It’s the End of the Year as we Know it!

Goodbye 2013 and Hello 2014.

I’m currently thinking about New Year’s Resolutions… I can’t wait to share them with you all!

Until then, I’ve decided to get on the band wagon and provide you with my Top 5 Blogs from the past year!  Whoo Hooo!  Lucky you!

Now, I do have a disclaimer.  I eliminated my very top blog as it has 2,000 more hits than the next one down… obviously not a fan favorite, just a search engine favorite!

A Supernatural Obsession

Nerd fandom

I think that this post is a hit because of the search terms; however, I’m super happy to include it because I like to share the love of the Winchester brothers.  You’re welcome.

Lessons from the Movies: The Bucket List

The Bucket List

The Bucket List

I did love this post.  Looking back, the formatting is off and I can tell that I have modified the way I blog just a bit; however, I’m really pleased that this one made the list!  I love my bucket list!

The Baby Shower Didn’t Suck

Really? You want to display and then eat a cake that is a baby's butt?  Am I the only one that has issues with this??

Really, you want to display a cake that looks like a baby butt and then expect me to eat it.  Not happening.  And if you give me a part of the cake that looks like a human leg I will personally cut off your toes and see how YOU like it!  Okay, sorry, but baby showers can be freaky things and even just posting this brings up an irrational response apparently…

Then He Kissed the Back of my Hand

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Now, this post still brings a tear to my eye.  In fact, I almost didn’t re-read this post, but I couldn’t help it.  Thanks to all of my fellow bloggers who followed me through this journey, you guys were there through the medical jargon, the laughter and the tears.  This is still my favorite post of all time.  And probably always will be.

What Does Being Brave Mean?

Bravery[3]

There are days that just making it through the day makes me feel brave.  I know that everyone has a different definition of “bravery”, and some of the items that I have trouble with you might be able to breeze right through; but the fact that I do them despite the fact that my heart is pounding out of my chest – well, I’ll take that as a win!

Thank you to those who have read my blogs, and many thanks to those of you that take the time to leave a comment.  I’ve really enjoyed meeting and interacting with all of you this past year – you’ve all brought laughter and light into my life.

Homemade Gifts for my Girls

In case you missed it, at the beginning of the month I shared with you my homemade gifts for the guys in my life.  I had a lot of fun making those, but I had even more fun making the gifts for the ladies in my life.

There are probably 300+ different ways to dress up hot chocolate floating around Pinterest.  I kept seeing them all over the place and decided, yeah, they look pretty good!

Homemade hot chocolate gifts

First, I gathered my supplies.  I bought a big can of hot chocolate mix, some milk chocolate chips – and the store was out of marshmallows on the day I did my shopping.  I’m not joking.  I walked to the aisle, stopped, picked my jaw up off the floor and (very loudly) stated “How can they be out of marshmallows??” I looked around in disbelief and I may or may not have kept repeating “how can they be out of marshmallows?” as I looked blankly at the shelves and those lucky people around me!

An employee took pity on me – after she stopped laughing at my reaction (no joke, she had to compose herself before she could help).  Anyway, she and I eventually decided that it had to be Thanksgiving’s fault.  Too many people make that weird sweet potato casserole with the marshmallows on top.  I’ll gladly admit that I don’t understand that dish.  Marshmallows don’t go on vegetables.

But, that’s not what this post is about.  She went and got the guy that works the marshmallow aisle.  (Yeah, I had no clue that aisle had a “guy”.)  Said “guy” confirmed that short of the two bags of “jumbo campfire” marshmallows on the shelf, the store was entirely devoid of marshmallows.

Think about it.  You know how many marshmallows are usually on the shelf… it is an abnormality.

Fortunately, the employee was very well-informed.  She asked if I could use the little marshmallows that are like the ones that come in the packets?  I was like “I can use anything!!”

She let me back to the hot chocolate aisle, and there are these canisters, just like the Parmesan cheese containers, but filled with the little dehydrated marshmallows that are just like what comes in the hot chocolate packages! They are so super cute!  A bit more expensive than real marshmallows, but I was willing to splurge – they are my girls after all! Plus, I didn’t want to make another trip to the store!

Okay, back on track.  I have my hot coco, chocolate chips, marshmallows and I have some “banner” style, food safe bags to put this all in.  I grabbed a small pitcher to hold the bag as I filled it, and I discovered that two servings fit nicely in the bag.  I put in scoops of hot chocolate, a layer of chocolate chips and then the marshmallows.

