Thursday, November 14, 2019

A Pursuit of Home - Fantastic New Regency Read


A Pursuit of Home – Haven Manor Book 3 - by Kristi Ann Hunter (one should read the previous Regency Era books in order)

***Fantastic Characters***
French Countryside, 1806 Jessamine Beauchene - wealthy, royal niece to the King of Verbonne, petite at age 15. Her family attacked in the middle of the night. Shoved into a hole in the floorboards with their family’s secrets.
[Absolutely one of my favorite scenes is when a beloved character from Kristi’s very first novel appears.]
The board lifted and the light from a single lantern revealed a pair of grey eyes… “What’s your name?” he asked. “Jess-“ hiccup – “Jess-” sniffle… “Well, Jess,” the man said, “I’m here to rescue you. How do you feel about going to England?”
[He is somewhat of a hero and definitely has amazing wit.  Without revealing too much I was thrilled to have him back!]
Marlborough, England, 1816
Ch. 1 Sometimes despite time, distance, and a significant amount of ignoring it, the past never quite went away. Over the past two days, everything Jess had run from had spilled over the wall of the past and covered her present like gravy. Lumpy, bitter, burnt gravy. Every emotion she’d worked hard to bury had risen to the surface, making her mind a muddled swarm of incomplete thoughts and sharp colors.
… her current situation irritated her … she was going to have to ask a very bothersome man for his assistance. She needed Derek Thornbury’s help. To get, she was going to have to ask him, which required talking to him, which required, which required being in the same room with him without taking her knife from its hidden sheath and stabbing him in the leg. A tall order, as the man was simply too vexing for words.
“I brought you tea.”
“I see that.” He crossed the room and lifted the top of the pot to gaze into the depths of the brown liquid. “Is it poisoned?”
…Derek was a scholar of antiquities. He worked with things created by dead people.  When he was working he might go days without a significant interaction with anyone who drew breath. Living people, quite inconveniently, required him to recall his manners and finish his sentences. Jess wasn’t merely an inconvenience, though. She was a massive complication, a mystery that was constantly changing, frustrating him to no end even as it kept enticing him closer.

Tea Quote: Anyone who insisted on foisting their romantic notions on her could find themselves with ipecac in their tea.


Faith Quote: …how important it was to seek God in the quiet times in order to know what to cling to in the chaos.
KristiAnneHunter.com




Enjoyable story as always!

Thank you to Bethany House, the author and NetGalley for a copy. My opinion is my own and given freely. Keep updated on the author’s website, Kristi Ann Hunter dot com

Haven Manor Series:
“The Haven Manor series follows a group of women who take what could have been a life-crushing circumstance and turned it into an opportunity to help desperate women and their children from the same fate. Their pasts may have brought these women here, but God has an amazing future in store for them.” -Author’s Website
Book 0.5 A Search for Refuge (Margaretta’s Story) 03/2018 FREE eNovella (available in print 2019 in the 3 author collection Love At Last)
Book 1 A Defense of Honor (Kit’s Story) 06/05/2018
Book 1.5 Legacy of Love (Sarah’s Story) 10/2018 Novella in The Christmas Heirloom Collection featuring 4 different authors
Book 2 A Return of Devotion – Daphne’s Story - coming Feb. 5, 2019
Book 3 A Pursuit of Home - Jess's Story - 11/5/2019
CLICK HERE

Until next time, Hugs and a Cup of Tea (hopefully without ipecac or poison!)

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Teacup PJs - An Autumn Stew - A Flat Tire


Hello friends! It's been a minute, so I thought I would pop in and share (smile).
I found the cutest teacup pajamas at WalMart on Friday. 
 
I am always on the lookout for those and it is quite hard to find non-coffee themed ones! 
I thought some of you might be interested as well (for yourself or a gift).
They come in sizes from S to 3X and are sold in separates. $10 top and $10 bottom.

