Monday, June 27, 2016

Happy Homemaker Monday - 06/27/2016

Good morning everyone, hope you've had a great weekend.

Mine was pretty good, we had an impromptu barbecue, watched the soccer on TV, then watched a couple of movies.  Yesterday I decided to do just a "eat whatever you find" kind of day.  I have so many leftovers sitting in the fridge and to be honest, I like to have at least one day a week where I don't have to worry about cooking.

Today my brother starts his first day of work, I'm so excited for him.  He's been waiting since February to find a job and nothing was coming through, but this one that showed up is exactly what he likes doing and I honestly feel that God had it waiting for him.  Thank you to all who have kept him in your prayers, it's very much appreciated :)

Alright let's get started with our Happy Homemaker Monday.

The Weather:::
72 at the moment and partly cloudy.  We are supposed to get rain later this afternoon and I have to tell you, I'm actually looking forward to it, but I do need to get my laundry all done and line dried before that happens.  Some more rain tomorrow and then a clear hot week ahead. 

On my reading pile:::
My summer reading list is HUGE, and I'm quite enjoying all the different genres.  I usually stick to a particular genre but this time I decided to get a little of everything and try some new ones.  If you're interested in what I've been reading, you can check out my book reviews from the past week.  I also have quite a few others coming up, so be sure to check back for that. 

On my tv:::
Portuguese Soaps
General Hospital
Finished the new season of Orange is the New Black.  (I hate when I binge watch and then get left with nothing for another year, so frustrating)
Thinking I need to catch up on Game of Thrones, I only watched the first season hahaha

On the menu for this week:::
I'm only cooking until Thursday, Jasmine has her therapy on Thursday at 5pm, and we need to run some errands after that, so we'll grab something to eat while out.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday we will be away at some cabins at a lake in Oklahoma, with family, so I won't be cooking anything, it will just be my brother and sister in law at home and they'll figure something out for themselves.

Monday -  Slow Cooker Basil Chicken in Coconut Curry Sauce, Rice, Homemade Naan
Tuesday -  Ham and Cheese Ring, Veggies
Wednesday - Old Fashioned Goulash, Garlic Bread
Thursday - (Jasmine's therapy so will be out at dinner time, will grab something quick)
Saturday -

On my to do list:::
Laundry - 2 loads of laundry to do, hoping to get it all done and dried before the rain comes in.  If I have time I may be able to throw in the bed linens too, if not I'll wait until Wednesday because we are expecting rain tomorrow. 
Usual housecleaning

What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating:::
I'm determined to pull out my sewing machine today.  I am going to make myself some summer rompers, I bought one at Rue 21 and am in love with it, but what bugs me is that they make these rompers so short.  Luckily I'm fit and tanned and it looks great, but I would rather have something a little longer. 
Also, need to make some crochet little owls for a friend who has requested some for her daughter. 

Looking around the house:::
It's super quiet, hubby, brother and sister in law are all off to work.  Kids are enjoying summer break and have been staying up until all hours of the morning, so my 2 and my nephew will surely be sleeping until around noon, at least. 

From the camera:::
Pickled Fish....usually eat it for Easter but it's such a favorite around here that we've been enjoying it at all times of the year.  I'll be sharing the recipe today.  

On my prayer list:::
**My grandmother.  Nothing has changed, my father is now looking into placing her in a nursing home with frail care.  It's so frustrating with all the red tape and just......I don't know.  I'm frustrated and sad. 

Something that inspires or brings a smile to your face:::

Friday, June 24, 2016

Disappearance at Devil's Rock by Paul Tremblay - TLC Book Tour

• Hardcover: 336 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow (June 21, 2016)

A family is shaken to its core after the mysterious disappearance of a teenage boy in this eerie tale from the author of A Head Full of Ghosts.

“A Head Full of Ghosts scared the living hell out of me, and I’m pretty hard to scare,” raved Stephen King about Paul Tremblay’s previous novel, which received widespread critical acclaim. Now Tremblay returns with another disturbing tale just as powerful and unsettling.

Late one summer night, Elizabeth Sanderson receives the devastating news that every mother fears: her thirteen-year-old son, Tommy, has vanished without a trace in the woods of a nearby state park.

