Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Weather Mobile for the Littles

Good afternoon.  Today, I want to share a fun and simple weather mobile you can easily do with your Littles.

I was inspired when I saw a rough version posted on IG by "PlayIdeas" also www.PlayIdeas.com.  I decided to modify it using the same fun style of faces that Vanessa uses over on the FB page Wee Who Wander. And then I added scripture. Here are my 2 simple drawings, which you are welcome to copy/paste and print onto 2 pieces of cardstock.
Sun, Cloud, Raindrops

Rainbow and more raindrops

Supplies: Printed pictures, scissors, hole punch, colors, string, a branch (or a chopstick if you can't find one!)
Proud Littles with their mobiles!
 I hope you are enjoying the weather wherever you are!

Hugs and a cup of tea,

Tuesday, January 24, 2017


LπŸ‘€k what has arrived @ WalMart!! ☕πŸ’›πŸ―☕πŸ’›πŸ―☕πŸ’›πŸ―πŸ˜„

I regularly check tea aisles when shopping and was so pleased to find Harney & Sons at my local WalMart. Vanilla Comoro is a decaf tea, and my absolute favorite right now.  It smells like cream soda when you open the tin! I enjoy it with a splash of milk and local honey.  In fact, I enjoyed a cup on Sunday when I read a free download of a novella called A Goose Creek Christmas by Virginia Smith and paused after Ch. 1 to spontaneously make Millie's Apple Cinnamon Muffins listed in the book.  Although I slightly overcooked the mini loaves, they were quite tasty with the tea, on a very rainy day!

Millie’s Apple Cinnamon Muffins
2 cups all-purpose flour 
¾ cup light brown sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
1 cup buttermilk or canned coconut milk
1 T. canola oil
3 T. unsweetened, natural applesauce
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups peeled apples, diced

½ cup brown sugar
2 T. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
¾ cup old-fashioned oats
3 T. butter, room temperature
½ cup nuts, finely chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 375°. Spray muffin tins (18 regular size or 12 large size) with cooking spray or line with paper cupcake liners.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
In a second bowl, stir together the buttermilk or coconut milk, oil, applesauce, egg, and vanilla extract.
Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Do not overmix.
Fold in the diced apples.
For the topping, combine brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and oats. Cut in the butter. Add the nuts, if desired, and combine with a fork until crumbly.
Fill each muffin cup three-fourths full with batter and then sprinkle with the topping.
Bake for 20 minutes or until muffins are browned and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Let muffins cool for 10 minutes before removing from tins.
Makes 18 regular size or 1 dozen large muffins.

As for the book, I would give it 3 to 4 stars, but only because I far prefer historical fiction. What I did like about this story was that there were characters of all ages. It was a pleasant diversion, but I doubt I would seek out the other books. The writing is decent, just not "wow". However, it is a clean read, which I always appreciate.

Now some other thoughts:
Some of my blogging & IG friends have posted some lovely reminders I wanted to share, along with my own.

Abbey at Little Birdie Blessings blog

Stephanie at The Enchanted Rose blog
MyTeaJourney on Instagram

I will pray for our president, just as I did the last one.
I will pray for our country.  I will pray for unity.
I am grateful for prayer, and the freedom to do so.
God bless you all. Hugs and a cup of tea,

GREAT MOVIE Resurrection of Gavin Stone

Image result for the resurrection of gavin stone
copied from google
I REALLY enjoyed this movie!  It is funny, particularly if you attend church, and shares a good message.  I would recommend it for adults, and teens, but not small children as it probably won't hold their interest.  It is completely clean and just made me all-around-happy.
If you received any movie passes for Christmas, this is a good way to use them :)


The Resurrection of Gavin Stone is an inspirational comedy rated PG about faith and forgiveness. Gavin Stone, a washed-up former child star is forced to do community service at a local mega- church and pretends to be Christian so he can land the part of Jesus in their annual Passion Play only to discover that the most important role of his life is far from Hollywood.
Dove Family Approved Movie

Click above to play movie trailer.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

An Uncommon Courtship Book Review

Pictured in my garden.  :-)
An Uncommon Courtship – Hawthorne House Series
Kristi Ann Hunter

