Tuesday, October 31, 2017

{ Happy Halloween - Scary stories }

It is October 31, 2017.  Halloween!!!!

I would love to come in and say that we've carved pumpkins, hung decorations, have picked out our costumes and so forth, but the truth is that, we haven't.

My children are grown, they no longer pay any attention and so, neither do we.  I won't say I don't miss it, I do, I miss the kids being excited, the anticipation of going around getting candy, dressing up and having a blast.  I miss those days.

But times have changed and so we no longer get to do these things, which makes me feel extremely nostalgic.

As I sat this morning thinking about my own childhood and missing it so much, I remembered one of the houses we used to live in.  This house was THE one house that made me a believer in ghosts and the paranormal.

I know a lot of people think it's all a lie, there's no such things and so on, but unfortunately I've had my fair share of experiences and sightings that really affected me for the rest of my life.  They've stayed with me and I think in a way are the reason I enjoy anything supernatural.

So since I'm not doing anything Halloween specific this year, I thought that today would be the perfect day to do something a little different.  I've mentioned some of my experiences with ghosts, quite a few years ago in a different blog post, but I figured that I would tell you all some spooky stories today, more specifically about this house that really started it all.

167 Church Street in Turffontein, Johannesburg, South Africa.

There were so many things that happened to me and to some other family members in that house, and I hope I don't leave anything out, but if you're interested in some spookiness this Halloween and find this kind of stuff interesting, then I suggest you grab a cup of coffee or tea, and sit back.

I'm going to start by showing you the house, and keep in mind it looked very different back then, this was 30 something years ago, but I'm showing you what it looks like now, which is just appalling.

Those two metal gates were not there, the smaller one which was the entrance to the house, was a wrought iron gate, and the one in the driveway (orange gate on the left), was not there at all, it was open. 

The house was pretty big, there was a bedroom for my parents, one for my grandparents, one for my greatgrandma, one for me and one for my 3 brothers.  It had a fireplace, two enclosed patios, a dining room and a big living room etc.

Now before my greatgrandma had her own bedroom, she shared mine with me, and that is when I had my very first experience which completely freaked me out and started this whole journey of turning me into a believer.

When you walked into the bedroom, my bed was on the left, hers was on the right up against the window.  Here's an example of the layout:

It wasn't too long after we moved into the house, couple months maybe.

I woke up in the middle of the night, I din't know why but just did.  I remember looking around the room in the dark and then I noticed someone standing at the window, by the curtains, just looking out.

It was my greatgrandma, she was wearing her white nightgown and had her crochet shawl around her shoulders.  I remember thinking "what is she doing?  did she hear something or see something out there?".  She was standing still, just facing the window and staring out.  I found it strange but wasn't really thinking anything other than it being weird, and just as I was about to call her and ask her what she was looking at, I had this thought come over me that told me to look at her bed.  I don't know why, I can't explain it, but I looked from her figure at the window to her bed and there in bed, she lay, sleeping soundly, snoring away.

I was so scared, I kept staring at her in bed and in that moment questioning what I was seeing, almost debating in my mind or trying to make sense, and as I looked over to the window again...POOF!!!  Nothing.

There was no one standing there. 

I pulled the sheets over my head, and lay there until I fell back asleep.  The next morning I asked her if she was up the night before and she was so confused.  She didn't get up, she didn't look out the window and she had no clue what I was talking about.

That was enough to set me on edge, but little did I know that was just the beginning of my experiences in that horrid house.

Another time, I went to take a shower and while I was waiting for the water to warm up, I felt two hands on my back push me, and it wasn't just a little shove, it was quite a hard push enough that I caught myself on the sink right before my head hit the mirror.  It was so scary that I ran out screaming.

A few months after that, I woke up in the middle of the night to see hands right above my throat as if wanting to choke me, I couldn't see anything other than just darkness and these white hands moving closer and closer.  I tried to scream and couldn't make a sound.  It was terrifying and by the time I got a scream out, they vanished.  I remember running out of my room and jumping into bed with my greatgrandmother.  I refused to sleep in my room for the longest time.

