Monday, November 25, 2019

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 11/25/2019 }

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

It's been a week since I've posted on the blog, things have been insane around here.  Aside from the house stuff, my older brother flew in from South Africa, last Friday, to spend Thanksgiving with us and to surprise my other brother.

They hadn't seen each other in 11 years, so the reunion was so sweet to witness.  I'm blessed to have been able to watch it unfold before my eyes.

On Sunday the 1st of December, my younger brother and his family are also arriving from South Africa, and they will be spending Christmas with us.  For the first time in 11 or 12 years, all four of us sibling will be together in the same place.  So exciting!!!

So yes, lots has been happening here.  House wise, we are on the last stretch, the repairs have yet to be done and we are predicted to close on the house in exactly a week.  I don't know what the seller is thinking, I just hope they get what needs doing, done, within the next few days.

Actually, I know that God is in control and it will all be done and dusted in plenty of time.

Right, let's get going with our day, I have a lot to do.  I will put up a post this week with photos of Thanksgiving, but aside from that I really don't know how much I'll be around.  Apologies for that.

Anyway, enough talking.   

The weather outside is::::
Though it's been pretty chilly, today we are expecting a bit of a warm up.  It also looks like half the week we will have temperatures in the 70's, how weird.  I get so frustrated with the constant change in temperatures, as it just causes health issues and everyone around is sniffling and cold.  Crazy weather!     

Monday - Partly cloudy, 68
Tuesday - Partly cloudy and wind, 77
Wednesday - Mostly cloudy, 52
Thursday - Rain, 48
Friday - Thunderstorms, 71
Saturday - Partly cloudy and win, 63
Sunday - Sunny and wind, 49

On the breakfast plate this morning::::
Just had coffee with Peppermint Creamer.  I'll have some toast later.          

As I look outside my window:::
The sun has risen although it's cloudy outside.  I always enjoy this time of year, early mornings, golden light and frost shining on the grass.   

Right now I am::::
Just said goodbye to my husband, he is off to work.  I am sitting in bed with Marley, and working on this post, while trying to catch up on youtube videos.  I'm about a week behind so have lots to catch up on.          

As I look around the house::::
I need to tidy up a little, with family over there's always a bit more to tidy up.  My kitchen needs some work today, I have dishes from last night's dinner, in the sink just waiting for me.          

On today's to do list::::
Laundry....I have a load of whites to wash, everything else is done.           
Cleaning....Basic every day chores, also want to vacuum the carpets.         
Cooking.....We have leftover Lasagna and Chicken Stroganoff, so that's lunch taken care of.  Dinner will be Chicken Pot Pie and a salad.         

On this week's to do list::::
  1. Need to pull the turkey's out of the freezer today, and find some room in the refrigerator for them to thaw. 
  2. Cook all the sweet potatoes so they're ready for the casserole and pie. 
  3. Make pie dough for Thanksgiving pies.
  4. Shell out more pecans for the pie.
  5. Pull out the serving tables and get the table ready for Thanksgiving.

On the menu this week::::
Monday - Chicken Pot Pie and Salad
Tuesday - Family Burrito Bake, Steamed Broccoli
Wednesday - Spicy 3 Pepper Fettucine with Italian Sausage
Thursday - Thanksgiving
Friday -  Leftovers
Saturday -
Sunday -

Currently reading::::
Stay by Catherine Ryan Hyde.

On the TV this week::::

Homemaking Vlogs
Hallmark Christmas Movies

Will also be watching some classics for this time of year, like Planes, Trains and Automobiles and some National Lampoons Vacation, Christmas Vacation etc.  

What I am creating at the moment::::
Rozeta CAL from Lilla Bjorn.     

New recipe I tried or want to try this week::::
Nothing new on the meal plan, just sticking to good ol' favorites.   

Favorite photo from the camera:::: 

Prayers, Inspirational Quotes or Devotionals::::

1 Kings 8:56

"Blessed be the LORD who has given rest to his people Israel, according to all that he promised. Not one word has failed of all his good promise, which he spoke by Moses his servant."

* The past few weeks I have had to go in and delete links that are NOT related to Happy Homemaker Monday.  Folks, I have asked repeatedly to not add random links to other posts on your blogs, or just a link to your blog in general.  It is a lot of work for me to sit and go through and manually delete them from the linky, and it's also incredibly rude to the other participants who are just looking for the Happy Homemaker Monday posts.  Please be respectful!!!

Monday, November 18, 2019

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 11/18/2019 }

Good morning friends, hope you're staying warm.

How was your weekend?

Mine was wonderful, aside from the usual homemaking chores, we harvested our pecans and the rest of the weekend was spent relaxing.  I even took a nap on Saturday afternoon which is something I never do.  I'm not a napper, I find that if I do nap during the day, I wake up in a super foul mood lol

Anyway, I hope you all have a wonderful week ahead.  We are expecting some small repairs to be done to the house, by the seller, and we're hoping that they get to it sometime this week.

Well, let's see what we have going on around blogland, shall we?   

The weather outside is::::
Though it's been pretty chilly, today we are expecting a bit of a warm up.  It also looks like half the week we will have temperatures in the 70's, how weird.  I get so frustrated with the constant change in temperatures, as it just causes health issues and everyone around is sniffling and cold.  Crazy weather!     

