Monday, December 11, 2017

Happy Homemaker Monday

Welcome to Happy Homemaker Monday
Sharing w/ you my weeks plans and an update from last week!
Image result for my journey back happy homemaker monday

The Weather
Unseasonable warm.  I  am loving the 70's.  

Right Now I  Am
Thinking about the lovely weather we are having and Thanking God.  I am able to get some work done outside!

In the kitchen
This week it is eating out of the cupboard and freezer.

Monday--Fried Catfish, Baked Potato, Coleslaw/Ramen/Apple 
Tuesday-- Chicken Fried Hamburger, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans
Wednesday--Eggplant Parmesan, Salad, Crusty Bread
Thursday--Mac/Cheese and Pizza
Friday--Tuna Casserole, Green Beans and Bread
Saturday- Pinto's and Cornbread
Sunday- Bar B Ques ribs, Pinto's, Mixed Greens

On the 'To Do List'
Monday- Finish decorating.  Just odds/edds left
Tuesday-Work in morning, Laundery/Clean house
Wednesday-Take Mom to lunch, Work in garden..trim Crepe myrtel
Thursday- Working till 3:00, Put my feet up!
Friday- 2 hour job- catch up on house, laundry, Set up Hot Chocolate Station

On my reading pile
This week my pile is on my phone and they are all calling my name. 
  Product Details
A couple of cozies and a nice little romance.  

In the garden
I now have my pallets ready to plant.  The dirt is in.  I originally was going to do 4 on the ground.  But decided stacking them wa
much easier on my back.  Raised beds are good.  
I have very little budget so I didn't use landscape fabric like the posts suggest.  I used cardboard on the bottom. And a combination
of cardboard and small pots filled with pea gravel on the sides to hold the dirt in. 

Fabulous Features from the party . . . 
 Fabby shared this beautiful tablescape. Look at that cake!
Go over to Fabby's to read the post.  Click here

And  Lelise shared this festive post.

Looking for a little extra excitement at your #Christmas party this year? Take a look at these holiday cocktails recipes and holiday mocktails recipes. There's an easy and delicious recipe in here for everyone!
Click here to visit the post.

Something fun to share

I reveiwed this sweet little book the other day.  I love the 
Christian alternative to the Elf book.  Check this one out. 
My review is here.  You can buy the book on Amazon

A fun Christmas tour

I found it over here

From the camera

I cleaned my desk and wrote this post the other day.  Read the post here

Devo./ Scripture

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Simple Sunday-Fabulous Party

Welcome to Simple Sunday
Each week I share a printable or Scripture

Merry Christmas
Welcome to the Fabulous Simple Party
Simple rules Family Friendly
Link anything you like We would love to see Christmas
All posts Pinned 2 Featured on Monday
Let's Do It

Saturday, December 9, 2017

My Winter/Christmas Desk

Good morning.  Welcome to the blog.  Yesterday I shared my messy desk.  
Today I have cleaned it up and ready to reveal.  But 1st I wanted to share this . . . 
25 Words That Have A Totally Different Meaning.....oh gosh being a Texan born and raised this is oh so true!! Lol

I woke up to beautiful sunshine this morning.   As I sit and type the sun is shining in my window and I thought it would be fun to share a winter picture.  Most pretty winter scenes include snow. 
Not here though.  

So now on with the reveal . . . 
I began by giving myself a clean palette.  I removed everything but the computer and dusted.  I am always surprised how many crumbs are on my desk!  I eat my lunch and have a snack here while I am writing posts or book reviews. 
Then I added a few things to get me into the holiday spirit.  
I started with this little sign my DIL made.  I have a collection of Santa's.  The vase has a few red and silver glittery sprigs. 
The Santa getting on the horse is a favorite. 

Next I added the pedestal.  I have used it before and like it. 
I intended it to go behind the computer but with all our recent cable problems now the computer is 'hard wired' to the router.
The cord is too short so I can't fit the pedestal behind it.  
I didn't realize the photo's were so dark.  I took them last night. 
It does get dark early now. 
These are Santa's my father made me.  The tall one is carved and painted. The two smaller ones are wooden eggs he painted.  They are special because he made them for me.
A special photo by my lamp.  My grandson and daughter at his 
Pre-K Christmas program.  We live in Texas.  Everything is Cowboy themed!

Oh gosh things are really gloomy looking with these dark photo's.
I will have to take pictures again.   

But now I am off to get to my Saturday  To Do List.  It's a long one! 

