Thursday, May 31, 2012

Throwbacks & the Review Pile ~ 5/31/12

Out with the old, in with the new?  Not anymore!


We hope to be able to bring attention to some older titles (released 5 or more years ago) that may not be at the top of the current bestseller list, but still deserve a spot in your To-Be-Read pile.

To Sir Phillip, With Love (Bridgerton, Bk 5)

"To Sir Phillip, With Love" Bridgerton Family Book 5
Author:  Julia Quinn
Publication Date: 2003
Sir Phillip knew that Eloise Bridgerton was a spinster, and so he'd proposed, figuring that she'd be homely and unassuming, and more than a little desperate for an offer of marriage. Except… she wasn't. The beautiful woman on his doorstep was anything but quiet, and when she stopped talking long enough to close her mouth, all ... he wanted to do was kiss her…and more.

Did he think she was mad? Eloise Bridgerton couldn't marry a man she had never met! But then she started thinking…and wondering… and before she knew it, she was in a hired carriage in the middle of the night, on her way to meet the man she hoped might be her perfect match. Except…he wasn't.

Her perfect husband wouldn't be so moody and ill-mannered, and while Phillip was certainly handsome, he was a large brute of a man, rough and rugged, and totally unlike the London gentlemen vying for her hand. But when he smiled…and when he kissed her…the rest of the world simply fell away, and she couldn't help but wonder…could this imperfect man be perfect for her? 
This was the very first book I read by Julia Quinn and I fell in love with the Bridgerton Family.  I think it happened when Eloise's brothers came to "rescue" her.  I then had to go back and read every book Julia had written and I've read every one since.  I don't read much mainstream romance anymore, but this is one author that is on my must-read list.



From the Review Pile is hosted by Stepping Out of the Page every Thursday.
The aim is to showcase books that you've received but haven't yet got around to reading.


Author:  Nancy Moser
Publication Date:  8/2010

Adventure, Romance, and a Risky Charade in 19th-Century New York City. — 1886, New York City: Charlotte Gleason, a rich heiress from England, escapes a family crisis by traveling to America in order to marry the even wealthier Conrad Tremaine. She soon decides that an arranged marriage is not for her and persuades her maid, Dora, to take her place. What begins as the whim of a spoiled rich girl wanting adventure becomes a test of survival amid poverty beyond Charlotte's blackest nightmares.
As for Dora, she lives a fairy tale complete with gowns, jewels, and lavish mansions -- yet is tormented by guilt and the presence of another love that will not die. Will their masquerade be discovered? Will one of them have second thoughts?
There is no guarantee the switch will work. It's a risk. It's the chance of a lifetime.
I love the premise of this book and adore the cover.  I just haven't gotten around to reading it yet.  Maybe I'll move it to the top of my pile and try to read it this week.

I look forward to getting lots of great book ideas for my TBR from everyone's Throwbacks and Review Pile.

Happy Reading!

That's SO Weird ~ Its OK ~ 5/31/12

3 on Thursday

Cole from "All the Small Stuff" and Andrea from "My Chihuahua Bites" are hosting linky that asks a fun question every Thursday.  Make sure you follow their blogs so you can get the question ahead of time and have your answers ready!

This week's topic is:

"What are 3 foods you eat that others think are weird or strange?"

This was a hard one because I'm a very picky eater and don't really eat "strange" food.  So I had to go mostly with what others may think weird:

1.  Macaroni-n-Cheese with crushed chips.  I love to get a bowl of m-n-ch and crush chips up in it.  If I don't have chips, then snack crackers will do.  I personally don't think this is weird at all.  I see people make baked m-n-ch with crushed chips or crackers on top all the time.

AMERICAN Standard Size Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Dinner


2.  A hoagie (sub, etc. here we say hoagie) with only turkey and cheese.  Remember, I'm picky.  I can't tell you how many times I've been asked "only turkey and cheese?", "are you sure you don't want dressing or mayo on that?", "you don't want any vegetables on that?"  Yes, I am sure.  No, I don't.  Dressing and mayo are disgusting and I'll puke if a vegetable passes by these lips or even under my nose!


3.  Cottage Cheese.  My husband and girls think cottage cheese is gross.  Which means that me liking it is pretty strange considering what it is.   My husband is always amazed that I like it.

Its Ok Thursdays

Its OK

...that I don't like coffee. be young and love to crochet. get a mani/pedi at least once a month. say "the heck with cooking" and order a pizza.

