Dec 062019

Slow Cooker Chicken Breast Dinner

1 pound boneless skinless chicken strips
4-6 red potatoes washed and cut into wedges
1 pound fresh or frozen green beans
1 small can sliced mushrooms (optional)
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1 packet chicken gravy mix
1 cup water (or chicken broth)
2 tablespoons melted butter (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Spray, butter or oil your crock pot insert.
Combine the water/broth, melted butter and seasoning packet and Italian seasoning. Set aside.

Layer chicken, potatoes, green beans and then the mushrooms.
Pour liquid mixture over the top.
Cover and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours. Or on high for 3 1/2 to 4 hours.
Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Freezer Meal Directions:
Place chicken strips, green beans and mushrooms in a large freezer bag.

Mix the broth and seasonings as in step #2 above. Pour over chicken mixture.
Make a note on your label (and maybe your calendar) that you’ll need the potatoes to make this recipe.
Lay flat, squeeze out as much air as possible, label and freeze for up to 6 weeks.

To Cook:
Defrost the chicken mixture overnight in the refrigerator. Wash and cut the potatoes and lay in the bottom on the slow cooker. Pour chicken mixture over the top. Cook as per step #5 above.

I used boneless skinless chicken tenderloins, a small bag of Honey Gold Potatoes, and carrots instead of the chicken strips, red potatoes, and green beans. I didn’t use mushrooms and didn’t add salt and pepper until my food was plated. I really liked the flavor, and the chicken was extremely tender.

I will make this again.

Weekend Cooking

Dec 022019

Every Tuesday I host First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros sharing the first paragraph or two of a book that I’m reading or plan to read soon

Feel free to join in by posting your own FCFPTI and linking below

Running with Sherman: The Donkey with the Heart of a Hero by Christopher McDougall


I knew something was wrong the second the pickup truck pulled into our driveway. I’d been waiting for Wes for more than an hour, and now, before he even came to a stop, the look in his eyes warned me to brace myself.

“He’s in rough shape,” Wes said as he got out of the truck. “Rougher than I thought.” I’ve know Wes for more than ten years, nearly from the day my wife and I first uprooted ourselves from Philadelphia to live on this small farm in Pennsylvania Amish country, and I’d never seen him so grim before. Together, we walked behind the pickup and pulled open the trailer doors.

I took a look inside, then immediately grabbed in my pocket for my phone. Luckily, I had the number I needed. “Scott, you’ve got to get over here. This is really bad.”

Nov 252019

Every Tuesday I host First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros sharing the first paragraph or two of a book that I’m reading or plan to read soon

Feel free to join in by posting your own FCFPTI and linking below

Speaking American: How Y’all, Youse , and You Guys Talk: A Visual Guide by Josh Katz

Part One
How We Live
What We Call The Shoes We Wear To The Gym

It used to be that if you wanted something to wear on your feet, your only options was expensive handcrafted leather. But in the late nineteenth century, the assembly-line efficiency of the Industrial Revolution and the advent of new materials like vulcanized rubber gave rise to new, cheap, mass-produced footwear. Typically, it had canvas uppers and soft rubber soles.

What to call these newfangled footwear? People quickly began using them to play tennis, so why not call them tennis shoes? Makes sense. That was good enough for most of the country, but in Boston, for reasons lost to history, people thought: Hey, I can really sneak around in these things; lets call them sneakers.

Nov 182019

Every Tuesday I host First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros sharing the first paragraph or two of a book that I’m reading or plan to read soon

Feel free to join in by posting your own FCFPTI and linking below

Stay by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Part One: Then
Summer 1969

Chapter One
The Tipping Day

Is it just me, or does everybody have a day in their life like the one I’m about to retell? I’m talking about those days that act like a fulcrum between everything that came before and your brand-new life after.

