“A Borrowed Dream” ~Amanda Cabot~ Review

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Synopsis:

Catherine Whitfield is sure that she will never again be able to trust anyone in the medical profession after the town doctor’s excessive bleeding treatments killed her mother. Despite her loneliness and her broken heart, she carries bravely on as Cimarron Creek’s dutiful schoolteacher, resigned to a life without love or family, a life where dreams rarely come true.

Austin Goddard is a newcomer to Cimarron Creek. Posing as a rancher, he fled to Texas to protect his daughter from a dangerous criminal. He’s managed to keep his past as a surgeon a secret. But when Catherine Whitfield captures his heart, he wonders how long he will be able to keep up the charade.

With a deft hand, Amanda Cabot teases out the strands of love, deception, and redemption in this charming tale of dreams deferred and hopes becoming reality.

Author:

With both parents avid readers, it’s no surprise that Amanda Cabot learned to read at an early age. From there it was only a small step to deciding to become a writer. Of course, deciding and becoming are two different things, as she soon discovered. Fortunately for the world, her first attempts at fiction, which included a play for her fifth grade class entitled “All About Thermometers,” were not published, but she did meet her goal of selling a novel by her thirtieth birthday. Since then she’s sold more than thirty five novels under a variety of pseudonyms. When she’s not writing, Amanda enjoys sewing, cooking and of course reading.

Review:

A beautiful cover, a fantastic story! This is the first time I have read anything from this author, but I loved it! It was a great romantic western that kept my attention from the very beginning. She is a great author! This is the second book in the Cimarron Creek Trilogy. I have not read the first book, but I didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything. This can definitely be read as a stand-alone book.

The characters are well developed and the story-line is riveting. Once I started I couldn’t put it down. I love the show “When Calls the Heart” on the Hallmark channel, and this book reminds me a lot of that show. It is a small western town that offers safety for one man and his daughter but also provides heartache for the town teacher.

Catherine, the town teacher, is a sweet woman who has had so much taken from her. She is coping with her mother’s death, could it have been prevented? Believing that the town doctor killed her mother makes it hard for her to trust anyone. On top of that she is dealing with a mystery surrounding a founding family. Could it possibly be the answer she is looking for? Then she meets Austin, the mysterious young rancher. Austin and his daughter have just arrived in Cimarron Creek on the run from some very dangerous people. So much is going on and I couldn’t help but fall in love with this book even more with the passing of each page.

This book has it all: heartache, suspense, mystery, romance, a sense of purpose and last but not least family. I loved everything about this story, the characters, and the town. It is everything I imagine life would be like back then and it completely envelops you as you read through it.

I highly recommend checking out the entire trilogy! I plan to go back and read the first book and then finish it off with the third! I might be a little out of order but that is ok! I loved this book and I look forward to reading the rest of the series!!!!

Available at:

Amazon

 

In the mood for fall?? These cookies will make your day :)

I have been so in the mood for fall to show up for the past couple weeks! πŸ™‚ We had a 70* day the other day and it was the most magical moment! Unfortunately, it didn’t last but that day and we have 100* days the rest of the week. It just makes me sad lol!

So my youngest and I decided to get baking today and I am in the mood for pumpkin, or apple pie or soups or anything that is fall related. My taste buds are ahead of the season and I was ready to get down to business satisfying them. I was craving some apple crisp, you know the buttery crispy goodness that just screams FALL!!! Yea,Β  that’s the one. BUT I wanted to do something a smidge different. My kids hate apple crisp, I know what the heck is wrong with their tastebuds?!?!? I’m hoping they grow out of that soon!

We decided to experiment with some Caramel Apple Crisp Cookies! YES! You read that right, how much goodness can you fit in one title?!?! Well here it is! AND OMG THEY ARE DELICIOUS!!!!!!

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Caramel Apple Crisp CookiesΒ 

PRE-HEAT OVEN TO 350*

  • 2 sticks melted butter
  • 1 whole cut apple
  • 2 1/2 TBSP of milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tsp of Caramel extract
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 4 cups whole grain quick oats
  • 2 TBSP Cinnamon

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In a mixing bowl, stir together: the melted butter, apples and milk until the butter is cooled off enough to add eggs. Add eggs, caramel extract and cinnamon. Stir until ingredients are completely mixed. Start to slowly add the white sugar. Followed by the brown sugar. Mixing until no clumps remain.

