Snickerdoodle Cupcakes

Hello, faithful friends and followers!
Have I got a delightful treat for you today. . .
snickerdoodle cupcakes!

My husband enjoys his snickerdoodle cookies
so when I found this recipe for cupcakes well,
I just had to try it and oh, am I ever glad I did!

These cupcakes are amazing!


2¾ cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoons salt
¾ cup shortening
1⅔ cups granulated sugar
5 large eggs
2½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1¼ cups milk

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. 
Line muffin tins with cupcake liners. 
Set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, 
1 teaspoon cinnamon, and salt. 
Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat shortening 
with electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. 
Gradually add sugar.  
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. 
Beat in vanilla extract.

Slowly add flour mixture and milk, 
mixing until just combined. 
Do not overmix!

Pour the cupcake batter into the cupcake liners 
{about 3/4 the way full}.

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. 
Allow cupcakes to cool on wire rack before frosting.

To make the frosting. . .

Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting
1 (2 sticks) cup unsalted butter, softened
2 ½ cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
Cinnamon-sugar, to sprinkle on top

I want buns of steel,
but I also want buns of cinnamon.
**Saw this quote and it made me giggle.**

Mix softened butter on medium speed 
with an electric or stand mixer. 
Beat for 30 seconds until smooth and creamy.

Add powdered sugar, heavy whipping cream, 
ground cinnamon, and vanilla extract. 
Increase to high speed and beat for 3 minutes. 
Add more cream if needed for spreading consistency.

Frost cupcakes using a piping bag or knife 
and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar.

Makes 24 cupcakes.

You can find the original recipe by clicking here.

Thank you for visiting today, sweet friends.
I hope you're able to give these cupcakes a try. . . 
you won't regret it!

Hugs and joy to you!

I couldn't possibly end this post
without a few pictures of the kittens.



In Remembrance. . .

Sweet friends,
enjoy the music while you read the words.

The bugle echos shrill and sweet,
But not of war it sings today.
The road is rhythmic with the feet
Of men-at-arms who come to pray.
The roses blossom white and red
On tombs where weary soldiers lie;
Flags wave above the honored dead
And martial music cleaves the sky.
Above their weary-strewn graves we kneel,
They kept the faith and fought the fight.
Through flying lead and crimson steel
They plunged for Freedom and the Right.
May we, their grateful children, learn
Their strength, who lie beneath this sod,
Who went through fire and death to earn
At last the accolade of God.
In shining rank on rank arrayed,
They march, the legions of the Lord;
He is their Captain unafraid,
The Prince of Peace...Who brought a sword.
- Joyce Kilmer -

The price of freedom 
is eternal vigilance.
- President Thomas Jefferson -

For love of country, 
they accepted death.
- President James A. Garfield -

Although no sculptured marble should rise to their memory, 
nor engraved stone bear record of their deeds, 
yet will their remembrance be as lasting as the land they honored.
- Daniel Webster -

Who kept the faith and fought the fight; 
The glory theirs, the duty ours.
- Wallace Bruce -

The patriot’s blood 
is the seed of Freedom’s tree.
- Thomas Campbell -

On thy grave the rain 
shall fall from the eyes of a mighty nation!
- Thomas William Parsons -

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet,
Whose stern, impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America!
May God thy gold refine,
Till all success be nobleness,
And every gain divine!

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!
- Katharine Lee Bates -

Courage is contagious. 
When a brave man takes a stand, 
the spines of others are stiffened.
- Billy Graham -

They are dead; but they live in each Patriot’s breast, 
And their names are engraven on honor’s bright crest.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow -

Have a beautiful Lord's Day, my friends,
as well as a blessed Memorial Day.

* * * Comments closed today. * * *


A Love So True - Book Review

Jagears delivers a wonderfully romantic read 
with a Hero and Heroine to cheer for.

Evelyn Wisely has a heart for the orphans of Teaville 
and works at a local mansion that rescues children out of the town's red-light district 
and gives them a place to live. 
But her desire to help isn't limited to orphans. 
The owner of the mansion, Nicholas Lowe, 
is willing to help her try to get the women working in prostitution out of the district as well-
if she can gain the cooperation and support of local businessmen
to go against the rest of the community. 

