Hallmark has outdone itself yet again in their latest Summer Nights film, All Summer Long. I have to tip my hat specifically to the writers, Judith Berg and Sandra Berg for this incredibly real and heartwarming dialogue.
Add to this amazing script the perfect balance of Autumn Reeser and Brennan Elliot for bringing this magically romantic experience to life. Let’s set the scene… An up and coming corporate lawyer, Tia, (Reeser) takes a mental health break after winning a HUGE case and goes to visit Aunt Julie and Uncle Roland who have just purchased a beautiful new boat and plan to open a Dinner Cruise experience in San Francisco, CA. She decides to extend her vacation and act as Captain of the Pacific Yellowfin! Of course, this idea sounds GREAT! Until Tia finds out her ex-boyfriend Jake, (Elliott) has just been hired as the Chef for the Pacific Yellowfin. Though they try to hide their past from Aunt Julie and Uncle Roland, the obvious tension and familiarity quickly dissolve that plan.
I give major props to Tia and Jake. If that were me, I think I would have pitched my ex overboard. They have far greater patience than I. Although, I suspect Tia kept Jake around for his famous, “Inside Out Grilled Cheese”, a recipe that I readily admit, I want to try!
Will the waters remain rocky between Tia and Jake or will it be smooth sailing? I will leave the rest a mystery for now. Wouldn’t want to spoil the ending!
I will say, I now want to go on a sunset dinner cruise more than ever. Dear Future husband, when you read this… make it a point to plan this date! 💖
This film was by far one of my favorites and rates a solid FIVE on my super scientific Marshmallow Matrix! A perfect movie for a Summer Evening.
~Sips ‘N Cinema~
This nautical-themed romance deserves a crisp and cool cocktail to enhance the overall experience. The Sea Breezeis the perfect answer. A chilly refreshing beverage in a color that mirrors a coastal sunset that will refresh and delight you on those warm summer nights.
Hello, Lovelies! I am so excited to share the latest review of Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: A Very Foul Play! I was delighted to be Live Tweeting during this movie for the fabulous Hallmarkies Podcast! It definitely added to the fun, being a part of a Virtual Murder Mystery Club! I am officially a #Sleuther and I am HOOKED!
Let’s break it down. The Aurora Teagarden Mysteries are a series written by Charlaine Harris, and author I LOVE for her Sookie Stackhouse novels that inspired the True Blood series on HBO! Hallmark picked this up a few years ago and started producing the series in movie form, and they have assembled a cast of characters as cute and quirky as the mysteries themselves. The leading lady, Aurora Teagarden played by Candace Cameron Bure, is a librarian who has a penchant for murder mysteries and starts a book club with murder and mystery at the center of their small group. They constantly find themselves in the middle of real-life mysteries that challenge their skills as amateur sleuths.
Aurora Teagarden Mysteries was the Cozy Mystery series I didn’t know I needed in my life! This particular movie in the series, takes Aurora Teagarden, her family, and friends out of the comfort of their hometown, Lawrencton, Georgia as they head off to a Murder Mystery Convention at a GORGEOUS ski lodge. Accompanied by her gorgeous, and perfectly sweet and chivalrous boyfriend Nick, played by the handsome and charming Niall Matter, members of their Murder Mystery book club, which includes her nephew, and her unsuspecting mother who was not given ALL the details about the weekend they find themselves literally center stage when a vicious murder occurs. Aurora’s nephew Phillip is left holding the murder weapon and multiple suspects crowd the stage as this exciting and very well executed murder unravels! It was a thrilling adventure from start to finish and I am proud to say, I did figure out who the murderer was, but…I was wrong about one other person. The exciting plot twists and nail-biting moments kept me on the edge of my seat, blanket firmly gripped as I watched the final scenes unfold!
Aside from the mystery part of the story, which was exciting and definitely worked my sleuthing skills, I was enamored with the love story of Aurora and Nick. I just love the way he looks at her, and hope that someday someone will look at me that way. ❤
Sips n’ Cinema
While you are busy solving this case, I recommend sipping on an Earl Grey Martini. This sophisticated and posh drink is practically perfect for the Librarian Detective and her team of amateur sleuths. I can picture it now. The Mystery book club sitting in a grand old library. Leather chairs and a roaring fireplace as they sip and discuss the latest read.