Last week my sister and nieces were visiting.  We made an autumn soup I recommend. And by we, I mean that I threw a bunch of ingredients at my sister (who is a whiz in the kitchen) and she brought my ideas to life!

We used the other 2/3 can of coconut milk in the cornbread.
You could use regular milk and adjust to your desired thickness.
Pink salt is really good for you, but you can use regular salt to
taste as well. Sprouts also has an autumn soup if
you do not have a Trader Joe's nearby.
I am thankful that I found a screw in my right rear tire. 
Yes, that's an odd one, BUT hang on ;)
I practically never go out front after dark.  
Thankfully, Thursday night I did.  
I almost always park the passenger side of my van close to the bushes so I have more room to walk on the driver side.
Thankfully, Thursday I did not, so I randomly walked next to the passenger side of the car AND I noticed the right rear tire was completely flat!
I was able to call AAA (9pm) and schedule an early morning appointment for them to come put my spare tire on. Thankful for AAA & not having to attempt this myself!
This was happening on a Friday.  I never know which days I will need to go pick up my daycare Littles and drop them at school. Friday, I was not needed. 
Thank you Jesus!
I took the tire to Sam's Club and there was a 3-hour wait.  But the kind senior tech allowed me to leave the tire there and go about my business, He let me know the screw was just on the edge of "maybe ok / maybe not" for patching per regulation guidelines.  If another tech did my tire, he might not patch it and prefer to sell me a new tire, but because this tech had been doing it 30 years, he was confident he could plug it for me.
 Thankful again!
"How much will it cost?", I asked
"It's free because you bought the tire from us", he said
THANKFUL YET AGAIN! :)
Everything worked out great and I was able to get the patched tire reinstalled that afternoon with very little inconvenience.
God is so good!

I have a ton of fun with my daycare Littles and they continually surprise me. Friday, this little guy (disguised for internet privacy) came up with this:
When I asked him to write his name on the bottom of his paper, he wrote random letters (giggling of course).  I said, That's not how you spell your name.  He countered, Yes it is. More giggles. Then asked what it spelled. I said, Tiormplak. [Totally sounds like a Star Trek name to me, btw.].  So, he told me, My name is Tiormplak. I'm half Swedish (he's not at all, but a good family friend is - hahaha), half Mexican (that is true), and half gummy bears! Well, who isn't? :)

Today in my cup / Pukka Revitalise - 
Abbey
a burst of warming organic cinnamon bark, orange peel, elderflower, cardamom pod, licorice root, ginger root, green tea, spearmint leaf, clove bud, black peppercorn. Made in the U.K.

Bottom of box: Naturally made with care.
This lovely design is printed with vegetable ink on card from renewable sources and is recyclable; the string on each bag is organic; and because we do not staple our bags, they are wildlife-friendly yo compost. Add to that 100% non-GM ingredients, and you have incredible tasting tea that is good for you, as well as the planet.

I thought this was good information since there is a bunch of hype right now on the internet about plastics being in teabags.  However, if you are interested, check out what The Tea Maestro has to say:
"Plant-based biodegradable fabric, not plastic, is the industry trend."
Read his full October 9, 2019 post at: https://theteamaestro.blogspot.com/2019/10/is-there-plastic-in-my-tea-bag.html
Tea Maestro Bruce Richardson has served on the advisory board for the Specialty Tea Institute of America and Fresh Cup magazine. He has been active in America's tea culture for 30 years and is a frequent lecturer at tea events around the world. 

Hugs and a Cup of Tea!


