Thursday, January 28, 2016

I Intend To Be A Parent

Hi Guys, bear with me... you know if you are a long time reader that when I have something important to say I can ramble or jump around topics.... today will be on of those days! I am gonna update you on our journey as well as answer some questions I have been getting. Like I always say... I am not a perfect writer but it comes from my heart.
I found out yesterday morning that our IUI #5 did not take. (I am now sitting here trying to decide what to write next, it's been 10 minutes........) Ok, after the disaster that last month was with me really letting myself get my hopes up only to be crushed I will say yesterday was better. (to read last months post click HERE) But sadly I am not sure that is a good thing, I had a real hard time this month and especially into this last week balancing the act of having Hope but not setting myself up for disappointment. I will admit I do not know how to balance that, at all. Starting Feb 1 we will have officially been trying to have a baby for 1 & 1/2 years and I know some people try MUCH MUCH longer but like I say, our journey is ours. AND... that is a long time. This enters our 7th month at our fertility clinic and we are so thankful for our whole team. SO......
What Happens Now?
This past Monday we spent some time with our Doctor making a plan and having our IVF consult. After a long talk we have decided to put our name on the IVF wait list which is out to April now and in the meantime starting today (Day 1, new cycle) we will do 1 more IUI. IF this IUI #6 does not work then starting in March we will prep my body for IVF. This will also give us until April for Matt and I to try and work out the finances of IVF. Without insurance EACH cycle runs between $17,000- $30,000 per try. We do have great insurance that our portion of that is still not something we have just sitting around. Matt says... IUI #6 will work and he doesn't want to discuss past that but we have to. Can we afford to move on? And it's scary how invasive IVF is. But anyways that is what our plan is. Before we left our doctors office he gave me this and told me to repeat it to myself 3 times a day as a mantra and I want to share it with you all. I know it could be helpful to some of you......
Now, I want to answer some questions I have been getting from all of you...

Why would you share this journey with everyone?
I get asked this a lot and I know a ton of you are super private so this confuses you but there are 2 answers.
1. You know me, I am an open book at all times. A great friend of mine once gave me valuable insight by telling me that the fact that I am an open book scares people. And people feel intimidated by it, which is weird because I am only self deprecating to myself but it's the fact that maybe I feel confident in my own story.
2. The more important answer is..... Since I have been sharing our journey I have had friends privately message me to tell me their own Infertility journey which is so helpful and comforting. And then I have had countless people message me to ask me questions because they are just starting on this journey themselves. When you are going thru something so taxing it is BEYOND helpful to have someone to turn to and the fact that I could be that for someone else, makes me feel so blessed. Because I have a couple of people who are that for me right now ( YOU know who you are) and I am SO grateful!

Do you guys wish you had tried earlier, why wait so long?
Yes, people actually ask that... quite often and I have answered this in the past but I love to answer it again. NO, I have no regrets. For one even if we had tried to conceive 8 years ago when we got married our doctor doesn't even know but we could have run into these problems then. Our challenges are NOT 100% related to our age. Let me say that again for people who are CONVINCED we did this to ourselves by waiting until we are 35 .... Our infertility is NOT 100% based on our age!
Now, what is frustrating is that people do not see that we waited until we were settled, we have a home, Matt has a wonderful job and we waited until we were in a really good place in our marriage to bring a child into it. And if you ask me that is the smart decision we would make again.

I get many questions on Clomid and fertility drugs from people just starting. How do they effect me?
This could be different for each person but for me the main side effect I get is intense hot flashes. SO much so that most nights I wake up every 30 minutes either freezing while I pull covers on or covered in sweat where I pull covers off. I am more emotional, but is that just this intense journey that I am on or the medicine... gosh, who knows. The shots I am on give me more side effects, they make me sick to my stomach and they make my boobs hurt more than I could ever explain. So those are the main ones to be ready for I would say.

Here is a question I got last week: How much is all this costing, my husband and I are scared to start with a fertility clinic, what if we can't afford it?
This is tough and a joke amongst people dealing with infertility is that "We already spent the kids college fund trying to make him or her". BUT we are luckier than most due to my migraines we have the top insurance there is, I mean it costs us but we are benefiting from it now.  Each IUI cycle can run you $3,000- $5,000 per try and we are entering #6. So that could of cost us about $30,000 thus far but we have been out around $6,000 so far. Which is SOO much for us still.
Now, IVF like I said can run upwards of $30,000 PER TRY. Our share will be around $6,000 per try. So yes, it is unbelievably unfair how much infertility costs. It's sad is what it is. And that is a personal decision you and your significant other have to decide what works for you. But what is even more sad is that adoption costs start at around $35,000. unreal.

