Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My Sewing Accomplishments Today

I got some sewing done while my Cinnamon Rolls were rising. Just a few things that got pushed onto the back burner until Christmas was over.

This is a Panda Baby Quilt for a friend at Church. It is a cheater panel and all I had to do was find a coordinating border in my stash and sew it one. I've never quilted a panel before so it ought to be interesting and fun. It think this is one of the cutest quilts I've ever seen and just might have to get more of the fabric to make myself one.

This little Doll Quilt is for a Doll Quilt Exchange on January has a theme of your city, state, country, etc. I live not too far from Pittsburgh, PA and had some fabric left from the tote I made. I still need to quilt it.

This is a International Round Robin center from I'm a little late sending this one out but I finally got it done. I put a basic border on it but thought it lent well with the fabric pattern and the busyness of the center.

I also washed fabric for a Chocolate/Raspberry Block Swap that I'm coordinating on the I'll post pictures of that later.

Wow, I feel like I got a lot accomplished today. Maybe now I can get in the shower!

Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls

I was inspired by Steph over at Somewhat Simple to try these cinnamon rolls today.

Here is a direct link to the recipe.

*Note: Change the rising time from 1 hour to 3 hours as Steph suggests. Mine did the same thing so it must have been an error.*

I made a double batch because I'm going to take them to Prayer Meeting/Bible Study tonight. After our prayer and lesson, we are having a little New Year's Celebration.

I haven't tasted one yet, but from the looks and smell of them I think they'll be great.

My International Round Robin Center Progress

I am so excited to see the progress of my center from the International Round Robin #2 on!!! I just had to post it for all to see.

I sent the center to Ninnie who put the 2 small borders around my center.

Then, she sent it to Lacelady in Ireland who put the absolutely brilliant picket fence around my cottage.

The fabric behind the fence is of other cottages! I LOVE it!

I just can't wait to see how it continues to grow. It will make its way home around September/October 2010.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

100 Mile Fitnes Challenge

I"m gonna do it! I've been watching for the new 100 Mile Fitness Challenge to start. Round 2 starts on January 1st and ends March 31st. Click the picture above to go sign up for the challenge.

Week 1:
1/1/10- 1 mile
1/2/10- 1 mile
1/3/10- 1 mile
1/4/10- 1 mile
1/5/10- 1 mile
1/6/10- 1 mile
1/7/10- 1 mile
Weekly Total: 7 Miles
Running Total: 7 Miles
Week 2:
1/8/10- 0 miles
1/9/10- 2 miles
1/10/10- 1 mile
1/11/10- 1 mile
1/12/10- 1 mile
1/13/10- 1 mile
1/14/10- 2 miles
Weekly Total: 8 miles
Running Total: 15 miles
Week 3:
1/15/10-1 mile
1/16/10- 0 miles
1/17/10- 0 miles
1/18/10- 1 mile
1/19/10- 1 mile
1/20/10- 1 mile
1/21/10- 2 miles
Weekly Total: 6 miles
Running Total: 21 miles
Week 4:
1/22/10- 1 mile
1/23/10- 1 mile
1/24/10- 0 miles
1/25/10- 1 mile
1/26/10- 3 miles
1/27/10- 1 mile
1/28/10- 2 miles
Weekly Total: 9 mile
Running total: 30 miles
Week 5:
1/29/10- 0
1/30/10- 0
1/31/10- 0
2/1/10- 2
2/2/10- 2
2/3/10- 2
2/4/10- 2
Weekly Total: 8 Miles
Running total: 38 miles
Week 6:
2/5/10- 0
2/6/10- 0
2/7/10- 0
2/8/10- 2
2/9/10- 2
2/10/10- 2
2/11/10- 0
Weekly Total: 6 miles
Running Total: 44 miles
Week 7:
Weekly Total: 6 miles
Running total: 50
Week 8:
2/19/10- 2
2/20/10- 2
2/21/10- 2
2/22/10- 2
2/23/10- 0
2/24/10- 2
Weekly total: 12 miles
Running total: 62 miles

