Sunday, June 30, 2013

Nomad by JL Bryan

I know I don't usually review books on my blog (except the first post I ever did), so many of you might not be used to this type of post from me.  However, I do read a TON, usually a book every two to three days. (It used to be a book a day, but kids take up time, you know? LOL) So, to that point, and since I've had much less time to craft, I might be doing some more book reviews just to keep in the habit of writing...and possibly even letting you know about a book or author you end up loving! 

So, welcome to my second book review post!  First of all, I want to let you know...

**DISCLAIMER** I received this book free in exchange for a review.

Please keep in mind that this does not affect my review in any way. The following review is honestly how I feel about this book.

Coming soon from the author of Jenny Pox (The Paranormals) series and The Songs of Magic series...

The official description from Goodreads:

They took everything: her family, her home, her childhood.

By the age of nineteen, Raven has spent most of her life in the sprawling slums of America, fighting as a rebel against the dictatorship.  When the rebellion steals an experimental time-travel device, she travels back five decades to the year 2013. Her plan: assassinate the future dictator when he is still young and vulnerable, long before he comes to power.  She must move fast to reshape history, because agents from her own time are on her trail, ready to execute her on sight.

My review:

I absolutely loved this book.  I really wanted to be critical and find something wrong with it so I didn't sound like some kind of paid actor type of reviewer, but I just can't.  I enjoyed it from start to finish and read it in about one day, which doesn't happen very much anymore.  First of all, it's about a dystopian future, which I love, but the majority of the action takes place in the current time, so it was easy for me to relate to and picture the surroundings as I was reading.  Second, it's about time travel and the inherent paradoxes that go along with time travel, which I have always found just fascinating.  Third, I loved ethical quandaries in the plot.  If you could go back in time and kill someone you consider evil before they can commit any heinous acts, would you?  How would it affect the future?  Would it be better....or worse?  How would it change you as a person?

On one hand, I kind of hope this book is the first in a series.  I really love the concepts behind the plot.  On the other hand, I kind of feel that Raven's story has been told and sufficiently completed, so I could definitely see this as a stand alone book. Only time will tell!

I think this book is definitely worth a read.  The scheduled publish date is July 26th, so I definitely hope you decide to check it out!  You can see the Nomad Goodreads page here.  You might also want to visit JL Bryan's Amazon Page, Facebook and blog.  (If you want a taste of JL's writing style and can't wait for Nomad to be released, check out Jenny Pox.  It's the first book of his I read and I thought it was fantastic! The only very small negative for me  is it was a little gory, but that goes with the subject of that particular book.)

Thanks for stopping by, and I'll see you soon!! 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Father's Day

Hello my friends!  Wow, it's been a busy summer so far.  This past weekend was just crazy, but fun.  Saturday Bear and I went to a graduation party about 45 minutes to an hour away, but more about that later (so I can share the pix of the card and gift).  Sunday was Father's Day, as many of you know.  Unfortunately, Wy had to work mandatory overtime that day, so he was not home most of his first Father's Day.  It was sad...but it was also good because it gave me time to get his surprises ready.

First surprise was the gifts.

Yes, that is bacon on that plate.  I'll get to that later.  The "dad" blocks are wooden blocks from Tim Holtz that I painted using Alcohol Inks.  Then, using an idea I got from this pin on Pinterest, I created this photo present:

I can see myself doing something like this every year.  Maybe not in frames, because that would take up WAY too much room, but at least taking the pictures, using the same blocks.  It will be fun to see how he grows year to year.

Now, to the bacon.  First, let me tell you, I can't stand bacon.  I hate the look, I hate the smell, I hate the taste, and I DEFINITELY hate the feel of raw bacon.  Ick.  However, Wy looooves bacon.  So, when I saw this pin on how to make bacon roses, I just had to try it.

Turned out pretty good!  Only problem...the "rose buds" didn't want to stay on the stems.  I found that out when I tried to carry the vase to the table and three of them fell off. (One actually ended up on the floor, which is why he got 11 "roses" instead of a dozen.)  I put it together and kept it on the stove until he got home, made him come see it in all its glory, then took the buds off and put them on the paper plate you see in the first picture.  These made a great appetizer for him.

The final thing I did was cook dinner.  Now, I know that's not a big deal for many of you.  However, I am SO not a cook.  I really want to be, and I've been trying new things recently.  I'm one of those people where I'm terrified to try something new, but once I do it and realize how easy it is, I'm fine.  Well, this was the first time I finally got out the crock put (that we've had for, um, seven years lol). I found this pin (yes, it was a Pinterest holiday) and the recipe seemed fairly simple.

Oh my gosh, it was so freaking good!  I think next time I will only use one gravy packet, but all in all it was delicious.  Absolutely no leftovers.  =D

Finally, here's a picture of Wy and Bear.  Happy (belated) Father's Day to all the wonderful fathers out there!  We love you!

Thursday, June 6, 2013


Holy cow, I can't believe it's been a month since I've posted anything!  That just feels insane.  Life has gotten so hectic recently.  When I'm home, I'm playing with Bear, so I don't have much time to craft or post.  I've been putting some extra time in at a law firm on top of my full-time job, so I don't have a lot of time at home, anyway.  AND I've been interviewing for a new job (3 interviews for the same job) that I ultimately ended up getting!  I just found out yesterday, and am so excited.  It's going to be a lot more challenging than my current job, and it's a heck of a lot closer to home (7-10 minutes instead of 45 minutes - 1 hour).

So!  Bear's baptism went smashingly!  Here's a picture of our big boy:

He was SUCH a good boy!  No crying during the service, just a touch of fussiness that was over as soon as daddy started holding him.  I was so proud of him, and so blessed that our family was there.  DH's mom, brother, two sisters and their families all drove down from Grand Forks, DH's other brother and his family were there, my family were there, my step-dad's parents drove up from Texas, and even my step-dad's Jewish brother-in-law made an appearance!  Plus we had a couple of our good friends there.  Our little Bear is blessed with so many people who love him.  We are very lucky.

After church, we had a get-together at our local Legion.  On top of the food and cake I bought at Costco and Cub, I was up all Saturday night and early Sunday morning making cucumber toasties and cucumber sandwiches.  I found the recipes on Pinterest.  They were such a hit!  I was ecstatic!  These are the toasties:

They were really good.  I found the recipe on this pin, which led me to this blog post. Incredibly easy to make, and I made them on disposable half-sheet cake pans from Cub that actually came with tops, so it was super easy to transport them and we just threw away the trays/covers when we were done.  

I also made cucumber sandwiches, because I've always loved them. I found an awesome recipe on this pin, which led me to this blog post.  Here's the picture from the pin (mine were nowhere near this pretty):

I did not take my own picture of the sandwiches because I was positive I was never going to make them ever, ever, EVER again.  Let me explain.  It was so easy to make everything...until I got to the part where I had to cut them up.  Lord, were they slippery!  Trying to cut them in half, cucumbers spitting out all over the was insane.  However, they were SUCH a hit at the party, I'll probably make them again, although I'll be cutting them in half first and then cutting the crusts off.  One thing to note...I was making double the amount of sandwiches than what the recipe makes, so I doubled the ingredients.  Duh, right? Wrong.  I had almost the entire bowl of marinating cucumbers left over.  Next time I might only make HALF of the marinating cucumbers.  (Although my friends really did appreciate the leftovers. LOL)

I actually have been able to make a few cards in the past couple of weeks, but the pictures are all at home.  So...I'll try to get them posted in the next week or so!  Until then, stay crafty and thanks for stopping by!