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My Girlish Whims Book Club #4

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I've been reading, reading, reading again and I'm back to share the reviews of my most recent books as well as an update on my book club in real life!

My local book club met for a second time at True Food Kitchen in King of Prussia and we had such a fun time! I shared about our fist meet up in my last post. There was a group of girls who came back again from the first meet and a group of newbies as well. It was nice to catch up with the repeat members, meet some new friends, and then obviously just have fun chatting about books and life over some yummy food and wine! We are all squared away to meet again in the beginning of November: it's so fun having some other locals who love to read just as much as I do and enjoy an excuse to get out in the middle of the week for a little fun. I just started the book for our next meeting this week though so I'm going to have to rush a bit to make sure I'm done in time! Luckily I enjoy reading and am pretty fast so I think I'll be ok :) Here is the round-up of my pick for the last book club meeting as well as three other books I've recently read as well!

A Stranger In the House

By Shari Lapena. Synopsis from Amazon: 

Karen and Tom Krupp are happy—they’ve got a lovely home in upstate New York, they’re practically newlyweds, and they have no kids to interrupt their comfortable life together. But one day, Tom returns home to find Karen has vanished—her car’s gone and it seems she left in a rush. She even left her purse—complete with phone and ID—behind.

There's a knock on the door—the police are there to take Tom to the hospital where his wife has been admitted. She had a car accident, and lost control as she sped through the worst part of town.

The accident has left Karen with a concussion and a few scrapes.  Still, she’s mostly okay—except that she can’t remember what she was doing or where she was when she crashed. The cops think her memory loss is highly convenient, and they suspect she was up to no good.

Karen returns home with Tom, determined to heal and move on with her life. Then she realizes something’s been moved. Something’s not quite right. Someone’s been in her house. And the police won't stop asking questions.

Because in this house, everyone’s a stranger. Everyone has something they’d rather keep hidden. Something they might even kill to keep quiet.

I picked this book for my official book club read because I read "The Couple Next Door" by Shari Lapena first and absolutely LOVED that book. The mystery was so good and I just could not figure out what was going to happen next.  I still enjoyed this book, but the mystery was just not quite as intense.  I felt like I had figured out the ending about 60% of the way through the book: there was a little twist to it but generally I saw where it was going. Overall I still liked the book: it was a pretty easy read but kept me interested.  The characters were a little...flat? Slightly unrealistic? and I'm getting a little tired of the whole "temporary memory loss" used in modern mystery novels to draw out the story line...but I still liked the book and it kept me interested. 

Fitness Junkie: A Novel

By Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza. Synopsis from Amazon:

Your Whims Wednesday #325 {And Features}

Time for another Your Whims Wednesday Party!

Here are some of my favorites from last weeks party:

Burlap Pumpkin Wreath Tutorial by Grillo Designs
Learn how to create a burlap pumpkin wreath using the petal technique. This burlap wreath is the perfect decor for fall or thanksgiving! / Grillo Designs www.grillo-designs.com

Apple Butternut Squash Lasagna by All That’s Jas  
The combination of sweet roasted apples and squash with herbs, walnuts, and brie cheese result in a hearty, sweet, and savory alternative filling to the typical meat and tomato sauce.

Fall Porch Decorating and Free Printable by Lolly Jane
Bright and cheery EASY fall porch decorating tips! Plus FREE fall printable "Gather with a Grateful Heart"

Marshmallow Witches by Embellishments
These Halloween Recipes Witches are so fun to make with the kids in your life. These How To, Step-by-stp instructions will tell you exactly how to do it

Thanks to all who linked up! Grab a button if you were featured :)
Now... onto this weeks party!

Healthy Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting

This pumpkin frosting makes a healthy topping for ANYTHING sweet this fall season: it is extra creamy from using greek cream cheese and packs a punch of protein from incorporating protein powder and greek yogurt!

Believe it or not, I've had this blog since my college days and some of my very first "recipes" that I shared were under the tag Cafeteria Creativity and basically consisted of me making random things using basic food found in my college cafeteria and taking REALLY SUPER EMBARRASSING pictures with said creations.  Oh. My. Goodness. I can't even believe I shared a link to those posts: read them only if you having nothing better to do and really want a good laugh ;)

Believe it or not again...but over 5 years have passed since I graduated college and this past weekend my Alma Matter Grove City College celebrated homecoming and I returned to campus for my first time since graduation for my 5 year homecoming reunion!

It was great to be back on campus again and meet up with some old friends and it was nice to show my boyfriend around my old stomping grounds. Instead of dinning in the cafeteria and recreating some of those 5 star worthy recipes I blogged about back in college (HAH!) we dinned twice at a really nice brewery called Timber Creek Tap & Table that was put in AFTER I graduated.  I mean come on: Grove City is a pretty small town and it's not until AFTER I spend almost four years out there that they finally get a restaurant that serves lobster mac and cheese, prosciutto wrapped seared scallops and caramelized pork belly with charred brussels sprouts, goat cheese and siracha?! The world is just not fair ;)

We enjoyed plenty of delicious and indulgent eats at that restaurant Friday and Saturday night and then made the drive out to Pittsburgh and had lots of beverages at the Hofbrauhaus in Pittsburgh Saturday night as well. This was a bar they DID have while I went to school and is quite the experience to go to: they literally encourage you to stand and dance on the tables while a German band dressed up in lederhosen plays songs and they serve beer out of MASSIVE beer steins.  It was fun to go back again and have some drinks but let me tell you...after all those drinks and higher calorie food choices I made all weekend I was so ready to get back to my regular meal plan this week!

Even though I'm not stuffing my face with lobster mac and cheese anymore, I don't feel deprived while back to tracking my macros and eating healthy because I've planned in healthy treats to eat like the high protein pumpkin brownies I posted about last week, which I kicked up a notch by adding some pumpkin cream cheese frosting on top of!
This frosting is SO GOOD and is the perfect fall flavored topping for anything sweet this season.

Your Whims Wednesday #324 {And Features}

Time for another Your Whims Wednesday Party!

Here are some of my favorites from last weeks party:

Caramel Apple Cupcakes by Pretty Extraordinary
Fall Dessert Recipe: Caramel Apple Cupcakes | PrettyExtraordinary.com

Painted Pinecone Garland by Dazzle While Frazzled
Use pinecones to make an easy, rustic Halloween garland | DazzleWhileFrazzled.com

Jack-o-Lantern Pot Pies by Looney for Food

Hand Lettered Magnolia Centerpeice by Duct Tape and Denim
Magnolia leaf pumpkin centerpiece | DuctTapeAndDenim.com copy

Kahlua Pumpkin Spice Martini by Home Cooking Memories
Kahlúa Pumpkin Spice Martini recipe -- an Autumn-inspired cocktail featuring limited edition Kahlúa Pumpkin Spice liqueur

Thanks to all who linked up! Grab a button if you were featured :)
Now... onto this weeks party!

Your Whims Wednesday #323 {And Features}

Time for another Your Whims Wednesday Party!

Here are some of my favorites from last weeks party:

Pumpkin Chili by Claire Justine

Boho Tribal Collar Necklace by Everyday Bijoux
Pear and Blue Cheese Stuffed Pork Tenderloin by The Kittchen

Painted Pumpkins by Gluesticks Blog

Fall Sign from a Repurposed Cabinet Door by The Painted HingeHello Fall Sign Made From A Repurposed Cabinet Door

Thanks to all who linked up! Grab a button if you were featured :)
Now... onto this weeks party!