Monday - Sunny, 73
Tuesday - Mostly Sunny, 76
Wednesday - PM Rain,70
Thursday - Showers, 62
Friday - AM Showers, 50
Saturday - Sunny, 57
Sunday - Sunny, 65

On the breakfast plate this morning::::
Coffee with Coconut Creme Creamer.  I'm not sure what I'll have for breakfast, just not really feeling like eating anything at the moment.        

As I look outside my window:::
The sun is rising and it's casting the prettiest of orange light all around.  Fall is one of those seasons that make sunrises even more stunning than usual.  I don't know if it's the reflection of the golden light on the frost outside, but it looks absolutely magical. 

Right now I am::::
I just got hubby off to work and while he was driving off, 3 huge deer came running through our property and took off across the road, into the trees.  I always love this time of year because it's when we see a plethora of deer running around.

I am sitting in bed and working on this post, also forwarding some home related emails to my husband, watching a vlog on the tv and thinking about what I need to do today.         

As I look around the house::::
Everything is bathed in an orange glow.  My Autumn tree is lit in the corner of the dining room, making it all look so cozy and warm.        

On today's to do list::::
Laundry....Just have some kitchen towels that need washing.  Although I did all my laundry this weekend, the basket is full again.  What on earth?         
Cleaning....I want to give my carpets a good clean.  It's been a few weeks and with the constant influx of inspectors and different people in and out, they need a good cleaning.       
Cooking.....I'll be making the kids and I some Grilled Cheese sandwiches for lunch.  Dinner will be Portuguese Chicken and Rice.       

On this week's to do list::::
  1. Put up the pine garlands on the windows
  2. Perimenopause doctor's appointment, this afternoon
  3. Clean Carpets
  4. Make pie dough for Thanksgiving pies

On the menu this week::::
Monday - Portuguese Chicken and Rice
Tuesday - Sheet Pan Pepperoni Pizza
Wednesday - Bio's Almondegas (Great Grandma's meatballs), Fries
Thursday - Onion and Potato Soup, Sandwiches
Friday -  Easy Chicken Pot Pie, Salad
Saturday - Hot and Spicy Lasagna, Foccacia
Sunday -Brunch (Bacon, Maple Sausages, Eggs, Biscuits and Gravy)

Currently reading::::
Stay by Catherine Ryan Hyde.

On the TV this week::::

Homemaking Vlogs
Hallmark Christmas Movies

Haven't had much time for actual TV watching or catching up on any shows.

What I am creating at the moment::::
Rozeta CAL from Lilla Bjorn.     

>New recipe I tried or want to try this week::::
While meal planning for the next two weeks, I pulled out my Pampered Chef cookbooks and jotted down a few meals or desserts that I wanted to try.  One of those was for a really easy and quick homemade carrot cake.  I made it yesterday and it was divine.
I'll share the recipe sometime today. 

Favorite photo from the camera:::: 

Prayers, Inspirational Quotes or Devotionals::::

♥♥♥ Curt's stepfather is still gaining strength so that he can have his heart surgery.  He did get to go home from rehabilitation on Friday, so that's wonderful news.   
♥♥♥ My mother in law, she is continuing her infusion treatments for breast cancer.
♥♥♥ Our home buying journey.  The inspections went amazingly well.  As you know, we are using a VA loan and have now been conditionally approved.  It basically means, they just needed some more documentation sent in before giving the go ahead to close on the house.
However, there are some minor repairs that the appraiser wants done before closing, basically the whole trim around the house needs to be peeled and repainted.  Our back patio overhang is super old, the paint is peeling and there are some rotten wood planks.  Hubby and I had full intentions of redoing it, but it's not up to us, so the VA wants the seller to replace all that wood and repaint it all.

This all needs to be done within the next two weeks, so we will be on them to get this done as soon as possible.  Thank you all so much for the prayers you continue sending our way.  We are ever so close to owning this home, and it really would be a dream come true. 

* The past few weeks I have had to go in and delete links that are NOT related to Happy Homemaker Monday.  Folks, I have asked repeatedly to not add random links to other posts on your blogs, or just a link to your blog in general.  It is a lot of work for me to sit and go through and manually delete them from the linky, and it's also incredibly rude to the other participants who are just looking for the Happy Homemaker Monday posts.  Please be respectful!!!

Sunday, November 17, 2019

{ Harvesting Pecans }


Typically, we like to get the Pecans harvested as soon as they're ready, which for us could mean middle of October, but usually very beginning of November.

However, with all the craziness happening around here, it is not something we had a chance to do, until yesterday.


We've been blessed with 6 Pecan trees on the property.

When we first moved into this house, I had no clue we had so many, and the first year we didn't even realize there were pecans to harvest.  The second year we had quite a bit to harvest and we got as many as we could.

What we also didn't realize is that Pecan trees don't produce a huge crop, every single year.  So last year we were all set on harvesting and were quite disappointed not to see many at all.


This year however, we have an abundance.  Two of our trees put out a huge crop, enough that last week, my husband went out back to check on the trees and came back after an hour, with a full box.

Yesterday we decided that we needed to take some time and get out there, so we could gather as many as we could before they went bad, and before the squirrels went through them.

As it is, one of the trees was depleted and all that was left were a bunch of shells scattered at it's feet, with half eaten pecans.  Those silly squirrels!