Monday, September 2, 2019

Been Under the Weather

Well, I have spent the majority of Labor Day weekend with a head cold so watching movies, reading books, drinking tea and snuggling kitties were the highlights.
I also was very fortunate that I made my Broccoli Soup the day before I started getting sick and with just me, it's good for several servings - perfect when you're sick and don't want to cook. I sauteed some chicken thighs to add to it.  It's quite healthy and without cheese, so it's just warm and comforting.
Here's that recipe if you are interested.
I just finished the following book and highly recommend it!
Available where books are sold 10/1/2019
A Distance Too Grand – American Wonders Collection Book 1 Revell Publishing © Oct 1, 2019

•*• Well Done Story Featuring the Grand Canyon before it was a Natl. Park •*•
I thoroughly enjoyed this story and read late into the night and then woke to finish it.  It is well written and moves along nicely. 
1871 Ft. Wilverton, AZ Territory
Meg Pero, a budding photographer, has just lost her father, Matthew Pero who taught her everything she knows.  She has a government contract, which is technically his, but was written for M. Pero and she intends to fulfill it and make a name for herself in the process. She is 26, talented, opinionated, beautiful and smart. “But you’re a woman. Women aren’t photographers.”, the corporal said.
Cpt. Benjamin Coleridge has a survey job to do and he needs an able-bodied photographer to get it done.  He’d heard Matthew Pero would be that man, even looked forward to seeing him again after several years. But he had no idea his feisty daughter would show up in his place, the woman who’d broken his heart.
This story is full of adventure as a team that includes two young privates, Dot the spunky cook and her cartographer husband, Hank, eager-to-prove-himself Corporal Adams and the grumpy guide, Mr. Pike set out into the Grand Canyon with horses, wagons, and mules. Cpt. Coleridge is hoping to find some evidence as to the whereabouts of his missing father Col. Coleridge.
Adventure, discovery and mayhem wind through the canyon with the group and I enjoyed every minute of it.
Tea Quotes: 1. “Oh sit down,” Dot said with a wave of her free hand. “This is an expedition, not a fancy tea. Meet Meg Pero. She’s our photographer.”
2. Dot had figured out how to turn the most plentiful plant in the area – pine – into a nourishing and refreshing tea.
Faith Moment: Directly in front of her the highest point was a fist of golden white stone, pointing to the heavens as if to remind her there was someone else above all this. Her Creator.
Tear Inducing Moment – I won’t give this away, but it was an incredibly kind and unexpected moment that made me cry. : “I realized I was the closest to you in size. I hope I won’t offend you, but I thought you might find use for these.” She held out the bundle.
History: There are good notations in the back of the book by the author about The Grand Canyon which I enjoyed.  She also shares a bit about her upcoming story which is set Yellowstone – the world’s 1st Natl. Park. I cannot wait!

Netgalley and the publisher kindly sent me an eBook in the hopes of a favorable review, with no further compensation or expectation. All opinions are my own.
5 Stars

Max
Until next time, hugs and a cup of tea - and if you are lucky, maybe a cuddle from a furry friend ;)
Heather Elizabeth

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

•*• Jen Turano Wields Comedy Like a Sword! •*•

Diamond in the Rough – American Heiresses Series Book 2 by Jen Turano

This cover is to die for!
1885, New York, NY –
Art provided by author - used with permission
Now how is that for an opening line?

Poppy has left her family’s Kentucky horse farm to come to New York at the request, or rather insistence of her excessively wealthy grandmother to experience her first “Season”. She tends to say and do the first thing that pops into her head often to the horror of her grandmother and those of the elite NY 400.  Disaster tends to follow her, but since she is quite used to that she simply rolls with it. “Do you know that I once got knocked straight off a horse because a duck flew into me?”
fan art by Susan Gibson Snodgrass ~ co-member of
The Gilded Gals of Turano Street. Used with permission.

The Earl of Lonsdale and his cousin, Reginald Blackburn have traveled from England to find an American heiress to marry, effectively rescuing the Earl from financial ruin.  However, they are determined to find someone of good character.  Something Reginald is certain Miss Garrison certainly is not from the unusual way her dance partner twirled her away, crashing directly into himself and her less than demure commentary to the perturbed host of the ballroom.  Then later, finding her crawling on all fours in search of something. “Reginald was of the firm belief that always maintaining the proprieties was exactly what separated true ladies and gentlemen from the masses.” No, Miss Poppy Garrison was certainly not the type of woman he would approve of for his cousin. But when disaster and mystery follow Poppy around like a bad penny, Reginald finds himself caught up in her world, most unexpectedly.  As does the meek mannered Mr. Middleton whom Poppy quickly befriends.  I really enjoyed the dynamic of her relationship with both men who are distinctly different.  Watching Murray Middleton grow and come into his own as the story progressed was a delight. The “snail scene” was hilarious.  Very “Pretty Woman”.  Just like in real life, the supporting characters take an active role and add so much to the story.

