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I illustrated the top of this page with a fun, printable graphic from Echowood Printables on Etsy. I love the elements that creator Logan has woven together to create her interpretation of this trend. Click here to see Logan's visual representation on Etsy. Her print is an inexpensive way to add this trend to your home's decor.
@thestyleequation The latest trend, not just for grandmothers! #coastalgrandmother @Lex Nicoleta #lifestyle ♬ original sound - Jennifer Ebelhar
When searching for a new movie to watch, I came across "Appetite for Love". It was released in 2016, but somehow I have missed seeing it.
As a huge Hallmark fan, I didn't feel I needed to look further. I felt confident this would be a good movie and one I would enjoy watching.
I had seen Andrew Walker (Clay Hart) in several Hallmark movies, but Taylor Cole (Mina Jones) was new to me even though she has starred in several Hallmark movies previously.
From the very beginning, I liked Taylor Cole. She was easily believable as a current day business executive from a small rural town in Tennessee. Andrew Walker seems almost born to play the part of Clay Hart, a country boy committed to seeing his home town prosper in spite of outside forces that he must take seriously.
With the typical feel-good Hallmark theme of romance & fun, and even with the challenges of big city interference, "Appetite for Love" leaves viewers happy and with an appetite for more.
Appetite for LoveMina loves her job, her career. She is definitely headed in the right direction with the company. She has a great boyfriend, who happens to be a co-worker and their life together is headed in the right direction. Her life seems perfect. It is exactly what she wanted when she left small town USA to carve out her career. Since her parents have moved, there is really no reason for her to return to Sycamore Springs, Tennessee. Well, that is true until her company sends her there to force their newly acquired franchised restaurant into compliance with the company rules, menus, and suppliers. Her promotion depends on her successfully implementing the required changes at Hart's Restaurant, which happens to be owned by her high school sweetheart's family.
Since his father's recent death, Clay Hart is the operator of the towns popular Hart's Restaurant. The chef knows what the customers want and he prepares the food accordingly. Hart's uses locally grown products and the food is cooked fresh daily. However, that is not in compliance with the company requirements since they are not serving food from the company menu supplied by the chosen vendors. What's more, Clay is not interested in making those changes. He knows what his town prefers. Unfortunately, his restaurant is no longer owned by his family.
As you can see, Mina and Clay are about to knock heads. The past has a way
of interfering when old hurts become part of the present. Things get even
more difficult when Mina's co-worker boyfriend shows up to "help" and report
back to corporate. After all, the people of Sycamore Springs are
important to Mina too, even though she tried to forget those friends and her
As autumn has turned to winter in our area, the trees and grounds have already been kissed by snow several times. When I saw the movie entitled "Snowkissed", I immediately thought it was a rather romantic way to describe a light snow.
Setting my first thoughts aside, I read the movie description and thought it might be a nice love story, but I watched it because the title evoked lovely mental imagery.
Because I prefer clean and wholesome movies, I most often scan Hallmark movies first for a new film to watch when I just want to relax, not have to think too deeply, and simply be entertained by beautiful settings and likable people.
When a movie makes me smile, or even laugh, I know I have discovered a cinematic gem. As it turned out, the love story was sweet, I laughed several times, the scenery was fabulous and was definitely snow kissed.
This movie clearly has it all and was a wonderful escape for an hour and a
They arrive at the B&B in Canada to find a struggling business run by two single men who are desperate to get the endorsement of an international travel company that will send a lot of business their way. As the only two guests for the week, the guys ask Kelly & Jane to go through their 3 day tour and give them honest critiques and suggestions. However, constructive criticism is not always easy to take, even when it is given by request.
While the set-up of two single men and two single women may seem like the perfect situation, it isn't always a guarantee that they will end up as friends, much less anything more to each other. After all, they live in different countries, all have jobs and responsiblities, and at least one definitely does not like change.
If you enjoy a romantic movie with a touch of humor and a lot of gorgeous scenery, then you will love
Watch on Amazon Prime or Buy a Hallmark DVD that includes Snowkissed.
I truly enjoyed reading the entire American Heiresses series by Jen Turano. Each book has been equally enchanting, humorous at times, and a delightful read.
Book 1 of the series, Flights of Fancy, is a wonderful beginning for
a great series. It introduces us to Miss Isadora Delafield, who finds
herself being pushed into an undesirable relationship with a duke from
Europe simply because her mother desires a "titled" son-in-law. Being
a member of New York's Four Hundred isn't enough for Hester Delafield. She
wants her daughter to be a duchess! Never mind the duke is twice her
daughter's age and is a widower multiple times.
