The Sassy Pear

Finding my way through my forties

Eating, Reading, Listening, Loving — September 30, 2019

Eating, Reading, Listening, Loving

Hi all! Time for another episode of ERLL!! Are you ready?? Let’s do it!

Eating: I have found it. The thing I want to eat for the rest of my life. I feel so fortunate to be alive in the same era as this food! I give you…


DARK. CHOCOLATE. HUMMUS. This is the stuff of my dreams. It almost tastes like brownie batter, if you’re into that sort of thing, which I am. It is delicious with apples, bananas, strawberries, and any other sturdy fruit that won’t fall apart when hit with a wall of hummus (lookin’ at you, raspberries). I found it at 2 local grocery stores, so I imagine it would be fairly easy to find at any grocery store. YOU ARE WELCOME.

Reading: Currently not reading any particular book right now, except for The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, which I’ve read before but since it is my newest favorite book ever, I like to keep it by my bedside and read it when I get the urge. Book Club is next week, so I’ll have a new book to tell you about next time.

Listening: Honestly, I can’t think of anything that I’ve been listening to that I haven’t told you about before. I watched part of a documentary about country music last night, so afterwards while I was working in the yard, I listened to some 90s country. On purpose. I used to be a kinda/sorta country music fan until 2013 when all the songs on country radio became about trucks, drinking, and girls in short shorts. I haven’t listened since.

Loving: I’ve been using this company for several months now and I can’t believe I haven’t mentioned it before. I’m sure you’ve all seen the Grove Collaborative ads on social media…well I decided to give it a try mostly because I hate buying cleaning supplies, so I thought it would be a little more pleasant to have them delivered. And it is! Here’s what I love about Grove: I can change my order every month to fit what I need, there is no minimum to purchase, all of the products I’ve tried smell really good, and they write a nice little thank you note on the outside of each box (I don’t know why that gives me a warm fuzzy each time, but it does). The only things I’ve tried that I didn’t love were the wood furniture cleaner and the Method and Mrs. Meyers dishwasher pods (I did however really like the Seventh Generation dishwasher pods). So I feel pretty confident in recommending them to you, and yes, some of what they sell can be found at Target or other stores, but like I said, I hate buying cleaning products, so for me, this is a good way to ensure I have what I need, when I need it. If you want to try it here’s a link to get started (if you decide to make a purchase, this link will get you a 5 piece gift set and I’ll get a $10 credit – this isn’t an affiliate link, it’s available to everyone once you sign up). I should probably mention, they sell a whole lot more than just cleaning supplies – everything from candles to skin care, stuff for your babies and your fur babies, and even sunscreen and bug spray. I really do love it.

My first shipment from way back in March. 


That wraps up my ERLL for this time. Hope you enjoyed it!



Eating, Reading, Listening, Loving — September 3, 2019

Eating, Reading, Listening, Loving

Hey all!

Hope everyone had a nice long weekend – we took a couple of days over the long weekend to go camping (RV, this girl doesn’t do tents) and our campsite had no cell service – it was nice to completely disconnect for awhile! We also kayaked and hiked and just had a generally nice relaxing time (except for that surprise thunderstorm that popped up at 4 a.m. – rain is SUPER LOUD in a camper!!).

I’m going to try something new for the fall – I have a rough posting schedule planned out and one of the things I’d like to do is a regular post called “Eating, Reading, Listening, Loving” wherein I tell you what I am currently…wait for it…eating, reading, listening, and loving at the moment! So here goes:

Eating: Herb Chicken Mediterranean pizza from Papa Murphy’s. Yeah, probably not the healthiest thing on the planet, but damn it is GOOD. Olive oil and garlic for the sauce, spinach, roasted red peppers, and herbed chicken toppings, baked on thin crust. Actually, it’s probably not terrible health-wise, at least I hope it’s not because I ate this for three meals in a row over the weekend.

Reading: I just finished reading Rough Beauty by Karen Auvinen. Auvinen is a poet and a university professor and you can tell that in this memoir. This is her story about living in the mountains of Colorado and it’s also a love story – between her and her husky dog Elvis. I enjoyed this book, but I think I’d like to re-read it this winter when I can take my time and really appreciate how descriptive Auvinen can be with her words. If you enjoyed Cheryl Strayed’s Wild, then you will probably like this book as well.