There are so many stories involved with this house.  It got to the point where a lot of us were having experiences and started hating the house, but my dad absolutely loved the house and never understood what the problem was.

Anyway, I've been sharing these stories over on my Instagram stories as well, so if you want to hear them go on over and take a look.  I'll be sharing more tomorrow :)

I'm only sharing the experiences I've had and in no way am I telling you that you should believe in ghosts or what I have to say, I'll leave that up to your own discretion.

But it's a little hard to not be a believer after going through some of these things.

Monday, October 30, 2017

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 10/30/2017 }

Good morning, and Happy Monday!!!

Hope you've all had a wonderful, blessed weekend.  Mine was quite enjoyable, went to a Haunted House Tour on Saturday night with the whole family, then yesterday had the family over for a snacky dinner, some card games and some good ol chatting and fun.

I would say I don't think I got nearly enough rest, and I'm feeling quite exhausted this morning, but then this seems to be the recurring theme as I get older, constantly tired hahah

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

Breakfast time....what is on the plate this morning::::
I have had a cup of coffee with Peppermint Mocha creamer and some plain toast with butter. 

Right now I am::::
I'm sure you know the drill by now, but I'm sitting on the couch, under a blanket, still in my pj's.  I just let Marley out to go potty and the back door is open.....it's chilly out there. 

The weather outside::::
A little chilly at the moment but we'll be up to lower 60's this afternoon.  Unfortunately Wednesday and Thursday will see us in the high 80's again before dipping down to 40's after that.  Honestly, the constant change in temperature is going to see us all sick. 

Looking around the house::::
It's clean.  I gave it a good clean this weekend so that I could enjoy a Monday of not having to face a totally turned upside down, mess of a house.  I do have a lot to do today, I want to paint a shelf, I want to move some things around and also need to clear up the table from last night's get together. 

On today's to do list::::
Laundry.....Have the kid's laundry to do, and also their bedding.  I switched Jasmine's yesterday so need to wash the dirty one, and Nick's I have to remove this morning and put on fresh linens, wash the dirty one etc.  I also want to give my bathroom curtains, and Nick's bathroom curtains a good wash.  I did Jasmine's bathroom yesterday, so no need to worry about that. 
Cleaning.....Just want to dust today, that's mainly what needs doing. 
Homeschooling.....Nick has an essay for English he needs to write.  Have I ever told you how much he loathes essays and writing?  It's like pulling teeth, so I'm not particularly looking forward to that.         
Cooking....I've had too much soda this weekend, even though it was diet, but still my stomach is not impressed.  Also had take out quite a bit, so need to get back on track with my healthy eating, especially with Thanksgiving coming up.  I'm going to switch back to just water, and for lunch I may do a smoothie, or have some yogurt with fruit etc.  Dinner is Padre Island Shells. 

Currently reading::::
The Crooked Path by Irma Joubert.  Really enjoying it since it takes place in South Africa :)

On the TV today::::

I have last night's Outlander all ready to go, and I'll watch it sometime today.
General Hospital.
Walking Dead from last night.
Also have some scary shows that recorded on the DVR. 

On the menu this week::::
Here is last week's meals:

I also have to work on the new menu plan for the following two weeks, so I only have meals until Friday, which is when I'll be grocery shopping.

Monday - Padre Island Shells
Tuesday - Chicken Stew, Biscuits
Wednesday - Meat Pastries, Homemade Fries
Thursday - Spaghetti, Garlic Bread
Saturday -
Sunday -

If I have a few minutes to myself, I will::::
Continue with Part 5 of my Liliana blanket and maybe finish off the row I'm working on the Mandala Madness. 

New recipe I tried, or want to try this week::::

I added my Vanilla Popcorn recipe to the blog.  I'll also be making more fruit cakes this coming weekend and I'll be trying a new recipe, so I'll share that one as well.  Tonight I'll be making the Pare Island Shells, which is not a new recipe on the blog, but I'm updating all the photos, so I'll come back and share the link with you when that is up.      

Looking forward to this week::::

Truly just hoping for a good week, all around.  Don't have anything specific planned, so we will see what we get up to.    

Favorite photo from the camera::::
Jasmine is cosplaying one of her Anime characters, so as always I had some fun snapping some pics. 

Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses::::
Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? - 2 Corinthinas 6:14

Thursday, October 26, 2017

{ It's finally cooling down }

I think that Texas has finally realized that it's Fall.

The past few days we've had pretty cool weather, and it was cold enough yesterday morning, that we started a fire.

My husband and I were able to sit, drink our coffee, chat and slowly wake up before he went to work.  I could get used to those mornings, it felt so good to sit in the quiet darkness and enjoy the crackling fire with a delicious cup of coffee.  Helps you set the tone for the rest of the day.

I've been puttering around lately, not really with a specific project in mind, but getting the housework done and then moving things here and there, and trying to make it more homey.  I'm still struggling to feel like I did about homemaking a few years ago, where I spent every available minute working hard at making things for my home, placing decorations just right and making it a true representation of who I am and what I like.

So I've slowly been trying to get back at that.  One of the things I did a few days ago, was finally make my garland for the fireplace, and I love how it turned out.

All I did was use crochet thread to string the dried orange slices and some Fall leaves from my yard.  The effect is just what I was looking for, beautiful, homemade, simplistic and something that goes perfectly with the Fall and Winter seasons.

You know I was thinking yesterday about how much I miss my kids being younger, in the sense that we always went out of our way to decorate for all the holidays, and the past 2 years we've stopped.

I no longer decorate for Halloween or Easter, or Valentine's day.  Come to think of it, the only season I really go out of the way for is Christmas. 

I miss going to the Pumpkin Patch, and carving pumpkins with the kids, decorating and buying costumes and the anticipation of Trick or Treating.  I see younger families still excited and having that to look forward to, and I remember how that felt, and truly miss it.  But, you know life changes, people change and we are in a new Chapter and Season of our lives and so we adapt and go with the flow.

I guess now I have to look forward to doing all that again with my grandchildren, one day, right?

I've been enjoying watching My Mother and Other Strangers.  It is a fascinating period drama set in Northern Ireland during WWII when the US Army Air Force set up a base in their small town.

What I don't like is that as with so many other period dramas I enjoy, just when I get into it I find out that it's either been cancelled or only has a few episodes.  This one has just 5 episodes and at first I thought that it might be a good idea to not even get into it, but I couldn't help it, I'm a sucker for period drama and even though I know it will end much too soon, I've been loving it.

If you want to watch it for yourself, the link can be found in the Period Drama Series list I posted a few days ago. :)

Crochet wise, I've been trying desperately to finish my Mandala Madness, not for any other reason than I'm quite sick of seeing it staring at me from across the room.  My Atlanticus and my Nuts About Squares are going to turn into Christmas presents for someone, I'm not sure who yet, but just want to give each of them a nice edging, a wash and block and it's done.

My Liliana CAL is coming along nicely, and I'm surprised at how much I like my color combo, I stuck with just 3 colors and am throwing in the occasional white row here and there, but it's very minimal as I don't want it to be a big part of the blanket.

It needs some blocking, but I tend to wait it out and not block as I go.  Some people do, some don't, and I'm in the *leave it until the very end* group.

Not much else is going on around here, at least not anything exciting or worth mentioning at the moment, as the life of a stay at home mom is not really glamorous is it?

I'm finishing up this post and then it will be time to get dinner going.  Tonight we're having one of my favorite comfort meals and something that I would often request as a kid.  Sausages in tomato sauce with Mashed Potatoes.  You'll see it in my Weekly Meals on Sunday night :)

With that said, I just  saw the UPS man drop off a package, which I'm sure is another book for review, so I better go grab that.

Have a wonderful Wednesday night and stay warm friends.  Blessings.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The Grown Ups Guide to Teenage Humans by Josh Shipp - TLC Book Tour

 About The Grown-Up's Guide to Teenage Humans

• Hardcover: 336 pages
• Publisher: Harper Wave (September 19, 2017)

A practical guide to understanding teens from bestselling author and global youth advocate Josh Shipp.

