Sunday, October 18, 2015

Book Review: Summer with My Sisters by Holly Chamberlin

Bestselling author Holly Chamberlin’s heartfelt novel, set in a beautiful Maine beach town, tells of three sisters—and one summer filled with revelations…

When Poppy Higgins left Yorktide, Maine, for Boston, she pictured future visits home as brief diversions from her real life in the big city. Fate had different ideas, and at twenty-five, Poppy has been called back to care for her two younger sisters following their father’s death.

Sixteen-year-old Daisy resents Poppy’s long absence and chafes under her sometimes fumbling efforts to be a parent. Violet, now thirteen, is a virtual stranger to her oldest sister. Once a happy, united family, the Higginses seem adrift, and Poppy longs to escape her responsibilities. But when Daisy befriends Evie, an enigmatic newcomer to Yorktide, the young woman will be an unlikely catalyst in the sisters’ journey back to each other. For as Poppy discovers the deep loss in Evie’s life, she awakens to the truth about her own, and about the town, and the people, she’s tried to leave behind.

Filled with the candid warmth of real sisterhood, Summer with My Sisters explores the many forms a family can take, and the unspoken ties that endure, season after season…
available for pre-order at

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. The opinion expressed in this blog is solely my own and has not been influenced by any third party.

Book Review: In Plain Sight by Fern Michaels

For years Myra Rutledge and Annie de Silva, founding members of the Sisterhood, have funded an underground network run by former Supreme Court Justice Pearl Barnes to help women escape abusive relationships. When two of Pearl’s clients fail to report for their weekly check-in, the Sisterhood and their allies begin a search for French model Amalie Laurent and her one-time maid, Rosalee Muno. Amalie’s estranged husband, Lincoln Moss, is a distant cousin of the President of the United States and one of his closest advisers. Moss’s power is matched by the violent streak he hides from the world, and he beat Amalie viciously until she finally escaped with her maid’s help. Moss is accustomed to doing exactly what he wants without fear of consequence. But Moss has never faced an adversary like the Sisterhood…

available for pre-order at

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. The opinion expressed in this post is solely my own and has not been influenced by any third party.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Crowdtap: Kleenex Poacket Packs

Through Crowdtap I received a sample of Kleenex Pocket Packs in three vibrant covers. They come in handy when you are on the go and need to blow your nose, fix a bloody knee or wipe a little spill in the car. So many uses and they came in really handy in the latest cold wave that hit our family. No more, I had no Kleenex. Now the pocket pack goes into the backpack and the purse and is always handy.
copyright Durhamonthecheap - the three samples from Crowdtap and Kleenex

copyright Durhamonthecheap - leaving a friendly note to start the day off well with Kleenex
 Have you ever used the Kleenex Pocket Packs? If yes, leave a comment and let me know which little mishap they helped you with!

Disclaimer: I received a free sample in exchange for an honest review. The opinion expressed in the blog post is solely my own and has not been influenced by any third party.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Editorial: Why Barack Obama may have made it harder for Hillary to become president

