Friday, December 31, 2021

{ New Year Fun - 2021 in Review }

And just like that, we are sitting here, the very last day of 2021.  A year that I don't think many people will miss, or will feel sad putting it behind them.

I thought 2020 was hard, well 2021 wasn't any easier for us.  We lost our sweet mother in law, our precious Marley and one of Curt's aunts, my sister in law got diagnosed with breast cancer, and we had many obstacles just come flooding our way.  The blows and attacks seemed to never end, but by the grace of God, we made it to the end, and I for one can not wait to see this year come to a close.

A few years ago, here on the blog, I started doing the Year in Review, where I post the first sentence of the first post, of every month, for that specific year.  It's been something fun I've done and it's always interesting going back and reading all the posts, seeing what I was doing or thinking at that time.

This year, I don't know if I'm quite ready to go back and look through my posts, especially since I know most include my sweet Marley, and that is still a very hurtful issue with me.  I am still grieving his loss, still missing him, still in denial that he is gone and still haven't been able to think of him without bursting into tears.....but for the sake of the blog, I'm going to give it a try.

Let's see what 2021 was all about.

January 2021

A blank slate, 12 months, 365 days.  A mountain of possibilities and experiences before us.

February 2021
January 30, 2021
Good morning dear friends, come on in out of the cold and have a cup of coffee.

March 2021

Good morning sweet friends, hope you've had a wonderful weekend.

April 2021

 Hope you all had a blessed Easter with your family, and remembered what we are truly celebrating.

May 2021
I sat back this past week, and thought about my blog, where it was headed, if it was headed anywhere, and even contemplated closing it down.

June 2021

Good morning sweet friends.  Hope you've all had a great weekend.

July 2021

I love a good ol' fantasy book, movie or tv show.

August 2021
Good morning friends and a happy Monday to you all!

September 2021
I am a huge history fan.

October 2021

It is 57 degrees, so a nice crisp morning. 

November 2021

Good morning, and welcome to November.

December 2021

Good morning dear friends and welcome back to my little corner of the world.

Thursday, December 30, 2021

{ Night Bloomers by Michelle Pearce - TLC Book Tour }



About Night Bloomers

• Publisher: Ixia Press (September 16, 2020)
• Paperback: 224 pages

What if there are people, just like some flowers, who require the dark to bloom?

When we are plunged into the dark and difficult times in life, one of three things can happen next: the darkness can destroy us; it can leave us relatively unchanged; or it can help to transform us. In this hope-inspiring guide, clinical psychologist, Michelle Pearce, PhD, provides practical tools and wisdom for transforming and thriving in adversity and loss.

Just as some flowers require the dark to bloom, there are some people who do their best growing and becoming during dark and challenging times. In “Night Bloomers,” Pearce teaches us how to adopt the perspective of a Night Bloomer and to use the soil of adversity to grow something beautiful in our lives.

With a compassionate voice, Pearce shares her clinical expertise, her own journey through the dark, and inspiring stories of other Night Bloomers to help individuals learn how to heal and transform their lives not in spite of their difficult times, but because of them.

Drawing upon the research on post-traumatic growth, we are given a dozen practical approaches for transforming loss, pain, and suffering into positive growth and transformation. Each chapter explains an empirically based principle for handling adversity, followed by insightful writing prompts designed to help us experience the principle personally.

“Night Bloomers” guides us through the dark times in life, making them a fertile place to grow and become in ways we couldn’t have done so in the light.

Purchase Links

IndieBound | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About Dr. Michelle Peace

Dr. Michelle Pearce is a clinical psychologist and Professor in the Graduate School at the University of Maryland, Baltimore and an adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavior Sciences at Duke University Medical Center. Dr. Pearce is also a board-certified health and wellness coach, author, researcher, writing for wellness facilitator, and spiritual seeker.

After obtaining her PhD from Yale University, she completed two post-doctoral fellowships at Duke University Medical Center. She is licensed to practice psychotherapy in Maryland.

