Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Dating Divas

While surfing the web I came across this really awesome dating blog the other night. Normally I stick to my regular craft blogs. But this one BLEW ME AWAY! My husband will be coming home in October so needless to say I was looking for ideas to keep us loving each other. If anyone has experienced a deployment before, they know as well as I, how hard it is the first few months together.
This blog has some really amazing ideas to show your spouse how much you love him. They are so creative, and even more creative dates. The part I love the most about it, is it usually doesn't cost very much at all. So these ladies know what it's like to live on a budget. It can get costly going to a fancy dinner once a week. There ideas make sure it never gets boring, and your pocket never goes empty! Please check them out!!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Jacket Upcycle!!

So I had this jacket my friend gave me, but she has a little boy. It keeps my daughter warm, but not in a pretty way.

The first thing I did was remove the patch off the jacket. I used my seam ripper. Then I embroidered a free design I found offline. It's a flower, using a few different shades of pink and purple. Then, since the jacket was just a bit too short, I layered some ribbon around the bottom. Using the same colors that are in the embroidery design. 

Bella really loves her jacket. She could barely wait for me to finish it!! I am glad she is happy with it because I am. It took me maybe a total of 30-45 mins to redo it! Just in time for this fall weather.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Looks like fun!

I just saw this over at Living with Punks! It's my first time participating with other blogs in an activity. Things are bit overwhelmed in my world, but I think altering a t-shirt will be pretty simple and fun! And who knows we might learn a thing or two! Go to her site to get your own button and get ready to get the fun started!!


So excited to try it out! Like I said it's my first time, any other time a blog is doing something I am always too late!! Yay! Let's have some fun! Hurry up October!!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Just a bit here and there

Well, I have been busy. Not as busy crafting as I would like. But I felt bad not updating like I said I would. So I thought I would show you a few things I have been working on.

This is a kitchen dish towel I made for my neighbor. I can custom order these as well. I have been charging two for $5, mix and match. An additional $1 for writing.  

An example of the Halloween dishtowels.

An adult velcro towel I made for a friend. See they look cute on big kids too! : )
My first attempt at making a rosette. I am very pleased with it. But I am definitely still learning. I wish I could share with you how I made it, but I am not very sure, lol. Basically I sewed it like I was making a ruffle, then twirled it around until it looked like a flower, then haphazardly sewed it to the towel.

My newest addition to the toddler towels! I am loving the wild print!
I made this flower the same as the previous one, only I tried to make the material lay flatter, so that I could add the button. I am really enjoying the look that these flowers add. 

And that's about it. I spent all day today crafting, so that's where all of that came from. It had been a while since I actually did anything. Seems like I go in spurts, from cleaning to crafting. If only my girl's didn't need attention or food, lol. 

Oh and last but not least, I did promise to show my fall decorations. I have not finished like I wanted but I will go ahead and show what I have so far. 
This is the centerpiece for my coffee table in my living room. All of my supplies for the fall decorations I got at the euro store, for next to nothing. Of course after buying all of it, it added up to next to something, lol.

The wreath for my door. I bought a styrofoam ring and painted it 3 different shades of fall colors. Then I hot glued the leaves to the ring, and hot glued my finger as well. Let's just say that's not the least painful thing in the world. Who ever said crafting wasn't dangerous!! Then I took some scrapbooking letters, and hot glued them to some card stock, and hot glued that to the ring. Then I took some hemp string and tied it around, glued it for support. And Voila!! Very simple and cost me about 4 euro total! Which is the equivalent to about $6. Not bad!

I hope everyone enjoyed the pictures. Slowly but surely I am getting the hang of this crafting, and blogging! Hope everyone has a blessed day! 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

New Toddler Towels!

So I decided since so many people liked Isabella's towel, that I would make some more and see if anyone wanted to buy them. I made them with a matching washcloth and eye mask. So the little princesses feel like big girls! Here they are!

This one is already sold. But it shows you an example of my work!

