Monday, June 25, 2018

{ Where Hope Begins by Catherine West - TLC Book Tour }

About Where Hope Begins

Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (May 22, 2018)
Sometimes we’re allowed to glimpse the beauty within the brokenness . . .
Savannah Barrington has always found solace at her parents’ lake house in the Berkshires, and it’s the place that she runs to when her husband of over twenty years leaves her. Though her world is shaken, and the future uncertain, she finds hope through an old woman’s wisdom, a little girl’s laughter, and a man who’s willing to risk his own heart to prove to Savannah that she is worthy of love.
But soon Savannah is given a challenge she can’t run away from: Forgiving the unforgivable. Amidst the ancient gardens and musty bookstores of the small town she’s sought refuge in, she must reconcile with the grief that haunts her, the God pursuing her, and the wounds of the past that might be healed after all.
Where Hope Begins is the story of grace in the midst of brokenness, pointing us to the miracles that await when we look beyond our own expectations.
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Purchase Links

Amazon | iBooks | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

About Catherine West

Catherine West writes stories of hope and healing from her island home in Bermuda. When she’s not at the computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border Collie for long walks or reading books by her favorite authors. She and her husband have two grown children and one beautiful granddaughter. Catherine is the winner of the 2015 Grace Award (Bridge of Faith) and the Romance Writers of America’s Faith, Hope & Love Reader’s Choice Award (The Things We Knew). Her most recent novel, The Memory of You, released March 2017 and Where Hope Begins releases in May 2018. Catherine loves to connect with her readers and can be reached at

.Connect with Catherine

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest | Google+ | Instagram | Amazon

 My Thoughts:

This was not an easy book to read. 

I started the story feeling like I wasn't being captivated by any of it, the characters, the setting and the story in itself.   As often happens with some of my favorite books, the beginning seems to try and steer me in a different direction, but when I persevere, I'm often finding myself loving the story and happy that I didn't give up in any way.

The topics this story focuses on, are also not an easy thing to get through, but I believe that God places certain topics, stories, testimonies, movies or people in our path, at the time we need them the most.  It is in these instances that we end up learning the biggest lessons in our lives.

Savannah is a woman broken, a woman with incredible grief and hurt.  She is running from God, running from the pain of past incidents and trying to escape it all in her parent's home.

What she ends up doing, is learning to have a semi amicable relationship with her estranged husband, facing all her past demons and above all learning to love herself.

The book deals with some pretty deep and serious issues, like depression and anxiety, grief and hurt and adultery.

That may deter you from reading the book, but please don't let it because the story ends up developing such an amazing character in Savannah, but also teaching us, the readers, a thing or two about life and the way to face it in a faith filled and open hearted way.

Beautiful story.

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 06/25/2018 }

Good morning friends, hope you all had a good weekend.

Mine was good but tiring, I feel like I've been on the run since Friday morning and have yet to really relax, sleep in, enjoy my weekend etc.

I want to start by thanking you all for the continuous prayers for Nick, he is doing SO much better, it warms my heart to see the changes already happening in him.  :)

Saturday we dropped off my Jasmine at the airport, she flew to Michigan to visit her boyfriend and his family for the next few weeks.  I hate having to kiss and hug her goodbye and I always feel like I'm going to start crying.  Oh goodness, momma's life right?     

The weather.....It's been pretty hot still, but thankfully we got a nice storm last night and it's cooled things down a lot.

Right now I am....I am watching some vlogs on the TV, while I type up this post.  Just finished my coffee and I'm still in my pajamas as well, but it's not even 8AM so I'm not worried about needing to rush and change out of them.

Thinking....About what all I need to do this week.  We are more than likely leaving for San Diego.  My poor niece is so miserable at this point.  She is 39 weeks pregnant and is swollen, sore, in a lot of pain and to top it off she has also developed the pregnancy rash called Puppp which is absolutely horrible to deal with.  She is a centimeter and a half dilated and 50% effaced so we are hoping and praying for things to move along this week, so she can find some relief.  Please keep her in your prayers.

Something fun or interesting that happened....Hubby and I have been wanting to go to church for a while, and we moved here to Texas 3 years ago, with the intention of finding a church to join.  You know how it goes though, time flies and then you and end up not doing it.  But I felt such a strong urge to go to church this weekend, and so Sunday the hubby and I went to a church just up the street from us.  They were very friendly, we enjoyed being there, but it's a very small church and not many young people around, and we are mainly looking for a church with a youth group that we can get my son into.  We plan on visiting a few more around here, until we find one we like.

