Wednesday, February 27, 2019

{ And the thunder rolls..... }

While I'm dreaming of Spring and Summer, the weather outside is clearly reminding me that they are nowhere to be found.

It is a pretty gloomy winter's day around these parts.

Rain, foggy, bitter cold and so grey that it's making me feel a bit cabin feverish.  It also makes me want to lay in bed all day and do nothing.  Imagine if that were an option, just drift in and out of sleep, have someone provide you with meals, clean the house and take care of everything else while you rest the day away.

{ National Geographic’s 100 Parks, 5000 Ideas - TLC Book Tour }

Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: National Geographic (February 12, 2019)

Filled with helpful travel tips and beautiful National Geographic photography, this expert guide showcases the best experiences in the top national, state, and city parks throughout North America.
In the sequel to the best-selling 50 States, 5,000 ideas, National Geographic turns to the United States’ and Canada’s most pristine–and adventure-filled–national, state, and city parks with 5,000 ideas for the ultimate vacation.

Showcasing the best experiences, both obvious and unexpected, each entry in this robust guide provides an overview of the park, detailed travel advice, fascinating facts, insider knowledge about wildlife, and expert tips for hiking, biking, camping, and exploring. From the geysers of Yellowstone National Park to the Everglades’ Nine Mile Pond Canoe Trail and the stunning peaks of Banff and Jasper in Alberta, each page will fuel your wanderlust.

Plus, explore the natural beauty tucked away in cities like New York’s Central Park and Boston Commons, and find bonus parks with day-trip suggestions to nearby neighbors. Top 10 lists throughout highlight best-of destinations for river trips, monuments, panoramic views, beaches, and more. This comprehensive book provides all the inspiration and information you need to plan your next park visit–and make it a memorable one.

Purchase Links

National Geographic | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

My Thoughts:

I was super excited to be on this tour and given the opportunity to review such an awesome book. 

With Summer just a few months away, we've been talking about going somewhere, taking a small trip or even just a weekend family getaway.  We don't want to go far, we want to be able to stay within State, and this book has so many ideas and options for our State.

The book is divided into the different States and provides not only information on big national parks to visit, but also day trips, what to bring, how to get there, if there are multiple park entrances and where they are located and so on.

Not only filled with tons of ideas for the perfect family vacation or day trip, but the photography is absolutely breathtaking, pulling you straight into the pages and making you wish you could climb right on in to enjoy the scenery.

If you're planning your family vacation for this summer and looking for a great place to visit, within your State or any other State in the country, this is the book for you.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

{ The Woman in The Lake by Nicola Cornick - TLC Book Tour }

Paperback: 320 Pages
Publisher: Graydon House; Original edition (March 1, 2019)

In the tradition of the lush historical dramas of Kate Morton, Philippa Gregory and Barbara Erskine, USA TODAY bestselling author Nicola Cornick’s The Woman in the Lake is a delicious tale of jealousy, greed, plotting and revenge that spans the generations between decadent Georgian society and present day.

London, 1765
Lady Isabella Gerard, a respectable member of Georgian society, orders her maid to take her new golden gown and destroy it, its shimmering beauty tainted by the actions of her brutal husband the night before.
Three months later, Lord Gerard stands at the shoreline of the lake, looking down at a woman wearing the golden gown. As the body slowly rolls over to reveal her face, it’s clear this was not his intended victim…

250 Years Later…
When a gown she stole from a historic home as a child is mysteriously returned to Fenella Brightwell, it begins to possess her in exactly the same way that it did as a girl. Soon the fragile new life Fen has created for herself away from her abusive ex-husband is threatened at its foundations by the gown’s power over her until she can’t tell what is real and what is imaginary.

As Fen uncovers more about the gown and Isabella’s story, she begins to see the parallels with her own life. When each piece of history is revealed, the gown—and its past—seems to possess her more and more, culminating in a dramatic revelation set to destroy her sanity.

Monday, February 25, 2019

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 02/25/2019 }

Good Morning everyone and a very Happy Monday to you all :)

I want to start by thanking the Lord for a new week and a new blank slate for us all.  Remember that God's mercies are new every morning, so take full advantage of that and let this new week be one of blessings and joy.  That is what I wish for each and every single one of you.

