Thursday, November 3, 2011

Happy iDSD Weekend

Wow!  I knew that I was MIA, but so long?!?  Bad, Blogger, Bad!!

Well, it is almost iDSD, so I thought that I would share some goodies that are available out in digi-world. 

Head over to Design House Digital for their FREE Blog Hop.  12 Designers.  This kit is chuck full of scrapping goodness, with 43 papers, 62 elements, a full alpha and and a template.
A couple of the designers are also offering a drawing when you get to their pages.Check back later in the week for more!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th & How to Make Sparkler Pretzel Rods

Happy 4th of July Everyone!
Do you have any special plans today?  BBQ-ing?  Camping?  Spending time with Family or Friends?  Do you do your own fireworks or go to a large fireworks display?
We love Independence Day here.  I grew up looking forward to this wonderful holiday.  As a kid, just the idea of setting off fireworks (which then were much crazier than they are now) was enough to make the holiday fun, but you add in all the yummy food, staying up late and hanging out with friends and you have a recipe for a kids paradise.  Of course, once I got older, I learned about the Reason that we celebrate.  This just made it better.  To celebrate why we are a country and how we got our independence.  I love my country and the freedoms that we have. 
So, our plans this year - pretty laid back for us.  We supported some of our favorite non-profits by purchasing fireworks from them.  We only wish that we could help more great charities this way.  We will be BBQing beef ribs, plus eating artichokes, watermelon, strawberries and my Sparkler Pretzel Rods (see below).  I kids will probably do some swim time and run around with their friends.  Come evening, I am sure that the "kids" will not wait for dark to start setting off snacks, eyeballs, crack the whips, sparklers and more, and then when it gets dark, we will do our big fountains.  Around 9:30, our local park does a big fireworks display that we can see in the sky from our street (yes, we get the best of both worlds).

So, I mentioned Sparkler Pretzel Rods.  Even though we weren't doing anything special, I couldn't help but make something cool.  I found this idea on the Martha Stewart website and I wanted to try it out.  It was super easy.
Pretzel Rods
Chocolate Chips
Various red, white and blue sprinkles (I had 6 different kinds that I tried, light blue sugar crystals, bright blue sugar crystals, white non-pareils, white sugar crystals, red, white & blue non-pareils, and red, white and blue mix)
Place chocolate in either a double boiler if you have one or like I did - a glass measuring cup inside of a pan of water on the stove.  Melt the chocolate until smooth. 
Dip one end of the pretzel rod in the chocolate.  If it is not deep to come up high enough on your rod, use a pastry brush or even a spatula to get the chocolate up higher. 
As soon as it is covered to your liking, cover in one kind of sprinkle.  I found that some of these sprinkle, I could roll the chocolate in and others I had to use my hand to sprinkle the topping down over the rod.  Lay out on parchment paper to harden.  Continue dipping and adding different sprinkles. 
Enjoy!  Yummy!

I am off to enjoy my celebration.  Have a happy (and safe) holiday!


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Book Review - Moon Called by Patricia Briggs

Moon Called (Mercedes Thompson, #1)Moon Called by Patricia Briggs

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In this 1st book in the Mercy Thompson series, shape-changer mechanic, Mercy seems to be prone to entangle with creatures that most would steer clear of.  She seems to have the perfect mix of bravery and "should-know-better-and-does-it-anyway" to make the story interesting.  It helps that since she was born coyote, she has senses that humans do not, but it also gets her into trouble when she can't stop herself from helping out others and getting herself into trouble just as often.  She seems to draw strong male suitors to her like fireflies to a lamp.

In this story, she ends up helping out a lone new werewolf, which sheds light on a plot to upend the werewolf community and she finds herself saving the hot alpha.

It was a great read and I plan on continuing the series to find out what else happens to her.

View all my reviews

Book Review - Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs

Blood Bound (Mercedes Thompson, #2)Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I had picked up this book thinking that it was the first in the series by Patricia Briggs about a shapechanger named Mercy who was a car mechanic that could change into a coyote and was mixed up with werewolves, vampires, fae and all sorts of trouble.  Once I got into the book, I realized that it was later in the series.  It turned out to be book 2.  I still really enjoyed it and wanted to start the series at the beginning as soon as I was done. 

