DIY Sweetgrass Basket Craft Inspired by Gullah Tradition by Josie Riviera

Welcome back to Daufuskie Island, where every corner tells a story. This island is off the coast of South Carolina and is a 1 hour ferry ride from Hilton Head Island.

Today I’m sharing how to make a sweetgrass basket:

Gullah Tradition

Materials:

  • Coiled rope or raffia
  • Colored yarn or embroidery thread
  • Large-eye needle
  • Scissors

Instructions:

  1. Start by coiling the rope or raffia into a tight circle, securing the end with a small stitch.
  2. Using the needle, weave the colored yarn or embroidery thread in and out of the coils, creating intricate patterns.
  3. Continue coiling and weaving, shaping the basket as you go.
  4. Experiment with different colors and patterns to add a personal touch.
  5. Once you reach the desired size, secure the end with a final stitch and trim any excess.

This simple sweetgrass basket craft allows you to bring a piece of Gullah tradition into your own creative space. Enjoy the relaxing process of crafting while connecting to the island’s cultural heritage!

I’m thrilled that my sweet beach romance, is available on Amazon. Immersed in Gullah culture, this book has a mystery that may or may not be solved by the end of the story! Grab your copy today.

 

Pink Coral Island

If you prefer episodic reading, Pink Coral Island will also be available on Kindle Vella.

Kindle Vella

Bridal Shower

After an unusually windy and cold winter in Florida, today we welcome spring, and with warmth and flowers, we expect the season’s events. Graduations for two of my grandchildren, weddings and bridal showers for three young cousins, engagement for three relatives–a happy time to enjoy.

The last bridal showers are attended were years ago, long before the covid that messed up our lives. Three of them popped into my mind this morning.

My niece’s shower was kind of conventional with the women of the family bringing household items from the bride’s registry.

But my daughter had two unusual showers. The first one organized by her high school friends had a lingerie theme. With only me and my sister from the ‘older’ generation in attendance, the bunch of young women had a blast, giving the bride a collection of bedroom…hmm…cute things!

To compensate, one of my friends threw another shower attended by our friends. The guests were asked to bring a useful gift and more importantly to write ”good advice” for the bride. Several of our friends put together a cookbook for my daughter. As the mother of the bride, I prepared a Ten Commandments for a Happy Long-Lasting Marriage based on my experience. Later many mothers asked me a copy for their daughters/sons about to get married.

Another unusual bridal shower I attended was that of my daughter-in-law. The bride already had a shower organized by a friend and this one was prepared by my daughter. My son and his fiancée had recently bought a house and she wanted him to remodel it, so my son asked to ‘borrow’ her second shower and make it a wedding shower or more specifically a ‘groom shower’. The guests (male and female) received a copy of registry at Home Depot and Harbor Freight Tools. On the day of the shower, the happy couple opened their gifts together, and my son received every tool you can think of, from electric saw, to electric drill, tool cabinet, etc… We never laughed so much.

If you have a wedding or shower coming up, use your imagination and gift the young couple with something that will really help.

We’re All Heroes

They’re all heroes who pay a big price for freedom—The Ukrainian mom who spies for her country; her three small kids who struggle to survive; the wounded major who gets them out of a war-zone; Lauren, the flight attendant who brings them to the US; her parents who receive them in their home; and her ex-fiancé, Dr. Jake, who operates on the injured. And let’s not forget the two German shepherd puppies that dive in a pool to save a two-year old. Will the many crises they face head-on strengthen or destroy Lauren and Jake’s relationship?
We’re All Heroes is book 12 of the Love Plans Series.

FAKE FIANCEE ebook Audio book

Romantic Suspense FAKE FIANCEE “It was so good I couldn’t put the book down. I literally cooked while reading! Awesome! Thank you so much for making my world a better place.”

Joshua Dutton’s lifestyle and tabloids pictures threaten his father’s senatorial campaign. His parents insist on finding him a sweet temporary fiancée to repair the damage. With only her German shepherd for friend, Emma Cassiero struggles with a heap of problems. Attraction sizzles between her and Josh, but no one mentions the secret deal made by her stepmother and the Senior Duttons. When the truth comes out Emma is devastated. Were Josh’s kisses part of the charade? Has Josh lost her or would he be able to team up with her German shepherd to love and protect her?

A Bride For Prince Paul

A BRIDE FOR PRINCE PAUL ebook Audiobook

“Mona Risk has written another winner. Prince Paul is handsome and noble, and Amy is a dedicated doctor. Enjoy the sights of Paris and France, while reading this heartwarming romance.”

She can’t abandon her patients for his crown! To please his dying grandfather and protect his country’s autonomy, Prince Paul of Rensy Island must marry an American doctor, descendant of a Rensian princess. Paul, a confirmed bachelor, agrees to meet Amy incognito as her driver, during her vacation in Paris. Although her career and ex-boyfriend are major interferences, attraction sizzles between Amy and Paul, but the unexpected announcement of her engagement to the Crown Prince of Rensy Island infuriates her. Can Paul convince her that he loves her, in spite of his lies by omission? Would he be able to persuade her to put aside her medical dream and become his princess? The inspiration for the story: While cruising the British Isles, I visited Guernsey, in the English Channel. This quaint island with special privileges and autonomy became the setting of my new story—Rensy Island. 

The Secret of Mookies

Have you heard about Mookies?