Each set is selling for $20 a piece. I can custom order towels for children and adults. Adults is $20 without the washcloth and eye mask. Just message me if you are interested. I am opening up an Etsy shop soon!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Infant dress refashion

So I have been spying on the blogs, and just about everyone has done some type of refashion. I have been dying to do one, but I am not the most fashion forward type of gal. Let's just say, I've always been known for my quirky way of dressing. So I figured starting with my kids clothes would be the safest bet. Bella loves skirts, but it's pretty cold here now, and she doesn't really have any fall style skirts either. So I took this old infant dress, that neither of them ever got to wear, and turned it into a skirt.The waist line is elastic, because that's easier for me to make and it's easier for her to pull on and off during potty breaks! I did a horrible job, seeing as how I am new to the sewing world and have no idea what I am doing, lol. So no up close pictures, haha.

The Before!

The after! She loves it...and it's wearable. That's what is important. She doesn't care how straight my lines are, : )

Now get out there and get started on your refashion! Saving money is the best, and I promise your second shot will turn out much better, if your first one is anything like mine. It's all about practice right?!?!

My next post will be all about my fall decorations around the house. I hope everyone joins me to check it out. I have a few things up now, just working on a few last minute touches! With the hubby returning from deployment in just a short month, we are super busy getting ready and organizing the house. So working on crafts and sewing has sadly fallen to the bottom of my priority list! I am trying to balance it all out and still get my chores done!! Any tips on how you balance crafts with your daily life?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Hanging Dishtowel

So while perusing the crafting blogs, I came across the perfect craft for me! Bella is always pulling down the dishtowels and throwing them on the floors. Makes me quite mad to be honest. This is the perfect solution, and took me about 15 mins to make. That's only because I messed up at first and sewed down the wrong half. So in reality it would probably only take 5-10 mins to make for a more seasoned sewer! Check it out!! I got my inspiration from Trey and Lucy

All you need is a kitchen towel, an oven mitt, and a button (which is not pictured). Then of course you need your sewing machine! The link above provides a wonderful and easy to follow tutorial if you are interested in making one for yourself!


Thursday, September 9, 2010


So I kind of already talked about this on my facebook. But since I have not been forced to make anything I needed to buy, mostly because after reevaluating all of my must haves, I actually didn't need it at all. I must say, this is very liberating, not living for just the buy. So while I was home in the states I saw this really cute towel for toddlers, that velcro'd(sp) around them. PERFECT! For my 3 year old who loves to spend her days wrapped up in a towel, but gets so frustrated because she can't do anything else in it. But alas, the price tag was too steep for my cheap bones, especially when right away I knew I could make it myself. So that is what I set out to do, and it took me about a half hour. Super quick, and she loves it!!

A perfect solution for my little angel! I am thinking about embroidering her name on it next! Hope everyone enjoys!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Upcycled Pincushion!

So, true to my word, I needed a pin cushion. I took some left over scraps, some glue, and stuffing from an old pillow, and Voila!

It was really easy. I didn't even do any sewing. I found my inspiration at this blog:

I wish I had Mod Podge, like the rest of the crafting world, but alas, they don't sell it at our PX. One day soon though, one day soon. For now the fabulous elmer's glue will just have to do!!  I am really happy with it!! Hope everyone enjoys the pictures and finds some inspiration the next time they are tempted to throw out an empty can!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Making a year of it...Literally! the spirit of going green, saving money, breaking a bad spending habit, whatever you want to call it; I have decided to stop buying, and start making. Obviously, I can't go an entire year without buying anything whatsoever. I will still need groceries, toiletry items, things of that nature. But I am going to make sure before I buy, that I can not make it. I will attempt at refashioning my clothes, mixing my own shampoo, anything you, namely I, can think of.

