Friday, July 29, 2022

{ What Will They Think by Grace Valentine - TLC Book Tour }


About What Will They Think?: Nine Women in the Bible Who Can Help You Live Your Life Boldly

Paperback: 240 Pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (July 12, 2022)

In this inspiring guide for young women, Grace Valentine shines a spotlight on nine courageous women in the Bible who lived their faith boldly. In a world that pressures you to seek validation from others, learn to focus on what truly matters.

“What will they think?” It’s a question that consumes many women and may even stop them from living the lives God has called them to live. Whether it’s don’t be too loud, don’t be too aggressive, or your role is to be a sidekick for men, women struggle to live a life that is about pleasing others—but Scripture describes women who actually did the opposite.

In this third release from popular blogger and podcaster Grace Valentine, What Will They Think? features the stories of nine incredible women in the Bible, including Esther, Deborah, Sarah, Mary Magdalene, and Tabitha. These women did not bend to peer pressure or seek to people-please but instead turned their focus on God.

What Will They Think? contains:

  • Inspiring and motivating stories of strong women who lived courageously in their faith
  • Practical steps on how to stop caring what others think and focus on what truly matters
  • Personal stories from Grace’s life and her own struggle to stop focusing on the opinions of others

For inspiration found in the lives of these biblical heroes, What Will They Think? provides steps to finding freedom to live life boldly and to stop caring about what others might think.


About Grace Valentine

Grace Valentine is an author, blogger, podcast host, and speaker. Her readers love the fact that she is young, ordinary, and relatable; they say her fresh voice helps them navigate their own faith and life. Grace’s mission is to show others that Christianity is not lame–it is an adventure worth living.

Grace grew up near New Orleans, Louisiana, in a suburban town called Mandeville. She graduated from Baylor University in 2018 with a degree in journalism. She currently resides in Orlando, Florida, where she enjoys going on runs and eating lots of sushi. You can find Grace on Instagram @thegracevalentine; her podcast, I’m Tired; Twitter @GraceV96; or her website, Grace loves connecting with her readers, so send her a message!


This book was superb, from beginning to end.
Number one, it is a short book, short chapters, very easy to read but packs such a punch.  For one, it brings to light some of the most important women in the Bible, something I feel isn't done enough through books.
The theme of the book itself is about people pleasers, or those who always worry about what others will think.  I used to be one of those, I would say yes to things I didn't want to do, because I didn't want to be honest and say no for fear of what they would say or think.
It was so nerve wrecking living my life that way. 
Grace Valentine highlights women in the Bible who went against the grain, so to speak.  Women who decided to speak their minds, do what they wanted to, make their decisions, and not worry about what others' may say.
The very first chapter is about one of my favorite women, Esther.  Esther played a huge important part in the Bible.  She could have kept quiet, tried to just blend in and definitely not made waves, but she chose to stand up, say something, stand her ground, and in doing so puts a stop to an inevitable annihilation of the Jews.
Along with Esther, the book mentions many other well known names, such as Sarah, Mary Magdalene, Deborah and Tabitha.  Each women teaches us to speak up, to not shy away, and intermingled with the author's own experiences and her faith, we are given really interesting and informative advice to live life boldly and not worry about what other's are thinking or saying.
Loved this book so much!!!
Thank you to TLC Book Tours and Thomas Nelson for providing me with a review copy.


{ Who's ready for more Period Dramas to watch?}

Oh you guys, it's been a hot minute since I've done one of my upcoming Period Dramas posts.  I guess since I wasn't blogging as often, and I wasn't watching as much TV either, it kind of fell to side and I wasn't looking for what is coming up.

But, I've been wanting to get back into my Period Dramas, so went looking to see just what is already released that I have missed, what is releasing soon or towards the end of the year.  And, ohhhhhhh there are some pretty good ones that I am really looking forward to.