...that the sink is piled high with dirty dishes.

...that the grass needs mowed really bad. hope that our daughter's softball team loses so that we don't have to sit through a second day of a scourching hot softball tournament. be stressed about getting everything ready for our vacation next week.

...that I can't wait to hit the road!

Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Hodgepodge and Chats ~ 5/30/12

This week's questions:

1. What can the average citizen do to honor a military veteran and/or those currently serving?

Show appreciation for their service by being respectful and courteous.

2. Besides a flag what is something you own that is red, white and blue?

I have a few patriotic t-shirts that are a variety of reds, whites, and blues.

3. Does love really conquer all?

God's love conquers all.  Human love sometimes fails.

4. Strawberry shortcake or blueberry pie?

Strawberry shortcake with lots of whipped cream!

5. Do you share personal stuff with your hairdresser?

To a certain extent.  General things like how my family is doing, vacation plans, etc.

6. Does money lead to selfishness?

I don't think money necessarily leads to selfishness.  I think the LOVE of money leads to selfishness.

7. What piece of furniture in your home most needs replacing or refinishing?

Our living room set, most definitely.  We've had it for over 10 years, 2 kids and multiple dogs.  I'd really like to get a new set.

8. Insert your own random here.

I've created a "Thirty Five by 35" goal to try to attain by next March 24th.  To see my goals you click the picture:


Here are the questions:

1.  Do you have any musical instruments in your house? If so, which ones do you have?

My daughter now plays the flute that I played in band.  We also have a couple kiddie keyboards and guitars.  Around here, pots, pans and large bowls with a set of spoons also are considered instruments.  My youngest also has a set of drumsticks to use on said pots and bowls.

2. When you take a walk, what are you likely to pick or pick up from the ground?

Wildflowers growing beside the road, a leaf, a stick or maybe a long piece of grass to play with as I walk.

3. They say to have breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper. I guess that means you have fuel for your body to get through the day and don't have a full tummy when you go to bed. Are your meals like that?

No.  Usually I'm the only one that eats breakfast and that is usually a protein bar.  Lunch is usually a Lean Cuisine.  Our main meal of the day is a family "supper" as often as possible.

4. Do you prefer iced coffee or iced tea?

 I do not like coffee at all!  Not even something that has a hint of coffee flavor.  I loved tea of all kinds.  Hot, cold, luke warm :)

5. How do you handle doing things you'd rather not do?

First, I decide if it is something that absolutely needs done.  Then I try to talk my husband into doing it for me.  Then I try to get my kids to do it.  If it isn't something that can be passed off, I do my best to grin and bear it and get it over as quickly as possible.


Have a great day!

WWW Wednesday ~ 5/30/12

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

(FYI, click on the book for a link to amazon)


• What are you currently reading?
Hooked on Murder (Crochet, Bk 1)

I'm just getting ready to start this first book in the Crochet Mystery Series by Betty Hechtman.  I've never read anything by this author but I love to crochet, so I thought I'd give the series a try.  It even has a crochet pattern in the back for a Granny Square Washcloth that I'm excited to make :)

• What did you recently finish reading?

Book #1:
A Walk with Jane Austen: A Journey into Adventure, Love, and Faith

"A Walk With Jane Auten"
Author:  Lori Smith
Rating: 5/5 (If you are a JA fan, you will love this book.  The author traces the steps of JA and learns more about JA and herself.  I learned a lot.  This also counts as Book #1 of my "Thirty Five by 35" Non-Fiction goal.)

At thirty-three, dealing with a difficult job and a creeping depression, Lori Smith embarked on a life-changing journey following the life and lore of Jane Austen through England.

— With humor and spirit, Lori leads readers through landscapes Jane knew and loved -- from Bath and Lyme, to London and the Hampshire countryside -- and through emotional landscapes in which grace and hope take the place of stagnation and despair.

Along the way, Lori explores the small things, both meanness and goodness in relationships, to discover what Austen herself knew: the worth of an ordinary life.

Book #2:

Design on a Crime (Deadly Decor, Bk 1)

"Design on a Crime" Deadly Decor Book 1
Author: Ginny Aiken
Rating: 4/5 (This was a nice, fun read.  I don't know if I'll read any more of the series though.  Time will tell.)