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I put a twist tie on top and stored them all together in a measuring cup.  Now, you can use any vessel handy to store the bags upright, I just happened to have a measuring cup handy.  Okay, the measuring cup doesn’t matter, I just didn’t want the mixture to, well, mix!

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Then you lay everything out on the table to try and put it together.  You grab the blue lunch sacks because they’ve been in your gift wrapping closet for several years, and this is a perfect opportunity to get rid of them because you have some pretty blue and silver ribbons that will make it look like you went with a blue theme!  You also grab the really cute flasks you bought!  I found a great deal on some disposable flasks, they have a giant peace symbol on them and are funky colored, and every time the ladies see it they will think of me! And what better way to keep warm than some hot chocolate secreted away in a flask? It’s brilliant I tell you!

Now, for the Diva’s, I added something else to their gift bag.

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I made them an ornament!  I have a picture of all five of us, it’s casual, we were just all hanging out in the garage and managed to get together for a picture! I took the picture and printed it on vellum paper, wallet sized.  Then I found some clear plastic balls, and I inserted the picture.  Then, I had to go grab my tweezers because some of the pictures fell in funny and my OCD wouldn’t let me leave them crooked!  Naturally, they looked a little bare, so I grabbed some “snow” and dumped it in the bottom of the ornament!

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A (not so quick because it took me forever to get them done properly) silver bow on the top completed the ornaments! I added those to the gifts bags, tossed on the pretty ribbons and voila!

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All packaged up nice and somewhat neat!

  • Food safe bags: $1.29/30 = $0.04
  • Hot chocolate: $5.00/39 = $0.26 (two servings per bag)
  • Chocolate chips: $4.50/6 =$0.75
  • Marshmallows: $1.49/3 = $0.50
  • Flasks: $2.00 ea

Hot Chocolate gift $4.35 per person.  The left over chocolate will be used by us at home, so for less than $15 overall, I have gifts for six people plus hot chocolate for us at home!

  • Clear plastic ornaments: $1.00 each
  • Vellum paper: $1.00 (I think, I really can’t remember, but it’s cheap) – and I got 4 pictures out of it.  So, $0.25 each
  • Snow: $2.00 (again, I’m guessing, I’ve lost the receipt!) but for four ornaments – $0.50

Keepsake ornaments – $1.75.

  • gift bags – left over
  • ribbons – left over

Wrapping and bling – Free!

So, it seems like I’m a cheapskate, but I’m not – I’m just really thrifty! And while it may not have cost me a lot of money to put together, I had fun and put a lot of love into the gifts! I hope that you might gather some inspiration from my crafts.  I had a lot of fun trying to come up with  what to give them that was personal, showed I cared and kept me under budget!

These Are a Few of my Favorite Things

My dog in my lap and the lights on the tree,

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The stockings hung up and presents just for me;

A single Dean Winchester tied up with string

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These are a few of my favorite things

When the police come, when the taser stings, when I’m feeling sad,

I simply remember my favorite things and then I don’t feel so bad!

Tattoos and Tears

I got my tattoo! And, it’s awesome!

Saturday afternoon I went with Karen to help her finish Christmas shopping.  This is the first year that she’s ever waited this long, and oh my goodness – I was amazed at how many people wait so long and are willing to face the crowds!!  It was insane! There were people everywhere!  And don’t even get me started on traffic!!

That’s not the point, but I felt the need to share!

Before we headed out, we had swung by a tattoo shop that was supposed to be open, but there was a sign on the door that they would be opening late.  (Fine!  Be that way! Can’t you tell I am dying to give you my money?) After several days hours of shopping  we were finally headed back.  Karen said it wasn’t out of the way to stop back by the shop – so we did!

I showed the lady what I was thinking and after working on the design for a few minutes her design matched my vision.  So, I rolled up my sleeve, sat down, and promptly burst into tears.

Karen offered to hold my hand.

I have the best friends!

The artist handed me a paper towel to mop up my face and she began.  I was worried at first because I was very clear this was a memorial tattoo and I needed someone who would respect that – and she seemed, well, dry.  I have an overabundance of personality and pretty much expect that in others – so a dry tattoo artist wasn’t first on my list.  But, as we sat there and talked and she worked, I finally saw a human side to her and when it was over and done with, I realized that she did a great job.  She engaged me in a good way and distracted me just enough that the waterworks didn’t flood the building and cause us to float out the front door.