In my last post I talked about feeling a bit out of sorts, maybe it was the stomach bug I had, combined with a sense of almost being lost and not really knowing what I was doing last week.  Trust me, we can be in our mid 40's and still have days where we wonder just what in the world we are doing.

But, with God's fresh mercies, I'm grabbing life by the reigns and moving on forward with a fresh new week.

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend, mine was wonderful and quiet as always, which is what I prefer.  I AM feeling tired today, because Curt and I were up until well past 11pm watching an episode of Kitchen Nightmares.  If that show doesn't make you question every restaurant you eat at, I don't know what will.

Anyway, let's get on with our Happy Homemaker Monday, as I have a busy day of homemaking ahead. 

Saturday, February 23, 2019

{ Feeling a bit out of sorts }

I did it again, slacked off on the daily blogging.  It's so frustrating when you want so badly to stick with it and then find yourself inadvertently messing up.

The truth is, I've been a bit out of sorts the past few days.

I can't quite put my finger on it, it's like I have all these things planned to do the following day, and then the day comes around and I end up not doing any of it.  I feel unmotivated and honestly a little unsettled.

I know that it's normal, I've been through this feeling before.  You end up just going through the notions from day to day until the cobwebs finally clear in your head and it's all back to normal.  I'm going to blame it on the weather, because I do realize that is one of the factors in the way I've been feeling.

I want spring time, I want to plant flowers, I want to get outside and enjoy being out there, and I'm quite over and done with the cold, the ice and the high winds.  Just bring me the warmth.

So, this is basically the reason I've been a little out of touch the past few days, I would actually say the month of February.  You know how I notice when this happens?  Through my photo albums online.  I've hardly taken any photos the whole month of February, it's crazy.

Two days ago, I also got hit with some sort of a stomach bug, so much so that I tried to suck it up because I had to pick up Jasmine from work, and I couldn't.  I ended up having to get in touch with Curt at work and asking him to please pick her up for me.  I felt so guilty.

But honestly, I don't think I could have plopped myself in the truck to drive, that's how awful I was feeling.

We've had a very quiet Saturday, I went grocery shopping, then hubby and I grabbed some Whataburger for us all for lunch, I then started laundry and by that time, we had to go back out to drop off Jasmine at work, and then run some errands.

My day however is now done, I've retired to my bed with my Marley, and I'm thinking I'll binge watch some Most Haunted tonight.

God bless!!!!

Thursday, February 21, 2019

{ National Geographic's Nature's Best Remedies - TLC Book Tour }

Hardcover: 320 pages 
Publisher: National Geographic (February 5, 2019)

A guide to the world’s most therapeutic foods, herbs, spices, and essential oils will allow the healing power of nature to energize your body and enrich your life, providing a surefire path to good health and well-being.

This authoritative guide to the foods, herbs, spices, essential oils, and other natural substances that alleviate common ailments will enhance your life–from treating illness to sharpening the mind, losing weight, cleaning the home, enhancing pregnancy, and reducing the effects of aging. Divided into two sections–Nature’s Cures and Nature’s Pharmacopoeia–this beautifully illustrated guide provides up-to-date information on such timely topics as the perils of packaged foods and the benefits of phytochemicals, how to achieve major results with minor alterations in your food choices, the soothing benefits of essential oils, and the most effective methods for maximizing such natural home helpers as salts, vinegars, oils, and more. Innovative recipes offer easy, effective dishes that utilize multiple herbs, spices, and fresh foods for powerhouse results.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

{ Cardinals, cold day and hot tea }


The kind of day that you step outside with your camera in hand, thinking that you will try and get some good shots of the rain coming down, but really can only manage to be out there for 2 minutes before your hands freeze.


It's been steadily coming down, not stopping, not changing intensity.  Just a constant almost kind of misty freezing rain that leaves you chilled to the bone.

I will say that I'm enjoying it because it's been a while since we've had a good rain shower around here, but I'm also very eager for Spring to just arrive and this coldness to subside.

