Lola Goetz

What lola wants, lola goetz

Beautiful Mess by Diamond Rio

beautiful.mess.book.cover.jpgBeautiful Mess is the story of the band Diamond Rio. If you’re familiar with country music, you’ve probably heard of this band. For twenty years they have kept the same core group of musicians. Through ups and downs, they have stuck together in a tough business.

As a fan of the group since their debut single, Meet in the Middle, I’ve always loved their sound and have a few of their cds. I really wanted to read this book and find out more about the band. If you’re a big country music fan, or interested in this group, you’ll probably like the book. At times, it gave some background and stories that I felt weren’t really relevant to either the chapter it was in, or just the book in general. It was nice to have a chapter devoted to each band member, so if you have a favorite you can read about that person.

I did feel the book was a little choppy in how the chapters were arranged. While the chapter about their charity work had some good points, I really just felt like skimming it. And it was placed in an awkward spot, interrupting the flow of the story about how Marty Roe had vocal problems. In fact, the vocal issues – which I hadn’t known about before this story – were used as a teaser throughout the book. The author kept hinting about it, finally revealing the story at the end. To me, while it was a big source of tension in the band, it felt drawn out a bit too much.

Overall, though, I did enjoy learning about how the band came together and managed to stay intact all of these years. I’d give it three out of five stars.

You can buy the book from Amazon, and find more information from the publisher by clicking here.

This review was not compensated beyond receiving a review copy of the book as part of Thomas Nelson’s Book Review Bloggers program.

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A quilt to keep us warm…

I don’t know about you, but our family is really feeling the financial pinch. Giving up a full-time job just before an economic downturn will kinda do that to you. And as the holidays approach, I’ve been worried about gifts – how am I going to buy for family with such a limited budget?

Enter BlogHer and JCPenney. Or should I say, to the rescue? Armed with a $300 gift card courtesy of BlogHer and JCPenney, and a shopping list probably a little too big for my budget, I started my holiday shopping early.

And y’all, let me tell you, it was fabulous. JCPenney had some serious sales going on. Like 50% off a lot of things. And even more savings on clearance items. I got almost all of my holiday shopping done. Before Thanksgiving. Can you believe it? My family won’t – I never finish my shopping early.

Let me tell you how it went down. I was already planning on meeting my girlfriend for shopping and lunch. We both pushed our little boys around the store while we oooh’d and aaaah’d over the deals to be had.

I really wanted to find some east5th brand blouses. After visiting my parents in September, and stealing a couple of my mom’s east5th blouses, I decided I liked their style. Unfortunately, it’s the wrong time of year for a short sleeved blouse, even in San Diego. Instead, I found a beautiful plum blouse with long sleeves. It’s almost like silk. I plan to wear it the next time I go out with a girlfriend – or hubby – sans rug rat.

But I quit after trying on a few blouses. My son absolutely did NOT like the dressing room. The door chime totally freaked him out and I seriously wanted to hulk-smash it. The dressing room was a popular place and the chime was constantly going off. You moms have been there – hurriedly trying on a few outfits while trying to keep your child from a meltdown.

It only partially worked. So I decided the clothing could wait for another day and I moved on to other things.

Let me say, I love Carter’s children’s clothes. And Okie Dokie. My son is rapidly outgrowing the clothes for his age group and we don’t have a lot of bigger clothes on hand. I was planning on getting him some clothing for Christmas – because he’s not going to remember it anyway and I might as well set the precedent now that clothing is an acceptable gift for Christmas. What?

I found some adorable footie pajamas that will be perfect for Christmas at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. And since we’ll be headed to colder weather, I had to get him a jacket. Tell me, could you resist this outfit? {pic coming}

I thought not.

Everything was on sale. From this point, I’m not going to tell you who the items are for, just in case family happens to read this. *Ahem.* Okay, except one thing for my husband, which he’ll figure out anyway.

I found a beautiful quilt. At first, I picked up a star-patterned quilt that reminded me of quilts my Granny used to make. My girlfriend pointed out another quilt. And while it was twice the price, it was much higher quality. The quilting was a closer pattern, and the entire thing was heavier than the first one. But the best part? It was $90 off. (My inner bargain shopper is doing a happy dance right now.) I think you have to see this quilt. You really should take a close look and compare the stitching on the various quilts available. I mean, look at this: {pic coming}

Meanwhile, my little guy was fighting sleep, since I woke him up as I put him in the stroller. I occasionally had to stop what I was doing and wander around to make him happy. Have you ever tried to shop with a stroller? Smaller items like clothing are fine, but once you add in things like a quilt and a couple of (super soft) throw blankets (50% off!) and it gets a little dicey. Fortunately, customer service was happy to hold the larger items for me until I was done. It’s a good thing, because I wanted to buy about ten of those soft blankets, but settled on two.

I also found a 3-tray buffet warmer (also 50% off), perfect for holiday meals. And a vintage leather jacket that was too good to pass up, too. Oh, and an outfit for my great niece (it’s obvious who it’s for, and she won’t see this anyway). Those little girl clothes are simply adorable!

{more pics coming}

At checkout, I got an extra 20% off, too. Over all, I got everything for half of what you’d pay without a sale. I paid under $20 out of pocket, which I wouldn’t have if I’d put back one of the kid’s outfits or one of the throw blankets. After all that time in the store, my little guy was done. I really should have planned to shop without him. But he loves getting out of the house, and I took him to lunch afterwards.

I didn’t think I’d complete pretty much all of my shopping for $300. I still have a couple of smaller things to get and that’s it. And I may go back for more of those throw blankets. I am so excited to get the chance to do this. I’ve been watching everyone doing the Linden Street shopping with just a wee bit of jealousy. *grin*

Would you like to have your own shopping spree? BlogHer and JCPenney are giving away a $300 gift card each week for the next five weeks. What are you waiting for? Go enter the drawing!

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guess who?

guess who?, originally uploaded by lola goetz.

That’s my mom, holding me when I was just a few months old at most. Mom is an amazing woman. She taught me how to be a strong woman without ever being pushy, bitchy, or anything less than a really nice lady. My dad treats her with such respect and love. They are partners in their marriage.

I admire my mom so much. She’s so smart. A voracious reader. Yes, she gave me my love of reading. And she’s kind. She really is one of the nicest women I’ve ever known. I’m so fortunate to have her as a mother, and a friend.

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Welcome

I’m thinking this may be my photo blog. Not sure yet!

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