The Hall Heritage Homestead Shop is Open for Business


I’ve been waiting all month to tell you of our fabulous news here at the Hall Heritage Homestead. I’m so excited about this new endeavor God put on my heart that I’m about to pull my feathers out! Anyone who knows this SpoonieChick knows I love to shop! Shopping and browsing stores is cathartic for me. I love a good snack and a stroll through an antique store. Often times physical energy eludes me, so shopping doesn’t come as easily as it used to.

The good thing about being home in the coop more means I have more time to create. Whether I’m writing a new book, making a coat rack from a vintage door or sewing, I love to make new things.

As a SpoonieChick I often look for unique ways to create income since I am unable to work outside the home. Most of you know I’ve been selling eggs and I plan to sell veggies and herb plants in the spring, but this past month the creator in me and the entrepreneur in me collided. And I’m so excited to share my news with you!

Today the Hall Heritage Homestead Shop is open for business!

If you love homestead items then you’re in the right place! I love to make stress-free items that are stylish and productive. Each items carries a farmhouse feel as the homesteading hen in me loves the old ways. I’m starting out slow and mastering certain skills before launching each item, but eventually you’ll find everything from hot/cooling packs to pot holders and tea towels to chicken aprons!

Fabrics range from ticking to striped and floral cottons, quilted and printed duck materials. I hope to achieve a classic timeless look with each item I create and will throw in a chicken print from time to time as interest grows.

Some of the products this hen plans to make I use myself and now you can too!

  • Pot Holders
  • Trimmed Tea Towels
  • Cooking Aprons
  • Egg Collecting Aprons
  • Vegetable Collecting Aprons
  • Chicken Aprons
  • Wooden Signs
  • Coasters
  • Mason Jar Home Decor
  • Iron Skillet Handle Cover
  • Laptop Sleeves
  • Coffee Cozies
  • Farm Fresh Eggs
  • Farm Raised Veggies
  • and of course, Chickens!

I’d love for you to poke around my shop and order what you like.  I create as my health allows, so you will find each item has a different amount in stock. As I create more pieces more items are available, so if you see that something is low in stock be sure to snag it!

Shipping is a flat rat. When you purchase more than one item, you will save on shipping when I combine your shipping costs. All items are priced to include tax, so what you see is what you get.

Please notice some items are only available locally. I am not shipping farm fresh eggs or chickens. The good news is if you are local to me you can save on shipping! I’ll bring your product(s) directly to you or you can pick them up here at the homestead.

I plan to put together some printable projects such as a Spoonie Calendar and Spoonie Lists to help measure and maintain spoons. As I finish those projects they will be available for purchase as a downloadable and will be listed as such in the store.

Any written fiction works I am pursuing traditional publishing. As those steps unfold I will incorporate what I can as I can when the time comes.

Be on the look out for each item launch, these posts will be in addition to your regularly weekly Spoonie Toolbox. You can go directly to my shop for ordering. Please email or contact me with any questions you may have.

Bear with me as I work through the logistics of the ordering process. It may take a few orders before I get the hang of it, but rest assured I will. This chick is a fast learner 😉

Thank you for your support and happy shopping!

Nichole – TheSpoonieChick

Now go check out my SHOP and be sure to share it with all your friends!

Please Share:
Posted in Hall Heritage Homestead, Stress-Free Living | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

5 Secrets to Twenty Years of Marriage

The Rooster and I celebrated TWENTY years together yesterday. Looking back through the years I wonder how we ever survived. Not by the work of our own hands, but more by the work of our mistakes.

Tested vows shook us to our core early on in our marriage.

Sickness struck the coop and my paycheck stopped rolling in causing us to wonder if we could survive for another week, let alone another seventeen years. Life felt insurmountable and horribly difficult. Would we survive? Would a predator pick us off one by one? With vows and faith tested we discovered 5 secrets to twenty years of marriage.

