Saturday, June 30, 2012

TSMSS ~ "East to West" by Casting Crowns

For the second week in a row I'm featuring a Casting Crown song.  I heard this song this week and it is just so beautiful.

Have a blessed weekend!

Stacking the Shelves ~ 6/30/12



Only 1 this week!
Here's what I stacked my shelves with this week:

Finally a Bride (Texas Boardinghouse Brides, Bk 3)
"Finally a Bride"
Author:  Vicki McDonough
Series:  Texas Boardinghouse Brides Book 3


This Week's Bookish Posts

-Cover Characteric ~ Cats
-Musing ~ Goals
-Teaser Tuesday
-Review:  "Wildfire Bride"
-WWW Wednesday
-Review:  "Waterfall"
-Review:  "A Love of Her Own"
-Desperately Wanting, Wishing and Waiting
-Throwback and the Review Pile

I'm also linkup up to Mailbox Monday hosted this month by Burton Book Review.



I also wanted to let everyone know about a new feature hosted by "Seven Alive" and "Jessie Street Designs".

"Ready, Set,....Read! is a monthly link-up for a bookish post.  You can win a lovely prize just by linking up.  This is the very first month for this feature, so go on over and give them some support and maybe you (or I) will win!


Lovely reading!

Friday, June 29, 2012

High Five Friday Fragments & Favorite Things ~ 6/29/12

PhotobucketMommy's Ideafriday favorite things | finding joy

5 Highlights from the past week:


1.  We had a great week at Preaching in the Mountains Family Church Camp!

2.  We FINALLY got our pool open and have the solar cover on it to soak in all this sweltering heat!  100 degrees today!  hot, hot, hot....

3.  I reached my goal of reading 4 books during the "Wicked Wildfire Read-A-Thon". 



4.  We're starting to  look into renting a cabin in the Smokey Mountains for an extended Family Vacation next year!  

5.    We went to see Brave on opening night!


I look forward to reading everyone's highlights from the week!

Have a great weekend!

TGIF ~ FF ~ BBH ~ 6/29/12

This post is where I combine 3 different Friday bookish blog hops and the questions posed by each.  I just couldn't leave any out!


Q: Birthday Wishes — Blow out the candles and imagine what character could pop out of your cake…who is it and what book are they from? 

This was really hard!  I finally came to the conclusion that I need mothering advice.  So I pick:

Marmie from "Little Women".

Little Women (Penguin Classics)

I'd like to know how she kept her sanity while raising 4 daughters when I'm holding onto mine by a thread with just 2!


Book Blogger Hop

Q. Do you have a keeper shelf for books you loved? What books are on that shelf and why?

I don't really have a keeper shelf.  I don't like to re-read books so as soon as I read a book I usually pass it along to someone else through
There are some books from my childhood on my headboard in my room at "Home" that I would never get rid of.  I guess that would be my keeper shelf.

Q. Best I've Read So Far: We're half way through the year (crazy how time flies!), which top 3 books are the best you've read so far this year?

Rugged and Relentless (Husbands for Hire, Bk 1)
Before Ever After
Waterfall (River of Time, Bk 1)
Happy Friday!


Thirty Five by 35 ~ Update ~ 6/29/12

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


This has been a very busy week.  We had Family Church Camp all week so I was there everyday.  I still tried to work on a few of my goals.

1.  Lose 65 lbs.  +1

Even though I didn't walk (not even a single day) I somehow managed to lose 1 pound!  So now I only have 1 more to lose to be back at ground zero.  I'm really going to have to pick up the motivation and self-control this week.

2.  Go to Disney World. 6/7/2012-6/15/12
I'll post a pic when I get them loaded.

3.  Establish a once a month date night with the hubby.
I so can't wait for our date night!

4.  Only trim my hair when necessary.
So far so good!

5.  Get the house organized.
Well, all the unpacking is done, laundray caught up and normal cleaning done.  I just need to make a plan and get started on the major organization.