Book Review: "Montana Rose" by Mary Connealy

Book 1 of the Montana Marriages Series

Product Description (from Amazon):
Christian novelist Connealy (Petticoat Ranch) writes to tickle the funny bone and tease heartstrings with the first in her newest series, Montana Marriages. In the Montana Territory of 1875, sweet and naïve Cassie Griffin's abusive husband dies, leaving Cassie no choice but to choose a new husband the same day she buries her first. With women scarce and lawlessness abounding, Cassie reluctantly agrees to marry Red Dawson, also reluctant, who offers to marry her only to save her from an immoral scoundrel who's been stalking her for months. Immediately traveling to Red's ranch, Cassie realizes how little she knows about life, love and faith. In turn, Red quickly realizes how brutalized his new wife was by her first husband. Slowly, sometimes painstakingly so, Cassie learns to trust her instincts and begins to blossom.

My overall feeling of the book:
At first I really rebelled at the amount of submissiveness the heroine displayed. But then, I loved how Red “ordered” her to be sassy and speak her mind. There were some very interesting things that happened because Cassie was so set on “obeying”. I enjoyed reading of Cassie’s transformation from a “china doll” to an independent, mind-speaking woman of strength.

My Favorite Character:
My favorite character was Red. Oh, that all men were like him. He was just about perfect. Sigh...

My Favorite Scene:
My favorite scene was the whole process of the baby being born. Especially Cassie’s desperate need to mop the dirt floor and the way Red was so panicky and jumped to follow Cassie’s orders. I thought it was hilarious and yet so realistic. It definitely took me back to my time of labor and delivery, but in a good way!

It Would Have Been Better If:
This might seem piddly, but I always enjoy figuring out why a book is titled what it is. I kept waiting for the “aha” moment when I finally figured it out. The Montana part was easy enough. It took place in Montana, duh. The Rose part however was a different story. Roses weren’t mentioned in the flower variety and the only other reference even close (that I saw, anyway) was the milk cow’s name being “Rosie”! Hmm?

Who Would I Recommend This Book To?:
Historical fiction fans, especially western historicals. Women who are pregnant or have been pregnant will enjoy mirroring our symptoms. Women who are independent-minded will enjoy Cassie’s awakening.

9/10. Fantastic. I couldn’t put it down.

If you would like to purchase this book, click here.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Book Review: Leaving Carolina by Tamara Leigh

Book 1 of the Southern Discomfort Series

Product Description (from Amazon):

Piper Wick left her hometown of Pickwick, North Carolina, twelve years ago, shook the dust off her feet, ditched her drawl and her family name, and made a new life for herself as a high-powered public relations consultant in LA. She’s even “engaged to be engaged” to the picture-perfect U.S. Congressman Grant Spangler.

Now all of Piper’s hard-won happiness is threatened by a reclusive uncle’s bout of conscience. In the wake of a health scare, Uncle Obadiah Pickwick has decided to change his will, leaving money to make amends for four generations’ worth of family misdeeds. But that will reveal all the Pickwicks’ secrets, including Piper’s.

Though Piper arrives in Pickwick primed for battle, she is unprepared for Uncle Obe’s rugged, blue-eyed gardener. So just who is Axel Smith? Why does he think making amends is more than just making restitution? And why, oh why, can’t she stay on task? With the Lord’s help, Piper is about to discover that although good PR might smooth things over, only the truth will set her free.

My overall feeling of the book:
I’ve loved all of Tamara Leigh’s books so far and this one didn’t disappoint. It is the first in a new series and I loved learning all the characters and the family dynamics, dysfunctional as they are. I’m excited to read the next book in the series and learn more about Cousin Maggie.

My Favorite Character:
The heroine, Piper, was my favorite character. I can sympathize with not being “popular”, “skinny” or “fashionable” in school. I understand her reluctance to go back to the town that held only bad memories. I also admired the way she had overcome those insecurities and now lead a successful, content life.

My Favorite Scene:
My favorite scene was when Piper discovers her cousin’s pet opossum eating her helping of pickled corn. She really loved the stuff!

It Would Have Been Better If:
I had a hard time with the Axel’s, the hero’s, ponytail. Just couldn’t get into that one. But, I can understand where the writer was going with it.

