About Me

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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

Thursday, February 27, 2014

the lonely trip down the hall

Surgery.  Not an event people look forward to.  It's just so darn scary.  Almost debilitating.  My sweetie had to make that trip down the hall yesterday.  The one that makes you feel so very alone.  You're in the spotlight when all you want to do is crawl under a rock and hide.  So thankful that God was there with him and that he was in capable and caring hands.

For me, the night before was even worse than the actual day of surgery.  I felt so frightened and vulnerable but God was there for me.  He's always there in the most beautiful way.  The quiet of night is when He shines brightest.  Papa God never fails to pick me up and place me in the palm of His hand.

He's awesome like that.

(my parents sent this gorgeous basket full of everything wonderful!)

Katie woke up at the crack of dawn so she could sit with me in the waiting room.  We ate pistachios and played Science trivia together.  My dear friend, Debbie, later came to the hospital and picked Katie up so our girls could spend the day together.  I can't tell you how much I appreciated this.  Katie would've been fine staying with me but instead she was whisked away to a day of creating treats, going out to lunch, ballet class and even bible study with one of her dearest friends.  

What a blessing.

Debbie, my fairy godmother friend, sent Katie home with peanut butter cookies, too.  
This made our whole family smile!  

A delightful package of fun arrived yesterday, too.  Created just for my husband.  Inside were a few of his favorite magazines, puzzle books, crazy glasses, a huge bad of candy, and a glittery, blinged out bell.

It was absolutely perfect!

As you can see, the glasses are being put to good use.  When my husband isn't grooving out with his percocet he does get to enjoy the treats.  Don't worry.:)

For the millionth time, I wondered how the pioneers did it.  No ER, no fast food restaurants, no Starbucks, no indoor plumbing, no pharmacies, and no phones?  Wow.  I would've been one cranky pioneer.

All kidding aside, the beautiful truth is that God has always been here.  His love (along with dear friends) is what got the pioneers through the tough times. And he's here to walk us through the fire today, too.:)

Saturday, February 22, 2014

fabulous friday

Green Smoothies.  My favorite recipe?  1/2 cup fresh spinach leaves, 1/4 cup blueberries, 1/2 frozen banana, 1/4 cup Dannon fat free vanilla yogurt (crazy delicious!), 1/4 cup milk & ice cubes.  Blend and enjoy with a sprinkling of ground flaxseed stirred in.  

You'll feel like you're cheating.

I spent the day singing One Direction songs with these 3 monkeys.  Oh wait- that was just me singing.  When you're the driver everyone must appreciate (or quietly tolerate) your singing voice.:)

"Look at that sky.  Talk about blue."  Classic Kronk.  Love that movie and could quote it all day long. 

Fun at Chik Fil A.  Not sure what's going on in this picture but I remember laughing until tears rolled down my cheeks.  I was never this cool at their age.  

Our first family meeting was last Sunday.  (inspired by this)  We had a few challenges that were successfully achieved this week- hurrah!  Our family reward was milkshakes and Game Night! 

Have you ever made f'real milkshakes?  You choose your flavor (Cake Batter, Cookies & Cream, Chocolate Malt, etc.) and then place it in the machine yourself.  Choose the consistency you desire- more thick/less thick, etc.  They have them at local gas stations and are on sale for $2 on Fridays.;)

We played The Amazing Race DVD game when we got home.  We *love* the show (premiering tomorrow night!) so it was fun to play the game at home.  I didn't even have to jump out of a plane!  You can buy the game on amazon but we got ours (new and unopened!) at a garage sale.  Score!

We played on teams and traveled to Egypt, Thailand and New York City all without leaving the house.  No backpacks, insane wasabi eating challenges, or bungee jumping which is absolutely fine with me.

My team won both times which is just fine with me, too.;)

Friend Me by John Faubion- Eerily Intense and Fabulously Suspenseful!

My Thoughts:

Friend Me had me hooked from the first page.  It was unbelievably suspenseful and that deliciously eerie feeling didn't let go for one second.  Here's the scenario...  Imagine if you could create a virtual online friend.  An imaginary confidante you could share your secrets with, discuss personal matters without judgement or perhaps just a makes you feel less alone.  Innocent enough, right?  But what happens if that "virtual" friend is... real?  And they want to become more than friends.  Perhaps they even want to become YOU...

Scott and Rachel are a young married couple with typical marriage issues.  As a way of escaping their problems they create virtual friends.  In the beginning, these "friends" are quite helpful.  They're always available, ultra supportive and excellent listeners.  But then something happens.  A "real" person gets involved.  Someone who takes over for the virtual friends and decides she wants to play a role in Scott and Rachel's marriage.  A very dark and sinister twist to the story, indeed...

