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Mysteries, polka dots, California Rolls, TJ Maxx, cozy blankets, rainy days and getting the first spoonful of peanut butter out of the jar make me smile. Spiders, rude people, cold fingers and toes, baby leashes, people that don't wrap their packages before going to the Post Office, poison ivy and Math (pretty much all of it) make me want to scream. My perfect day would be spent with my wonderful husband and sweet girls- watching movies in our jammies! Of course, having the movie theater to ourselves would be great, too. Please pass the popcorn and M&M's.:) I am saved by the grace of God. He is my constant companion and hears my every prayer. What a blessing! I'd love to hear from you! Lori at toosillysisters@cox.net

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

january loves to read

The Grow Your Blog party was just my cup of tea!  Not a hint of name dropping, back stabbing, spouse swapping (yikes!) or catty whispering behind anyone's back.  So refreshing!  I made some lovely new friends and delighted in discovering their fabulous and inspiring blogs.  (By the way, if you haven't entered my giveaway, be sure to do so before February 14th.)

Being the book lover that I am, I asked everyone who entered my giveaway to name their favorite book.  I know that's an almost impossible task for some, but the answers were wonderful!  There were a number of my own favorites mentioned such as Anne of Green Gables (Montgomery), The Help (Stockett),  The Hobbit (Tolkein) and Sam's Letter's to Jennifer (Patterson).

Then I came to the books that were new to me.  Today I downloaded a sample of each and every one of them on my kindle.  You bet I did!  Perhaps you'd like to do the same?  Hmmmm?

M.K.'s choice was The Last Chronicle of Barset by Trollope.

Sharon's choice was The Book Thief.  One of my personal favorites!  You can take a peek at my Book Thief party here.

M.K also mentioned A Tuscan Childhood.

Teresa has me intrigued about Choose to Be Happy.  So inspiring!

Mary Ann has read Ahab's Wife quite a few times.  Sign of a great book!

A Spirit of Simplicity mentioned The Snow Child.  Based on a Russian fairy tale.

Rhoda adores Gathering Blue.  YA is for all ages in my book.:)

Lindsay loves The Stonybridge series, and so do I.  I'm reading the newest release right now and falling in love with the characters all over again.

DebraKay told me about Still Life with Crows- a thriller!

Anitha had quite a few favorites (like me!) and one of them was The Sunflower.

Sharmayne recommended The Quilter's Daughter.

It's D.E.A.R. Time 
(Drop. Everything. and. Read!)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

On Her Toes

Ballet Intensive auditions are in full swing.
So hard to believe that my youngest is old enough to take part this year.

Basically, an intensive is a camp for dancers.  A variety of classes are held all day long and the students dance, dance, and then dance some more.

Heaven for a dancer.

Chaperones lead field trips, too.  Shopping, museums, amusement parks and the like.

Most schools only offer a few spots, though.  The best ones are highly selective- just like a college.  Pricey, too.;)

Of course, you can't show up without a head shot!  And a picture of your daughter in arabesque- on pointe.  Thought this would be a piece of cake...

As you can see, we played around with lots of different looks and had a bit of fun, too. :)

Art was removed from the walls and furniture was rearranged.  This counted as my workout for the day.  (smile)

If Snookie, our cat, or Ruby, our pug, got in the way they quickly became a prop.;)

I'm not sure how I feel about Katie being away from us for 2-5 weeks.

She's never even been to summer camp.

She's quite capable, though, and very independent.

I can only imagine the wonderful experiences she'll have in her life.  But I want them to be her dreams, not mine.

As a parent, that's the question, right?

Where do our dreams stop and their dreams start?

So many of us live through our children.  

It's like a second chance at getting it "right".

We just need to keep in mind that we're here to guide them...

but still allow them to choose their own adventures.

Most of them.;)

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Headmistress of Rosemere (Whispers on the Moors) by Sarah E. Ladd

My Thoughts:

The Headmistress of Rosemere, by Sarah E. Ladd, is breathtakingly written.  I found myself reading and re-reading passages that were so beautiful I wanted to commit them to memory.  The words evoked images as well as emotion...

"Patience smiled at her little girls, all gathered by the fire, their stocking feet poking out from the hems of their plain, white muslin gowns.  The scent of lavender water from recent baths hung sweetly in the air.  Their cheeks, rosy and fresh, glowed with smiles, and their eyes held the glimmer of promised secrets and shared dreams."