It feels a little something like this: When I was a kid, I used to like to bust a move on the playground. Boy stuff, I suppose. I’d run up to the teeter-totter and jump on the “down” seat. The one that was resting in the dirt. Then I’d trot up to the middle- the part that sits safely on the bar. And then, when I kept going, I’d hit the spot where my weight would tip the thing. You know it’s there, you anticipate it. You slow your step just a little bit, knowing it’s soon and you’re about to find it. There’s a delicious little moment of fear in there, but it’s manageable. Next thing you know, you’re being dropped safely back to the dirt, but on the other side. This day was something like that. It was the summer of 1969. was fourteen.

Nov 112019

Every Tuesday I host First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros sharing the first paragraph or two of a book that I’m reading or plan to read soon

Feel free to join in by posting your own FCFPTI and linking below

The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes


December 20, 1037

Listen. Three miles deep in the forest just below Arnott’s Ridge, and you’re in silence so dense it’s like you’re wading through it. There’s no birdsong past dawn, not even in high summer, and especially not now, with the chill air so thick with moisture that it stills those few leaves clinging gamely to the branches. Among the oak and hickory nothing stirs: wild animals are deep underground, soft pelts intertwined in narrow caves or hollowed out hocks, and every few strides he staggers and snorts suspiciously, checking for loose flints and holes under the endless white. Only the narrow creek below moves confidently, it’s clear water murmuring and bubbling over the stony bed, headed down toward an endpoint nobody around here has ever seen.

Nov 112019

About It Would Be Night in Caracas

• Hardcover: 240 pages
• Publisher: HarperVia (October 15, 2019)

Told with gripping intensity, It Would be Night in Caracas chronicles one woman’s desperate battle to survive amid the dangerous, sometimes deadly, turbulence of modern Venezuela and the lengths she must go to secure her future.

In Caracas, Venezuela, Adelaida Falcón stands over an open grave. Alone, she buries her mother—the only family she has ever known—and worries that when night falls thieves will rob the grave. Even the dead cannot find peace here.

Adelaida had a stable childhood in a prosperous Venezuela that accepted immigrants in search of a better life, where she lived with her single-mother in a humble apartment. But now? Every day she lines up for bread that will inevitably be sold out by the time she reaches the registers. Every night she tapes her windows to shut out the tear gas raining down on protesters. When looters masquerading as revolutionaries take over her apartment, Adelaida must make a series of gruesome choices in order to survive in a country disintegrating into anarchy, where citizens are increasingly pitted against each other. But just how far is she willing to go?

A bold new voice from Latin America, Karina Sainz Borgo’s touching, thrilling debut is an ode to the Venezuelan people and a chilling reminder of how quickly the world we know can crumble.

I can’t imagine living through what Adelaida lived through. Not only was she dealing with the death of her mother but she was also dealing with the chaos in her world.

The book is full of information about the events in Caracas but since it’s a work of fiction and I don’t know much about what has happened in the past and what is still going on in Venezuela,  I don’t know how accurate it is. This is a story about living in a country where your only thought 24/7 is how you are going to survive.

The book is short at only 240 pages, but in those pages you get a lot and are very thankful that you have not had to live through anything like this.

Great writing, great characters, great mix of emotions.
I would definitely read another book by this author.

Social Media
#itwouldbenightincaracas @tlcbooktours @harperviabooks

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Photo by Lisbeth Salas

About Karina Sainz Borgo

Karina Sainz Borgo was born and raised in Caracas. She began her career in Venezuela as a journalist for El Nacional. Since immigrating to Spain ten years ago, she has written for Vozpópuli and collaborates with the literary magazine Zenda. She is the author of two nonfiction books, Tráfico y Guaire (2008) and Caracas Hip-Hop (2008). It Would Be Night in Caracas is her first work of fiction.

Follow her on Twitter


Nov 102019

Sunday Reflections

Linking up with:
Sunday Salon
Sunday Post

High of 78° and a slight chance of rain

Friday night I got some very exciting wonderful news


Image may contain: 2 people, including Jordan Metzler, people smiling, eyeglasses and beard

I’m going to be a great grandma!!!

My grandson Jordan and Alexis are giving themselves and their families one of life’s most amazing gifts, due July 4th!!!