•°o•:*:•.HIGHLY EMOTIVE.•:*:• o°•

1814 Hertfordshire, Regency Era, England

Lord Trent Hawthorne is a man among men. He is handsome, wealthy, cultured and extremely cautious of ever getting too close to women.  He has a biblical world-view, and therefore avoids situations that he feels would not make the Lord proud of him. He does not give the gossips any fuel. However, he is a charmer and loved by most of the aristocracy.  
So when his curious nature leads him to investigate a strange horse and singing coming from a dilapidated building on his property, the last thing he expects is to wind up married to a stranger!
How in the world can he find love that way?  The kind of love his family holds so dear.
Lady Adelaide Bell is a klutzy, glasses-wearing, second daughter and of little importance or value to her over-barring mother.  Adelaide has learned how to fade into the background, find comfort in books, and have low expectations of life. However, when her circumstances force her into an unplanned marriage with a man she knows nothing about, how will she ever navigate her new life and the constant questions along with self-doubt she constantly feels.
Many of us overthink and assume potential outcomes.  This book explores those emotions flying through the characters heads as they try to make sense of their new lives.  But God has a plan and will guide them along an interesting quest of discovery.  The descriptions of clothing, room dΓ©cor, Hyde park, ballrooms, etc. is lovely to read. The background characters are wonderful as well. Older brother Griffith is a pillar of strength and wisdom. Ch. 28 “Griffith sighed and set his arms on the edge of the desk… “Trent, you didn’t give your life to Jesus to follow your own plan.  You have to follow His plan, and for whatever reason He gave you Adelaide and you accepted her.  Now what are going to do about it?”
Of course, there are a couple of villains to round out the story.  Besides Adelaide’s mother, a flirtatious Mr. Givendale is a thorn in the story. 
And OH, the pineapples!!! Well, you’ll just have to read the book.

Kristi Ann Hunter has quickly become a favorite author of mine, weaving a wonderful story, and she really captures the Regency era in a lovely way. Plus the book cover is gorgeous!

© January 2017 Bethany House - 344 pages
In exchange for my honest opinion, I received a copy from Bethany House Publ. which I am privileged to provide with no other compensation. 5 stars
Read: 1/15&16/2017 - Reviewed: 1/17/2017 

HAWTHORNE HOUSE SERIES (I love that there are more than 3 books, and we also don’t have to wait forever between stories!)
A Lady of Esteem – Free eNovella – 7/1/2015
A Noble Masquerade – Book 1  9/8/2015 (which I describe as You've Got Mail, Regency style)
An Uncommon Courtship – Book 3 – 1/3/2017
An Inconvenient Beauty – Book – 4 - Griffith Hawthorne’s Story – Scheduled 09/2017

Hugs and a cup of tea,

Reviews Posted to: Amazon.com / Amazon.CA, Amazon.Co.Uk  / Alibris / Barnes And Noble / BooksAMillion / CBD / DeeperShopping  /GoodReads / Google Play /Indigo.CA / Kobo /  Scribd.com / My FB page / Author’s FB page / My Pinterest 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Natl Hot Tea Day 2017 and The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill

Today (01/12/2017) marks the 2nd annual Natl. Hot Tea Day in America, according to the Tea Council of the USA. I am commemorating the day with my 1st ever YouTube video (20 seconds - tea hee).  Press play, or right-click and open in a separate tab.

I enjoyed a lovely pot of Flavors of France tea, from a local tea room in Southern California.  I hope you enjoy something warm and wonderful today as well.

I'd like to share with you a lovely book I read this past weekend, in which, appropriately tea abounds.
The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill – Book #1 Tales from Ivy Hill
Julie Klassen

•°o•:*:•.CHARMING.•:*:• o°•

Ivy Hill, Wilshire, England, May 1820

A small English village is such a charming place to visit.  It draws you in, and welcomes you to stay, find community and become invested in its people.

That is how I felt in Ivy Hill, while slipping out of my every-day-life and between the pages this story centered around. Jane Fairmont Bell (age 29) has inherited her husband’s coaching inn, The Bell,  after his sudden death.