The search isn’t yielding any answers, and Elizabeth and her eleven-year-old daughter, Kate, struggle to comprehend Tommy’s disappearance. Feeling helpless and alone, their sorrow is compounded by anger and frustration. Neither the state nor local police have uncovered any leads. Josh and Luis, the friends who were the last to see Tommy before he vanished, may not be telling the whole truth about that night in Borderland State Park, when they were supposedly hanging out at a landmark they have renamed Devil’s Rock.

Living in an all-too-real nightmare, Elizabeth is wholly unprepared for the strange series of events that follow. She believes a wraithlike apparition of Tommy materializes in her bedroom, while Kate and other local residents claim to see a shadowy figure peering through their windows in the dead of night. Then, random pages torn from Tommy’s journals begin to mysteriously appear—entries that reveal an introverted teenager obsessed with the phantasmagoric; the loss of his father, killed in a drunk-driving accident a decade earlier; a folktale involving the devil and the woods of Borderland; the coming zombie “pocketclips”; and a horrific incident that Tommy believed connected them all.

As the search grows more desperate, and the implications of what happened become more ominous and sinister, no one is prepared for the shocking truth about that night at Devil’s Rock.

Tremblay deftly blends literary fiction, psychological suspense, and supernatural horror into an absorbing tale that illuminates a parent’s darkest fears . . . and an adolescent’s darkest secrets. Eerie, thought-provoking, and soul-shattering, Disappearance at Devil’s Rock will haunt you long after Tommy’s final journal entry is read.


 Paul Tremblay AP

About Paul Tremblay

Paul Tremblay is a multiple Bram Stoker Award finalist and the author of the crime novels The Little Sleep and No Sleep Till Wonderland. He has served as the president of the board of directors of the Shirley Jackson Awards, and his essays and short fiction have appeared in the Los Angeles Times and numerous year’s-best anthologies.

Find out more about Paul at his website, and connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


My Thoughts:

 Oh my goodness, I loved this book.  Again, I've never been a fan of this genre, choosing to stick to Historical or romance novels, but this one was so good I couldn't put it down.

This book may have just converted me to a suspense, paranormal, thriller fan.

The book touches on a parent's worst nightmare, the disappearance of one of your children.  The way that Paul Tremblay was able to convey those feelings through the words on the pages, is phenomenal.  You're left with such a sense of loss, as if this was your own child.

The story starts with Tommy going to a sleep over at one of his friend's house.  They decide to grab some beers and go out exploring the Borderland woods.  13 year old boys just being boys, curious, having fun right?  Until two of them return, but not Tommy.

From that moment on we are faced with a story filled with raw emotion, questions and moments of pure fear, anger and frustration.  What exactly happened to Tommy?  Why does it seem that his two friends who were with him at his time of disappearance, may not be telling the full story?  Were they involved, are they too scared to say what really went on?

We follow his mother and sister as they try to make sense of it all.  Throw in some supernatural happenings around them and this book had me turning the pages as fast as I could.

If you love suspense, psychological novels, you HAVE to read this one.  And I mean you HAVE to.  I'm actually passing it on to my sister in law who loves this genre as I'm sure she will enjoy it just as much as I did.


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Defender by Diana Palmer - TLC Book Tour

  • Series: Her Long Tall Texan
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: HQN Books (June 28, 2016)

The man who shattered her trust is back to protect her… New York Times bestselling author Diana Palmer delivers a breathtaking story of second-chance love.

When Paul Fiore disappeared from Isabel Grayling’s life, he told himself it was for all the right reasons. She was young and innocent, and he was her millionaire father’s lowly employee. Three years on, Paul is the FBI agent assigned to Isabel’s case. Too late, he realizes what life in her Texas mansion was really like back then—and how much damage he did when he left.

Once love-struck and sheltered, Isabel has become an assistant district attorney committed to serving the law, no matter how risky it gets. But right now, the man she can’t forgive is the one thing standing between her and a deadly stalker. She knows Paul won’t hesitate to protect her life with his own. But if she can’t trust herself to resist him, how can she trust him not to break her heart all over again?



