Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Book Review ~ Christmas Mail-Order Brides by Davis, McDonough, Stenzel and Turansky ~ 12/1/16

 
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Blurb:
 
Ride the transcontinental railroad as marriage arrives by mail-order—and just in time for Christmas. Annika arrives in Wyoming to discover her intended is missing. Jolie’s journey to Nevada is derailed by disaster. Elizabeth carries a load of secrets to Nebraska. And Amelia travels to California to wrap up her final attempts at matchmaking. Will the holiday season be the ticket to spark love in unexpected ways?

A TRUSTING HEART by Carrie Turansky
Swedish immigrant Annika Bergstrom travels to Wyoming as a mail order bride, but when her prospective groom, Chase Simms, disappears, she finds herself falling in love with his brother Daniel. Will she take hold of her chance for love, or wait for the man she has promised to marry?

THE PRODIGAL GROOM by Vickie McDonough
Jolie Addams is 18 and must leave the orphanage she grew up in. The headmaster has arranged for her to work for a lecherous benefactor. She decides to become a mail-order bride to escape what she fears would be a dreadful existence. But on the way to Nevada, her stage is robbed. She and a wounded passenger are stranded. They are rescued the next day, but Jolie’s intended refuses to marry her after she spent the night alone with Clay Jackson. She and Clay are forced to marry. Can a relationship and love grow from such an awful beginning?

HIDDEN HEARTS by Therese Stenzel
After facing a series of tragic events, Elizabeth Lariby agrees to become a mail-order bride. Hoping to build a new life in Nebraska, she is determined to hide her grief-stricken heart from her new husband. Driven to be a success, Zane Michaels quietly obtains a wife through a mail-order bride society, but feels he must hide his past and his recent wealth from his new wife. When their secrets are revealed, will their fledgling marriage survive?

MRS. MAYBERRY MEETS HER MATCH by Susan Page Davis
Amelia Mayberry’s rewarding career as a matchmaker is winding down. She’d like to close shop and spend her sunset years in peace. There’s only one unfinished piece of business—an unsatisfied customer for whom she needs to set things right. The question is: will Lennox Bailey allow her to make amends?
      

My Thoughts:
 
This was my first Christmas themed read of the holiday season.  I was so excited when it came in the mail along with a few other Christmassy books!
 
I love Christmas.  I love Historical Fiction.  I love Mail-Order Bride stories.
 
This was a sweet collection of mail-order bride novellas.  Each story was unique and well written.
 
I especially liked "The Prodigal Groom".  I wish it would have continued on but alas it was a novella and therefore short and to the point.
 
I thoroughly enjoyed reading about these four couples and their love stories set in the Christmas season.  I look forward to reading more Christmas themed books over the holidays :)
 

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P.S.

I'd love for you to join in the 2017 PenPal sign-ups here on my blog.

For more information, please click HERE, the picture below or see the top right sidebar :)

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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Weigh-In Wednesday ~ 11/30/16

 
 
My inspiration:
 
Commit whatever you do to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.
 
Proverbs 16:3

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So many good things happened at this week's meeting!

This was my fourth meeting so I got my very first Weight Watchers Charm.  I can't wait to fill it up with Charms!



Even though I had to use some of my Weekly Smart Points on Thanksgiving, I still lost 2 pounds last week!  That makes a total of 10.2 pounds lost in three weeks!  I received my second 5 pound loss sticker :)


During the meeting itself, we talked about the differences between "Hunger" and "Cravings".  It was very interesting what everyone thought the differences were.

Some strategies to overcome Cravings were:

-Drink flavored water
-Chew Gum
-Substitute the Craving with a low SmartPoint food
-Plan, track and then savor
-Do something else
-Go somewhere else
-Think something else

What are some of your strategies to overcome Cravings?  What do you think the difference is between Hunger and Cravings?  I'd like to hear what you think!


My week's stats:

Weigh-in:  -2 lbs.  Total:  -10.2 lbs.

Exercise:  I met my FitPoint goal of 58 FitPoints.  It was a challenge to up my exercise, especially with the holiday.  I took Thanksgiving off from exercise because we were busy all day cooking.  I guess being on your feet all day was probably worth something but I didn't count it :)

Tracking:  I tracked everything!  Even Thanksgiving Dinner and that delicious 14 SmartPoint Pumpkin Pie!  As I said, I had to dip into my weekly points but still had 21 weeklies left over.

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P.S.

I hope you'll consider joining in the 2017 PenPal Sign-ups here on my blog!  For more information click HERE or the picture below or the button on my sidebar.

http://collettaskitchensink.blogspot.com/2016/11/2017-penpal-sign-ups-ends-121916.html



Thanks for stopping by!  Please leave a comment with a link so I can return the visit!