How is your husband handling this?
Matt is much more private than me, so although he knows I am open and a blogger I still hold back on certain details to protect Matt and his wishes. Matt works like 12 hours days so he has a lot to keep his mind occupied. Matt is also a very very eternal optimist which is great but his reply is "IUI #6 will work, so there is no need to discuss anything further" but I think all guys deal with what is in front of them at that moment. It's hard, while your infertility can be a shared responsibility 99% of everything is on the female and her body.

Friends, thank you all for sharing in this journey with us and please feel free to reach out to me with anything. You can always email me at nsavage@live.com
And another thing I want to share before I go is that while on this journey I can be 100% happy for my friends who become pregnant, truly happy. You can be truly happy for others while being sad for yourself.


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Movie Mania!

Hi Friends, Happy Hump Day! I decided we would talk about one of my favorite topics to get us thru Hump Day.... MOVIES! I have no shame on the amount of movies I see and if I reviewed them all on here.... you would get sick of me! ha! Let's dive in....


First up, Room! I have been wanting to see this for some time and last week I finally got the chance... and man, it's incredible! Room is based on a best selling book and quit possible one of the best Book to Movie adaptions around. This movie will give you ALL the feels..... sadness, nerves but it will also fill you with love. And I have to talk about the kid who plays Jack... I mean it is unreal how amazing he is in this movie. This movie deserves ALL the awards and nominations it gets..... plus more! I loved this movie and I can't wait to see it again!


SO I am not gonna lie, I wanted to see this movie but I wasn't too excited. So we waited until this movie came out OnDemand last Friday and watched it this weekend. And this movie blew me away, I was so surprised by not only how much I loved it but how much more this movie was then I thought it would be. I get it now, this absolutely should have been nominated for several Oscars... 100%! This movie not only shows you a "behind the scenes" look at NWA but really highlights who these guys were and how they become who they are. And let me say...Ice Cubes son who plays him is literally like his clone, it is unreal. You all need to see this and be surprised to at the emotion it will evoke out of you. And ya ya... it is full of boobs and the F-word but that is all a side note to the actors and how amazing they are!


Lastly is The 5th Wave, also a movie from a book... a book I happened to LOVE! I was really really looking forward to this movie and sadly very disappointed. OK, this movie is entertaining and I am always glad that I see any book come to life but this one lacked life. I think it was hard to fit the book into this movie, it was very surface..... quick..... and ended. If I didn't know the story from the book I think I would of disliked it even more because there was no point. I doubt the other 2 books will ever become movies after this. Wait until this is out to rent. Or watch the trailer below a few times because it includes the best parts.



Monday, January 25, 2016

Chapter Chat

The small town of Paradise, Pennsylvania, is a jewel in Lancaster County -- known for its picture-postcard landscapes and bucolic lifestyle. But that peace is shattered by the discovery of a dead infant in the barn of an Amish farmer. A police investigation quickly leads to two startling disclosures: the newborn's mother is an unmarried Amish woman, eighteen-year-old Katie Fisher. And the infant did not die of natural causes. Although Katie denies the medical proof that she gave birth to the child, circumstantial evidence leads to her arrest for the murder of her baby. 
One hundred miles away, Philadelphia defense attorney Ellie Hathaway has achieved an enviable, high-profile career. But her latest court "victory" has set the sands shifting beneath her. Single at thirty-nine and unsatisfied with her relationship, Ellie doesn't look back when she turns down her chance to make partner and takes off for an open-ended stay at her great-aunt's home in Paradise. 
Fate brings her to Katie Fisher. Suddenly, Ellie sees the chance to defend a client who truly needs her, not just one who can afford her. But taking on this case challenges Ellie in more ways than one. She finds herself not only in a clash of wills with a client who does not want to be defended but also in a clash of cultures with a people whose channels of justice are markedly different from her own. 
Immersing herself in Katie Fisher's life -- and in a world founded on faith, humility, duty, and honesty -- Ellie begins to understand the pressures and sacrifices of those who to live "plain." As she peels away the layers of fact and fantasy, Ellie calls on an old friend for guidance. Now, just as this man from Ellie's past reenters her life, she must uncover the truth about a complex case, a tragic loss, the bonds of love -- and her own deepest fears and desires. 
 Plain Truth was written in the 90s, one of the first Jodi Picoult books and it fell into my lap by chance.  My neighborhood did a book exchange and it was so crazy that I didn't have time to look at the books, I just grabbed any author I knew or a cover that looked exciting.... hence how this book came into my life! It was kinda neat because when I lived in Ohio, twice I went to Amish country for a day trip.... it is very neat to see this entirely different world just in your backyard. So I was able to picture the settings in this books much more vividly because of this. This book is a "Who did it" and the whole time I could not put it down because I had to know. In the end, was it satisfying? Maybe not but the journey to get there was worth it! This was a quick fun Winter read!