  • Love Your Creator More Than Your Rooster: My creator meets needs my rooster cannot. While my rooster protects me the best he can, there are just some things he can’t protect me from. If you had a religious ceremony like me,  you stood before Creator, flock and friends vowing God as the foundation and center of your marriage. We all said it, but you and I both know it’s easier said than done. I have emotional and spiritual wounds only God can heal. When I don’t talk to Him about those wounds, there’s no way my counterpart can provide what only God can. If my heart doesn’t belong to my Creator first, my rooster and I don’t stand a chance on this homestead.
  •  The Rooster Rules the RoostYes, you heard that right. Place your rooster’s needs above your chicks. That is hard to do. There are times those little fluffy butt’s needs are temporarily put above my rooster’s needs (foraging for food, cleaning the coop, etc.), but I learned to peck my chicks on the head signaling them to wait. While they are important to me, they are not always in first place. This hen’s rooster is in charge. Without him, I might not have those adorable fluffy butts, so out of gratitude and respect for who he is and what he has given me, I put his needs above anyone else’s.
  • Don’t Stop Courting: After marriage it’s important to spend time together. And courting is the one way to insure that happens. With pullets (or cockerels) and coop cleaning chores it’s easy to get wrapped up in all I have to do. My rooster and I set one night a month aside to reconnect. It’s a time we both stop where we are, leave the nest and take a deep breath. Life stops for that one night. We dream together, set goals and discuss how to make our dreams come true.
  • Squawk More and Don’t Keep Secrets: If my rooster has said it once, he’s said it a thousand times. Your mate should be your best friend. My rooster is the one I tell all my secrets to. He’s the one I squawk to, ruffle my feathers for, and peck to death when he’s driving me crazy! He’s my joy. He understands this tired hen, sees me at my worst and loves me anyway. We are painfully honest with one another. He likes to say, “If you can’t tell your hen you don’t like the way she folds your socks, you certainly can’t talk to her about the hard stuff.” The best way to not have secrets is to never start. But if you find yourself in a place of secret keeping talk to a counselor and find a way to come clean because secrets will destroy the coop.
  • Share the Responsibility of the Nest: In our coop we all have chores. Even the rooster. He likes to walk around with his chest out patrolling the grounds, but when it comes down to it, he does the hen’s chores if need be. He’ll corral and feed the chicks or he’ll clean the coop when mamma isn’t feeling well. And I do the same for him. If he is busy providing for the flock and our 3 acres of grass needs cut, I jump on the mower. We all have chores we are responsible for on our homestead. It’s a give and take. Not one person can do it all and they shouldn’t have to.

We learned the hard way. Maybe you don’t have to. Learn from our mistakes and please let me know what you’ve learned through the years. What tips do you have for this old chick? We are all in this together and need help getting from one year to the next!

Question: How long have you been married? What are your secrets to success in your coop?

Please Share:
Posted in Faith, Stress-Free Living | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ACFW October New Releases

I love to write and every writer knows if you love to write, then you love to read. As a national and state member of American Christian Fiction Writers I wanted to make you aware of the October 2016 New Releases! 

One of the best ways to support your favorite authors is to buy their books and post reviews on Amazon or Goodreads. So here’s your chance!

Whether you read romance, historical or fantasy fiction, I’m sure you’ll find something in this post that strikes your fancy. Also look for Christmas themed books as the holidays approach! More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.

Biblical Fiction:

Providence: Hannah’s Journey by Barbara M. Britton — When the prophet of Israel refuses to heal her, Hannah flees Jerusalem and is captured by an enemy with a curse all his own. (Biblical from Harbourlight [Pelican])

Shadow of the Storm by Connilyn Cossette — In defiance of her mother, Shira pursues her heart’s calling to become an apprentice midwife. When a delivery goes horribly wrong, Shira finds herself bound to a man who betrayed her, the caretaker of three young children, and the target of a vengeful woman whose husband was killed by Shira’s people, the Levites. As contention between the Hebrew tribes and the foreigners fans the flames of another dangerous rebellion, Shira will come face-to-face with the heartbreak of her past that she has kept hidden for so long. How can she let go of all that has defined her to accept the love she’s denied herself and embrace who she truly is? (Biblical from Bethany House [Baker])

Christmas Novella:

Christmas Lights by Chautona Havig, Vikki Kestell, Cathe Swanson, and April Hayman — From historical romance to contemporary cozy mysteries and Christmas wonder, these four “light” reads will warm your heart and ignite your Christmas spirit! (Christmas Novella, Mixed Genres, Independently Published)

Contemporary Romance:

