Friday, February 16, 2018

Friday Five: DMV, Eating the Alphabet, Valentines Day

Happy Friday everyone!  It is a holiday weekend for most, do you have any fun plans?  Here is my week in 5 Thoughts and 5 Pictures

5 Thoughts

1. We actually got some snow again this week, not much and it melted before the day was over, but fun to watch it snow.

2. We had our Fancy Family Valentine Dinner- it was a bit different this year, partly from being in a new house.  I will share pictures next week.

3. It was Parent Teacher Conference week for the middle school.  Lucas is doing great and all of his teachers really seem to like him.  I am so grateful he is doing well with the move in the middle of the year.  It definitely has not always been easy, but now things are going good.

4. We started eating the alphabet again!  I had to meet Eric at lunch to get the Charger registered, so then we went out to lunch and went to an A restaurant so we could start again.  We will definitely have to play catch up at some point as we are way behind now, but I am excited we are doing it again.

5. Last Saturday, Eric and I went out to dinner and then to a Valentine's Dance with Eric's parents.  It was so much fun and I forgot how long it has been since we have been dancing.  Definitely made us realize how out of practice we are, but also how much fun it is.  We want to take a dance class together.

5 Pictures
all dressed up

cousins at dinner

Valentine Cookies

empty DMV


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Finding Unique Gifts

--This post is written on behalf of UnCommon Goods.  All feelings and opinions are my own--

With Valentine's Day fast approaching, finding the perfect gift may be on your mind.  Or maybe you don't do the whole V-day thing, but there will most likely be a time that you are looking for the perfect gift for someone.

We all have that person in our life who is hard to buy for, the one who has everything, or is just really picky.   That is why I love Sunny, the Expert Gift Guide at Uncommon Goods.

Uncommon Goods has a ton of unique gifts, and Sunny makes it possible for you to search by interests.

You start by saying who the gift is for and if they are a baby, kid, teen, etc.

Then you pick from a list of things they are into and it gives you a great list of unique gifts.  For every item you star, it will then help refine your list and show similar items.

I searched for my teen son, who is into reading, math, science, gaming-- just all kinds of nerdy stuff, and I love these glasses
We all have our own water cups we like to use, and sometimes his will get used by other people, so if he had one of these, we would all know it is his. 

I was honestly amazed at the variety of gifts, and so many unique things.  Plus you can just search the old fashioned way by categories, like home decor

I think this may become a go to site for me for looking for unique ideas.  In just a few minutes, I had a page with several things I could get my son for his birthday or Christmas.  

I also picked out some things for my husband, (don't miss the Valentine's Day Gift For Husbands or for you men Valentine's Day Gifts for Wives) but I don't want to show them here as I would give away the gift I am going to get him!   And I may have even found a few things I want...

Where do you find unique gift ideas for those hard to buy for people? 

Monday, February 12, 2018

A Billionaire's Sweet Valentine

Valentine's Day is this week!  Are you excited?  Could care less?   This week on my blog will be all about Valentine's Day, starting today with a book review A Billionaire's Sweet Valentine by Laura L. Walker.   I was given a copy of this book to review.

The Book
All Penny Merrill wants to do is run her own sweet shop in beautiful and ritzy Scottsdale, Arizona, but her money-hungry mother and conniving stepfather are making it nearly impossible to keep her dream alive. When Penny finds an advertisement for a Valentine's Day contest for Arizona's Cutest Couple, with the winnings being enough to enable her to hold on to her floundering business, she comes up with an idea that just might work--if she can find the right man for the job.

Commercial contractor Preston Ames is starting to develop feelings for Penny, and even though he's been through enough heartache to know that he should avoid her at all costs, he can't keep himself from visiting her sweet shop everyday. When Penny asks him to participate in a crazy scheme so that she can overturn her stepfather's underhanded business ploy, Preston is tempted to run the other way. But one look into her soulful blue eyes and he's a goner. Little does he know that just one picture will turn Penny into his sweet Valentine.

But when the fact that Preston is a billionaire comes to light, and Penny and Preston compete against another couple whose heartache transcends all of their misconceptions about love, will they do the right thing? And in the process, discover a bond that is greater than they thought was even possible?

