Monday, October 31, 2022

the books I read in September and October


Happy Monday, friends! I'm linking up with Sarah and Holly for this weekly blog post. I had a super low key weekend, which was nice after the last two weekends of me being gone. Todd and I went out to dinner together Friday night, to my favorite, La Perla Tapatia that I talked about Friday. He had steak street tacos, but I had sautéed chicken breast with onions and mushrooms and a margarita. It was SO. GOOD. He worked the rest of the weekend, and I stayed home. 

Because of the slow weekend, I thought I'd just share about the books I read in September and October. Because I took that last weekend of September off from blogging, I completely forgot about sharing the books I read, so I just saved them for this one post. The caption you'll read about each book is from Good Reads, and if you're interested in the book, I've posted a link to Amazon for each Kindle book. Just click on each picture and you'll be re-directed. I read eleven books in these two months, which brings me to sixty-one books for the year so far! Settle in and keep your phone handy, in case you want to order one of these! 

The Locked Door by Freida McFadden.


Some doors are locked for a reason…While eleven-year-old Nora Davis was up in her bedroom doing homework, she had no idea her father was killing women in the basement. Until the day the police arrived at their front door. Decades later, Nora’s father is spending his life behind bars, and Nora is a successful surgeon with a quiet, solitary existence. Nobody knows her father was a notorious serial killer. And she intends to keep it that way. Then Nora discovers one of her young female patients has been murdered. In the same unique and horrific manner that her father used to kill his victims. Somebody knows who Nora is. Somebody wants her to take the fall for this unthinkable crime. But she’s not a killer like her father. The police can’t pin anything on her. As long as they don’t look in her basement.

Personal thoughts: Every book by this author that I've read is gripping and shocking. I never see the end coming and some of them make me gasp out loud. She never disappoints! 

Gilded Girl by Pamela M. Kelley.


A rags-to-riches saga set in the Gilded Age...When Eliza Chapman, a London ladies maid, learns that her real father is one of the richest men in New York City her whole world changes. He has sent a one-way ticket for her to join him, his mother and his two daughters at his palatial Manhattan mansion. Eliza suddenly has her own ladies maid and learns that she is expected to find a husband. As the social season gets underway she is swept into a whirl of teas, luncheons, balls and other events. But her sisters see her as unwelcome competition, which makes her feel even more like a fish out of water. And Eliza is in no rush to get anyone. As Eliza settles in she meets new people--among them Minnie--a brilliant married friend, who is a gifted and driven investor. Perhaps Eliza can aspire to more than just finding a husband? A tragedy leads to a shocking turn of events and Eliza finds her world turned upside down, again.

Personal thoughts: I've never met a Pamela Kelley book I didn't love! I am not a fan of historical fiction, but this one read like a modern day love story. I would say it's perfect if you're a fan of shows like Downton Abbey. I highly recommend! 

The first Lady, James Patterson and Brendan Dubois.


One secret could bring down the government when the President's memorable affair becomes a nightmare he longs to forget in this page-turner from James Patterson that will keep you up reading all night long. Sally Grissom is a top Secret Service agent in charge of the Presidential Protection team. She knows that something is amiss when she's summoned to a private meeting with the President and his Chief of Staff without any witnesses. But she couldn't have predicted that she'd be forced to take on an investigation surrounding the mysterious disappearance of the First Lady -- with strict orders to keep it a secret. The First Lady's absence comes in the wake of the scandalous, public revelation of the president's affair, so at first it seems as though she is simply cutting off all contact as she recuperates at a horse farm in Virginia. What begins as an innocent respite quickly turns into a twisted case when the White House receives a ransom note along with the First Lady's finger.

Personal thoughts: I love books by James Patterson! This one was no exception. One thing I love about his books is how the chapters are so short. 

The Most Likely Club by Elyssa Friedland.


