Saturday, December 9, 2017

Ornaments Unwrapped

Good Saturday Morning Friends!
You may recall I participated in an Ornament Swap hosted by the very kind Karina over at Merciful Moments.

Look at the beautiful paper filled with words.
I love words on things.  Words that speak to my heart.
Celebrate. Merry Christmas. Joy. O Holy Night. Rejoice.
Selection of teas, Lovely embroidered towel,
Notepad & Pen, Dove dark chocolate with almonds,
frankincense & myrrh cute, teeny hand soap.
Well, I received a very special package yesterday!  So, let's unwrap it shall we?

BEAUTIFUL sculpted winter woodland
creatures ornament.
This package came all the way from Georgia.
Map of Atlanta Georgia GA
She lives near Atlanta.
 The lady who sent it is 
Judy & she likes many of the same things I do: Tea Parties, Hallmark movies, reading.  She has also been married 45 years! Isn't that wonderful!!! Round of applause for you Judy!!
I also want to say how grateful I am for all of the effort you put into making this package special for me.  I hope you have a very Merry Christmas, blessed by the love of Christ.
Hugs and a cup of Christmas tea,
from my Christmas kitties and me!

Map of Los Angeles California CA
from somewhere near So Cal.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Christmas Came Early

Christmas came early when my
favorite author's latest book arrived!
Out of the Ordinary – Apart from the Crowd #2
Jen Turano

June 1883 – New York
Harrison Sinclair and Miss Gertrude Cadwalader were delightful supporting characters in book 1 of this series.  Now, we see them front and center, beginning on a yacht party for their dear friends.  Gertrude is a paid companion for Mrs. Davenport, an eccentric older lady, who has gone missing…again.  Harrison is a self-made man and has no time for romance, and an unusual fashion sense that drives his best friend mad. However, Gertrude is an intriguing and different sort altogether, as well as his friend.  Mystery abounds as items go missing, and Gertrude seems to land in hot water.  
Harrison is so kind, and determined to help clear his friend’s name.  Their “friendship” catches the attention of other women hoping to snag Harrison, and trouble quickly follows.
In the meantime, Mrs. Davenport has secrets of her own that keep us guessing.  And she has odd ideas of fashion design she insists on testing out on poor Gertrude; including a reconstructed birdcage!
Tea Moment: Mrs. Davenport gulped down her tea, even though doing so had her eyes watering, probably because the tea was still rather hot.  Setting her cup down on the small table beside her, she picked up a shortbread cookie and stuffed the entire cookie into her mouth.  That made it all but impossible for her to respond, although she made a great show of turning to look out the drawing room window as she spit some of the cookie into a napkin. –Ch. 15
Once again, I highly recommend Jen Turano’s book.  She is my all-time favorite author. With a style completely unique, and the laugh-out-loud moments you cannot go wrong! I have read every single one of her books including the free novella prequels.  Never disappointing. 

© Nov. 2017 Bethany House
346 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. - I highly recommend this five-star book.
Read: 11/21/2017 Reviewed: 12/5/2017 (sorry for the delay!)
SERIES: Apart from the Crowd
0. At Your Request – Free eNovella Prequel (click here)
1. Behind the Scenes April 2017 (read my review here)
2. Out of the Ordinary Nov. 2017
3. Caught by Surprise July 2018

At Your Request (Apart From the Crowd): An Apart From the Crowd Novella by [Turano, Jen]
Free Download Here
Read my Review of book 1 here

Pre-order Book 3 here
The delightfully
entertaining Jen Turano
(click here)

Hugs and a cup of Christmas tea,
Two of my favorite Christmas Teas
featured.  One is brand new from Trader Joe's!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Operation Christmas Child and Christmas Happy Mail

Hello friends,
Just thought I drop in & post a little.  I've sort of lost my mojo for blogging.  It takes a ton of time and effort, vs. posting a quick snip on Instagram (smile).  Seasons change as you no doubt know.
from my fairy garden

Last Saturday I had the privilege of serving at *Operation Christmas Child (OCC) Processing Ctr.  It is one of only 8 in the country, so I am blessed to have access to it.  I am even more excited that I am going back Friday to hear Franklin Graham (son of Billy Graham) speak, along with some others who will share how these shoeboxes have impacted poor children of the world, and blessed them with a tangible representation of Jesus.

Some of the highlights of the day: •Praying over our boxes •A note from a child that cracked me up •Meeting a new friend who lives literally blocks away from my dad in Central CA and drove 4 hours to come serve! {behind us / photos on a wall for us to write prayers on} •a child's fun note with scriptures & games •a look at the warehouse •The OCC Christmas Tree
but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”
Matthew 19:14 ESV
#IpackedAShoebox #OperationChristmasChild

"it shows my generosity" :)

Inside the Processing Ctr.

Outside of Child's note - scriptures

Inside of Child's note - fun!