About Diana Palmer

The prolific author of more than one hundred books, Diana Palmer got her start as a newspaper reporter. A New York Times bestselling author and voted one of the top ten romance writers in America, she has a gift for telling the most sensual tales with charm and humor. Diana lives with her family in Cornelia, Georgia.

Connect with Diana

Website | Facebook


 My Thoughts:

I've been a long time Diana Palmer fan and have had read so many of her books.  I just love the way she writes and her stories, which are some of the best romance out there.  One of my favorite genres aside from the typical romance is western romance and she is an expert at these.

I knew I would enjoy this book and I wasn't wrong, though I will say that it was a little different than what I'm used to reading by Diana.  Nevertheless, she didn't disappoint in giving me a story that I felt like I read in a day, that's how quick it went for me.

Paul and Isabel are the typical romance novel characters, in love, separated when one leaves and then meeting up again years later only to realize that the feelings they thought were gone, are very much alive.

When Paul decided to walk away, 3 years prior, it wasn't because he didn't love her, far from it, it was because the love he felt for her and she for him, scared him to death.  Paul is now an FBI agent assigned to protect Isabel from a stalker.  Isabel is now an assistant district attorney and not as easily swayed by his good looks and charm.  He broke her trust, and it will take a lot to gain it back.

I enjoyed watching the two tiptoe around each other while at the same time being forced to be in each other's orbit all the time.

The fact that it takes place in Texas, is a bonus for me :)


All summer long by Dorothea Benton Frank - TLC Book Tour

  • Hardcover: 384 pages 
  • Publisher: William Morrow (May 31, 2016)

Dorothea Benton Frank novels are smart and witty fiction that readers want on their bookshelf: soulful, edgy stories about realistic characters familiar to us all that explore the most deeply felt moments of life with wry humor and heart.

All Summer Long follows one charming New York couple–prominent interior designer Olivia Ritchie and her husband, Nicholas Seymour, an English professor and true southern gentleman. They are seemingly polar opposites, yet magnetically drawn together and have been in love for more than fourteen years.

As they prepare to relocate to Charleston, South Carolina, Olivia, the ultimate New Yorker, has reservations about the promise she made to retire in the Lowcountry, where Nick wants to return home and lead a more peaceful life. They are moving north to south, fast pace versus slow pace, and downsizing. Nick is ecstatic. Olivia is not. She can’t let Nick know that their finances are not what he thought. Her client list is evaporating, their monetary reserves are dwindling, and maybe that house she picked out on Sullivans Island needs too much work.  Thank God for her assistant, Roni Larini, her right (and sometimes left) hand.

As they find themselves pondering the next step of their lives, Olivia and Nick travel with her billionaire clients and their friends and are swept up in the world of the ultra-rich, exploring the globe with a cast of zany eccentrics over one tumultuous, hot summer. All as Olivia grapples with what lies ahead for her and Nick.

This is a story of how plans evolve and lives change in unexpected ways, how even those who have everything are still looking for something more. Even the most successful people can often struggle to keep things together. All Summer Long asks the ultimate question: Can money buy happiness? From Sullivans Island to Necker Island to Nantucket to the beaches of Southern Spain, we’ll come to recognize the many faces of true love; love that deepens and endures, but only because one woman makes a tremendous leap of faith. And that leap changes everything.


 My thoughts:

I really enjoyed the story of Nick and Olivia.  A married couple who have vowed to love each other, through anything that life may throw their way.  

As they travel through the summer, they are involved in numerous adventures, make new friends, meet interesting people and most importantly, show us what true love is all about.

It really is a the perfect summer beach read, a fun story, interesting characters and a good ol' love story to boot.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

A good cleaning!!!

It's now 8:42am and I'm sitting here waiting for the color to process on my hair before having to wash it out.  My greys are out of control, truly and I wish I was as brave as some women who just let them be and go all colorless.  I can't, it drives me insane.

I just had my go to breakfast, yogurt, frozen blueberries and granola.  Love it, never get sick of it and it fills me up.


So two days ago I decided to try a lighter color on my hair, I should have known it wouldn't work, it never does.

