September 16, 2014

Books of Late #5

I'm still devouring books over here and these are the latest....



What Alice Forgot - Reading this book can feel frustrating, but ultimately that's what makes it such a good read.  This is the story of Alice and how she hit her head during spin class and forgot the last 10 years of her life.  As the reader, we regain Alice's memories essentially at the same time she does - this is what's frustrating...you will want to know what Alice is forgetting as much as she does.  I couldn't put this book down because I. Just. Wanted. To. Know!  This should be filed in the chick lit category, it's a good, fun, summer read.



The Signature of All Things - I loved the beginning of this book, with the adventure, travel and history as we the reader(s) learn about Henry Whittaker and his rise from boy thief to successful businessman. Then we meet Alma Whittaker, Henry's daughter and our true main character.  Alma is interesting herself, but her story dragged for me throughout the middle.  Once Alma becomes married some mystery arrives and the adventure, travel and history return.  This is a good book but was totally unexpected for me to have come from Elizabeth Gilbert.



The Silver Star - Jeanette Wall's The Glass Castle is one of my favorite books, so maybe my expectations for Silver Star started out too high.  The narrator of this book is 12 year old bean.  The story is good, but it definitely feels like reading a pre-teen/teen book.  Although I wasn't terribly disappointed in this quick read, I guess I expected more.



Where'd You Go Bernadette? - This book hit me from out of nowhere, it was so far from what I expected I was instantly hooked.  A compilation of e-mail messages, newsletters and other "media" writing combined with some narration from one of the main characters, a girl named Bee, this book was written in a way I have only seen one other time (in a book I can't remember the title of).  Part gossip, party mystery, part happy, part sad....I really liked this book because it caught me off guard.  I finished it in about 2 days I was so hooked.  Makes for great poolside enjoyment.





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September 8, 2014

#thisiswholesome

My husband, step-son and nephew recently headed out for an all boys camping trip.  On the top of the grocery list were S'More fixins, including Honey Maid Graham crackers.



Honey Maid Grahams are a staple in our house, the perfect cure for a sweet tooth or just a simple snack, we all eat them, all of the time.  So when the opportunity arose to collaborate with Honey Maid and PopSugar I was game just based on the product alone.  It was later that I was introduced to Honey Maid's #thisiswholesome campaign and related commercial.  Are you familiar with it?  If not, please watch.


I was honestly thrilled when I saw this ad.  I think this is such a brave and beautiful message for a large brand like Honey Maid to share.  Beyond my fondness for their Graham Crackers, I am proud to be supporting Honey Maid and the #thisiswholesome campaign as it demonstrates such a positive image of people we love and care about and our little family as well.

Tina Norton Photography
I think of our family as wholesome, but it saddens me to know that there are plenty of people in the world who would look at us and see things differently.

As a mixed-race couple I am happy to say we have not had any negative experiences, at least that we are aware of.  But the reality is, even in 2014, there are places that as a family we may think twice about visiting, there are people in the world who will view us negatively because of the color of our skin and we do worry about our children and experiences they may encounter in their lives.

Beyond the differences in our skin are the other differences in our family unit.  The cute boy in that photo is my step-son and we co-parent with his mom.  The little girl in my tummy will be his half-sister.  

Our backgrounds are also different.  My husband calls himself "brown"; he grew up with a black father and a white mother who were married until his Dad passed away 12 years ago.  My parents divorced when I was three and re-married when I was five.  He grew up in a house with 2 parents, I grew up in 2 houses with 4 parents.  He has a "whole" sibling and 6 half siblings.  I have zero "whole" siblings, 1 half sibling and 2 step-siblings.  He grew up LDS, I grew up not attending church.  He didn't know any gay people until he was in high school. I have 3 gay family members and was a flower girl in my gay uncle's wedding when I was 11. My family is liberal and granola.  His is conservative and traditional.  

My point is this: our beauty as humans is made up of our differences.  Wholesome is not defined by a picture that fits in a box, but defined by individuals, our beautiful differences and how we choose to share good with the world.  Honey Maid understands this and their message can be an inspiration for all of us.  #thisiswholesome.  May something as simple as a graham cracker be your reminder.

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Honey Maid through their partnership with POPSUGAR. While I was compensated by POPSUGAR to write a post about Honey Maid, all opinions are my own.







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