A hilarious, heartfelt story about four lifelong friends determined to change their lives, come hell (terrible bosses, ex-husbands living next door) or high water ( much laundry) from the acclaimed author of Last Summer at the Golden HotelMelissa Levin, Priya Chowdhury, Tara Taylor, and Suki Hammer were going places when they graduated high school in 1997. Their yearbook superlatives were Most Likely to Win the White House, Cure Cancer, Open a Michelin-Starred Restaurant, and Join the Forbes 400, respectively. Fast forward twenty-five years and nothing has gone according to plan. Reunited at their reunion, the women rethink their younger selves. Is it too late to make their dreams come true? Fueled by nostalgia and one too many drinks, they form a pact to push through their middle-aged angst to bring their youthful aspirations to fruition, dubbing themselves the “Most Likely Girls.” Through the ensuing highs and lows, they are reminded of the enduring bonds of friendship, the ways our childhood dreams both sustain and surprise us — and why it’s never a good idea to peak too early.

Personal thoughts: I loved the book The Last Summer at the Golden Hotel and had such high hopes for this one, but it was a huge letdown. I wouldn't have finished it, except that I paid full price for it and I didn't want to waste my money. Lesson learned. 

Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid.


Everyone knows DAISY JONES & THE SIX, but nobody knows the reason behind their split at the absolute height of their popularity . . . until now. Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock ’n’ roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things. Also getting noticed is The Six, a band led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road. Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes that the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend. The making of that legend is chronicled in this riveting and unforgettable novel, written as an oral history of one of the biggest bands of the seventies. Taylor Jenkins Reid is a talented writer who takes her work to a new level with Daisy Jones & The Six, brilliantly capturing a place and time in an utterly distinctive voice.

Personal thoughts: I know this will be controversial, but I HATED this book. I didn't like the setting, the characters, the way it was told, the story line, anything. It was such a letdown for a TJR book! I read it and finished it only because I paid full price for the book. I will not hold this book against her and will continue to read her books, this one was just not any good for me, which is the opposite of what I expected, thanks to book reviews I read on blogs!

The River's End series by Pamela M. Kelley, which was four books in one. 


Discover River's End Ranch, a gorgeous "destination" ranch and resort in Riston, Idaho, that is run by the six Weston siblings and their well-meaning, semi-retired parents. Five bestselling western romance authors have created a world like no other--full of fun outdoor activities, a huge family in need of love, and side characters you will never forget. Join us in a world where our characters learn, laugh and love. In Veterinarian's Vacation, Jess Weston is about to graduate from veterinarian school when Jake, her cousin Wade's best friend from high school, comes back to town for a two-week vacation and Wade puts him in the cottage next to hers. It was bad enough that she'd had an embarrassing and totally unrequited crush on Jake when she was younger, but now he is even more attractive, and he might be sticking around for longer than two her new boss, which puts him firmly off limits. 

Charming Chef--Barbi Johnson's first love is back in town. Ryan is now a celebrity chef and he just inherited the house that Barbi wanted to buy for her yoga studio--her lifelong dream. Too bad, she also broke Ryan's heart years ago when she dumped him and he's not too keen to help her or fall for her again. 

Cute Cowboy--Lily Donahue has her hands full, between her fun, busy job as an event planner for River’s End Ranch, moonlighting in a local country music band and writing songs. But then she meets reserved rancher Cody Jamison who is also her new landord. He thinks she's loud, she thinks he's stuff. But you know what they say about opposites attracting?

Merry Manager--The only woman busy general manager, Wade Weston is interested in, is the one he can't have, widow Maddie Johnson. Wade was the best man at her wedding and Maddie works for him at the spa as a masseuse. There's absolutely no way this could ever work.

Personal thoughts: There are more of these books, and I love them all! I needed these after the two duds before these. They were sweet and predictable, but the fluff I needed. I'm taking a break from them to start my Christmas books, but I'll go back and read the last four after the new year.

The City Baker's Guide to Country Living by Louise Miller.


