Jun 26, 2022

Welcome to 'SOAPBOX CHAT' a monthly or so post, where I may get on my soapbox about social media, prices or anything else! So if you're one of those people who runs around with your hair on fire when something offends you, scroll down to  CHAT! CHAT is where I post my favorite ideas, inspiration, small businesses, home decor, recipes, instagram feeds, and much more!
Summer is officially here!!!!




  • On June 10th our grandson graduated,  we're so proud! We spent a week in Florida visiting and celebrating!
  • Our younger grandson"J" spent 3 days with us before our son (he's a truck driver) came to pick him up for a couple of weeks on the road. It will be a good experience for "J" to see exactly what his dads job is. 
  • Because of the above happenings diy projects were put on hold; but I will be posting an update of our 2022 project list.



Enjoy your day! ♡ Tina

May 29, 2022

Welcome to 'SOAPBOX CHAT' a monthly or so post, where I may get on my soapbox about social media, prices or anything else! So if you're one of those people who runs around with your hair on fire when something offends you, scroll down to  CHAT! CHAT is where I post my favorite ideas, inspiration, small businesses, home decor, recipes, instagram feeds, and much more!

Sooooo, are you on a journey to become a healthier you? I'm sure many of us are. And because of this the health/diet industry is making bank! Think about it for a second; you're on Pinterest, you type in healthy living or diets, the result is pretty much every diet using almost every letter in the alphabet, from Atkins to Weight Watchers. OH, and this doesn't include all the diet supplements either.

The same is true for cease smoking aids/programs/medication.
I am NOT a doctor or a health care provider. Please consult your health care provider before attempting any type of cease smoking aids, suggestions, programs or medications mentioned in this post.
Now that I got that out of the way, I will start with the first part of my health journey, which was to stop smoking after 37 years (8/21/18). I had actually stopped smoking once before for about 4 months in the late 90s. Let me just tell you, that first time, WOW, I felt horrible. I tried nicotine patches and had an allergic reaction, I had insomnia, and when I did sleep I had nightmares, and a horrible cough; thankfully this only lasted about 2 weeks.  The only thing I didn't do was gain or loose weight.  

When I made the decision to quit in 2018 I knew I had to go about it a different way. So I sat down and started doing research, instead of using the articles that are at the top when you do a search on Google I decided to search page after page after page. What I found was interesting, informative and sometimes funny.

One piece of information that I found extremely helpful when it came to nicotine cravings was how nicotine warps your perception of time. I can't seem to find the link right now, but the gist of it is, when you're smoking a cigarette it seems like it takes 15-20 minutes when in all actuality it takes 3-5 minutes. So for a day I timed every cigarette I smoked just to verify what I have read, and sure enough they were correct. Another piece of information I found was the lack of nicotine also distorts time. 

Another aspect of smoking that many of these programs do not mention is... Unlike with other drug habits or alcohol habits...not only is it smoking the cigarette but it is everything involved with smoking a cigarette that becomes a habit. For example, packing the cigarettes, pulling the cigarette out of the pack, putting it in your mouth, lighting it, inhaling, flicking the ashes, exhaling and then of course putting the cigarette out when you're done. All this is actually part of smoking. Which means when you quit smoking you have got a lot of habits that are involved and smoking that you also have to break. Which explains why it takes so many times to truly quit smoking.

What are some of the other things that they suggest you do?  
  • find something else to do, (i.e. walking,exercise, so on) when you would normally be smoking - Well for me, for instance, I would read or check my emails (I always smoked outside). I made the decision that I was not going to replace a cigarette with walking or something like that. If I was going to quit...I wasn't going to NOT substitute one habit for another.

With the information above and the knowledge about nicotine withdrawals usually lasting 3 days I was ready to quit. I decided that my last cigarette would be whenever I finished the pack of cigarettes I had. Which happened to be August 21st 2018 at 10:31pm. This time around I didn't have any of the symptoms from before, which made the initial 2 weeks really good. If interested in reading:  Here | Here | Here

And here I am almost 4 years later, its been good, but honestly, I still crave a cigarette ever so often...so all I can do is take it one day at a time!

Anyone else quit smoking or want to?

Be well & enjoy your day! ♡ Tina

May 22, 2022

Welcome back to the Reading Nook & Vol. 25 of the 'What I've Read' series. The 'What I've Read" series is a monthly post and will be a combination of audible, kindle and physical books. Let me know if you've read/listened to any of these books and if so what you thought. 

