Monday, September 18, 2017

In A Different Key: The Story of Autism By John Donovan and Caren Zucker (BOOK REVIEW)

As a mom to a child with Autism and an Educational Advocate, I was very interested to read In A Different Key:  The Story of Autism by John Donovan and Caren Zucker.  Donovan/Zucker did not leave any stone unturned when it came to telling the history of Autism.  Starting with the first child ever diagnosed and weaving its way through institutionalization, refrigerator moms, vaccines, ABA/TEACCH and Asperger's this book covers it all. Real life accounts brought living with Autism "alive" to the reader.  It was heartbreaking as a mom and advocate, but to see the strength and advocacy of parents who made so many changes to long term outcomes for children and adults with Autism was empowering.  It was an honor to read this book and learn so much about a diagnosis that has been part of my life for the past 25 years.  I challenge anyone who cares about, works with or loves someone with Autism to read this book. You will be a better person for it and understand the true history of the disorder.  It is fascinating and heartbreaking, but important.

*I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Heritage Museum and Gardens, Sandwich, Ma

Visited the Heritage Museum and Gardens on Free Fun Friday/Highland Street Foundation on
August 25, 2017.  The weather and scenery were beautiful.  Heritage Museum and Gardens, Sandwich, Ma

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

What I Read: August 2017

Favorites this month: 
 The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
 Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi⭐⭐⭐⭐
 Jaws by Peter Benchley⭐⭐⭐⭐

Friday, August 11, 2017


I love when you come upon something randomly.  Yesterday while visiting Lincoln Woods, RI, we drove by a sign at Sunset Stables and stopped for a visit.  Glad we did!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

What I Read...July 2017

Linking up with Steph and Jana 
(second Tuesday of every month)
Show Us Your Books

My Thoughts:  It was a very interesting reading month; varied books for sure.  These were the standouts that I would recommend:

The Zookeeper's Wife (Diane Ackerman) - This was really a beautiful story. I especially enjoyed all the animal and husbandry information. A story of people saving others and offering them some normalcy and kindness, when so much killing, hatred and atrocities were taking place outside the walls of the "zoo".  Set in Warsaw/Poland.

Our Souls at Night (Kent Haruf) - I enjoyed this book.  It was short and sweet.  It was about reaching out to another for comfort and friendship.  

The Thorn Birds(Colleen McCullough) - read this in The Book Club (facebook) Read Along for July.  I loved this book!  It fascinated me the way McCullough wove the tale over years, countries, characters and moral dilemmas.  Set mostly in Australia.

Dreamland Burning (Jennifer Latham) - I have been reading alot of YA lately.  This one did not disappoint.  Again a book about a time I needed to know more about.  Loved the two stories lines and how the writing went back and forth.  

There were some other good reads (Exit/West, And Then There were None, Thirteen Reasons Why) and some so so reads (Hour Glass, Garden of Small Beginnings, The World's Strongest Librarian).  But overall I consider July a solid reading month!  

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Six of My Summer Favorites

Summer seems to be in full swing here in Rhode Island.  It hasn't been an extremely hot summer and with the month of August approaching we are hoping for many more beach days.  I'm sharing a few of my Summer Favorites with you.  These are items that I found extremely helpful and consistently excellent.  Hope you enjoy and maybe find something that you can add to your favorites!!

Lands' End Women's Slender Tunic Suit - I have been wearing this style of suit for several years.  I like it because it is durable, comfortable and truly slenderizing.  I need full coverage and like to feel that I'm good to go (no accidents!) in the water.  This suit checks all the boxes.  I really needed a new suit this season and I waited for the Lands' End 50% off sale (usually early spring) and bought two suits for the price of one.  This is not a cheap suit but lasts and holds up to sun, ocean, sand, and sunscreen.

This set of 3 mesh travel pouches have come in handy this year at the beach.  I use the small one for my phone, middle for my sunscreens/bug spray and large for an extra change of clothes.  