When we think of wealthy heiresses, we assume their lives are easy, perhaps
even enviable. However, when you really sit back and think about how
difficult it would be to know if someone was interested in you or in your
money, it doesn't seem quite as enchanting. Place the heiress in
historical times when a husband controlled everything, including the
heiresses inheritance, then the whole idea becomes downright dismal.
Hester Delafield may be thrilled that the Duke of Montrose has taken a special interest in her daughter, but Isadora is not. Something about the duke makes her skin crawl and Izzie is rather disgusted by the lecherous fiend. Plus, he makes no secret of the fact that he is seeking a 4th wife who will hopefully succeed where the others have failed. In his words, he is "in desperate need of an heir and a spare". Not exactly a courting phrase that makes a young girl swoon, especially when delivered by a creepy old man.
Flights of Fancy
(American Heiresses Book #1)When Izzie's butler reveals his own concern for her safety based on what he has learned from the duke's previous staff, he helps her run away. He even writes her a letter of recommendation so she can get a job in a household and hide out in domestic service. After all, who would search for a heiress among the staff of a household in another city.
All the fun and laughter for the reader begins when Izzie arrives at a farm in rural Pennsylvania, answering a newspaper ad for a housekeeper. There is no way anyone would look for her in a home with two elderly people, 3 children, several cows, goats, chickens and ranch hands. It is the perfect hideaway! However, she is totally clueless on how to cook, clean, or care for any of them, which makes her less than perfect for them. Or does it?
If you are seeking an easy read that will leave you cheering at the end,
then I highly recommend "Flights of Fancy".
I have previously bypassed this movie several times because the trailers simply did not appeal to me. This has taught me that I should never solely rely on the trailers to give me a real representation of whether I will like a movie or not.
True to Hallmark style, this romantic movie is somewhat predictable when Kelly Leone meets Tom Malone, but the story is unique.
It is clear from the beginning that they are attracted to each other. However, due to Kelly's New Year's resolution to say "yes" to more social event invitations, their relationship doesn't start with Tom asking her out. He doesn't want her to feel forced to accept. Of course, nothing says Kelly can't pursue Tom. After all, Tom is not bound by any resolution. Plus, they have several upcoming social events in common.
Not only did I enjoy the romantic story, I also found myself laughing over several of the scenes. Truly a nice break and a great way for Hallmark lovers to start the new year.
A New Year's ResolutionKelly Leone is a dedicated morning show producer who has spent the last year working long hours and focusing on getting better ratings for her show. Now that she has finally gotten the show in a safe zone, she decides it is time for her to focus on her personal life. While her friends have been extremely understanding and patient with her busy work life, they do express how much they have missed her and want her back. Kelly recognizes that she has really missed out on some of the changes in their lives, plus the combination of "small moments that makes up the big important stuff in life".
Because of these revelations, Kelly decides to change her standard New Year's resolution. She commits herself to her friends and vows that she will accept any social invitation offered to her until her birthday in February. Her friends don't hesitate to start offering those social invitations, starting with a cold New Year's Day Polar Plunge into Lake Michigan. Other social invitations include the Blizzard Obstacle Course, speed dating, curling, and facing her greatest fear, a magician.
When the morning show cast hears of her resolution, they decide to make her the "star" of their new story. They follow her through her events and film her experiences for the show. Kelly prefers to be in the background, off camera, but she makes an adorable focus for the new series, as well as for this fun Hallmark movie.
Don't let the trailers keep your from watching this movie! Why not
join me and make it your New Year's resolution to ignore the trailers and
watch the movie for yourself.
I am always thrilled to find a new wonderful Christmas movie!
Most often, I default back to classics of the past during the holidays, but this year I was searching for something new. I tried several that ended with the movie being clicked off within the first 15 minutes. I wanted a good movie, not just a time-passer. When I discovered "Christmas Pen Pals" starring Sarah Drew & Niall Matter, I knew almost immediately that I had found the Christmas movie gem I was seeking.
This sweet, romantic movie was perhaps a bit predictable since we knew Hannah (Sarah Drew) was going to fall in love. However, there were plenty of fun surprises along the way that kept my attention and made me hopeful that this kindhearted woman would find someone who loved her as much, or more, than she loved them.
Yes, I know. I am an unapologetic hopeless romantic! I love a
great love story whether I am reading a book or watching a movie. Of
course, no love story is better than a real life love story, but we rarely
get to see that from the very beginning and see those first sparks.
Hannah Morris has a well organized life and in isolated from people and pain by her electronics and gadgets. As the creator of a dating website, her financial stability is also dependent on the internet via those devices. When her company partner shares how their site is struggling because people are leaving it in droves due to the lack of the emotional element they desire, the two woman know they need a new "catch" to continue to succeed.
