Thursday, October 18, 2018

The Long Lost Kitchen Witch...

Years ago, in the house on Fernwood that no longer stands, my mother had a Kitchen Witch hanging in our kitchen. When I was 8,  I was obsessed with it. When I was 11,  we moved and she got lost in that move, even though we only moved with in the neighborhood. I have missed her for many years. I looked for her in every thrift store and yard sale since and yet never finding her. I looked on Ebay and never could afford the $80+ to bring her home.   Eight years ago when my mom passed away, I renewed my hands on search to replace her.
In September I found her! At the bottom of a bin of Halloween items at a thrift store I found my kitchen witch. She was perfect in every way, only missing her head scarf. I quickly paid the $2.99 for her and carried her triumphantly home.
My search began for the perfect fabric to make a head scarf from and though I have many scraps in my possession none felt quite right.
 On October 12th, my friend Anna and I went out to the fabric store which is about 40 minutes from where I live. On a table in a basket of "candies" for $1.25 I found what I thought would be the perfect head scarf. I was thrilled when I got home and saw that I was right.
Saturday night I plugged in the hot glue gun, and I got the scissors out cutting the fabric I felt a renewed sense of joy. A tiny dab of glue on her head near here hair and I tucked the head scarf into place. A dab more under her chin on the fabric and she was whole again, and for a moment, so was I.

 I only need a bit of clear fishing line to finish her off and hang her in my kitchen with pride.  I do think I shall name her Nora...
Thank you for joining me today for a cup of tea and a visit with my kitchen witch. I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Update...


As you may have noticed I have been absent from my daily blogs now for quite some time. I have missed writing and reading as often as I have in the past few years but so much has been changing over the last few months and I wanted to share a bit of that with you.

In September I started working for Murchie's a tea company that has been in Canada since 1894. I love it. I am thrilled to announce that as of November 1st I will be working full time. It has been more than 12 years since I have been employed full time and I am both nervous and excited. I do love my new job so much and it is a joy to go to work each day.


I have gone from reading one book a day to maybe one a week. This has been really hard for me as there are so many wonderful books on my to be read pile. I worry that I wont get through it all but I know that I will and that these amazing books are waiting for me. I do feel bad that I won't be achieving my goal of reading 150 books before the end of the year, I am however at 90 and that is something I am proud of. 


I have been working on a few projects and doing some things that I have not done in a long time. From baking my grandmothers special cookie recipe, to crafting, painting, writing and now painting furniture. I have let myself give up things I loved and enjoyed over the last few years but I am slowly getting back to the the things that bring me joy as much as reading has over the last few years. As I write this I am sitting on the very chair my son helped me re-paint. It is very comfortable.
I want to thank each and everyone of you who stops by and who have emailed to ask how things are going. I will writing from time to time and I hope more often than not.
Thank you for joining me today for a cup of tea and a quick update. I will be back with more again soon.
I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Six Cats A Slayin' by Miranda James

Six Cats A Slaying by Miranda James is one of the most thoughtful cozy mystery books I have ever read. The main character Charlie Harris is one of my most favorites and it is because of the care and attention that Miranda James has put into developing the most kind and decent man who is often missing from cozy mysteries. Diesel the cat, made me from book one want to bring a rescue cat into my own family. I have read every book in the Cat in the Stacks Mystery series and have come to love and adore the characters as if they were family of my own. Filled with southern charm and respect these cozy mystery stories are also fun to read and discover. In six cats a slaying, Miranda James tackles some truly great themes. Set around the holidays,  with all the struggles that brings anxiety  for most people, Charlie finds he is not exactly in the holiday spirit, yet his perseverance and calm serve him well. Uninvited holiday guests, ( 5 furry kittens), a family crisis, a pushy neighbor, a friend in a tough spot and the holidays fast approaching are just some of the things Charlie is juggling this year.  Miranda James touches on a family subject that is very close to my heart and I encourage you to pick up this book and series, to get to know Charlie and the wonderful people in Athena.  This one is out October 23 from Berkley Prime and a most excellent read.

My own rescue cat Squirrel...

