Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Lost Month

So... I realize I've been posting only books and Tea sales this month and that's not normal, but neither is being sick for most of a month.  I finally feel like I don't quite have a sleep deficit this week and actually have some energy, but wow that was a long month...

In the meantime... right before all the sickness we went to the Disney Live show my parents got for the kids.

Princesses and Pirates, right up our alley, no?

I wish I had a picture of just how wide Joy's eyes got when she saw Princess Sophia come out on stage.  She turned to me and said "My Princess!" in almost this stage whisper!

The first half of the show was all about Princess Sophia and Noah was a bit bored, but after intermission...

The Pirates came out!  I have to admit that we've watched Jake quite a bit so the music was familiar and it's also just a bit more catchy so Joy was dancing in front of her seat almost the whole time.  So cute!

They even had arial pirates just like in the show, I was quite impressed!

At the end of that half the volcano "explodes" gold doubloons, yes, we collected quite a few pieces of gold tissue paper to bring home after the show!

A very fun show for the kids and really well done!

Then my poor child broke her leg the very next day and it kind of all went downhill from there.  The kids and I all got sick and on top of our cough/cold we all had strep throat and the three little ones got ear infections too!

The only silver lining in being sick meant that we didn't much feel like getting out of the house so it didn't seem to impact Joy as much, not being about to walk around.  She did pretty well scooting around the house after about 3 days, but was also good at not standing on it.

Sister cuddles on the floor!

She was pretty happy to get the okay to walk on it this week.  Who knew you could dance in a cast?  Apparently it automatically puts you on your tip toes in perfect form!

We did also have the Grand Prix races at Awana last week.  Noah made a "shark" car and it was very awesome although Cubbies don't get to officially race.

Cory made a Minecraft car, very flat with a painted on sword.  He came in second place of all Sparkies again this year!

And finally last Friday we got out in this VERY early Spring weather we're having and went for a hike with some friends!  Hooray for getting back to "normal"! 

Now, let the birthdays commence...

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

India Tea on Sale!

*This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated a small amount if you make a purchase after clicking on one of my links.

The new destination of Tea Collection is having it's first major sale!

Celebrate with Tea's Friends and Family Sale this week for three days only, Tuesday - Thursday, February 24-26th.  Save 20% on everything Tea!

Use code JUNGLE when you checkout.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Time for Tea!

*This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated a small amount if you make a purchase after clicking on one of my links.

As you are all well aware of my love of Tea Collection by now I won't belabor the point.  Only let you know that today through Thursday you can get 20% off the first release of the new India collection!  I've got my eye on one adorable dress for Easter... can you guess which one?

Joy and Mama had tea today, in our Germany collection Tea.

Also, there is a fun Global inspired line that is already on sale so check it out too! 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Book: Wisdom Tree

Wisdom Tree

Sometimes the last thing we think we need is exactly what God has planned
After the death of his parents, Jake Samuels has enough on his plate—including a fledgling church to lead and a mischievous younger brother to raise. The last thing he needs is a rambunctious woman to contend with.

Carin O'Malley is dealing with the death of her brother and a new job as an English teacher at East Ridge Middle School where Corey Samuels reigns as King of Chaos. The last thing she needs is to fall in love...especially with a handsome and complicated preacher like Corey’s brother Jake.

But when Corey's antics toss Carin and Jake together, the two must draw from God’s wisdom to find refuge in His perfect plan.

Discover your own wisdom tree with the included one-month devotional.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Wisdom Tree, go HERE.


Unfortunately I haven't even received this book yet so I can't give you a review, but you can read the first chapter for yourself if you're interested!


A Word from Mary Manners:
I live in the beautiful foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee with my husband, Tim, and our teen-aged daughter, Danni. Also with us are Lucky and Gus - the two cherished cats we rescued from local animal shelters.

I'm a member of the Romance Writers of America and Smoky Mountain Romance Writers. During the school year, I teach middle-schoolers reading and Algebra. When I have free time, I love to garden, take long walks with my husband, and read romance novels in a hammock beneath century-old shade trees.

I write romance novels for White Rose Publishing. If you'd like to visit, I have an author page there, as well. That's where you'll find everything there is to know about my books.

Monday, February 09, 2015

Book: The Dandelion Field

This handsome firefighter makes a living coming to the rescue, but Gin doesn't need a man to fight her battles.

After Raine's dad walked out, Ginevieve Lightly never lived in one place too long, a rambling lifestyle that defined her daughter's youth. When their car dies in Banister Falls, Wisconsin, Gin promises Raine they can stay until she finishes her senior year of high school. Gin will do anything to make sure her daughter has a bright future . . . a future that's compromised when Raine reveals she's pregnant.

Dan Moretti has only ever called Banister Falls home. After losing his best friend in a tragic accident, Dan devoted himself to responding to fires, rescuing the helpless, and guiding Cody Bennett, his best friend's son, through life. With Cody being the epitome of the good kid, it was an easy job. Until he says four little words: "The baby is mine."

