Friday, May 27, 2016

Freebie Friday

Today's Freebie Friday is a fun romantic novella by Lindzee Armstrong called First Love, Second Choice. For a light afternoon read, this is the story for you!

Here's the back copy:

What happens when you impersonate your identical twin sister to score a date with your long-lost high school crush?

When wedding planner Keslee gets asked on a date by her long-lost high school crush, Bryce, everything should be perfect. But Bryce mistakes Keslee for her deceased twin sister, Jadyn. And Keslee doesn’t correct him. Talk about awkward. To make matters worse, she learns they’ll be seeing a lot more of each other because Bryce is the marketing director at the venue where Keslee’s new client has chosen to get married. Keslee knows the charade can’t last much longer, and fears she’ll lose Bryce forever when she tells him the truth.

A sweet and clean contemporary romance novella from the Amazon bestselling Sweet and Sassy Anthology: Hidden Identities collection, now with a never-before-seen bonus epilogue!

Download your free Kindle copy here

Thursday, May 26, 2016

My Eagle Scout

I've been celebrating today because my fifth son earned his Eagle! Woohoo! Less than 4% of scouts earn that honor and I am so happy my son was motivated enough to do it.

I love the Scouting program and what it's done for my boys. I love watching them try new things as they earn badges and learn that the strength they have inside them will serve them well. 

My older boys who have earned their Eagle have been able to put that honor on their job applications and been able to shepherd other boys toward reaching that goal. They joined an elite group and it's been an accomplishment they can feel good about through their lives. I'm glad they can look back on it and be proud of themselves, because it's not easy! 

So, yay for the Scouting program! And yay for my newly minted Eagle!

Can you tell I'm a proud mom tonight? 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

What I'm Reading Wednesday--I'MPossible

I received this book I'MPossible by Jeff Griffin and I have to confess, I haven't been able to put it down. It starts out with the author looking out over Mount Everest and thinking about his challenges and how we all have our disabilities, whether they be something the eye can see or not. Then we find out how he was paralyzed during a summer job and how much his life changed---and how his attitude changed. I can't even imagine going through what he did and yet, it put him on a course that wouldn't have otherwise been possible.

The author has an easy writing style and doesn't sugar coat the truth. There is so much more to his story than simply encouraging others to keep trying. Mr. Griffin is coming from a place of learning because of his experiences and he shares in a non-preachy way how his challenges can relate to you and help you overcome your own.

This story is engaging and one I know I will read over the invitations and commitments again to apply them in my own personal journey. I think you'll really enjoy this one as well.

You can get your copy here

Here's the back copy:

The sun's rays filtered in from the partially opened shades of the plane. They lit up the world in front of me and warmed my soul, knowing I was almost to my destination. The beautiful golden light replaced the grey and hazy cobwebs from my eyes, revealing the most spectacular scene I had ever seen in my entire life. I looked out the small seven-inch window and witnessed something that I'll never forget! I beheld something in this magnificent world that the majority of people never get to see. I was looking out at Mount Everest, the world's highest peak!

I was at the tail end of a three-flight journey with two layovers in between, nearly logging twenty-four hours of flight time. I hadn't gotten any real sleep in the last thirty-six hours. My bloodshot eyes were heavy, my mind was slow and sluggish, and my body was even slower in response. How did I get here? I thought to myself. Am I d-r-e-a-m-i-n-g?

As Lao and Confucius once said, “A journey of one-thousand miles begins with one step.” My story is about inspiring you to take your own journey one step at a time. It's about dreaming and accomplishing the impossible. It's not only about aiming for the sky and reaching for the stars but enjoying the journey along the way.

Begin your personal journey today, press forward to the top, and don't you ever stop. As you move toward your dreams, there will be obstacles and setbacks along the way; don't be afraid. You can get to the top of your world by following the signs and guide posts within these pages. You can do it with others! You can do it with me! We can do it together, one step at a time!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

How I Did A Cookie Monster Baby Shower

Last Saturday I threw a Cookie Monster baby shower and it turned out so cute I thought I'd share it with you!

First, we started off with the invitations. Isn't this adorable?

I had it made from Jill's Creative Creations. You can see her website here

I also used her to make the thank you gifts. I put this adorable chocolate bar sticker around a Cookies and Creme bar to make it extra special!

I had so much fun with the decorations! I did Cookie Monster blue and gold crepe paper down the window, then after I'd fluffed out the crepe paper balls, I glued on googly eyes to make them monster-ish.

I had my local bakery make up this fun Cookie Monster cake. The toppers are a rattle and teething ring that the new mom-to-be can use!

And for fun, we had little monster cupcakes made up to add to the ambiance.

We had a cookie bar of Fudge cookies, Snickers cookies, Rolo cookies and Dipped cookies with chocolate chip as well. The little bouquet in the back is just cut out Cookie Monster wrapping paper for the image, then gluing on the mat and frame of cardstock paper on the back for color and form. I used Cookie Crisp cereal for the base inside the bouquet. 