Nonetheless I went for it, and what I ended up with was really light brown on my roots, my greys NOT covered and the rest of my hair black.  It looked a total mess, so I had to run out yesterday and grab another normal black which is what my natural hair is anyway.

Here I sit now, on my bed, with a bag over my head and counting down the minutes until I can get my natural black hair back.  I've given up on lighter colors, my hair just won't take them unless I bleach, and that is something I definitely don't want to do.

Goodness, we never seem happy with what we have do we?


I spent the day yesterday, giving this house a good cleaning, or starting to at least, it's such a big house that there is no way on earth I will get every room done in one day.

The two living rooms and kitchen did get a good cleaning.  I reorganized, put things where they belong, brought in some flowers for decoration, and then the usual vacuum and dust and sweep and mop etc.  Also gave the windows a good cleaning.


Laundry and laundry and never ending laundry.  I had two big baskets of clothes to iron, so I popped in a show and got to work.

It took me a little over an hour but I have it all done, although it's sitting in the baskets right now because I need to get them put away this morning some time.

I've also been remembering to take pictures of what I'm cooking so I can update the food blog.  It's been a while and I find that I miss having the recipes online for me to look back on and remake.


Texas Hash, it's a quick and simple meal to put together, it's filling and it goes far, which is what I need when feeding 8 people.


The Ferrero Rocher Cheesecake was a hit.  I made it for my sister in law's birthday last week.  So good.

I'll try to have both recipes up sometime today.

I also managed to go around and visit all the Happy Homemaker Monday participants which felt great to do, I just wish I had more time to visit you all.


I've been working on meal planning.  I'm actually needing to get a new notebook to work in because this one is quickly filling up.

Oh and I have to show you my new phone case.  I don't like spending a lot of money on things like that but it needs a protective case, even though I'll tell you I am super careful with my phone.

I found this case on Amazon for super cheap, I want to say it was like $8 or something.  I fell in love with it.


It has this super adorable little flower that plugs right into your headphones connection.


And I am so in love with the vintage looking pictures.  The elephant and the little flowers and butterflies.  It's this beautiful soft yellow and mint green.

But yeah, just wanted to share.

My grandmother is still in hospital, her organs are slowly shutting down and we've been told to prepare ourselves.  My father was called in on Sunday night to sign a DNR form. 

I'm broken, I know what is coming and I'm actually at the point where I want her to go because I don't think this is a life for her, I don't want to think of her being in pain, not sound of mind etc.

This in between while we wait for the inevitable is so hard.  I would love nothing more than for my grandmother to live and be healthy, but when she's so sick, I part of me wants it all to end the sooner the better.

I hope I am making sense and I hope no one is thinking I'm wanting her to die. 

It's just really, really hard!!!!

Well friends, I have to go and wash this off my hair, then I need to style it, get dressed for the day and get busy with my housework.  I also have to get all the kid's school books in a box and mailed off.

Oh and later today we are going to check out a local Zumba class.  I am SO SO looking forward to that.

Have a wonderful Tuesday :)

Monday, June 20, 2016 Review

I was recently contacted by the wonderful folks over at and asked if I would be interested in reviewing something for them.

Being a Christian, I don't often get many chances to review Christian specific sites or products, and this was a great opportunity to do that.

If you don't know about then you don't know what you're missing.  It is a great site for Christian DVD's.  There are tons of categories to choose from, Bible Teaching, Children, Documentaries, Christmas....whatever you like you're sure to find.

If you sign up for their newsletter right now, you will get a 10% discount on your order.

You can find them on Facebook, Twitter, and even Pinterest.

I was sent Apostle Paul and the Earliest Churches, to review.

Apostle Paul and the Earliest Churches is a brilliant and illuminating production. Beginning with his conversion, it reenacts Paul's missionary journeys on Anatolian soil (modern Turkey). This brief, 48-minute Christian DVD contains an archaeological treasury: mosaics, frescoes, statues, amphitheaters, agoras, temples and more. The historical, religious, and archaeological background of each Anatolian region in which Paul preached the gospel is explained.

Yet this film is more than an archaeological or historical survey; this production's reenactment of the miracles Paul performed, the difficulties he encountered, and the persecution he faced beckons the viewer to experience with the Apostle himself the birth of the Christian church.