Risking Love by Brenda S. Anderson — Can cautious bank employee Lissa Morgan risk falling in love with a former thrill-seeker, a widowed single dad, when she may have to foreclose on his house? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

A Mom for Christmas by Lorraine Beatty — Noah’s dream of a happy family and Beth’s dream of a continuing ballet career are both dashed, but when they come together they discover that the Lord might have a new dream for both of them. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Sleigh Bells Ring by Sandra D. Bricker, Barbara J. Scott, Lynette Sowell, and Lenora Worth — Santa Claus is coming to town, and so are the Tucker sisters. The girls have inherited their father’s run-down horse farm for Christmas. It needs some serious TLC in order to make it sell-ready. Joanna knows that by recruiting her sisters and one handsome ranch hand they can fix up the place and even celebrate one last Christmas while they’re at it. However, to Isabella, returning to their home in Kentucky bluegrass country for Christmas seems like an impossible hurdle. Can her Chicago boyfriend make life merry and bright again? One thing’s for sure: nothing is peace on earth for Sophia as a new beau brings up old wounds. And when the fate of the horse farm is put in jeopardy because Amy accidentally fraternizes with the enemy, tensions rise. But it’s not like the land developer stole Christmas . . . just her heart. Can the Tucker sisters have themselves a merry little Christmas? (Contemporary Romance from Gilead Publishing)

Do You Hear What I Hear? by Margaret Brownley — Stranded at the old Star Inn until the road back to his cabin reopens, lumber mill owner Rick Talbot suddenly comes face to face with the past. The only woman he’s ever loved is standing in front of the inn’s blazing fire trying to get warm. Both Rick and Sally regret what happened between them years ago, but his family lumberyard clashes with her tree-hugging ways and neither is willing to try again. It will take the storm of the century, one stage-struck young boy, a certain meddling “angel”–and even a cranky cat–to convince them that in matters of the heart, sometimes the second time around is best. (Contemporary Romance from St. Martin Press)

More Than a Tiara by Valerie Comer — Marisa Hiller abandoned her modeling career to nurse a broken heart in Montana, far from the photographer who ruined everything. Her family farm is now part of a CSA program teaching gardening and cooking to single moms, but when the coordinator begs her to represent the program in the Miss Snowflake Pageant, Marisa balks. God has forgiven Jase Mackie but hasn’t answered his prayer to bring Marisa back into his life… until Jase finds himself out West as the official photographer for a beauty pageant, face to face with the woman he’s never forgotten. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Room at the Inn for Christmas by Mary Connealy — Ambitious hotel executive Amanda Star’s has got her sights set on the CEO job at the multi-national Halston hotel chain. But then she inherits the Star Inn, a place her father had always wanted her to run alongside him. With no time to be away from her job, she rushes home to put the inn up for sale. Once there, she’s struggles against keen regret, sweet memories, and the longing to return, which grows stronger when she is reunited with an old classmate: Anthony Carter, a handyman with a guarded heart. (Contemporary Romance from St. Martin Press)

Can’t Help Falling by Kara Isaac — A funny, heartfelt romance about how an antique shop, a wardrobe, and a mysterious tea cup bring two C.S. Lewis fans together in a snowy and picturesque Oxford, England. (Contemporary Romance from Howard [Simon & Schuster])

A Christmas Homecoming by Kimberly Rose Johnson — Interior design assistant Bailey Calderwood suspects the mysterious admirer sending her cards and flowers is none other than the son of her unpleasable, bed-ridden boss. When Stephen Belafonte’s mom demands he fire Bailey, can he find a way to heal the rift in his family as well his own heart, or will he be forced to let Bailey go? (Contemporary Romance from Mountain Brook Ink)

Where Two Hearts Meet by Liz Johnson — When Caden Holt’s boss asks her to show off their own beautiful Prince Edward Island to impress a visiting travel writer and save the Red Door Inn, the reclusive executive chef is forced to face a world much bigger than her kitchen–and a man who makes her wish she was beautiful. (Contemporary Romance from Revell [A Division of Baker Publishing Group])

Trust My Heart by Carol J. Post — Grant McAllister, a jaded big-city lawyer and small-town reporter Jami Carlisle have no hope for finding true love–except for a zany old matchmaker who won’t give up. In the unspoiled beauty of the Smoky Mountains, there’s healing and forgiveness to be found. And for Grant, this unplanned detour may be just what’s needed to finally guide him home. (Contemporary Romance from Waterfall Press)