When Olivia Rawlings—pastry chef extraordinaire for an exclusive Boston dinner club—sets not just her flambéed dessert but the entire building alight, she escapes to the most comforting place she can think of—the idyllic town of Guthrie, Vermont, home of Bag Balm, the country’s longest-running contra dance, and her best friend Hannah. But the getaway turns into something more lasting when Margaret Hurley, the cantankerous, sweater-set-wearing owner of the Sugar Maple Inn, offers Livvy a job. Broke and knowing that her days at the club are numbered, Livvy accepts. Livvy moves with her larger-than-life, uberenthusiastic dog, Salty, into a sugarhouse on the inn’s property and begins creating her mouthwatering desserts for the residents of Guthrie. She soon uncovers the real reason she has been hired—to help Margaret reclaim the inn’s blue ribbon status at the annual county fair apple pie contest.
 With the joys of a fragrant kitchen, the sound of banjos and fiddles being tuned in a barn, and the crisp scent of the orchard just outside the front door, Livvy soon finds herself immersed in small town life. And when she meets Martin McCracken, the Guthrie native who has returned from Seattle to tend his ailing father, Livvy  comes to understand that she may not be as alone in this world as she once thought. But then another new arrival takes the community by surprise, and Livvy must decide whether to do what she does best and flee—or stay and finally discover what it means to belong. Olivia Rawlings may finally find out that the life you want may not be the one you expected—it could be even better.

Personal thoughts: This is one of the books I kept hearing about online, so when it finally came available through my Libby app, I jumped on it. I loved it! It was very Hallmark-esque, but a little more juicy than one of those movies. The description of where the story occurred was so beautiful that it has me wanting to go to Vermont at Christmas. I love it when authors are able to do that!

The One You're With by Lauren K. Denton. 


High-school sweethearts Mac and Edie Swan lead a seemingly picture-perfect life in the sleepy-sweet community of Oak Hill, near Mobile, Alabama. Edie is a respected interior designer, Mac is a beloved pediatrician, and they have two great kids and a historic home on tree-lined Linden Avenue. From the outside, the Swan family is the definition of “the good life.” And life is good—mostly. Until a young woman walks into Mac’s office one day. A young woman whose very existence threatens all Mac and Edie have built and all they think they know about each other.

Nineteen years after a summer apart, with a family and established lives and careers, the past that Mac and Edie thought they left behind has come back to greet them. For the first time, constants in their lives are called into question: their roles as parents, their reputation as upstanding members of the community, and the very foundations of their marriage. As they wade through the upheaval in both their family and professional lives, they must each examine choices they made long ago and chart a new course for their future.

Personal thoughts: This is a new author to me! I read her based on the recommendation of Boo Mama Sophie Hudson that I follow on Instagram. Lauren Denton is one of her favorite authors, and based on what I read, I will be reading more books by her in the future. This one went back and forth between present day and past, but it was interesting and held my attention until the very end. 

What did you read that you loved this month? I'd love to hear! I'm reading only Christmas books from here on out, so I'll keep you posted on the ones I love. Make sure and check back often, because I may share them weekly, instead of in a monthly post. These types of posts are super time consuming and not my favorite...I love reading blogs on books people have read, but I haven't found the way to do that yet that seems right for me. I always appreciate your feedback, though, so let me know your thoughts, if you have them. Thanks for reading my blog, friends! Love to all. 

Friday, October 28, 2022

Friday Favorites, 10.28.22.


Happy Friday, friends! I'm linking up with Andrea and Erika for this favorite weekly blog post. I hope you enjoy my random list of favorites. (Side note: I try really hard not to be too redundant here on the blog. It's always a challenge to come up with new content for these weekly posts! I'm up for it, but if you ever have any suggestions, feel free to let me know. I always appreciate feedback!)

Do you have favorite restaurants that you frequent often? 

I do, and this is my favorite Mexican restaurant, La Perla Tapatia. I have seen some of you share about really great restaurants in the areas that you live, particularly my friend and fellow blogger Amy. She lives in a great area with a lot of really different and authentic restaurants, but we just don't have that here in my little hometown. (It's not little, though it does feel that way.) If we have restaurants that are different that pop up, they don't always succeed. That being said, because of that fact, we frequently eat at our favorite restaurants repeatedly. This one pictured above is my favorite Mexican restaurant. I love their chicken tortilla soup! My friend yesterday just told me I need to try their steak street tacos, but I also love their fajita nachos. Another favorite restaurant is Huey's, which is another local place and has an American food menu. It's a bar/pub type of place and it's so cool. 