Listening: I just discovered a podcast call “Sincerely, X” by the Ted Talk people. The stories are told anonymously – usually because the people telling them are embarrassed about what happened, but instead of just giving us a voyeuristic peek into someone’s mistakes, this podcast offers solutions and great ideas to turn the unfortunate circumstances into something good and helpful. For instance, one woman tells of how she has a kind of “freak-out” in public but one man knows how to calm her down and talk to her – her solution is to suggest that the public be educated on how to handle situations like these. We have CPR training for heart emergencies, why not have a training to help people who are having mental emergencies? It’s good stuff and I’ve only just started listening so I’m excited to hear what else is on tap.

Loving: I have never been what you would call an “outdoorsy” kind of girl, but lately I really love being outside in nature. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed kayaking – I’ve never done it before and I really loved it. So much so that I really want to go do that again – soon. We also went on an hour-long hike and although it was hot and I was sweating like crazy, it was beautiful and peaceful and I got lots of pictures. THAT is the kind of fitness I like – if I could do those things everyday, I’d be fit as a fiddle in no time.

So that’s it. Is there anything you are eating, reading, listening, and loving that I need to know about? Share in the comments below!

Bonus Post: A good quote — July 25, 2019

Bonus Post: A good quote

I don’t consider myself to be a cynic, but the notion of a soulmate has always bugged me. I just don’t believe that there is ONE person out there for everyone – I think location, time, and circumstance all contribute to who we fall in love with. So when I read this quote today from Belinda Luscombe, her definition of a soulmate is definitely something I can live with:

We don’t find soulmates, like some fantastic shell on the beach. We become them. And as we do, the other person becomes ours. One of us is the waves and the other is the sand, and together we make the beach, changing the shape and passage of the other and maybe even bringing some amazing conches to the surface alongside the seaweed and knotted fishing wire.

We become the soulmates we need for each other.

One of us is waves and the other is sand, and together we make the beach. I just love that.

You can find Belinda Luscombe’s book here.

beach foam landscape nature
Photo by Pixabay on
What I read in 2017 — November 13, 2017

What I read in 2017


I don’t really have anything to say today, just felt like coming over here and writing for a bit.

OH! Let’s talk about books! What’re you all reading right now?

I just finished reading Liane Moriarty’s Truly Madly Guilty
(and I think I heard that Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman bought the movie rights to this one) for my book club selection for November. We had our meeting yesterday to discuss it and even though only two of us were there (usually there are 5 of us, but yesterday was one of those dreary, cold, couch-sitting days where you don’t wanna get up and go out, so I understand why hardly anyone showed up), we both decided it was…weird and icky and it just wasn’t what I was expecting. I didn’t find the characters to be particularly likable and the unveiling of the mystery of what happened at the bbq was sort of anticlimactic. And it wasn’t at all what I thought it would be. I’ve read a few other books by this author and I’m always left feeling sort of “meh”. But that’s just me.

For December, we decided to keep things light and easy and Christmassy, so we are going to read Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan.

Has anyone read this one yet? Did you like it? It’s available on the Kindle App for only $1.99 right now if you want to read along with us.

I need to make a list of all the books we’ve read this year. Well I suppose I can do that right here and now…

We started in March I think, nope…just checked and we had our first meeting in January with our first book discussion in February. Wow – I can’t believe it’s been almost a year! Anyway, here’s a list of the books we’ve read so far:

February: An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

March: Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher

April: Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead by Sara Gran

May: The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman

June: Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner

July: In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

August: The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

September: The Lying Game by Ruth Ware

October: The Dry by Jane Harper

November: Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty 

December: Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Just as a side note, we loved all of the Ruth Ware books, and the Ember book. We didn’t so much love Claire DeWitt and we all pretty much hated The Zookeeper’s Wife (it read like a documentary instead of a story). You’ll notice these are not serious literary efforts, but honestly I think what we all want out of this book club is a good story and a reason to get out of the house for a couple of hours, that’s all.

Have you read any of these? Do you have any recommendations for future books? We’re always open to suggestions – and if you want, we can have some book discussions in the comments too. 🙂

These were just the book club books that I read, I usually try to read another book after I finish my book club book. I’ll have to see if I can remember what else I’ve read this year, but I’ll save that for another post later.

