Monday, November 30, 2020

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 11/30/2020 }

Welcome back to my blog, and welcome to the last day of November 2020.

*insert comment about how time is flying*

I for one am very glad to see this year zipping full speed into the end.  I think we have all had about enough of this 2020 nonsense.

So, it is 6:23am, freezing cold outside, my hubby is getting ready for work and the kids are still asleep, and that includes the two fur babies who are all snuggled up on my bed, enjoying the heater.

I hope you all have a fantastic week, a great start into your December and a great end to this crazy year.  Let's see what is happening in our Happy Homemaker Monday.

The weather outside is::::
Currently 27 degrees with a real feel of 20.  Yes, it is cold.  We are expecting a pretty cold week, with the high temperatures staying in the 50s.   

Monday - 52
Tuesday -  62
Wednesday -  46
Thursday -  46
Friday - 49
Saturday -  57
Sunday - 59

On the breakfast plate this morning::::
Just finishing up a cup of coffee with Butter Cookie Creamer.  I think breakfast later will be either cream of wheat or oatmeal, it is the perfect weather for that.    

As I look outside my window::::
It is still dark, sun hasn't yet started to rise. 

As I look around the house::::
It is early morning, but we have Christmas lights hung outside and some around our big windows, so there's this wonderful glow throughout the house.  Don't you just Winter time when all the twinkly lights come out and give everything such a beautiful romantic glow? 

What I'm wearing today::::
Sitting in bed, as always, in my nightgown, typing up this post.  I do have a doctors appointment this morning so will be putting on some jeans, sweater and my boots.      

To do today or this week::::
Monday - 
Doctors appointment this morning (Just a check up to see if my allergy meds are still working or if we need to try something different)

Tuesday - 
Start putting up Christmas decorations

Wednesday -
Start planning Christmas dinner, making lists, gifts etc.

Thursday -
Pay bills

Friday -
Take Jasmine to work
Put up Christmas village

Currently reading::::
Reading through Isaiah.   
Have so many books to read and not sure which to pick up first. 

On the TV for this week::::
My Portuguese soap "Bem me Quer"
Vlogs on Youtube
The Spanish Queen Season 2
Virgin River Season 2 came out on Netflix and I am ashamed to say that I binged it in one day.  It is that good.
On the menu this week::::
Some meals didn't get made last week, so I've moved them to this new meal plan.
Wednesday - Ikea Style Meatballs, Roast potatoes, Steamed Broccoli
Thursday - Turkey Noodle Casserole, Salad
Friday -  Beef Tips with Gravy, Rice, Mixed Veggies
Saturday - Cheesy Hot Beef Sandwiches, Homemade Fries
Sunday - One pan Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas
Something fun to share::::
Are you ready for another fantastic video?  You will need to turn on your captions for this one, or you can just enjoy the beautiful imagery without it.  This is another of my favorite new channels to follow, the videos are so beautiful and I absolutely love seeing different countries and different cultures going about their day.  This one is from ErmiChuiyan and it's called Chili/Hotpot in Snowy Day.  Enjoy!

Favorite photo from the camera::::
Fresh hot coffee on cold wintery days. 

Prayers, Inspiration quotes, Devotionals::::

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

{ Busy day in the kitchen }

It had been a long time since I walked into the kitchen, and spent some hours pottering around, cooking, baking, prepping and just enjoying being in that little space. 
The kitchen is the heart of the home!
I have always said that my favorite room in my homes, the many we've lived in, has always been the kitchen.  But when Curt retired from the Air Force, 7 years ago, our lives took a huge tumble, and everything that I was used to, the routines, the schedules, the moments I had perfected over the years, just fell to the wayside.

I've struggled to find my footing since then.

"But it's been 7 years Sandra, surely by now you've gotten back on track?".

Well, no.  You would think that 7 years is long enough to get back to that way of doing things, but the truth is that life has changed and I don't think I will ever truly get back to exactly how I used to do things.  It's understandable, I'm older, my children are older, we are in a different State, we've been through a lot and frankly, we are not the people we were back in those days.


I've slowly been molding a new way of doing things, pulling some of the old habits and incorporating newer routines and so forth.

Yesterday though, was a day that very much reminded me of the way things used to be.

