Thursday, February 8, 2018

Valentine's Day Gifts For Her

What does the lady in your life want for Valentine's Day? Don't have a clue? I've got some great ideas! These would be perfect for your wife, mom, sister, aunt, and daughter! it's entirely possible a couple of these might be on my wish list!

The last item, the metal bookmark is actually one I got from one of my bosses for Christmas. I love it and thought any reader in your life would love, too! I've got a super old hand mixer, and as much as I'd love a stand mixer, it's probably something I'll have to ask for at Christmas.

This past Christmas my mom gave me a wonderful plant stand, but I think I need a bigger one to make sure all of my plants get the sun they need! Who knew I'd be able to keep indoor plants alive? I actually brought in three of my outdoor plants inside to see if I could keep them alive over the winter! So far so good.

Keurig K15 Single Serve

Bluetooth Speakers, COMISO

Professional Skin Care Face and Body Brush System

URPOWER Essential Oil Diffuser

KitchenAid KHM512IC 5-Speed Ultra Power Hand Mixer

Plant Flower Stand Rack Shelf

JBL E45BT On-Ear Wireless Headphones

Hydro Flask

PopSockets 707030

Have you figured out what to get the ladies in your life yet? Hopefully these ideas helped. If you find anything else, be sure to let me know because I have quite a few ladies in my life!

Monday, February 5, 2018

Valentine's Day Gifts For Him

Have you figured out what gift to get your boyfriend, fiancé, or husband? I've been thinking of what to get Fred for about a month, and have yet to come up with anything. He already got my gift a couple weeks ago! What do you get a guy who doesn't really have any hobbies and doesn't collect anything?

Sometimes I think I can only get him "so" many t-shirts about Pittsburg Steelers or  Big Bang Theory. Yes, he wears them, but how many themed t-shirts can one guy have? lol So, here are some of the things I've been coming up with for this Valentine's Day for my hubby. Maybe they'll help you, too!

JBL Clip+ Splashproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker

HUHD Universal 2.4Ghz Optical Wireless Gaming Headset

Plano Angled Tackle System

Running Vest and LED Safety Light Sets

ENO Eagles Nest Outfitters - SingleNest Hammock

Kacebela BBQ Tools Set

Build-On Brick Mug Coffee Cup

R3-Promo Kreg R3 Jig Pocket Hole Kit With Free Classic Clamp Pack-In

Find 10 Valentine's Day gift ideas for the hard to buy for man in your life! These suggestions will help you out! #affiliate

Saturday, February 3, 2018

The Ladies Of Ivy Cottage By Julie Klassen

The Ladies of Ivy Cottage
by Julie Klassen
Publisher: Bethany House
ISBN: 9780764218156

This is the second novel in the Tales From Ivy Hill series. I read book one, The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill last year thanks to a review from Bethany House. I've also received book 2 as a review. This series is a departure from Julie's stand alone novels.


Return to Ivy Hill as friendships deepen, romances blossom, and mysteries unfold . . .
A gentlewoman in reduced circumstances, Miss Rachel Ashford lives as a guest in Ivy Cottage. With her meager funds rapidly depleting, she is determined to earn her own livelihood . . . somehow. Her friend Jane Bell and the other village women encourage her to open a circulating library with the many books she's inherited from her father. As villagers donate additional books and Rachel begins sorting through the volumes, she discovers mysteries hidden among them. A man who once broke her heart helps her search for clues, but both find more than they bargained for.

Rachel's hostess, Mercy Grove, has given up thoughts of suitors and finds fulfillment in managing her girls school. So when several men take an interest in Ivy Cottage, she assumes pretty Miss Ashford is the cause. Exactly what--or whom--has captured each man's attention? The truth may surprise them all.

My Review:

Reading book 1 of this series was a bit difficult for me to wrap my head around. I'll explain why. I'm used to Mrs. Klassen's stand alone novel type of writing. So I was trying to marry the two types of writing, but it wasn't working. I enjoyed The Inkeeper of Ivy Hill, it was just different than what I was expecting.

As we start in book 2, The Ladies of Ivy Cottage, it was nice to become reacquainted with the familiar characters. I have to admit, I kept mixing up Mercy and Rachel for the first part of the novel. I don't know why, but I couldn't remember their story lines and who they were connected to. HA! Halfway through, I finally had it figured out in my brain.