Haley Farrell is taking a chance on herself. After receiving her interior design certificate, she quits her job at the local furniture store and decides to open her own interior decorating business. But with all the advantages of her new career -- meeting new people, and decorating new and old homes -- comes a huge pitfall.
Her new job allows her access into her clients' homes and their lives . . . but also their deaths. When Haley's mentor, Marge Norwalk, is murdered, Haley becomes the prime suspect. Armed only with the confidence that Marge instilled in her, Haley sets out to find the real murderer. But as she sets forth, she has no idea what twists and turns will bring her face-to-face with her long-hidden past.

Book #3:
Belonging (Where the Heart Lives, Bk 1)

"Belonging"  Where the Heart Lives Book 1
Author:  Robin Lee Hatcher
Rating:  5/5  (I love Robin Lee Hatcher's books and this one was no different!  I can't wait for Book 2 to find out what happend to Felicia's brother and sister all those years ago.)
In the high desert town of Frenchman's Bluff, Idaho, Felicia Kristoffersen has set out to create a future for herself that is better than her painful past. Alone in the world with only her faith to sustain her, she must prove herself as this tiny community's new school teacher. She cannot, must not, fail. But, there are those who never wanted her there to begin with.

Five years after the death of his wife, local merchant Colin Murphy cares about just one thing: raising his daughter, Charity. Colin wants to give her the educational advantages he never had. The new schoolmarm's inexperience doesn't sit well with him, and if this teacher up and marries like the last one did, Charity's heart will be broken once again. A woman who hasn't known love. A man who lost the love he had. In the midst of the wide, sage-covered plains, each is about to discover that life's bitterest circumstances truly can work together for good.
• What do you think you’ll read next?

Out of Control (Kincaid Brides, Bk 1)

I'll probably read "Out of Control" by Mary Connealy.  I acutally started it during Bout of Books but wasn't in the mood to read it at that time.  I'll probaby give it another go next.  Or maybe another non-fiction book toward my goal.  If I find one that interests me.

Have a great Wednesday!

Desperately Wanting, Wishing and Waiting ~ 5/30/12

These are two books, one released, one un-released that I can't wait to get my book-loving hands on!

I kinda have a beach theme going on this week :)


Desperatly Wanting Wednesday, hosted by Parajunkee's View

 Desperately Wanting Wednesday hosted by Parajunkee and Wishlist Wednesday hosted by Pen to Paper both spotlight a book that has already been released and I can't wait to get my hands on.

A Shore Thing (Otter Bay, Bk 2)

"A Shore Thing" Otter Bay Book 2
Author:  Julie Carobini
Position on PBS:  #10

Callie Duflay just isn’t like the rest of her family. While they’ve built white collar lives, she prefers getting her hands dirty by working with children and local California causes. When Callie learns that a beloved piece of untouched property in her town of Otter Bay may soon be developed, she confronts the architect assigned to the project.
Gage Mitchell may be an easygoing, eco-friendly professional, but he’s not about to back off this job no matter how cute Callie or her pet pooch, Moondoggy, may be. His reasons and hers are noble -- both have a heart for protecting God’s creation, and the truth is these two would be perfect for each other outside of this face-off. But will they ever figure that out?


WOW hosted by Breaking the Spine spotlights
an up-coming release that I'm eagerly anticipating.

Tidewater Inn (The Hope Beach Series)

"Tidewater Inn"  The Hope Beach Series Book 1
Author:  Colleen Coble
Release Date:  7/17/12

Welcome to Hope Beach!
Where the sea breeze is fresh, sun sparkles on sand . . . and trouble appears with the force of a hurricane.

Inheriting a beautiful old hotel on the seaward shore of Hope Island could be a dream come true for Libby. The inn cries out for her restorer's talent and love of history. She's delighted to learn of family she never knew she had. And the handsome Coast Guard lieutenant she's met there on the island could definitely be the man of her dreams.

But Libby soon realizes that only way she can afford the upkeep on the inn is to sell it to developers who are stalking the island. The father who willed her the inn has died before she could meet him, and her newfound brothers and sisters are convinced she's there to steal their birthright. Worst of all, her best friend and business partner has been kidnapped before her eyes, Libby's under suspicion for the crime, and her handsome lieutenant clearly doubts her innocence.
Libby's dream-come-true is becoming a nightmare. Can she find her friend and establish her innocence? Must she sell Tidewater Inn and lose her family again? Or can she find a home for her heart on the beautiful shores of Hope Island?

Wanting, Wishing and Waiting until next Wednesday,

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tune in Tuesday ~ 5/29/12

I'm proud to be an "American Woman"!


