler, Maggie, that he would love to make her his next victim. While he thinks about completing his task, he has a little fun with her by making her job a little more interesting.

My review: 4/5 stars

This is my first time reading anything by Alex Kava. I have checked this book out a total of 2 times from the library and now just getting into it.

I thought at first that it wasn’t going to be well wrote, some prequel are not. They lack imagination and details because the author is trying to get you to the point of the first book. I have read a lot of prequels that suck and turn me off a series all together.

The author starts the book off writing a letter to her audience about how the books never were suppose to be a series. After a couple of books were wrote, she finally got around to writing a prequel and even states this is where to start for her series.

I was enticed as soon as I read the first chapter. very easy to read but keeps you captured in what is going on in the story. the twists and turns make this book even more enticing and I urge anyone that needs a good thriller to read Before Evil.

Have you ever read this author or book?

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Until You Loved Me By Brenda Novak

Until you loved me is the third book in the series Silver Spring by Brenda Novak.

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Are you looking for a romantic read? Than look no further and rush out to get this book. I have not read the other books in this series but I hope to. In the past, I had picked out this book from the library but never got around to reading it. Just the other day, I figured I would give it a try again and boy was I happy!

Ellie is a very strict person that plays by the rules. When she finds her fiancée cheating on her with another man, she decides that she needs to make a change. A change that ultimately changes her whole life.

On a night out on the town with a friend, Ellie runs into Hudson. A stranger that doesn’t really give much information about his life and neither does Ellie because of course they will never see each other again. They go from talking for hours, walking on a beach, and back to the Hudson’s hotel room for a night that Ellie will never forget. Waking up realizing she acted not like herself, she escapes without ever looking back at Hudson.

Ellie goes on with her life never thinking about seeing Hudson again until she finds out that she is pregnant. Hoping to raise the baby on her own, Hudson has plans to be very much involved in the baby’s life.

Ellie moves to Silver Springs with Hudson so that he can be involved in the pregnancy. As the pregnancy goes on, Ellie and Hudson find out that that they have more than a one night stand ahead of them and will do anything to stay together.

 

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My Review: 4/5 stars

For my first book of Brenda Novak, I was very impressed. I’m not sure why I never started reading books sooner.

When I started, Until you loved me, I figured it would be your typical romance book. Girl splits up from fiancée, once night stand, pregnant, and then gets together with father. This book offers way more than just your typical romantic book.

I felt like even though I had no connection to Ellie, I was experiencing what she was. I wanted to be her best friend while she goes through the steps of becoming a new parent. I was in love with Hudson and how no matter what he experienced in his past (being abandoned at birth) he wanted to make sure he was very much involved in his baby’s life.

I look forward to reading more of Brenda Novak’s books and hope to finish the Silver Springs series. I actually went on today to find out if I could reserve more of her books from the library!

Have you read any of her books? Are you going to read this book?

 

 

 

 

Competition as a nurse

I have been a nurse for 6 years. worked in hospitals and doctor offices. at every place of employment I encountered some kind of competition.

these competitions could be well known to others and you, for example trying to get the better patients or going home early. or inner competitions that you have with yourself against those that don’t even know there is a competition, for example doing your job to your best of your ability.

I have found that this week I have struggled a great deal with an inner competition. I am competing with other coworkers that don’t even know they are in a race. I need to stop it and ask myself why am I thinking I need to win?

I guess I just needed to rant at myself a little lol.

Low carb cube steak

Tonight’s dinner was simple and fast. we decided to spend the night playing games as a family instead of cooking a meal that was going to take a bit of time.

Basically I took cube steak and seasoned them to our liking.

sauteed onions and mushrooms.

Cooked green beans with seasoning and kerrygold butter.

Viola! dinner is served !

The boys also had mashed potatoes and corn. I had to resist because my weakness is potatoes.

Holiday signs

Our town library has free classes that you can to go.

The month of November they did a class called ‘make and take.’ Every month they have a different theme of a craft that you can do for free as long as supplies last.

November was making winter signs. They were so much fun to make !

What crafts have you made for the holidays?

A few of my Favorite things of Christmas decorations

It is only December 3rd and the Christmas spirit is coming alive.

Just this weekend there was the annual Christmas parade, tree lighting, and craft shows going on.

Usually we put the Christmas tree up the 28 or 29th but it went up earlier due to kid not being home. We put it up the weekend before Thanksgiving.

I have never really been into a lot of Christmas decorations and I usually treasure what I have because if usually has a story to it. I wanted to show you some of my favorite Christmas things.

First here is our tree.

It has store brought ornaments and handmade ones. We have had this tree for about 5 years. This is the first tree that bf and I bought together. I want to say buying the tree was fun but it was very stressful due to some other family issues. Every time I put up the tree, you notice that on one side there is a hole that no matter how we arrange it never gets smaller. That is where our cat Febe went running into the tree. If I could have got a picture that day I would have.

Some of my favorite ornaments are: penguin nurse, hedgehog, and Santa cam that my sister made for kids elf on shelf.

I have always wanted an advent calendar. I grew up with doing one every Christmas and I always wanted the same kind. Unfortunately, it is very hard to find out that you can reuse each year. My mom actually bought this one for me about 2 years ago.

My mom also bought me this Santa that I love. It goes nicely next to my tea light Christmas tree.

This year is the first time I have done a Christmas village.They are from my grandparents. Next to my villages I have a Christmas tree. A real Christmas tree! I’m not able to have a large real one because of allergies but I sure love my little one.