You can see the Cookie Crisp cereal better in this shot with the Cookie Monster images on skewers for theme. This is also where I had the thank you gifts as well as index cards for guests to write their new mommy advice.

For another fun decoration, I did the crepe paper balls with googly eyes.

I did a light luncheon of Chicken Salad Croissants with vegetable and fruit salads and lemon water. I did have blue lemonade later on to go with the theme, but it isn't shown here.

(If you want a super easy Chicken Croissant recipe, this is the one I used. It was so good!)

Here's a shot of both tables.

Here's my gift table centerpiece. 

We also did homemade napkin holders. We used Cookie Monster stickers in the middle of the paper and they turned out wonderful! Click here for the napkin holder template we used.

It was such a fun shower to put together, and so easy!  

Monday, May 23, 2016

Book Review: 523 Ways To Be Awesome

I wasn't exactly sure what to expect when I picked up 523 Ways To Be Awesome by Kathryn Thompson, but I liked the Drops Of Awesome post the author did on her blog a long time ago, (you can read that here) so I wanted to read the "follow-up" if you will.

It starts out with a fun introduction to the Drops of Awesome concept. That sometimes, when we are doing good things, we beat ourselves up that we should be doing more. That's when we apply the Drops of Awesome concept and focus on the positive---the little drops of awesome that make up our Bucket of Awesome. Then, when we realize our awesomeness, it will also increase at a rate that will surprise us.

The author tells us twenty Feats Of Awesome she would like to accomplish in her life and the rest of the book is going through each of those Feats and breaking it down into drops. For example, one of her feats is to achieve world peace. That's a pretty tall order. But when you break it down into drops, like stopping to just "be" sometimes. Or to speak softly, let someone else be right, and so on. Just small little drops of awesome that will lead to peace. Maybe not world peace, but peace in your world. I loved that idea!

There are a lot more Drops of Awesome that can lead to Feats of Awesome like invent a technology, win an Olympic medal, arrest a criminal and more. And the author's ideas were fun and doable. And that's the thing--sometimes I am contributing to my Bucket of Awesome, but discount it because it wasn't big enough. This book reminds me that I can count all those drops and it's going to lead me to a more positive place in my life. So many voices in our society today are negative and loud and this is a book that quiets those with positivity and a quiet assurance that I am enough. I thoroughly enjoyed the reminder.

This is a quick read and one that you can glance at and make personal goals from to fill your own Bucket of Awesome.

You can get your copy here:

Here's the back copy:

Have you ever wanted to write a symphony, explore the galaxy, or save a life? With 523 Ways to Be Awesome, you will learn how you are already doing those and other amazing things . . . a bit . . . and how you can do them a bit more, one Drop of Awesome at a time. For example, you may not achieve “world peace,” but you can:

Choose to forgive.
Let someone merge in front of you.
Listen when you really want to talk.

Based on the viral blog post that inspired Drops of Awesome: The You’re-More-Awesome-Than-You-Think Journal (2014), this book is for anyone who listens to the negative voice inside her head, telling her she’s not good enough and that her best efforts are insufficient. Author and blogger Kathryn Thompson returns with her signature wit and wisdom intact to help readers keep tally of the small victories that mean everything in life and discover their inner AWESOME

Friday, May 20, 2016

Friday Freebie

Today's Friday Freebie is a contemporary romance that you won't be able to put down! It's Prejudice Meets Pride by Rachael Anderson. I really loved this book and reviewed it last year. You can see that review here This is one you'll want to curl up with this weekend.

Here's the back copy:

After years of pinching pennies and struggling to get through art school, Emma Makie’s hard work finally pays off with the offer of a dream job. But when tragedy strikes, she has no choice but to make a cross-country move to Colorado Springs to take temporary custody of her two nieces. She has no money, no job prospects, and no idea how to be a mother to two little girls, but she isn’t about to let that stop her. Nor is she about to accept the help of Kevin Grantham, her handsome neighbor, who seems to think she’s incapable of doing anything on her own.

Prejudice Meets Pride is the story of a guy who thinks he has it all figured out and a girl who isn't afraid to show him that he doesn't. It’s about learning what it means to trust, figuring out how to give and to take, and realizing that not everyone gets to pick the person they fall in love with. Sometimes, love picks them.

You can download your free Kindle copy here 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Cover Reveal For Forget Me Not!

So many of you have emailed to ask me when the companion novella for Pocket Full of Posies is coming out and I'm so excited to announce it will be released June 15th! Here's the cover:

Don't you love it? I do!

Here's a little bit about the novella that takes place a month after Pocket Full of Posies ended:

Bart and Lucy have returned from Colombia and are rekindling their romance, but not everything is as it seems and they're pulled back in for one last undercover operation. Can they put the past behind them once and for all in order to have the future they've always wanted?