David Kingsman has recently arrived in Teaville from Kansas City 
to help with one of his father's companies in town. 
While he plans on staying only long enough to prove his business merit to his father, 
he's shown interest in Evelyn's work 
and is intrigued enough by her to lend his support to her cause.

They begin with the best of intentions, 
but soon the complications pile up 
and Evelyn and David's dreams look more unattainable every day. 
When the revelation of a long-held secret 
creates a seemingly insurmountable rift between them, 
can they trust God still has a good plan for them 
despite all that is stacked against them?

My Thoughts
Melissa Jagears has done it again!
She has written a story that will woo and captivate you 
from the very first chapter.
It's a story full of historical charm,
never-ending kindness,
dreams coming true,
unconditional forgiveness,
and tender love.

The two main characters, Evelyn and David, are an absolute delight
and I must say they are simply perfect for one another.
While reading the book I couldn't help but cheer them on.
Evelyn has a beautiful, tender heart. . .
a heart that is full of love for the orphans as well as the women of the red light district.
She will do everything she possibly can to help these precious souls.
But Evelyn has a secret
and it's a something she uses to distance herself from others. . .
including David.

David is an all-around charming, happy, and kind young man,
and he is not put off by Evelyn's cold nature.
He has burdens of his own to carry,
but instead of focusing on his problems
he sees a woman in need. . .
David's pursuit of Evelyn is priceless and incredibly sweet.
It will warm you from the very top of your head down to the tips of your toes.

This is a beautiful story of love and forgiveness
and how the two go hand-in-hand.
There are many ups and downs. . .
many bumps in the road as David and Evelyn find love and happiness,
but I truly believe you will read the last line and close the book 
with a smile on your face.
How do I know this?
Because that is exactly what I did.
There is indeed heartache and a few moments that may bring tears to your eyes,
but oh, in the end your heart will rejoice.

A Love So True is the second book in the
Teaville Moral Society Series.
While it could be read as a stand alone,
I highly recommend reading the first book
A Heart Most Certain.
You can read my review for it by clicking here.
The first book is excellent and one you don't want to miss out on.

** I was given a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers for an honest review.
All thoughts and opinions are my own. No other compensation was received. **

About the Author
Melissa Jagears is a Carol Award-winning author,
a homeschooling mother to three, and an extreme night owl.
She lives with her family in Kansas.
Find her online at www.melissajagears.com.



Sweet Family Moments

Hello, my sweet and lovely friends!
Two weeks ago my hubby, son, and I enjoyed a little getaway.
We took in a Rockies game
and enjoyed a train ride up Pikes Peak.
I thought I would share some photos with you from our time away.

While I have lived in Colorado for many, many years
I have never been to the top of Pikes Peak until now.
My, what a view!

We rode the Cog train up to the top
and if you ever have the opportunity to visit Pikes Peak
I would recommend riding the train.
It adds so much more to the trip.

The view up to the top was simply beautiful.
Forgive the glare in the photos 
as the pictures were taken through glass. 

As you can see from the next photo
we are above timberline and almost to the top.

We stepped outside of the train and the view took my breath away.
Everything was so beautiful and clear.

The clouds were right there. . .
so close you could almost touch them.

The day we went was the first day in almost a week
that the train made it to the top.
Being so high up means there are often severe weather conditions
that include snow, low clouds, and wind.
We were blessed with a clear and beautiful day.

At the top of Pikes Peak
is a monument for "America the Beautiful"
written by Katharine Lee Bates.
While riding the train up to the top the conductor was very informative
and along the way she pointed out "Inspiration Point"
which was the view Katharine saw 
and where she was inspired to write the lovely lyrics to "America the Beautiful."

O beautiful for spacious skies, 
For amber waves of grain, 
For purple mountain majesties 
Above the fruited plain! 
America! America! 
God shed his grace on thee 
And crown thy good with brotherhood 
From sea to shining sea!
- Katharine Lee Bates -

At the top of Pikes Peaks there is a sweet little gift shop
and inside you will find hot coffee and donuts. . .
extremely tasty donuts that they make above 14,000 feet.

Of course we sampled some :)

After wondering around and exploring the mountain top
we boarded the train and made our way back to the bottom.

