Thursday, February 28, 2019

5 Books on My List This Week

Good morning! I am a voracious reader, as are many of you, and I am curious where and how do you pick the books that you read? Are you in a book club? Do you stick to a specific genre of books? Do you pick your books by the covers?

I find my books from online lists, recommendations from friends and my local bookstore. I also find them at my local library as I walk along the shelves to see if something "jumps out at me."

Lately I have been relying more on my library as I am trying not to buy any books for awhile. Today I thought I would share the books that I have on my list to read in the next week. Have you read any of them? 

On Cannan's Side

A first-person narrative of Lilly Bere’s life, On Canaan’s Side opens as the eighty-five-year-old Irish émigré mourns the loss of her grandson, Bill. Lilly, the daughter of a Dublin policeman, revisits her eventful past, going back to the moment she was forced to flee Ireland at the end of the First World War. She continues her tale in America, where—far from her family—she first tastes the sweetness of love and the bitterness of betrayal. 

Spanning nearly seven decades, Sebastian Barry’s extraordinary fifth novel explores memory, war, family ties, love, and loss, distilling the complexity and beauty of life into his haunting prose.

Rules of Civility

On the last night of 1937, twenty-five-year-old Katey Kontent is in a second-rate Greenwich Village jazz bar when Tinker Grey, a handsome banker, happens to sit down at the neighboring table. This chance encounter and its startling consequences propel Katey on a year-long journey into the upper echelons of New York society—where she will have little to rely upon other than a bracing wit and her own brand of cool nerve.

The Secret Orphan

On the 14th November 1940, Hitler’s bombs rain down on Coventry. From the rubble of a bombed-out family home, a young girl is saved…
As the Nazis’ relentless bombs fall during the Blitz of Coventry, six-year-old Rose Sherbourne finds herself orphaned and under the guardianship of a Cornish farmer's daughter, Elenor Cardew.
Elenor knows that the only way to protect spirited Rose is to leave the city and make a new life for themselves away from harm. But soon Elenor discovers that Hitler’s firestorm is not the only thing she must fear when she learns a devastating secret about Rose…
With Rose’s life in imminent danger, Elenor turns to the only person she can trust to keep the deadly secret, heroic Canadian pilot, Jackson St John. And amidst the destruction of war, an unlikely romance blossoms as they find a way to protect the child they have both grown to love…and each other.

On sale for .99 on Kindle.

Kitty McCloud and her new husband/former blood enemy Kieran Sweeney have bought an ancient Irish castle with the profits from Kitty's popular revisions of classic novels like Jane Eyre. Kitty's American cousin, Aaron McCloud, has arrived to visit with his new wife, the former swineherd Lolly McKeever. With them is a troublesome and unwelcome pig, a wedding gift they are redelivering to Kitty and Kieran. But over the resulting lighthearted discord hangs a weightier problem: Kitty's new home is inhabited by a pair of ghosts from out of the castle's troubled past.

When a chance encounter with Theodore Camden, one of the architects of the grand New York apartment house the Dakota, leads to a job offer for Sara Smythe, her world is suddenly awash in possibility—no mean feat for a servant in 1884. The opportunity to move to America. The opportunity to be the female manager of the Dakota. And the opportunity to see more of Theo, who understands Sara like no one else...and is living in the Dakota with his wife and three young children.

One hundred years later, Bailey Camden is desperate for new opportunities: Fresh out of rehab, the former interior designer is homeless, jobless, and penniless. Bailey's grandfather was the ward of famed architect Theodore Camden, yet Bailey won't see a dime of the Camden family's substantial estate; instead, her “cousin” Melinda—Camden's biological great-granddaughter—will inherit almost everything. So when Melinda offers to let Bailey oversee the renovation of her lavish Dakota apartment, Bailey jumps at the chance, despite her dislike of Melinda's vision. The renovation will take away all the character of the apartment Theodore Camden himself lived in...and died in, after suffering multiple stab wounds by a former Dakota employee who had previously spent seven months in an insane asylum—a madwoman named Sara Smythe.

A century apart, Sara and Bailey are both tempted by and struggle against the golden excess of their respective ages--for Sara, the opulence of a world ruled by the Astors and Vanderbilts; for Bailey, the nightlife's free-flowing drinks and cocaine—and take refuge in the Upper West Side's gilded fortress. But a building with a history as rich, and often as tragic, as the Dakota's can't hold its secrets forever, and what Bailey discovers inside could turn everything she thought she knew about Theodore Camden—and the woman who killed him—on its head.