In this book she seems to have all sorts of creatures chasing her (both romantically and violently).  Her vampire friend asks for help and it embroils her in a lot of trouble with a demon, vampires and of course the werewolves.  Not to mention trying to balance the multiple romantic advances that she has to fend off. 

I thought that the author did a good job of mixing it with lots of fantasy creatures in our real world.  I recommend it for those that like fantasy

View all my reviews

Book Review - City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4)City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed the previous 3 books in this series, plus another stand alone book that Cassandra Clare has written, so it was a no-brainer to pick this one up.  I did enjoy it, although, I think that the previous books were a tad better.  In some ways, this book seemed more like a piece of a story instead of a whole story unto itself.  I prefer series books to each speak for themselves,  while continuing the characters.  I would still recommend it for someone who likes the series, but it should not be read on it's own.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Party Planning & blog giveaway

As you probably have figured out, I LOVE to plan parties!  To find some cool theme and create all the details to make an amazing party is just a thrill to me.  For this reason, I am always on the look out for resources and ideas for parties.
When planning my son's first birthday party, I went on the hunt for ideas on how to create a fun Sporty Mickey party.  Some of my normal websites that I check did not hold anything for me (Oriental Trading, Birthday Express and Birthday Party Ideas).  So, I started "googling" things.  Well, I found the coolest website.  It is called Celebrations At Home.  They had the best party page with pictures for a Baseball party:
I already shared pictures on how I made my banner from this party and I plan on sharing some of the other ideas that I got from this website,too.
I was just floored by their ideas.  I wanted to copy them all.  Now, I follow their blog daily just to see all the new cool ideas.  They have ideas for just about anything and they are always beautiful and wonderfully photographed.
Well, right now, they are having a HUGE giveaway from some of their vendors, valued at over $270!  I was excited that I wanted to share it with you.
Make sure to check them out to help give you inspiration on your next party, too! 

How to Make Your Own Banner

I celebrated my little one's birthday recently and we decided to go with a sport theme - well, a sporty Mickey theme to be exact.  Well, as many things that I want to do, there wasn't anything out there that was both sports and Mickey.  All the ideas were one or the other, so I took ideas from both and merged them together.
One thing that I really loved was the sport flag banners.  Since I wanted both themes, I went ahead and found fabrics that worked for both.  I searched yard sales, thrift stores and my own storage.  I got 2 sheets on clearance at a thrift store for $2 in navy and dusty blue (that's a ton of fabric for that amount).  I found a red & white stripe at a yard sale for $3 for 4 yards.  I already had a Mickey print and a red and a light blue/white stripe.  Then I found a multi-sport print at JoAnn's.  It was the most expensive at $4.19/yard on sale, but it tied everything together.
I made my own triangle template.  I folded each of the fabrics in half, making sure that if there were stripes, they were lined up the correct direction.
For this project, it really doesn't matter if your fabric is "right" or "wrong" sides together.  I would then lay my template on top of the fabric.  I found it easiest to cut all the way across the fabric of the height of the triangle
After that, it is easy to cut each set of triangles.  I found that if I had the fold to the left, I would get 3 to 5 and 1/2 triangles out of each strip.
You will need to cut out triangles in each of the fabrics.  De[ending on how long you want your banner to be, will decide how many triangles total you need.

Now onto the sewing!
Place your 2 matching triangles (or mismatching if that is the look you want) right sides together.  Sew the 2 sides together, leaving the top open.  I did mine in batches - sew 5 or 6 and then do the next steps, since I was trying the process out.  It would make more sense to do all the sewing at once.
Next, you need to turn them right side out.  It is best to use a pointed tool like the one pictured to the left to push the corner all the way out.  This tool is specifically designer to help push corners out and things like stuffing into small areas, but you could use anything.  If you do not have anything, it will still work, it just will not be as crisp of a triangle.  I used the tool on the triangle on the left and did not on the triangle on the right.
For the next step, I ironed the seams and corners.  Again, this could be skipped, but it would not look as crisp.
You will need to fold in about 1/4 inch of the top edges and iron down flat.  There should be no raw edges showing.  You could pin it down if you want to keep it closed, but I found that if I ironed it well, I did not need to.
I top-sewed down the top edge to keep it from getting messed up.
You should end up with a pile of multi-patterned triangles

