Thursday, July 31, 2014

{ The Essence of the Homemaker }

Without a doubt, the most asked question I get, and emails I receive, pertain to my homemaking.

Why do I enjoy it so much, how do I get it all done with a smile on my face, and what is it about homemaking that I love.

I am by no means an expert on this subject, and I can't begin to even slightly represent homemakers everywhere.  I can only speak from my own experience as a homemaker and wife for the past 16 years.

One of the library books I picked up the other day, was also the one I dug into first.  "A Thousand Years Over a Hot Stove" by Laura Schenone.

As I started leafing through the pages and browsing the different pictures and themes, I came across one that immediately stood out to me.  It talked about the essence of the homemaker, and what exactly that meant.

In 1615, English farming expert Gervase Markham tried to pin down the essence of a housewife in his magnum opus, The English Housewife. (A Thousand years over a hot stove) 
I found it interesting to look through the list he had compiled and to contrast it with our modern homemakers, or more specifically, with myself and what I do in the household today.

1.  She was a healer who, from her nearby kitchen garden, could concoct all sorts of herbal remedies and medicinal waters for the curing and prevention of sickness.

I wouldn't call myself a healer, but I do still concoct different things for the well being of my family.  Whether it be some rice water for an upset stomach, a cough and cold tea for the winter days, or a special tea for a sore throat.  I love herbs, I love reading about their medicinal attributes and how I can still use them in this day and age.

2.  She was a butcher and preserver of meat who could transform all animal innards, flesh and organs into roasts and bacon, salted meats, stews and minced pies.  She was comfortable sawing apart bones, reaching in for the treasured suet fat near the kidneys, and making good culinary use of all animal parts, such as brains and intestines.

Well, I am not a butcher, matter of fact I thank the Lord that I don't have to butcher any animals for the meat I need to feed my family.  I am not saying that if I had to, and our lives depended on it, I wouldn't do it, but I'm just glad I don't need to.  But I do make good culinary use of all the meat at my disposal.  We'll just leave the brains and intestines out though.....I will say that when I was 2 years old my mother would feed us sheep brains.  Excuse me while I gag.  So glad I don't recall actually eating that.  BLECH!!

3.  She was a dairy manufacturer who could milk the cows each morning, churn the butter, and transform cream and milk into cheese - including fresh curd dishes, as well as hard aged cheeses that would preserve treasured nutrients for winter.

I do make my own butter, I love buying raw milk and skimming the top for the butter.  I do make some homemade cheeses, and yogurt and ice cream and try again, to make use of everything at my hands.  I guess I could call myself a dairy manufacturer, minus the milking of the cows.

4.  She was a brewer who quenched her family's thirst with ale.  Before the arrival of coffee and tea, the English drank a weak alcoholic beer as their primary beverage - even for breakfast.  (Some have speculated that the alcohol killed harmful bacteria, making the water safer to drink.)

I guess this is where I differ immensely from the old homemaker.  You definitely won't find me brewing beer in the back yard, or drinking such beer for breakfast.

5.  She was a baker.  In those days, brewing and baking went hand in hand.  The "barm", or foam of a beer, was the chief leavening agent of bread.  Weekly, the housewife used the by-product of her brewing to make wheat, barley, and oats into risen loaves called manchets.

Wouldn't call myself an excellent baker, I think I'm much better cooking than baking.  With that said, I do bake every week, especially bread, so yes, I do consider baking a big part of my homemaking chores.

6.  She was an excellent gardener.

Well, not really.  I used to call myself the Thumb of Death for many, many years.  Over the past I would say, 4 years or so, I have become quite good with gardening and have been able to grow quite a lot of things, veggies and flowers and herbs.  Again, I do consider it a part of my homemaking life, growing herbs and veggies especially, contribute to the meals I prepare.

7.  She was a notable cook.  A wife could love and obey, but if she didn't know how to cook, she could perform only "half her vow".  Her repertoire encompassed boiling, roasting, and preserving all types of meat, fowl and fish, from mutton to pig to goose and mallard to pike, carp, and trout.  She new how to make a wife variety of sauces for these meats.  She knew how to make pies, puddings, and marvelously interesting salads.  She "conserved" berries and other fruits into jams.  She pickled cucumbers for winter.

