Author Archives: Lindsay @ LindsayInNYC

BHBC Review – “Touch & Go” by: Lisa Gardner

A description of the book, thanks to Amazon.com:

This is my family:  Vanished without a trace…

Justin and Libby Denbe have the kind of life that looks good in the pages of a glossy magazine. A beautiful fifteen-year old daughter, Ashlyn. A gorgeous brownstone on a tree-lined street in Boston’s elite Back Bay neighborhood. A great marriage, admired by friends and family.  A perfect life.

This is what I know:  Pain has a flavor…

When investigator Tessa Leoni arrives at the crime scene in the Denbes’ home, she finds scuff marks on the floor and Taser confetti in the foyer.  The family appears to have been abducted, with only a pile of their most personal possessions remaining behind.  No witnesses, no ransom demands, no motive.  Just an entire family, vanished without a trace.

This is what I fear:  The worst is yet to come…

Tessa knows better than anyone that even the most perfect façades can hide the darkest secrets.  Now she must race against the clock to uncover the Denbes’ innermost dealings, a complex tangle of friendships and betrayal, big business and small sacrifices.  Who would want to kidnap such a perfect little family?  And how far would such a person be willing to go?

This is the truth:  Love, safety, family…it is all touch and go.

This is the first book by Lisa Gardner that I have read and will certainly not be the last! I could not put it down (and that doesn’t happen often for me!). I enjoy reading true crime books and this reminded me of that genre except (obviously) not real. Lisa grabbed my attention from the very beginning and left me asking questions and wanting to know more… How does an entire family of 3 get kidnapped? Why are they kidnapped? How come the kidnapper(s) don’t kill them? Although I think some disagree, I was left not knowing or really even suspecting who was the mastermind behind things until almost the near end.

The book was written from the prospective of two different characters which make the story more interesting but yet still easy to follow. An added plus for me was the fact that the book took place in the Boston area and other parts of New England. Having grown up in New Hampshire and law school in Boston, I found myself picturing each and every place Lisa described.

I can’t wait to read more of her books! Join the conversation over at BlogHer this month!

Disclosure: This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.

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BHBC Review – “Here I Go Again” by: Jen Lancaster

A description of the book, thanks to Amazon.com:

Twenty years after ruling the halls of her suburban Chicago high school, Lissy Ryder doesn’t understand why her glory days ended. Back then, she was worshipped… beloved… feared. Present day, not so much. She’s been pink-slipped from her high-paying job, dumped by her husband and kicked out of her condo. Now, at thirty-seven, she’s struggling to start a business out of her parents’ garage and sleeping under the hair-band posters in her old bedroom.

Lissy finally realizes karma is the only bitch bigger than she was. Her present is miserable because of her past. But it’s not like she can go back in time and change who she was…or can she?

Oh man. Who can’t relate to this story?! Thankfully, my high school experience didn’t involve anyone quite as mean as Lissy Ryder because she was one mean girl! But karma came back to bite her – after taking advantage of everything and everyone, she finds herself without it all. And everyone who worshipped her in high school? Far from it now. In fact, most of them despise her.

The story has an “It’s a Wonderful Life” vibe to it and we can to see Lissy “re-live” parts of high school, making changes to who she is and seeing whether it affects her present life. Everything we do has a ripple effect to it. So as Lissy changes everything she did wrong in high school, she learns that there so much more is affected. More than she realized.

This is a perfect summer, beach/vacation-read type of book! It’s my first Jen Lancaster book but definitely not my last!

If you could re-live your high school days, what would you do differently? Anything? Join the conversation over at BlogHer this month and let us know!

Disclosure: This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.

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BHBC Review – “Diary of a Submissive” by: Sophie Morgan

A description of the book, thanks to Amazon.com:

The “real” Fifty Shades of Grey… A true life erotic story of female submission to rival The Story of O.

In Diary of a Submissive, Sophie Morgan candidly explains what exactly an independent, 21st century woman gets out of relinquishing her power and personal freedom in a submissive relationship with a dominant man for their mutual sexual pleasure.

