Some Book Recommendations for Thanksgiving

Since a lot of you will be in that I-just-want-to-sit-on-the-couch-and-read tryptophan fog, I thought I'd publish the reviews of a couple of faith-centred books I read recently. Both books were provided to me gratis by their publishers.

The first book is The Most Important Women of the Bible: Remarkable Stories of God's Love and Redemption written by Aaron and Elaina Sharp and published by Bethany House. I love stories of women in the Bible, particularly since there is a subset of Christians who seem to like to discount our role in the Kingdom. The authors start the book with the claim that "It is impossible to tell the story of redemption without telling the story of women." Amen to that. This is an accessible guide to the key women in scripture and if - as a woman - you are feeling discouraged in your faith, I recommend this book as encouragement. It's a short and easy read.

The second book is Renewed: A 40-Day Devotional for Healing from Church Hurt and for Loving Well in Ministry by Leigh Powers, published by FaithWords. It's on forgiveness, which is one of my favourite subjects since it can be so very hard. This book is written from the perspective of someone in ministry who has been hurt by the church and when I heard that this book was being published next week, I asked for an advanced copy since it resonated with me so much. While this book is perfect for those in traditional ministry, media ministry, or church outreach, the lessons can apply to anyone who has ever been hurt by anyone. As Powers walks through a season of forgiveness, she imparts valuable lessons in accessible, bite-sized chapters titled things like "Lord, I still want to get even" and "But, God, she owes me." My copy is filled with highlights and if you are struggling with forgiveness, this book is a great place to start.

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and the family behaves. No matter how fraught with peril tomorrow might be, Friday is all about bargains and leftovers. And that's worth being thankful for!


The Man Who Invented Christmas

Last night, the Mr. and I were invited to the preview of The Man Who Invented Christmas. The screening was hosted at the Scotia Theatre which used to be my old stomping ground. It's fun to be back in the city. The old-fashioned carollers and presence of the screenwriter and producers added a celebratory touch! It's been a while since I attended a pre-screening.

The movie is an imagining of how Charles Dickens was inspired to write A Christmas Carol after a series of flops. The actor who played Matthew Crawley on Downton plays Charles Dickens and Christopher Plummer plays Scrooge. It's light and pretty and is the perfect Christmas movie. Ever year I rewatch Gillian Armstrong's Little Women and this movie reminded me a bit of that. It's Victoria magazine come to life! Plus, who does not love the story of Scrooge and Tiny Tim? I highly recommend it as a counter-balance to the less-than-pretty world.

I'm not alone in craving a return to old fashioned sweet entertainment. This article talks about the boosted interest in the Hallmark Channel during these crazy times. I allow myself to engage in social activism for a certain percentage of the day, and then go full Hallmark. Thankfully, my work is filled with positive people and stories, so I get a boost there too.

US friends, are you done preparing for Thanksgiving? I've been enjoying all of the pie and table setting photos on Instagram.

I've done a little pre-Black Friday shopping at J. Crew. I'm a tartan fanatic and could not resist the medium tartan leather pouch at 40% off. Things like this tend to sell out, I find.

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving if you celebrate. 


Mrs. Minerva

Are any of you readers of The English Home magazine? Even though it's spendy to subscribe to it in the colonies, it's such a treat to read Mrs Minerva's column, which is a bougie guide to village living with her loveably dry style and excellent vocabulary. Rarely, in magazines, does one see a sentence containing both the words transmogrify and harridan. Well played, Mrs M, well played.

Each month, she focuses on Things One Needs to Be Told. I wish they would make this compulsory reading on the commuter train.

I've busted out the Nest Holiday candle, so it must be getting close to Christmas.

Next, we will hang ornaments on the tree since Teddy has yet to knock the thing down. The 7 foot diameter tree stand seems to help. I pray he does not chomp on the lights, although I'm not sure we could tell if he had been shocked since his wild hair and skittish manner are ever-present.

Hope your holiday preparations are going swimmingly.


Lazy Sunday

What do you do the day after hosting a sleepover for 12 and writing a last minute piece for work?

You power watch Christmas movies all afternoon while drinking cups of tea.

From Hallmark's Christmas Cookies (on W Network)

Also, does the small town of Cookie Jar have a farmhouse for sale right now? A town of unusually attractive people who make cookies sounds like a great place to spend the weekends!

Happy Sunday!

Happy Saturday and makeup picks!

Hope you are all having a great week.

It's been rainy-gloomy here. I want it to snow already! I have my snow tires on and my four wheel drive ready to take me up north. I'm not sure if my compromised vision will allow me to ski this year, but I can après with the best of them.

On Wednesday, I was at a dinner for the Association for Women in Marketing and Media. And then, I spent all day yesterday in the studio taping. It felt like old home week as I reconnected with people I've not seen in months. We filmed some great shows airing in December on YES TV.

I love this new work. It feels very heaven directed.

Thank you all for the cream tips. I slathered myself with Resist BHA 9 by Paula's Choice.

It's spendy since the bottle is tiny but it's a miracle working product for me and it seemed to do the trick, allowing Elizabeth to do my studio makeup, using her magic wand:

Under sweltering hot lights for 6 hours and it did not budge!