What I realized that I really enjoyed about this series is, the reader is basically a fly on the wall in the lives of quite a few people, but this setting mostly focuses on Mercy and Rachel. It actually took me longer to read this book than most. I think that's because there is so much going on with not only the main characters, but the supporting ones as well. There are a lot of details to take in, and you don't want to rush through anything.

I loved the process of Rachel's story with her library and the mysteries that are uncovered as she starts her new life. Of course, the idea of starting a library sounds wonderful, but as the reader knows, books aren't Rachel's strong suit. Mercy's storyline makes me excited for her opportunities until her parents decide to make decisions for her. Grrr And then there's Jane who is going through her own struggles while she runs the Inn.

I'm already looking forward to the next installation of this series. I have to say I enjoyed book 2 more than book 1, but that might be because I already knew the characters from book 1. I also felt like it was more to the writing I'm used to with the author. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

About the Author:

JULIE KLASSEN loves all things Jane--Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full-time. Three of her books, The Silent Governess, The Girl in the Gatehouse, and The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, have won the Christy Award for Historical Romance. The Secret of Pembrooke Park was honored with the Minnesota Book Award for genre fiction. Julie has also won the Midwest Book Award and Christian Retailing's BEST Award, and has been a finalist in the Romance Writers of America's RITA Awards and ACFW's Carol Awards. Julie and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota. For more information, visit

Thursday, February 1, 2018

$100 Cash Giveaway Event

Can you believe it, it is already February! What better way to celebrate February then entering to win $100.00! You have the option of choosing between $100 PayPal Cash OR an Amazon Gift Card. This event was organized by This Mamas Life, The More The Merrier, Woven By Words and Anderson's Angels, and sponsored by amazing bloggers.

Who wouldn't love to win some cash this month?! What better way for us to show the love to our followers than to give away some cash along with a group of bloggers! This is a month long event, so you have plenty of time to enter to win! Good luck. We're excited for this giveaway!!

Disclaimer: ONE entrant will be selected by the Giveaway Tools to win $100 PayPal cash or Amazon Gift Card. This giveaway is open for entry worldwide. You must be 18 or older to enter. Giveaway will run from 02/01/18 at 12:01 a.m. EST thru 02/28/18 at 11:59 p.m. EST. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. The winner will be chosen March 2, 2018. The winner will have 24 hours to respond to notification email to claim their prize or a new winner will be selected. We Three Moms is responsible for sending the winner their prize via PayPal or e-gift card. The winner has the option of choosing between PayPal and an e-gift card of choice.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

The Taste Of Maryland Legislative Reception

This is the third year Fred and I have attended The Taste of Maryland Legislative Reception. It's quite the affair. It's hosted at the Loews Hotel in Annapolis, Maryland. This is the 28th Annual Reception put on my the Restaurant Association of Maryland. It's held to celebrate the restaurant & hospitality industry.

Restaurants from 9 different counties in Maryland were there with some incredible menu items! Out of the last three years we've attended, I think we both felt this year had the best tasting selection of food. In years past, we've stopped for something to eat on the way home. I can admit that as I sit here typing, I'm still stuffed to the gills.

Let's chat about some of the food we tasted.

As soon as we walked in, we were greeted by the folks from Iron Rooster. They had Breakfast Fried Rice and two varieties of their homemade pop tarts. Fred went with the fried rice, but said it was extremely dry. I picked the mixed berry pop tart. It was in-cre-di-ble! I'll be honest, it's my favorite item on their menu. They look small, but were at least the size of your hand and filled with berry goodness!

Our next stop was at the Miss Shirley's table where they were serving BBQ Mac & Cheese. Sounds like the ultimate comfort food. I'm very particular about my bbq flavors so I passed, but Fred enjoyed it. Here's what it was made of: pulled pork with Baltimore BBQ Co. Chesapeake Sauce, Collard Greens with Tasso Ham & Cavatappi Pasta with Roasted Corn, Tomato & Diced Jalapeño-Smoked Bacon in a Five Cheese Blend garnished with Sauce, Cornbread Crumble, dusted with Cajun Spice! All of that in one little cup.

