Wednesday, October 29, 2014

National Cat Day - October 29th 2014

Happy National Cat Day and hump day friends! I hope your day is going swimmingly so far and you have something fun planned for the day!


In case you did not know, today is national cat day! Obviously, Justin and I have two kitties that we love very much and if we could we would get more pets, but where we live does not allow more than two animals (and for some reason three cats seems a bit excessive haha).

I wanted to share some fun ways you can participate in National Cat Day today - all of these ideas were found on the National Cat Day website - so make sure to check their site out! 



1. Adopt a cat from your local shelter or rescue.  Here are some good websites to check out for adoptions in your area: Adopt a Pet,  Pet Finder, & Humane Society.  If those do not cater to what you are looking for, make sure to check out your local Animal Rescue Leagues.

2. Donate blankets, food and toys to your local animal welfare organizations

3. Volunteer at your local shelter and offer to play with some cats available for adoption, clean cages and litter boxes or anything else they need help with.

4. Bake some cat shaped cookies for your kids, friends or office and bake some tuna cookies for your cat.

5. Spend the day taking photos of your cat and posting them on social media to raise awareness

6. Buy your cat a fun new toy....condo, bed or treats!

7. Buy your cat a collar and tag with your name and number, just in case they get outside and happen to become lost.

8. Assist an ill or elderly neighbor by cleaning their cat’s litter box and playing with their cat.

9. Give your cat a calming massage.

10. Have a National Cat Day party and invite all your friends and their cats!

Photo found on Pinterest

Happy National Cat Day friends! I'd love to see a picture of your furry friend so make sure to share them on my Facebook Page or via Twitter





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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Anniversary Trip to Niagara Falls

Happy Tuesday Readers! I hope your week has gotten off to a good start and you are having a nice day so far.

This past weekend, Justin and I made our way to Niagara Falls for the weekend as an early celebration of our 3-year anniversary.  On Friday after work, we hopped in the car to make the four hour trip to the Falls.  

If you can remember from about a year and a half ago, we visited Niagara Falls and some friends so this time around, we knew exactly what we wanted to do on this trip.  Justin had heard through a coworker that there is a Kate Spade Outlet store at a mall just on the other side of the falls, so of course we had to make our way over to the mall so I could do some shopping.  Because we had such a nice stay last time, we decided to stay at the same hotel as last time: The Courtyard Marriott.  I love this hotel because you can get a large whirlpool tub in your room for a very reasonable price - and trust me, I took advantage of the huge bathtub while I was there.  


On Saturday morning, we took our time getting ready before meeting up with Nick, Laura, and their son Ryder.  I was so very excited to see them because this is the first time we had seen them since they had their son about seven months ago.  Unfortunately, in all of the excitement in seeing them, I totally blanket on taking pictures of us with them.  Let me just say, their son is absolutely adorable.  

After a late lunch with them, we made our way across the Rainbow Bridge into New York to head out to the mall to do some shopping.  If you are ever in Niagara Falls, I suggest making a trip out to the Fashion Outlets.  The mall is huge and there are so many stores to shop in - it really is crazy.


After spending most of the day shopping, we made our way back to the hotel to get ready for dinner at Copacabana.  I love this restaurant and had been looking forward to eating there for at least two months.  They have some of the best steak I have eaten and their grilled pineapple is to die for.




On Sunday, we slept in and watched a movie before we made our way home.  Why does it always seem like the drive home takes forever? We spent the evening relaxing and getting ready for the upcoming week.

Question of the Day: What is your favorite Brazilian Steakhouse?

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Monday, October 27, 2014

Purex Crystals Aromatherapy + a Giveaway

Happy Monday Readers! How was your weekend? Did you do anything fun?

Justin and I went to Niagara Falls to celebrate our 3-year anniversary {early} which was so much fun! I will do a recap post tomorrow for everyone.


Today I wanted to share with you a quick review of the Purex Crystals Aromatherapy In-wash Fragrance Boosters.  The Purex Brand provided me with a sample of Purex Crystals Aromatherapy in exchange for a product review.  However, all of the opinions expressed in the post are my own.