Dr. Pearce is the author of “Night Bloomers: 12 Principles for Thriving in Adversity” and “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Christians with Depression: A Tool-Based Primer.” She is also co-author of “Religion and Recovery from PTSD.”

She lives in Maryland, and when she’s not writing, you can find her salsa dancing or hiking in the woods.

Find out more about Dr. Pearce on her website and follow her on Instagram.

Night Bloomers is written by psychotherapist Michelle Pearce, and tapping into her own life experiences, loss and disappointment, together with the tools she learned during her training, she brings us a book filled with wonderful analogies, skills and advice.
I've always thought that we grow the most during the times we are broken, disappointed and vulnerable.  Sometimes it takes a particularly dark time in our lives, to make us into the person we are.  In those moments of loss, we can either learn, pull from that pain and grow through it, or we just let the situation completely tear us apart.

It's not always easy to pull ourselves up, to keep going or to even want to continue forth when we feel like our whole life has fallen apart.

Michelle teaches us to take on those obstacles and to work around them.  One thing that really stuck out to me, was when she mentions Intention to Bloom, which means our own intention to want to grow from that situation and to bloom in and through it.  She teaches us that hope is such a powerful word and emotion, and we NEED to have hope.  

"Don't get your hopes up".  

Oh I've said that phrase to myself so many times, and have heard others say it too.  I never thought much about it, until I read this book and was forced to look not only at that phrase but the significance of saying it out loud.  We hinder ourselves from looking forward to a good outcome.

She explains that we get what we expect, and so if we hold ourselves back by not wanting or not expecting a good outcome, to begin with, we are more than likely not going to get what we hope for.

It's just small things like these that really made me stop and go "HUH!"

I thought Night Bloomers was fantastic.  It may not be for everyone, and some people may not enjoy it, but I found myself nodding along and at other times, stopping and realizing that I've been doing or saying things that have stopped me from personal growth.  

Thank you to TLC Book Tours and Ixia Press from providing me with a review copy.


Tuesday, December 28, 2021

{ New upcoming Period Dramas }

Well, well.  It has been a hot minute since I've updated our Period Drama lists, or talked about some really good upcoming new series and movies.

But, there are some very good ones coming in 2022, and some that just recently started, that I need to share with all my fellow period drama lovers.  

If I miss one, or you know of a specific one that I didn't mention, be sure to leave it down below so we'll add it to the list.

Now, are you ready?  Better grab that notebook and pencil and take some notes because some of these, you are not going to want to miss.


1883, is the prequel to the popular series Yellowstone, and my oh my, it has already captivated me within the very first episode.  I haven't yet watched Yellowstone but some of my family have, and they love it, so I think I'll give it a try.  But, if you're looking for a really good Period series, 1883 may just be it.  

Where to watch:  First episode is free on Amazon Prime and the subsequent episodes will be on Paramount Plus.

Becoming Elizabeth 

“Long before she ascended the throne, young Elizabeth Tudor was an orphaned teenager who became embroiled in the political and sexual politics of the English court. With no clear heir, the death of King Henry the VIII sets into motion a dangerous scramble for power.

“His surviving children find themselves pawns in a game between the great families of England and the powers of Europe who vie for control of the country.

“The series will depict Elizabeth’s struggles to control her own destiny and take real power as the men around her attempt to claim her sovereignty.”

Don't have to tell me twice to watch anything Tudor related.  I think I've exhausted every book, movie or series, so to see a new one coming up, is quite exciting.  

Where to watch:  The series will premiere on Starz in early 2022

A Column of Fire 
Here's another I'm quite looking forward to.  A Column of Fire is the third book from Ken Follett's  Kingbridge series.  If you remember, A World without End and Pillars of the Earth, then you'll no doubt enjoy this new series.  

Where to watch:  The series were slated to premiere in 2021 on Epix, but so far haven't yet.  Will keep you updated of it's release date.

The Confessions of Frannie Langton

Set against the opulence of Georgian London, the four-part drama narrates Frannie's journey from a Jamaican plantation to the grand Mayfair mansion of celebrated scientist George Benham and his wife, Madame Marguerite Benham. Frannie is employed by the Benhams as a maid in the household much to her distress. 
This one sounds quite interesting as well, doesn't it?
Where to watch:  It will be on ITV (UK), but a set date hasn't been released yet.