Yes, yes, and a big YES!   My love for cooking grew from a very young age.  I've often talked about the huge impact that my greatgrandmother had on my life.  I would sit at her feet while she prepared the evening's meal, and I would beg for a little potato, for a pot, for water, for salt and pepper.  I was so happy sitting there pretending to make soup.
I've loved cooking ever since I can remember, I would say 5 years old if not younger, and it's something that has only grown over the years.

For me, it's one of the most important jobs in my home.  The ability to know how to prepare meals for my husband and children, and give them good nutrition.

Homemakers are effective and valued for their skills.  Or at least, they should be.

The husband works to provide the tools that will in return enable the wife to do her homemaking chores.  I think as a married couple, one can't live without the other, they are equally important to the family well being.

I take a lot of pride in being a homemaker.  I hold my head up high when asked what I do for a living, and I smile through each task I complete in a day.

Mundane, repetitive, sometimes boring tasks, the same thing over and over.  One could easily become frustrated and resentful, but I think it's up to us to embrace what we do and not be ashamed of it.

I found that the minute I started tackling each day with a joyful attitude and knowing just how important my jobs are in the home, that I started loving and I mean, really loving being a housewife.  I wouldn't trade it for anything in this world.

The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
Genesis 2:18

Now I ask you.....what do you think is the essence of a homemaker, and how do you feel about your own role in the home?

"Laura Schenone's Books." Laura Schenone's Books. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 July 2014.

{ Cooking Thursday - 07/31/2014 }

Here is a simple but delicious meal to get going in your crockpot.  I love using mine, it frees up my day and allows me to concentrate on other things while dinner cooks away.

Crockpot Beef Stroganoff

Crockpot Beef Stroganoff
Source:  All Recipes

1 1/2 pounds top round steak, cut into strips
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 onion, chopped
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 (8 ounce) can canned mushrooms
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon dried chives
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cube beef bouillon
1/4 cup white wine
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 (16 ounce) container sour cream
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

Place the beef in the bottom of a slow cooker, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Place onion on top of beef, and then add mushroom soup, mushrooms, and water. Season with chives, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, and bouillon.

In a small bowl, mix together the wine with the flour. Pour over the beef.

Cover, and cook on Low for 6 to 7 hours. Stir in the sour cream and parsley, and continue cooking for 1 hour.

{ Exploring }


One of our favorite things to do as a family, is to get in the car and drive somewhere to go exploring.  We will often hike to the top of a small mountain, or just go walking around enjoying the fresh air and learning as we go.

This afternoon, we picked up our niece and nephew and took a drive about 5 minutes from home.

Drove around a little bit and then parked the car and took a walk towards one of the old volcanoes in the area.


My husband is currently taking a Geology class and so this was the perfect spot for him to take a look at the volcanic rocks around, study some of the other rock structures and teach all the kids something. Hey, I'm all for a fun afternoon that is also educational.


And I must tell you, I had a good giggle, as I quickly realized that I am so used to lugging around my purse, that I took it up there with me on the little hike. I mean, really? Hahahaha I must be the only hiker who takes a purse on such explorations...and the hubby and kids sure had a good laugh at my expense.


This place also brought back quite a few memories for us. We first visited it back in 2006, my kids were so little and I took quite a few pictures of their cute selves walking around out there, holding hands and helping each other out. You can go read those posts if you wish, it's fun to go back and see how much they've changed.


He was completely in his element. It's fun seeing the joy and excitement in his face when he is explaining where these rocks came from, why they're there, how they came to be.

We walked on for a little bit, before all the kids started complaining of one thing or another. One was feeling sick, the other's legs hurt, the other one was thirsty and one was going to throw up. Yes, the old people were the ones doing ok, cause the young ones couldn't cut it. Hahaha


So, we did the sensible thing, headed back on down and headed home.