6.  Plan and go on a Romantic Getaway for our Anniversary 9/17.
I scheduled the dates.  September 21-23.  Any suggestions?

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
          2.  Off Balance by Dominique Moceanu

9.  Get Laken to sleep in her own bed.
Now that we're home and camp is over, this is top priority!

10.  Plan and hold a Girls' Night In.

11.  Reach 1000 Sales in my Etsy shop.  Starting at 559/1000.
+7 this week.  Now at 578!

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.
Going to hit this one hard the coming week.  Bed at 10pm, lights out by 11pm.

16.  Walk a 5K.

17.  Go to the ocean.
Daytona Beach, FL!  6/6/12

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.
I plan to start with Matthew this week.  Maybe even today.

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.
I'm thinking about seeing if my aunt and cousin in FL want to do some kind of mini-challenges through letters.

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.

Holding at 34,

I'll be linking up to Homemaking Linkup and

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Throwback and the Review Pile ~ 6/28/12

The read and the unread.

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.

Secrets (Glenbrooke)

"Secrets" The Glenbrooke Series Book 1
Author:  Robin Jones Gunn
Publication Date: 1999
Beginning her new life in a small Oregon town, high school English teacher Jessica tries desperately to hide the details of her past. Yet two individuals remain determined to discover the painful truth: the jealous woman who is Jessica's immediate superior, and Kyle Buchanan, a handsome, compassionate paramedic and dreamer. Will Jessica's past destroy her future? Or can she find a deeper peace that will end her need to keep Secrets?

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.
Scattered Petals (Texas Dreams, Bk 2)

"Scattered Petals" Texas Dreams Book 2
Author:  Amanda Cabot
Publication Date:  3/1/2010

Longing for adventure, Priscilla Morton leaves Boston and heads for Texas, never dreaming that the adventure she seeks will leave her badly injured and her parents dead. Priscilla is determined to rebuild her life and make a home for herself in the beautiful Hill Country. But the bandits who took her parents' lives also destroyed her hope for the future.
Ranch foreman Zachary Webster knows what the future holds for him, and it's not a woman like Priscilla. She deserves a cultured East Coast gentleman, not a cowboy who's haunted by memories of his mistakes. The best thing he can do is leave her alone. When necessity draws them together, Priscilla and Zach begin to forge a life that, like the scattered petals of her childhood, is filled with promise. But then the past intrudes, threatening their very existence.

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

Happy Reading!

Its Ok to Love the 4th ~ 3 on Thursday ~ 6/28/12

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 of your favorite things about the 4th of July?"

1.  We have a family bbq at our house.  I love getting together and catching up on all the family news.

2.  Either before or after eating, we jump in the pool and goof off.  Adults turn into big kids when it comes to trying to dunk someone under the water!

3.  As it gets dark, out come the sparkler and fireworks.  We all huddle on the porch steps while the men do their manly duty of lighting them and then running for dear life :) !


Its Ok Thursdays

Its OK sometimes count down the days til the kids are back in school

...not mow the grass because it is just too stinkin' hot! spend the day reading by the pool

...that going to the chiropractor sounds better than going shopping. be in love with the new Dallas series! put off housework because I'm in the middle of a read-a-thon cry when the urge strikes lean on my husband for support when I need it tell the hubby to handle the kids and their attitudes give myself a time-out

Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Hodgepodge and Chats ~ 6/27/12

This week's questions:

1. What do the words 'freedom' and 'liberty' mean to you? Does your mind go more in the direction of not being persecuted or discriminated against or does it head in the direction of doing what you please?

To me freedom and liberty mean being able to make my own choices.

2. Nathan's sponsors a hot dog eating contest every 4th of July. Last year over 40,000 people attended the event and almost 2 million watched it on TV. The winner ate over 60 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes. How do you like your hot dogs?

I like my hotdogs with only ketchup.  Toasted buns are a plus!

3. If you were going to enter an eating contest what would be on the menu?

French Fries.  I seriously can't stop eating until they are gone.