I think we were in and out in under 30-45 minutes.  It didn’t take long at all; and now I have a beautiful piece of art on my forearm.  It is very simple, very elegant and exactly what I pictured.

Memorial tattoo

P.S. I woke up Sunday with what I thought was an eye infection, and after finally managing to get my contacts out, I called and got an appointment with the local Doc in a Box.  Scratched cornea.  Fortunately, not a rip or a tear, just a little scratch.  So, I’m confined to my glasses and have several different eye drops that I’m putting in every couple of hours.  Should be better by tomorrow – fingers crossed!

P.P.S. The Cowboys just suck.  There is no way to sugar coat it.  If I hadn’t already been crying due to my eye, the game would have had me in tears.  How do you blow a lead that big? How do you have such poor clock management skills? How do you have such poor play calling?  And, when did our head coach start pointing fingers? Really? Ugh.

P.P.P.S. If you missed the original post where I found my inspiration for the tattoo, you can find it here.

Down Payment for my Next Tattoo

photo storage boxI have a couple of these unassuming photo boxes in my armoire.  They are just plain photo storage boxes and I use them to store letters and cards that I receive.  Nothing special, but the perfect size to hold the cards that I can’t seem to make myself throw away.  So, yes, apparently there is a soft candy center under my hard shell!

Today I pulled these boxes out.  I’m looking for tattoo ideas.  Yes, I already have several tattoos, but they are like chips, you can’t have just one! All of my tattoos do have a reason, I selected them all with care – after all, it’s going to be on my body long after by body is no longer inhabited by me!

With Christmas coming up, my brother is on my mind.  It was hard to remove him from my Christmas spreadsheet, but it was even harder to see his name on there!

So, put two and two together… My brother is on my mind and I’m trying to find an idea for a tattoo… Yup, I’m looking for a memorial tattoo.  I’m actually really excited about this, as it will be extra special to me and I already have friends lined up to go with me and get a new one of their own!  I’ve found some nice quotes, but I just haven’t found “it” yet.  Then I remember all of those tattoos I’ve seen that were of a loved ones handwriting.  Eureka!

So, that’s when I jumped up and ran to my room and pulled out my photo boxes.  I started to flip through the cards and letters in an effort to find one from my brother.  I found one fairly quickly, from Mother’s Day a few years ago.  As always, he had signed it “Love, Lee” .  Well, that’s about perfect!  I kept looking because 1) I can’t help myself, it’s fun to trip down memory lane and 2) I wanted another signature for comparison, see if the size will work.

I ran across a birthday card from my sister, from probably 2003 or 2004, it’s not dated, but it’s in that range… and there I found:

twenty dollarsTwenty Dollars!!  Score!!!

Of course, this means that now I really have to go through my cards… what if there is more money or maybe a hidden gift card? I can’t not look!

Even if I don’t find any more money, that’s okay.  I went through the box and found a tattoo idea in honor of my brother and it will be paid for in part by my sister.  Yes, that totally just happened!!

Love Lee

#icemageddon 2013

Here is how we deal with ice in Texas.

Twitter:

  • So looks like the main hashtags for the upcoming DFW ice storm will be #DFWwx (wx means weather) and #icemageddon! Stay tuned!
  • Power outages, school closures, DART shutdown & oh yeah, #IceZombies. #Icemageddon
  • Bottoms up: Join us for an #icemageddon 2013 drinking game
  • “If you hear talk about canceled marathon, take 2 sips. Do 2 pushups.” #icemageddon drinking game
  • #ICEMAGEDDON – Hour 11: Morale is low. Have ceded parenting duties of 4yo to Apple Products. Forced to watch Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2. B+.

Facebook:

  • What an unusual icicle! Icemageddon 2013
  • Gonna be a great day… iced in with my favorite little man. Movies, fire and baking 
  • We keeping hearing large booms…it’s our trees coming down from the weight of the ice. We’ve lost half of the huge back yard tree and just lost a huge branch out front, hit the front door. Ice shattered everywhere. CRAZY!
  • Brrrrrrr…
  • Burrrr!

icemageddon weather 2 weather 1

And there was me and Mr. T.

“It’s not far to 7-11” I said.  “It’ll be fun” I said.  So we walked about 2 miles round trip – but we got hot chocolate to warm us up for the return trip!

weather 4If you need me, I’ll be defrosting my eyeballs.