Last summer I tried out several different sunscreens.  Sun Bum 30 SPF was by far the best.  It goes on very smooth, not greasy, great scent and tube lasts.  You can find this at Target or Amazon.

Love this hat!  It is a women's REI co-op sun hat.  I am not a baseball hat fan and this hat is very comfortable, stays on (even without a strap) and provides very good sun coverage.   Unfortunately it is not longer in stock.  REI has tons of ladies sun hats though that you can check out at the link below.  

La Croix Coconut Sparkling Water is my preferred beach beverage.  There are a ton of different flavors.  Find your favorite!  

There is still a whole month (and some) to dive into some Summer Reads!  Here is a list of some beachy favorites  (can all be found at

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Becoming a Yearly Tradition - Buttonwood Farm Griswold CT Sunflowers for Wishes

This is one of my favorite events of the summer.  I went in 2014 & 2015.  Didn't go last year and regretted it.  I think visiting Buttonwood Farm in Griswold CT will become a yearly tradition.  I was lucky enough to go yesterday with my husband, Rick.  It was simply a beautiful summer day (#10)! Can you find the heart? 💓

Sunflowers for Wishes

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Boston Museum of Fine Arts Free Friday

We have been visiting a few museums this summer that are part of the Highland Street Foundation series. Highland Stree Foundation Free Fun Fridays Series 2017

Boston Museum of Fine Arts - July 21, 2017
It was pretty incredible to see Monet, Cassat, Van Gough, Degas, Renoir, Rembrant and so many other artists' works.  Our last visit was over 25 years ago.  We spent almost the whole day and would need another day to hit all of the exhibits (we did take our time and savor the exhibits).

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Why We're The Ocean State...

East Beach, Charlestown, East Matunuck, South Kingstown, 
Blue Shutters Beach, Charlestown


Kites - Brenton Point Park, Newport RI

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Beautiful Jamestown/Chasing Sunsets

Jamestown is one of my favorite places in Rhode Island.  My husband and I go to a restaurant every year on our anniversary called Simpatico.  Best chowder! We celebrated 29 years this year.  After dinner we took a ride because I wanted to chase the sunset.  Here are the results:

29 Years & Counting

    July 3, 1988 at the Wannamoisett Country Club in Rumford RI

What I Read: June 2017

June was a good reading month.  I read an interesting assortment of books.   I highly recommend The Sun is Also a Star👍, This is How It Always Is👍and The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland (if you enjoy YA)👍
I was underwhelmed by Hillbilly Elegy👎 and Before the Fall👎

Currently Reading:  The Garden of Small Beginnings and Listening to:  Exit West 

Saturday, July 1, 2017

My Favorite Reads (SO FAR) of 2017

It is the midpoint of the year so I'm sharing my favorite reads (so far) of 2017.  These were all rated 5 or 4 on Goodreads.  

Can't wait to see what the second half of 2017 brings!!  


Sunday, June 25, 2017

My Summer Bucket List 2017

1.  Go to  Rhode Island Beaches (at least 10 times and 2 new ones)

2.  Fireworks at Ocean Beach Park Summer Entertainment 
     (June 30, 2017)

3.  Car Show 

4.  Farmington River Tubing

5.  Visit a Museum Free Fun Fridays  
     July 14st (Edward Kennedy Institute)
     July 21th (Museum of Fine Arts),  
     July 28th (John F. Kennedy Museum and Library)
     August 25th (Heritage Museum and Gardens)

6.  Attend a Waterfire

7.  See a movie at Misquamicut Drive-In

8.  Go to a Pawtucket Red Sox Game

9.  Visit a Newport Mansion

10. Celebrate our 29th Wedding Anniversary at Simpatico

Monday, June 12, 2017

NYC Weekend - Dale Chihuly Exhibit NY Botanical Garden

Master of Glass - Dale Chihuly

Sapphire Star

Red Reeds on Logs

Blue Polyvitro Crystals

Scarlet and Yellow Icicle Tower

This is a great article on Chihuly and the Botanical Garden Exhibit
Are There Glass Snakes in Dale Chihuly's Fragile Eden?