4. Do you run your house more as a dictatorship or a democracy?

Mostly as a democracy but in the end me and Daddy have the final say.

5. Where was your favorite summer place when you were a kid?

On my bed in front of a fan (no AC) with a book :)  We didn't really go on vacation so I traveled through books.

6. Do you have a guest room? Would you want to stay there?

No, no guest room at this point in our lives.  But I would LOVE to come stay in someone else's!  Anyone?

7. Next Wednesday America celebrates her independence. Do you have any special plans for the 4th of July? If you live outside the USA when and how does your country celebrate its own patriotic holiday?

We usually have the family over to our house to swim and for a cookout.  Then we put fireworks off in the yard.  We used to travel to watch the big fireworks but we decided it is just as fun if not more so to do our own little owns.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I really, really need a Grammy/Pappy Day.  Kaylee has been at Church Camp so Laken has been attached to me like a leach!  Literally hanging off my arm!


Here are the questions:

1.  What's your favorite day of the week? Why?

I think Monday is my favorite.  The start of a new week after the busyness of the weekend.  Getting back to a routine.

2.  Do you have a blog? Please tell us the name of it and how long you've had it.

I do have a blog!  lol  It is called "Colletta's Kitchen Sink" and I started it in February 2009.

3.  What's the last book you read? If you're not a reader, please tell us about the last movie you saw.

The last book I read was "A Love of Her Own" by Maggie Brendan.  You can read my review HERE.  The last movie I saw was this past Friday when we took the girls to see "Brave".

4.  Do you ever doodle with a pen or pencil while something else is going on?

Definitely.  Whenever I am in a class or lesson of any kind there will be scribbles all over the edges of my pages.  I usually draw boxes with lines or flowers.

5.  Tell me about your bathroom towels. What color are they? Do they all match?

Our bathroom towels in no way what-so-ever match!  They are a mixture of towels I've bought, people have given us and beach towels.  No rhyme or reason to them at all :)

Have a great day!

Desperatly Wanting, Wishing and Waiting ~ 6/27/12

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


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.

The Juliet Club

"The Juliet Club"
Author:  Suzanne Harper
Position on PBS:  #1

Italy . . . Shakespeare . . . but no romance? Kate Sanderson inherited her good sense from her mother, a disciplined law professor, and her admiration for the Bard from her father, a passionate Shakespeare scholar. When she gets dumped, out of the blue, for the Practically Perfect Ashley Lawson, she vows never to fall in love again. From now on she will control her own destiny, and every decision she makes will be highly reasoned and rational. She thinks Shakespeare would have approved.

So when she is accepted to a summer Shakespeare symposium in Verona, Italy, Kate sees it as the ideal way to get over her heartbreak once and for all. She'll lose herself in her studies, explore ancient architecture, and eat plenty of pasta and gelato. (Plus, she'll be getting college credit for it?another goal accomplished!)

But can even completely logical Kate resist the romance of living in a beautiful villa in the city where those star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet met and died for each other? Especially when the other Shakespeare Scholars in particular Giacomo, with his tousled brown hair, expressive dark eyes, and charming waystry hard to break her protective shell?

"In fair Verona, where we lay our scene . . . "

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

Abducted (Pacific Coast Justice)

"Abducted" (Pacific Coast Justice)
Author:  Janice Cantore
Release Date:  8/1/12

After solving the mayor's murder and exposing corruption among the top brass in Las Playas, Carly Edwards is happy to be back on patrol with her partner, Joe, putting bad guys behind bars. For once, everything in life seems to be going right. — But then everything starts going wrong.

Slow to recover from an injury, her ex-husband, Nick, begins pulling away just as they were starting to get close again. Meanwhile, when Joe's wife lands in the hospital with a mysterious illness, their baby is kidnapped. As Carly chases down every lead in a desperate search to find the baby, her newfound faith is pushed to its limits.

