Monday, April 28, 2014

Happy Homemaker Monday - 04/28/2014

Good morning my friends.  I apologize for this post going up a little later than usual, but I am actually at the library right now.

This week we have State testing, so all 4 kids are currently busy and I am waiting on them.  I could go home because we are but 5 minutes away, but unfortunately all 4 are sick in some capacity or other.  The worst one right now is Nicholas, and then Tiffany, then Colby and Jasmine who started with a sore throat this morning.

So, I'm staying put in case one of them needs me.  Luckily though, like I said above, the testing is at the library so I can enjoy some coffee, some books, some wifi and some rest.  Praying that all 4 kids feel ok.

Alright, on to our Happy Homemaker Monday......

As I look outside my window:::
It's very bright and sunny today with not a single cloud in the sky.  Thankfully the winds have stopped.  I see some cars in the parking lot if I look out to my left, and to my right I see cars driving by.

Right now I am:::
Sitting in the study area with my laptop, typing up this post, and enjoying the quietness and the scent of books all around me.  You know what I mean!!!

Thinking and pondering:::
On the testing, on all the work we still have to do aside from the testing, and on the move....of course.

On my bedside table:::
My Bible
Kleenex, Vicks and my body lotion

On my tv tonight:::
Granite Flats
Star Crossed
The Little Couple
The 100
Impractical Jokers
Hangar 1:  The UFO Files
Ancient Aliens
Ghost Adventures
Long Island Medium
Granite Flats
Signed, Sealed, Delivered

Listening to:::
Nothing but silence, oh and the click click of my keyboard as I type this post.

On the menu for this week:::
Monday - Crockpot Pork Meatballs, Spaghetti
Tuesday - Chicken and Chourico Rice
Wednesday - Homemade Cheesy Garlic Pizza
Thursday - Sausages, Mustard Mashed Potatoes, Onion Gravy
Friday - Crockpot Chicken Lickin'
Saturday - Fish and Chips
Sunday -  Crockpot Macaroni and Beef

On my to do list:::
Laundry, got everything done but the whites, and I need to wash the Tae Kwon Do Gi's for tonight
Finish Meal Planning and Grocery Shopping

Happening this week:::
Monday - State Testing
Tuesday - State Testing
Wednesday - State Testing
Thursday -  Catch up on Housework
Friday - Catch up day, sewing, crochet, reading, blog reviews etc

What I am creating:::
Still working on the corner to corner blanket, it's been slow because I haven't had much time to really get into it.

My simple pleasure:::

Pao com Chourico

Homemaking tips:::
This one is referring to baking as well.  I usually like to get everything done on a Sunday and freeze it for the week, so I make a huge batch of pancakes and waffles, muffins and even bread, then freeze it and during the week we just take out what we need.

Looking around the house:::
Well more like looking around the library.  It's very quiet, I'm surrounded by bookshelves which makes me very happy.  There is an elderly gentleman sitting at the far end of the room working on a computer, and I can hear two ladies chatting over at the coffee shop.
From the camera:::
Rainy day yesterday and as much as I love the rain itself, the dark skies contrasting with the green trees is even more beautiful.

Prayer List:::
My husband's 90 days probation for his job, is coming up next week, praying for that.
Praying for our move, that we find the house we really love and are able to get into that one and out of this one without having to pay double the rent.

Bible verse, Devotional:::
Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him.
1 John 3:21-22

PLEASE, don't add links to this list that are not part of the Happy Homemaker Monday. I've asked numerous times, and I'm frankly quite tired of having to remove links to other posts that shouldn't be in this list. Please be respectful of my request!

Saturday, April 26, 2014


Hello everybody, how is your weekend going so far?

Mine has been quite busy actually, not surprising right?  Well yesterday was my daughter's birthday, she turned 15 years old.  Oh my word, how is it possible that she is already 15?

Beautiful Daughter

I was speaking to some friends on Facebook this morning, friends who I made through my blog when I first started back in 2006, so they have been following along and watching my children grow.  They were so shocked that she is already 15 years old because it seems like just yesterday I was sharing photos of her just starting Kindergarten.

