August 2013

Summer 2013 Sharing Time

Welcome to Summer 2013's Sharing Time Linky :)

Last week I posted a Book Review & Giveaway for Longing For Home. (Don't miss your chance to enter!)

Now, onto the Link Party! I love all of the fun, Summery ideas you've added so far this Summer, but it's not quite over yet! :)

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Longing For Home Giveaway

My sister tells me she's been reading some of Sarah M. Eden's books.

I hadn't heard of Sarah's books before I reviewed her newest novel, Longing For Home. Now that I've heard that my sister likes her other books, and have had a chance to enjoy some of her writing, I'll be watching for her other books- especially in Spring 2014, for the Sequel to Longing For Home!

At first when I heard about this book, I didn't think I wanted to review it because I didn't want to be dying to read the sequel and have to wait for it to come out. Well, I decided to review it anyway, and I was exactly right- I wish I could read the sequel today! (But I'm not at all disappointed that I read the book- I really liked it!) I'll just have to try to put it out of my mind until the Spring. ;)

Here's the product description from the back of the book:

Though she was only a child during the darkest days of Ireland’s Great Famine, Katie Macauley feels responsible for the loss of her family’s land and the death of her sister. Now a woman grown, Katie has left Ireland for America and the promise of earning money enough to return home again and plead for her family’s forgiveness. She arrives in Hope Springs, Wyoming Territory, a town sharply divided between the Americans who have settled there, with their deep hatred of the Irish, and the Irish immigrants who have come searching for a place to call home. Her arrival tips the precarious balance, and the feud erupts anew. Even in the midst of hatred and violence, however, Katie finds reason to hope. Two men, as different as they are intriguing, vie for her heart, turning her thoughts for the first time toward a future away from Ireland. Katie must now make the hardest decision of her life: stay and give her heart a chance at love, or return home and give her soul the possibility of peace.

I found Katie's character very lovable and couldn't wait for her to share more of her story with those who care about her. I loved following the town's story and watching the way that Katie affects the long-standing feud that stands between the residents of the town. As I mentioned earlier, I'm dying to find out what happens in the next book! :)

Longing For Home is another of the "A Proper Romance" books that Shadow Mountain has been publishing. You'll notice the "a proper romance" logo (below) on the other books that fit under this category as well. There are some sales on the e-books for the "A Proper Romance" brand on Amazon right now! Longing for Home is on sale for $7.99 this month, and next month Edenbrooke (see my post on that book) will be on sale for $1.99 and Blackmoore (I'm reading this now & will blog about it next month!) will be $7.99!

Now you may have noticed that the title of this post said that this is a giveaway- let's get to that, shall we? :) Just fill out the form below to enter for your chance to win a paperback copy of the book!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for review purposes from Deseret Book. All opinions expressed here are my very own.

Thursday Thoughts: They're Going Back to School

What's that? You've noticed I haven't blogged much this summer? You've missed me?
Okay, really though, has anyone missed me?

Sometimes I wonder who you are... you, who are reading this. I don't hear from you too often in comments or emails. I don't really blame you though- I read some blogs too, and most of the time I just read and then move on to the next post or the next thing to do. I pin the recipes or tutorials that I'd like to try someday, or I smile or laugh or cry to myself (about what I read) and then move on. I comment when I have something to say or when I've been so touched that I just can't leave without saying "thank you for writing that".

Is this your blog reading "routine" too?

... so I haven't blogged much this summer. I've been trying to focus on making the most of the time that I have with the girls home. This is the year that Katrina will begin school (not every day- thankfully, I get to transition slowly into this both-kids-at-school thing). I suspect the lack of blogging will change next month when I suddenly have more child-free time in my life than I've had for the past 7+ years. So, you'll be hearing (or reading, rather) from me more in the future.

What is that like? (the all-kids-at-school thing) If you're reading this and you've hit that stage or been through that stage, what was it like? Was it sad for you when they left? Were you excited about the alone time? Did you find it productive time? Did you find the "school time" part of the day flew by? Or maybe you were working so it didn't make a big difference to your day? Or you started working..

I have mixed feelings about it.
I didn't tell you this, but I was thinking about homeschooling. I've thought about homeschooling before. My husband was homeschooled for 4 years and I know a handful of people who were also homeschooled. Beyond that, I have met even more moms who are currently homeschooling (in real life, and through blogs). So, suddenly homeschool was on my radar although I never would have predicted that. This summer I spent a lot of time thinking about and researching homeschooling. I came really close this time, but in the end, school feels the most right for our family right now. I'm totally open to homeschooling at some point in the future if I think it is right, but for now, this is our choice.

