Thoughts & a QUIZ On Hallmark's "Falling For Look Lodge"

Starring:  Jonathan Keltz and Clark Backo

Released:  2020

Summary:  A woman who aspires to work as a hotel event coordinator is given an opportunity by helping a hotel guest work on the final touches for his sister's wedding.

Image:  Crown Media

Fans Love the Scenery & the Autumn Elements


Falling for Look Lodge has some seasonal components Hallmark fans are happy to see--fall leaves on the ground, colorful trees, pumpkins, fall wreaths and garlands, hay bales, a bonfire, s'mores, and pumpkin spice lattes.  

The movie was filmed in Canada, with most scenes being shot at Strathmere Retreat in Ottawa.  The favorite lookout point and the gorgeous trails should inspire us all to take a fall hike to savor the sights of this beautiful season.


Nerdy Is Not the New Sexy


When Hallmark vowed to become more inclusive, who knew they meant replacing stud muffin leading men with awkward and unmanly types like Noah (Jonathan Keltz)?  The irony here is that Hallmark endeavors to combat stereotypes, yet they ascribe the occupation of software developer to the nerd character.  All that Noah is missing are glasses held together by tape.  

Lily, on the other hand, is a self-assured, strong, and independent woman with big ideas.  How likely is it she could be attracted to someone with such low testosterone?

Judging from fan chatter surrounding this movie, even those who love the movie agree the chemistry between the two characters is non-existent. 

Lily spends the majority of the movie trying to excuse and hide what a jerk Noah is being towards his sister and her new family.  How did this attract her to him?  Lily seems to grasp that Noah is acting out from the fear he will lose his sister, so maybe we're to assume she overlooks his immaturity.  

The final kiss of the movie is a colossal letdown.  It is stiff, forced, and unnatural.  Sorry, Keltz is simply not leading man material, nor is he believable in the "big brother" role. 

Image:  Crown Media

With a Sister Like Charmaine, Who Needs Enemies?


Charmaine fires Lily for fraternizing with a guest--Noah.  Come on, lady!  There are no other guests at the lodge.  Can you blame Lily for wanting human contact?  Next, Charmaine tells her not to step foot on the lodge grounds again and then hugs her.  Talk about mixed signals!

Yes, we know there are no guests at the lodge other than the wedding party because Hallmark is using less cast members thanks to COVID.  It's still weird.

Once Charmaine receives accolades from Justine and Noah about Lily's performance, she tries to "un-fire" her.  It all works out though because losing her job ends up being the kick-in-the-pants Lilly needs to jumpstart her own outdoor adventure company.

Image:  Crown Media

A Wedding Without Parents


Your wedding is biggest day of your life, aside from having children.  It's sad that Justine doesn't have her parents there to witness it. 

Family is everything, and this is a valuable lesson Noah finally learns.  He has to give his sister away and fill-in during the father-daughter dance, yet Justine's family becomes his too, and it takes away some of the sting of their loss.  


My Favorite Performer In the Movie Is...


The worst acting in the movie comes compliments of Erin Eldershaw, who plays Kate, the awkward lodge employee who has a thing for her co-worker, Teddy.  Every time Teddy is around, Kate stammers, says the dumbest things, and totally embarrasses herself.  That's not the problem.  The issue is the viewer can tell she's acting, which is bad acting.

Gabrielle Jennings does a nice job as Beatrice Bennett.  Her big pretty eyes and sweet persona are charming.

However, when it comes to best actress in a film, my award goes to......Shelly the Turtle.  She out-acted them all.
       

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#fallingforlooklodge

Hallmark's "Moonlight in Vermont"--A QUIZ, A Poll, Fun Facts About Syrup, & the Book

Starring:  Lacey Chabert and Carlo Marks

Released:  2017

Summary:  After a breakup, an upscale real estate agent visits her family's inn in Vermont to rest and rethink things, but her ex shows up with a new girlfriend.

Image:  Crown Media

Happy Couples Upset Fiona


It's funny how our personal circumstances give us tunnel vision.  If you're trying to have a baby, you notice everyone who is pregnant or pushing strollers.  It seems like everyone you talk to has the perfect job when you are miserable in yours and can't find a better one.  When you're struggling with health issues, you notice everyone jogging or walking their dogs, making you feel isolated in your pain.  

Nate grows weary of just being one more thing Fiona has to juggle in her busy schedule.  Fiona should have seen this coming, but when he ends their relationship, she's gutted.  Even as time ticks on, she knows exactly how many weeks, days, and hours it has been since they parted ways.  

Everywhere Fiona turns, she sees happy couples.  Isn't that how it works?  Despite being up for the promotion of her dreams, Fiona decides to escape Manhattan and head to her dad's inn in Vermont to sort things out and recalibrate.

What are the odds that in just over three weeks, Nate would turn up at the same inn with his new girlfriend?  Fiona does the most logical thing--she pretends the inn's chef, Derek, is her new boyfriend.  She not only wants to appear emotionally unscathed by their breakup, she wants to make Nate jealous to try and win him back.  Fiona and Derek strike a deal, and he agrees to keep up his end of the charade.

