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My Girlish Whims Book Club #9

Things are getting pretty serious with my book club lately.  Our one year anniversary of meeting is coming up next month and we just ordered book club TSHIRTS. Come on now - are you even an official book club until you have tshirts made???

I'm still loving having a group of ladies to meet up with each month to discuss books, life, and share a meal together and I continue to enjoy sharing my reviews of these book club reads and the other books I've been reading here on the blog!  In June we met up at Seasons 52 in King of Prussia to discuss The Elizas and in July we met up at Iron Hill Brewery in Phoenixville to discuss When Life Gives you LuLulemons

I may or may not have showed up early to this month's meet up to pregame with some bubbly. What can I say: I'm just a champagne-loving book nerd living my best life over here ;)

Here's the review of the two books we read as a group and two more books I read since I posted my last update!

 This post contains affiliate links

The Elizas

By Sara Shepard. Synopsis from Amazon:

When debut novelist Eliza Fontaine is found at the bottom of a hotel pool, her family at first assumes that it’s just another failed suicide attempt. But Eliza swears she was pushed, and her rescuer is the only witness.

Desperate to find out who attacked her, Eliza takes it upon herself to investigate. But as the publication date for her novel draws closer, Eliza finds more questions than answers. Like why are her editor, agent, and family mixing up events from her novel with events from her life? Her novel is completely fictional, isn’t it?

The deeper Eliza goes into her investigation while struggling with memory loss, the closer her life starts to resemble her novel, until the line between reality and fiction starts to blur and she can no longer tell where her protagonist’s life ends and hers begins.

Fans of Pretty Little Liars, S.J. Watson’s Before I Go to Sleep, and Ruth Ware’s The Woman in Cabin 10 will be drawn to the drama of feeling like no one is on your side, the high tension of not knowing who you can trust, the hair-raising truths hidden among lies, and a faceless, nameless presence controlling Eliza’s life from the shadows.

This book was first a welcome change of pace type of read for me, and then slowly turned into a a slight disappointment.  This was the book we read for my June book club and was picked mostly by the other club members, not myself.  I was excited that is was written by Sara Shepard (even though I’ve never read or watched Pretty Little Liars, it’s so popular so I figured that must be a good sign) and the naming of books like Before I Go to Sleep  and The Woman in Cabin 10 in the previews for the book got me really excited to read it as well (LOVED both of those books!) but this book’s mystery was nowhere near as good as those two novels.  I liked how the book started: it’s takes place in modern time and starts with a big mystery right off that bat and a main character who is a little bit kookie but interesting all at the same time.  The story alternates back and forth between replaying current events and reading chapters of Eliza’s novel.  As the story progresses the plot of the “fictional novel” appears to be more and more similar to the mystery going on in Eliza’s real life, and you have to try and keep up of what is real, what is fake, and what actually happened to Eliza in real life.  Honestly, the mystery felt drawn out and not all that enticing to me overall.  The characters fell kind of flat in the book and while they were amicable, I just was never excited to pick this book up and wonder OH MY GOSH WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT. It was more like, ok, when will you FINALLY iron out all the details of this mystery so the book can end and I can move onto my next one.  Bah.  Not a terrible book and the general idea of having the connection between the novel & Eliza’s real life was a really interesting set up for the book, but in no way should it be making all these lists for “10 of the most anticipated books out in 2018" and everything else the online reviews are claiming.

Your Whims Wednesday #364 {And Features}

Time for another Your Whims Wednesday Party!

Here are some of my favorites from last weeks party:

Frozen Banoffee Treats by Mrs Kringles Kitchen

How to Make Flavored Salts by Looney for Food

Easy Bug Repellent Mason Jar Luminaries by Good Food and Family Fun

Pesto Chickpea Lettuce Wraps by Recipes Worth Repeating
White dish containing 4 Pesto Chickpea Lettuce Wraps sitting on a white marble table.

Thanks to all who linked up! Grab a button if you were featured :)

Now... onto this weeks party!

Bacon Bone Broth BBQ Sauce

Thank you Vital Proteins for sponsoring this post so I can share the recipe for this easy and tasty bacon BBQ sauce recipe - put it on your list to make for your next summer BBQ!

I know Fourth of July was last week but it seems like there are always multiple opportunities for BBQs in the summer season.  Whether it be over at a friend's house for a big gathering or keeping things simple at home one night there is nothing like some good ole BBQ in the heat of summer! While the grill at my house just kicked the bucket (sigh) I still recently made this new recipe for bacon, bone broth BBQ sauce and it tasted so good on a basic baked chicken drumsticks recipe that I know it would be perfect for meat on a real grill as well.