In 2015, Harvard researchers found that every child who does well in the face of adversity has had at least one stable and committed relationship with a supportive adult. But Josh Shipp didn’t need Harvard to know that. Once an at-risk foster kid, he was headed straight for trouble until he met the man who changed his life: Rodney, the foster parent who refused to quit on Shipp and got him to believe in himself.

Now, in The Grown-Up’s Guide to Teenage Humans, Shipp shows all of us how to be that caring adult in a teenager’s life. Stressing the need for compassion, trust, and encouragement, he breaks down the phases of a teenage human from sixth to twelfth grade, examining the changes, goals, and mentality of teenagers at each stage.

Shipp offers revelatory stories that take us inside the teen brain, and shares wisdom from top professionals and the most expert grown-ups. He also includes practice scripts that address tough issues, including:
  • FORGIVENESS: What do I do when a teen has been really hurt by someone and it’s not their fault?
  • COMMUNICATION: How do I get a teen to talk to me? They just grunt.
  • TRUST: My teen blew it. My trust is gone. Where do we go from here?
  • BULLYING: Help! A teen (or their friend) is being harassed.
Written in Shipp’s playfully authoritative, no-nonsense voice, The Grown-Up’s Guide to Teenage Humans tells his story and unpacks practical strategies that can make a difference. Ultimately, it's not about shortcuts or magic words—as Shipp reminds us, it’s about investing in kids and giving them the love, time, and support they need to thrive.

And that means every kid is one caring adult away from being a success story.

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


About Josh Shipp

Josh Shipp helps adults understand teens and teens understand themselves. He is a global youth empowerment expert and an acclaimed speaker. He has appeared on MTV, Lifetime, The Oprah Winfrey Show, CNN, FOX, 20/20Good Morning America, and in the New York Times and other media. A former at-risk foster kid turned youth advocate, he is renowned for his documentary TV series that followed his groundbreaking work with teens. His organization, One Caring Adult, produces resources and training events for parents, educators, and caring adults.

Visit OneCaringAdult.com to learn more and for free resources.

Find out more about Josh at his website, and connect with him on Facebook and Twitter.

My Thoughts:

When I agreed to do this review, it was with a mixed sense of emotion.  On the one side I was absolutely ecstatic, because as the mother of an 18 year old daughter and a 14 year old son, navigating the teenage years has been full of emotions and tears.

I knew I wanted to read the book, after all, we certainly could use all the help we can when it comes to understanding or at least beginning to understand, the teenage mind.

On the other hand, I wondered just how good this book could be, because it's quite hard to generalize all teenagers.  Yes they are for the most part quite predictable, but they are also intricate, exquisite and unique individuals, each with their own thoughts and opinions (oh those opinions huh? hahah).

I got the book in the mail, opened the first page as I was busily chattering away to my husband and only realized that I had completely gotten immersed in the book, when I heard him say twice "are you listening?  Sandra????".

The book is written by Josh Shipp, and he is not just a book author per say, he speaks from experience and talks about his own struggles as a teenager in the foster system.  This isn't a "oh look all teens are like me and therefore the magic words to get them to comply, isssss........".

Not at all, but what Josh does is delve a bit into the intricacy of the teenage mind and try to help us start to understand how to better reach them, how to talk to them, what they really want.

One of the first pages in the book touches on the fact that the main concern for teenagers, is the amount of time they spend with their parents, or, lack of.  Now I know it's hard to understand, I found it a bit hard myself because when I look around my own home and my children, they are more likely to be hiding out in their bedrooms and trying their best to avoid spending time with my husband and I, so how could this be?

And when explaining this in the book, this stuck out for me:

"They (teenagers) know they need something from their parents.  They might not be able to articulate what it is, but they know they need it."

Part 2 of the book deals with the Phases of the Teenage Human and boy was that fascinating to read.

I don't want to give much away because I think that this is a book that every parent needs to read, and I'm not talking just to the parents of teenagers like I am, I'm talking to parents of any age group because eventually you WILL be parenting a teen, and that is not easy at all.

This book is phenomenal, it takes you through the mindset of the teenager, touches on important achievements and developments at different ages, from 11 to 18, helps you troubleshoot some of the common challenges and offers some insightful and informative help.