I am pretty bad, especially with this last deployment, of just going out and buying, or rather sitting and clicking, whatever it is my little heart desires. I gotta stop that. Especially, since I am creative with my hands, I should be putting that talent to good use. I can't make any promises how these "items" with turn out, but that's the fun of it, and it should be a learning experience all around. Hoping it's a money saving experience as well. So I guess I should have a few rules:

1. No matter what, I must first research to see if I can make it myself. If nothing else, this will help me to reevaluate my purchase, and whether or not I need it. This way I stop buying on impulse.
2. If I can not make it, then I must search for coupons and a cheaper alternative.
3. If I can make it, I must first search the house for anything I can use. Anything I can upcycle. If I am in need of some materials I must first try the thrift store, then the regular store. ( I realize if I am making my own cleaning supplies, I will need to buy some ingredients, i.e. baking soda, lemons, etc.)
4. If I am able to make it, but it ends up costing WAY MORE than it would to just buy it, then I am permitted to just go ahead and buy it.
5. If I find a cheap, quick, and easy alternative to ANYTHING, then I must immediately share it with all my friends and family!

So there are the rules. I hope you all help me stick with it.

This blog was originally intended for just my reviews. But I have decided to branch out, since that was a bit boring. I hope my journey through this adventure brings you all some inspiration to live life less attached to things, and more attached to family. I also hope it brings some laughs! Wish me luck!!


Saturday, September 4, 2010

Wicked Cool...was wicked good!

Have you ever felt completely lost at who you are? Just traveling through life, hoping to get some glimpse to explain where it all started. Zara felt the exact same way. She grew up first on a commune, then spent most of her life in Cherry Glen, with her Aunt Nonny. Nonny use to be a hippie, so that explains the first 5 years at a commune. Her mother, her aunts sister, died when she was just a baby, so Zara's aunt Nonny has been her “mother” her entire life. They are incredibly close, and Zara really enjoys her life with Nonny. There is just one problem. Zara has these unexplainable, uncontrollable powers. She has no idea where they come from, and what it makes her exactly. Nonny is not a huge fan of her powers, so it's best if Zara just keeps them to herself. They don't really talk about them, and Zara does her best to hide them. Nonny owns a nursery right across from their house, so it's not always the easiest to hide her powers from her.
Now Zara has a best friend named Meg, who she is able to confide all of her secrets too. Especially, the ones about her powers. They met at summer camp one year and have been inseparable ever since. Meg and Zara spend most of their free time performing minor science experiments and studying up, to learn more about her powers. Zara is pretty lucky to have a friend like Meg, to help her through this confusing time in her life. Meg is also pretty good at keeping secrets, so no one has found out about her, yet. There are of course rumors, because, well Zara doesn't exactly look like everyone else. She has dark hair, pale skin, and amazing amethyst colored eyes. She tries to disguise herself, by dressing in pale colors, but it almost makes her stand out even more.
Zara has done a pretty good job at controlling her powers enough to prevent others from seeing them. Until the day Zara and Meg decided to spend the day at the water park. Without thinking Zara used her powers and needless to say, it ended up on the news. Fortunately, no one really knew it was Zara, and they all just passed it off at coincidence. This incident got Meg and Zara thinking, and it occurred to them, Zara is turning 16 soon, and most people like Zara, in the fairy tales of course, have something magical happen to them on their birthdays. So all they had to do was wait, wait for her birthday to see just what happens. Will she meet someone? Will she lose her powers? Will they get stronger? I won't say, you will just have to read to find out. I can say, you won't be disappointed. You will be pulled into a fantastic new world of magic and spellspinners. Zara will get to learn a little bit about what she is and why she has her powers.
I really enjoyed this book. There were so many interesting elements to it. I was almost as desperate as Zara to learn about her past. I too, wanted to find out who she is. The characters are written wonderfully, that you can sympathize with all of them in the story. The way the story is written, it's like you are living inside Zara's mind. She is writing in her journal, which is basically us, telling us everything that happened. At times it can get frustrating, because well, we are inside a teenagers mind! But for the most part it kept things entertaining, and you are able to relate more to her on an emotional level. The writer has done a great job of pulling me into the story because I am just dying to read the rest of the series, and see how Zara's life unfolds. I read an article where the author said this book can be compared to “The Princess Diary's” meets “ Harry Potter”. I couldn't agree more. If you enjoyed either of those stories, you will find yourself falling in love with this book as well. This story is great for all ages, even grown adults. If you are looking for a new world to escape to, check out this book. It is sure to please.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Crescent

