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Goodreads Challenge 2014

2014 Reading Challenge

2014 Reading Challenge
Kendal has read 0 books toward her goal of 70 books.



Kinx’s Book Nook is currently on hiatus. I’ve started a new job and once I settle in I hope to return to my book reviews.



Review: Erin Condren Life Planner

photo 3 (1)Today, I’m not going to talk about books. Instead, I’m going to review the Erin Condren Life Planner that I received this week. First of all, it is amazing! Second, I can include my entire life in this planner and be organized. Lately, it seems that people use electronic calendars to organize their life. However, I need something more visual and tangible. As you may know, I love books and paper. This Life Planner is exactly what I needed.

There are many options to choose from. I picked the Classic Planner in the multi-colored taffy stripes design. Each planner is personalized and I had my name printed on it. You can have anything that you want on your cover. I love that it is personalized to fit your style and life.

Here is what the Life Planner includes:

  • Interchangeable, laminated , heavy duty cover
  • Inspirational quotes throughout
  • Laminated tabs
  • Two-page monthly spreads
  • Goals and to-do lists for every week and month
  • Weekly spreads divided into morning, day and night
  • Meal/exercise/lists etc section for highlighted daily notes and activities
  • Clear, snap-in page holder/ruler
  • Over 25 lined and designer blank note pages
  • Double-sided folder
  • 240 colorful stickers to highlight birthdays, special events and reminders
  • Bound-in zip lock pocket with 12 gift labels

photo 2 (2)

I love that the covers are interchangeable. I plan to get a new cover for each season; that way my calendar look doesn’t get old. I really appreciate the weekly spread with the morning, day and nights sections. It makes it so easy to schedule your appointments and journal your activities. The stickers really make your calendar pop. I color code my stickers to show which part of my life to schedule.

As most working moms are, I’m a multitasker. I’m juggling several balls in the air at once. However, I need to keep track of every ball. Here is what I have to keep track of:

  • Family/Home (Red)
  • Work (Blue)
  • Barefoot Books (Orange)
  • Kinx’s Book Nook (Purple)
  • Birthdays (Pink)
  • Bills (green)

All of my previous calendars looked extremely messy and events would get lost. Now nothing gets lost. I can keep track of my kids’ activities and when to pose my book reviews without missing a single step.

I did order some extras as well. I got the pens, coil clips, sticky notes and the keep it together bands. I really the coil clips. For instance, I put a clip on my daughters’ dental reminder card and clipped it right into my Life Planner. It makes things look so clean and junky. Plus it’s right there where I won’t forget. You can use the coil clips for invitations, appointment card, etc. It’s a great addition to the 4

As you can tell, I love my new Erin Condren Life Planner. If decided that you would like one as well, use this LINK and you will received $10 off your new Life Planner.


World Book Night!


I absolutely LOVE World Book Night! For me, giving out books to random people is just amazing. I love all the different looks I get when I hand him/her a new book. I will get a puzzled look, “are you weird?!” look, the “WTH” look, but my favorite is the beaming smile look. It gives you the warm fuzzies when someone says, “Ohhh! I love books! Thank you so much!” I will carry that with me for a long time. Seeing that surprised joy on a recipient’s face is such a blessing.

This is my second year as a World Book Night giver and my book is Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. I loved this book and I couldn’t wait to share it. I will say it is a very unusual book. There are some very strange pictures inside. When I started handing them out, I did get some odd looks; but, I noticed so many IMMEDIATELY opened it and started to read. I know it’s not a book that they would ever have chosen for themselves. By giving this book, I’m able to open new worlds to readers and non-readers alike.9460487

It’s truly amazing what a gift can do; especially a book. There are so many out there who can’t afford to buy a book. It’s just not in their budget. World Book Night is just a small way to bring smiles to so many people. The gift of a book is a wonderful thing and I will keep doing it as long as I can. And urge everyone to be a giver. It’s so much fun and fulfilling!


My Thoughts: Downton Abbey

downton abbey

** Spoiler Alert**

The following post is all about my thoughts about the third episode of the fourth season. If you have not seen it yet, read at your own risk.

Downton Abbey produced another powerful episode. It began with a house party hosted by Lord Grantham where Downton was to shine once again. However, Matthew’s ghost, class differences, unyielding superiority, and an incredible act of violence prohibited Downton from returning to its glory days.