In order to figure out the pattern that I wanted, I first laid them out on the floor to play around with color combinations.  I found that some triangles looked better next to others.  For instance, my light blue and the light blue stripe were 2 different light blues, so they did not look good next to each other.  The same could be said of the navy and Mickey on navy.
Once you have your pattern figured out, this also gives you an idea of how long your finished banner will be.

I made a stack of my triangles in the right order so that as I sewed them, I could just easily grab each one in order.
I used an inexpensive white 1/4" ribbon.  Measure how much ribbon you want to hang off the end.  I left about 2' and then started the first triangle.  Using a zigzag pattern to give it a little more strength, I sewed the ribbon to the triangle.  I left about 1 1/2" between each triangle.  Continue sewing triangle and repeating your pattern if needed until your banner is the right size.  Make sure to leave the same amount of ribbon on the end that you left on the beginning.
And WALLAH!  You are done!
Now, you can make a banner for any event and in any color!
I hope feel comfortable trying out this fun and easy sewing project.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Digital Scrapbooking Challenges

Hello all,
I have recently been dabbling more than a little bit in the digital world of scrapbooking.  Of course, it all started with my own scrapbook pages.  I started scrapbooking digitally a few years ago.  At that time, I was still a Creative Memories Consultant and used their software and kits exclusively.  They had a ton of stuff that I loved They had pre-designed pages that made completely pages super easy.  They had "Power Palettes" that combined lots of papers and embellishments in the same color group to change things up and additions that coordinated as well.  They even had a contract with Disney, so I got official Disney pages and embellishments, too!
Then . . . I ran into a friend of mine one day who mentioned how many websites she visited daily downloading free kits.  She joked about how it was like an obsession.  I laughed.  I thought that was silly.  She mentioned how she ran out of space on her computer since she downloaded so many kits (most of them free).
She started sending me the links to these digital freebies, so I would check them out.  WOW!  My world has been turned around.  Now, I can see what she meant by it is an obsession.  When you are faced with all these cool freebies that designers have put out there, it is really hard to NOT download them ALL!  Sometimes, over 100 come out in a day!  I have downloaded so many kits, I am not sure what to do with them all.  I am getting better at deciding what I will use and what I will not.  I find that I download almost any kit that is Zoo, or Disney and I have designers that I love.

There is a website that every other month does a huge "Blog Train" where over 100 designers put together mini kits of the same theme and colors.  You then jump from one blog to the next collecting all these bits that coordinate together.  June will be their next train.  To collect the freebies, visit the websites and make sure to leave a comment from each designer that you download from to thank them for their work:

A website that I have mentioned before is Design House Digital.  They have weekly freebies, discounted kits, challenges, forums and more.  If you participate in the challenges, you could win gift certificates to their store.  I try to do at least a few of their challenges each month.

One of my favorite designers is Britt of Britt-ish Designs.  She is a big Disney fan and many of her kits are reminiscent of Disney.  Of course, it would illegal for her to actually make Disney stuff to sell, which is why what she put together is so cool.  If there is something in Disneyland, or a character that you love, you probably has a kit for it.  I am currently eying her Space Ranger kit, Galactic Alliance kit, and Never Grow Up.

One thing that is important before downloading all these kits is to make sure that you have something that will open them.  Many digi-scrappers use Adobe Photoshop, but I use Creative Memories Storybook Creator 3 Plus.  Both of these programs will set you back a few bones, but they are great at what they are for, and when you can download the content for free, it makes digital scrapbooking more affordable than it's traditional cousin.  The best part about digital versus traditional - once I have the kit, I can re-use the items over and over and when I want to print, I can print multiple copies of the same thing with no extra work.  I can also share them with friends and family easily.

It's a new world out there to preserve your memories - now how are you going to do it?