I was in my kitchen for hours, and I loved every second spent in there.

I was mostly trying to do some food prep and getting some things ready for Thanksgiving, and by that I mean making sure I had all the ingredients I needed on hand, ordering some last minute things from Walmart pick up, and doing some baking because I needed to use up cranberries before they went bad.


 I had picked up this magazine from Taste of Home, a while ago, and the recipe on the cover was calling my name.  I had everything I needed on hand so quickly whipped up this Chocolate Chip Cranberry Bread, the recipe will be on my food blog today.


I have about 2 cups of cranberries left so I'm going to make some homemade cranberry sauce today.  I have never made it myself so we will see how that turns out, and of course I'll share with you my thoughts and the recipe too.


I also had some oranges that were starting to go back, so got those sliced up and in the oven to dry, for my orange garlands.  I make one every year, to hang over the fireplace and as a decoration for my real Christmas tree.


While working in the kitchen, I put my instant pot to good use.  I don't know about you all, but I love mine so much and use it at least 4 times a week, some weeks I am using mine every single day.

I cooked up some sweet potatoes, I realized I only had 2 so I've added a bag of sweet potatoes to my Walmart pick up.  My Jasmine will never forgive me if I don't make some sweet potato casserole for her.

And with the remaining potatoes, I will make a sweet potato pie and then slice some up for fries, blanche and freeze them for future meals.

If you're wondering how to make sweet potato in the instant pot, I place them on the metal trivet, or you can use a steaming basket (which reminds me I don't have one for my pressure cooker, so I think I'll add that to my Christmas wish list lol).

Anyway, wash the potatoes, add them to the trivet or basket, add a cup of water, and then pressure cook on HIGH for 26 minutes for 4 to 5 potatoes.  Quick release the steam.

Since I only had 2 potatoes I cooked them for 20 minutes, and it is the perfect timing.  Once they were out, I let them cool slightly and then pulled the skin right off, and put them in the fridge until I use them.


While the food was cooking and baking in the kitchen, I gave my fireplace a quick clean to get it ready for winter.  We have had pretty good temperatures so far, and we never light the fire unless it gets to 30 degrees or below.


I must say, these cold winter like mornings have been wonderful.  Oatmeal has been my go to breakfast, and now that I've figured out how to make it in the instant pot, I'm loving it even more.
I'm a creamy oatmeal kinda girl, my daughter on the other hand loves thick clumpy oatmeal. 
If you enjoy creamy oatmeal like I do, then here is the recipe for you, give it a try and let me know what you think.
Instant Pot Creamy Oatmeal
1 and half cups old fashioned oats
1 and 3/4 cups of water
2 and 1/4 cup milk
4 tablespoons brown sugar
Cook on HIGH pressure for 6 minutes, then do a quick release.
Note:  If you use steel cut oats, cook for 5 minutes on HIGH,  then naturally release for 20 minutes.
If you use quick oats, cook for just 1 minute on HIGH and do a quick release.

Today, I plan on making all of my pies, and then just do the turkey and side dishes tomorrow.   I think I will more than likely put up a Thanksgiving post with the food I'm making including the recipes.  

Are you having a Thanksgiving dinner with family, or is it just you and your immediately family at home?  What are you fixing, keeping with the traditional big Thanksgiving meal or making it smaller, changing it up this year?

Would love to know what your plans are, let's have a chat down below :)

Monday, November 23, 2020

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 11/23/2020 }

 Good morning, welcome back to my blog. 

Hope you had a restful night's sleep and a great weekend with your family.  Are you ready for Thanksgiving this week?  Can you believe we are here already, almost to Christmas, almost to the end of this insane year?  

I am so thankful that the year is coming to an end, I think we are all ready to put this year behind us and move on with life.

I didn't sleep very well, what's new, but yesterday I was eating a pretzel or a chip, I can't remember which, and I remember hurting my gum on the bottom right side.  Basically stabbed myself with the pretzel/chip  LOL

Didn't think much of it, though it did hurt.  But through the night it started hurting to the point where my cheek on that side hurts, and feels swollen.  It's not swollen, and the two sores made aren't even that big, but my word does it hurt and feel weird.  It's worse when I talk or drink or move my mouth because I think my cheek rubs against it.  Anyway, didn't sleep well, so glad Jasmine is off today and I can just stay home and take it easy.  

