Read & Nosh Series: “The Many Lives of Mama Love” paired with a Sleep Tonic Mocktail

Read & Nosh Series: “The Many Lives of Mama Love” paired with a Sleep Tonic Mocktail

The Read: The Many Lives of Mama Love by Lara Love Hardin

“The Many Lives of Mama Love” is a compelling testament to the resilience of the human spirit, a story that not only captivates but also educates us on the flaws within our criminal justice system.

At its core, Mama Love follows the journey of a woman who refuses to be defined by her past mistakes. Eventually, she embraces her imperfections and transforms them into triumphs. 

The book delves into the intricacies of the criminal justice system, shedding light on its shortcomings and the immense challenges faced by those trying to navigate it. Mama Love’s story serves as a poignant reminder of the harsh realities of prison life, where sentences often extend far beyond the confines of a cell, creating nearly impossible logistical burdens that would have you questioning if they were designed to make you fail.

What sets Mama Love apart is her unwavering determination to rise above her circumstances, after what seems like a never ending cycle of bad choices. You’ll find yourself screaming at the pages “What are you doing, Lara! Please no!!” But she somehow manages the impossible.

As I was reading Mama Love I was absolutely sucked into her story. Her writing pulled me in from the very first pages. I felt like I knew this author, but I couldn’t place her. Later in the book we find out she was the ghost writer to a book I read in early 2020 that forever stuck with me. If you’re looking for another great read after you delve into this one, be sure to check out The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row  

The Nosh: Sleep Tonic Mocktail

This soothing mocktail is my ultimate choice for promoting a restful night’s sleep. Its delicious taste and calming properties make it the perfect beverage to sip as you delve into the pages of this next book—one that will leave you yelling into the pages as you reach for a beverage to soothe the angst from this book!


Sleep Tonic Mocktail Recipe

Tart cherry is commonly known for its ability to promote restful sleep due to its content of melatonin and tryptophan.Tryptophan, an amino acid, transforms into serotonin, a neurotransmitter esteemed for its mood-boosting effects and ability to regulate sleep cycles. Ever heard the saying “Turkey makes you sleepy” post-Thanksgiving meal? Well, tryptophan plays a role in that! Moreover, tart cherry boasts potent antioxidant properties, making it a nutrient powerhouse that boosts immune function. Whether you’re sipping this sleep tonic mocktail to wind-down or to induce sleep, it serves as a delicious nightcap.


  • 1/4 cup Lakewood Organic Pure Tart Cherry Juice, not from concentrate (found at Publix or Amazon)
  • 1.5 cups sparkling water
  • 1/2 of a lime, juiced
  • 1/4 cup frozen cherries
  • Stevia, to taste if you prefer a sweeter version of this (I skip the stevia in this recipe, but it’s a matter of preference!)


  • Add frozen cherries to your glass.
  • Add your tart cherry juice, then top with the sparkling water
  • Squeeze the juice of 1/2 a lime over top and stevia if you’re using, give it a little stir and enjoy!


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