Thank you for joining me here for a cup of tea and a cozy mystery I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com 

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Sofie Kelly's The Cats Came Back

I found and fell in love with this series years ago, another book I found when spining the rack at my local library, when one of Sofie Kelly's Magical Cat Mysteries fell from the rack, I snatched it up and checked it out. I fell in love with the series from book one and have read them all. In the most recent book The Cats Came Back, I was again enchanted with the same feelings I had when I read the first book. This book made me think, it made me cry and it made me remember. It made me love my own cats just that much more. Great characters, great friends, so much to love and a truly great read.
Small-town librarian Kathleen Paulson often seems to gets mixed up in murder, but luckily, her very special cats always find a way to help her close a case . . .The charming Minnesota town of Mayville Heights is hosting a music festival, and the whole place is bustling with musicians and tourists. Kathleen is looking forward to taking in some fabulous performances--and her two cats, Owen and Hercules, are looking forward to taking in some fabulous sardine crackers. But then the trio stumbles across a dead body by the river. The victim is a close friend--who also happens to be a look-alike of a popular cabaret singer set to perform at the festival. Who could have wanted to harm this innocent girl? Was it a case of mistaken identity? As accusations abound and suspicions swirl, Kathleen, Hercules and Owen will put their abilities--both mundane and magical--to the test, and lay down the paw.

You can find Sofie Kelly's book on Amazon by clicking here ( I am not an amazon affiliate) 
Thank you for joining me for a cup of tea and a cozy mystery review I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Marigolds For Malice by Bailey Catrell

I finished Marigolds For Malice, by Bailey Cattrell on Sunday. I loved this book. I actually really love the idea for and the way Bailey writes this series. Slightly paranormal, but very light, main character Ellie is blessed with a green thumb and knowledge of plants and essential oils that is clearly her passion and part of her bloodline. With help from her Grandmother's botanical journal, she is able to sense danger, find a cure to what ails you and has the super power of scent. She has a shop cat and a great corgi named Dash and the type of home/work/garden that we all wish we had. This was an interesting story that involved the gold rush, historical finds and treasures along with a bit of heartache and of course a murder mystery. This is Book THree in the Enchanted Garden Mystery series and a delightful read.


In the third captivating Enchanted Garden Mystery from Bailey Cattrell, Elliana Allbright will need to dig up clues from the past to weed out a killer...Elliana Allbright is happy running her perfume shop, Scents & Nonsense, in the charming town of Poppyville, California. And she's even happier when she can use her inherited abilities to infuse her perfumes with an extra special something that eases woes or solves problems for her customers. But she'll need those abilities and more when murder comes to town.Ellie and her women's business group, the Greenstockings, are helping to open a new museum about local history, and while sorting through the collection of artifacts they discover a time capsule from the days of the Gold Rush. Among the contents is a strange botanical manuscript, recognized by local history professor Eureka Sanford as extremely rare and valuable. When the professor is found dead in the museum, Ellie has no choice but to sniff out the murderer... but this one may have roots that are as old as Poppyville.
Marigolds for Malice is out now and you can find it on Amazon by clicking here.

Thank you for joining me for a cup of tea and a cozy mystery review. I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Monday, September 10, 2018

Projects I have been working on...

Thank you for joining me today. I wanted to update you on how things are going in my life. What has been on my mind, my table and in my hands to read. This summer has gone by so quickly and I have done some major changing over that past few months. I have been taking charge of my own mental health in very positive ways. I started seeing a therapist and that has really begun to help me feel and become a much happier and healthier person.  I have learned so much about myself so far and I am looking forward to continuing on this path. One of the things that has been missing from my life for a while now is creativity. Something I thrive on, something I need and something my ADHD mind craves. I had been denying it, and stifflening it. With the help of my therapist and some amazing friends, I have some truly great projects to report on that I have started, continue to do and am really proud of.

The biggest project I have taken on in years is my bench project. I had a friend move away this summer and she left me her Victorian Bench ends she purchased in England and did not have time to make nor space to take with her. So for several weeks I worked with friends on this bench, sanding the cast iron ends, priming and repainting them, selecting wood, staining and with the help of some very good friends, cutting and putting the bench together. I am almost done with this project too. We have two more boards to stain, cut and drill, then I will be bringing my bench home. My dear friends Jen and Mike have allowed me the space to explore, build and work on my project and with their guiding hands and the help of friends I have seen this project come to life.
I am also into painting and creating new pieces from old, such as painting  this chair, covering it with fabric I have had for years, waiting to have the right moment to use it. This project is slightly on going as well as I need to finish painting and sewing a throw pillow as well. My dear BFF Angela and I recovered the seat last week. 

Painting projects are piling up here, with the side of the road find of the perfect dresser for my room. I will be painting this one in the coming weeks and I am thrilled with this find, I have washed and sanded it and await the right moment to paint it with some lovely grey and blue paint colors I found.
Sunday's Craigslist free find!



