November 30, 2013

Dog-Ma the Zen of Slobber by Barbara Boswell Brunner Book Tour





Barbara's vivid and dramatic stories, told with a wicked sense of humor, will make you laugh out loud. She definitely gets what living with rescued dogs (nine of them!) is all about. 

When Barbara meets her future husband, Ray, it is love-and dog-at first sight. Over the course of thirty-two years, seventeen relocations and nine dogs, their mutual love of dogs guides them on their unconventional path. The love that Barbara and Ray get in return is literally lifesaving, with one dog attacking a lethal intruder and another discovering Barbara’s cancer. Her own survival story underscores the story of how her dogs become survivors themselves. 

Each new dog adds its own dynamic to the family, sometimes upending it. From Turbo (whose Spock-like ears may have provided super powers), Barbara learns about the will to live; Lexington demonstrates incredible patience and an inexplicable love of golf; Madison teaches that laughter is truly the best medicine and that the whole “nine lives thing” is not reserved just for cats; Morgan should be sainted for tolerating Izzy, who is as cute as she is bad. Barbara is certain that somewhere in doggie heaven there is a poster that says “If you are sick, injured or in need of really expensive medical care, FIND THESE HUMANS!”

Throughout 2012 and 2013, Dog-Ma has been on the Bestseller lists of Kindle, Amazon and Goodreads as well as being named as a finalist in the 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Awards in the animal/pet category and presented with a medal at the Harvard Club in New York City - May 2013.

Buy the Book.......

About the Author

Award Winning Author, Barbara Brunner grew up in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania with her parents, sister and always a dog, or two or three. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from a small women's college in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. Meeting her husband in Washington, DC, they continued together on a journey as self-proclaimed dog addicts. In the ensuing years, she founded three successful businesses in the Pacific Northwest and is a prolific fundraiser for breast cancer research. She and her husband are retired and now reside in Southwest Florida with two dogs and copious amounts of dog fur. She is currently working on indulging her well known flip flop addiction.



Barbara is available for book readings, autographing and speaking engagements and may be scheduled for your book or dog event. 

Follow the Author...

WebsiteBlogFacebookTwitter, Pinterest and Goodreads 


      

"My inspiration for writing this book was driven by pure emotion and my desire to invite the reader to step into the journey of my utterly insane true-life stories."

– Barbara Boswell Brunner, Author, dog-ma

Don't miss the Giveaway going on right now! You don't want to miss this, there will be  10 Winners!! 
Head over here to Enter 






Book Tour Dates












I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.




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Crock Pot Recipe Challenge !!

It's time for another Recipe Challenge!!
 Just like the other challenges this one will run the course of the entire month of December, featuring recipes whether I like them or not, or even fail ( though let's hope they do not fail!).
 This month it will be Crock Pot Recipes! The entire idea being a slow cooker or crock pot is, fix it and leave it . Frugal, easy with no fuss. There will be soups, main dishes, sides, a few desserts and lunches.  Along with these recipes there will be a few perfect for making ahead and freezing or "freezer meals". I will have a few tips on preparing these meals as well as a couple other frugal shopping tips, for example- shopping once for more than one meal or making one roast chicken into 3 meals for a family ! Sound good? Then don't miss out!

My challenges have been hitting up Pinterest ( Thank you for pinning!)  so I spent a little bit of time trying to find a way to make it easier to Pin any recipe. If you look to the left of this post and any post on the blog you will see a floating share widget. You can now just add to whatever social media outlet you'd like with the ease of this widget! 

If you would like to follow my Pin boards you can do so here  I will have a separate Pinterest Board for the Crock Pot Challenge which you can follow here  . I will add the recipes as I finish them.

So get your Crock Pot ready and gear up for some fun new recipes to try out! You don't want to miss this month! 

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November 29, 2013

Lunch Box Challenge Pinterest Board

With a new challenge coming up I wanted to remind those of you who keep emailing me that you can find the entire Lunch Box Challenge on Pinterest. Yes I still plan on doing more Lunch Box Recipes, sorry I have been very busy so there hasn't been anymore added- Sorry!
I will try to incorporate the into this month but there's no guarantee. It's been so crazy around here lately I have been falling behind . In the mean time though you can follow the board and watch for new Pins.
Find the board for lunches right here 
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November 26, 2013

Saving and Baking with Weight Watchers


Saving and Baking with Weight Watchers

Looking for some ways to save on a Weight Watchers membership? Sign up for free to receive their weekly newsletter with special prices, tips, and ongoing promotions. You can also stop by your local WW to find out more about the program and pick up coupons for Weight Watchers products.  Also check with weightlosstriumph for current discounts for Weight Watchers Online and Monthly Pass. You’ll be glad you did!