However, there were still plenty to harvest.  We spent, maybe two hours and came back in with boxes full.  I have never seen so many pecans in my life.



The job is far from over, I now need to cure all these pecans.  If you don't cure them, you run the risk of mold growing and the nuts being inedible.

Now that we've harvested them, they will need to be placed in a single layer, on a surface that allows for good ventilation.  They will have to sit like this for about 2 weeks, and then we will shell them, freeze some, make pies, make pecan milk and all sorts of goodies.


These are the kind of chores that some people will turn their noses at, wonder why bother with all this work, just go to the store and buy them.  Absolutely, if you're willing to pay over 6 dollars for a small bag of pecans.  I don't know how much they are where you live, but I've always found pecans to be incredibly expensive, it's almost heartbreaking paying that much for a small bag of crushed pecans.

When you have an abundance that the Lord has blessed you with, you use it.  You make the effort, you harvest and cure and then enjoy the rewards.

For us, it's just part of living in the country, of homesteading so to speak.

It's not easy work, and after harvesting for just a few hours yesterday, my lower back was killing me, but it's work that I do with a smile on my face. 

If we are blessed to stay in this house, Curt and I have so many plans for the property, and I can not wait to take you along.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

{ Let's talk }


It is so chilly outside, the grass is filled with sparkling icy drops, the car windows are covered in a white icy film, and our heaters are humming in the background.

I have a feeling that this winter is going to be colder than usual.

But come on in and sit with me a little, let's talk.


I want to start by apologizing for the lack of actual posts.  I have put up a book review pretty much each day, but I don't consider those proper blog posts.  Maybe I'm wrong, but for me, blogging is about sharing our lives, exchanging ideas and recipes, tips and so forth.

And so when I go a few days without doing that, I start getting antsy.  It's a bit unnerving to look at my blog and see only reviews or posts that don't reflect what is going on in my life, at that specific moment.

So I wanted to come in and talk to you real quick.

I'm doing well, my family is doing well, so let's just get that out of the way already.

However, you know what is currently going on behind closed doors, and it's been a flurry of busy, stressful, paperwork coming out of the backside, few weeks.



Outside, completely unaware of our current state of mind, the season continues to do it's thing.  The trees have now either completely lost their leaves, or are in a state of undress.  Bare branches intermingled with branches that have some leaves clinging on for dear life.

There is something so magical about the Fall season, for me, it's especially beautiful when driving by and seeing the changing colors of the trees.  Dark reds, bright oranges and muted yellows, all in a line, as if waiting to be inspected.


But I'm getting off track here, after all I invited you in for a chat, not a lesson on the seasons.

I guess what I want to say is that, right now, my posting will be sporadic.  Not by personal choice, but rather an imposed brief, and I mean VERY brief hiatus of the posts you love reading, and really the ones I most enjoy sharing.

My attention is needed elsewhere.

We have had a ton of inspections, seems like every other day there is a new person walking through my house, and for someone as private as I am (I'm talking about having people in my house, kind of private), it all feels quite unsettling.

Strangers prodding and poking into every corner, invading your space, questioning and inquiring, suggesting and demanding and so on.

Boy it's been a lesson, in many ways......actually, it's been an incredible journey.

The constant barrage of calls and emails, signing of this and that, providing this and that document, having to rely on my memory for things from years prior that frankly, I can no longer remember.  The stress, the uncertainty of it all.

I have told my husband that I feel like I've been holding my breath for weeks, and I'm quite ready to exhale and take in a deep fresh breath of air.

So as much as I wish I could be waking up every morning and just worrying about what I need to clean and cook, or do for homeschool, I feel that I can't concentrate on anything much other than the house buying process.

Forgive me, we have but 2 more weeks of this and then I can move on and go right back to homemaking full time. 

The blogging will be kind of sporadic,  but at least you will know why.  It might not make sense, or have any rhyme or reason, and I hate doing that because I'm quite an organized and methodical person, so trust me when I say that I'm counting down the days until this is all done and dusted.

You may see some random posts here and there.  I'll actually have a post for you tomorrow, as this afternoon we are gathering all the pecans from the yard, and I'll also be making my Christmas fruit cakes (poor things should have been made weeks ago, but it's yet another thing that took backseat).


It is 8:30am and I'm still sitting in bed.  I've had coffee and I've had toast but I haven't had the energy or motivation, to get up, get dressed and get started with the day.

I've allowed myself to go slow this morning, everyone needs a break now and again, right?

Anyway, in brief, I know I'm a little MIA from the blog and not exactly putting out the content I want to, but it's temporary and before you know it, I'll be back.

Have a wonderful weekend friends, relax and enjoy time with your family.


Thursday, November 14, 2019

{ November Road by Lou Berney - TLC Book Tours }

• Paperback: 320 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (October 22, 2019)

“When people say they want to read a really good novel, the kind you just can’t put down, this is the kind of book they mean. Exceptional.” –Stephen King, New York Times bestselling author
Named a Best Book of the Year by Entertainment Weekly • Washington Post • AARP • Newsweek 

• Dallas Morning News • South Florida Sun-Sentinel • Crime Reads
Set against the assassination of JFK, a poignant and evocative crime novel that centers on a desperate cat-and-mouse chase across 1960s America—a story of unexpected connections, daring possibilities, and the hope of second chances from the Edgar Award-winning author of The Long and Faraway Gone.

