Dinner Last Night: Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie

On the shortest day of the year, it seemed only fitting to have the ultimate comfort food for early darkening skies and falling temperatures, sweet potato shepherd's pie.  I ended up using yams so my topping was a bit more orangey than this picture, but delicious nonetheless.  Try this at home, it'll be worth your while, a big heaping spoonful of yum!

Storyworth Giveaway Winners

Congratulations to Marissa H., Heather T., and Katie U., the three winners of my Storyworth giveaway!  You will each receive a 1-year subscription to Storyworth for 1 storyteller and 1 book, valued at $79!  Thanks again to all who entered.

In case you didn't win this time around - don't fret, it's definitely not too late to partake in the magic of Storyworth.  No shipping and handling necessary, deliver this e-gift today to your loved one of choice, who will assist you in in scribing and preserving your family's stories for years to come.

image via storyworth

Quote of the Week

"First we’ll make snow angels for two hours, then we’ll go ice skating, then we’ll eat a whole roll of Tollhouse cookie dough as fast as we can, and then-- we’ll snuggle."
- Buddy the Elf
image/bloom

Christmas Favorites

Christmas is in full swing around our house.  We've got the Mariah Carey "All I Want For Christmas is You" pandora station playing on repeat.  And after two brief - but visibly appeasing - snow days, we've stocked up with plenty of hot cocoa and twinkly lights to keep us warm and cozy through Christmas day.

+ slowly making my way through my favorite Christmas movies, including, Love ActuallyElf, White Christmas, The Holiday, Little Women, and The Family Man. What are your faves?

+ making many a snowflake and mitten from this gingerbread recipe.

+ reading our way through book advent with my kids every night (this and this were my kids' Christmas books for 2016)

+ enjoying apple cider mimosas at brunch with girlfriends (I'd never heard of these before -soo good!)

+ decorating gingerbread houses with my daughter via this kit (on sale!)

+ awaiting our mail carrier's delivery every day for Christmas and holiday cards, we went with these this year 

+ made this delicious tart (yet again) for my mom's group holiday party

What are your Christmas favorites in your neck of the woods?

image/bloom

Dinner Last Night: Crispy Prosciutto Cheesy White Lasagna

Made this cheesy pan of deliciousness last night - it was the perfect comfort food for a cold, crisp winter day.  Crispy edged on the outside, cheesy goodness inside, enough spinach to justify a vegetable portion, and best of all - crunchy prosciutto on top.  Delish!

image/halfbakedharvest

Giving the Gift of Story **GIVEAWAY CLOSED**

My love affair with Storyworth grows by the day as the anecdotes from my parents continue to roll in.  It feels like such a have new stories from my family's past arrive effortlessly in my email inbox, ready to spring to life by my viewing.  

My most recent favorite was a particular anecdote written by my father.  Having grown up in a different state than my grandparents for most of my life, I find that my memories from my paternal grandparents are a bit hazier than those of my maternal grandparents.  As such, I know even less about their parents (my great-grandparents).  This prompt "Do you have any particularly vivid memories of your grandparents?" was especially enlightening, and a gateway into a whole chapter I never knew.

My most vivid memories of my Paternal Grandparents are from visits to the family farm in South Dakota and seeing all the work they did every single day. They always rose early and worked until sunset. My first real memories of them are as an 8 year old at their 50th wedding anniversary with all of my family and many many relatives there for the celebration. I recall my grandmother making sheets of egg noodles for the entire family to have chicken noodle soup and canning every fruit and vegetable imaginable for the winters ahead. I remember my grandfather and uncles in their denim overalls heading out to the fields after a full breakfast and then breaking for lunch (“dinner” in the Dakotas) and a late supper. I also recall the great two story home they built with a wrap-around porch and root cellar for canned goods. I spent many days collecting the morning eggs from the chickens, spreading corn for livestock and operating harvest equipment with my uncles in the Midwest states.
My memories of my Maternal grandparents are of a much different nature in the same state. My mother’s mother died when she was very young and my memories are of her father and stepmother who we always knew as our grandmother. They lived in a fine house in Rapid City, South Dakota. My grandfather was a lawyer and Judge in the South Dakota court system and held that position for many years. My grandmother raised my mother and several additional younger children she had with my grandfather. I recall the large back porch overlooking acres of grass behind the house and my grandfather’s office with it’s musty smell of older law books and wood. We spent many hours roaming through the house and grounds of their property.
After receiving these stories, I find myself reading and rereading these passages, hanging onto specific details as I try and visualize the scene, and my father living these moments as a child.  
This connection to the past has been such a gift, as these kinds of prompts don't always arise in casual dinner conversation.  I'm thankful that Storyworth has recognized the power of the written word, and provided my family opportunity to have our stories preserved in print, catalogued for our family for generations to come.