Knowing gossip of Raine's pregnancy will erupt sooner or later in the small town, Gin's reflex is to grab the suitcase and escape to a new city, a new life. But with each passing day, Gin's feet stay rooted in Banister Falls, and she falls a little more for this local firefighter who shows her not all men abandon women at the first sign of smoke.

As Gin and Dan do the best they can to guide the two teenagers through their early entry into adulthood, they discover together that romance can bloom in the rockiest of situations. And God can turn the pieces of a broken past into a beautiful new beginning.


Do you ever feel like life throws situations at you that are deja vu to something a friend or relative went through?  So you have a chance to learn from them and try to do better?  That's kind of the premise of this story.  Ginevieve and Raine are both trying to learn to do better than their mother's and along the way learn that truth and honesty can go a long way towards having a better relationship with each other.

I'm really enjoying more contemporary fiction right now and this on certainly fits the bill.  You can imagine this happening to someone you know.  Makes you think about perceptions and reactions to those around you as some characters in the book behave in less than stellar ways.

This was a great read for me this week.


Read other reviews, purchase your own copy, or win one below!

Dandelion Field Kathryn Springer

Kathryn Springer is a USA Today bestselling author. She grew up in northern Wisconsin, where her parents published a weekly newspaper. As a child she spent many hours sitting at her mother's typewriter, plunking out stories, and credits her parents for instilling in her a love of books --- which eventually turned into a desire to tell stories of her own. Kathryn has written nineteen books with close to two million copies sold. She lives with her husband and three children in Marinette, Wisconsin.

I received this book from LitFuse Publicity in exchange for my fair and honest review.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Kid Quotes

Hope: We gonna go to Africa!
Me: No, not right now.
Hope: Okay, after nap time!

Hope calls yesterday "last morning"

Noah at dinner, we were talking about how Pluto was no longer a planet and he says, "It lost it's job!"

Joy: Don't step in the puddle Mom!  It's for ducks!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Book: How to Catch a Prince

Behind him, beside him, before him, the synchronized cathedral bells began to ring out.
One, two, three . . .
Then she said it first. The words his heart burst to share. “I love you, Stephen..”

She caught her prince once. Can she catch him again?

American heiress Corina Del Rey’s life was devastated by war. Every thing she loved was lost. But after five years of grief, she’s shed her grave clothes and started over in the sunshine along the  Florida coast.
But some things are not so easily forgotten. When a secret from her past confronts her face to face, she realizes she must follow her heart. Even if it cost her everything.
Prince Stephen of Brighton Kingdom is a former Royal Air Command lieutenant turned star rugby player, trying to make sense of his life after the devastation of war.
When his brother, King Nathaniel, discovers Stephen’s pre-war secret, he must deal with an aspect of his life he longed to forget. But how can he do so without exposing the truth and breaching national security?
Yet, true love has a destiny all it’s own. As the cathedral bells peal through Cathedral City, Corina and Stephen must chose to answer the call of love on their hearts.
Or let it be lost forever?


Everyone needs a good princess story once in awhile right? Rachel does not disappoint in this story of a princess trying to find herself after a devastating loss.  I love how she doesn't shy away from real life, yet brings hope through her story.  There are a few twists in this book that I absolutely loved, but I won't spoil them for you.

It's fun to imagine what it would be like to live as royalty.  This series is a bit like The Princess Diaries, but with grown women instead of teenagers, and a lot more to the characters.

This is the third in the Royal Wedding Series, set on the present day, but imaginary isle of Brighton in the North Sea.  I've read all three (and highly recommend them!), but I think this one would stand alone fairly well.

PS. I've read about 6 of Rachel's novels now and they are all good!  I need to get caught up on the rest!


How to Catch a Prince releases on February 24th, but you can pre-order a copy and get the first 3 chapters to download now, plus a special short story about King Stephen I and his love (featured in this book).  Just enter your information on this page.

Rachel Hauck is an award-winning, best selling author of critically acclaimed novels such as The Wedding Dress, Love Starts with Elle, and Once Upon A Prince.
She also penned the Songbird Novels with multi-platinum recording artist, Sara Evans. Booklist named their novel, Softly and Tenderly, one of 2011 Top Ten Inspirationals.
A graduate of Ohio State University with a degree in Journalism, Rachel worked in the corporate software world before planting her backside in an uncomfortable chair to write full-time in 2004.
She serves on the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers and leads worship at their annual conference. She is a mentor and book therapist at My Book Therapy, and conference speaker.
Rachel lives in central Florida with her husband and pets, and writes from her two-story tower in an exceedingly more comfy chair. She is a huge Buckeyes football fan.
You can keep up with her on Facebook, I love interacting with my favorite authors!

Rachel sent me an advance copy of this book to read for myself, all opinions posted are my own.