Thank you all for coming back each week and joining in, this is my longest running feature on the blog, and I'm so proud of it, it's wonderful seeing it go on for year after year.   Ok enough babbling, let's get right into it.  

The weather outside is::::
Currently 36 degrees.  We are still getting pretty warm weather for this time of year, but this week we are dropping temperatures a bit and getting some rainy days too, so I'm looking forward to that.  

Monday - Cloudy, 56
Tuesday -  Morning showers, 74
Wednesday -  Sunny, 64
Thursday -  Mostly sunny, 75
Friday - PM showers, 60
Saturday -  Showers, 57
Sunday - Partly cloudy, 59

On the breakfast plate this morning::::
Still making my way through a huge cup of coffee with Peppermint Creamer.  I'll make some Instant Pot Oatmeal in about an hour or so.    

As I look outside my window::::
The sun is trying to peek through the clouds, but it is quite cloudy out there.  The trees have just a few leaves left on the branches, so it's looking very wintery out there.    

As I look around the house::::
My husband picked up a new carpet cleaner over the weekend.  Inexpensive but boy it is fantastic.  He started doing the den carpets, and got half done before dinner time.  The difference in just that area is crazy.  I can't wait to pick up where he left off today and get all my carpets nice and clean. 

What I'm wearing today::::
Sitting in bed, in my nightgown and have my robe on as well, I'm cold folks.  Since I'm staying home, I will throw on a pair of sweat pants later and a long sleeve top.     

To do today or this week::::
Monday - 
Gotta take my turkey out of the freezer and move it to the refrigerator

Tuesday - 
Carpet clean office 

Wednesday -
Make pecan pie, pumpkin pie and sweet potato pie

Thursday -
Thanksgiving.  It is just us 4 this year, I don't want to host, and my husband is also not up to a big one since it's the first one that mom is gone.  I will take my time cooking through the day, stay in pajamas, eat leftovers, cry if we have to and just make it through the day best we can.  

Friday -
Take Jasmine to work
Put up Christmas village and decorations

Currently reading::::
Started Isaiah and am so excited for it.   
Waiting on next review book so will be starting one from my bookshelf.

On the TV for this week::::
My Portuguese soap "Bem me Quer"
Vlogs on Youtube
The Spanish Queen Season 2
On the menu this week::::
Monday - Fish cakes, Garlic Butter Potatoes, Salad 
Tuesday - Fettucine Alfredo, Homemade Creamy Garlic Bread
Wednesday - Mushroom Beef Strogonoff, Rice 
Thursday - Thanksgiving - Fried Turkey, Mashed Potatoes, Green Bean Casserole, Sweet Potato Casserole, Stuffing, Gravy, Cranberry Sauce, Dinner Rolls, Pumpkin Pie, Pecan Pie, Sweet Potato Pie 
Friday -  Leftovers
Saturday - Grocery Shopping
Sunday - 
Something fun to share::::
I'm so glad you've all been enjoying the videos I've been sharing.  I bring you another great one today, from a Channel named Tina Sosna, she lives in Europe and makes some really stunning vlogs.  This one is called October Vlog and Cabin Vlog.  


Favorite photo from the camera::::
This cute fur ball sleeps in the sweetest way, I always love watching him.  

Prayers, Inspiration quotes, Devotionals::::
** Praying for a friend whose husband just lost his job this past week.  He has an interview today and I pray that God blesses him with this job, and if not, then that the job God has planned for him comes through very soon.
**  My father in law had surgery on Wednesday, so praying for a quick recovery and healing for him.
**  Continuing to pray for our country in the middle of all this chaos.  Praying that truth prevails, that corruption is ended  and that those involved are brought to justice.  The American people deserve to live in a country where they know their vote matters and is respected.  

Sunday, November 22, 2020

{ Fresh haircut and finally have bedside tables }


It is Sunday night, and I am in my bed, under the warm covers, shivering.   I am so cold!

The weather hasn't been too bad for this time of the year, we've been in the high 70's which is not normal for end of November, but today they dropped down, we had rain and high winds and all sorts of winter weather.

