Charlie's Corner · Personal Post · Recommendations

Charlie’s Corner: November Wonder Week with Life Outside the Box

Baby Boy!

After Charles was born I joined a group made up of local Mommy’s with young children. It has become a great place to turn to for support and we have met some wonderful people as a result.

One of the Mom’s in the group has created a blog to share the different activities she does with her two little ones. Click the links below to check it out:

Life Outside the Box (Blog)

Life Outside the Box (Facebook Page)

Last week Charles and I participated in an online program she created, which encouraged sensory, nature and motor skills play. November Wonder Week was a fun way to explore using everyday household items with an autumn theme. Each day Katherine would post a file including the instructions for the activity she planned. In her daily instructions she offered modifications for different age groups. Every child experienced this program in their own unique way. I really enjoyed learning how the other parents put their own spin on the activities. It helped give me ideas on what to do, as I am far less creative. I am really looking forward to participating in the next group program in the New Year.

Be sure to check out Katherine’s blog if you are interested in learning more about “Life Outside the Box”.

Book Reviews · Recommendations

Down, Then Up: A Novella by Beth Labonte

Down, Then Up: A Novella
By Beth Labonte

Published: November, 2016
Published By: Kindle Edition
Format Read: Kindle
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Novella

Rating: 4/5


Lauren has worked hard to leave her past behind her. However she never could forget the one who got away. Ten years later, while throwing her sister a bachelorette party in Las Vegas, she discovers that her old flame happens to be the cousin of the groom.

My Thoughts 

I have been a fan of Beth Labonte’s books since reading her 2011 release What Stays in Vegas. Her novella Down, Then Up brings her readers back to “Sin City” in another humorous story, that didn’t disappoint.

Lauren’s former boyfriend Jamie is every nerdy girl’s dream. The popular culture references, especially those of the sci-fi variety are so current and will appeal to a lot of readers. I especially enjoyed how the title of this novella: Down, Then Up and its cover picture tied into the story.

I would definitely recommend Beth Labonte to fans of humorous contemporary fiction and I look forward to reading more from her in the future.

Currently Reading · Personal Post

Currently Reading: November 12, 2017

On November 11 Canadians all over the country paused to remember those who fought for our freedom. Lest we forget. 

It has been a while since I’ve done a “Currently Reading” post. Seeing as how my little man decided to settle down for the night at a decent time, I took the opportunity to make this post.

We had our first snowfall of the season last week. Charles was in a state of awe when he looked out the window that first morning to the ground covered. I just love watching him discovering new things.

My Reading Progress

So far this month I have completed one book:

Down, Then Up by Beth Labonte, which I gave 4 stars.

I feel somewhat slumpish though. What I really need is to pick up a book that I can get completely lost in. One that I can’t put down. I will keep my fingers crossed that the next one I pick up will be the right one for me.

Currently Reading


What are you reading this week? Leave me a message in the comments.


Hosted By: Book Date

Book Reviews

TLC Book Tours: Start Without Me by Joshua Max Feldman

About Start Without Me

Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: William Morrow (October 17, 2017)

The author of the critically acclaimed The Book of Jonah explores questions of love and choice, disappointment and hope in the lives of two strangers who meet by chance in this mesmerizing tale that unfolds over one Thanksgiving Day.

Adam is a former musician and recovering alcoholic who is home for Thanksgiving for the first time in many years. Surrounded by his parents and siblings, nieces and nephews all who have seen him at his worst he can’t shake the feeling that no matter how hard he tries, he’ll always be the one who can’t get it right.

Marissa is a flight attendant whose marriage is strained by simmering tensions over race, class, and ambition. Heading to her in-laws for their picture-perfect holiday family dinner, her anxiety is intensified by the knowledge she is pregnant from an impulsive one-night-stand.

In an airport restaurant on Thanksgiving morning, Adam and Marissa meet. Over the course of this day fraught with emotion and expectation, these two strangers will form an unlikely bond as they reckon with their family ties, their pasts, and the choices that will determine their way forward.

Joshua Max Feldman focuses his knowing eye on one of the last bastions of classical American idealism, the Thanksgiving family gathering, as he explores our struggles to know and to be our best selves. Hilarious and heartrending, Start Without Me is a thoughtful and entertaining page-turner that will leave its indelible mark on your heart.

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About Joshua Max Feldman

Joshua Max Feldman is the author of The Book of Jonah. Born and raised in Amherst, Massachusetts, he has lived in England, Russia, and Switzerland, and currently resides in Brooklyn.

Find out more about Joshua at his website, and connect with him on Facebook and Twitter.


My Thoughts

I was sent a copy of Start Without Me by Joshua Max Feldman, from the publisher and TLC Book Tours, in exchange for an honest review. 

My Rating: 2.5/5

Start Without Me follows two very different characters who spend Thanksgiving together following a chance meeting in a hotel restaurant. Former musician and recovering alcoholic Adam forms an unlikely friendship (for lack of a better word) with Marissa, a flight attendant with marital problems.

What I liked about this novel included the differences between Adam and Marissa. They both had very different up-bringing’s that contributed to their present situations and outlooks on life. It wasn’t until later in the book that I really began to understand the point behind this pairing. I couldn’t exactly relate to Adam and Marissa, but I was able to appreciate some of the social commentary and pop culture references.

The writing style felt choppy to me and took some getting used to. Unfortunately my interest wavered throughout, which resulted in my 2.5 star rating.

I would advise discretion to those who may decide to read Start Without Me as it does include course language and sexuality, that may offend some people.

tlc tour host

Personal Post · Wrap-ups

Monthly Wrap-up: October 2017

October 2017

Do you ever think back and try to remember what you did over the past month, but draw a blank? That is what seems to happen to me whenever I sit down to put together my monthly wrap-ups.

Here is what I do remember off the top of my head (ha).

Baby Charlie is now 6 months old. This is such a fun age, because he is becoming more and more interactive. His personality is starting to shine and he is such a happy baby.

Yesterday he celebrated his first Halloween. Kicking it off with a party with some local Moms and their babies. He dressed up as a cute puppy dog. To check out the costume I bought him click here to be directed to the Party City website.

Mom life is keeping my quite busy and I’m having trouble prioritizing my time to blog. Hopefully this is something I will get better at over time.

On to the books..

I am pleased with my reading progress during the month of October, however I didn’t absolutely love the books I read. All of the books I read were sent to me for review.

Books Completed


  •  The Fire By Night by Teresa Messineo 
    ♥♥♥♥ 4/5
    Genre: Historical Fiction
  • Start Without Me by Joshua Max Feldman
    ♥♥.5 2.5/5
    Genre: Contemporary Fiction
  • Newfie Come Home by David Belisle 
    Rating TBD
    Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Satire

The Stats

Total Number of Books Read: 3
Total Number of Fiction: 3
Total Number of Non-fiction: 0
Total Books Sent for Review: 3
Total Books Read from My Shelves: 0
Total Library Books Read: 0

Formats Read:
Physical Books: 2
eBooks: 1
Audio Books: 0

Total Books Read in 2017: 23

November TBR


Book Date