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Book Club Meet #3 - The Coincidence of Coconut Cake

Book Club Meet #3 – The Coincidence of Coconut Cake

Welcome to Dreams and Caffeine’s third book club meeting!  Below are a list of discussion points regarding The Coincidence of Coconut Cake.  Feel free to jump in and hit all of the discussion points or only the ones you like in the comment section below.  The next book selection will be posted on Friday, November 25th, since Thanksgiving is on Thursday.

  1. Did you enjoy the book and why, and would you recommend it to a friend?
  2. It is clear from the opening chapter of the book that Devlin and Lou have divergent plans for the future.  What do you think drew them together in the first place?  Did you find Devlin, with his good looks and promise of financial stability, alluring or stifling?
  3. Both Al and Lou have fond memories of their grandmothers’ cooking, from Luella’s famous coconut cake to the rusty cast-iron skillet that Al holds dear.  What are some of your favorite culinary memories or traditions?  How have they evolved -or not- over the years?
  4. As Lou plays tour guide to Al and opens him up to a wealth of new experiences, she gradually smooths over his gruff exterior.  How does your perception of Al change throughout the book?  Was there a specific moment where you started to find him more likable?
  5. Devlin says to Lou, “I may shape and bend the facts in my favor or make tactful omissions, but I don’t lie.”  Were you surprised to hear Devlin’s explanation for the scantily clad intern in his apartment?  Do you think he was telling the whole truth?
  6. What do you think about Al’s decision to keep his identity a secret from Lou, particularly after he learns that Luella’s is her restaurant?  Are his lies more forgivable than Devlin’s behavior?  How would you have handled the situation if you were in Al’s shoes?
  7. Gertrude emphasizes the importance of second changes to Lou.  “Don’t let your heart get too hard,” she says.  “[Al] made you happy.  That was not an act.  Try to forgive him- promise me.”  Do you agree with Gertrude’s beliefs that a person deserves forgiveness as long as his or her intentions are good?  What personal experiences have shaped your own attitude toward second chances?
  8. While the story of Luella’s is fictional, its not uncommon for a new restaurant to fail because of negative press – particularly in the age of crowd-sourced online reviews.  Did the book make you more sympathetic to the plight of struggling business owners and the impact of online reviews?

I hope you join me for next month’s book club… I will announce the new title on Friday this week, since Thursday is Thanksgiving.  Happy Thanksgiving!


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Fall Bucket List for Toddlers - Dreams and Caffeine

Fall Bucket List for Toddlers


Fall is my favorite season and so I thought I would share our family’s Fall Bucket List for Toddlers.  I hope you can read this and try some of these ideas as well as think of many others!

Fall Bucket List for Toddlers

  1. Go for a walk and collect leaves of various colors.  While on your walk discuss the different colors and why the leaves are falling off the trees.  You can also touch on the month, season, and holidays that will be coming up.  This is a great opportunity to turn a simple activity educational.
  1. Create a fall-themed sensory tub.
  1. Go to a local farm and pick fall harvest items (apples, pumpkins, squash, etc.)  You can then go home and wash it together and prepare it for a snack or a meal for the whole family to enjoy.
  1. Go to a pumpkin patch.
  1. Catch a hay ride with the whole family.
  1. Paint faces on pumpkins.  While painting faces on the pumpkins discuss feelings.  You can have your toddler show you different faces and how they feel when they make that face.  Remember to keep it simple.
  1. Decorate your porch for fall.  My kiddo loves decorating, so this is a ton of fun for our family!
  1. Bundle up and play in the rain.
  1. Make cookies together… or your child’s favorite treat.
  1. Cozy up on the couch with the treats you made and together watch Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest.
  1. Read Little Blue Truck’s Halloween by Alice Schertle.
  1. Create a “Thankful Plate.”  Pick up a glass plate and using paint or Sharpies write or draw things that your kiddo is thankful for… then bake it in the oven and put it out on display for everyone to see.
  1. Put together treat bags and deliver them to your local servicemen (fire fighters, police officers, doctors, etc.).  Explain what these people do to help others and that it is important to thank them for their hard work and dedication.
  1. Fill the bath tub and have a finger painting bubble bath.
  1. Make applesauce together with fresh apples.
  1. Rake leaves and clean up the yard together.
  1. Help your little one put on a little song and dance recital in your living room.
  1. Have art time and create pictures of the four seasons.  Discuss the weather and how we dress for each season.  The possibilities are endless.
  1. Create puppets and put on a puppet show.
  1. Make fall flavored Playdoh then play with fall themed cookie cutters.
  1. Create an ABC coloring that is fall-themed.  If you’re not super artsy, just google or Pinterest the idea and lots of things will pop up that should help you with this one.
  1. Create a fall squishy bag.  To add extra fun, tape it to a window to let light in it.
  1. Go bobbing for apples.
  1. Craft a musical instrument.  Take an empty bottle (water bottle, etc.) and fill with corn kernels and then hot glue the lid on and have a great time.
  1. Carve a pumpkin.
  1. Bake pumpkin seeds then enjoy them together.
  1. Save pumpkin seeds to plant a pumpkin for next year.
  1. Do some Halloween Yoga for kids.  Great way to unwind.
  1. Go for a drive in the car and enjoy the fall scenery.
  1. Plant a tree.

