Monday, February 07, 2011

Book Review: Lady in Waiting

I received the book Lady in Waiting by Susan Meissner to review a couple of weeks ago. Knowing that I was leaving for Hawaii in a couple of days, I regretfully just put it right into my carry on bag so I would have something to read by the pool. OMG! I wish I hadn't saved it! It was so so good! I loved that it intertwined the modern day story of Jane Lindsay and her struggles with her marriage, and the classic Tudor story of Lady Jane Grey. This is a somewhat Christian book, but it didn't have overt themes at all.

The story about Jane Lindsay and her troubled marriage is something that I think just about everyone can relate to. Nobody's marriage is perfect, everyone has doubts at some point or another. Marriage is really hard work and you can't be lazy about it. Jane learned that--she not only learned how to fix her marriage, but how to fix herself.

I've always been a sucker for books that take place in England, so of course I loved that parts about Lady Jane. It was fascinating to read about the Tudor period. I loved reading about the different fashions and the way things were done back then. While I would never want to live in that period, I still love reading about it. I loved reading about Lady Jane grow up and realize that while she thought her whole life had been decided for her, she had been making decisions the whole time--she was in charge of her own fate.

I highly recommend this book. I read it in about 3 days by the pool. It was a light quick read. It was really wonderful! Click here to read chapter one.

And for the FTC I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Happy New Year!

Well it's a new year and hopefully I will get back into the swing of blogging. Things got so hectic with the holidays and the end of the year deadlines and the baking and cleaning and wrapping and shopping. I was so glad to send the kids back to school and get back into a routine. I haven't made any real resolutions for 2011, but I do have some goals. I'm hoping to get some projects done around the house (and now that I have a new miter saw, hopefully once it gets a little warmer, I can get them started!). I'm hoping we all stay healthy. I'm hoping I lose some weight (although doesn't everyone say this?!). I hope your holidays were wonderful and that your 2011 is off to a good start!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Holiday Wish List Contest

Mama’s Holiday Wish List Meme

TodaysMama (link to: and GameStop (link to: are giving away a sleighful of gifts this holiday season and to enter I’m sharing this meme with you.

1. What is your holiday wish for your family? to have a healthy and safe 2011.

2. What is your Christmas morning tradition? The kids look at their Santa presents first and then we start the presents. Once presents and stockings are opened, we have a nice breakfast.

3. If you could ask Santa for one, completely decadent wish for yourself, what would it be? One year of traveling around the world.

4. How do you make the holidays special without spending any money? Instead of writing names on the presents, we pick a theme each year and that's what I write on them instead. It's always a surprise then who gets which present. We've done Disney characters, cartoon characters, ice cream flavors, and colors. Each year we have fun trying to pick the new theme. This year is islands!

5. What games did you play with your family growing up? Yahtzee, Rook, Monopoly, Life

6. What holiday tradition have you carried on from your own childhood? The present writing thing is what my dad did for presents.

7. Where would you go for a Christmas-away-from-home trip? Someplace warm--a Caribbean island probably.

8. Check out GameStop (link to: and tell us, what are the three top items on your GameStop Wish List this year? PS3, Kinect, and Rock Band 3.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Fiber One Review

I was given the opportunity to review Fiber One Bars recently. I used to eat the Oats and Chocolate all the time for breakfast a few years ago. But I think I ate them so much that I grew tired of them. And then I never really looked at that aisle in the grocery store anymore. So imagine my surprise when I went shopping and there were tons of new flavors!I decided to try the Carmel ones and because I loved the Chocolate ones so much, got some of them too. I still love the Chocolate ones, but the Carmel ones just didn't do it for me. They were a little too plain. I think if you combined the too and had carmel and chocolate drizzled on top and chocolate chips in the bar, that would be the ULTIMATE bar. I would eat that every morning for breakfast in a heartbeat.

Product was provided by Fiber One through My Blog Spark.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

TWD: Caramel Pumpkin Pie

I love Pumpkin Pie, but only if it has lots of whipped cream. I like pumpkin in general, just not plain. Because pumpkin is so good for you, we've been trying to learn to like it more and eat more of it. So when Janell of Moretnesen Family Memoirs chose Caramel Pumpkin Pie, I knew I would make it--just not the whole thing!

I cut the recipe in half and got two 4" mini tarts and a little creme brulee cup of dough and filling. The kids didn't like it at all--which is funny because they loved the Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookies I made a couple of weeks ago--but Tim and I did. The filling was so simple and the crust of course awesome. I'd make this again. In fact, I might make a full version for Thanksgiving depending on where we end up!

FFWD: Vietnamese Spicy Chicken Noodle Soup

I know it's not Friday, but Tuesday, but we didn't get a chance to make this until Sunday night, so I'm just posting it now. Tim loves Pho. It is one of his favorite foods. The kids and I, not so much. So I was going to skip this, but he wanted to make it so I left it to him. He cut the recipe in half and made it for himself on Sunday night while the kids and I had chicken and rice casserole. It was a pretty simple recipe, he didn't have any problems with it and really enjoyed it. I'm not sure if he liked it as much as a couple of the little restaurants he goes to sometimes, but he did like it. He would definitely make it again!

Friday, October 01, 2010

French Fridays with Dorie: Gougeres

It's here! I am so excited that French Fridays with Dorie is here! I love Dorie. I love Baking From My Home to Yours. But I was burned out on baking. I'm hoping to jump back in this month, but we'll see. The first recipe was the first recipe in the book, rather fitting I think! I used a gruyere cheese that I picked up at Whole Foods that was being sampled and was delicious!

These were so simple to make and they were so delicious. We had them with soup at dinner. The kids didn't really like them, but Tim and I did, and I will probably give some to the neighbors tomorrow so that they can be enjoyed!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

I built shelves!

I needed more space in my craft room, but didn't have a lot of options, except for wall shelves. I saw these gorgeous shelves over at Beneath My Heart and knew that I HAD to make them. I am so glad I took the plunge! I made two 33" shelves and two 36" shelves. I had Home Depot cut my boards down and got my molding and corbels there too. I built the first two and had Tim hang them. They almost didn't get up. We had a lot of issues getting them up. I built the next two and hung them myself, and they went up without a problem. Go figure. I used Rustoleum Semi-gloss Black spray paint and because I wasn't happy with the texture after the spraying, I used a glossy polyurethane that I had left from doing the dresser. I think overall I spent around $80 for the four shelves.

The above picture is the wall space over my green dresser and next to my sewing armoire. I have a bunch of patterns in the purple basket and the bins next to it hold all my buttons and the buttons I just got from my grandma's house.

That is the wall above a second dresser that holds fabric and completed projects. To the left is a bookcase that I am going to paint black and to the right is my scrapbook table. One of those purple baskets holds unused yarn and the other holds the odds and ends from completed projects. I bought the purple baskets at Target--I'm so happy I found them. They work perfectly with the purple walls!