Made a new friend :)
Next to the *OCC Christmas Tree

 I also wanted to share that I am participating in a fun ornament exchange this season hosted by sweet Karina over at: "Merciful Moments".  She is a charming teenager with a heart for Jesus.  A super fun surprise was that my swap partner's name is....drum roll please....DIXIE!  Some of you may recall my 80-year-old aunt's name
If you are sending cards out, would
you consider sending an extra one to
my Aunt? She lives alone with no
modern media.  Old school mail
really brightens her day. 
Email me & I will send you her address.
(Email button to right).
is also Dixie and we write to each other regularly.  So today when we went to the post office, TWO DIXIES were sent happy mail!  Since Dixie #2 has no idea who I am, I will share my fun package which I truly hope blesses her!
She says: "I am a true "farm wife" (although in Montana it is called ranch instead of farm! LOL) I love all livestock and any farm related tools...and rust and galvanized stuff makes my heart quicken! My house is totally an older farmhouse. I love anything which is old and worn! Antiques and well-worn items "float my boat" I enjoy Hot Chocolate...anything containing chocolate...milk chocolate!!!!!"
Christmas card, magnetic calendar, stickers, Christmas teas, Organic hot cocoa [& how cute is that vintage looking packaging from Trader Joe's?], mini box of chocolates, cozy socks, Christmas towels, rusty-look metal Cross ornament, teeny-weeny rustic stocking ornament, tiny die-cast pickup... which, I TOTALLY thought was an ornament, & then found out it wasn't - ooops!
All wrapped up!  I included a sweet coloring page from the only thing I purchased during Cyber Monday, and that was only because I saw it was 1/2 off on her IG page! (artist: Karla Dornacher - find her awesome, brand new color book here: Christmas Color Book or the PDF version here: Christmas Color Book PDF) and then some darling advent cards from the lovely Abbey over at: Little Birdie Blessings - She had a sweet contest on her Instagram page and she gifted EVERYONE who entered the PDF printables.  How sweet is she?

I always teach the daycare Littles to pray over our outgoing packages.  It helps reinforce "pray without ceasing" and makes people far away a little more real to them.  Just an idea to share if you have Littles in your life. :)

 I hope to do a followup post when my swap partner mails me an ornament package :)
This year I am really attracted to
vintage Pointsettias. I have loved
vintage Christmas cards for years.
I spotted this one on etsy & thought it
so pretty!  And a lovely way to
close, as I wish you
"A Happy Holiday Season"

Saturday, October 14, 2017

An Inconvenient Beauty - Book Review

An Inconvenient Beauty – Hawthorne House Series
Kristi Ann Hunter

•°o•:*:•.SIGH.•:*:• o°•

1815 London, Regency Era, England

We have finally come to Griffith Hawthorne’s story.  This story really flowed along at a nice pace as the characters got to know each other.
The Duke of Riverton is the eldest sibling.  He is logical and organized, even a bit subdued at times.  But, he has many layers to him.  His family has a legacy of marrying for love.  He has ‘decided’ the time has come for him to marry, so he sets out to find a reasonable wife, who will ‘fit’ into his life, and then he can come to love her. Enter Frederica St. Clair; a plain but fitting woman who should do the trick.
Isabella Breckenridge has practically made a deal with the devil.  Her uncle, Percy St. Clair, is wealthy and connected.  Her family is poor with little chance at a good future now that her father has been injured.  When her uncle, and cousin Frederica, decide to visit them after many years, he discovers what an undeniable beauty she has become and hatches a plan to benefit them both.  She is soon whisked to London during the high season and put on display for all of society to admire.  Her intent is to fulfill her uncle's demands and return home to continue helping her family along with financial relief and glowing recommendations for her brothers to attend school.  Her intent is NOT to fall in love since she has no use for such things.
But, what does God have planned?

Special Quote - Ch. 32 “Have you prayed about ?” “Every day.” Every moment. Griffith wasn’t sure there was an hour he’d been awake when some part of him hadn’t been crying out to God for a way to fix this dull ache in the middle of his chest that refused to go away as long as there was a chance…
I love this because sometimes I too feel like there are some parts of me crying out to God, more than a conscious prayer.  Very well stated by the author.
The story was sweet and endearing, and at times I laughed aloud.  I even sighed happily as I turned the last page.  Now that the series is finished, I plan to go back and read the books again.  They were that enjoyable.  Kristi Ann Hunter weaves wonderful stories.  And Bethany House has blessed her with lovely book covers.

© October 2017 Bethany House
373 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: 10/04&05/2017 - Reviewed: 10/14/2017

“The Hawthorne House Series follows a set of aristocratic siblings led by the Duke of Riverton. Set from 1812 - 1815, these stories show how beautiful life, love, and family can be when you let God be a part of them.”
(I love that there are more than 3 books, but we also did not have to wait forever between stories!)
A Lady of Esteem – Free eNovella – 7/1/2015
A Noble Masquerade – Book 1 – 9/8/2015 You’ve Got Mail, Regency Style
An Elegant FaΓ§ade – Book 2 – 7/5/2016
An Uncommon Courtship – Book 3 – 1/3/2017
An Inconvenient Beauty – Book – 4 - 09/2017

Blessings and a cup of Autumnal Tea,