Come to think of it...we didn't use a grill for our 4th of July celebration with my family either. My Dad got a smoker this year and has used it as an excuse to smoke everything possible.  I have to say though...smoked meat tastes REALLY good so I don't mind.  I let my Dad take care of the meat and I just brought my signature sangria recipe for our 4th of July party. Yummmmm

ANYWAY. Back to the BBQ sauce.  If you don't have a smoker and you don't have a grill to infuse some real smokey flavor in your meat...no worries! This BBQ sauce has enough flavor on it's own to make your BBQ meal of choice taste delicious.

Most of the flavor from this sauce comes from starting the sauce by frying up some bacon and then cooking onions IN the bacon grease and adding a few drops of liquid smoke for that smokey flavor you may be missing from a grill or smoker. Besides a ton of flavor though this sauce also packs some added health benefits from using Vital Proteins Bone Broth Collagen in it!

The best thing about this bone broth is that it is powdered so you never have to worry about an open container going bad in your fridge.  Whenever you have a recipe that calls for a lot or a little bit of bone broth (you only need 1/2 scoop for this sauce!) you just mix together the powder with water and BAM. Bone broth ready to go. Bone broth is also known for improving digestion and enhancing bone heath from the collagen in the grass-fed, pasture raised cows it is made from.

I used my BBQ sauce to marinade chicken drumsticks overnight, and then simply baked them in the oven for 45 minutes at 400 degrees F the next day.  Super simple and easy - and paired with some baked kale chips it made a very healthy and really flavorful meal!

I kept some sauce as leftovers as well and it worked great as a cold BBQ condiment on it's own for a dipping sauce.  We recently got some kohlrabi from our local CSA farm share that we made into kohlrabi fries in my air fryer and oh my gosh.  Season those fries with a little chili powder and then dip them into this sauce?! SO GOOD! It has pretty decent macros for a BBQ sauce as well: get the full nutrition facts and recipe below and let me know if you give it a try!

Nutritional Information

Your Whims Wednesday #363 {And Features}

Time for another Your Whims Wednesday Party!

Here are some of my favorites from last weeks party:

Crab Cupcakes by Clean & Scentsible
Cute crab cupcakes with graham cracker "sand" and gummy "crabs".

DIY Color Block Wall Art by The Style Safari
DIY Colorblock Art Wall, modern art, pink and blue 3

The Best No-Churn S'mores Ice Cream by All That's Jas
Bring back summer memories with this cool version of your favorite campfire treat, no-churn s'mores ice cream! The best and only recipe you'll ever need! | allthatsjas.com | #icecream #nochurn #smores #campfire #recipe #toastedmarshmallows #grahamcrackers #chocolate #dessert #partyideas #summer

Marbling with Acrylic Paint on Candles by The Country Chic Cottage
Marbling with acrylic paint is a quick and easy way to add a gorgeous finish to a wide variety of surfaces! Here we are using Testors Marbling Medium to make painted candles that will look great in your home's decor!

Thanks to all who linked up! Grab a button if you were featured :)

Now... onto this weeks party!

Your Whims Wednesday #362 {And Features}

Time for another Your Whims Wednesday Party!

Here are some of my favorites from last weeks party:

Raspberry Sorbet Spritzer by Dizzy Busy and Hungry
Raspberry Sorbet Wine Spritzer | DizzyBusyandHungry.com - So pretty, refreshing, and delicious! Perfect to serve for a summer evening gathering!

Strawberry Yogurt Bark by Drug Store Divas
This Strawberry Yogurt Bark is the PERFECT summer treat. Get the recipe at www.drugstoredivas.net. #yogurt #frozentreat #frozendessert #summerdessert

Watermelon Sugar Cookies by Family Cookie Recipes
Watermelon Sugar Cookies made easy with sugar cookies, my favorite buttercream frosting and chocolate sprinkles. Perfect for summertime picnics when you can't get enough of watermelon in any form! 

Easy Tinfoil and Sausage and Veggie Dinner by Poinsettia Drive

Lemon Scented Shortbread with Berries and Mascarpone Cheese by 5 Minutes for Mom

Thanks to all who linked up! Grab a button if you were featured :)

Now... onto this weeks party!