Monday, June 5, 2017

What I Read, May 2017

Hi Reading Friends.  
Thanks for stopping by and checking out my May Reads:

1.  The Cozy Life by Pia Edberg - Quick read.  I was able to learn a bit about the "hygge" lifestyle.  It sparked my interest!  3***

2.  Thinking Differently - This was a very good resource of information for parents who have a child diagnosed with a Learning Disability.  I learned more about Dyslexia which helps me in my job as an education advocate.  Highly recommend to families new to the journey. 3***

3.  The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry - I loved this book!  This is a book lovers dream.  Lots of books mentioned throughout.  It is a story with twists and turns though which keeps your attention throughout.  4****

4.  The Most Beautiful - WOW this book surprised me.  I didn't really know what to expect.  I have loved Prince's music for a long time.  When Mayte talked about seeing Prince on stage I related.  I was lucky enough to see him during the Seven Tour years ago and it was amazing.  Mayte shared her heart and information about their relationship in a respectful and loving way.  5*****

5.  They May Not Mean to But They Do - Interesting story about siblings dealing with the aging of their parents.  It was a tough topic but the author made it very readable and relatable.  I am at this point with my own parents and I totally connected to this book. 3***

6.  The Magnolia Story - I enjoy the show Fixer Upper.  It was interesting to learn more about Chip and Joanna's history and how the show came to be.  There were some parts that dragged for me but overall a fun read.  3***

7.  Ginny Moon - I was on the fence with this book honestly.  I have two young adult sons on the autism spectrum and I was confused about Ginny's character.  It seemed as though she was more impacted by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder than Autism. She was a quirky character you wanted to root for.  Just wish there was a little bit more happiness in the story for her.  3***

Coming up in June:  A Sun is Also a Star, This is How It Always Is and One True Loves

Linking Up With:


Thursday, June 1, 2017

Memorial Day, May 29, 2017

 “Boots on the Ground for Heroes Memorial” 
Roger Williams Park

Sunday, May 7, 2017

What I Read April 2017

I had a pretty good reading month.  Work does pick up this time of year but I continue to stay on track and enjoy my reading time.  My husband and I are still reading one book a month together and that has been fun!  

I participated in Erin's 6.0 Challenge from January to April reading 10 books that fit into specific categories.  It was fun and I look forward to the next challenge.  

1.  What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast:  by Laura Vanderkam - 3 stars.  

2.  Grandma Gatewood's Walk:  The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian
     Trail by Ben Montgomery - 4 stars.  (Library-Overdrive)
3.  Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel - 4.5 stars.  This was the book my husband and I
     picked to read together this month.  (Own-Hardcover)

4.  Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur - 3 stars.  This was a short book of poetry. (Library-Overdrive)

5.  One Plus One by Jo Jo Moyes - 3.5 stars. (Own-Paperback)

6.  I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou 3.5 stars.  (Library-Overdrive)

7.  Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty by Ramona Ausubel 3 stars.  (Library-Overdrive)

8.  To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee 4.5 stars.  (Library-Overdrive)

9.  It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover - 3.5 stars.  (Library-Paperback)

Sunday, April 9, 2017

What I Read March 2017

March was a very good reading month for me.  I read 5 books and listened to 7.
Life and Other Near Death Experiences by Camille Pagan
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton
The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko by Scott Stambach
Seinfeldia by Jennifer Keishin Armstrong
The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen
The Charm Bracelet by Viola Shipman
Someone Else's Love Story by Joshilyn Jackson

These were my favorites out of the bunch:  These all rated a 4.