Rarely touch on outright politics on this blog, but with the first democractic debate coming up and people seeing Bernie Sanders as representing the true left, while doubting Hillary's ability to be president and questioning her character, I wondered why Hillary as the potential first female president would have such a hard time. (I know that there is a Republic candidate out there as well, but right now Carly Fiorina is not as close to winning that nomination as Hillary is on the Democratic side).
With many countries having had female leaders and Germany having had Merkel for many year holding the political reign, is it true that the USA is not ready for a female president? Many people thought that a US president had to be white and male until Obama got elected and it seemed as having a non-white president may seem more of a hurdle to overcome than being female.
So why is Hillary still having a hard time convincing people that she is fit to be president? Is the email server on the side and mixing personal and official emails such a dealbreaker? After all, we forgave her husband an affair while in office. One would think that a country now used to a nonwhite president would easily now see a female president as a given.
Yet it seems that Hillary is more tightly watched, heavily criticized than her male counterparts on either side of the aisle. Is it because now that the country has shown its open-mindedness by accepting Barack Obama as a president, it can go back to business as usual and favor the white male candidates? Is the achievement of having accepted a president that did not fit the traditional presidential image enough of an achievement to pad ourselves on the shoulder and settle for the traditional presidential image? To me that almost seems to be the case. Bernie Sanders' donations are made up of very small, but many donors, suggesting that he is somewhat of a populist candidate that represents a grassroots movements. But how about the traditional Democratic donors? There is a movement to nominate Biden, almost begging him to run, despite a clear need for privacy by Biden. So why does the Democratic establishment not settle for Hillary as their candidate and still hold back on donating? Biden, but many accounts an easy target for Republican attacks because of his verbal faux pas tendencies, has not decided to run, has suffered personal tragedies recently that one would expect Democratic supporters respect, and yet we see ads being created inducing him to run, reporters asking constantly about the decision and pundits arguing when is too late to make a decision. There will be five candidates at the Democratic debate, more than enough to show a variety of views and provide opportunity for discussion. While Sanders and Hillary seem at this point the only real candidates with a shot at the nomination, there is no reason to think that a choice of two is not enough. Republicans were criticized for having too many, Democrats it seems want at least one more.
To me, both the Biden join the race campaign and the attacks on Hillary indicate that the Democratic establishment is not ready to accept Hillary as a president. I do not think that this is because she is Hillary because certainly her husband had more issues with character and honesty than she does. I do believe though that after having shown to the world that the USA is ready for a nonwhite president, the Democratic supporters feel they have done enough to show their open-mindedness and prefer to go back to politics as usual and settle for a male white president. Enough with these experiments, we have proven how accepting we are of others, let's settle for the known and not take any risks. In that way, Barack Obama may have made it more difficult for a female president and sadly, looking at the rest of the world, the USA is still lagging in accepting presidents that may not fit the traditional picture.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Crowdtap sampling: Johnsonville Fully Cooked Breakfast Sausage

Through Crowdtap I was able to sample a new product by Johnsonville. They have come out with a fully cooked breakfast sausage that comes in original flavor (our family favorite) as well as Turkey and Maple. The local Harris Teeter only carried the Turkey and original flavor, which suited us just fine because we absolutely love the original flavor variety.
copyright Durhamonthcheap - the new Johnsonville product comes in a good size package
 The product page maintained by Johnsonville can be seen here and you can also use a store locator to determine who carries which varieties.
copyright Durhamonthcheap - a nice and flavorful breakfast of waffles and Johnsonville breakfast sausage

copyright Durhamonthcheap- syrup is a must, but not for the sausage, their flavor is too good to dilute with maple

copyright Durhamonthcheap- can I finally start? This sausage looks really good and smells delicious.

copyright Durhamonthcheap- let me sum it up - Yummy!

Disclaimer: Through Crowdtap and Johnsonville, I was provided a coupon for a free product. All opinions stated in this blog post are solely my own and have not been influenced by any third parties.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Influenster Voxbox: Apple & Eve VoxBox

 Through Influenster I was able to sample a collection of products by Apple and Eva. They product organic juices that are much lower in sugar than many competitor brands. I got 1l of apple juice, which looked and tasted like freshly pressed apple juice. It was slightly cloudy and listed as natural - it truly tasted like juiced apples. We loved it on its own, but also enjoyed it mixed with frozen fruit and some yogurt as a breakfast smoothie.
In addition to the apple juice, I also received three quenchers, which are little juice boxes. These are perfect for lunch boxes for young and old and came in three fantastic flavors. Our favorite was the Fruit Punch Burst. This product has 50% less sugar than the leading regular juice because it is naturally sweetened and is truly a healthy fruit punch flavor.

copyright Durhamonthecheap - the natural and organic Apple Juice from Apple & Eve

copyright Durhamonthecheap - the apple juice tastes yummy on its own or blended with fruit for a smoothie

copyright Durhamonthecheap - Apple and Eve has a great selection of products!

copyright Durhamonthecheap - finally a Fruit Punch that is healthy and tasty + perfect for the lunchbox
Disclaimer: I was provided a free sample collection from Apple & Eve containing their organic juices as well as the juice boxes in three flavors (Quenchers). The opinion expressed on this blog is solely my own and has not been influenced by any third party.