Friday, May 27, 2011

Memorial Weekend

Hello All,
Memorial Weekend is here.  The official kick-off of summer.  Well, my kids are finally out of school for the summer.  How about yours?  We have had one week of 4 munchkins trying NOT to get under each other's skin.  So far, mostly so good.  Of course, it doesn't help that after finally getting over the cold that I got around Mother's Day, my 1 yo has re-given it to me!  :(  I just hate summer colds!  I am coughing and have a runny nose.  Yuck!  Other than that, though, I am able to be up and around and get some stuff done. 
Now that the kids are out of school, I hope to get more done (I know - hahaha!)  I am currently working on a project of Altering Books.  I can't wait to share it with you.
I am also working on a blog post about getting melted crayon out of clothes (hmmm?  The downside to letting an 8 yo do laundry.  Although, I guess that it was bound to happen with 4 kids)
Do you have any BBQ plans for this weekend?  We did have some plans, although with this cold, now I am wondering. 
Have a great Memorial Weekend.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy iNSD Day & Happy early Mother's Day

Boy, Have I been a BAD blogger!
My life has been so crazy that I haven't posted anything in over a month!  How did that happen?  I was so busy with birthday parties, Easter, Teacher Appreciation Week, helping my son with Science Fair and then State report, planning a banquet, attending a million field trips with each of my kids, putting together classroom memory albums, creating end of year teacher presents, gathering my stuff to sell at a kids consigment sale, rearranging my girls' room, and more!  Wow!  It makes me tired just typing that.
Well, I plan on at least stopping in to at least give you a few of my favorite things.
Right now - my favorite thing is iNSD - or (inter) National Scrapbook Day.  I have gotten really immersed into the digital scrapbooking world.  My favorite place to "hang out" is doing a FREE Blog Hop (where you hop from one blog to another. picking coordinating goodies), cricut giveaway and more.
I have been participating in monthly challenges, creating pages and earning free product.  They are called Design House Digital.

Here is a page that I just did there:
I did it on my Father's Birthday.  We lost him last Jan and I wanted to do something to celebrate his birthday.  I probably should have played poker!  :)

This one satisfied 2 of their challenges:  Journaling (to use word strips) and the Scraplift Challenge (to "lift" someone else's page layout and make it your own)

Here are also the latest Project 365 that I did.  I love the colors and butterflies from this kit that I got from DHD. 

If you ever thought about digital scrapping, now is the time to jump in.  Most designers are having a sale this weekend for iNSD, so you can pick up a ton of freebies and inexpensive kits.  I am trying hard to not spend a mint!  :D

So, I hope all you mommies have a nice day and you scrapbookers have a productive iNSD and those that are both . . .ENJOY!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

