Book Review #98: “Evette: The River and Me” (World By Us)

I’m always up for new books from American Girl. When they announced the new World By Us line with three books, I was excited. I was able to get the books practically brand-new from a seller in the big American Girl Obsessed BST group that I’m a member of on Facebook.

The first book that I read is Evette’s book. She’s passionate about the environment. The book also addresses the pandemic, social media, and other real-life issues. Racism is one big topic that’s incorporated. I also love the community center that’s featured!

I read through the whole book in one night several months ago. Most American Girl books don’t take me long to read at all, but this one was also beautifully illustrated!

The interesting part about these books, and this line/collection, is that the characters are 13 years old, which is older than the typical target demographic for the company. I personally think this is a great thing, and it shows that American Girl is dedicated to diversity, inclusion, education, and other things.

Given that the target audience is quite a bit younger than myself, I had to put myself in the shoes of a 13-year-old while reading it.

I really appreciated how the author and the diversity team that is recognized in the book did their homework and tried to respectfully and carefully craft a story that was relevant and would potentially resonate with readers, families, and others.

4 1/2 out of 5 stars.


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #278: April Goals

Image Credit: Maria Estes Photography

Welcome back!


Here are my goals for the month of April:

  1. Donate blood.
  2. Celebrate birthdays!
  3. Celebrate a milestone wedding anniversary.
  4. Enjoy some time away.
  5. Get to 100 Book Reviews!
  6. Continue decluttering, especially my huge mountain of clothing.
  7. Make progress with cleaning and organizing the garage.
  8. Stay on top of filing paperwork right away.

What about you?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #277: March Goals Recap

Image Credit: Centre for Collaborative Health

Welcome back!


Here were my goals for the month of March:

  1. Start reading again before bed. — Accomplished!
  2. Clean off my desk and keep it clean. — Semi-Achieved.
  3. Continue drinking water as much as possible. Limit soda to once a week, much like alcohol. — Accomplished!
  4. Put away the clean clothes and linens. — Semi-Achieved.
  5. Commit to spending some time every Saturday and Sunday to making certain areas of the house more functional, keeping things in their proper places, reducing clutter, etc. — Accomplished!

I’m very happy with my progress so far. I have more work to do, but like Al said recently, taking it one box at a time, sometimes one podcast at a time, makes all the difference.


Come back soon to see my goals for the month of April!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #276: March Goals

Image Credit: East Willow Grove

Welcome back!

Publishing a new Goals at the end of the month in question? Sure, why not!


Here are my goals for the month of March:

  1. Start reading again before bed.
  2. Clean off my desk and keep it clean.
  3. Continue drinking water as much as possible. Limit soda to once a week, much like alcohol.
  4. Put away the clean clothes and linens.
  5. Commit to spending some time every Saturday and Sunday to making certain areas of the house more functional, keeping things in their proper places, reducing clutter, etc.

What about you? What goals do you have for this month?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #275: Stranger Things The Upside Down LEGO Set

Al got me the massive Stranger Things The Upside Down set for Christmas!

Part 1

Part 1 was building four things: Hopper, the mini-fig stand with the Stranger Things title card, Hopper’s Hawkins Police Department SUV, and the bike.

The wheels really move!


Part 2

The second part was building the base of the “real world” house and Mike.

The base took the better part of two hours! But you can start to see parts of the house and the yard.


Part 3

Part three began building the house and Joyce. She is holding Will’s drawing in one hand and a flashlight in the other. Plus, her mini-fig head has two different facial expressions.

The enclosed room is Will’s bedroom. It has his bed, desk, boom box, and shark poster.

The other room is the living room with the couch and coffee table. The yellow phone is on the wall. You can see the alphabet and Christmas lights on the wall next to the door.


Part 4

Part 4 saw the completion of the living room, with the green chair, and building Lucas. He’s holding his slingshot and a flashlight.

The siding was added to the house, along with the front porch furniture and accessories.


Part 5

Part 5 included the roof and building Dustin.

Dustin is holding a walkie-talkie and his compass.

Part of the ceiling is this cool light brick that lights up when you push the button!