I will say though, we have yet to light the fire.  We try to hold out until it gets much colder so that we don't go through our wood pile too quickly.


Let me show you how I spent my weekend.

Starting with Friday morning, I dropped Jasmine off at work, then went to my commissary.  Last Friday when I got my groceries, I did a Walmart pick up, and as much as I like the convenience of it, there is always something that I order that doesn't make it to my house.  Which is ok, if they told me they didn't have the item, but they don't, they just leave it out of the order and I usually don't even realize until I'm ready to cook and am missing something.

I know, my fault too because I should check as soon as I get home, and I don't.

Anyway, some chicken, pork chops, and a few other items never made it to the pickup, and I kind of put it off for a week, but really needed them for meals, so decided to go ahead and make a trip to the store.


I managed to get everything I needed and a few extras my husband asked for, like chips.  The ground beef was also pretty cheap, so I picked up a few extra for the freezer.

Got home, got it all put away, with my trusty helper, Elliott.  He is the inspector, checks every bag, smells everything, you know quality inspector.  Hahah


Didn't do much else on Friday other than picking up my daughter from work, making dinner and cleaning the house.

Saturday morning we dropped her back off at work and then drove by Walmart to pick up the peanut oil we needed for our turkey.  Luckily for us, we spotted some really nice bedside tables for a very good price, and decided to go ahead and get them.

Got back home, and Curt got busy with his college work, he had a few papers to write.  I decided to build the furniture myself while he did that.



Love how they turned out, it is exactly what I was looking for.

While I worked on those, someone took a nap on the bed.  He is so cute, and look at just how fluffy he is.  Sweet boy!



Curt brought in some more harvest from our Fall/Winter garden.  My lettuce is going crazy out there, and so are my green onions.

I soaked everything in a water and vinegar bath, then set them out to dry on clean kitchen towels, and packed everything away between paper towels, for use during the week.


While that was drying, I worked on laundry, folded a ton while hanging out with hubby.  Look at the smile on his face hahahah  He figured out the camera was set and quickly looked back like this.  LOL


Marley sat at my feet, chewing on a piece of cardboard he ripped from a box.  He is such a gorgeous looking dog.  Love him so much.

And yes, I got a fresh hair cut.  I was trying so hard to grow out my hair but I just can't do it.  I have very thick heavy hair and it becomes a hassle for me.  I got a bob, not an asymmetrical one, just a plain bob and it already feels lighter.


And cutey Elliott sat on the couch, next to the laundry basket, pawing at every article of clothing I pulled out. 


Now let me show you Elliott's mama.  She is our barn cat, remember I told you the story of how she abandoned him in our workshop.  She took all the others and left our sweet boy behind.  

I know it's normal for this to happen, but every time I think about it, it makes me so sad.  Just thankful Curt went to the workshop that day and found them, or he would have died in there.

But, regardless of that, he looks so much like her, the face is different though and she is not fluffy like he is, but you can tell they are related.

IMG_0101 IMG_0102

Today, we started with rain and high winds.  I took Jasmine to work early morning and then came home, worked on editing these photos, let Marley sleep on my lap for a little and just took it easy.

Marley wasn't feeling very well today, he threw up a few times this morning and his stomach was making loud noises all morning long.  When he feels that way, he likes to lay on my lap and rest, so I let him do that.

I kind of needed that moment too.

While I was driving back home this morning, it was raining and the wind was blowing , and my little car always feels like it's being smacked around on the road.  It makes me nervous and uneasy, and so I turn to prayer and keep it going until I pull into my driveway.

But as I was driving, I was praying and listening to worship music and the tears just started to flow.  I don't know why or where they came from, but I got a knot in my throat and it just went from there.  

I started then thinking of my sweet mother in law and how she is no longer among us, how this is the first Thanksgiving without her, and it really hit me that she is gone for good.

Needless to say by the time I got home, I wanted to lay on my bed and nap all these feelings away.

And I did just that, a very short nap and then back to laundry.

Little did I know that Elliott was about to give me a huge surprise.  I had washed some bed sheets yesterday, but set them on the couch and didn't get to fold them because we got busy with other stuff.