If you were in Fiona's shoes, would you stay at the inn while Nate is there, or would you leave?  Share your opinion in the poll below!

online surveys

Time To Stop And Smell The.....Maple Syrup?


When you pluck a person out of the city and dump them in a rural area, their first complaint is there is nothing to do. Not true!  There are just different things to do.

Fiona and Derek enjoy the annual Maple Faire where there's a pancake eating contest, tree-tapping, a Maple Dance, and a syrup tasting.  

If you could put Fall in a bottle, don't you think it would taste like maple syrup?  Vermont maple syrup is a "sweet" thread that adds to the charm of Moonlight in Vermont.

Fiona learns to take time to savor different syrups and appreciate the subtle nuances of their flavors, and it serves as a metaphor for her life--she finally learns to slow down and invest her time and energy into life's most important things--family, friends, and love.


Fun Facts About Maple Syrup

  • Vermont is the top maple syrup producer in the USA.  In 2019, the state produced over two million gallons!
  • Maple syrup has the same calcium content of whole milk.
  • To produce sap, a maple tree must be at least 40 years old.
  • It takes 40 gallons of sap to produce one gallon of maple syrup, which is the annual output of 4 maple trees.

Which of These Statements Best Describe You?


Fiona's stepmom, Delia, says, In a small community, you run into familiar faces everywhere you turn.

Fiona prefers New York for a different reason.  She responds to Delia with, In the city, you can lose yourself in the crowd.

What's your take on these statements?  Is it better to live in a close-knit community where there's no such thing as strangers, or is it better to be anonymous in the big city where you retain more privacy?  Share your thoughts in the comment section


My Favorite Movie Scene


Remember the scene at the Maple Dance when Derek is dancing with Fiona and sings along with crooner Frank Sinatra while staring deeply into her eyes?  I didn't know Moonlight in Vermont is actually a song, did you?  

Derek is devastatingly handsome and looks so dashing at the dance.  When he smiles, his face lights up like the sun.  

The sparks fly in this scene, but of course, we are denied the kiss, even though it's the perfect moment.

Thank God For Unanswered Prayers


Fiona succeeds in making Nate jealous, and his girlfriend realizes he's still hung up on Fiona, so she angrily breaks things off and leaves the inn.

Nate tries to convince Fiona they both rebounded and then bounced back together because they are meant to be, but Fiona realizes Nate is not the one for her.  She chooses Derek (who wouldn't?).

All of us go through seasons of life where we want something so badly--and if we don't get it, we're devastated.  But, looking back, we realize it wasn't the best plan for our lives anyway.  We didn't initially see the big picture and how things would really play out in the end.  It's a these moments we can thank God for unanswered prayers.


Hallmark Movies Based on Books Are Usually Better


Did you know Moonlight in Vermont is based on a novel by the same name?  

Movies derived from books seem to have more depth than the average, run-of-the-mill Hallmark story.  Authors do all the heavy lifting with character and plot development, dialogue, setting, etc., so the reader can get lost in a story with substance.  When one of these novels captures Hallmark's attention for movie production, Hallmark trims off the fat to fit it in a time slot, but when they do it correctly, the story is more poignant and emotionally engaging than the typical Hallmark formula.

Join Our Facebook Group!


Every Hallmark Facebook group is unique.  If you're not already part of our fun group, we would love for you to join us.  Find us here:


5 Ways YOU Can Support Our Hallmark Facebook Groups , Blogs, & Contests

Our Hallmark Facebook Community Is A Family--Invite Your Friends!


I am so grateful for each and every one of you who has joined and actively participates in our Hallmark movie Facebook group.  Hopefully, you've found our group to be a happy place and an escape from the stresses of everyday life.

Even if our friends and family poke fun of us for our addiction to Hallmark movies, our group provides a safe environment where everyone can share their thoughts and opinions freely and respectfully, even though we sometimes have to kindly agree to disagree.  It's okay!  No need for conformity here.  The world would be a boring place if we robotically agreed with everyone (though if any bully turns things into a  personal attack, they will get the boot for being a meanie pants).

One way you can support our Facebook group is to invite others to join us!  Help us grow!

Share My Blog Posts


Although links to relevant Hallmark articles are shared within our group, many of you may not realize that I blog about every Hallmark movie I watch and share the blog posts within our group.  Many of these posts contain polls and quizzes so many of you love. In addition to the movie-related blog posts, I also have a book blog where I sometimes write about a Hallmark-esque novel, and a lifestyle blog, where I may share a post about the current season we're celebrating.  When you see a blog post from one of these four websites, you'll know it's me:

Our Facebook group is classified as private, so a share button never appears by posts within the group.  BUT, you can still share the Hallmark article if you follow the link to the blog where there IS a share feature.

In addition to our two Hallmark Facebook GROUPS, there are coordinating Hallmark Facebook PAGES.  The pages are public, so if you "like" both groups, you can "share" anything that gets posted there.  