(I got both of these images from Google images.) You can see the type of place it is—a local neighborhood restaurant with great ambiance. Everything on their menu is excellent! My boys love it because when you order your drink, they automatically bring you a little pitcher to refill it as soon as you've emptied your glass. Not only is their food great, so is their service and lots of the staff have worked there for years. I love that Huey's has trivia night on Monday nights. I want to go and do that with my husband one night, because it sounds like fun! I just appreciate good food and I enjoy it, so that means I don't usually love any chain type restaurants. Are you this way, or do you even care? 

I wore one of my favorite fall outfits yesterday!

Don't you love my fancy mirror for pictures like this? I really want a nice mirror to check my outfit in. The week here started really warm and gradually got cooler, for which I am so glad. It was definitely cool enough for this shirt and vest combo, but also the leaves have started showing off a little more. Seeing such vibrant colors on the leaves is my favorite!

That first picture is at my dad's house. Isn't it beautiful out there? I don't know if I've mentioned here that he lives on about ten acres. That lake and the view of trees is one of my favorites of all time. The other pictures are in my neighborhood, along the walking path, and then in my own back yard. Leaves on the lawn are my favorite! I love the sight and sound they make. 

This little pumpkin my sister Debi sent me home with is my favorite. I put it on my nightstand, since I didn't have anything fall related up there. In a couple of weeks, it'll be decked out for Christmas! 

Looking back on past Halloweens and memories is another favorite thing.

Like the year that Graham and Drew went as part of the Smurf family with their friends for dress up night in the youth. And then, there was the time Missy and I went as our favorite episode of Lucy—the one when they worked at the candy factory.

...and we kept eating all of our candy.

There was the year Drew went with his friend as Bethany Hamilton and the shark that bit off her arm...

...which involved late night shopping at Target with Missy and him trying on shorts and bras.

And the time that Jonah and Noah dressed up as Thing 1 and Thing 2 with Cole, their buddy dressed as Cat in the Hat. 

Then, there was Noah who dressed up as a Teletubby just last year at Drew's and his roommates' Halloween party. I loved this year when Graham dressed up as Woody from Toy Story.

These were the best days! I miss the days of them dressing up. 

I got to see my brother this week! He was here from Orlando and spent the week with Dad. I got to see him on Tuesday night, when I went to visit and to eat dinner with them and hopefully I'm taking him to the airport today. They're supposed to let me know.

Lastly, the town FINALLY put the pumpkins and fall décor out on the square!

That is always one of my favorite things to see. They also already have the Christmas lights up, but they won't light them until the weekend before Thanksgiving. I asked about this once—someone told me they do it the weekend before Thanksgiving because it's a big tourist weekend for the town and they like to have it all lit up for our visitors. I am perfectly okay with this! It just adds extra festive cheer. 

Before I go, I want to remind you of a couple of things: one is that on Monday I'll be sharing the books I read in September and October. I completely forgot about that post in September, what with being out of town. I'd love for you to come back Monday and read that post! The second thing is that next month's Currently post will be on Wednesday, November 2 and we'll be talking about what we're currently borrowing, buying, planning, prepping and reading. I'd love for you to join us, but no worries if you don't post that day—I'll leave the link open all month. Also, in case you missed them, here are my blog posts from the week. 

Monday, I shared 4 somethings from October. 

On Tuesday I shared about being home from eight days in Colorado.

Wednesday was the monthly What's Up Wednesday post.

And, yesterday was Thankful Thursday. 

How was your week? What was something that was a favorite from yours? I'd love to hear from you! Thanks for reading my blog, friends! Love to all. 

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Thankful Thursday


Happy Thursday, friends! I am so glad you're here and I hope you'll link up with me today for the weekly gratitude post. It's so good to pause and consider all we have to be grateful for. Just last week I read a parable from the New Testament about how Jesus healed ten men, and only one came back to thank Him. Jesus asked him, "Didn't I heal ten of you? Where are the other nine?" I don't know about you, but I always want to be like the one who went back to thank Jesus for what He had done.  