I am never letting go of this book, matter of fact, it has found a permanent spot on my bedside table and I've gone back to it a couple times over the past two weeks when dealing with certain situations surrounding my teens.

Do yourself a favor, and get a copy for yourself, you certainly won't regret it.

Monday, October 23, 2017

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 10/23/2017 }

Good morning friends, hope you're all doing well.

Well, here we are, another week has gone by, another weekend has just ended and we're back to the beginning of a new week before us.  I can hardly believe it's Monday again, it feels like I just did this post yesterday, my word.

I hope you've all had a brilliant weekend and I wish you all the best for the week ahead.

I wanted to touch on a few things real quick before we get started.  I've asked before but I think I need to again as last week I had a few links added that were NOT related to the Happy Homemaker Monday.  Please, don't link up any other post that does not pertain to this meme, as it makes it quite difficult for the participants to visit each other.  All links that are not Happy Homemaker Monday posts, will be deleted.

Also, there seemed to be a bit of confusion as to the categories.  I didn't change anything, but you all know that I get bored after a while, and so I tend to just switch categories around and mix it up a little, with previous Happy Homemaker Mondays.  You do NOT have to follow that, please, if you would rather stick to the categories that best apply to you, then do so.  Long as it's still conforming to the HHM rules, and staying within the categories that I've added over the years, I don't have an issue with it.  Just don't make up your own, that's all I ask :)

Right, now that we got the not so pleasant stuff out of the way, let's get right on and see what the new week holds for us :) 

Breakfast time....what is on the plate this morning::::
All I've had so far is coffee and I'm not really feeling much of anything for breakfast.  I always eat in the morning, but today I'm more tired than anything, so after this post goes up, I'll have to see if I can find something that appeals to me.  Will probably be  poached egg :)

Right now I am::::
Still wearing my nightie and wrapped in a robe, it's quite chilly this morning.  I'm typing up this post while listening to the birds loudly chirping outside.  Mornings are one of my favorite times of the day :)

The weather outside::::
48 degrees though the real feel is 40.  I love it.  I think we're finally starting to cool down here in North Texas.  This week we're staying in the low 70's and then it looks like we're heading to the 60's and 50's. 

Looking around the house::::
It is a mess, not even going to lie.  Usually I get a lot of cleaning done on the weekends, but today, I can say is a proper Monday after a weekend.  We watched movies, and relaxed and did nothing much of anything, other than the laundry for the week ahead.  I have quite a lot to do today, but for now, I'm enjoying looking around and seeing the sun just beginning to come up and bathing the walls in a beautiful golden color.   tidy. 

On today's to do list::::
Laundry.....All the laundry is done, just putting it all away.  (anyone else dislike that task as much as I do?)  
Cleaning.....The house is in a tip, it definitely needs a good clean and tidying up.   
Homeschooling.....We had Fall break for two days last week (two daysssss, like why even bother hahah).  Anyway, today it's back to work and getting everything done and caught up.       
Cooking....I think I might do a tuna salad for lunch, and then dinner is Pollo Loco with Mexican Rice.    
I also want to continue with my Blog to Book.  Haven't done that in a few months now and would like to get it finished.

Currently reading::::
The Grown-Up's Guide to Teenage Humans.  Also, The Crooked Path, both books are coming up for a review within the next few days.    

On the TV today::::

Just finished watching last night's Outlander and OH.MY.WORD, do I love that show.  I could easily watch it hours at a time.  I might even restart the series because I love it that much.
Walking Dead also returned last night and I watched it, and as always, it irritated me so much hahah
I have a Haunted USA that was recorded on the DVR.
General Hospital.....anyone else enjoying the whole two Jason's storyline?  I haven't been this interested in the soap in a long time.

On the menu this week::::
Here is last week's meals, hope you enjoy :)

I also posted my new Grocery Haul, and I did add the menu for the next two weeks, but I've changed it slightly around yesterday, just to what will work better for us. 