It was my daughter's birthday recently, allowing me to log some serious time in Sephora. If I were 20, I think that's where I'd work. It's such a happy place. The people who work there seem to love it as they wax poetically about which palettes are winners. The holy grail seems to be finding a product so good you use every last bit of it and "hit pan." My latest obsession is Too Faced Gingerbread Man Melted Matte liquid lipstick that dries down to a very liveable brick shade.

I'm also loving the Glossier concealer. It covers a multitude of problems. Their brow and lip products are good too (I like Zip for lips.) Their Phase 2 Kit is a great every day pretty-fier.

Are you getting some new makeup shades for the holidays? Have you done any Christmas shopping yet?


November What?

Ok, I seem to have nodded off and lost at least two weeks! The year is galloping along at a tremendous pace!

I've been writing and reading and doing freelancy things. Plus, it seems that every appointment for everyone in the house falls this month.

And then there is this guy!

Destroying things is Teddy's cardio. Perhaps I should have followed some of his Cairn Terrier Instagram friends before making the commitment! Terriers seem to be full of beans. But who can resist that little face!! When he looks at you, he tilts his head to the side quizzically. It really is very endearing even when he tears up my nice red cashmere blanket! And in the meantime, I've put the Fortuny and Scalamadre pillows up high just in case.

The Christmas tree is up. We have not decorated it, but are stress testing it to see if it's Cairn-proof before we load it up. Our Serena was always involved in knocking over the tree and Teddy is a lot wilder. We shall wait and see.

Speaking of French Bulldogs, have you see this video?

It literally makes me cry with laughter and reminds me of Serena. I still miss that little dog.

I'm doing some guest hosting for See Hear Love later in the week. I am applying undereye cream with a firehose in the hopes of looking less tired. I hope the makeup artist brings her magic wand!! Does anyone have any magic cream they recommend?

Is anyone else watching Greenleaf? Season 2 is on Netflix and it's so good. I love the entire cast. It's pretty soapy but has some solid faith elements snuck in there too. I never used to watch much TV but am now engrossed in Greenleaf, This is Us, Dynasty, and Suits.

Perhaps, that's where this month has gone!

That was fast!

Goodness, this week has gone by quickly! I guess that's what a busy work schedule does for one.

I've spent the week adding little touches of festivity here and there.

I pulled out the LL Bean Fair Isle. It's now on for 25% off.

We watched our first Hallmark movie and had our first viewing of Elf.

I've started shopping a bit. My goal is always to be finished by the end of November. While at the mall, I tried a Starbucks Caramel Brulée Latte. I'm not a fan of overpriced sugary drinks, but when in Rome... It was actually quite tasty.

Teddy is growing like crazy. He's huge now: almost his full length, I think. But he will fill out in width as he gets older. He has very definite ideas about how the household should run. As an example, he's not fond of jackets. This was the best we could do to get it on before he started tearing it to shreds. And he's torn the handle off his very favourite Chewy Vuitton bag.

He is still a fan of snacking on our baseboards! His next series of puppy classes starts soon. He's doing a victory lap, as they say.

I've been reading Danielle Steele's Changes as my guilty pleasure read. A few people have recommended it. It's shockingly old. They are forever checking their pagers and seeking out pay phones. But the basic story still resonates. In another 80s flashback, I caught an episode of Days of Ours Lives while I was home recovering from vertigo (remind me not to drive the rollercoaster that is the Burlington Skyway again until my eye issue is well and truly fixed!) Days seems to be bringing everyone back from the dead! They have intact faces, good hair, and nice clothes. That's such a wonderfully 80s concept, isn't it. I miss those simple days before there were Zombies everywhere.

What have you been doing to keep yourselves busy? Have you indulged in any holiday treats or are you still holding off?


Happy Friday!

Happy Friday!

I've been doing a wee bit of decorating. Mainly, it's a scattering of fuzzy throws and plaids.

My daughter asked me if we are going "full Jesu" this Christmas. Oh, yes, my darling, full. 

I've just started to read Max Lucado's Anxious for Nothing: Finding Calm in a Chaotic World. I am a nervous Nelly. This book is good. It's written from a faith perspective: Full Jesus. But that's my kind of thing.

Have a safe and happy weekend, all.



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Christmas Decor

Well, Teddy rocked his first Halloween as a pirate.

Yo Ho Ho! 

I learned that there is a reason you see a lot more French Bulldogs in costume than Cairn Terriers. Terriers are not as into the whole Instagram thing. They'd far rather terrorize the neighbourhood rabbits than sit still for photos!

Once Halloween is over, I'm itching to get Christmas underway. I LOVE Christmas. I like to get a lot of the work done in November so that December is about hot chocolate, Christmas movies, and enjoying the season.

I've started to decorate a tiny bit. If I had my way, the Christmas tree would have been up the night after Canadian Thanksgiving, but I have a stubborn family who believes it's still too soon. Don't they know that in TV land, Christmas has already started?

A sneak peek at the See Hear Love Christmas set 

If you celebrate Christmas, are you an early decorator or do you wait until December?

Some Book Recommendations for Thanksgiving

Since a lot of you will be in that I-just-want-to-sit-on-the-couch-and-read tryptophan fog, I thought I'd publish the reviews of a c...