Who Would I Recommend This Book To?:
Tamara Leigh fans, those of us who were less than perfect growing up, members of large, extended, dysfunctional families. Pretty much everyone!

9/10. Fantastic. I couldn’t put it down.

If you would like to purchase this book, click here.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Over-sized Steelers Tote

I made this over-sized Steelers tote for my aunt for our family gift exchange.

I bought two different Steelers fabrics and made my own charm squares which I then made into my very own quilted fabric. I lined it with the light fabric and have two pockets on the inside made of the black fabric.

The straps are nice and wide and are very easy on the shoulders.

I made a base for the bottom inside out of cardboard covered in the light fabric so that the bag holds its shape.

I have buttons on the sides so it can be either open or buttoned up for a more streamlined look. There is also a button on top to snap it shut.

My 8 year-old is holding it for the picture so it looks just a tad bigger than it really is, but it's still huge and great for toting lots of stuff. I made myself one a few months ago and LOVE it!


My Angel Earrings

I participated in an International Gift Exchange hosted by Linda at Craftaholics Anonymous. The exchange was of handmade gifts.

Jasmin at Hey its me... sent me these cute, cute, cute angel earrings. I got them in the mail right before I headed off to my daughter's Christmas Play at school. They were the perfect finishing touch to wear.

Here's Kaylee at her play. I snuck all the way up to the front and got a great picture of her.

Thanks, Jasmin!!!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Winner!: Book Giveaway #6, "Coffee Lover's Soul"

The winner of "Chicken Soup for the Coffee Lover's Soul" is:


I will email you for your address.

Thanks everyone for participating in my giveaway!!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Baking Cookies With the Hubby

My dear hubby broke his foot falling from his tree stand while hunting.

He is now so bored, that I got him to make cookies with me.

We have been married for almost 10 years and this is a first. I just had to document it.

We made Orange Dream Cookies. I got the recipe from Ducks In A Row.

I put a little orange food coloring in just to give it more of a dreamcicle color. They were a hit.
Believe me. When hubby actually says that he likes something, it must be good.

BTW, I absolutely love my Pampered Chef scoop and cooling racks.

Squishy In the Mail

Look at the squishy I got from Joan from the I was so excited to get this in the mail. Now, what to make?

Thanks, Joan!

Secret Santa Gift

On we did a Secret Santa Exchange. Lee, aka Montana Quilter, was blessed and received ME to send a Christmas package to.

Here is what I received. I loved everything!

Thanks, Lee!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Book Review: "Cowboy Christmas" by Mary Connealy

Product Description (from Amazon)
Get ready for a fun and suspenseful Christmastime romance. Trouble follows singer Annette Talbot to Wyoming—and rancher Elijah Walker finds himself directly in its path. Though still wounded by the betrayal of his ex-fiancée, Elijah finds himself attracted to the secretive singer. When it appears Annie is a threat to his mother’s life, Elijah must decide if Annie’s deep faith and love of God is genuine or if it’s all just a ruse. He decides to trust her—until he discovers she’s a wanted woman. As Christmas draws near, will Elijah respond to God’s gentle persuasion to find the truth before he loses Annie forever?

My overall feeling of the book:
This was a very good “Cowboy Christmas” book! It had everything I could want. A ranch, a cowboy and his mother, a girl-next-door, trusty cowpokes and villains. Oh, and some farm animals. This was a great Christmas read. I mean, really. Who doesn’t love a cowboy?

My Favorite Character:
My favorite character was “Ma”. She is feisty and not afraid to wield a metal “pipe”. She doesn’t take any sass and is a good judge of character as well as forgiving and a wonderful care giver.

My Favorite Scene:
My favorite scene was when Annette finally stands up for herself and uses her very own “pipe”. Even though I love a cowboy coming to the rescue, its even better when the heroine does her own rescuing. Hear me roar!!

It Would Have Been Better If:
There were times through the book that I just wanted to smack Annette. The good thing though was that I wasn’t the only one who thought that way. Even the hero, Elijah, wanted to take her over his knee a couple times.

Who Would I Recommend This Book To?:
Anyone who loves good, western, historical, Christian fiction and Christmas stories. If you are a singer of any kind, you will also like this story.