Insight by Deborah Raney — She’s having a baby. It’s a blessing that brings comfort to newly widowed Olivia Cline. Yet with no insurance, no job and precious little money, how will Olivia care for herself and her child? The answer is a handsome and brooding artist seeking an assistant. Reed Vincent has recently regained his eyesight thanks to a donor. And through his eyes, Olivia begins to see all the possibilities before her. Before them. Until, in a flash of insight, she knows why his signature is so hauntingly familiar. (Contemporary Romance from Raney Day Press)

Silver Bells by Deborah Raney — As Elvis croons from the radio and Christmas descends upon a small Kansas town, two people find the miracle of love. (Contemporary Romance from Raney Day Press)

A Family Under the Christmas Tree by Terri Reed — In this heartwarming tale set during the Christmas season, a single father and a fashion photographer are brought together by a young boy and a mischievous Bernese mountain dog–but first they must learn to set aside their differences if they are willing to let their relationship bloom. (Contemporary Romance from Howard [Simon & Schuster])

Third Strand of the Cord by Catherine Richmond — Caroline will do anything to keep her ex-husband from putting her son with Down syndrome in an institution–even enroll the boy in a class taught by a know-it-all karate instructor. Lee Marivaux is an expert at reading people. He knows his feisty new student will thrive with firm guidance – and he’s right. He pegs the boy’s mother as a clueless socialite who loafs at the country club – and he’s never been so wrong. When Caroline’s abusive ex shows up, demanding custody, Lee and Caroline must join forces to keep the boy safe. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Buying Love by Toni Shiloh — Impatient for marriage, Nina Warrenton places an ad in the newspaper for a husband–attaching a monetary reward. But when she begins to fall for the small-town chef who answers her add, she realizes how much she wants him to love her and not her money. Dwight Williams needs fast cash to save the family restaurant, but can he let it go to prove his love for Nina? (Contemporary Romance from Celebrate Lit)

Moonlight Over Manahttan by Carrie Turansky — Professional organizer Sarah Montgomery is hired to organize her elderly neighbor’s cluttered apartment by Justin Latimer, her neighbor’s grandson. Sarah believes free-spirited Justin is a lazy, unemployed poet who is taking advantage of his grandmother’s generosity. Though attracted to him, she guards her heart against her growing feelings. As Sarah and Justin work together to help his grandmother and enjoy Christmas events in NYC, romantic sparks fly. When Sarah discovers who Justin really is, she must decide if she will continue to hide behind her protective wall or open her heart and embrace love. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Love Bears All Things by Beth Wiseman — Charlotte Dolinsky needs time to recover after breaking up with her boyfriend, Ryan. But when a surprise visitor shows up on her doorstep in Texas, she’s forced to put aside her own worries to help her Amish friends in Lancaster County. Daniel Byler struggles each day in his Amish community to heal from his fiancée’s betrayal. When he discovers that a member of his family is in danger of being shunned, his pain turns to fear. His only way to help is by partnering with Charlotte, a woman he barely knows who has already deceived them all before. (Contemporary Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

General Contemporary (includes Women’s Fiction):

Paint The Storm by Dawn V. Cahill — When Meg is challenged to love her lesbian daughter as Christ would, she struggles to live out God’s command, and when her daughter goes missing, she finds herself joined with the unlikeliest of allies in her search for Linzee, and finally learns of God’s unconditional grace for sinners. (Contemporary Women’s Fiction from Spring Mountain Publishing)

Restoration Road by Elise Phillips — Mallory Andrews’s short trip back to Texas for her mother’s funeral quickly becomes a move home to help her grieving father with his contracting business. When her old crush, Tres, hires them for a restoration project Mallory falls in love with the crumbling old house. And when feelings bloom between her and Tres, she finds herself on the road to a brand new, unexpected life filled with faith, sweet tea, and fresh paint. (General Contemporary from Desert Breeze Publishing)

Above All Things by Deborah Raney — Expecting their first baby, Judd and Evette McGlin are thrilled to become parents. But the couple faces the ultimate test when Judd learns he already has a child: a six-year-old mixed-race girl born amid secrets and lies. Now, Evette must decide if she can accept the child. She thought she was open-minded–until hidden prejudices threaten the future of an innocent little girl, Evette’s marriage and the very notion of who she thinks she is. (Contemporary Women’s Fiction from Raney Day Press)