Here's a good one coming up on Netflix, beginning of 2022.  It is called 1899 and it's a bilingual German/English series, that follows a group of immigrants coming from Europe to New York aboard a ship.  
Where to watch:  Netflix in 2022, exact date hasn't been released yet

The Gilded Age

Ohhhhhh, ok, so if you're a fan of Julian Fellowes, you know, Downtown Abbey?  Well, he has a new series premiering in  January on HBO, called Guilded Age.

Set in New York at the close of the 19th century, the nine-part drama series finds its heroine in Marian Brook, played by Louisa Jacobson in her acting debut. When her father passes away, Marian must relocate from the Pennsylvania countryside to New York, with her moneyed aunts, Agnes van Rhijn (Christine Baranski) and Ada Brook (Cynthia Nixon), taking her in as a companion. 

Where to watch:  Premiering on HBO, January 24th, 2022.

Downton Abbey:  A New Era

You guys......Downton Abbey, need I say more?  
We are being given a new movie, with the entire cast from the popular series.  Don't know much more about it, since they're wanting to keep the plot top secret.  But whatever it is, I can not wait to watch.
Where to watch:  Premiering in cinemas March 18, 2022

Lord of the Rings TV Series 

Lord of the Rings is getting a TV series, on Amazon Prime.  It is not set to release until September of 2022, but I think it's safe to say that we will all be looking very much forward to this release.

The series is going to be a prequel to the LOTR trilogy, and will focus on unexplored stories.  There's not much else about it out yet, but as always, I'll keep you updated if that changes.

A Second season has already been commissioned and will be record in the UK.

Where to watch:  Amazon Prime September 2022

The War Rooms

“The series will follow Bright and her colleagues as events and challenges unfold – creating a sense of the emotions they experience in those moments.  Each season will cover 12-18 months of the war – from the shock of the war’s outbreak to sustaining the fight to the final push for victory and the battle to shape the modern Britain we know.”
It is a WWII series with Jenna Coleman playing Joan Bright.
Where to watch:  Expected to premiere in 2022

The Winter King
Another book to TV adaptation, this time from Bernard Cornwell's Warlord Chronicles.  The first one called Winter King is being made into a TV series.

It takes a remarkable writer to make an old story as fresh and compelling as the first time we heard it. With The Winter King, the first volume of his magnificent Warlord Chronicles, Bernard Cornwell finally turns to the story he was born to write: the mythic saga of King Arthur. 

Where to watch:  It will premiere on Epix in 2022   

I hope you've gotten some good ideas on new period dramas to watch.  There are so many more, but if I put them all on this post, we will both be sitting here until the end of 2022.  

I will come back and do more posts like these, add more, talk about current favorites and so on.

Monday, December 27, 2021

{ My Christmas gifts }


Hello, Hello friends :)

My goodness, it has been a long time since I've come in to sit and chat with you.  It feels so good to open up my blogger, and start typing an actual post.  It's been far too long.  

I thought I would ease back into this blogging thing, by sharing my Christmas gifts with you.  It's not something I do very often, I don't why, I just feel awkward sharing what I received.  But, I got so many wonderful gifts this year, I always do, but this year was extra special for me.

My family knows me.  I think I am probably the easiest person to buy gifts for because I like so many things, from cooking to photography, God, writing, notebooks, bath products, beauty products, kitchen items and so on. 

This year, we bought for our immediate family, so husband/wife and children, and then we did a Secret Santa for the rest of the family.  It ends up being much cheaper that way.

So let me show you what I got.....
The new Sophie Kinsella book.  I used to be the biggest Sophie Kinsella fan and had all of her books, then for some reason, when we were moving from Idaho to Arizona and then back Idaho again, I had to get rid of many of my books, and stupidly got rid of hers.  I am hoping to get my collection back again.


The Bridgerton Cookbook.  I wasn't expecting this one at all, my daughter surprised me.  There are so many wonderful recipes I want to try, I browsed through it quickly but can't wait to sit with it and look through each page.