For this review, I received the Aromatherapy Energy blend which smells like oranges.  This also comes in Well Being and Serenity which I am guessing are more on the floral side for smell.



Because I have sensitive skin and my husband has sensitivity to scents, I was a bit worried about trying the scent on our clothing, so I opted to wash a blanket that both my husband and I regularly use.  

The instructions are not clear on the bottle as to how many crystals you are to put in a load, so I went with a little under half of the lid.  This seemed like an appropriate amount since I was only washing one blanket and it was a smaller load.



My Thoughts:

I really liked this product! It did not stain the blanket at all, the scent was not too strong and it also was not irritating to my skin or my husbands allergies.  Plus, the scent is still on the blanket after two weeks of semi-regular use.  I feel like this would be an excellent product to use on clothing to help with odor control and to keep your clothes smelling fresh.

After the initial run through, I fully intend to try this product on our clothing to see how we both manage with the scent.  

Want to win a coupon for your own bottle of Purex Crystals Aromatherapy? Make sure to enter below and I will send one lucky winner a coupon for one 18 oz bottle of Purex Crystals Aromatherapy.


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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Stretchy Infinity Scarf DIY

 Happy Wednesday Readers! I hope all is going well and you are having a great week so far.  So I am embarrassed to admit that I started working on this infinity scarf last year and did not realize that I had never finished it until I was going through my craft supplies and found it in a bag.

Unfortunately for the scarf, I did not like the way it was turning out, so I ripped the whole thing apart and started from scratch.  The original pattern I followed can be found on here on Pinterest but I wasn't a huge fan of the way the pattern was working, so I modified it to meet my needs and I'm going to share it with you today! 


What You Need:
  • 2-3 (or more depending on desired length) Skeins of  Lion Brand Alpine Wool in Chili.  You can purchase them from JoAnn Fabrics or most craft stores
  • Size 14 US Knitting Needles (I used a 29" round because that is what I had on hand)
  • Darning Needle

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Making the Scarf:

  • Cast on 36 stitches
  • Row 1: YO, K1 entire row
  • Row 2: YO, S1 (purl wise), K2Tog (this is the brioche stitch)
  • Repeat Row 2 until scarf is desired length.  My scarf was only about 25" when done because I did not want to double wrap it around my neck.  The scarf is rather wide so you can get away with only once around the neck, but if you would prefer a fuller look or to wear the scarf long, then knit the scarf until it is at your desired length.
  • Cast Off
  • Bind both ends of the scarf with your darning needle
  • Enjoy!


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Because I had never done the brioche stitch before and the pattern I was following was not clear enough for what I needed, I followed this YouTube tutorial from iknitwithcatfur.  I watched several videos, and this was the one I felt best explained and showed how to execute this stitch. 




Think this is a scarf you'd like to try but you're not too keen on using wool yarn? Just substitute it with another chunky yarn in acrylic.


Question of the Day: What color is your favorite scarf? 

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Dead New World Book Review + a Giveaway

Happy Tuesday Readers! I hope you are having an excellent week so far and your Tuesday is treating you splendidly! Today I wanted to share another fun book with you and share my thoughts on the book as well.  

About the Book:

When the the leader of a powerful cult kidnaps the woman Holt loves, he teams up with his best friend to save her from a fate worse than death.


Fans of Jonathan Maberry's ROT & RUIN and AMC's hit series, The Walking Dead will devour Hill's action ­packed take on the Zombie genre. DEAD NEW WORLD is now available at Amazon and Curiosity Quills. Get to know more about Ryan in this exclusive letter to readers

DEAD NEW WORLD

Zombies aren’t mindless anymore.

Before the world fell into chaos, the undead existed only in the imagination. Now, more of them walk the earth than living. Zombies move about freely, while humans entomb themselves inside concrete barricades to stay alive. 

All that, while the leader of a powerful cult - known only as Reverend - becomes the next threat to the rebuilding United States. Believing zombies to be God’s latest creation, making humanity obsolete, he wants to give every man, woman, and child the chance to become one. With his combined army of humans and zombies, he may well get his wish.

