Emerald Isle

    Good afternoon, Friends.

I hope your Wednesday is going well. It snowed some last night. I knew those plants should have stayed underground longer! The wind is blowing strong but at least it hasn’t snowed anymore and what did fall last night has melted.

For today’s Where in the World I would like to share with you my home away from home. My favorite place of all to visit. Ireland. I have been there three times. Before I went there the first time I knew it would be a place I would love and I was right. There is so much to share about Ireland but I’ll just share the bits and pieces. The main memories I have of this beautiful land.

* The greenery. How can I not mention the green fields and hills? Even though it is more grey and cooler there, and I prefer the sun and warmth, I love seeing all that green.


*The buildings that have lasted for centuries, literally. Being able to tour Bunratty Castle, which has been standing for, yes centuries, Durty Nelly’s Pub, the Blarney Stone…. just to name a few places.


*I don’t normally like visiting cities, I am a country girl through and through, but when I am in Dublin I actually feel comfortable and adventurous and I have fun exploringame the sights. This for me is a huge deal.

*Guinness Beef Stew over Mashed Potatoes. Yes, beef stew made with Guinness beer. Need I say more? This is a recipe that most definitely came home with me and has been made. So yummy!


And these are only a very few of theach reasons why I love Ireland. I will expound on it further on another post.





  Good morning, Friends,

Only a few more days until the time change and winter changes to spring. There is some snow on the ground but mostly we are in the season of mud. This morning as I took the older kids to the bus stop I noticed the buds popping up from the dirt, and in some spots even from under snow. It is amazing how determined and strong these tiny buds are. How determined they are to survive, even if we get one more snowstorm. The hope they give. Things will get brighter. Things will rise again, things will get better, even through our storms. Beautiful things. Remarkable things. We only need to keep weathering our storms. And that is what I am determined to remember today, this week, every day. There can be growth from my storms. This is why I have chosen this word for the week.

I hope whatever storms you are weathering, you are able to see the growth under them.


Keep strong,



The Little Things in Life

Good afternoon, friends,


I hope you all are doing well and enjoying your day. It is cold today but sunny and how wonderful that is! The flowers and other plants are growing strong even with the lasting snow and cold. I enjoy watching them sprout up.

This passed week I have also been thankful for dinner out with my family and friend and afterward we went to Barnes & Noble. My friend had only been there one other time, to get tea, so I was beyond thrilled to go with her and experience the bookstore with her. She left with The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton. A classic on my list. I found a book on Rosemary Kennedy that I am looking forward to reading. I also found my favorite secular magazine- Bella Grace. I love all of the uplifting, encouraging quotes and articles it has. I have kept every magazine I have gotten and read through them repeatedly. I saw the Life magazine and could not pass that up, on Beauty and the Beast. Yes, I am still a child at heart 🙂

Sunday I got to spend some time with my aunt and uncle. It wasn’t anything grand or spectacular in events but sometimes those are the best moments, right?

I am also going through some changes in my life, one of them being quitting a habit I have had for over two decades, and yesterday was a stressful day for me, but my friends and family were right there cheering me on and no matter how much I tell them and try to explain it, I will never truly be able to express how much their encouragement and faith in me to beat this means to me. (For those of you who don’t know already, I have Trichotillomania, a compulsive disorder to pull my hair out. I will explain on a later post what exactly that means for me but for anyone who would like to, I encourage you to look it up, and if you have any questions, feel free to message me 🙂 I will be happy to answer as best I can.)

And today (yes, I know, this post is a day late), I have my nieces with me and oh the snuggles and giggles and fun we have! I will always cherish these moments.


How about you? What little moments this passed week made their way into your heart?





Good evening, friends 🙂

I am, I hope, officially back. Is this winter beating you with viruses the same as it has been with me? One after another? I have been healthy for almost two weeks now and am hoping to keep it this way from now on (as long as possible anyway). I hope you are all on a healthy road as well.