Time just flies.

Beautiful Daughter

She has grown into such a beautiful young lady, she is smart, she is funny, she is sarcastic and quirky and a gamer girl.  She is not a girly girl at all, but once in a while she will dress up and get all dolled up and enjoy it....but not very often, she is more comfortable in t-shirts and shorts and hair up in a ponytail playing video games.

We just love her for who she is and we're so happy to see her blossoming.  I just can not wait to see her continue to grow, it's so exciting.  Did I ever tell you that she wants to become a Forensic Scientist?  Yeah, that's my child!  So proud.

Birthday Cake

She is a huge fan of everything British, not surprising there LOL So last year for her birthday I made her the Tardis Cake, remember that one? Well this year, I decided to go with a bit more of a sophisticated look, so I wanted a quite simple cake but still incorporating one of her favorite shows, which is the BBC's Sherlock.

Birthday Cake

I'm so thrilled with the way it turned out, I just love the profiles in black, and she loved it to bits.

I am nowhere near a cake pro, not even an amateur, let's just say that I have fun trying to decorate playing around with the fondant. Maybe one day I will think about really learning cake decorating, but for now it's just for fun.

Today was quite busy for us. My niece had a dance competition in Twin Falls, so my brother and sister in law went straight there after work yesterday and then up again this morning at 6am to head back again for another day of competition.

They asked us to babysit their dog Jax, and I of course said yes. But it's not so easy because he is quite a naughty feisty little thing.

We tried to keep him with us, but he wasn't getting along with our pugs, was peeing everywhere, whining and chewing on everything and getting into fights with Miss Lola.

We decided it's best to take him back home, so we did that last night around 10:30pm and they were supposed to have stayed overnight in Twin Falls, but ended up coming back home so it worked out just fine.

Today though, we picked him up at 8am, brought him over for a few hours and then had to take him back again and then checked on him another 3 times until my brother returned home around 5pm.

Lots of driving back and forth for the little one, but it's ok, I didn't want him to be completely alone because he's still a puppy.


This picture was taken right before he peed all over my quilt LOL Naughty dog.

Anyway, between all this, hubby and I headed out and got a storage unit here in town. We need one, but it will also be very helpful come time to move. They were having a great special at the moment so we ended up paying just $40 for two months. Not bad at all.

I wish I hadn't gone out though because the wind today has been absolutely horrid, it's whipping the trees back and forth and causing havoc with everyone's allergies.

I can hear the tree up against the house just slamming into the side, and this tree is the one where the Robin has made her nest and has her babies, so I keep going out there to check on them.

Robin babies

They're all huddled together. I am always so scared that the wind will cause the branch to give out or knock over the nest or something. Ugh!!!

Thankfully within 5 minutes of me being out there trying to support the tree branches somehow, the mama came back to sit on her babies.

Robin mommy

She is so sweet :)

So yes, a little bit of running around, lots of laundry going in the meantime, and some yummy food being prepared for dinner.

Curry Spices

Is there anything like the aroma of curry cooking on the stove? Oooohhhh I just love all these spices cooking away.

Right after dinner, I got everything washed up and the kitchen clean and I thought that I was ready to just take a shower and relax on the couch the rest of the night, but had to run back out to Albertsons to pick up milk.

While I was there I also picked up some more cough syrup and Vicks for my boy. Both he and my niece started getting sore throats on Thursday and since then they've slowly been starting to get sick, today they're both down for the count. She came home from her dance competitions and took a shower and was in bed.

My son is about the same, he already had his shower and is in bed too. I gave him some cough and cold medicine, rubbed some vicks on his chest and tucked him in. I hear him coughing from back there but I'm hoping that soon he will get sleepy and get some much needed rest.

And that was my Saturday.

Tomorrow morning we are heading to church, we actually haven't been in a few weeks and need to get back to it. I can't wait :)

Hope you're all having a good Saturday, I'm going to sit back, relax, crochet and watch the movie Labor Day.

Goodnight friends :)

Friday, April 25, 2014

Friday's Letters!

It's been such a busy week, I can't believe the last time I blogged was on Monday.  Oh boy!