Frank Guidry’s luck has finally run out.

A loyal street lieutenant to New Orleans’ mob boss Carlos Marcello, Guidry has learned that everybody is expendable. But now it’s his turn—he knows too much about the crime of the century: the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Within hours of JFK’s murder, everyone with ties to Marcello is turning up dead, and Guidry suspects he’s next: he was in Dallas on an errand for the boss less than two weeks before the president was shot. With few good options, Guidry hits the road to Las Vegas, to see an old associate—a dangerous man who hates Marcello enough to help Guidry vanish.

Guidry knows that the first rule of running is “don’t stop,” but when he sees a beautiful housewife on the side of the road with a broken-down car, two little daughters and a dog in the back seat, he sees the perfect disguise to cover his tracks from the hit men on his tail. Posing as an insurance man, Guidry offers to help Charlotte reach her destination, California. If she accompanies him to Vegas, he can help her get a new car.

For her, it’s more than a car— it’s an escape. She’s on the run too, from a stifling existence in small-town Oklahoma and a kindly husband who’s a hopeless drunk.
It’s an American story: two strangers meet to share the open road west, a dream, a hope—and find each other on the way.

Charlotte sees that he’s strong and kind; Guidry discovers that she’s smart and funny. He learns that’s she determined to give herself and her kids a new life; she can’t know that he’s desperate to leave his old one behind.

Another rule—fugitives shouldn’t fall in love, especially with each other. A road isn’t just a road, it’s a trail, and Guidry’s ruthless and relentless hunters are closing in on him. But now Guidry doesn’t want to just survive, he wants to really live, maybe for the first time.

Everyone’s expendable, or they should be, but now Guidry just can’t throw away the woman he’s come to love.
And it might get them both killed.

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

© Brandon Michael Smith

About Lou Berney

Lou Berney is the author of three previous novels, Gutshot Straight, Whiplash River, and multiple prize-winning The Long and Faraway Gone. His short fiction has appeared in publications such as The New Yorker, Ploughshares, and the Pushcart Prize anthology. He lives in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Find out more about Lou at his website, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

My Thoughts:
 President Kennedy's assassination will forever be remembered.

It is the catapult to the story that takes place within this novel.  It is NOT what the story is focused on, but rather the setting and era that brings to light a mafia character on the run, and a mother and her children caught in this crossfire.

I am not a fan of anything to do with the mafia, so I wouldn't say that I loved this book, but credit has to be given where it's due, and Lou Berney is a fantastic writer that seamlessly transports us to a world that we are completely oblivious to.

Charlotte and her two children are on the run, all she wants as a mother, is to protect her children and get as far as possible from her alcoholic husband.  She doesn't realize that joining forces with Frank, who can facilitate her journey to California, may just be too much to handle.

Frank is a lieutenant for the mob boss in New Orleans, and he knows far too much about what is happening in Dallas.  He also knows what happens to those that know too much, and he is not ready to be disposed of as easily.  Going on the run is the only thing he can think of, and as a mob member he knows that will probably mean, running for the rest of his life.

When he comes upon Charlotte and her daughters, broken down on the side of the road, he realizes that they could be the best coverup, pretending to be a happy family traveling across the country may just throw his hit men off.

I'm pretty sure you know what comes next, a love story blossoming in the middle of blood, violence and the mob.

If you like historical fiction, which I do, and find the whole mob thing interesting, this may just be the book for you.

Thank you to TLC Tours and the publisher for providing me with a review copy of this book, in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

{ The Source by Tara Swart - TLC Book Tours }

 The Source

• Hardcover: 288 pages
• Publisher: HarperOne (October 15, 2019)

For the first time, a Neuroscientist and Senior Lecturer at MIT reveals the surprising science that supports The Law of Attraction as an effective tool for self-discovery and offers a guide to discovering your authentic self to access your best life now.

Self-help books like The Secret show us that if we can tap into “The Law of Attraction,” we have the power to change our destiny simply by reshaping our mind. Millions of people have used the ancient systems of manifestation and visualization to find health, success, love, friendship, wealth, and more. But does the “Law of Attraction” actually work? And more important, is this kind of life-changing philosophy within reach for everyone, even the most skeptical among us?

As Dr. Tara Swart, psychiatrist, neuroscientist, and Senior Lecturer at MIT shows us in The Source, if we can strip away our skepticism, these ancient tools of manifestation and visualization are fundamentally powerful and incredibly effective at freeing us of self-limiting behaviors and propelling us toward our truest, most authentic selves. Swart reveals how and why these systems actually work by offering the latest breakthroughs in neuroscience and behavioral psychology, including lessons in neuroplasticity, magneticism, emotional and logical thinking, and even hydration, self-care, and relaxation. Next, she describes her own journey from skeptic to believer, and guides readers through the scientific breakthroughs and personal revelations that changed her from an unhappy, close-minded, and disconnected woman wanting more from life, to a successful entrepreneur living with confidence, purpose, and joy.

The truth is, most of the things we want—health, happiness, wealth, love—are governed by our ability to think, feel, and act—in other words, by our brain. Dr. Swart combines the insights and inspiration of The Secret with the practical lessons of The Master Key System to help a new generation fulfill their dreams. The Source is a rigorous, proven toolkit for unlocking our minds—and reaching our fullest potential.