On my reading pile.... The summer list, the review is later than planned because there was a delay in the receiving the books.

On my TV.....Vlogs at the moment, and the World Cup starting at 9am.  Portugal play at 1pm and it's a pretty important game, they need to win to be able to proceed to the next phase.  

On the menu for this week....
Monday - Chili Dogs
Tuesday - Hamburger Helper, Cauliflower with Cheese sauce
Wednesday - Tacos with Spanish Rice
Thursday - Pulled Pork Sandwiches
Friday - Pizza
Saturday -
Sunday -

On my to do list....
Iron and put laundry away
Clean and tidy up house
Start packing for San Diego

In the craft basket....Nothing at the moment.

Looking forward to this week....Hoping to make it to San Diego and have a baby girl to love on and take lots of pictures of.

Looking around the house....I have my essential oil diffuser going at the moment, it smells amazing in here.  I also have the air conditioner turned off (I turn it off every morning and only turn it back on later in the afternoon if it's too hot to handle), the back screen door is open and so is the front door.  The house just needs a bit of tidying as it was a bit of a flurry of chaos getting my daughter off for her trip.

On this day in 2006 - How does that saying go?
On this day in 2007 -
On this day in 2008 -
On this day in 2009 - Slow Cooking Thursday
On this day in 2010 -
 On this day in 2011 - 31 Days of Prayer for my Husband
On this day in 2012 -  Day 27
On this day in 2013 - Moving - Day One
On this day in 2014 -
On this day in 2015 - My Wednesday
On this day in 2016 -
On this day in 2017 - Fairy Gardens

Friday, June 22, 2018

{ Thank you for the prayers }

Good morning everyone :)

I just wanted to come in real quick and thank you all for the prayers, the advice and the support you've shown me here on the blog, on Facebook, Instagram and even private messages.

The past few days have been extremely difficult for us and our son.

I don't want to talk too much about it, for various reasons, but mainly because I don't want to expose too much on here in regards to my son, he is 15 and he does deserve some privacy.

I will say that after going through this with my daughter, it's easier to understand the process, it's easier to understand what he's going through and we've learned how to talk to him, and how not to approach this subject.  It also helps that Jasmine is able to relate to what he's feeling and is also able to help us understand where he is coming from.

When you have a child that is showing signs of depression, that tells you that they feel insignificant or worthless, there is a trigger that happens inside us.  I want so much to drill into him that all of those things are not true, but what I believe and what he feels, are two very different things.

Anyway, all of your prayers, along with all the prayers he has been receiving and the church lists he's been added to, prayer chains and so forth, are starting to show in his behavior.

One thing we learned was not to push too much or constantly hammer on things, he talks to us when he is ready and that has been really good to see.  He is opening up, he is expressing his feelings, he is wanting to spend more time with the family, he is out of his room for hours at a time where before we could not get him out of there for longer than it took for him to eat dinner.

We still have a very long process ahead, but we've all pulled together as a family and we've told him as well that we will ALL get through this together, just like we did with Jasmine.

At first I asked "why me again?  I went through it with Jasmine, why do I have to go through this with Nicholas?".

But I am no longer thinking that way, I'm praying for my son, I'm praying for me for wisdom, to know how to approach him, to know the right words to use when talking to him, to be patient, to have strength and more than anything, for the Lord to work in my son's heart to show him that he is an important part of this family and very much loved.

So, thank you all for helping me through this process.  I will try to keep you updated on what is going on, and any day now, Tiffany will be having her baby so we will be headed to San Diego, so I'll definitely be blogging more from there and sharing photos etc.  Nick is coming with me, he has agreed to go and I think it will be a wonderful change of scenery for him.

So often with teens just a change of place and change in routine, helps them so much.  I'm hoping this trip is what he needs to start feeling somewhat better.

Lord, I pray Your emotional, physical, and spiritual protection over my son. Keep evil far from him, and help him to trust You as his refuge and strength. I pray You will guard his mind from harmful instruction, and grant him discernment to recognize truth. I pray You will make him strong and courageous in the presence of danger, recognizing that You have overcome and will set right all injustice and wrong one day. Help him to find rest in Your shadow, as he lives in the spiritual shelter You provide for him. Let him know that the only safe place is in Jesus.  Amen!

