The Hating Game Book Review

“I have a theory. Hating someone feels disturbing similar to being in love with them. I’ve had a lot of time to compare love and hate, and these are my observations.”

My sister originally told me about this book because she’d seen it on one of Mix and Match Mama’s book reviews. I had been looking for a new book to read and just couldn’t find anything in my own “Books to be Read” list that looked appealing. I’m so glad I went ahead and downloaded The Hating Game.

This book was wildly funny, and probably equally inappropriate! Haha! I’d say it’s a little risqué in a few spots (No, I’m not talking 50 Shades of Grey), but the characters and their antics will have you laughing from page one. It’s a really quick and enjoyable read. I finished it in about a weeks time.

The electric banter between the book’s main characters, Lucy and Joshua, is enough to make you want to scream out loud at times. You can feel the frustration and the need to “get even” with every game played.

I was shocked to find out from my sister that this is the author, Sally Thorne’s, first book! She truly captures, what can often be, the running thoughts of a woman. From second-guessing herself to being so determined it hurts. It’s funny, it’s romantic, it has some twists and turns that will leave you thumbing through the pages in no time!

If you’re looking for an entertaining, humorous book, I would definitely recommend The Hating Game.

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Saturday Favorites: New Mom Edition

I figured what better “favorites” list to do this Saturday, but one of a new mom! I realize this won’t be all that interesting for some of you, but as a new Mom there are definitely some things I couldn’t function without along with a few “wish list” items as well. So without further adieu, here we go:

The Snuggle Me Organic

This wonderful little lounger is something I am so glad I invested in. When I lie Little Bear in it, it envelopes him in and he snuggles down and is comfortable and happy. Its’s sling design mimics being held and cuddled. This has been a life-saver for us! Plus it’s made in the USA!

Mud Pie Swaddles

I got a couple sets of these muslin swaddles for baby gifts and I absolutely love them! I received several nice, pretty swaddles but I think the Mud Pie ones are my favorite if for nothing more than the simple fact of, they’ve kept their softness. You seriously can not have enough swaddle blankets. You’d be surprised how often you use one.

Rock n’ Play

This is definitely one of those things I think all moms need. It’s so nice to be able to lay Little Bear down in it when I need to get some things done around the house. It rocks him back and forth and even has 3 different sound settings to soothe him as he sleeps. This is a must for us! It’s also light and easy to move around, which is a plus in my books.

Cloud Island Burp Cloths

Something I definitely underestimated before motherhood were burp cloths! I never gave much thought to them to tell you the truth and it wasn’t really something that was on my “radar” of things I needed. Boy am I glad I had mamas that knew otherwise! I got a set of these Cloud Island burp cloths that are perfectly soft and nice and long to drape over your shoulder or across baby’s back while burping. They’re the perfect material to soak up any spit-up or drool that baby might have. My sister also made me some really soft and cute ones that are my go-to for using on Little Bear’s face because of their plush softness. My point is-make sure you have good burp cloths.

Owlet Baby Care Monitor

We got this as a gift from my parents and let me tell you, its made the difference in how well we sleep. It’s a baby heart and oxygen monitor that goes on their foot when you put them down to sleep. It has a “Home” base that goes by the crib and it connects to your phone via wi-fi. Anytime I want to check Little Bear’s heart rate, I click on the app and it shows me his heart rate and oxygen levels. Any time one goes below what’s considered a normal level, it sends an alarm to my phone and the base station alarm goes off and it turns red. This has made sleeping so much better because I know if our guy is in danger that alarm will go off and we can take action. I can’t tell you how much better I sleep at night knowing this. Now, that doesn’t go to say I don’t still wake up several times a night to check on him, but it definitely gives me peace of mind. This is something I think is most certainly worth the investment!

Now for a couple of “wish list” items:

WildBird Sling

I’m in love with these slings. I received a Moby sling and it works good, but unfortunately Little Bear isn’t a big fan of it. He’ll tolerate it for about 5 minutes, then he’s done. I think it’s getting him situated in it that gets him so frustrated. I think with the Wildbird Sling, it would only take a second to plop him in and go. Something I really love about WildBird is there isn’t some big manufacturing company making these, they’ve hired 45+ seamstresses that are moms, that work from their own home to create these beautiful slings. I think that’s pretty spectacular, giving mom’s the chance to stay at him with their baby birds.

Mama Wolf

Every new mom needs a tee stating her new title, and this is my current fav! “Mama Wolf” I love this on so many levels!

Happy Mother’s Day, Mamas!

