Saturday, July 14, 2018

StarPassage - 3rd Edition


Once again Clark Burbidge has woven an intricate tapestry of history, adventure, and tension that enfolds the reader.  StarPassage: Honor and Mercy is hot off the presses and is the third in Burbidge’s StarPassage series.  Burbidge’s meticulous research is evident at he carries the reader to diverse settings, such as a B-17 bomber in World War II, the cobblestone streets of Doncaster, England during the Black Plague of the Middle Ages, a prison called the Black Hole of Calcutta, and the battle at Gettysburg.  

Clark Burbidge @clarkburbidge


The story is a classic struggle between good and evil with so many twists and turns in the plot and unexpected outcomes, you never know what is going to happen next.  This is such an engaging read, you won’t want to put it down.  Readers from about fifth grade and up will be riveted by this book.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Salad in a Jar

My Young Living Essential Oil team had another fun edible event, Salad in a Jar.  Everyone brought a salad ingredient to add to the lettuce we provided.  Each guest received a Mason jar and a handout of salad dressing recipes.



I mixed up three dressings containing Young Living Vitality oils. (Recipes are on my Pinterest board.)  We also served water and tea with Vitality oils available to add to their beverage.


I also made some healthful NingXia Red gummies--tasty, healthful, and no sugar, although you could add a dab of honey if you wish. 

What are Vitality oils you say?  They are Young Living Essential Oils that are specifically labeled for internal consumption.   They are quite potent because they are pure oils distilled from plants and contain no other additives.  A little goes a long way!  For instance, if you're flavoring a batch of frosting, you might use a drop or two of orange.  However, if you are flavoring your favorite pasta sauce, you'll want to dip the tip of a toothpick in the oil and then stir into the sauce.  Taste and adjust from there.  A whole drop of  oregano might be too overpowering in your recipe, for example.  Peppermint is tasty in iced or hot tea, brownies, and hot cocoa.  With 43 different Vitality essential oils, delicious possibilities are endless.







Monday, June 25, 2018

A Teen Tome - Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold

The book I’m reviewing today is for an age group I don’t normally address on my blog.  However, I enjoyed it so much, I couldn’t not tell you about it. Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is the first of 5 books in the Kitty Hawk series by Canadian author, Iain Reading. Despite a few curse words sprinkled occasionally through the book, it is a riveting read that’s hard to put down.



The main character, Kitty, has just graduated from high school, has been a pilot for several years, and is flying alone to Alaska to study humpback whale feeding habits in Alaska for seven weeks of her summer.  That’s pretty amazing so far, but it’s nothing compared to the adventure that awaits. She flies her pontooned De Haviland Beaver from her home in Tofino, Canada, to her base in Juneau, Alaska.  In daily flights along the waterways of southeast Alaska she observes, photographs, and documents the whales’ activities. This is where you begin to see the tremendous amount of background research the author had to have done to write this book.  He weaves the information and history skillfully through the fabric of the whole story so that it doesn’t at all feel didactic.  From flying the Beaver to grizzly bear behavior to the Yukon Gold Rush, the story keeps you turning those pages!



Another of the appealing factors of this book is the strong female protagonist.  She is smart, physically tough, and able to overcome her fears to do things she didn’t think she could.  These characteristics are clearly evident when her curiosity causes her to be captured by a band of brother and forced to trek up treacherous Chilkoot Pass carrying their stolen gold. 


 Just when they almost reach their destination and she’ll be free from them, a crazy, gun-wielding man shows up with the guys’ half-brother and steals the gold from them.  There were so many switchbacks in the action of the story, I almost had whiplash or maybe a heart attack!  If you have a teen who loves adventure stories, get this book in their hands.


I love the author's section near the end of the book where he gives more tidbits of information about the true details about the people (including authors), places, events and things he mentions in the story.



** Follow my blog and leave a comment and you'll be in the drawing for a copy of this  engrossing book.**

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Tea Party Time

My friends and I held a tea party this week featuring teas flavored with Young Living Vitality essential oils. I also baked cookies with lemon and orange Vitality essential oils.  About 20 friends attended and everyone had a lot of fun. 


What in the world are Vitality oils?  They are the twin sisters of the Young Living essential oils.  The difference is the Vitality line is label specifically for ingestion. That means you can cook and bake with them, put a drop in your beverages (Use only glass or good quality stainless steel containers for this.), put them in capsules to swallow, and/or drip a drop under your tongue safely.  They are realllllly potent though, as they are pure oils.  A little goes a long way.  When using particularly strong oils for the first time, like basil or oregano, you may want to just dip the tip of a toothpick in the oil and stir that into your dish.  Add more as needed, but with care.  You can't take it out once you've overdone it!  


I didn't have time to make sugar cookies from scratch, so I cheated and used Pillsbury cookie dough.  I added 4 drops of lemon Vitality to one batch and 4 drop of orange to the other.  They were quite tasty!

We used an assortment of teacups that my friends had and four types of tea.  You can see the directions on the chalkboard.

While half the group dined, the other half went to another room where I had set up a couple of oily DIY projects.  The two groups switched activities as they finished their first one.  The first DIY was a bath bomb crumble.  The picture on the right below shows combos of Young Living Essential Oils they might choose to scent their bath bomb crumble.   

























The other DIY was a chill-out roller.  They put a few drops of essential oil in the roller bottle and filled it with extra virgin olive oil.  Then they selected a goodie bag to hold their DIYs.

Everyone had such a good time, we're planning another one for the fall. 





#teaparty     #vitalityoils    #youngliving

#bathbombcrumble    #chilloutroller

Monday, June 11, 2018


This is my first full week of summer vacation, and I hit the jackpot.  In the mail today I received 3 books I can't wait to read and review.  I'll be in my happy place for a while!!

Look for reviews of these books by one of my fav authors, Clark Burbidge, and two new-to-me authors, Iain Reading and Carrie Morgridge. 

#clarkburbidge #iainreading #carriemorgridge 

#starpassagehonorandmercy #kittyhawk #curseoftheyukongold #thespiritofthetrail

What a cool way to beat Oklahoma's summer heat and humidity: reading under the AC!



Thursday, May 3, 2018

Warning: Don't Ever Look Behind Door 32

            I just read a delightful counting book, Don’t Ever Look Behind Door 32, your 3- to 8-year-olds will love.  Two children are the very first visitors at the magical Hotel of Hoo. Their host, Mr. Nicholas Noo, gives them the grand tour of this most unusual hotel while frequently reminding them not to look behind Door 32.  They view the occupants of each room and see them become more and more strange and unusual as they proceed toward the infamous Door 32. Will they get a peek inside?

The Australian-born author, B.C.R. Fegan


            B. C. R. Fengan spins this fun tale in lilting rhyme.  I love that he has gone beyond the usual 10 or 20 enumerated in most counting books. He goes all the way to the dreaded Door 32.  Click the link above to see other books this award-winning author has written.  

Lenny Wen calls Indonesia home.


          The illustrations by Lenny Wen help to heighten the mood of mystery in the eccentric Hotel of Hoo. From monsters to ghosts to elves to mini-giants, Wen’s eerie creatures are much more friendly than scary.  


            This charming picture book is one your littles will request you read again and again.  Want this story in your personal or classroom library?  Like this post, follow my blog, and leave a comment with your name to be in a drawing to win your own copy.