Monday, June 18, 2018

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 06/18/2018 }

Good morning everyone, hope you're all having a good Monday morning so far.

I'm doing ok.  We have some family issues going on, this time with Nicholas and I really need some prayers for my son.  I don't want to go into details but he seems to be suffering from depression as well and I'm extremely worried about him at this point.

Having gone through a horrid ordeal with Jasmine's depression and anxiety, it seems that the past is repeating itself and I'm at a loss.  We just need a lot of prayers right now.   

The weather.....It's been pretty hot but looks like we'll be in the lower 90's this week, with possibly a thunderstorm midweek.  

Right now I am....Have the World Cup soccer on the TV, have laundry going and I'm trying to get this post up for you all.

Thinking....About what is going on with my son.  We are trying to help him through this and will do whatever we need to.  It's so hard when they're 15 years old, the hormones are raging and there's so much going on in their heads.  He is very withdrawn, doesn't want to get out of his room or do anything, it's almost a daily fight with him.  Friends, I'm honestly terrified at this point.

On my reading pile.... The summer list.  The review will be up this Wednesday.         
On my TV.....The World Cup and that's pretty much it for the next month.

On the menu for this week....
Monday - Chipotle Burrito Bowls
Tuesday - Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Fries
Wednesday - Spaghetti with garlic bread
Thursday - Chicken Pie, Salad
Friday - Vegan Burgers, Onion Rings
Saturday - Pizza
Sunday - Leftovers

On my to do list....

Finish all the laundry
Carpet clean
Going with my sister in law to a doctor's appointment
Start packing for San Diego

In the craft basket....Nothing at the moment.

Looking forward to this week....Nothing really, and I'm sorry if I seem a bit off today, I'm just so stressed, anxious and worried.  We're dealing with some serious issues and I am struggling to keep myself calm and cool headed through it all.  

Looking around the house....It's clean and I don't need to do much, which is a good thing because I got no sleep last night and I'm absolutely exhausted this morning.

From the camera....
My big boy Marley.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

{ Slow and steady }


A few days ago I was out back and kept wondering why one of my flower hanging baskets was looking so bare.  Where was it all going and why did it look so messy in there, like it had been ripped at with bare hands.


Few hours later, I realized exactly what had been happening.  See the bird above?  It had been flying back and forth between my basket and the tree about 20 feet from our back door.

It wasn't rushing, it wasn't fluttering about in a hurry, it was just content slowly picking at the moss, flying back to build it's nest and then returning.  This went on for a couple of days, same thing, over and over and over, and you know what?  It took quite a while for it to be happy with the amount of moss it needed, but it got done, at a slow and steady pace.


A few days later I was in the backyard watering my plants, when I saw this guy slowly making it's way through my grass.

I have no idea where it came from or where it went after it made it's way through the long yard, but I have no doubt that he got to where he wanted to go.

And so, I've kind of been doing the same the past few days.  For some reason I've always been the kind of person to get things done quickly and efficiently, even folding laundry I always feel like I'm quickly doing it.

The other day I deliberately took my time folding the clothes as I removed them from the dryer.  One piece at a time, slowly, folding, not rushing and at first I felt so weird but I continued to deliberately move slower and what I found is that I actually enjoyed the process a lot more.

I honestly think at lot of our daily stresses are self imposed, and I'm speaking for myself here, I would never dream to presume what others are thinking or feeling.

So slow and steady is going to be implemented more often, especially on the days that I have no outside appointments or commitments.


On this day in 2006 - Tackle it Tuesday
On this day in 2007 -
On this day in 2008 -
On this day in 2009 - I believe I watch too much TV
On this day in 2010 -
On this day in 2011 - 31 Days of Prayer for my Husband  - Day 13
On this day in 2012 - Day 15
On this day in 2013 - Back in Time
On this day in 2014 -
On this day in 2015 -
On this day in 2016 - Happy Homemaker Monday
On this day in 2017 -

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

{ Poldark, Call the Midwife and other binge worthy shows }

Oh hello there!!!