What are you reading this week? Please share what you have on your bedside table or on your wish list. 

Have a great day!

Note: This post contains affiliate links. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Cranberry Breakfast Cake

Good morning! I hope that you had a great weekend and that you week is starting out well. We had yet another wet weekend so we stayed in, read, worked a bit and I baked a few things, including this Cranberry Breakfast cake. 

This cake is delicious, it's a little tart and a little sweet with a sugary crust on top, perfect to eat for breakfast or with a cup of tea. 

Cranberry Breakfast Cake


3 large eggs at room temperature
cups sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
tsp. vanilla extract
cups flour
12 oz. fresh cranberries
Powdered sugar for garnish


Preheat oven to 350. Prepare a 9 x 13" pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. Beat the eggs and sugar together with an electric mixer until slightly thickened, light in color and they form soft peaks.  Add the butter, vanilla extract and almond extract to the mixture and continue to mix for 2 minutes. Slowly add the flour and mix until just combined. Gently fold in the cranberries. Bake the cake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool, garnish with powdered sugar and enjoy. 

Have a great day!

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Silent Sunday 2-24-2019

Have a great day!

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Friday Favorites from What's Gabby Cooking, Eats Well with Others, Once Upon a Chef and More

Good morning! I hope that you had a great week. I am so ready to relax and enjoy the weekend with my husband who has been gone for the last week for work. The weather, as I have mentioned, has been rainy, grey and cold and while I do understand it is winter it is really getting old. That said, I am sure that those of you that are having a blizzard every week are tired of that too. The good news is that the first day of Spring is in 26 days!

I have so many great things to share this week so lets get to it!

Interesting Food

Image What's Gabby Cooking

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE pizza, although I typically eat it with cheese and tomatoes,  occasionally I will try something new, this Broccolini Sausage Pizza from What's Gabby Cooking is now on my list of pizzas to make this week. 

Image Here Vodka & Biscuits

 Ina Gartens Pastitsio from Vodka & Biscuits looks like and easy, delicious and comforting meal. (I may have posted this before but it keeps popping up in my Pinterest feed so I thought I would share it again.)

Image Here

It doesn't get any more classic than a Quiche Lorraine. I will be making this recipe from Once Upon a Chef for lunch this week. 

Image Here

My sister sent me this recipe for New York Bagel Egg and Cream Cheese Breakfast Casserole from Eats Well with Others, she has made it 4 times in the last month for family and friends and everyone loved it!

Interesting Crafts

Image and Arrangement Home is Where the Boat Is

Flower arranging is not my strong suit but I do enjoy other peoples talents. This LemonFlower Arrangement is creative and beautiful and might be something I could manage. 

Interesting Articles

For those dreaming of planting your garden this Spring  you might like Free Vegetable Garden Layout Plans and Plantings from Gardners Magazine.

Reading in the Age of Constant Distraction

If you like Ina Garten this guy is cooking ALL of her recipes and sharing them on Instagram. 

Interesting Movies/TV

Interesting Books

Women Rowing North

Women Rowing North was recommended by Jeanne of Collage of Life.

Women growing older contend with ageism, misogyny, and loss. Yet as Mary Pipher shows, most older women are deeply happy and filled with gratitude for the gifts of life. Their struggles help them grow into the authentic, empathetic, and wise people they have always wanted to be.

In Women Rowing North, Pipher offers a timely examination of the cultural and developmental issues women face as they age. Drawing on her own experience as daughter, sister, mother, grandmother, caregiver, clinical psychologist, and cultural anthropologist, she explores ways women can cultivate resilient responses to the challenges they face. "If we can keep our wits about us, think clearly, and manage our emotions skillfully," Pipher writes, "we will experience a joyous time of our lives. If we have planned carefully and packed properly, if we have good maps and guides, the journey can be transcendent."

Meet Doris, a 96-year-old woman living alone in her Stockholm apartment. She has few visitors, but her weekly Skype calls with Jenny—her American grandniece, and her only relative—give her great joy and remind her of her own youth.

When Doris was a girl, she was given an address book by her father, and ever since she has carefully documented everyone she met and loved throughout the years. Looking through the little book now, Doris sees the many crossed-out names of people long gone and is struck by the urge to put pen to paper. In writing down the stories of her colorful past—working as a maid in Sweden, modelling in Paris during the 30s, fleeing to Manhattan at the dawn of the Second World War—can she help Jenny, haunted by a difficult childhood, unlock the secrets of their family and finally look to the future? And whatever became of Allan, the love of Doris’s life?