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


About Tara Swart

DR. TARA SWART is a neuroscientist and former psychiatric doctor. She is a senior lecturer at MIT Sloan and visiting senior lecturer at Kings College, London, and an executive advisor to some of the world’s most respected leaders in media and business. She is lead author of the award-winning Neuroscience for Leadership and in 2016 she was named the world’s first Neuroscientist in Residence at Corinthia Hotel, London. She is passionate about teaching others how to apply lessons from cognitive science to enhance everyday lives.
Find out more about Tara at her website, and follower her on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

My Thoughts:
 I love Science, find it fascinating and am usually drawn to all sorts of sciency (I know not a word), subjects.

The Source focuses on the law of attraction, and how to tap into your brain to achieve your full potential.  But it also talks about spotting false logic, or how to tap into your full creativity, which is always a great thing to know.

However, for me, I found it incredibly hard to get into and read in general, it was just too much for my little brain to take in, or maybe I'm not in the frame of mind to fully take in what is being shared.

The book itself and the subject matter are fascinating and I think, for anyone who is interested in the laws of attraction and how our brains work and decipher things around us, this would make a fantastic read.

Thank you to TLC Tours and the publisher for providing me with a review copy of this book, in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

{ The Cost of Honor by Diana Munoz Stewart - TLC Book Tours }

Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca (November 26, 2019)

He gave up everything to escape his family
The only male to be adopted into the notorious Parish family, Tony Parish always did right by his vigilante sisters. But when an attempt to protect one of them went horribly wrong, he had to fake his own death to escape his fanatical family. Tony set sail and ended up in Dominica?face to face with the woman of his dreams…

Now he must give up Honor to save her
After the death of her mother, Honor Silva moved to Dominica, where her family could help her heal and move on. But her activist mother left her more than money, she left her proof that could take down one of the richest and most powerful men in the world.

Tony gave up everything he thought he knew when he fled his family. But when a threat too dangerous for Tony and Honor to fight on their own closes in, he has no choice but to go to them for help. Problem is, they’ll demand something in return?something that could cost Tony not just Honor, but also the love that changed him forever.

Black Ops Confidential Series:
I Am Justice (Book 1)
The Price of Grace (Book 2)
The Cost of Honor (Book 3)

Readers are raving about the Black Ops Confidential series:
“A high-octane…satisfying roller-coaster ride. Stewart’s talent shines.”–Publishers Weekly for The Price of Grace

“Electrifying, edgy, and sexy!”–JULIE ANN WALKERNew York Times bestseller, for I Am Justice

“Witty, dangerous, fun, and smoking hot.”–CINDY DEESNew York Times bestseller, for I Am Justice

Add to Goodreads badge

Purchase Links

AmazonBooks-A-MillionBarnes & Noble


About Diana Munoz Stewart

Diana Munoz Stewart is the award-winning, romantic suspense author of the Band of Sisters series, which includes I Am Justice, I Am Grace, and I Am Honor. Visit her at

Connect with Diana

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

My Thoughts:

First I need to say that this book is the third in a series called Black Ops Confidential, so unfortunately I went into it blind and not really knowing what to expect, since I didn't read the previous two books.

There were a few moments that I felt like I was missing some background information, and had I kept up with the previous storyline, I probably would have understood, but nonetheless I was able to stay on track just from this book.

The story follows Tony and Honor.

The premise is pretty predictable, guy is trying to start fresh in a new place, meets and falls in love with a girl who has enough baggage for the both of them.

Tony was the only male in a family of predominantly females, but an incident going awry, caused him to flee, fake his own death and end up in Dominica, trying to just stay in the shadows and start a new life.

Honor is still reeling from her mother's death and trying to move on herself.  She has been living in Dominica with her family who have tried everything to help her heal and move on from the grief.  The problem is that her mother left her some pretty serious information, which if Honor follows through on, will bring down a huge corrupt organization and with it an infamous powerful man.

The rest we know how it goes, Tony tries to fight his feelings for Honor while wanting desperately to protect her, which causes him to get caught up in this huge mess of a dangerous situation.  In the end they may just need to sacrifice more than they want to in order to stay safe.

The book was an easy read, like I said pretty predictable, but then again I am never one to shy away from books or even movies like that.  It's that sweet romance that pretty much gives you the ending form the beginning, but you still follow along page by page, rooting for the two characters to end up together.

Thank you to TLC Tours and the publisher for providing me with a review copy of this book, in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, November 11, 2019

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 11/11/2019 }

Good morning everyone, how was your weekend?

Mine has been good but busy, isn't it always?  Lots of painting and fixing and house related stuff, but also filled with tons of Christmas movies.  Yes, I'm already on it, I started last week Wednesday and I've been watching at least one or two a night, the Hallmark movies that is. 

It's so funny that they are predictable and you know exactly what is going to happen, and yet, I love watching them and can't stop.  lol

Anyway, it is a new week, we have a blank slate to write our stories, so let's make it a good one.

Thank you all who come in every week to participate, and a big hello to all the new participants.

Let's see what we have going on this week. 

The weather outside is::::
The temperature is currently 50 degrees but the real feel is 46.  The wind is howling outside and we actually have a high wind warning going on.  We are also expecting a cold front to come in so I guess it's time to bundle up.   