In a separate bowl sift the flour and baking soda together. Slowly begin to add this mixture into the liquid. Stir in the oats.

Drop rounded tablespoons, about 2 inches apart, onto greased cookie sheet. (they tend to stick, so be careful) Bake for 13-15 minutes or until they turn a golden brown!

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*Some of mine fell apart and yours might also. But these are my favorite! Use them on top of a bowl of vanilla ice cream for an even yummier treat! Hope you enjoy them as much as I have. If you make them, send me a picture! I love seeing others enjoying a recipe!

I know it is too early to say this but:

HAPPY FALL!!! πŸ˜‰

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Back to School

Sitting here watching it rain, drinking coffee I’m trying not to cry. For weeks I’ve said I can’t wait for the kids to go back to school. I can’t wait for the normalcy to return. The schedule to be real. I knew I would be sad to have my babies back at school but as I sit here this morning I feel defeated. Time is getting aways from us and those little boys I just sent to school are eventually going to graduate and go to college, get married and be adults. 😭I can’t stop it. No matter how hard I try, time keeps slipping by.

They irritate me with their constant fighting, their constant mess and noise. But I miss them today with every fiber of my being. I hear people say hug them close, love on them as long as you can, let them sit in your lap, read them one more bedtime story, etc. Honestly, sometimes that’s so difficult. Being a stay at home, having them in your face 24 hrs a day 7 days a week over the summer is super overwhelming.

Not to sound like a cliche but all these things are true…. I just want to hold them today, hear them run through the house and fight with each other. I want to pick up their mess. Like the saying goes:

For all you moms out their having a hard time today…know this…. YOU ARE NOT ALONE! ❀️

It’ll get better, the dreaded time will go by, you’ll get used to this schedule again, but for now it’s ok to shed a tear.. Because honey, I am right now at this moment. My tears are falling like the rain in front of me.

I made them a little something to remember their momma while they are slaving away at school. Something to remind them just how much I love them.

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You want to know the worst part? My youngest hasn’t even started preschool yet… His school starts in 2 weeks. Then, at that moment in time, my world is gonna be crushed. I have been with someone my whole life… My parents, a college roommate, my hubby and for the past 9 years my kids. Loneliness is a cruel thing. I’m thankful for my Yoga classes, my friends and even though they live far away, my family. Stay strong Moms and Dads! πŸ˜‰

 

Review: Beeagle Mens Womens Fashion Sneakers Lightweight Athletic Running Casual Breathable Walking Shoe

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I am always on the lookout for new shoes. I live my life in running shoes and I don’t regret it! Lol! Besides going shoe-less for yoga, I am always in a pair of tennis shoes. They are my life and I go through them like a toddler goes through a snack. I wear them at home, on the go and find them the most comfortable.

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These shoes are definitely not what I expected. I was really excited about trying a different brand and they are super adorable. Upon ordering them I chose the women’s shoes and picked the one closest to my size. I wear a 10 in Nike’s and 11 in Under Armour. They are my go to shoe but I’m always on the lookout for something fun and different. These shoes fell into that category. Unfortunately, they only had listed a 9.5 which I thought was super weird because I know I am not the only woman out their with big feet. So I was a little concerned they might not fit.

When I got them in the mail, I was originally impressed by how they were shipped. They were wrapped well and came in a mesh carrying bag with a tie string. I love this, you can take them with you without getting your clothes, bag or car dirty. The mesh bag was a big A+ in my book. They are a beautiful color and seem to be well made. I was impressed with the weightlessness of them.

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As I inspected them I realized these things looked huge! There is no size or tag on the shoe anywhere which I found odd. So I tried them on and they are HUGE on me, definitely not a woman’s size 9.5! I was a little bummed because I really was looking forward to wearing these brightly colored shoes! I had my hubby try them on and they were too big on him also (he wears an 11 in men’s).

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I ordered these in a 9.5US/44EU

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This chart shows the 9.5US size is a 40 in EU. Not sure what happened. (3rd row is EU)

I am honestly not sure if I just read things wrong on Amazon or if they are listed as the wrong size. It was frustrating, if you choose to buy these shoes beware of sizing. Upon further inspecting the page on Amazon there seems to be a confusion on the sizing I selected and the sizing it shows on the chart. It is honestly super confusing when buying these shoes! I believe the quality of the shoes are great and they seem comfortable but BEWARE of sizing! These are WAY TOO BIG! I thought that it was my mistake on the sizing but am not really sure at this point. I will be contacting the company about it and hopefully getting it sorted out to prevent further confusion.