Isn't that picture above just the prettiest?  I like to look at it and think that I would have just loved living in that setting, in that red house in a cute country road with just trees and flowers around me.  Oh it would be blissful, though I'll say, I do love where I live now and wouldn't change it for anything :)

This past week has gone by so quick for me, I've been busy with the usual household chores and mom/wife duties, and so by the end of the day when I really should be putting my thoughts down here in my old little blog, I'm instead putting my head on the pillow and passing out almost immediately.


I feel like I repeat myself over and over at times, like I can't muster up or form a coherent thought about my day and write it in a blog post to make some sort of sense.

"I'm busy", "I'm doing the usual household", "I wish I could blog more", "I wish I could have more time for crocheting or doing the things I really enjoy".


I swear you must find this to be the most drab and uninteresting, mind numblingly boring blog, and quote honestly at times I think that myself, but when your days are pretty much the same, day in and day out, that kind of tends to happen doesn't?


Quite possibly the reason many old bloggy friends no longer blog on a daily basis or much at all.

But I don't want that to be the reason that I stop coming by and talking, even if it's just  random babbling about something I've done, or the past few days or whatever strikes my mood.

I guess you'll just have to keep coming back to see what the heck this girl is up to, right?


This little man keeps me company throughout the day, he truly is my shadow and is always either laying on my lap if I'm on the couch, or laying nearby as I clean, or under my feet in the kitchen, outside, wherever I go.

He absolutely loves drives and walks, and has a special drive he does with his daddy every Sunday.

They hop into daddy's truck and head up the street to Braum's for a bag of burgers (only $4 if you're wondering), then they get back home and they each have one for lunch, then play and then he goes down for a nap.  Hahaha

It's a routine, and it really makes me think of him as a toddler with the naps during the day and play time.  Love him so much :)


Every morning, this is how you'll find me.  After I've sent hubby off to work with a cup of coffee and his lunch for the day, I retreat to this spot on the couch, check emails, drink my own coffee and then catch up on some youtube vlogs or lately.....some favorite Period Dramas.

I've been rewatching Call the Midwife because, well, because it's fabulous isn't it???


Also just watched Poldark because Season 4 started on Sunday and I LOVE LOVE LOVE Poldark.

Another show I've been watching or rather binge watching with the hubby, has been the Netflix show Lost in Space.  It is good, we enjoy it so much and have to control ourselves so we don't watch the whole season in one day.  If you like SciFi or Space related shows, you have to check it out.

I've also come across a few great new period dramas, and one that I want to mention to you is The Picnic at Hanging Rock starring Natalie Dormer.    It is based on the Joan Lindsay's 1967 novel and then later a movie and now turned series.    It is about a governess and her 3 schoolgirls who mysteriously disappear on Valentine's Day in 1900.

I've only watched the first episode and of course enjoyed it very much, then again when don't I enjoy a Period Drama right?

Also, starting this Thursday, the World Cup kicks off and of course being a huge soccer lover, it is one of the things I most enjoy watching, even if it only comes around every 4 years.

Portugal play their first match on Friday so you know this household is going to be a ball of nerves, but it's always so much fun watching with the whole family.

Well friends, that's basically what I've been up to the past few days.  I'm just going to finish off an episode of Call the Midwife and then it will be time to start getting dinner taken care of.

I'm making some Bratwurst with Grilled Onions and probably some potato wedges.  Quite simple but we have been enjoying some easier meals now that it's super hot and humid here.

Curt and I have also been downing and I mean downing gallons of water with cucumber and lemon.  So good.

Right, I better get going or I'll be here all day because something will keep popping up that I want to talk about, you know that how is.

Have a great Tuesday afternoon everyone :)

On this day in 2006 - Ouch Ouch Ouch
On this day in 2007 - Prayers for Sarah Please
On this day in 2008 -
On this day in 2009 -
On this day in 2010 -
On this day in 2011 -
On this day in 2012 - Day 14
On this day in 2013 -
On this day in 2014 - Boys will be boys
On this day in 2015 - Still here....still waiting....
On this day in 2016 -
On this day in 2017 - Happy Homemaker Monday

Monday, June 11, 2018

{ The Garden of Blue Roses by Michael Barsa - TLC Book Tour }

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Underland Press (April 17, 2018)
“Ominous, fantastic, and wonderfully malevolent…. I felt the spirits of Shirley Jackson, Edgar Allan Poe, and Albert Camus’ Meursault, whispering to join the fun.”– ALICE SEBOLD, #1 best-selling and award-winning author of The Lovely Bones

A car lies at the bottom of an icy ravine. Slumped over the steering wheel, dead, is the most critically acclaimed horror writer of his time. Was it an accident? His son Milo doesn’t care. For the first time in his life, he’s free. No more nightmarish readings, spooky animal rites, or moonlit visions of his father in the woods with a notebook and vampire make-up.