Monday - Cloudy/Wind,  48
Tuesday - Sunny, 43
Wednesday - Sunny, 59
Thursday - Sunny, 56
Friday - Sunny, 58
Saturday - Partly cloudy, 61
Sunday - Partly cloudy, 58

On the breakfast plate this morning::::
Just enjoying a hot cup of coffee with White Chocolate Raspberry creamer.  Not sure what I will eat, not hungry right now and can't think of anything I feel like.      

As I look outside my window:::
It is still dark outside so aside from the high wind noises, I can't see a single thing.  

Right now I am::::
Sitting in bed, drinking my coffee, listening to the howling wind and getting this post typed up.         

As I look around the house::::
The house is still asleep, so it's pretty dark.  There are twinkly lights on the mantel and the Fall tree lit in the corner.  It looks so cozy in here.      

On today's to do list::::
Laundry....All the laundry has been washed, just need to do one load of kitchen towels.       
Cleaning....Had our real estate agent come over yesterday morning, so Curt and I zipped through and gave the house a really and I mean REALLY good clean.  I have nothing to do today as it's sparkly clean.  Yay!!!     
Cooking.....Hubby is off today, so for lunch I'm going to make him some biscuits and gravy.  Dinner will be the Pampered Chef Chicken Broccoli Ring with a salad.     

On the menu this week::::
Monday - Chicken and Broccoli Ring, Salad
Tuesday - Slow Cooked Cubed Steaks with Gravy, Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Wednesday - Cheesy Garlic Pizza
Thursday - Pork Chops with Cubed Potatoes, Steamed Broccoli
Friday -  Cheesy Kielbasa Bake, Garlic Bread
Saturday -
Sunday -

Currently reading::::
The cost of honor by Diana Munoz Stewart.

On the TV this week::::

Homemaking Vlogs
Hallmark Christmas Movies

Catherine the Great
His Dark Materials

What I am creating at the moment::::
Rozeta CAL from Lilla Bjorn.     

New recipe I tried or want to try this week::::
We tried the Chicken and Dumplings last week and it was a hit.  The Chili Frito Pie was just ok, it was basically just chili with frito chips.  I don't have any new recipes planned at the moment, but I do have to work on my next menu plan so I can grocery shop on Friday.         

Favorite photo from the camera:::: 

Prayers, Inspirational Quotes or Devotionals::::

♥♥♥ Curt's stepfather is still needing open heart surgery, but there have been a few complications and he is now dealing with some gallbladder issues and an open ulcer.   He is currently in rehabilitation gaining his strength so he can have his heart surgery done.  Please keep him in your prayers. 
♥♥♥ My mother in law and her continuing fight with breast cancer.
♥♥♥ Our home buying journey.  The VA Appraiser should be coming out sometime this week.  We have a projected closing date as well.  I have to say that as much as I would love to buy this house for myself,  I mostly want this for my husband.  He has worked so hard his whole life, gave 22 years to the military and is now still working with the Air Force, training our future airmen.  This is a dream that I want for HIM, it's something he has wanted for many years and I would love to see it come to fruition.  So please keep us in your prayers. 

* The past few weeks I have had to go in and delete links that are NOT related to Happy Homemaker Monday.  Folks, I have asked repeatedly to not add random links to other posts on your blogs, or just a link to your blog in general.  It is a lot of work for me to sit and go through and manually delete them from the linky, and it's also incredibly rude to the other participants who are just looking for the Happy Homemaker Monday posts.  Please be respectful!!! 

Friday, November 08, 2019

Simple living, simple work

Be cheerful, for it is the only happy life. The times may be hard, but it will make them no easier to wear a gloomy and sad countenance.”
-The Royal Path of Life


The past few years, I set up a Fall/Thanksgiving tree.

It's not something I have always done, but since doing it the first year, I completely fell in love with the idea and I find that it's a good transition into Christmas.  This tree sits in the den, and our real Christmas tree will be bought and set up in the living room.


It seems that the minute I get the tree up, everyone is drawn to it and I find that the kids hang out more in there, not to mention Mister Marley.  This is his favorite spot, he sits like a person and just watched the outside of the house.  He is such a sweetheart!


I've been working around the house, moving things here and there and getting things ready for the home inspection.

Curt and I have been painting, touching up and just making sure that everything is up to par.  As I've mentioned here many times, being able to purchase this home and make it ours, would be a dream come true for us both.


The past couple of days have been so cold with some mornings in the 20's,  and really only a nice fire going, some long sleeves and comfy slippers, seems to make it better.


I live for these moments.

Condensation on the windows, dark mornings and pretty lights.


I was thinking about my life the other morning and the kind of person I am, or rather who I have become.  One thing is pretty clear, and that is, that it's taken me a long time to be completely content in who I am and how I live.

I used to think that I had to live like everyone else did, and if I liked something but it didn't fit into what others believed or thought was the cool thing, then I had to hide it, or pretend I wasn't interested, or even change it.  But as I did that, I realized that I wasn't living the life I wanted and at one point, I got so tired of having to justify myself or what I believed in, that I just stopped.



"Why would you want to live a simple life, why do you like doilies that is such an old people thing, why isn't your house decorated with the latest color scheme, why don't you want to live in the city, why do you want a farmhouse/country kind of look no one wants that."


