Top Ten Tuesday | Favorite Books of 2017

Top ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s theme is: Favorite Books of 2017


*These are in no particular order because ain’t nobody got time for that lol!!*

Royally Matched (Royally, #2)

I definitely enjoyed this one by Emma Chase. Soooo good!! You can find my review here.

The Couple Next Door

I loved reading this debut thriller by author Shari Lapena. It kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. HOWEVER, sometimes….it was too much. It was like oh you think this, *BAM* it’s this……BUT WAIT…..now it’s this…..that got really old, especially towards the end of this book. But overall I really enjoyed it and cannot wait for more from this author.

Twisted Palace (The Royals, #3)

Another great installment in The Royals series. You can find my thoughts on it here.

Lover Awakened (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #3)

This blew me out of the water by how good it was. I laughed, I cried, I was happy, mad, irritated, etc. I LOVE when a book can bring out all these emotions. Overall, such a fantastic read and I’m very impressed. Don’t judge a book by it’s cover…..or in this case….don’t judge a person at the surface, dig a little deeper.

Scoring Wilder

I think this may be my favorite for the year but shh, don’t tell the others. I love finding a new author to read and enjoy. She has several other books already out so I cannot wait to read them. You can find my review for Scoring Wilder here.

Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1)

Here is a book that I finally got around to reading. I think EVERYONE has read this book and series many years ago. I did enjoy this first one and can’t wait to continue with the series. You can read my review here.

You Are My Cupcake

This was THE cutest children’s book that I’ve read in quite some time. I cannot wait to read more from this author!! You can read my mini review here.

A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2)

A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3)

I re-read this series this year in anticipation for ACOWAR. I think this is a series that I’ll never grow tired of. After I finished ACOWAR, I wanted to start over right then lol! That’s how much I love this series. So far, I think ACOMAF would have to be my favorite of the three. Nothing against the others as they are all amazing.


Those are the Top 10 favorite reads for the year 2017. I look forward to reading more in 2018 and finding new favorites!! If you did this week’s TTT, leave your link below for me to check out!! If you didn’t, just comment your top 3 or 5 favorite books you read in 2017.

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Let’s Bake: Oreo Balls

Let's bake

You may or may not know that I love to bake. I’ve been trying to figure out how to mix books and baked goods but kept coming up blank. UNTIL NOW. I’ve decided to have a “Let’s Bake” feature on my blog. That way it can be all about baking without figuring out how to tie in books with it lol!!! I hope you enjoy this new feature and my first post.

I’m fairly new to the Oreo ball world. Last year was the first year I tried and made them. AND WOW!! What have I been missing out on my entire life??! They are soooo good!! They definitely don’t last very long in the refrigerator or at a party. Everyone loves them!! I found and followed a recipe from Snack Works . I think the recipe is pretty much the same no matter where you look but feel free to adapt the recipe to your liking. For example, I usually choose milk chocolate coating but there again, you could choose white chocolate or whatever you like.

Recipe: 

Ingredients:

  • 1 pkg. (8 oz.) brick cream cheese, softened
  • 42 OREO Cookies, finely crushed (about 3-1/2 cups), divided
  • 4 pkg. (4 oz. each) semi-sweet baking chocolate, melted

On the cream cheese, I used a Walmart brand and it tastes just as well as the name brands. Up to you on what you prefer of course. I’ll leave a link here.

I just use a family size double stuffed Oreos package which is 40 cookies. I’ll leave a link here. Also I’m not sure on the divided part but basically I take a small amount and put to the side to sprinkle on top of the Oreo balls after I’ve dipped them. It doesn’t take very much and it mostly for aesthetics.

For the chocolate coating I once again use a brand I found at Walmart. I just melt a small amount at a time because it will harden as it cools and you’ll have to constantly reheat it with larger amounts. I’ll leave the link to what I used here.

Instructions:

Crumble cookies finely. Let me tell you folks….I don’t have a food processor so I had to lay out wax paper , place cookies and fold the paper over, then crush by rolling a heavy glass over it. Of course this took FOREVER with 40 cookies BUT it got the job done. You could make it a family event and have everyone have their own rolling station lol!

*Don’t forget to set a small amount of crumbs to the side to sprinkle on top if you’d like. I actually forgot to do it while making them this time. OOPS. Not a big deal though.

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MIX  cream cheese and cookie crumbs until blended. I set my cream cheese out for a little bit to soften or I just place on a microwave safe plate and microwave it for a few seconds. Combine the cream cheese with your crushed Oreos. I mix with a spoon and then, with clean hands, mix together by hand.

SHAPE  into 48 (1-inch) balls. Freeze 10 min. I made 41 this round. I don’t measure these out so they’re probably all different shapes and sizes but that’s okay. Make them as small or as big as you like.

