Saturday, November 14, 2015

Revisiting an old "What Am I Reading?" post

Going back through some old "What Am I Reading?" posts and found these books that I still, years later, would recommend!

A few years ago I did a study at my church on Michelle Anthony's book Spiritual Parenting. When I saw this study on the church calendar, it called my name OUT LOUD. It told me that even though life is a bit crazy right now as we adjust to being back in school and both kids playing recreational soccer, this is a study I needed to participate in.

And it didn't disappoint. Michelle really spoke to me and I began to see my role as parent in a different light....

The Ph.D. mom-author's conversational style is rarely preachy and more narrative than didactic as she describes her "Aha!" moments, when she moved from attempting to control her children's behavior to putting them into environments where they can know God and be changed by him. This is not a "how to" parenting manual, but a guide for developing as a spiritually minded parent who asks, "Who did God create my child to be?" 

One of Michelle's recommendations is to explain to children that the Bible is one continuous story, and it's still on-going, and WE are a part of it. She has written a book called The Big God Story
which looks fabulous, but is just 36 pages and I looked for something similar, but longer. I found The Big Picture Story Bible (456 pages), which is based on the same concept, and it's fabulous. It also comes with a CD.

Katy from a blog that used to be around called Katy Shops recommended 30 Days to a Well-Mannered Dog, and since mine is definitely NOT, I jumped to get a copy. Our problem is a dog that barks, barks, barks whenever someone comes over.... she's very territorial and distrustful of strangers. There are several chapters in this book that were very helpful.

What are you reading these days?


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Friday, November 6, 2015

Sasha's Top Book Favorites

Which app on my phone gets the most use? Definitely my Kindle app! As an insomnia sufferer, there's no better way to pass the time in the middle of the night than reading a good book! Today I'll share with you my top 6 favorite reads.

  • Heart-Shaped Hack by Tracey Garvis Graces (Kindle price: $3.99). Kate is a former lawyer who has opened a food pantry and hasn't been so lucky in love. She meets Ian when he makes a donation and begins to pursue her. There just aren't enough words for me to describe Ian- but to start, he's charismatic, attractive, and witty. And brilliant! Their banter is delightful and I adored him long before we won Kate over.
  • Sincerely, Carter by Whitney G (Kindle price: $3.99). This is a friends-to-lovers book that is just charming. Carter and Arizona have been friends since fourth or fifth grade (a point of contention between them), and contrary to everyone's belief, have never been more than that. One night after a party things go in a different direction, much to the surprise of both of them. There's a follow-up novella called Sincerely, Arizona that you'll want to read as well.
  • The Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen  (Kindle price: FREE!). I have read this no less than 5 times since I first read it earlier this year. Corey is starting college in a wheelchair due to a hockey accident she suffered in her senior year of high school. Adam Hartley is the gorgeous injured hockey player who lives across the hall. The bond over their injuries, sharing a deep friendship that turns into something more for Corey as the year progresses. There are several books in this series, called The Ivy Years, and all are great, I also enjoyed Bowen's Gravity series.
  • Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park (Kindle price: $2). I first listened to this on Audible, and it's absolutely amazing. Julie moves to Boston for college and moves in with a family of her mom's college friend when her housing falls through. As Julie begins to spend time with Matt, the middle son and MIT student, and Celeste, the eccentric 13 year old, she also begins to chat via Facebook with the eldest son, Finn, who is away traveling and volunteering. DO NOT BE SPOILED on this book- it's just stunning and you need to go in spoiler-free and experience it as it is written. You'll want to read the two follow-up novels as well, Flat-Out Matt and Flat-Out Celeste. The entire series is just wonderful.
  • Him by Carey Heywood (Kindle price: $0.99). Told in alternating present and past chapters, this is a friends-to-lovers story of Sarah and Will that I just loved. There are a few other books in the series (Her, Them, and Sawyer Says) and well as a novella called Being Neighborly. Heywood is also the author of the Carolina Days series, another series I really enjoyed. 
  • Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover (Kindle price: $7.99 but oh-so-worth it!). Sigh. What a perfect book! I did the Audible version of this, and went into it totally blind, which I would recommend. I only read a short blurb describing Sydney, a college student who discovers her boyfriend is cheating on her. She soon leans on her mysterious neighbor Ridge for help.