Best friends Holt and Ambrose went up against the Reverend once. Holt lost a foot and a zombie bit Ambrose…though he survived the virus, only to become a human-zombie hybrid, reviled by the living and unwelcome among the dead. When the Reverend kidnaps the woman Holt loves, the race is on to save her from a fate worse than death.


My Thoughts:

I want to preface this review with this fact: I really do not like zombie anything.  Yet, somehow, I found myself having a hard time putting this zombie-fied story down.  Told from the perspective of Holt, the reader is taken on, what feels, a wild and almost out of this world adventure.

The story starts out by giving the reader some background information about the leading men - two best friends in the military working to protect the humans from the zombies.  On the first mission the reader sees, both Holt and Ambrose are injured - Holt losing his leg and Ambrose bitten by a zombie.

Fast forward to a few years later and the reader is taken on this ride with Holt and Ambrose as they go on a mission to save the "damzel" and Holt's love, Nancy.  However, that is not the only reason for their mission, Ambrose wants to get revenge on the man who turned him into a monster: The Reverend.  The rest of the story is all about their missions, and that is where I will end it as I do not want to give anything else away *wink*.  

If you are looking for an action packed, zombie-filled, sitting on the edge of your seat, great read, then this is the book for you! 


About the Author:

Ryan Hill
Growing up, Ryan Hill used to spend his time reading and writing instead of doing homework. This resulted in an obsession with becoming a writer, but also a gross incompetence in the fields of science and mathematics. A graduate of North Carolina State University, Ryan has been a film critic for over five years. He lives in Raleigh, NC, with his dog/shadow Maggie. Ryan also feels strange about referring to himself in the third person.

Connect with Ryan at: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | GoodReads | Tumblr | Instagram






Giveaway Time:


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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Charming by Krystal Wade + a Giveaway!

Happy Tuesday Readers! I hope you had a wonderful weekend filled with fun and exciting things! I was out of town for the weekend (hence my disappearance) but I was able to relax and relieve some of my daily stress.  

Today I wanted to spotlight a book that I think all of you would be interested in reading: Charming by Krystal Wade.

About the Book:

Krystal Wade is back with a spine-tingling retelling of Cinderella!



In this edge-of-your seat, tension filled retelling of Cinderella, a vengeful schizophrenic pulls sixteen-year-old Haley Tremaine into his dark world. She must make a choice: save her abusive, alcoholic father and bitter little sister and allow the only people who've treated Haley like family to die, or seek out the killer and save them all.

CHARMING

They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and that's great . . . as long as you don't die.
Sixteen-year-old Haley Tremaine had it all: top-notch school, fantastic family, and a bright future, but all of that changed when an accident tore her family apart. Now, an alcoholic father, a bitter younger sister, and a cold headstone bearing her mother’s name are all she has left.
Chris Charming has it all: a powerful CEO for a father, a prestigious school, and a fortune at his fingertips, but none of that matters when he lands a reputation as a troublemaker. Struggling to follow in his father’s footsteps, he reaches out to the one person he believes truly sees him, the one person he wants: Haley.
Little do they know someone's determined to bring the two together, even if it means murder.
Available at: Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Amazon



Spotlight:

“Since you’ve refused all offers to run away and leave this town behind, you could try this.” Christine took a hit of her thinly wound joint, winked, then held it out for Haley. Like tonight would be any different from the other five hundred times Christine had offered.

“Not happening.” But maybe, just maybe, being high would make walking through the squeaky front door hurt a little less. Maybe the pot would snuff out the anger and fear that burned and spread like uncontrolled wildfires in Haley’s head when Dad yelled, when he grunted disgusting noises because she took too long to clean his mess or get him another beer, and when Jocelyn just sat there and watched.

Dad’s favorite. Dad’s favorite because he thought she chose him instead of Mom the night she decided to leave. Dad didn’t know the truth. Jocelyn didn’t either.