With all the projects going on around the house audible books are great! I can listen while painting, helping Jeff (DH- darling hubby) lay the new floor, & all that stuff; so I actually got a lot more books in this month! And this BOSE SPEAKER (non-affiliated)  is great! 

My profile on Goodreads HERE.

Need gift ideas for a BOOKWORM(S)

Have you found a new to you author and would like to see all the books they've written in chronological order? Then head over to BOOK

TINSELTOWN: Murder, Mophine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood.(unabridged) Author: William J. Mann (read by: Christopher Lane)

  • Barnes and Noble | Kindle | Audible: 15hr 55min | ☆☆☆☆
  • "By 1920, the movies had suddenly become America’s new favorite pastime, and one of the nation’s largest industries. Never before had a medium possessed such power to influence. Yet Hollywood’s glittering ascendency was threatened by a string of headline-grabbing tragedies—including the murder of William Desmond Taylor, the popular president of the Motion Picture Directors Association, a legendary crime that has remained unsolved until now...Along the way, Mann brings to life Los Angeles in the Roaring Twenties: a sparkling yet schizophrenic town filled with party girls, drug dealers, religious zealots, newly-minted legends and starlets already past their prime—a dangerous place where the powerful could still run afoul of the desperate...A true story recreated with the suspense of a novel, Tinseltown is the work of a storyteller at the peak of his powers  - and solution to a crime that has stumped detectives and historians for nearly a century. "
  • I love true crime - and even better is a unsolved true crime. Many of the reviews on this book complained that it dragged on, the audio version is the unabridged version and they're longer. But being a true crime fan sometimes the backstory, I feel, gives you a better insight into all the characters involved and since this took place in the 1920s shopping the history of Hollywood and many of the players also makes the story more interesting as to why the crime went unsolved for so long. So if you're a true crime fan and you haven't read this book  - pick it up - read it - let me know what you think!

THE SENTENCE IS DEATH. Death, deception, and a detective with quite a lot to hide stalk the pages of Anthony Horowitz’s brilliant murder mystery, the second in the bestselling series starring Private Investigator Daniel Hawthorne. Author: Anthony Horowitz (read by: Roy Kinnear)

  • Barnes and Nobles | Kindle | Audible: 8hr 36min | ☆☆☆☆½
  • "You shouldn’t be here. It’s too late . . . “These, heard over the phone, were the last recorded words of successful celebrity-divorce lawyer Richard Pryce, found bludgeoned to death in his bachelor pad with a bottle of wine—a 1982 Chateau Lafite worth £3,000, to be precise. Odd, considering he didn’t drink. Why this bottle? And why those words? And why was a three-digit number painted on the wall by the killer? And, most importantly, which of the man’s many, many enemies did the deed? Baffled, the police are forced to bring in Private Investigator Daniel Hawthorne and his sidekick, the author Anthony, who’s really getting rather good at this murder investigation business. But as Hawthorne takes on the case with characteristic relish, it becomes clear that he, too, has secrets to hide. As our reluctant narrator becomes ever more embroiled in the case, he realizes that these secrets must be exposed—even at the risk of death . . ."
  • Do you love a who done it? I do and I thoroughly enjoy Anthony Horowitz. 

SAY NOTHING: A true story of murder and memory in Northern Ireland. AUTHOR: Patrick Radden Keefe (read by: Matthew Blaney)

  • Barnes and Nobles | Amazon | 14hrs 40m | ☆☆☆½
  • "In December 1972, Jean McConville, a 38-year-old mother of 10, was dragged from her Belfast home by masked intruders, her children clinging to her legs. They never saw her again. Her abduction was one of the most notorious episodes of the vicious conflict known as The Troubles. Everyone in the neighborhood knew the IRA was responsible. But in a climate of fear and paranoia, no one would speak of it. In 2003, five years after an accord brought an uneasy peace to Northern Ireland, a set of human bones was discovered on a beach. McConville's children knew it was their mother when they were told a blue safety pin was attached to the dress - with so many kids, she had always kept it handy for diapers or ripped clothes.....Patrick Radden Keefe's mesmerizing audiobook on the bitter conflict in Northern Ireland and its aftermath uses the McConville case as a starting point for the tale of a society wracked by a violent guerrilla war, a war whose consequences have never been reckoned with. The brutal violence seared not only people like the McConville children, but also IRA members embittered by a peace that fell far short of the goal of a united Ireland, and left them wondering whether the killings they committed were not justified acts of war, but simple murders. From radical and impetuous IRA terrorists such as Dolours Price, who, when she was barely out of her teens, was already planting bombs in London and targeting informers for execution, to the ferocious IRA mastermind known as The Dark, to the spy games and dirty schemes of the British Army, to Gerry Adams, who negotiated the peace but betrayed his hardcore comrades by denying his IRA past - Say Nothing conjures a world of passion, betrayal, vengeance, and anguish."
  • This was another unabridged book. I remember hearing about the bombings that we're going on in Ireland and Great Britain during the late 70's into the 80's. . . So this was an interesting but long and there was a lot of details on many things that I didn't know. The one thing that struck me was how the children were just thrown into a system that abused them and really didn't care about them; and then to be treated the same way as adults after their mother remains were found. There has been no justice for these kids or anything resembling Justice.