Do you know this App?? Meet up? It is a place for strangers to come together and meet up over common interests! I have been a member for a long time but never gone to anything then out of the blue I created one! As a New Year goal I wanted to get out of the house more, be more social so I created Chapter Chat a book club. And in a few weeks I have 44 members and last week I hosted our first meeting! We all met up at this awesome dessert bar called The Inventing Room which is all done with science! It's the coolest!
I had 7 people show up which is great for a meet up, I was pleased! I modeled this exactly like my book club in Oklahoma! We all got dessert, made introductions then I had everyone share their favorite 3 books as of late. 
 The group was very diverse and everyone was so kind. I left feeling just as I wanted to... Excited about reading and with a possibility of new friends. Our next Meetup is at the end of Feb at this cool place called BookBar!
 I am really proud of myself for stepping out of my comfort zone and it was a success! It wasn't a equal replacement for my Oklahoma book club, but it is a start.


Friday, January 22, 2016

Meal Plan Week #2

Happy Friday Friends! I have next weeks meal plan all ready for you guys and right about now I am combing the grocery store isles. You know I use to love grocery shopping, I did but for like the past year I HATE it! I hate how expensive everything is and I loathe coming home and having to put everything away. #firstworldproblems But really, if only I could teach the dogs to help! ha
And sadly there is no dessert for the week because Matt is on week 3 of him trying to diet. I wish he would let me help him or make a plan for him. I tried to remind him that out of the two of us I am the one who lost almost 50 pounds and has kept it off for 2 years but he won't listen. Weight Watchers is the way people #preach

Anyways let's dive in.....

Tonight: We have had this before and will have it again, it is delish!
Slow Cooker Broccoli Beef 
Uncle Ben's Basmati Rice

Saturday: We always eat out one night on the weekend I am hoping tonight is the night.... maybe somewhere exotic like Outback and I can dream that I am eating Sushi, which I have been craving but our bank account isn't! HA

Sunday: GAME DAY! Go Broncos!
Weight Watchers Smokey Turkey Chili
Cornbread and Fixins!

Monday: Matt's weeknight to come home for dinner
Cream Cheese and Pepper Jelly Stuffed Chicken Breasts
Roasted Cauliflower
Arugula Salad with Lemon and EVOO dressing

Tuesday: No meal, we have a Farmers District New Year party we are hosting! We are treating everyone in our District to a nice sit down Italian Dinner, Open bar and awards presentation!

Wednesday: This is just me night and I am going to have Chili leftovers! It's the best!

Thursday: Almost the weekend!
Skinny Salisbury Steak
Mash Potatoes
Arugula Salad

Enjoy friends!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Thunder Up!

 I have always said that on my list of things I miss most about Okc is going to the Okc Thunder Games! I miss being in the know, part of the hype and being able to cheer on my team at least once a week! SO when Okc comes to Denver to play the Nuggets I get all sorts of excited... just ask my husband! Since we only get to see them once a year now give or take when they come here we really try to get the best seats possible..... and on Tuesday night we were row 6 behind the net next to the Thunder bench!!
Not only were our seats great but we were literally sat right next to the Nuggets Dancers which you know made me super happy! Matt had to keep telling me to stop starring but I wasn't doing it badly, I just love professional dancers and being that close really made me miss dancing for the NBA!
The crowd was FULL of Okc fans and we cheered our little hearts out for the WIN!! It was great seeing a Thunder WIN! And I guess you could say that after we went to the Bronco Playoff game on Sunday and 2 days later the Thunder NBA game it was a great week in sports for us two! I tell Matt he is lucky he wife loves going to sporting events as much as he does!
THUNDER UP!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Weekend Wrap-Up!