A few years back, I decided to go gluten-free. One of the happy accidents that resulted from my recipe experiments was a sort of cookie. They baked best in a muffin tin, so I called them Mookies. I have since discovered others use the same name for similar bakery goods.
I treat myself to a fresh batch of six almost every morning. They taste better than a bowl of cereal. I can also spread out my breakfast bowl of oatmeal to include a couple Mookies for a late-morning snack. This recipe makes six Mookies and has about the same ingredients as a hearty bowl of hot oatmeal.

Basic recipe:
1 egg
1 pinch of baking soda
1 small mashed banana (or about a five-inch piece of a larger one)
1/4 cup Australian Instant Coconut Oatmeal (or the equivalent of quick-cooking oatmeal)
1/4 cup Old Fashioned oats
1 Tbsp Grape Nuts cereal (I want the extra fiber to knock down cholesterol)
1-2 Tbsp chopped pecans
(1-2 Tbsp raisins, craisins, or chopped dried fruit optional)

Mash the banana in a bowl. Add the egg and a pinch of baking soda. Blend. Add the other ingredients and mix.
Grease or spray oil into each of the six muffin tins. Portion the lumpy batter into these. Put the tray into a preheated toaster oven/air fryer at 355 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes. Take the pan out and let cool for at least five minutes. Run a plastic knife or spatula around the cooled ‘mookies’ to loosen them. Dump or pry out with the spatula.
(INFO: The Red Farm Australian oatmeal I use has a small amount of sugar and coconut. In a pinch, you can use a packet of instant, flavored oatmeal. If your batter is soupy and not semi-firm, add more old-fashioned oats.)

Note: I got a cute little tool with another appliance that is perfect for this. It looks like a plastic knife with the tip ground off to make it flat, not rounded. It works great for running around the edges before prying them out of the pan.

This recipe can be totally sugar-free if you use plain instant or quick-cooking oatmeal/ It’s also gluten-free, and very heart-healthy!

If you double the recipe and bake in a twelve-cup tin, you can make your own snacks for you, the family, and last-minute ‘bring something to share’ events.

As far as the latest from me, I finished ‘editing’ the audiobook version of the first book I ever wrote. NAKED IN THE WINTER WIND is the tale of a perky woman who falls through time and gets her sixty-year-old plump body converted into that of a foxy eighteen-year-old with amnesia. She does recognize some of her new acquaintances: they’re supposed to be fictional characters from the popular time-travel romance series ‘LOST.

The audiobook is free with your Audible Plus (USA version) subscription. It’s a long listen: 23 hours and 40 minutes. You can speed along if you want to read for free with Kindle Unlimited when listening isn’t convenient.

Crafting Your Unique Love Story This Valentine’s Day by Josie Riviera

With Valentine’s Day behind us, let’s turn the spotlight inward and get on board a journey of self-discovery and self-love. Let’s break free from the traditional notions of romantic love and focus on crafting a unique love story that celebrates individuality, personal growth, and the beauty of embracing the present moment.

Valentine's Day

  1. Love as a Personal Journey: View Valentine’s Day as an opportunity for personal exploration. Acknowledge the highs and lows that have shaped you. Embrace self-love as an ongoing adventure rather than a destination.
  2. Mindful Self-Care Rituals: Engage in mindful self-care rituals that nurture your body and soul. Whether it’s a rejuvenating skincare routine, a peaceful meditation session, or a long walk in nature, prioritize activities that promote self-love and well-being.
  3. Gratitude for Self: Create a gratitude list focusing on the aspects of yourself that you appreciate. Celebrate your strengths, resilience, and unique qualities. This exercise fosters a positive self-image and a deeper connection with the essence of who you are.
  4. Artistic Expression of Emotions: Channel your emotions into artistic expression. Whether through writing, painting, music, or any other creative outlet, allow your emotions to flow freely. This process not only serves as a cathartic release but also deepens your understanding of self-love.
  5. Solo Date Night: Treat yourself to a solo date night tailored to your interests. Whether trying a new recipe, watching a favorite movie, or exploring a hobby, revel in the joy of your own company. This solo date becomes a celebration of your individuality.
  6. Setting Personal Intentions: Set intentions for personal growth and self-love. Identify areas in your life where you can nurture yourself more and commit to fostering a positive relationship with yourself. These intentions become the building blocks of your evolving love story.
  7. Acts of Kindness to Self: Practice acts of kindness toward yourself. It could be as simple as affirming mantras, treating yourself to a favorite treat, or taking a break to relax. These acts create a compassionate and supportive internal dialogue.
  8. Cultivating Self-Compassion: Embrace self-compassion by acknowledging that imperfections are part of the human experience. Treat yourself with the same kindness and understanding you would offer to a dear friend.
  9. Embracing Present Moments: Shift your focus to the present moment. Allow yourself to fully experience and savor the joys, challenges, and beauty of now. In doing so, you cultivate a deeper connection with your own narrative.

Appreciate the growth you’ve achieved, and reflect on the chapters of your own extraordinary love story.

It’s a 99 cent Kindle Countdown (US only), for my sweet Valentine’s romance, 1-800-CUPID.

1 800 Cupid

A house flipper looking for quick profit. A survivor with a dream. Can two broken hearts find a place to call home?

Grab your copy today before the price goes up. Available in ebook, paperback, large print paperback, hardcover, and audiobook.