*ASpottedHeart

Friday Favorite: Beatlemania

Lately I’ve been obsessed with The Beatles channel on XMRadio. They’ve been a favorite of mine since I was about 9 years old and found out who they were. I thought what better post for a Friday Favorite than sharing some of my all-time favorite John, Paul, George & Ringo classics!

  1. Something
  2. She Came In Through the Bathroom Window
  3. In My Life
  4. She Loves You
  5. 8 Days a Week
  6. Get Back
  7. Girl
  8. I Want You (She’s So Heavy)
  9. Happiness is a Warm Gun
  10. I Saw Her Standing There
  11. You Really Got a Hold On Me
  12. I’ve Just Seen a Face
  13. Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)
  14. Eleanor Rigby
  15. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band
  16. Lovely Rita
  17. All You Need Is Love
  18. Blackbird
  19. Why Don’t We Do It In The Road
  20. Come Together

Hope y’all enjoy some of my favorites Beatles songs! Some you’ve probably heard time and time again, and some may be new to you. What’s your favorite Beatles song? Who’s your favorite Beatle? Mine is easily, Ringo!

Happy Friday!!

*ASpottedHeart

Holiday Travel Oils

I use my oils every day in some form or fashion. My main way is diffusing oils, so when I’m traveling that becomes more of a challenge. These four oils are the ones I brought with me during my holiday travel, and this is how I used each one.

🍊 Orange: I brought orange oil with me to put in my shower in the morning. Orange helps boost your immune system and is uplifting.

🌲Tea Tree: This has become one of my favorite go-to oils! I brought it along to keep my immunity up. This is one I’ve been diffusing every night, so since I don’t carry a diffuser, I put it on the bottoms of my feet. This is also great to have along with you for hormonal or stress breakouts. Put a dab of tea Tree oil on the place,and it helps clear it up.

🔮Lavender: In the winter months, I have a really hard time with my hands drying out. They get dry and crack and bleed and it seems like they’ve been especially bad these last couple weeks (a few months back I burnt my right hand, and it’s been super irritated since.) So each night I’ve been putting Lavender on my hands to help heal them up. I feel like it’s made such a difference!

🌿 Eucalyptus Blue: Now, I’ll admit, Eucalyptus Blue isn’t my favorite eucalyptus. I usually always use Eucalyptus Radiata. But Eucalyptus Blue will also serve the same purpose as Radiata. I put 1 or 2 drops in the shower to help open up my sinuses in the mornings. It seems like when I travel, I always wake up with a stuffy nose, so this really helps me open up my sinuses first thing in the morning.

Those are the 4 oils I’m traveling with this year. What are your favorite oils to travel with?

Hope everyone has a Merry Christmas! Thanks for reading!

*ASpottedHeart

Ornament Giveaway Winner

I had some technical difficulties last night and wasn’t able to post the ornament giveaway winner!

Jenna B. you are the winner! I’ll email you when your ornament is sent out!

Thank you for your entries, it was fun! Hope you all have a Merry Christmas!

*ASpottedHeart

A Christmas Playlist 🎄

“Giddy-up jingle horse, pick up your feet…”🎶 One of my favorite lines in a Christmas song. I love Christmas music! I love the old-timey Christmas tunes mixed in with some of the newer versions and songs. I’ve put together some of my favorite renditions of Christmas songs and some of the artist original ones too. Hope you enjoy!

  1. Jingle Bells- Frank Sinatra
  2. Santa Baby-Michael Buble
  3. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas- She & Him
  4. Ribbons and Bows-Kacey Musgraves
  5. Very Merry Christmas-Dave Barnes
  6. Please Come Home for Christmas- Leslie Odom Jr.
  7. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!-Bing Crosby
  8. White Christmas- Drifters
  9. Oh Come, Oh Come Emmanuel-Dave Barnes
  10. Baby, It’s Cold Outside-Lee Ann Womack & Harry Connick, Jr.
  11. O Holy Night-Martina McBride
  12. It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas-Michael Buble
  13. Silver Bells- She & Him
  14. The Christmas Song- Nat King Cole
  15. Silent Night- Bing Crosby
  16. Winter a Wonderland- Ella Fitzgerald
  17. Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing- Sufjan Stevens
  18. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer- Kacey Musgraves
  19. Sleigh Ride-Ella Fitzgerald
  20. Joy to the World- Nat King Cole

If you have Spotify you can go and have a listen!

Hope this Christmas Playlist makes you as happy as it does me!

**Don’t forget, today is the last day to enter my surprise ornament giveaway! All you have to do to enter is email me a photo of your favorite ornament that hangs on your tree! I’ll announce the winner* at 10:00 tonight! aspottedheart@gmail.com< strong>*ASpottedHeart<<
o enter you must live in the U.S.

