Series Review: 1883


Title: 1883

Genre: Historical

Release Date: December 19th, 2021

My Rating: ★★★★☆

IMDB Rating: 8.7/10

Cast: Sam Elliott, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Isabel May

Watch On: Paramount +


Summary from IMDB: 

Follows the Dutton family as they embark on a journey west.


IMDB Trailer



This review almost didn't happen.

Like so many people who have been invested in the Dutton story from the very beginning, we longed to know where the whole saga began. My husband and I tuned into the first episode the day it was release last December. We quickly found out after two or three episodes the dark cloud that hung over the story content and slow paced story telling was far to draining for us. We quickly abandoned the show and moved on to brighter pastures.

It wasn't until today how much I realized how deep this story cut through my soul. Watching a young woman, tear down the walls of society, embracing rebellion and purpose of self. Falling in love, probably too many times in a short six months, and facing death head on. Elsa was the driving character in this show.

Favorite Quote:

"I know death now. I've seen it. It had no fangs. It smiled at me, and it was beautiful."

The reason I gave this show 4 out of 5 stars was the slow pacing at the beginning.

Bring the tissue. I write this review with tears rolling down my cheeks, grieving for a fictional character who feels as real to me as my own family. I don't know when and where she changed my mind, but I draw strength from her.

Weekly Menu #508 And The Book Of The Week


Hello Monday! Happy Memorial Day.

I hope you are outside on this glorious three day weekend, soaking up the sun and doing something fun. My family had an amazing trip yesterday to the Oregon coast. We rode the train and I'm pretty sure most the kids liked it. My oldest actually fell asleep on the ride back, which is not like him, but I will take that as a win. Lulled to sleep by a rickety old train car bouncing side to side. Sounds terrible, lol. Catch up on the sights of the Oregon coast on my Instagram. Link on the right side bar.

This weeks book is The Porcelain Maker by Sarah Freethy. This book sounds interesting and I can't wait to see what it has to offer. What book are you reading this week?

Lets get to this weeks menu. Enjoy!


Sunday Confessions #201


Hello Sunday!

What a weekend. My husband and I ran our butts off all all weekend and we are exhausted, but our outdoor dinning area is finally started. We ran into a slight issue while putting the posts for the walls in, but after some creative thinking, and a purposefully crooked wall, issue is fixed. 

Keep up with our build on my Instagram. Link on the right.


Weekly Menu #508 And The Book Of The Week
Book Review: No Perfect Places by Steven Salvatore
Book Review: An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce
Sunday Confessions #202

One of my favorite recipes is smothered Fritos bowls. Its like ground beef tacos on a bed of crunchy Fritos chips.

Its salty and flavorful. A wonderful dinner. 

Recipe here

The Morbid podcast is doing a deep five part dive into H.H. Holms that I'm totally here for. Obsessed!

I also purchased the entire Church of Scars album by Bishop Briggs. Absolutely wonderful.

Down to the last episode of 1883. I would have finished it today, but my children had other ideas.
You really need to watch Rainn Wilson and the Geography of Bliss. He takes a wild tour of some of the worlds happiest and not so happy places. Its just hilarious and thought provoking.

42/100 2023 Reading Challenge

It was a wonderful and exhausting week both at home and on the blog, but so worth it. Can't wait for next week. Happy reading.

Book Review: Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover


Title: Ugly Love

By: Colleen Hoover

Genre: Romance

Pages: 333

Release Date: August 5th, 2014

Publisher: Atria Books

Rating: ★★★★☆


Summary from Goodreads:

When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she knows it isn’t love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.

Never ask about the past.
Don’t expect a future.

They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all.

Hearts get infiltrated.
Promises get broken.
Rules get shattered.
Love gets ugly.


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This story was raw and emotional.

Although the entertainment aspect of this read was through the charts, I found it hard to push through. The storyline was a bit rough for my taste with too many secrets and not enough of a slow drip of info to keep me wondering. Still, I found myself drawn to Miles and Tate, hoping they would push through their troubles and finally find solace in each others arms.

I find it hard to pick one character that I was attached to more than the others. Miles and Tate were great although Miles really needed to let go of his past and Tate needed to be more real with herself. Her brother, Corbin gave me an overly buff jock kind of vibe, which I'm not sure I'm into, but it was sweet the way he took care of his sister... I guess...

My favorite scene was the very first time we met Miles, drunk in the hallway. There was something about the way he interacted with Tate from the beginning that made me have a soft spot for Miles.

Favorite Quote:

"When life gives you lemons, make sure you know whose eyes you need to squeeze them in.”

My rating for this book was 4 out of 5 stars. This might be a bit of a stretch for me as the story didn't progress past "sexy time" until the very end of the book, but it was eye catching.

Would definitely recommend this book to smut enthusiasts as the romance scenes were extraordinarily graphic and spine tingling.  

Book Review: Dracula By Bram Stoker


Title: Dracula

By: Bram Stoker

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 488

Release Date: May 26th, 1897

Publisher: Norton

Rating: ★★★★☆


Summary from Goodreads:

When Jonathan Harker visits Transylvania to help Count Dracula with the purchase of a London house, he makes a series of horrific discoveries about his client. Soon afterwards, various bizarre incidents unfold in England: an apparently unmanned ship is wrecked off the coast of Whitby; a young woman discovers strange puncture marks on her neck; and the inmate of a lunatic asylum raves about the 'Master' and his imminent arrival.

In Dracula, Bram Stoker created one of the great masterpieces of the horror genre, brilliantly evoking a nightmare world of vampires and vampire hunters and also illuminating the dark corners of Victorian sexuality and desire.

This Norton Critical Edition includes a rich selection of background and source materials in three areas: Contexts includes probable inspirations for Dracula in the earlier works of James Malcolm Rymer and Emily Gerard. Also included are a discussion of Stoker's working notes for the novel and "Dracula's Guest," the original opening chapter to Dracula. Reviews and Reactions reprints five early reviews of the novel. "Dramatic and Film Variations" focuses on theater and film adaptations of Dracula, two indications of the novel's unwavering appeal. David J. Skal, Gregory A. Waller, and Nina Auerbach offer their varied perspectives. Checklists of both dramatic and film adaptations are included.


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Its hard for me to believe this story was conceived so long ago. It has all the making a modern fantasy with the classics ambiance from a hundred years ago.

As hard as it was at times to relate to the struggles of the late 1800's, the characters still had color and presence. It was Johnathan Harker, the lawyer that was sent to Transylvania to conduct real estate transactions that I loved the most. He just seemed to fragile and scared, but determined to finish his job at hand. Those Vampires really gave him the what for. Probably peed his pants a few times.

There was a scene where Harker found himself in a forbidden room, wondering the reason the door was locked. It seemed to be just like any other room... But he soon found out. Dracula was not alone.

Favorite Quote:

“We learn from failure, not from success!”

I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars. It was far more entertaining than I thought it would be.

Another great book checked off my "100 books before I die" list. A must read.