We started off this past weekend on a great note, we went to our favorite movie place The Alamo Drafthouse and saw 13 Hours. Matt and I love a good action/war movie and this one did not disappoint. This movie is full of heart, action, suspense, blood and it's a true story. This is one of those movies that makes you think about "What would I have done or could I do that"? My recommendation... Go see this!


Saturday we had a relaxing day I am currently re-watching Seasons 1 and 2 of Black Sails to get ready for the season 3 premier on Saturday! I cooked us a nice dinner and we rented Burnt with Bradley Cooper, a favorite movie of mine!
Sunday oh Sunday!!!! Matt scored us last minute Broncos Playoff tickets and we had the BEST time!
All snobbery aside, I have never sat higher than the lower level for anything.... no concert or sporting event ever, so this was a new experience but when ticket prices are in the thousands you take what you can get. And honestly they were still great seats! We were Upper Deckers for sure!
What was neat is that we could see past the stadium and see the sun set over the mountains in the background and that was a stunning site to see..... although that meant the temperatures were falling fast! It was a blustery cold day for sure!
Hence my get up.....But I will say this last year we went in early October and I literally got a heat rash thru my jeans.... I would take another freezing cold game over that any day!
Before the game we got invited to this corporate tail gate that had a band, full bars, hot chocolate, TVS and it was fully catered by Elway's steakhouse among others and that was fun! When we arrived they handed out hand warmers and the clear plastic NFL approved bags to everyone to take to the game! It sure was fun pretending we were high rollers!
You know what.... I had the BEST time with Matt at the game, it was overall a wonderful weekend! I hope your was just as good!


Monday, January 18, 2016

aru5gh6%#cia....


SO ever since I started our fertility journey last Summer, I don't sleep. Some nights it's due to these incredible hot flashes I get ALL night but the others are even more torturous. The picture above is funny but true. Why is it that when you are at the end of your rope begging God to put you to sleep that your mind decides to torture you? Literally my mind will make me think of things in the past I wish I could forget,  it will make me stress over money and then my mind will then play out worst case scenarios until I literally want to cry. The kicker? Is that when I do get to sleep I have the WORST nightmares ever. I have always been prone to night terrors since I was little but now my mind just can't get enough. I am guessing that all the medicine and hormones I am injecting into myself is causing this but I would give anything for it to stop. One of my Migraine triggers is sleep. Not getting it, getting irregular sleep and right now I can't help it.... so waking up with a migraine is the final straw of my sanity. This morning I wanted to cry because I feel so awful and sadly I needed to vent so you all get to listen to this on a Monday morning. I now know why they use sleep deprivation as a torture tool because you will literally get to a point where you would do anything to sleep. Woah is me.
And when Matt asks "Whats my problem" lately, he just doesn't understand.... my entire body and mind is being turned upside down and I can't help it. bleh.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Meal Plan #1

I posted this picture on Instagram yesterday and captained this how Bella was helping me meal plan. Well a friend of mine who is also a meal planner asked me to start posting my meal plans on the blog! And I use to and I am not really sure why I stopped! SO...add this onto my 2016 goals, I will post my weekly meal plans on Fridays or sometime Thursdays. I shop on either of those 2 days for that weekend and the following week. My meal plan is a little complicated since Matt doesn't always come home for dinner. SO 2-3 nights a week it is just me eating but I still do my best to cook!
This is the Meal plan/ shopping list I use and I got it on Etsy! You can get one HERE!

Here is this weeks dinners:

Saturday: 
Whole Roast Chicken with Blood Orange Fennel Salad
 Roasted Brussel Sprouts
Whole Grain Crusty Bread
Brownies! Brownies made with just a Ghirardelli mix and Pumpkin

Sunday: We are going to the Broncos playoff game and will be getting home late so I need something quick! Matt is committed to his diet so I will cook instead of eating at the game! Here is what we are having:
Steak with Tomato Relish and Salad for Two

Monday: Is a meal just for me
Mexican Stuffed Sweet potatoes

Tuesday: We are eating out we are going to the Thunder NBA game here against the Nuggets!

Wednesday: 
Honey Sesame Glazed Chicken Breast with Green Beans

Thursday: Since this night is just me too, I have decided to to a Amy's Frozen Meal!

I hope you all will cook along side me and I will post this again next week!! Happy meal planning!