Christmas Tree Hunt:Year 4

I’ve shared before that one of Riley’s Christmas traditions has always been to go find and cut down your own Christmas tree. It’s always a pretty big adventure.

This year was a little different, since I’m packing around a little bear in my belly, we decided maybe we wouldn’t do quite as much hiking as usual, and take the 4-wheeler so it’s a little easier to haul the tree back to he pickup. We went up to our usual spot in New Mexico, and hopped on the 4-wheeler. We drove around and down through a few groves, then decided we’d walk a little bit and try to find the perfect tree.

As I’ve mentioned before, my husband has Clark Griswold Syndrome-he wants the biggest tree he can find. This is the one he originally wanted this year! Haha!

We look through loads of trees. You have to keep certain things in mind when looking for just the right tree. Is there a good sturdy base? Does it have a good top for our vintage Shiny Brite topper? Is it too robust for our home? Is it too tall for our house? How many branches will we have to remove from the bottom to make it stand up in the stand right? Will it still look full if we remove said branches? A lot of thinking goes into it. Seems like we always end up picking one that’s too big (round) but it’s so hard when they look so pretty out in the pasture.

This Christmas we chose this fat & jolly guy-just how we like ’em! He was a little hard to get on the 4-wheeler, trying not to run over everything in our path, but we eventually made it back to the pickup unscathed.

He is *ahem* a little big for our house, but we both agree this has been our best tree yet! He’s beautiful! Perfect base, perfect top, really full and lush.

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I love ornaments, and how we’ve collected so many in our short 4 years together. Every one of them is meaningful it seems. I’ll share a few with you.

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do  know this is the first one from our first Christmas together. It’s a Brighton silver, reindeer. Still one of my favorites and most elegant ornaments.

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This is one from when One Cute Cowboy was just a little guy. It’s so cute, and a Hallmark Classic.

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This one is special not only because it represents the true meaning of Christmas, but my dad’s side of the family did an ornament exchange for a few years, and this is one I got that my Grandma had put in the exchange. It is, for so many reasons, one of my favorites.

 

What are some of your family’s Christmas traditions? Do you have a favorite ornament that hangs on your tree each year? I’d love to see them!! Leave me a picture in the comments or e-mail me a picture of your ornament at aspottedheart@gmail.com. I’ll put your name in a hat and draw a winner next Tuesday, the 19th,  for a surprise ornament I’ll send right to your door*! Happy Tree Trimming!

*ASpottedHeart

 

 

Previous Christmas Posts:

 

*Must live in the U.S. for valid entry for the surprise ornament. 

 

Christmas Gift Guide

Buying gifts at Christmas can be both fulfilling, and unfortunately draining. Sometimes it’s incredibly stressful to try to pick out just the right gift for just the right person. So I’ve put together a little gift guide that will hopefully help!

For the woman in your life:

Maybe you’re looking for your sister,Mom, girlfriend, wife, in-law? Here’s a few things I think she’ll be sure to love!

  • Smaller Inexpensive Gift

It’s no secret how I feel about Dalmatian spots, and you can’t go wrong with Kate Spade. This cute ring dish would look good on any girl’s bedside table. What’s great about this gift, it’s good for any age!

Kate Spade Flamingo Dot Ring Dish $30

  • The Middle Price Range Gift

If you’ve ever used any Origins skincare products, then you know just how awesome this gift is. This is the 12 Joys of Origins gift set. This is a $70 set that’s contents is worth $170, a truly great deal! I’ve never used an Origins product I didn’t absolutely love! They smell great, and always leave your skin feeling amazing! This set includes some of their best products, and a couple that are only seasonal, so it’s a steal.

Origins 12 Joys of Origins Gift Set $70

  • The More Expensive Gift

This luxurious robe is from Anthropologie. This pretty robe would make any gal feel special! It’s not only mega soft and cozy, it’s machine washable which is always a plus in my books.

Anthropologie’s Reversible Sherpa Robe $138

For the Man in your life:

Whether it be your dad, brother, husband, or boyfriend, here are some ideas I think any man would like!

  • Smaller Inexpensive Gift

I don’t know a man in my life that doesn’t enjoy some good hot sauce. This make your own hot sauce from Uncommon Goods seems like the perfect gift for the adventurous man in your life (because what man isn’t?)

Make Your Own Hot Sauce Gift $34.95

  • The Middle Price Range Gift

My husband says every man needs a good clipper set, and this seems like a really great one. I found this Braun Men’s Set at Kohl’s, it has 7 different attachments (my husband also says the nose trimmer is a must!)