We also attended a Rockies baseball game.
We saw them play the Dodgers
and I'm happy to say the Rockies won {{smiles}}

Tomorrow my husband and I will celebrate 10 years of marriage.
10 blessed years!
I can't believe how quickly the years have gone by
and I am happy to say that each year only gets sweet and better.
I am ever so thankful for my wonderful husband.

Before I sign off, my friends,
I thought I would let you know that some new handmade delights
have been added to my Etsy Shop.

And of course I have to share a few photos of the kittens :)

Here we have Duke. . .
previously known as "Chubs."
We called him Chubs because he was the biggest out of the three,
but since we are keeping him we thought he needed a different
more masculine name :)

And here is Stripester. . .
The name "Willow" didn't stick with my son
since he was the one to originally name Stripester.

And sweet Melly Belle.

Have a fabulous day, friends,
and thank you for visiting!

Love and hugs to you.


Blessed Book, Precious Book

Heaven and earth will pass away, 
but my words will never pass away.
- Matthew 24:35 -

There’s a dear and precious Book,
Though it’s worn and faded now,
Which recalls those happy days of long ago,
When I stood at mother’s knee,
With her hand upon my brow,
And I heard her voice in gentle tones and low.

As she read the stories o’er
Of those mighty men of old,
Of Joseph and of Daniel and their trials,
Of little David bold,
Who became a king at last,
Of Satan and his many wicked wiles.

Then she read of Jesus’ love,
As He blessed the children dear,
How He suffered, bled and died upon the tree;
Of His heavy load of care,
Then she dried my flowing tears
With her kisses as she said it was for me.

Well, those days are past and gone,
But their memory lingers still
And the dear old Book each day has been my guide;
And I seek to do His will,
As my mother taught me then,
And ever in my heart His Words abide.

- Refrain -
Blessed Book, precious Book,
On thy dear old tear stained leaves I love to look;
Thou art sweeter day by day, as I walk the narrow way
That leads at last to that bright home above.
- M. B. Williams -

Sweet friends,
I have a beautiful Bible to show you today.
This little lovely is a NKJV woman's study Bible
and the outward appearance is not only a treat for the eyes,
but it is full of beauty on the inside as well.

Take a peek . . .

For the word of the Lord is right; 
and all his works are done in truth.
- Psalm 33:4 -

The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: 
but the word of our God shall stand for ever.
- Isaiah 40:8 -

Before I dive into this review
I want to mention that there are contributions from over 80 women 
offering reflections about important topics that are relevant to our current times. 

This woman's study Bible is full of treasures
and it seems like once you start reading a portion of Scripture
you can't help but go on "rabbit trails" because there is always something 
in the portion you just read that will point you to another part of the Bible.
I can easily spend hours reading this Bible
because there is so much to take in and digest.
Because this is a study Bible
there are many helpful notes at the bottom of each page
that will deepen your knowledge in the Scriptures.

This beautiful Bible is actually my first NKJV
as I have always used a KJV.
While I am used to the KJV and personally prefer it
I found this version to be helpful in the meaning of certain words.
For example, rather than the word "Master" it is "Teacher."
In Psalms when "Thee" is used in the KJV it is translated to "You" in the NKJV.
If you are not used to old English 
than a NKJV is certainly easier to use and understand.

As you can see this Bible is full, and I mean full, of goodies.
One thing I fell in love with was a portion in Song of Solomon
that talks about the flowers, plants, gems, and minerals.
The plant or mineral is listed along with the reference and description.

Heaven and earth shall pass away, 
but my words shall not pass away.
- Matthew 24:35 -

In the beginning was the Word, 
and the Word was with God, 
and the Word was God.
- John 1:1 -

You will find encouraging quotes
throughout the Bible.

There are several women listed in the Bible
and this Bible gives you detailed information about many of them.

You will find a list of Psalms
for daily living.

In the book of Acts
you will find a page with a list of preachers
such as Peter, Stephen, Paul, and James
and alongside their names is a list of their sermons 
and where they can be found in the Bible.

You will also find full-color maps,
a topical index, book introductions,
a concordance, and more.

The list of golden nuggets found in this Bible goes on and on.
I haven't even scratched the surface, my friends.
Now you see how easily it is to get lost {in a good way}
in your Bible reading when you open up this Bible.

As you can probably tell,
I simply love this Bible
and I believe it would be a wonderful addition to any woman's library.
I hope through my review I have given you a taste 
of how delightful this Book truly is.
If you add this Bible to your collection 
you will be blown away by all that is tucked inside.

 ** I was given a complimentary copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers
for an honest review. 
All thoughts are my own and no other compensation was received. **

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, 
and sharper than any twoedged sword, 
piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, 
and of the joints and marrow, 
and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
- Hebrews 4:12 -

But be ye doers of the word, 
and not hearers only,
deceiving your own selves.
- James 1:22 -

Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine,
and doeth them, 
I will liken him unto a wise man, 
which built his house upon a rock.
- Matthew 7:24 -

Have a blessed and beautiful Lord's Day, friends!

* * * * * * * *

You can find this Woman's Study Bible on CBD by clicking here.
And on Amazon by clicking here.


A Stranger At Fellsworth - Book Review

In the fallout of her deceased father’s financial ruin, 
Annabelle’s prospects are looking bleak. 
Her fiance has called off their betrothal, 
and now she remains at the mercy of her controlling and often cruel brother. 
Annabelle soon faces the fact that her only hope for a better life 
is to do the unthinkable and run away to Fellsworth, 
where her estranged uncle serves as the school’s superintendent. 
Upon arrival, Annabelle learns that she must shed her life of high society 
and work for her wages for the first time in her life.
Owen Locke is unswerving in his commitments. 
As a widower and father, he is fiercely protective of his only daughter. 
As an industrious gamekeeper, he is intent on keeping poachers at bay 
even though his ambition has always been to purchase land he can call his own. 
When a chance encounter introduces him to Annabelle Thorley, 
his steady life is shaken. 
For the first time since his wife’s death, 
Owen begins to consider a second chance at love.

As Owen and Annabelle grow closer, 
ominous forces threaten the peace they thought they'd found.
Poachers, mysterious strangers, and murderers converge at Fellsworth, 
forcing Annabelle and Owen to a test of fortitude and bravery 
to stop the shadow of the past from ruining their hopes for the future.

My Thoughts
A Stranger at Fellsworth written by the lovely Sarah E. Ladd 
is the third installment in A Treasures of Surrey series.
I have read the first two books in the series
and you can find my reviews for them by clicking on the titles:

This third book was good and nicely written,
but I must tell you that it was not my favorite out of the series.
In fact, it turned out to be my least favorite.
The first two books were truly amazing
and they captivated my attention from the beginning.
A Stranger at Fellsworth captivated my attention. . .
but it was more slow than quick.
There was something. . .
something I can't quite put my finger on. . .
that was simply missing from the book.
There was romance kindling between the two main characters, 
but I felt like there could have been more "pizazz" between Annabelle and Owen.
There interaction was kept to a minimum 
and then all of sudden they were expressing their undying love for one another.
The suspense was good, but it, too, seemed to lack just a little.
The book was a tad cliché. . .
there is a damsel in distress,
a gentleman finds and helps the damsel,
the damsel and gentleman fall in love,
and they live happily ever after.
I don't mean to have high standards,
and I certainly don't mind happily ever after endings,
but it was like the book was just shy of being top notch.

So I guess what I'm saying is that yes, I enjoyed the book,
but I would have liked a teeny tiny bit more "meat" to the story.
Is A Stranger at Fellsworth bad?
No, not at all!
Would I recommend this book to others?
Why, certainly!
I would also recommend the series 
as the first two books won my heart. . .
especially the second one, Dawn at Emberwilde.

Sarah E. Ladd is a delightful writer with a lot of talent.
I am giving A Stranger at Fellsworth 4 stars.

 ** I was given a complimentary copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers
for an honest review. 
All thoughts are my own and no other compensation was received. **

About the Author
Sarah E. Ladd received the 2011 Genesis Award in historical romance 
for The Heiress of Winterwood. 
She is a graduate of Ball State University 
and has more than ten years of marketing experience. 
Sarah lives in Indiana with her amazing family and spunky Golden Retriever. 
Facebook: SarahLaddAuthor 
Twitter: @SarahLaddAuthor


A Dainty Tea Party Hat

Welcome, my friends,
and thank you for visiting today!
As promised, the winners for the hymn print
and tea cup cards will be announced at the end of this post.
Many, many thanks to all of you who entered the giveaway
and supported both of Joy's beautiful Etsy shops.

Last Tuesday I had the pleasure of attending a tea party
hosted by my very own mother.
My sister lives two hours away
and she drove up for the special occasion
so the three of us could enjoy tea, food, and fellowship.

For the tea party I was sent an invitation
and on that invitation I was encouraged to dress up.
Hats and gloves were a delightful option.
I searched high and low for a delicate pair of gloves at the antique shops,
but alas, I could not find any in good enough condition to wear.
So I moved onto the hats. . .
and couldn't find a single one.
My son was with me when I tried on the vintage hats
and I must say that he and I had a good laugh 
over several of the styles atop my head. . .
they simply didn't work.
So. . .
I made my own delicate tea hat
using a headband.
I thought I would show you how I put this sweet thing together.

My lovely friends, you will need:

headband, plastic or metal
black spiky rosettes 
lace, tulle, buttons, etc
hot glue gun and glue

Cut a circle out of a piece of felt.
The circle can be any size you want
as this is the base for the "hat" so if you want a bigger hat
make your circle bigger and the same for a smaller hat,
just cut out a smaller circle.
My circle is about 4 or 5-inches in size.

Cut two slits in the felt like so. . .

The slit is for the headband to go through.
Now cut out a smaller circle from the felt.

Place the headband through the slit
and figure out where you would like your hat base to rest.
Mine is slightly to the side.
Glue the smaller circle over the slit.

On the inside of the felt circle
you will want to add another piece of felt
to hold everything in place.
I cut out a heart for the finishing touch.

The spike rose trim {from Hobby Lobby} comes on a spool 
so you will need to cut and trim each rose.
Then hot glue the desired amount of roses onto the large circle of felt.

Next up I used tulle netting since it's stiffer than just plain tulle
and created a fan which I hot glued onto my hat.

After that I simply used my imagination
and created some flowers with lace
and added a vintage brooch for some nice "bling."
You can decorate your hat however you like.

I also glued some black lace onto the bottom side
of the large circle of felt.
When I was done with my hat
I thought it needed a little something extra
so on went the lace.

And that's it, my friends.
A sweet little hat that's perfect for any tea party.

You are never fully dressed
without a smile. . . and a hat.

On the day of the tea party
I donned my "princess" dress and heels
and placed my hat atop my wavy hair.
My sweet gentleman son took the photos {{smiles}}

When I arrived at the tea party
I was greeted with tea and cupcake loveliness.
My dear mom always outdoes herself
and this special tea time was no exception.

My sister cannot have gluten
so my mom and her sensitive self made some delicious alternatives .
She made chicken salad {my favorite}
and spread it on top of apple slices.
It was so good, my friends!
Like, really, really good!
There were cucumber slices filled with a cream cheese mixture
and celery sticks with a chicken filling.
Jello parfaits graced the table 
along with oh-so-yummy cupcakes and scones.

We had a beautiful and memorable time together.

And before I announce the blessed winners
I thought I would share some pictures of our fur babies.
And when I say "ours" I mean just that. . .
we have decided to keep all three sweethearts.
They are now 7 1/2 weeks old
and as cute as ever!

I love how Melly is about to slide of the sofa,
but sweet ol' mama is hanging onto her.

Like mama
like daughter.

And finally, the winners!
Again, thanks to all who entered the giveaways.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading the many comments
about favorite hymns, favorite tea flavors, and fond tea party memories.
Thank you for sharing.
I wish I could give ALL of you something.

The winner of the hymn print is:
Her comment:
"Oh, I can still see my Grandmother and my Dad (playing the piano) 
and Grandma enjoying her favorite hymn, 
His Eye is on the Sparrow. 
Wonderful memories."

The winner of the set of cards is:
June Chapko
Her comment:
My favorite morning tea is English Breakfast Tea. 
A fond memory of teatime was when my daughter and I 
picked her 7 year old daughter up from school on her birthday 
and took her to a local tea room. 
It was a memory maker. 
She is now a mommy with an almost 3 year old daughter!

Enjoy the remainder of your week, sweet friends.
I was away last week and I hope to catch up with you and your blogs soon.

Love and hugs!
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