I loved this book.  Suspense is my favorite genre and John Faubion delivers!  The storyline was refreshingly unique, the characters were realistic (could be your next door neighbors) and electric suspense was evident on every page!   The chilling villain, Melissa, was masterfully created and I thoroughly enjoyed watching her weave her web.  She reminded me of Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction.  Beautiful, intelligent, but undeniably insane.  I appreciated how the author kept a focus on God throughout the story, too.  I highly recommend Friend Me.  It's a wild ride- Buckle up and enjoy the adrenalin rush.

More About Friend Me:
Scott and Rachel’s marriage is on the brink of disaster. Scott, a businessman with a high-pressure job, just wants Rachel to understand him and accept his flaws. Rachel is a lonely housewife, desperate for attention and friendship. So she decides to create a virtual friend online, unaware that Scott is doing the exact same thing. As Rachel desperately tries to re-create a friendship with a friend who has passed, Scott becomes unfaithful and is torn between the love for his wife and the perfection of his cyber-girlfriend. But neither realizes that there’s a much larger problem looming…
Behind both of their online creations is Melissa, a woman who is brilliant—and totally insane. Masquerading as both friend and lover, Melissa programmed a search parameter into the virtual friend software to find her perfect man, but along the way she forgot to specify his marriage status. And Scott is her ideal match. Now Melissa is determined to have it all—Scott, his family, and Rachel’s life.
As Melissa grows bolder and her online manipulations transition into the real world, Scott and Rachel figure out they are being played. Now it’s a race against time as Scott and Rachel fight to save their marriage, and their lives, before it’s too late.
In today’s digital age, the Internet presents all kinds of opportunities to test our personal boundaries, and this exciting and suspenseful story raises important questions about the ethics of virtual relationships. Friend Me will open your eyes to a new—and terrifying—moral dimensions and how they play out in the real world.

 John Faubion is celebrating his debut novel, Friend Mewith a Kindle HDX giveaway!


One winner will receive:

  • A brand new Kindle Fire HDX

  • Friend Me by John Faubion

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on February 22nd. Winner will be announced February 24th on John Faubion's blog.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to stop by John's blog on the 24th to see if you won.

John Faubion is celebrating his debut novel, Friend Mewith a Kindle HDX giveaway!


One winner will receive:

  • A brand new Kindle Fire HDX

  • Friend Me by John Faubion

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on February 22nd. Winner will be announced February 24th on John Faubion's blog.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to stop by John's blog on the 24th to see if you won.

*I was given a copy of this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest opinion.  No other compensation was received.

Thursday, February 20, 2014


A good night's sleep, sweaty workouts, hugs from my girls, laughter with a friend and sweet words from my husband all make me feel pretty- on the inside.

But you know what happens when I leave the house without make-up?  Someone, at some point, will tell me I look tired or ask if "I'm alright".  

But that's ok!  I *heart* cosmetics because they make me feel pretty- on the outside.

I'm always on the lookout for new products to try, but this is what I'm loving at the moment....

I have natural curl in my hair and I love to play it up.  It makes me feel carefree and a bit sassy!  Brilliant Styling Creme, by Aveda, gives my curl definition and less frizz.  And the scent is amazing!

When I was younger I never had dry skin- ever!  Now my hands need lots of help in the dryer months.  The only product to ever help me is Hand Relief, by Aveda.  My hands crack and bleed without it.  Everyone I've recommended it to has been pleased.  A real lifesaver!

L'OREAL Wear Infinite Studio Secrets in Summer Dusk eye shadow (Walgreens) looks soft and natural with my brown eyes.  I just discovered COVER GIRL'S Ink It! All Day Eye Pencil in Golden Ink last night.  It adds a bit of sparkle to my eyelids which is flirty and fun!  (It's also self sharpening which is a big plus for me.)  (Walgreens)  And my favorite mascara is They're Real! by Benefit.  Seriously thickens your lashes!  The trick is to gently wiggle the applicator horizontally down the lashes as you apply it.  Ta da!  (Sephora)

I'm lazy when it comes to foundation.  I want it quick and easy!  Most days I use LOREAL's B.B. Cream (light). (Ulta)  It's not heavy or great and covers well.  If I'm feeling extra ambitious I'll put on Aveda's Green Science Firming Face Cream first.;)

Winter weather is unkind to lips.  Blistex Revive & Restore (Walgreens) adds moisture and heals dryness quickly.  CHANEL Glossimer in Giggle (Nordstrom) is one of my favorite indulgences.  It makes me feel special!  Rimmel Lip Liner Exaggerate in Ravish (Ulta) is a pretty berry color and glides on smoothly.  They pair well together.