Just in time for the holidays, I'm offering a giveaway so you too can give the gift of Storyworth.  All you need to do to be eligible is enter your name and email address here!  Three winners of those eligible will be picked to receive a 1-year subscription for 1 storyteller and 1 book, valued at $79!  This would be such a wonderful gift to receive this Christmas season.

To be eligible: click this link, add your name and email, and leave a comment below.  Happy storytelling! 
**NOW CLOSED**

Christmas Gift Guide

I love seeing the various gift guide's across my favorite blogs, so I decided to make my own - a collection of my current favorite things for this holiday season - and oh, my sweet 
husband, if by chance you're free, feel free to take notes...
Small Victories cookbook
cozy winter jammies (currently on sale!)

What's catching your eye this holiday season?

November Favorites


+ gingerbread spice Theo chocolate (I stress ate 3 of these bars in 3 days following the election)

+ my obsession with Denmark and the Danish continues with this book

+ red buffalo plaid in toddler sizes - it's just so darn cute

+ venturied back to stars hollow with the gilmore girls revival

+ this episode of black mirror (the future of our cell phone culture?)

+ these t-shirts we picked up in kauai

+ this a-mazing cranberry, caramel, and almond tart I made for thanksgiving

Quote of the Week

"To be beautiful means to be yourself.  You don't need to be accepted by others, you need to accept yourself."  
~ Thigh Nhat Hanh

image/bloom

Friday Fun

+ have you ever heard of "the empty chair" concept at a wedding? I never had, to me it sounds feasible and a helpful solution to ensure facetime with everyone on your special day

+ how much would it cost to live in Stars Hollow?

+ I found this so interesting, what is the soundtrack of your life?

+ daydreaming about a Scandanavian family vacation

+ surprised in the election?  take this quiz: do you live in a bubble?

+ the teacher in me loves this - remodel reveals untouched blackboards from 1917

+ in need of a happiness boost? try one of these songs

+ love this friendsgiving spread

Have a wonderful weekend!
image/teoti.uk

Quote of the Week

"When they go low, we go high."
- Michelle Obama

image/emilystyle

Cookbook Crush: Molly on the Range

When the world is full of uncertainty; and we're treading the waters of this new political chapter, I am trying to continue to push the positive, and keep this a safe, happy space, in spite of the ugly words and actions in the world right now.  Therefore, I am resuming my normal posting with a favorite series of mine, Cookbook Crush.  When the world seems daunting and scary, I often find myself burrowing into a good book, or five... and finding sanctuary and a safe quiet place to just "be" for a time.  

My latest cookbook crush is the first cookbook from a favorite food blogger of mine, Molly of My Name is Yeh.  I've been reading Molly's blog for probably five years now, following her adventures from studying percussion at Julliard in New York City, eating her way through the various burroughs to her move back to the Midwest to marry her college sweetheart and live on a sugar beet farm straddling the Minnesota/North Dakota border.  Everything that makes her blog memorable, warm, and endearing is lovingly wrapped up in this cookbook, Molly on the Range.  It's a blend of memoir, and anecdotal narratives, peppered with swear words, laugh out loud moments, and of course, recipes of the sweet, savory, holiday, and dessert variety.  The best kind of cookbook.

I checked it out from the library, but alas it was due before I got a chance to make any of her recipes.  Guess this one will have to go on my Christmas list.  Santa??


Friday Fun

Cheers to the weekend!  We've had a beautiful crisp, clear kick off to November around these parts.  Loving the blue skies amidst the slight chill in the air.  So beautiful!  We're excited for Disney on Ice tomorrow and family photos on Saturday, shaping up to be a fun family-filled weekend.  Have a good one! 

+ made these pumpkin cinnamon rolls this week (and again tonight for a party tomorrow)...soo good

+ wanting to try these cacio e pepe chips

+ another reason to work on my posture


+ eyeing these jammies for cold winter months

+ love these weekly photos of a mom and her daughters


+ kind of crushing on these hard suitcases (my poor roller bag is on its last legs)

+ this episode of This American Life


+ the insider's guide to Paris in the fall

+ this is on the to-bake-soon docket

image/bloom

October Favorites

Can you believe it's the last week of October?!  We just celebrated our son's first birthday with a campfire themed celebration among family.  What a whirlwind year!  Here are some of my October favorites as of late...