I went to fold them today and as I started folding the flat sheet I realized that it smelled weird, and I couldn't figure out why.  I brought it to my nose, smelled it and again pulled it away.  I didn't know why it was smelling like that because I had just washed them.  That's when my eyes shifted to the couch, and a dead mouse was laying there, right where the sheet was.


You guys, the scream I let out must have been heard countrywide.

I dropped the sheets to the ground and ran to the kitchen.  Shoved my face under water and washed as hard as I could all the time gagging and trying to tell myself that it was ok that my nose touched the sheet that was on the dead mouse.  Hahahah

I don't know, I don't know if I can handle this mice thing with cats.  Lord knows I can't stand mice, they make my skin crawl, and now it's been 3 mice that I've had to encounter hahahah

Jesus give me strength!

Anyway, I thought that was a funny story to share and some of you cat moms can appreciate.

I am going to get this post up, then try and get some reading done before bed.  How has another weekend gone by so fast, how is it Thanksgiving in a few days?  Goodness.

Have a blessed night friends, I'll be back in the morning with our Happy Homemaker Monday.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

{ New camera and my reading basket }


Well hello there. 

Yes, it's me, actually sitting down to work on a post that is not a Happy Homemaker Monday or a book review. For shame!!! 

Honestly, I don't like seeing my blog like this, it bothers me because I feel like so much has been happening, and so much is going on in our lives, that I should be writing it down. 

But time, time just slips through my fingers and I end up letting days, weeks and months go by without a proper blog post.


Not what I like to do, but it is what it is. Anyway, I am here right now and I just wanted to come in and chat a bit, catch you up on what has been happening, what we've been doing and so on. 

As you may have noticed, or maybe you didn't, but I finally got a new camera. 

My old camera has officially been packed up and set aside.  It still works and will be kept as a back up, but I am so thrilled with my new one. My husband surprised me with a Canon Rebel T7. My previous was a Canon Rebel T2i and it has been a huge blessing for 10 years.  

Yes, 10 years I had that camera. The poor thing was falling apart, the little plastic cover for the memory card won't stay shut, my battery compartment was also loose, the padding around the camera itself was coming unglued and you can even see where my fingers sit because it has worn completely down.


And yet, I still love it.  It was my first big girl camera, and I'll always have it with me.   I can't say that I'm not excited about my new one because I am, it's a blessing for sure and it's been a dream of mine to upgrade for many and I mean many years.   

It has been a bit hard learning all the new ways to take photos, obviously being a newer model the menu is different, the way the camera itself works is different and so on. 

It took me over an hour to finally enable my back button focus LOL 

I enjoy it though, I have always loved learning new techniques and new technology, so it's been fun figuring this one out.  It also helps that I have the cutest subjects that let me just snap pictures.  They're the best, never complain, never say they don't look good in the shots and always willing to just sit there and let me go on snapping here and there.


I think I had already mentioned how we finally also got a new bed?  I'm not sure, this is what happens when I don't talk to you every day, then I get on here and have no clue what I've shared or IF I've shared certain things.

Anyway, before we go on and I tell you about the new bed, I just wanted to clear something up.

It may seem like all of a sudden we are making all these purchases, and that is true in a way, but these are purchases that have been made over the past few weeks or so, and the reason they all seem to be happening right now, is because we are finally on our feet financially.

We have been very strict with our money and have worked extremely hard to pay off all our debt.  Just in the past few months, we paid off our lawn mower, my car, our credit card and our military card.  The only thing left is Curt's truck and we're working towards getting rid of that debt as soon as we can.


What that means for us, is that, as things have been getting paid off, we've been able to set money aside for these purchases that we needed to make, or rather these upgrades.

Next on our list of wants and needs are a new fridge, a new dishwasher, redoing the kitchen floor and the dining room floor.

But those things will come in God's timing and when we have the money for them.  


The feeling of paying off debt is wonderful though and we are very thankful to be at this stage in our lives.  Best advice I can give?

Stay away from credit cards LOL


We have also been trying to wade through a lot of legal stuff pertaining to my mother in law's passing.  That takes up a lot of time, a lot of phone calls and traveling back and forth between Texas and Oklahoma.  

It's not something we like having to do, but it is what it is, and we just have to push through and do the best we can.  