Love to bake?  You can still make your favorite recipes on Weight Watchers, using the following substitutions to reduce the Points values without sacrificing taste.

Better without Butter
Butters and oils add moisture to cakes and cookies.  However, butter has over 50 Points Plus per cup!   Luckily, there are several healthy swaps you can make to maintain moisture and richness without losing the flavor of your cookies, cakes, and breads.  The next time a recipe calls for butter, substitute one of these ingredients instead.  Best of all, each healthy substitution is 0 Points Plus Values!

Unsweetened applesauce.  Unsweetened applesauce works well as a replacement for butter in a wide range of baked goods, especially cakes.  The applesauce adds fiber and moisture while reducing the fat content.  You replace the butter with an equal amount of applesauce, or use a half-butter, half-oil mixture.

Canned pumpkin.  Pumpkin puree isn’t just for pumpkin pies.  Replace half of the butter or oil with an equal amount of canned pumpkin for a subtle pumpkin flavor and a dense, spongy texture.  Like applesauce, pumpkin is 0 Points Plus.  Make sure you choose canned pumpkin, rather than pumpkin pie mix, at the grocery store.  Pumpkin pie mix has added sugar and can have two to three Points Plus Values per cup!

Bananas.  Substitute ½ mashed or pureed banana for each cup of butter that your recipe calls for.  For optimal results, choose an extremely ripe banana.  This recipe substitution is best used in breads and coffee cakes.   Since bananas are so dense, they are not a good replacement for baked goods that are light and fluffy in texture.

Egg-cellent Swaps
Eggs play two main roles in baking: to make breads and cakes light and fluffy, and to keep everything together as a binding agent.  An egg is 2 Points Plus, so using them in baked recipes doesn’t exactly do too much harm to your diet.  However, if you’re looking for small ways to save on Points—and especially if you’re watching your cholesterolyou may want to opt for these smart swaps:

Egg whites.  Replace eggs with egg whites to cut down on saturated fat in most cake and bread recipes.  ½ cup of egg whites is only 2 Points Plus!

Unsweetened applesauce.  Yes, applesauce provides both moisture and texture in recipes.  Replace each egg with ¼ cup of unsweetened applesauce.  If you’re already swapping the butter for applesauce, however, you may want to consider another replacement from this list.

Ground flaxseeds.  Ground flaxseeds are an excellent source of fiber and rich in Omega-3 fatty acids.  1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed, when mixed with 3 tablespoons of lukewarm water, becomes a thick, creamygel which is an excellent replacement for an egg.  Each tablespoon of flaxseed is only 1 Points Plus!  For best results, use ground flaxseed as a replacement in baked goods which can handle flaxseed’s oatmeal-like texture and nutty taste -- pancakes, waffles, muffins, carrot cake, and oatmeal cookies.

For more ideas about baking and cooking while on Weight Watchers, see Tara’s great list of 30 Weight Watchers Dinner Recipes.

Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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November 25, 2013

Fair Disclosure Giveaway- $50 Amazon or Paypal Giftcard

WIN $50 AMAZON OR PAYPAL GIFTCARD!!



One Lucky Winner will win $50 Amazon or Paypal Giftcard !!

Courtesy of author of Fair Disclosure, Joyce T Strand
Ending on Sunday 8th December at 11.59pm EST
Open to US / CA / UK / New Zealand / Australia


NEWLY RELEASED ..........


FAIR DISCLOSURE: A New Jillian
Hillcrest Mystery


Jillian
and ex-husband Chad are enjoying a play at a local community theater when a scream interrupts the production upon discovery of a bludgeoned volunteer. When it turns out that the victim is someone Jillian interviewed for a job at her company, she becomes involved in another crime, drawn ever deeper by a second murder, an irate investor, the participation of law enforcement amateurs, an increasingly unreliable assistant, and suspicious stock trading at her company.  
Meanwhile, Chad is pressuring Jillian to say “yes” to a second marriage.