Anyway, it's time for Friday's letters, and if you want to join in I've added a Mr. Linky to the bottom of this post.

Dear Jasmine....Happy Birthday my baby girl.  I can't believe that you are turning 15 years old, where has the time flown?  Thank you for being the smartest, prettiest, funniest daughter I could ever have wished for, and I am so excited to see you grow into a young woman.  I love you!

Dear Weather....ok, ok, I know you are in charge, but seriously???  It's practically May and I'm quite done with the cold and the dreary and the frost.  Where is my Spring?

Dear truly are my favorite room in the whole entire house.  Thank you for letting me be myself, for experimenting and for cooking delicious meals for my family.

Dear Lola....if you only knew how much I love your little tongue.  It always seems like it's way too big for your mouth, but the way it hangs out has to be the most adorable thing on earth.

Dear Bella....oh my sweet old pug, you are getting on in years and I see you starting to struggle every day.  I wish I could make your back legs better, but unfortunately I can't.  All we can do is love you and hug you and continue to nurture you for as long as you live.

Dear are my best friend, where would I be without you?  You make mornings so much better.

Dear Blog....I love you, like really really love you.  I am sorry that I haven't been the best of bloggers with my crazy busy life lately, but I promise to try.

Dear Robin....You are such a good mommy to those 4 little babies.  I love watching you feed them and take care of them, and I can't wait to see them grow and fly out on their own.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Happy Homemaker Monday - 04/21/2014

Good morning everyone, well, it's Monday, are you ready for it?  I think I actually am ready to get this week going.

Way I see it, it's one more week closer to moving and getting settled into my new house....and summer break too :)

Anyway, let's get on with our Happy Homemaker Monday!

As I look outside my window:::
I'm actually having to squint, the sun is shining so brightly.  It's windy though so the chairs on my deck are moving to and fro and the trees are whipping about.  I'm so over this wind, it messes with my allergies big time.

Right now I am:::
Drinking a cup of hot coffee with Italian Sweet Cream Creamer, thinking about what I should eat for breakfast.  I'm not really very hungry but I know I should eat something and I just don't know what.

Thinking and pondering:::
On what I have going on this week, not a lot, thankfully.  Also thinking about my blog and how much I want to get back into my daily blog visits and seeing what everyone is up to.  I spend so much time scrolling through Facebook and there's nothing going on there, so I am going to start taking that time and visiting my blog friends.  More and more, I miss the old bloggy days and what blogging really meant, just women sharing their lives, their families, visiting each other, encouraging each blogs seem to be something completely different, more people are vlogging on Youtube, blogs are mostly about giveaways and reviews or people on soapboxes going on and on about how the way they do things is the right way.  It's just not a very pleasant atmosphere, in my opinion.

On my bedside table:::
My Bible
My Kindle - reading The Bookstore by Deborah Meyler
Simple Abundance:  A daybook of comfort and joy

On my tv tonight:::
Granite Flats (need to finish watching last week's episode and the new one from last night)
Turn (watch episode 1 and 2 and 3)
Star Crossed
The Little Couple
The 100
Impractical Jokers
Hangar 1:  The UFO Files
Ancient Aliens
Ghost Adventures
Long Island Medium
Granite Flats
Signed, Sealed, Delivered

Listening to:::
My son talk to me about the game he is playing.  I don't understand anything he is saying or what it means, but it's important to him so I just nod and say yes and smile.  The joys of motherhood right?

On the menu for this week:::
Monday - Tamale Pie
Tuesday - Sausages and Mash
Wednesday - Hamburger Helper, Salad (not my favorite but was requested by the family)
Thursday - Crockpot Bean and Bacon Soup (forgot to put it in the crockpot last week)
Friday - Jasmine's Birthday so out to dinner
Saturday - Homemade Garlic Cheese Pizza, Pepperoni Pizza
Sunday -  Baked Fake Steak, Stuffing, Mash

On my to do list:::
Laundry, haven't done it in, day *shake my head*
Change bed linens
Sweep and Vacuum

Happening this week:::
Monday - Housework, Lucky Leaf Review/Giveaway, Tae Kwon Do
Tuesday - Housework
Wednesday - Tae Kwon Do
Thursday -  Tae Kwon Do
Friday - Jasmine's Birthday
Saturday - Niece's Dance Competition in Twin Falls

What I am creating:::
Working on my corner to corner blanket
Corner to Corner

My simple pleasure:::
Watching and photographing birds

Homemaking tips:::
When you are writing out your schedule for the house, make sure to include time for yourself.  It doesn't have to be a long time, but even a few minutes here and there will make a huge difference in your day.