How to Make Race Car Candy Pretzel Rods

Hello All!
This next How To could really be transferred to almost any candy mold.  For this particular post, I took the photos for the treats that I made for my son's class.  I asked him what he would like me to bring and he surprised me by suggesting these candy pretzel rods.  My kids LOVE when I make any of these treats, so I guess that it shouldn't have surprised me too much.
This is one of the finished cars.  I made quite a few, in different color combinations, but the concept is the same.  As it was, since he didn't tell me until the morning of, I was a bit crunched for time to get them completed in time to bring them to his class.  I ended up mixing in some Roses Pretzel Rods for the girls which are a ton faster, since they need less detail and color changes.
So, first thing.  This mold is a Wilton mold available at most regular craft stores like JoAnn's, Micheal's or from Wilton itself.  The mold has 2 car designs and 6 cavities total.  When you buy the mold, it's front has ideas of how to color it, including some of just solid chocolate (which are just as yummy).  I like to use the Wilton's Candy Melts.
To start, I put some black candy into a disposable decorator bag and melted it in the microwave.  I usually do 30-45 second intervals at 50% power.  After each interval, I take it out of the microwave and squish it around and check to see that it is all the way melted.  Once it is melted, I move onto coloring.
With each color that you use, you need to look at the car (or other mold) and determine where it needs to go.  In this case, I need to do the black first, because it is the element that is the lowest in the cavity and will end up covered in the end.  For instance on a flower, you would do the center yellow first and then add the petal color after.  There are 2 things in the car that I thought should be black - the tires and the steering wheel.  I should also mention that black is hard to come by.  It is some secret.  In the past, when I didn't have black, I would use brown by itself or use brown and add black candy tint while melting.  This year, I got smart - at Halloween, as soon as the Halloween baking stuff was out, I bought a few bags and horded them away.  Silly, but the next week when I went back, there was no more black!
So, back to the "painting".  When you look at these, they talk about "painting in the details" and there are even paint brushes that they want to sell you for this purpose.  I have yet to make a paint brush really work.  The candy dries on it's bristles almost immediately.  It is SO much easier to keep it in the disposable bag, snip a small hole at the tip and then paint in the color with it - like you would pipe a name on a cake.  The smaller the detail you need, the smaller hole you snip in the tip.  For the tires, you can just pipe in a round blob in the tire well, but for the steering wheel, you need to have a little more precision.  After you are done with your black, set it aside to use on the next set.  If it hardened by the time you need it, just remelt.
After you have the black finished in each cavity, place the tray in your frig, while you get your blue ready in anew bag.  Use the same process for melting.  By the time it is melted, the black should have hardened up.  Pipe the blue in the windows.
Again, let harden while you melt the first body color.  This is the time to let your imagination work.  Race cars come in so many weird color combinations that you really can't go wrong.  You can use a much or as little colors as you want.  When I do them, I do one set of 6 the same colors for the most part and then switch at the next 6.  For this set, I used yellow strips with green.  Remember, between each step of color where one color will touch the next color, you will need to harden either in the refrigerator or let sit to cool.  If the colors won't touch, you could move on.  Also, sometimes, I will melt more than one color at a time, if I know that I will use the next color quicker.
Fill all the cavity with color.  Any clear that shows, will be make the inside color visible.  As a side note, I usually place a white piece of paper under my mold so that I can see what I am doing better.  I also pick it up and look at the front side periodically to check for air bubbles, missed spots, or anything else that could be fixed now.
As to fill colors:  sometimes, I fill the candy mold with the same colors that I am using and sometimes, I fill with a white or brown chocolate.  In the case of the car to the left, I went ahead and filled it with the car's green body color.  This last fill is more a blob of candy down the center, not quite filling it all the way.  This should be just enough to stick the pretzel rod in, without making it overflow it's sides.
Place one pretzel rod in each cavity and add any extra melting candy as needed to make a smooth transition.  The pretzel rod will stick up from the back of the candy.
I think that many would stop here, but I like to do one final step.  I place a zigzag strip of candy over the back of the pretzel to keep it attached a little better.
Here are the finished backs.  I harden them one final time and then move onto bagging them.  They make special pretzel rod bags that you use twist ties with.  And that is it.  You have a cute gift or treat.
I end with the rose ones:

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

How to Make Your Own Yummy (yes Yummy) and Easy (yes Easy) Marshmallow Fondant

Hello dear readers,
Finally - the How to make Fondant, as pictured in this Noah's Ark cake.
More on this cake later :)

In the past, I always would just purchase ready made fondant (usually Wilton's) to use on any of my cakes that required fondant.  I have heard horror stories about making fondant and how hard it was.  I would watch as people would take a piece of cake and peel off this fondant and put nicely on the side of their plate to then throw away later.  I was never upset by this, because to be honest, the pre-made fondants taste like plastic.  I only used it out of fear of making my own.
Then, last July, I entered a contest for my town's birthday and the cake had to made completely from scratch.  So, I searched the recipes on-line and found this recipe on Cake Central.
Before I get to the "How to" of it all, I wanted to share my first experience.  It was VERY funny:
I was such a mess that I couldn't get this gooey mess off my fingers to roll out the cling wrap or open the ziplock bag.
I had to wake up my husband to come take my picture because I was laughing so hard.  I didn't know what had happened and why it didn't do what it was supposed to (the next morning, when I made my second batch, I realized that I had put in an extra cup of marshmallow and not added enough powdered sugar).  The good news - it was still salvageable!  I did not have to throw all this away.  After letting it sit over-night, I added more PS and presto - perfect Fondant!  The next day, when I made it with the actual right amounts, it worked PERFECTLY!  It really was so easy and it smelled and tasted great!  (What could taste bad about marshmallows and powdered sugar?)