+ the Fixer Upper memoir, The Magnolia Story

+ Marvel's Luke Cage on Netflix

+ this new cookbook, Molly on the Range

pumpkin cheesecake tea by Davids Tea (not as sweet as it sounds)

+ this fall-feeling nailbolish, OPI schnapps out of it

+ this subtle yet delicious pumpkin bread

+ this Seth Meyers monologue

+ this app, unroll me which has uber simplified my junk mail

+ Avalon Organics facial wash

image/bippityboppityboo

Halloween in Dessert Form

I need a reason to make this cake.  Forbidden Forest Chocolate Butterbeer Cake, combining my love for Harry Potter, delectable chocolate, marshmallowy goodness, and Halloween decorating all into one eye catching, decadent dessert.  Wowza!  I'll definitely be pinning this bad boy to make at some undetermined time in the future when my kids are older and more able to truly appreciate the spectacle (and effort invested).  For now I'll pass it in on to you out there, in case you've got the gumption to create this masterpiece.

P.S. And for those wondering, "What does butterbeer taste like?" I had the exact same thought... This recipe calls for butterscotch chips, peanut butter, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and sugar.  Yum.


Quote of the Week

"Before you marry a person, you should first make them use a computer with slow internet to see who they really are."
~ Will Ferrell

image/pheartache

Foodie Roundup: Pumpkin Edition

Tis the season for pumpkin!

{SWEET}










{SAVORY}








Quote of the Week

"The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience." 
~ Eleanor Roosevelt

image/bloom

Cookbook Crush: Cravings

You guys - I cannot tell you how much I love, love, LOVE this cookbook.  It's no surprise, I get a small thrill every time discover a new worthy cookbook.  Just like finding that latest and greatest I-couldn't-put-it-down book that everyone's been talking about, this discovery represented that for me.

  First, I had no idea who Chrissy Teigen was.  When I stopped ready Us Weekly years ago, I purged all my unnecessary knowledge of random celebrities, names of spouses, kids, names of their restaurants, etc. etc.  In case you also haven't heard of her, she's mildly famous for her modeling days and being John Legend's wife, but more importantly wildly funny.

For the record, a good cookbook in my mind's eye includes the following:
 a). it speaks to me
b). colorful pictures of the food, I'm terribly visual, so pages with just recipes is a no-go
c). narratives to explain the nostalgia, passion, or thinking behind the food
d).  enough delicious sounding (easy) recipes to make my stomach rumble

Cravings is ALL of these and more, though this is far from your typical cookbook!  It is peppered with swear words, healthy-ish recipes but the title speaks to the content, as it is layered with cheesy, rich, and decadent "real life" recipes you actually crave too.  I appreciate this, as who really craves beets, or salad.  Maybe once in a blue moon?  

Trust me, it's worth it.


image/katiepowellbell

September Favorites (a day late)


+ Stranger Things on Netflix; a town overcome by creepy things, love the attention to 80's detail, weird and addicting all at once

+ The Danish Way of Parenting, one of the best parenting books I've read yet

+ Decent new(ish) Disney movie Zootopia we watched on the plane

+ the new batch of winter jammies at Hanna Andersson

+ this lavender scented eye mask

+ Kodiak cakes pancake mix (available at Costco)

+ this seasonal pumpkin-cranberry infused beer

+ love this story about a what memories an American girl doll can hold

Weeknight Baking: Banana Bread Granola

Oh my goodness, this stuff is amazing!!  Salty, sweet, crunchy, chewy, and packing a punch of flavor.  Bonus; it's gluten-free and vegan (if you use agave in lieu of honey).  This made my kitchen smell heavenly, and tasted even better! 


Lovely Little Reads: The Bear and the Piano

I'm a bit behind on my children's literature postings, but have been much more active on instagram, so if you're interested in following along with our latest library finds, please follow along!

This book was given to us as a gift, but I'm so delighted to have found it!  The Bear and the Piano boasts beautiful illustrations, from dewy forests illuminated by morning light to the dazzling sparkle of the big city.  This book feels like the perfect balance in a children's read; enough character development and depth to be meaningful, but short enough to keep the interest of a 3-year old.  Cha Ching!  Plus the Bear sporting a day-old tuxedo with undone bow tie is just too darling to miss.

Check out this one, it's worth a snuggle and a read aloud together.

image/myphotos

Foodie Roundup

What are you eating today?  Need an idea or two...?