Braun Men’s 9-in-1 Multi Grooming Kit $69.99

  • The More Expensive Gift

This wool pullover from Stormy Kromer is a high quality, warm sweater. One Cute Cowboy swears by his, and has almost worn it ragged. It’s worth every penny, but does run on the smaller side when you’re looking for your man’s size!

Stormy Kromer’s The Wool Pullover for Him $139.99

For the Kid in your Life

It can be hard to buy for kids because it seems like their interests are constantly changing. I tried to find some good, common-ground gifts for any kid!

  • Smaller Inexpensive Gift

I’m a big advocate for board games and family time. Scattergories is hands-down my favorite board game! It makes you think quick on your feet and really use your brain. I think it’s good for kids to be challenged in a fun way, and these three games are perfect for that!

Scattergories $10.88Jenga $7.47Jumanji $19.99

  • The Middle Price Range Gift

When I was a kid, I loved getting mail! What better gift than something that gives all-year round, a kids magazine subscription! There’s something for just about any kid.

Highlight Magazine $39.96/1Year

Ranger Rick Magazine $19.99/1Year

Sport’s Illustrated Kids $19.99/1Year

  • The More Expensive Gift

This Teepee styled kids hammock/pod would have been a dream to me as a kid! What kid doesn’t love to have their own little space, plus being outside!?! Seems like an easy win/win to me.

Teardrop Tree Hammock $137.99

Here are also some specific ideas for…

The Naturalist

I can’t speak highly enough of Young Living Oils. I’ve been a customer of theirs for over 3 years and I can honestly say I use them daily. What greater gift then giving your loved one a membership to Young Living and starting them out right with one of our many starter kits. My favorite is the Dewdrop Diffuser Kit. It comes with their very own diffuse (right now this kit will actually come with the new, beautiful Dessert Diffuser pictured above) along with 10 of our most popular oils, along with samples. Once you get them their kit, they’d then be a Young Living Customer and get their oils at a lower retail price instead of buying at whole sale. I could go on and on, and would love to answer any questions any of you have about Young Living or oils in general! 🙂

Young Living Membership (Started Kit) $160

The Beauty Lover

It’s no secret Rodan + Fields is one of the most popular, advanced, and best skincare regimens you can buy and truly invest in your skin. I can’t imagine a beauty fanatic that doesn’t want this gift set of R+F’s Eyelash Boost & Eye Complex Gift Set, along with a dazzling eyelash curler! Impress your beauty product fanatic with the best!

Rodan + Fields Lash Boost Set $198*

The High-Techy

I can’t imagine what tech-lover wouldn’t love this iPhone printer. Your phone pops right into it and prints whatever picture you choose instantly! How fun would that be?! I think this is a great gift!

Prynt Pocket $149.99

The Outdoorsman

This is the perfect multi-tool for your favorite outdoorsman. It has 9 different uses and can fit in your pocket!

PEYOND Camping Axe Hammer Multitool $14.99

The Potter Fan

When Pendleton and Harry Potter collaborate, there’s no way you can go wrong! This scarf is high quality wool (aka:warm), and beautifully made. Surprise your Potter-head with this amazing gift!

Pendleton’s Harry Potter House Muffler $79.50

The Fashionista

Every Fashionista has a signature pair of sunglasses and these Warby Parker’s are some of my favorites! They’re the perfect tortoise color and have polarized, no-scratch lenses. Warby Parker’s are known as durable, classic sunglasses.

Warby Parker Haskell Sunglasses $98

There’s some of my best gift ideas for this Christmas, I hope this little gift guide has been helpful!

*ASpottedHeart

Wednesday {Pregnancy} Favorites

Today I want to share what has become some of my go-to’s since I’ve become pregnant. {Keep in mind, these aren’t just pregnancy products, anyone can use them!}

I never realized how aware I’d become of not only what I put in my body but on my body. I’ve always heard all the things you can and can’t have to eat while pregnant, and trust me, the struggle is real! The interesting thing is that what you’re putting on your body can be just as detrimental because it can still penetrate into your bloodstream and through your body to the little bear you’re growing inside. I’ve always tried to use more natural products but I realized not everything is as “natural” as they appear. Being pregnant it’s not recommended to use any beauty products that contain salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. There are some other ingredients that are also questionable, but these two are the main ones to try to stay away from using. I’m currently 24- weeks pregnant and these are some of my current natural skin care favorites I’ve used that, as far as I’ve found, do not contain either of those ingredients!