About Jillian Hillcrest
Jillian Hillcrest is a PR Executive at a small biotechnology company in Silicon Valley who—through no fault of her own—gets drawn into solving murders.



Jillian grew up with her mother in a small town in Pennsylvania, although they moved to California when she was in middle school. Her mother now lives in southern California. Jillian never got to know her father, as he was killed in the Vietnam War. She got married right after graduating from Cal to Chad Bradbury, who is a marketing executive at a biotech company in Alameda, CA. They got divorced after 10 years of marriage, and, quite frankly, are not sure why. They still enjoy getting together. In particular, they enjoy going to restaurants and drinking wine.



As the head of corporate communications, Jillian is responsible for updating investors, employees, the media, partners, and the community about Harmonia and its products. You might wonder about the name of the 200-person company that develops drug products for autoimmune diseases. The founder compared balancing the human immune system with singing in harmony. In Greek mythology, Harmonia is the goddess of harmony and concord.



Enter Below and Good Luck !!

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November 24, 2013

Cookie Jar Mix- White Chocolate & Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies

Ready for the holidays yet? No? Well me either, but I do have a really fun , frugal and easy handmade gift idea for you to consider making. This would be a perfect gift for the kids to make for their teachers, or great party host gift, family friend you name it. The only thing you need to know is you must pack in the ingredients with each addition. If you don't pack in the first three you won't fit everything in the jar. You can dress the jar up as much or as little as possible. Make sure to also give the recipe along with the jar. Now time to make some cookies! 

Add these ingredients as they are listed. Using a rolled up piece of paper ( like a funnel) works better than a kitchen funnel I have found. It gets the ingredients straight to the bottom while a funnel will let the flour cloud up the jar. 

Jar ingredients-
1 quart size jar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup quick cooking oats
1 cup Craisins
1 cup white chocolate chips

Once again  make sure that you pack in each layer. I used a small bottle of hot sauce to pack it-  No I am not joking!

See, totally not joking! Find a small bottle or if you have a kid handy that can reach in and pat it down with something like a muffin liner ( so their fingers don't get covered in the ingredients!) you got it made. Just jam it on in there as best you can. 


To make the cookies you will need to add- 

 1/2 cup butter that is melted
 1 egg lightly beaten 
 1 teaspoon vanilla. 

Directions 

Preheat oven to 375F degrees. Dump cookie mix into large bowl and stir to combine. Mix in the butter, egg and vanilla. Cover and chill for about  thirty minutes. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes or until slightly browned. 

White Chocolate & Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies





Easy, fun frugal and who doesn't like cookies? :)  
Enjoy !
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November 23, 2013

Stormy Blackout

We had a wind storm the last two days, it caused major troubles in our area. Downed power lines, downed trees, accidents and even brush fires. Power went out right as we were finishing up with dinner and my kids and I turned it into some fun. Though they kept trying to switch the lights on every few minutes. My youngest kept asking what didn't work, which of course was everything but she kept asking.


 "Does that mean the TV is not working?" Little DD
 "Yes." Me
"How about the radio?" Little DD
 "Yes" Me
 "The fridge?" Little DD
 "Yes." Me
 "My light?" Little DD
 "Yes." Me
 "You need to fix that." Little DD

I'm right on that kiddo, ha!

I lit some candles and we brought out the camping lanterns which can light up any room really well. Never be without some camping gear , it comes in handy in a flash!


While we did enjoy the camp-out in the living room my youngest DD was not too happy about the sounds the wind was making. It was a rough night. The trees were knocking on the house, the dogs were whining and windows rattled for hours. It got really bad late at night we would hear fire trucks and sirens and the some metal poles we had on our shed clattered to the ground causing an uproar with our dogs and the neighbors. It's safe to say that in the dark, when you can't see what is happening it makes every other sound that much more scary for the kids or even the dogs.  Through that chaos though we did manage to have some fun.

Some shadow puppet fun! 

My oldest daughter having a blast with her miners light and reading. Nothing stops this girl from reading! 