The Crescent by Jordan Deen

Publisher: Black Rose Writing

Genre: Paranormal, Sci-fi/Fantasy

Age Recommendation: 16+

Length: Full Length(188 pages)

Rating: 3 suns

Review By: Dogwood

Lacie thought her biggest problem was her parents, she has no idea just how big of a problem they were! Lacie's parents constantly fought. Her father liked to get drunk, and her mom just argued back. They were both dragging Lacie into it all the time, so she spent a lot of her time wandering around her neighborhood, or sitting in her play house. One night while sitting outside she met a new friend. Grant, a larger than life dog, who kept her company, and made everything alright. Lacie had spent most of her summer hanging at the mall or the beach with her best friend Jillian. She was about to start her senior year, but she didn't expect things to be much different. Boy was she wrong. Not accustomed to dating at all, she met a handsome new transfer in the office on the first day of school. She flubbed it, at least she thought she did. Crazy as it seemed, this hottie was interested in Lacie, and only Lacie. She was instantly mad about him, but with some trepidations, she blamed it on her lack of knowledge on how a relationship is even supposed to work. A few days later she meets Brandon in the office. That's when she realized what it means to instantly fall in love. She had no idea she could have feelings even stronger than the ones she had for Alex. And so begins Lacie's dilemma.

Lacie starts having these vivid fantasies of Brandon, of their future together. But at this point she can't make out what's a dream and what's reality. To be honest, I had a hard time even understanding what was supposed to be the dream, and what was real. So I felt for the girl. The book definitely keeps you interested. You want to know what's going on and why. There is a point you just start getting suspicious of everyone. I don't want to give too much away, but obviously Lacie has to choose, between the two handsome men. Is Brandon telling her the truth, which is so hard to believe, and goes against everything she knows? Or is Alex really right for her? Her head and her heart are battling it out on every page. Your mind changes about as much as hers. You want to believe Brandon when you are with him, but then again, Alex is just so great. That was one of my favorite parts of the books. It wasn't predictable in the sense, you never really knew who she was going to choose, and you never knew who was telling the truth. Even though the author gave several clues throughout the book, it wasn't enough to give the ending away. So you just keep reading, without a clue of how much time has passed, or what's going on in the world around you.

The author had a great way of getting you attached to the characters. So that you would be battling with the same decision Lacie was. What do you want Lacie to do? I found myself asking myself a few times, what would you do? Only to respond with, I have no idea, thank goodness she is the one who has to decide, not me. I felt like this was a common coming of age metaphor for a lot of women her age. We all at some point, have to decide, what's right for me, and what's right at the moment. Usually, someone will always get hurt. It doesn't matter how you slice the cake. It's wonderful how the author is able to just pull you into the story like that, so much so, you feel as though you are actually the main character.

Aside from the fact that I thought this was a great plot, and an entertaining story, I gave it 3 suns. Why you ask? There were a few issues, that I just couldn't get over. I found it a bit strange how in the beginning the books main focus was on the fact that Lacie's parents were a tornado, fighting pretty aggressively. Then suddenly, it just all stops with no explanation at all. There were just parts of the book, that needed more explaining. I was also troubled by the foul language. There were several times that bad words were used, and it's just not my style. Also, the book focused heavily on Lacie losing her virginity and needing to sleep with Alex. I felt this could have been avoided. It didn't seem natural for her parents to be so encouraging of her physical relationship with Alex. It seemed strange. I also am not a fan of cliffhangers, but that didn't take away from the book for me. Especially, since I saw there is a sequel coming out. That just guaranteed I will be reading it.