TEA MOMENT:  Ok, so I was so excited by the tea-themed cover of this novel, months before it was even close to release.  So imagine my surprise when Poppy is at the tearoom in Rutherford & Co. and this happens, “They do offer an impressive assortment of teas, but…” She looked up. “Will you find me quite beyond the pale if I admit I don’t actually care for tea, preferring coffee instead?” "You don’t care for tea?” 
“Shocking, I know.” 
“Scandalous more like.”  
But, my little heart attack was quickly diminished by the hilarious scone and clotted cream scene. 
“Adele frowned, “You said you were savoring clotted cream when I first arrived.” 
“Savoring, detesting,” Poppy said with a wave of her hand. … 

FAITH MOMENT: 
MYSTERY NOTE: I genuinely thought I knew who the culprit of the story was, smiling to myself that I had figured it out.  Boy was I wrong! The breadcrumbs that led me to my choice unexpectedly did NOT lead to who I thought they would.  Naturally, that made the story even more exciting. While there is a bit of danger, there is not any gore or undue stress to the reader. 


I am so smitten with this book, I may have to forego my To-Be-Read pile in favor of re-reading older Jen Turano novels again!

American Heiresses Series:
Storing Up Trouble –  book 3 tba



I received a complimentary book in the hopes of a favorable review, with no further compensation.  All opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Bethany House Publishing
5 stars
CONNECT  with the wonderful Jen Turano here – 


Until next time, hugs and a cup of tea!
Heather Elizabeth

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Field of Redemption by Lori Bates Wright


•°o•:*:•. Interesting & Different Civil War Era Story .•:*:• o°•
Macon, GA 1864
Abigail McFadden is a “Yankee” nurse serving in the South. Her priority is people, whether on the battlefield, makeshift hospital ward or living on the edge of society in the shantytown.  She has had to start over, and nearly everyone in Macon has been kind and giving to her.  Save for the power-hungry General Farris who is attempting to convince everyone she is a Union spy.
Colonel Ian Saberton is a strong, confident leader. However, he is rather unprepared for a town full of women who demand to be heard and useful in this war.  They have strong ideas, but over time he discovers one in particular needs his help to avoid an unjust hanging. The more involved he becomes, the more he learns about who Abby is and how strong her faith is.  Faith is something he’s put on the shelf since the war started, leading him down a path of destruction. Favorite Quote: Ch. 9 “Abby McFadden was a most peculiar female. Whatever circumstance she got herself into, she acted with all of her heart.”
Young Hickory has returned from book 1 and takes an active role in the story.  He is a wonderful character who is clever, cautious but still happy to be a kid when there is an opportunity despite hardship and loss.
The evil side of men is shown throughout the story, so if you enjoy a strong sense of danger without too much gory detail, this book offers it.  It is countered with Ian’s conviction to serve, protect and conquer injustice at every turn.
The more personal details of what people are worried about and dealing with in wartime were interesting, particularly since this book is told primarily from the southern point of view, and I did enjoy it.
The scene with the Georgia peaches was a particular favorite.