The story begins on a dark, frigid winter's night on the moors. An act of violence sets us on our way and questions demand to be answered.  William Sterling was once a wealthy landowner but is now dangerously in debt.  Patience Creighton is the lovely headmistress who runs the girls' school on his property.  Tragedy has struck them both, in different ways, and love has seemingly passed them by.  

Sarah E. Ladd has brought to life characters in her story that make you feel, whether it's anger or love, passion or grief.  My favorites, for very different reasons, were Lydia, Cassandra and Rawdon.  Lydia was so much more than I expected- delightfully so- Cassandra delivered an inspiring message in the story that touched my heart and Rawdon made my blood boil!  I don't want to place any spoilers here, but let me tell you this- they are vividly memorable!  

I couldn't put this book down- just ask my neighbors!  Many of them saw me taking my daily walk while reading it!  Let me tell you, I'm a fast walker, so this wasn't an easy task.:)  I read many parts out loud to my 16 year old daughter as she loved the story, too.  Romance, betrayal, secrets and a precious orphan all play a role in this novel.  Perfect for reading on a snowy evening while you warm yourself by the fire...

Headmistress of Rosemere HI


Patience Creighton has dedicated herself to the Rosemere School for Young Ladies. But the return of the enigmatic master of the estate puts everything she loves at risk.
Bright, sensible Patience knows what is expected of her. At twenty-five, her opportunity for a family of her own has passed, so she invests herself in teaching at her father’s school for girls. When her father dies suddenly and her brother moves away to London, she is determined to make the school successful.
Confirmed bachelor William Sterling also knows what is expected of him, but mistake after mistake has left him teetering on ruin’s edge. As master of Eastmore Hall he owns a great deal of property — including the land where Rosemere School is located — but possesses little money to manage its upkeep. When debtors start calling, he is desperate to find a new source of income, even if it means sacrificing Rosemere.
When a fire threatens the school grounds, William must decide to what lengths he is willing to go to protect his birthright. And when Patience’s brother returns with a new wife to take over management of the school, Patience suddenly finds herself unsure of her calling. After a surprising truth about William’s past is brought to light, both William and Patience will have to seek God’s plans for their lives—and their hearts.

Sarah Ladd


Sarah E. Ladd has more than ten years of marketing experience. She is a graduate of Ball State University and holds degrees in public relations and marketing. “The Heiress of Winterwood” was the recipient of the 2011 Genesis Award for historical romance. Sarah lives in Indiana with her amazing husband, sweet daughter, and spunky Golden Retriever.
Find out more about Sarah at http://www.sarahladd.com.

Don't miss Sarah Ladd's latest Regency novel, The Headmistress of Rosemere. She is celebrating the release of book two in her Whispers on the Moors series with a fun "School" Your Desk Kindle Fire Giveaway and an Author Chat Facebook Party!


Between January 17–28, visit Sarah Ladd's Facebook Page to enter to win a new giveaway each day and be entered to win a Kindle Fire grand prize. Winners will be announced at the Facebook Author Chat party on January 28th! (Don't have a Facebook account? Enter here.)

RSVP today for Sarah's The Headmistress of Rosemere Author Chat Party on Facebook. During the party Sarah will be hosting a book chat, testing your Regency trivia skills, announcing the winner of the "School" Your Desk Giveaway, and giving away books, gift certificates, and more. Oh, and she'll also be giving partygoers an exclusive look at the next book in the Whispers on the Moors series!

So grab your copy of The Headmistress of Rosemere and hope to see you on the evening of January 28th! (If you haven’t read the book, don’t let that stop you from coming!)


*I was given this book by Litfuse in exchange for my honest opinion.  No other compensation was received.*

Friday, January 24, 2014

Grow Your Blog and a Giveaway!

Hello!  It's good to see you again!  
For those stopping by from the Vicki's 2 Bags Full Grow Your Blog party, it's incredibly nice to meet you!
I have something fabulous in store for one of you lovelies (squeal!)
Anyone can enter for the giveaway!!!  

but we'll get to that in just a bit...

Morning Glories and Moonflowers-
Where did it come from?

About 8 years ago (has it been that long?) a friend of mine told me about her blog.  A blog?  Huh?  So I stopped by for a peek and was impressed.  A journal of my life?  Who would read that?  But I decided I had nothing to lose!  What to name it, though?