Downtown Abbey A New Era

The Crawley family goes on a grand journey to the South of France to uncover the mystery of the dowager countess's newly inherited villa.
Available now on:  Peacock TV,  Youtube, Google Play, Vudu, Apple TV, Amazon Prime

The Gilded Age

The American Gilded Age was a period of immense economic change, great conflict between the old ways and brand new systems, and huge fortunes were made and lost. In 1882, young Marian Brook moves from rural Pennsylvania to New York City after the death of her father to live with her aunts Agnes van Rhijn and Ada Brook. 
Accompanied by Peggy Scott, an aspiring writer seeking a fresh start, Marian inadvertently becomes enmeshed in a social war between one of her aunts, a scion of the old money set, and her stupendously rich neighbors, a ruthless railroad tycoon and his ambitious wife, George and Bertha Russell. Exposed to a world on the brink of the modern age, Marian must choose if she will follow the established rules of society or forge her own path.
Available now on:  HBO Max, Hulu, Youtube, Apple TV, Google Play, Vudu, Amazon Prime

Persuasion (2022)

When Frederick Wentworth -- the one who got away -- crashes back into Anne Elliot's life, she must choose between putting the past behind her or listening to her heart when it comes to second chances.
Available now on:  Netflix

Mr. Malcolm's List

In 19th-century England, a wealthy, young lady named Julia engages in courtship with Mr. Malcolm, a mysterious, wealthy suitor, unaware that he has a list of qualities required of a future wife.
Available now on:  Youtube, Google Play, Apple TV, Amazon Prime


The Railway Children Return

Picking up nearly forty years after the events of the original film, THE RAILWAY CHILDREN RETURN will take audiences on an exciting and heart-warming journey, in which a new group of children are evacuated to a Yorkshire village during World War 2, where they encounter a young soldier, who like them, is far away from home…
Available now on:  Roku 

Becoming Elizabeth

Follow Elizabeth Tudor, an orphaned teenager, who becomes embroiled in the political and sexual politics of the English court on her journey to secure the crown.
Available now on:   STARZ, Hulu, Roku, Youtube TV

Florence Pugh's The Wonder

A tale of two strangers who transform each other's lives, a psychological thriller, and a story of love pitted against evil.
Set in Ireland c.1862, the story follows an English nurse called Lib Wright. She goes to a rural village to observe what locals consider it a miracle – an 11-year-old girl who has survived without food for months.
Available:  Netflix late 2022


Emily Brontë, a young woman, dares to form herself and to embrace her true nature, despite the consequences.
Available: October 14th, UK 

The Essex Serpent

Newly widowed Cora, having been released from an abusive marriage, relocates from Victorian London to a small village in Essex, intrigued by a local superstition that a mythical creature known as the Essex Serpent has returned to the area.
Available now on:  Apple TV


The Serpent Queen
The Serpent Queen is an upcoming American period drama television series revolving around the life of Catherine de' Medici. It was created by Justin Haythe and based on the 2004 non-fiction book Catherine de Medici: Renaissance Queen of France by Leonie Frieda.
Available:  STARZ late 2022

Exploring the secrets and drama behind the genius of Leonardo da Vinci -- his life, his work and his personal struggles set against the backdrop of Renaissance Italy. "Leonardo" follows da Vinci as he grows into an unparalleled genius and renowned polymath whose work overturns the established order. 
His restless curiosity about art, science and technology is driven by a profound quest for knowledge and he's determined to unfold the mysteries of the world around him. The series unlocks the enigma of this extraordinary man, through an untold story of mystery and passion.
Available now on:  Roku, and will release on The CW in August.

Thursday, July 28, 2022

{ Cooking Thursday - Pao de Leite Condensado (Condensed Milk Bread) }

Good morning sweet ladies, hope you're having a wonderful Thursday.

I am back this morning, tired and possibly needing copious amounts of coffee to get me through the day.  Kaia did well last night, but was getting frustrated with her onesie, so I had to keep helping her, pulling it tighter, unbunching it etc.  