Click for
 Amazon Page
Connect with the author: www.LoriBatesWright.com

About the Author in Her Own Words:
My favorite childhood memories involve sitting around my grandmother's kitchen table listening in while my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles told amazing stories of times gone by. Sometimes I laughed until I'd lose my breath. Sometimes I sat quietly, on the verge of tears, hearing of the bravery and perseverance shown by those who'd gone before me.  What I wouldn't give to have known them. History has been a passion ever since. Couple that with an insatiable love for story and there you have the heart of what inspires me to write books with a timeless message of love and hope. In many ways, I've come full circle. The legacy torch carried by my parents and grandparents has now been passed to me. I pray my novels convey all the charm, romance, wit and wisdom of the past to enlighten and fascinate a whole new generation. I am a child of the Southwest. Raised in New Mexico, I now live in Texas with my husband of 35 years. I have two wonderful grown kids and four grandboys that can leap tall buildings in a single bound! My family is truly the heart of who I am. The only thing I love more than my family (and books) is Jesus. My sincerest hope is that you sense that in my writing. Happy reading! Lori

Sierra Vista Books – 07/23/2019
The author sent me a complimentary book in the hopes of a favorable review.  I was not paid for my opinions which are entirely mine.
4 stars
The Saberton Legacy:
2.     Field of Redemption, Ian Saberton and Abigail’s story
3.     Book 3, Zachary Saberton and Aurora’s story, coming soon

I pray that you are well dear reader.
May your bookshelf & teacup
be filled, and the Spirit of
the Lord guide your path 
in righteousness. 


Thursday, July 25, 2019

MY PERSONALI-TEA

Good morning! I just took a "personali-tea" quiz through Harney & Sons for a contest they are having.  It was kind of fun, but the animal choices were odd.  It's a quick one so give it a go and then come back and paste your own in the comments below.

CLICK HERE TO TAKE THE QUIZ
***MY RESULTS***
Your Personali-tea is Herbal!
You like variety in your life and you enjoy switching up your hobbies, favorite foods and routines often. Though it may be hard for your friends to predict your next move, you also have a calm and therapeutic nature that makes you a pleasure to be around.
Like you, herbal teas like to mix it up. Herbal teas, also known as herbal infusions, are typically a blend of herbs, flowers, spices and dried fruit. This blend of ingredients is then brewed in the same way as your favorite traditional tea, either loose or in tea sachets or bags. By combining quality ingredients, blends can be created that calm, invigorate or treat minor ailments. Colors and flavors range from light and fruity to vibrant and spicy to match your mood. We offer over 40 different kinds of blends, many of which are caffeine-free and just as chill as you are.

(Answer 5 simple questions to discover the tea type that best suits you! 5 lucky quiz-takers will win a $50 Harney & Sons gift card. Contest ends August 7, 2019)

CLICK HERE TAKE THE QUIZ


(Note: I am not in any way affiliated with this quiz/contest/prizes. Just sharing it for fun!)


I am hoping I correctly shared the link, but if not it is on the Harney dot com blog :)

Until Next Time ~ Hugs and a Cup of Tea,
Heather Elizabeth


Tuesday, July 23, 2019

THIMBLES AND THREADS - 4 LOVE STORIES QUILTED INTO BROKEN LIVES

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE
These are sweet little stories to pass the time. 
Barbour Publishing © July, 2019
The quilt graphics at the beginning of the chapters are charming. 3 stars overall / Netgalley and the publisher kindly sent me a review eBook in the hopes of a favorable review, with no further expectation or compensation. All opinions are my own. 


(1) Bygone by Mary Davis (4 stars)•*• Heartwarming •*•1884 Texas – Matilda (aka Tilly) Rockford has returned home from Baltimore, all grown up. She never expected Orion Dunbar to be the person meeting her at the station. “Would he squeeze her hand until she cried like when she was a child? No, he held it gently, helping her into the buggy. He laid a quilt across her lap to keep her warm on the ride.” Orion had arrived on the orphan train, a broken and angry little boy. He acted out and hurt people, especially little Tilly who was always kind to him. Now grown, he only wants to make up for his past mistakes. “His heart sped up at having her so close. She smelled of lavender and vanilla.” However, there is another man who also wishes to pay Matilda special attentions.
I enjoyed this sweet story, yet there are several incomplete sentences: e.g. 1. “Show her she could trust him.” 2. “The same place that had always hungered for her attention.” 3. “And smiled.” 