I hope you have a wonderful day
Merry Christmas

Friday, December 8, 2017

Being Real

This week I have almost gotten back to regular posting.  
I have been so busy lately it's a huge drag.  Today I am getting real and not even making things pretty.  
Shocking isn't it?  How do I get anything done? Guess what 
my plans are for the weekend?  Yep you got it.  I really need to clean up around here.  

There are times when my desk was really pretty. Maybe you remember . . . 
In the Fall.  
I love to surround myself with things I love like these . . . 
The Cowboy.  Young and not so young.  In June we celebrated our anniversary.
I was young once too.  I think. I forgot. LOL.

And for awhile I surrounded myself with family . . .

Some of my favorite photo's of the grand kids. 

I am inspired.  So tomorrow I will be cleaning up my desk and surrounding myself with . . .Hmm.  Not telling.  You'll have to come back by and see! 

Have a Blessed Day
Merry Christmas

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Egg Drop Dead by Laura Childs- A Great Escapes Tour w/ Bonus Recipe/Giveaway


About the book 
In Laura Childs’s New York Times bestselling mystery series, Suzanne, Petra, and Toni—co-owners of the Cackleberry Club café—are back to track down another bad egg…
Maintaining good personal relationships with their suppliers is one of the secrets of the Cackleberry Club café’s success, so Suzanne doesn’t mind going out to Mike Mullen’s dairy farm to pick up some wheels of cheese. She’s looking forward to a nice visit with the mild-mannered farmer before heading back to their hectic kitchen.
But when she arrives, Mike’s nowhere to be found. The moaning of his cows leads her to look in the barn, where she discovers a bloodcurdling sight—the farmer’s dead body. Apparently not everyone was as fond of Mike Mullen as the Cackleberry Club.
Churning with grief and outrage, Suzanne, Petra, and Toni vow to find the farmer’s murderer—but as they get closer to the truth, the desperate killer gets whipped into a frenzy and plans to put the squeeze on them…
What others are saying 
The story starts off with a bang in the very first chapter, pulling you in to see if Suzanne can find the killer who brutally murdered a well-respected, elderly dairy farmer.
~Cinnamon, Sugar and a Little Bit of Murder
Hello Laura!  I am honored to have you visit! I am so glad that you wanted to tour again with Lori and Great Escapes so I could have the chance to visit with you!

Thank you so much, Sherry, I’m delighted to be here with you.

Before we get into the soup do you mind if I ask a few fun and get-to-know-you questions?

Let’s do it!

So do your little Shar Pei’s keep you company when you’re working?

Always. Moosha and Asia lay (and snore) right beside me. I think of them as my wrinkled little writing muses.

What is their favorite treat?

Basically anything that’s kind of livery. (Ugh, huh?)  

And because the horse lover in me is coming out. English or Western?

I started out riding Western style when I was about ten and my Dad bought four Quarter Horses. After college, I switched to riding English style and learned to jump.

Here are my answers . . . Western. Quarter. Color (love Dunn’s and Paints)
But I have a special place in my heart for a couple of Bay’s.

Yes, Quarter Horses are wonderful. I used to do barrel racing at county fairs with my guy, Mocha Gent.   

Now for the fun question. If you could choose a cabin in the woods, an island, or the big city, which would you choose as the best place to write?

I’ve done a lot of my writing at a beach house in Carmel, CA. The sea air, the calming waves, the coziness of Carmel, are all very conducive to writing.

I hate to admit it but I met you this past Spring when I had the chance to read Pekoe Most Poison. I know. I have been under a rock or in a barn.

Thank you for reading that particular Tea Shop Mystery. I really hope you enjoyed it!  

But my question is – of all the mystery series that you write (Tea Shop, Cackleberry Club, and Scrapbook) can you give us the scoop and settle on which is your favorite?

My favorite is always the one I’m working on right now. That would be Glitter Bomb, my new Scrapbook Mystery, set in New Orleans during Mardi Gras.  

I have enjoyed the first few pages I’ve read of Egg Drop Dead and can’t wait to get further into it.  I have to admit I thumbed through to the end to the recipes. Can you tell us which is your favorite?

I’m all about the sweet stuff, so it would have to be my recipe for Apple Scones. (Always best when served warm with Devonshire cream) 

If we were to have dinner with one of the cast who would you suggest? What would we eat and drink?

Even though Suzanne doesn’t do the cooking at the Cackleberry Club, she’s actually a gourmet chef. I think she’d probably fix us a lovely dinner of French onion soup, coq au vin (red wine chicken) and a good Cabernet. For desert a chocolate soufflé.   