A charming novel that prompts reflection on the stories we all should carry to the next generation, and the surprises in life that can await even the oldest among us, The Red Address Book introduces Sofia Lundberg as a wise—and irresistible—storyteller.

When aspiring violinist Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman lands a job with a professional ensemble in New York City, she imagines she has achieved her lifelong dream. But the ensemble proves to be a sham. When the group “performs,” the microphones are never on. Instead, the music blares from a CD. The mastermind behind this scheme is a peculiar and mysterious figure known as The Composer, who is gaslighting his audiences with music that sounds suspiciously like the Titanic movie soundtrack. On tour with his chaotic ensemble, Hindman spirals into crises of identity and disillusionment as she “plays” for audiences genuinely moved by the performance, unable to differentiate real from fake.

Sounds Like Titanic is a surreal, often hilarious coming-of-age story. Hindman writes with precise, candid prose and sharp insight into ambition and gender, especially when it comes to the difficulties young women face in a world that views them as silly, shallow, and stupid. As the story swells to a crescendo, it gives voice to the anxieties and illusions of a generation of women, and reveals the failed promises of a nation that takes comfort in false realities.

And free with Kindle Unlimited The Beach House by Mary Alice Monroe.

Interesting Finds

Even though it is only March it is never too early to think of summer finds. I like these orange sandals from Kate Spade. 

A great straw hat for $9.00!

Cute dress!

I hope that you share your favorite articles, podcasts, articles, recipes and any other things your found this week. 

Have a great weekend. 

Note: This post contains affiliate links.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

10 Books I Can't Wait to Read in 2019

Good morning! First let me thank you from the bottom of my heart for your comments, kind words and emails. I am blessed to be able to unburden myself here and to have the kindness and understanding of you, my friends, many of whom I have never met, but have been friends with for many years through our blogs. 

Like many this month, I have been purging my house of things I do not need or want and that has included hundreds of books and magazines. My goal this year is to try not to buy more books unless they are "special" and instead am I trying to read more books from my library and from my Kindle Unlimited account. 

Today I am sharing 10 Books I cannot wait to read in the upcoming months, I already have many on my wish list at the library. 

The Lost Girls of Paris

1946, Manhattan

One morning while passing through Grand Central Terminal on her way to work, Grace Healey finds an abandoned suitcase tucked beneath a bench. Unable to resist her own curiosity, Grace opens the suitcase, where she discovers a dozen photographs—each of a different woman. In a moment of impulse, Grace takes the photographs and quickly leaves the station.

Grace soon learns that the suitcase belonged to a woman named Eleanor Trigg, leader of a network of female secret agents who were deployed out of London during the war. Twelve of these women were sent to Occupied Europe as couriers and radio operators to aid the resistance, but they never returned home, their fates a mystery. Setting out to learn the truth behind the women in the photographs, Grace finds herself drawn to a young mother turned agent named Marie, whose daring mission overseas reveals a remarkable story of friendship, valor and betrayal.

Vividly rendered and inspired by true events, New York Times bestselling author Pam Jenoff shines a light on the incredible heroics of the brave women of the war and weaves a mesmerizing tale of courage, sisterhood and the great strength of women to survive in the hardest of circumstances.

I Think Your'e Wrong

Sarah from the left and Beth from the right invite those looking for something better than the status quo to pull up a chair and listen to the principles, insights, and practical tools they have learned hosting their fast-growing podcast Pantsuit Politics. As impossible as it might seem, people from opposing political perspectives truly can have calm, grace-­filled conversations with one another—by putting relationship before policy and understanding before argument.

The foundations of modern knowledge—philosophy, math, astronomy, geography—were laid by the Greeks, whose ideas were written on scrolls and stored in libraries across the Mediterranean and beyond. But as the vast Roman Empire disintegrated, so did appreciation of these precious texts. Christianity cast a shadow over so-called pagan thought, books were burned, and the library of Alexandria, the greatest repository of classical knowledge, was destroyed.
     Yet some texts did survive and The Map of Knowledge explores the role played by seven cities around the Mediterranean—rare centers of knowledge in a dark world, where scholars supported by enlightened heads of state collected, translated and shared manuscripts. In 8th century Baghdad, Arab discoveries augmented Greek learning. Exchange within the thriving Muslim world brought that knowledge to Cordoba, Spain. Toledo became a famous center of translation from Arabic into Latin, a portal through which Greek and Arab ideas reached Western Europe. Salerno, on the Italian coast, was the great center of medical studies, and Sicily, ancient colony of the Greeks, was one of the few places in the West to retain contact with Greek culture and language. Scholars in these cities helped classical ideas make their way to Venice in the 15th century, where printers thrived and the Renaissance took root.
     The Map of Knowledge follows three key texts—Euclid's Elements, Ptolemy's The Almagest, and Galen's writings on medicine—on a perilous journey driven by insatiable curiosity about the world.