With the heat out my youngest daughter demanded that her stuffed animal be protected from the cold. We dressed her in a warm hoodie and she was good to go to bed. Must make sure everyone is warm you know! 
I grabbed a classic book Jaws and started reading curled up under blankets :) 


As for the aftermath of the storm , my yard took a major hit. The wind just wrecked havoc all around. I'll be spending most the weekend cleaning up . Somewhere under all these leaves is my garden :(


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November 22, 2013

Lovers at Heart - Book Review & Giveaway


NEWLY RELEASED........

Book #1 The Bradens, Love in Bloom Series #4



You met Treat Braden and Max Armstrong in Sisters in White, Book Three of the Snow Sisters (Love in Bloom Series). Now fall in love with Treat and Max all over again, and see where their hearts take them next.



Handsome, wealthy resort owner Treat Braden is used to getting what he wants. When Max Armstrong walked into his life six months earlier, he saw right through the efficient and capable façade she wore like a shield, to the sweet, sensual woman who lay beneath. She sparked an unfamiliar desire in him for more than a one-night stand, leaving his heart reeling and his blood boiling. But one mistake caused her to turn away, and now, after six months of longing for the one woman he cannot have, he’s going home to try to forget her all together.



Max Armstrong has a successful career, a comfortable lifestyle, and she’s never needed a man to help her find her way—until Treat Braden caught her attention at a wedding in Nassau, causing a surge of emotions too reminiscent of the painful past she’d spent years trying to forget. Max will do anything to avoid reliving that pain—including forgoing her toe-curling, heart-pounding desire for Treat.



When a chance encounter turns into a night of intense passion, Treat realizes that the mistake he made six months earlier may cause him to lose Max completely. He will do everything within his power to win her heart forever—and Max is forced to face her hurtful past head on for the man she cannot help but love.



LOVERS AT HEART is part of the 9 book Love in Bloom series - a new release every 30 days.  **CONTENT WARNING: Due to mature content, recommended for readers aged 18+**

My Review

To start  you off Lovers at Heart is the fourth of nine books in this Love in Bloom Series. This book takes focus on Max Armstrong and Treat Braden but also swirls into the rest of the Braden family. I like the well drawn out characters, a writer that can literally make you fall in love with an entire family has talent and Melissa Foster has done that here. You want to know more about each person that she introduces along the way so it's a fun series to read. 

Lovers at Heart-

Treat and Max have a connection that you cannot miss, demons though from their past put them through plenty along their journey together. They meet at a wedding and just hit it off from the start but you have that past lingering and a wall of barriers.  After a long depressing six months between their first encounter and having Max on his mind the entire time , Treat is given a chance- Max is back in town. Treat has had a very hard time, struggling with himself and things so the moment he realizes he has a chance  with Max it quickly becomes a moment where you are talking to him nearly shouting “Do not pass this up, don’t screw this up Treat!” In the end Treat is not willing to let the chance pass by and wants to get to know her better. So their journey begins which is really fun to read, I truly enjoyed it.

The question is can Treat and Max let down their guard long enough to get to know each other better? Can they move past the hurt they have both suffered in the past and let each other in? You’ll have to read to find that out.

Like the previous books in the series you have a wonderfully laid out list of characters and one very strong family that you can’t get enough of. Within each you get to know them, hear their struggles and feel their pain before you just fall in love with them as they grow. You are taken along and crossing your fingers that they can pull through to the end. I love each and every one of them and I am sure you will fall in love with them yourself!


Melissa Foster pulled off another wonderful book with Lovers at Heart and truly kept a great series going strong, you don’t want to miss any of them in the Love in Bloom Series! 

Buy the book...... 

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Barnes and Noble

KOBO



About the Author

Melissa Foster is the award-winning author of a number of International bestselling novels. Her books have been recommended by USA Today's book blog, Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the Women's Nest, a social and support community for women, the World Literary Cafe. When she's not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on Fostering Success.


Melissa hosts an annual Aspiring Authors contest for children, she's written for Calgary's Child Magazine and Women Business Owners Magazine, and has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Melissa's interests include her family, reading, writing, painting, friends, helping others see the positive side of life, and visiting Cape Cod.


Melissa is available to chat with book clubs and welcomes
comments and emails from her readers. Visit Melissa on The Women's Nest
or her personal website.