Restoring Christmas by Cynthia Ruchti — Alexis set out to restore a fieldstone farmhouse in need of repair. She didn’t expect to restore a life in the process. (General Contemporary from Worthy Inspired)

Strings of Faith by Terry Stafford — Darcy is a classically trained violinist who dreams of playing bluegrass and winning The National Oldtime Fiddle Contest in Weiser, Idaho. When tragedy strikes, Darcy lays her gift aside for her family and faces unimaginable pain and loss, leading to dissension with her husband, disappointing judgment from her church, and anger with God Himself. Can her gift of music survive when her life is turned upside down? (General Contemporary, Independently Published)


The Lost Generation by Erica Marie Hogan — On August 5th 1914, the world changed forever. For John and Beth Young, it meant the happiness they finally achieved was snatched out from under them. For Emma Cote, it meant that her husband Jared would do his duty, despite her feelings. For Christy Simmons it meant an uncertain future with the boy she loved. The lives of six people, spread across the British Empire to America were changed forever. (Historical from Elk Lake Publishing Inc.)

Aboard Providence by Keely Brooke Keith — When an accident forces Jonah Ashton to serve as a ship’s physician, he boards the Providence with the plan to escort a group of families to their new settlement in South America and then return to Pennsylvania to finish medical school before rumors of Southern rebellion erupt into all-out war. What he doesn’t count on is getting lost at sea… and Marian Foster. When the settlers finally reach land, Jonah makes a startling discovery that changes everything, but will it change his heart? (Historical from Crossriver Media Group)

Historical Romance:

The Rails to Love Romance Collection by Diana Lesire Brandmeyer, Amanda Cabot, Lisa Carter, Ramona K. Cecil, Lynn A. Coleman, Susanne Dietze, Kim Vogel Sawyer, Connie Stevens, and Liz Tolsma — Journey the Transcontinental Railroad along with nine unlikely couples who encounter all the dangers and disappointments of traveling the rails in the late 1800s. From sight-seeing excursions to transports toward new lives, from orphan trains to circus trains, can romances develop into blazing love in a world of cold, hard steel? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

Cowboy Christmas Homecoming by Mary Connealy, Ruth Logan Herne, Julie Lessman, and Anna Schmidt — For widow June Harper, another cold front is about to hit. Most call him Hugh. She’d call him Scrooge, except as the man ensures her needs are met, June can’t help but wonder how to meet the needs of his heart. Netty Lewis can take care of herself, has for a while now. And even if Roy, her hired help for the holidays, does take care of her, that doesn’t mean he cares for her or that he’ll stay past Christmas. Pastor Colton McCabe is not sure he’ll make it through the holidays with his new housekeeper. Grace can’t seem to do anything right but love. Perhaps being a homekeeper will earn her a permanent residence in his heart. Connie Lancaster is determined to return to St. Louis, and no cowboy can change her mind. But if Isaac can change her heart, maybe Connie will see the homecoming she’s been longing for isn’t to a place but a person. (Historical Romance from Gilead Publishing)

The Captive Heart by Michelle Griep — Stranded in a strange land, Eleanor Morgan faces starvation or marriage . . . but who wants to marry a murderer? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

The Rightful Heir by Angel Moore — Cowboy Jared Ivy must work with stranger Mary Lou Ellison until a judge comes to town and determines which one of them is the rightful heir to his family’s Texas newspaper. Intrepid reporter Mary Lou won’t lose the Pine Haven Record–the legacy he left her–without a fight. But when she and Jared stop sparring long enough to investigate a story together, they become a force to be reckoned with. Will they let their battle over the Record get in the way of something even more newsworthy: true love? (Historical Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Christmas at Stoney Creek by Martha Rogers — When newspaper reporter Tom Whiteman befriends a homeless man named Joe, Tom decides to bring him home to Stoney Creek, Texas for Christmas. As Tom and his childhood friend Faith Delmont set out to learn the truth about the mysterious old man with the kind, sad eyes, they discover that God’s love can turn tragedy and loss to triumph, and that true love comes to those who wait. (Historical Romance from Realms [Charisma Media])


