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!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Baptism Gifts

Hey y'all!  Happy Cinco de Mayo!  I had planned to have  a Cinco de Mayo card to share with you, but didn't have time to put it together.  I'll be posting it some time; it will just be late. =D

Bear's Baptism is coming up in the middle of May, so I've been wanting to make the gifts for the Godparents.  One of them had taken a picture of Bear when he was two months, and it was just so cute I had to make a couple of canvases for the gifts.

And here's a close up of the wording:

One is a couple and the other is a very close friend, so the alternate wording says "Godparent".  I had a lot of fun making these canvases today.  I painted the outside with a Ranger dobber in Pool. Turns out I've had it so long the sponge had dried up, so I had to soak it in some water before it would work. The paper is from American Crafts, and the buttons were a variety pack that I bought at JoAnn Crafts.  I've never been easy with buttons, so I was very excited with how these came out.

Well, thanks for stopping by, and I hope to see you soon.  Until then, stay crafty, my friends!

Paper Creator's Crafts: For the Boys
Delicious Doodles: For the Boys
Simply Create Too: All About Babies
Crafty Sentiments Designs: The Letter "B" (boy, blue, buttons)

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Who Needs Slippers?

Hey, y'all!  How has everyone been doing?  I've been doing very well, enjoying the time with Bear and DH. Met my uncle's new girlfriend today, so that was fun.  Glad he's finally found someone decent.  =D

Well, as you may or may not know Sassy Studio Designs had a release last weekend.  The theme?  More Oz Sassies!  Yea!  =D  Although I'm no longer a member of the team, I couldn't help but play along.  The challenge?  Tic Tac Toe!

I decided to use the brick (embossed or stamped), yellow and ribbon row.  I had originally started out using a different row completely, but forgot to print out my flying monkey image.  Therefore, I had to do a quick re-design.  =D

I used The Wicked Witch Sassy from the previous Oz release.  She was colored with Copics.  The yellow brick road I embossed using my Martha Stewart Score Board.  The sentiment I printed out on word.  Boots are so much more fun (and hotter!) than slippers, am I right?  =D

Well, that's all for today.  I was hoping to have more cards to show off, but Bear was in QUITE a mood today, so I didn't get much done.  Maybe later this week.  Until then, stay crafty!

Thanks for stopping by!

Sassy Studio Designs: Off to Find a Wizard Tic Tac Toe
SSD DTBST #175: Hats
Really Reasonable Ribbon: Sparkle, Bling and Ribbon
Creative Card Crew: Bling
The Paper Nest Dolls: Embossing

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Birthday Card #3

Hello again!  Here's the third birthday card I made in the past few days.  I think this is it for the week...probably more next week, but my dad's coming into town on Friday.  It's his first time meeting Bear, so we're very excited to have him for the weekend.

This card is for a good friend of mine who is having a birthday party on Friday.

The inside:

One of my extremely talented blogger friends (Tracy)* recently created a card using the image Starla from Saturated Canary. As I have previously mentioned, I am a huge SC fan, but have not been able to stock up on many images due to financial constraints, and due to the baby, I have not been able to keep up on my blogs.  Well, I had never seen this stamp before.  I decided since it shares my name (and it's cuter than hell) I just HAD to have it.  So, I jumped over and bought it right away.  I wanted to use it immediately, so I thought it would be perfect for my friend Tracy's birthday. (A different Tracy.)

I colored the image with Copics, Spica markers, and added Stickles and Glossy Accents.  The sentiments are random stamps from my stash, and I can't think of the companies right now, but I thought that inside sentiment was just PERFECT for this image.  The papers are from DCWV and Stampin' Up, and the button is from my stash.  The sketch I used is from The Sweet Stop.

Ok, thanks so much for stopping by!  I've been asked to do a few more cards, so I will probably have a couple more posts next week.  In the meantime...stay crafty!

*I just realized, I gave credit to the wrong blogger friend!  Oh, I feel just horrible.  I saw the card on Facebook and got the names mixed up.  The actual card I saw inspiring me to buy this image was by the incredibly gifted Regan over at Charmed Stamping.  The card that inspired me can be found on her post here.  My bad, Regan!! Big hugs!

