Monday, November 30, 2015

Make it Monday ~ Knotted Headband ~ 11/30/15

Today's "Make It" is another headband I made for my daughter, Laken.  It is based on a free pattern by Stephanie from All About Ami which can be found here.
I made this headband with RHSS Plum Pudding that I had in my stash.  I changed up the knot from Stephanie's pattern.

It was really easy and quick to work up and looks so cute! 

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Sunday, November 29, 2015

Songs on Sunday ~ The River by Jordan Feliz ~ 11/29/15

 Let's go down to The River!

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Saturday, November 28, 2015

Stacking the Shelves ~ 11/28/15

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!
This week I added the following to my shelf:


Jilted by a fortune hunter, cowgirl Cassidy McClare is a spunky Texas oil heiress without a fortune who would just as soon hogtie a man as look at him. Hoping a summer visit with her wealthy cousins in San Francisco will help her forget her heartache, Cassidy travels west. But no sooner is she settled in beautiful California than Jamie McKenna, a handsome pauper looking to marry well, captures her heart. When Jamie discovers the woman he loves is poorer than he is, Cassidy finds herself bucked by love a second time. Will Jamie discover that money can't buy love after all? And can Cassidy ever learn to fully trust her heart to a man?

With delectable descriptions and a romantic sensibility, bestselling author Julie Lessman brings the Gilded Age to life in this sumptuous new series. Readers will faithfully follow Lessman to the West Coast for more romance, passion, and surprising revelations found in "Love at Any Cost."



When the concierge of The Alexander, a historic Atlanta apartment building, invites his fellow residents to join him for weekly screenings of Downton Abbey, four very different people find themselves connecting with the addictive drama, and—even more unexpectedly—with each other…

Samantha Davis married young and for the wrong reason: the security of old Atlanta money—for herself and for her orphaned brother and sister. She never expected her marriage to be complicated by love and compromised by a shattering family betrayal.

Claire Walker is now an empty nester and struggling author who left her home in the suburbs for the old world charm of The Alexander, and for a new and productive life. But she soon wonders if clinging to old dreams can be more destructive than having no dreams at all.

And then there’s Brooke MacKenzie, a woman in constant battle with her faithless ex-husband. She’s just starting to realize that it’s time to take a deep breath and come to terms with the fact that her life is not the fairy tale she thought it would be.

For Samantha, Claire, Brooke—and Edward, who arranges the weekly gatherings—it will be a season of surprises as they forge a bond that will sustain them through some of life’s hardest moments—all of it reflected in the unfolding drama, comedy, and convergent lives of Downton Abbey.

Happy Reading!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

In the Kitchen ~ Mint Chocolate Delights ~ 11/26/15

I found these Limited Edition Winter Dark Chocolate and Mint Morsels at the grocery store.  I thought I'd give the recipe on the back a try.
If you like chocolate and mint together, these are for you.  I thought they were yummy :)

Mint Chocolate Delights

2 cups all purpose flour
2/  cups baking cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2/3 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cups packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs
1 2/3 cups Nestle Toll House Dark Chocolate & Mint Morsels

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a small bowl.

Beat butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla in a large mixing bowl until creamy.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Gradually beat in flour mixture.

Stir in morsels.

Drop by well-rounded tablespoon onto parchment paper covered baking sheet.

Bake for 14 minutes or until cookies are puffed and centered are set.

Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes.

Remove from baking sheets to cool completely.

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Linking up to:  Full Plate Thursday, Inspritation2 , Creative WaysGrace at Home, Create It Thursday, Your Turn to Shine,   Project Stash  Homemaking Linkup and Home Sweet Home, Share Your Cup;  Grandma Ideas, Think and Make.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Book Review ~ Dangerous Passage by Lisa Harris ~ 11/25/15

When two Jane Does are killed on the outskirts of Atlanta, Georgia, detective and behavioral specialist Avery North discovers they share something in common--a tattoo of a magnolia on their shoulders. Suspecting a serial killer, Avery joins forces with medical examiner Jackson Bryant to solve the crimes and prevent another murder. But it doesn't take long for them to realize that there is much more to the case than meets the eye. As they venture deep into a sinister world of human trafficking, Avery and Jackson are taken to the very edge of their abilities--and their hearts.