I recommend these shoes based on the quality and color of them but again the sizing is iffy! They also have several different colors!!! Check them out! πŸ™‚

Available at Amazon

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Crayon Melting Art ~What not to do~

So I have had my fair share of crafty adventures over the years but one of my favorites has to be the crayon melting art. We have tried numerous different techniques all coming out significantly different. We have tried it with the paper off the crayons, the crayons broken into pieces, and the paper on them. Every time we have used my hairdryer. This is a very easy way to melt the crayons but it is always messy and it takes forever! It always seems to blow the melted crayons everywhere and once that gets everywhere it is so hard to clean up. I definitely recommending doing it outside. Which in itself makes it a pain in the butt, having to set up a place with an extension cord and out of the wind.

So let me restart because I’m making it sound like a horrible craft project! It’s really not!!!! It is work, but it always makes a really neat piece of art that you can hang on the wall! The other day my youngest was asking for me to do something crafty with him and we decided on this. We had bought so many different crayons for back to school supplies and we had several boxes laying around not being used.

Here is another little tidbit I learned from my trials. THE BRAND MATTERS! Normally, I am a buy the cheap ones kind of lady! But with this particular project the brand totally matters. The Crayola crayons are the best ones to use! The Dollar General brand, Imagination, is not a good brand to use. They are made from something that isn’t completely wax and does not melt well. They do melt but not very well and not very fast. CRAYOLA….I’m gonna say it again use CRAYOLA!!! It is worth it! We were able to buy some cheap Crayola crayons at the back to school sales that it really wasn’t that much more to buy the good brand.

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We used handy dandy Pinterest to research some ideas on what kind of art we wanted to make. Let me tell you there are lots of different ideas out there! AND a lot of people telling you how to do them, which is fantastic! We finally found our idea and decided to start. We were going to do a galaxy style art piece with melted crayons. So we began unwrapping and breaking the crayon colors we wanted to use. Didn’t use the whole box of 24, we left out the ones we didn’t like! 😁

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After the unwrapping and breaking we went about laying them on our large canvas. So this lady on Pinterest, the one we were following, explained putting them in the oven (watching it carefully, so it wouldn’t burn!) was a faster way of getting this particular piece started.

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I made the HUGE mistake of putting all of the crayon pieces onto the canvas at once. The lady we were following suggested doing a section at a time but what was already melted would re-melt and could cause issues. I thought that I was being smart and doing it all at once. Well let me tell you this, it is not a great smell when one of those crayons slides off into the oven and immediately melts everywhere. I’m talking smoke and horrible fumes! I told my husband I hope that they are telling the truth when they say it’s not toxic. I immediately shut the oven off and pointed fans so that the fumes would quickly vacate my house through the open door. Unfortunately with the door open, in the summer time, the flies are ridiculous! My house was the converging grounds for every fly within 100 miles. They must have liked the smell of burning crayons.

Needless to say, I abandoned the oven melting idea and tried to figure out another way to finish this piece. The crayons were already broken so melting them with the hair dryer was a pain in the rear because they easily blew off the canvas. I tried pre-melting them. Eh, it was OK but didn’t really do the trick. There were still crayons rolling all over the place even though they were partially melted.

I then tried to rub the melted crayons on to the canvas the best I could so that they would at least stick to the canvas. This worked but also made a huge mess in the process. I had crayons stuck all over my hands, the table and to my clothes. Disclaimer: Wear old clothes and cover any surfaces with newspaper or anything you don’t mind throwing away once you are finished.

After quite some time of cussing and trying to get this to work (my son abandoned the project about 15 minutes into it) I finally had a finished project. Was it completely what I wanted? Um, not really. But hey, I learned some new things, some new techniques, what not to do and most importantly that crayon does make beautiful art! This is a couple of different angles of the finished piece because for some reason you don’t get the full effect of color in these pictures.

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I will be doing this project again! I will be sharing the next project with you! Happy crafting and I hope you enjoyed my what not to do on crayon painting πŸ™‚

 

Review: ADVANCED Calming Soft Chews for Dogs

I am the proud owner of 4 dogs lol. Two of them have horrible anxiety when I leave them or when they are in the car. My Yorkie, Harley Quinn, has panic attacks anytime we get in the car. She gets so wound up that 9 out of 10 times, she vomits in my car. This is super annoying. My daniff, Odin, has the same anxiety of car rides but not to the extreme that Harley does. He is a 4 month old puppy so I chalk it up to just not being used to being in the car. They both have separation anxiety and terrorize my house whenever I leave. I have to keep them kenneled due to their craziness.