CHRISTMAS PEN PALS Unfortunately, Hannah also lacks a romantic relationship in her own life. That makes it rather hard for her to envision how to set up a new dating app that would have the needed emotional appeal. When searching through her phone list of men from her past, she accidentally calls her dad. Because she doesn't want to let her father down, she ends up agreeing to come home for Christmas.
However, home is where Hannah must come face to face with pain, the past, and the reality of Christmas at home without her mother. But, she is also greeted by family and friends who welcome her home with open arms.
The town is celebrating Christmas this year by having secret pen pals assigned to participants who decide in advance if they are seeking love or a new friendship. Because of her current work problem, she decides to check "love" on the application, hoping she will find that needed inspiration for her dating website.
Does she find that inspiration and the "catch" she needs to be professionally successful? I won't tell!
You must watch the movie for yourself to find out.
Sometimes I need a break from whodunnits and psychological thrillers so when I came across a novel that had the same title as my favourite Simple Minds song and a ringing endorsement from Marian Keyes I just knew I had to read it.
Mhairi McFarlane certainly didn't disappoint, this was the exact book I needed to read. It was a romance, but it was so much more. The characters were awesome (even the ones you loathed!), the only one that really irritated me at times was the main character, Georgina, but even when she was annoying me she was so relatable.
The story starts with a budding romance in the sixth form between our heroine Georgina and the mysterious Lucas and I have to say that having spent my sixth form years in the UK Mhairi McFarlane did an amazing job at invoking memories I'd actually forgotten I had.
We quickly fast forward to the present day and Georgina is 30 and working in the worst restaurant in town and even the way this restaurant and staff are described allowed my mind to actually see the restaurant. When she was totally unfairly dismissed from the restaurant she decides to pay an unexpected visit to her boyfriend. This turned out to be a mistake as said narcissistic boyfriend was in bed with his PA.
Then she receives an offer to do a one-off gig to tend bar at a wake - the bar in question has been newly refurbished and is looking at opening up again. Georgina absolutely loves working the wake and gets on really well with one of the owners, Devlin. At the end of the night, he offers her a permanent job which makes her feel like her life is on the up again.
Of course, it would be a boring book if that was all ..... enter Devlin's brother and the other owner of the bar, Lucas. Whereas Georgina recognises Lucas instantly, he doesn't appear to have any memory of her whatsoever and is not happy that Devlin hired her without consultation.
I won't tell you anymore of the storyline, I will let you discover it for yourself. Yes, it's a romance, but it is so much more. The characters are really well-rounded (I do hope Kitty gets her own novel one day) and it is also a book that deals with gaslighting and not ignoring red flags in relationships. It's about great friends and complicated families and about overcoming adversity. Oh, and the one-liners will have you in stitches!
I thoroughly enjoyed Don't You Forget About Me and couldn't put it down until I had finished.
As with most of the books, I read this was downloaded as part of my Kindle Unlimited membership something I highly recommend no matter what genre of book you like to read. In fact, it's also a great way of exploring new genres too, I've recently read some supernatural and some science fiction books through my membership.
The Christmas Train is a wonderful star-studded Hallmark Hall of Fame Christmas movie. The movie is based on the book by David Baldacci. This movie originally aired in 2017, but I only recently discovered it on the Hallmark channel.
During the holidays, I occasionally need a break from cooking, company, noise, and the annual chaos generated by a large family. Please understand, I wouldn't change a thing, but I do still need brief intermissions in the midst of our family multi-day holiday gatherings. That is when I grab my iPad, seek out a quiet spot, and watch a Hallmark Christmas movie. Works like a charm! After the movie, I am refreshed, happy and ready to interact with real people again.
I really needed a good movie to watch the day I happened upon
The Christmas Train. It turned out to be the perfect movie with
a cast of fabulous actors who were all endearing for various reasons.
Every passenger on The Christmas Train had their own story and their
own reasons for being on a train the week of Christmas. From a film
director, a writer seeking a new story, to the quirky, nosy woman who seemed
to be overly interested in everyone, they all added value to the movie.
Tom Langdon (Dermot Mulroney) was the last person Eleanor (Kimberly Williams-Paisley) expected to encounter on the Christmas train and she was the last person he expected to see. It is immediately obvious to everyone that they already know each other and that there is "history", and pain, between them.
Max Powers (Danny Glover) is the film director who believes Tom and Eleanor should set aside the past and work together to write a new film for him. They reluctantly agree to collaborate, only because Eleanor couldn't find another form of transportation.
As Tom and Eleanor interact with the other passengers, tidbits of their past together are shared. But what really makes this a fun ride, is the combination of the stories of the passengers and their willingness to befriend one another.
We have all had an "Agnes" (Joan Cusack) in our life. The nosy "neighbor" who seems to know everything about everyone. We learn a lot about each passenger thanks to Agnes making their business, her business, and then sharing it with others.