These two are so cute together, I love seeing them holding hands and just walking along, talking and laughing.


But not before I snapped a few more pics, like this one of this dirt devil.  The kids thought it was funny, it kicked up a bunch of tumbleweeds further on down.


Lots of interesting rocks to look at.


It was a fun, interesting, educational afternoon.  I do enjoy days like this, because whatever they learned up on that little volcano, they will remember and when school starts again and they are faced with questions about the different types of rocks, sedimentary and metamorphic and so on, they may just remember some of the things they saw.


Tomorrow is a busy one for us.  I have to get up early, finish my menu planning and grocery list, and then head to the store.  My hubby has work and school, and we also want to get some work done on the yards.

I'm hoping to get a few moments to watch some documentaries on YouTube.  I finished the Coal House, and started Coal House at War which I'm enjoying.  On my Watch Later list though, I have so many interesting documentaries that I can not wait to watch, like Turn Back Time:  The Family, Inside the body of Henry the VIII (you know me and my fascination for Henry VIII), The True History of English Food and Secrets of the Manor House.    Ooohhh so much goodness, I am having a hard time deciding which I'll watch first.

Right, now I'm going to head on to bed, it is very late, already 11:15pm and we are just getting back from Tae Kwon Do and some visiting with the family.  I'm tired and ready to climb under the warm covers.

Have a blessed restful night, and I'll see you all back here in the morning.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

{ Peak at the Kitchen }

(The chair pads are not staying, I'm going to crochet some padded cushions instead)

I know a couple of you have been asking to see the finished table and chairs.  I have waited to show any pictures because it's not yet complete.  Honestly, I need to give the yellow bench it's second coat but we've had rain the past few days and I've held of doing that.

Nevertheless, I've decided to go ahead and give you a peak anyway.  I still need to get my bunting up, but for the most part my kitchen is pretty much finished.

For a long time, and I mean, the past 16 years or so that we have been renting while in the military, I have shied away from painting any wall, because first, we weren't allowed to.  Over the past few years, they have started allowing it, but with the condition that you repaint it back to it's original state once you leave the house.....and I didn't want to have to deal with all that.

Problem is that it really kept me from having the kitchen I've always wanted, I made do with what I had and tried to keep things very simple, but it never was what I wanted.

This time, I've decided to throw caution to the wind and just go with it.  I want to walk into my kitchen every morning and smile and know that it is just how I want it.

It's very close to feeling that way, even though I'll admit it already makes me extremely happy.

Chalkboard Wall

The past few days I've been busy working on this wall. Another something I've wanted for years but never did have the nerve to do it in a rental. It still needs a little touch up on the sides, but I will deal with that later.

I am using an enamel mug to hold the chalk, and it will stay right there in that spot.  If need be, I may moved it behind the basket, but for now it's fine where it is.

Am smitten with the wall, and already envision so many ideas for it. It really does make the kitchen for me. MY kitchen, which is light and bright and airy and cute and Cath Kidston and just full of joy.


I am not happy with the curtains or the curtain rod at the moment, so I will be changing that up very soon.  I am trying to talk my hubby into building me a shelf above the window, it will be painted white and I will display all my mason jars up there.....or  my Cath Kidston goodies.  Either one.

He did build me one many years ago, matter of fact let me see if I can find it.

This is the only picture I could find, you can kinda see it up on the left hand corner.  I still kick myself over this shelf because when we moved to Arizona, we didn't take it with us, matter of fact we left it up on the window and the houses were torn down soon after.  UGH!!!

Anyway, I'm hoping for another one here soon.


This project cost me nothing at all, as we had a can of chalkboard paint back from Arizona, that was still unopened....and now that I've opened it, I can't seem to stop chalkboarding everything in sight. Oh boy!

I have a few jars that I am planning to paint labels on, it does make it so much easier to change up what the contents are, and I think it looks cute to boot.

I am also working on chalkboard painting something on my video cabinets, I'll show you once that's done.