Everything, Everything, by Nicola Yoon
Peace Like a River, by Leif Enger
Columbine, by Dave Cullen
The Woman in Cabin 10, by Ruth Ware

What I'm currently reading:  Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel and One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

What I'm currently listening to:  I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou

If you want to join in on the book sharing fun:  I'm linking up with

I also link up with:  Modern Mrs. Darcy's Monthly Quick Lit

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Book Review: Open When... Letters to Lift Your Spirits

Looking for a Gift Idea?
9781607749646 (450×256)

 I loved the size, artwork and uniqueness of Open When. If someone you love has been sick, had a new baby, graduated from school, gotten married, or you need a way to say "thank you" Open When would make a sweet gift.  I enjoyed opening up each letter and reading through the special messages.  
 I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

What I Read - February 2017

Anne of Green Gables - listened to this version read by Rachel McAdams - 4*
Miss Jane - read a library copy - 4*
A Walk in the Woods - listened to audio reserved through Overdrive - 4*
The Nine of Us - read a library copy - 3.5*
Fish in a Tree - listened to audio reserved through Overdrive - 3*
All the Light We Cannot See - read a copy I own - 5* Best of the Month
Where'd You Go Bernadette - read a copy I own - 3.5*
Being Mortal - listed to audio reserved through Overdrive - 4*

Reading in March?
Peace Like a River 
Listening in March?

Sunday, February 12, 2017

February SNOW!!!

February 12, 2017

This has been a very mild winter.  We traveled to Florida for two weeks in January and missed one major snowstorm.  But February has arrived and it seems like we have had snow every day!  Last week on Wednesday it was mid-50's and the next day we received 15 inches of snow.  Today starts another round.  As New Englanders we have to expect a little bit of snow. It is beautiful to photograph.  Hopefully this snow will wind down and spring will be on it's way soon!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

What I Read - January 2017

January was a good reading month.  We were on a road trip/vacation for two weeks.  I was able to listen to several books on tape and read a few as well.  There wasn't a bad one in the bunch.

The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin - This was a very interesting book about life, death and reincarnation.  The main character, a 4 year old boy, is troubled, and keeps asking for his "other mom".  His real mom gets help and guidance from an experienced doctor in the field.   Interesting, relatable characters make this a good solid read.   3.5

The Great Hurricane of 1938 by Cherie Burns - We listened to this on our drive to Florida.  This book surprised me.  I had picked it for a Reading Challenge (Erin's 6.0) for the category a book related to your state (Rhode Island).  This book was packed with stories and details of the Hurricane.  It described events leading up to the the storm and contained many personal stories of those affected by the storm. It explained weather conditions in detail and the devastation this "surprise" storm left in it's path. I highly recommend this book.  4

Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan - I enjoyed reading this book.  This one was about a young girl who was relocating and reinventing herself after a bad breakup and business failure.  She meets many interesting people (and a puffin) along the way.  She learns about herself, love, heartbreak and life on a small island.  I have picked up the sequel Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery to read on the beach this summer.   3.5

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson - I loved listening to this book.  The writing and narration by Jacqueline Woodson, was smooth.  The book is actually poetry.  It  is the story of growing up in South Carolina and New York in the 1960's/70's as a young African American girl. Close ties with her grandparents and a confusing relationship with her mother are themes. This book is short but oh so sweet.  4

The Smell of Other People's Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock - I saw this book recommended on a blog and thought I'd give it a try. I listened to the audiobook. It is about teenagers living in Alaska in the 1970's.  The author kept all the teens' stories separate until the end where they all met and overlapped. This story is about young love, financial insecurity, living off the land and dealing with mental illness of a parent.  3

The Martian by Andy Weir - My husband and I have started a book club.  Each month we pick one book we both read.  Our pick this month was The Martian.  Mark Watney, an American astronaut becomes stranded on Mars after an extreme dust storm and is left for dead by his crew.  Watney must improvise in order to survive. This book had a ton of scientific information but it did not deter me at all.  It is suspenseful and interesting to see how or if Mark survives.  Highly Recommend.  4

Currently Reading - All The Light We Cannot See, Listening to Anne of Green Gables