Basically, this was a really good book. Not like your typical werewolf story. Almost like a modern day werewolf Romeo and Juliet. I would recommend this book to just about anyone, anyone over 16 that is. I don't feel it is right for the youngest of young adults. I am not a big fan of fantasy and paranormal books, and I thoroughly enjoyed this one, so I know it can be enjoyed by anyone. So if you enjoy reading period, just pick this one up and try it, you might find you have a new favorite author on your hands.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Foresight by Sherry D. Ficklin

Publisher: Dragonfly Publishing

Genre: Paranormal, Sci-fi/Fantasy

Age Recommendation: 14+

Length: Full Length(174 pages)

Rating: 4 suns

Review By: Dogwood

When Grace thought she would barely make it through graduation, it was only because she was bored, she had no idea she literally would barely make it out alive. Graduation is supposed to be a happy, relaxed day. All Grace could think about is how badly she wanted to get out of there and eat a cheeseburger with fries, little did she know, that wasn't going to happen. Right away you are slammed into a mythological world full of demon vampires and a prison escapee named Lilith who wants nothing more than to have Grace's blood on her hands, literally. Grace makes it out of graduation with the help of a hunky looking guy named Chris, and her Aunt Phoenix. Grace's parents died she was just a little girl, so she was raised by her Aunt Phoenix in a small town in Colorado. Most of her life seemed pretty normal, until today, when she found out, this isn't her real life at all.

Grace's mother is actually the goddess Pandora. Lilith is desperate to find out where Pandora hid her box, and Grace's blood is the only access to it. If the box is opened, then we all know the ending to that story, it's the end of the world. Grace discovers her Aunt is actually a faerie, who was best friends with her mom. Chris is also a faerie, but we will get back to him later. By the way, it's actually an urn too. Apparently the gods don't like calling it a box. Grace has spent a lot of her life in special classes teaching her things like how to shoot a bow and arrow, and studying mythology with her aunt. She had no idea she was being trained the whole time. Now it is up to Phoenix and Chris to save mankind, which happens to be their job, by taking Grace to Faerie City. Lilith is unable to gain entrance, so they just have to wait it out until the eclipse passes. Which happens to be the only time in a couple hundred years before the urn can be opened again. If only it were that easy right. It is quite the adventure trying to make it to the closest gateway to Faerie City. Grace continues to learn more about herself, and we get in on the secret as well.

Chris is a handsome faerie with the uncanny ability to sway people's thoughts and feelings. At first Grace was a bit annoyed with him, but suddenly she is falling for him. Is it all part of his plan, or is it for real? Although Chris looks about the same age as Grace, he is actually a bit ancient. So he was around when she was born, and made a vow to Pandora to protect Grace no matter what. And that is just what he intends to do. He wont let anything get in his way of saving her and humanity.

Throughout the story you will meet quite a few gods and faeries that make the story terribly interesting. It's nonstop action with a bit of romance thrown in. Just enough romance in my opinion. I like that it doesn't overpower the main plot of the story. Grace is a fantastic character, that you really want to like, but sometimes she does things a normal person would do, that just drives you crazy. There will be a few times you are yelling at her not to do something, but alas, she does it anyway. She is a sweet girl that makes it hard to stay mad at her for long. I did find it strange how quickly she bought into the whole lifestyle, but heck, what else did she have to lose, she just graduated and has no plans. I probably would have been hoping it was true too. Lucky for her it is.

I gave this book 4 suns, simply because I felt this story was missing a few important scenes. Everything flowed nicely, but just a bit too quickly. Normally, when I read a book, I am thinking, OK let's get to the point. This time I was wondering how we even got there. I realize they were running for their lives, but it would have been nice to have more details here and there between the important stuff, just to make it more believable to me. There were a lot of unanswered questions for me about her father, so I would have loved to have more detail there. Not to mention the huge cliffhanger left at the end of the book. OK, OK, not huge, but a cliffhanger nonetheless. Of course this only leads me to believe that this is a series, and there are more to come. If so, boy I can't wait, and I might just have to change my rating to a 5. The author does a great job at telling the story, describing the scenes perfectly. Not too much detail, but just enough that I could visually see it. I also thought she did well expressing Grace's different emotions throughout the story. I know I would be feeling a wide range of them, so I am glad she showed that, without it seeming like a roller coaster ride.

All in all, I really enjoyed this book. I even chose finishing it over sleep. I would recommend it to just about anyone. There are a few scenes I felt were a bit gory for me, so it might not be good for someone very young, or someone who is squeamish. If you like mythology, fast-paced fighting scenes, and emotional romances, all with some juicy gossip, this is the book for you. I personally guarantee you will enjoy it!