Looking around the house:::
Nicholas is on the couch playing a game on his laptop, with Lola sleeping next to him.  My husband is getting ready to leave for work and Jasmine is still asleep, of course.  I have some dishes in the sink to wash, and others that need putting away on the rack.  Living room needs a little tidying up and I'm hoping to get all the floors mopped, but we'll see, with all the laundry and housework and homeschooling, I may end up just being able to sweep. 
From the camera:::
Hot Cross Buns

Prayer List:::
Our upcoming move, finding the right house for us
Friends and family

Bible verse, Devotional:::
This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.
Deuteronomy 30:19

PLEASE, don't add links to this list that are not part of the Happy Homemaker Monday. I've asked numerous times, and I'm frankly quite tired of having to remove links to other posts that shouldn't be in this list. Please be respectful of my request!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Weekend in Review!

Hello my friends :)  I sure hope you're having a wonderful Easter with your family.

I have had a busy, full weekend and I've loved every single second of it, so let me show you what we were up to.


Got our healthy snacks all ready and in the fridge.  Thankfully I have kids who love veggies with ranch, so I always keep a tray handy so they can snack as they wish.

Healthy Snacks

Stepped outside to enjoy some of the blossoms on the tree.  From a distance, my tree looks like it's filled with cotton balls, it's so pretty.


Got my Hot Cross Buns baked for Easter.

Hot Cross Buns

My husband grilled some steaks for lunch.  The weather was gorgeous, 77 degrees, and it was the perfect time to fire up the grill.

Grilled Steak for lunch

Dyed some eggs for Easter.

Egg Dyeing

Hubby and I went by one of the Thrift Stores in town, as they were having a big sale.  I can't resist cookbooks, I just can't, so picked these 3 up, and only for a dollar for all.

Thrift Store Cookbooks

Also saw this one and I've been wanting it for a while, so snatched it up.

Simple Abundance

And look.....oh my goodness, who doesn't love the movie Fried Green Tomatoes?  What a classic, so glad I found it.

Thrift Store Find


Started the morning with a cup of hot coffee, out on the deck.  Enjoyed the birds chirping, and the wind moving the tree branches back and forth.

Beautiful purple blossoms

Prepared a delicious brunch for Easter.  We had Hot Cross Buns, Cinnamon Rolls, Bacon, Sausage, Biscuits and Deviled Eggs.

Easter Brunch

Hung out with some of my favorite people in this world, laughed, chatted, talked about what has been going on the past week and then attempted to take some photos, which always results in things like this.

Crazy Family

Bunch of crazy people, but so much fun to hang out with.

After they left, my husband had to run to the commissary for work, but it didn't take too long thankfully :) 

And now I'm sitting down in the front of the TV with my crochet, and enjoying my Sunday night shows.

Corner to Corner

Signed, Sealed, Delivered just premiered on the Hallmark Channel, so far I'm enjoying it, it's quite a cute concept.

Long Island Medium is next, then Granite Flats, Turn and the new Salem on the WGN channel.  I've always been fascinated with the Salem Witch Trials, so I'm curious about this new show.

All in all, like I said above, we had a great weekend and I hope you did too.  :)

Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday's Letters

So it's Friday and I decided to join in on Friday's Letters.  I had seen this meme around the blogs since last year and wanted to participate, but just never got around to it, and I think today is it, so here we go.

Dear Friday...I am so glad you're here, I look forward to you each week but this one even more, I am looking forward to relaxing after dinner and catching up on some shows.