Surprising Stories Behind Everyday Stuff by NatGeo Kids

Listening To…
The Giver Of Stars by JoJo Moyes

Books Needing Reviewed…
I don’t want to talk about it

On Hold At The Library…
The Valedictorian of Being Dead: The True Story of Dying Ten Times to Live by Heather B. Armstrong

I’ve been watching on HGTV for many many years. I am SO hooked! I watch all the home repair shows, Property Brothers, Fixer Upper, House Hunters, House Hunters International, Flip or Flop, Mexico Life, Beach Hunters, Love It or List It, and more. I watch them when no new episodes of the series I watch are on and every night while trying to go to sleep. I love them!

Mind Body Spirit… 
I’m in a “going to be a great grandma” state of mind, so I’m feeling great!

In The Kitchen…
Drunken Beans with Mexican Cornbread
Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings
Farmers Casserole
Salmon w/ Butter Roasted Sweet Potatoes

New To Me Stuff:
Dr. Teal’s Comfort & Calm Body Wash with Pure Epsom Salt
I like it a lot, and it smells good!

Today’s To Do List…
Work, laundry, maybe out to eat @ Golden Corral

Looking forward to…
Spending Monday with my daughter Kilah and her mother in law Lisa. We’re going to a flea market and who knows where else

A Favorite Bible Verse…
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

2 Peter 3:9

From the camera…

This is how Joan (the other great grandma to be) and I found out we have a great grandbaby on the way!!!

How cool is that? SO cool!


Nov 042019

Every Tuesday I host First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros sharing the first paragraph or two of a book that I’m reading or plan to read soon

Feel free to join in by posting your own FCFPTI and linking below

Her Daughter’s Mother by Daniela Petrova

I watched her walk down the street. She had a fast, determined pace, kew where she was going. No hesitation, no window-shopping as she passed boutiques and gourmet grocery stores. Not even cute dogs or babies distracted her. A woman on a mission. A woman who didn’t bother glancing back. A woman easy to follow. I kept my distance just in case.

Nov 022019

I CAN AND I WILL: A Simple and Powerful story that helps to understand the importance of believing in yourself and figure out how to handle negative emotions (cheerful mantra song included) by [Spring, Olivia]

I Can And I Will by Olivia Spring
Illustrated by Micaela Stefano

File Size: 9437 KB
Print Length: 26 pages
Publication Date: May 27, 2019
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English

Oliver becomes frustrated and upset when he can’t tie his shoes. He doesn’t know how to handle his emotions. His attention shifts when he is distracted by a little squirrel on a tree outside. The squirrel is also struggling with a task, but instead of becoming angry or upset, it starts to sings a little motivational song to inspire itself to keep trying. Oliver, now repeating the words of the squirrel’s song, composes himself and tries again to tie his shoes.
This time he succeeds, proving to himself and his parents that he can do anything if he just stays calm and gives it another try.

As young readers follow Oliver in his attempts to tie his shoes, they will learn the valuable life lesson, that if at first you don’t succeed, just remain calm and try again.

The simple & catchy motivational song that your child will learn along with Oliver will help them face any difficulties they may encounter, and to realize that all they have to do to succeed is to try again.

Oliver tried to tie his shoes himself but they wouldn’t stay tied, so he threw his shoes across the room in a fit. Then he saw a squirrel outside who couldn’t break open a walnut, but the squirrel didn’t get mad, he just kept trying over and over, and singing “I can and I will. I am and I’ll be. Nothings too hard when I believe in me.” and finally the walnut cracked open. So Oliver tried to tie his shoes again while singing the “I can and I will” song, and was able to tie his shoe laces!

Oliver’s mom and dad were so proud of him and Oliver was so proud of himself.

I love that this book teaches kids that getting mad/throwing a fit isn’t going to solve anything. By staying calm and trying, you will finally do what you thought you would not be able to do.

The illustrations were bold and and colorful.

Great book for all kids, especially those who tend to get aggravated  when they can’t do things they are trying to do.