Wanting, Wishing and Waiting until next Wednesday,

WWW Wednesday ~ 6/27/12

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?


• What are you currently reading?

Off Balance: A Memoir

I am just getting ready to start "Off Balance" and can't wait to dig into it.  I watched an interview with Dominique telling about the book and I ordered it right away.  I'll be counting this book as 2/10 non-fiction books that I set as a goal for my "35 X 35".


• What did you recently finish reading?

I read 5 books this week!

Within My Heart (Timber Ridge Reflections, Bk 3)

The Man Who Loved Jane Austen

Wildflower Bride (Montana Marriages, Bk 3)

Waterfall (River of Time, Bk 1)

A Love of Her Own (Heart of the West, Bk 3)
• What do you think you’ll read next?

Scattered Petals (Texas Dreams, Bk 2)

I'll most likely read "Scattered Petals" next as part of "All Series, All Summer 2012."  I still have 7 books to read to finish out this challenge but I'm alternating genres to keep my interest peaked.

Have a great Wednesday!

Book Review: "A Love of Her Own" by Maggie Brendan

A Love of Her Own (Heart of the West, Bk 3)

Title:  "A Love of Her Own"
Series:  Heart of the West Book 3
Author:  Maggie Brendan
Publisher:  Revell
Publication Date: 6/1/2010
Pages:  320

Book Description (PBS):

April McBride has suffered a broken engagement once before and fully intends to guard her heart when she travels to Lewistown, Montana, to attend her brother's wedding. One look around the small mining town convinces April that this won't be difficult--just a bunch of dusty shops, bad service, and ill-bred cowboys. But a run-in with a horse trainer named Wes Owen opens up vast possibilities for frustration, embarrassment, friendship, and love? Can April and Wes see past their differences in order to envision a future together?

My Overall Feeling of the Book:

This was the third and final book of the Heart of the West series.  I finished out the series as part of the "All Series, All Summer 2012".

I love when all three books in a trilolgy are equally good reads.  This series was the first that I had read from Maggie Brendan and she has become a serious contender as a favorite.

I loved April's free spirit but also enjoyed see her mature from the beginning of the book until the very satisfying end.  I also really liked Wes's character.  His physical description actually reminded me of my hubby.  Tall and lanky.

This was a great book to end out the series!

My Favorite Character:

I don't know why, but so many times my favorite characters are supporting characters.  That happened once again in this book but there was a tie between Margaret and Morgan.

Margaret is the owner of the boardinghouse that April stays at.  She becomes much like a grandmother to April.

Morgan is the owner of the stagecoach franchise in Lewistown.  He is such a likeable, steady man and is well respected by everyone.  I think his quips were so funny!

My Favorite Scene:

There were so many great scenes in this book.  April got into all kinds of predicaments.  One of the very first in the book is when the stage breaks down as she's on the way to her brother's wedding.  If she waits any longer she'll miss the wedding.  She talks Morgan into letting her ride one of the stage horsies bareback the rest of the way.  She ends up just making the wedding but is still wearing men's jeans, a duster and a cowboy hat.  Her brother sees her walk in and isn't suprised a bit.  He just smiles and nods at her.

My Favorite Sentence(s):
(Wes) gave Dakota some oats to eat while he washed his face and hands.  He stared at his reflection in the mirror as he patted his face dry.  Just an average cowboy with sun-streaked hair and light stubble on his jaw, with a tinge of sunburn on an already tanned face in spite of wearing his hat.  A slow smile spread across his fave.  He may not be the best-looking man around, but he was certain April had shared the spark between them when he'd kissed her.

He stopped, recalling the taste of her sweet lips.  Had his breath smelled okay?  He sure hoped so.


It Woud Have Been Better If:

I really don't think there was anything I would change.   It was the perfect mixture of drama, comedy, romance and even tragedy.

I Would Recommend This Book To:

Younger sisters, horse lovers, travelers, bed-n-breakfasters, western historical lovers.



On to the next book,