Another Day, Another Dali by Sandra Orchard — In order to regain her grandmother’s favor FBI Special Agent Serena Jones agrees to investigate a missing Salvador Dali painting. But when the evidence points to members of the owner’s own household, it becomes clear that Serena won’t be winning any popularity contests. Then Serena stumbles upon links to her grandfather’s unsolved murder. (Mystery from Revell [A Division of Baker Publishing Group])

Romantic Suspense:

Tangled Webs by Irene Hannon — After a disastrous Middle East mission ends his six-year Army Ranger career, Finn McGregor needs some downtime in the woods. But when someone threatens his neighbor, publishing executive Dana Lewis, Finn and Dana must work together to discover who wants her to leave her lakeside cabin before it costs both their lives. (Romantic Suspense from Revell [A Division of Baker Publishing Group])

Identity Unknown by Terri Reed — When a John Doe washes up on the shores of Calico Bay, no one knows who he is—including him. But one thing’s instantly clear to deputy sheriff Audrey Martin: the man’s marked for murder. And she’s the only one who can protect him from the assassins who lurk at every turn. The arrival of a team of men claiming he’s Canadian Border Services officer Nathanial Longhorn only further complicates the matter. As his memories slowly start drifting back, Nathanial and Audrey work to uncover who wants him dead and why. If they don’t, this Christmas might be their last. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])


A Time to Rise by Nadine Brandes — What more can you sacrifice than your life? Parvin Blackwater is dead. At least that’s what the Council and the world thinks. But her sacrifice tore down part of the Wall long enough to stir up hope and rebellion in the people. Parvin and Solomon must uncover the mysterious clues that Jude left behind in order to destroy the projected Wall once and for all. Meanwhile, the Council schemes to new levels of technology in its attempts to keep the people contained. Can a one-handed Radical and a scarred ex-Enforcer really bring shalom to the world? (Speculative Young Adult from Enclave Publishing)

Unblemished by Sara Ella — Eliyana can’t bear to look at her own reflection. But what if that were only one Reflection—one world? What if another world exists where her blemish could become her strength? (Speculative Young Adult from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

Beast by Chawna Schroeder — For as long as Beast can remember, she has lived among her master’s dogs. With them she sleeps. With them she eats. With them she fights and struggles to survive. But through hunger and cold she dreams of one day becoming her master’s favorite, earning bones with meat and a place beside the fire. When her pack scatters after a surprise raid, Beast must defend herself against slavers, hunting down the loners. They are so strong, and she is only a beast . . . or is she? (Speculative Allegory from Enclave Publishing)

Accelerant by Ronie Kendig — He’ll destroy the world. But he must save it first. As the only able-bodied heir to the Fire Throne, Haegan, Prince of Seultrie must return to the Nine Kingdoms and fight for his people. But there are insidious forces at work. When reality itself falls into question, Haegan struggles to know where to fight, who to trust. Caught between duty to his country and duty to the world, Haegan must see clearly enough to choose the right path to save his devastated world. (Speculative High Fantasy from Enclave Publishing)


Death in the Mind’s Eye by Rick Acker — It knows what you’re thinking. It knows when you’re lying. Does it know how to kill? San Francisco attorney Mike Webster and Dr. Johanna Anderson, a brilliant and beautiful psychologist, must clear Jo’s name of a malpractice case before the controversial, technologically-assisted Mind’s Eye therapy is seized by a shadowy finance firm and used as a weapon. (Thriller/Suspense from Waterfall Press)

The Warrior’s Seal by Ronie Kendig — A Special Forces team is thrust into a war with the past to save the president after an artifact unleashes a deadly toxin. Special Forces operative Cole “Tox” Russell and his team are tasked in a search-and-rescue–the U.S. president has been kidnapped during a goodwill tour. The mission nosedives when an ancient biblical artifact and a deadly toxin wipe out villages. Tox must stop the terrorists and the toxin to save the president. This is a free e-novella prequel! (Thriller/Suspense from Bethany House [Baker])

