Thursday 29 January 2015

DIY: Clean your Glass top stove or fireplace glass for FREE!

Dirty caked on grease and grime, so difficult to remove!

Today I am going to teach you how to clean your glass top stove and your wood burning stove glass.

You will not believe just how simple it is without buying anything. It's free, and no more chemicals!

I always cook with cast iron frying pans and pots, so my glass top gets abused and dirty. This is months worth built up grime.

I wash it after each use with soap and water and have spent a fortune buying cleaners that were ineffective and messy.

With this trick you will clean your stove in minutes with not elbow grease involved!

the trick....drum roll please!......

Ashes and water, that's it friends.

I will show you step by simple step.

Dip your paper towel or newspaper into the ash. Use either outdoor ash from a fire pit, or your wood burning stove. If you live in the city, ask one of your friends or relatives to save you some.

Make sure you have enough water on the stove to form a paste, you don't want to scratch the glass just clean it.

Using circular motions rub off the grime, it will easily come off, unlike the harsh chemicals you currently use. Here is a picture of half done half not.

simply wipe down with soap and water to get rid of ash residue. 

There you have it a beautiful shiny clean stove in less than 5 minutes!

Clean and sparkly!

Hope you enjoyed today's DIY from the country!

Blessings friends!

Wednesday 28 January 2015

Book Review: Steadfast Heart

From the Back

Despite her spoiled upbringing, twenty-year-old Lenore Fulcher isn't pretentious. She simply believes a marriage should be built on true love. Her father, however, thinks she's wasted enough time searching for the perfect husband. He wants to marry her off to one of his business partners--who is seventeen years her senior--an idea that is out of the question for Lenore.

Kolbein Booth, a young lawyer from Chicago, arrives in Seattle looking for his headstrong sister, who he believes may have answered an advertisement for mail-order brides. Sick with worry, he storms into the Madison Bridal School, demanding to see his sister, only to learn she isn't there. But Lenore Fulcher is, and something about her captures his attention.

Is this the man Lenore has been searching for? She may not have long to find out...

My Reflections:

Tracy Peterson is one of my favorite authors, her works usually have me begging for more, so I was surprised when I just could not fully enjoy her newest novel, Steadfast Heart.

This book just seemed to be a book, flat and one dimensional. The characters did not embrace me, the story seemed a little unimaginative and the plot seemed to skip around confusing me as to who the true lead character really was.

This story takes place just prior to the turn of the century in Seattle. Mrs. Madison's Bridal School is nestled in a growing sea port mecca, the perfect place for prospective suitors to come in droves to find their wife to be.

Kolbein Booth is looking for his sister, not a bride and believes she may be at this school. Although he is under the false notion that the school is less than what it seems he is set right by the very chatty clan who run the school. Will he find what he is looking for?

Abrianna has lived at the Bridal school for a good portion of her life. She is a chatty and unique character for her time. Abrianna is ill equipped for being a help mate she has trouble with cooking, sewing, baking or any other skill that is being taught at the school, a somewhat troubling predicament seeing how her "aunts" have been teaching her these skills since she was young!
She is however very generous and has a heart of gold in tending to the less fortunate.

Abrianna offers to help Kolbein search for his sister in the heart of Seattle.

Lenore the only child of a wealthy business man and best friend of Abrianna is searching for a way out of an arranged courtship, could Kolbein be her answer?

I found this relationship to be somewhat unrealistic. After all they meet and then Lenore has to go away, and upon her return they seem to be in love? Really? I can't see how true love just blossomed out of nothing?

All in all I just felt there were too many lead characters and too many unrealistic plot twists. Don't get me started on the ending...

I am still a fan of Tracie Peterson, I will definitely be waiting for other books to emerge. Unfortunately this one was just not my style.

I received this book free of charge in return for my honest review from Graf-Martin communications, Thank you so much Graf-Martin!