Do share what you're crushing on right now!  That's what friends are for.;)

What makes you feel pretty?


Smitten Book Club review and giveaway~

My Thoughts:

Smitten Book Club is a cozy collection of 4 romances blended together into one story that features a vintage book with clues to a missing treasure.  It's similar to Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, but rather than sharing a pair of jeans these friends pass along The Gentlewoman's Guide to Love and Courtship.  Heather, Abby, Lia and Molly all have high hopes of uncovering it's secrets.  If they're lucky they'll find love- and perhaps even hidden gold!  I was tickled to bits when asked to review this book as I absolutely loved the other books in the series, Smitten and Secretly Smitten!

I loved all the elements of Smitten Book Club.  Dear friends that gather together weekly for book club meetings, a mystery involving hidden treasure, the charming location of Smitten, Vermont, kind neighbors that truly care about each other, sparkles of humor and, of course, the sizzling romance!  The Smitten series of books are cozy, charming and heartwarming.  They're the kind of stories that make you believe in true love and "happily ever after".  

Colleen Coble, Kristen Billerbeck, Diann Hunt and Denise Hunter have done a lovely job creating Smitten Book Club.  Heather, Abby, Lia and Molly are all lovely, capable young ladies who need to be "rescued". :)   Whether it's by an old flame, a competitor, a library volunteer or a good friend, love is going to find you in Smitten, Vermont!  Add in the mystery of lost treasure and you'll be swept away within the first chapter.  Hoping they come out with a new romantic adventure soon!

Smitten Book Club
The century-old Gentlewoman’s Guide to Love and Courtship is no ordinary book club choice. But for the little book club in Smitten, Vermont, it might be their best pick yet!
The thick, leathery tome Heather pulled out of the dusty cardboard box was definitely coming home with her. Not only was The Gentlewoman’s Guide to Love and Courtship an appealing curiosity by virtue of its title; it was also written by Smitten, Vermont native Pearl Chambers, a local gentlewoman from three generations back.
Little did Heather know the repercussions this little curiosity would have on her and her friends’ romantic exploits.
When Heather and her fellow book club members begin passing the book around, their respective interpretations are unleashed on their respective love lives . . . for better or for worse. Is it a mystery? An idealist fantasy? An intimation of Jane Austen? As romantic love finds its way to each woman, the Guide proves itself both surprisingly prescient and hilariously irrelevant.
What’s more, a handwritten inscription indicates that the arcane book might hold the only extant clues leading to buried gold—exactly what one of the members needs to keep her house. How could they not go treasure hunting?
In this remarkable collaborative novel, besties Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Denise Hunter, and Diann Hunt tackle the tale of the Gentlewoman’s Guide by writing for one book club member apiece. Smitten Book Club is a hopeful, hilarious story of friendship and healing, written by friends for friends.

The Smitten gals are back with their newest release, Smitten Book Club! Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, and Denise Hunter are celebrating with a Kindle Fire giveaway, a Facebook party on February 20, and a nationwide book-club brunch on March 22.


One winner will receive:

  • A Kindle Fire HDX

  • The Smitten books (Smitten, Secretly Smitten, Smitten Book Club)

  • Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on February 20th. Winner will be announced at the Smitten Book Club Facebook Author Chat Party on February 20th. Connect with Colleen Coble, Denise Hunter, and Kristin Billerbeck for an evening of book chat, trivia, laughter, and more! The Smitten gals will also be taking questions from the audience, giving away books and gift certificates, and sharing news about their upcoming nationwide Smitten Book Club brunch on March 22nd. (Sign up to host today!)

    So grab your copy of Smitten Book Club and join Colleen, Denise, Kristin, and friends on the evening of February 20th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

    Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 20th!

    Sign up to host a Smitten Book Club Brunch on March 22nd!
    Smitten Book Club Brunch Coble, Hunter, Billerbeck, Hunt

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

    Sunday, February 16, 2014

    My old friend, Nancy Drew

    She's forever 18 years old.  The attractive young lady with titian hair who drives a fabulous convertible, has a hunky boyfriend, solves mysteries with courage and grace and never misses a clue.

    My dear friend, Nancy Drew.

    Have you seen the gorgeous new covers at Target?

