My Favorite…Book as a Child

My Favorite.. is a weekly meme hosted by Maureen’s Books. In this meme we share every week something we love with each other. Because let’s face it.. The world can be a dark place and it’s time to share something positive.

Favorite Book as a Child

My favorite book as a child was a series most known and commonly misnamed after the second book in the series (perhaps the most popular) Little House on the Prairie. The series is simply the Little House series, and the first book is Little House in the Big Woods.

I would read the series each year from about 3rd grade through 7th grade or so. Sometimes I’d read more than once in a year! I loved the simplicity of life, the feeling of family and familiarity, and the adventure! I’m not going to lie: I wanted to BE Laura Ingalls. From there I went on to read The Rocky Ridge Years series and The Rose Years.

I do not like the newer covers, though. I prefer the older covers of the Little House series, and even the ones with the plaid border which the other series covers were later styled after. There are even more series. Each of the girls has their own series. These will be my next big book spend.


Which book(s) did you love as a child?

My Bullet Journal: Recent Work


This is one post in a series of posts about My Bullet Journal Journey. I’ve sequenced the posts so that they chronicle my journey and are step-by-step guides for those of you considering starting your own. 

  • #1 – My Bullet Journal: Taking the Plunge (materials)
  • #2 – How to Get Started (terms and basic set up)
  • #3 – My Collections
  • #4 – Oopsies & Reinvented Pages
  • #5 – Tools in the Toolbox 
  • #6 – Favorite Spreads
  • #7 – Things That Didn’t Work
  • #8 – My Worst Ideas
  • #9 – Recent Work

I have about five-ish solid months of bullet journaling under my belt now. I took a month-long hiatus from mid-April to mid-May. While this is my first year of the journal, I’m learning. A lot. Learning how to do things better and things maybe not to do again…like these spreads. I’ll be sharing my worst ideas and designs to date.

Recent Work


Just Some Updating








When I came back from my hiatus, I decided to start back over from the beginning and comb through my bullet journal. I decided I didn’t like the dots, and I wanted to fill in the squares. I actually think it looks much better with just that small change.


Alphabet Soup Challenge


I was able to mark off several new titles on my Alphabet Soup Challenge page and update my progress. I wasn’t too impressed to realize I had the wrong color when updating the bar at the bottom. I think I’ll go back and use my magic wand (ahem, White Out) to clean things up a bit.

I did decide to mark the date with my new progress so I can see the milestones throughout the year. I’ve participated in this series since 2014 and I still have not yet completed the challenge. I don’t purposefully seek out books, either, so I’m going to try to work on that for the latter part of the year.


Brush Colors

I got tired of not knowing what my brush marker colors were. This took a bit of time, but what took longer was painstakingly color matching to Crayola’s color palettes. These damn markers don’t have any color names on them! I realized after doing this that it didn’t really help me that much. I’m going to have to go back with a permanent marker and label each and every one of them so I quit picking up the wrong shade.


Things I Need To Do MORE


I’ve been wanting to do one of these for a while, but I just never got around to figuring it out and how I would do it and what I would put on it. I’ve only used half the page so far, but I am so impressed with what I’ve done. All of the lettering is freehand and I’m pretty proud of it.

I’ve definitely been taking care of that reading task lately. 🙂




Birthdays 5

This one took A LOT of time to just set up. There were a few of the drawing and shading I had trouble with, August in particular. You may notice that some names have a heart following them. These are relatives who have passed away. I started doing that in college, and I don’t know why, but I’ve continued it since. I love the color and the variety of this spread. Although I think for next year I’m going to have to make May all rainy, too. We are infamous for our Memorial Day floods and storms.


May Calendar 


I am pretty proud of my flag on Memorial Day. I set up my monthly layout in advance and I didn’t really think about what I wanted. I’m still working on it because I don’t like it. And then I actually ran out of space on May for my books. I read two more after Misty Lake. This is one I’ve got to rethink.


How do you fill in when you’ve taken a break from everything? The classic child’s mimicry, of course!


June Calendar

I saw something that inspired me to do a dreamcatcher for June. I ended up not liking the browns so much, but I do like it overall. The dreamcatcher took a significant part of a day to get drawn and colored.

20170527_201530I decided to change things up a bit with my June calendar and trackers. I made a full spread calendar with a task bar to the right. I like that a lot.  It might entirely take over the calendar companion that has my monthly goals and to-do so I won’t need them anymore. Then I’ll just have to figure out a “what I’m reading” thing.

I also decided to do something new in June. I was tired of feeling tired about my 20170527_201600mood tracker and only having one mood for the entire day. I saw someone who used this type of system, and I’m going to try it out for June and see how it goes.





Travel Destinations

Travel 5

I was inspired by one of my students for this one. I spruced mine up quite a bit.

One of my biggest fears in life (still) is that I will never get to travel anywhere. Vacations were a foreign thing for my family. When I was halfway through college we took our first “vacation” for a couple of days to Corpus Christi. First family vacation.

I am excited though because next summer my family is going on a cruise for my mother’s class reunion. Her 35th isn’t until 2019, but all the classes from the 80s got together and came up with this idea for their reunions. So I’ll get to add a Latin American country to my list!! 😀


Dr. Seuss

Dr Seuss 1I don’t even recall what specifically it was, but something that happened at work (with coworkers, not the kids) really upset me a while back. And it drove me back to this Dr. Seuss quote. In college, a friend wrote this my BFF’s minifridge. She didn’t realize it was in permanent marker and not in Expo until October. I remember Kat living and embodying this quote so much. She was judged a lot and this quote meant a lot to her.

It has since come to mean a lot to me, too. I spent hours and hours working on this spread, and I don’t regret it. It was time well spent.

Dr Seuss 9

I drew everything free-hand. I almost wish I had left it in pencil, but I did end up adding color. I’ll share the full thing colored version in an upcoming post. This is the spread I am most proud of in my entire journal. It is like the holy grail of my journal at this point. I also think it took all of the creative juices I had for the next four months.

See? It’s OK to make mistakes in your bullet journal. 

Look for the next post in the series about some of my most recent work. 

WWW Wednesdays (July 26)


This is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words. To join in answer the following three questions and hop over to Sam’s and leave your link.

What are you currently reading?


So…Tumble Creek is not what I expected. It’s…weird. I can’t relate to Sofie at all. She is a highly emotional woman at the smallest of things and has to keep forcing herself to not spiral into a panic attack. She keeps grabbing onto people to mentally steady herself. The character interaction is also strange. It’s like everyone is having their own private thoughts and say something and someone else jumps to conclusions and the conversation goes into a tailspin and you don’t know what is really going on. Then there’s the whole choosing to go live with the sheriff and leave her daughter at her sister’s. This book is weird but I want to finish it.

 What did you just finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

I still have to write up my review of Blue Steal, and I’m sitting at 8% for NetGalley. Continuing on with some summery-looking NG reads. While I probably won’t meet my goal of 50 NG books by the end of the year, I’m thinking I have a good chance of being at 12% by the end of the year. If anyone knows how to remove approved books that you never downloaded, I’d love to know (if that’s even possible). It’s progress!

 How about you? What are you reading this week?

Leave a comment with your answers! Share the link to your WWW Wednesday post OR leave your answers in the comments if you don’t have a blog. Happy Reading! 🙂

Tuesday Teaser & Intro: The Unwanted Heiress


I am trying to catch up on my backlog of recent reads since I have been hiatus-ing. And it will let me catch up with my reading since I’m not reading as fast these days and it’s taking me longer to get through a book.

Synopsis ~ The Unwanted Heiress

An American heiress nobody wants; a Duke every woman is after, and a murder no one expects. 

When Nathaniel, Duke of Peckham, meets Charlotte, he’s suspicious of her indifference. Too many women have sought—and failed—to catch him. However, Charlotte is more interested in dead pharaohs than English dukes.

Unfortunately, a debutante seeking to entrap Nathaniel gets murdered, and his reputation as a misogynist makes him a suspect. On impulse, Charlotte comes to his aid, not realizing that her actions may place her in danger, too.

Both are unaware that a highwayman interested in rich heiresses is following Charlotte, and that another debutante lies dead in Nathaniel’s carriage.

Some nights just don’t go as planned.


Chapter 1

1818 London

False pretences – This offence is distinguishable from larceny, inasmuch as the owner consents to the property being taken out of possession, though such consent has been induced by fraud.  – Constable’s Pocket Guide

Despite his belief that White’s Club guaranteed Nathaniel Archer, current Duke of Peckham, freedom from the machinations of unmarried women, he could not concentrate on a simple game of cards. He stared at the peculiarly delicate hands of the waiter holding out his glass of port and frowned. [Loc 48]



Eavesdroppers rarely hear good things about themselves. [Loc 1380]


“Nevvy, you are obviously not as skilled with the ladies as I assumed. ” [Loc 2715]

Would you keep reading? 

tuesdayTeaser Tuesday is hosted by The PurpleBooker. Post two sentences from somewhere in a book you’re reading. No spoilers, please! List the author and book title too. Link up HERE.

First Chapter/First Paragraph/Tuesday Intros is hosted by Bibliophile By The Sea. To participate, share the first paragraph (or a few) from a book you’re reading or thinking about reading soon. Link up HERE.


Cover Characteristics: Train

Cover Characteristics2

This is a new meme hosted by Sugar & Snark. It came about when Sugar was wondering which cover to use for her #70 Cover of the Week post. Sugar kept on thinking of more than one, and they all seemed to have a theme/characteristic. So she decided to switch things up a bit!

