Saturday, November 1, 2014

It's Saturday, so time for a Book Challenge Check-In!

This is my third year of the Goodreads Book Challenge and I uped my numbers this year. Two years ago I was a miserable failure..I guess having a baby and moving across country messed with my book-reading mojo. As a result, last year I set the bar a little lower then normal and exceeded it. If you participate in a book challenge please leave a comment or link me to your Goodreads or blog. I love finding out what other people are reading. I get my best suggestions from there, friends and Pinterest of all places. I'm a succor for the 100 Books To Read Before You Die list. I just came across this, Gilmore Girls inspired list and I am dying to jump into it. Make sure to check out my "Rhe's Bookshelf" tab for reviews, and visit my goodreads account by clicking on the challenge link below. And don't forget, share your book posts, blogs or accounts in the comments.

Books 1-25 of my 65 2014 book challenge

 A Story Unfinished by Matt  Mooney   A SEAL's Seduction by Tawny Weber Lonesome Cowboy by Debbie Macomber Texas Two-Step by Debbie Macomber Back in Service by Isabel Sharpe
Rescue My Heart by Jill Shalvis A Hero to Come Home To by Marilyn Pappano Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia A Perfect Evil by Alex KavaBreaking Point by Lindsay McKenna
Navy Rescue by Geri Krotow His Woman in Command by Lindsay McKenna A Mother's Secret by Amy Clipston The Global War on Christians by John L. Allen Jr. Murder at the FBI by Margaret Truman
 The Returning Hero by Soraya LaneSplit Second by Alex Kava  The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks Murder in Georgetown by Margaret Truman Murder in the CIA by Margaret Truman
Seasons of Tomorrow by Cindy Woodsmall Jane Austen Girl by Inglath Cooper The Healing Quilt by Wanda E. Brunstetter Steel Will by Shilo Harris Falling for Her Soldier by Ophelia London

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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Cheap Date Night in Washington, DC

DC is one of those places that can easily overwhelm, and for several reasons. Obviously the first thing that comes to mind is TRAFFIC! Whoa! You try to explain it to people who are moving here and most of the time its something they can't really appreciate until they live here; no matter what you say to convince them. The sheer magnitude of historical sites is also overwhelming.  We have seen and done so much in the two and a half years we've lived here but I feel like we haven't even scratched the service.  In fact we keep a running list of thing we want to do and see and I'm pretty sure its taking up a huge chunk of my hard drive. The third is expense. It's expensive to live here, its just the way it is. Its something we've had to factor in to our daily living, this includes Date Nights. Date Nights are not generally something I'm okay with living without. So you come up with creative ideas to be cheap and you make it work. Now, we opted to go to a fancy restaurant in Georgetown, so that did up our price tag, but its a very affordable place when you compare it a lot of DC eateries. So, if you're looking for a fun, and yummy, place to eat in DC check out Martin's Tavern. I never get tired of it.

first stop was Martin's Tavern and the "proposal booth"


A favorite cheap date night for us is the "walking tour". There are a plethora of options in the area. But a really fun and romantic one is through the streets of Georgetown. Georgetown is probably one of the coolest "historic" towns that I've ever been in. It's quaint and old-fashioned and charming. It was founded in the mid-1700s and predates DC itself. It's adorable row-houses and federalist architecture is a treat for the eye. And while the whole place is one giant walking tour and shopping bonanza, it is the one centered around the Kennedy's that I truly love. It's important history, and while not in my life time, its not so ancient that its hard to imagine.  We have pictures and video that really can connect us to the Kennedy's and the beautiful Jacqueline. Georgetown is their stomping grounds.

the house they lived in pre-Presidency

lived here as Senator

On this tour you can visit the homes where they lived before his Presidency, after President Kennedy's Assassination, their church and several other important Kennedy landmarks.  Walking up and down the pint-size streets and you can't help but be swept up in the rich history and the sweet whimsy of it all. And while the transportation and the babysitting (although I strongly suggest you swap with friends! It's cheap and encourages community. We do it!) isn't free, the walking tour is.



Bundle up and bring your hot chocolate, coffee or tea from home and enjoy a nice leisurely stroll in Georgetown. I guarantee you'll love it!

For more information on the self-guided Kennedy walking tour, visit GeorgetownDC

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Apothecary Extracts Tea Tree Oil

I've recently become a fan of essential oil, it's all the rage really. You can't scroll through your news feed without seeing something about it.  Maybe that's just mine, but nevertheless, it's definitely becoming a thing. I have a couple friends who sell it - different brands - lots of friends who use it, including a ton more brands. I'm not really an expert and I've tried many different types and kids. For me personally I don't necessarily consider them to be the be all end all of cures, but I have become a definitely believer. I have a strong olfactory sense....my sense of smell is ridiculously tied to my brain and my emotions.  The effect has been something that I have really noticed with essential oils.  Recently I have discovered their benefits as it pertains to other things.