Since we're on the subject of paint and my kitchen, I thought I would show you my little plant box that I mentioned the other day. It was something hubby had started building a long time ago and then lost interest and said I could throw it out or keep it. Being the frugal thrifty gal I am, I knew exactly what I wanted it for.

Garden Box

The spinach and lettuce are quite happy in there....and it's painted red, to match the pops of color in my kitchen.

When I was done getting the pictures taken, I headed to base with my husband.  He had to go get some work done at the commissary and I decided to go along and go hang out at the library.  I hadn't been to this one since 2007, actually it's not even where it used to be anymore, it's in a new location and it's pretty big.

I don't know what it is about libraries.  The fun thing?  I was able to keep my very old library card, all she did was add me back into the system.  It shouldn't make me giddy with excitement, but for some reason knowing that I'm using the same old card I used all those years ago, just makes me happy.

Really, I'm quite a sappy girl aren't I?  Hahaha

I was there for about an hour, just walking around, getting to know the new library, checking out books, and I even sat on a super comfy couch for 30 minutes and dug right into one of the books I got.

Library Books

Afghan Lover's Collection
America's Women:  400 years of dolls, drudges, helpmates and heroines
Staking her Claim
Grandma's Wartime Kitchen
A Thousand years over a Hot Stove
The Glass Kitchen
Blessing the Hands that feed us

The book I dug into, was "A thousand years over a hot stove", and I'm intrigued by it already.  The book author follows the different eras and different women through the years and talks about their role in the kitchen and the home, and also shares recipes from those eras.  I am really enjoying it already, and I think I may share it with you all as I go along.  Lots of interesting facts in there, such as what to pack for the journey out west. 

Also, sitting on my kitchen counter I have the book that came in for review.  I have a few recipes I want to try from there, things that I've cooked before but different versions so I want to try these recipes.

Book for review

So there you go, just a tiny peek into my kitchen, I will share more as I add things and finish things up.

Do hope you enjoyed it :)

Monday, July 28, 2014

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 07/28/2014 }

Good morning everyone, can you believe it's Monday again?  I know I always say that time flies but goodness this weekend really feels like I blinked and missed it.

Anyway, let's get going, I got my coffee and I'm ready to move on.

Breakfast time....what is on the plate this morning::::
right now, my huge cup of coffee with my vanilla creamer.  I don't know if I am ready to eat anything yet, but if I do, it will probably be wholewheat toast with butter and maybe a slice of cheese.

On today's to do list::::
Laundry - iron one load and put it away.  Other than that, it's all done.
Put the pool away
Give the back yard a good cleaning
Wanted to give my yellow bench another coat but it's cloudy and rainy today
Take Jasmine to Tae Kwon Do tonight

Currently reading::::
Treacherous Trust by L.V. Delcid, for an upcoming review.

On the TV today::::
Portuguese Soaps - Beijo do Escorpiao, Mulheres, Agua de Mar.
Coal House  - Remember the 1940's house, Pioneer House etc?  This is just like it.
Coal House at War - After Coal house, came Coal House at War. 
Whatever is on the DVR that hubby wants to catch up on. 

The weather outside is::::
Cloudy.  You know I just realized that is exactly how it was last Monday too?  Maybe it's becoming a pattern hahaha.  I love rain so I'm quite chuffed with this, cooler temps, some rain, perfect.
On the menu this week::::
Monday - Chicken Tetrazzini, Salad
Tuesday - Oven Chili Dogs
Wednesday - Cheesy Spanish Rice Casserole, Veggies
Thursday - Homemade Quesaritos
Friday -  *Grocery Shopping *
Saturday -
Sunday -

If I have a few minutes to myself, I will::::
Pull out the sewing machine and work on the Quilt. 

New recipe I tried, or want to try this week::::
This week I'll be making some Homemade Quesaritos which is our current favorite thing from Taco Bell.  Also trying out a Cheesy Spanish Rice Casserole.  Recipes will be posted on the days I make these meals.  

In the garden::::
Everything is still growing nicely.  I am also wanting to plant Lavender all around my deck, I think it would be amazing out there once it grows.  