For the sake of this post, I will edit the recipe a little.  All the wording is hers, and if I have anything in addition to add, it will be in blue.  For the full recipe, go to her post on Cake Central

This MMF (MMF stands for Marshmallow Fondant) is a tad softer than the kind I bought, but I made figures out of it without the addition of gumpaste/tylose/glucose/gumtex or any other thing that is said to help with it. My figures stayed up to the challenge, all I did was kneaded in some extra PS (per figure, I didn’t measure it, just “felt” and adjusted)–Best Part most of it was done in my Kitchenaid!!!


  • 8 Cups of Mini Marshmallows
  • 3 Tbsp of Water
  • 1 Tbsp of Flavor
  • 9 Cups (ish) Powdered Sugar, Sifted
  • 2 Heaping Tbsp of Shortening + whatever you’ll use to grease your work space


    Directions (in this order too):
    1. Grease Bowl and Dough Hook of Kitchen Aid
    I find that if I sift the 7 cups that are needed at first, it is easier to add to your mixture, then sift the rest later
    2. Sift 9 Cups of Powdered Sugar in a separate Mixing Bowl (found out this IS VERY important)
    I have used rum, almond and vanilla flavoring
    3. Put marshmallows, Water, Flavor, Shortening in microwave safe bowl 
    4. Heat up marshmallow mixture in 30 second zaps, pull out, stir, keep heating until the marshmallows are almost melted, it will look soupy with some lumps 
    5. Scoop 6 Cups of PS in Kitchen Aid. (all the while the marshmallows are sorta cooling down–but don’t let them cool completely) Make a well in the powdered sugar with the measuring cup 
    6. Pour Marshmellow Mixture into PS well, it’s going to spread out and cover all the PS basically, but it helps for it to be in the middle of the PS. 
    7. Put 1 More Cup of PS on top of MM’s 
    8. Kitchenaid first setting, on mine its Stir, once the PS is mostly incorporated, put on the next setting (I used 2), let it run for a while, you’ll notice there is PS on the sides of the bowl, that’s fine, leave it there, try and refrain from scraping it down :) 
    9. Here’s where it comes to your EYE and Finger, You’ll notice it will start to creep up on the dough hook, if its not doing this yet, start adding the PS 1/2 cup at a time until it does (I didn’t let it fully creep up, once it started is when I moved to the next step). 
    10. Touch the mixture, if its goo and sticking to your finger completely, add 1/4 of PS, if its slightly sticky, then you’re ready for the next part 
    11. Prepare a portion of your counter (or where ever you hand knead MMF), Bring your sifted PS left over in your separate bowl where you can get to it easily, Shortening on the area where you’ll knead, dump out Mixture (Just for a visual, I still had to scrape mine out–I tried not to fully mix this in the mixer–I found I got a better workable material if I had some hand kneading in there so I could feel the right consistency). Grease your hands up 
    12. Add more PS like 1/8 of a cup at a time if it appears to be falling under its own weigh–the perfect MMF should be able to hold its weight a little even at this stage– hand knead, add more PS if you need to, (by the time It was all said and done I had left over PS in the bowl-quite a bit, I’d say I only used about 3/4 of the bag in the mixer, and then like another 1/2 cup (maybe) when I had kneaded it.) 
    13. Grease it up, wrap in saran wrap–I used to do the gallon bag also, but I only did saran wrap this time like triple wrapped, but if I were making it a couple days in advance I probaby would of done a gallon bag also–let rest overnight (or at least several hours, 8+).
     Well, that's it!  The best part is that it saves for a really long time.  
    Enjoy the recipe and talk to you soon,  

      Saturday, March 26, 2011

      Book Review - Stardust by Neil Gaiman

      StardustStardust by Neil Gaiman

      My rating: 4 of 5 stars

      After finishing "Neverwhere", I decided to read some of Neil Gaiman's other titles. 