Follow the Author


Book Tour Dates





Photobucket

ALSO AVAILABLE 
Book #1 Snow Sisters, Love in Bloom Series 
Sisters In Love


DANICA SNOW has always been the smart, practical, and appropriate sister. As a therapist, she prides herself on making reasonable, conservative choices, even if a bit boring, and as part of the Big Sister Program, she has little time for anything more in her life. 


BLAKE CARTER is a player. He never gets bored of conquering women, and with his sexy good looks and successful lifestyle, he has no trouble finding willing participants. When his friend and business partner dies in a tragic accident, he suddenly, desperately, wants to change his ways. The problem is, he doesn’t know how to stop doing what he does best. 


WHEN BLAKE walks into Danica’s office, the attraction between them is white hot, but Danica isn't the type to give into the heat and risk her career. Danica’s desire sets her on a path of self-discovery, where she begins to question every decision she’s ever made. Just this once, Danica wants to indulge in the pleasures of life she’s been so willingly ignoring, but with her Little Sister in turmoil and her biological sister’s promiscuousness weighing heavily on her heart, she isn’t sure it’s the right time to set her desires free. 



Book #2 Snow Sisters, Love in Bloom Series 
Sisters In Bloom
You loved Danica and Kaylie in SISTERS IN LOVE, find out what happens next with SISTERS IN BLOOM "

Kaylie Snow has always been the fun, flirty, pretty sister. Now her burgeoning baby bump, hormone-infused emotions, and faltering singing career are sending her into an unexpected identity crisis. Watching her older sister, Danica, glide through a major career change and a new relationship with the grace of a ballerina, Kaylie’s insecurities rise to the forefront—and her relationship with fiancé Chaz Crew is caught in the crossfire.

Chaz Crew has everything he’s ever wanted: a lovely fiancée, a baby on the way, and soon, the film festival he owns will host its biggest event ever. When he’s called away to woo the festival’s largest sponsor—and the lover he’s never admitted to having—secrets from his past turn his new life upside down.

With her baby shower around the corner and her fiancé’s big event looming, the pressure is on for Kaylie to pull herself together—and for Chaz to right his wrongs. In a few short weeks, the couple who had it all figured out will learn things about life and love that may change their minds—and their hearts.

Buy the book from Amazon.co.ukAmazon.com, Barnes and NobleKOBO


Book #3 Snow Sisters, Love in Bloom Series
Sisters In White


Danica and Kaylie Snow are about to celebrate the biggest day of their lives—their double wedding—on an island in the Bahamas. But no wedding is complete without a little family drama. The two sisters aren’t ready to face the father they haven’t seen since he divorced their mother and moved away to marry his mistress, and live with Lacy, the half sister they’ve never met.



While Danica has exchanged letters and phone calls with Lacy, Kaylie has fervently tried to pretend she doesn’t exist. Lacy is sweet, fun, and nearly a mirror image of Kaylie. To make matters worse, not only is Lacy looking forward to meeting her sisters, but she idolizes them, too. As the countdown to the wedding date ticks on, their parents are playing a devious game of revenge, and there’s a storm brewing over the island, threatening to cancel their perfect wedding. The sisters are about to find out if the bond of sisterhood really trumps all.

Buy the book from Amazon.co.ukAmazon.comBarnes and NobleKOBO




COMING SOON.......................


Release Dates......
Destined to Love, November 9, 2013 
Friendship on Fire, December 26, 2013 
Sea of Love, December 26, 2013 
Bursting with Love, January 9, 2014 
Hearts at Play, January 9, 2014

I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.



NOW FOR THE AUTHOR'S GIVEAWAY !!

Three lucky winners will each receive ebooks for
Lovers at Heart (Bk 1 of The Bradens) & the very first book of the Love In Bloom Series, Sisters In Love (Bk1 of the Snow Sisters)
Ending on Sunday 15th December at 11.59pm EST
Open Worldwide

Enter Below & Good Luck !!
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November 21, 2013

Disney Junior's new Series- Sheriff Callie's Wild West


My youngest DD loves her Disney Junior and I am always happy to see a new fun cute series appear on the daily line up. This weekend November 24th, Disney Junior is bringing to light a new animated series called  "Sheriff Callie's Wild West,". 

The show will star Callie with the voice of Mandy Moore . Callie is a loveable Calico cat sheriff who keeps the peace in her frontier town of Nice and Friendly Corners using her noodle lasso and cowgirl know-how.