Because I do, that's just who I am and what I like.  I am all about the simple things, simple life, simple house, simple daily chores.  Canning and crocheting, cups of coffee, washing dishes in the sink, flowers picked from the yard and brought in to display on mason jars.


“The secret of contentment is the realization that life is a gift, not a right.
Next to faith this is the highest art –
to be content with the calling in which God has placed you.”
– Martin Luther

I will be completely and fully honest right now, and tell you that aside from homemaking, being a wife and mother, I am totally winging everything else in life.  It's almost like I feel out of place constantly and wishing to be surrounded by like minded individuals.

I'll scroll through social media, or watch TV and it becomes glaringly obvious that I don't fit in and don't want to. 

It's such a strange thing to me, it's like missing something that you never had, like living in the wrong era.

And so I block out the outside world views and move on, dusting a window here, washing a curtain there, preparing a meal for the family or kneading some dough for a fresh loaf of bread.

The only one whose opinion really matters, is that of God's and I believe that this is my calling, the life He saw fit for me.  So I'll obey and continue on my path, living this simple life and doing this simple work.

Thursday, November 07, 2019

{ It would be night in Caracas by Karina Sainz Borgo - TLC Book Tours }

It Would Be Night in Caracas

• Hardcover: 240 pages
• Publisher: HarperVia (October 15, 2019)

Told with gripping intensity, It Would be Night in Caracas chronicles one woman’s desperate battle to survive amid the dangerous, sometimes deadly, turbulence of modern Venezuela and the lengths she must go to secure her future.

In Caracas, Venezuela, Adelaida Falcón stands over an open grave. Alone, she buries her mother—the only family she has ever known—and worries that when night falls thieves will rob the grave. Even the dead cannot find peace here.

Adelaida had a stable childhood in a prosperous Venezuela that accepted immigrants in search of a better life, where she lived with her single-mother in a humble apartment. But now? Every day she lines up for bread that will inevitably be sold out by the time she reaches the registers. Every night she tapes her windows to shut out the tear gas raining down on protesters.

When looters masquerading as revolutionaries take over her apartment, Adelaida must make a series of gruesome choices in order to survive in a country disintegrating into anarchy, where citizens are increasingly pitted against each other. But just how far is she willing to go?

A bold new voice from Latin America, Karina Sainz Borgo’s touching, thrilling debut is an ode to the Venezuelan people and a chilling reminder of how quickly the world we know can crumble.

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Photo by Lisbeth Salas

About Karina Sainz Borgo

Karina Sainz Borgo was born and raised in Caracas. She began her career in Venezuela as a journalist for El Nacional. Since immigrating to Spain ten years ago, she has written for Vozpópuli and collaborates with the literary magazine Zenda. She is the author of two nonfiction books, Tráfico y Guaire (2008) and Caracas Hip-Hop (2008). It Would Be Night in Caracas is her first work of fiction.
Follow her on Twitter.

My Thoughts:

 I had always heard about Venezuela's tumultuous history, so when I had the opportunity to review this book, I was quite excited.

The story follows Adelaida, trying to survive in a chaotic Venezuela that is quickly slipping into anarchy.  The home she once knew as a wonderful place to live, is now fraught with hardships. 

For someone like me who loves history and actually knows a bit of what the author was talking about, it made perfect sense, but I think someone who comes into it not knowing a single thing about the country's history, they may find themselves a bit confused.

There wasn't a lot of background given, or details or much of anything explaining the actual history, other than how Adelaida was reacting to it.  The story itself is heartbreaking and I couldn't imagine having to live through something like that.

Thank you to TLC Tours and the publisher for providing me with a review copy of this book, in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

{ Slow Day }

As my stress levels hit an all time high, I realized that it was not only affecting me mentally but physically too.  That is usually when I switch gears and force myself to slow down, to have a slow, cozy day surrounded by the things I love.

There was much needing done around the house, and so I slipped the apron over my head, tied the straps behind my back, took a deep breath and just got busy.


I started with the dishes, since there's always piles in the sink, no matter how many times I run the dishwasher or hand wash.  While I was standing at the sink, I took the sprayer from the faucet and quickly gave the window a quick wash too.


With the weather turning cold the past week, we've lit the fire twice, which means ashes needing to be cleared out from the fireplace.  It's not a chore I particularly enjoy but I do like a clean fireplace, so I got right to work.

I cleared out all the ashes, then gave the metal border and the glass doors a really good clean.  I then swept and vacuumed the brickwork and left the fireplace looking spotless.  I can't believe I didn't take a photo to show you, I'll have to do that tomorrow.


I also emptied out the ash bucket, gave it a clean, and restocked some firewood in the basket.


As I moved around the house, doing this and that, the rain started outside.  Within a few minutes the house darkened so much that it looked like nighttime, so I lit some lamps and candle warmers and continued working under the cozy lighting.


I finished off a few loads of laundry, including one of kitchen towels and tablecloths.  Just because it was raining outside, didn't mean that I needed to run my big dryer for this load, so I set them up in the living room and let them sit overnight.

All I need to do now is iron them.  Maybe you think I'm strange for ironing kitchen towels and tablecloths, but I was raised by my great grandmother and she always instilled in me this love for homemaking, even in those menial tasks we would otherwise find useless to do.