Favorite photo from the camera::::
A few houses up the road, we have some horses, and sometimes the kids like walking over to go say hi and check them out.

Homemaking Tip::::
My kids each have a laundry basket in their bedroom.  In order for me to make them do a chore and also teach them something about keeping a home, I have each of them do their own laundry every Saturday.  I just oversee it, but for the most part they already know exactly what to do. 

Visiting with Blog friends (blog you want to share, blog post that caught your eye)::::
So many caught my eye this past week, oh my goodness I found amazing inspiration out there.  I can't wait for some down time today to maybe sit down and go read some older posts on some of these.  I can't even begin to pronounce this blog's name, but you have to go check it out and see what they did with two little caravans.  What a neat idea.

Praying for::::
Rain, we do need it here.
My gran, I love her and miss her so much.

Bible Verse, Devotional that is resonating with me at the moment::::

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, July 27, 2014

{ On a quiet Sunday }

Let's sit down and have a little chat.  I want to tell you what I love doing on a quiet Sunday afternoon.

Crochet, yes of course.  Reading, yes definitely.  Gardening, sewing etc., yes and yes and yes, but what I most like doing is sitting down with my laptop and visiting blog land.

First I need to tell you that I am so happy to be back to blogging full time.  I've got this renewed love for the blogging world, something which had been missing for a long time.  It's back, and back with a vigor, very reminiscent of when I made my first posts back in 2006.

I remember the joy I would feel each day thinking about the blog and what I would be posting about, and I would be equally excited at the prospect of going through my blog list and visiting everyone, seeing what they were up to and what they were sharing.

Fast forward to today and I feel the exact same way, and it's a feeling that I am more than happy to embrace.

Right, now that I got that out of the way, let me tell you what I like doing.

Finding new blogs, spending an hour or two reading the posts and going back through the archives, sometimes right to the beginning....especially if those said blogs are from England.  Shocking isn't it?

You know sometimes I wonder why I have such a strong pull to that beautiful country, what is it that makes me long for it, love it, love everything about it and feel so strongly connected.  I always tell my husband I was born in the wrong country.

Anyway, that is exactly what I am doing today, and I have found a ton of new blogs to follow and indulge in.  I feel like I live vicariously through my British friends, especially when they are going for drives on the weekend to the most stunning places on earth.

Truth be told, if I were to be living in England, I may not have a blog, I would be far too busy exploring and visiting, and taking in all the beauty that the country has to offer.

And I realize I just went completely off topic, yet again, I can't help it when I start thinking of England.

Right, I'm back on track and now I want to show you some of the great ones I've come across.  Maybe I'll start doing this every Sunday, sharing some great blogs for you to enjoy too.

Quietly Stitching - Lots and lots of beautiful crochet photos and some stitchery in there too.
Oyster and Pearl - Stunning photos, lots of color.
The Owl and the Accordion - So much to love in this blog, the photos, the inspiration, the bursts of color
Country Rabit - I'm a sucker for vintage looking photos, and for white shelves with tons of Cath Kidston inspired dishes.
Miss Pickering - Another blog that I spent about an hour on when I first came across it, just going back through the posts.

Tell me, what is your favorite way of spending a quiet Sunday afternoon?

Saturday, July 26, 2014

{ When Summer starts wearing me down }

I love Summer.  There, I have said and I want to be sure that you all understand where I stand.

The problem is that Summer seems to always be a time where I find myself quite busy, it's like I'm trying to cram as much fun as possible into 3 months, before the new school year kicks off.

I don't know about you all, but there comes a point where I start getting a little overwhelmed, a little summered out and that is usually when I force myself to step back and do something that I find calming.

Enter sewing.....

Sewing Day

I've often talked about what sewing means to me..... a connection to my grandmother who I love dearly. She taught me everything I know about sewing machines, and sergers and invisible hems and alterations and dress making.

Sewing Day

Now, I haven't really applied all those things I've learned, as I don't always have my sewing machine at hand. It would be nice to one day have my own sewing/craft room where I can leave the machine up and ready to go.

Hurtling it back and forth from my closet upstairs to the kitchen downstairs, gets quite frustrating.