You can find the FB pages here:  


Sharing posts from the blogs not only advertises our Facebook group so we can expand our family, it helps me generate income through Amazon affiliate links and Google Ads.  The more revenue I earn, the more I pass on to YOU through contests and giveaways!

Do Your Online Shopping Through My Amazon Affiliate Links


I do my best to keep you up-to-date on the latest Hallmark merchandise that may interest you, including new DVD releases, Hallmark Publishing books, apparel, and more by including Amazon links to those products.  Every time you make a purchase through one of my Amazon affiliate links, I earn a commission.  Even if you aren't interested in the products I'm advertising, but you still need to make other purchases on Amazon, you can use my affiliate links as the "doorway" to your other shopping.  I will still earn a commission on qualifying items you purchase through my Amazon links.

When it's time to do your holiday shopping, I would be so grateful if you would consider entering Amazon through any of my Amazon product listings via a blog post or our Facebook group.  Thank-you, thank-you!!!

This is an example of an Amazon affiliate link you can use as a "door" to do your online shopping.  You don't have to buy the DVD!  I can still earn a commission on qualifying purchases you make by going through links like this.

Sign Up For Rakuten Through My Link


I first learned of Rakuten when I saw their ads air on the Hallmark Channel.  Getting money back for online purchases sounded like a scam to me.  I was convinced there was a catch.

I was wrong.  My hair stylist raved about the rebates she was receiving on the majority of her online purchases through Rakuten.  One of her clients convinced her to join Rakuten, and despite her initial reservations, she gave it a try and started saving a ton of money.  She talked me into signing up for Rakuten, and I couldn't believe how easy it was to save!

Here's how it works.  Stores pay Rakuten to send customers their way, and Rakuten shares their commission with you.  It's really that simple!  No fees to pay or milestones to achieve before getting your money back, just "ebates."

The BEST part is you shop like you normally would.  Once you create an account on Rakuten, you just go to your Rakuten page when you're ready to start shopping.  You click on the store where you want to shop, you'll see how much cash back they are offering on any given day, and Rakuten will send you to their website.  

Let's pretend you want to place an online order at Kohl's.  You go to Rakuten, click on Kohl's, and you'll be taken to Kohl's website where you shop like normal.  You still get the Kohl's sale prices, use or earn Kohl's cash, redeem Kohl's coupons, apply your Kohl's rewards, and check out and pay the same way you always do.  Nothing changes, except you get cash back through Rakuten, which shows up in your "wallet."  Every three months, Rakuten disburses the money to you from your wallet.  Rakuten even keeps a tally of your lifetime cash back, so you will be amazed how much the savings add up.  

There are over 2,500 stores on Rakuten, including most of the big names.  Cash back is typically somewhere between 1%--10%.  If a store you shop normally offers 2% cash back, Rakuten will e-mail you when that same store has a special promo where up to 10% back is being offered for a limited time.

If you create a Rakuten account through my link, there's an even bigger sign-up offer.  Spend $30 in any store, and I will get $30 for referring you, and you will get $30 back, too!  It goes right into our Rakuten wallets.

If you want to start saving on holiday and year-round purchases, PLUS get $30 back when you spend $30 for joining through my referral, here's my link

https://www.rakuten.com/r/CALVAR534?eeid=28187

Why Would You Want to Help ME Earn Money?  What's In It For YOU?


Do you love the contests and giveaways we have in our Hallmark Facebook groups?  I am able to purchase these fun prizes through the money I earn via Amazon affiliate links and Google Ads.  If my well runs dry, the giveaways disappear too by default.

Currently, each of our two Hallmark Facebook groups has six contests/giveaways per year.  If you're in both groups, you have one chance each month to win a prize!  Everyone loves free stuff, not to mention it's just fun to enter giveaways when there are no strings attached (other than having to be a member of our group to qualify).   


In addition to hatching plans for contests, I invest HOURS in maintaining both Facebook groups and writing blog posts for you to enjoy that contain quizzes, polls, fun facts, food for thought, and more.  

I'm married with a family, so I have to justify my time investment by convincing my husband this is a part-time job rather than just a hobby. Although my hubby is very supportive of my writing, he is EXTRA encouraging when he sees it's a lucrative opportunity that turns a profit rather than costing him money!  It's not much of a profit, but I manage to claw my way out of the red and into the black!

What I relish most is telling me husband it's actually MY JOB to watch Hallmark movies!  He's not amused.

Get to Know Me


Many new members to our Facebook groups often mistake me for an actual representative of Hallmark, but I am in NO WAY affiliated with Hallmark.  Like you, I'm just a fan!  The assumption that I'm somehow "connected" is understandable because of the name of our groups--Hallmark Christmas Movie Magic and Hallmark Seasons of Love Movies.  Since I have pages for each group as well, I'm able to interact as our page names rather than by my own name--it looks a little more professional.