Oh, and as always, Amazon links are affiliate links, which means if you click on a link and buy anything from Amazon within the next 24 hours, I get a small commission on whatever you buy. Thank you for clicking! 

Summer of Suspense — October 6, 2017

Summer of Suspense

I mentioned in my last post that I belong to a bookclub. The name of our book club is “We Don’t Talk About Book Club” and so by talking about book club here, I’m violating the number one rule of book club. If I seem to drop off the face of the planet anytime soon, you’ll know who to blame and you’ll know why. We take book club seriously.

Very. Seriously.

(just kidding, no we don’t. I mean yeah we love it, but sometimes wine is involved, so…)

Anyway, one of our selections earlier this summer was Ruth Ware’s In a Dark, Dark Wood.

I loved, loved this book! (And I have to tell you, my favorite thing about this book is the joke that Tara made when we selected it: “Is it cherry? Mahogany? Walnut? What kind of wood is it????”) If you love a good old fashioned whodunit, you will enjoy this book. Very Agatha Christie. There is a moment in the book where the main character is ticking off who the suspects are and their possible motives and I actually squealed with delight “YES! I freaking love this book!” The rest of the Bookclubbers loved it also, so we all agreed that our next selection should be:

The Woman in Cabin 10 also by Ruth Ware. I also really liked this one and it kept me guessing the whole time. It takes place on a smallish luxury yacht with interesting characters. I especially love the end and the way… well shoot, I can’t say anymore because I don’t want to ruin it for those of you who haven’t read it, but trust me when I say it is suspenseful and a really great read.

At this point we thought well heck, let’s just stay on a roll and finish out the summer with Ware’s final book:

This book is about 4 school friends who get in over their heads while playing…you guessed it…The Lying Game. I didn’t care for this one as much as the first two, but it was still suspenseful and it kept me entertained. Mel, another book club member, really liked it, but there was something a little darker about this one that disturbed me that I couldn’t really put my finger on. Maybe it was the setting (and old dilapidated Mill in a marsh) or just the subject matter, but I was glad to be finished with this one.

Since we ran out of Ruth Ware’s books to read, we turned to another suspense writer, Jane Harper.

I just started this one and I’m only a few chapters in, but so far so good. The story is set in Australia where a cop is called home to attend the funeral of a friend, and he sees that things are just not adding up right, so he stays to try and figure out what really happened. If I remember, I’ll come back and do an update once I finish the book.

I really loved our Summer of Suspense, but I think we might all be ready for something a little more light-hearted for awhile. Maybe a love story or a comedy. Have any good suggestions? Leave ’em in the comments below!

Happy Reading!


Amazon links are affiliate links – if you click a link and then by ANYTHING on Amazon, I get a teensy commission. Thank you! 
Why do you have ads, Jill???? Because I have kids, that’s why. — September 15, 2017

Why do you have ads, Jill???? Because I have kids, that’s why.


Not only will you see Word Ads on my site, you will also see Amazon Affiliate Links from time to time because I have 3 teenagers and dayum, they are expensive. Mama’s got to make some extra coin somehow. (I’m thinking that middle aged women shouldn’t use “coin” like that, but whatevs. I probably shouldn’t say “whatevs” either. Oh well.)

I can’t do much about the Word Ads, but I can kinda control the Amazon ads (I think), and I promise to make these ads fun and useful.

If you don’t already know, Amazon affiliate links work like this

(please note: this tutorial is mainly for my family members who probably don’t have any idea they can do this):

when you click on an Amazon link anywhere on my site, in any blog post, it will take you to Amazon and even if you don’t buy that particular product, but you buy ANYTHING ELSE for the next 24 hours, I will get a teensy commission on that sale. So if you’re going to buy something on Amazon, why not come here first and click on a link? You’ll be helping me out and you’ll get fun stuff from Amazon delivered right to your door.

For example, in my last post I mentioned macrame plant hangers. Guess what you can buy on Amazon right now????

That’s right! You can buy a macrame plant hanger of your very own! If you click on that picture, it will take you to Amazon where can purchase as many as you like. Or you can click around Amazon and purchase something else entirely and I’ll still get a commish on whatever product you buy. Easy, right?

