Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy St. Patrick's Day

*information for this post was in part supplied by Hormel Foods through their Hormel Extended Family Blogger program. No compensation was received for this post.
Happy St. Patrick's Day!

St. Patrick's Day has always been a 'fun' holiday. How can it not be? There are parades, rivers are turned green, there is food, there is beverage, there are Irish jigs.

When I was a child, I went to St. Patrick's Elementary School - I had a connection from a young age. I remember wearing green and people having buttons and shirts that said "Kiss Me I'm Irish".

There are some traditions that many consider to be part of St. Patrick's Day.

  • You always wear green on St. Patrick's Day.

  • You always have green beer on St. Patrick's Day.

  • There's always a parade on St. Patrick's Day.

  • You always have corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick's Day.

I never was a fan of beer, let alone green beer, so that is one tradition that hasn't stayed with me (although I gave it the old college try, back in my college days).

I have limited green clothes in my closet, but I make an effort to wear green.

I don't live in a community with a parade and aside from getting stuck in some parade traffic in a nearby community last year, usually don't head out to see one.

I do usually make an effort to get some Corned Beef on St. Patrick's Day. I really enjoy Corned Beef Hash and Reubens or straight-up Corned Beef sandwiches. I prefer my Corned Beef Hashed crispy, like my bacon. I think it really pulls out the flavor.

Unfortunately, I'm the only one in my family that really enjoys Corned Beef, so I am generally on my own. I've never made homemade Corned Beef Hash, but have found that the HORMEL® MARY KITCHEN® Corned Beef Hash is a great way to enjoy it at home. You can enjoy it prepared as is, by simply frying it up in a skillet, or check out one of the recipes featured on their website - Sunshine Hash or Cheesy Corned Beef both sound good to me.

Do you have St. Patrick's Day traditions? Is there a family favorite Irish dish you enjoy on St. Patrick's Day?

No compensation was received for this post. All opinions expressed are mine or those of my family. I am completing this post as a participant in the Hormel Foods Extended Family Blogger program. Hormel Foods provided some product and some of the information for this post.

Monday, March 16, 2015

How to Catch a Prince by Rachel Hauck

A complimentary review copy was provided to me.
The other day, my husband asked "How can you enjoy a book when you only get to read it in 5 minute increments?". The answer is that when I enjoy a book I want to read it whenever I can, even if it is only 5 minutes at a time. This is exactly the way that I felt about How to Catch a Prince by Rachel Hauck.
In this third book in the Royal Wedding Series, we learn the story of Corina Del Ray and Prince Stephen of Brighton. You don't need to have read any of the earlier books to enjoy this story, although one book was about Prince Stephen's brother, King Nathaniel and his wife Susanna and the other story is mentioned a couple of times in the story.

Corina Del Ray lost her twin brother 5 1/2 years ago and has only recently started to really move beyond the grief. Prince Stephen is dealing with his own grief through denial and ignoring it by putting his whole self into rugby. As the story progresses, we get to see the power of faith in helping them each to heal and to move towards realizing their dreams.

I found that the author did a great job of developing the characters, allowing the reader to develop perspective and then reframe that perspective with the additional detail that is revealed over the course of the story. I felt that this helped me feel a connection with the characters and wanting the best for them.

The love story was part fairytale and part modern. I liked the mystery surrounding the Manor and Adelaide and Brill and their role in the story.

I would recommend this book to others and look forward to reading other books by Rachel Hauck in the future.

About the book:

How to Catch a Prince (Zondervan, February 2015)

She caught her prince once. Can she catch him again?

American heiress Corina Del Rey's life was devastated by war. Every thing she loved was lost. But after five years of grief, she's shed her grave clothes and started over in the sunshine along the Florida coast.

But some things are not so easily forgotten. When a secret from her past confronts her face to face, she realizes she must follow her heart. Even if it cost her everything.

Prince Stephen of Brighton Kingdom is a former Royal Air Command lieutenant turned star rugby player, trying to make sense of his life after the devastation of war.
When his brother, King Nathaniel, discovers Stephen's pre war secret, he must deal with an aspect of his life he longed to forget. But how can he do so without exposing the truth and breaching national security?

Yet, true love has a destiny all it's own. As the cathedral bells peal through Cathedral City, Corina and Stephen must chose to answer the call of love on their hearts.
Or let it be lost forever?

Purchase a copy here.

About the author:

Rachel Hauck is an award-winning, best selling author of critically acclaimed novels such as The Wedding Dress, Love Starts with Elle, and Once Upon A Prince. She also penned the Songbird Novels with multi-platinum recording artist, Sara Evans. Booklist named their novel, Softly and Tenderly, one of 2011 Top Ten Inspirationals. She serves on the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers and is a mentor and book therapist at My Book Therapy, and conference speaker. Rachel lives in central Florida with her husband and pets.

Find Rachel online: website, Facebook, Twitter

Find additional information and other reviews on the Blog Tour Landing Page.

No compensation was received for this review. All opinions expressed are my own or that of my family. A complimentary review copy was provided to me.