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, March 27, 2014

It Had to Be You by Susan May Warren- Faith and Unspoken Dreams

My Thoughts:

It Had to Be You, by Susan May Warren, is a truly heartfelt story that involves the fate of a precious little girl with a failing heart, the future of two hockey stars, and a fiercely independent young lady with unspoken dreams.  What makes it beautifully memorable is the way the author draws the story back to the Lord, in times of celebration and in trial.  The central theme is one of family and the incredible blessing of having dear ones near when we need them.

I was a bit skeptical of this story as it began with the main character, Eden Christiansen, going on a date with a mortician!  Thank goodness that relationship didn't last long.  You'll have to read what ended it, though- crazy!  Soon after that I was utterly engaged with the story.  Loved it.  Eden lives her life in the shadow of her brother, Owen, a quickly rising hockey star with an incredibly bright future- until tragedy strikes.  I didn't see this coming at all.  The story of Sam and his precious 9 year old daughter, Maddy, is woven into the book in a tenderly engaging way.  Their story is full of sadness yet somehow God is able to shine through it all.  There's also the mystery of the unidentified young man in a coma at the hospital- "John Doe".  Susan May Warren has an amazing ability to make her readers feel for the characters and it's beautiful how she uses their lives to reflect on the Lord.   My favorite character was John Christiansen, Eden's father.  His faith in the Lord took my breath away...

"We expect God's love to be all nice and neatly packaged.  But He'll do what He has to in order to draw us to that place where we need Him.  Know Him.  Are overwhelmed by His love for us."

He got up, ventured over to the food.  Looked in the bag and pulled out to Owen.  "Satan's plan for our suffering is the destruction of our faith.  God's plan is for life.  For love.  You need to make a choice, Owen.  Are you going to pray and lean into God?  Or are you going to let this take you apart?"

So wise.  Definitely words to focus on and learn from.

I highly recommend this book.  It was wonderful!

A Christensen Family Novel.
Eden Christiansen never imagined her role as her younger brother Owen’s cheerleader would keep her on the sidelines of her own life. Sure, it feels good to be needed, but looking after the reckless NHL rookie leaves little time for Eden to focus on her own career. She dreamed of making a name for herself as a reporter, but is stuck writing obits—and starting to fear she doesn’t have the chops to land a major story. If only someone would step up to mentor Owen . . . but she knows better than to expect help from team veteran and bad-boy enforcer Jace Jacobsen.
Jace has built his career on the infamous reputation of his aggressive behavior—on and off the ice. Now at a crossroads about his future in hockey, that reputation has him trapped. And the guilt-trip he’s getting from Eden Christiansen isn’t making things any easier. But when Owen’s carelessness leads to a career-threatening injury and Eden stumbles upon a story that could be her big break, she and Jace are thrown together . . . and begin to wonder if they belong on the same team after all.

Susan May Warren is celebrating the release of her newest Christiansen Family novel, It Had To Be You, with a $100 Visa cash card giveaway and offering readers a free book club kit.


One winner will receive:

  • $100 Visa cash card

  • Take a Chance on Me and It Had to Be You by Susan May Warren

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 29th. Winner will be announced April 1st on Susan's blog. Also, visit her website to learn more about the It Had To Be You backstory and Susan's free book club kit.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to stop by Susan's blog on April 1st 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.*

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Alone Yet Not Alone book review and GIVEAWAY!

Alone Yet Not Alone is the incredible, true story of two sisters, Barbara (12) and Regina (9) Leininger, who were abducted by Allegheny indian warriors in the autumn of 1755.  Shots rang out and their house was set on fire but that was only the beginning of their nightmare...

Before reading Alone Yet Not Alone, I really knew nothing about the French and Indian War.  This book is an exciting, occasionally terrifying, insiders look into what occurred during the battle. I was amazed at the hostility and brutality, but then war is never pretty, is it?  Babies were murdered, women were burned at the stake and families are ripped apart- sometimes permanently.  The story is real- and raw- but the constant focus on the Lord is what carried many of these people through their ordeal.  I appreciated how Tracy Leininger Craven wrote the story with God at the center of it.  She made it inspirational instead of a horrible tragedy. The Allegheny warriors refused to let their captives speak English, they dyed their skin and hair, but they were unable to take away their love of God.  History, Bible, and Adventure all in one!  I'd recommend this book for ages 10+.

 I have a copy of Alone Yet Not Alone, generously given from Media Connect, for one of my readers!  Would you like to win it?

Here's what you need to do...

