Studmuffin Santa (Ponderosa Resort Romantic Comedies Book 1) – Tawna Fenske

Studmuffin Santa

Find it on Amazon

Is Christmas over? I don’t even care!

This book was so cute! I love me a RomCom and this one didn’t disappoint.

  • A buff hometown hero fresh from the military
  • A strong heroine who has some issues from high school (Don’t we all?)
  • A Reindeer Ranch

Yes!

Brandon is one of the good guys (and you know by now how much I love me a good guy) and Jade’s high school crush. When weird things start happening on Jade and her sister’s Reindeer ranch, Brandon is hired to not only play a sexy santa, but to do some security. Lucky for us! He’s a Christmas hater and Jade’s whole world revolves around Christmas, so we get to see him work out a whole slew of issues.

 

*Crush Sidenote* – I had a crush on this guy in high school when I was in the 9th Grade. So, I was 13ish? Has a Junior or a Senior, I don’t remember. I followed him around. Instead of being quiet around my crush? Nope – me, I babbled. he must have had a friend or girlfriend who was in my Algebra class, or had a class close, because he was in the hallway outside of my 5th period everyday. He was popular and played in a band (Maybe? I may 100% be making that part up in my memories) – Uh, Hello High School Talent Shows. Do they still do those?! – and good looking. I can’t remember one conversation I babbled at him though. You know the main thing I remember? He always had a smile on his face and he was so damn nice to me. He never rolled his eyes at me or acted like he had somewhere he’d rather be.  He gave me a styrofoam cup that he had signed one time. Why? I have no idea. Did I ask for it? Sounds like something I would do, but I don’t remember how I ended up with it, but I remember it sitting on my bookshelf in my room, so I know it’s true- ha!  He didn’t have any reason to put up with a freshman following him around and while he never showed any interest in me, he never made me feel bad about myself either – and as a fat 13 year old, everything made me feel bad about myself. I wonder how he is today? I hope he’s good! **Full disclosure, I’mma have to look him up and see if he’s on FB.

Okay! – Therapy Over! Back to the Book!

I love how Jade trieds to resist him, and can’t help herself. The two of them together makes me smile.  I know they were quite literally written for each other, but sometimes that seems forced with RomComs. Not here. Not at all.

It is a RomCom with a dash of mystery trinkled in (which I love) and there is a lot of growth with the characters and how they look at the world. It explores how just because you remember something exactly how it happened, that there wasn’t more to the story. You can never really tell what a person has going on or is going through from the outside. Some people hide it and don’t outwardly show any kind of distress. Others, shout it out to the world.

I really enjoyed this book, and I’ve got the 2nd one in the series high on my TBR!

 

 

Car – But I don’t want a car – Shopping Part 3: The Electric Revolution and a Subaru

**We have already bought our new vehicle, but I hadn’t posted my notes from some of the car shops.**

So the hubs is obsessed with having an electric car – I don’t know if it came before Tesla became a thing or after Tesla, but it is what it is. So, he’s been looking into all sorts of them.

Chevy Bolt: We were invited to a Birthday party of a friends daughter about an hour away from where we live (To be fair, everything is an hour away from where we live!-ha), so Hubs got on to see what cars were available at the Dealerships around their town. He found a Chevy Bolt at one of them, so he made an appt for a test drive before the party.

On our way to test drive the Bolt, Hubs tells me to “Not be upset if I can’t fit in it, there is some talk that it’s not fat people friendly”. Now, while that would hurt some people’s feelings, my husband knows me pretty well. He knows that I need to prepare for that mentally and can move at my own speed once we get there, and that I won’t discover that in front of a salesman and panic and end up in an anxiety attack.

FYI: Their was plenty of room in the Bolt, and I didn’t feel restrictive at all. My seatbelt buckled and the door shut and there was breathing room. So, if you’re a big gal (or dude, and have heard its not accommodating, I think that’s false. I didn’t test drive it, but the hubs did (and remember he’s 6’10”), and he said it sat good. The biggest reason it won’t work for us, is that our 10 and 7 year olds are going to be too tall to ride in the back seat much longer (Our 10 year old has hit 5’7″, so she’s way taller than me and growing quickly). She fits in the back seat, but if they make it to 6′, it’s gonng get real cramped back there!

 

IMG_1880See, it’s cute! And he has plenty of headroom!

What I wanted to look at, but hubs refuses to buy me:

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Subaru Outback: Another day, we all drove 45 mins the other way and went and looked at Subaru Outback! I really liked them. They sit good. Plenty of room for me and Hubs. They are a little higher off the ground, so I didn’t feel like I was sitting on the pavement. We came really close to buying one, but I couldn’t get over the fact that there was no 3rd row! And I really need *want* a 3rd row!   ((Of course, as of the time  that I write this, Subaru has released the Ascent, which we didn’t even get to look at!))

 

Honda : The last car shopping expedition we went on was to Honda. The local Honda dealership in town had a Clarity (a plug in hybrid) and Hubs wanted to get a good look at it! So, we went to check it out.  The sales guy who “helped” us told us where the car was parked on the lot. So, hubs and I trekked out to the farthest depths of their parking lot (in 100*, because this was the end of June), and went to look at the car. Which was locked. So the sales dude got out there after a few mins, and didn’t have the key to open the door. I mean.. Really? What the fuck is that all about? How are we going to look at and possibly test drive a car with no key? He went back to get a key, and after about 10 mins I headed inside.  I was hot and pissed off and I wasn’t buying shit from this motherfucker anyway, so I didn’t need to be there. I went and hung out in the show room drooling over the Honda Pilot. And once Hubs came back in from test driving the Clarity, he got in and liked it too. But then, the dreaded test: WHY THE FUCK DO 3RD ROW SEATS HAVE NO WHERE TO PUT YOUR FUCKING FEET?! I’m so irritated over the 3rd row bullshit in cars.