Dear Husband....I love you, with all my heart.  I know right now we're stressed with the upcoming move and we do butt heads sometimes, but we'll get through it together.  The fact that you left for your second job after a disagreement with me, and then come right through that door 5 minutes later to wrap me in your arms and apologize, meant more than you will ever know.

Dear Jasmine....I know you're a teenager, but geez, how much can one person sleep?

Dear Nicholas....I'm glad you're enjoying your new birthday games, but really, do you need another one?  I know you already finished most of them, but we aren't exactly made of money, and last I checked, it doesn't grow out on any of our back yard trees.

Dear pugs....I love you so much, you bring me joy like nothing else, even when you're drinking water and then dripping all over the floors, or when you do your dinner take outs and spread the food pellets over my living room carpet.

Dear've served me well for 39 years, I guess you're just tired from the work I put you through each day.  I promise to take better care of you.

Dear Eye Doctor....thank you for making my children and I, feel so welcome in your office.  For the laughs, for the jokes, for treating my children like your own.  I think we have found our eye doctor for this area.

Dear're out in full force and I'm loving the flower blooms in all my trees.  Could do without the pollen being thrown around by the winds though.

Dear Easter....well, here you are again.  I always look forward to you arriving, even though it brings me immense sadness and joy at the same time.  I can't wait to celebrate you this weekend.

Dear Jesus....I love You, I adore You, I couldn't be who I am without You.  I want to thank You again for Your sacrifice on this Good Friday, and I can't wait to relive your Resurrection on Sunday. 

If you decide to do your own Friday's Letters, leave me a link in your comments, I would love to come and read :)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Seeing things differently!

Oh friends, I am now officially in the "Eyes going bad as I get older" Club. 

This morning the kids and I had our annual eye exam, well annual until now because from here on out it's every two years since my husband is now retired. 

Anyway, I have mentioned before that I have dry eyes, it's one of the things that I developed when we moved to Arizona back in 2007.  Boy did I have serious issues, I had never expected nor known that dry eyes could make someone so miserable.

Since then, it's just been something I've had to deal with, I use my eye drops every day, I try to stay out of the wind or wear sunglasses if I'm out in it, and I just do what I can.  One of the things I've noticed though, and my doctor had warned me about, is that dry eyes do affect your vision.

I had noticed that before, but the past year my eye sight has been slowly deteriorating and I find myself squinting a lot at the TV or to see something in the distance.  I can see it, I can read the signs but it's not clear and everything seems fuzzy and slightly blurry.

I knew that my eyes had been getting worse and so I kind of knew that by the time I made it to the eye doctor, things wouldn't be looking too good for me.  And true enough, he told me that not only are my dry eyes affecting my vision BUT the changes I'm experiencing are normal and unfortunately your eye sight does change with age.

I now have a prescription for bifocals.  Mainly to wear when I drive, or if I'm watching TV while doing crochet etc.  I know it's going to get some getting used to, having to go from wearing nothing to bifocals can't possibly be a simple adjustment, but for the joy of seeing perfectly clear, I will do whatever it takes.

We take our vision for granted when we don't have issues with it, but the minute it starts changing we suddenly become very aware of how much we need it, and how unbalanced we feel without it.

Just another new chapter in my life, after all, I am about to turn 40 in just a few months.

So tell me, did you notice a change in your vision as you approached your 40's? 
Do you wear bifocals and was it easy for you to adjust to?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Me day!


Hello my friends, how are you doing this morning?  I can't believe it's already Wednesday.

It's one of those days for me, every once in a while I get a day where I feel like I need to decompress and just be myself, do nothing, relax, basically just take care of me.  We know that as mothers and wives and homemakers that is never an easy thing to do because there is so much that requires our attention, but it's so extremely important to take some time for ourselves to recharge, so that we can continue to do for everyone else.

Our busy schedules are finally seeming to slow down slightly.  My husband is now done with his Chemistry class which means no more in school classes, just online.  He still has 3 others to finish off for this semester but I think those will be done in a few weeks.

Homeschooling is winding down too as we get to the end of the year.

But with all these things winding down, something else is kicking off, and that is our upcoming move.