About The Author

  1. Tracie Peterson
    ©Lissa Barber Photography

    Tracie Peterson

    Tracie Peterson is the award-winning author of over one hundred novels, both historical and contemporary. Her avid research resonates in her stories, as seen in her bestselling Heirs of Montana and Alaskan Quest series. Tracie and her family make their home in...
    Continue reading about Tracie Peterson

Monday 26 January 2015

Book Review: Mothering From Scratch

Cover Art

From The Back:

Find Your Own Mothering Style

Trying to follow someone else's rules for mothering can take the joy out of being a parent. But Mothering From Scratch shows you how to develop your own style that helps you be the best mom for your kids.

Full of solid biblical truth, this book will help you
· explore your personality and examine your strengths and weaknesses in order to find what works for you
· tap into the resources surrounding you and get mentoring and support from other moms
· push past the fear of change or doing it wrong and allow room for grace in your mothering

Melinda Means and Kathy Helgemo provide a flexible, customizable approach to help you discover your optimal parenting style.

My Reflections:

Mothering from Scratch is an encouraging warm read, filled with insightful and authentic examples.

I quite enjoyed this unique twist on a traditional parenting book. Usually a parenting book will lay out what to do to make you a better parent. If you do A then B will change. What drew me to this title is what draws many parents to these types of books, a feeling that perhaps getting it right is a formula.

Having been a mom for only 14 years, I am getting it that we all fail from time to time in this journey of raising up our beloved children, but the joy is in the little moments and in the giving it up to the one who gave us our beautiful treasures.

That is what this book is all about in a nutshell finding our God blessed strengths and giving all the rest to God to help us become the mom he has designed us to be.

Written by mothers to mothers of all stages and ages this book is a loving spoonful of Grace based parenting ideas. Now don't get me wrong it is not as airy fairy as you may be thinking, it does touch on how we still need boundaries and rules to guide and nurture our children into adulthood. That is just a given.

Every family looks a little different and the gifts you have been given are not the same as your best friends. Finding the balance is only achieved by surrendering your "style" to God and asking him to guide you. This along with a good support network are key in my estimation!

So if you are looking for something a little different, check out this book. I found it to be a refreshing change.

I was given this book free of charge in return for my honest review from Graf-Martin Communications.
Thank you Graf-Martin!

About The Authors:

  1. Melinda Means
    © Doug Bunnell EHS Photo Studios

    Melinda Means

    Melinda Means is a writer, speaker, and mom blogger at Mothering From Scratch (, as well as women's ministry director at First Alliance Church in Port Charlotte, Florida. She has been a freelance writer since her daughter was an...
    Continue reading about Melinda Means
  2. Kathy Helgemo
    © Doug Bunnell EHS Photo Studios

    Kathy Helgemo

    Kathy Helgemo started out as an English teacher after graduating from Florida State University, moved through various other jobs, and landed in her current one as a freelance writer from home. She blogs with Melinda at Her blog posts...
    Continue reading about Kathy Helgemo

Friday 23 January 2015

Book Review: Like a Flower in Bloom

Cover Art

From the Back:

He Stole the Work She Loved.
Will She Let Him Steal Her Heart as Well?

It's all her uncle's fault. For years Charlotte Withersby has been free to pursue her love of plants and flowers by assisting her botanist father. But now that she's reached the old age of twenty-two, an intrusive uncle has convinced her father that Charlotte's future--the only proper future for a woman--is to be a wife and mother, not a scholar.

Her father is so dependent on her assistance that Charlotte believes he'll soon change his mind...and then Edward Trimble shows up. A long-time botany correspondent in the South Pacific, Trimble arrives ready to step in as assistant so that Charlotte can step out into proper society--a world that baffles her with its unwritten rules, inexplicable expectations, and confounding fashion.

Things aren't perfectly smooth between Trimble and her father, so Charlotte hatches a last gasp plan. She'll pretend such an interest in marriage that the thought of losing her will make her father welcome her back. Only things go quickly awry, and she realizes that the one man who recognizes her intelligence is also the person she's most angry with: Edward Trimble, her supposed rival. Suddenly juggling more suitors than she knows what to do with, Charlotte is caught in a trap of her own making. Will she have no choice but to leave her beloved flowers behind?