Oh, and for my UK and Canada readers, it works for your Amazon sites as well. My affiliate link is also active on and I have a few international readers because apparently my blathering appeals to peoples of all nations. Who knew?

I apologize if some of you don’t like seeing ads, and I hope the ads won’t be too obnoxious or distracting, but it’s either this or I go find a street corner and sell my wares there. I already have a full time job, and until someone is willing to pay me large amounts of money to read books, this will have to be my side gig for awhile.

Oh look! A link to books!

(I read this book recently and it was REALLY GOOD! Highly recommend)

Okay, sales pitch done and over. Thanks in advance if you decide to click on my links. I appreciate you!

Books I want you to read — October 3, 2013

Books I want you to read

Hey Kids!

Just thought I’d pop in and say howdy. I’ve been reading a lot lately and I wanted to share some books I’ve recently read. Most of these are pretty easy to read and don’t take a ton of time to get through them. I listed the prices in case you’re interested and I’ve noticed that some of these prices have changed recently so don’t expect them to stay these prices. I don’t have any affiliation with Amazon or Kindle or anything. I just like to share. Because I’m a giver like that. 🙂

In no particular order, here are some of my recent favorites: (and by recent I mean I recently read them, not that they’ve been recently released, FYI)

  • The Noticer by Andy Andrews. Wanna learn some life lessons? This is your book. All it takes is a little “perspective”. 🙂 ($9.99 on Amazon Kindle)
  • Coming Clean by Kimberly Rae Miller. What would it be like to grow up in a home of hoarders? This book will tell you. It’s the memoir of a girl who grew up with a hoarding father and a mother who just couldn’t get a handle on it. It will make you glad that your home is (reasonably) clean. ($4.99 on Amazon Kindle)
  • Pavilion of Women by Pearl S. Buck. I highlighted a lot of notes in this book. I could probably write a whole post on just this book alone – such clarity on women and their role in the world. ($7.69 on Amazon Kindle)
  • 600 Hours of Edward by Craig Lancaster. I loved the main character, Edward. He has Asperberger’s and I couldn’t help imaging Dr. Sheldon Cooper from the Big Bang Theory as Edward. It’s a funny and sad and sweet read. ($3.99 on Amazon Kindle)
  • Weight Loss: The Screenplay by Elaine Moran. You knew I would have a weight loss book in there, right? I really liked this book. I just finished reading it today and I am going to go back and re-read it and do all of the exercises that are included in it. This book is right in line with the things I’ve been exploring in weight loss lately – changing from the inside out, but what’s great about this is that the author is good at explaining WHY things work like they do. I might be talking about this more in the future, but if you want to read it for yourself, it’s only $2.99 on Amazon right now.

Now it’s your turn: What books have you read recently that you think the rest of us might like? I’m always on the lookout for new titles! 🙂

Reunited and it feels so good! — November 25, 2009

Reunited and it feels so good!

I have a ton, A. TON. of work to do at home, but last night I spent 2 hours with…a book!! I checked out The Time Traveler’s Wife from my library last night after work and instead of cleaning or doing any prep cooking, I chilled on my bed and read. Would it shock you to know that it has been MONTHS since I read a book? Well it shocks me. I love love L O V E reading and for some reason, it has been one of those things that I have just ignored. When I picked up that book and before I had even made it through the prologue, I felt like I took in a big breath of air and finally remembered to start breathing again. For several weeks now, I have felt like I have been figuratively holding my breath, all the while literally taking only shallow breaths. That’s what I do when I’m tense or stressed or just generally unhappy – I forget to breathe deeply. I think my body instinctively knows this and this is why yoga has been on my brain so much lately. Seriously, on Mizfit’s site I mentioned a conversation that I had with myself one morning last week on the way to work:

Seriously? Girl, how do you know? Cause these were my exact thoughts as me and my bad ‘tude were driving to work this morning: “I need to take a frickin yoga class or something. I need just one small chunk of time where I’m not doing something for someone else! Is that too much to ask??? Yeah, I need to do some yoga and just make it a rule that NO ONE is allowed to bother me during that time!!! I NEED SOME FRICKIN YOGA!!!”

Totally not kidding. That was the convo I had with myself this morning.