Teaser Tuesday ~ 5/29/12

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title &; author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
Here's my teaser for this week:

Belonging (Where the Heart Lives, Bk 1)
~"Felicia wadded the paper into a ball and shoved it into her pocket, along with the envelope.  Cousin Gunnar could await her reply until doomsday for all she cared.  As if she woud consider marrying any of his sons.  Especially not his foul-tempered eldest.  The idea made her stomach turn."~

"Belonging" Where the Heart Lives Book 1
Author:  Robin Lee Hatcher
Page 49

Happy Teaser Tuesday!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Thirty Five by 35 ~ Getting Started

My quest to complete 35 tasks
by the time I turn 35 on March 24, 2013.


In a few days less than 10 months, I will turn 35 years old.  I thought it would be "fun" to create a list of 35 tasks to complete before that day.   Some of these tasks are goals while others are just plain fun.  Some are things I've never done before, some are just things I'd like to do again.

What I'd like to do is update my list every Friday and create a post with my accomplishments and plans.

Without further ado, here is my Thirty Five by 35 list:

1.  Lose 65 lbs.
2.  Go to Disney World.
3.  Establish a once a month date night with the hubby.
4.  Only trim my hair when necessary.
5.  Get the house organized.
6.  Plan and go on a Romantic Getaway for our Anniversary 9/17.
7.  Plan and go on a Girls' Getaway with long-time friend(s) from school.
8.  Read 10 non-fiction books.
          1.  A Walk with Jane Austen by Lori Smith
9.  Get Laken to sleep in her own bed.
10.  Plan and hold a Girls' Night In.
11.  Reach 1000 Sales in my Etsy shop.  Currently at 559/1000.
12.  Paint our Kitchen and Dining Room.
13.  Find and purchase a comfortable bike.
14.  Teach Kaylee to ride her bike.
15.  Get into a "Early to Bed/Early to Rise" routine.
16.  Walk a 5K.
17.  Go to the ocean.
18.  Survive Laken's first day of Kindergarten.
19.  Re-arrange Craft Room/Office.
20.  Take Kaylee to play Tennis.
21.  Take the hounds for walks.
22.  Read through the New Testament.
23.  Plant flower bulbs around the house.
24.  Refresh my Spanish with some kind of Spanish for Beginners.
25.  Find a long-term Pen Pal.
26.  Re-make my Dining Room centerpiece.
27.  Make Apple Dumplings.
28.  Go berry picking.
29.  Bake a turkey.
30.  Make my own candle.
31.  Eat oatmeal at least once a week.
32.  Get routine bloodwork done.
33.  Make a dentist appointment and keep it.
34.  Find a facial moisterizer that doesn't make me oily.
35.  Set my Thirty Six by 36 list.

Whoo...  That seems like a lot.  Wish me luck!

Only 34 for now,

Unfamiliar Word ~ A Musing ~ 5/28/12

Each week Miz B at Should Be Reading asks a bookish question to muse over.

This week's musing:

If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop and look it up right away?

No.  No, I don't.  I very rarely come across words that I'm not at least a bit familiar with but when I do, I try to figure out the meaning from the context in which it is used.  That usually works.  Then I think to myself:  "Why in the world did the author feel the need to use a word like that?"  Totally unnecessary. 

It kinda bugs me and I don't want to waste more reading time by looking it up.  Mostly because I'm usually either outside reading or nice and comfy in my bed and it would just be a bother.
Do you look up unfamiliar words while reading?

Musing along,


Menu Monday ~ 5/28/12

This week is going to be crazy busy getting ready for our vacation.  So this week's menu is going to be plan, simple and quick:




Weiner Winks


Cheesy Potatoes

(family night)

Green Beans
Apples w/ pb





Softball Tournament Food

(Church Fellowship Meal)

Have a great Monday!

Home Sweet Home ~ Listicles ~ 5/28/12

"10 Words That Decribe Our Home"

1.  Mortgaged

2.  Lived-in

3.  Family

4.  Comfortable

5.  Ranch

6.  Safe-haven

7.  Christian

8.  Loving

9.  Welcoming

10.  Ours 

So, what are 10 words you would use to describe your home?

Have fun!

Linking up to:
Top Ten Tuesday at Many Little Blessings

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Scripture Memory Verse ~ 5/27/12

Scripture Memory Verse ~

"Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength."

Nehemiah 8:10

(Growing in the Fruit of the Spirit, Week 6)

 Hide these Words in your heart and they will be with you always.