My Review
   If you want a feel good quick easy read that will get you in the Valentine's spirit, then you will love this book.   an starting a relationship with a lie every lead to anything good?  Penny is in desperate need of money and tricks one of her best customers into participating in a Valentine's Day contest with her.  
   I will admit, right from the start I knew how this book was going to end.  However, there were some twists and story development that I did not expect and enjoyed and it gave the story a fun unique feel.  If you are looking for a sweet little romance, that will leave you smiling, I recommend this book.  The book is a clean book, free from graphic imagery and language.

Buy The Book

Friday, February 9, 2018

Friday Five: Olympics, Cookies, And Church

Happy Friday everyone!  I hope you have a wonderful weekend planned.

5 Thoughts

1. The Olympics start today!  The winter Olympics have always been my favorite.  I love almost every event!   I remember as a kid, going to the pond near our home and iceskating, pretending like I was a figure skater, when in reality I could hardly skate backwards.

2. Alex had New Beginnings this week, an event at church that welcomes the girls into Young Women's that are turning 12 this year.  It is so crazy to me that she is going to be 12!   I will be in there with her, as I was just asked to serve in Young Women's as the Laurel Advisor, over the 16-18 year old girls.

3. Eric and I went out for sushi last week and the place was so crazy as some of the rolls were really good, but others were just down right gross.  Definitely will be looking for other sushi places.

4. Alex was disappointed in last weekend's soccer game when she didn't get to play goalie; but when she played forward and ended up scoring two goals and assisting on a third, then she wasn't feeling so bad. They definitely love having her on the team.

5. Ryder went over to my in-laws the night of the New Beginnings Program, as he would have been so "bored" going to it.  His cousin Quinn was also there and those two just had a great time the whole night.  I am grateful that we get to live by family now.

5 Pictures


playing cards

readers theater


BYU gear

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn Mistcloak

I am a huge Brandon Sanderson Fan.  Before I read his books, I wouldn't have considered myself a fantasy fan, but after I read the Mistborn series, I was hooked.  Sanderson does such an amazing job developing his characters and settings that it just draws you in.   My husband (he actually introduced me to the books) and son Lucas are also huge fans, and after Lucas read Mistborn, he wanted a Mistcloak.

For Christmas, my mother--in-law made him a Mistborn Mistcloak.
How to make a Mistcloak
Sanderson Mistcloak

My mother--in-law hasn't read Mistborn (but trust me she has heard plenty of conversations about it).  She did a lot of research online, wanting to make something more authentic for Lucas.
Mistborn Mistcloak

I asked her for some tips on how she made the Mistcloak that I could share with you, and this is what she told me

How To Make a MistCloak

Initially she tried to make the tassels from a light woven fabric, sewn to another strip for lining, but they would never lie straight, so she ended up switching to fleece or brushed-nylon.  An advantage to this material is that edges won't fray.

She made three layers, offset by nearly an inch, so that the row underneath would hang in the space where the the two in front of it separated a bit.  She used this many layers so that it felt "enveloping" like the book describes.

After a few trials- she took a large piece of dark grey fleece cut the length she wanted and cut it in 1 1/2- inch strips nearly all the way up, using a rotary cutter.  When she cut the strips, she stopped before reaching the end of the fleece, leaving a 4-inch uncut header at the top.  She used this header section to sew to the lining of the inside of the cape section.

For the top, she used a cape pattern she had, cutting it part way down.  This is where the strips began and were sewn to an inner lining before putting it together.

She did do one cheat, and used a metal clasp, as she did not have time to find a wood one in time for Christmas.  We are just pretending it is made of wood painted to look like metal.  (If you have read the books, you know why the Mistcloak would never have a metal clasp)

Brandon Sanderson Mistcloak

He absolutely loves it, and was so thrilled when he got it Christmas morning.  It often isn't easy figuring out what to give a teenager for Christmas, so this was perfect gift.
Sanderson Mistcloak
Brandon Sanderson Mistcloak

It truly was a labor of love, but it is a present that he will forever cherish.