Thursday, January 14, 2016

Born This Way


I have to talk about this show on A&E Born This Way and no, it has nothing to do with Lady Gaga! Born This Way was a 6 part series and you can watch them all OnDemand and I DEMAND you do! Before I get ahead of myself here is a little about the show....



I have to encourage you to watch this for many reasons the first being just to open our eyes and expand our knowledge of people living with Down Syndrome. The whole theme of this show is "Don't Limit Me" and this show will really show you so much and speaks so true to that motto.
Another reason to watch this show and actually the main reason I love this show is the parents. Each of one the people featured on the show have their parents on the show as well and I have never seen such love on a reality TV show before. This group of parents are the most loving, kind, generous and honest group of people I have ever seen. Really you guys, the way they live their lives so full of love and hope really touched me. This show is about GOOD people, really GOOD people and we don't always see that on TV and it is such a breath of fresh air. SO friends, get OnDemand and watch this series.... you will be so glad you did.


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Whats for Dinner Wednesday!

Hi Guys, Happy Hump Day! I thought today I would share with you a few of my memorable meals of late including whats for dinner tonight!! Below each picture if you click on the title it will take you to the recipe!

Since Matt and I stayed here in Colorado for Christmas I wanted to make it special for us. We went to Christmas Eve service at a local church here in our community then we came home for a special dinner......
 Christmas Eve Dinner for two:
Beef Wellington 
Pioneer Woman Whiskey Carrots
Grilled Caesar Salad

This past Sunday night I made a oldie but a goodie, Chicken Tortilla Soup! This is the best and perfect to eat on for a few nights!
 Last Saturday night I wanted to make Matt and I a nice steak dinner at home with a twist, and no steak dinner at our house is complete without Risotto!
Saturday Night Dinner:
Mascarpone Risotto
Prosciutto Wrapped Beef Cubes in Mustard pan sauce
If you notice in most pictures I serve our meals with an Arugula salad. Matt and I both love it and it is important to serve a rich meal with a healthy, easy side. Here is my recipe, it's so easy you can barely call it that!
Nicole's Arugula Salad for 2
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
Salt and Pepper
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup EVOO
Whisk those together and then right before serving mix into about 2 cups Arugula!

Last night I made a delish and surprisingly pretty healthy dinner for Matt and I. I made Chicken Pot Pie turnovers with Arugula salad of course! For dessert I made a throw back Vanilla Pudding Trifle!
Weeknight Dinner:
Chicken Pot Pie Turnover
Arugula Salad
Here is the easy recipe for the vanilla pudding dessert!
Nicole's Vanilla Pudding Trifle
Make vanilla pudding per directions on box and refrigerate for 1 hour
Assembly:
Crushed Nilla Wafers
Vanilla Pudding
Salted Caramel Sauce
Lite Cool Whip
Top with more caramel and Nilla wafers!

SO whats for dinner tonight? Beef Stew with Beer Biscuits! (Crockpot)

I hope you give some of these recipes a try and enjoy them as much as we did! Happy Eating!


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Golden Globes

Ah, yes... I know we have all been holding our breathe for 2 days to see my Fashion picks for the Golden Globes! ha! But yesterday I was in bed all day after our 5th IUI try, I didn't want to take any chances and really wanted to give my body time to let things happen! Too much information? HA!

Anyways, back to dresses, more dresses and crazy hair! I'm not gonna lie I wasn't just overwhelmed with anyones look on Sunday but of course some people did stand out for reasons good and bad. 

Worst Dressed!
* Brie Larson, ok and hear me out..... the reason is that I don't think this fits her well, is it not just me or do her boobs look like they are on her stomach? This whole dress needs to be pulled up so the girls can be in the right place. I also think this ages her, it's just blah!
 * Oh Cate, you are an icon but this? This is just too much for me! This is Cowgirl meets..... I don't know what.
 * The Mother of Dragons looks like a frumpy mother all right, I don't understand anything about this look. She is far too pretty for this drab look.
 * Katy, oh Katy.... we get it you have incredible boobs and I swear as you were on the front row that is all anyone could notice all night. But the dress those boobs are in is so ill-fitting and the "bump-it" in your hair is a hot mess! #girlbye
* And the worst of the night is Channing. This "emo" hair look proves that even Channing can look bad. His hair is greasy and gross, he looks super puffy yet oddly "high and tight" at the same time! And that facial hair is the worst, it looks like a 13 year old boy. Such a disappointment. This makes me sad because we all know how much I LOVE him. 

