The Castaways

After lamenting that I had nothing to read, I was saved by my UPS man and the people at Little Brown publishing.

Last summer, I was able to read and review A Summer Affair by Elin Hilderbrand, which I really enjoyed. When I was asked if I’d like a copy of Hilderbrand’s newest novel, The Castaways, I said sure! I knew there would be no twenty-something career girls roaming the streets of NYC or London to irritate me.

Elin Hilderbrand lives, breathes and writes Nantucket. A look at any one of her book covers implies that. I was curious about the title, and the story didn’t disappoint.

The Castaways is the name of a group of friends–four couples who aren’t native to Nantucket, but have called the island and each other home for a long while. Each couple has a unique history, and because Nantucket is a small place, a history with each other.

The story opens as one couple, Greg and Tess, have capsized on a sailing trip, dying and leaving their young twins without parents. The rest of the story revolves around finding out more about their rocky relationship (sure, it looked like an accident, but was it?), the couple’s relationships within their groups of friends, and how that tight-knit group handles their grief at such a shocking loss.

As much as the setting is rather somber and depressing, the book is not. The book illustrates friendship that is deep and true, friendship amongst adults that spans years of good times, and friendship that weathers the bad times. It made me think of my group of “couple” friends, and how devastating it would be to suffer a loss like this. Island living, love affairs and excessive drinking/pill taking aside, this could totally be my group of friends.

As with the other Hilderbrand novels I have read, this book begs to be taken along in a beach tote and read at the nearest beach or pool. It’s a perfect summer read that doesn’t disappoint.

Stonyfield Farms Yo Baby Yogurt: a Review and a Giveaway


Junior has just celebrated his first birthday, and his palate is *slowly* expanding. I don’t remember introducing solids as being a big deal with MAM, but for Junior, it’s becoming a tedious process. He’s particular about texture (he prefers no texture really), he’s particular about taste, and he makes fantastic faces to let me know how he feels about a menu item.

When Stonyfield Farms contacted me about reviewing Yo Baby yogurt, I was happy to, for YoBaby was already on Junior’s daily approved menu. He’s a big fan of the YoBaby yogurt with fruit and cereal, and when I can’t find that, YoBaby yogurt with just fruit will do. We took the free coupons they sent and went right to the store!

This yogurt, I must say, is probably on his short list of self-approved foods–he is happy to eat spoonful after spoonful. After this pictured feeding, he actually picked up the yogurt cup and started licking it.

I am happy to feed him spoonful after spoonful because of how good it is for him (yes, he is one, and content to be spoon fed for the most part). For starters, it’s organic, whole-milk yogurt (My word, have you tasted whole-milk yogurt? So smooth, so creamy, it’s almost like dessert!). Secondly, when I read the label, I can actually read the label. I am able to identify the ingredients, and find many in my own pantry.

If you already serve YoBaby to your little ones, you may have noticed the new packaging. The new look goes together with their new BIG campaign– to promote Brain development by making the yogurt with whole milk, Immune system support by including zinc, and Growth by including vitamin D. The new packaging is also more environmentally friendly, saving tons of packaging from land fills each year.

Stonyfield Farm has put together a fun prize pack for one lucky reader. It includes 5 coupons for free YoBaby yogurt, a bowl with lid, and an organic bib for the YoBaby in your life. Isn’t it cute??

Simply leave me a comment–this time, tell me your favorite food of summer. Is it strawberries? Blueberries? Corn on the cob?? Do tell!

For extra entries, tweet about this giveaway, and tell me in a separate comment.

For another entry, subscribe to my blog (button to do so is on the right), and tell me you’ve done so in a separate comment.

Winner will be chosen on Saturday, June 27, sometime in the afternoon. Good luck!