“Not today, anyway.” Hopefully that day never comes.

“Always helps me get over my issues, but suit yourself.” Tucked into her too-large, red and black flannel jacket, Christine finished off the awful smelling joint with a shrug, then jogged across the cracked asphalt, hundreds of jagged tar lines holding the road together like band-aids. She forgot to say goodbye. As usual.

Haley stood on the side of the street between the power lines and her yard covered with a thick layer of pine needles and red leaves, the closest thing Deerfield Massachusetts had to a sidewalk. She stared through the yellow glow of the streetlamp Christine ran under, waiting for her to walk into her house. Once she did, Haley jogged up the few steps to her front porch, pulled open the screen door, took a calming breath, then walked in.  No one was waiting. The only greetings she received were sounds of the late-night news reporting the most recent murder, the smell of stale beer, and that ever-unsettling panic in Haley’s chest, the panic that never went away while under the same roof as Dad.

Backpack slung over one shoulder, she ditched her plain black work shoes next to the pile of others by the door and crept through the house that didn’t appreciate anyone creeping around. The worn floorboards rattled with every step, despite Haley’s efforts to place each foot gently in front of the other. She passed the kitchen on her way down the long hallway. The cramped space was a mess of dirty pots and pans sitting and crusting on the stovetop, trash overflowing the can and spilling onto the floor, empty plates scattered on the table. All left for Haley to clean. All left for Haley to worry over.

On the way to her room, Haley paused by the arched opening leading to the den. Dad and Jocelyn sat in each other’s company, watching TV as so many normal families would. But did all those families take advantage of one member? Did they pretend like that member didn’t exist unless they needed help with something? Or was Haley the only lucky one?

“Deerfield police found Jeremiah Woodson dead this morning along the bank of the
Connecticut River. Investigators say he suffered a bullet-wound to the head and are
searching for clues.”


About the Author:

Krystal Wade is happily married to the love of her life (don’t gag) and raising three beautiful children in the gorgeous state of Virginia. They live just outside Washington, D.C., and every day she wakes up to find herself stuck in traffic trying to get there. When she’s not working, commuting, or chasing after her three children (four if you count the man), you can usually find Krystal outside talking to her chickens like they’re the cutest things in the world (they are), or training her amazing dogs how to herd said chickens (which they love), or curled up on the sofa with a good book (why can’t that be 100% of the time?).










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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Apple Picking 2.0

Happy Wednesday Readers! I hope your hump day is going well so far!

This week has been a strange one with the cold weather and some very strange things happening, but so far it has been a pretty good week! 

Today I wanted to recap our visit to the apple orchard this past Sunday with you all! If you remember from last week, I suggest this as a Fun Fall Activity! And I guess technically, I killed two birds with one stone since the orchard is also a Cider Mill.  



My friends and I have created a few fun traditions for ourselves, and last year we added Apple Picking to the list and I am glad we decided to repeat this tradition again this year.  This year we again went to Westview Orchards to pick our apples.  I really like this orchard because I feel they are very organized, have a ton of fun options, and are fairly reasonably priced. 


For example, a lot of orchards charge by the pound while Westview charges per bag.  We paid $19 for a peck of apples (roughly 40-50 depending on size) and that bag allows 2-3 people to go into the orchard to pick apples.

Altogether, we had 3 pecks between the whole group and we easily walked away with 175+ apples.


Another thing I really like about Westview Orchards is the fact that they encourage you to try the apples before you bag them.  Because each person has a different preference for apples, it can be difficult to pick them without knowing exactly what you are getting.  I think before I left the orchard, I ended up eating a total of five apples because they were so crisp and juicy.


After the orchard, we all went back to Justin and I's apartment to have dinner and play games together.  I can honestly say that I have not laughed that hard in a long time.  Such a fun and wonderful evening with my friends.  


Here's to many more years of fun apple picking traditions!


Question of the Day: Have you ever picked your own fruit? If so, which is your favorite to pick?

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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

End of Normal by SC Arscott + a Giveaway

Happy Tuesday Readers! I hope all is well! 

