Wednesday, December 13, 2017

What I'm Reading Wednesday: Christmas at Little Beach Street Bakery

Happy Wednesday, My Lovelies!  Lately I've been reading a few cozy Christmas books, like today's featured book.

Christmas at Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan is a lovely little Christmas novel.  Sadly, Colgan thinks this will be the final installation in the series, so it will end in a trilogy.  Personally I don't think this is a stand alone book.  But if you've read the first two and are totally invested in Polly, her fiancĂ© Huckle, and their pet puffin Neil, then you will love this Christmas story!

According to Goodreads:

Welcome back to Mount Polbearne! The new book from Top Ten bestseller Jenny Colgan is full of festive joy, warmth and the best hot chocolate you can imagine...

It's Christmas in the Cornish coastal village of Mount Polbearne - a time for family, friends and feasting.

Polly Waterford loves running the Little Beach Street Bakery. She's at her happiest when she's creating delicious treats and the festive season always inspires her to bake and knead something extra special for the village residents. In fact, the only thing she loves more than her bakery is curling up with her gorgeous boyfriend, Huckle. She's determined that this Christmas is going to be their best one yet, but life doesn't always work out as planned...

When Polly's best friend Kerensa turns up with a secret that threatens the life Polly and Huckle have built together, the future begins to look uncertain. And then a face from Polly's past reappears and things become even more complicated. Polly can usually find solace in baking but she has a feeling that's not going to be enough this time. Can she get things back on track so that everyone has a merry Christmas?

My Review:

I entertain my family with a happy dance whenever I hear that a Jenny Colgan book is about to be released.  *squee*  I truly love her voice.  I get her humor, and I know that we'd be fast friends should we ever meet. 

This installation of the series takes us back to Mount Polbearne, Cornwall, a tidal island that can be reached at low tide via a road.  Polly and Huckle live in a lighthouse (how romantic is that?), and now that the tourists are gone for the winter, Polly has closed her second summertime sandwich business and is focusing on the bakery.  She and Huckle are settling in for another cold winter in the lighthouse, and both hope for a quiet Christmas.

But there's drama and lots of it:  drama with Polly and Huckle's best friends Rueben and Kerensa, and drama with an unexpected phone call about Polly's estranged father.  Plus, Polly is keeping a secret from Huckle, and it's making her a nervous wreck.  On top of all this drama, the local Puffin Sanctuary wants to use Neil as a sort of mascot to help raise funding to keep it open.  And have I mentioned how Samantha has volunteered Polly to host a booth at the Christmas Fair and donate her proceeds to the Polbearne School Development Fund?

So much for a quiet, peaceful Christmas...

The good news: things are in the works behind the scenes that come together for the most unexpectedly happy ending *ever*.  If you want to start a trilogy for Christmas and the new year, I highly recommend this one.  Read the first two because the relationships and situations change from book to book.

BONUS:  Each book has fun and delicious recipes in the back.  I've tried most of them, and they do not disappoint.  Plus they are funny to read...Jenny Colgan's recipes make me giggle! 

You can read my review of Little Beach Street Bakery HERE and Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery HERE.  

Until next time...

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Christmas Craft: Christmas Tag Journals

Hello, My Lovelies!  Today I want to share with you these pretty Christmas tag journals. 

I first learned how to make these via a workshop taught by Judith Cassel-Mamet.

Tag journals are fun because they are portable and look great hanging on the wall of your studio.  My girls love them!

Let's take a look at the Christmas version:

These are made with chip board luggage tags, card stock luggage tags, and other Christmas tags and ephemera.

Tag #1

The front of the tags are decorative, and the backs are for writing memories or gluing more ephemera, like ticket stubs for your favorite holiday movie.
I love the Christmas ornament tag with the bird's nest.

Tag #2

This is what the backs of the tags look like.  Some of them are blank, and some have little prompts, like the "Our Traditions" prompt, above.

I'd like to make another one for favorite Christmas cozy mysteries, and another one for favorite Hallmark Christmas movies.  

What holiday crafts have you made so far this year?

Until next time...

Ricki Jill