I love them both more than anything but to be honest, the anxiety they share is overwhelming not only for them but also for me. It is stressful taking Harley anywhere in the car and has come to the point where I don’t take her unless if I have to. Odin is slowly getting better but is still visibly anxious even just riding the few blocks to drop my kiddos off at school. Yes, I take him everywhere. πŸ™‚

Zesty Paws offers a wide variety of treats that can be given to dogs of all ages. These treats vary from allergy and stomach issues to calming them down naturally. I was thankful for the opportunity to be able to try these treats out. Anything was worth trying at this point. I received them about 15 days ago and I have been using them anytime we leave the house or anytime those two get in my car. So far, it has been noticeably helpful. The bites contain melatonin which will naturally calm down your pet.

Harley still gets a tad crazy when she is in the car but she has visibly decreased her craziness and she has not thrown up the last two times I’ve taken her in my car. It has also helped her with separation anxiety. It has also calmed Odin down, when we leave him he doesn’t seem so panicked. I usually give them a treat about 20-30 minutes prior to us leaving the house and it seems to do the trick. Don’t get me wrong, these are not miracle treats and your pet will not be magically healed overnight. BUT, these treats do help, and I plan on buying more of them. Anything that can help calm my babies is worth the money. The peace of mind it gives me upon leaving my house is worth the money. It is a well priced treat and is very helpful if your pets have anxieties.

The biggest test will be during a thunderstorm, which we haven’t had in the past month, Odin is terrified of the thunder. I also look forward to seeing how it affects him once 4th of July rolls around and the bursting fireworks begin. Overall, I would definitely recommend it and hope that it helps your pets too!

Available at Chewy

Review: INNX Camping Water Storage, Pet Bath Swimming Pool for Cat Puppy Dog in Outdoor/Indoor/Travel

This is one of those things that you never realized you needed until you have it! It is advertised as a pet bath/swimming pool for traveling, but it can be so much more. We camp a lot with my boys being in Boyscouts, so anything that could come in handy for camping I usually try to pick up. Again, didn’t realize this is what I needed in my life! πŸ˜‰

This is a heavy duty water storage basin, it can obviously be used for a watering hole for you pets while camping but I plan to use this as a place to wash dishes, my hands, etc. It has so many uses that it literally is endless possibilities. INNX is a great company and they truly make unique, heavy duty products! The basin comes in a black color so you don’t have to worry about it getting stained while out camping or traveling. My dogs aren’t huge fans of water but this would definitely be a good outdoor bathtub for smaller dogs. It isn’t very big, so if you do have larger dogs (which we do) it would not be a good fit to use this for baths. I can see this being great to hydrate your pets while camping though.

It comes with two large pockets that would be perfect to hold soaps, rags or sponges. The handles on it make it easy to carry around and the interior lining is waterproof keeping the water from leaking out. I can’t wait to use this when we go camping next. Our camping days have been limited this summer due to the incessant mosquitoes! Definitely check out INNX and all of their handy dandy products. You never know, they might have something you can’t live without! πŸ™‚

Available at Amazon

Review: Pet Safety Leads Car Vehicle Seat Belt Harness

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I received this product through Tomoson in exchange for a fair and honest review. I have always wanted to try a doggy seat belt but never quite got around to getting one! My boxer Kloey used to go everywhere with us and she knew that she had to sit a specific way in the front seat and I never had any issues with it. We lost her last summer and it was devastating to all of us. The car was never the same without her.

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A few months ago Odin, a mastiff/dane puppy came into our lives and now he goes everywhere with us. He has yet to figure out how to sit in the front seat like our boxer! He’s a good boy and is learning quickly but this harness has come in handy. It helps keep him from trying to come into my seat while I am driving and he is beginning to understand that car rides are easier sitting in one place! He is slowly learning and with this harness it has helped to train him in proper car riding etiquette lol!