I love hedgehogs and about a year ago I bought these glitter hedgehogs that I love.

Around my house I have other Christmas decorations.

Usually I hang up lights and decorate like crazy but this year I did not….. yet. lol

Do you decorate a lot?

Planner pages for weight loss

Do u have a Planner? I would not be able to survive without one. I have one for just my day to day and then another for my meals and weight loss.

I will be doing another post about my outline for December. Stay tuned for that!

I have seen on Pinterest and the many groups I belong to on Facebook that people are doing weight loss trackers.

I have on my phone a weight app but I also wanted something hard copy.

I am no artist, so this is just very rough.

Basically just made a road map looking thing lol or that is what I think it looks like.

Each box is 1 pound or I might even do 5 lbs since I’m losing pretty fast.

I am embarrassed to show my starting weight at 215 lb. No judgement please.

On the opposite side I did a quick measurement drawing and then wrote down for future dates i do my measurements.

Do you have a planner ? I would love to know if you do so that i can check out the pages!

Keto/low carb Hamburger soup

I know it doesn’t sound glamorous and I’m sure it is a little weird. But with this new way of eating that I’m doing, I’m restricted to a lot of what i usually eat.

On Thanksgiving I cheated quite a bit on the food and the day after during black Friday. I wasn’t in the mood to cook and fast food was a better option.

How did I feel later? Horrible at myself that I gained 5 pounds!

To help jump start losing weight, I cooked 3 pounds of hamburger with onions and seasoning.

I also sauteed some mushrooms and green peppers.

I mixed the vegetables with the meat and then mixed in two cans of beef broth. normally you would use bone broth because of all the added fat but I didn’t have any. I added the healthy fat that I needed by using kerrygold butter.

I ate about one and half cups and added some more butter.

I know what ur thinking… that looks disgusting but it is so filling ! I ate about cup and half and sprinkled on some cheese. I had to add a little more extra seasoning to it but it was very tasty.

You are also prob asking why did I chose this soup. I did some research and found that to jump start metabolism would eat the same thing of the hamburger soup every day. People at times will stop losing weight when on a low carb or keto diet. I didn’t stop but wanted to get back on track and lose those 5 pounds I gained back in one day !

If you are interested in learning more, here is one of the websites I looked at.

https://www.isavea2z.com/how-to-break-a-weight-loss-stall-on-the-ketogenic-diet/

Keto–lazy keto

Keto. Low carb, high fat. High protein.

Everyone has heard of it, one time or the other. It seems like this diet or way of eating is popular right now.

I officially started on October 16th with a coworker.

Success is present in the numbers on the scale.

I started out at 220 and dropped about 12 pounds in 3 weeks. this was the fastest I dropped weight even when I was doing a weight management program.

No, i didn’t and still do not starve myself.

Keto is a whole new way of eating. You basically limit your carb intake a day. you want your protein to be high but not as high as your fat. Why fat? When you give your body carbs it breaks them down to make energy. Keto restricts your carbs and instead uses fat and protein to breakdown for energy. Your liver is breaking down the fat into ketones. This process is also known as ketosis.

My disclaimer regarding keto is I am no expert. I am learning about this way of eating, every day. I learn what I can and can’t eat. I regret decisions and then learn from them the next day. I have has my cheat days and then get right back on track. I do not know everything about keto, nor I’m I claiming to. I can honestly say if you want more information regarding a keto diet, look to the internet. you will find more sites then you can imagine. join Facebook groups for support as well as check out Pinterest.

this way of eating is not for everyone either.

I’m more of a lazy keto compared to my coworker. she counts everything including vegetables. I don’t necessarily count my vegetables if I know they are good for me. now I don’t over indulge in my vegetables, I just figured I would rather eat veggies then a bag of chips.

I also don’t do extra fat. if you researched keto, there are terms called “fat bombs,” “mct oil,” or “bulletproof coffee.” all of these are terms regarding increasing your fat in your diet. I increase mine but not that much. I found that my body doesn’t like certain fats and I have horrible stomach problems after.

I am more of lazy keto. I still eat my vegetables that technically have some carbs. I still allow myself to have some things that are sugar free that potentially could be hurting others being successful at this diet. Being a lazy keto has worked for me, I’m losing the inches and I feel great! I sometimes refer to this way of eating as low carb because I do eat as carbs but I keep it low.

Have you done keto?

French onion chicken

I have been eating a lot more healthier and chicken is my go to meal.

I was recently on Pinterest, big surprise I know, and the recipe for healthy French onion chicken kept popping up. After looking at the pictures for about 10 minutes, I figured might as well try this for dinner some night.

Ingredients:

chicken breast boneless skinless. I cooked 4 total that were quite large.

mushrooms

large onion

gravy mix

seasonings of your choice

Directions:

In a large baking dish, I coated bottom of pan with non stick spray and then put the chicken breast in.

To give the onions and mushrooms better flavor, I sauteed those first.

Prepared the gravy. Now this is where I messed up. The gravy calls for 1 cup. I did a little more because it would have cooked down and lost some of the water. Not the case. I should have done less water so that it would have thicken up. Oh well. Just be prepared if you want thick or thin gravy lol

Everything went into the pan then oven on 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, I took the pan out and added cheese. This was also the time that I put the fresh green beans in.

I let the chicken cook for another 20 minutes and then removed from oven.

I also served a nice cesear salad on the side. Doesn’t it look delicious?!?

It was very good but I found out that I messed up on the gravy. Other than that, the recipe was a success. I will for sure have to make this again.