(2) The Bridal Shop, a Novella by Grace Hitchcok (5 stars) •*• Sweet Story of learning to trust in others•*•
1886 Charleston, South Carolina – Alice has been so hurt by men that she has resigned herself to a life without them and she now runs an up-and-coming bridal shop. “Giles lifted his faced heavenward and groaned. A bridal shop, Lord? Not to sound ungrateful, but You couldn’t have made it a tailor shop? And not some place full of women?” I enjoyed Giles very much. Clearly a good and Godly man with a sense of humor. Eustace is a total cad! And he deserves the brat of a wife he married. 
TEA MOMENT: “Alice couldn’t bring herself to go to bed quite yet. She decided to treat herself to a pot of herbal tea and the last of the oatmeal cookies from the bakery over a Harper’s Bazaar.”
“He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds. Psalm 147:3?”
I like Grace Hitchcock’s writing style. This is the second of her books that I have read.

(3) Mending Sarah’s Heart, a Novella by Suzanne Norquist (3 stars) •*•Learning to Trust God Again •*•
1884 Rockledge, CO – Sarah Anderson is a widow. She and her sons live in a CO mining town near family. She believes God has let her down and now she is forced to earn a living in her dress shop. Jack Taylor has a mission to accomplish. Turn over funds to his deceased partner’s widow and skedaddle. He does not expect to find a woman in desperate need of help with sons in need of guidance. 
This was a sweet story of learning to trust God again and feeling unworthy of God’s love, or anyone else’s. Not a lot of depth, but an easy afternoon read. I liked how Jack stepped in to guide the boys, even though he didn’t know them. However, the immediate desire for him to protect the widow did not click for me.

(4) Binding Up Wounds, a Novella by Liz Tolsma (3 stars) •*•A Decent Story of Acceptance•*•
1865 Regent, WI, - Lance Witherspoon fought for “the other side”. He carries a multihued patchwork quilt that saved his life. With nowhere left to go, he sets out from VA to find the woman who created it and thank her. Melissa Bainbridge is quiet, shy, private. She lives with her grandparents and creates dolls. Her town does not understand her. The young women either torment or shun her. “The three girls burst into a fresh round of laughter. Now would be the perfect time for the Second Coming. Anything to deliver Melissa from this misery. But no trumpets sounded from heaven.” Her grandparents adore her and strive to love all, including strangers considered by most to be “the enemy”. The two main characters spend weeks together, getting to know each other in the process. I appreciated that the author did not have them tripping into each other’s arms after a few days. Overall, I liked the idea of this story and what pulls Lance to Melissa. It is such a harsh thing he has to go through, being an outsider in his own country. Melissa was rather immature and for far longer than necessary, i.e. multiple times during the same day, which was nerve-wracking. Lance had such a pure heart. 
A decent enough story.

Until Next Time,

Hugs and a Cup of Tea ~ Heather Elizabeth

Thursday, July 11, 2019

The Express Bride-5 Stars-Daughters-of-the-Mayflower-Series


•°o•:*:•. VERY HAPPY .•:*:• o°•
After not enjoying the last book in the series, I was so very pleasantly surprised at how much I did enjoy book no.9 in the “Daughters of the Mayflower”: series.  Once I found out it centered around the Pony Express, I decided to accept the invitation to read it.
Some fun facts from the book: Now called the Pony Express, it was the Central Overland California and Pikes Peak Express Company (COC&PP). It operated from 04/03/1860 until 10/24/1861 when the telegraph took over.  It went from St. Joseph, MO to Sacramento, CA in 10 days.

