Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Adagio Tea's 24 Days of Tea Advent Calendar

A complimentary Tea Advent Calendar was provided to enable this review. All opinions expressed are my own or that of my family. 

Winter is my favorite hot tea season and it is my go to beverage when I am looking for something warm in the afternoon or evening. I used to reserve tea for the evening but now that I work from home, I find that I have been preparing myself a mug of tea as a late afternoon treat. Being at home, I have found that putting up my feet and sipping on tea is such a great way to relax and unwind and reenergize myself for the rest of the day. Of course, I also like a cup of tea as a soothing pre-bed time relaxation too. I think that with all that is going on, the ability to take a few minutes of down time and relax is an important thing for my mental health.

Looking for a unique Advent calendar? This Tea Advent Calendar from Adagio makes an 8 oz serving of tea each day, as you count down to the holidays. They offer three versions of their advent calendar and also have a variety of other gifting options.

Once you remove the decorative sleeve (perfect for gift giving with the printed bow), inside you find the calendar.
The numbers are not sequential, requiring a little search to find the right door each day.
I was thinking that buying one for your friends and family, could be a fun way for everyone to connect through a common experience. Enjoying a cup of the same tea while video chatting with your friends or family could help bring your together in a year where there is real potential that more families are apart during this time of year than normal. With 24 unique teas, you will have the chance to try many flavors. If you are enjoying it as a group, perhaps you could make a chart and rate the groups' favorites. The added bonus is that you would then have insite and could order more of their favorite tea as a gift in the future.

Do you have a favorite variety or flavor of tea? Who in your family would enjoy these gifts?

A complimentary Tea Advent Calendar and 12 Days of Tea Gift Set was provided to enable this review. All opinions expressed are my own or that of my family.

Monday, November 13, 2023

Friendsgiving Game Night #friendsgiving #gamenight #telestrations #theopgames #tryazon

A complimentary copy of What the Cup!? and Telestrations were provided to me through Tryazon so that I could share them with friends and through my blog. All opinions expressed are my own

Over the years, we started hosting a Thanksgiving dinner ahead of Thanksgiving weekend. It has become a favorite activity and friends and family alike enjoy joining us for this 'rehearsal' dinner complete with a turkey and all of the fixings (although we do cake instead of pie). This year, we were able to include as part of it a Friendsgiving Game Night celebration through a Tryazon party. The Friendsgiving Game Night with the Op included a copy of two games that could be enjoyed by our friends and family, a new game and a familiar favorite.

The first game we checked out was What the Cup!?, a new game from the Op.
Description: What The Cup!? is a game of luck and lies where you must do whatever it takes to end up with highest or lowest valued die. Sabotage your opponents by changing the winning target, or follow card directives to spy, swap, re-roll, or reveal dice. Bet your chips to raise the stakes and bluff your way to victory. Does your cup hold the winner? The die don’t lie... but YOU can try!

The game was relatively easy to learn but took a few rounds before people started to catch on to the strategy and how they wanted to handle the action proposed on each card. The game was enjoyable and the group was laughing often during the game. Overall the group liked how easy it was to play, the fun of shaking the miniature red cup (it was a little noisy when all were shaking them), and hearing the one player declare each time he was asked that the value on his die was mid (fully supporting that 'the die don't lie but YOU can try!' on the box). The group did not opt to play a second round right away, instead moving on the other game, a familiar favorite.

The second game was the classic Telestrations game. If you aren't familiar, it is a cross between a drawing game and a telephone game.

Description: The award-winning game Telestrations will keep your family and friends entertained and laughing! Draw what you see then guess what you saw for hilarious and unpredictable outcomes
We first discovered Telestrations several years ago when a friend shared at a game night. Each player starts with a booklet and a clue card, the die is thrown and everyone writes their clue down on the inside cover. Then, they draw it, pass it to the next person who guesses it, they pass it to the next person, who draws that clue, then pass it to the next person who guesses based on tne new drawing, and so on. The book continues its journey until it reaches the original player. Then the fun and laughing begins, as each player shares the progression of their clue through the series of drawings and guesses. Of course, everyone is happy when their clue makes it all the way through but there is a lot of laughing when you see how the clue morphed to the final guess at the end. It is always funny when you realize what you saw vs where the clue started. And some of the guesses, you ask - do you really think that would have been on the card? When the round is done, you clean your booklet and start again.