Why would I do this?  I'm not trying to trick anyone into thinking I'm a Hallmark rep.  The simple reason is that I want our groups to be found in Facebook searches so we can grow.  Most people will go onto Facebook and search for Hallmark Christmas Movies or Hallmark Movies. For our Facebook groups to be found in a search, the words Hallmark and Movies have to be included in our titles.

Ever since the sixth grade, I've always had a passion for reading and writing.  Since Christmas is my favorite time of year (though our family finds ways to celebrate it all year) and I adore Hallmark movies, I decided to combine these three passions and carve a niche in the blogging community by jabbering about them.  Blogs thrive through promotion on social media, hence our Hallmark Facebook groups!

I have a Bachelor's of Science degree in English Education, but I've always been more interested in writing and communications than teaching.

When I'm not clacking away on the keyboard, I enjoy cooking, baking, exercising, reading, and going to church. I am a modern-day June Cleaver.  My highest priorities in life are faith, family, and love of country.

I've got tough skin.  It's a good thing because a select few people can't disagree with some of my blog posts without resorting to name calling and hurling personal insults.  Yes, I love Hallmark movies (especially the older ones), but when the quality of a movie is crap, I'm roasting it.  

Thank-You!


We've got a good thing going on here, so let's hope Hallmark keeps cranking out movies we love and can happily chatter about in our groups for a long, long time.  

You don't have to invite your friends to our Facebook groups, share my blog posts, shop through my Amazon affiliate links, or go through my link to create an account on Rakuten to be loved and appreciated in our groups. If you choose to take the time to show your support in one or more of those ways, however, my family and I would be deeply grateful.

I just wanted to share how our Facebook groups got started and let you know a few small ways you can keep them growing and thriving.  Thank you for taking the time to read this post.  You Hallmarkies are the best!       

Many Fans Disappointed By Hallmark's "Follow Me to Daisy Hills"

Starring:  Cindy Busby and Marshall Williams

Released:  2020

Summary:  A woman faces uneasy feelings when her father tries to save their failing family general store by calling in her ex-boyfriend for some help.

Image:  Crown Media

Cindy Busby and Marshall Williams Aren't Powerful Leads


We Hallmark fans have our favorite leading Hallmark actors, and when they star in a new movie, we can watch them over and over.  My favorite is Lacey Chabert, and I never grow tired of her.  For you, it may be someone else.

Across the board, Cindy Busby does not have a strong appeal with the Hallmark fan base. Ryan Paevey groupies enjoyed her in the Mr. Darcy movies, but when she popped up in consecutive seasonal releases--A Godwink Christmas:  Meant for Love, Love in the Forecast, Romance in the Air, and now Follow Me to Daisy Hills--fans are losing enthusiasm for movies where she's the lead.

Why can't Busby win over Hallmark fans?  She's cute, upbeat, and her acting performance is professional.

Many refer to her as "whiny," but I don't think that's the right word.  Her voice has a nasally sound, as if she suffers from perpetual sinus congestion, so maybe this is what fans mean.  

Think about your favorite Hallmark actress.  Now, think about the characters they play in the various Hallmark movies in which they have appeared.  They always act the same, don't they?  Regardless of the story, they portray the same type of character, so their "personality" for each character is always the same. We accept that and find it comforting most of the time, but Busby's mannerisms and movie persona grates on the nerves of many Hallmarkies.  


If you love Cindy Busby and disagree, you are entitled to your opinion.  It's okay to like her!  When you read posts on social media from die-hard Hallmark followers, however, you will find you're in the minority.

Marshall Williams is too soft-spoken and non-descript to convey a commanding presence on the screen.  He and Busby score a net-zero when it comes to chemistry.  Were you even able to focus on anything but his greasy, slicked-back hair?

One unexpected surprise in the movie is the kiss comes much earlier than normal, even though it isn't toe-curling or heart-stopping.  Many viewers say the couple looks too much like siblings to be romantically attached.  Do you agree?

Image:  Crown Media

Whacky Call to University of Iowa


Throughout the movie, Sofi Mason, Jo's sister, struggles to decide if she should pursue her dream of being a writer and going to the college her heart desires, the University of Iowa, or whether she should delay her education and help with the family general store.

Let's hope "Sofi" can write better than she can act.  

When Sofi falls asleep on the couch after writing an emotionally moving piece about her family and the general store, Jo sneaks off to the dining room table to read it.  She pauses for a quick trip to the kitchen to grab a wine bottle and wine glass that just happen to be sitting on the counter, waiting to be poured.  

Unless you're an alcoholic, who leaves wine bottles uncorked and sitting out on the counter?

After two sips of wine, Jo calls the University of Iowa and leaves a maniacal voicemail regarding why they should recruit her little sister, despite Sofi declining their acceptance.  Jo sends them Sofi's most recent piece, but in fact, she accidentally posts it to Iowa's page, causing it to go viral.

We're supposed to assume Jo gets tipsy from a couple drops of wine and that the University of Iowa is impressed by insane people who leave them emotionally crazed messages.  

Regardless, Sofi's article attracts people from everywhere who want to visit the general store, and the family business is saved!