+ how can you say no to watermelon rose margaritas?

+ toasted gnocchi with parmesan, mushrooms, and basil

+ i've never baked with lavender, but these have me curious to try, blackberry lavender white chocolate scones.  talk about a morning pick me up!



+ crockpot corn chowder with roasted poblanos

+ another pavlova to write home about, I really need to try one at home

+ I could devour a slice of cardamom apple gallette right now
image/freckledandfree

August Favorites (a few days late)

+ the documentary twinsters (on netflix).  the real life story of two girls who found each other on the internet, and discovered they're identical twins separated at birth.  talk about whoa!

+ harmless harvest coconut water, and surprise, it's (naturally) often pink!  

+ this cross-country family road trip, have you been reading along?

+ about halfway through Padma Lakhsmi's memoir, I've never craved Indian food as much as after reading this!

+ my big fat greek wedding 2 - not quite the original, but if you enjoyed the first one, this will keep you laughing

+ cowboy bark at trader joe's, eager to try out this copycat recipe

+ loving my new (ridiculously soft) tee from this etsy shop

+ pretty much obsessed with chrissy teigen's new-ish cookbook

+ a new (to me) podcast about kids' health

Foodie Roundup

Since I was noticing that my Friday Fun posts were overwhelmed by the influx of great recipes and foodie links, hence, I've decided to create a separate post solely to feature those good eats.  Meet the latest series; foodie roundup.

+ if you can't find a good local cannoli, how about a cannoli cupcake

fried green tomato BLTs with special sauce...uh, yum!

+ ever made a lazy chile rellano?

+ need a bachelorette brunch idea? how about fresh squeezed mimosa cupcakes!

+ parmesan crusted chicken salad

+ key lime pie ice cream, doesn't that sound refreshing?

+ hoisin grilled eggplant and avocado bahn mi

+ if there ever was a rainbow cake to beat, it's this one

+ thinking ahead to cold fall days ahead and thai coconut curry chicken soup

what are you eating this week?

Friday Fun


+ an amazing story of heroism from two athletes on the refugee team

+ 5 minute romesco sauce, yum!

+ the wimpy camper's guide to visiting national parks

+ in praise of pavlova

+ a birthday party at target

+ another movie on the must-see list 

+ making me want to add switzerland to my travel list (again)

+ top editor's picks from the ikea 2017 catalog

+ eyeing this autumn cobb salad

+ would you take a family honeymoon?

Have a wonderful weekend!
image/bippityboppitybo



Dinner Last Night: Corn Risotto Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Another dinner success compliments of Smitten Kitchen.  I spotted heaping piles of poblano peppers at the farmer's market last weekend and was instantly inspired.  I've had the recipe for SK's corn risotto stuffed poblano peppers bookmarked for ages, and this was just the sign I needed to dust off my cookbook and try it for myself.

Our recipe was a little varied; I was short a little chicken stock, but ended up using the full beer as part of the cooking liquid instead of the half recommended.  Also, had some Beecher's Flagship cheese in the fridge, so added that to the risotto for a little extra oomph.  Worked like a charm.  

image/myphotos

Collecting Stories

I've always been one to write things down, starting with my first grade diary which is littered with snippets that are quite comical to me now, the daily report on what I ate for lunch, a random comment to sum up a week long adventure, "skiing is fun!" along with a few sporadic notations about boys, friends, and my sisters.

Fast forward 20+ years and here I am, still seeking to write everything down.  Except now, I rarely record anything as mundane as my daily lunch, and strive to find pockets to write down about my family.  The little sayings that pepper conversations with my imaginative 2-1/2 year old or the way it feels to cuddle in bed with both my kids at 8:00 on a Tuesday morning.

I've also come to seek and search out these stories with my family, beginning with my late grandfather.  I interviewed him once for one of my first college courses, Introduction to Folklore, a class I wouldn't have picked otherwise, but at at the time at University of Washington lumped courses for freshman into interest groups (referred to as FIGs), and my late decision to attend landed me with English 101, Drama 101, and Introduction to Folklore.

I begrudgingly attended class after class, learning about the history of the folk tale, the evolution of the story, and found myself mildly interested.  Our course culminated with our task of telling some else's story of our own, acting as the narrator to present said story with unbiased commentary, providing context if necessary.  I opted to interview my maternal grandfather, whose journey being left on the steps of the New York foundling hospital as an orphan baby to his career and prosperous career building churches in Los Angeles country was quite an inspirational one, at least what I had gleaned from his articulate anecdotes through the years.