Best Holiday Song – EVER

I love Christmas music – it’s part of the holiday season that I really enjoy.  Now, I want to bring part of my joy to you.  If you have never watched Straight No Chaser perform the 12 Days of Christmas, then you need to do so… NOW!

Sorry to yell at you – but seriously… now!!

12 Months of Toy Terror or Mommy’s Recipe for Good Behavior All Year Long!

Okay, I’m not a fan of the Elf – he totally creeps me out – but then I ran across Emily’s post and all but fell out of my chair laughing! If you use scary Elf, here are some ideas for the rest of the year! Please, go read this post – I haven’t let you down yet!

Fourtuitous

Written by Emily

Our resident elf, Popcorn, is back. I was wary of the tradition, but my children love this tiny imp and think nothing of the fact that she’s the ultimate snitch. I’ll admit it: for 11 months I longed to say things like, “Remember, Popcorn is taking notes” or “I will ask Popcorn to call Santa in T minus 10 seconds if the fighting doesn’t stop.” Desperate times call for desperate measures. I actually missed that precious little tattletale, Mommy’s Little Helper, I mean Popcorn.

Anyway…

Just a few weeks ago, I read about some parents who made their children’s dinosaurs spring to life at night and wreak havoc all over the house in the name of good old fashion fun–if good old fashion fun means writing all over the walls and cracking eggs on the floor like those wily dinos did.

I don’t begrudge those folks for…

View original post 858 more words

The King of Threadneedle Street and GIVEAWAY!

It’s Christmas time and boy do I have a deal for you!  First off, for my book lovers out there, you must go pick up this book!  The King of Threadneedle Street was so amazing! It just came out today and you all need to go get a copy! You won’t regret it!

Secondly – there is a giveaway that goes with this new release!!  What do I love almost as much as reading?!? Free stuff!!! Follow along with me as I introduce you to Moriah and her latest release!

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He owns three shipping companies, a diamond mine, and his own castle.

He knows Portuguese, Hindi, Mandarin and Morse code.

His assets net thirteen million.

Everyone thinks Andrew Tilmore, Lord Preston, the financial prodigy dubbed “The King of Threadneedle Street,” has it all, but he wants the one prize money can’t buy: his childhood sweetheart.

Alysia Villier can’t say if it’s worse having Andrew’s father in control of her inheritance or Andrew in control of her heart. He’s ruined her for any other man, but she simply can’t give in to him. She knows he’s destined for great things — marrying a courtesan’s daughter would jeopardize everything he stands for.

Keeping Alysia out of trouble and away from eager suitors becomes a cross-continental quest for Andrew, and he won’t be stopped by his old-fashioned family or the disapproval of the ton. After all, he’s a man with the power to play newspapers and investors like pawns, tumble world markets and incite riots… but can he win the biggest gamble of his life?

You can purchase this book all over the place, just click below!

Amazon: The King of Threadneedle Street

Barnes & Noble: The King of Threadneedle Street

Smashwords: The King of Threadneedle Street

Kobo: The King of Threadneedle Street

All Romance eBooks: The King of Threadneedle Street

Amazon UK: The King of Threadneedle Street

Note from Moriah herself:

Making Alysia a semi-famous painter was a joy. I took art lessons the year I wrote this manuscript, which helped me write from the perspective of an artist who sees light, color, and shape as possibilities instead of facts. There’s a scene wherein Alysia claims not to be affected by “heroic nudity” in art, and Andrew calls her bluff. You’d better believe that was fun to write!

Uh… you had me at heroic nudity!!  🙂  So, naturally, I’ll share the excerpt with you guys!

Andrew held out a finger to trace the lines, but withdrew. “The Dying Gaul? He turned his discerning gaze on her.“One of my favorites. He reminds me of you,” she confessed. The heat of his stare was too intense; she diverted her eyes to the case of pastels in her hand.“But I have no moustache.” Playful, but she knew he was trying to draw her out.“The resemblance is in his form and his masculine expression.”“But he is dying.”“But not in despair, he is brave. He meets his fate proudly.”His eyes gleamed with mischief. “He is naked. Surely you don’t imagine me that way.”“As an admirer of great art I am quite unaffected by heroic nudity in the erotic sense.”Andrew was removing his clothes. He often shed his jacket, waistcoat, and necktie in her presence, but he now had his shirt off and was unfastening his trouser buttons.“Andrew! What are you doing?”“You said you wanted to sketch me?” He held his arms out. “I want to be sketched. No better time than now.”He shut the door of the salon. The turning lock echoed, a sinister sound.“But — I… I had a portrait in mind. A decent one.”“Oh, it will be better than decent.” He tossed his boots and stockings into a chair.