Tree blossoms

We reached a decision, and after a lot of thought and pros and cons and back and forth, right up until the last minute of starting our loan application, we decided that it's not the right time to buy a house.

So many factors went into this decision, namely we just feel that since he retired but 7 months ago, we need to make sure we are completely financially stable before taking on such a huge undertaking.....and it's not that we're in a bad place, we have excellent credit scores, only have 1 credit card and 1 car payment, but we want to get those two paid off within the next 2 years before buying a house.

Something else that factored hugely in the decision, is the fact that my husband is but 2 classes away from his Bachelors.  Currently he is majoring in Business which is what his career field in the Air Force put him in, but he does not like it.  He is passionate about anything Science and Physics, Chemistry and Astronomy etc.  So, he is going to take this next semester off to relax a bit because it's been very hard on him the past year, and then he'll finish off his Bachelors in Business and then switch his Masters to Science something or other, he is not exactly sure which.

One of his dreams is to join NASA one day and that is what he is working towards, so right now our future is very uncertain, we're not quite sure if we will end up staying in our area forever, or if we may have to move if he gets accepted into NASA etc....because all the jobs he qualifies for within it are either in Virginia or Florida.  I just don't know.  Now it could be that he gets into the University here in Boise in their Science Department too.  But yes, lots of unknowns at this time.


So yeah, renting for the next two years, paying off all our debts and seeing where we'll be staying is our priority right now.  Our dream of owning our own house is just being put on hold for a few more years, and that's ok, we don't want to rush into anything, we would rather play it smart.

That's a bit of what has been going on around here.  I've also had my usual housework, of course, that is a daily occurrence.

Come along with me, let me show you a typical day around here.....


A few of you have asked me about my cute slippers and where I got them, so I thought I would answer that question. I found them at Walmart and they also have purple ones, but I love pink so those were the ones I picked.


Breakfast time, some hot coffee and my favorite Cinnamon Raisin bread, toasted and slathered in butter.  Yum Yum!

Changing bed sheets

Bed making, on Monday's I strip the beds and wash all the sheets.  It's a lot of work but it's needed, I don't like going more than a week without doing it.

Watching Turn

To make the chores go faster, I either have music playing on my laptop, or I'm watching some youtube videos while I iron, or I put on my DVR while cleaning my room and catch up on some shows.  Monday I was trying to watch the first episode of Turn, and from what I saw I really liked it, but I have to finish watching that episode plus the new one that just played on Sunday.

Watering plants

Time to water all the plants in the kitchen and dining area.  I like to give them a good soaking and leave them sitting in the sinks for a good while.

Washing dishes

Then it's time to pack away the dinner dishes from the night before, and wash the breakfast ones.  It's like laundry to me, it's just never ending.

Mail time

Usually mid morning is when my mail comes, so off to check it.  I never really get anything exciting in there, just junk mail and bills, but Wednesdays are the days that the local sale ads come out, so I like those to see what is on sale and if anything is worth looking into.

Dinner Prep

Fixing one of my husband's favorite dinners on earth, so easy and yet if I let him, he would eat the whole skillet by himself.  Smoked sausage, potatoes and green beans.


After dinner dishes washed and drying.  I sometimes want to just leave everything in the sink and deal with it in the morning, just because usually by that time of the day I'm tuckered out, but I push through it and feel much better when the kitchen is nice and clean and tidy.

Lunar Eclipse

We wanted so badly to see the Lunar Eclipse, and I snapped this picture around 10pm our time.  But, unfortunately within 30 minutes of this shot, the clouds moved in and completely covered the eclipse.  My poor kiddos were so disappointed.


Yesterday was my paperwork day, and I decided that I was going to redo my budget folders.  You may think it's something fast, but it's really not, it was very time consuming but worth it.  I'm changing up our budget plan so that we can pay off as much debt as possible in the next two years.  It won't be easy but it's doable and it's imperative to our financial freedom.

I'm also setting up 3 more folders, and redoing my Home Management Binder, so yeah, lots of work to do on those.  I'll show you once it's all done.


