Saturday, April 19, 2014

Down the rabbit hole with "monkeys"

So I've decided I don't quite get the whole moderation thing. When I'm "in", I'm all "in" to the the exclusion of most everything else. I fixate and become some what unreachable. I also get overwhelmed by the width of most projects I take on. It was January, it was cold and dreary and I wanted to bring some color into my life. My friend, Patty made sock monkeys for all of her grandkids for Christmas. I have grandkids! They must need monkeys too. And thus began an adventure of stuffing, and random threads that is still taking over my living room. Check it out.
 All sock monkeys start out innocently enough as one pair of furry socks. One sock is the body and the other sock is cannibalized to make the nose, ears, arms and tail.
Here are some sock bodies waiting to be added too.
This is the first monkey I gave away. My co-worker, Amy had just graduated from nursing school so her monkey wears a nursing cap and name tag.
This is when it became apparent that I had a problem that might require a 12 step program to resolve.
These are the monkeys that went to Missouri to live with my grandsons.

These three "girl" monkeys all went to work to celebrate new babies of my co-workers. Mandee is having her first girl after already having 2 sons. The boys were not excited to have a sister. They finally said it would be okay...but "no dolls" mom. So she got a monkey instead.
Since monkeys only went to those having babies, a few of my friends felt left out. These two went home to Morgan for Easter for Angie's kids.
 These will bring smiles to Carolyn's kids. You'll notice all of my monkeys have knots in the the tails. I've been asked why and there is really no reason other than I put it there. These are all Monkey 1.0, I'm thinking if I advance to Monkey 2.0 I may want to give them belly buttons. Again, just because I can.
The monkey on the far right sits atop the fridge of my daughter who lives in Logan so her dog, Flynn can't turn it into a rag. The blue monkey in the middle is in Alaska teasing Cassie. She sits atop the fridge next to the peacock and a moose with only one horn and one eye. Cassie can jump really high. Some addictions are tough to quit, I've lost count of how many monkeys I've stuffed. There appears to be no end in sight as the sock colors keep changing. They are not tough to make, just check out my pinterest board for instructions. 
Shhh! Don't tell anyone but this monkey is going to Georgia's grandson to be born in June. Until next time find something that makes you smile and do it alot.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Fortune Cafe

I recently had the opportunity to review "The Fortune Cafe". I know you all have started to think that all I do is read. Not true, it's just the rest of the stuff I pursue is either work related or pretty far down the "rabbit hole". The "rabbit hole" is a place where you get so overwhelmed by what you are researching or what you are doing that it leaves little time for other interests. I have focused on supplements and removing "franken-foods" from my diet and monkeys. I promise to blog soon with pictures so you can see just how far down the "rabbit hole" I went.

The Fortune Café
A Tangerine Street Romance
A Novel in three parts by Julie Wright, Melanie Jacobson and
Heather B. Moore
 Part One; MisFortune
            Reclusive Emma Armstrong has waitressed for four years at The Fortune Café avoiding the magical fortune cookies until in an effort to stop a food fight one is launched at her head and it cracks open. Denying the fortune, “look around, love is trying to catch you”, does Emma no good as she is pursued by Harrison, a friend from her past. Emma has little time or interest in a relationship as she juggles the responsibilities of pursuing her drawing, making ends meet and caring for her mother.
Part Two: Love not Luck
            Lucy Dalton makes a cameo appearance in part one where she shares a lunch date with her parents, fiancé, Blake Sefton and her future in-laws. Lucy has always relied on her “magic” jade necklace and is devastated when it is broken at the Fortune Café. Leaving the necklace in Seashell Beach for repairs has her life spiraling out of control. Leaning on the unluckiest person she knows, Carter, her next door neighbor changes Lucy’s perspective. You will find yourself laughing out loud when you read Carter’s take on the perks of his bad luck. “I meet new people almost every time I leave the house. Granted they’re paramedics.”
Part Three; Take-out
            Stella Novak makes her living as a jeweler in Seashell Beach where she frequently gets take-out from you guessed it, the Fortune Café. When her ex-boyfriend seems intent on rekindling a relationship that Stella is trying to avoid, she kisses Evan Rockham, the new chef at the Mariposa. While that may end one story line it does open up all kinds of new possibilities.
            The beauty of this book lies in the fact that you can find a common thread throughout all of the stories but each one is complete on it’s own. The characters are well written and seem like people you would like getting to know. So get yourself a copy and one for a friend.

Monday, March 31, 2014

This book is a treasure and should be in every woman's home.

Anyone following me, will remember that I recently started reviewing books. My contact person is author Heather B. Moore so most of my reading is some how related to her. Without a doubt and no contest, this has been my favorite book to review. I've posted at goodreads, amazon, deseret book and seagull book and you can obtain a copy at all of these places. This is the book you will want to get every woman in your tribe. It will celebrate all of her divine qualities and help her recognize all of her superpowers even when she isn't wearing a cape.