"Dangerous Passage "exposes a fully-realized and frightening world where every layer peeled back reveals more challenges ahead. Romantic suspense fans will be hooked from the start by Lisa Harris's first installment of the new Southern Crimes series. 
My Thoughts:
I love to watch Crime Dramas on TV.  (NCIS, Blindspot, Blacklist, etc.)  Reading this book made me feel like I was watching a really, really good show!
The book was fast-paced with lots of twists and turns and a few mysteries were left unsolved for the next books of the series.  This is Book 1 of "Southern Crimes" series.
The main character is a kick-butt, female detective, Avery.  She has so much going on in her life.  She is a widow with a preteen daughter who demands much attention.  Her father is a newly retired police captain and her mother is losing it!  (In typical motherly fashion)  hehe
The story is more about the crime that is being investigated than it is about the romance.  It was perfect that way.  I wouldn't have wanted the romance to take over and take away from the mystery and investigation.
There are strong Christian principals throughout the book which I thoroughly enjoyed.  That is one thing the TV Crime Dramas definitely DO NOT have.
Books 2 and 3 of this series are on my wishlist and I hope I can get ahold of them soon.
Loved it! 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Teaser Tuesday ~ Whispers in the Reading Room ~ 11/24/15


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm. 
My teaser for this week is from:

~"Sebastian shrugged.  "Murder is murder."~

Page 5

Happy Teaser Tuesday!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Make it Monday ~ Granny Stitch Cowl ~ 11/23/15

I made this Granny Stitch Cowl based on the free pattern by Cream of the Crop Crochet found on Ravelry.  I used Red Heart Holiday in Green.

I made it wide enough to be brought up over the head to shield the ears from the cold wind.

Instead of a picot edging, I created a scalloped border on each edge for texture.  I think it looks lovely with this yarn.

This is one of many Christmas presents that I've made so far, but I'm not telling who it is for.  Just in case ;)

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Sunday, November 22, 2015

Songs on Sunday ~ Good Good Father by Chris Tomlin ~ 11/22/15

 I absolutely adore this song. 

He is a Good Good Father!

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

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Stacking the Shelves ~ 11/21/15

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!
This week I added the following to my shelf:

Texas born and raised Jessica Atherton is a wealthy young woman whose heart was broken when the man she intended to marry wedded another. But her world is upended when two men come into her life and both manage to stir her heart. Harrison Gable is a rich young lawyer who intends to travel the world and live a life of opulence. His ambitions match Jessica's dreams, but her heart has begun to change.

Austin Todd, former Secret Service agent, enjoys working now as a Texas Ranger cattle inspector. But learning of forged gold certificates and missing printing plates, he's drawn back into the world of intrigue and agrees to help solve the case. Austin is well-thought-of and admired in the community. Jessica is drawn to his kind nature and the unspoken pain she sees in his eyes.
Will Jessica choose financial security or follow her heart?  


Feisty wedding photographer Hannah McDermott has dealt with her share of difficult brides. But none can compare to the ultimate Bridezilla she's dealing with now. Still, she's trying desperately to impress Bella Neeley, Galveston Island's most sought-after wedding planner, so she can take the top spot in Bella's list of recommended photographers--a spot currently occupied by her arch-rival, Drew Kincaid. What she doesn't count on, however, is falling head over heels for the competition.
With her contagious humor and cast of quirky characters, Janice Thompson gives readers more of the bridal business drama they want in a brand-new series all about those long-suffering people who make beautiful weddings happen. Readers are desperately waiting for more of Bella and this new series brings her back in a big way, while introducing new characters fans will love. Fans will laugh out loud as they experience this breezy and entertaining novel from a great storyteller.



An unlikely attraction occurs between two passengers on a steamboat journey up the Missouri River to Montana...

She is a self-centered young woman from a privileged family who fears the outdoors and avoids anything rustic. He is a preacher living under a sense of duty and obligation to love the unlovable people in the world. She isn't letting anything deter her from solving a family mystery that surfaced after her mother's death. He is on a mission to reach the rejects of society in the remote wilderness regions of Montana. Miss Fannie Rousseau and Reverend Samuel Beck are opposites in every way... except in how they both keep wondering if their paths will ever cross again.

Happy Reading!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Tea Time ~ Naps and Chocolate ~ 11/20/15

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


~Our Adult Class at Church held a Veteran's Dinner on Saturday to give our thanks to those who have served our country!  The Youth Class served.  I was so proud of my girls :)

~After having such a busy day on Saturday, Sunday afternoon was reserved for a nice, long nap!  Who else loves a good Sunday afternoon nap? :)

~I bought some Nestle Winter Dark Chocolate and Mint Morsels!  Yummy :)

~Kaylee got the part in the musical her school is going to put on!  She's so excited :)

~I'm making progress on my Beautiful Shells Afghan!  It is a lot bigger than this picture :)

What made you smile this week?

