Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis


This is my first dabble into Rachel Hollis… and it will not be my last.



As I try to think how this came on my radar – I get little snippets of memory.  In the office – I am sure it was mentioned,  then at a lunch with friends… I started to see the book show up on “Must Read” lists, blogs, and in stores… and then…

it was in my home.


And now for my confession.  I tend to look (or I guess looked… past tense now) at books like this as Self Help, a Genre I never had much time for.  If I am totally honest – I had an opinion on these books to be full of things we should already know….

  • Get up – Its a new day!
  • You are the controller of your actions and reactions
  • One Step at a time
  • RAH! RAH!
    • etc… etc…

AND…. honestly (again with the honesty) when I started reading this book – I had a friend in mind who I wanted to pass it to and told myself I would see if it was a good fit for her.  I started reading it with that mindset of “Oh yes, this will be good for her to read.  Oh – that’s perfect for her

AND… for all of that – I am sorry.

BECAUSE – As I read Girl, Wash Your Face it started to resonate with me.  It went from being a book for my friend…. to a book that slapped me in the face.  There are things in each of our lives I feel we believe or hold back because of – something in your childhood, the way you were brought up, something that happened – or did not happen…etc etc… your own self perspective that makes you who you are today and why you do some things and why you don’t do others.

I really hope you are following…

I could go on and on here.. and in fact I may pull out the SPOILER Button here so as I process through this those who choose to can follow and share as well…

Bottom Line – we all got STUFF.  It makes us who we are – for better or for worse and I find the message that Rachel sends out to the world is the same one I try to live by –

Live life to the fullest.  No matter what your stuff is, you can take it and make it into a part of building you up and into a positive.  I know – (believe me I know) that does not always come easy.  If fact you are probably thinking of some of your stuff – harsh losses, broken relationships , deaths, finance issues, sickness….  and wondering how how how do you possibly turn that around to something.

Let me end with this – I found Girl Wash Your Face to be just the voice people want to listen to and know is out there.  Rachel Hollis is real and raw and lives much the way I choose to live my own life.  She wears her heart on her sleeve and shares her hardest and darkest moments coming from the “one of us” Team which speaks volumes in today’s society.  It’s nice to know there is someone out there that has been through it and come out the other side – not perfect – not having it all together – but broken like so many of us and still doing it.
THAT I can relate too.

If you haven’t given Rachel Hollis a try – I recommend you do.

Rachel Hollis website

Rachel Hollis Podcast:  RISE Together

And. yeah…. if you want to go there.. I think I have more to say.  ;P

Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann


Most likely, not a book I would have chosen on my own.  This Book is a Books Burgers and Brews pick for our community Book Club read.  Pleasantly surprised, I enjoyed the book and learned a bit along the journey about the Osage. The Murders and the FBI.


In the 1920’s, the Osage Indians were the richest people per capita in the world.  Land was given to them was later discovered to be hiding a wealth of oil – oil that now belonged to the land owners.
Or at least… one would think.

One by one the Osage started to die.  Mysterious ways looking anywhere from drowning, food or alcohol poisoning, and downright murder.  Anyone who looked to closely at what may be happening to the Osage either disappeared or was found dead themselves.  As the death tole climbed, the newly organized FBI took on the case.  What followed was cover ups and corruption and eventually – a truth that becomes known as one of the biggest conspiracies in history.


Continuing my reign of terror on my house – I listened to this book on audio so I could paint, scrub, sand and clean up while enjoying this book.  A series of narrators:   Will Patton (Narrator), Ann Marie Lee (Narrator), Danny Campbell (Narrator) make up this read flawlessly.  I never rally noticed the voice change as the story unfolded.

David Grann captures details of American History that I think is safe to say – little known. The book held my attention as the details came to light of  sinister undertaking of greed and privilege.  I am astounded that I did not know about this.

History buffs, non fiction readers will take to this book.  I look forward to our discussion in our group.



Becoming by Michelle Obama


Honestly, Becoming was not really on my radar of “Must Reads” until I saw the number of people on the “First Book Of The Year” post that planned to read this as their first book of the year.  Seven of the ninety-nine participants had this book in their photo – far more than any other book chosen.  So.. who am I to argue with the logic of the worlds book lovers?  ;P


Michelle Robinson grew up on the South Side of Chicago in a home that was shared with her Aunt’s family as well as her own.  She and her brother Craig were raised in a loving home with parents that did not dictate their comings and goings or saddle them with curfews – they believed that you installed good habits and good examples in your home and your children will make their own decisions based on their upbringing.

It worked.  Craig, who loves sports and could open up a conversation in any room, was accepted into Princeton.  As his little sister, Michelle, followed suit taking an interest in Law and also made her way to Princeton.  Later, while working in a position at Sidley Austin in Chicago, she would meet a young attractive colleague named Barack Obama.  And the story of a journey to the White House would begin….

I listened to this book on audio while working on house projects.  The book is narrated by Michelle herself and I would highly recommend anytime you choose to read a Memoir/Biography go with audio if they are narrated (and they often are) by the author.  There is just something about the authors voice being put to their life story that takes it to the next level.

I was not disappointed with Becoming.  Michelle’s modest upbringing, her friendships, relationships, and even her struggles to fit in sometimes with an all too white-washed society was all very real.  I admit to cheering at some of the stories such as while in College a mother had her daughter removed due to Michelle’s color and I think “some day that lady can recall that she had her daughter moved away from a young girl that would someday become the First Lady.”