The story involves one mystery surrounding forged treasury notes and another involving a missing heiress. There are quite a bit of godly men sharing their faith, and our heroine seeking God as well that I enjoyed.
**Kansas City, MO**
Elijah Johnson is entrusted by his friend and business partner, Charles Vines, to find his long lost daughter before he departs from this world.  But, she’s been gone for 26 years!  It will take a lot of fortitude and brains to ferret out any clues that old; plus some guidance from the good Lord.
**Utah Territory, forty miles from Virginia City**
Meanwhile, in Carson Sink, Jacqueline Rivers has taken over her father’s station following his recent passing.  She is manager, hostess, cook, boss, big sister and surrogate mom to “her boys” who ride for and deliver the mail for the COC&PP. 
“Every time she watched a rider head out, she prayed until he was out of sight.  The number of riders and horses it took to cross the two-thousand-mile trail was extravagant.  But to get the news in a week rather than a month or more was huge.  It never ceased to amaze her, so every day she found herself praying for these young men who sacrificed so much.”
“Jack” is coming to grips with her loss and new duties when two men show up on the stagecoach seeking her help with two entirely different problems.
Michael, her adopted brother, was a fun character.  I appreciated his youth and humor.

Tea References:
“As she looked down at her cup of tea, the image of her mother, so dreamlike and beautiful, still hovered at the edges of her mind. If only she could keep it there and remember more.”
“But being the doting father he was, he usually gave in and ordered her something pretty.  She’d never forget the first time she asked him to buy a china tea set. His face had been almost comical.”

Cautionary Note: This book does contain some violence, including wife beating (not in grave detail) and also cold-blooded killing/shooting.

Extra tidbits about the P.E. are listed after the story, including the fact that it was a “huge financial flop”!  I also like the Express riders oath shared within the story.

I loved the final sentence which made me laugh out loud.

I was approached by Barbour Publishing and asked to review an eVersion of this book without fee, expectation or compensation.  My opinion is my own and offered freely.  Please read other reviews for a well-rounded purchasing decision.

© July 1, 2019, Barbour Publishing 5 stars



Monday, June 24, 2019

SOME TEA TIMES

Good day to you friends!
I have been having a few fun tea moments and thought I would share them here.
This first one was in honor of my daughter who left last Wednesday for a missionary trip to Europe.  One of her flights to was from Dublin to London and then on to Budapest, Hungary.  Well, because Dublin decided she had to check her carryon luggage (even though 6 airlines had already okayed her previously), it caused her to miss her London flight.  She then had to scramble and reach out to people for help because the next flight was not until the next day!  She made contact with a young man who she had met here in California, who actually played backup drums for her at a coffee shop and after checking with his folks, welcomed her to spend the night at their home.  God is so good!  After that, she was able to meet up with her team in Hungary and they are off and running as they get to know each other and share the love of Jesus with others.  She is the only one who flew in from America, so this a big deal in her life!  Lots of prayer from this mama, I can tell you!

I enjoyed this tea with my latest concoction of oatmeal, which is super fun to play around with!  I have graduated to steel cut oats which seems so grown up to me - ha! To 3 cups of water and 1 cup oats I add the zest of one small orange (from my tree), a pinch of cardamom, a generous sprinkling of cinnamon, a handful of dried cranberries and raisins, a 1/8 cup of pumpkin seeds, 1/8 cup of dried coconut, 1/8 cup of sliced almonds.  After it's all cooked, I add a tsp. of local honey.  It is so dang tasty!!!! It also gives me a couple of extra servings to put in the fridge.
TEA TIP: If you see the adorable 3 pack of London themed tins at Marshall's, Home Goods, TJ Maxx, etc. you may want to skip them unless you simply want the tins and not the tea.  They have turned the tea into something resembling instant coffee. Yuck!
Yesterday, I found the cutest little lemon mug at Dollar Tree along with a lemon lavender candle that just had to come home with me.  When I pulled the sticker off the bottom, it said Royal Norfolk which sounds utterly fancy!  Naturally, I pulled out and brewed my Lemon Lavender Lane tea from Celestial Seasonings (I purchased mine at WalMart).  I also opened up the Lemon Marmalade I had been saving.  It was made in Italy and I think I found it at Marshall's.  It had a nice lemon taste, but also slightly earthy.  But, tea and toast are always a good idea!  The flowers came from the farmer's market that morning!  They sell the cutest little $5 bunches or 3 for $14, so I decided to get a couple for friends as well.
This is exactly why I save spaghetti sauce mason jars! (smile).
Then last evening, I decided to make a BLT salad with raspberry vinaigrette and corn on the cob.  My new mug was perfect for pink lemonade.  Ok, not tea related... but, having fun with the mug!I don't know why I never thought to do a BLT salad before.  It was tasty!