So after thinking so seriously about homeschooling and all of the lovely pros that come with homeschooling, there is a sadness to sending them away to school in the Fall. I will miss spending more time with those munchkins!

Have your kids already started school this year?
What were your favourite things that you did with your kids or whole family this summer?

(Now, I know you're reading this, so come talk to me in the comments section so I don't feel like nobody's reading.. ;)

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15 Mouthwatering Summer Desserts

I've loved seeing all of the fun activities, crafts, and food you've been sharing at our summer link-up! Today I want to feature a bunch of your awesome summer desserts! The linky was posted again yesterday, so keep adding your ideas! It'll be open until the end of August :)

15 Delicious Summer Dessert Recipes at

Chocolate Zucchini Cake by The Pin Junkie

Healthy Summer Strawberry Dessert by Domestic Bliss

Cool Key Lime Pie Bites by I Dig Pinterest

Strawberry Crisp in a Mug by True Blue Baking

Skinny Funfetti Cake Dip by Made From Pinterest

Watermelon Ice Cream Cake by Raising Memories

Rolo Milkshake by Life With the Crust Cut Off

Peach Cobbler by The Pin Junkie

Simple Berry Parfaits by Raising Memories

Strawberry Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting by Or So She Says

Slimy Slug Candy by Making Memories with Your Kids

Orange Creamcicle Poke Cake by Life With the Crust Cut Off

Melted Ice Cream Cake by Don't Mess With My Tutus!

Poptart Ice Cream Sandwiches by Life With the Crust Cut Off

Easy, Healthy Yogurt Popsicles by Raising Memories

Summer 2013 Sharing Time

Welcome to Summer 2013's Sharing Time Linky :)

This week I shared an easy way to make your own Kinder Egg Chocolate Popcorn! :)

Now, onto the Link Party! I can't wait to see the fun, Summery ideas you'll add this week!

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Kinder Egg Chocolate Popcorn

I mentioned in my last Kinder post that our shipment of eggs arrived warped from melting in the heat on its way to us. We tried a couple of things with the chocolate including making our own Kinder Hot Chocolate! :)

Today I wanted to show you what we did with the rest of our melted eggs:

We Made Kinder Chocolate Popcorn! :)

What to do with melted Kinder Eggs by

Here's what you do:

Checking In :)

There are so many things that I want to write about here! There are so many projects and recipes and other discoveries that I'd like to share. The photos have been taken and they sit in folders on my computer, waiting.

They're waiting for me to find the time to write out the posts. And for now, they'll continue to wait because I am doing my best to soak up these days of Summer! We had a lovely family day yesterday (that I'll have to write about later).

I just wanted to check in to say that I'm still here, and I will return with more posts at some point, even though for now and throughout this summer so far, the posts haven't been as frequent as usual.

I hope you're all having a fabulous Summer with your families!

(and every post deserves a photo... here's one from a family photo session we had done this summer- so happy to have an updated photo of our family! :)

How To Make Hot Chocolate From Kinder Eggs #KinderMom

Because of the hot weather we had been having,
our most recent shipment of Kinder Eggs
arrived in rough shape, melted from the heat.

So, we got creative with how to enjoy them! (Don't miss my Kinder Egg Popcorn post for another creative way to use Kinder Egg Chocolate ;) I unwrapped the eggs that were in really rough shape & took the chocolate off & gave the girls the plastic eggs. Then I tried making Kinder Egg Hot Chocolate! (It was like melted Kinder Egg in a mug- delicious!)

Another #KinderMom recommended adding 2 Kinder Eggs (of course just the chocolate- unwrap first and remove the plastic egg with toy inside ;) to a mug of steamed milk- it worked like a charm!

Now, a little about the new Kinder Eggs...

Shortly after it came out in theatres, we took our girls to see Monsters University (they loved the first movie and we were pretty sure the second would live up to it), so they were really excited when they heard that our next box of Kinder eggs would have Monsters University toys inside! They thought the movie was really funny, and they love to recreate the movie with the toys :)

We were even more excited that EVERY one of the Monsters University eggs has a Monsters University toy in it (not just some of them). You can check out the new section to Kinder®’s Toy Gallery on Facebook (you can browse and vote for your favourites)

Disclosure: I’m part of the KINDER® Mom program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

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