Divinity of Women
By Heather B. Moore & S, Kent Brown
In short, I loved this book, I loved the art-work and I loved the message. This is a book that should be in the home of every woman, so that she can recognize how far reaching her influence may be.
By reviewing women of scripture we can find a path way to becoming women of faith. This book is a treasure that celebrates the influence of women throughout ancient times. Some women of scripture used their power and influence for good and saved nations like Queen Esther, And others like Jezebel become synonymous with evil and wanton influence.
 This book has amazing art work that is soothing and beautiful. No matter the day you are having you can find the story of an ancient woman and see her example so that you can be uplifted. These women faced lives with severe trial and found joy. When making bad choices they suffered sorrow and personal destruction. And each woman made an enormous difference in the welfare of her family members.
Few women will find their contributions listed in great volumes of scripture but it doesn’t lessen the influence we each have, whether we be married, widowed, sisters, aunts, mothers, or daughters.
Reading this book will reaffirm that the Lord is mindful of us.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

A Timeless Romance Anthology; Love letter Collection

I recently discovered anthologies. I really didn’t think I would be a fan. However, I have been converted. I actually love, love, love them. In “A Timeless Romance Anthology- Love Letter Collection” you have six amazing stand alone, un-connected stories featuring romance, twists and turns as well as lunk headed characters that you want to tap some sense into. The best part about this anthology is that you can dabble in historical romance as well as contemporary romance. And this collection would be safe to give to both your young teen daughter and your grandmother.

Maggie’s Song” by Karey White has you trudging down trails near the grand canyon, visiting Hava Supai, with Wild Country Hiking Tours. It seems misinterpretation can only be resolved with dropping hints.

Just Fly” by Krista Lynne Jensen involves “gramps” bucket list. Wren is challenged to ‘grab life with both hands and spin around until she is dizzy with it’. It’s like taking a mini-vacation in and around Seattle, Washington. If your vacations might include skinny dipping, para-gliding and salsa dancing.

How to rewrite a love letter” by Diane Darcy takes you back to high school and pits the honors English teacher, Julie Ashburn against Principal Dave Parker who doesn’t want to shave his head for a fund raiser. At one point Julie ponders whether she would rather face matchmaking love letter writing teenagers or tigers. You be the judge. 

“A Thousand Words” By Sarah Eden is the first historical romance in the collection.  Before facetime, email and Instagram you follow the story of Irish immigrants in 1867 Omaha. Though Shannon Ryan can not read the written word, Patrick O’Malley can woo her with a sketch.

Between the Lines” by Annette Lyon celebrates getting to know the person you’ve overlooked because they are right under your nose. Jane Martin is forced to choose between her new attraction to Thomas Allred and her grown attachment to a man she has never met, Charles Percival Wharton. All the while she wonders if she was duped by  Emma Tanner of the Aid and Cultural Society.

Blackberry Hollow” by Heather B. Moore is set upon the background of 1908 England. There Lucy settles the estate of her uncle while getting to know the great grandson of Calvin Devans, the man who did not marry her great great aunt Lucille, for whom she is named after. Though nearly engaged to the most famous bachelor in New York, Robert Jamison, Lucy is content to sketch all things that she comes to love. Even a man with deep blue eyes.

And that wraps up the titles and authors. You can’t go wrong with a single story and together they really are a prize. I hope you find them as enjoyable as I have.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

A book I created to celebrate my grandson Eli

I love to take pictures and I love to create gifts. At the request of my 5 year old grandson, he wanted a book like his brother got a couple of years ago. I hope he enjoys this story about Heros and little boys and mostly about himself.
Click here to view this photo book larger
Photo Book Tip: Create an adventurous travel photo album at

Saturday, February 1, 2014

I confess, I read alot!

As many of you know I'm a closet writer, which means I'm an even bigger reader than I think anyone suspects. I've had a great opportunity to become a reviewer for a bunch of authors. This markedly saves my pocketbook and helps feed my insatiable urge to read. The other great thing is that I am exploring genre's that I might otherwise ignore. I'm really becoming a fan of the novella. They're short, brief escapes and adventures into another place and time that you can finish in an afternoon in between other projects. And when you find several authors packaged together you can sip lightly before deciding if you want the date to go beyond drinks to dinner. 

This is a collection of 6 novellas that share 3 things…European locations, romance and period of time.
War of Hearts by Annette Lyon involves train rides and frozen landscapes. A young reporter, Anna, seeks the relative comfort of a War zone in Finland to distract her from her broken heart.
The Earl of Oaksey Takes a wife by G.G. Vandagriff  Through a series of misunderstandings newlyweds  Lady Melissa Burroughs and Lord Thomas Burroughs set up housekeeping at 2 separate addresses. Each pines miserably for the other but neither has the skills to cross the chasm in their new relationship.
Gift of Love by Michele Paige Holmes. In Northern England in 1760 Ethan Moorleigh is beset with bad luck having lost 2 wives to untimely deaths. When Mary does not survive childbirth the total  expands to 3. Having a young daughter to care for is overwhelming until Amelia leaves her life at the Abbey. The mystery that surrounds the deaths of his first three wives is solved when Ethan saves Amelia.
A Lesson in Love by Sarah M. Eden pits Reed’s expectation for the social season against the hopes of his wife, Lucy. A matter of courting becomes a matter of war when all the wives in the family side with Lucy and the men with Reed. As pawns they are both miserable.
An Ocean Away by Heather B. Moore. Mr. Edmund H. Donaldson can not believe his eyes when he witnesses Gina Graydon scaling down the wall from her balcony at dawn. Embarrassed to be caught reading novels in the garden, Gina begins to have “kissing fantasies” about the handsome Edmund, only to learn that her father is suing him.
When in Venice by Nancy Campbell Allen finds spinster Evangeline Stuart, age 21, languishing at the horrible treatment of her evil Step father and obnoxious twin step-sisters. Enter Europe’s most eligible bachelor, his brothers, and an art exhibit to add diversity. In a single day Evangeline tours Venice by foot and gondola and finds herself bruised, gagged and locked in a closet.
Each story is complete on it’s own and provides just the right length of escape. I’m not normally drawn to period romances but found it difficult to pick my favorite in this bunch. The best part is you are coming to know a variety of authors and will be able to check out all of their other books.  I would definitely recommend this collection as a gift or for you own reading pleasure.