Each week I usually share several things from the week that I'm thankful for, but I'm only sharing one this week, because it's a big one. Yesterday morning, I was having one of those mornings. You know the kind, but it was a rough morning for a few reasons. Everything is fine and I don't mean to sound vague, but the story isn't mine to tell, so I'm not sharing. Anyway, in the middle of that and as I was getting dressed for Bible study, I felt a heaviness that hadn't been there previously. I can't describe the feeling I had, but I knew without a shadow of a doubt that Satan was messing with me and I knew if I didn't spend some time in prayer and in reading the Bible, that it would continue. So, I prayed, I texted my best friend and asked her to pray, then I went to the kitchen to sit and read my Bible. The Lord prompted me to read Philippians 4:8-9. 

Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is anything praiseworthy—dwell on these things. Do what you have learned and received and heard from me, and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you. 

I am so thankful for the Word of God. I am thankful that it's true, that it is trustworthy, and that it brings peace. I took the time to read that passage over and over a few times, then I wrote it out, then I turned it into my prayer. I won't say that I felt better instantly, but when I think about what it means to think about things that are praiseworthy, that led me offer up praise to God for who He is. Not even to me, but just who He is in general—Savior, Prince of Peace, Mighty God, trustworthy, author and perfecter of faith, Healer, Provider—and once I did that, it put my mind at ease with a different perspective. It's funny how that happens. I'd asked my best friend to pray because I was on my way to lead a small group at Bible study and I knew the enemy could have used that to affect the rest of my morning and my attitude. I am so thankful that wasn't the case, though. Our discussion time was one of the sweetest we'd had to date and the rest of the morning and day went fine. I never want to get used to that, to how God works. I always like to think on such times and share them for encouragement.

What's something you're thankful for this week? I'd love to hear from you! Thanks for reading and linking up today, those of you who are. Love to all! 

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Wednesday, October 26, 2022

what's up Wednesday


Happy Wednesday, friends! I'm joining in with Sheaffer and Shay for today's monthly blog post. I'll jump right in! 

What we're eating this week:

Well, I'm not a hundred percent sure, honestly. Things are upside down this week here, because for four nights this week, Todd and Graham have a refresher course they're having to take for the sheriff's department and Jonah is sick and only eating ramen noodles because his throat hurts. That being said, I made one of their favorites Monday night, which only Drew and Noah ate: tamale casserole. It's delicious and covered in chili cheese Fritos and cheese. I made beer cheddar joe's Tuesday night, tonight is church, so there will be leftovers and tomorrow night is up in the air. 

What I'm reminiscing about:

Celebrating our anniversary and that amazing appetizer! And the adorable pumpkin "patch" I went to with my mom and sister Trish. That was the day we went to our farmer's market. 

What I'm loving:

Easy mornings at home doing one of my favorite things—watching a Hallmark Christmas movie. 

What we've been up to:

I mentioned Todd and Graham going through a refresher course this week for their first responder's license. Jonah is a little under the weather, thanks to elevated temperatures here again this week. Noah is looking forward to finishing out this week at work, because he transfers to a new location next week. Drew was here Monday night and we were able to catch up, but he's up to the same things: work and gym. He's taking a day trip this weekend that he's looking forward to. You all know what I've been up to, but I went back to work yesterday. It's crazy busy there right now! 

What I'm dreading:

I can't think of one thing! I'm thankful for that. 

What I'm working on:

Work, because I anticipate bringing some home this weekend. We're also about to wrap up our Bible study for the semester, so as soon as that is finished, I'm going to start studying and writing for our next study that will be published for fall of 2023. I'm still on the writing team and am honored to be able to be a part of that group. We started with six, then there were five of us, now there are four of us. We're always looking into/praying about adding a member, but it hasn't happened yet. 

What I'm excited about:

A couple of things! I love Halloween night. We always sit out in our driveway with candy and chat with the neighbors who come by. It's fun! I'm also really excited about decorating for Christmas. You know I do this early! I hope to do this the second week in November. 

