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Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Croissants, Casseroles, & Conniptions


Hello, dear friends.  How is your week going?  If you are in Chicago, you don't have to tell me.  I've seen it on the News.  Stay warm.

Today, I am again linking up with Terri for Wednesday Medley.  She tells us that today is National Croissant Day and if you pop over there, you will read the history of croissants as well find a list of other bloggers that are answering her questions.


1. Well, I do love croissants when they are fresh, but day-old croissants need to be turned into a donut.  I happen to really like the croissants that have a donut-like glaze on them.  Sugar overload but so good.  So... do you like croissants?  What is your favorite way to eat them?


Is the Pope a Catholic?  
You bet I love croissants!  

Several years ago, I went to a brunch where the hostess served the most delicious croissant casserole.  I don't remember what was in it, but it was delish.  
It was either this one.
Recipe here.

Or this one.

Recipe here.

Or a combo of both.


2.  Speaking of food... how do you handle stress?


One point at a time.


3.  Out of the negative emotions of greed, anger, jealousy, and hate, which on affects you the most?


It takes me a while for me to get my granny pants in a bundle, but once I do, watch out.
Ask the Mister. 


4.  Out of the positive emotions of compassion, positivity, enthusiasm, and initiative which one is your biggest strength?


Hmmm... positive emotions, huh?


CREDIT: DOMINIC LIPINSKI/PA

Does being an enthusiastic shopper count?


5.  What do you get everytime you go to the grocery shopping, other staples such as bread, milk, butter, flour, sugar...


Hydration is the number one concern in our family.



6.  Please tell us something random about your week so far.


   
 These 12 seconds sum up the most exciting events of the week so far.

Photobomb compliments of Chili.

Until next time...




Daily Mail

Monday, January 28, 2019

Valentine Gifts for Him


Hello, dear friends.  I hope that you had a good weekend.  We got a lot done and also managed to fit in a movie.

I originally wanted to see Serenity.  But after all the disastrous reviews, we decided against it. 



The Mister wanted to see Stan and Ollie.  It wasn't on the top of my list, but being the amicable trophy wife, I let him choose.  I must tell you that I was pleasantly surprised.  It is the story of Laurel and Hardy's last years of their waning career.  Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly had great chemistry which made for a very entertaining film.

I don't know whether I would run out to the theater to see it, but it is worth the time to watch it when it comes on TV.

If you haven't gathered from the title, today is all about Valentine gift ideas for him.  If you're wondering what the Mister is getting this year, he already got it, or rather them.  He bought himself a couple of goodies.  

That's fine with me.  
This way, I have more time to concentrate on myself. 

If you feel overwhelmed by work and household chores, why not encourage your Mister to take on some of the load?  Give him fun gifts that involve cooking.


He'll be knocking you down to get outside to use his new cool grill kit.  Tell him the case looks just like the one James Bond uses.





How about some manly inspiration?




A tool to prevent food poisoning is always an added bonus to the neighborhood barbecue. 








If you are a frequent reader of this blog, you know that my Mister positively loves his Sous Vide.  It's easy and there is little clean-up.





Some cooking and romantic inspiration.



A little something for his study or his desk at work.
He'll be the most popular guy at the office.



This is a cute idea for the newlywed or empty nester hubby.









Did your man get a new phone lately?
You may consider upping his phone game.






I thought this was a cute book.  
The Mister always complains about all the meetings he has to go to.





The Mister bought me these earphones a couple of years ago, and I love them.  Well, he decided to order a pair for himself a couple of weeks ago.
Happy Valentine's Day, Mister.




How about a mic for the guy who has music in his heart?





This game looks like a rip-roaring fight instigator.
You may not want to play this on Valentine's Day.












Is he a traveling man?
Does he need a refresh of his accessories?




If leisure travel is in his future, how about a camera to record your memories?



This little contraption is the perfect gift for the birdwatcher/peeping Tom in your life.





Here's another gift that the Mister ordered for himself.  
It's funny, when I ask him what he wants for a gift-giving holiday, he always says nothing.  And yet, weeks later, he will turn around and order it for himself.
Happy Valentine's Day, Mister.
Oops, I already said that.



Amazon

The Mister ordered this watch for himself several months ago and really likes it.
This is the gift he bought himself for Christmas.
That's okay, I got him an Instapot.
It was returned the next day.
I'm not bitter.



Amazon

The Mister put one of these hats in my stocking.
The sound quality of the speakers is impressive and the hat keeps me toasty.

Amazon

Does he have cold hands but a warm heart?




Amazon

For the man who runs in the dark or needs to find his way to the grill. 
Amazon

If your man is always fiddling with the thermostat, this one is a lot more fun to play with.  And the Mister says it's easy to install, too.

Amazon

The Mister bought these a few years ago to improve our internet, and they have been game changers.



Bowtie.com

I know that a unique bowtie always brings a smile to my man.




Amazon

I'm ordering about a dozen of these cups so the Mister can bring a few to work. 
Amazon

If the only thing that you lack in your life is a man, not to worry.
You can always grow one.

I will be back later this week with a post suggesting Valentine Gifts for Her.