Which leads me to today.  Oh my friends, today is my ME day, I need it so badly.  One of the main reasons I am taking today off is that I haven't been feeling too well lately.  Not sick, but just unwell and I think it's due to the fact that I haven't been drinking water and I haven't been eating my veggies and fruit as I should.  I also haven't taken my vitamins in quite a long time.

So I've decided it's time to get back on track with everything.  I started my vitamins again this morning, but every time I take Calcium, I get headaches and bit nauseous.  I've talked to my doctor about and I've tried all the tips she suggested, but unfortunately it's just something I guess I have to deal with.


I have such a headache right now, hence one of the reasons today is my relax day.

I've been drinking water for the past two days, and let's just say that the bathroom and I have gotten quite reacquainted Hahahah  It's so hard when I've fallen off the water wagon to get back onto it, but I'm determined to do it.....I just flavor my water with lemon or orange and grapes and it makes it easier.

Also, I'm going back to my green smoothies every day, either for breakfast or lunch.  My children LOVE them too and we're all getting in our intake of veggies and fruits for the day, plus it's much healthier than the junk around us.  You can check out the recipe for one of my favorites, the Mango Banana Green Smoothie, over on my food blog.

Mango Banana Green Smoothie

I just got done helping Nicholas with his schooling, Jasmine is working on her History paper and I'm going to work on a little crochet.  Dinner tonight is Tacos and then we have Tae Kwon Do to take the kids to, I'm hoping I'll be feeling better by then.

Corner to Corner Blanket

I am sorry this post is so long, I feel like I had so much to tell you about and once I get going, it's quite hard to stop.

Anyway, I better get on out of here. Have a great rest of Wednesday :)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Bellagrand by Paullina Simons - TLC Book Tour

• Paperback: 400 pages
• Publisher: Harper (March 27, 2014)

Love was just the beginning of their journey

Gina and Harry gave up everything to be together. But they both want different things—from their marriage, from life, from each other . . . and from the shifting world around them.

Gina, independent, compassionate, and strong, desperately wants a family. Harry, idealistic and fiercely political, wants to create a better world, a better country. At a crossroads and at cross-purposes, they pursue their opposing dreams at great cost to themselves and those near to them. Through years of passion and turmoil they rail, rage, and break each other’s hearts, only to come face-to-face with a stark final choice that will forever determine their destiny.

Their journey takes them through four decades and two continents, from extreme poverty to great wealth, from the wooden planks of the troubled immigrant town of Lawrence, Massachusetts, to the marble halls and secret doors of a mystical place called . . . Bellagrand.

About the Author

Paullina Simons is the author of the acclaimed novels Tully, Red Leaves, Eleven Hours, and The Bronze Horseman. Born and raised in St. Petersburg, Russia, she graduated from Kansas University in Lawrence, Kansas, and has lived in Rome, London, and Dallas. She currently lives in New York City with her husband and half of her children.

Find out more about Paullina at her website, follow her on Twitter and connect with her on Facebook.

 My Thoughts:

To be completely honest, I wasn't quite sure if I was going to enjoy the book or not.  The cover was the first thing that caught my eye, as always, it seems to be the one thing that draws me into reading a book.

Not to say that I haven't been surprised in a good and bad way when just going by the covers alone.

The story is about Gina and Harry, though I do feel that Harry plays the bigger part, or maybe it's because I saw him as being the instigator in a lot of things that happened in their lives.

They are both head strong, independent and in love with each other.  Yes, because even through all the instances that had me wanting to reach through the book to strangle Harry, I still felt that he did love her.

Gina on the other hand is hopelessly devoted and in love with her husband, no matter how ridiculous and heartbreaking some of his choices are.  Selfish is the word that jumps out at me, he is so self absorbed and so worried about himself that he does things without a second thought as to the consequences or how it affects those he claims to love.  I found myself so irritated with Gina at times, just wanting her to speak up, stand up to him, say something, but that didn't really happen.

It's not a bad story, but usually when I get to the end of a book I know for sure whether I liked it or disliked it, and this one I'm completely on the fence.  I just plain don't know.

Thank you to TLC Book Tours for providing me with a review copy.