 
Linking up to  WholeHearted WednesdayR&R, Word Filled Wednesday, Coffee and Conversation, Ladies Collective,   Party in Your PJs,  Works or Me, Wake-Up Wednesday and  Women with IntentionPeaches and Salt, Raising Homemakers, Wise Woman, Classical Homemaking.

Hodgepodge ~ 11/30/16



Joyce's Hodgepodgey Questions:

1. Give us three rhyming words that say something about your Thanksgiving holiday (or your most recent holiday gathering if you didn't celebrate Thanksgiving).

Fun and done.  I can only think of two!!  lol

2. When did you last say, 'the more the merrier'? Did you mean it?

I just wrote that in an email yesterday about the 2017 PenPal sign-ups!  Yes, I meant it :)

3. What's one piece of advice you'd give someone who is your same age?

Choose peace over chaos.

4. You're ordering a veggie plate, what four veggies are on it?

I hate veggies!  Can I get the whole plate of corn-on-the cob?

5. Shop til you drop! Did you? Have you ever? Will you between now and Christmas?

Every year the hubby and I go Black Friday shopping.  We shop until everything on our list has been bought and bagged.  My feet were aching by the time we got home!

6. What's your favorite chair in your house, and why is it a favorite?

My computer chair.  It is comfy and that is where I get to blog and interact with the blogging community.

7. Share an early memory of faith, religion, or spirituality.

I remember when I was about 3 or 4 and my Mom was my Sunday School teacher.  I can remember making cotton ball sheep :)

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I'd love for you to join in the 2017 PenPal sign-ups here on my blog.

For more information, please click HERE, the picture below or see the top right sidebar :)

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I'd love to return the visit!  Please leave a comment and a link!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Family Time Tuesday ~ December Bride and Hallmark ~ 11/29/16


 
 Thanksgiving.
 
Family.  Food.  Sleepovers.  Hallmark Movies.
 
We spent the long holiday weekend at my Mom and Dad's house.  One of my favorite things about this time of year other than the family time of Thanksgiving Day is gathering around the TV in the evening and watching Hallmark Christmas Movies!
 
This year was no different.  Every night we watched Hallmark movies.  Laken is actually a bit obsessed with Hallmark movies :)  It is so funny!
 
The one that stuck out to me the most this year was "December Bride".  (Maybe because it had Daniel Lissing!  sigh....  lol)  Or maybe it was because it was based on a novella by one of my very favorite authors, Densie Hunter.  Either way, it was a treat!
 
 


The movie itself was just as sweet as could be.

So, if you get a chance, pop some popcorn, gather the family and watch some Hallmark Christmas Movies :)


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P.S.

I hope you'll consider joining in the 2017 PenPal Sign-ups here on my blog!  For more information click HERE or the picture below or the button on my sidebar.

http://collettaskitchensink.blogspot.com/2016/11/2017-penpal-sign-ups-ends-121916.html


Please leave a comment with a link so I can return the visit!



Teaser Tuesday ~ Sleigh Belles ~ 11/28/16


Teaser

 
My teaser for this week is from:

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~"October 1916
Savannah, Georgia

"I'll tell you what we're going to do', Alanna Lessing fought to get her emotions under control as she turned to face her younger sister.  'We're going to get on a train and go to Montana and talk some sense into Margaret.  If that husband of hers is half the man she says he is, he will bring her back home to Savannah where she belongs."~

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P.S.

I'd love for you to join in the 2017 PenPal sign-ups here on my blog.

For more information, please click HERE, the picture below or see the top right sidebar :)

http://collettaskitchensink.blogspot.com/2016/11/2017-penpal-sign-ups-ends-121916.html


 
Also linking up to:

http://bibliophilebythesea.blogspot.co.uk/  http://www.rosecityreader.com/


Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Happy Homemaker Monday ~ 11/28/16


 
Come join Diary of a SAHM for Happy Homemaker Monday.
 
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The weather outside is::::

Starting to feel wintery :) 
 


On my breakfast plate:
 
Smart Ones Canadian Bacon, Egg and Cheese Muffin
  
As I look around the house::::
 
I see kids off of school for the first day of Deer Season.
Lots of laundry,

On today's to do list::::
 
Wash Laundry.
Schedule Kaylee's ortho appt. (Still haven't)
Work on Demelza border.
 
Happening this week::::
 
Monday....Laundry, work on Demelza.
Tuesday...  Work on Demelza, Laken has Cheer Practice.
Wednesday... Menu and Grocery List, Baking day with Mom.
Thursday.....Bills, Laundry, Laken has Cheer Practice, NHS induction.
Friday....Groceries, crochet.
Saturday....Schedule for next week, unpack Demelza.

Currently reading::::

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I have just a little bit to finish on LFYI Frost, Minnesota and then I'm starting Sleigh Belles.  I'm loving my Christmas books :)

 
On the TV::::
 
Hallmark's December Bride.