I found the book moving, and I enjoyed hearing of Michelle’s life as a child, to her schooling, to meeting Barack; her struggles with politics, Barack’s drive and the family struggles as it led to the decision to run for President.  To both of them I found a renewed appreciation for what they took on – come what may.

Overall – quite an enjoyable journey – one I recommend that you take as well if you have not already.  This is a delightful look into Michelle’s drive and the First Family.

Also recommended:  First Women by Kate Andersen Brower and The Residence by Kate Anderson Brower

Elevation by Stephen King


Chosen as our January book club read…  small in size but it is King.. and our adventure began…


Scott Carey has always been a big man but something is changing.  He doesn’t know why, but he is losing weight.  Not in the usual… clothes are getting lose, change in appetite and diet or even illness… Scott was losing weight according to the scale but his outer appearance looked the same.  He can be fully dressed with rolls of quarters in his pockets or stripped down to just his boxers and the scale would read the same.

As the scale seemed to dip a couple of pounds a day no matter what he ate he knew that whatever was going on, he knew he did not want to be poked and prodded.  He trusts a handful of people with his secret, and chooses whatever this is, he is going to make the most of it and he wonders what happens when he reaches 0.

Confession:  I like to sink into a book.  I like to spend time with the characters, getting to know them and developing the scene.  While Elevation, in its short stature (146 pages) does a good job on putting together a cast you want to know more about – you do end up feeling a little short changed (pun intended) as the story moves along as rapidly as Scott’s weight loss.

In the end, it is a good read – but not a great read.  King Fans, by all mean read it, yet go in looking at it as a delicious small dessert – sweet and then gone all too quickly.



Sheila DeChantal

Now Blogging and Talking Life, Food, Happenings at:

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty


There are a group of authors that when they write a book – I don’t need to know much about it.  I know from experience it is going to be good.  Liane Moriarty is one of those authors.



Nine Strangers sign up to attend a 10-Day Health Resort Retreat called Tranquillum House.  All have different reasons for attending:  lose weight, find themselves, reboot, peace, etc.  After all, how could one really resist an add that promotes a 10-Day Mind and Body Total Transformation Retreat?

At first, everyone pretty much keeps to themselves.  Beyond the (mandatory) daily smoothies, meditations and special diet they eye one another suspiciously.  Then they began to talk – too much according to the Proprietress, Masha,  who hand picked the retreat attendees.  Masha seems to have an underlining agenda and methodically moves her guests through the 10-days almost as though they were puppets being worked by her hand.

As the retreat moves along and the guests start to have questions – they all pinpoint on one.  Should they run while they still have the chance?

“Women and their bodies! The most abusive and toxic of relationships. Masha had seen women pinch at the flesh of their stomachs with such brutal self-loathing they left bruises. Meanwhile their husbands fondly patted their won much larger stomachs with rueful pride.”

I tend to listen to Moriarty’s books rather than read them as she has an amazing narrator.  Caroline Lee, who narrated Moriarty’s other books:  The Husband’s Secret, Big Little Lies, Truly Madly Guilty) has just the right amount of snark for Moriarty’s often fun and quirky characters.

Nine Perfect Strangers started out differently than the others I have listened to.  The start up felt – well slow, and it took me a while to get into what was happening.  Usually her books grab me right away, this one took a wee bit longer… once everyone arrived at the retreat, it started to get interesting.  What was going to happen?  Everyone was so different…  why did Masha act so strange?  What the %$*@ was in that smoothie she insisted that everyone drink every day?

shut-up-it-just-got-interestingIn the end, I enjoyed the story.  There were a few laugh out loud moments and once again Moriarty has created something unusual using trendy topics and real life issues.  Recommended for Moriarty fans and I highly recommend if you have not tried her on audio to do so.



Sheila DeChantal

Now Blogging and Talking Life, Food, Happenings at:


The Name Of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss


A book long ago (more years than I care to admit…) recommended to be by a friend who referred to this book as one of her favorite books.  That alone was enough to cause me to seek it out and place it on my shelf where it sat, was occasionally pulled off, and then put back due to lack of time to pursue such a large read.

Little did I know it was buying its time until it became my First Book Of The Year for 2019.  
Thank you Christy…  for this adventure.


A Young man, Kvothe, wishing to learn the art of magic and its many forms as he is handed a series of hardships that land him in the position of an orphan with nothing but his name and the clothes on his back, the shoes on his feet, and a gift of music in his heart.

Daringly, dreaming well beyond his means, he uses his whit and charm to find his way into the School of Magic scraping up any means he can to pay his tuition as it comes due.  Naturally gifted, he is challenged time and again by those who oppose him as well as his own gift of getting into trouble.

Now many many years later, we find Kvothe who has been discovered working as an Innkeeper under another name.  And here.. is where we find his story..

I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep.

You may have heard of me.

I finally finally finally picked up this book to read.  It has been on my shelf for years recommended and neglected until… as I contemplated what would be the First Book of 2019… and my mind fell on this one.
Yes, there are similarities to Harry Potter (orphan, parents killed, looking for the killer, a magical school, constant trouble…) but do not let this discourage you as this is not Harry Potter by any means.  More complex comes to mind, a darker tale than what young Harry started with for sure and a whole different world development.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book going back and forth between book and audio (so I could paint while listening) and digging in deep to this grand story.  Recommended to those like me who enjoy a good Fantasy Adventure.  If you have not read Rothfuss I recommend that you do.  Talk of this series becoming a feature film are in the works and I for one, do not want to miss the journey.

60. name of the wind


5Sheila DeChantal

Now Blogging and Talking Life, Food, Happenings at: