Weekend Favorites 

…because I missed Friday…oops! 

1.) Book page jewelry….you guys, these bracelets are my favorite! I’ve been wearing them every day since I got them! A good friend of mine makes bracelets, earrings, and necklaces with book pages and they are awesome! Mine are made from the pages of To Kill a Mockingbird. 


2.) Hamilton the musical. A Broadway musical about the founding of our country?! Yes please!! 

3.) To Kill a Mockingbird. 

It’s not new by any means; its that book that I go to when nothing else interests me; that book that makes me think every time I read it; the book that taught me about people and human nature. 

RIP Harper Lee. 

Hoping you all had a fabulous weekend!






Friday Favorites: TEXAS ROAD TRIP Edition

Hey ya’ll : )


It’s Friday and that means it’s time for Friday Favorites! I’m linking up with Andrea and sharing a ton of pictures today (sorry about that!)…

I just returned home from a week long trip to Texas and I have to tell you…it was pretty awesome!

We started out in Dallas…we went to Tillman’s Roadhouse for dessert in the evening before checking into our hotel my FAVORITE thing was the tabletop s’mores that we had for dessert; homemade marshmallows, homemade graham crackers, and chocolate bark….can you say DELICIOUS?!


Dining room at Tillman’s Roadhouse in Dallas


I fell in love with the whole feel of this place: art on the walls, mismatched pillows on the benches….


Dark chocolate, homemade marshmallows, homemade grahams, and a little pot of fire to roast them over…


Roasting our marshmallows


seriously, ya’ll are lucky I remembered to take a picture before I devoured this whole thing!

These were delicious : )

When we woke up the next morning we headed into the heart of downtown and made our way to the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum. My FAVORITE thing is to visit anything historical and this is THE very BEST presidential museum I’ve visited (and I’ve visited my fair share…..9, plus birth places, childhood homes, and various other historical sites…I’m a total history nerd!)


Super blurry, but this was the view of Dallas as we came in from the south after leaving Tillman’s


The Baseball exhibit at George W. Bush’s museum…if you’ve been reading for a while you know that baseball holds a special place in my heart; its something that I share with my dad and walking through this part of the exhibit with him was really cool….


Bush 43 throwing out the first pitch in Yankee Stadium during the 2001 world series just a month after the terror attacks that rocked our nation….and behind him, his dad Bush 41 with Babe Ruth.


Son and Father…Daughter and Father : )


Laura’s Reading Room


Laura’s red State Dinner dress (this picture doesn’t even begin to do it justice).


Beams from the World Trade Center


The Oval Office….


Barney and Miss Beazley


“Grateful for our freedom…Faithful to our cause…”

 After the GWB Museum we headed off to Dealey Plaza…and the Sixth Floor Museum…


The Grassy Knoll

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This was a very sobering, very heavy place to be…to stand in a place where history was changed in an instant was….incredible.

After Dallas, which was definitely a FAVORITE place we hopped in the car and drove to…


In Austin we had some of the best barbecue I’ve ever tasted at The Salt Lick BBQ in Round Rock. The ribs…oh.my.stars. My FAVORITE! 

The next morning we headed out to the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Museum and then had lunch at the Austin Daily Press in the afternoon where I had my FAVORITE lunch of the trip…they make amazing pressed sandwiches and homemade chips; you can find them in Austin at a brick and mortar location OR they also have a food truck operating in the city, either way you can’t lose with the ADP!


After lunch we got in the car once again and made our way to…

San Antonio!

This was probably my FAVORITE leg of the trip; we went to The Alamo and The Riverwalk.

The Alamo was another one of those very heavy, very sobering places to visit. Knowing the history, knowing how valiantly the Texans fought to defend their position and laying down their lives to defend it just gives you a very heavy heart…and the history is pretty amazing.

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We had my FAVORITE food for dinner that night on the Riverwalk, MEXICAN : )

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 After a night in San Antonio we packed up (AGAIN!) and drove to…

Houston, where we visited the Johnson Space Center. I don’t have a lot to say about this because the nerd in me could write a book about this part of the trip so I will be doing a separate post for this leg of the trip) for now, here are pictures of my FAVORITE things at the JSC…


Inside Historic Mission Control…the pictures that follow are of various rockets, engines and shuttles….


Earth Rise, one of my FAVORITE pictures

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After the morning and afternoon in the JSC we headed out to College Station and the campus of Texas A&M (Go Aggies!)

After a night in B-CS we woke up and took a drive around campus and then visited the George H. W. Bush Presidential Museum (two more FAVORITES for this trip!!)


Dear old Dad on campus at Texas A&M


George H.W. Bush….the following pictures are from his museum

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President and Mrs. George H.W. Bush and President and Mrs. George W. Bush are my FAVORITE Presidents and first ladies. Regardless of how you feel about their politics they are good people. I got a very familiar, warm feeling in each of their museums, almost as if you are an old friend sitting down with them and listening to them share their lives! I highly recommend visiting these tow museums!

After a great day in College Station we packed up and started our journey back to Michigan; with a stop in Little Rock, Arkansas and a stop in Lexington, Kentucky we made it home!

I would like to ask (if you made it to the end of this CRAZY LONG post) please join me in praying for Texas! With the rain, and flooding, and all the crazy the people of Texas are pretty heavy on my heart right now. I thank God for keeping us safe while we were in Texas last week and my heart goes out to all of the wonderful people I met and I pray that they all stay safe!

Thanks for letting me share my travels with you (and sorry for the abundance of pictures!)



Friday Favorite’s: Snow Day!! Edition

Happy cold and snowy Friday to you all…and if you happen to be where it is not cold and snowy shout it out in the comments so I can dream of someplace warm!!

It is Friday and that means it’s time for Friday Favorites so I will be linking up once again with Andrea, and today, thanks to the bitter cold (think a wind chill of -10) I am staying in today and watching movies, baking cookies, and perusing the stack of cookbooks that I got from the library yesterday which brings me to my first favorite…

1.) Spike Mendelsohn’s cook book, The Good Stuff The name is not a lie…in the pages of this book is nothing but good stuff…burgers, salads, shakes, and sides…you guys this book is basically heaven for this Midwestern Girl, I highly recommend this book!

2.) Rachel Balducci’s Weekly Downton Abbey Recaps If you are a fan of the weekly (melo)Drama, Downton Abbey, Rachel’s recaps are a must read and really there isn’t much more I need to say about that!

3.) Favorite Posts On My Blog This Week aka, shameless self promotion! I’ve been participating in Andrea’s Show and Tell Tuesday series, however with this weeks I didn’t add my link to the list – simply because mine was not a traditional (non-fictional) love story. This week I decided (because I don’t have my own love story to share) to introduce readers to the stars of my latest novel, Hannah and Robert Bishopand I couldn’t introduce those two without also introducing Molly Williams. Check them out and let me know what you think! I’m working on developing a historical fiction series and these are the characters from the installment that centers around the Battle of Gettysburg but employs two timelines: 1.) 1863 and 2.) 2014/15. It has been pretty interesting writing the dual timelines and dealing with the historical research but right now the research is one of my Favorite Things. 

4.) It’s really no secret (to anyone who knows me) that I’m a bit of a nerd but, I’ve always had a deep love of history and researching the civil war – specifically the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863 – has been one of my favorite things. I’ve been doing lots of reading, researching both the Union and Confederate armies and their commanders…seriously, I’m considering really diving deeper into writing historical fiction!

Thank you so much for stopping by, have a great weekend, stay warm, and if you’re already someplace warm…enjoy it!



Friday Favorites: Alone On Valentine’s Day Edition

Happy Friday! I’m linking up with Andrea today to share my Friday Favorites and since I’m already late getting this done I will spare you a long introduction and just get right to it….

(small intro, sorry!!) I’m single and will be spending Valentine’s Day at home catching up on things for work and school, editing a novel, working on the development of a new series, and enjoying a relaxed, not at all stressful Saturday at home…the first such day in a VERY long time….

1.) I will be watching this movie:

My all time favorite romantic comedy, a twist on Pride and Prejudice, starring the amazing Tom Hanks…you cannot go wrong with this movie.

2.) I will be cooking dinner for my family – one of my favorite things to do and we will be having Chicken Pitas with Whipped Jalapeno Feta courtesy of Janssen at Everyday Reading.  I prepped these tonight – the feta and tzatziki sauce are probably two of the most delicious things I’ve had in a while!! I highly recommend this recipe!!