My first experience was with Tea Tree Oil. It is incredible how many uses this one little oil. I tried it for my face to zap some zits. Put it directly on there with a q-tip and it significantly reduces the size and redness over night. Boom!

 

Here's all the info on Apothecary Extracts

- One of the most versatile essential oils. Naturally fight Acne, Toenail Fungus, Lice, Yeast Infections, Skin Tags, Cold Sores, Dandruff, Ringworm, Fleas, Warts, Psoriasis, and More.

- Use to make your own Shampoo, Lotion, Soap, Face Cleaner, Body Wash, and Toothpaste. Stop polluting your home and make all natural Household Cleaners, Detergents, Shower Sprays, Bathroom Disinfectants, and Kitchen Sprays.

- Every purchase comes with a FREE eBook 50+ Uses for Tea Tree Oil. We provide you with all the ways to use tea tree oil to improve your life, and replace harmful cleaners around the house. This is your's to keep even if you return the tea tree oil.

- We Have the Tests to Prove Our Tea Tree Oil's Purity and Potency. Many essential oils are diluted to cut costs. We have the Gas Chromatography Report to prove our tea tree oil is 100% undiluted, and without impurities. Find out what the Aborigines have known for centuries about this amazing gift from nature.

- Our Australian tea tree plantation has received awards for its industry-leading, conservation farming practices. They have the smallest carbon footprint of any producer of pure and natural Tea Tree Oil. The Australian Parliament has invited them to represent farming operators at a Carbon Farming Incentive forum. They were one of the first producers to be accredited under the Australian Tea Tree Industry Association Code of Practice. The nutrition program for the Tea Tree plants is based on organic fertilizers. When using pesticides (a necessity to ensure the health of the plants) they employ a shield sprayer to minimize any contact with the plant. Whenever possible natural crop protection products are used.

I love a product that totally backed by the brand, with the test results to prove it! I also love when a brand gives you a ton of ways to use it when you purchase it. I didn't have to go scrounging all over the internet.




If  you haven't started dabbling in the world of essential oils I really encourage you to give it a try. Test different ones out, experiment with blends. Go in with an open mind and see what you discover.  You might, like me, be pleasantly surprised.

**This is a sponsored post in partnership with BrandBacker and Apothecary Extracts. I was given a product to review in exchange for my open and honest opinion. As always, my views and opinions are my own.
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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

That Time I went to Target and Bought Nothing.....Almost

Perhaps no one loves Target as much as me....really it's true. Second only to IKEA, is my love for Target and how much of my household decorations, furniture and clothing comes from here. The holidays are the best....my favorite Air Force Nutcracker that stays out all year long, my amazing bookshelves, the pillows on my couch and the amazing famous buildings that are framed in my room from my wedding ten years ago.

When Stephanie Giese posted her article in Huffington Post, (and her blog..read it, she's great!) about the situation of girl clothes at Target I ate it up in shovelfulls.  Heavens above, was she reading my mind? I knew the day was coming and I was terrified. I had sort of prepped for it in mind.  What I was most worried about was dresses, and feminine things that were age appropriate. The tightness of shorts and pants, and the length of them I sort of started to combat already and was pleasantly surprised with what I was able to score at consignment sales. Labels like Gymboree, The Children's Place and even Old Navy have been good to me so far in that category, but only at consignment prices. Her issue is with the Toddler Section (although I'm sure her issue will go right through like mine does the day she starts shopping at the 6-16 section. *dun dun dun* ~ insert 80s horror movie music ~

The Picture Day came.


Apparently something happens at the age (or size) of six.  I'm not sure what goes through a designer's head when they decide that my kindergartener should be wearing what a jr. higher might wear. A vice versa really.  What Jr Higher wants to look like a kindergartener? On the same hanger you will find xs all the way to xl. Really? I found almost nothing and left the store with a shirt (which I didn't actually end up using and returned) and a maxi skirt, which had nothing to do with picture day but was just something my daughter wanted to match me. I found one dress that I almost considered buying before I went through the catalogue in my head of her closet. I eventually determined that I thought I had something there for her so I left.  I was mad and sad. Nothing? Really? I even (yes I really did this) went upstairs with the XS from the "Girls" section to see if I could find a more age appropriate dress in the Toddler section that I could "wing it" with leggings. Nope.

 one of the dresses I had to chose from? Really Skulls? For a six year old. I think I'm both lame and
probably better suited to be living in the 40s or 50s I'm sure. So uncool of me I know.


 This is the dress I almost bought, but then I realized its from a tv show called "Ever After High" that no my
daughter doesn't watch. Why do they have a cartoon geared towards young children set in high school? Again, I'm totally lame I'm sure. So the most feminine and girly, old-fashioned looking outfit, is of course associated, and printed with the name, with a tv show that my daughter doesn't watch.