She's doing so much better this morning already.  Praise the Lord!

For today's Cooking Thursday, I'm bringing you a yummy bread recipe, that is made in the blender and produces a soft, slightly sweet loaf.  It's one of our favorites around here, and I sure hope you enjoy it as well.

The recipe makes 3 or 4 loaves, depending on the size of the loaf pan you are using. 

Pao de Leite Condensado - Condensed Milk Bread
4 eggs
3 tablespoons butter (or  75 grams)
2 cups of milk (480 ml)
1 can condensed milk (395 grams)
3 tablespoons sugar (36 grams)
1 teaspoon salt (2 grams)
8 cups all purpose flour (1.120 kg)
Half a tablespoon Yeast (15 grams)
For glaze:
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons milk

In a blender, add the eggs, butter, milk and condensed milk, and blend until well incorporated.
In a separate bowl, add the yeast, sugar, flour and the salt.  Remember not to let the salt and yeast touch, so that the salt does not kill off the yeast.  I always add my yeast and my salt on opposite sides of the bowl.
Pour the contents of the blender into a big mixing bowl.  Then start adding the flour mixture, a cup at a time, mixing well after each addition.  When it becomes hard to stir, transfer the dough onto a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes, until smooth but still slightly tacky.  
Transfer into a well oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a dish towel, and let rise for an hour or until doubled in size.
Punch dough down, transfer to a floured surface and cut into 4 or 3 equal parts (depending on the size of your loaf pans or if you're making 3 or 4 loaves).
Take each dough ball and roll out into a rectangle, do not roll too thin.  Then start rolling the dough back up, as if you were making cinnamon rolls, pinching the seam at the bottom and both sides.  I just take both sides of the dough on each end and pinch to close.  

Next, take a dough cutter or a big knife, and divide the roll of dough into equal parts.   I usually cut in half, then half again and half again, etc.  It doesn't really matter how many parts you cut it into, obviously the more cuts you make the thinner the slices will be.  I did 16 slices in each loaf, so I cut the dough into 16 equal parts.

Next, carefully lift the whole loaf up, keeping the slices together, and place into the loaf pan.

Do the same with the remaining dough balls.

Cover with a kitchen towel again and let rise for another hour or until it has doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 355 degrees.   In a small bowl, mix together 1 egg yolk and 2 tablespoons milk.  Brush over the prepared loaves, and then bake in the oven for 16 to 18 minutes or until brown and cooked through.  Just keep an eye out, obviously each oven is different.

Once the loaves are out of the oven, brush each with a little butter, remove from pan and let cool completely.
I keep my bread in a ziploc bag, and usually as with all my other bread, I keep it in the fridge so it stays longer.  

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

{ Good Dog and Best Patient Award }


Our sweet Kaia is home and resting, thanks to our good Lord!

She came home sporting a Good Dog Bandana, given by the vet's office, for being the best patient and a really good dog.  The vet said she was a social butterfly LOL

Apparently, our Kaia was still recovering but trying to play with the other puppies and kittens that had been neutered and spayed, keeping them entertained and making them feel better.  The vet and the technicians all loved her.



We opted to do a onesie instead of the Elizabethan Cone, better known as the Cone of Shame  hahaha

She did come home with the cone, but wasn't liking it at all, and a couple times walked into things.  So with the vet's approval we decided to do the onesie instead.

I must say, she has not once even attempted to look at or touch or lick her sutures, it's as if they aren't even there, but we will still keep the onesie on for the next 14 days.

The onesie we picked was the Recovery Vest.  It comes with a pocket where you insert a Lavender essential oil disk, to keep the pet calm and to help with anxiety as well.
We got the large size because it was the closest to her weight range, although it is a little big on her, but it doesn't bother her at all.  It's soft thin material, and because it's not snug on her body, it doesn't rub on or snag on her sutures at all.  It also allows the skin to breathe.