 Whether teaching her trusty deputy Peck (a woodpecker voiced by "High School Musical's Lucas Grabeel) a lesson about good sportsmanship through a game of horseshoes, or helping her horse Sparky regain his confidence after he slips and falls during a barrel race, Callie always comes to the aid of her townsfolk and in the process, imparts lessons about good morals, manners and social ethics for kids age 2-7.
You can also check out the series at  http://watchdisneyjunior.go.com/ and watch the new series along with the all time favorites already on Disney Junior. 

Don't miss out, airs November 24th!

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November 20, 2013

The Hunger Games: #CatchingFire Giveaway


 THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE opens nationwide November 22, 2013! Are you excited? Are you going to see it ? If you haven't seen the dozen or so previews online or even commercials you can catch a glimpse right now 




The Hunger Games: Catching Fire begins as Katniss Everdeen (played by Jennifer Lawrence) has returned home safe after winning the 74th Annual Hunger Games along with fellow tribute Peeta Mellark (played by Josh Hutcherson). Winning means that they must turn around and leave their family and close friends, embarking on a "Victor's Tour" of the districts. Along the way Katniss senses that a rebellion is simmering, but the Capitol is still very much in control as President Snow prepares the 75th Annual Hunger Games (The Quarter Quell) - a competition that could change Panem forever.

 The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is directed by Francis Lawrence, and produced by Nina Jacobson's Color Force in tandem with producer Jon Kilik. The novel on which the film is based is the second in a trilogy written by Suzanne Collins that has more than 65 million copies in print in the U.S. alone.

Excited yet? I am and even more so now that I can host a giveaway for all you wonderful readers! 
The giveaway which is open to US residents only ( so sorry)  will be held for 2 days only, so enter while you can! 
What you will win- 

-THE HUNGER GAMES DVD
-Mockingjay Pin
-Katniss Capitol Portrait
-Peeta Capitol Portrait
-Finnick Capitol Portrait
-A Quarter Quell Poster
-Final Poster












Awesome right? This would make a great gift for any Hunger Games Fan!  Entering is easy, just follow the rules for the RC below and make sure any entries that you can do daily are done before the 22nd at midnight! 
Good Luck to you all ! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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November 17, 2013

Identifying Flowers - Scarlet Sage

If you've followed my garden posts the last few years you know I planted a pound of wild flowers and it came with no labels. This has left me trying to identify them each one by one.  Now whenever I plant something I take a picture of it's seeds, and follow the entire journey from sprout to blossom so it's ( in thought)  easier to identify. It takes awhile, sometimes I end up looking things up like 'Bell like purple flower, small" It will lead me to 100+ flowers in images and then the search begins. Not easy but it is certainly fun for me.
 This weekend I finally identified one flower that just started to bloom. It's called Salvia coccinea which is more commonly called- Red, Scarlet or Tropical Sage. It is a more southern flower seen in Southeastern United States, Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and Northern South America. It's hardy in zones 8-10.



Hummingbirds and butterflies pollinate these flowers. They can grow to be about 4 feet tall. They tend to stay small in my yard though but are a pretty addition and are both a shade friendly and sun friendly flower. 
 It self sows into the ground and is pretty easy to grow . You can simply leave it by itself to spread it's own seed or collect to place in another area. The seed pods are cute and after it blooms it closes up to a green pod which slowly dries and opens. 

Seed pod before it dries 

The seeds when the pod opens simply fall out like they were on a slid. It's pretty neat. 

I collect half the seeds and let the other half fall to the ground . Next year I will have more to enjoy in the garden! 

Now is the time to think about what you want to plant in the spring. Did you know the best time to plant seeds for spring is both before a frost ? Many hardy seeds can stand frost and cold winters. Soon as the ground warms up you will see the germination start. Many of the flowers in my garden dropped their seeds all over during the fall and winter so come spring they will be plentiful! 

So find out which flowers and or plants you want next year and find out if it's safe to lay out seeds now unless you've already gotten frost and snow. You can also sprinkle the seeds after a major frost ( the last frost before spring) for early flowers. 


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November 16, 2013

Pin Button!

I have been getting emails and comments asking ( begging)  for me to add a Pin button on the blog. Sadly there is at this moment nothing I can add. It was added awhile back but then failed and also messed up many of my posts. Imagine having to go through 100+ posts and take out a code to fix things, it's not fun- Trust me. Until I find something that will work on my blog I will suggest something that you can use on all blogs, not just mine .