The New Morning Mercies Devotional by Paul David Tripp.  This one I had on my wishlist and my sweet husband made sure to get it for me.  I've been wanting it for quite a while and was very happy to see it under the tree.  


My husband also got me some new highlighters and pens for my Bible.  The small pens have cute little sayings and quotes on them, which I thought was just the sweetest, and new magnetic bookmarks



From my husband as well, this one below I loved so much as well.  He knows that I am starting the Bible again in January and want to do a bible study, so he got me some supplies.  
A gorgeous pink soft leather covered notebook, a pouch for the notebook and an elastic pen and pencil holder that wraps around the notebook.  It is such a beautiful set, and I almost feel bad using them, but truthfully, I can't wait to get started.  I don't know about you all, but I've always loved stationery, pens and books and paper and such.



I also got these beautiful notebooks from my husband as well.  


Got this selfie light from my daughter, which I'm sure will come very handy when I want to make some videos on instagram or take a selfie.  


Another amazing gift from my husband.  So this is my all time favorite perfume.  I used it in South Africa all the time, and I remember that when we would travel to Portugal for vacation, that it was one of the items we could buy on board the airplane, from the duty free store they had.  

Since moving to the States back in 1999, I have had a hard time finding it, but my husband managed to find it and got me a bottle for Christmas.  I swear I sprayed some on, and was immediately transported back in time.  If you're wondering what it is, or if you can't see the name, because of the light reflection in the photograph, it is called Anais Anais from Cacherel.


This next gift brought me to tears.  It is from my beautiful daughter.  If you don't know what it is, it is a Prayer Shawl or a Tallit in Hebrew.  She got me this gorgeous pink and gold Tallit, which comes in it's own protective pouch.  My word, what a beautiful gift.




The Tallits are mentioned many times in the Bible, and traditionally they were worn by Jewish men during prayers time, but over the years many have taken on this tradition, and I know of female pastors who wear them during prayer.  

I am hoping to get into the habit of wearing mine during my time with the Lord, prayer or devotional.  
Also from our girl, I got a new set of my other favorite perfume, White Diamonds.  It's become a tradition that she or Curt get me a new bottle of White Diamonds every Christmas.  Love it!


Jasmine also got me a echo dot, which I had wanted for a long time.  


And a new ceramic flat iron which I needed badly, since my old one had broken.


And now for my Secret Santa gift, which actually turned out to be from my SIL Hayley.  She knows me far too well, and got me literally everything I love and will use, right down to the gorgeous basket it came in.


First, can we talk about this gorgeous nail polish?  Like, how well does she know me?  I love all colors, but without a doubt my go to colors are pinks, light pinks, nudes and so forth.  This one is such a beautiful shade of pink. 


Then she got me Lavender and Chamomile Scented Body Wash and Foam Bath, Lavender and Coconut Oil Hand Cream, Sea Minerals Scrub that smells sooooooo good, I can't even describe it.  And a Fresh Bamboo candle which also smells out of this world.
Of course I don't need to tell you the Lavender scented products smell good, because by now I think each and every single one of you, know that Lavender is my favorite scent of all.


I also got these super soft and comfy warm socks, and a bag of the cutest pink marshmallows.



In the basket was also a new Diffuser, in white and wood.  So pretty and I needed a new one for my bedroom, so this one is just perfect.  Again, she knows me so well.


I also got a small water fountain for the bedroom as well, from my husband, but I forgot to take a photo.  I think you can kind of see it in the first pic on the post, on the bottom right.
So as you can see, a ton of meaningful and beautiful gifts, that I will use, and treasure for a long time.  I'm so thankful for my family.  We all had a wonderful Christmas, everyone received gifts they loved and appreciated, we ate yummy food, had good laughs and put behind us this crazy year we had to go through.

Would love to know if you got any special gifts this year, or any that you really weren't expecting.  Let's chat down below.

Have a wonderful rest of your Monday, I'll be back probably tomorrow with another post.  *fingers crossed*