And then, THEN we stopped at EVO Public House. They had Crispy Pork Belly & Pickles. I've only had pork belly once, as an appetizer, at another restaurant and really enjoyed it. This though...this was something else. As I said in my Instagram post, it was divine! Amazingly juicy and flavorful. Yes, I felt my arteries clogging by just eating one, but that's why I go to the gym, right?!

We meandered through the two rooms getting ideas of other restaurants we wanted to try, talking to people along the way. One of the people we talked to was Tim, the Vice President from Congressional Seafood. He captured our attention with detailing how invasive Blue Catfish is in this area. He also served Wild Blue Catfish. I liked the shrimp that it was paired with, but since I'm not huge on fish, I wasn't a fan. Fred liked it though. He's my gauge when it comes to anything seafood.

We tried a Georgia Peach Brisket Slider from Kloby's Smokehouse. I wasn't a fan, but then again, I don't typically like brisket. Now, you have to understand, I tried a LOT of things that I wouldn't normally eat because when else would I have the chance? lol You never know when you might come across something that you end up really liking.

This was the first time I'd heard of cheese curds being served at the Reception. Sadly, Ace's Run Restaurant & Pub's fryers were making too much smoke. So while they were fried earlier, they weren't fresh like cheese curds need to be. Also, I'm a cheese curd purist. I don't want them dipped in anything and they were both laying on a touch of sauce that really overwhelmed the cheese curd. We tried their Brown Butter Sea Scallops and that was delish!

Fred's favorite was Blackwall Hitch. They served Maryland Crab Risotto. One of the representatives really tried to sell me on it, but yea, I just wasn't interested in trying a crab risotto. It was one of the ones I knew I didn't need to taste. lol I left it to Fred, who agreed I wouldn't like it (he knows my tastes better than anyone). He loved it. LOVED it!

This was the first time Bruster's Real Ice Cream was there. I had no idea they even had a location in Annapolis! The new owner of the Annapolis location and I got into a conversation and she said they're the best kept secret because they've been at the same location for ten years! Crazy, right? They had four varieties of ice cream. Thankfully they had a coffee flavored ice cream, which happens to be my favorite. Their's is called Coffee Break. Fred tried the Sea Salt Caramel, and since I'm not a fan of sea salt caramel in ice cream form, I passed. He said I absolutely needed to try it, so I went back after we'd walked around for a while. He was right! I told the Annapolis owner that I'm really judgy about anything sea salt caramel flavor in ice cream form, and she told me to be honest with her and judge all I wanted. Well, turned out it was really good! So often it has some strange chemical kind of taste. This was creamy and caramel only flavored! Loved it!

Now, towards the end of the evening I lost Fred, but found him hanging out at the Middleton Tavern table. They were serving Cream of Crab Soup. Sigh...more crab. I mean, we ARE in Maryland. No surprise that there's so much seafood. The chef who was there was a kick in the pants. I was telling him, and one of the other reps who were there about cheese curds. (It cracks me up how few people know about these) The chef said that if I tried his soup he'd consider learning about cheese curds. I tried the soup - begrudgingly. He was right though, it was good. Trust me, my face would've given me away, and Fred said he was surprised when I didn't make one of my gross faces. hahahaha I replied to the chef, "It's not bad," to which he rephrased it, "Which means it's good!"

We didn't make it to each restaurant who was represented. Besides, I couldn't have eaten any more after all of the samples we'd already consumed! I was disappointed I didn't have an opportunity to run into any of the reps from the tourist industry. Maybe next year! I'll have to keep an eagle eye out.

I do have to tell you who I ran into as I waited for my hubby to pick me up at the front of the hotel. I was sitting there, minding my own business when a woman wanted to share the bench I was on. I moved over and asked her how her night was going. The next thing I know, the man sitting across from us addressed her as "Miss Senator"! I kind of glanced at her from the side of my eye. What the what?! I just talked to a senator like she was just some Jane Schmoe sitting next to me. hahahaha Of course I did my normal, Mimi, "You're a Senator?! I totally had a different idea of what a Senator would look like." I think of Senators as looking crabby, business suits, stand-off-ish, and maybe with some security around them? hahahaha She was kind and told me that nope, they were just like everyone else. Thank you for not making me feel like a doofus, Senator Barbara Robinson!

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Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.