Or so he thinks.

Milo settles into a quiet routine–constructing model Greek warships and at last building a relationship with his sister Klara, who’s home after a failed marriage and brief career as an English teacher. Then Klara hires a gardener to breathe new life into their overgrown estate. There’s something odd about him–something eerily reminiscent of their father’s most violent villain. Or is Milo imagining things? He’s not sure. That all changes the day the gardener discovers something startling in the woods. Suddenly Milo is fighting for his life, forced to confront the power of fictional identity as he uncovers the shocking truth about his own dysfunctional family–and the supposed accident that claimed his parents’ lives.

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble


About Michael Barsa

Michael Barsa grew up in a German-speaking household in New Jersey and spoke no English until he went to school. So began an epic struggle to master the American “R” and a lifelong fascination with language. He’s lived on three continents and spent many summers in southern Germany and southern Vermont.
He’s worked as an award-winning grant writer, an English teacher, and an environmental lawyer. He now teaches environmental and natural resources law. His scholarly articles have appeared in several major law reviews, and his writing on environmental policy has appeared in The Chicago Tribune and The Chicago Sun-Times. His short fiction has appeared in Sequoia.
The Garden of Blue Roses is his first novel.

Connect with Michael

Website | Facebook

My Thoughts:

If you enjoy psychological thrillers, then this is the book for you.  It will have you on the edge of your seat, quickly wanting to turn the page just to know what is going to happen next.

The book follows Milo and Klara, two adult siblings who have just lost their parents in a car accident.

Their father a bit of a strange man who lived his life surrounded by violence, alcohol and darkness, a large part of it due to the fact that he was a famous horror writer, and their mother a somewhat of an enabler to their father's strange behavior.

Instead of feeling heartbroken after their death, Milo is almost relieved and gains a sense of freedom, but he is by no means a docile and innocent man himself.  He actually quite disturbed me in some ways, as it is painfully obvious that there is something very wrong with him.

His sister Klara is strange all in her own way.

The story is filled with twists and turns, dark characters, ups and downs and all around horror atmosphere that really does help set the mood for a fantastic albeit scary novel.

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 06/11/2018 }

Good morning everyone :)

Well another week is upon us.  I always say that the time just goes by so quickly, but really, it seems to be flying away and we're halfway through this year, insane.

I completely failed at daily blogging last week, and it's not for any particular reason, other than I put up some reviews that needed to go up and then didn't want to over post, if that is even a thing, considering back in the day I would sometimes post 2 or 3 times a day.  Different times though right?

I'm hoping to be a little more consistent this week, so we will see how that goes.

Have a wonderful week everyone :) 

Happy Homemaker Monday

The weather.....Quite hot here in Texas and we're not even in the middle of summer yet.  Thankfully this week the temps are down to mid 90's.  The high winds are he worst for me and my allergies though, I can always tell when it gets super windy, that I'll be dealing with itchy nose, roof of mouth, sneezing, congestion, cough and sore throat.  Blech!!!

Right now I am....Working on this post and watching Call the Midwife on the TV. 

Thinking....That I'm going to start back on an exercise routine, not for anything other than feeling healthier as I age.  

On my reading pile.... Reading through Where Hope Begins by Catherine West.         

On my TV.....I have been rewatching Call the Midwife.  I have so many others I need to finish but I love this one so much and just felt like watching it again, so that's what's been on my TV this weekend.  However, Poldark Season 4 began last night so I'll definitely be watching that sometime today :)        

On the menu for this week....
Tuesday - Grilled Bratwurst, Corn Salad, Potato Salad
Wednesday - Sicilian Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes and Steamed Broccoli
Friday - Portuguese Chicken and Rice, Salad
Saturday - (Not sure yet)
Sunday - Leftovers

On my to do list....
Empty Dishwasher and reload with breakfast dishes
Change bed linens
Vacuum and dust
Water plants
Start 30 Day Shred with Lucy Wyndham-Read
Blog post   

In the craft basket....I finished the little set for Tiffany's baby girl.  She absolutely loves Disney and so I thought this would be something she would really love, and she does.  Can't wait to take some photos of baby Evangeline wearing it.  :)

Looking forward to this week....A shopping day and lunch out with my sister in law.  We are going to be shopping for the baby and that's always exciting.  ALSO, the Fifa World Cup starts on Thursday and I'm SOOOO excited, you guys all know how much I love soccer.  Friday is Portugal's first game against Spain, so it will be never wrecking, but I'm looking forward to it.     