Between you and me, that one is a lot more fun to write.

Until next time...





TimeOut

Linking up with:
Amaze Me Monday

Friday, January 25, 2019

Books & Buddies


Hello, dear friends.  TGIF. We had a mother of a rain and wind storm yesterday.  The good news was that the temps hit the mid 50's.  The bad news was a huge tree limb has now taken residence on our driveway.  More good news:  I spent a delightful day with my neighbor and friend, Kathy lunching and shopping.  Even more good news:  it's always sunny in Homegoods.  

I have a treat for you today.  About a month ago, I asked a few of my nearest and dearest to share with us their favorite and not-so-favorite reads, and they were kind enough to agree.

As a side note, the lovely participants sent me their answers, and I put them together.  If there are any typos, it is all on me.  



Tanya

I have known Tanya through blogging for several years.  She is a Texas girl, and the name of her fabulous blog is  The Other Side of the Road.  She does a monthly post called Media Monday in which she reviews books, TV, and movies.  Tanya also hosts a monthly link-up called Prime Purchases where bloggers link up and review their Amazon purchases.



1.  What were the best books of 2018 and why?

Amazon

Overall best book and the one I thought about the most after reading.


Amazon

A middle-grade novel that also left me thinking about it for weeks after reading.
An exceptional audiobook.


Amazon

A fun chick-lit book that had me laughing out loud.  
Class Mom was a close second in that category.



Amazon

I read several 5-star mystery/thrillers this year, but this was the one that I absolutely could not put down!

Also Still Me and The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell.



2. The biggest disappointment?


Amazon

I tend to just put a book down if it's not grabbing my attention.
I was really looking forward to the follow up to Girl On The Train - Into The Water - but I couldn't Finish it. 



3.  Who are your favorite authors?

Elin Hildebrand, Jojo Moyes, and Linda Castillo for quick reads that I know I'll enjoy.  I tend to jump around a lot, so I don't have one specific favorite.  I like the latest books that are: suspense, mystery, British, or WWII themed.



4. What are you reading now?


Amazon

Reading this.



Amazon

Listening to this.


5. Where's your favorite place to read?

  Lately, my favorite place to read is listening to an audiobook while on a walk.

I also like my cozy office that I blogged about here.



6.  Your all-time favorite book?








Annie


I met my buddy Annie several years ago when her Sister, Cookie, admired my powder room wallpaper on Instagram and she sent Annie a note suggesting we meet.  We met for lunch and spent 4 hours chatting it up.

Annie has a huge job in the government.  If I told you what it is I'd have to kill you.  She spends hours in the car and commutes to Beantown on the ferry.

Annie is a voracious reader.  Annie and I have enjoyed many Meet the Author functions as well as House Tours and double dates with our guys.  


1.  What were the best books of 2018 and why?




2. The biggest disappointment?


Amazon

I have tried to get beyond page 20 several times even during a blizzard.  Just can't force myself to do it.


3.  Who are your favorite authors?

Christopher Buckley, Carl Hiaasen, William Martin, John Grisham, and no day in the sun is complete without Elin Hilderbrand.  

As someone who loves to read, cook, and read about cooking, Boston's local Louise Miller is a gem.  Rumor has it that she is at work on her third book, her first two are absolute joys.  



4. What are you reading now?


Loving every page!



5. Where's your favorite place to read?

I can and do read anywhere at any time.  With a glass of wine on the deck or at the beach with a good book is my idea of perfection.



6.  Your all-time favorite book?


Amazon



Amazon 







Anne

Anne was one of the first friends that I made when I moved to Massachusetts.  She read my blog and sent me a note asking me to lunch.  We couldn't believe how much we had in common.  It was at that lunch that we discovered that Anne's college roommate lived two streets away from me growing up.

Anne is an avid reader. The first question I ask her whenever I see her is:  what are you reading?  I've gotten wonderful recommendations from her.

When she is not reading, Anne is a busy realtor in Duxbury. 




1.  What were the best books of 2018 and why?


Amazon


An astonishing story of overcoming adversity told without self-pity.  Beautifully written and occasionally tough to read.

Amazon

I read this during the lead up to the midterm elections.  Well-written and believable tale of a woman running for office while juggling marriage, kids, and ideals.


Amazon


A fascinating memoir of growing up as Leonard Bernstein's daughter. A portrait of living in a world of great music with a seriously flawed genius.  Still manages to be more sympathetic than a Tell-All.




Amazon

A funny fly-on-the-wall report of the nerve center of DC.  And a reminder of an executive branch that worked.  And worked with a responsible press.  Sorry for the political jab but this is painful.



Amazon


Amazon


Katie said it was ok if I pick a couple of cookbooks. In a year of exceptional ones, I am choosing two.  I've had success with both, and they're fun to read.


2. The biggest disappointment?

I usually love her books, but this one just left me cold. 


3.  Who are your favorite authors?

Anthony Trollope
Jane Austen
E.B. White
Nancy Mitford
Dorothy Sayres
Margery Allingham


4. What are you reading now?



5. Where's your favorite place to read?

In the Winter you can find me in a velvet chair in front of the fireplace in our living room.  In Summer, I read on our screened-in porch.