Part 6

Part 6 included building Will and the base of the Upside Down house.

It’s definitely darker!


March 18th: This post was scheduled to publish before I finished the set, so I will update soon!


Part 7

Part 7 is building the Upside Down house bedroom and living room.


Part 8

Part 8 is continuing the Upside Down house, with the living room, and the outside details, like the siding, chairs, and other finishing touches.

I love the blues and grays.


Part 9

Part 9 was the roof and additional details.

Love the spooky vines and leaves.


Parts 10 and 11

This is the end!

Getting Personal #274: February Goals Recap

Welcome back!

Here were my goals for the month of February:

  1. Donate blood. — Accomplished!
  2. Finish the first pass of editing book #2. — Did not accomplish yet.
  3. Celebrate Valentine’s Day! — Accomplished!
  4. Write and publish at least two Book Reviews. — Did not accomplish yet.

Come back tomorrow to see my goals for the month of March!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #273: February Goals

Image Credit: Balancing Today

Welcome back!

Here are my goals for the month of February:

  1. Donate blood.
  2. Finish the first pass of editing book #2.
  3. Celebrate Valentine’s Day!
  4. Write and publish at least two Book Reviews.

Keeping it short and sweet this month!

Do you have any goals for the month of February?

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #272: January Goals Recap

Image Credit: Success Magazine

Welcome back!

Here were my goals for the month of January:

  1. Make progress with editing book #2. — Semi-Achieved.
  2. Read at least two books. — Accomplished!
  3. Publish my Stranger Things The Upside Down LEGO Set post. — Did not accomplish yet.
  4. Continue de-cluttering. — Accomplished!
  5. Completely clean out my closet and re-organize. —- Did not accomplish yet.
  6. Send certain clothing items and shoes to Cottey College for their professional clothes closet. — Accomplished!
  7. Continue meal planning. — Accomplished!
  8. Begin book cover designing with Canva. — Did not accomplish yet.
  9. Continue researching and learning about becoming an author. — Accomplished!

I feel good about my progress this month. I’ve gotten back into reading most nights before bed. It’s the simple things.

Come back tomorrow to see my February Goals!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #271: Twentieth TBR Recap

Image Credit: Mommy and the Books

Welcome back!

Here’s what I’ve read since my last TBR post:

  1. Elliott, T.E., Service and Slumber: A Historical Tale Inspired by Sleeping Beauty (The Beast’s Legacy Book 2) — Review coming soon!
  2. Oviatt, Didi, Sketch — Review coming soon!
  3. Skloot, Rebecca, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
  4. Yee, Lisa, Lea Dives In

Removing from Laura Beth’s TBR

  1. Mlynowski, Sarah, I See London, I See France
  2. Owens, Delia, Where The Crawdads Sing

Laura Beth’s Updated TBR

  1. Bethell, CM, Forged in Fire Book Two – Ayden (The Guardians Series 2)
  2. Cervantes, Angela, Lead With Your Heart (World By Us series)
  3. Cullen, Dave, Parkland: Birth of a Movement
  4. Davis, Michael, Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street
  5. Land, Stephanie, Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive
  6. Macy, Beth, Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America
  7. Patrick, Denise Lewis, See Me, Hear Me, Know Me (World By Us series)
  8. Rosen, L.C., Jack of Hearts (and other parts)
  9. Wyeth, Sharon Dennis, The River and Me (World By Us series)

So, my current TBR is nine (9) books.

Do you have a TBR?

What are you looking forward to reading next?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #270: January Goals

Image Credit: See Jane Write

Welcome back!

Here are my goals for the month of January:

  1. Make progress with editing book #2.
  2. Read at least two books.
  3. Publish my Stranger Things The Upside Down LEGO Set post.
  4. Continue de-cluttering.
  5. Completely clean out my closet and re-organize.
  6. Send certain clothing items and shoes to Cottey College for their professional clothes closet.
  7. Continue meal planning.
  8. Begin book cover designing with Canva.
  9. Continue researching and learning about becoming an author.

What about you? Do you have any goals for the month of January?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