3.) I will also soon be making a batch of Shay’s Chocolate Chip Neiman Marcus Bars – they are my dad’s absolute favorite and a close second is her S’Mores Bars. These are the most baked things in my house even though I have tried to explain to my dad that there is a new recipe every week that I would like to try…these two are favorites in my house. Mom and dad both love them and I love to make them!

4.) Here’s the thing – I’m not actually going to be “alone” on Valentine’s Day, I’m going to spend the day surrounded by family, sure I’m single but that’s okay. I’m not defined by my relationship status – I know that God has someone out there for me, that someday I will get to share my life with a husband, make a home for a family, and I’m content where I am in my life right now. I’m single, I’m happy, and I’m loving my life right now!!

Thank you so much for stopping by! Happy Valentine’s Day!




Friday Favorites:All About Books

Happy Friday! It’s been a while since I’ve done a Friday Favorites post so I figured I’d throw one together before heading in to work at the school today and link it up with Andrea… I don’t have a lot to share today just a few things from this week…

1.) The Public Library
So, apparently I’ve been living under a rock for my whole adult life because I just got my library card this week…it was my first time in a public library and to be honest I felt like a complete nincompoop walking up to the desk and saying something along the lines of “hi…uh…um, yeah I’ve never been here before….I need a um….(I think I may have whispered this last part as if I was in the midst of a drug deal or something)….library card.” I then proceeded to check out a stack of books and downloading the Overdrive App, leading me to…

2.) Overdrive
I downloaded Overdrive to my phone, added my library and immediately began browsing the available titles. You link to your library and can download e-books and audio books across devices and it is amazing! I ventured into the world of audio books for the first time – I’ve always been strictly a physical book reader (my poor Kindle is sitting neglected on my bookshelf as I type) but I have to say, the fact that I can listen to a book and clean (or sand the bare bathroom walls to get ready for paint) or run the snow blower on the driveway or while I’m laying in bed at night unable to fall asleep is pretty appealing to me.

3.) Bossypants by Tina Fey

My first audio book was Bossypants, by the always funny Tina Fey. This in a situation where I think I made the best choice opting for the audio book version because Tina fey does the reading. I laughed so much while listening to her tell her life (and career) story…as a first foray into the world of audio books I think this was a great choice and I have holds on a few more that I am really looking forward to!

4.) Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham

Okay, I’ll give you a little more than that. Lauren Graham has such a great narrative style (which is not at all a surprise). This novel is one that has been on my “To Be Read” list for a while and thanks to the library I finally got my hands on it. I’m about halfway through and already love the story (and the very subtle Gilmore Girls references); the story itself is compelling and complex and just plain fun.

I do have a few more books in my basket that I look forward to reading and an ever growing TBR list.

What are your favorite books? Do you have an opinion on audio books? Any thing I need to add to my TBR list? Let me know in the comments!!


Friday Favorites: Hodge Podge

Good Morning and Happy Friday!! This week’s Friday Favorites is brought to you by me and my fried brain (thank you very much algebra) so there is really no theme to my favorites today, just a jumble of things that I want to share….I’m linking up with Andrea today to share Friday Favorites so make sure you stop over to Momfessionals and if that’s how you found me, thanks for stopping by!

Off we go…

1.) Christmas Album….

Yes, I’m already listening to Christmas music…no, it is not too early : ) Right now my favorite Christmas Album is Idina Menzel’s Holiday Wishes

2.) TV Show…

PBS Masterpiece has taken on the adaptation of P.D. James’ Death Comes to Pemberley, a Pride and Prejudice Murder mystery. Mr. and Mrs. Darcy are hosting a ball, their party is crashed, and there is a murder on the premises….The book is phenomenal and so far part one of the Masterpiece Mystery adaptation has not disappointed, I can’t wait to see the rest of it! 
3.) Halloween Tradition….

Pizza, a movie, and passing out candy. Every year since I stopped trick or treating and this year will be no different. This year it will be homemade pizza, Marvel’s The Avengers, and a couple hundred pieces of assorted chocolate candy to pass out….I put the finishing touches on my costume last night and am so excited to finally debut it at the classroom party today at the school where I volunteer….pictures to come! 
4.) Halloween Costume….

This year’s….
I was called everything from Dorothy to Snow White. The best moment today was when one little sweetheart in the room I assist in ran up and threw her arms around me in a big bear hug and whispered “Belle has always been my favorite too.” You have to know this little girl; she just wants someone to talk to her, someone to listen, someone to give her hugs…if I brightened her day even the slightest bit, that is more than enough to make today perfect!
Happy Halloween!

Friday Favorites: Writer’s Edition

Happy Friday, welcome to Friday Favorites, and my first post in a couple months. I’ve been quite for a while because I have been working on a few different projects that I let take priority over the blog. Anyway, now that I’m making some progress on one of my big projects I am hoping to be more consistent in my blogging. To start, I’m going to share some of my favorite writing tools, tips, and tricks….I’m linking up with Andrea to share my Friday Favorites….enjoy!!


It sounds nuts but editing is one of my favorite things! It always has been. I love being able to read my work again and it’s a kind of stress relief for me to tear my work to shreds with my red pen.

In July I wrote a novel. An actual, honest to goodness, novel. I have spent the last few months editing that thing to death. I cut several scenes, added several scenes, and have been terrorized by grammar. The first round of editing is finished and a proof is on it’s way to my house in the next few weeks. I’m hoping that I managed to find all the little mistakes, fixed everything that needed fixing, and if all goes as planned I will be publishing (!!!) sometime in November. Now, I know that I said up above that I edit with a red pen, but in all actuality I use whatever pen I can find lately I’ve been using these beauties that Andrea recommended on her blog.

Stabilo Point 88 Pen Sets color parade adjustable set set of 20

These are great for editing! The fine tip allows me to make notes in the margins, make rewrites, and the best part is that they don’t bleed through the paper which was a major selling point for me! 
Favorite Writing Music

I love to work with music on in whatever room I’m in, but if I am actually writing at my desk (which in all honesty is very rare), I love to listen to anything that is instrumental. Right now the staples are Bach’s Cello suites, and the score from Pride and Prejudice. 

Favorite Ways to Keep Writing

There are several tools that I use to keep me writing; Write Track, is an online resource that helps you set goals and stick to them when it comes to creating content whether that is writing, photography, illustration or any other kind of creating. It allows you to set your own goals, update them just like you would a FB status, and it has helped so much with reminding me to edit a little bit everyday when I’m finished with school stuff. I’m a senior in college, I work, and I volunteer every week at the elementary school near my house so a reminder to work on my project when I have time is pretty helpful because I don’t usually make time between work, school, church, and volunteering. Even if I only spend a few minutes editing or writing each day, at least I’m making some progress.

The NaNoWriMo site is awesome, especially in November when you can track your word count by the day. I am the kind of person that is motivated by actually seeing my progress so seeing my little line graph creep up each day is really satisfying and very motivational.

Friends and fellow writers are honestly the best resources that you can have as a writer. They keep you on track, act as a sounding board when you have issues with your plot, and can talk sense into you when you feel bogged down and want to quit. I have a great friend who is also a writer and I have to tell you she puts up with a lot from me. When I was writing my first novel I would send her the most random texts and messages asking about what she thought about certain characters and what they would do in certain situations.

Favorite New Book

This one is not a tip or a trick but I have to tell you about the book that my best friend just published! It is called The Ripple Affair and here is the description from Amazon:

Edward Engel is many things. A prince to inherit a throne. A man betrothed to the beautiful Lady Antoinette. A dashing warrior with no equal in skill. And a man with enough secrets to make his entire world crumble. His life remains uninterrupted until he meets Malina, the daughter of a neighboring king, who quickly sets her gazes upon the prince and his heavy crown. After a drunken night of passion between them, Edward hopes his meeting with Malina will become just another secret to bury, never to be known to anyone but him and the princess. But it takes two to keep a secret, and Malina is not one to let a man get away so easily. Will Edward be able to keep his secrets intact, or will his affair with Malina create a ripple effect that goes beyond the bedchamber

I want you to understand that this is Christian Fiction; it deals with infidelity, but is ultimately a redemption story. You can buy the book HERE (Kindle edition coming soon) and you can find out more about the author HERE. Like I said The author is a great friend of mine – in fact she’s the one that convinced me to start writing again – if you are in need of a good book or a new blog to add to your subscriptions check her out and I promise you won’t be disappointed (not that I’m biased or anything!).  