Each week we will post a characteristic and choose 5 of our favorite covers with that characteristic. If you want to join in and share your 5 favorite covers with the week’s particular characteristic, then just make a post, grab the meme picture (or make your own) and leave your URL in Linky (so we can visit). You don’t even need to participate, just stopping by and saying hi would be great! Don’t forget to stop by the other participants!


Read More »

Review: Last Night with the Duke


Title: Last Night with the Duke
Author: Amelia Grey
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Release Date: March 2017
Length: 297 pages
Series?: The Rakes of St. James #1
Genre: Historical Romance

Could finding love be his greatest scandal of all? 

The Duke of Griffin has never lived down his reputation as one of the Rakes of St. James. Now rumors are swirling that his twin sisters may bear the brunt of his past follies. Hiring a competent chaperone is the only thing Griffin has on his mind–until he meets the lovely and intriguing Miss Esmeralda Swift. In ways he could never have expected, she arouses more than just his curiosity.

Esmeralda Swift considered herself too sensible to ever fall for a scoundrel, but that was before she met the irresistibly seductive Duke of Griffin. His employment offer proves too tempting for her to resist. She can’t afford to be distracted by his devilish charms because the stakes are so high for his sisters’ debut Season. . .unless one of London’s most notorious rakes has had a change of heart and is ready to make Esmeralda his bride?

Find the book: Goodreads | Amazon

my review

The Skinny

Esmerelda Swift is an enterprising businesswoman who runs Miss Mamie Fortescue’s Employment Agency for women. She has run the agency and cared for her younger sister for some time, but things are becoming extremely tight. They need incoming jobs for Miss Mamie’s to continue its employment services….and keep their home. She has everything to lose.

When the Duke of Griffin whirls in and demands Esmerelda chaperone his twin sisters for their introduction to the ton, he won’t take no for an answer. After earning his nickname as one of the “Rakes of St. James” for his own behavior with young ladies of the ton during his younger days, he is now concerned for his own sisters’ safety and protection during their debut as rumors swirl. Especially when “Miss Honor A Truth’s” weekly scandal sheet is released…and the Duke and his sisters find themselves the center of Society attention.

A strong but friendly chaperone is the perfect answer. Esmerelda throws up a myraid of excuses and finds herself, her sister, and their dog living at Griffin’s home and ushering the argumentative twins to events while keeping the peace.


The Players

Esmerelda (Esme) – disowned granddaughter of a noble, quietly operates a servicewomen agency and cares for her sister

Josephine – Esmerelda’s 12 year old sister

Griffin – Benedict Mercer, Duke of Griffin, named one of the Rakes of St. James

Lady Vera – the forceful and cantankerous twin

Lady Sara – the sweet twin

Rust Rathburne – Duke of Rathburne, Griffin’s friend and another of the Rakes of St. James

Sloan Knox -Duke of Hawksthorn, Griffin’s friend and another of the Rakes of St. James

The Quote

If there was a yelling and a shove when they both wanted to play the pianoforte, what would happen when they both started vying for the same young man’s attention?

The Highs and Lows

  • Esmerelda. Her past is important and often Essie turns to in her own thoughts. She is the granddaughter of a viscount, nobility in her own right. However, since her mother chose to love an Irish poet against the wishes of her father, Esmerelda’s mother was disowned. Both her mother and stepfather have since passed on, leaving Esmerelda to care for her 12-year-old sister who is a mix of bratty and sweet. Esmerelda’s life went from governesses to becoming one, and she worked her way up to now own Miss Mamie Fortescue’s Employment Agency, a small company that places servicewomen with high society families. Essie is an enterprising, hard-working, independent, and stubborn woman. I admired and revered her for those qualities, but at times they also seemed like a facade. Essie is hired for her strong backbone, but at every turn in her new employ she is ready to rush and pack her bags, knowing she will be fired. Her independence and confidence were like the spikes and drops in a diabetic’s blood sugar.
  • The Attraction. I didn’t find there to be any romance in this “romance” novel. Benedict Mercer, the Duke of Griffin, is inexplicably attracted to Esmerelda the moment he hears her voice while eavesdropping on her reprimanding an employee. And again when he sets eyes on her. The insta-lust remains that throughout the entire book. There is no real development of their relationship, no growth. They spend very little time together, and their “romance” is some secretive kisses and make-out sessions in the library that can’t go too far. Essie’s commoner “miss” status draws Griffin like a moth to a flame, and ultimately what he also uses to push her away. A Duke can’t marry a mere commoner, but he can dally with one. Flirt, tease, bemoan the fact that he needs to settle down with a “proper” lady. It was a bit of a farce watching Griffin’s intentions completely change as soon as he learned of her family heritage and nobility status. It didn’t seem authentic or believable.
  •  The Goofs. Historically, this is not quite accurate. In no Regency world would a single, virginal employment agency administrator with a teenage sister and a rascally dog be a live-in partial chaperone. Essie doesn’t conduct the full duties of a chaperone, only the public facing ones. All of the planning and orchestrating has been done by Griffin’s aunt, who can’t go out due to a skin condition, which seemed engineered on her part to force Griffin toward a woman. Not to mention how a Duke would not be entering a women’s employment agency. No, there are servants for that – even the housekeeper at worst would have been sent.
  • The Twins. While the twins are quite snotty and catty, they show some development. They fight over everything left and right, and there seemed to even be a slight streak of malice in one of them, aimed at the other. They are high-spirited and high maintenance. However, their undying love for the same man is soon overcome and resolved, and Sara ends up finding her own love. Once the twins got past their tit-for-tat, I enjoyed their characters immensely and hope they make more than just cameos in the remainder of the series. In fact, I wonder if Rath or Hawk will wind up falling for Vera.
  • The Mysterious Revenge Plot. The entire plot of the story revolves around blind Sir Welby’s first-hand accounts of a group of young men bent on ruining Griffin’s sisters. Reputations and perceptions are the powerhouse of the ton, and even the slightest mar is a death threat for a young woman – just like the dozen women Griffin, Hawk, and Rath innocently damaged a decade prior when each young lady appeared at a clandestine location, unchaperoned, in the middle of the night to meet their secret admirers. While there are rumors continuing to abound, Griffin and Esmerelda are suspicious of every young man who shows too much attention or none at all! When the Season is half over with no attempt of harm, they begin to question the validity of Sir Welby’s claim. The mysterious revenge plot drug on…and then dissipated. It was quite anticlimactic.