So many characters have lost their way and don’t know where they belong. Lord Grantham still stubbornly, and embarrassingly, holds on to his old lordly ways. First, he refuses to acknowledge Edith’s beau, Gregson, and then, agrees with Mr. Carson that a very famous opera singer, Nellie Melba, was to eat in her room. All of which was quickly fixed when Ms. Melba sat next to Robert at dinner. He had no idea what to say to her; until she complimented his claret. He seemed totally shocked that she would be conversant in such topics. He certainly has a long way to go before he enters the twentieth century. Gregson, also, had a difficult time with Robert. However, due to Gregson, adeptness at poker was he able to achieve some attention from Robert. It seems Robert lost a good sum to an invited quest that happened to be card shark. In comes Gregson who schooled him on what a card shark is and retrieved all the outstanding IOUs from Robert and other gentlemen at the party. Gregson reluctantly earned Robert’s gratitude and respect. However, we have learned a little more about Gregson. How did he get to be some a card shark? Interesting.

Matthew’s ghost raises his head throughout the Downton party. Lady Mary continues to struggle over the loss of Matthew. She meets a childhood acquaintance in Lord Gillingham who sparks a little bit of her interest. She feels conflicted but she doesn’t discourage the friendship. There is one scene where, I thought, Mary was incredibly self-aware. She told Anna she didn’t know if she was mourning Matthew or the person she was when she was with Matthew. I hope it’s the later and the Mary of old returns. Downton needs her coolness and disdain.

Most of my sympathy went to Isobel. She is deeply grieving for her son. She feels incredibly guilty living any kind of life when her son is gone. However, Violet comes to her aid and convinces her to come her Ms. Melba sing. But, in the end, a mother never gets over the loss of a child. Isobel will be mourning for a long time to come and Violet will be there to keep her going. I’m really enjoying their friendship. They are growing very close; but they are able to have some really snarky conversations.

Tom is truly lost. The Downton party sharply brought to his attention how out of place he feels. He had difficulty dealing with the English nobility that attended the party. He looked like a little lost puppy which Edna wanted to quickly pick up and soothe. She seems to be always creeping around Tom. It will be interesting to see how long she remains Lady Cora’s maid. Hopefully, no too long.

And now for the most painful aspect of this episode….Anna. I tried to stay from all of the UK press regarding Downton Abbey. However, I read several hints about this episode and I’m sad to say I figured out what would happen. The pain and shame of Anna was excruciating to watch. What was even more incredible was how she found a new dress and fixed her hair and presented herself to Mr. Bates and the nasty villain that nothing had happened. However, Anna did confide in one person…Mrs. Hughes. Mrs. Hughes desperately tried to get Anna to tell what happened. Anna refused. She didn’t want Mr. Bates to get in trouble. I think more than that it was the shame she felt. Rape is such a horrific crime; not just physically but mentally as well. When Mr. Bates tried to touch her, she quickly backed away. I’m hoping we didn’t lose the loving and incredibly hopeful Anna. Let’s hope Mrs. Hughes helps her regain her dignity and to help her to heal.

That’s it for episode 3. What did you think?

First Book of the Year 2014


Join Shelia from Book Journey and fellow book bloggers as we feature our first book read in 2014.

My first book in 2014 is…

Matt Archer: Bloodlines

by Kendra Highley


What will your first book of 2014 be?


My Year in Review!

Happy New Year

Happy new year everyone! I hope you had a wonderful year. I’m sure you’ve had your ups and downs; but I hope overall it was a blessed and joyous year. And now for 2014! I can’t believe it. Time certainly does fly. Since I’m in a little bit of denial I’m going to look back at 2013.

It was a wonderful year for blogging. I moved away from Blogger and started my own website; which I absolutely love.


On the reading front, I met all of my goals. I read a total of 73 books in 2013. Woo hoo! It was my biggest year yet! I read some really wonderful books and some really questionable books as well. Here is my top ten for 2013:

During 2013, I discovered the amazing world of the graphic novel. Templar and Relish were two of my favorites. I can’t wait to discover more in 2014!


Another big discovery for me is the audiobook. Towards the end of the year I started listening to audiobooks during my commute to work. During my commute I have fallen in love with the Dresden Files! I tried to read the first two in the series and I didn’t like it at all. Then I listened to James Marsters and everything changed! I currently listening to Proven Guilty. I love it!!

harry dresden

On the family, it was another crazy and busy year. My girls danced, played basketball, softball and soccer. Busy, busy, busy! Our big vacation was Walt Disney World. It was the best of times and the worst of times! Lots of good times and lots of hissy fits! I actually posted pics of the girls pitching fits on Facebook as a deterrent and it actually worked. Every time I pointed the camera at them, they started. That’s my parenting tip for 2013!

I, also, ran my first 5K race. In fact, I ran in two races. It was really hard, but I did it!! I really want to continue running and to be able to run an entire race. No walking for me!

5KRun for Moore Hope

And lastly, I’m so excited to have restarted my Barefoot Books business. I love books so much and I want to share them with everyone. With Barefoot, I can share them with children. I love seeing little ones turning the pages and watching their faces. The wonder and enjoyments is precious!