6.  Your all-time favorite book?

This has changed many times since Katie posed the question and it's a bit like naming your favorite child, so I'm cheating.  I've read these three multiple times.







Linda


If you scroll through my Instagram, you will notice the majority of sites that I follow are of Bookstagrammers.  My favorite in this category is Linda, otherwise known as Bookbimbo

This lady is a master reviewer.  Linda's reviews are razor sharp and often more entertaining than the actual book.  Bookbimbo is my number one stop when I visit Instagram. 


1.  What were the best books of 2018 and why?

Harry's Trees is easily the one book I feel is under-appreciated and did not get the kudos it so richly deserved.  I am beginning to think you have to obtain a celebrity recommendation for massive press.  This makes me sad.  Harry's Trees has such depth and covers so many themes that even months later, I'm still thinking about it. Harry's Trees is a magical story about finding yourself in the midst of despair and learning to let go of those we love while simultaneously believing in the magic of a future.  A future filled with love. 

The Family Tabor is written by a personal favorite, Cherise Wolas.  This is the second year in a row that finds Ms. Wolas is in my top 3 spots.  This novel is a tour de force centering around a father with a secret that changes the family dynamics.  We find themes of love, loss, forgiveness, and a willingness to become better at all costs.  Ms. Wolas is a stunning wordsmith with an ability to finely craft a beautiful story.  OMG... read this book. 


A Place For Us by debut author, Fatima Farheen Mirza, writes an astounding story of a family in tatters.  I was blown away by this story and the fine line between love and hate, delight and disappointment.  I see an amazing future ahead for Ms. Mirza.



2. The biggest disappointment?




3.  Who are your favorite authors?

Jenny Colgan
Louise Penny
Diana Gabaldon
Cherise Wolas
Daphne DuMaurier
Fredrik Backman
Leo Tolstoy
F. Scott Fitzgerald



4. What are you reading now?



5. Where's your favorite place to read?

Home in my favorite leather chair or in the car line waiting for the grandkids.


6.  Your all-time favorite book?







Mary

My sweet friend, Mary, was a reader of my blog and wrote me a sweet note about five years ago.  We had a delightful lunch and have been great buddies ever since.  Mary is my Partner In Crime every year at the Beacon Hill Garden Tour as well as numerous other house tours.  

When Mary is not reading, she is a nurse in ICU at Children's Hospital.


1.  What were the best books of 2018 and why?

Two women who randomly connect at the younger woman's wedding.  Flashback 1950 - Present.


Set in 1918 Philadelphia.  This book captures the end of WWI and influenza outbreak. The time period is seen through the eyes of 3 sisters, mother, father, and uncle.  This author has written several other books worth reading, such as Secrets of a Charmed Life.



This novel completes the half-finished draft by the author, Margery Allingham - creator of the Albert Campion character.
The timeline is 1935-1970's. There is plenty of intrigue, spies, and character development.


First of a series featuring Maggie Hope.  Overqualified "secretary' working for PM Churchill during WWII.
History, intrigue, espionage, and duplicity.


The third in a series featuring an FBI agent, Kendra Donovan, who "lands" in Regency England via time travel.  Contrasts Regency period detail - social mores, food and lifestyle with 21st Century mores, women's roles, etc.


2. The biggest disappointment?

None that come to mind... or so bad I never bothered to finish.  I lean toward a specific genre:  classic British mystery, historical fiction with a WWI time period, books that feature a character in a series.


3.  Who are your favorite authors?

Charles Todd (Ian Rutledge Detective)
Jacqueline Winspear (Maisie Dobb's character)
Barbara Cleverly (Detective Joe Sandilands of Scotland Yard)
Julie EmElwan


4. What are you reading now?


5. Where's your favorite place to read?

In the Summer - on the screen porch that overlooks my garden.  Mid-afternoon in the sun/shade is my favorite time.

In the winter - bundled up in a blanket, sitting in a winged chair in my study.


6.  Your all-time favorite book?

Too many to list.





Katie Clooney

I have to tell you... this Weight Watchers thing is really working for me.  Granted I've still got a few lbs. to go.



1.  What were the best books of 2018 and why?

Amazon

My #1 favorite book of 2018.


Amazon

I'm a sucker for a story chronicling life on the campaign trail ever since I read Elizabeth Edwards' first book. 


Amazon

Thrillers of all thrillers.


Amazon

I'm a big fan of Jojo Moyes.  


2. The biggest disappointment?


Both books got rave reviews and lots of press.  
I couldn't finish either one of them.


3.  Who are your favorite authors?

Pat Conroy
Jodi Picoult
Jojo Moyes
Sally Hepworth




4. What are you reading now?

5. Where's your favorite place to read?



When it's cold, I like to snuggle up in front of the fire.



When it's warmer, I love the sunroom for the bright light.
Sometimes I can't get a seat on the couch, though.


6.  Your all-time favorite book?







Amazon

A big thank you to all my dear friends that helped me out today.  I loved hearing about all the books that you have read.  I downloaded quite a few of them.

What's your favorite book of all time?



Until next time...


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