Deadly Infiltration by W. Richard Lawrence — Infiltrators inside the American government are betraying undercover agents while helping sneak weapons of mass destruction across our borders. To keep their work hidden, they are willing to murder anyone who gets in their way. Sara, a brilliant computer expert working for the FBI, finds herself caught in the middle. Sara’s young faith in God is gravely tested when she is framed for the murder of an FBI agent, forcing her to go into hiding. Meanwhile, Sara’s fiancé Derry lives up to a promise he made to her, and gives up his future to save her and hopefully the country. (Thriller/Suspense from Boarding House Publishing)

Western Historical:

Refining Fire by Carol Cox — Meet the Arizona Territory Brides. Four strong, independent women–each determined to stand on her own two feet, and not one of them looking for romance. But sometimes love shows up when you least expect it… (Western, Pioneer/Prairie, Independently Published

Question: Which one of these books will be at the top of your TBR pile?

Please Share:
Posted in Faith, Stress-Free Living | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Being Productive with Illness

Being Productive

Did you know we all have a window of time throughout the day in which we are most productive? It kind of goes along with whether you are a morning person or a night owl. If you follow me on Facebook and see the memes I share from the Chicken Chick, you know I’m not a morning person.

But did you know I’m most productive between the hours of 10 and 2? I wake up slow and seldom get started before 10. Now, I do have kids to get to school and small things around the house. So I’m mostly talking about running errands, working on projects, checking items off my to-do list.

It’s about being most productive.

I may have a list of 10 items for the day. I can work on my list from 8-10am and get 2-3 items crossed off. But if I work within my most productive time, I can get all 10 items done within that window and sometimes even start a second list.

Now my daughter is most productive between the hours of  6:00-10:00pm. She pushes through the mornings and makes herself do her schoolwork. But she doesn’t become most productive until after dinner. This is when she does most chores, cleans her room, reorganizes her bookshelves, etc.

We are all different and have different times of productivity.

Have you ever thought about it before? Look back throughout your week and see if you can pinpoint what time of day you get most of your work done. I bet you’ll see a pattern. And then use that pattern to your advantage.

How do you do that?

Schedule the “must dos” within that window of time. For me, anything that falls outside that window of time often gets pushed to the next day or even the following week! So I’ve learned to not only control my schedule but to control what I place in that time of being most productive.

What about you?

Question: What is the most productive time of the day?

Please Share:
Posted in Stress-Free Living | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Spoonie Tip on Shredded Chicken


Most often after I grocery shop I have all of this food I can not cook. Not because I don’t know how, but because I don’t have the energy to do it. So through the years, I’ve learned to break down big jobs into smaller more doable jobs.

One of the things I have just started doing is prepping my meat. We eat a lot of chicken. It’s lean, it’s versatile and doesn’t take long to cook. I typically buy 2-3 packages of boneless skinless chicken breasts (unless I’m butchering one of our chickens). Each package contains roughly 6 pieces of meat.


Shredded chicken is wonderful in recipes, but is time consuming to do. In the old days (before my friends wised me up) I used to take two forks and pull chicken apart to shred it. I know I’m a bit behind the curve on this as many of you have probably figured out a food processor is faster and easier.

But what if I told you there is something easier and faster than a food processor, and you probably already have it in your kitchen?

In an effort to streamline my cook time, I prep one package of chicken ahead of time. The other 2 I break up into Ziploc bags and freeze in smaller quantities for grilling. I do this usually a day or two after I get groceries because shopping for food wears me out. I open up the package, wash the meat, trim it and throw it in a pot of boiling water.


Then I let it cook for about 30 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. I drain the water.

Now this next step is important. And I can’t take credit for this life-hack as I got this idea from a few of my friends at church. But it is by far the best way to shred chicken.

Put it in the mixer.

Did you get that? The mixer? Yep. The mixer.


I place 3-4 chicken breast in my mixer and mix on low for about 2 minutes. It shreds with ease. Then I add the remaining chicken and repeat the process. This is a time saver, energy saver and much easier than using two forks to shred chicken.


I then put all the meat in a bowl with a lid and place it in the fridge for a couple of hours to cool.


Once cooled, I divide the chicken into quart size Ziploc bags and freeze it. This gives me cooked shredded chicken at my fingertips, so when I go to make that yummy chicken pot pie it cuts my cook time in half.

What about you?

Question: Have you ever shredded chicken in the mixer? 

Please Share:
Posted in Spoonie Tips, Stress-Free Living | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment