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Showing posts from October, 2018

Halloween in New Town, Saint Charles

We are approaching our sixth Halloween in New Town.  We moved here in 2012 as a place to land before we made our big move to the city of St. Louis.  We fell in love with this place, and well, the rest is history! Over the years here in New Town, we have watched as Halloween has grown in popularity with our residents as well as our larger community of Saint Charles. New Town is a designation spot for the local youth for trick-or-treating! Our community is divided into several districts, ours being called The Beach District.   We are called that as there is an actual beach on a lake in our district. It is new to us this year and next year will be the official opening!  Check the link to see the Beach District in its early Halloween glory! I love how things have progressed since 2016 and 2017.   The decorations are much more elaborate and thoughtful this year and I am eager to share them with you! Aren't they fun?  I am having a bl
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The Draughtsman's Damsel #ourgoodlifebooklist

I was given a copy of this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion. I do love historical fiction, so when I was approached to read this book and offer my critique, it was easy to say yes. I have high expectations for my historical fiction writers.  Let's see if author Emily Klein can make the mark. First, was a draughtsman a real thing? It seems that it is, and draughtsman is the English version of a drafter, as used in the US.  Girls weren't often, if at all, draughtsmen so this is a highly unusual occupation of a noblewoman in the Tudor times. The book starts in Calais, France, a ferry spot to England. Since our architect, his wife and their daughter do make their way across the English Channel, this seems to be a clear connection. Throughout the book the Duke is building a palace (could it be the Notre Dame church?) and wants it to be of the Golden Ratio. While we are in England with the family, the daughter is allowed to study mathematics, hi
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The Coordinates of Loss #ourgoodlifebooklist

I was given this book in exchange for my honest feedback. The Coordinates of Loss by Amanda Prowse is one of the books that is difficult to read but you can't put down.  It is a profoundly deep book that explores a parent's greatest nightmare, the loss of a child. Rachel Croft, the mother, goes to awake their seven year old son to find he is not there.  It becomes quickly apparent that Oscar is gone, as the family is on a yacht.   Set in sunny and tropical Bermuda, the setting contrasts vividly with the parents' grief. With the support of their housekeeper Cee Cee, who has a similar story.  Through letters, the two women find a path to healing.  Cee Cee is a hero in this book, as she relives her story to help Rachel come to terms with hers. The writing is beautiful, haunting, soul-wrenching.  The characters are well developed and we are exposed to raw, unrelenting grief. This book can be overwhelming, I found I could only read short bits at a time. I wo
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Death by Chocolate Breakfast Bowl

Breakfast bowls are extremely popular, for their good nutrition and clean food.  How about one that delivers for your sweet tooth, too?  That's where Death by Chocolate Breakfast Bowl comes in!  A decadent but healthy treat for breakfast! I am participating in a group of food bloggers to create Halloween Breakfasts. Listed below you are going to see a lot of great bloggers and their fun recipes. I urge you to check them out. I know you will love what you see! I chose Death by Chocolate because that is the way I would want to go!  Protein rich quinoa, sweet chocolate chips (I use sugar free) and fresh strawberries make this a treat for breakfast.  See the recipe below. Death by Chocolate Breakfast Bowl Yield: 2 Author: Terri Steffes Print Recipe With Image Without Image Death by Chocolate Breakfast Bowl prep time: 5 mins cook time: 35 mins total time: 40 mins Delicious and decadent but still amazingly healthy! ingredients: 1/2 c quinoa 1 1/2 c almond
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Friday Favorites #18

I'm back!  I hope you enjoyed my posts on #FreakyFruitFridays.  It was fun to work with produce that I don't see often in my local stores. Thank you to Melissas Produce for sponsoring that post! In case you'd like to check them out: Cherimoya Muffins (taste just like apple muffins!) Cinnamon Pancakes with Blood Orange Syrup We had a busy weekend with going to our homecoming at our college alma mater.  Both my husband and daughter are graduates of the University of Missouri. It was fun to get out and see friends from long ago. We have season tickets to the symphony and the first concert was on Sunday. We traded in some of our other tickets to get 4 tickets to this event.  I love it when all four of us can go to the same event. It's fun to share our favorite movements and moments. Our daughter's birthday was Wednesday.  She asked me to bake her one of my Keto cakes and so I did, with 2 T of Penzey's cake spice added in to make it a spice
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The Secret of Clouds #ourgoodlifebooklist

*I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this novel.* I selected this book to review because one of the main characters is a teacher. I was curious to see if the author would have a true understanding of what a teacher's life was like, and how they would portray a teacher in today's world. I needn't been concerned, Alyson Richman does beautifully in looking at how a teacher's life can be intertwined with her students. From the publisher: Katya, a rising ballerina, and Sasha, a graduate student, are young and in love when an unexpected tragedy befalls their native Kiev. Years later, after the couple has safely emigrated to America the consequences of this incident cause their son, Yuri, to be born with a rare health condition that isolates him from other children. Maggie, a passionate and dedicated teacher agrees to tutor Yuri
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Halloween Dipped Pretzel Rods with Sprinkles #DollarTreeHoliday