Game night is always a fun evening spent with family and friends. Finding new games and getting to play classic favorites, makes each game night a unique and fun experience. If you are looking for some games to enjoy on your next game night, be sure to check out What the Cup!? and Telestrations.

No compensation was received for this review. All opinions expressed are my own or that of my family and friends. A complimentary copy of What the Cup!? and Telestrations were provided to me through Tryazon so that I could play the games and inivte my friends to check it out too.

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

An Amish Cinderella by Shelley Shepard Gray

A complimentary review copy was provided to me.

I recently finished reading An Amish Cinderella by Shelley Shepard Gray. It was a very good story, with relatable characters that you couldn't help but root for things to turn out good for them.

About the Book:
Now that her friends are all marrying or moving away, Heart Beachy has started feeling lonely. Worse, everyone keeps asking when she’s going to find a man of her own. Don’t they realize Heart has her hands full at home with her widowed dad, too many chores, and a menagerie of needy, small animals? Besides, she doesn’t understand the fuss about marriage. It’s enough to make her consider finally becoming a pet-sitter, or moving to an English community, where she won’t be an oddity . . .

Newcomer Clayton Glick is utterly charmed by Heart—and completely confounded. He can’t figure out why this beautiful woman is as awkward as a teenager whenever he’s around, which is often now that he’s an apprentice to her blacksmith father. So Clayton starts assisting with Heart’s never-ending tasks, even helping her corral her unruly pets. How else can he court an adorably flustered woman who doesn’t know the first thing about courtship? Because courting is exactly what he intends . . .

Heart doesn’t know why her pulse hammers every time she sees Clayton. She only knows yielding to such emotions will mean trouble. . . But maybe with a little faith—and the loss of a shoe—Clayton can convince her to join him on the road to happily ever after.

I have always enjoyed the books written by Shelley Shepard Gray. She has a knack for weaving a nice story and does a great job developing her characters. This one, portrays an Amish girl named Heart Beachy that fills her day running the house and caring for her father after her mother dies. Her father, Levi is a gruff man but a very talented blacksmith whose work extends from the traditional shoeing of horses to commissioned pieces of art. It is clear that he loves his daughter and is thankful for her but does poorly at recognizing and acknowledging all that she does for him. As the story unfolds, the reader is introduced to the Beachy's neighbor Mary, who is a help to many in their community. and to Clayton, Levi's new apprentice who grew up in a children's home and never had a family to call his own.

Together this trio, plus Mary, navigate through some twists and turns and both sad and heartwarming moments. One of the quirks is that Heart decides in the moment to 'adopt' a fancy white rat from Mary when she needs someone to care for the rat. First, let me say that each time the rat was referred to as a fancy rat it made me smile. I've never been one to want to have a rat and the idea that they are fancy was amusing to me. Even as she offers to take care of the fancy white rat, she is not sure her father will like it but does so anyway. Fortunately for her, he is with his new apprentice when she brings it home and is distracted. In time, he definitey warms to the rat and even offers to help take in a dog and a litter of puppies to help Mary out later.

I thoroughly enjoyed this Amish romance. it was an easy and enjoyable story, with some quirks, that drew me in and kept me reading until the very end. After reading the book, I learned that it is the third in The Amish of Apple Creek series. It reads well as an independant story but is good news because now I have two other books that I will want to pick up and learn more about the others in the series.

This was an enjoyable, sweet love story that loosely aligns with Cinderella and I would recommend it for anyone that is looking for a light, quick read.
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. The giveaway is not specific to this blog and is not sponsored by this blog