Image:  Crown Media




How is This a Fall Movie?


One reason Hallmark fans have been hyped about new Fall Harvest releases is because we are anxious to experience the sights, smells, and "hallmarks" of the fall season.

Did you see any emblems of Fall in this movie?

Aside from the cast wearing light jackets and maybe a mum or two in hanging baskets, it could have been early spring.  No fall festival, cider sipping, pumpkin-themed activities, or any other component of this movie qualifies it to be worthy of a Fall Harvest line-up.

Do you feel let down?


Any Country General Stores Near You?


One redeeming quality of the movie is its focus on the charm of an old-time, country general store.

Is there a general store in your area?  If you've ever visited one, you know they are a quaint, blast-from-the-past.  

In the movie, people swarm the Daisy Hills General Store from miles around.  Think that sounds far-fetched?  It's not.

Here in Ohio, we have two general stores I love to visit when I'm passing through their respective towns.  One is in Deersville, OH, a town so small you could miss it if you blink.  This store receives a ton of traffic from nearby Tappan Lake, but it's so famous for its delicious ice cream that people travel great distances for a scoop.

Located in Deersville, Ohio, this general store is famous for its ice cream.

Another Ohio landmark is the Roscoe General Store in Coshocton.  It's located in the middle of Roscoe Village, a restored, historic canal town.  People love stepping back in time for old-fashioned toys and gifts, homemade fudge, antiques and collectibles, souvenirs, and so much more.

Roscoe General Store is located in the heart of Roscoe Village in Coshocton, Ohio.

If you are old enough to remember the movie saga, Centennial, from the 1970's, you might be interested to know that a scene from the movie was filmed at Roscoe Village.

Follow Me to Daisy Hills is sweet in the way it reminds us that small towns are filled with creative, talented people, not just country bumpkin stereotypes.  The general store begins to thrive again when it solicits local entrepreneurs to showcase their creations and resources--wood carvings, flowers, vinyl records, and good food.

The Daisy Hills General Store even has a must-have staple for a great general store--a creaky front screen door! 


Best Lines in the Movie


We find out through Sofi's writing that their mom taught them three precepts:

  1. Family first
  2. Every neighbor is family.
  3. Every member is responsible for the whole.
Boy, if everyone lived by that motto, maybe we would all experience more peace in our lives!

Sofi also quotes Jo, saying, Some folks love what they know, and others know what they loveWhich type of person are you?  Maybe you love what you're doing because it's familiar, comfortable, and doesn't stretch you or require you to take risks.  If you are really passionate about something, you find a way to pursue it and are fulfilled because you follow your heart and achieve your goals.

Image:  Crown Media

If you've ever experienced the ups and downs of romantic attachments before you found "The One" and settled down, you probably have heard the other quote from the movie that is expressed through the wood carving Henry gives Jo and Blake:

If you love something, set it free.  If it comes back to you, it's yours.  If it doesn't, it never was.    
It's such an appropriate gift, even though it's so cliche, because it sums up the relationship between Jo and Blake.  She always wanted to stay in Daisy Hills, but she knew he craved the experience of leaving town and heading to the big city.  Even though she loved him from a young age, she set him free.  But, he comes back, and now he's hers.

Apparently, he's not bothered by her being 37-years-old and still living at home.


Are You in Our Facebook Group?

If you're already a member of Hallmark Seasons of Love Movies Facebook group, thank-you for being part of our Hallmark-loving community!  Even if we aren't particularly fond of EVERY Hallmark movie, we keep our sentiments "in the family."  Everyone gets to share freely!

Want to join us?  You'll find us here:  Hallmark Seasons of Love

#followmetodaisyhills #fallharvest #hallmarkchannel #cindybusby

Hallmark Fall Harvest Movies Available on DVD

Your Favorite Fall Hallmark Movies Are On DVD!


It's almost Fall, and Hallmark fans are excited about new Fall Harvest movie premieres.  We've had our fun in the summer sun, but now we're looking forward to cider, pumpkin everything, bonfires, and cozy clothes.  

While we eagerly wait for the newly anticipated releases, we can curl up under our favorite blanket and get our fill of fall movies from past years.

Not every Fall Harvest movie is available on DVD, but many are.  



If you're in the mood for a burst of autumn, consider adding one or more of these fall flicks to your Hallmark collection.  Any that you purchase through my affiliate links are greatly appreciated and helps me continue to share these niche blog posts and periodic giveaways and contests through my Facebook group, Hallmark Seasons of Love.


Don't See One You Love On The List?


The quick reference list below is a compilation of all the Hallmark Fall Harvest movies currently available through Amazon; however, other retailers may carry DVD's that are missing from the list (like Pumpkin Pie Wars). Walmart and Target typically carry a large selection of  Hallmark DVD's, so check there if one you want isn't listed.  Just because Amazon doesn't have something today doesn't mean they won't get it in the future. 

If you find DVD's elsewhere that aren't included in this list, be sure to share in the comment section to help others find them too. 