**Picture and Recipe found at Olivia’s Cuisine a fabulous blog that adds some insight into exactly how to make this fabulous Martini!
Now Sleuthers, I am officially putting you on the case! Will Phillip be exonerated? Or will it be curtains for one member of the Murder Mystery book club? Grab your Earl Grey Martini’s, set your deerstalkers, and work the case!
Drop a comment with your guesses for who you thought the villain was and be sure to follow me on Twitter and Instagram! I regularly Live Tweet!for the Hallmarkies PodCast and let me tell you I LOVE IT! I was also a guest host and that too was such a FUN experience! Give it a listen! We discuss all things Rom-Com!
Until next time…
Cheers! From ~The Single Girl~ at a Table for One, hoping that YOU are at a Table for Two!
Wow! The last few months have been a bit of a whirlwind and to be honest, not all of it was a positive experience. However, I have found my sparkle once again and am eager to dive into all the delicious and decadent Summer Films that are on the Hallmark Channel.
A lot has happened in the last few months, and we need to discuss. Hallmark has definitely been busy and I am LIVING for it!
A record number Christmas movies are coming out this holiday season
Christmas EVERY Friday?! What?!
Spring has Sprung and the films are sparking Joy!
Summer is shaping up to be an EPIC event and I am ready to dive in!
I may be fashionably late, but better late than never! Stay tuned for more delicious cocktails, Hallmark Movie and Book reviews coming soon!
~Cheers from the Single Girl at a Table for One, hoping that YOU are at a table for two.~
It is February 14th and as a Fierce and Fabulous Single person, I am still going to celebrate, but I will do things a bit differently. Today I will celebrate Galentine’s Day. They save if you can count your close friends, on one hand, you are a very rich person. I am beyond grateful to have two handfuls of AMAZING, BRILLIANT, LOVING, SUPPORTIVE, STRONG women in my life. Some work down the hall, live just a few minutes away or are across the pond in beautiful and exciting countries, but no matter the distance my Gals are always there for me, and I hope they know how much I value and appreciate them. I am truly blessed.
Even when in a relationship, Valentine’s day has never been a super special MUST DO holiday. However, I do have one magical memory on an extra special Valentine’s Day. My high school sweetheart made all my dreams come true that day when he had a rose for me in each of my classes (an impressive feat since he was not a student at my school), and then was waiting with the other six roses at the end of the day. I have had the fairytale and I have to be honest. I felt like a princess that day. Since then, there has been one other Valentine’s Day, when an ex bought 11 dozen and 11 red roses, and one white rose and left them on my front porch. We rekindled our romance that day.🌹🌹🌹
Needless to say, roses are absolutely the way to my heart and I will gift myself roses. I’ll post a pic on Instagram later. 🌹
However, as a Single Girl this year, I thought it would be fun to highlight a new tradition that has evolved and puts a positive spin on this beautiful day that celebrates love. Galentine’s Day! This tradition has many forms, but at the heart of it is a celebration of the strong empowering women in your life.
Galentine’s Day Activities
I have created a Pinterest Board (I am OBSESSED with Pinterest) that has a ton of Galentines Day activities! Some of my favorites include…
Cocktails with your ladies- ALL of these are look glam and sound delicious!
Planning a special breakfast- I noticed that this can even become a yearly tradition the day before. Make your Gals a priority every year, not just when you are Single.
Spa Slumber Parties- I love a good face mask! Why not pair this with some of the FAB cocktails from above and some Rom Com’s.
Cute small gifts to show you love them
Give those Gals a call or text. Even the simple act of communicating is more than enough to make someone feel special.
As for me and my plans this wet and rainy Galentine’s. I will be hanging at home. I will treat myself to a lovely dinner, a glass of wine and some Grey’s Anatomy with one of my favorite Gal’s. To all of you that read this, Thank you for sharing your holiday with me.
~Happy Galentine’s Day from the Single Girl at a Table for One, hoping YOU are at a Table for Two~💖
Greetings and Salutations! I am feeling very formal and energized today. As the Hallmark seasonal themes continue we have a Countdown to Valentine’s Day!This line up looks amazing and I am so excited to dive into all the feels!