I take a cookie sheet and cover with aluminium foil. I’ll lightly spray with PAM so they don’t stick and place in the freezer. For me personally, I leave them in the freezer for 45 minutes to an hour. The reason being, I found they fall apart if they aren’t frozen for longer periods of time when they hit the warm chocolate to coat them. Better safe than sorry!!

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Check out that spacing though lol!! I made about 1.5 baking sheets of these. I tried to keep it all the same size but hey, i’m not a professional by any means. The taste is all that matters.

Dip balls in melted chocolate; place in single layer in shallow waxed paper-lined pan. Sprinkle with remaining cookie crumbs. What they fail to mention is melting the chocolate. The chocolate I had comes with indentations so you can break off how much you’d like fairly easily. I take about 2 or 3 squares at a time and melt in a microwave safe bowl for 30 seconds at a time. I used 6 squares to cover 41 Oreo balls. WARNING: Chocolate can burn! I’ve done it, and it smells awful. Plus you ruined the chocolate because you won’t be able to use it after that. This is why I take it 30 seconds at a time and stir. You don’t want it soupy but you don’t want it thick either. Just use your own judgment for this. Also be careful when removing the bowl from microwave. It will be HOT! 

I also only work with one tray at a time. If you see the Oreo balls starting to sweat or thaw out, place them back in the freezer. The key is getting them out, dipped and back in freezer as quickly as possible.

As you’ll see below, I  haven’t found a “cute” way to dip these. They don’t look sleek and professional like you see in bakeries and stores. BUT like I said earlier, it’s the taste that matters. A quick tip is when you dip them (one at a time of course), use a spoon and tap the side of the spoon on the bowl to try to remove excess chocolate so you don’t end up with chocolate on every surface in your home. Then tilt your spoon to roll it onto the cookie sheet. At this time you may use your cookie crumbs you set aside to sprinkle on top. I forgot so I didn’t do it this round. No worries!! After all this, I place in the freezer for 5-10 minutes and then move to the refrigerator or serve.

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Little specks/lines are chocolate that fell while placing the Oreo balls on cookie sheet.

REFRIGERATE  1 hour or until firm. Keep refrigerated. There you have it folks!!! Delicious Oreo balls for a party or just for your family/yourself at home. They are pretty simple to make and you can make them ahead of time. Just keep refrigerated.

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I hope you enjoyed the first ever edition of “Let’s Bake”!!! I have a few ideas for upcoming posts so stay tuned!!! Let me know if you make these and be sure to send pictures!!! Have a great day!!

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Mini Reviews: Children’s Books

I love reading children’s books and seeing all the illustrations. I’m always around kids whether it’s family members or at church in the nursery/pre-school area. I love introducing them to new books and hope to inspire them to read at a young age. I thought I would do a few mini reviews over the books I’ve read most recently. Hope you enjoy them 🙂

*Clicking on each book cover will take you to its Goodreads page*

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*5 Stars*

I loved the illustrations in this book. They were very bright and whimsical. It was super cute and it had little squishy reindeer that stuck out from each page. Not sure if it was supposed to make a sound or not but this one didn’t.

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*4 Stars*

This was another cute book. If I could change one thing it would be the illustration of the elves. They were kind of scary looking lol. I loved seeing all the Texas places mentioned. It really was fun to see them decorated and ready for Christmas.

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*5 Stars*

HOW CUTE was this book!!! The different animals on each page were just the cutest. How many times can I say cute in this review? lol!! I can’t help it!! Super sweet book and was surprised to see that it was from Jimmy Fallon. If this is his first children’s book, then I hope he continues to write more and more.

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*5 Stars*

SUPER adorable!! I think this was my favorite children’s book that I’ve seen in awhile. The illustrations were beyond cute!! I also loved all the cutesty sayings “you are my oven baked cutie pie” etc. How sweet is that?!


Which children’s book from above stands out to you the most?! Which cover was your favorite?! Let me know in the comments below!

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Star Studded Saturday | 15

Star Studded Saturday

This week’s theme is: Holiday TV Reviews


*Clicking the photos will take you to their page.*

Trolls Holiday Poster

I wanted to like this one so bad. The original Trolls movie was so adorable….this one felt unnecessary. It was quite annoying and hard to watch if i’m being completely honest. It was only around 20ish minutes long so not sure it was worth the time/money/effort in making this. 😦 I’d rather them put all that into Trolls 2. So sorry if you guys loved this one, I truly wish I did too.

Elf Poster

One of my all time favorite holiday movies. I pretty much watch this every single year. It makes me laugh every time I watch it. Super fun movie!!