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I really like this harness, the pack comes with two which is handy if you have more than one dog that rides with you. It easily latches into the car seat belt buckle and holds them in place until you release it. The harness is made of a leash type material and seems to be pretty heavy duty. It can be extended so you can use it either for a smaller dog or for a larger one. It works well with my 75lb 4 month old daniff and I have no doubt that it will work for him once he is full grown. It comes in a black color but being the girly girl that I am, I would love to see it in some other colors such as pink or purple.

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The metal latch on both ends are heavy, I don’t see this having to be replaced anytime soon. I definitely recommend this product! We are a dog loving family and any product that will help keep those furbabies safe is good for us! Good luck and happy car riding to you! Go check these out πŸ™‚

Available at Amazon

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My tired boy Odin

Review: Profivex 8.5 oz Clinical Strength Probiotic Supplement

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I received this product through Tomoson in exchange for a fair and honest review. Ever since my boxer was a puppy she has continually had issues with vomiting right after eating, a super noisy tummy, occasional diarrhea and just plain not wanting to eat. For years I have tried numerous different brands of dog food, taken her to the vet and just tolerated the fact that she was constantly going to go through this.

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It was stressful on me and on her. A couple months ago she was diagnosed with a bout of Pancreatitis, not anything too scary but again something not making her feel very well. A round of antibiotics and a specialty fresh food diet she was slowly getting over this yucky infection but again she was still having issues. I seen this supplement for review and I knew that I wanted to review it.

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It has been 20 days since we started the supplement and I definitely can see some changes. She has continued on the fresh diet (which I think also helped a lot) and with this supplement she has started to improve. There is no more vomiting after she eats and her diarrhea has not happened in a long time. Her tummy was always making funky noises before and with this supplement it has calmed it down so much! I truly believe that she was missing something in her diet and it caused her not to have the right amount of good bacteria in her gut. She had an imbalance in her gut and this supplement has put that back into her belly. She loves the supplement and acts like its this awesome treat anytime she gets it on her food.

It has been a game changer for us and I hope that it can help you out too! Even if your dog is not suffering from gut issues, this is still a great product to give to your pets. It is full of great nutrients and the dogs love it! It is something that all dogs need to keep their bellies happy πŸ™‚

Go check it out because it is totally worth it! πŸ™‚

Available at <a href="http://Chewy.com

“>Chewy

Review: Amosting Marbles Run toy set

I received this product through Tomoson in exchange for a fair and honest review.

This has been on my kids Christmas/birthday lists for awhile now. They enjoy watching YouTube and have seen these numerous times all chiming in together with “Mommy please!?” πŸ˜‚ The videos I’ve seen are super annoying and honestly kept me from buying them one. But when I found out I could review this toy I knew I’d make my kids year… So mom of the year here I come! 😁

Anyways, I received this in the mail and they were over the moon about it! They couldn’t believe their luck!

Let me tell you it was hard to put together lol. There was lots of pieces and the instructions to put it together was just a picture and the names of the pieces. It was rough… I spent about 30 minutes on it making it about a quarter of the way finished and then my dog walked by and whacked with his tail and I had to start over! It was not fun.

This is a great toy, but honestly it needs better instructions to put it together. I’m sure it can be put together however you want but of course my kids wawnted it to look like the toy on the box. So here I am getting irritated at a kids toy and my kids are wishing I would hurry up. Talk about stressful, you’d think I was building a rocket for NASA the way my kids were acting… So about 40 million years later I was able to get it together and it actually looked like the box! Win for Mommy! πŸ˜‚ πŸ˜‚

It is a really awesome set and my kids absolutely loved it. The set did come with marbles, but they are tiny little ones not the normal marble size. This causes a problem because I have no idea where to buy those marbles. The larger marbles can work but they tend to get stuck while running the course. AND since they are so small they are all lost after only a week of playing with this set. Also the little area with the spinning wheel would not stay where it needed to be (in the middle of the tube) so we had to improvise and we taped the wheel to the bottom of the tube. This worked perfectly and we haven’t had any slipping issues since.

This is where it was sliding. It should have been mid tube.

This is where we ended up taping it.

The tiny baby marbles 😊

It does however provide hours of fun. My three boys set in front of this thing for over an hour the first day we had it. It’s lots of fun and it’s not as loud as the YouTube videos make them out to be. Overall, this is a great toy and I recommend it for kids 5 and up! The marbles are definitely a choking hazard so keep an eye on your kiddos regardless of their age!

This is a great product and I recommend it if you are looking for a marble run for your kiddos!

Available at Amazon