But when summer starts getting me down, and I feel like I need to ground myself and do something quiet and calm, I turn to things like gardening and sewing and book reading.

Sewing Day

The other day I came across my fabric stash, it was still in a box, and some of the fabric I had completely forgot I even had. I used to buy it when it was on sale, still back in Arizona, and just saved it for a future project.

These greens, browns and blues looked just right for what I had in mind.

A quilt.

So, after housework was done, the laundry washed and the floors swept, I pulled the sewing machine down, set it up on my kitchen table and got to work.

I spent 3 hours just sitting, the machine purring away, the fabric slowly being paired up and formed into panels while enjoying a cup of hot green tea.  That is my newest obsession and something I have at least 3 times a day.

While I sewed, I had my laptop nearby turned to a radio station in Portugal.  It is called M80 and all they play are oldies from the 80's, which I love.

I sang along to Billy Idol's "White Wedding", Poison's "You and I", Erasure "A Little Respect" and so many other hits from my childhood.  Oh the memories.

Isn't it funny how a certain song can take you right back to a moment in time, a certain age, something you were wearing, a place you were at, thoughts you were having?

After 3 hours, I got everything put away because dinner needed to be started.  I am making a simple Jambalaya with some smoked turkey sausage.  Simple and yummy!

I'm sure I'll sew more tomorrow.

Redeemed Picnic Basket

I just had to show you my new picnic basket.  I have never had one but it was something I always wanted.

There was a knock at the door yesterday while we were eating dinner, and hubby came in with a big box.  It was from my dear friend Heather.

This is my birthday present.  I can't even tell you how touched I was.  Heather is that kind of friend that you make and no matter what happens or how far apart you may be, she is always there when you need her.  I love her and I do miss her terribly.

Redeemed Picnic Basket

I am so in love with this basket, it is beautiful and I can't wait to use it. Of course my favorite part of the basket has to be the lid with the scripture.

From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. - John 1:16

Just beautiful!!!

I am  extremely blessed with the friends that I have, near or far, in which they love me for who I am and constantly and often remind me that I am loved, and appreciated and that I mean something to them. 

In this day and age where everyone seems to be about hurting others, being rude and insulting and means the world to me to know and feel that I'm surrounded by lovely Christian women who hold the same values that I do.  So blessed!!!

{ Five Senses Saturday }


I love my Five Senses Saturday, and although I don't post it every single Saturday, I still think it's a great way to review the past week. What I saw, what I touched, tasted, felt etc....


Tea and coffee station

- M80 Radio online.  A radio station in Portugal that plays all the oldies that I remember
- Lola barking at Bella outside
- The water kettle boiling for tea
- Nic's game on the Xbox
- The wind blowing so hard outside, making my canopy in the backyard whip back and forth


Bowling fun

- How happy all the kids were going bowling
- Dark clouds bringing beautiful rain
- A big box delivered for my birthday, something from a very dear friend
- Candles glowing
- The beautiful colors of my Hexagon Cushion



- Fabric, fabric and lots of fabric
- Dough for my Dinner Rolls
- The spiky stem of my cucumber plant
- The fur on Lola's back as I pet her
- The hot steering wheel in my car



- Yummy Meatballs
- Coconut Milk Chocolate
- Cup of Organic Green Tea
- Thin crispy vegetable pizza from Dominos
- Lemon water



- Rain
- Lavender candle
- Bluebonnet Body Lotion from Cath Kidston
- Fresh bread straight from the oven
- The sweetest home grown strawberries

Friday, July 25, 2014

{ Painting the Moon by Traci Borum }

*Publisher: Red Adept Publishing
*Release date: June 7, 2014

When Noelle Cooke inherits a quaint English cottage and an art gallery from her famous Aunt Joy, she welcomes a departure from her San Diego routine. But the lure of the Cotswolds, combined with a locked cottage room and a revealing journal, entice her to stay and discover more, including a way to save the gallery from financial ruin. And that means remaining in England.