In the wake of Fifty Shades of Grey, here is a memoir that offers the real story of what is means to be a submissive and follows Sophie’s story as she progresses from her early erotic experiences through to experimenting with her newfound awakened sexuality.  From the endorphin rush of her first spanking right through to being collared, she explains in frank and explicit fashion her sexual explorations.  But it isn’t until she meets James, a real life ‘Christian Grey,’ that her boundaries and sexual fetishism are really pushed. As her relationship with James travels into darker and darker places, the question becomes: Where will it end? Can Sophie reconcile her sexuality with the rest of her life, and is it possible for the perfect man to be perfectly cruel?

Daring, controversial, and sensual, Diary of a Submissive is filled with a captivating warmth and astounding honesty such that no one— man or woman—will be able to put Sophie’s story down. Once you read the book you will understand why Sophie Morgan is a pseudonym.

I might be one of the last people left who hasn’t read any of the “50 Shades of Grey” books. But man, if they’re anything like this book then I’m not too sure I’m up for them!

Using a pseudonym, “Sophie” writes about her personal experience and her journey as she experiments with the D/s world and a submissive relationship. The story is definitely graphic and explicit, to say the least (mind you, it is classified as Erotica)! Most of the time, I wished I was reading it on my Kindle for fear that someone would see the book cover or spine (I kept it hidden on the train, obviously)!

I knew this sort of “relationship,” if that’s the right term, existed but I don’t think I was aware of the true extent of D/s and what it entailed. Many times the book was uncomfortable to read – it was THAT graphic. For everything women have done to gain equal status and rights, it’s hard to understand how someone could enjoy being humiliated, shamed, degraded and having their personal boundaries pushed to such limits. But then again, I don’t partake in that sort of relationship which would explain why it’s hard for me to understand.

If you LOVED 50 Shades and found yourself wanting more, this book is for you. If you’re into harlequin romance novels and find yourself wanting more, this book is for you. And, especially, if you’re into erotica, this book is for you!

Interested in learning more about “Sophie Morgan”? Follow her on Twitter. You can also join the conversation over at BlogHer all month long.

Disclosure: This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.

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Wedding ABCs

I found this over at Little Daisy May and thought it would be a fun way to remember my wedding day, two years later! (warning – post is super photo heavy!)

See how we celebrated our first wedding anniversary and our “paper” gifts!

Our Wedding ABCs

Attending:
We had about 75 guests which was the perfect size for us! 

Bridesmaids:
Just 2 – my sister (maid of honor) and J’s sister. Nice and small :)

Catering:
All food done by 3 West Club - I cannot say enough good things about the food! Not biased because it was my wedding or anything, the food was beyond phenomenal!

Cake by local bakery who I don’t wish to promote because they were hardly professional in handling some day-of issues… Which is a bummer because I loved it.

Dress:
Allure Bridals from RK Bridal – it was diamond white and came with a single strap which I had removed.

Engagement:
August 30, 2009 at the cliffs at Gay Head, Aquinnah, MA (Martha’s Vineyard)

Two engagement shoots later (click through the picture to the photographer’s blog post for each):

Flowers:
Petals Premier


  

Groomsmen:
J’s brother (best man) and childhood friend.

Honeymoon:
Belatedly taken in May to June, 2011 to Koh Samui, Thailand and Hong Kong

Invitations:
Handmade with tons of design help from Lisa at Elisabeth Events

Justice of the Peace:
Father Joseph Tyrrell at St. Patrick’s Cathedral

Keepsakes:
Classic NYC black and white cookies

Ladies Night:
Boston – We went to a bar in the North End that has a country cover band on Saturday nights. Right up my alley!