In preparation, I found myself spending hours at a time in my grandparents condo, more time than I would typically spend with my grandparents during my social college years.  Fifteen years later, I find myself thinking back to these conversations, sitting alongside my grandparents as they reclined in their barcaloungers, sipping coffee and nibbling Sees candy while conversing about life, love, struggles, and triumphs.

My grandfather passed in 2013, right after the birth of my daughter, and sadly now these stories exist only in my final draft I printed for my assignment and a series of audio tapes.  I've made a multitude of excuses over the years as to why I haven't transcribed our additional conversations into words to share amongst our family.  I feel like this feeling was heightened significantly after the birth of my children, where I feel an overwhelming urge and desperation to document everything, capturing this one precious life we have and all of those joyful moments before they slip through my fingers, yet again.

So recently, I made the decision to enlist the help of Storyworth, so that my children will have the benefit, privilege, and access to the stories I grew up listening to, from my parents.  I first read about Storyworth via Kelle Hampton of Enjoying the Small Things, and was so smitten with the concept, I immediately purchased a book for my dad for Father's Day.  My father is someone who has worked tirelessly his entire life, his work ethic is stealthy and admirable.  Hence, when he does have free time, he tends to reply in concise one word texts or emails; yes. sure. absolutely. definitely.  I've been wanting to record his stories, while he is here, present, and able to share, and evade the wistful, "if only I'd written that down..." I've experienced with my grandfather.  That way, I can read them now, ask questions, inquire more, and connect over commonalities we may not have known to share.

Upon sharing the concept of Storyworth, my dad was surprisingly game, eager even! The format is simple enough, he receives an email once a week with questions I have approved or selected, such as "do you have any particular vivid memories of your grandparents," or "what advice would you give your great-grandchildren.  The questions that are direct, unassuming, and because they are delivered via email, are easy enough for a busy individual to answer without overthinking it.  Upon the culmination of 52 questions, one per week, I will receive all of his written responses in a keepsake book.  I'm pretty excited!

If this sounds interesting to you, go check out Storyworth!

Quote of the Week








"Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning.  But for children play is serious learning.  Play is really the work of childhood."

~ Mr. Rogers

image/pheartache

Cookbook Crush: It's All Easy

Alright peeps, it's official, I'm on the band wagon.  I'm drinking the GP Kool-Aid because this cookbook is AMAZING!  I haven't been sold on GP's other cookbooks despite my enjoyment in reading them; flipping through the glossy pages and perusing the names of eclectic recipes.  While I've enjoyed the idea of them, they've all seemed a bit complicated, far fetched, or obscure for weeknight family dinners, but It's All Easy is a game changer.

In typical cookbook-reading fashion, my copy is already ridiculously bookmarked up with yellow post its, I've made three of said bookmarked dishes, and the verdict: all were easy-ish and most importantly, scrumptious!  Winner, winner, chicken dinner!  Or in GP's case, mostly vegetarian, organic, farm-to-table, cage-free goodness, etc. etc. etc.  

Tried and true from our kitchen - Moroccan chicken salad wraps even had my husband swooning, pan bagnat, and Indian creamed spinach - all of which have all been superb.  

While I won't go as far to claim this title is entirely accurate, I'm definitely enjoying eating the fruits of my investment. Keep it up GP!

image/bonappetit

Quote of the Week

"We are the dreamers of dreams."

~ Roald Dahl

July Favorites

Bringing back an oldie but goodie - these are a few of my favorite things in July 2016.  Here goes...

+ essie nail polish in muchi muchi, looks good on fingers and toes 

+ the martain (I know I'm late in the game to this movie, but for someone who doesn't really like space movies, I thought this was soo good)

+ heavy melon ale by new belgium, flavorful and refreshing

+ modern lovers, I'm about 30% through according to my kindle, and so far, so good

+ these sunglasses were my big summer purchase (with prescription lenses)


+ one of my fave DIY bloggers - Young House Love's new podcast

+ hartland brooklyn, my new favorite go to shop for stationary

+ enjoying this healthy dessert, frozen greek yogurt bark

What are you into this month?

Dinner Last Night: Beer Pulled Chicken & Popovers

Half Baked Harvest is officially my new favorite blog.  I also follow them on instagram, and their feed is perpetually mouthwatering, covering all ranges of meals, though they have an especially large vault of crockpot recipes which for this season of our lives is everything!