Completed project, I even sent this image to the lady who I got the cabinet from and she responded with "Okay how much to you want for it, I want it back!" I told her sorry it's not for sale!
My nieces from Montreal came this summer and stayed with me for a week. We put this puzzle together over that week and it was so hard for me, not being a patient crafter, I was amazed at the patience of my nieces but also my boys, and friends Anna and Spencer who all with the leadership of my niece Cadence turned 1000 pieces of cardboard into this amazing work of art. I managed to modge podge, fame and hang it in a place of honor a few weeks back. I am truly impressed each time I see it.
I also began painting again, at the encouragement of a true friend, I have rediscovered a love of painting. Small dollar store canvas are quickly transformed into calming pieces of art that I truly enjoy. Painting at the beach is such a wonderful and freeing experience.

Painting for me has been the most satisfying, painting from memory, photos, or just letting the brush guide me has truly helped my creative mind.
I even have tried my hand at watercolor, a very different experience for me.

Do not worry I have been reading too, but not as fast or voraciously as I have. I just finished Bailey Cattrell's Marigolds For Malice, will share the review shortly. I have also continued my passion for collecting teacups and using them.
I even took my sewing machine out and finished projects that have been waiting for me for more than two years. I made Halloween themed throw pillows that make me smile!
Creating a new reading space undercover for myself, now that the tea tent is closed for the season...
That is pretty much my project update...

Today is the 8th year anniversary of my mother's death. It was sudden and shocking to me at the time, still is to me today. My mother was only 56. Many things have happened since her passing and today I want to remember her and celebrate her memory. Yesterday I was with my 10 year old son and we were walking to the Indigo books to get his book he ordered and he said out loud with a large sigh "This is my favorite store" I turned to him and said "That would make your Nanna very proud", normally I would have let that moment pass but I didn't I embraced it, and it felt good. Not sad, good.

Thank you for joining me here for a cup of tea and a look at what I have been working on while not blogging, I promise to share more and as regularly as I can. A new month, a new job and a new outlook, pretty much working on improving me.
I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Thursday, September 6, 2018

A Deadly Brew By Lynn Cahoon

I have been so busy with back to school, working and some fun side projects recently and have not been reading at the speed I have been in the past, so it was lovely to sit down and read A Deadly Brew, which is a new release from Lynn Cahoon. Her tourist trap mystery series is a favorite of mine and my friend Lisa K turned me on to this series years ago. I am so delighted with the way that A Deadly Brew unfolds. I love the idea of going away for the weekend with friends and staying in a haunted house, figuring out a mystery and truly enjoying a fun Halloween, grown up style.  I think that this was a great idea for a book, loved the setting, the mystery and the new elements that Lynn brought to this latest in the series. The cover is also great and loved how it looked on my table. I had been craving a fun fall read and this one is exactly that! Pick it up and enjoy it now!
As Halloween approaches South Cove, California, four couples get into the spirit of the holiday by conjuring up spirits. . . The house has sat empty for fifteen years, taking up prime real estate along the picturesque coastline. Built by one of the founders of South Cove, its last known owner, Maryanne Demerit, vanished without a trace. Now her home will be demolished for a condo development, but until then, it’s the perfect spot for a Halloween haunted house. Jill Gardner, owner of Coffee, Books, and More, her boyfriend, and three other couples are spending the weekend in the Demerit home. But what begins as an all-in-good-fun fright fest turns into a mystery begging to be solved as Jill is contacted by the ghost of Maryanne . . .

This one is out now and you can find it on Amazon by clicking here ( I am not an Amazon affiliate)  
Thank you for joining me for a cup of tea and a cozy mystery review I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Monday, August 27, 2018

Bells, Spells and Murders by Carol J. Perry

I love that holiday feeling, even in the sweltering heat of August. I was thrilled to get an ARC of Carol J. Perry's upcoming Witch City Mystery Bells, Spells and Murders. I have been a huge fan of this series for years and found this cozy mystery to be perfectly delightful. It was however a little light on the paranormal this time, but still an excellent read! I love the main character. Lee is a very relatable and personable. She is creative, talented and curious. I love her aunt, boyfriend and best friend in this series and of course her lovely cat as well! This story takes place in December and even though for me it is the end of August, the story did leave me with that warm and cozy holiday feeling. Complex and cozy, complicate and celebratory, Bells, Spells and Murders is a very good read.


Someone’s spreading deadly holiday cheer through Salem, Mass . . . 
 
Lee Barrett has landed her dream job at Salem’s WICH-TV. As the new field reporter, she’ll be covering events live as they’re unfolding. Next on her holiday checklist is an interview with the beloved chairman of a popular walking tour through Salem’s historic districts. But it may be his ghost walking this snowy Noel season after Lee finds him murdered in his stately offices, bloody Santa hat askew. 
 