Some of the other dresses were again, okay, but not exactly what I had in mind for my six year old to wear to church or to a party. Their Circo Halloween dresses, oh man, adorable and I will purchasing that for her since Halloween is so close to her birthday...but why can't they carry that adorableness over to all year long. Where Target does do a decent job is with their Penelope Tree by Miss Behave line; but here's the kicker - not sold in stores and some of their most expensive stuff. I might has well go to Gymboree or Crazy 8's and get more age appropriate stuff. And its not just Target, Old Navy is fairly guilty of this as well. They have a section dedicated to "Girls".  That's all relative though. Girls to these two stores are six 6/6x (S), all the way to 10/12 (L/XL). We aren't even talking the same planet in my opinion. If you check out Old Navy's dress options for little girls its slightly better and definitely more up my alley then Target. Thank you Old Navy!

How I long for the days of shopping in the Baby/Toddler section. I actually persue it and wistfully finger the clothing.  Maybe I could rip out seams and re-purpose them?  And while I love places like Gymboree and Janie and Jack, frankly I can't afford them.  At least not on a regular basis and not without gymbucks or major clearance. This is one of the reasons I'm a die-hard consignment shopper. Its days like this I'm thankful my boys outnumber my girls.

That day I basically walked out with nothing and I haven't been back. The next weekend I went to the big consignment sale and bought all of my daughter's winter dresses (Gymboree, Matilda Jane, Macy's brands and the like). None of the baring the label of a more affordable clothing store.
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Monday, October 13, 2014

Rhe's Bookshelf - Seasons of Tomorow by Cindy Woodsmall


 Seasons of Tomorrow, Amish Vines and Orchards Series #4   -     By: Cindy Woodsmall

Summary 

Rhoda Byler feels freer than ever in the Old Order Amish settlement she helped to establish. Healed from past wounds, she focuses on nurturing the orchards in her care and pursuing God's plan for her unusual gifts. When a horrible tragedy occurs, what will become of the bright future that just recently appeared?
The moving culmination in this popular Amish romance series, Rhoda Byler finally has the confidence and freedom she's always longed for in the Old Order Amish settlement she helped establish with the King family. But can faith, hope, and most of all love prevail when a horrible disaster strikes?

Review

I have been waiting to read this book and I was beyond excited. I don't want the series to end and Cindy keeps it going with Seasons of Tomorrow. I felt like it was all coming to a head with this book. By this time in the series you are totally invested in these characters and you genuinely love them. I felt myself going through the emotions a ton in this book. There were some lovely new additional characters introduced during this book. Even though I felt as though this was probably the last book in the series I definitely wanted more. Cindy is great with the happy endings and that's why I like to read. There were trials and tribulations, hardships along the way, but all's well that ends well. This series is what made me really fall in love with Amish fiction. Having never read one before this I wasn't really sure that I would be interested. She won me over I love it. I've read several others from different authors ( you can find those on my bookshelf tab ). Thanks for another great book Cindy.

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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Rewind 365 October 2013

WELCOME TO REWIND 365!  
 LETS GO DOWN MEMORY LANE!
On the first Thursday of the month come join us in 'Rewind 365'!
It can be something you posted on your blog a year ago, a memory, a photo or even a video taken  a year ago!
This is what was going on with me a year ago:
So What Happened With You A Year Ago Today? Join in and "Rewind 365" days and tell us what you were up to A Year Ago Today!
It's all simple:



1. Follow me!  2.Tweet your post and tag me @RheChristine #rewind365 3. Create a Post with a picture, a memory, or even a previous blog post from 1 year ago, make sure you include our button so we have more people joining every week. 4. Leave your link below!

Hopefully I'll be able to resurrect this little post here.  I always think its fun to look back on where you were the last year, how big the kids have gotten.  Occasionally I'll even come across a really sweet memory that I haven't thought about in awhile.  So, the point is its really fun and you know you wanna!!

A YEAR AGO THIS MONTH......

We celebrate my adorable little girl's fifth birthday by heading to Baltimore to the Aquarium for the first time. Loved it! We also had a fantastic time letting our oldest carve his first pumpkin all by himself.



 
Lastly, on my blog this month last year I shared our homecoming, that we had had a couple months before that with you all.  Another shout-out to the amazing Jessica Del Vecchio Photography
for the amazing pictures. If you are in the DCMetro area, hire her.  She's amazing.


*my favorite thing about this picture (and a lot of the pictures) is that adorable couple in the back right. They are in many of the pictures in a similar pose. It wouldn't be a stretch to assume that he, himself, probably served.


so that's where we are and where we've been!  grab a button and join in the fun all month!  Link up and tweet #Rewind365 and tag me!




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