**I was compensated for this post. This post also contains affiliate links and  I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.** I am so excited to share with you that this is the first in a series of three posts, featuring products from the Dollar Tree!  This is a holiday series so you will see a Halloween post, a Thanksgiving post, and a Christmas post. All products were purchased by me, with future payment by Dollar Tree for the post.  I love Dollar Tree and usually hit them first before I do my weekly grocery shopping. I like to pass a little treat to the parents when they take their kids trick-or-treating. I love this little treat as it has a little kick to it!  Those Bacon Habanero style pretzels are so good!  Package them up in a little holiday zipped bag and they are good to go! What you will need: Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps Bacon Habanero style Pennystick Honey Wheat Braided Pretzels 1 c
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Favorite Fall Essential Oil Blends

Fall is such a great time for fall essential oil blends. I love the different scents that remind me of fall, and, I have some recipes that might help you hold back those fall colds that sneak up on us!  I use both Young Living and Do Terra oils, as they both are high quality oils. My last list was Essential Oils for Sleeping and it was very popular! I made a handy printable to download so you can keep it by your diffuser.  We love falling asleep to our favorite scents! These fall essential oils blends will be perfect for daytime use.  They fill my house with delightful scents that make me feel like fall is indoors!  I love to diffuse these when I have guests over. They make the house feel extra cozy in the fall. Do you use essential oils?  What are your favorites?  Be sure to look for high quality oils, where ever you decide to purchase. Only the best for our family and friends! Want to make these air fresheners?  Here's what to do:  In a 2 oz spritzer bottle, triple t
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Cinnamon Pancakes with Blood Orange Syrup #FreakyFruitsFriday

This post is sponsored on behalf of Freaky Fruit Fridays. Our generous sponsor, Melissa's Produce has provided us with products for recipe creations. As always, all opinions are my ow n. When I learned about this outstanding opportunity to explore some exotic fruits, you can be sure that I flew from my stove and up to the computer to apply! I am grateful to be selected for this so fun opportunity to work with a product I don't see very often!  Thank you to  Melissa's Produce! We were given all these fruits to experiment with. First I just admired the colors.  I am totally in love with nature and what it can produce!  I decided to work with the oranges first, as I have had some delicious food made with them and I wanted to give them a try.  I made the decision to make syrup because I hoped the color would be fabulous, and oh, it was! Blood oranges are the primary orange grown in Italy. The climate provides the needed temperatures to develop the anthocya
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Southern Living Party Cookbook 2018 #ourgoodlifebooklist

I received an eBook for free in exchange for my honest opinion. I was thrilled to pieces to be selected to review the newest Southern Living Party Cookbook.  I saw my first Southern Living Party Cookbook in my beautiful Carnegie Library in my hometown in the 70s. It was my first inkling that the world was a fun, fun place. Knowing the other book so well, I was eager to see how this book would measure up to its classic sister. From the Publisher: This new essential guide to entertaining is divided by occasion, offering a fresh lineup of menus and ideas for every celebratory scenario life serves up from What Can I Bring? author, Elizabeth Heiskell, in this update to the best-selling book of our mothers’ and grandmothers’ era, Elizabeth’s tell-it-like-it-is voice provides a twist to the classic Southern advice that is a refresher for entertainers of any age or experience. Packed with delicious recipes from the original book like Smoked Salmon Canapes, Hot Cheese Squares, and B
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Eric's Famous Chili #choctoberfest2018

Choctoberfest continues! Our son-in-law makes a mean bowl of chili and I asked him to share his recipe for Chocolate Chili for this post. Chocolate is his "secret" ingredient. When I had the chance to use Forte Artisan Chocolates , I knew I wanted to try them in his chili. If you are a long time reader of Our Good Life, you know that we are all about living YOUR best life. Forte Artisan Chocolates fit right into that philosophy. They encourage you to Celebrate Life Through Chocolate, and hey, nobody needs to tell me that twice.  This chili uses one of the Gusto bars to deepen the spices found in this chocolate chili recipe. Listen to the flavors: Lemon and Pepper, Aztec, Orange Jazz, Rosemary and Sea Salt, Honey, Milk Love, Balsamic Vinegar, 71% dark, White Cloud, Milk Sea Salt, 64% dark, White Swan Espresso.  Two new recipes will be made using the Balsamic Vinegar one and the White Cloud one. Now that I have your attention with all of these incredible flavors, I
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Low Carb Keto Chocolate Coconut Flour Bread

Welcome to the October Pinterest Challenge AND Day 2 of Choctoberfest!!  This month I wanted to try Brenda's Keto Low Carb Coconut Flour Bread for this challenge.  Brenda blogs at Sugar-Free Mom and it is one of my favorite blogs for getting low carb foods. I saw this bread and knew I wanted to give it a try!  Plus, it's World Bread Day, too! Pinterest Challenge Brenda's bread came out beautifully when I made her recipe. The crust was crisp and the bread had great texture. Perfect for me to have a bit of toast with breakfast, which is what I was dreadfully missing. Low Carb Keto Chocolate Coconut Flour Bread is born! Brenda's bread gave me the confidence to play with the recipe. I switched out the olive oil for a coconut oil that created a rich taste, thanks to Barlean's Butter Flavored Coconut Oil.   I added cocoa for that chocolate flavor I was missing. I also missed have some kind of dessert bread, and decided to use the foundation of Brenda
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