Monday - Pollo Loco and Mexican Rice (new recipe)
Tuesday - Better than Olive Garden's Fettucine
Wednesday - Taco Bell Tacos
Thursday - Mongolian Beef, Rice
Friday - Mexican Lasagna
Saturday - Sausages with Tomato Sauce, Mashed Potatoes
Sunday - Padre Island Shells (already have a recipe, but am updating all the photos)

If I have a few minutes to myself, I will::::
I doubt I'll have any time today, but if I do, Jasmine will be sewing to finish off her Halloween Costume. 

New recipe I tried, or want to try this week::::

I've tried a few that NEED to be updated on the blog.  I've become absolutely horrid at keeping my food blog updated and it's really frustrating me.  I want to get back to cooking and posting as much as I used to, so really hope I can get going with that.     

Looking forward to this week::::

Just hoping to get all caught up on homeschooling (portfolios that is), also hoping to get all the Pecans cracked and shelled.  

Favorite photo from the camera::::
Was outside a few days ago, and watched this guy on the top of one of the tree branches.  He just stood there for what seemed like an eternity, with a nut in his mouth.  I had to take a picture :)

Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses::::
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.
—2 Timothy 1:7

Thursday, October 19, 2017

{ Pecans everywhere }

October 14, 2017

I've sat so many times, stared out the window, and counted my blessings. 

To be living in the country, which was always a dream of Curt's and I, is amazing in and of itself, but to be surrounded by beautiful land, and then to top that with an abundance of Pecan Trees, seems almost too good to be true.

October 14, 2017

I have loved Pecans from as far back as I remember.  When living in South Africa, one of my favorite desserts was the Pecan Nut Pie, or the Pecan Pie as it's known here in the States.  My dad loved it just as much as I did, and I even recall one certain day, in my teens, attempting to make a Pecan Pie using Golden Syrup.  Needless to say, it really didn't turn out quite well, more like a mushy watery mess, but it tasted amazing.

October 14, 2017

I have made many Pecan pies since then, or PEE-CUN nut pies as we pronounced in South Africa :)


October seems to be our harvest month, every year our Pecan trees dump an enormous amount of bounty on the ground.  The first year the crop was not very good, the pecans were mostly bad, the few that weren't tasted quite bitter and I was a bit disappointed thinking that, here we were, surrounded by Pecan trees and not able to enjoy them.


This past weekend was our Pecan harvest, we spent a few hours under the watchful eyes of these guys across the street.  We gathered as much as we could off the grass, and shook as many branches as we could, but there are quite a few still left on the upper branches that we either couldn't reach, or they weren't ready yet.

This weekend, we will be back out there, going from tree to tree, with bucket in hand gathering as many as we can.


This week, I've spent my time cracking pecans and working on the bucket we already have in hand.  The weather has cooled down, I'm not outside as much as I am during the summer, so it's been the perfect thing to do, well, aside from the usual house chores.



I sit at my dining table with pecans in hand, pop a show on my laptop, and spend an hour or so just cracking and shelling.  It often reminds me of my great grandmother Ema, she would sit around the holidays time, with a bowl of varied nuts before her, and just crack away, popping them into her mouth, happily munching.

Back in her day, she would have sat at the table with a bucket of green beans, working on those, or peeling potatoes. 


Different chores, but very alike in a way and I'm so proud to follow in her footsteps when it comes to homemaking. 

I'm nowhere near finished, it seems that it takes hours just to shell a handful of pecans, so I gather I'll be at this for quite a few days. 

I'm kind of pushing myself to get it all done this week because I want to get them stored, frozen etc. as soon as I can, certainly don't want them to go bad.

It's a truly blessing to have God's bounty bestowed upon us.  For many years, I shied away from buying Pecans because of how expensive they are, so I really am thankful for what I now have. :)

With that said, I best get on with my work.  Have a wonderful day :)

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Updating the Period Drama Series and Movies List

Hi everyone.

So it's been a while since I've added anything to my Period Drama Series, or Movies List, and there have been so many new shows that deserve to be on those lists.

I spent this morning adding a couple to each, so if you love Period Dramas as much as I do and are looking for something new to watch, be sure to check out both the Period Drama Series list and the Period Movies lists.

Here's what I added today, just to help you out, you can quickly skim over these and if something catches your eye then head on over and check out the links :)

Also, if there is anything that you have noticed is not on the list, and should be, let me know.