What I'm watching/reading:

I'm watching Gilmore Girls, Hallmark Christmas movies, Real Housewives, and Grey's Anatomy (some of the older ones and the new ones that come on each week). I'm reading so many good books! I'm currently reading one that's by an author that's new to me...but come back next week! I'm writing about the books I read in September AND October on Monday, because I completely forgot to do that in September. Here's a sneak peak:

What I'm listening to:

Currently, I'm listening to a podcast—The Bestie Breakdown. Music wise, I'm still listening to my favorite fall playlists on Spotify. If it says "cozy fall vibes", count me in. 

What I'm wearing:

I love my fall cardigan! The color is a mocha type color and it's my favorite. I also recently bought a new cozy and flowy red sweater with a big cowl neck. I love it so much and wore it in Denver. Lastly is the new denim shirt I bought at Marshall's. My favorite shoes are still these Hey Dudes that I bought before I left for Cape Cod. 

What I'm doing this weekend:

I am sure I'll see Mom and Trish on Saturday and I am going to church. I've missed the last two Sundays because I was out of town. 

What I'm looking forward to next month:

I'll give you one hint.

It's going up early again this year! I have plans on making family dinner on a Monday night during the second week of November, then I'm going to ask all my little elves to help me for one hour and pull all the things out of the attic. We'll assemble the tree and get it up, then the next day I'll spend putting out the rest of the decorations. I'll take off from work that Tuesday in order to do this and I am PUMPED. I love fall, but I love Christmas four times as much! I cannot wait. 

I'd love to hear from you—what's something you're looking forward to next month? Thanks for reading my blog, friends! Love to all. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2022



Happy Tuesday, friends! I am so glad to be home. I love to travel and getting to see family, but there really is no place quite like home. I don't say that lightly—I am so grateful to be home. My trip started kind of roughly, because everyone got sick. It was so good that I was there to help my sister Debi, because nobody else would have been able to do that. My niece and her husband and four girls all came down with strep, and my sister Lisa was diagnosed with shingles and was in pain for the rest of the week. She kept going and going...but as I write this on Monday afternoon, she was just discharged from the hospital. She ended up having to go to the ER in the middle of the night, she was in so much pain. It turns out all of her pain is from nerve pain from the shingles. This is the same sister whose home flooded while we were on the Cape. They do say that shingles can be brought on by severe stress...and she definitely has more of that than she ever expected. 

Would you keep her in your prayers? I know she would appreciate it. I feel so bad for her and am just praying that the medicine they gave her will help her get some much needed rest.

I skipped yesterday's weekend recap, because I didn't have much to write about. I spent part of the weekend near Denver and Sunday was spent packing, eating out at a wonderful restaurant for brunch, then sitting in an airport for the rest of the day. Does anyone else love an airport? I love to people watch.

Look how adorable my gate was, all decked out for Halloween. I do love the Denver airport. It was a ROUGH flight home, friends. It was incredibly turbulent the entire ride home, except for maybe twenty minutes. I sat beside two kids, a brother and sister whose parents were in front of us, and who were traveling to Memphis to visit family from California. The little girl next to me was nine and terrified of all the bumps, so we talked most of the way home and I tried to help her get her mind off being scared. I kept eating a pretzel every couple of minutes and sipped the Ginger Ale they gave me. I was so nauseous, I had my eye on the "sick bag" in back of the seat in front of me. I thought I was going to lose it a few times. Add to that the fact that my air didn't work and it was past my dinner time, and can imagine how thrilled I was to be home and on the ground again. My sweet husband picked me up and had ordered dinner for us, so I came home to sushi and three fourths of my sons being here, plus a girlfriend! I ate dinner, as much as I was able, then I unpacked and showered. 