Those are my Friday Favorites for this week! I’m going to try to get some posts scheduled for the month of November because I will be working on the sequel to the novel that I just finished editing. I will keep you posted on the publishing process and you will be the first to know when it goes on sale!

If you made it this far without me boring you too much I would love to hear from you! Do you have a favorite book, favorite author, or do you yourself write? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for stopping by.


Friday Favorites

Good evening and happy Friday! I’m liking up with Andrea today for Friday Favorites; I’m lat with it because I forgot to schedule a post for today and was in the office all day today but I did remember to jot down a few favorites this week to share so here goes….

1.) My Fitbit Flex. 
I am totally in love with my Fitbit Flex and the app that goes along with it. I love that it tracks my steps, calories burned, and even my sleep patterns. I wear it all day every day and on days when I don’t want it seen on my wrist (lets face it, it’s a little clunky) I link it to a belt loop on my pants and wear it discreetly…but it still measures everything. 
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2.) Tazo Chai Pumpkin Spice Latte

Target had these on sale 2 for $6.00 so naturally I bought two…and I will probably head back to Target for two more! You just add milk to the Latte concentrate and serve it hot or iced…I’ve had it both ways and I LOVE it iced! 
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3.) Checkerboard Slipper

Living in Michigan I’m pretty used to crazy weather but we had a crazy cold front move in yesterday and I was off work so I stayed inside, with tea, an episode of Gilmore Girls, some knitting, and these awesome checkerboard slippers on my feet. I would love to tell you where you can find the warmest, most comfortable slippers around but sadly I can’t link to it. My grandma made me these. She’s been making these for members of our family for as long as I can remember – sometimes a new pair every year. I hadn’t had a new pair since I was in third grade…thirteen years ago. Finally last year she made me a new pair and I wear them just about every cold night here in Michigan – so from September to May : )
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That’s all I’ve got this week because – admittedly – I forgot about posting this week. I wrote a note in my planner to remind myself to post on Fridays, so hopefully next week I’ll be more prepared. 
Thanks for stopping by today, sorry for the quickness of the post. 
I hope you all have a great weekend with family and friends! 

Friday Favorites

It’s been a month since my last post, and I really feel bad that I’ve been neglecting this space but my mind has been on other things lately. Today in an effort to make up for lost time and fill you in on the last month I’m going to try something new….Today I’m linking up with Andrea (who I found through Shay – the Mix and Match Mama) for Friday Favorites…here we go!

1.) Gilmore Girls and Ben & Jerry’s –

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after a long day of things around the house breaking down, the dog getting into a patch of burrs (and subsequently being covered), spending time at the laundromat, and using conditioner to remove the burrs…I sat down with a pint of B&J and a watched a disk’s worth of Gilmore Girls.

2.) Paper Towns by John Green

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I’m kind of late to the The Fault in Our Stars party, but once I’d read TFiOS, I wanted to read more by John Green. The first book of his that I found after TFiOS was Paper Towns. I’m on my second reading of it, and I love it just as much – if not more – than the first time I read it. (^^The above pic was taken at the laundromat last night…my washer may not work, but last night I had a half hour of uninterrupted reading time…it was wonderful!!)

3.) The Lizzie Bennett Diaries

The Lizzie Bennett Diaries is an online web series on YouTube. It is a brilliant adaptation of Pride and Prejudice…I highly recommend it! 
4.) FedEx…I admit this one sounds a little crazy…but it also justifies my month long absence. You see for the month of July I was working on writing a novel. I finished the novel on July 27th and immediately ordered a printed and spiral bound copy of it from FedEx so that I could begin editing. So far in August I’ve had a few people beta read for me, and have been working almost daily – between work and normal everyday life – on editing. Right now a good friend of mine is beta reading for me and it makes me nervous to know that someone besides my mom is reading it…I don’t really have a picture to go with this one…
Except maybe this one!!! 
In addition to editing my first novel and working on self-publishing (which is a little daunting !!! ), I’m also working on writing a sequel. So let me apologize in advance if my posts are sporadic and infrequent….that on top of the fall semester starting in a few weeks is making me a little crazy, and adding a lot to my schedule but I promise to post more than once a month!! 
That’s it for me for Friday Favorites….I hope I did it right, I hope you enjoyed it, and I pray that you all have a wonderful weekend!