I am so excited because I have been working with Jackie at Barclay Publicity for the opportunity to read and review some new and upcoming books and today I get to share one those books with you! I am also excited because I am participating in my first ever book tour! Not to mention the $20 Amazon gift card giveaway! There is all kinds of exciting things going on around here, huh? 



About the Book:

Sometimes what you think is normal, is anything but.


Told in the vein of Susan Pfeiffer’s LIFE AS WE KNOW IT and Courtney Summers’ THIS IS NOT A TEST, this new YA novel will appeal to fans of Sci-Fi both young and old. END OF NORMAL is now available at Amazon and Champagne Books. Get to know more about Susan in this exclusive letter to readers...

End of Normal

16-year-old Olivia Richards’ last day of normal is simply that, normal. She spends her entire pre-school morning dressing to impress gorgeous guy Sawyer Rising, the hottest guy in high school. She argues with her mother about her skinny jeans being too tight, which Olivia considers ridiculous because isn’t that the point of skinny jeans? Sometimes her mother makes no sense. Olivia’s normal world also includes her gentle astrophysicist father and her twin brother Charlie, who is deaf. Despite proclaiming that his deafness is no big deal, deep inside Olivia feels it is a big deal and that it’s her duty to protect him.  

Olivia’s normal ends that night when strange lights shoot out of the sky and turn into stinging drones, killing their parents, or at least they think their parents die, but do they? Forced to flee, the twins join forces with friends Axel, Clara, and Sawyer, to search for answers to the strange invasion. Discovering a conspiracy to hide the location of a second earth, they search for a way to stop the destruction of their world.


My Thoughts:

If I had to sum this book up in two words they would be: enticing and suspenseful.  Within the first ten pages of the book, Arscott leads you to believe that something exciting and potentially harmful is going to happen to Olivia and those around her, but she does not give you any hint until the event is right upon you.

While reading this book, I found myself feeling like I was in Olivia's shoes - thinking her thoughts, feeling her pain, expressing her emotions.  I wanted to be there, to work with Olivia, Axel, Clara, Charlie and Sawyer to figure exactly how and why these aliens are invading their homes and to find out who is responsible.

Through the twists and turns of the book, Arscott develops the characters both in maturity and in complexity - and we even see a little romance blooming between two of the main characters ( and no I will not say who is involved). 

The only downside of the book is that it ends open ended - we find out the truth behind who is responsible for the invasion, but we do not know with 100% certainty what is going to happen to Olivia and her friends.  In my mind, this means that Arscott is going to write a sequel to End of Normal and I really hope that she does.  


About the Author:

SC Arscott

Susan worked as a high school teacher until she thought her head would explode from all the ideas and questions her students asked. Thinking it would be easier; she foolishly switched from teaching to the ridiculous job of professional fundraiser. After spending more years than she wants to admit begging strangers for money, she gathered what pride she had left and enrolled in Spalding University’s MFA program where she became blissfully happy working with other writers and improving her writing. She currently lives and writes in Seabrook, Texas with her husband Mike, Vlad the cat, and their deaf dog Chester.
My first YA novel, END OF NORMAL, will be available October 6, 2014 by Champagne Books and can be purchased through any online bookstore. I am in the process of developing a new, and much better website, but until it’s ready, you can check out my current, rather pitiful site. It has my bi-weekly blog and books I’m working on. My new site will be much better, so bookmark my web address and check back in a few weeks.

Connect with SC Arscott:


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Oct 6th:   Corazones Literarios
Oct 7th:   Coffee Books & Art
Oct 8th:   Run with Jackabee 
Oct 9th:   Romance Junkies 
Oct 10th: StoreyBook Reviews 
Oct 13th: Indie Authors Books and More 
Oct 14th: Literary Escapism 
Oct 15th: Lulo Fangirl
Oct 16th: Living in a Bookworld 
Oct 17th: Archaeolibrarian - I dig good books! 
Oct 18th: Metro Detroit Mommy  
Oct 24th: The Cover Contessa 







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