I enjoyed the rest of the evening by reading and chatting with my hubby. I didn't go to work yesterday and hadn't planned on it, since I was supposed to go on another trip at the end of the week, but it ended up being postponed and I'm so glad. I was leaving on Wednesday and coming home Sunday, but now I'll get to be at home and attend church on Sunday. I spent yesterday getting settled back into being home and doing odds and ends type things around the house. I am so grateful that my family always makes sure that when I come home, the house is clean. You have no idea how much I appreciate that! They know I love coming home to a clean and picked up house and I think it's sweet that they make sure it happens. They do all the things while I'm gone—laundry, kitchen cleanup, vacuuming—and I usually have very little to do when I come home. It's nice and I never want to take it for granted. 

I did some light cleaning yesterday, I did all of my travel laundry and I went to the grocery store. Drew came home for dinner, so I made one of their favorites that my mom inspired—tamale casserole. I also tried a new recipe for a healthy dessert in the crock pot that I thought Todd might enjoy. I think I saw it on an Instagram story? It's six apples diced, two teaspoons of cinnamon, a third teaspoon of nutmeg and half a cup of zero sugar brown sugar, which I couldn't find, so I substituted it for Truvia brown sugar. I let it cook on high for three hours and at the last half hour, I added about a tablespoon of those red hot candy pieces. It is delicious! It tastes like apple pie, without the crust. 

 I kind of pretended like yesterday was a Saturday, so when I woke up, I ignored my phone and the computer and blog posts and watched the best Christmas movie, A Kismet Christmas. Despite the cheesy title, it was so good! I loved both the actors and was surprised to see the female lead from the show Parenthood—did you ever watch that? She was the young lady who played Hattie. I started watching Hallmark Christmas movies with Lisa while I was at Debi's. We had a two night sister sleepover and watched movies all night. It was fun! 

Just in case you need to's what I'll be doing every time I get the chance.

So, how was your weekend and Monday? I'd love to hear from you! Thanks for reading my blog, friends. Love to all! 

Monday, October 24, 2022

Share Four Somethings- October 2022


Happy Monday, friends! Because I didn't have much of a weekend, I'm skipping over my usual Hello Monday/weekending post, since I spent the weekend preparing to travel, then traveling. I am linking up with those sweet ladies anyway, though...Holly and Sarah. And then our host of Share Four Somethings every month is Heather

Before I start, if you want to read where and why I traveled for the last eight days, you can go back and read my posts from last week. I shared on Monday, Tuesday and Friday about where I was and what I was doing. Moving on is what I loved, gleaned, saved and achieved this month. 


I loved seeing family! I always love that. My niece Erika has two sets of identical twins- Kinsley and Kylie are five and Madi and Macy are two. Aren't they precious?

I have loved seeing leaves fall, trees change colors and family dinner nights! 

And I loved celebrating twenty six years of us with a special night out at our favorite restaurant, complete with an appetizer, cocktails and dessert. 


I gleaned (once again) that I am no longer a nervous person. In four weeks time, I flew on six different planes and I wasn't nervous on any of them. I am so thankful for this! I feel like the Lord has taken that away from me and I want to give Him the honor for that He deserves. Now, on that last flight I did get nauseous, but even so, I wasn't nervous at all. In fact, the little girl next to me was nervous, so I talked to her most of the flight in order to help her be distracted. 


I saved money by not buying anything while I visited this adorable bookstore last week. I was going to purchase something to support a local indie bookstore, but I never could make a decision, so I saved my money. I am always saving money by borrowing books on Kindle Unlimited and by using my Libby app for our local library. I still love my Kindle and read exclusively on that these days. 


I achieved being able to stay caught up on my Bible study homework despite my travels. This is a big deal, because usually I get behind. Not only was I out of town, there was also a week of fall break in there, so this will be the first time in three weeks that I will see my small group and be there in person. 

I tried to use my time wisely while I was out of town. 

Thanks for reading my blog, friends! Just a reminder that next month's Currently post will be next Wednesday, November 2nd. We'll be talking about what we're currently borrowing, buying, planning, prepping and reading. I hope you'll make plans to join us, it's a fun day of blog reading. Love to all! 

Friday Favorites, 7.12.2024.

  Hi, friends! As you can tell, I'm forcing myself to be here often, because my life needs to resume some sort of normalcy right now; th...