“I mean, presentable. To the public.” She watched with wide eyes as Andrew wadded his trousers and launched them into the chair as well.

“You said you aren’t averse to heroic nudity.”

“But not yours!” She felt on the verge of panic. “Besides, what is heroic about this?”

“You’re the artist with the vivid imagination. Make something up.”

He tossed his drawers into her lap, and a whimper squeaked from her throat. She heard him drop onto the settee opposite her.

“Well?”

Alysia reined in the giddy feeling making her lightheaded and opened the book to a blank page. She selected a pencil then looked up at him.

giveaway time

And now for the really, insanely cool part!  A giveaway!!  CLICK HERE TO ENTER THE RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY! It’s an easy Rafflecopter entry and I’ll tell you now, the jewelry she makes is Awesome! Let me tell you again – go visit and enter the GIVEAWAY!!

You can come back and thank me later!  Now read on to find out more about Moriah Densley!

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Bestselling author Moriah Densley sees nothing odd at all about keeping both a violin case and a range bag stuffed with pistols in the back seat of her car. They hold up the stack of books in the middle, of course. She enjoys writing about Victorians, assassins, and geeks. Her muses are summoned by the smell of chocolate, usually at odd hours of the night. By day her alter ego is your friendly neighborhood music teacher. She lives in Las Vegas with her husband, four children, and two possibly brain-damaged cats.

Moriah has a Master’s degree in music, is a 2012 RWA Golden Heart finalist, 2012 National Reader’s Choice Award winner, and ’12 NRCA “Best First Book” finalist. She’s the author of the bestselling “Rougemont” Historical Romance series from Eskape Press, and the “Network-One” Paranormal Romance series coming 2014 from Entangled Publishing. Moriah is represented by Courtney Miller-Callihan of Greenburger Associates.

You can find Moriah on her website and in several locations!  Go follow her now!

Website + blog: http://moriahdensley.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MoriahDensley

Twitter: http://twitter.com/moriahdensley

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/moriahdensley/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17826397-the-king-of-threadneedle-street

Homemade Gifts for my Guys

A few months ago I showed you the gifts I made for my sister in my Martha Stewart took over my body post.  Today I want to share you the gifts I made for the guys in my life.

I started with rocks glasses that I picked up from the local dollar store and I make stencils of their last name initial and frosted the glass to give it a personalized touch, cause you know – that’s just what I do!

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While at the dollar store buying the glasses, look around and get distracted and end up finding some awesome camouflage duct tape to add to the gift! I mean, who doesn’t need more duct tape?!?

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Then swing by your friendly neighborhood liquor store and spend way too long browsing the miniature versions of whiskey before finally just going with the guy behind the counters suggestion.  Then run over to the cooler and breathe a sigh of relief that their sodas aren’t outrageously priced and grab a couple! Because yes, it’s easier to just buy what you need – plus, you are supporting a local small business and keeping your money here and not in the pockets of the big corporate CEO!

Okay, I’m stepping back down off my soap box now!

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Now, put all of these items neatly together in a box… wrap the whiskey in tissue paper and shove place it gently inside the personalized rocks glass. Grab the least “fancy” tissue paper you have to stuff the sides to keep everything in place.  Cause, you know, things need to stay in place, but they are guys and the pretty tissue paper would just be lost on them!  Save it for your grandmother and girlfriends!

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Then you need to rearrange everything half a dozen times before you give up because you realize that no matter how you try you cannot get the top of the box on and none of the boxes you have will work.

Now go grab a couple of gift bags.  Empty the box out, take the aforementioned tissue paper and transfer it to the gift bags.  Fill them up with all the goodies and place under the tree until you see the guys in your life!

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  • The glasses were $1
  • Camo duct tape $1
  • The etching cream I had left over from a previous project – so $Free
  • Soda $0.50
  • Whiskey on sale for $1

Gift bags and tissue paper I always have on hand, and never consider the cost of that, so for less than $4 I have a cute and personalized gift for the guys in my life.

All two of them.