I’ve noticed that Egg Drop Dead is Book 7 in the series. If you were to choose one of the cast to star in a new series who would you choose?

I’d probably choose Drayton from the Tea Shop Mysteries. He’s a rather colorful and persnickety character who works in the Indigo Tea Shop dictating manners and creating his own tea blends. He’s also somewhat entrenched in Charleston, SC society and is quite the expert on art and antiques.

And another just for fun. You got the call there is going to be a movie!
Egg Drop Dead is hitting the big screen – can you believe it? You get to choose who will have the starring role of Suzanne – now who do you pick?

Hmm, tricky question. Maybe Kirsten Dunst or Ellen Pompeo?

And one more because I just thought of it . . . What will you be wearing on the red carpet?

Probably a Chanel dress. Although I recently saw a silk gown at the Gucci boutique that was covered with flowers and snakes!

This was really so much fun! I am truly honored and would love to have you visit again. Maybe you could bring Suzanne or one of your other characters along!

If you want us, we’ll be there with bells on! Totally loved your interview questions! 

Until then, ‘Farewell for now.’ Happy Tour!  And thanks for including the recipe!

Thank you!

Laura Childs is the USA Today and New York Times bestselling author of the Scrapbooking Mysteries, Tea Shop Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In her previous life she was CEO of her own marketing firm, authored several screenplays, and produced a reality TV show. She is married to Dr. Bob, a professor of Chinese art history, enjoys travel, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.

Find out more at

Bonus Recipe
Bonus! Laura Childs’ Recipe for Apple Scones    

2 cups flour
3 tsp. baking powder
2 Tbsp. sugar
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
6 Tbsp. butter
½ cup apples, peeled and finely chopped
4 Tbsp. apple juice or apple cider

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Combine flour, baking powder, sugar, cinnamon, and salt.  Cut in butter.  Add apples.  Add enough apple juice to bring together a fairly stiff dough.  Do not over-mix.  Roll dough out on a floured surface to ½ inch thickness.  Cut into triangles and place on a greased baking sheet.  (You can also use a scone pan.)  Bake for approximately 10 minutes.  Yields 10 to 12 scones. 

And I thought
I was super excited when I was offered to review Egg Drop Dead. I briefly met Laura Child's earlier this year when I had the opportunity to read Pekoa Poison.  I loved my introduction and I knew that this new book would be just as good.  

And it was.

I loved it.  I loved meeting the characters.  I loved the small town feel which makes a great cozy.  

I loved that even though I had not read the previous 6 that I stepped smoothly in with no real questions or real need to read the others.  Although I did do long to read the others.  I am adding to my TBR list.  

I loved the plot and story most of it.  Here comes the part that I didn't like.  But the thing is it's real. I had to pause and think how 
am I going to write this review.  It took me awhile to wrap my head around it and put into words what I initially thought was negative.  

The fact is as I said it is real.  And sadly I am afraid it still happens.  The subject of people making a business out of  producing and selling horse meat.  I have no idea of there are still 'kill plants' in production.  I hope not. 

The fact is and I am sad to say it makes a real addition to the story and plot.  And without giving anything away.  All ends well. 

And the recipes at the end are a real treat!

And so Laura Child's you have my 5 Star rating and my gratitude for giving us a fun action packed book that provides some great hours of entertainment. 

I received a complimentary copy. 
This review will appear on retail sites where available.
This review will appear on Good Reads and My Reading Journeys.

Buy the book 
Visit the tour
To read reviews, interviews and guest posts click Here.

The Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Menu Monday-Thankful Thursday-Frugal Friday

Does your freezer ever look like this?
Too often mine does. Filled with  non recognizable leftovers.

So next week I plan a Freezer Meal Week

First things first.  Inventory. Followed quickly with organizing. 

Something in my freezer are leftovers, smaller portions of raw meat, and other pieces of meat.

Since there is only 2 of us I tend to break my meat purchases up before putting in the freezer in to smaller portions.


Then menu planning. My goal is to use it all. So I can fill it up again.  But in a more organized fashion I hope!

I know it doesn't look like it but I do pretty much know whats in there even thought most things aren't dated and labeled. 

Some things are labeled like this package . . . 
I roasted a whole chicken and made a few meals out of it.  Here I have some meat saved to make my Mexican Chicken and Rice.

Even though most leftovers aren't labeled it's pretty easy to keep
track of the dates because I plan a menu every week so I know when I've cooked what or can check my archived menus. 

I hope to someday soon have an organized freezer like this. . . 
How to organize a top freezer and still have room for stockpiled items!