Monday, February 18, 2019

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 02/18/2019 }

Good Morning everyone and a very Happy President's Day!!!

If you are observing this holiday, then I hope you have a fantastic day off work and school, and take time to get an extra day in to relax before heading back to work.

We had another relaxed weekend.  I've found that my family does not really enjoy doing too much on the weekends, we prefer to stay in and take it easy.  That's not to say that we don't also enjoy going out at times, but for the most part, weekends are for us to do absolutely nothing.

However, that means that with today being a holiday, I left half of the laundry until today.  That whole thing of putting it off for the moment, always sounds better when you say it.  Now I'm staring at the pile and wishing I had gone ahead and just thrown it in with the rest.  Oh well, lesson learned.

Anyway, hope you all have a great week, let's get going with our Happy Homemaker Monday.  

{ The Accidental Further Adventures of the 100-year-old Man - TLC Book Tour } 

• Hardcover: 448 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow (January 15, 2019)

The hysterical, clever, and unforgettable sequel to Jonas Jonasson’s international bestseller The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared.

He’s back. Even older. Even funnier.

It all begins with a hot air balloon trip and three bottles of champagne. Allan and Julius are ready for some spectacular views, but they’re not expecting to land in the sea and be rescued by a North Korean ship, and they could never have imagined that the captain of the ship would be harboring a suitcase full of contraband uranium, on a nuclear weapons mission for Kim Jong-un. Yikes!

{ Low Country Hero by Lee Tobin McClain - TLC Book Tour }

Mass Market Paperback: 384 Pages
Publisher: HQN; Original edition (February 26, 2019)

Welcome to Safe Haven, where love—and a second chance—is just around the corner…

Sunny, carefree days splashing in the ocean—it’s the life Anna George has always wanted for her five-year-old twins. And now that they’ve made it to Safe Haven, South Carolina, she won’t let anyone stand in her way. Not the abusive ex she’s just escaped and not the rugged contractor who caught her setting up house in the shuttered beachfront cabins he’s refurbishing. When he offers Anna and her daughters a place to stay in exchange for her help with renovations, she’s tempted. His gentle way with her girls makes her want to trust him, but she’s been wrong before…

Saturday, February 16, 2019

{ Five Senses Saturday - 02/16/2019 }


In October of 2006, I did my very first Five Senses Saturday.  I had seen another blogger do something similar in one of their posts, but it wasn't dedicated to a specific weekday, it was just a five senses post about what she had heard, seen and so on.

I wanted something specific to my Saturdays because if you remember back in those early blogging days, every day seemed to have a theme.  I think in a way it helped blogging, because you knew what you were doing on a certain day and you really never ran out of ideas.

Some of my favorites from back then would be Treasure Tuesday, Show and Tell Friday, Menu Plan Monday, Works for me Wednesday, of course my Slow Cooking Thursday and so on.

Good ol' days :)

Right, let's get on and take a quick look at this past week.

Friday, February 15, 2019

{ A kitchen day and a cleaning tip }


First and foremost, I have to show you what my husband got me yesterday.

We don't really buy much into the whole Valentine's Day thing, mainly because we both find it a tad ridiculous, in the sense that you shouldn't need one specific day to spend tons of money and tell your significant other, how much you love them.

But with that said, every once in a while, we will surprise each other with a little something.

Curt came home from work yesterday filled with surprises for everyone, including Marley who got his very own big teddy bear to play with.  He was so excited!!!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

{ Secrets at Cedar Cabin by Colleen Coble - TLC Book Tour }

Hardcover: 352 Pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (January 22, 2019)

From USA TODAY bestselling author Colleen Coble comes the third book in her beloved Lavender Tides series.

Her mother lied about her identity and her husband wasn’t who she thought he was—can Bailey even trust herself anymore?

Running for her life in the wake of her mother’s murder, Bailey Fleming escapes to the only place she can think of—a remote, dilapidated cabin in Lavender Tides. Intending to finally get to the truth behind the lies of her past, Bailey only finds more questions when bodies are discovered near her cabin hideout along with traces of a dangerous human trafficking ring. In an unlikely partnership with FBI agent Lance Phoenix, Bailey races to understand the mystery surrounding her life and circumstances before the murderer tracks her down.

