May Book Club: Birdman

I was perusing the internet looking for when the fifth Tana French novel comes out because I’m dying to read it. She is by far one of my favorite authors right now. A couple months ago, I raced through her 4 Dublin-based murder mysteries. They were totally gripping and the fifth one comes out in September, so I’ll just have to wait.

But for May LYBI Bookclub, I wanted something with that same feel. I just finished Where’d you Go, Bernadette which we’ll discuss a week from today, and so I was looking for something totally different. And I love a good crime-thriller and Amazon suggested that if I like Tana French, I’d love Mo Hayder. So I did some research and found the first book of her series, Birdman. birdman
The description reads:

In his first case as lead investigator with London’s crack murder squad, Detective Inspector Jack Caffery is called on to investigate the murder of a young woman whose body has been discovered near the Millennium Dome in Greenwich, south-east London. Brutalized, mutilated beyond recognition, the victim is soon joined by four others discovered in the same area—all female and all ritualistically murdered. And when the post-mortem examination reveals a gruesome signature connecting the victims, Caffery realizes exactly what he’s dealing with—a dangerous serial killer.

You may unsubscribe (but please don’t), but I’ve always been really fascinated by serial killers. I think it started in high school when I did a research paper on Jack the Ripper. And then I began reading more and more, even divulging my weird reading habits to David on our first date (hooked him anyways). I’m not a weird creep or anything, but you have to admit, peoples minds are pretty fascinating things. So I can’t wait for a new thriller series.

As always, I’ll be “reading” via Audible, but I wanted to announce the book a week ahead of time so anyone that wants to join can get the book from amazon, your local bookstore or library. Who doesn’t love a good thriller series?

Lemon Sugar Face Scrub

Do you ever watch one You Tube video that a friend sent you, and before you know it you’ve not only watched every other video on the right hand sidebar, but you’ve subscribed to that channel and begun watching every single video they have ever posted? Just me? You totally do too.  lemon sugar face scrubThat’s what I did this weekend with Kandee Johnson’s You Tube videos. I found one for this lemon sugar scrub that I’m about to share, but then I began watching all of her videos. And then I told David I wanted to scrub his face and that now we were going to use coconut oil each night on our face for moisturizer. “Your face will soak it up in like 5 minutes!” I whined. He just shook his head. I’ll show him…

So yeah, she totally hooks you right? Clears skin discoloration, acne, redness, large pores, dry skin, and is totally organic and um…cheap! You probably have a lemon and some sugar. If you don’t, get some!

lemon sugar face scrub 2If you aren’t going to watch the video, here are the instructions. Take half the juice of a lemon and put it in a small bowl. Wet your face with warm water, opening up your pores. Dip a large cotton face pad in the lemon, soaking lemon onto the pad. Then put sugar directly on the cotton pad. Rub that pad all over your face, re-applying sugar and lemon as needed.

Kandee says you can do this as often as you want, but I did it two days in a row and felt like that was too much. So I think I’ll try it again in a few days. And for all my male readers (I know there are a few of you), this is totally gender-neutral. We’re not talking about waxing our eyebrows or mani/pedi’s, we’re talking clean and clear skin. Which I think men and women can agree clear skin is important. So dudes, scrub away. It totally works!

Oh and Happy Earth Day!

Coco-Nutty Granola (Chocolate Version)

You may or may not have noticed that the sugar free movement is hitting the healthy food world by storm (mostly thanks to a gorgeous woman named Sarah Wilson). Sarah is an Austrailian TV host, blogger, TV personality that my friend Britt interviewed here, and she wrote the book ‘I Quit Sugar’ (#IQS).

IMG_9400I bought the book for the recipes and because I wanted to hear the method behind the madness. I wanted to see what the vegetarian options were like since it seemed like a very paleo-centric method. I’ll go ahead and say that a lot of it is very “paleo”, meaning that we should try and eat as closely to how our caveman/woman uh…relatives used to eat. A hunter/gatherer type method that is very high in protein and natural grains, and very sparse in sugars–even natural sugars (how often would tour cave friends come across a berry bush…probably not too often). That’s the assumption anyways.

And I did learn a lot from the book, particularly how sugar-centric our society is. I guess I already knew that but yeah, every celebration or heck, every meal, is often jam packed with sweets. I’m pretty lucky that I’m not a soda drinker and I’m not a big cake eater (donut…that’s another story), but there are some hidden sweets that this book helps you to be aware and beware of. Like what I did there?

One thing I know for sure–David and I are pretty healthy eaters. We don’t ever diet per se, but we try to follow the “everything in moderation” rule. We may have a really rich dessert one night as a treat, and we may have a super amazing creamy pasta another night, but for the most part, we love healthy foods. And so I’m here to share the first recipe I tried from the IQS cookbook, the “Coco-Nutty Granola” that is jam-packed with goodness.

Here it is folks…a snippet into the sugar free world. coco-nutty granola

Coco-Nutty Granola (we did the chocolate version…duh).

Ingredients:

  • 3 c. unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 2 c. almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts, and/or pumpkin seeds (pick what you have/like) roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 5-7 tbsp butter or coconut oil (melted) –I did 4 tbsp of coconut oil and it was plenty–may cut to 3 next time
  • 3 tbsp. brown rice syrup (optional)
  • 1/2 c. raw cacao powder
  • 2 tbsp. cacao nibs

Directions:

Preheat oven to 250 degrees and line a baking tray with parchment paper. Combine all ingredients and spread onto tray. Bake for 15-20 mins, until golden, turning halfway through cooking time. Remove from oven, allow to cool. (I let mine bake for closer to 30 minutes, but maybe that’s just my oven).IMG_9466
IMG_9469