She does have a slight skin irritation, and has medication for that, along with her pain meds.  But she is doing so well, she has eaten, she is drinking, she tries to play and run, but also gets tired pretty quickly and takes a lot of naps.  

Kaia had a slight temp this morning, but the vet said that's normal due to the surgery and anesthesia etc.  At the time I'm typing this post though, her temperature is back to normal.
The thing I'm finding the hardest, is keeping her from jumping on the bed or couch.  We pick her up and put her on, or pick her up and put her down, but there have been a few times that she just goes and does it before we even get to her.  Keeps me on my toes for sure.
We are just thrilled that she is home, recovering, the surgery is done and went well and now we can just concentrate on her healing. 


Tuesday, July 26, 2022

{ Kaia went in for her spaying }


It's been a very slow day.  I have spent it with my hubby, who is home on leave for the next 3 days.  

Early this morning, we dropped Kaia off at the vet for her spaying.  It broke my heart, and I know that may sound so ridiculous to say, but just leaving her upset me.  I'm not ashamed to admit that I cried on the way home.

I think it brought up a few memories of Marley.

Anyway, she didn't get to her surgery until this afternoon, and we got the call around 3:30pm letting us know she was in recovery and had done really well.  We get to pick her up tomorrow at 8:30am.  I am literally counting down the minutes hahahah

So I spent the whole day, just trying to keep my mind busy.  
Hubby and I went to Petsmart for some supplies for Kaia for her after care, then came home, did a little yard work, had a swim, barbecued some burgers and bratwurst and just relaxed.
I did hang up some clothes inside, it was so hot out, that I didn't even want to put the washing in those temperatures.

Would you believe me if I told you they were all dry, in 10 minutes?  Even inside, and even though there were some towels too?  This heat is ridiculous.  
Anyway, I didn't take photos of anything else,  but I am going to just show you what my husband was working on.  Tomorrow I'll show you Kaia and anything else I get up to during the day.
When we first moved to Texas, in 2015, my mother in law had given my husband, his dad's old smoker.  He had that smoker for so many years, and then passed away, and it was just left at his parent's house in Oklahoma.

We brought it home, and used it just a few times, but it was pretty dingy, rusted, old, the wooden board on the front was destroyed from the weather, the handles were broken etc.


We couldn't decided what to do with it.  Thought of getting rid of it, but neither one of us could bear to do it, so the next plan was to go ahead and bring it back to life.  Give it a new coat of metal paint, new board, new wooden handles and grates.

My husband sanded it all down and removed all the rust first.  Unfortunately the grates inside were very rusted and old, so we got rid of those and will buy some new ones.

He then bought some metal black paint, and gave it a new fresh look.  He also made new wooden handles, and just needs to make a new board for the front of the smoker.  It's a work in progress but already looks so much better.


While he was out there working on it, a butterfly just appeared out of nowhere and landed on one of the smoker's legs.  It didn't move, it stayed there the whole time my hubby was spraying the paint and working on it, only leaving when he was done for the day.

I think that was my father in law, giving his son some love and appreciation for the work he is doing on his old grill.

Very sweet to think about, isn't it?


She is looking as good as new.  It's amazing how you can refurbish something with just a little elbow grease and a lot of love.

I can't wait to see it all finished.  We plan on having a whole barbecue area, with the smoker, our gas grill, and hopefully some cabinets of some sort for keeping all the barbecue tools.


But it will happen slowly, because everything takes time and money, of course.

So there you go, that was my day, nothing really happened.  I'm just glad this day is done and I can look forward to tomorrow.

Have a good Tuesday night friends, I'll be back tomorrow with an update on my little girl.

Monday, July 25, 2022

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 07/25/2022 }

Good morning friends, come on in out of the heat, and grab yourselves a cup of coffee, or tea.  
I didn't get a post up yesterday, between church and then going to my brother's house in the afternoon, time just slipped away.  At first I was a bit frustrated because I've kept up with daily posts, but then I realized that it's ok to miss a day, probably Sundays, to take off to rest and recharge.  If I share a Sunday post from now on, that's great, but if I miss one, I am not going to let that upset me.
I must say, it's been such a joy getting back to blogging, visiting your blogs and interacting with you all.  I just missed that.
Let's get on with our post today......wishing you all a very blessed week ahead.