9/10. Fantastic. I couldn’t put it down.

If you would like to purchase this book, click here.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Book Giveaway #6: Ends 12/22/09

This week I'll be giving away "Chicken Soup for the Coffee Lover's Soul" by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Theresa Peluso.
To enter:

1. Leave a comment telling me your favorite hot drink. +1
2. Be a follower. +1
3. Blog about my giveaway on your blog. +2

There are a total of 4 possible enteries.

The drawing will be held on Tuesday, December 22, 2009 at 12pm (est).

Thanks for participating!!

Book Review: "Piece de Resistance" by Sandra Byrd

Product Description
Having earned her chef’s hat, Lexi Stuart bids au revoir to her glamorous and deliciously satisfying pastry mentorship outside of Paris and returns to her hometown of Seattle, Washington. There, she finds life unexpectedly complicated.

She’s put in charge of a high-end catering bakery called Bijoux, which should be her dream job, but there’s a catch: She has to make this lavish bakery into a successful business in just a few, short months, which will require more than her ability to make an amazing wedding cake. In over her head and at a loss for creative marketing ideas, Lexi isn’t sure what the recipe for success needs to be.

Stir in a complicated relationship with her French beau, Philippe, and his daughter, Celine, then add a dash of romance with down-to-earth lawyer Dan an dlife suddenly contains more ooh la la than Lexi can handle.

With the fate of her career and her love life hanging by a thread, the phrase “piece of cake” has never been more daunting. Lexi learns that she must trust the dreams in her heart and the God who put them there.

My overall feeling of the book:
I absolutely loved all three of the books in the “French Twist” Series. They all contained baking and cooking as the main theme. The books had wonderful recipes printed throughout so we can all try them ourselves.

Being the last book of the series, it really wraps up all the loose ends very nicely. But, I won’t tell you which guy, Philippe or Dan, that Lexi ends up with.

My Favorite Character:
In this case, the heroine, Lexi, is my favorite character. I could relate to her insecurities and struggles to trust God for her well-being and future.

My Favorite Scene:
The last scene is my favorite. I’ll tell you that it involves a ring, but I won’t tell you who is giving or receiving it!

It Would Have Been Better If:
I really can’t think of anything that I would change..

Would I recommend This Book?:
Yes, Yes, Yes As I’ve said, I loved this entire series. I would, however, recommend reading all three books in order. It will be well worth it if you do.

9/10: Fantastic! I couldn’t put it down.

If you would like to purchase this book, click here.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Winners!...Christmas Book Giveaway #5

The winners are:



Janet Ruth


I will email everyone for their addresses. Please get back to me as soon as possible so that I can send out the books in time for your to read them before Christmas!

Thank you to all who participated!!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Package from Amazon!

In the mail today, I got a small box from Amazon. I always love it when that happens! Here's what was in the box:

I love Mary Connealy book's.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Giveaway: Wrist Warmers by Jasmin

My friend, Jasmin, at "Hey it's me" is giving away a beautiful pair of soft, cozy wrist warmers. The sign-up deadline is December 26th. Please go by her blog to participate in her giveaway and show her some love!

Book Review: "Fools Rush In" by Janice Thompson

Product Description (from Amazon)
Bella Rossi may be nearing thirty, but her life is just starting to get interesting. When her Italian-turned-Texan parents hand over the family wedding planning business, Bella is determined not to let them down. She quickly books a "Boot Scoot'n" wedding that would make any Texan proud. There's only one catch--she's a country music numbskull because her family only listens to Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. Where will she find a DJ on such short notice who knows his Alan Jackson from his Keith Urban? When a misunderstanding leads her to the DJ (and man) of her dreams, things start falling into place. But with a family like hers, nothing is guaranteed. Can the perfect Texan wedding survive a pizza-making uncle with mob ties, an aunt who is a lawsuit waiting to happen, and a massive delivery of 80 cowboy boots? And will Bella ever get to plan her own wedding? Book one in the Weddings by Bella series, Fools Rush In is fun, fresh, and full of surprises. Readers will love the flavorful combination of Italian and Tex-Mex, and the hilarity that ensues when cultures clash.

