Monthly Archives: January 2015

Tips for Winter Roadside Emergencies

Winter Emergency Car Kit Tips

I live in the Midwest, and living through harsh winters is just a reality.

I have memories, as a young girl, maybe about 10 years old, of my Grandpa telling me to always have an emergency kit in my car when I grow up. He was pretty specific – he said to always have a toolbox, a spare tire, a flare and jumper cables. He also said to keep a coffee can filled halfway with sand, a big candle, matches and candy bars. He said I could spread the sand under my tires if I got stuck in the snow. He said if my car broke down, lighting the candle would provide some warmth as well as light. The candy bars were for energy. Of course, back in the day, coffee came in metal cans … not plastic containers or bags. Times have changed, but I love my memories of Grandpa teaching me life skills, by example. So

Winter Car Emergency Kit

I always try to be prepared for an emergency.

I have improvised some from Grandpa’s advice, but I’m still prepared for car emergencies.

I’m sharing some tips I’ve learned through my decades of winter driving experience. I have a bin with mechanical stuff and a bin for personal care stuff. Here is a list of my suggestions:

MECHANICAL BIN:
• Basic tools and wrenches
• Jack and tire iron
• Jumper cables
• Orange emergency triangle (flare substitute)
• Flashlight
• Rope and nylon zip ties
• Small shovel and some kitty litter
• Work gloves, rags and a plastic garbage bag (to kneel on or wear as rain gear)

PERSONAL BIN:
• Several water bottles
• Protein bars and nuts
• Blanket and hand warmers
• Extra pairs of socks and gloves
• First aid kit
• A book (something to help pass the time til help arrives)

These are some ideas for you to use as a guide … start with this list, then customize it to your preferences and needs geared toward your family.

One of my favorite sayings is … “I would rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it”.

Book Review ~ Tending her Heart by Kathleen Shoop

My Thoughts:

Tending Her Heart is sweet, small town romance set during the Vietnam Conflict / War. Historically, it was a time of change … from Civil Rights to Women’s Rights. Our country saw many changes … but not in the Labor & Delivery Ward of Waterside Hospital, where Julie Peters worked as a nurse.

 Attractive, eligible bachelor, Dr. Michael Young could have any nurse on staff, but he is attracted to Julie’s spunky personality, the way she passionately sticks up for the mothers giving birth in her ward. At a nearby café, they have many deep discussions about the hospital’s procedures and protocols in the Maternity Ward. Through their long talks, they discover they agree on many points – but not on how to introduce these changes. He is calm and methodical ~ she is a hot-headed spitfire. They both feel their attraction and enjoy these flirtatious talks, even though they both know that workplace relationships rarely work out.

 Dr. Mann is their “set in his ways” boss who doesn’t like Julie’s radical, new fangled ideas to improve the birthing process for the mothers. He won’t tolerate anyone questioning his techniques – not his doctors on staff … and certainly not from the nurses.

 Sharing a Thanksgiving meal at a friend’s home, they realize that they can no longer deny their feelings for each other. Can they make it work? Can they each have successful careers working together? Can they actually “buck the system”?

 Psst … Kathleen Shoop, I, for one, would love to read more about this couple (hint, hint) … just sayin’ 🙂

Sweet, Fun Romance–Set in 1971, nurse Julie Peters is ambitious and tenacious, but her plans to modernize Waterside Hospital’s labor and delivery protocols are thwarted by old-school doctors and brown-nosing colleagues. The last thing on her mind is falling in love as she confronts her career-related demons. Still, she feels the pull of attraction to one special doctor.

Dr. Michael Young turned away from a prestigious research position at Duke University to practice medicine in a smaller, less intense setting at Waterside Hospital. While nurses chase him by the dozen, he is intrigued and satisfied with building a nest-egg for when the right woman finally happens along.

When Julie is faced with choices that put her job, her life’s dream in peril her relationship with Michael begins to ignite. Can a Thanksgiving stay in the regal home called Bliss give her the space she needs to right her future and fall in love? Will their growing love mean Julie loses herself? Humor, love and a similar attitude toward medicine seal their love, but will it destroy their careers?

Available to buy from….

Amazon.com    Amazon.co.uk    Barnes and Noble

“I love Julie Peters and the Endless Love Series! Julie’s relationship with Dr. Young was just so sweet and fun and I hope there’s more to come about this couple. There is nothing like reading Kathleen’s books–moving, funny, page-turning and Tending Her Heart is all of that–just fun.”
L. McShea

Praise for Home Again and Return to Love–Don’t miss out on reading book 3 in the series!
“lyrical writing that is a joy to read!”
L. Zottola

“A spell-binding story of a love which seemed to transcend time, space and circumstance.”
N. Budden

“Shoop’s character’s breathe”
Bev Rosenbaum

Also available…….

Endless Love series. Book one, Home Again

1969– Set on the shores of the Albemarle Sound, April Harrington has fond memories of summers at her family home, Bliss. After her fairytale wedding disintegrates, it becomes her refuge—the one place where she can attempt to pull the unraveling threads of her life back together. Unbeknownst to April, the stately house has been neglected in recent years. The once-sturdy roof is leaking in a few dozen places, and the wharf is rotting. Nothing is the same as she remembers. Nothing except for Hale, a Viet Nam pilot who is haunted by a dreadful secret, and who is also her brother’s best friend, a brother killed in the conflict that is tearing the country apart.