Period Drama Series

War and Remembrance
Doctor Thorne
The Collection
The Hollow Crown
Wolf Hall
The Crown
Texas Rising
Jekyll and Hide
And then there were none
The Durrells
Home Fires
Hetty Feather
The Moonstone
Dark Angel
Close to the Enemy
My Mother and other strangers
Rillington Place
In Plain Sight
Medici:  Masters of Florence
The White Princess
The Halcyon
Decline and Fall
The Son
The Last Kingdom
Alias Grace
The Miniaturist
The Alienist
Howards End
The Last Post
The Duchess of Duke Street

Period Movies

Love and Friendship
The Birth of a Nation
Hacksaw Ridge
A Quiet Passion
To Walk Invisible
Tulip Fever
Viceroy's House
Bitter Harvest
The Zookeeper's Wife
King Arthur:  Legend of the Sword
Lady Macbeth
My Cousin Rachel
Crooked House
Murder on the Orient Express
Darkest Hour

I've added links where you can watch, but some are not out yet, so keep that in mind when looking through the lists.

Hope you enjoy and happy watching :)

Monday, October 16, 2017

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 10/16/2017 }

Good morning and Happy Monday!!!!

Hope you've all had a wonderful weekend and that you're ready for this new week ahead.  My weekend was good, quiet, uneventful and just how I like it.

I could have used another day of sleeping in, it's quite hard to get up when it's still dark outside and quite frankly, this morning I would have enjoyed laying in until later.  But, no can do, so we're going to try and enjoy this week as much as possible.

Hope you all have a great week ahead!!!!

Breakfast time....what is on the plate this morning::::
I've had a cup of coffee around 6am and that's basically all for now.  When I'm done with this post, I'll probably go ahead and grab another cup of coffee and I'm thinking of doing a poached egg with toast for breakfast.

Right now I am::::
Sitting on the coach, under a warm blanket and wearing a sweater over my pajamas.  It is COLD this morning and I'm quite happy about that, finally feels like proper Fall.

The weather outside::::
Honestly Texas, get your act together.  No wonder so many people are sick, our household included.  We went from 90 degrees yesterday to 46 this morning, back to 80 this afternoon, back to 40 tomorrow and then up to 90 again.  What on earth???
Is it too much to ask for proper Fall weather, and by that I mean consistent Fall weather?  Goodness.

Looking around the house::::
It is quite neat.  I've found as the kids have gotten older, that the house is surviving a lot longer.  Used to be that my Monday's were my big cleaning days because it looked like a Tornado had swept by.  Aside from picking up toys that Marley has been playing with, everything else is pretty neat and tidy. 

On today's to do list::::
Laundry.....Kid's laundry baskets need washing, and I have one last load of whites. 
Cleaning.....Usual Kitchen cleaning, washer load and unload, counters, and I need to sweep and mop.  Quick toilets clean, make beds and so on. 
Homeschooling.....Nick has a Physical Science livelesson to attend at 1pm.  Normal school day, he does have a Math Unit Test that he is not looking forward to, and quite honestly, neither am I.     
Cooking....I need to find something for lunch, not sure what I'll make.  Dinner is Burgers and Zesty Fries.  I thought I had hamburger buns but I don't, so I need to make some this afternoon.   

Currently reading::::
The Grown-Up's Guide to Teenage Humans.  That review is coming up next week.  I am LOVING this book, I'm learning so much and I hope that I'll be able to apply it all to my own teenagers, who are quite a handful emotionally, but then I'm sure all teenage parents will agree :)  

On the TV today::::
Quite bummed out that there was no Outlander yesterday, but I'm dying for next week's to come.
The Last Post
Who do you think you are?

On the menu this week::::
If you're interested in my meals from last week, I did a video.  I've been asked so many times if I would do one, so just went ahead and tried it.  I quite enjoyed recording our meals every day and sharing them with you, so I hope you enjoy :)

Monday - Burgers and Zesty Fries
Tuesday - One pan honey garlic chicken, rice
Wednesday - Tex Mex Chili, Cornbread
Thursday - Tuna Spaghetti, Salad
Friday - *need to plan next week's meals*

If I have a few minutes to myself, I will::::
This week I'm actually teaching Jasmine how to sew, she has requested and she does have a sewing machine (my older one).