Schedule and Synopsis:
Valentine in the Vineyard:The third in the Vineyard series, takes us back to Sorrento Farm where Frankie (Rachael Leigh Cook) and Nate (Brendan Penny) met and fell in love. Now, after a successful first year, they are excited to take their relationship to the next level. However, there is never a dull moment at Sorrento. With the weather, last minute wedding, and relationship quizzes disrupting their everyday lives, Frankie and Nate will have quite a lot to celebrate if they can make it to Valentine’s Day. This much anticipated third installment of the Vineyard series is scheduled to air on Saturday, February 2, 2019.
**I missed the original air date but was able to catch it as a re-run**
The Story of Us:Jamie (Maggie Lawson) and Sawyer (Sam Page) reconnect over a new building development that threatens Jamie’s bookshop. Wow! You do NOT mess with a lady’s bookshop! Sawyer is the architect responsible for this project. Will his affection for Jamie re-ignite? Will it be enough to save Jamie’s bookshop? Will letters from long ago help to bring these two together for their own fairytale ending? We will have to wait and see. The Story of Us is scheduled to air on Saturday, February 9th, 2019. Set your DVR’s today!
Love, Romance, and Chocolate: Emma Colvin (Lacey Chabert) takes a solo trip to Belgium after the devastating and unexpected departure of her boyfriend. While there she is introduced to Luc Simon (Will Kemp) a world famous Chocolatier, and soon she finds herself immersed in an intense competition for a prestigious opportunity with a royal wedding. A fun fact to share…This was filmed entirely on location in Belgium! #jealous This film looks visually stunning and you can never go wrong with chocolate! If you are looking to indulge your sweet tooth, tune in on Saturday, February 16th, 2019 on the Hallmark Channel.
Overall…We have books, chocolate, and wine. I don’t know about you but, that is LITERALLY my perfect Valentine’s Day scenario. As a bonus, every day until Valentine’s Day the Hallmark Channel will be playing all of their previous Valentine movies. I have already caught up on several of my favorites including Cooking with Love, Anything for Love, Perfect on Paper and Love and First Glance.
I hope you enjoy the Countdown to Valentine’s Day!
~Cheers, from the Single Girl at a Table for One, hoping you are spending Valentine’s Day cozied up at a table for two.~
I was overly ambitious in January…I blame the energy of a new year and the excitement that comes with setting goals! Though I did well, I did not reach the 9 books in a month that I had hoped. I was able to read three, plus an unpublished manuscript that I must say is AMAZING! More on that later! I was semi-successful, I thoroughly enjoyed Plaid and Plagiarism and am eager to begin the sequel Scones and Scoundrels which is set to be released in paperback on April 9, 2019, currently in my Amazon Cart awaiting checkout! I also enjoyed Whiskey in a Tea Cup, Girl Wash Your Face, and Move Your Stuff Change Your Life! All reviews will be up later this week! I am managing my expectations more this month and will start with this three and see where the wind takes me!
You are a Badass by Jen Sincero- A self-empowerment book that teaches us to embrace our inner badass and “Start living an awesome life!” Now, truth be told, I already have an awesome life, but I believe there is always room for growth! (A carryover from January, but still at the top of my list!)
Pride and Prejudiceby Jane Austen is one of my favorites. As an unusual cold front sets in, I am longing for a cozy spot by the fireplace to relax and lose myself in the Regency era.
The 5 Love Languages Singles Editionby Gary Chapman. I know what my love language is, but I am not good at identifying others. I am also very interested in how this connects to Singles! Should be an exciting read! (Also a carryover, but perfect for the month of love!)
I hope you have a fabulous February! If you have any suggestions please drop a note into the comments section!
Hey, Lovelies! I know it has been awhile. I apologize, the month of January was…as one of my close friends says…”BANANAS!” However, I have had a chance to catch up on the Winterfestmovies, and I have to say, I am IN LOVE with Winter Love Story starring Jen Lilley and Kevin McGarry. This one was by far my favorite, and so of COURSE, I had to start here!