    I want to buy one of each, just because.:)

    (Mystery of the Brass Bound Trunk craft)

    Nancy Drew and I spent many afternoons (as well as late nights with a flashlight) together.  To tell you the truth, I'm more of a Bess (pleasingly plump and tend to be afraid of my own shadow) but oh, how I wanted to be Nancy.

    (crafts created in my Nancy Drew class)

    Nancy was gracious, a true young lady, and always willing to help those in need.  She caught every young man's eye, too.;)

    And talk about brave!  Even when she was tied up and close to drowning in a sinking submarine (Mystery at Lilac Inn) she never lost her cool.  

    I dressed up as Nancy Drew for Halloween (carried a magnifying glass but no one knew who I was.) and tried desperately to find a mystery that needed to be solved.  

    (part of my swap package from a Nancy Drew swap I hosted)

    A real mystery never appeared so, as an adult, I now host mystery parties- the next best thing.  Have you ever attended one?  My husband and I stayed at a bed and breakfast one year for our anniversary. It was a mystery weekend and we were in character the whole time.  I played the role of Yvette Lovings.:)  It was a complete blast and I ended up solving the mystery!

     Nancy would've been proud.

    (Nancy Drew book purse my swap partner, Shawnee, made for me- LOVE!)

    Nancy Drew is still a part of my life.  I made Nancy Drew Scrabble tile necklaces in my shop for a time, hosted a Nancy Drew class for my daughters and their friends, organize Nancy Drew swaps and am currently re-reading the mysteries when I have a spare minute.  

    Nancy was, and still is, a lovely example of how girls can be intelligent and brave while still being feminine.  I was delighted to be able to share her with the young ladies in my class.  We cooked recipes from the Nancy Drew cookbook (there is one!), created crafts and discussed the mysteries.  Such good memories.

    Just for fun, I recently read a book about what Nancy would've been like in her 90's- if she were still solving mysteries.  It was such fun!  The author doesn't have the rights to use the name Nancy Drew, but true fans will know exactly who she's talking about.;)

    Saturday, February 15, 2014

    Courtship is Romantic

    When I first heard the word "courting" I immediately thought of arranged marriages, not one drop of romance and utter misery.  How could parents even think for a second that courting was a good idea?

    And then I learned what courtship really is.  
    Get ready to swoon.

    Courting is completely romantic.  The young man must ask the father for permission to date/court his daughter.  This takes bravery and it speaks volumes to the father and the young lady.  It's not an easy thing to do!  And if the young lady isn't interested, she doesn't have to think of excuses- her dad will do the talking.  (The misery I could've avoided when I was young!)

    There is the matter of always have a chaperone when the couple is together.  But, you know what, this makes "the butterflies" last longer!  Sadly, today's movies and tv shows encourage us to rush first kisses, alone time and the like.  "Hurry up!", they yell!!  Why rush love?   Like my grandmother told me years ago...  She "waited" for marriage and the rest of her friends rushed into things.  She told them, "I can always be like you, but you can never again be like me."  So true.

    Courting involves the parents inviting the young man to join them in family time.  Sports, picnics, church, etc. are great times for everyone to get to know each other.  If the couple does get married, the parents, siblings, grand parents are all going to be a part of their lives.  You want to at least be able to get along.  (Better to find out before the wedding.)

    When my girls were this small I really never thought about dating, courtship and marriage for them.  Time has me considering our options.

    I'm not sure if my husband and I will choose courting or dating but I'm glad that we're more informed about the choices. I like the idea of having control over who spends time with my girls.  No waiting up for dates after curfew, no worrying about drinking and driving, etc.  Sounds nice, doesn't it?

    Courtship is absolutely romantic.  It's a commitment that involves effort by the whole family as well as respect, bravery, patience and lots of butterflies.  Why can't they make movies about something like this?  I'd pay money to go see it- and I'd certainly bring my girls with me.

    And the winners are...

    The Grow Your Blog party was a purely delightful experience and I've made so many lovely new friends!  In the words of Anne of Green Gables, you are all "kindred spirits".:)

    It's now time for my to announce the winner of my giveaway!  #66- Deborah Montgomery from The Beautiful Matters!  Congratulations, Deborah!

    Ladies, I couldn't help myself.  I had to choose one more winner- just for fun!  And the second place winner is...  #82- Wanda from Tidbits and Treasures!  Wanda, I'll be sending you some of my favorite handmade soap- Vanilla Peach!

    Hope you all have the loveliest weekend!  Thank you for the gift of your friendship and for being such a blessing to me...