And lo and behold, I won the yoga mat that she was giving away! I think God is telling me in not so subtle ways to CHILL THE HECK OUT!!! I am excited about my yoga mat, and I’ve checked into some yoga classes nearby, but I think I might just get a yoga DVD to start with (you guys have any favorites?).

ANYWAY, back to the book…about a month ago, I had gone to the library to check out TTTW, but it was already checked out, so I put my name on the “Hold” list and after a few weeks, I got the call that it was my turn! So I high-tailed it to my local library and got my book. Just holding the book in my hands made me happy and when I finally turned the pages to the beginning of the story, I felt the muscles in my shoulders relax, and a very peaceful, happy feeling floated down from the sky and wrapped me up inside it. Seriously, that’s what it felt like. Corny, I know, but I don’t care. I’m just so freakin happy to have a good book to read!

I haven’t seen the movie yet, and I’m not sure I will. The librarian and I were talking about books vs movies (just saying that makes me feel so smart!) and she said something that I thought was interesting: she said, “Be careful which one you experience first, because that will be the one that you remember most”. So if you see the movie and then read the book, you will be holding the book in the light of the movie, and vice versa. This is why people always say that the book is better than the movie, because the book comes out first and everybody reads it, then they see the movie and the movie doesn’t match the experience they had in their heads when they were imagining the book. That’s just my two obvious cents.

So yeah, I’m a happy camper, and I’ve stopped worrying about Thanksgiving Day – what gets done, gets done, and what doesn’t get done – well better luck next year. Thanks to all of you who gave me great advice and just generally joined me in my pity party. I’m over it now and I think the addition of a big bottle of wine while I’m cooking tomorrow will make the day just a touch happier! I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving, or as you Canadians like to call it: Thursday. Either way have a great day! 🙂


The Day After — November 1, 2007

The Day After

Last night I did not do 15 minutes on the treadmill.  I did 15 miles of trick or treat treasure hunting instead! Okay, maybe not 15 miles, but good merciful heavens we walked. A LOT!!  Add to that the 30 pound toddler I carried who refused to walk for half the time and I believe I got in a pretty good work out.  We were with a bunch of friends, and it was not too cold, so all in all we had a pretty good time.  I was surprised at the number of houses that did not have porch lights on.  When I was a wee little munchkin, every house in the neighborhood had lights on and was ready and willing to give out candy, but this year there was just a smattering of houses with goodies to give away.  Of course the price of candy now is getting extreme, so I really can’t blame people for not wanting to devote half of their paycheck to giving candy to kids who probably don’t need it anyway.  I know of one family who spent $70 on candy to give out.  SEVENTY DOLLARS!!! That to me is unreal.  But hey, whatever floats your boat I guess.   I ordered a couple of things from Amazon yesterday.  I should mention right here that I LOVE  Sort of a junior high crush kinda love really, but love nonetheless.  Anyway, I ordered the DVD Just My Size Yoga and the book When Women Stop Hating Their Bodies.   The former, because watching the skinnyminnies on Namaste Yoga makes me feel fat and clumsy, and also I’ve heard this DVD is really good for clueless yogis such as myself; and the latter because I have heard only good things about this book.  I do want to stop hating my body for the way it looks and I think I’ve come far, but I need some more inspiration.   Just one food mention here:  my son dutifully donated his unwanted M&Ms and a couple packs of Whoppers (how do I love thee? Let me count the Whoppers), and he gave me a pack of M&M’s Dark.  I was especially looking forward to these because I love dark chocolate.  So I popped about 3 m’s in my mouth and started crunching away.  I have to say, I was disappointed.  Something about the candy coating did not go well with the dark chocolate.  I don’t know exactly, but it wasn’t pleasant, so I put the pack away and will most likely end up throwing it in the trash.  And I did not raid the kids’ candy buckets last night – I had one tiny pack of peanut M&Ms and one small Butterfinger and that was it – I promise.  Not because I was restricting myself, I just didn’t want anything else last night.  I applaud myself for listening to my body and not forcing it to eat just because it was Halloween and that’s what you do.   Highly unusual for me, but I’m doing a happy dance to celebrate, and I kinda like the idea of applauding myself – I may do it more often!  Wow this post turned out longer than I intended, so I had better wrap it up here.  Happy All Saints Day!! 

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