Winter is coming to its end and the snow is melting. The spring wind is howling through, the birds are singing in the mornings, the geese have been spotted more than once. Mud is everywhere, including in my house, lol. A perfect time of year to bundle the kids up and go on “hikes” through the backyard. With a three year old and a five month old a backyard trek is a hike, lol. I am so happy I bought a backpack carrier for the baby. She happily sits against me in the front and gets to look all around and my hands are free. And what an exploration we get to have. Think about it. It is almost like a treasure hunt and an exploration and a nature dig all in one. We get to see the first signs of flowers coming to life; the tiny bits of bright green tips popping through the ground. Pinecones found on the ground can become a new collection in a basket or be used for art projects (paint them as owls or other birds, trees, or anything else you can imagine up), we get to see birds building up nests and the geese flying overhead. As the days go on the little buds in the ground will blossom and we can pick them or plant more. How about building a bird feeder near a window at the house? Making a Fairy Garden? Don’t forget about the classic outdoor things…. climbing trees, races, I Spy, Cloud Creations (What does this cloud look like?), Tag…. The possibilities really do seem endless. We live in a technology driven world, but let’s not forget the world itself and all it has to offer.

What things do you and your friends and family like to do outdoors and on nature hunts? I would love to hear about your adventures 🙂




I am Back!

Good Evening, Friends,

I hope you had a nice weekend. I know I was silent for a few days. To be honest, my weekend is a blur of blankets, a fuzzy robe, and lots and lots of sleeping. I hit the peak of whatever virus I had been fighting for a few weeks and it knocked me down for a bit. I am happy to report, however, that this morning I woke up refreshed and full of energy. A good thing when the week is beginning again and work is in full swing!

I am not going to try to catch up on all of the posts I have missed because it would take such a long time and I need to get to bed soon to begin tomorrow. Yes, I will get back to my regular posting tomorrow. But for a brief catch-up….

In reading this weekend, when I was not sleeping or foggy head, lol, I was, and still am “living in NYC” with a teenager whose mother has just died and her neighbor/friend becomes her legal guardian. Eliyana, a girl who sticks to herself due to a facial birthmark that causes staring and comments from people, is hoping to just graduate high school and move on. But now things have changed. With her mother’s death, things get weird. A hooded stalker, a Central Park battle that is one for the books…. and not *our history books*. Eliyana soon finds herself caught in two worlds and she wonders, can these worlds survive weaved together? I can’t decide if this is in the category of Alice in Wonderland or Peter Pan or something entirely different. I’ll get back to you on it when I do my review.

I don’t have a recipe this week, mainly because I wasn’t eating much other than juice, popsicles, and chicken soup. I will have a recipe for you this week though. I already have it together.

I am thankful this passed week for the medicines modern science has been able to make that help us sleep through icky viruses when we can’t breathe and our throats hurt. I am thankful for the blankets my grandma crocheted so many years ago and had kept me warm during the virus attack. I am thankful for the food provided and the Disney movies that were playing on TV during the weekends so I didn’t have to think about what to watch (I will never be too old for Disney movies). And for the family that dropped off more juice and meds and other things, and my mom who helped with the kids when I thought I was getting better but clearly was not.



Twilight at Blueberry Barrens

twilight-at-blueberry-barrens    “Keep the girls safe.”


Drake Newham, an entrepreneur, gains custody of his two nieces when his brother and sister-in-law die. He, however, does not believe it was a murder/suicide. He packs his nieces up and brings them to Sunset Cove, Maine hoping to find out what really happened. He rents a cottage from Local Kate Mason and hires her as nanny while he digs into the deaths.

Kate has her own family problems. Convicted criminals in her family tree and one just escaped prison. How safe is her life? Add to it a stalker and her world is turned upside down.

Okay, on the creep side level the stalker is in my book, on a scale from 1-10, definitely easily an 11 or 12. Colleen Coble wrote those scenes exceptionally well! They gave me shivers. They were, I think, my favorite scenes in the entire story because they were so well written. I also did not have all of the mystery completely solved when the story ended and I like that. It helps keep me hooked and reading more. And the cover of the book? Oh my word, I love it!!

*I received this book free from Thomas Nelson and Fiction Guild in exchange for my honest review. What I have expressed are my own thoughts.*

Where in the World…. Have I Traveled?

Good Evening, Friends,

I hope your week has gone well so far. I am sitting here thinking of all the sunny warm places I have been (while I look at the snow piling up again outside, lol) and thought I would share with you the places I have been. Over the weeks coming up I will take each place individually but I thought I would list them and see if there is a specific place any of you would like me to start with.