You can buy it here:

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Distant Shore

Publisher: Vintage Romance Publishing

Genre: Young Adult, Historical, Mystery, Inspirational

Age Recommendation: 12+

Length: Full(268 pages)

Rating: 5

Sweet, Charming, exciting, and tearful. This book has it all. This was a fantastic read that any member of the family would enjoy. My favorite part about this book was the fact that it was able to ignite every emotion and still be good, clean reading. Emma-Lee Palmer will have you melting in her hand. Right from the beginning your heart it breaking for her. Emma-Lee is being sent away to live with her Aunt Augusta on Merritt Island. The island is very isolated and you can only reach it by boat. Emma-Lee has two brothers and two sisters, yet she is the only one who is being sent away. She is terribly saddened by this fact, and can't help but wonder what she could have possibly done wrong. Her father and mother gave her no explanations for why she is going. Her few memories of her aunt are not fond; Aunt Augusta is not one for showing much emotion. I found myself becoming so angry for Emma-Lee, swearing to never speak to her parents again for doing such a thing. It's amazing how the author can send you all the way back with a nine year old's mindset. It wasn't until well within the book that I started to wonder if she was sent for good reason.

Eventually, right along with Emma-Lee, you get over the hurt and start to settle in with your life at Merritt Island. Aunt Augusta is the school teacher on the island. Throughout the book you start to see different sides to Aunt Augusta and begin to understand her a little bit more. Much like Emma-Lee you fall right in love with her. Emma-Lee was so excited to make friends, and was a little caught off guard by how difficult that turned out to be. However, she did becomes friends with quite a few people. Her first day off the train she met a gentleman by the name of Captain Stone, who treated her like his very own daughter. She also became quite close with his parents, who introduced her to Christ. Pa and Ma Stone were wonderful people, the type everyone wants as grandparents. Pa Stone used to be a pirate, until he met Christ and changed his ways. But he still had many stories that Emma-Lee just loved listening to. I found myself becoming quite fascinated with his different tales. She started spending so much time with Captain Stone, that even he and her aunt became rather close. Emma-Lee enjoyed seeing the love develop between them, and it was a wonderful way to draw her mind away from missing her family.

Emma-Lee became great friends with a girl everyone called Punkin. Punkin had a bit more sass in her than Emma-Lee, and took this opportunity to show her all the adventures and mischief one could get into on the small island. There was one particular adventure that will have you biting your nails, hoping everything will turn out right. Punkin is the kind of girl, everyone needs as a friend. She is quick to defend anyone she loves. Emma-Lee wished many times she had as much courage as Punkin, but she never realized until the end, just how courageous she actually was. For a nine year old this girl was braver than most men I know. She is one amazing character to overcome so many trials and tribulations at such a young age. As you will soon learn, there is not much this girl can't handle.

There were so many moments in this book that I was laughing out loud, and crying my eyes out. You will honestly experience, every emotion there is. Which all the more makes this author a fantastic writer. You will completely forget about everything going on in your life, because you will be so involved in Emma-Lee's. It seems like there is one tragedy after another happening to Emma-Lee, yet many wonderful things happen to her as well. You wouldn't be able to put this book down for a second even if you wanted too. There are too many exciting moments that you have to keep reading till it's over. If you are looking for an entertaining and wholesome book this is the one. It is sure to keep your interest, never wanting it to end. This is by far one of the best books I have ever read. I insist you go out and buy this book this very second, because I can guarantee you will feel exactly as I do.

My very first blog!

So I am clearly behind on the blogging trail, but there is no better time to start than now.

I love to read, and even more I love to tell people about what I read. A few months ago I bought myself a nice little gift, a Sony E-Reader, and this has catapulted my reading. I write reviews for a wonderful review site, I thought what better way to practice writing than to share some reviews here for everyone to see. I am definitely an amateur and it's been a while since I wrote much of anything, so please no critiquing my actual writing style, unless it's constructive. Thank you, and I hope everyone enjoys reading my blogs!

Also, a little background on my blog title: Are you there God? It's me Margaret, was the very first book I ever read, and by far my absolute favorite.