Looking around the house....What is with all these moths?  Is anyone else dealing with the crazy influx of moths?  I swear I open my doors for a second and they just come right in.  (I'm sitting here staring at two on my ceiling and hoping to God they do NOT bomb dive me.  I have an irrational fear of moths LOL)       

From the camera....
I've been trying to propagate some cuttings and using different methods.   One of which is using honey as a growth hormone for the roots, so we will see how that works.     

On this day in 2006 - Such a sad weekend!!!
On this day in 2007 - Well Dabaganabit, the cold remains....
On this day in 2008 - 
On this day in 2009 - Slow Cooking Thursday
On this day in 2010 - 
On this day in 2011 - 31 Days of Prayer for my Husband
On this day in 2012 - Happy Homemaker Monday
On this day in 2013 - 
On this day in 2014 - Two days to go
On this day in 2015 - 
On this day in 2016 - 
On this day in 2017 - The grass just keeps on growing

Thursday, June 07, 2018

{ Herons Landing by JoAnn Ross - TLC Book Tour }

Series: Honeymoon Harbor
Mass Market Paperback: 496 pages
Publisher: HQN (May 22, 2018)

There’s no place to fall in love like the place you left your heart 

Welcome to Honeymoon Harbor, the brand-new, long-awaited series by beloved New York Times bestselling author JoAnn Ross, where unforgettable characters come face-to-face with the kind of love that grabs your heart and never lets go.

Working as a Las Vegas concierge, Brianna Mannion is an expert at making other people’s wishes come true. It’s satisfying work, but a visit home to scenic Honeymoon Harbor turns into a permanent stay when she’s reminded of everything she’s missing: the idyllic small-town charm; the old Victorian house she’d always coveted; and Seth Harper, her best friend’s widower and the neighborhood boy she once crushed on—hard. After years spent serving others, maybe Brianna’s finally ready to chase dreams of her own.

Since losing his wife, Seth has kept busy running the Harper family’s renovation business and flying way under the social radar. But when Brianna hires him to convert her aging dream home into a romantic B and B, working together presents a heart-stopping temptation Seth never saw coming. With guilt and grief his only companions for so long, he’ll have to step out of the past long enough to recognize the beautiful life Brianna and he could build together.

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble


About JoAnn Ross

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author JoAnn Ross has been published in twenty-seven countries. A member of Romance Writers of America’s Honor Roll of bestselling authors, JoAnn lives with her husband and three rescued dogs — who pretty much rule the house — in the Pacific Northwest. Visit her on the web at

My Thoughts:

Herons Landing is the first full novel in the Honeymoon Harbor series, by JoAnn Ross.  The prequel to this one is called Home to Honeymoon Harbor, so if you want to check that one out before reading this one, you can.

I haven't read the prequel but I honestly didn't feel that I was missing anything out when reading Herons Landing.

The story is centered around Brianna and Seth and features quite a few things that I love, small towns, historical homes and a good ol' romance intertwined with brilliant writing and character development.

Brianna returns to Honeymoon Harbor to buy the house that she has always loved, but of course buying a home usually means renovations and changing things up to meet your taste.  In comes Seth who is the best in the business.  Aside from being handsome, there is a bit of a past between Seth and Brianna, as he used to be married to her best friend who unfortunately passed away while serving in the military.

Their romance is not quick, and although the attraction is there, they each have their own reservations and issues to deal with.

What we end up with, is a sweet romance set in a beautiful small town near the waterfront.

Definitely another one to add to your summer reading list, and I honestly can't wait to go back and read the prequel and any subsequent books in the series.

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

{ Matchmaking for Beginners by Maddie Dawson - TLC

Hardcover: 370 pages
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (June 1, 2018)

Marnie MacGraw wants an ordinary life—a husband, kids, and a minivan in the suburbs. Now that she’s marrying the man of her dreams, she’s sure this is the life she’ll get. Then Marnie meets Blix Holliday, her fiancĂ©’s irascible matchmaking great-aunt who’s dying, and everything changes—just as Blix told her it would.