In Hale’s presence, April finds familiarity and solace. They share grief for a lost loved one, and from the comfort of Hale’s arms, passion blooms. Yet, April’s future is unresolved. Her wealthy, arrogant almost-bridegroom wants her back and the ghosts of Viet Nam are whispering to Hale. Can they find new love in an old treasured home, the kind of affection and trust that lasts forever?

Home Again, was named a finalist in the 2014 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

Buy the book from…….

Amazon.com    Amazon.co.uk    Barnes and Noble

Endless Love Series, Book Two, Return to Love

Sweet Romance… Fresh off their whirlwind nuptials and unexpected, but joyous pregnancy, April and Hale Abercrombie are gleeful about their life together. But, while Hale is serving his country in Vietnam, he receives news of the loss of their newborn daughter.

Back home on leave, Hale can barely wait to hold his wife. Their reunion is passionate and their physical connection, strong and soothing. His embrace, his touch, and his love are just as perfect as April remembered. But nothing, not even Hale, can ease April’s heartache.

Hale stumbles through his attempts at convincing her that their future will be rich and full of wonder despite their loss. His good-hearted, but take-charge approach causes her to retreat. Even in grief, April recognizes Hale’s earnestness, yet she can’t help but distance herself from him. With only a short time before Hale must return to war, the couple begins to understand that hope starts with them—that the bliss they once knew will return only if they are willing to trust again.

Set on the beaches of the Outer Banks, Return to Love is the second book in the Endless Love series.

Buy the book from…….

Amazon.com    Amazon.co.uk    Barnes and Noble

About the Author

A Language Arts Coach with a Ph.D. in Reading Education, Kathleen lives in Oakmont, Pennsylvania with her husband and two children.

Kathleen has also written award winning Love and Other Subjects, After the Fog and her debut novel, The Last Letter. Recently, Kathleen has released the her first romance novella, Home Again (Book One of the Endless Love Series), Return to Love (Book Two) a novel-length work and has just released Tending Her Heart (Book Three). Books Two and Three in the historical fiction series that started with The Last Letter are nearly complete and should be shortly.

Kathleen has been featured in USA Today and the Writer’s Guide to 2013. Her work has appeared in The Tribune-Review, four Chicken Soup for the Soul books, and Pittsburgh Parent magazine.

Find the Author on the following sites….

Website   Facebook   Twitter   Pinterest   Google+   Goodreads

Book Tour Dates

Photobucket I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.

NOW FOR THE AUTHOR’S GIVEAWAY

 

 

Three lucky winners will win a $15 Amazon.com Giftcard Open Worldwide

 

Ending on Sunday 8th February at 11.59pm EST

 

Enter Below and Good Luck !!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cold Weather Cruise on Carnival Imagination

Good Bye Cold, Chicago Winter … Hello Warm, Sunny Mexico

I have the privilege of going on a Baja Mexico Cruise (and escaping the brutal cold) in the middle of January. It was a very generous birthday gift from my husband and kids. I’ll be cruising with my aunt, I can’t wait ! Soon, I’ll be lounging poolside with a Pina Colada (sp?) in my hand 🙂

However, before I go, there is lots of work to be done:
Shopping – travel sized items and new sandals 🙂 plus grocery shopping for the fam while I’m gone … after all, we don’t want them starving to death in my absence.
Laundry – to bring my favorite outfit on my trip, plus I’m sure the hubby will appreciate clean clothes to wear.
Packing – I need to bring clothes for hot, mexico type weather but also some things for cooler weather in the 60’s predicted for Catalina Island (our first port of call). I had to go with the big suitcase … I always think I can fit everything in the carry-on, but I never can. I usually bring too much, but I like to have choices 🙂
Mani/Pedi –  I have to … scary winter feet and horrible cuticles, plus I feel pretty when I get pampered 🙂

I was starting to feel overwhelmed when I had a past client call asking for a last minute pet sitting (due to a death in her family). I was pretty booked already, but didn’t want to let her down. Lucky for me, my daughter volunteered to take down all our Christmas decorations for me. That took a load of stress off me.

It’s the first time I’m traveling alone in a long time, but I think I’m going to really enjoy getting away for a while. I hope I don’t miss my hubby and kids too much 🙂 

BON VOYAGE !!

Top 10 Blog Posts 2014

Top 10 Blog Posts of 2014

It’s hard to believe that it is already 2015 …                                                                          I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas and New Years !!

I usually schedule time off for myself during the holidays to enjoy time with my family and friends (of whom several have end of year birthdays and mine as well). I also chose to have a “computer free” holiday this year (meaning no blog posts and a whole lot less social media activity for me).

Now I am ready to get back on schedule and get this New Year going 🙂
We’ll start 2015 by looking back at our top 10 blogs posts from last year ~

  1. 5 Things on My “Tackle Spring Cleaning Early” List ~ Kitchen
  2. How to Organize & Repurpose A Closet Into a Useful Pantry
  3. My Top 10 Favorite Things About Spring Time in Chicagoland
  4. Back To School ~ Homeschool Planning
  5. 2014 ~ My To-Do List, aka … Personal Goals / New Years Resolutions
  6. Monday’s Menu ~ Recipe I Made Up for Stuffed Shells
  7. Getting Organized ~ Tips for Filing Your Important Documents and Paper Work
  8. Pinterest Pins ~ Homemade DIY Dry Mix Recipes and Tips
  9. Homemade Natural Body Wash ~ DIY Tips & Ideas
  10. Autumn / Fall Decorating ~ Halloween or Thanksgiving?

Thanks for taking the time to reminisce with us … Let us know if you have a topic you would like to read about … We’d love to hear from you 🙂