My mother in law had a house in Oklahoma that has been now passed on to my husband and his brother, so there's that too for us to deal with.

Like I said, a lot of craziness at the moment.

But, I am relying on my books to help me relax and forget the stress going on around us.

I have a basket, have had it for years, where I keep the books I'm currently reading, or rather, on my reading list.  It used to hold my library books, now it just holds the newer books I've acquired either at the Christian book store or while we're at thrift stores.


This one is next on my list.  Matter of fact, I think tomorrow or sometime this weekend, I will begin this bible study.  

Can not wait.  

And speaking of books I can't wait to get into?  Can we say Francine Rivers?  One of my favorite book authors.  

Sons of Encouragement and A lineage of Grace.


And then of course Liz Curtis Higgs who we know is a fantastic Christian book author.


So that's basically what I've been up to.  Homemaking, driving back and forth, taking care of business *literally* and reading, reading, reading.


I better skidaddle on out of here, it is bedtime for me, I have an early day tomorrow.

I'll leave you with this adorable picture of our Elliott getting all comfy for a nap.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

{ The Patriots by Winston Groom - TLC Book Tour }


• Hardcover: 464 pages
• Publisher: National Geographic (November 3, 2020)

In this masterful narrative, Winston Groom brings his signature storytelling panache to the tale of our nation’s most fascinating founding fathers–Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams–painting a vivid picture of the improbable events, bold ideas, and extraordinary characters who created the United States of America.

When the Revolutionary War ended in victory, there remained a stupendous problem: establishing a workable democratic government in the vast, newly independent country. 

Three key founding fathers played significant roles: John Adams, the brilliant, dour New Englander; Thomas Jefferson, the aristocratic Southern renaissance man; and Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant from the Caribbean island of Nevis. In this riveting narrative, best-selling author Winston Groom illuminates these men as the patriots fundamentally responsible for the ideas that shaped the emerging United States. 

Their lives could not have been more different, and their relationships with each other were often rife with animosity. And yet they led the charge–two of them creating and signing the Declaration of Independence, and the third establishing a national treasury and the earliest delineation of a Republican party. The time in which they lived was fraught with danger, and their achievements were strained by vast antagonisms that recall the intense political polarization of today. 

But through it all, they managed to shoulder the heavy mantle of creating the United States of America, putting aside their differences to make a great country. Drawing on extensive correspondence, Groom shares the remarkable story of the beginnings of our great nation.

Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About Winston Groom

WINSTON GROOM was born in Washington, D.C., but grew up in Mobile, Alabama, on the Gulf Coast. After a brief period in the Army, Groom returned to Washington, where he worked as a reporter at the Washington Star, covering the political and court beat. He enjoyed a stint in New York City, befriending and socializing with literary legends before returning to Alabama, where he settled down to writing and enjoying life. He is the author of 18 previous books, including Forrest Gump and The Aviators.

Jefferson, Hamilton and Adams, 3 of the most important men in the history of the United States of America.
When this book came up for review, I was so excited.  
Our country seems to be at a crucial crossroads in it's history, and the Constitution seems to be thrown around by every other person in the government.  Threats to the Constitutional rights, the Constitution this and the Constitution that.  
How many actually understand what is in the gritty details of the basis this nation was created upon?
I'll be honest, I know quite a bit only because I'm a history nerd and actually enjoy learning about days gone by, but even I learned so much through this book.
Winston Groom brings us the lives of these 3 men.  Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton and John Adams.  They led very different lives, had very different ideas and thoughts and let's be honest, they didn't really care much for the other.
But they did have one important task at hand, creating the building blocks for what would become one of the most powerful nations on earth.
Their path was not easy, and they found themselves fighting strong push back, danger, uncertainty and a country at war with itself, needing to be pulled back from the brink and molded into the wonderful place it is today.
Yes, we are now finding ourselves perhaps in a repeat pattern that no doubt takes us back to these earliest days, but maybe the key is in how these three individuals put their differences aside and worked together for the better of the nation.
Winston Groom puts together a beautiful story, giving us insight into what really happened back then, through correspondence he came upon, bringing us right into the middle of the birth of a nation, the difficulties they faced, the ideas they had and how they surpassed everything thrown their way. 

Their job was done many many decades ago, but ours continues to this day.  They gave this country the tools to successful and I believe that if those in government pull together and respect each other, America of now will go back to being the America of then.

Brilliant book, a definite 5 stars.  I will be making sure my children read it, understand it, and learn all about the country they were blessed to be born in.

Thank you to TLC Book Tours and National Geographic for providing me with a review copy.

Monday, November 16, 2020

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 11/16/2020 }

Good morning friends.  
Welcome back to my little corner of the world, and to another Happy Homemaker Monday.  I sure hope you've had a good weekend, and are ready for a whole new fresh week ahead.
I got a lot done this weekend, was practically out of the house Friday, Saturday and Sunday, so I didn't get to rest much, but Jasmine has a few days off the next few days, and I plan to take full advantage of that.
Now, let's get right into our HHM, wish you all a very blessed week ahead!

The weather outside is::::
Currently 36 degrees.  We had a pretty warm week last week, it's a bit unusual for this time of the year, even in Texas.  Guess we are headed for pretty much the same this upcoming week.  

Monday - 71
Tuesday - 71
Wednesday - 73
Thursday - 76
Friday - 76
Saturday - 73
Sunday - 57

On the breakfast plate this morning::::
Enjoying a cup of coffee with Peppermint Creamer.  I'll be having a bowl of cereal later this morning.   

As I look outside my window::::
The sun is barely starting to rise, to the sky is a gorgeous blue with tinges of orange and yellow over the horizon.  So pretty.   

As I look around the house::::
My husband picked up a new carpet cleaner over the weekend.  Inexpensive but boy it is fantastic.  He started doing the den carpets, and got half done before dinner time.  The difference in just that area is crazy.  I can't wait to pick up where he left off today and get all my carpets nice and clean. 

What I'm wearing today::::
Nightgown at the moment as I'm still sitting in bed typing up this post.  I'll put on some jeans and a tshirt later.   

To do today or this week::::
Monday - 
Jasmine and I have hair appointments.
Carpet cleaning
Tuesday - 
Clean out and reorganize fridge
Wednesday -
Start painting bedroom
Thursday -
Organize and tidy our closet
Friday -
Take Jasmine to work
Start working on Christmas planning

Currently reading::::
Started Ecclesiastes over the weekend. 
A Divine Revelation of Heaven and Hell (almost finished)
Have some review books and some of mine waiting to be started.

On the TV for this week::::
My Portuguese soap "Bem me Quer"
Vlogs on Youtube
The Spanish Queen Season 2
On the menu this week::::
Monday - Dad's Favorite Chicken, mashed potatoes, roasted acorn squash
Tuesday - BBQ Pork Ribs, Macaroni and Cheese, Salad
Wednesday - Feijoada (Portuguese Bean Stew), Rice
Thursday - Chicken Cordon Bleu Calzones, Garlic Parsley Potatoes, Steamed Broccoli
Friday - Ground Beef with Chayote Squash, Rice, Mixed Veggies
Saturday - Chicken and Sausage Ragu, Salad
Sunday - Fish Cakes, Potato Salad
Something fun to share::::
Last week I shared with you a few favorite channels on YouTube, that I just love watching.  They are calming, full of interesting information and a lot of them take me back in time.  They portray the kind of life that I adore and would love to be living today.
Today, I bring you one of their videos, this one from the channel called Green Renaissance.  This video is called A Simple Life.  Hope you enjoy it as much as I did. 

Favorite photo from the camera::::
There is something so peaceful about this picture.  I took it back in February, before all the craziness started.  I like to think that it is not just my dining table, or a moment frozen in time, but a reminder that life can and will get back to the beautiful peaceful way, it used to be. 

Prayers, Inspiration quotes, Devotionals::::
In the chaos of fleeing his home during the California wildfires of 2018, Gabe, a high school senior, missed the state-qualifying cross-country race for which he’d been training. Missing this meet meant he wouldn’t have the chance to compete at the state meet—the culminating event of his four-year running career. In light of the circumstances, the state athletics board gave Gabe another chance: he’d have to run a qualifying time by himself, on a rival high school’s track, in “street shoes” because his running shoes were in the charred rubble of his home. When he showed up to “race,” Gabe was surprised by his competitors who’d come to supply him with proper shoes and to run alongside him to ensure he kept the pace necessary to be entered in the state meet.

Gabe’s opponents had no obligation to help him. They could have given into their natural desires to look out for themselves (Galatians 5:13); doing so might have improved their own odds of winning. But Paul urges us to display the fruit of the Spirit in our lives—to “serve one another humbly in love” and to demonstrate “kindness” and “goodness” (vv. 13, 22). When we lean on the Spirit to help us not act on our natural instincts, we’re better able to love those around us.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

{ Birth of the Fae by Danielle Marie Orsino - TLC Book Tours }


• Hardcover: 230 pages
• Publisher: Icon; Retail ed. edition (June 19, 2020)

Ride on the backs of fire breathing dragons with the Dark Fae and watch the Light Fae play in the shadows of primitive humanity as they build their magical world.  

Abandoned by their creator, two factions of powerful angels remain on earth after the Great War with Lucifer. They struggle to comprehend their Creator’s plan while their angel wings, a symbol of their angelic lineage, slowly and painfully decay. 

With no hope of returning to the Shining Kingdom, two groups of angels denounce their angelic lineage and develop into separate factions – the Court of Light, led by Queen Aurora, a former Virtue Angel, and the Court of Dark, ruled by King Jarvok, a former Power Brigade Angel. 

The two monarchs have opposing views on how to govern their kin, but the one belief they agree on is that human worship equals power.

Birth of the Fae: Locked Out of Heaven is an epic fantasy adventure of heartbreak, rebirth, and hope that examines the bonds of family, friendship, and love.  It is a fantastic tale of good vs evil in a beautiful world, where the Light Fae and their potent elemental magick are tested by the raw power of the dragon riding Dark Fae warriors.

Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About Danielle M. Orsino

Danielle M. Orsino is taking on her biggest challenge to date: the debut of her fantasy novel, Birth of the Fae: Locked out of Heaven. Expanding her love of writing and exploring the world of fantasy novels, she delves into the realm of fairies and retells their origins from a completely new perspective. Orsino has a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology and Exercise science and is an LPN with a special interest in Lyme disease research. This novel was born from her long treatment sessions with a patient who asked her to tell him a story for a distraction, which sent Orsino on a journey longer than she had anticipated. Orsino has been widely recognized from her influence and experience in martial arts realm, training for over 20 years and with over 500 tournament wins, and accumulating national and world titles. She has performed for former President of the United States Bill Clinton and has been featured on “Soap Talk, Fox Five news CBS, TLC and E!. With this experience, she worked as a Fight Choreographer on”Wonder Woman: Balance of Power” and has worked with the likes of martial arts legend Vincent Lyn and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

Find out more about Danielle at her website, and connect with her on Instagram.


This book was everything I expected and more, much much more.

I'll start by the beautiful packaging it came in and the beautiful book itself.  The color, the cover, the writing, the inside....I mean....this is one of those books that you pick up in your hand and smile from ear to ear.

Let me show you how it came packaged, I know that may not mean anything to you but just the packaging itself got me so giddy.  I couldn't stop showing it off.

Now that we got that out of the way, let's talk about the book itself, the story contained within these gorgeous pages. 

If you love fantasy, angels and good vs evil, this is THE book for you.  You have to pick it up and start reading it right away.  I know that may sound like a pretty bold statement to make, but you'll thank me later.

So, right from the very first few pages, you are hooked.  

We are privvy to a pretty strong scene where angels are abandoned by their creator and left to their own devices on this plane.  They have no idea what to do or how to even survive in a land that is so foreign to them.  

Their only way of survival is to form different factions, try to take on the form of new beings and continue their fight.  

Queen Aurora leads the good faction, while King Jarvok leads the evil side.  

It is a battle of good vs evil, fraught with twists and turns, crazy events, and a world of fantasy that will leave you turning pages faster than your fingers can turn them.

Best part?  This is book one of a new series and I can not wait for the next to come out.

I'll be honest, I haven't yet finished the book, but I am pretty close to the end.  I think I'm holding out a bit because I don't want to see it finished.