      I have watched the movie starring Michelle Pfieffer, Claire Danes, Robert De Niro, and Charlie Cox and really enjoyed it.  I usually prefer to read the book that a movie is based on first.  I like to imagine my own characters first and then watch a movie.  This time, these characters were already set in my head.  In De Niro's case, he really made the role of the airship's captain.  It was hard to wrap my head around the book's captain, which was barely mentioned and nothing like the movie's character.  There were many things that they changed from the book, some of which, seemed like needless changes. 

      I wished that the book were a little longer.  Time seemed to fast forward in the book.  Journeys of weeks and months took place in a single chapter.  It would of been nice to hear more about the Star's home and life.

      I really like Neil's style.  He really does draw you in.  All that being said, I liked both of them.

      View all my reviews

      I finished 2 books in quick succession, so I posted them both together.  Next up is another Neil Gaiman title, "American Gods", which I am finding a little more slow going.  Also, on my 'to be read' pile is Jane Austen's "Sense and Sensibility".
      To be honest, I have been spending my days planning my son's first birthday.  I am sure that I will have some great tips for you afterwards.

      Talk to you soon,

      Book Review - Crashed by Robin Wasserman

      Crashed (Skinned, #2)Crashed by Robin Wasserman

      My rating: 3 of 5 stars

      I read the original book in this series over a year ago and saw that this author had continued the series.  It reminds me of one of my favorite spec. fiction authors, Nancy Kress, and her "Beggars" series.  Those were excellent books about the future.
      This series was okay, neither bad nor great.  It has an interesting take what would happened had we figured out how to transfer our minds into a mechanical body and therefore live on forever.  It is not such a bright future in Robin's world.  Even the families that tried to save the lives of their loved ones, find that this new "person" is almost alien to them. 
      In this book, the "skinners" and "orgs" (both the negative names that each group gave the other), go head to head.  A religious decides to take matters into it's own hands to get rid of what they think as an abomination.  The author tries to put forth the question, "What makes us human?"  Can it be transferred, does it reside in our thoughts, in our body, etc.  Where is our soul?
      The think that the book would have been a little more interesting to me if I liked the antagonist a little better, but I have always enjoyed books that make you think.

      View all my reviews

      Tuesday, March 15, 2011

      Project 365 Week 9, 10 & 11 Completed

      Boy, this week has been crazy!  I have gone from sick children to full activities all in one week.  I made a cake, went to 2 parties, watched the final mission of the space shuttle Discovery, witnessed the massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan, booked our Disneyland trip, went to the dentist for my kiddos, participated in a huge kids consignment sale and more.  Plus, I managed to get in my scrapbooking for the week.  I have a lot to post over this next week.  Tons of fun stuff, but to start I will share my week 9 of my Project 365.  I made this to match week 8 that I posted last week.
      paper is from Scraps N Pieces, called Romance Valentine's Mini Kit
       Also, I finished my weeks 10 & 11 also.
      Both of these pages are pre-designed pages from Creative Memories called Cottage Garden
      That's it for now, but I am working on finishing my how to make marshmallow fondant and pictures of the Noah's Ark cake that I made, as well as a book review for the book that I just finished.
      Have a fabulous week,

      Sunday, March 6, 2011

      Project 365 - Week 7 & 8 Completed

      I am still going strong on my Project 365.  Now, I have completed 2 full months and I thought that I would give you what I have learned so far.
      1 - It is okay to not have EVERY DAY accounted for.  I think if you stress about each day, the project would not be enjoyable for you.  I have skipped a few here and there, but I have taken a picture 98-99% of the time.
      2 - Make sure to take pictures of things that are important to you as well as what has happened that day.  There are some days that you aren't really doing anything.  These are the perfect days to snap a picture of your favorite items.  This is a great way to really capture what your life was like this year.
      I really like the fact that I am scrapbooking every week and that by the end of this, I will have an up-to-date completed yearly album (which I have been lagging on - I am still working on '03 the traditional style).

      For week 7, I did something different.  I did a 2 page spread.:

      Here is my week 8. 
      I am so happy to have this much done, it makes me feel like I am getting stuff accomplished.