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Monday, November 2, 2015

Attention Amazon Prime Members!

I recently found out about two features on Amazon that are simply amazing!

First, there is a program for Prime members called Kindle First that allows you to choose a FREE book each month! There are six to pick from each month, and even if you don't have a Kindle, the book can be read on the Kindle app on your phone. 

Second, do you read book on the Kindle app and use Audible as well? Have you heard of Audio Upgrades? Here's a link that that searches your Kindle library and finds discounted audio upgrades for the books you already own. I found some great audiobooks of favorites for just $1.99!


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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Fall 2015 Walmart Beauty Box

I received my Fall 2015 Walmart Beauty Box. The Walmart Beauty Box comes out 4 times a year and costs $5, which includes shipping. Beauty boxes are just plain fun.... especially if you are a product junkie like me. I also purchase the Target Beauty Box when it is available (it always a one-time purchase box). Note that I have adjusted my age down to the mid-20s because I read I might receive more color cosmetics if I did that, but I didn't receive any this time.
I'm also a little disappointed in my box this time because there doesn't appear to be a full sized product like usual. Some boxes appeared to contain a full-sized RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Serum, which maybe I would have received if I had left my age alone. Ha!
 Here's what was in my box:

  • Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes, 7 count packet
  • ACT Mouthwash, 1 fl oz
  • Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer, .3 fl oz
  • Neutrogena Healthy Volume Mascara, deluxe sample size
  • Dove Advanced Care Anti-Perspirant Deodorant, sample size
  • Aussie Mega Hairspray, 1.5 oz
  • Schick Hydro Silk Disposable Razor
  • foil packet: Biore Charcoal Self Heating Mask
  • foil packet: Crest 3D White Toothpaste
  • foil packet: Nivea Extended Moisture Body Lotion
  • foil packet: Jergens Wet Skin Moisturizer, 2 scents

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Friday, October 9, 2015


I've been using Ebates for years, almost every time I shop online. They work with lots of retailers I love, like Sephora, Target, and Old Navy, to give you rebates on your online purchases. Right now they are running a fabulous sweepstakes that you enter by sending emails from their special referral page. I'd love to refer you! If you will leave me your email address, I will send you an email with my referral link. Or if you prefer, you can just follow the hotlinks above.

Since joining Ebates, I have received back $1956.33. In cash! How amazing is that?

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Thursday, October 8, 2015

Sasha Goes Gluten Free At Raisin Canes

NOTE: I spoke with the manager at my local Raising Cane's on 10-07-15, and they are NO LONGER GLUTEN FREE. At all. 

The post below was originally posted in April 2014, when I had spoken with the manager and was told they had a dedicated fryer for their fries and naked fingers to keep them gluten free. A friend recently told me that was no longer the case, so I talked with the manager yesterday who verified they indeed fry everything together now.

I immediately removed the post, but then I realized how many hits it had gotten since being published, and decided to re-publish it to make sure that people with Celiac Disease know NOT TO EAT AT CANE'S.

 Please spread the word. I am sure there is a possibility that other Cane's may still have dedicated fryers, but YMMV, and if they tell you they do, the only responsible thing to do is ask each and every time you dine there to make sure they continue the practice.

Raising Cane's Naked Chicken Fingers
A friend mentioned to me that our local Raising Cane's has unbreaded chicken fingers and also has a dedicated fryer used only for those "naked" chicken fingers and their fries. This week we decided to try it out, and after verifying that was indeed the case with the manager, I indulged.

And YUM! I actually think I liked the naked chicken fingers BETTER than the breaded! There was a nice crispy coating, but it wasn't at all heavy and I felt like I was eating amazingly fresh chicken and not just breading. (I'm talking to you, Arby's!)
The Cane's Sauce is also GF and so good I actually dream about it. So glad to have another GF-friendly restaurant to eat with my family!
This post is not sponsored, I am just a new fan of Raising Cane's!

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Saturday, October 3, 2015

Walmart Summer Beauty Box

Sometime this summer, I received my Summer 2015 Walmart Beauty Box. The Walmart Beauty Box comes out 4 times a year and costs $5, which includes shipping. Beauty boxes are just plain fun.... especially if you are a product junkie like me. I also purchase the Target Beauty Box when it is available (it always a one-time purchase box). Note that I have adjusted my age down to the mid-20s because I read I might receive more color cosmetics if I did that. I think it worked!
Here's what was in my box:

There is usually at least one full-sized item in the box, and this time it was a Revlon Ultra HD Lipstick in HD Gladiolus. I actually already have one of these that I believe I got in a Target Beauty box, so I will be passing this on to a friend. (If you are local and would like this, give me a shout!)