She lives her life in a daze, wearing her “widow’s weeds”, relying on the staff to see to running the inn, until one day, its needs can no longer be ignored.  Her brother-in-law, Patrick, has returned to help and eventually her cantankerous mother-in-law, Thora Bell, also returns to shape things up.  There are many problems at hand.  The inn has fallen into disrepair, the bank reveals a large loan that is past due, many people don’t believe Jane can handle the responsibility of being a business woman; particularly the abrasive cook Bertha Rooke, and mystery lies in wait. Additionally, as the story progresses, three potential suitors hint interest at Jane. Personally I am rooting for Gabriel Locke, the Bell’s horse farrier.  But, book 1 is not about Jane finding new love, but rather learning what she is made of, and how to rely on her neighbors.
A favorite storyline was the Ladies Tea and Knitting Society, where local business women meet to discuss business concerns. 
Photo courtesy of Teatime Magazine

–Ch.14 “So the knitting is merely a guise?” “Basically,” Mercy agreed, eyes twinkling. “What about the tea?” Jane asked. “Heavens no. Tea is mandatory. What would a clutch of women do without tea?”
There is an entire patchwork quilt of characters in this story, much like a real village.  I got to know them, enjoyed some, wanted to punch others, fellowshipped in their faith, grieved their losses, and in the end was so delighted to share in their lives.
The author has some lovely pictures, character directory, map of the town (featured herein), etc. all found under TalesFromIvyHill.com.
I enjoyed this story very much and recommend it to others.

Book #1 - © December 2016 Bethany House
444 pages with discussion questions
Book 2 – The Ladies of Ivy Cottage, due out Dec. 2017

I received a copy from the publisher, in exchange for my honest review.
Read: 1/7&8/20176 - Reviewed: 1/12/2017 - 5 stars

Reviews Posted to: Amazon.com / Amazon.CA, Amazon.Co.Uk  / Alibris / Barnes And Noble / BooksAMillion / CBD / DeeperShopping  /GoodReads / Google Play /Indigo.CA / Kobo /  Scribd.com / My FB page / Author’s FB page / My Pinterest 

Hugs and cup of tea,

Friday, January 6, 2017

Psalm 5:11-12 Refreshment

I read these words today in my new Bible study workbook [Jesus Calling: Living A Life of Worship] which I happily found on sale at Sam's Club for only $5.48.

The photo is from my own garden where things pop up of their own accord.  I was pleasantly surprised to see the sweet alyssum not only in the standard white, but also in lavender!


[Psa 5:11-12 NKJV] 11 But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; Let those also who love Your name Be joyful in You. 12 For You, O LORD, will bless the righteous; With favor You will surround him as [with] a shield.

Have a refreshing day friends.

Hugs and a cup of tea,

Thursday, January 5, 2017

CONTENT - A word for 2017

πŸ“– Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be CONTENT:
Philippians 4:11 NKJV

I love choosing a word to embrace @ the beginning of a new year that will speak life, and glorify the Lord. For me that word is content. It is interesting how easily those "little foxes creep in to spoil the vines", isn't it? We believe we need to post more pictures, which means time for staging more pictures, & editing, buying props, etc. so we too can effectively engage social media. 

I found myself sucked into that world in the last couple of years. Buying more teacups than I have room for, ordering things I don't need, such as the ever-popular "vintage", etc. 

Just checking social media to see if I've missed anything when I could be cleaning the clutter, doing chores, loving the people around me, reading books, and of course reading God's Word; exercising, whatever.

The lust for collections & social media seems to be a form of gluttony, that has left a bad taste in my mouth. 

Luckily in May, I made a commitment with my dad to read the entire Bible before the end of 2016. It was not always easy. But, we encouraged each other & succeeded just before Christmas.
a little graphic I made to commemorate finishing The Word
 The refreshment was so amazing & welcomed in my life. I have deleted my participation in various social pages, & unfriended those who aren't helping me grow in Christ, reduced my blogging,  and plan to give away things that are out of control in my home. I find I have to make a CONSCIOUS EFFORT to not reach for my phone!!! Uuugh...a hard habit to break. So please pray for me if you would. My goal, & I believe God's will for me, is to become more content with what I have. 

Here is a recent moment, out with new friends from church.
Lori, Lisa, Heather, Carol, Terri
We drove to look at Christmas lights, and then had dinner at The Corner Bakery, where we fellowshipped and got to know each better.   It was a lovely time of sharing and laughing.
My annual kitty picture & my copy of Santa Mouse
that I have had since 1971.
I pray that you also will enjoy contentment in your own life, and find joy in the sweetest of little blessings already around you.

Hugs and a cup of tea,