With her police detective boyfriend working the case and a witch’s brew of suspects—including some bell-ringing Santas—Lee chases down leads aided and abetted by her wise cat O’Ryan and some unsettling psychic visions of her own. When a revealing clue leads to another dead body, not even a monster blizzard can stop Lee from inching closer to the truth . . . and a scoop that could spell her own demise this killer Christmas. 



This one is out September 25th from Kensington and  can be found on Amazon.com by clicking here ( I am not an amazon affiliate) 
Thank you for joining me for a cup of tea and a cozy mystery review I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com 


Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Literary Book Gifts And Coupon Code For My Readers

A recently became aware of a a new to me gift site I wanted to share with you my book loving friends. The website is called Literary Book Gifts .Com  and you can find them by clicking here.
The website is easy to use and has some wonderful book bags, t-shirts, tank tops and hoodies for those of us who truly appreciate and wish to celebrate our favorite literary classics!
The writer in me loves the typewriter t-shirt! Simple and classy, a fun way to celebrate one of my favorite hobbies and who would not love to still have their typewriter?
Austen fans check out the collection as well! Love the hoodies! 

Happy Shopping Book Lovers! 
Thank you for joining me here for a cup of tea and a look at a website devoted to book lovers like us. 
I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com 

Monday, August 20, 2018

Resent Rescue Updates, Royal Albert Thrift Store Fun Finds

I am so excited as I write today's post. This weekend I rescued two teacups that mean a great deal to me. These are the Silver Birch Royal Albert Teacups and saucers. My friend Jen, loves this set and I can not wait to have her over for some wonderful Murchie's Tea and be able to use these with her. A few months ago I rescued the teapot from the same Salvation Army Thrift Store and I paid $6.99!
My friend Jen gave me a coupon for $10 off if I spent $25 at the thrift store, so I took advantage of it and I bought two of the six sets they had there.
This set is lovely and the cups are in such great shape. After a quick wash they were lovely to sip out of.
I could not be more excited though by the find of this orphaned saucer. I paid way more for it then I normally would but the reason why is that I got the matching cup about two years ago for $1! So now I have the set and it cost me a whopping $7.99!
Reunited and it feels so good! This is one of the cups of the month from Royal Albert and I literally danced up to the cash desk to pay!
I am so very thrilled with my Saturday finds and these will all be put to great use on my table and with my friends.
I am so thankful you took the time to join me today and I encourage you to pull out your teacups, rescue a teacup and take time for yourself.
I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Sunday Update - New Job to tell you about...

My dear readers, I have had many changes happening in my life the last few months. One of these changes has brought me such joy. I have started working for one of my most favorite tea companies and I could not be happier. If you have followed my blog for a while you know that Murchie's tea is one of my daily staples and to be able to share my joy and passion of tea is a dream come true. Sipping teas and sharing about them has me over the moon.

I will be honest and tell you I am pretty sure I will pay to work there. The teas, giftware and accessories are very much high on my wish list! Check out Murchie's online by clicking here.  I look forward to sharing more about the teas I have been tasting and the giftware I am ogling.
Thank you for joining me for a cup of tea and a cozy mystery I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Lorraine Bartlett's A Reel Catch


I purchased and have been looking forward to Lorraine Bartlett's book 4 in the Lotus Bay Mystery Series. I pre ordered my Amazon kindle edition, and spent the week in Lotus Bay. Loving this series as I do it was not a book I wanted to end. I wanted to spend as much time as I could with Kathy and Tori. I am so excited that the Swan's Nest Inn is about to open, that tourist season is about to begin in Lotus Bay and I was so thrilled to see what the friends have been upto. I love the relationships, the history and the struggles in A Reel Catch. A great read and I one I am hoping you will take a chance on too! This one is out now.
Though it's not yet summer, things are heating up on Lotus Bay.Swans Nest Inn is about to open, and Kathy Grant solicits her BFF, Tori Cannon, to help spruce up her property at the marshy end of Lotus Bay, only they didn’t count on finding a body. Who was he? What’s his connection to their friend Paul Darcy? Meanwhile, two entrepreneurs with vast business ties are interested in helping Tori reopen the Lotus Lodge, and their real motives are as murky as the bay after a storm. Will Swans Nest open on time? Will the Lotus Lodge reopen at all?

Find this great read on Amazon, like I did by clicking here.
Thank you for joining me for a cup of tea and a cozy mystery review I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com