Other samples in the box:
  • Nivea Soft Moisturizing Creme (.84oz)
  • Aveeno Protect + Hydrate Suncreen SPF 30 (.5oz)
  • Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy Complete Care Anti-Dandruff Shampoo (1.7 fl oz)
  • Neutrogena Healthy Skin Boosters Facial Cleanser White Tea and Vitamin E (.5 fl oz)
  • John Frieda Beach Blonde Sea Waves Spray (1 fl oz)
  • Neutrogena Healthy Volume Mascara (.16 oz)
  • You & I One Direction Fragrance Spray (.05 fl oz)
  • Foil packet of Ken Paves You Are Beautiful Volumizing Shampoo and Conditioner (.25 fl oz each)
  • Foil packet of Jergens Natural Glow Moisturizer Medium to Tan (.28 fl oz each)
All in all, a darn good value for $5. These are fun boxes!

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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Quaker® Chewy® Girl Scouts® Granola Bars

You know we're a Girl Scout family, right? And I'm Cookie Mom? And every January, our home gets turned into a cookie store? It's actually really fun, and a great learning experience for the kids. We really enjoy it. (And the kids love Thin Mints!)

So when BzzAgent offered me a spot in their Quaker Chewy Girl Scouts Granola Bars campaign, I jumped on the chance because I knew the kids would love trying them. We were lucky enough to get a box of the Thin Mint flavor to try.

My 12 year old son LOVES them! They will definitely bridge the gap for us until it's cookie time again in January! I've been including them in his lunches and they have also been a great snack for on the go times like traveling to cross country meets. Each bar has 100 calories and no high fructose corn syrup.

I asked my son to share his review, and he said "I love them, but I really wish there was a Tagalong flavor too!" Pssst.... Quaker. did you hear that? 


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Friday, September 25, 2015

A Non-Recommendation: Bausch + Lomb PeroxiClear

I recently purchased a double pack of Bausch + Lomb PeroxiClear because I had a coupon and had tried and liked a similar product in the past called Clear Care. Both are the types of solution that require a special case that includes a disk at the bottom that neutralizes the solution as it thoroughly cleans your lenses.

Well, do NOT buy PeroxiClear! I have drawn a black line on the case in the pic above to show the level the solution needs to be to keep the contacts moist, but overnight this stuff bubbles out the top at such volume that it lowers the level of the solution to where the white arrow points. Aside from the huge mess this makes on your counter, this dries your contacts out, leaving them ruined. I had purchased a double pack that came with two bottles and two cases, so I tried both and the same thing happened multiple times.

A quick google search confirmed this was not an isolated event. It seems to be a common problem. Since I am always sharing products I try and love, I thought I'd share this non-recommendation too and save you some money!

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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Turbulence by Whitney G. (Cover Reveal and Giveaway)

One of my favorite authors, Whitney G., has revealed the official cover for her new book, Turbulence, to be released on October 22. It looks so good!

You can read more about Turbulence on Goodreads. I like to keep content on Sasha Says pretty PG, and the excerpt is quite steamy, so feel free to check it out there!

Earlier this year, I discovered Whitney G. when her book Sincerely, Carter was recommended to me. It's definitely a Top Fave of mine, and I was beyond excited when she released an epilogue to it called Sincerely, Arizona a few weeks ago. In fact, I woke up and read it at 3 am because I was asleep when it was released at midnight that night! Ha!

About Whitney:

A self diagnosed candy addict, travel junkie, and hypochondriac, Whitney Gracia Williams LOVES to write about characters that make you laugh, cry, and want to (in the case of Selena Ross) reach through your Kindle and slap them.

She is the "imaginary bestselling" author of the Jilted Bride Series, Mid Life Love, Wasted Love, and Captain of My Soul.
When she's not locked inside her room, feverishly typing away on her laptop, she can be found here:
She also loves getting emails from her readers, so if you want to tell her how much you loved (or hated) her stories, email her at!

Website • Blog • Twitter • Facebook • Goodreads

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

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