Oct 302019

Wondrous Words Wednesday 


I saw this word at a blog post on Bertram’s Blog

I must confess I am a bit too much of an egalitarian to truly appreciate the nuances of the film.

I am an egalitarian too and didn’t even know it


relating to or believing in the principle that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities.
“a fairer, more egalitarian society”

a person who advocates or supports egalitarian principles.

Oct 282019

Every Tuesday I host First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros sharing the first paragraph or two of a book that I’m reading or plan to read soon

Feel free to join in by posting your own FCFPTI and linking below

Let It Snow by John Green, Lauren Myracle, Maureen Johnson

Chapter One

It was the night before Christmas.
Well, to be more precise, it was the afternoon before Christmas. But before I take you into the beating heart of the action, let’s get one thing out of the way. I know from experience that if it comes up later, it will distract you so much that you won’t be able to concentrate on anything else I tell you.
My name is Jubilee Dougal. Take a moment and let it sink in.

Oct 272019

Sunday Reflections

Linking up with:
Sunday Salon
Sunday Post

The weather has been cooler a few days and then goes back to hot and humid. Today we’re supposed to have a high of 89°, with cloudy skies and a 20% chance of rain.

It Would Be Night in Caracas by Karina Sainz Borgo

Listening To…
Let It Snow by John Green, Lauren Myracle, Maureen Johnson

A Million Little Things just keeps getting better and better.  And Jason Ritter just joined the cast. I hope they keep him as a regular because I’ve loved him in everything I’ve seen him in

In The Kitchen…
Slow Cooker Chicken Breasts, Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes, corn
Eggs, Sausage Gravy, Biscuits
Orange Chicken over White Rice
Cuban Black Beans & Sweet Potatoes

Looking forward to…
Watching the movie adaption of the book Let It Snow which is scheduled to be released  November 8th

A Favorite Bible Verse…
Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer
Psalm 19:14

From the camera…

Oct 252019

About Marilla of Green Gables

• Paperback: 320 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (October 8, 2019)

A bold, heartfelt tale of life at Green Gables . . . before Anne: A marvelously entertaining and moving historical novel, set in rural Prince Edward Island in the nineteenth century, that imagines the young life of spinster Marilla Cuthbert, and the choices that will open her life to the possibility of heartbreak—and unimaginable greatness.

Plucky and ambitious, Marilla Cuthbert is thirteen years old when her world is turned upside down. Her beloved mother dies in childbirth, and Marilla suddenly must bear the responsibilities of a farm wife: cooking, sewing, keeping house, and overseeing the day-to-day life of Green Gables with her brother, Matthew and father, Hugh.

In Avonlea—a small, tight-knit farming town on a remote island—life holds few options for farm girls. Her one connection to the wider world is Aunt Elizabeth “Izzy” Johnson, her mother’s sister, who managed to escape from Avonlea to the bustling city of St. Catharines. An opinionated spinster, Aunt Izzy’s talent as a seamstress has allowed her to build a thriving business and make her own way in the world.

Emboldened by her aunt, Marilla dares to venture beyond the safety of Green Gables and discovers new friends and new opportunities. Joining the Ladies Aid Society, she raises funds for an orphanage run by the Sisters of Charity in nearby Nova Scotia that secretly serves as a way station for runaway slaves from America. Her budding romance with John Blythe, the charming son of a neighbor, offers her a possibility of future happiness—Marilla is in no rush to trade one farm life for another. She soon finds herself caught up in the dangerous work of politics, and abolition—jeopardizing all she cherishes, including her bond with her dearest John Blythe. Now Marilla must face a reckoning between her dreams of making a difference in the wider world and the small-town reality of life at Green Gables.

I’ve always wondered what Marilla and Matthew’s lives were like before Anne. This book does a great job of letting us know. The book starts out with Marilla and Matthew as children, living with Clara, their mom, and Hugh, their dad.  I enjoyed getting to know them and the other characters introduced in this book.