Librarian Martha Storm has always found it easier to connect with books than people—though not for lack of trying. She keeps careful lists of how to help others in her superhero-themed notebook. And yet, sometimes it feels like she’s invisible.

All of that changes when a book of fairy tales arrives on her doorstep. Inside, Martha finds a dedication written to her by her best friend—her grandmother Zelda—who died under mysterious circumstances years earlier. When Martha discovers a clue within the book that her grandmother may still be alive, she becomes determined to discover the truth. As she delves deeper into Zelda’s past, she unwittingly reveals a family secret that will change her life forever.

Filled with Phaedra Patrick’s signature charm and vivid characters, The Library of Lost and Found is a heartwarming and poignant tale of how one woman must take control of her destiny to write her own happy ending.

As the Great War continues to take its toll, headstrong twenty-one-year-old Emily Bryce is determined to contribute to the war effort. She is convinced by a cheeky and handsome Australian pilot that she can do more, and it is not long before she falls in love with him and accepts his proposal of marriage.
When he is sent back to the front, Emily volunteers as a “land girl,” tending to the neglected grounds of a large Devonshire estate. It’s here that Emily discovers the long-forgotten journals of a medicine woman who devoted her life to her herbal garden. The journals inspire Emily, and in the wake of devastating news, they are her saving grace. Emily’s lover has not only died a hero but has left her terrified—and with child. Since no one knows that Emily was never married, she adopts the charade of a war widow.
As Emily learns more about the volatile power of healing with herbs, the found journals will bring her to the brink of disaster, but may open a path to her destiny.

The first thing I remember being said of me with any consistency was that I was intelligent--and I recognized even then that it was a comment leveled at me with as much disapproval as admiration. Still, I never tried to hide or suppress my mind as some girls do, and thank God, because that would have been the beginning of the end.

From childhood, Katherine knows she is different, and that her parents are not who they seem to be. But in becoming a mathematician, she must face the most human of problems--who is she? What is the cost of love, and what is the cost of ambition?  

On her quest to conquer the Riemann Hypothesis, the greatest unsolved mathematical problem of her time, she turns to a theorem with a mysterious history that holds both the lock and key to her identity, and to secrets long buried during World War II in Germany. Forced to confront some of the most consequential events of the twentieth century and rethink everything she knows of herself, she strives to take her place in the world of higher mathematics and finds kinship in the stories of the women who came before her--their love of the language of numbers connecting them across generations.

For four years, Iris Massey worked side by side with PR maven Smith Simonyi, helping clients perfect their brands. But Iris has died, taken by terminal illness at only thirty-three. Adrift without his friend and colleague, Smith is surprised to discover that in her last six months, Iris created a blog filled with sharp and often funny musings on the end of a life not quite fulfilled. She also made one final request: for Smith to get her posts published as a book. With the help of his charmingly eager, if overbearingly forthright, new intern Carl, Smith tackles the task of fulfilling Iris’s last wish.
Before he can do so, though, he must get the approval of Iris’ big sister Jade, an haute cuisine chef who’s been knocked sideways by her loss. Each carrying their own baggage, Smith and Jade end up on a collision course with their own unresolved pasts and with each other.
Told in a series of e-mails, blog posts, online therapy submissions, text messages, legal correspondence, home-rental bookings, and other snippets of our virtual lives, When You Read This is a deft, captivating romantic comedy—funny, tragic, surprising, and bittersweet—that candidly reveals how we find new beginnings after loss

A captivating debut novel by Whitney Scharer, The Age of Light tells the story of Vogue model turned renowned photographer Lee Miller, and her search to forge a new identity as an artist after a life spent as a muse. "I'd rather take a photograph than be one," she declares after she arrives in Paris in 1929, where she soon catches the eye of the famous Surrealist Man Ray. Though he wants to use her only as a model, Lee convinces him to take her on as his assistant and teach her everything he knows. But Man Ray turns out to be an egotistical, charismatic force, and as they work together in the darkroom, their personal and professional lives become intimately entwined, changing the course of Lee's life forever.
Lee's journey takes us from the cabarets of bohemian Paris to the battlefields of war-torn Europe during WWII, from discovering radical new photography techniques to documenting the liberation of the concentration camps as one of the first female war correspondents. Through it all, Lee must grapple with the question of whether it's possible to reconcile romantic desire with artistic ambition-and what she will have to sacrifice to do so.