“I planned out our whole day: First, we’ll make snow angels for two hours, and then we’ll go ice skating, and then we’ll eat a whole roll of Toll-House cookie dough as fast as we can, and then to finish, we’ll snuggle.”

World Disney: Magical Holiday 2017

I didn’t enjoy this one at all :(( I felt the music/singing was off. I did like the first part of the show with Julianne Hough but that was about it. If I wasn’t doing a puzzle while watching, I would’ve stopped watching it.

This was right up my alley!! I get so much out of watching people decorate cookies, cakes, etc. and this time it was Christmas themed!! HECK YES!!!! I had such a blast watching this. I never wanted it to end. The creativity was off the charts. The person I was rooting for even won the challenge so that was an added bonus!! The only downside was I wanted to taste the cookies somehow haha!!


This is just a drop in the bucket for all the Holiday themed shows and movies I plan on watching this season. Not sure if there are enough Saturdays to keep up with reviews so they may make an appearance during a weekday haha. Stay tuned!!

Are you watching any holiday themed TV shows or movies?!?! Which have been your favorite so far?! Let me know in the comments below!! Merry Christmas everyone!!

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Book Blogger Hop | December 8th-14th

Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer, where you answer a bookish question and join a “hop”. The purpose is to help bloggers discover and get to know one another. Each week the hop will start on a Friday and end on Thursday.

This week’s question: If you celebrate Christmas, do you feel the need to stop reading anything but Christmas-themed romances as the holiday season starts? (submitted by Maria @ A Night’s Dream of Books)


Definitely!! I want to read all the cheesy romances!! Plus I want to watch all the Christmas themed movies as well!! Elf is a must watch every year. For books, I have two picked out for this year. Susan Mallery-Marry me at Christmas and Shani Petroff-My New Crush Gave to Me. I haven’t been reading as much as I used to here lately so these two are my main focuses.

Which books do you plan on reading in December?? Do you read only Christmas themed books in December?? Let me know in the comments below!

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Beat the Backlist 2018 Reading Challenge

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Beat the Backlist is a reading challenge created by NovelKnight. This is exactly what I need in my life. I have 2 bookshelves full of books that I’m not reading. It’s silly to have all these unread books and still buying more or checking books out from the library. I need hellppppp! I stumbled upon this challenge on Twitter and I’m so glad I did. Hopefully this will be the push I need to start working on my physical TBR. It couldn’t hurt right?!?!

With all that being said, I need to set a goal. I really messed things up setting such a high goal for my Goodreads challenge in 2017. I set it for 100 and FAILED miserably. It’s like the goal was haunting me and made me not want to read anything. SO I do not want that to happen in 2018. I’m going to play it nice and cool. For this I’m thinking 12 books. One per month. That should be relaxed enough, right?! I hope…..

Now to the fun part, listing the books I want to read next year. This is subject to change….look at me, already wanting to change things up before I even type them up….SHEESH!!

Okay, seriously…..on to the 12 books:

BAM!! List made!! Let’s hope I can accomplish the challenge and add even more to it!! I wish everyone participating in this challenge the best of luck! Get out there and read, read, read!!!!

Update:

I’m on Team Novel Knights!! Woohoo!!! Let’s go team!!!

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Waiting on Wednesday | 1

Waiting on Wednesday

“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly meme that first originated at Breaking the Spine but has since linked up with “Can’t Wait Wednesday” at Wishful Endings now that the original creator is unable to host it anymore.

This week I’m eagerly waiting on:

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If you know anything about me at all, it’s that I love the Red Queen series. I talk about it SO MUCH. I’m even collecting Red Queen swag which I’ll be showing in an upcoming post. Stay tuned!! I’ve read Red Queen twice, Glass Sword once and Cruel Crown once, the most recent time being in February 2016. I have yet to read King’s Cage and that just blows me away. I am struggling with some eye issues that make reading difficult but STILL. War Storm releases in May 2018 so now I’m at the point of wondering whether to wait and read the entire series right before War Storm releases or go ahead and read it now. Such a tough choice. I’m so scared someone is going to tell me a spoiler and just ruin everything. I have a habit of attracting spoilers you see.

Either Way, I’m beyond ready for War Storm and anything else Victoria Aveyard decides to release. I really hope she has other things lined up after this series ends. If you have any info, let a girl know ❤

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Just look at those covers!!! So gorgeous!! Which cover is your favorite?! I think my favorite is Glass Sword!! Followed closely by War Storm.

Links:

There you have my Waiting on Wednesday pick!! I got to fan girl about my favorite series!! Trust me, I had to stop myself or this post would be 50 pages long lol!! Are you reading this series?! Are you ready for War Storm?!! Let me know in the comments below ❤

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