My Reflections:

Siri Mitchell has done her research with her latest book Like a Flower in Bloom, and while I enjoy most of her books this one lost it's petals leaving it quite wilted. I love to garden but am not in the slightest bit interested in Botany, so perhaps I am not one to lay judgement in this particular book.

Charlotte Withersby is blissfully helps her father with his work in botany. As an introvert by nature she seems quite content to continue on this path, until her uncle insists that she step out into society and start her somewhat late journey to finding a husband.

Charlotte is planted into a world of fashion, clubs and parties, a whole new experience that she is quite unprepared for. Wanting nothing to do with her new found life she finds herself stuck, and is now expected to leave behind her former role of helper and article writer and embrace this unusual rite of passage.

When Mrs. Trimble is hired to take over her former position Charlotte decides to hatch a plan to thwart her fathers plans. Charlotte fakes her enthusiasm and charms more than one suitor, not without blunders of course, but in the process she ends up encouraging her father even more.  In Charlotte's eyes no one can replace her role as assistant to her beloved father, but Mrs. Trimble proves to be managing quite well indeed.

What antics can she come up with next? With her new found friend Miss Templeton, the stereotypical Victorian era woman Charlotte endeavors to find a new path where she can continue doing what she loves,  and please society standards as well. Is there a happy ever after? Well you will have to wait until the very end of this book to find out...

So while I was not a fan of this novel I am quite sure It will appeal to many of Mitchell's followers. If nothing else you will be well educated on flowers and come out with a well rounded knowledge of Botany.

This book was provided free of charge form Graf-Martin Communications, in return for my honest opinion. Thank you so much Graf-Martin!

About The Author:

  1. Siri Mitchell

    Siri Mitchell

    Siri Mitchell is the author of nearly a dozen novels, among them the critically acclaimed Christy Award finalists Chateau of Echoes and The Cubicle Next Door. A graduate of the University of Washington with a degree in business, she has worked in...
    Continue reading about Siri Mitchell

Thursday 15 January 2015

Book Review: Hidden Agenda

Cover Art

From the Back:

His cover is blown. Now his enemies are on his heels and closing in.
Presumed dead by friends and family, Michael Hunt is alive--and on the run. Presumed dead by friends and family, the undercover assignment he's been working for the past eight months has just been blown. With a hit out on his life and corruption inside the Atlanta police department, Michael finds himself hunted by both the cartel and the law. His only hope is Olivia Hamilton--the daughter of the man who wants him dead.

My Reflections:

This is book three of the Southern Crimes series by Lisa Harris. The first book was Dangerous Passage followed by Fatal Exchange. Reading this series in order will afford the reader a greater understanding and depth of character development and plot complexities. I would for that fact alone not recommend this book as a stand alone. It could be read individually, but I feel the characters may be perceived as flat and one dimensional without the background information.

Harris pens a roller-coaster ride of adrenalin, suspense and fast paced action in her newest and last addition to this series. You better buckle up and get ready for the ride before you crack the cover of this one!

I was captivated by this book so much that I read it front to back in one sitting! The story takes place over a short time span, but the action involved makes the pages fly by, while you race to the end. The love story is a tad rushed for my liking, especially due to the nature of the events occurring around the main characters Micheal Hunt and Olivia Hamilton. I was surprised at this aspect, but it seems to be a trend with this author. It doesn't take away from the story in the least, just thought It prudent to mention this aspect of the story line, in the event of youth picking up this book to read.

Overall a great fast read, filled with everything you would want in a suspense. Clear your calendar before you decide to read this one, because chances are, once you start you will not want to put it down!

This book was provided courtesy of Graf-Martin Communications in exchange for my honest review. Thank you Graf-Martin!

About The Author

  1. Lisa Harris
    © Mariah Harris

    Lisa Harris

    Lisa Harris is a bestselling author, a Christy Award winner, and the winner of the Best Inspirational Suspense Novel for 2011 from Romantic Times. She has sold over thirty novels and novella collections. Along with her husband, she and her three...
    Continue reading about Lisa Harris
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