It will be awhile.  I need to budget for some neat containers
to help me in my quest.
But someday soon I hope we'll be seeing a much better organized space that is much easier to manager.  

So now I am off to plan my menu for next week using the bounty in my freezer!  

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Wordless Wednesday-Thankful Thursday

Hello.  Welcome to Wordless Wednesday where I usually post pics and no caption or description or post etc.  

Well today we are doing it a little different. These pics just need a few words . . . 
She said Yes
He's not a horseman but he spent 3 weeks taking lessons on the sly with her boss so he could ride her horse in for the proposal.

 And she smiles
 And they smile . . . 

We're Blessed

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

A Christmas Story/Family Tradition

Welcome and Merry Christmas.  I am so happy because Christmas is my favorite time of the year.  
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(all the photos shared in the post found on pinterest)

In our home we had a tradition of eating all of our meals beginning December 1 on special Christmas dinnerware.  Both of our children have carried on the tradition.
It all started back in the mid 90's when I stumbled onto some pretty Christmas dishes at Sam's Club.  I thought they were pretty and were an affordable price so I bought a set. 
table scapes with spode christmas | Creative Journeys: Merry Christmas!! and a gift for you Tablescape  
We began the tradition that first year.  We all thought it was fun to eat on special plates.  The first set came with a service of 4.  We were happy with them and we all loved the  new tradition. 
We set a simple table each night.  Nothing fancy.  No extras.
Mad for Plaid
Sam's Club surprised me the next year by having another set.  This time besides the service of 4 there were a couple of serving pieces.  My creative juices began to flow and I thought why not buy a set for each of the kids.  And so since they were so affordable I bought three sets that year. 
We still set a simple table each evening.  But we only used 2 sets of dishes because I gave each of the 2 kids their set at Christmas  I saved and stored their sets in my Christmas closet which was a huge closet under the stairs.
Spode Christmas Tree
A tradition had begun.  They loved the sugar bowls and little creamers that came with their sets.  The sugar bowl is in the above pic.
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And so I was on a roll.  My plan was to go to Dillard's and buy a serving piece each year for each of the kids.  They had seen the brochures in the boxes and picked out a couple of pieces that first year they liked . . . 
Image result for spode christmas milk jug
Our son loved the milk jug
Our daughter asked for the tea pot
And so I happily trotted off to Dillards to purchase their pieces to go under the tree.
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Much to surprise this wasn't just a cute little set of dishes.  This was a very expensive set of dishes!  I was totally clueless at how good a deal I got at Sam's.  

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I was stuck.  So from then on I had to budget Christmas.  The 
first few years it wasn't too bad.  Then for a few years the budget was a little 'lean'.  Then one year I found the dishes at Stein Mart
a discount high end store in our area. 
My Christmas Tree Spode Collection at home, just part of it...
The pin did not have the original source
After a few years our kitchen hutch looked pretty much like this one.  I ended up having to buy 2's of everything as the kids got older and I started thinking about them being married.  
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One year they each got a set of ramekins . . . 
They originally came in a set of 4.  Now 1 is available at Replacements for $15.99.

One year I bought the fluted serving dish.  And another year  the oval baker . . . 

Click to Enlarge

Then one year many years later.  My son was married so he had already taken his bounty.  Our daughter was engaged.  And in an apartment but I still had her set.

The Cowboy and I went to a Sunday School Class party.  And guess what was in one of the Chinese gift exchange packages!
Click to Enlarge

Actually it was a set of two.  They nested into each other. I cried 
when I saw them.  I had already lost my chance to 'steal' but my
Cowboy had the last # or the first # I guess because he was able to get them!  One for each of my kids! 
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I loved the tradition of buying and adding to the collections
for each of my kids.  

For a few years it was a little sad after our daughter got married 
and took her set. 
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Even though the  Cowboy and I have eaten on our regular every day pottery.  There are many memories that fill my heart. 

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And I know that my kids are making memories with their kids. 
This year my daughter is engaged.  She has already started sharing this tradition with her husband to be.  
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Even though the Cowboy and I use our everyday pottery we can still remember the fun times we shared.  

But the story doesn't end here . . . 
Come back tomorrow for the rest of the story and the new tradition!

Merry Christmas

Linking at 
The Fabulous Party . . . 
 Click here to visit the party and link up!
And I am linking at a few favorites too . . . 
Create With Joy
Share Your Cup
Raven Would
Dagmar's House
Grammy's Grid
Make My Saturday Sweet