Digital Tuesday: Birthdays
Inky Chicks: Happy Birthday, Girl
Sparkle n Sprinkle: Use a Digital Image
The Paper Nest Dolls Challenge: Happy Birthday

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Another Birthday

Hello, hello, hello!  Second day in a row with a post.  Woot!  =D

As I mentioned yesterday, I have a lot of birthdays coming up.  One of which is a buddy of mine, almost a brother.  Our moms were best friends and we kind of grew up together, even went trick-or-treating together as He-Man and She-Ra when we were kids.  He's turning the big 3-0 this year, so I wanted to make him a fun card.

The image is from Bugaboo and can be found in the store here.  I just love Bugaboo, and they're so sweet with their freebies every Friday.  The image was colored with Copics, then Stickles were added to the halo and clouds.  As I was editing the photo, I noticed that I totally forgot to Stickle the wings! I went back and did it on the card, but didn't have time to retake the photos.  So, you'll just have to imagine it with crystal Stickled wings.  =D I'm not sure what company made the paper.  It's from my stash.  I do know that I bought it from Archiver's about a year and a half ago. The buttons were made with my Epiphany Crafts button maker.

Going Grey with Scrap Creations: Insects or Animals
Cards for Men: Anything Goes
Cards in Envy: Things with Wings
Paper Makeup Digi Makeover Challenge: Animal Friends
Eureka Stamps: Animal Catwalk
Digital Tuesday: Birthdays
V's Sweet Ideas: Anything Goes
Sparkle n Sprinkle: Use a Digital Image

Monday, April 22, 2013

Pinterest Win

Hi!  Welcome to post # 2 today.  Crazy, right?  I feel like I'm overcompensating for being gone so long.

I've recently started cooking.  Rather, I've recently started THINKING about cooking.  Having Bear in our lives now, I've decided it's time to start eating healthy, cooked at home meals so we're prepared when he starts eating solid foods.  With that in mind, I've been scouring Pinterest for recipes, and I've found TONS.

Last night, I actually made one.  It's crazy.  I feel so empowered.  I actually cooked.  I know for many this is nothing, but for me it's a huge accomplishment.

So, one of the recipes I found here was for a 2 bean enchilada casserole.  Looks pretty good, right?

They, of course, took pictures after putting the tomatoes on.  I took my picture before adding anything on top (like lettuce), but here's mine.

Doesn't look at all pretty like the pinned picture, but it was delicious, so I'm calling it a win. (Though the next time I make it I'm adding corn to the baked part, and sour cream and possibly crunched up chips to the top.) Next meal I'm trying?  Tater Tot Casserole. Wish me luck!

I'm Baaaaaack....

Hello my peeps!  Goodness, I feel like it's been AGES since I've been able to post.  Mostly because it's been a while since I've been able to sit down and create anything.  I'm enjoying the time with Bear, but God help me I cannot WAIT until he's just a little bit older and can entertain himself with a toy or something for 5-10 minutes by himself. LOL

Anyway, I have some birthdays coming up, so I told (er, asked nicely) DH to watch Bear for a while so I could get some crafting done. That...didn't happen.  I ended up making dinner instead. (You can read all about that, if you want, in my next post.  I know...two posts in one day!  I think I'm trying to make up for being gone so long.)  So, after Bear when to sleep last night I was able to throw together one card.  Two more to go, but hopefully I'll get to them this week.

Today I'm sharing a card I made for my coworker's birthday.  Her b-day was actually on Saturday, but we're not celebrating at work until tomorrow (Tuesday) so everyone could be there.  Yay for leaving me a few extra days to create!  =D

Saturated Canary is one of my favorite digi companies.  Unfortunately, it's also one of my most recently found, which means I don't have a whole lot of her images...yet.  I'm working on it, though!  This image is Ava.  Isn't she a doll?  I just love all the layers in the outfit!  She was colored with Copics, then Crystal Effects (or whatever that glaze is called) was added to the balloon and eyes for extra shine.  The papers are from DCWV, the ribbons, pearls and flower are from my stash.  I added some Stickles to the flower because, hey, I can't make a card without Stickles. LOL  The inside says "A little cake and lots of fun. Happy Birthday!" then has a black and white stamp of a cupcake.  (Although it's on purple paper, so I guess it's a black and purple stamp. LOL)

Ok!  So, thanks for stopping by, and I swear I will try to get more creations posted.  It all depends on little man's schedule.  =D

Saturated Canary: Anything Goes
The Paper Nest Dolls Challenge: Happy Birthday
Creative Belli: Pastels
Paper Pretties Wednesday: Happy Birthday
Stampotique Designers: Birthday
Sparkle n Sprinkle: Use a Digital Image