Music:
Cocktail Hour – Jeremy Siskind
Reception – Elegant Ensembles

Key songs: Our first dance was to Dave Matthew’s Band “You and Me.” Dad and daughter dance was to Edwin McCain’s “Walk With You” and mother and son dance was to Josh Groban’s “You Raise Me Up.” We cut our cake to James Taylor’s “How Sweet It Is” and my bouquet toss was to Motley Crue’s “Girls, Girls, Girls.” Our last dance of the night was to Michael Buble’s “Save The Last Dance For Me.”

Newlyweds:
Two years and counting! At what point are we no longer “newlyweds”? I’ll take it as long as I can :)

Old, new, borrowed, blue:
Old – I know I had something for each of these but I can’t remember what now… I think “old” was just a piece of jewelry I was wearing maybe?
New – Dress, veil, hair piece – lots of new items!
Borrowed – I think I borrowed earrings. My memory is failing me now!
Blue – Shoes

Photography:
Kristina Hill Photography

Question popping:
See above response to engagement :)

Reception:
3 West Club

Shoes:
Blue!

Trash the Dress:
Nope! It’s hanging in a closet at my parents house.

Unique:
Tony Santana Cigar Rolling Company

Vows:
Traditional Catholic vows: I, (name), take you, (name), to be my husband/wife. I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.

Wedding Woes:
We almost had a mishap with the cake but luckily everything worked out. All in all, I don’t really have any woes from the day!

X-rated:
Let’s just say Kimi Coopet doesn’t just do family and wedding pictures… ;)

Young kids:
Nope, no kids at this wedding. As for us? Nope, no young kids in our lives either! Yet…

Zzzzz:
We managed to get some sleep. Luckily a prank by my cousin and sister was revealed, otherwise we would’ve had alarm clocks going off throughout the night! Piece of advice? Make sure your room key doesn’t leave your sight all night!

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Cotton Anniversary

In just over two weeks, J and I will be celebrating our 2nd wedding anniversary. Holy crap does time fly by!

I’ve been racking my brain lately to think of a good gift to fit the “cotton” anniversary theme for the 2nd year. Conveniently (of course), TheKnot.com emailed reminding me of my upcoming anniversary and giving me some “fun ideas.” Most of the 2nd anniversary ideas were just ehh – date ideas, gemstones, getaways…

This guide for cotton gifts basically recommended household items. Not sure about you, but that’s not exactly an ideal gift for my husband! What guy wants pillows, an apron or towels?! This guide for “traditional gift ideas” wasn’t exactly helpful either.

(Yes, this is exactly what he could use!)

So I’m back at square one. All I can think of for cotton is clothing but 1. that’s not overly personal or romantic and 2. he has SO much clothing, there’s nothing he really needs. There is this polo I saw but I’m on the fence about it.

Anyone have a creative “cotton” anniversary gift idea?

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Washington Bound!

Bright and early tomorrow morning, I will be en route cross-country to the beautiful state of Washington for the long weekend! Check out some of the activities we have planned:

Three nights of Dave Matthews Band at one of the best venues in the world.

 

Pike Place Market

The Space Needle

Leavenworth, a Bavarian style village

Wineries of Yakima Valley

(guess who will be tailgating with wine?!)

Hope everyone enjoys their long Labor Day weekend! See you in September!

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21 Secrets for Your 20s

Sarah recently tweeted a linked titled “21 Secrets for Your 20s” from AllGrownUp.com (you can read Sarah’s blog here). Granted I’m almost out of my 20s, but I still found it really interesting (and very true!).

1. Never looking at your budget and never making a budget is the exact same thing.

2.  The possibility for greatness and embarrassment both exist in the same space. If you’re not willing to be embarrassed, you’re probably not willing to be great.

3.  Feel no shame in seeking help from a counselor or therapist. We all have crap we try to wrap and hide under the Christmas tree. Get rid of it before it smells up your entire holiday.

4.  All job listings on Craigslist lead you to a warehouse in downtown LA “wearing something nice with shoes you can walk in”.

5.  Don’t ever, ever check Facebook when you’re:

A. Depressed

B.  Drinking.

C.  Depressed and Drinking.

D.  Unemployed.

E.  Anytime after 9:17 pm.

F.  Struggling with being blessed with singleness while all your friends seem to be blessed with 2.4 kids and that blazing white-picket-fence shining with the glory of Jesus Christ himself.