Winter Love Story,a tale of two authors, takes us on the road as we sit in the backseat with Bungee, and watch a love story unfold. Here we have a fresh new author, Cassie Winslett (played by the lovely Jen Lilley) and suave and successful author Elliot Somersby (played by Kevin McGarry) writer of “nerd novels” (for the record I am a HUGE fan of “nerd novels”) are paired up to help boost Cassie’s exposure. Her book, My Heartbreak Year, is a look back at all the things Cassie did to get over her ex. (It sounds exactly like something I would do.) While on tour, as he promotes his second book and dodges questions about a third, and she gets past her fear of public speaking. Both come out of the tour stronger together than they were apart and creative and romantic sparks fly! It is adorable and brings all the feels! I highly recommend this movie!
Her book, which is wildly popular with the publishers, is lacking in initial momentum, so they pair her with a very successful best selling novelist and their chemistry is immediately palpable. That leads their publicists, who recognize the engaging dynamic that is already present, to suggest they tour together. A reluctant Cassie agrees and on the road, they go. It’s no surprise that they fall in love and live happily ever after.
Rating This movie gets FIVE marshmallows in the cocoa! These actors are perfectly matched in energy, creativity, and chemistry. They just fit. The story is relatable, the kiss is steamy, and I believed everything that was happening! They get a bonus dollop of whip cream because Bungee, the dog, was ADORBS! 💖💖💖
On a personal note, the idea of a book titled My Break Up Year, that focuses on how one woman takes back control of her life after a devastating break-up and truly learns how to LIVE her life and love herself. I want to read this book. I recently experienced a similar break-up and as a result have been on a similar journey. The idea is universal and empowering and I would like to read this book. There were a few ideas thrown in there, like a taking a chocolate or cheese making class, joining a flash mob, and sky diving. What else did she do? What helped her get to that point where when she woke up he wasn’t the first thing on her mind? I hope that this is in progress as a book that Hallmark Publishing will be releasing. Yep, already tweeted Hallmark Publishing! If they have no plans currently I would love to volunteer to write it for them! Also, Bungee is ADORABLE!
Sips N Cinema: The Oxford Comma Cocktail! This is a tale of two authors and what better way to highlight their creativity than with an Oxford Comma cocktail. For those who do not know, the Oxford comma is a comma used after the penultimate item in a list of three or more items before ‘and’ or ‘or’. The Oxford comma is the topic of lengthy debates among grammarians. As for me, I have no opinion either way at the moment other than to say… this cocktail looks delicious! The recipe is below. If you give it a try leave a comment with your review!
It is the start of a New Year (for me it is a new year until the end of January) and with that comes new goals, aspirations, and a sense of opportunity! This also means that it is time to make my Vision Board for the start of the year. In previous years this was my New Years Eve tradition. I would have a small gathering, we would bring magazines, scissors, glue sticks, and posterboards and relive those glorious moments from school when projects were due. The difference is that we really LOVE making vision boards! I changed things up this year though and on January 1, 2019, two girlfriends and I took over a table at Starbucks, unloaded the magazines, poster boards, scissors, markers, and glue and co-created some AMAZING and powerfully energetic vision boards. We made a deal to re-convene in six months to celebrate what had already manifested and update our boards with new goals, wishes, and dreams.
This was a magical day, and I don’t say that often. I loved every minute and after 8 hours of crafting (we shut the Starbucks down!) my vision board was ALMOST complete. When I left there was a gaping hole in the middle, but I had a magazine at home that had exactly what I wanted.
No More New Years Resolutions!
I am among the minority, though I think the winds are shifting on this trend, and I do NOT make New Years Resolutions. Instead, I set goals. Traditionally, those goals have included things like travel, education, and being a better person. This year’s theme is a bit different. It is more focused and to be honest probably the most selfish I have ever been. My goals are also much bigger than they have ever been. The biggest (and most intimidating) goals that I have set for myself include:
Buy my first house
Write the first two books in a cozy mystery series
Read 100 books this year (already finished two which have been reviewed on the Book Club page)
Travel to a new state or country
Fall in Love
I am sure more will be added to the list, but for now, this is a solid start.
Vision Boards 101
Motivation is definitely the key to success. I have used Vision Boards/Dream Boards in the past and have found them to be extremely helpful. Vision Boards: a collage of images and words representing a person’s wishes or goals, intended to serve as inspiration or motivation.