New recipe I tried, or want to try this week::::
The Lebanese Chicken was a new recipe and it was really good.  The family has requested that I make it again.   

One of my simple pleasures::::
I think I've mentioned this before, but I love History and I love researching and learning about days gone by.   

Favorite photo from the camera or internet::::
We've been harvesting our Pecans, this is just from one tree, and what we could reach, as the higher branches are still not quite reachable for us, so we're going to wait for them to drop down on their own and harvest in the next few days. 

Something interesting I found::::
This weekend I've been doing a marathon of all the Who Do you think you are?  episodes, from the UK, I much prefer those over the US, though I'll still watch them as well.  But while watching these episodes, I have found that not only do I find them fascinating, but I've learned a lot.  It's sparked some very interesting conversations over the dinner table, we've talked about the Holocaust and shared stories or facts that we all know.  We've talked about Dunkirk (I am actually planning on watching the movie this week), and the Irish Potato Famine and so forth.  I love when a tv show is not only fun to watch but interesting and informative.

The Sweet Life by Sharon Struth - TLC Book Tour


About The Sweet Life

  • Print Length: 225 pages
  • Publisher: Lyrical Press (September 19, 2017)
In Italy, the best attractions are always off the beaten path . . .

Mamie Weber doesn’t know why she survived that terrible car accident five years ago. Physically, she has only a slight reminder—but emotionally, the pain is still fresh. Deep down she knows her husband would have wanted her to embrace life again. Now she has an opportunity to do just that, spending two weeks in Tuscany reviewing a tour company for her employer’s popular travel guide series. The warmth of the sun, the centuries-old art, a villa on the Umbrian border—it could be just the adventure she needs.

But with adventure comes the unexpected . . . like discovering that her entire tour group is made up of aging ex-hippies reminiscing about their Woodstock days. Or finding herself drawn to the guide, Julian, who is secretly haunted by a tragedy of his own, and seems to disapprove any time she tries something remotely risky—like an impromptu scooter ride with a local man.

As they explore the hilltop towns of Tuscany, Mamie knows that when this blissful excursion is over, she’ll have to return to reality. But when you let yourself wander, life can take some interesting detours . . .

“Struth has a gift for layering stories within stories while keeping them all connected.”—Library Journal

“The plot is refreshing and will definitely keep the reader turning page after page.”—Fresh Fiction, SHARE THE MOON

“Sharon Struth writes a good story about love and loss. She knows her characters and has a path she wants them to take.”—Eye on Romance

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About Sharon Struth

Sharon Struth believes you’re never too old to pursue a dream. The Hourglass, her debut novel, is a finalist in the National Readers’ Choice Awards for Best first Book, and her Blue Moon Lake Novels include the bestseller, Share the Moon.
When she’s not working, she and her husband happily sip their way through the scenic towns of the Connecticut Wine Trail, travel the world, and enjoy spending time with their precious pets and two grown daughters. She writes from the friendliest place she’s ever lived, Bethel, Connecticut. For more information, including where to find her published essays, please visit www.sharonstruth.com or visit her blog, Musings from the Middle Ages & More.

Connect with Sharon

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My Thoughts:

The Sweet Life is a really cute short story filled with beautiful imagery and visuals that make me want to hop a plane and set off to Italy.

Mamie survived a car accident which unfortunately took the life of her dear husband and sweet little three year old daughter.  She's struggled with survivor's guilt for many years and when she gets the change to head to Italy to review a popular guide series for her employer, she welcomes albeit feeling a little out of place.

What we have next is two weeks of a gorgeous almost virtual tour of Italy in all it's splendor.  There are some quite funny moments during the tour she takes, mainly because the group she's with is a Woodstock, all hippies kind, that call themselves The Wanderers.

All in all this was a cute, shorty story to read, we have all the makings of the usual romance between Mamie and Julian, beautiful scenery and the descriptions of the food left me salivating.


The book author is giving away a $15 Amazon or B&N gift card, so if you're interested, head on over and enter the raffle :)