6.  All those amazing college friends you swore you’d never lose contact with after college yeah, well, you might lose contact. Moving all over the country, getting married, having kids, all make that forty-five minute conversation with your sophomore roommate a little more complicated than it used to be over a game of Mario Kart. Making and keeping friends in our twenties takes intentionality.

7.  Your twenties will produce more failures than you’ll choose to remember. The key is when you fail, don’t begin calling yourself a failure.

8.  Every break up has two break ups. I’m no physicist, but this is a law of physics, of this I am certain. Yes you’ll have the first tearful “It’s over” sitting in the front seat of your Honda or on a park swing. Then 1-2 months later after there’s “been talk”, you’ll have the “real breakup” because she forgets to call like she used to or he checks out the waitress like he’s a judge for Miss USA. And gird those loins because in the second breakup there will be a lot more breaking.

9.  The Freshman-Fifteen is nothing compared to the Cubicle-Cincuenta. Don’t sit at your computer perched like a Roman gargoyle. Don’t let office birthday cake be forced on you like a cigarette behind your middle school. Bust out before your butt does.

10.  And yes, cubicles don’t make sense to anybody other than upper-management. I would be willing to bet that only 3% of all “Cubicle Americans” actually have a positive outlook on life. And half of that 3% is stealing from their company.

11.  If at some point between 22 – 27 you feel like you’re six years old again, lost at the San Diego Zoo (it’s a big-frickin-zoo), frantically searching for a familiar face – hold tight, you’re experiencing a bit of a Quarter-Life Crisis. Stay put. Pray a lot. And in no time someone will call your name across the loud-speaker to tell you where you can be found.

12.  Reckless drinking and reckless flirting have a direct correlation. Friends don’t let friends drive, or flirt, drunk.

13.  If you grew up going to church, at some point in your 20′s you’ll probably stop going to church. If you grew up with faith as a central part of your life, at some point in your twenties faith might move to the outskirts of town next to the trailer park and three-legged squirrel refuge. Your twenties are a process of making faith your own apart from your parents and childhood. Sometimes that means staggering away so you know what you’re coming back to.

14.  Don’t ever begin dating someone you first met whilst in swimsuits. Doubly-don’t if you’re both in swimsuits whilst holding an alcoholic beverage.

15.  Obsessive Comparison Disorder is the smallpox of our generation. 9 out of 10 doctor’s agree this disorder is the leading cause to eating a whole sleeve of Oreo’s while watching Real Housewives of OC. Say no to obsessive comparison disorder before it starts. Remember everyone’s too busy putting a PR spin on their Facebook profile to care much about yours.

16.  Life will never feel like it’s “supposed to”. Being twenty-something can feel like death by unmet expectations. However, let me be so brash to say that you are right now, at this moment, exactly where you need to be. But you’ll only be able to see that five years and thirty-eight days from today.

17. You might have your first kid and realize what it’s like to be young, a parent, and have no freaking clue what you’re doing. And for the first time in your life, you also might actually understand your parents for the first time.

18. Marriage WILL NOT fix any of your problems. No, instead marriage will put a magnifying glass on how many problems you really have. We grow up carrying bags with our insecurities, fears, bad relationships, problems with our parents — you name it. Begin to ditch these bags now. Newly married and living in a small apartment is no place to store a luggage set full of shiz.

19.  An assortment of crappy jobs are a twenty-something rite of passage. Figure out what you need to learn there and learn it. If you don’t, an assortment of crappy jobs might be your thirty, forty and fifty-something rite of passage as well.

20.  Great ideas alone mean nothing. Your ability to persevere through 16 major setbacks, a lack of passion, forgetting why you started this great idea in the first place, and all the people who allude that your great idea is actually quite terrible — well, that means everything.

21.  The grass is always greener on the other side, until you get there and realize it’s because of all the manure.

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