#1- Leave a comment on this post for 1 entry.
#2- Leave a separate comment telling me you're a follower of my blog for 1 additional entry.
#3- Post about this giveaway on your blog for 1 additional entry.  Leave a comment about this.
#4- Like Alone Yet Not Alone on facebook for 1 extra entry.  Leave a comment about this.

**I'll randomly choose a winner on April 10th.  Good luck!**

A movie, based on the book, is coming out June 13th!  My girls and I can't wait to see it.  Alone Yet Not Alone has pictures from the movie in the middle of the book and it looks amazing!

Releases in theaters June 2014! - Find a Theater Here: http://seatzy.com/main/moviedetail/alone-yet-not-alone

About Alone Yet Not Alone (novelization):

Settled in the Blue Mountains of Pennsylvania, deep within America's new frontier, the Leininger family celebrates the blessings of a beautiful homestead and bountiful harvest. That is, until tragedy strikes with the beginning of the French and Indian War and the devastating raid known as the Penn's Creek Massacre. 

The lives of this simple, God-fearing family are forever altered when Barbara and Regina, two young sisters, are carried away by the Delaware tribe. Driven by their faith in God and the powerful bonds of family, Barbara and Regina hold firmly to the belief that they are never alone, even in their darkest hour, and that they will be reunited again. 

Rich in historical details, Alone Yet Not Alone is an inspirational, true story of a family caught in the cross fire of the French and Indian War. 

About The Author: 
Tracy Leininger Craven loves history and retelling real-life stories in her historical fiction books. She also loves spending her free time in the great outdoors with her husband David and their four children.

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

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Matryoshka Nesting Dolls Necklaces...

The last of my sweet Matryoshka Necklaces...

$15.99 and FREE SHIPPING today!

Just leave a message and I'll get back to you. :)

(2nd from left and 3rd from right have sold.)

Monday, March 24, 2014

the gift you can take anywhere

I want to thank all the volunteers out there.  Especially the ones that give their precious time to children.  I know you could be taking a nap, reading a book, or simply relaxing.  I get this.  And for that, I wish I could give you a big hug.  Or a truckload of Snickers.

Simply put, YOU ROCK.

We were so blessed to find a local church hosting AWANA this year.  Katie was so excited to receive her book, t-shirt and patches!  I never had to remind her to study her Bible verses- she was motivated and did it all on her own.  

While listening to Katie practice, I began to realize how much Bible verses mean to me.  They are a comfort- a gift!- that you can take wherever you go- opening them in times of trial as well as celebration.  They cost nothing and require not a bit of space.  So beautiful. 

These sweet girls learned this way before I did.

To celebrate the their hard work, a little party was planned.  Hobo Burgers (hamburgers and veggies wrapped in tinfoil and cooked over a fire) and S'mores were on the menu.  There is something so yummy about cooking over a fire...

I love the smile on Katie's face.  She was so scared her marshmallow would catch on fire- and, of course, it did!  It wasn't a big deal so she made a bunch more.;)  Even one for me!

After dinner the girls played Twister...

and then Headbandz!

The evening lasted an hour longer than planned.  No one wanted it to end!  A sure sign of a successful party.

The girls were encouraged to read their Bibles daily and do something (once a week) for others over the summer.  I'm going to challenge you to do the same.  Perhaps you could make a note this on your calendar/phone?  Bake cookies for a neighbor, read to an elderly person, watch a friend's children for the afternoon, pay for the person behind you at Starbucks.

You'll feel good.  Your children will learn from your example.  You'll make someone feel special.  Blessings all around.:)


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Heart Healthy Families and Campbell's Soup

My family loves beginning the day with fresh fruit, oatmeal

or a delicious green smoothie. (If you've never tried one, you should.  I never, ever thought I'd see the day and now I crave them!)

We used to eats lots of sugary cereals, donuts, and naughty carbs but discovered we could eat healthier and enjoy our food more! 

Cold weather has kept us inside hibernating this winter but we've made it a point to get outside.  The fresh air and exercise is exhilarating!

Even for a snuggly Pug.:)

I love using my crock pot during cold weather, but let me tell you a silly story.

When we were first married we received a crock pot as a wedding gift.
And then promptly gave it away.

I didn't know how to use it.

Years later we wisely invested in one and it was one of our best decisions.  Crock pots are a girl's best friend- after diamonds, of course.;)

There's still a bit of chill in the air so I may fire up the crock pot tomorrow night.  I've been eyeing Campbell's Slow Cooked Chicken and Butternut Squash recipe.  I love the combination of chicken and butternut squash...

Perfect for enjoying by a cozy fire.