The book is full of both happy and sad times, and is the perfect lead up to Anne. It answers a lot of question many fans of this series have.

The author did a great job of writing in a similar style of LM Montgomery. So much so that you may forget that she isn’t the original author.

Anyone who loves the book or tv series Anne Of Green Gables would probably love this book.

Social Media
Please use the hashtag #marillaofgreengables and tag @williammorrowbooks, @sarahmmccoy, and @tlcbooktours.

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Photo by Emily Martin

About Sarah McCoy

Sarah McCoy is the New York TimesUSA Today, and internationally bestselling author of the novels The Mapmaker’s Children; The Baker’s Daughter, a 2012 Goodreads Choice Award nominee; and The Time It Snowed in Puerto Rico. She has taught English and writing at Old Dominion University and at the University of Texas at El Paso. She lives with her husband, an orthopedic sports surgeon, and their dog, Gilbert, in North Carolina.

Sarah enjoys connecting with her readers on Twitter at @SarahMMcCoy, on her Facebook Fan Page, on Instagram at @sarahmmccoy, or via her website,

Oct 222019

Every Tuesday I host First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros sharing the first paragraph or two of a book that I’m reading or plan to read soon

Feel free to join in by posting your own FCFPTI and linking below

This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel

Once Upon A Time, Claude Was Born
But first, Roo was born. Roosevelt Walsh-Adams. They Had decided to hyphenate because-and in spite-of all the unusual reasons but mostly so their firstborn could have his grandfather’s name without sounding too presidential, which seemed to his parents like a lot of pressure for a six pound, two ounce, brand new tiny human. First Roo was born, all pink and sticky and loud and miraculous. Then Ben was born. Then they debated and deliberated and decided just one more and therefore got twins- Rigel and Orion- who were no doubt going to voice hostility about their names when they became older than four,especially when Rigel found out he was named after the constellation’s toe, but who for the moment were too little and too loud to car. The leap from two to four felt astronomical, so their parents had turned to the heavens.

Oct 202019

Sunday Reflections

Linking up with:
Sunday Salon
Sunday Post


87° but the “feels like” is 95°

Marilla Of Green Gables by Sarah McCoy

Listening To…
Edith and the Mysterious Stranger: A Family Saga in Bear Lake, Idaho by Linda Weaver Clarke (book #2)

Books Needing Reviewed…
Evvie Drake Starts Over by Julia Whelan
(Definitely)The Best Dogs of All Time by Jadan Carroll
The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall

On Hold At The Library…
The Night Before Halloween by Natasha Wing

Broken Memories later today

In The Kitchen…
Instant Pot Hawaiian Chicken
Eggs w/Biscuits and Sausage Gravy
Hamburgers & Trisha Yearwood’s Oven Baked Mac-n-Cheese
Pizza & Salad

New To Me Stuff:
Taco Bell Mexican Pizza. I tried it many years ago and wasn’t a big fan. My son wanted one today so I ordered on for me to to give it another try, and I LOVED it!

Today’s To Do List…
I worked this morning and it’s now 2:39 pm so I plan on reading and watching tv  for the most part of what’s left of today.

Looking forward to…
Being off tomorrow even though I have a few errands to run

A Favorite Bible Verse…
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

2 Chronicles 7:14

From the camera…
My HAPPY Place

Oct 182019

• Hardcover: 288 pages
• Publisher: HarperOne (October 15, 2019)

For the first time, a Neuroscientist and Senior Lecturer at MIT reveals the surprising science that supports The Law of Attraction as an effective tool for self-discovery and offers a guide to discovering your authentic self to access your best life now.

Self-help books like The Secret show us that if we can tap into “The Law of Attraction,” we have the power to change our destiny simply by reshaping our mind. Millions of people have used the ancient systems of manifestation and visualization to find health, success, love, friendship, wealth, and more. But does the “Law of Attraction” actually work? And more important, is this kind of life-changing philosophy within reach for everyone, even the most skeptical among us?