Furniture was polished, floors were vacuumed, windows were washed and rooms set to order.

There is something so calming and peaceful about a clean room.  I don't often show you Curt's office, I don't know why because it is one of my favorite rooms in the house, but maybe I'll do that another time.


I have to tell you that I truly do love this house, and I would be extremely happy, and blessed, were we given the opportunity to buy it and stay forever.

But I know that this is all in God's hands and I'm letting Him take the reign. 

We may not have the certainty that this home will be ours, it will be a few more weeks until we know for sure, but for the moment,  I plan on enjoying it and loving it, just as much as if I already knew the outcome. 

And so, even in the uncertainty, I take the utmost care in every room that I clean, in every corner that I decorate, every floor I sweep or window I wash. 

It doesn't take but a bit of my time and effort, and it's the least I can give back to these four walls that have given us so much love the past 4 years.

Monday, November 04, 2019

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 11/04/2019 }

Good morning friends, happy Monday and welcome to another Happy Homemaker Monday.

Things around here have been stressful to say the least, if you've read my latest post you will understand, so be sure to check it out below.

Much as it's all stressful and up in the air, the Lord has also been moving mountains and making things happen for us, and it's been pure joy to sit back and watch Him work.  If only I had learned how to just sit, do my part and then wait, instead of expecting things to happen when I want them to, or how I want them to.

This whole situation has been a huge lesson for both Curt and I, it's been hard, it's been terrifying, it's been eye opening, but we have also learned a lot and continue to feel blessed.

If you could please keep us in your prayers, I would truly appreciate it.

Right, now that is out of the way, let's get right into our Happy Homemaker Monday.

The weather outside is::::
It is currently 47 degrees, so warmer than it's been lately.  This week we seem to be hitting some 70 degree days which is just so weird to me, from 20s and 30s to 70s, but hey ho, that is how this crazy weather is. 

Monday - Sunny,  71
Tuesday - Partly cloudy, 66
Wednesday - Scattered Thunderstorms,65
Thursday - Showers, 55
Friday - Partly cloudy, 52
Saturday - Partly cloudy, 65
Sunday - Partly cloudy, 65

On the breakfast plate this morning::::
Coffee with White Chocolate Raspberry creamer, toast with tomato jam.      

As I look outside my window:::
I don't particularly care for the whole daylight savings time change, but I must say that I do enjoy being able to get up in the morning and seeing the sun coming up, instead of it being pitch black.  Right now, the sun is shining through the bedroom windows, you can tell the crispness of the morning outside by the dew on the grass, so everything is glistening.       

Right now I am::::
Sitting in bed, working on this post.       

As I look around the house::::
I have taken down the Halloween decorations and now I need to give the house a good clean.  It's not that it isn't clean, but I always like to spruce it up anytime I switch out decorations. 

I have clean couch slipcovers hanging on my dining room chairs, I need to put them back on the couches today.  There are couch decorative pillows on the floor, Marley threw them off  LOL    

On today's to do list::::
Laundry....I have a big comforter and bed linens to wash.     
Cleaning....As I mentioned above, I need to give the house a good clean.  I also want to try and clean my living room and den windows.   
Homeschooling....Game Design, Chemistry test, Algebra Discussion and a couple other lessons to get through.    
Crocheting....I started Part 3 of the Rozeta CAL.  I find when I'm stressed and need some down time, crocheting helps me relax and stay focused. 
Cooking.....Lunch will probably be some Grilled Cheese and Ham.   Dinner will be Chicken and Dumplings.  I also need to get some homemade bread going and hubby and the kids have asked for some sort of dessert.   

On the menu this week::::
Monday - Chicken and Dumplings
Tuesday - Classic Cheesy Chili Loaded Frito Pie, Salad
Wednesday - Slow Cooked Cubed Steaks, Mashed Potatoes
Thursday - Butter Chicken, Basmati Rice
FridayCheesy Kielbasa Bake, Garlic Bread
Saturday - Pork Chops, Cubed Fried Potatoes, Broccoli with Cheese Sauce
Sunday - Potato Soup, Sandwiches

Currently reading::::
It would be night in Caracas by Karina Sainz Borgo.

On the TV this week::::

Homemaking Vlogs
True Crime Documentaries

Catherine the Great
His Dark Materials

What I am creating at the moment::::
Rozeta CAL from Lilla Bjorn.     

New recipe I tried or want to try this week::::
Two of the recipes on the menu are new, the chili frito pie and the chicken and dumplings.  I'll let you all know how those were.       

Favorite photo from the camera:::: 

Prayers, Inspirational Quotes or Devotionals::::

♥♥♥ Curt's stepfather is in hospital at the moment.  He needs open heart surgery.  Please keep him in your prayers.
♥♥♥ My mother in law and her continuing fight with breast cancer.
♥♥♥ Curt and I need prayers through this house situation.  We know it will be ok in the end, we know God has it, but it is so stressful and we have no clue what we are doing.  It's such a humbling feeling too.  I try to be strong, and I guess I'm just thankful that God loves us enough to continue forgiving us for our shortcomings, because as a human being, we can't help but feel anxious and stressed and scared.  Just so you all know where we are at the moment, we made an offer, the owner accepted, and now we move forward with the VA loan process, which means appraiser coming out and so on.  This is a dream of Curt and I and I'm just so thankful that we have come this far.