We were growing morning glories and moonflowers in our backyard and I loved the idea of something beautiful having a chance to shine in the morning and another pretty showcased in the evening.  I wanted my blog to be like that.  Happy words/pictures for those reading it during the day and something delightful for friends taking a peek at night, too.  

Perfect is boring is my life.  I often want it to be perfect but where's the fun in that?  It's so much more fun to have a reality check along with a few giggles!

I spend a large portion of my day home schooling these two cuties!  We have fun wherever we go- even at Goodwill!  Personally, I prefer to conduct my treasure hunts at TJ Maxx, but I'm always up for a good neighborhood yard sale.  (As long as we drive through Starbucks on the way.)

My name is Lori and I'm addicted to books.
No, I really am.
You should see my kindle.  Is there a limit to samples downloaded from amazon?  I aim to find out.  If there was only time enough to read all that I want to.  sigh...  Good thing I have to leave the house to go to Starbucks and the grocery store- occasionally.  If I weren't married I'd probably be a hobbit.  Reading by the fire, second breakfasts and all that.  When my door bells rings I roll my eyes and sigh. Unless it's the UPS guy delivering a book from amazon.  It's a wonder I have friends.  

I have a little etsy shop called Too Silly Sisters.  Since I've taken up book reviewing I haven't had time to fill my shop.  My beads and fabric have been calling my name for awhile now.  I think they've given up on me but their time will come...

I have met the nicest people in blogland.  Believe it or not, I've vacationed with some of them!  I tell people this and I wonder what they think.  If you don't blog you just can't understand.  No, I don't give out information freely.  I'm quite private.  It usually starts with emailing and then sometimes you end up talking on the phone.  After a few years you meet up (if you're lucky) and always, always have the best time!  It's a relationship that takes years to nurture but it's amazing how many incredible friends I've made since I became a blogger.  Some of my best friends are bloggy friends that have turned into family.:)

Now for my GIVEAWAY!!!

I've created a fun little prize package for one lucky winner!  A darling Vera Bradley dish towel, one of my favorite books, fabulous Cynthia Rowley decorative pencils and (drum roll) a $10 Starbucks gift card!!!  

Here's what you need to do to enter:

1) Leave a comment on this post for 1 entry.
2) Become a follower of my blog for 1 entry. (Leave a separate comment telling me this.  If you're already a follower, you know the drill.)
3) Tell me the name of your favorite book for 1 entry.  This should be another separate comment.  (I'm always looking for a new favorite!)

(*I'll randomly choose a winner on February 14th*)

Thanks for stopping by and hope to see you again soon!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

good times

The best Christmas gifts this year didn't come in a package.
They traveled by plane.

My sister and parents came just to see us.:)

Of course there was sushi eating...

Lots of wrapping...

Picture taking...

and gift exchanging.

Gourmet breakfasts (and lunch and dinner) were shared.
Tiny pancakes were made for Ruby...

and she promptly headed for a nap afterward.
If napping were a sport she'd win a gold medal. (smile)

Such a treasure from my little Katie!  Created in art class and kept a secret for months.
So precious.

Santa brought a keyboard for the girls.
Must get them started on lessons soon.

Candyland was played with real candy.
Special rules for when Grandma and Ba are here.
Love this tradition they started when the girls were little.

Grandma Patty sent petit fours from Neiman Marcus.
Red for almond and green for mint.

My Mom carried a gingerbread house kit on the plane!  
The delivery was a gift in itself.

Searching for snacks. A good sign.  After our scare earlier that month we weren't sure if she'd still be here with us.  Happy to say she is doing well today.  (Hope I look this good when I'm almost 100.)

10 Days in the USA.  Fun game, but not easy!  You really have to think.  Good thing my sister bought Moose Munch to keep us focused.

Napping by the fire is what winter is all about.  So blessed to have a husband willing to keep us cozy every night.
Thanks, sweetie.

We enjoyed a few meals at our favorite restaurants.
For you Duggar fans, that's Josh and Anna Duggar on the left at the next table.

Katie and her bestie.

Picture before going in to see the Hobbit.
Those spiders were ca-Razy!
And Smaug.  How do they make him looks so real??

New Year's Eve

These photo props are priceless!

Even my parents got in on the fun.

My sweetie and I did, too.
I look a bit loony/drunk/crazed but my husband's dimples are fabulous.
He's one handsome guy.

And he's all mine.:)