Best Dressed via ME!

* Amber Heard looks so regal and polished in this dress, I just love everything about it! This color scheme is perfect for her skin and hair and I love how her lips match the flowers!
 * First off I love a covered up JLo, we don't always need to see everything!! This look is so weird, but it works.... the longer I look at it, the more I love it! And if anyone could look stunning in Mustard it's JLo!
 * OMG I LOVE this dress! I mean how beautiful does Julianne Moore look in this color? This was so amazing to me! Who knew that red heads looked so amazing in Navy!!
 * No one really talked about Malin or this dress in any of the Fashion run-downs but I mean look at it?!! This dress is stunning and it looks like this ice blue dress matches her eyes perfectly! This is perfection!
 * I swear I did not pick this because I am obsessed with Outlander but because Mrs. Jamie Frasier looks stunning. LOVE THIS! She looks like royalty.

What were your favorite looks of the night????

The Revenant




Ok, so I have to tell you up front that this is a hard hard movie to review. This movie inspired so many conflicting emotions from both Matt and I. First of all, if you are going to see this know what you are getting into. This isn't just a movie about fur trappers, that barely covers what this movie is. Know ahead of time that this is one of the most brutal movies I have ever seen. We knew that and I looked up why this got the R-rating and here is the list (via parent movie previews)
Violence:
- Frequent explicit violence with blood and brutal detail.
- Violent acts shown in realistic detail with blood and tissue damage.
- Depictions of beating, shooting, stabbing, dismemberment, mauling and/or burning;
- Frequent portrayals of gun, weapons, and hand-to-hand violence, some involving animals and some in the context of war and survival.
- Scene of sexual violence.
- Gory and grotesque images.
- Disturbing scenes.
Sexual Content:
- Three scenes of non-sexual nudity, depicting buttocks and genitalia. 
-  Portrayal of sexual assault with little detail.
- Limited embracing and kissing.
- Sexual references.
Now let me talk about the good.... this movie is epic, the location and the setting is just stunning. Leo deserves all the awards, he is amazing... he isn't Leo in the movie but completely transforms into Glass. With that being said, for everyone saying how did he do that in -40 below conditions..... he went above and beyond... well, when you are paid over 20 million I would also ask "How long should I stay in the 40 below river"! I think we all forget how much he was compensated for this film.
Now, how they shot all these scenes is beyond me... it is truly something like I have never seen before. This film is like a work of art.

Now, let's move on to the rest of my feelings on this movie. In the almost 3 hour run time of this movie there is not even ONE minute of happiness, not one second of uplifting... anything. This movie is NON STOP doom, pain, devastation and blood. You see I don't mind violence, I love war and action movies but this was something else. This was so brutal and realistic that I haven't had to cover my eyes this much in a LONG time. And the bear mauling scene is horrific, I had to put my fingers in my ears because the sounds of his bones breaking amongst his screams were too much. Here is what Matt and I both agreed on after leaving the theater.... we are glad we saw this. Glad we saw this most talked about film BUT we will never watch it again. Neither of us would put ourselves thru that almost 3 hours of stress and constant worry about what in the world is going to happen next.

SO .... my advice, know what you are getting into. This film is epic but that comes with a price, Rolling Stone put it best.. "This film is not for P*ssy's" For real. Good Luck.


Thursday, January 7, 2016

An Ember in the Ashes

Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.
Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.
It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.
But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.
There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

The new thing with books is battle or some sort of military academy and always a resistance. It is a little hard to keep them all straight, I'm not gonna lie but this is the genre that has replaced vampires as the hot new thing. With that being said I finished An Ember in the Ashes that is getting all sorts of buzz and I get it. This has a handsome unlikely hero, a "normal" girl who is so much more and a cause bigger than themselves. This book reads quick, it did take me a bit to get immersed into this world.... to figure everything out but once I did I really enjoyed this. This is set on an epic scale in the future but at the same time has a bit of "Bible times" to it, which was really unique. I very much loved this and now the only bad part is waiting until the second book comes out in AUGUST! ugh!
Happy reading friends!

PS- You won't believe what I did..... you know that app Meetup? Where you can join groups that interest you and meet up with strangers to make friends? Well, I created a Meetup based on my book club in Oklahoma. I called it Chapter Chat, and I have 20 members already and 12 people RSVP'ed to my first book club at the end of this month! EEK!!! This could go very well or really bad.... wish me luck!


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