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The Girl’s Guide To Conquering Life!

It’s really not just for teen girls, either!

The publisher’s blurb:

There’s a lot a girl needs to know as she grows up and makes her way in the world. Having a reference guide of practical how-to life skills and character traits can empower her to become a confident and capable woman. Coauthors Erica and Jonathan Catherman offer this collection of step-by-step instructions on 100 things girls need to succeed, including how to

– introduce yourself
– change a flat tire
– respectfully break up with a guy
– leave a tip
– apply for a job
– ask for a promotion
– behave during a police stop
– create a personal budget
– calculate square footage
– wash your face
– clear a clogged drain
– iron a shirt
– wear a scarf
– shoot a basketball
– sharpen kitchen knives
– and much more

In fact, if it’s in here, it’s an important skill or character trait practiced by capable and confident women. With great illustrations and sidebars of advice from world-class experts, this all-in-one reference tool for young women in the making is the perfect gift for birthdays, graduations, or any occasion.

What I thought of the book:

Seriously, how many of us couldn’t use a refresher course in a lot of these things? To be honest, this review is coming in late because I have been busy wearing myself out (mainly mentally!) learning a brand new job – and I was using some of these tips at all my interviews! I can also attest to the fact that YES you really do need to know the proper way to sharpen and maintain your kitchen knives, and how to leave a correct tip, how to introduce yourself, and how to create a personal budget. (Yeah, that one I’m working on…)

Please don’t assume this is only for those under the age of 21, because there are so many little tidbits women of all ages can pick up from this book. It will make a wonderful gift for any occasion, and one that will teach life lessons that everyone needs to learn for a better day to day life.

Definitely a keeper!


**I was sent these books from Revell Books in exchange for my fair and honest opinion.**


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Happy Lunar New Year!

For those who haven’t seen my short-but-sweet post over at

Xin nian kuai le (shin nee-an kwai le) and gong hai fat choi!

Happy New Year and may the year be a prosperous one for you! For us all!


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Book Review: Trusting Grace

This kind of felt like I was reading a Disney movie from the 1970s set in the Old West. Think The Apple Dumpling Gang or Hot Lead and Cold Feet. This book didn’t take me back to the time period it was supposed to be set in, mainly because the dialogue simply didn’t fit.



The publisher’s blurb:

All of her life, Grace Bidwell has longed for a loving husband and children, but now the chances of her dreams coming true are looking slim. Widowed and caring for her elderly father, she struggles to maintain her late husband’s ranch, until she places an ad for a hired hand.

Robert Frasier arrives in town with three pitiful, bedraggled children who have nothing but the tattered clothes on their backs and a load of hurt, pride, and anger. Believing this is divine intervention in her life, Grace welcomes them with open arms. As feelings grow between her and Robert, Grace will have to convince him that she is a woman who can be trusted with his heart.

Readers will be swept away into 1860s Montana’s lush Gallatin Valley, nestled among towering mountains and proud pines, in this emotional conclusion to the Virtues and Vices of the Old West series

What I thought:  Continue reading “Book Review: Trusting Grace”

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Where I Am, Pt. 1

After a pause of much longer than I anticipated – sorry, everyone! – here I am again. I initially took a break because I’d been considering upgrading my site and using a different theme. That will probably still happen, but not right away.

Then the US Presidential election happened, and no matter my feelings on that itself, I was, and continue to be, amazed and disgusted by the way people have thought it acceptable to speak to and treat one another. Especially amongst those who were friends or family. My mother and grandmother would have lined people up for spankings and to wash mouths out with soap!

Am I being a prude? Good lord, no. The cesspool places like Facebook have become (or how much larger that’s grown, since there was always a bit of cesspool to it before) is ridiculous.

It made me really want to sound off, and the only place I had to do that was my blog. I didn’t want to turn this into a huge political blog, so I just stepped farther away.

I’m back. 🙂

The rest, coming up!

Not wearing it properly, but this is a sailor’s hat like in “Horatio Hornblower”.


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Book Review: The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill

I am already a happy reader of Julie Klassen’s books. They are easy to read, but not “simple”. Lots of character interaction. And she does thorough research into time periods and places. Nothing can pull me out of my reading bliss faster than a glaring historical inaccuracy. (Like a drone in the Middle Ages…)


The publisher’s blurb:

First Series from Bestselling Author Julie Klassen!

The lifeblood of the Wiltshire village of Ivy Hill is its coaching inn, The Bell. But when the innkeeper dies suddenly, his genteel wife, Jane Bell, becomes the reluctant owner. Jane has no notion of how to run a business. However, with the town’s livelihood at stake and a large loan due, she must find a way to bring new life to the inn.

Despite their strained relationship, Jane turns to her resentful mother-in-law, Thora, for help. Formerly mistress of The Bell, Thora is struggling to find her place in the world. As she and Jane work together, they form a measure of trust, and Thora’s wounded heart begins to heal. When she encounters two men from her past, she sees them–and her future–in a different light.

With pressure mounting from the bank, Jane employs innovative methods to turn the inn around, and puzzles over the intentions of several men who seem to have a vested interest in the place. Will her efforts be enough to save The Bell? And will Thora embrace the possibility of a second chance at love?

What I thought of the book:

First off, I was thrilled to find out Julie Klassen is embarking on a series. Opening a book and meeting with characters who feel like old friends is great. In this book, Klassen has already introduced a number of people we’re sure to learn more about as time goes on.

This story was a little on the slow side, but that wasn’t a problem where I was concerned – it was like taking your time to get to know people. The village of Ivy Hill came alive with her words, and Klassen made it so you would want to seek out this inn if you were of a mind to do so.

The romance isn’t quite what I had expected, which made it all the more wonderful. And so many possibilities for future unions, too! Jane Bell, the young widow whose late husband surprised everyone by leaving the family inn to her, is a likable character – though there are a few times I wanted to bop her on the head for something or other. Her mother-in-law, Thora Bell, whose family originally owned the inn, comes across at first as a thoroughly unlikeable woman – but only for a small bit. The reader begins to know her better and understand her and her strengths… and weaknesses. Is her younger son as wonderful as he seems? Or is he a complete cad? And why does he want Jane to pass the ownership of the failing Bell Inn over to him so badly?

It’s an interesting ride to see how these people deal  with a bank threatening to foreclose on the inn, money and items mysteriously disappearing, and mistakes from the past that come back to haunt.


**I was sent this copy from Bethany House in exchange for my fair and honest opinion.**

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Okay, so it’s not my giveaway, but it’s my friend Deb’s giveaway. I’ve known the woman for years and never knew she had a blog! How sucky am I about that?

Yeah, I know – almost as sucky as I am about having not posted in so long. Believe me, the post about that is forthcoming. I’m sorry!


Deb’s blog is called The Fancy Stamper and as I said, she’s having a giveaway. The address is: and her rules are simple – just leave a comment on her blog under that post and you’re entered. It’s a Blogspot blog, so Google will make you create an account if you don’t already have one, but that’s kind of the PITA way of things anymore, isn’t it?

So what’s she giving away? A really cool stamp set called “Tasty Trucks” that are just too adorable. And… you can’t buy these. Not now, not later.  They are going to be part of a Sale-A-Bration promo through March 31, 2017, for anyone purchasing $50.00 or more in merchandise from Stampin’ Up.

Gooo! Check out her blog and comment to enter! 🙂  Show Deb some love. 🙂