 

On the Radio:::

Yesterday, I featured "Giants Fall" by Francesca Battistelli for Songs on Sunday.

 
On the menu this week::::

Monday - Ham, Cheesy Potatoes, Apples, Corn
Tuesday - Sausage, Bacon, Scrambled Eggs with Cheese, Fried Potatoes, Toast
Wednesday - Pork Chops, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, Cuties
Thursday - Dan's Day (My brother will bring something home, so no cooking!)
Friday - Pizza
Saturday - Oatmeal, Toast
Sunday - Dinner at Church

What I am creating at the moment::::

I got Demelza all joined!  It took me two days of working on it.  I almost got it all joined the first day, but I just couldn't bring myself to do the very last row!  It only took me a bit of the second day to get it all joined.  Now I'm working on the border :)
 
 
 
From the Camera:::
 

 
 
 
Prayers, Inspirational Quotes or Devotionals::::

"Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe"

Hebrews 12:28 NASB

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P.S.

I hope you'll consider joining in the 2017 PenPal Sign-ups here on my blog!  For more information click HERE or the picture below or the button on my sidebar.

http://collettaskitchensink.blogspot.com/2016/11/2017-penpal-sign-ups-ends-121916.html


 
 
Linking up to :What Are You Reading,   Yarn Fanatic, Art of Homemaking, Make Your Home SingGood Morning Monday, Menu Plan Monday , Yarn Along, Keep Calm Craft On, Linky Ladies, Pieces by Polly , Homemaking Linkup, Homesteader Hop.

Songs on Sunday ~ Giants Fall by Francesca Battistelli ~ 11/27/16


 Here's the newest from Francesca Battistelli.

I hope your Giants Fall!

Enjoy :)


 

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P.S.

I'd love for you to join in the 2017 PenPal sign-ups here on my blog.

For more information, please click HERE, the picture below or see the top right sidebar :)

http://collettaskitchensink.blogspot.com/2016/11/2017-penpal-sign-ups-ends-121916.html


Please leave a comment with a link so I can return the visit!





Saturday, November 26, 2016

Stacking the Shelves ~ 11/26/16


Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!
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This week I added the following to my shelf:

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Spend a heartfelt Christmas on Schooley’s Mountain as four generations make a house a home. Carpenter Stephan Yost vows to build a precocious spinster a home by Christmas. Civil War widow Mary Ann Plum learns the greatest peace on earth comes from giving and receiving love. Olympia Paris must protect the orphanage she grew up in from a man intending to play Father Christmas to most of the town. Joy Benucci turns to a modern-day Scrooge to save a transitional home for foster kids. Will Christmas be a season of miracles in their lives?  

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The wild and untamed lands of America called to the brave and determined pioneers who desired a new way of life. Faced with primitive lodgings--a cave, a dugout, a sod house, a barn--settlers face their first Christmas in a new land with both trepidation and hope. From the mountains of North Carolina to the woods of Michigan, across the plains of Oklahoma and deserts of Arizona, these settlers soon learned that wherever the heart dwells, Christmas and romance can find a place to call home.

In this exclusive collection of nine Christmas romances, readers will relive a pioneer Christmas with all its challenges and delights as penned by some of Christian fiction's beloved authors, including bestselling authors Margaret Brownley and Lauraine Snelling.

1781 North Carolina - Defending Truth by Shannon McNear
1820 Ohio - The Calling by Kathleen Fuller
1830 Michigan Territory - A Silent Night by Anna Urquhart
1862 Nebraska Territory - A Pony Express Christmas by Margaret Brownley
1867 Arizona Territory - A Christmas Castle by Cynthia Hickey
1875 Dakota Territory - The Cowboy's Angel by Lauraine Snelling
1885 Dakota Territory - A Badlands Christmas by Marcia Gruver
1889 Oklahoma Territory - Buckskin Bride by Vickie McDonough
1897 Alaska - The Gold Rush Christmas by Michelle Ule

Filled with inspiration and faith, each story will become a treasure to be enjoyed again each holiday season.
  
 
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P.S.

I'd love for you to join in the 2017 PenPal sign-ups here on my blog.

For more information, please click HERE, the picture below or see the top right sidebar :)

http://collettaskitchensink.blogspot.com/2016/11/2017-penpal-sign-ups-ends-121916.html



 
Also linking up to: The Sunday PostMailbox Monday

 
Happy Reading!


Friday, November 25, 2016

Feature and Follow ~ Thankful ~ 11/25/16

 
http://www.alisoncanread.com/
 
 
Q: What are you most thankful for (in the blogging world)? 

I am most thankful for the friendships I have made through blogging.

I love to participate in blog-hops and meet new bloggers and get new ideas :)


Have a great Friday!