 

Obviously Hubs and I are total opposites when it comes to vehicles. He wants small and battery/hybrid, and I want a huge gas guzzling throw 10 people in and lets go for an adventure vehicle. That’s really how every aspect of our personalities are.

 

 

 

 

 

To San Antonio I will go (went) – Day 1

So, I had the opportunity to go to San Antonio for an indie book event. In May. Which is now a long time ago, but I don’t feel like I’ve had time to sit down and actually write about it!

I won a free ticket to go to the Wanderlust Book Signing from a “like and share” post that Jonny James did. Hell yeah. I was going. haha. So, I got on Southwest.com and started looking up flights to see how much they were and got on airbnb and picked me out a place to stay!

I actually ended up applying for a Southwest Airlines Visa, so I could get hella rewards points, and since I got the credit card, I went ahead and got a ‘Customer of Size’ 2nd seat. The deal with Southwest is that if you buy a 2nd seat, you are guaranteed that 2nd seat, and once the travel has been completed, you call back to customer service and the 2nd seat is refunded. It is more used as a placeholder for selling purposes. You can also take your chances at the airport and ask to use the COS policy, but if the flight is sold out, I’m not sure how that happens. For me, the anxiety of that would overwhelm me. I’d rather have a charge on my credit card that will be refunded! I know I heard some flack for their COS policy years ago, but I think it was smooth and didn’t have any issues. I’m in a couple of plus-size traveling groups on Facebook too, and no one in those has mentioned any issues either.

My momma has a corporate account with an “Express Park and Ride”. That was fantastic! I drove up to the parking lot, gave them my info and keys, they loaded my bags unto the bus and drove us over to the airport and unloaded our bags and dropped us off at the doors. It was so much easier than trying to find a place to park and deal with getting in.

 

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Me at 8am flying for the first time in almost 10 years!
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Coming in to land in San Antonio!

 

So, I made it to San Antonio on Thursday early afternoon. I got an uber to my airbnb. It was weird, but it was more loads cheaper than staying in a hotel for 3 nights. I stayed in an old 1800’s farm house. It was a really awesome house. All the wood detail. Built-ins in every room. A dream house. Except my room was up a flight and a half of stairs in a house with no central air conditioning….eek. Luckily they had a window air unit that worked really good! By the end of the weekend I got used to everytime I left the room that the air would get sucked out of my lungs from the heat!

Anyways, I got all my stuff dropped off, found the San Antonio interactive bus routes online, and off I went into town!

 

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It’s really user friendly! You put the address of where you’re going, and it uses your location to get you there!
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My first time on a public bus! The bus driver felt sorry for me because I had no idea what to do and paid for my fare! ❤ 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And just like that, I’m at The Alamo!

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I’ve never been to The Alamo before, and I don’t think I’ve ever learned about it in school either. Honestly.  I know there is no basement. Thanks, Pee Wee! ~~ Yes, I love Pee Wee.

First of all, The Alamo is just there- Just walking down the street and suddenly you are in the Old Fort footprint. What used to be parts of the grounds now have streets going through, and a whole sidewalk of touristy stuff. The church is just a small part of the mission! It was really neat to be inside the building. It was really beautiful, and it was so cool! If my house was stone, I wouldn’t need an air conditioner! I spent a couple of hours on the grounds. It really was interesting. And weird. I haven’t done anything like that without my kids in so long, it was odd.

After The Alamo closed for the evening, I headed down to Walgreens to get a few things to eat and headed back down to the airbnb.

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Riding the bus with all my groceries

I got in the shower and went and then went out and had dinner with a friend of my dad’s who lives down there. I can’t remember the name of where we went to eat…. if I ever knew… but I had one of the best Spring Rolls I’ve ever had in my life. I should ask her what that place is called.

I got back to the house to get some sleep! It was a long Thursday!

 

Cleaning House

I’ve been to Texas 3 times since the beginning of May. Before this year, I hadn’t been to Texas since 2012.

I flew into San Antonio for Wanderlust Book Signing (which I WILL write about when I get around to it!) . The hubs and I planned on coming down for a week in June with the kiddos to visit family. His dad died 11 days before we were supposed to come. So, we packed up and ended up coming down early and stayed for 13 days. And now, I’ve been here in Dallas since Friday night.

This time, I drove down by myself. The drive down wasn’t so bad. I listened to my audiobooks (I still want to call them books-on-tape… I feel old!) I’ve spent the last 2 days going through boxes and packing up boxes and doing laundry and going through 40 years of paperwork!

I’ve read through paperwork for computer coding that makes my eyes cross, I’ve gone through print outs from 15 years ago when they bought their last house and my MIL was decorating (none of the stuff she printed out was purchased, as far as I can tell – so I’ve really been going through her dreams), I’ve read cards and letters from family and friends – deciding what to keep and what needs to go, and I’ve read love letters from my MIL to FIL. It is really super sweet. My husband and I were together a little over 4 years when his momma died, and they lived in Chicago and then Texas, so we didn’t really spend much time together, so I didn’t see that side of them. When we were going through pictures for FIL’s memorial service when we were down a few weeks ago, I was struck by the love I could clearly see in the photos. It made me sad that I feel like I didn’t even know them until they were gone. And let me tell you, you REALLY get to know somebody cleaning out their belongings after they have passed.