{ Brunch at Bittersweet Cafe by Carla Laureano - TLC Book Tour

Hardcover: 432 Pages
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (February 5, 2019)

From the RITA Award–winning author of Five Days in Skye comes a sweet, romantic treat that will leave you hungry for more.

Baker and pastry chef Melody Johansson has always believed in finding the positive in every situation, but seven years after she moved to Denver, she can’t deny that she’s stuck in a rut. One relationship after another has ended in disaster, and her classical French training is being wasted on her night job in a mediocre chain bakery. Then the charming and handsome private pilot Justin Keller lands on the doorstep of her workplace in a snowstorm, and Melody feels like it’s a sign that her luck is finally turning around.

Justin is intrigued by the lively bohemian baker, but the last thing he’s looking for is a relationship. His own romantic failures have proven that the demands of his job are incompatible with meaningful connections, and he’s already pledged his life savings to a new business venture across the country an island air charter in Florida with his sister and brother-in-law.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

{ Fog, running around and a little sewing }


Woke up to quite a thick blanket of fog and chilly temperatures.  The picture below was taken as the fog was starting to lift, because about 10 minutes prior to this, I couldn't even see the trees in the yard.

Monday, February 11, 2019

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 02/11/2019 }

Good Morning all :)  Hope you've had a good weekend.

I had a really slow, laid back kind of weekend.  We didn't go anywhere at all, just stayed home and relaxed, which is my favorite way to spend Saturday and Sunday.

Here we are now, Monday morning, a clean slate and a fresh week before us.  I do have a lot of housecleaning to do today, as well as some computer work and some baking as well.  Looking forward to that :)

Last week was a bit of a bust for me, as far as daily blogging, and I explained all that in my previous post which you can read here.  This week will be a lot better, and hopefully back to normal blogging.

Hope you all have a beautiful blessed week ahead.Well let's get going and see what we have ahead for our week.  

Saturday, February 09, 2019

{ Oh goodness, it's been a few days }

I was doing brilliantly, posting every day, and then Wednesday rolled around and it's been a bit of a blur.  I was frustrated with myself for not being able to continue the daily blogging, but I have to remind myself that there will be days, weeks or even months, where this is going to happen.....and guess what?

It's ok.

So where have I been?

Well basically driving my girl to work, back and forth, working on schooling with my son and taking care of business around the house.

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

{ Absolutely gorgeous day }

February 4, 2019

Oh my friends, I know that a lot of you are still dealing with snow and horrid temperatures, and I feel almost bad posting about my day, because we have had the best weather for this time of year.

Woke up to sunny blue skies, the freshest of breezes and the highs for the day of 75 degrees.  It was pure magic and made me really wish for Spring and Summer.

Monday, February 04, 2019

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 02/04/2019 }

Good Morning all :)  Hope you've had a good weekend.  Mine was pretty good, Jasmine worked Saturday so  took her in and then had to go to AT&T to deal with our phone account and some things we had to take care of.  Thankfully that went pretty well and didn't take much time, within 30 minutes we were done and on our way.

Our next stop was Walmart for a few items we needed, like milk, juice, I needed some orange thread for some sewing and a few 2 liter sodas.  We really only have soda on the weekend, so it's a nice treat for us.

The rest of the weekend we were home, although Curt treated the kids and I to a nice dinner at Applebees last night.  We don't go out to dinner very often, and when we do it's once in a blue moon and we actually save up for that, so it's always a nice treat and something we look forward to.

So last week Nick started getting a sore throat again and headache, he was not feeling well at all for about 3 days, then got better, but passed it on to Jasmine.  She was so unwell for 3 days, had fever the first day and is now fine.  Guess who got it now?  Yep, me again.  The whole head/sinus cold is back with a vengeance.  I feel well overall, but the sinus thing is really frustrating, and my voice is croaky.
Anyway, I'm hoping to kick this real quick, seems to be going around again and only lasts about two to three days.  Hopefully Curt avoids it.

Well let's get going and see what we have ahead for our week.