UNANSWERED CRIES: The true story of friends, neighbors, and murder in a small town. AUTHOR: Thomas French (read by: Mikael Naramore)

  • Wal-Mart | AMAZON | Target | 13hrs 31m | ☆☆☆☆
  • "On a warm Florida evening, Karen Gregory saw a familiar face at her door. What the beautiful young woman could not know was that she was staring into the eyes of her killer--a savage monster who would rape her, stab her to death, and leave her battered body on the floor outside the bedroom." Her neighbors heard her scream but no one called the police...
  • This is one of those books that has you shaking your head in disbelief from the beginning. 

Well that's it for this month.
Happy reading & enjoy your day! ♡ Tina

May 15, 2022

Oh boy do DH (Jeff) and I (actually the whole family) love these pork taco boats!! They are just so delicious. Our son-in-law made these for us several years ago and we've been hooked ever since.

☆☆CHEESE OPTION: the last 2 times I've made this we used the Feta cheese with sundried tomatoes in it, talk about yummy! 

☆Quick note: if you don't have the boats use whatever soft shell you have or can find.

Happy Cooking & Enjoy your day! ♡ Tina


May 8, 2022

Back a couple of years ago while perusing the World Market website I came across these candle holders. I had seen them on an Instagram account before,  thought they were cute so I bought them. Unfortunately after having them a month or so I really didn't care for them,  so into a drawer they went.

One day around Thanksgiving as I was searching through the drawers I saw them and an idea to "re-use" them popped in my head. I had been eyeing candle holders similar to these for a while, so I 


  • Clear Gorilla Glue for crafts
  • 4 - 5in round plaques
  • 4 - 4in round plaques
  • 6 pkg ½in round beads w/⅛in hole
  • White nylon thread
  • Hot glue + glue gun
  • Black craft paint
  • Antique gold rub & buff
  • 2 sets of 3 'whitewash and gold bottle taper candle holders '


  • Wipe down candle holders
  • Apply glue around the top edge of holders (below)

  • Once glue is applied flip matching holder and place on top. Apply pressure until set (30 seconds)
  • Repeat with remaining holders

  • Once glued let it setup for about 24 hours.
  • Grab 3 - 4in round plaques and mark center. Place holder on top and trace around bottom.

  • Next glue a 4in round plaque to a 5in round plaque. Let setup for 24 hours. 

  • Then glue holders to base. Let set for 24 hours
  • Once set glue beads around base of holder and plaques

  • For the beads around the center and the top I strung them on thread and did a dry fit before using the hot glue to set them in place.

  • Paint holders, then rub & buff, finally add candles.
I finished just in time to use them in this past Christmas decor in the dining room...

Then they were moved to the foyer once Christmas was over...

As of now only 2 of the 3 are being used...

So what do you think? Do you have candle holders that can be re-used?

Enjoy your day! ♡ Tina

FEATURED:  Here | Here

May 1, 2022

Well hey!
For as long as I can remember I've always wanted a church pew in my house. Somehow I always missed out on them or I would find one and the price would be horrendous, but it didn't stop me from looking. Finally I decided if I couldn't find one then I would find plans or come up with my own plans so Jeff (darling hubby=DH) could build it. Before I started drawing up plans I went online and did a search on Google and on Pinterest and came across these plans from
Jamison Rantz at Rogue Engineer | HERE |

The plans are easy to follow and thorough. As for the cost? Jeff (DH) had a stash of 2 inch thick oak, cherry and a little hard pine. Although I was excited to use this variety of wood, finding a stain that worked wasn't happening, sadly.

So, it was painted black and I love the way it turned out. We use it in our eat in kitchen with our table & 2 chairs...

And our sweet precious Shelby loves to take naps on the bench too.

I'm so happy I found these plans. So if your looking to build a reproduction church pew, head over to the Rogue Engineer.

Happy building & enjoy your day! ♡ Tina




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