Overall, it’s been a wonderful year. I wonder what 2014 will bring. My goals/resolutions for this year are run a 5K without walking, stop biting my nails, spread the word of Barefoot Books, and of course READ MORE!!!

Happy New Year!!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas

Twas the Night Before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tinny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

“Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”


Barefoot Saturday: Happy Halloween!

Since it’s almost Halloween I thought I would feature some wonderful early readers, The Magic Series and The Monster Stories. These books are great are your new little readers! Each of these stories come from a different country and your child will each story. Plus, The Monster Stories are included the Accelerated Reader Program so your child can receive credit at school.

Cara and the Wizard

magicstories_caraandthewizard_pb_w_3A Story from Ireland

    Two Irish sisters love each other very much. When Molly vanishes one morning, Cara decides she will go out into the wide world to find her. She is armed only with gifts from her mother and father, and her own kindness and courage. Can brave Cara defeat a wolf and a wizard to bring back her beloved sister?
Ages 6 and up
Written By: Liz Flanagan
Illustrated By: Valeria Docampo

The Terrible Chenoo

A Story from North Americamonsterstories_4_chenoo_pb_w

    Discover what happens when a brave woman and her husband are kind to a savage and terrible Chenoo. Instead of letting themselves be scared of this man-eating monster, they feed him caribou meat, provide him with clothes and make him snug and warm in their teepee. Can they melt his frozen heart?

Ages 6 to 11 years
Retold By: Fran Parnell
Illustrated By: Sophie Fatus

The Terrible Chenoo is my 6 year old daughter’s favorite. She even tears up at the end. Don’t let the Monster title fool you. It is a very sweet story.

Join My Team

Have you ever thought about spreading the word of Barefoot. Now is a great time to become a Barefoot Ambassador. It is so rewarding and fun! You can do home parties, art/crafts fairs, school fundraisers, online sales… there so many opportunities to share Barefoot. If you join my team, I will help you every step of the way. If you join now, you have the chance to win so many prizes including a trip to France. WOW! To learn more about the program, all you have to do is click on the image below.

Book Blogger Hop & FF Friday

book blogger hop

The Book Blogger Hop was originally created by Jennifer from Crazy-For-Books in March 2010 and ended on December 31, 2012.

Luckily, Billy from The Coffee-Addicted Writer has relaunched the Book Blogger Hop. Each week the hop will start on Friday and end on Thursday. There will be a weekly prompt just like before. The hop’s purpose will remain the same as it will give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to your own blog.

Q: Halloween Edition: What book gave you goosebumps?

A: The Shining by Stephen King. It scared the living crap out of me! After that I read Pet Cemetery. I never read another Stephen King book again. I was so scared I think I cried.


The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it’ll allow us to show off more new blogs!

Q: What book (or TV show or movie) have you not read that seemingly everyone else has?

A: I’m proud to say 50 Shades of Grey. I just flat out refuse to read it. I WON”T DO IT!!!!

Book Blogger Blog & FF Friday

book blogger hop

The Book Blogger Hop was originally created by Jennifer from Crazy-For-Books in March 2010 and ended on December 31, 2012.

Luckily, Billy from The Coffee-Addicted Writer has relaunched the Book Blogger Hop. Each week the hop will start on Friday and end on Thursday. There will be a weekly prompt just like before. The hop’s purpose will remain the same as it will give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to your own blog.

Q: What weekly memes do you follow on a regular basis?

A: Three. It’s Monday! What are you reading?! From Book Journey. Book Blogger Blog Hop from Coffee Addicted Writer and FF Friday from Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. I only do the memes on Mondays and Fridays; the rest of the week I try want to do original posts.


The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it’ll allow us to show off more new blogs!

Q: Reading Nook Tour: Give us a tour of your favorite reading spots.

A: Anywhere where I can snatch a few minutes; at my desk, at my girls’ dance class, on my couch, outside watching my girls play, soccer practice, curled up in my bed. I wish I had a favorite spot. But I take what I can get. I’m not picky as long as I can read!

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February Selection


Currently Reading

Kendal's bookshelf: currently-reading


Kendal's to-read book montage

The Gods of Heavenly Punishment
Where Are the Dinos?
Lydia Bennet's Story: A Sequel to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice
Cold Blooded
Bristol House
My Notorious Life: A Novel
Moms Who Drink and Swear: True Tales of Loving My Kids While Losing My Mind
Long Live the King
To Be Queen: A Novel of the Early Life of Eleanor of Aquitaine
Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore
Bad News for a Ghost
The Next Pendragon
Caroline Bingley
My Beloved World
Royal Mistress
My Dear Sophy
The Wild Girl
To Marry an English Lord: Or How Anglomania Really Got Started
Hades: Lord of the Dead
The Man Who Loved Jane Austen

Kendal's favorite books »

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