I hope you enjoyed my list.  I had a blast creating the list and my whole family is super excited about it.  Be sure to leave a comment with any other ideas to be added to the Fall Bucket List for Toddlers.


Book Club Meet #3 - The Coincidence of Coconut Cake

Book Club #3 – The Coincidence of Coconut Cake

Hello everyone!  Thanks for stopping by to check out our next book club read.  It was a bit of a challenge to pick a new book, but I settled on The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E. Reichert.

My goal was to find a lighthearted novel and this one takes the cake. OK, OK sorry… I’ll stop 🙂  This is Amy Reichert’s first novel and it looks to appeal to a wide range of audiences with its relatable characters.  Set in Milwaukee, the city itself plays a big role in the plot.  I’m really looking forward to diving in and discussing it with all of you very soon!

Just as a quick reminder, we usually “meet” the last Wednesday of every month and then the next day I will announce the next month’s book.  However, since the schedule was shifted a bit, this book will be discussed on November 30.  I will post book club discussion points on the morning of the last Wednesday and throughout the day everyone can comment on them or add their own points of discussion, questions, or respond to others’ ideas.  This is meant to be fun and allow those that want to be in a book club, but that don’t have the time to commit, to be able to do so.  If you would like more information on how the Dreams and Caffeine Book Club operates, please check out my original post.

Thanks for stopping by and supporting the site and if you have any suggested books for the following months, please comment below!


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Book Club Meet #3 - The Coincidence of Coconut Cake

Book Club Meet #2 – The Time Traveler’s Wife

Welcome to the second Dreams and Caffeine Book Club where we will discuss The Time Traveler’s Wife. Today I will conduct the book club discussion a little differently than the first one. This time around I will post the discussion questions and allow others to participate prior to me responding to the discussion questions. Again, feel free to discuss one or more points below. Please do not feel that you must hit all of the points… they are meant to just get the discussion going. Also, feel free to add your own questions for which others can respond.

Dreams and Caffeine Book Club #2 – The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

1. If you were born a time traveler like Henry, would you enjoy knowing what your future holds?

2. If you were a time traveler, would you stick to the rules of time or would you try to cheat?

3. If you were like their daughter Alba and able to pick when and where to time travel, where would you go and why?

4. If you were a time traveler and met your younger self at the age of 10 and you were 44, what advice would you give your younger self?

5. If you fell in love with a time traveler, do you think your love could overcome the issues described in the book? What would be your biggest challenge as the husband or wife of the time traveler?

6. Overall, did you enjoy this book and would you recommend it to others?

That is all folks! I hope everyone enjoys the discussion questions and joins in the discussion today. I will be checking throughout the day and post my responses to the questions as well. Please remember, tomorrow I will post our next Dreams and Caffeine Book Club read, and as always, please feel free to email me book suggestions for the book club.


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