My overall feeling of the book:
I really enjoyed this book. It was fun, lighthearted and yet full of dilemmas and surprises. I loved how the book drew me into the Rossi family and even the “fowl” mouthed bird, Guido.

Bella is trying to adjust to being in charge of the family’s wedding planning business. In the past she hasn’t had the responsibility that has now been cast upon her. I remember struggling through this as a newly-wed and a new mother. I was 22 compared to Bella’s 29, though. I guess everyone’s situation is different and we have to come-of-age at different times in our lives. In this, I think Bella has been a bit sheltered.

Even I felt all mushy whenever the hero, “DJ”, showed up. MMMMM...MMMMM.. I can just imagine. I loved how toward the end of the book we got a bigger picture of the Neeley family. They are just as crazy as the Rossi’s, I think.

I can’t wait to read the next book in the “Weddings By Bella” series.

My Favorite Character:
I think my favorite character was Rosa, Bella’s aunt on her mother’s side. She lives with the Rossi family and is the care-giver and cook of the household. She is quirky and funny and I just loved her! Especially with her bright orange cowgirl boots chasing the neighbor kid!

My Favorite Scene:
Without giving too much away, I will say that my favorite scene involved a toupee, a bird, an ex-military man, and smelly oil. That’s all I’m saying!

It Would Have Been Better If:
I would have liked to know more about DJ and what he was thinking. I like when a book draws me into the hero’s character as well as the heroine.

Would I recommend This Book?:
Yes, Yes, Yes! I laughed out loud so many times that my husband probably thinks I’m nuts! I would recommend this book to anyone that likes Christian Fiction.

8/10: Very Good

If you would like to purchase this book, click here.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

"Christian Book Giveaway" A New Blog by Carman

Carman has a new blog! It is called "Christian Book Giveaway" and its purpose is to let us all know about current giveaways and to also promote our giveaways.

To have your book giveaway listed on her blog, you will need to email her at booklovercb[at]yahoo[dot]com with the following information.

In the email please include:
~The giveaway book's title
~The author's name
~Book's front cover (jpg)
~Direct link to the giveaway (not your blog's main page)
~Date the giveaway ends

Please check out her new blog and become a follower so that you don't miss any great giveaways!

I think this is a wonderful idea and a great service to us all.

Carman, YOU will receive a blessing. Thank you so much!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas Scrubs

These are some Christmas Scrubs I made for a friend. I love the Hollyberry one!

Kaylee's Swap Quilt

Here's Kaylee holding the Doll quilt that her swap partner made for her. She can't wait for the next swap and keeps asking me if a new one has started yet. She loves it!

Dear Jane Christmas Swap Blocks

I participated in a Dear Jane Christmas Block swap over at I received my blocks yesterday. Now what to make....?

Package from Amazon...oohhhh

Look at what I got in the mail today! It was such a pick-me-up. I love books!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Christmas Book Giveaway #5

This will be my final Christmas Book Giveaway because I want the books to reach their winners in plenty of time to be read before Christmas. So this week I will be giving away 4 Christmas books.

1. The Judge Who Stole Christmas by Randy Singer

2. Jingle Bell Babies by Kathryn Springer

3. A Big Apple Christmas by Vashti Reyes Acosta, Gail Sattler, Lynette Sowell & Carrie Turansky

4. Angels for Christmas by Pamela Griffin, Tamela Hancock Murray, Sandra Petit & Gail Sattler

A very special thanks to Debra Collins who gave me Jingle Bell Babies by Kathryn Springer in a giveaway. I thought I'd pass it on along. I really, really enjoyed reading it.

To Enter:

1. Leave a comment telling me what you want for Christmas this year. +1

2. Be a follower. +1

3. Blog about this giveaway on your blog or sidebar. +2

That's a total of 4 possible entries. Make sure you enter before Tuesday, December 15th @ 12pm(est). That is when I will draw 4 winners!

Thanks to all who participate!!

Winner!...Christmas Book Giveaway #4

And the winner is........


I'll be contacting you for your address.
A big thank you to everyone who participated! Make sure you enter my next giveaway!