The Peacock Feast opens on a June day in 1916 when Louis C. Tiffany, the eccentric glass genius, dynamites the breakwater at Laurelton Hall—his fantastical Oyster Bay mansion, with columns capped by brilliant ceramic blossoms and a smokestack hidden in a blue-banded minaret—so as to foil the town from reclaiming the beach for public use. The explosion shakes both the apple crate where Prudence, the daughter of Tiffany’s prized gardener, is sleeping and the rocks where Randall, her seven-year-old brother, is playing.
Nearly a century later, Prudence receives an unexpected visit at her New York apartment from Grace, a hospice nurse and the granddaughter of Randall, who Prudence never saw again after he left at age fourteen for California. The mementos Grace carries from her grandfather’s house stir Prudence’s long-repressed memories and bring her to a new understanding of the choices she made in work and love, and what she faces now in her final days.

Spanning the twentieth century and three continents, The Peacock Feast ricochets from Manhattan to San Francisco, from the decadent mansions of the Tiffany family to the death row of a Texas prison, and from the London consultation room of Anna Freud to a Mendocino commune. With psychological acuity and aching eloquence, Lisa Gornick has written a sweeping family drama, an exploration of the meaning of art and the art of dying, and an illuminating portrait of how our decisions reverberate across time and space.

Everyone has a favorite style of cake, whether it's citrusy and fresh or chocolatey and indulgent. All of these recipes and more are within your reach in Simple Cake, a love letter from Brooklyn apron and bakeware designer Odette Williams to her favorite treat. With easy recipes and inventive decorating ideas, Williams gives you recipes for 10 base cakes, 15 toppings, and endless decorating ideas to yield a treat--such as Milk & Honey Cake, Coconut Cake, Summer Berry Pavlova, and Chocolatey Chocolate Cake--for any occasion. Williams also addresses the fundamentals for getting cakes just right, with foolproof recipes that can be cranked out whenever the urge strikes. Gorgeous photography, along with Williams's warm and heartfelt writing, elevate this book into something truly special.

Are any of these books on your list to read this year? Do you have a "wish list" of books to read this year, if so please share some of them here so that we can add them to our list. 

Thank you again for your kindness. Have a great day!

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Life Lately

Good morning! I hope that you had a wonderful weekend. Here is was rainy, windy, cold and grey. Frankly, it seems like life has been like that lately, a little grey. Pull up a chair, let me get you a cup of tea and a piece of Ina Garten's triple chocolate loaf and I will tell you about life lately. 

As I mentioned last week, my mom broke her right shoulder and her left wrist and is out of commission as they say for the next 10 weeks. My father-in-law was admitted to the hospital on Christmas eve with pneumonia and has now been moved to hospice. My mother in law is facing her golden years without her husband and at the age of 92 is making plans to move from the place she has called home for the last 35 years. Needless to say she has a lot on her plate. It has become more and more apparent with each incident that life changes in an instant, one minute you are laughing and planning a holiday and the next you are preparing for the worst. 

I am a worrier, even though I know it does no good, I lay awake at night trying to figure out how to "fix" things. Everything just seems so much more helpless and depressing when it is ugly and grey and in the middle of a long winter. Aside from that life is plodding along, lets face it we all go through periods in life that suck and make it hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Sorry to be "Debbie Downer" but this is my life lately, it seems so trivial to post about a recipe, a book, a find or little things like that when things like this are so much important. 

Have a great day and thanks for listening. 

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Saturday Finds From the Anthropologie Sale

Good morning and a very happy Saturday to you! It is going to be a long rainy weekend here so I will be staying in and doing a few of my favorite things, reading and baking. I made the best cinnamon rolls last weekend and they were so good that I am making some more today! While I am waiting for them to raise I will be enjoying a few new magazines and a stack of great books. What are your plans?

Leopard Booties

If you are stuck inside because of the rain and the snow you might like to shop the 40% off sale at Anthropologie. The sale is an extra 40% off the sale items. 

Here are some of my picks. 

Floral Dress

Sleep Shirt

Flower Clutch

Embroidered Tunic Dress

Beaded Earrings

Rose Dress

Camilla Tote

Pom Pom Sandals

Flower Mules

Black Maxi Dress


Have a great day!

Note: This post contains affiliate links.