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Book Review and Giveaway ~ A Thousand Shall Fall by Andrea Boeshaar ~ 11/20/15

 A Thousand Shall Fall

Nineteen-year-old Carrie Ann Bell is independent and spirited. The only thing she really fears are the Union soldiers fighting against her Confederate friends. When her youngest sister runs away from home, brave Carrie Ann is determined to find her and bring her back. Disguised as a soldier, she sets off–only to find she’s fallen into the hands of the enemy.
Her childhood friend Confederate Major Joshua Blevins has warned her against these Yankees: they’re all devils, ready to inflict evil on unsuspecting young women. When Colonel Peyton Collier arrests her for her impersonation of an officer, it seems to confirm all her fears.
Soon, though, she finds herself drawn to the handsome, gallant colonel. He rescued her, protected her, and has been every inch the gentleman. Carrie Ann discovers that her foe has become her ally–and more than that, someone she could love. But the arrival of Joshua in the Union camp as a spy will test her loyalties. Will she protect someone who has been like family or be loyal to this stranger to whom she wants to offer her heart? When her world is being torn apart around her, whom should she trust?
Set against the backdrop of the American Civil War, A Thousand Shall Fall is framed around compelling characters and a very romantic setting in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. Andrea Boeshaar’s extensive research guarantees historical accuracy and romance genre enthusiasts and Civil War buffs alike will enjoy the Christian perspectives on actual historical events.

My Thoughts:
It had been quite a while since I'd read a book set during the Civil War.  I was really excited to get the chance to read this one the first in a new series!
I absolutely love history and books like this one remind me why I love reading Historical Fiction.
The setting is the Shenandoah Valley.  Most of the book takes place in Winchester which is a city that I've visited and isn't extremely far from where I live.  Knowing the area made this book all the more interesting to read.
Carrie Ann Bell is searching for her sister who ran off with a peddler.  Not a very smart move as there are soldiers from both sides of the war all around.  Carrie is very resourceful and full of faith even during the hard times.  She ends up in the care of Colonel Peyton Collier.
Colonel Collier is a man who is much changed by the war.  For the better.  He left his old lifestyle on the battlefield of Gettysburg.  Peyton was a great hero for this book.  He was strong, vibrant and dependable.
I really enjoyed reading this book and look forward to reading the rest of the series.
 400 - a thousand shall fall
 Litfuse Publicity Group  - Something is always stirring here! 

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review as part of a 
Litfuse Publicity Blog Tour.  

Thursday, November 19, 2015

In the Kitchen ~ Pumpkin Snickerdoodles ~ 11/19/15

Laken was off school for veteran's day so we decided to bake.  I love that my 8-year-old likes to bake with me :)

This recipe was found on facebook and comes from:  Six Sister's Stuff.

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

1 stick butter
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup pumpkin
1 large egg
3 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Cream butter, shortening and sugars.

Add pumpkin and egg.

Mix in baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

Add flour and mix well.

Refrigerate for 30 minutes

Preheat oven to 400F and line baking sheet with parchment paper.

After dough has chilled, form into 1 inch balls.  Then roll in:

1/2 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon cinnamon

Place on parchment paper and bake for 7-9 minutes.

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

Linking up to:  Full Plate Thursday, Inspritation2 , Creative WaysGrace at Home, Create It Thursday, Your Turn to Shine,   Project Stash  Homemaking Linkup and Home Sweet Home, Share Your Cup;  Grandma Ideas, Think and Make.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Book Review ~ Tried & True by Mary Connealy ~ 11/18/15

Saddle up for a wildly fun ride with the Wilde sisters!

Kylie Wilde is the youngest sister—and the most civilized. Her older sisters might be happy dressing in trousers and posing as men, but Kylie has grown her hair long and wears skirts every chance she gets. It’s a risk—they are homesteading using the special exemptions they earned serving in the Civil War as “boys”—but Kylie plans to make the most of the years before she can sell her property and return to the luxuries of life back East.

Local land agent Aaron Masterson is fascinated with Kylie from the moment her long hair falls from her cap. But now that he knows her secret, can he in good conscience defraud the U.S. government? And when someone tries to force Kylie off her land, does he have any hope of convincing her that marrying him and settling on the frontier is the better option for her future?
My Thoughts:
Anytime I pick up a book by Mary Connealy, I know that I'm in for a fun read.  I knew just from reading the blurb that this book would be interesting.
I love starting a new series.  I love getting to know the characters and daydreaming about the future books in the series.  This book was about Kylie, the youngest Wilde sister, but I also got to know a bit about Bailey and Shannon.
Kylie was a great heroine.  She was tough but still vulnerable and liked feminine pursuits.  She had a hard time pretending to be a man and wanted to live in civilization.
Enter Aaron, the land agent.  He wanted nothing more than to move further into the mountains away from everyone.  Everything Kylie didn't want.
I found their love story to be a bit hurried.  It was more about physical attraction.  The author did a wonderful job writing about their physical attraction while still keeping the integrity of the book and not going overboard.
I loved that just when I thought the conflict was resolved there was another twist!  The ending scenes were my favorite.
I absolutely CANNOT wait to read about Shannon and Bailey in the next two books of the series.  They are already on my wish list :)