As Dr. Tara Swart, psychiatrist, neuroscientist, and Senior Lecturer at MIT shows us in The Source, if we can strip away our skepticism, these ancient tools of manifestation and visualization are fundamentally powerful and incredibly effective at freeing us of self-limiting behaviors and propelling us toward our truest, most authentic selves. Swart reveals how and why these systems actually work by offering the latest breakthroughs in neuroscience and behavioral psychology, including lessons in neuroplasticity, magneticism, emotional and logical thinking, and even hydration, self-care, and relaxation. Next, she describes her own journey from skeptic to believer, and guides readers through the scientific breakthroughs and personal revelations that changed her from an unhappy, close-minded, and disconnected woman wanting more from life, to a successful entrepreneur living with confidence, purpose, and joy.

The truth is, most of the things we want—health, happiness, wealth, love—are governed by our ability to think, feel, and act—in other words, by our brain. Dr. Swart combines the insights and inspiration of The Secret with the practical lessons of The Master Key System to help a new generation fulfill their dreams. The Source is a rigorous, proven toolkit for unlocking our minds—and reaching our fullest potential.

This book will show you steps that you can use that will help you learn how you can succeed in your life goals and live a happier, healthier, more content life, Physically, Mentally, Emotionally, and Spiritually.

I thought it might be a hard read based on the subject but the author makes it easy to understand and the steps are easy to do.

I especially liked reading about how to spot false logic, improve creativity, making good decisions, and Interoception signals.

This is an interesting book and I think everyone could benefit from reading it.

 Social Media

 #thesource, and tag @tlcbooktours, @harperonebooks, and @drtaraswart.

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About Tara Swart

DR. TARA SWART is a neuroscientist and former psychiatric doctor. She is a senior lecturer at MIT Sloan and visiting senior lecturer at Kings College, London, and an executive advisor to some of the world’s most respected leaders in media and business. She is lead author of the award-winning Neuroscience for Leadership and in 2016 she was named the world’s first Neuroscientist in Residence at Corinthia Hotel, London. She is passionate about teaching others how to apply lessons from cognitive science to enhance everyday lives.

Find out more about Tara at her website, and follower her on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter.

Oct 142019

Every Tuesday I host First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros sharing the first paragraph or two of a book that I’m reading or plan to read soon

Feel free to join in by posting your own FCFPTI and linking below

It Would Be Night in Caracas by Karina Sainz Borgo

We buried my mother with her things: her blue dress, her black flats, and her multifocals. We couldn’t say goodbye in any other way, couldn’t take those things from her. It would have been like returning her to the earth incomplete. We buried it all, because after her death we were left with nothing. Not even each other. That day we were struck down with exhaustion. She in her wooden box; I on a chair in the dilapidated chapel, the only one available of the five or six I tried for the wake.  I could hire it for only three hours. Instead of funeral parlors, the city now had furnaces. People went in and out like loaves of bread, which were in short supply on the shelves but rained down in our memory whenever hunger overcame us.

Oct 142019

When the Clock Strikes on Halloween by [Ferland, Lisa]

When the Clock Strikes On Halloween by Lisa Ferland
llustrated by Pei Jen

It’s Halloween night which means trick-or-treating in spooktacular costumes.

This is the perfect Halloween book to get kids interested in learning about time as they count every hour of Halloween night.

Simple rhyming sentences are fun and reinforce learning time. Little clues on every page will hold your child’s attention and have them going back through the book over and over again.

Perfect for kids aged 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7. Playful illustrations and fun rhymes help every kid learn about time.

This is a really cute rhyming book that shows an analogue clock for the  hours of Halloween from 1 – 12. Since the story is about Halloween, there are ghosts, witches, wolves etc., but it isn’t overly spooky and I don’t think it will scare small children. The rhymes are very cute/funny and the illustrations are bold and colorful.

This is a great book for little ones and even not so little ones. I enjoyed it very much.

I love that the clock is an analogue since schools teach kids how to tell time on on a digital clock nowadays, at least at the schools I’m familiar with.