  1. Green + Lovely Better-than-Butter Belly Oil

Belly oil

Y’all, I’m pretty certain this stuff has been my saving grace from stretch marks starting! I started using this on my belly, chest, and thighs since around week 12 of pregnancy and haven’t seen a stretch mark yet. This oil has all kinds of goodness in it to help your skin with elasticity and to stay hydrated through the stages of pregnancy. It’s made with olive, coconut, and almond oils, along with essential oil and non GMO Vitamin E oil. I’ve used the Lavender scented and the one I’m currently using is tangerine orange, which I think I actually prefer over the Lavender. This stuff is pure gold in my books!

2. Whiskey River Soap Company Deodorant

I’ve been using this deodorant for over a year now and absolutely love it! My cousin and her friend actually make it, along with a few other healthy skincare products. It’s all natural ingredients and completely aluminum-free! I love the grapefruit, but they also make Lemon, Lavender, and Purification. It’s been such a great alternative to store bought deodorant and my underarms are smooth and don’t break out from shaving like they used to. It’s wonderful stuff!

3. U.S. Apothecary Witch Hazel Face & Body Tonic

I personally think one should always have witch hazel on hand. It’s great for itchy bites and healing scrapes and cuts. I bought this on a whim when we visited The Pioneer Woman’s Mercantile last spring. It has an added rose water which makes it a great toner for your face after you’ve washed it at night or before you put on your makeup in the mornings. When I became pregnant my tummy (and belly button) started to feel itchy because of all the stretching my skin was starting to do. I found this tonic spray highly helpful! When I start to have an itchy spot on my tummy or side I just spritz this on and it soothes the itch and subsidies the urge to scratch. I love this stuff, though I found its not easy to find. The best part is, it’s only 3 ingredients!

4. Young Living Tee Tree Oil

When you’re pregnant you may have these really fun hormonal breakouts (sense the sarcasm.) The hard thing is to find something safe you can use to help prevent and rid these breakouts. I found that if I put one to two drops of Tee Tree oil on a q-tip and held it on the place a few seconds after washing my face, usually in the morning it was barely noticeable or almost completely gone. This has really been a life saver. It’s even helped cleanse the air in my house when I diffuse it in the evenings. Gives me a fresh, clean feeling. I can never say enough good things about my Young Living Oils! If ever you’re interested in Young Living, send me a message or email me, I’d love to help you out!

5. Korres Wild Rose Brightening 24-hour Moisturizer

I’d like to give a big shout-out to my Ipsy bag for sending me this little treasure! This is only a travel size but it started me off on the right foot when I first became pregnant and realized my usual moisturizer had salicylic acid in it. I was glad that I hadn’t used this up yet and grew to love the way it made my skin feel and look. I’m looking forward to getting a full sized jar of it. It’s so silky, it feels great!

There you have it, my current top 5 “pregnancy safe” products! Hope you’ve enjoyed, and keep in mind, these aren’t just pregnancy products, anyone can use them!

***Disclaimer***

I am not claiming that all pregnant women would be safe to use the products above, I’m only stating what has worked so far for me in my personal pregnancy. Every woman, and every woman’s body and pregnancy can be different. Always consult your doctor if you’re unsure or have questions about using a product. Never just “take someone’s advice,” do your own research to see what’s going to work best for you! 🙂

*ASpottedHeart

Festive Halloween Playlist 🔮



Who doesn’t love a good playlist?! I’ve picked out some Halloween festive favorites that I hope ya’ll enjoy as much as I do! I’ve even included the playlist on Spotify at the bottom!

  1. I Put A Spell On You- She & Him
  2. My Body’s A Zombie for You- Dead Man’s Bones
  3. Witchy Woman- The Eagles
  4. Monsters- Hurricane Bells
  5. Dirty Paws- Of Monsters and Men
  6. Ghosts- James Vincent McMorrow
  7. Shake It Out- Florence + the Machine
  8. Shankill Butchers- Sarah Jarsoz
  9. Young Blood- Norah Jones
  10. Bad Mood Rising- Creedence Clearwater Revival
  11. Golden Years- David Bowie
  12. In The Room Where You Sleep- Dead Man’s Bones
  13. Jawbreaker- The Dead Weather
  14. Lights Off- The Dears
  15. Long Cool Woman (In a Black Dress) – The Hollies
  16. Witchcraft- Frank Sinatra
  17. Hedwig’s Theme-Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone Soundtrack
  18. Royals-Lorde
  19. Midnight City- M83
  20. Dark On Fire- Turin Brakes
  21. Full Moon- The Black Ghosts
  22. Heads Will Roll- Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  23. I Didn’t Mean It- The Belle Brigade
  24. Rolling In On a Burning Tire- The Dead Weather
  25. Monster Mash- Bobby “Boris” Pickett & The Crypt-Kickers

Hope you enjoy!

 

*ASpottedHeart