When her childhood sweetheart, Adam Spencer, begins work on a restoration project in Noelle’s village, their friendship blossoms. But as her feelings for Adam deepen, she struggles with memories of what might have been and yearns for a future once thought lost. Faced with a life-altering revelation Aunt Joy took to her grave and a wrenching choice regarding the man she loves, Noelle could lose far more than her heart.

About the author:
Traci Borum is a writing teacher and native Texan. She’s also an avid reader of women’s fiction, most especially Elin Hilderbrand and Rosamunde Pilcher novels. Since the age of 12, she’s written poetry, short stories, magazine articles, and novels.

Traci also adores all things British. She even owns a British dog (Corgi) and is completely addicted to Masterpiece Theater-must be all those dreamy accents! Aside from having big dreams of getting a book published, it’s the little things that make her the happiest: deep talks with friends, a strong cup of hot chocolate, a hearty game of fetch with her Corgi, and puffy white Texas clouds always reminding her to “look up, slow down, enjoy your life.”

Oh how much did I love this book?????  Let's just say that I started reading it on my Kindle, carried it with me everywhere I went and snuck reads here and there, every chance I had.

I'm such a sucker for a good romance, cutesy story, and if you throw in England, specifically the Cotswolds, then oh my word, you have me from the get go.

I think one of the things I most loved about the story, is the way the author Traci Borum, writes it.  It just flows.

Have you ever read a book where you find it so hard to get through a paragraph?  All these huge words and dry boring run on descriptions of things without ever really getting to the point?  Yeah, I don't do well with those, but this one was completely the opposite.

Beautifully written, the words flow, it makes sense and it captivates you from the get go.

Right, now to the most important thing, the story itself.

Noelle is a San Diego girl, but is needing a break, so when she gets a call stating that she inherited a quaint little cottage and an art studio from her famous Aunt Joy, she jumps on it.

At first her only thought is to get the cottage and the studio both set up for selling.  She wants to get this done and get back to San Diego, mainly because her boss isn't too thrilled with her being away to begin with.

As she starts getting the cottage cleaned up, she stumbles onto a secret locked room that holds dozens of paintings secretly done by her famous Aunt, but which never made it to light.  She quickly realizes the treasure she came upon and what this means for the failing art gallery.  Millions will be paid for these paintings.

As she is dealing with all of this, she is also reading her Aunt's journal which make some pretty poignant discoveries.

And if that isn't enough, her childhood sweetheart is hanging around.  He is engaged to be married, but both Noelle and Adam fall right into old habits, phone calls, and texting and emails back and forth.

When his fiancee finds out, things quickly go downhill, but the way it all gets resolved in the end is the perfect ending to a perfect book.

The only thing I didn't like about it????????  That it ended.  Truthfully, I was so sad when the story came to an end, I would have easily kept reading it forever, that is how much I was enjoying this book.

Give it a try, I think you will really enjoy it.

Thank you to Red Adept Publishing for providing me with a review copy.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

{ Today }


Hexagon Cushion

Couldn't find a pillow I wanted to use as an insert, so I just bought more Poly-Fil.  Not exactly my favorite way of doing these, but it will be fine.


Spending some time with my husband this morning.  It doesn't happen all the time, he is always so busy with work and school, so the days we do get some time to just sit and chat, are very much appreciated.


My husband had started a project making a simple wooden box.  The project never came to fruition and he just doesn't have the time to do anything with it, so I took it, lined it, filled it with soil and planted Spinach and Lettuce.  I just started painting it red today, can't wait to see it finished.


Star Trek:  Deep Space Nine, The Strain, Dominion and Aliens on the Moon.  We've been trying to get rid of all the shows on the DVR.



The Bunting for my Kitchen.  Again, inspired by Cath Kidston and this fabric ties is my white kitchen table and colorful chairs.


Lots and lots of fabric I had packed away.  Quite a few fabric rolls and fat quarters.  Guess what I'm starting tomorrow???  A quilt.


To stop saying tomorrow I'll do it......and to start saying "why not today". To live simply and fully and to enjoy every single moment of my day.