The film's archaeological emphasis is enhanced by 3D animated maps and footage of Antioch on the Orontes, Pisidian Antioch, Ephesus, Tarsus, and other cities important to Paul.


I've always found the Apostle Paul fascinating, so to be able to go through his journey almost step by step was quite exciting.

The video was 48 minutes long which to me was the perfect time, not extremely long that it would make me lose interest and not short where it left me wondering if anything was left unshared or unsaid.

Not only does it teach us more about who Paul was, but it takes us on a journey through all the regions where he preached the gospel, in a sense giving us an insight into what the areas looked like, where they were and what they looked like.  To me, it helps visualize certain things therefore allowing me to better understand what I'm reading in the Bible.

Paul's life and his devotion to the Lord, is clearly shown as we are shown his missionary journey through old Anatolia which is now known as Turkey.  The voice overs, the 3D maps, the architecture shown and the ruins etc. were so interesting to see.

I thoroughly enjoyed it and I actually passed it on to some family members who showed interest in watching too, and just like I they loved the film.

I think it's one that many Christians would enjoy watching in their homes.

Thank you to for sending me a review copy of Apostle Paul.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Happy Homemaker Monday - 06/20/2016

Good morning everyone, hope you've had a great relaxing weekend.

It's Monday, again, always feels like my weekends are super short and my weeks drag on.  Anyway, it's the start of a new week, it's the first day of Summer and I have a new template to celebrate it.

See, I've bee missing the beach so very much but I can't go and so I figured that the next best thing would be to bring the beach to me, sort of.  The header and background just make me happy and feel summery and yeah.....I hope you like it too.

I also have a new HHM button if you want to use it, feel free, if not that's ok too.  Alright, enough chit chat let's get going.

The Weather:::
Sunny at the moment and 75 degrees.  We're looking at sunny and warm the rest of the week too, which is fine with me.  I swear with the amount of rain we get here, we are constantly having to mow because the grass grows like crazy. 

On my reading pile:::
Finished my other book and did the review, so I've moved on to my next one on the list which is All Summer Long by Dorothea Benton Frank.  Really enjoying it, it's perfect for a summer read, just check out this cover.  

On my tv:::
Portuguese Soaps
General Hospital
The new season of Orange is the New Black

On the menu for this week:::

Monday -  Bifanas (Portuguese Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches), Homemade Fries
Tuesday -  Ham and Cheese Tortellini, Cheesy Garly Bread
Wednesday - Korean Beef Bowls, Steamed Rice
Thursday - Chicken Cheesesteaks, Onion Rings
Friday -  Lasagna Roll Ups, Salad
Saturday - Onion Burgers, Fries
Sunday  - Pickled Fish, Veggies, Garlic Potatoes

On my to do list:::
Laundry - Still haven't been able to afford a new dryer, so clothesline it is.  I do have a huge basket of laundry to iron today, and I also need to do another 2 loads of clothes, plus all the bedding.  *sigh*
Usual housecleaning
Send off the kid's school materials
Bring in some flowers to the house

What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating:::
I'm a lost case in this department.  Oh how far we fall LOL  I need to get my butt in gear to make something for the baby's 1st Birthday. 

Looking around the house:::
Usual chaos after the weekend.  I also need to get some Summer decor going, but I'm not quite sure what I want to do yet.  

From the camera:::
Ferrero Rocher Cheesecake I made for my sister in law's birthday.

On my prayer list:::
**My grandmother.  We are unfortunately just waiting, we've been told to prepare ourselves, her body is slowly shutting down and she is spending more time asleep than actually awake and communicating.  It's so hard, for me the worst part is this limbo and in between when we know what is coming but not when.  My only comfort is that I know that the day she closes her eyes forever, she will be reunited with her husband, son and mother and father. 
**My brother.  He will be hearing back today or tomorrow about possibly going in to sign his contract with the new job.  I'm really praying this works out for him. 
**My daughter.  She is a fighter, she is having to learn a lot through therapy, about who she is, about things she needs to change etc.  It's not easy but she's a trooper. 

Something that inspires or brings a smile to your face:::