Visualization is a powerful tool. The well-known book “The Secret” explains, “The law of attraction is forming your entire life experience, and it is doing that through your thoughts. When you are visualizing, you are emitting a powerful frequency out into the Universe.” Visualization is often used to train Olympic athletes, chess champions, students, and now you. Vision boards are fun, easy to make, and are meant to be a reflection of who you are and how you want to feel. They can be easily integrated into your personal design aesthetic, and the best part is that they can be as functional or interactive as you’d like. Personally, I like to layer and do a true collage when I create my vision boards. My best friend is a little more simplistic with her designs, more focused on her thoughts and desires. Another friend liked to use a bulletin board divided in half and move images from one side to the other as they began to show up in her life. My favorite, though, as I mentioned before, was the one who made a Quaker Oatmeal container vision board. Everything was covered including the lid. When we made our vision boards, there was laughter, merriment, and a house full of positive energy. The results that came from that event, for both of us, were incredible.
One thing that I have come to realize when creating a vision board is that the right mindset is key. I have had some low points in my life, and in those moments, when doubt and fear or loneliness crept in, I would rip my current vision board off the wall and try to start over. Creating a vision board when I was “in the depths of despair”, never resulted in a positive outcome. Energy follows thought, and in those moments, I had very negative, bitter and angry thoughts. So, when you are ready to create your vision board, make sure that you are surrounded by good people, vibrant energy, and you are in a good place emotionally.
Getting Started: To create a vision board, you need a few essential items and a big imagination. This is the place to put everything your heart desires. How you want to look, what you would like to have, accomplish, and most importantly how you want to feel. Let’s get started!
Magazines/Newspaper/catalogues/scrapbook materials/a small envelope
Poster board/bulletin board/or box.
The rest is up to you. Below are a few more examples of exceptionally creative, unique and inspirational vision boards that friends have given me permission to share. Mine is featured above, and I can already confidently say that this has been a great start to what I know will be an AMAZING year!
Links to Manifestation Coaches:
Elyse Santilli: One of my absolute favorite people and manifestation coaches has a workshop for Vision Boards and Manifesting that levels up the intensity and focus of really achieving your goals. She also has a fab podcast, Wake Up and Manifest, which I adore, and an incredible and inspiring Instagram account! I have had the pleasure of taking a couple of courses with her and I can say with complete confidence that she has changed my life.
Sara Prout: Is also a manifesting coach, she has a fantastic presence on Facebook, a podcast, and a blog that is regularly updated with tips and other fun tidbits.
I encourage you to get creative, dream big, and get excited! There is magic in the air this year! I can just feel it!
It is the start of a fabulous new year, and one of the goals I always set is a Reading Goal! I am a true bibliophile, a lover of all things literary, and reading a good book is one of my preferred pastimes.
As I challenge myself to enjoy a good book, I also want to extend that challenge to you!
This year my reading goal is really crazy, I mean I don’t know if I will have the time, but I will sure try! I have challenged myself to read at least 100 books this year! So I thought I would kick off the new year and this EPIC reading challenge, #100booksbydecember31st by sharing my January book list with you!
Currently, I have nine books on my list for January. The genres vary as do my taste in literature. Let’s dive in, shall we?
Plaid and Plagiarism by Molly MacRae- This cozy mystery is set in Scotland and follows four women on their adventures of relocating to a new country, starting a new business, and solving a murder!
You are a Badass by Jen Sincero- A self-empowerment book that teaches us to embrace our inner badass and “Start living an awesome life!” Now, truth be told, I already have an awesome life, but I believe there is always room for growth!
The Magicby Rhonda Byrne- The Magic is a companion book to The Secret A 28-day practice in Gratitude. I had started this before the holidays and felt AMAZING! I am currently on day 2 and so glad to be on this journey of self-discovery, gratitude, and growth!
The 5 Love Languages Singles Editionby Gary Chapman. I know what my love language is, but I am not good at identifying others. I am also very interested in how this connects to Singles! Should be an exciting read!
Move Your Stuff, Change Your Life by Karen Rauch Carter. This is a FABULOUS and fun Feng Shui! I have read it many times over the years, and every time I get something new out of it. Something that I need at that moment presents itself. If you’ve never tried Feng Shui, this is an EXCELLENT book to start with.