When her marriage ends after two miserable weeks, Marnie is understandably shocked. She’s even more astonished to find that she’s inherited Blix’s Brooklyn brownstone along with all of Blix’s unfinished “projects”: the heartbroken, oddball friends and neighbors running from happiness.

Marnie doesn’t believe she’s anything special, but Blix somehow knew she was the perfect person to follow in her matchmaker footsteps.

And Blix was also right about some things Marnie must learn the hard way: love is hard to recognize, and the ones who push love away often are the ones who need it most.

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble


About Maddie Dawson

Maddie Dawson grew up in the South, born into a family of outrageous storytellers. Her various careers as a substitute English teacher, department-store clerk, medical-records typist, waitress, cat sitter, wedding-invitation-company receptionist, nanny, day care worker, electrocardiogram technician, and Taco Bell taco maker were made bearable by thinking up stories as she worked. Today she lives in Guilford, Connecticut, with her husband. She’s the bestselling author of five previous novels: The Survivor’s Guide to Family HappinessThe Opposite of MaybeThe Stuff That Never HappenedKissing Games of the World, and A Piece of Normal.

Connect with Maddie

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

My Thoughts:

What a cute summer read, it's the perfect book to throw into a beach tote and read, while soaking up the sun.

What we have here is the usual chick lit story the a good dose of romance and humor thrown in.

Marnie is set to marry her fiancee Noah, who she thinks is the ultimate perfect partner.  She envisions the white picket fence marriage with kids and everything that life has to offer.  As they are set to marry, her fiancee Noah tries to leave her at the altar.  Shocked, Marnie convinces him not to do it and to just go through with the wedding....they do....but unfortunately barely two weeks into the marriage, it all falls apart.

Marnie is left to pick up the pieces and try to make sense of everything that has happened to her. 

In comes Blix, her ex's aunt who loves to dabble in match making and fully believes that Marnie should be looking into matchmaking herself.

When Blix passes away, Marnie inherits her house, but with one condition, she must live in the house for no less than 3 months before she can officially inherit the brownstone.  Seems an easy thing to do doesn't it?

It would be if the house came empty, but it doesn't, it comes filled with funny, quirky roommates who are themselves dealing with all sorts of romantic issues.....and one of those roommates Marnie must live with?  None other than her ex husband Noah.

This was such a fun book to get through, I honestly chuckled at some situations and awww'd at others.  Highly recommend it for a summer read :)

Monday, June 04, 2018

{ MemoVase }

A couple weeks ago I was contacted by the awesome folks over at Splash Brands, and sent this beautiful vase to review.

I had never heard of the MemoVase, but after reading up on it a bit, I became quite fascinated with the whole concept of being able to write on the vase and really change it up to go with different seasons.

The MemoVase is a heart-shaped ceramic flower vase with a detachable bamboo whiteboard. It was designed and is assembled right here in the USA.

It took us over 3 years to develop this product. From the design of the perfect heart-shape, to finding the most suitable ceramic mix, to getting the feel of the magnets just right.

This would make the perfect gift.  I love the heart shape, I love that it's ceramic, and I especially love the detachable white board that can be used with any kind of dry erase marker, though it does come with a marker inside.  Yes, INSIDE!!!

So it provides a perfect spot to store your marker while you're not using it.

The possibilities with this vase, are endless.  It can be used as a flower vase, or I'm thinking even in the kitchen to store cooking utensils.  The fact that you can write whatever you wish on the whiteboard, makes it even better.

At the moment mine says Spring.....

But, I'll be adding fresh flowers soon, and changing it to Summer.  What would be kind of cool too is to give it as a gift say for, Mother's Day and writing Happy Mother's Day, or for a birthday with a cute handwritten Happy Birthday message.

I can change it up for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine's Day, Easter and so on.  I honestly can't wait to try it with different flower arrangements and different sayings.

If you're interested in purchasing one for yourself, be sure to check out Splash Brands' website or Facebook page, and you can even find these adorable Vases on Amazon.

I'm really happy with mine, it's gotten a few compliments on it already and I just think it adds such a cute touch to the living room.

Thank you to Splash Brands for sending me the vase in exchange for an honest review on my part.