 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Tea Time ~ PenPals and Snow ~ 11/25/16



Grab a cup of tea, coffee, hot chocolate or your favorite drink
while I share a few things that made me smile this week :)

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~Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!  I hope you had a great one :)

Image result for thanksgiving


~I'm currently organizing a 2017 PenPal event and so far we have 18 participants!  Make sure you sign-up before 12/19/16 :)  See my sidebar or click HERE for more info.

2017 PenPal Sign-ups


~I met my 2016 Goodreads Challenge goal!!  Now I'm reading bonus books :)



~We had SNOW!  It didn't stick around long, but SNOW :)



~Because of the above snow and cold, I dug out my Leslie Sansone Walking DVD's!  I can rack up miles so quickly with these workouts :)
 

 What made you smile this week?

Please leave a comment with a link so I can return the visit!


 

Book Review ~ Torchlight by Lisa Tawn Bergren ~ 11/24/16

 
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Blurb:
 
After inheriting her family’s lighthouse and mansion, heiress Julia Rierdon--sister of Jake Rierdon (Refuge)--travels to the coast of Maine to restore the estate and turn it into a lavish inn. Temporarily separated from her wealthy fiancĂ©, Julia turns to a mysterious stranger for assistance.
 
Motorcycle-riding handyman Trevor Kenbridge is gorgeous, infuriating…and just the man she needs to help her prepare her inn. Could he also be the right man to claim her heart?      

My Thoughts:
 
This is the second book in the "Full Circle" series.
 
I thought I would love this book.  It is, after all, a book about renovating a mansion near a lighthouse.  And there was reading of great-great's diaries.  And a handsome handyman.
 
But...
 
It somehow fell a little flat for me.
 
I liked the story well enough but I thought there could be more details about the parts I found interesting.  Such as the renovations and romance.  That might just have been personal preferences though.
 
I also was bit annoyed with Julia.  Even though I knew she had a "boyfriend" back in California, she was so hard on Trevor.  I think the romance could have used a little more work instead of being so abrupt at the end.
 
Still, if you like lighthouses and family history, it was worth reading and I look forward to reading the next book in the series.


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P.S.

I'd love for you to join in the 2017 PenPal sign-ups here on my blog.

For more information, please click HERE, the picture below or see the top right sidebar :)

http://collettaskitchensink.blogspot.com/2016/11/2017-penpal-sign-ups-ends-121916.html

 
 
 Thanks for stopping by!  Please leave a comment with a link so I can return the visit!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Weigh-In Wednesday ~ 11/23/16

 
 
My inspiration:
 
Commit whatever you do to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.
 
Proverbs 16:3

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I was nervous again about weighing in at the WW meeting.  I guess I thought my loss the first week was just a fluke.  BUT.....  I lost another 3 pounds this week!  That is a total of 8.2 pounds.  My goal for this week is to hit the 10 pound lost mark.  That means I need to lose 1.8 this week.  Wish me luck!

At the meeting we talked about the "Great Plate" and how we were planning for Thanksgiving.  We were given a sheet to make notes about what some common Thanksgiving foods were and their points.



Planning ahead of time what you are going to eat and are willing to spend points on, will make it easier to decide on how to fill your Great Plate.

Some of my must-haves are stuffing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie.  Knowing that, I can plan the rest of my daily points and even my weekly points if needed.

Some of the tips that the group came up with to handle the urge to over-eat on Thanksgiving were:

~Plan ahead.

~Just say "Not Thank You" to foods that you aren't prepared to use points on.

~Use a smaller plate.

~Eat slowly.

~Wait at least 5 minutes before deciding whether or not to have seconds of a dish.

~Make and take a point-friendly dish to share.

~Enjoy your family and friends and make food secondary.

What are you doing to plan for ahead for Thanksgiving?  What are your must-have dishes?  Do you have any great point-friendly recipes to share?  How will you focus on family and friends and make food secondary?


My week's stats:

Weigh-in:  -3 lbs.  Total:  -8.2 lbs.

Exercise:  56 Fitpoints from walking 40 minutes everyday.  When my new week started on the WW website, it asked me to up my Fitpoint goal from 48/week to 58/week.  I had the option to stay at 48/week but decided that since I've been getting 56/week already, I'd give myself the motivation to start walking for 50 minutes a day.

Tracking:  I tracked everything!  I didn't even use any of my weeklies this week :)  When I logged my weight loss in it took another smartpoint from me.  I now get 40 smartpoints a day.



Thanks for stopping by!  Please leave a comment with a link so I can return the visit!

 
Linking up to  WholeHearted WednesdayR&R, Word Filled Wednesday, Coffee and Conversation, Ladies Collective,   Party in Your PJs,  Works or Me, Wake-Up Wednesday and  Women with IntentionPeaches and Salt, Raising Homemakers, Wise Woman