Including this delicious number that I made last night, crockpot beer pulled chicken and popovers, which was a huge hit with my daughter as well.  I had never made popovers before but was pleasantly surprised with how easy they were (essentially mix, pour, bake, and voila!).  We were out of canned corn so I substituted in a small can of green chiles and it was all good.

image/halfbakedharvest

Quote of the Week

"Summer was our best season.  It was sleeping on the back screened porch in cots, or trying to sleep in the treehouse; summer was everything good to eat; it was a thousand colors in a parched landscape." 

~ Harper Lee

Emily's Shower

Love is in the air, summer is officially around the corner, and we're on the brink of wedding season.  A such, tis the season for bridal showers!  I co-hosted a bridal shower for my dear friend Emily last weekend and thought I'd share some of the details.  
In keeping with Emily's wedding colors; rose quartz, eucalyptus green, champagne, and gold, we opted to play up the pink with accent colors throughout the brunch spread.  We kicked off our planning with formal paper invitations (always a must in my book), and Tiny Prints must've read my mind as they had many options featuring my preferred color of rose quartz AND invites indicating brunch.  We settled on this invite as it was simply perfect, though we considered these beautiful contenders.
I had a friend who dabbles in cupcakes help me with fine tune a perfect shade of rose quartz frosting to match the decor.
We played a fun "how well do you know your fiance" game, followed by presents and dessert.

What a lovely day!  Cheers to Emily!

Friday Fun

Happy holiday weekend everyone!  My sisters are flying in for the weekend, and we've in for a big family gathering in addition to celebrating the fourth!  Have a wonderful weekend.

+ how women really feel about cat calls and street harassment

+ one woman's perspective on the reality of rape culture

+ these turkey sandwich skewers look amazing

+ changes in teen behavior today - this surprised me

+ pinning every crockpot recipe this blog has to offer, yum!

+ netflix is now streaming ALL disney!!!

+ summer boredom is a good thing- so psychologists say

+ how not to look like a tourist on an Italian beach

+ okay, now t's time to clean your phone

+ the biggest decorating trend from the year you were born

+ my favorite motherhood around the world series is back!!

+ hoping to make this patriotic pie this weekend

image/bloom

Quote of the Week

"You are the sky, 
everything else is just the weather." 
~ Pema Chödrön

Cookbook Crush: Tasting Rome

My favorite country in Europe (of those I've been to) is easily Italy.  There is just something about it.  The air there feels...different, magical almost.  As if you can feel time slow down, just enough for to savor that last bite of pasta carbonara, that decadent mouthful of gelato.  In addition it's architectural charm, buzzing piazzas, stellar people watching, it is one of the only places where everything you order tastes amazing.  The last time I was there was 2009 and I dream of going back someday, mapping out imaginary itineraries in my head, perhaps taking in some of my favorites like Orvieto and Florence, and a few new gems, like San Gimingiano, Positano, and the Amalfi Coast.

In the meantime, we've been dabbling with bringing Rome into our kitchen, literally with this cookbook.  While many cookbooks boasting to speak of Italian flavors don't live up to their namesake, this one stands alone.  I read it several times and felt hungry after each successive read.

image/purewow

Quote of the Week

"And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world 
around you because the greatest secrets are always 
hidden in the most unlikely of places.  
Those who don't believe in magic will never find it."
~ Roald Dahl

image/iamblessed

Last Great Book I Read: A Man Called Ove

It's been a while since I've read a book I could emphatically recommend.  Until last week, when I read the final pages of A Man Called Ove. For me a good book is markedly met with happiness and sadness.  Happy that you found such a captivating gem of a read, and sad in that the story is over, and there's no more to be had.  

If my review isn't enough, the Amazon review speak quite highly of this book as well, with over 3,000 enthusiastic review after review, overall just shy of five stars.

So you want to know about Ove?  He's a curmudgeonly old man.  He subscribes to philosophies of the old world; routine, order, and following the rules.  Some might call him a grump, a bugger, a mean old fart, but he is staunch in his beliefs, respects honest labor, hard work, and as a strong sense of justice.  As such, he is wary of new people, and change he can't comprehend, namely technology, laziness, and situations that can't be fixed with the contents of a workman's toolbox.

The story is woven together, vacillating between Ove's past and the present; as he navigates a new chapter with the overtly friendly, though absurdly unhandy neighbors next door, countered with glimpses into Ove's past which shed light on why he is the way he is.  The story is quite charming, flecked with moments of sadness, laughter, and unlikely friendship.

It's pretty good.  You should check it out!

image/amazon