Amelia Grey (aka Gloria Dale Skinner) grew up in a small town in the Florida Panhandle. She has been happily married to her high school sweetheart for over twenty-five years. She has lived in Alabama, Connecticut, New Hampshire and now lives in Florida.

Amelia has won the coveted Romantic Times award for Love and Laughter, the prestigious Maggie award for best historical and Affaire de Coeur’s best American historical award. She has been a finalist for the Golden Heart and the Holt Medallion awards which are given by Romance Writers of America and numerous other awards. Her books have been sold to many countries in Europe, Russia and China.

Amelia likes flowers, candlelight, sweet smiles, gentle laughter and sunshine.

Find the author: Website | Facebook | Goodreads

Sunday Post ~ Nostalgia

0abf9b9e-b7ac-4d59-b451-7eb7c64ea1b9_zps47hi5hueThe Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news, a post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things received, and share news about what is coming up on the blog for the week ahead. To get in on the Sunday funday, see the rules here: Suday Post Meme.


The little rugrat Cera is doing much better! She finished the antibiotics on Thursday and she is back to her romping self, orchestrating bunny runs with Baby. They’ve been particularly interested in the doghouse that came with The Man’s house. I suspect a batch of bunnies underneath. That is going to get fixed this week, though.

On Tuesday I had to go pick up packages at my house and also go through some tubs of things my mother set aside for me. A lot of it was from my high school prom and graduation and old newspaper clippings, cards, and photos. Oh, so many photos! I now have them all tucked away in a box at The Man’s, but I showed him my amazing winking skills as debuted in childhood photos from age 3-5ish. I did not, however, show him any photos of me sporting an honest-to-God mullet. I do not believe I told my mother I wanted that hairstyle, no matter how much I was enamored of one-hit wonder Billy Cyrus.

Most of the photos were from my pre-teen and teen years, though. It was nice to look back and reminisce on them. I will be the first to admit that I’m a very nostalgic person, as is my mother. I found the homemade birthday card my baby brother made for my 18th birthday when he was learning to write, the only card I could find from my late grandfather, and the university graduation announcement from my late aunt’s master’s degree from the same university I later attended, as well as a few cards from her before she started typing them. I plan to put all my prom and graduation things into my bullet journal, fitting since this year was our 10-year reunion.

My tell-tale winking skills are evident in more than just this Christmas photo. I was a charmer!

This week The Man’s dad comes to visit for a Texas summer. There are some projects on the agenda, but he will also be looking at properties in the area may be looking at properties in the area. On Thursday afternoon The Man was on the phone as soon as he woke up (which never happens unless it’s the DA or court liaison). It was his dad and the news was not good. I don’t even know definitively if he’s still coming down or not, but I hope we have some answers soon.





  • Monday
    • Cover Characteristics ~ Train
    • Review ~ Last Night with the Duke
  • Tuesday
    • Top Ten Tuesday ~
    • Teaser Tuesday & Intro ~ The Unwanted Heiress
  • Wednesday
    • WWW Wednesday
  • Thursday
    • My Bullet Journal ~ Recent Work
  •  Friday
    • Book Blogger Hop ~ 7.28.17