I have traveled some of the United States. I have been from Maine down to Florida. I have traveled through Canada to get into Michigan. I have been to Kentucky, Wisconsin, and Arizona. Outside of the USA I have been to Ireland, Italy, Germany, France, the Caribbean, Greece and Turkey. Each place is filled with history, stories, memories, good times…. Not to mention to Nineteenth Century Georgia, Nienteenth Century West, 1920’s NYC, 1930’s Texas, Future USA (You can thank my overactive imagination for those!)

Where have you traveled? I would love to hear about the palces.




Paper Dolls

paper-dollsGood Evening, Friends.


This week as I get together with my little friends while battling a winter virus (icky, icky thing!) I am remembering the joy I had as a child playing with paper dolls. When I was younger my very first paper doll set was the Little House on the Prairie family set shown in the picture. It came with a background so the Ingalls family had their log cabin and the other side was the yard and trees. I had both the Big Woods set and the Prairie set. Of course each set came with clothes but being a girl, I didn’t think they had enough so I was always making more for them. It is very easy and I thought I would share my learning with you.

Once you have a paper doll kit and want to add to the clothing collection all you need is a well sharpened pencil, white construction paper, scissors, and colored pencils.

*Lightly trace the body of your paper doll on the white construction paper, minus the head. Enough so it is easy to see but also easy to erase once you are finished needing it.

*Outline lightly the design you would like, whether a billowy ball gown, a camping outfit, pjs, a costume. Whatever it is you want. Clothing catalogues and online shopping sites are great inspirations. Add Tabs to wrap around the paper doll.

*Carefully erase the body outlines NO LONGER needed.

*Color in the outfit with the colored pencils. Remember, this is your design, make it your own!

*Carefully cut out the piece of clothing or ask a grown-up to cut it out for you.

*Style your paper doll.

You can also use the same instructions for shoes, the switch is placing the paper doll under the white construction paper and a well lit spot so you can trace the paper doll’s feet so the shoes are the correct size and in the right place. From there you can add heels, ribbons, or whatever to them. Make the shoe cutout the size of the paper doll’s foot stand so you can wrap the Tabs around the stand.


Have Fun!





Good Evening, Friends.


As I get ready to sign off for the night I think back to my week and can’t help but to be thankful for warmth. Warmth from many things. A warm house on the cold winter days and nights. Warm blankets and yes, my dog and cat who keep me warm as well. The warmth from friends and family are a big one too. Knowing that they are near. Seeing my niece growing so quickly and watching her discover things. Knowing that she recognizes me and reaches out to me now definitely warms my heart. Seeing my refrigerator covered in pictures colored and drawn by my nephews and nieces always makes me smile and warms my day. It is one of the first things I see when I step into my house. Sometimes it is not physical warmth that we need. Sometimes it is not physical warmth that gets us through the day, but rather, those little things our friends, family, and pets (although I count pets as family) do for us.

I hope whatever kind of week you had, you had warmth.




Hasselback Apples

hasselback-apples    Hasselback Apples have probably become one of my favorite desserts these days. In the mood for apple pie or apple crisp but don’t want to make an entire pie or dish of crisp, or don’t have time to? Welcome to the dessert for one version! That’s one of the things I love about Hasselback Apples. I can make one, just for myself for one snack, or a few for a group. The recipe is easy to alter. The recipe I am going to share with you is for 2 apples. (And who says you can’t eat both?)



*2 firm apples, peeled, halved, cored, and carefully sliced (reference the picture)

*Cooking Spray

*4 Tablespoons Brown Sugar

*2 1/2 Tablespoons Butter, melted

*2 Tablespoons Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats

*1 Teaspoon All-Purposed Flour


*Vanilla Ice cream (optional)

*Aluminum Foil


*Preheat oven to 400 degrees, spray baking dish with cooking spray, lay apples onto dish (outside of apple facing down)

*Combine 1Tbsp Sugar, 1 Tbsp butter, 1/2 Tsp Cinnamon…. Brush mixture onto apples

*Bake at 400 degrees covered with foil for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Cool for 10 minutes.

*Combine remaining 3 Tbsp Sugar, 1 1/2 Tbsp Butter, 1/4 Tsp Cinnamon, the Oats, and the Flour. Carefully fan open the apples and spoon the mixture evenly over them. Bake another 10 minutes.

*Serve with ice cream if want.