Campbell's Broccoli Cheddar Rice would be a delicious accompaniment!  It's one of my husband's childhood favorites.  Heart healthy comfort food- the best of both worlds.

Spring is just around the corner and that means we'll be on the go again!  
Volleyball games, ballet, 

and spending time outdoors with precious friends.

I'll be looking for quick and yummy recipes.  Who has time to slave away in front of the stove all day?  And more importantly, who wants to?? Pizza Primavera with Cauliflower Crust?  Hurrah for gluten-free goodness!  

Summer time!  Days at the pool-

and NO SCHOOL!:)

We'll also be working in our garden harvesting delicious veggies and fruit.  I can't wait to pick homegrown tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers and onions!

Speaking of tomatoes and onions, they would be amazing in Campbell's Grilled Bruschetta Chicken recipe.  With my husband being the master griller that he is I can pretty much guarantee it's destined to become a family favorite.

Whether we spend the day hiking,

zip lining,


breaking in a new pair of tennis shoes,

or simply blowing bubbles,

it's always good to have a favorite family recipe to fall back on when you're not feeling inspired.
An old reliable that requires little effort and provides maximum enjoyment.  Meatloaf is it for my family.

Campbell's Turkey Meatloaf recipe.
Delicious with a side of veggies- and even better the next day.
Count me in!

Being healthy is absolutely satisfying.  Sometimes it takes a bit of effort and perhaps a dash of daring- but everyone is thankful in the end.  

(Truth be told, I'm the scaredy cat in my family.
 But someone has to take the pictures, right?) 

Capturing these moments and praying there are many more of them is what drives me to be healthy.

And it's completely worth it. :)

*Take a peek here for some wonderful Campbell's coupons and special offers!*

-This post is sponsored by Campbell Soup Company but all the the thoughts are my own.-

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

first peek at my "Sheer Serendipity" necklace and a giveaway!

The winner is #21- Jeanne!

 I've been keeping a little secret-
and you're the first to know about it!

Please take a peek at my new line of "Sheer Serendipity" necklaces!
The word serendipity means "a pleasant surprise" and I have to agree that's how I feel about these pretties.

They simply make you happy and...
 I'm planning on putting a smile on someone's face!

More on that in a minute.... ;)


The colors above remind me of my honeymoon in Bermuda.  The water was gorgeous- and so clear!  I've never seen such colors...


This necklace reminds me of a happy container of vintage marbles- and a vibrant, balloon bouquet- with almost every color of the rainbow.  Every time it moves a new color peeks out.  Delightful!

This spunky sparkle is full of whimsy and sass!  It's fabulous with a little black dress or a pair of jeans and a t-shirt.  
The perfect touch.

And there will never be two of the same.
They're unique.
Just. like. You.

I'll be listing them in my Too Silly Sisters shop soon.

But I'm offering them here on my blog first-

Cause I love you guys. ;)

Perhaps you have a little something different in mind?

All pink?  Or birthstone colors, perhaps?
I'd be thrilled to create a one of a kind necklace, just for YOU!

The above necklaces are for sale and available for immediate shipment.  ($18.99 + postage)
24 inches long but can be shortened, if you so desire.

Now for my giveaway!  

#1- Leave a comment telling me which one is your favorite. (1 entry)
#2- All my followers get one entry.  Leave a comment telling me if you're a follower.  Today would be the perfect day to start.;) (1 entry)
#3- Post on Facebook about the giveaway for 3 entries! Leave a comment telling me this. (3 entries)
#4- Post on your blog about my giveaway for 3 entries!  Leave a separate comment. (3 entries!)
#5- Leave a comment telling me what kind of necklace you'd design.  Who knows- you may win it!:) (1 entry)

?s- You can find me here... toosillysisters@cox.net (Lori)

*Giveaway ends April 8th at midnight*

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

when life throws you a curve ball

Many years ago, (before kids) I purchased a can of shaving cream.  Wanted to keep my legs nice and smooth, you know.;)  (Now they're lucky if they get attention once a week. sigh.)  Storing it under my sink with other toiletries I carried on with my day.

Not long after, perhaps a few weeks, I heard a loud "POP"!  It sounded like a gun shot! Let me tell you, it caused quite an adrenalin rush!  I had no idea where to look so I peeked outside (That's where most guns live and play- right.  Right??)


But... the earth didn't stop, no one screamed, and I was still alive.  So, once again I carried on.  Later that day, however, I looked under my sink for... something- and there it was.  The culprit.

The metal container of shaving cream had EXPLODED.  Shaving cream was everywhere and the metal?  It had morphed into a jagged weapon vicious enough to star in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Horrible images of me being skewered in the shower came to mind.  Shudder.