There is also an eloping couple who become important to the story because both Eleanor and Tom must dredge up old memories in order to offer advice to this struggling couple. Even Max gets involved with helping them find their way to the altar.
There are several other passengers on the train who are important to the complete story. I'll let you discover them for yourself!
If you enjoy a sweet romantic movie, then you will love The Christmas Train starring Danny Glover, Joan Cusack, Dermot Mulroney, and Kimberly Williams-Paisley.
After seeing the movie, I definitely want to read the book now!
Sometimes you pick up a book and know you are going to love the plot from the very beginning. That was the case for me with Full Steam Ahead by Karen Witemeyer.
I want to start this review by saying that I don't think the cover does this book justice. It looks too whimsical in my opinion for a story that is not silly or juvenile. I almost didn't read this book because of the cover image, but since I am familiar with the author, I trust her to provide an excellent story. I am really glad I ignored my first impression based on the picture and read the book. Frankly, I was rather sorry when it ended and I found out there isn't a second book to continue their story.
The book is set in 1851, but begins with a prologue that is essential to the plot. It is about a catastrophic event in 1849 that changes the course of Darius Thornton's life which puts him right in the path of Nicole Renard, who is also experiencing unexpected life changes.
You can read the entire prologue by clicking here and opening the "look inside" tab at the top of the book image.
Full Steam AheadNicole Renard is summoned home before the end of the school year due to her father's deteriorating health. When thieves break into their home and threaten her parents, an unusual plan is made to secure the family's future and fortune.
Nicole's father needs an heir for his business. While his beloved daughter is smart enough to run his business, she is not a man. Therefore, he needs her to get married before he dies. Since he previously agreed to allow her to choose her own husband, an arranged marriage is out of the question. However, he believes if he sends her to New Orleans, she can choose a husband from his business acquaintances and their sons. After all, it is preferred that she marry someone knowledgeable about the shipping business since he will not have time to teach them.
Because they know the brothers who broke into their home, they want to secretly get Nicole on a ship bound for New Orleans. However, when they discover the men are watching the docks, Nicole leaves her luggage behind and jumps on a boat headed to Liberty using an assumed name. She believes she can book passage to New Orleans once she arrives in Liberty. However, once she is there, she realizes she doesn't have money for a ticket to New Orleans. Therefore, she needs a temporary job and is eventually hired as a secretary by Darius Thornton, a man who the whole town believes is quite mad because he has spent the last year blowing things up.
Casting all caution and warnings aside, Nicole moves full steam ahead!
If you're after a cozy, feel-good romance with a touch of mystery and intrigue then let me transport you to a little place called Starlight Cove. Want to know more?
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The Lighthouse Keeper was written before A Bittersweet Surprise so there were a couple of things that I already knew would happen, but that didn't deflect from the feel-good feeling this novel gave me. This certainly isn't the novel for you if you want to have to think hard about things or get caught up in some psychological thriller. This book is like a comforting blanket on a cold winter's evening when you just want to be left alone.
The main heroine of the book is the daughter of treasure hunters and when her life gets thrown a couple of curveballs she decides to bid on a lighthouse. As you can probably tell from the title of the novel her bid wins and she moves to Starlight Cove to restore the town's lighthouse.
Her parents have settled down in Starlight Cove and are running an antique shop there, she also meets some of the town's residents along with some not-so-nice non-resident treasure hunters. Did I mention that there was a long-lost treasure to be found too?
While she endeavours to try her hand at a little matchmaking between her first friend in Starlight Cove and one of the hunky Henderson brothers she also finds herself falling a little in love herself. As with any romance, there's a little bump in the road which has her overthinking things (a trait I can totally relate to myself!).
With The Lighthouse Keeper, Cynthia Ellingsen has once again shown how well she can create her characters as I can totally relate to a few in this book, just as I did in the other book. Now I need to grab the only other book I can see in the Starlight Cove series to see if it's as good. An extra bonus is that all three of these are free to read with a Kindle Unlimited account!
Otherwise Engaged is a fabulous book! It is a clean and wholesome romance for those of us who do not like explicit content. It is also a historical fiction which is one of my favorite genres.
This is the first book I have read by Joanna Barker, but it will not be the last! She is a phenomenal writer who includes vivid descriptions of people and surroundings. I was barely into the first chapter of Otherwise Engaged when I noted how much I loved this author’s captivating descriptions. I could easily envision the people and places in my mind’s eye.
I also enjoy the touches of humor Barker includes throughout the book. Several times I laughed out loud at the witty repartee between characters.
All of these exceptional elements made this a thoroughly enjoyable book which I would highly recommend.
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Review This is Dedicated to the
Memory of Our Beloved Friend and Fellow Contributor
We may be apart, but
You Are Not Forgotten