Finally, this morning, I had a sweet devotional time with some lovely farm fresh eggs from my daycare littles, spinach, and avocado, plus Bates Brambleberry tea in my new mug, followed by a cup of Vanilla Comoro because one cup of tea just was not enough!  Even as I write this, I am continually checking on social media for my daughter's missionary team.  It looks like one leg of their trip fell through and now they are scrambling to find housing for the next couple of days in East Hungary or West Romania!  So, if you would not mind, please lift them up in prayer.  I know God has a plan :)

Thank you for joining me for these little moments.  Have a lovely week!
Until next time,
Hugs and a cup of tea!

Thursday, June 6, 2019

More than Words Can Say by Karen Witemeyer



Honey Grove, TX 1896
Click for Honey Grove Preservation League

Abigail Kemp is running a bakery with her pretty younger sister, Rosalind, as she has been doing for quite some time.  However, now that her father has passed, “somebody” has dug up an antiquated city ordinance that does not allow women to own a business. “These stuffy male councilmen might want to hold her down, but like a well-made bread dough, she planned to rise to the occasion.”


Zacharias Hamilton is finally free to do as he pleases.  He has fulfilled his obligations to his adopted siblings and moved away from near-by Pecan Gap to start fresh.  He has carved a niche at the local lumber mill and keeps to himself as much as possible, save for a corner table at the local bakery where he enjoys coffee and sticky buns every morning and the occasional run-in with his boss’s passel of kids. Life is pretty comfortable now.  Although his past deeds still haunt his thoughts. When Abigail approaches Zach with a proposition, he nearly chokes over her business plan.  But, after some thought, he might consider it, with a few tweaks to her contract.

This was a wonderful, feel-good read.  I really enjoyed getting to know Zach more.  He is somebody special. He’s a bit gruff, but he feels deeply.  He is a champion when needed and fights hard to overcome obstacles, even the unseen ones of foolish female hearts. I appreciated that Abigail was not the typical size 2, but a curvy, kind soul with a lot to offer.  Both characters came to know each other and fit so perfectly together, in a way only God could have orchestrated.

I also liked learning about how Davy Crockett was responsible for naming Honey Grove in real life.  Apparently, he set up a camp under the trees on his way to the Alamo and enjoying it so much, he carved his name in a tree along with the name Honey Grove, intent on returning there one day. Sadly, he did not survive the Alamo, but a friend, Sam Erwin purchased the land and honored the name.

DSC_0158Humorous Tea Moment: “One sat by the window. Bran muffin and tea with sugar. Man and muffin shared a remarkable resemblance – both a bit squatty and thick around the middle with smooth, round tops.”

I highly recommend this 5-star story and look forward to the next one.       Thank you to Bethany House Publishing who sent me a review copy.  My opinion is my own without expectation or compensation.

Award-winning & bestselling author Karen Witemeyer “writes historical romances because she believes the world needs more happily-ever-afters”. She is one of the sweetest authors you can connect with!  You may do so at: http://www.karenwitemeyer.com/ or at: 
The Posse FB group fan page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1839437643052460/ where the ladies in the group build community like no other group I have experienced! Truly a blessing.

Places To Purchase (click selection):


Patchwork Family Series:

1 - More Than Meets The Eye 6/5/2018 – 5 STARS
2 - More Than Words Can Say 6/4/2019 – 5 STARS
2.5 - Serving Up Love: A Harvey House Brides Collection - expected 11/5/2019
Until next time,
Hugs and a Cup of Tea!