Hopefully, putting all the Fall Harvest movies in one place makes it easier to track down the autumn movies you love!  


All of My Heart:  Inn Love


This fall installment of the All of My Heart trilogy is about Brian and Jenny preparing for the grand opening of their bed and breakfast.  A big storm hits, and they find the inn is leaking everywhere!  With funds running low and time running out, Brian goes back to Wall Street to make some quick cash, and Jenny tries to keep the opening on track.

It's actually cheaper to buy the entire trilogy than just this movie by itself.


Love Struck Cafe


Aspiring architect, Megan Quinn, has a lot on her plate.  She must develop her hometown lake into a commercialized entertainment center, forcing her childhood mentor out of her family's home, and helping at her family's cafe when her dad breaks his leg.  She also must deal with her childhood sweetheart, played by Andrew Walker.

 


Harvest Moon


When her family goes bankrupt, city girl Jen Stone travels to the country to help a struggling pumpkin farm her father bought as an investment.  The farm's handsome manager isn't excited about the changes she suggests, but they might end up in love.


Midnight Masquerade


A beautiful young businesswoman inherits her father's billion-dollar candy company and searches to find romance in the mysterious, handsome prince she danced with at a costume ball.

Starring Autumn Reeser and Christopher Russell, this movie is a collision between Halloween and Cinderella!  



Falling for Vermont

A best-selling author who gets amnesia as a result of a car accident finds refuge with the local doctor of a small, idyllic town in Vermont.

Yes, this is an overdone Hallmark plot, but this one has Julie Gonzalo and Benjamin Ayres, so it's different!  

On Amazon, you can't currently get this movie by itself, but it's packaged with two other movies (The Last Bridesmaid and Love at First Dance).  Three movies for $25.99 isn't a bad deal!



Autumn in the Vineyard


When Frankie and Nate both have a claim to ownership of Sorrento Farm, they are forced to divide the vineyard right down the middle and work the fields alongside each other to bring in the harvest, leading up to the Best Wine competition at the annual Autumn Harvest Festival.

Hmmm.....this sounds oddly like the 2020 Spring Fever movie, Love Under the Olive Tree, but instead of olive oil, it's about wine.

This is another movie that is packaged as a trilogy through Amazon.


Love on a Limb


When the mayor hires a handsome landscaper to cut down a small town's beloved oak tree, Aimie takes it upon herself to try and save it by chaining herself to it.  As the landscaper attempts to out wait her, the two find that the tree brings them more than they could have imagined.



Moonlight in Vermont

Fiona is a high-powered New York real estate broker at the top of her game.  When she is unexpectedly dumped by her boyfriend, she heads off for a week in Vermont to her dad's country inn.  There, she runs into her ex and his new girlfriend.  To save face, Fiona strikes a deal with the inn's perfectionist chef to be her "boyfriend" for the week. 

We saw this pretend boyfriend scenario play out in 2019 with Holiday Date.

This movie was based on the book of the same name by Kacy Cross.


October Kiss


Poppy Summerall is hired near Halloween as a temporary nanny by a widowed, work-obsessed executive.  Through a series of adventures, the eternally optimistic Poppy sets out to teach him and his two young children what's important in life--unconditional love, family, and the joy of everyday occurrences.  


Under the Autumn Moon


When an ambitious executive convinces her boss that a picturesque ranch would be perfect for their company retreats, he agrees to let her check it out.  However, her plan hits a snag when the owner, a charming cowboy, refuses to sell unless she can promise to preserve its history.  He convinces her to stay and experience the magic of the ranch, but when her boss shows up with other plans in mind, will she have to make a choice between love or ambition?

Someone wants to buy a ranch to turn it into something else....sound familiar?  Same idea as A Summer Romance.



Love, Fall, and Order


When Claire goes home to save her dad's annual Fall Fest on her family's pumpkin farm, sparks fly with an old rival--the opposing lawyer she now faces in court.



Autumn Dreams

A young couple's spur of the moment marriage is immediately annulled by the bride's parents.  Years later, they discover that a glitch in the paperwork means they are still husband and wife--a big problem since they're both about to marry other people.  Sparks begin to fly as they are forced to reunite to make their divorce legal.



Over the Moon In Love


With her match-making business on the verge of closing, Brooklyn finds herself in the unique position to be featured in a magazine, but has to set up the writer with her childhood friend, Devin.

Wes Brown stars in this one--my fave!


Harvest Love


A widowed surgeon visits her family's pear orchard in hopes of taking a break from her overbooked life and reconnecting with her distant son.  She starts to fall for the farm manager, Will, who is growing a new hybrid pear and teaches her the importance of her heritage.

This DVD is currently out of stock on Amazon (probably since Ryan Paevey fans buy up all his films!), but more are due to come back in stock.  Check back!

Hallmark's "My Secret Valentine" QUIZ!

Starring:  Lacey Chabert and Andrew Walker

Released:  2018

Summary:  When a savvy salesman arrives to buy a family's beloved winery, a young woman follows the advice she receives from chalkboard notes left by a mysterious house rental tenant.