Make a Shift, Change Your Life by Karen Rauch Carter. This is the sequel to Move Your Stuff, Change Your life, however, I will be reading them concurrently as there are some activities that I wish to do to feng shui myself as well as my space.
Girl Wash Your Faceby Rachel Hollis. A book that has been recommended to me several times. I am excited to learn about “living a life with passion and hustle“!
The Tao of Dating by Ali Binazir. This book was recommended by the fabulous and beautiful life coach Elyse Santilli. I plan to go on dates this year. Hopefully LOTS of dates, and this book will absolutely come in handy!
Whiskey in a Teacup by Reese Witherspoon. What can I say? She is one of my FAVORITE celebrities. She is beautiful, graceful, elegant, and classy. I look forward to learning about life in the south.
I have already read, reviewed, and logged one book for the 2019 year. You can check out the reviews on the Single Girl Book Club page. I hope you will leave your recommendations for what to read next! For now, I am off to lose myself in a book. I hope you are reading something that takes you on an adventure. What are your goals? What will you read this year? How will it change you? So many beautiful possibilities abound as we dive into a sea of prose and swim in the depths of other peoples imaginations.
💖 ~the Single Girl at a table for one, hoping that YOU are reading at a table for two~
*As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
The holidays are over and WINTERFESTis on its way! Starting this weekend there will be five new movies in January. I have watched the Winterfest preview special and I can honestly say, I am excited for three, intrigued with one, and I am sorry to say not looking forward to the fifth. However, I believe in the old adage, “Never judge a book by its cover,” or in this case, never judge a movie by its preview.
Let’s dive right in shall we?
January 5th–Winter CastleThis one looks AMAZING purely because of the setting. An ICE HOTEL! I have heard of Ice Hotels before, and will, of course, be spending the rest of the weekend researching where these beautiful hotels are and booking my next vacation.
This story takes us to this magical ice hotel so that Jenny can be Maid of Honor at her sister’s wedding. She meets a dashing man that also happens to be the Best Man. How can you NOTfall in love in this magical winter wonderland? Not to mention the leading man, Kevin McGarry is…
H-O-T-T HOT! I guess we will have to wait and see! Luckily, the wait for this one is short as it premieres this Saturday! 🤗
January 12- One Winter Proposala sequel to One Winter Weekend.It is one year after Cara and Ben met. Another New Year is upon them and they once again take a winter retreat to the place that started it all. There will be snowboarding, cabins in the romantic woods, and long conversations on the ski lifts.
I love that they are doing sequels now! Do yourself a favor and watch the Hot Cocoa Challenge. It is totally worth it to hear Jack Turner’s sexy accent. I am all about accents! Too bad he doesn’t use it in this movie. Fingers crossed that he will be cast as a royal from a tiny, but beautiful country soon! ❤
January 18- A Winter PrincessThis one looks interesting! I like the premise. Princess Carly decides to go work at a Ski Resort, and teams up with the owners super cute brother to plan the 50th Anniversary! I don’t have a whole lot more to say about this one, but the preview is cute, the story looks interesting and the actors seem like genuinely nice people who have fantastic chemistry.
I am looking forward to this feel-good film. I am a sucker for the movies with royal happily ever after’s! 👸
January 19-Winter Love StoryThis is one that I am particularly excited about. It stars one of my FAVORITE actresses, Jen Lilley, Kevin McGarry in his SECOND movie of the Winter season, and an ADORABLE dog!
The premise is fabulous! Two authors, Cassie and Elliot accidentally get paired up on a tour and then snowed in. I believe I even heard the words “Hot Cocoa cook-off” in the preview special. Needless to say, this looks AMAZING and I am really excited!
And finally… We have Snow Coming.
January 26- Snow Coming the one that I seriously question. The premise and preview look ridiculous. This somehow involves football, right around the time of the Superbowl which I get, however… If they REALLY wanted to do a Football movie, they should have done a sequel to Love on the Sidelines. The only good thing I can say right now is that Trevor Donovan is in this movie, and not only is he INCREDIBLY HOT, but he also has an amazingly entertaining Twitter that I encourage you all to follow!
Overall, this looks like a delightfully fun lineup. It is going to be a fun-filled January full of ski lodges, ice castles, meet-cutes, and snow!
~Cheers from the Single Girl at a Table for One, hoping that YOU are at a Table for Two.~