If you are using Chrome, add the Pin or Share App


It will be on every page you open and it's one click away from adding any webpage onto Pinterest. It's easy quick and I've used it many times without a fuss. Just go to the top right hand corner of your Chrome Browser, hit Customized tap ( the three lines you see above on the right)  Then go  into Tools, and Extensions. From there look up either the Share button which hits all social media sites of your choosing or look up the Pinterest extension. From there you are minutes away from add your favorite recipe to your Pin Boards! 

Hope that helps, and thanks for Pinning me like mad this week! 


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November 11, 2013

Fair Disclosure by Joyce T. Strand




NEWLY RELEASED ..........


FAIR DISCLOSURE: A New Jillian Hillcrest Mystery


Jillian and ex-husband Chad are enjoying a play at a local community theater when a scream interrupts the production upon discovery of a bludgeoned volunteer. When it turns out that the victim is someone Jillian interviewed for a job at her company, she becomes involved in another crime, drawn ever deeper by a second murder, an irate investor, the participation of law enforcement amateurs, an increasingly unreliable assistant, and suspicious stock trading at her company. Meanwhile, Chad is pressuring Jillian to say “yes” to a second marriage.



About Jillian Hillcrest
Jillian Hillcrest is a PR Executive at a small biotechnology company in Silicon Valley who—through no fault of her own—gets drawn into solving murders.



Jillian grew up with her mother in a small town in Pennsylvania, although they moved to California when she was in middle school. Her mother now lives in southern California. Jillian never got to know her father, as he was killed in the Vietnam War. She got married right after graduating from Cal to Chad Bradbury, who is a marketing executive at a biotech company in Alameda, CA. They got divorced after 10 years of marriage, and, quite frankly, are not sure why. They still enjoy getting together. In particular, they enjoy going to restaurants and drinking wine.



As the head of corporate communications, Jillian is responsible for updating investors, employees, the media, partners, and the community about Harmonia and its products. You might wonder about the name of the 200-person company that develops drug products for autoimmune diseases. The founder compared balancing the human immune system with singing in harmony. In Greek mythology, Harmonia is the goddess of harmony and concord.

My review- 

Recently I reviewed Fair Disclosure by Joyce T. Strand, and I must say she has snagged me on as a brand new fan.

I love a good mystery and Fair Disclosure is by far one of the best I have come across here lately. Grabbing me straight from the first chapter I was thrown into the plot . There are many twists in the book, which  I like. Just when you think you figure something out there's a growing mystery that makes you think about it all over again. I was compelled to go further and couldn't put the book down. The characters are real and I was able to connect to them which really makes a book stand out. 

The plot thickens and keeps you at the edge of your seat with every page turn- YES it's a page turner!  Strand keeps you  feeling like you were right there along in the book itself with the characters, which I just love when authors can do. It makes a great book even that much more enjoyable. 
 I didn't know when I first started this book that it was part of a series,( three all together)  and you know what?  Fair Disclosure is a stand by itself book. You can read it by itself , and once you finish you will just want to read the others because it was that good.  I guarantee it. 

I enjoyed the details, the descriptions used, it really brought color into the book. I was connected and really captured within the mysteries. 

Will we ever found out who did what and uncover the unexpected twists? How will it end?  You’ll have to read the book yourself to find out ad I recommend you pick up Fair Disclosure and any of the Jillian Hillcrest Mysteries. 

You can find them with the links below- 

Buy the book........

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Joyce Strand, much like her fictional character Jillian Hillcrest, served as head of corporate communications at several biotech and high-tech companies in Silicon Valley for more than 25 years. Unlike Jillian, however, she did not encounter murder in her career. She focused on writing articles and press releases and delivering presentations to publicize her companies.



Joyce has been a mystery fan since she read her first Nancy Drew and Hardy Boy stories as a teen-ager. She has always enjoyed the challenge of following clues to solve a mystery before it is revealed. Therefore Joyce relished the transition from writing press releases to writing fiction.



Joyce received her Ph.D. from The George Washington University, Washington, D.C. and her B.A. from Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA.   She lives with her two cats in Southern California near San Diego.




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I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.


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