Image:  Crown Media

The Family Wine Business


Chloe Grange comes home to visit and learns her dad wants to retire, so he's toying with the idea of selling the family wine business.  

Seth Anderson works for Stratosphere, a boxed wine company, and his promotion depends on him acquiring Grange Family Wines.

Chloe is conflicted. She doesn't want her dad to sell the business because it's been in their family for generations, and she especially doesn't want him to sell it to a boxed wine company.  She feels it cheapens their reputable brand.

Despite being determined to not like Seth, Chloe is impressed at the lengths he goes to in order to understand and appreciate their wine business from top to bottom to truly grasp their company's vision.

When Chloe is offered a promotion at work, it jolts her into realizing she's happiest managing her family's wine business, so her father happily hands her the reins.  


Where Is YOUR Happy Place?


Located on the winery property is a cabin.  When she was alive, Chloe's mom considered the cabin her "happy place," and she and Chloe made a lot of mother-daughter memories there.  

Chloe's dad is renting the cabin so others have a chance to enjoy it.  

Although Chloe doesn't know who the current tenant is, she and this mystery man exchange messages on a chalkboard in the cabin.

Do you find this odd?  Chloe shows up at the cabin at all hours of the day and night and lets herself in.  It's not unusual for "housekeeping staff" to maintain a rental, but Chloe usually has some random reason for barging in every day, and she never encounters the renter.

Regardless, the back-and-forth banter via the chalkboard is amusing.  Ironically, Chloe asks for advice on dealing with a jerk, and Seth (the jerk she's referring to) is the one who gives her helpful tips.

In the end when Chloe realizes she's been exchanging notes with Seth the whole time, she admits she had hoped it was him.  I'm wondering why it never came up in conversation, "Hey, since you're not from around here, where are you staying?"


Most of us probably don't have a "happy place" located on massive acreage we own, but there's usually a retreat somewhere inside or outside of our home where we find a peaceful escape from the world.  Where is that place for you?

Mine is our deck.  I love to sit at the table on the deck, under our umbrella, and pour over recipe books, read, or blog.  

Some people love spending time near the ocean on a beach to find tranquility or in a hammock in the woods.  In the comment section below, share the location of your happy place.

Do Lacey and Andrew Make a Good Couple?


We've watched each of these leads be the "better half" of many a Hallmark couple.  How well do you think they go together in My Secret Valentine

panel management

Either way, it's hard to watch this movie and not get in the mood for wine!

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What Did You Think of Hallmark's "Romance in the Air?"

Starring:  Cindy Busby and Torrance Coombs

Released: 2020

Summary:  A woman returns to where she used to spend her summers after learning her job is on the line, and there, she's reunited with her childhood friend.

Image:  Crown Media

Do You Have a Summer Getaway?


If you're a country girl like me, it's probably hard to imagine spending every summer at Lake Tahoe, like Eden's family did.  We didn't have that kind of money, but we made just as many fun memories camping for one week every summer.

Do you have a favorite place you visit each year?  Maybe you make an annual trek to the beach or Disney World.  If you have a special place you return to regularly, be sure to share it in the comment section.

Eden is suprised to find Riley, her childhood friend, still living at Lake Tahoe, and they manage to quickly reconnect despite the number of years that have passed.


Paycheck Versus Fulfillment


Eden is in marketing, but she's lost her enthusiam and edge.  She likes marketing, but she's not interested in the type of boring products her boss keeps assigning her to promote.  

Riley isn't making any money with his hot air balloon business, until Eden works her marketing magic, but he loves what he's doing.

Think about your job for a minute.  Do you love what you do, or do you feel stuck?  Most of us like a sure thing, particularly a paycheck, but sometimes we need to do something new and differerent to keep growing.  Changing jobs can be risky.  Taking a chance on something more fulfilling requires a leap of faith.  

If you're stuck in a rut, maybe it means you need be open to a new opportunity.  


Unrealistic Movie Scenes


Kate is Eden's best friend, and she accompanies Eden to Lake Tahoe.  Instead of just spending girl time hanging out, Kate ends up on her own quite a bit as Eden ping pongs between Riley and her boyfriend, Michael.

Kate isn't a third wheel for too long though because Eden breaks up with Michael and hands him over to Kate.  Turns out, Michael and Kate have been attracted to each other this whole time, so Eden gives them her blessing.

He's too much of a weiner to fight over anyway.


In real life, that doesn't happen.  Outside of Hallmark land, this would have led to the demise of Eden and Kate's friendship.  They would have blocked each other on social media and never spoken to each other again.  Their mutual acquaintances would have to pick sides.  Imagine if divorces were this amicable!  

Did you notice how many milkshakes everyone keeps buying from Mr. Webber's store, yet everyone stays skinny?  Over the course of a week, the rest of us would have put on 20 pounds.

Riley is allergic to bananas, but Mr. Webber keeps forgetting.