We called the company and they sent a rep out to get information.  No apologies, mind you.  My husband told me we received a check some time later. $50.  Hush money.

You know, I forgot about the whole incident until last week...

when my daughters and I stopped at a local donut shop for a treat.

Leaving the parking lot with our sugar laden delights we had big smiles on our faces.  Until they saw it.


I was driving, and thought perhaps they were confused.  A bite mark?  In a donut we just purchased?

Then, later that evening my husband saw a bite- taken out of his donut!  It was reeaaallllyyy sneaky the way it was done.  The bite was taken from the bottom so you couldn't see it when you picked it up or while it was displayed in the case.  Disgusting, to say the very least.

I drove all the way back the next day and showed the manager the donuts.  She wasn't shocked or apologetic.  She just didn't seem to care.  She did, however, send me home with two new donuts.  Unreal.

I contacted the corporate office and was assured they would check into this.  The gentleman was very apologetic, which was refreshing after my metal shave cream container/potentially skewering fiasco, and is going to send us some goodies in the mail, which makes me feel a bit better.

One thing that bothers me is that he said, "These things happen."

Really??  How often??

Public service announcement: In the future, be sure to check your donuts for signs of contamination.  I know I will.  Truly, I love donuts- and always will.  One person's stupidity isn't going to ruin it for me.:)

Paula Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid- BzzAgent Review

My morning beauty routine used to consist of washing my face with Purpose soap and then a quick application of make-up, if I was lucky.  

I'm definitely a girly girl, but this girly girl had very. little. time. to spend primping in the mirror.
Sad to say, it showed occasionally quite often.

Soooo, when the opportunity arose to review a leave on exfoliant I held my hand high in the air!  I'd never heard of Paula's Choice before but it was high time that I started taking better care of my face!  Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid claimed to do all these things... 

-Create bright, smooth & radiant skin
-Stimulate collagen production

The BHA (salicylic acid):
-Unclogs and refines pores
-Reduces breakouts

(Recommended for all skin types.)

I was super excited to try this and see what it could do for me!  Before I tell you my experience, you might be interested to know that I'm in my 40's and have fair, combination skin.  My major concerns are clogged pores, redness and skin that just needs a big hug (my fault!).


-I was shocked at the difference I saw in my pores.  The "trouble" spots (not sharing where they are!) on my face where enlarged pores reside do appear smaller!  And, clogged pores, for the most part, are a thing of the past!  I get out a magnification mirror (those of you 40+ know what I'm talking about) every few days just to check on things.  My pores are happier than they've been in a long time.
-My skin does appear smoother and softer.
-The product is gentle on my skin.  I use it twice a day and haven't had any irritation.
-It's super easy to use.  I wash with Purpose soap and then apply Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting Liquid all over my face (avoid eye area) with a cotton ball.  Simple!
-It's 100% fragrance and colorant free.
-Paula's Choice products are never tested on animals.


-I haven't noticed a reduction in redness.
-I've had a few (3) blemishes while using this product.  Nothing major, and they do heal within a few days, but I thought I'd mention it.
-Haven't noticed a reduction in fine lines.  Hoping that will come with continued use.

I'm going to continue using Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid.  I like the positive difference I'm seeing in my skin, plus it's easy to use and doesn't cause irritation. It's exactly what I didn't know I needed!


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

Friday, March 14, 2014


Guilty Pleasures.
We all have them!

I'm not a huge shopper but I can't get enough of TJ Maxx and Home Goods.
I mean, LOOK at this gorgeous chair!

and how about this lovely piece.
I couldn't justify the cost.  Of course, I came back later and it was gone.:(

BUT, there IS a happy ending.
 I returned a week later and it was back!

It's now happily sitting in my dining room.

Candy Covered Caramel Apples.
Mini Reese's Pieces are my favorite.
Hey, you're eating an apple so it's not a terribly guilty pleasure.


I know!
But it sweetens my iced tea so perfectly!
Paired with lemon it's such a refreshing delight...

Splenda, I just can't quit you.

Mystery Party games.
I keep adding to my collection!
It's a true guilty pleasure.

 My favorites are Country Living and HGTV.
I adored Country Home and Cottage Living, but sadly they no longer exist.
I'm so glad I kept some of them...

Boy Bands.
Yes, I love them!
One Direction, Backstreet Boys, N Sync, etc.
They make me feel young, I guess.

The Backstreet Boys (now Backstreet MEN!), are touring this summer!
Anyone want to join me?

Backstreet's back, alright!