♥♥ The Weather ♥♥ 
The hot temperatures continue to slam us, although God did answer prayers and brought us some rain a few days ago.  Praying for more.  Thankfully, it seems that next week we are dropping temps to the 90's, it's not much but every bit helps.    

Monday -  Mainly sunny, 105
Tuesday - Mostly Sunny, 106
Wednesday - Sunny 106
Thursday - Mostly cloudy, 102
Friday - Mostly cloudy, 99
Saturday - Isolated Thunderstorms, 95
Sunday - Partly cloudy, 99

♥♥  As I look outside my window ♥ 
Our lawns are all yellow and dying, we so desperately need rain to quench the earth.  I'm used to seeing beautiful green grass and trees, and it's quite disheartening to see everything so brown. 
♥♥  Right now I am ♥♥ 
Sitting on my bed, working on this post and watching the new season of Virgin River. 
♥♥  Thinking and pondering ♥♥ 
Tomorrow Kaia goes in for her spaying.  To say I'm anxious is an understatement.  I'm just not ready for stress and worry due to a pet, again.  It also doesn't help that every time I step into our Vet's building, I am immediately reminded of the constant times we spent there with Marley.  I guess it's something that will probably stay with me forever.   
♥♥  How am I feeling ♥♥ 
A bit tired, didn't sleep very well, kept waking up and tossing back and forth. 
♥♥  On the breakfast plate ♥♥ 
I've had a cup of coffee with vanilla creamer, and will figure out what to eat in about an hour. 
♥♥   On the lunch plate ♥♥ 
I have leftover Korean Bulgogi and Rice, so will probably have that.   
♥♥  On the dinner plate ♥♥ 
Roast chicken legs and Macaroni Salad.
♥♥  What I'm wearing  ♥♥ 
Comfy pink pajama set, shorts and a top. 
 ♥♥  On my reading pile ♥♥ 
Reading through Isaiah in the Bible
Paul David Tripp New Morning Mercies devotional. 
Janette Oke's Women of the West, book two Julia's Last Hope 

♥♥  On my TV this week  ♥♥ 
Mad About You 
Homemaking vlogs 
Becoming Elizabeth 
Season 4 Virgin River
♥♥  On the menu  ♥♥ 
Monday - Roast Chicken Legs, Macaroni Salad
Tuesday - Cheese and Caramelized Onion Burgers (homemade buns), waffle fries
Wednesday -  Tacos, Mexican rice
Thursday - Spaghetti Bolognese, Salad, Garlic Knots
Friday - Bola de carne (Portuguese Meat Bread)
Saturday -  Grilled Pizza
Sunday - Francesinhas, fries  (Francesinhas are a traditional sandwich dish from Porto, Portugal)

♥♥  Looking around the house  ♥♥ 
Curt has just left for work, and Jasmine will be leaving in about 2 hours.  Kaia and Elliott are asleep on the bed next to me.  
In the living room, I have my huge Persian rug, that I need to unroll and place back in it's spot.  I took it outside yesterday and hand washed it, then left it to dry. 

♥♥  To Do List ♥♥ 
- Restocking pantry and fridge (chop up cilantro and parsley for freezer, cut up melon, wash lettuce, wash strawberries, refill pasta containers)
- Pay bills
♥♥  From the camera  ♥♥ 
I like taking the time each Sunday or Monday, to restock our home for the week ahead.  It takes a bit of effort, but it makes things much easier throughout the week.

♥♥  Devotional  ♥♥ 
Today you'll wonder if you'll have enough, or you'll tell yourself "The Lord will provide" and in faith you'll move forward.   
- New Morning Mercies by Paul David Tripp -