Speaking of Mr. Webber, he asks Riley to fix his freezer when it stops working.  Without using any tools, Riley manages to fix it in two seconds.  If you've ever had an appliance repaired, you know it gets torn apart, and there's an enormous mess to clean up once it's fixed.  No greasy hands for Riley!


What Rating Would You Give "Romance in the Air?"


Cindy Busby always plays a down-to-earth character who is bouncy and likeable, and Torrance Coombs has the kind of eyes you can drown in.


I'm not sure I'd feel secure hooking up with someone who gave balloon rides for a living, but that's just me.  Those eyes have the power to convince a woman of anything though.  
 
What did you think of the movie?  Share your rating below:  

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Ryan Paevey Puts the "Dude" in Dude Ranch in "A Summer Romance"

Starring:  Erin Krakow and Ryan Paevey

Released:  2019

Summary:  A woman dedicated to taking care of her family's ranch and legacy finds herself falling in love after a developer shows up to try and buy the property from her.

Image:  Crown Media

How Does Sam Walker Control Herself?


Even though A Summer Romance is filmed in various locations in Canada, including Vancouver, the movie setting is Bighorn, Montana, which really is a county in Montana with a population of roughly 12,865.  

In other words, it's not every day that a local is likely to bump into someone as gorgeous as Richard Belmont (Paevey).  

Even though Richard is in town to convince Sam to sell him her ranch, he ends up falling in love with the land and her.  He tries to make a move on Sam several times, which we know will go nowhere since the proverbial kiss must wait until the final scene, but Sam's self-control is impressive.  She resists him until the very end.

Could you have held out that long if Paevey gave you the hairy eyeball?  Me neither.  


Don't Pretend You Didn't  Think This Too 


Sam and Richard go on a day-long horseback ride, and on another day, they set up camp when it's too late to travel back to the house.

What did they eat?  Where did they pee?  How did this not kill the mood?

After laying on the ground all night by a smoky fire, Sam gets up with hair perfectly in place and impeccable make-up.  I'm sure neither of them had B.O. from not bathing or bad breath from not brushing.

The rest of us would be a hot, stinky mess, but I like the unrealistic Hallmark version better.

Image:  Crown Media

Do You Know What a Dude Ranch Is?


Sam can't make the full payments on her ranch, and the bank is losing patience. 

This should come as no surprise because what does the ranch produce?  There are no ranch hands and no mention of product generation--just 2500 acres to roam on and call home.

We aren't supposed to think this deeply about a Hallmark movie.

Sam dreams of turning a better profit to save her ranch from becoming a resort by converting it to a dude ranch.  You've heard the term, but do you know what a dude ranch really is?

No, it's not a place to collect gorgeous men like Ryan Paevey.

Dude used to have a different meaning that it does today.  It referred to an urbanite, so a dude ranch is more of a "guest" ranch open for tourism where visitors can experience camping, horseback riding, and other outdoor activities.  It's a vacation-y way to play cowboy.

Speaking of cowboy, how sexy does Paevey look in tight jeans, cowboy boots, a big Western belt buckle, and a cowboy hat?   Paevey actually does his own horseback riding in the movie as well as milking the cow!


See If You Can Complete the Cowboy Code 


Zane Grey wrote about the Code of the West in his 1934 novel, but no written code exists.  The code is really a conglomeration of socially agreed upon cowboy behavior that function like informal laws.  

See if you can complete the four tenets of the cowboy code.  Answers are at the end of the post!

  • Live each day with _______________.
  • Take pride in your ________________.
  • Talk less, say _______________.
  • Always finish what you____________.
Image:  Crown Media

What's Wrong With Rescuing a Damsel in Distress?


Women's libbers ruin everything.  There's nothing wrong with a man (i.e. "hero") rescuing a damsel in distress.  It's quite honorable and very masculine for men to take the lead and come to the rescue of a woman who needs help.  

Hallmark focuses more on female empowerment than the traditional fairy tale.

Even though Richard's company, without his consent, bought Sam's loan from the bank and plans to foreclose so they can proceed with converting her ranch into a resort, Richard says he can pay off her loan in 72 hours to nullify the deal.  

Sam doesn't want to be rescued and declines.  What the HECK!  Richard says he's not trying to rescue her.  He wants to invest in her idea for a dude ranch.  That approach changes Sam's mind.

Get over yourselves, feminists!  Women can be smart with creative ideas AND let men be men who are chivalrous. 


The Kiss Was a Letdown 


Despite Richard's repeated attempts to kiss Sam, she avoids it until the very end.  By this point, you'd think she'd be ready to attack him.  I expected a spectacular kiss after all that tense build-up, but the kiss ends up being a few quick staccato touches of the lips.  

Should one of us step in and show her how it should be done?  Who wants to volunteer?

A Summer Romance Is Available on DVD!


This is one of my favorite movies with Ryan Paevey!  If you want to add it to your DVD collection to save space on your DVR for other Hallmark movies, you can find it on Amazon.


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Cowboy Code Answers:

  • courage
  • work
  • more
  • start