August 31, 2013

Reviewing "Blucy" by Julia Dweck

"Blucy", written by Julia Dweck and illustrated by Erika LeBarre is an adorable e-book about a cat whose fur changes colors to blue when she gets excited. Written in a delightful rhyming style, any child will be enthralled with Blucy the cat and probably want one for their very own.  The cat's young caretaker, Mandy, tries everything to get her cat to eat her food, and all Blucy wants to do is create mischief by hiding among blue objects like jelly beans and jello.  The illustrations are so well done and in such vivid colors, you practically forget you are reading an e-book.  I would recommend this book to  anyone with elementary aged children. The book is humorous and imaginative and I have no doubt that kids and adults would enjoy reading it quite often.

Here are some links for more info on the author:
Amazon Author Page

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review.

August 25, 2013

Things I Like to Like

I'm the kind of person who gets excited when I find a really good product, and can't help but want to share it with others.  There are many moments when I think, "I need to share this (insert product here) with my blog peeps." So, that's what I'm doing today. I haven't been paid to do this or given any of these products for free, I just feel like sharing. :) So here goes!

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner:  Intense Black

This eyeliner is the absolute very best eyeliner I have found. It goes on easily and stays on perfectly all day.  If you're a liquid eyeliner person, get this. If you aren't a liquid eyeliner person, get this anyway, and you will become one.

Tangle Teezer

This is the ultimate in detangling hairbrushes. I have long hair and was struggling with knots all the time (and ripping globs of hair tangles out in the process).  I found this and it has changed my hair brushing life! Use it on wet hair or dry hair and your hairs will thank you. :)

You many be thinking, "What's so exciting about dusters?" Well these babies don't just work for regular dusting. I have found so many great cleaning uses for them.  One of my favorite uses is to retrieve the flocks of dust bunnies from under our bed. They are quite elusive and like to gather in the very center where it's hard to reach them.  With this great extending tool, you can keep that area under your bed clean and bunny free.  Another perfect use is for cleaning up hair (I know, ew) from under bathroom vanity cabinets and behind toilets.  Both of those areas are hard to reach with brooms, but these dusters do a great job. 

I think three is a good number of products for my first "Things I Like to Like" posting.  What are your favorite products that you just can't do without?

August 9, 2013

A Snapshot of the Long Beach International Quilt Festival

My mom and I attended the Long Beach International Quilt Festival last weekend and had a wonderful time. We enjoyed all the vendors and the display of quilts was probably our favorite of all the quilt shows we have attended.  There were so many unique quilts and such an amazing display of modern quilts, we thoroughly enjoyed spending time gazing at them.   I took pictures of my favorites so I could share them with you. I hope you enjoy them!

This one is titled "Berne House Quilt" and was made by the members of the Bernese Quilters for an exhibition in Berne, Switzerland in 2010.  There are 156 different blocks which were all made separately and then sewn together.  You can see the famous clock tower (a landmark in the city of Berne) in the lower middle of the quilt. Isn't this amazing? Below, is a closeup of some of the wonderful details.

"A World of Many Colors" by Georgeta Grama of Romania

"Crime Scene Investigation" by Pauline Salzman of Florida. Below is a closeup so you can take a peek at the writing on the fence. 

"Inside the Tipi" by Terry Aske of British Columbia, Canada.  This one reminded me of my days attending summer camp in Southern California.  We slept in Tipis (Teepees) and our view was just like the one you see here. I really love this quilt.

"5-HTP Squared" by Jennifer Carlton Bailly of Portland, Oregon

"Pixelated Color Wheel" by Kati Spencer of Taylorsville, Utah

"The 48 Pound Quilt" by Tanya Finken of Saratoga Springs, Utah

"Sky High" by Kate Stiassniof New York,  quilted by Jackie Kunkel

"Sounds of Coming Spring" by Jung Eun Tark of the Republic of Korea. Below is a closeup to show you the beautiful details.

August 7, 2013

"Streak of Lightning" book review

"Streak of Lightning" by Clare O' Donohue is a novella available in e-book format designed to tide all of the "Someday Quilts" series fans over until the next novel is released this fall.  Even though it helps to be familiar with the characters, it also works as a stand alone mystery novel. I enjoyed the book and had so much fun reconnecting with the characters, I read the whole thing in one afternoon.  Here is a short synopsis from the publisher:

"Back in Archer's Rest, Nell Fitzgerald and boyfriend police chief Jesse DeWalt are heading out of town for a romantic New Years Eve weekend in New York City.  Hoping for a clean break from work, Jesse leaves his police partner Greg in charge of the precinct.  The first order of business is dealing with Joe Proctor, an abrasive bully who everyone in town seems to hate.  Joe's latest altercation—this time with local florist Violet—ends with a chair flying through her flower shop window and him in handcuffs.

As Nell and Jesse arrive in Grand Central station, their getaway is suddenly curtailed by a call with disturbing news. Joe was found dead in his cell at the police station, leaving Greg as the only viable suspect.  As the state police step in to investigate this possible homicide, Nell and Jesse work below the radar to learn more about Joe and find the killer.  Did a long standing grudge between Greg's father and Joe make this the perfect opportunity for payback?   Why did Violet and Joe argue, and did she secretly get even for damage to her shop?   Or, did someone else want to settle their own score with the unpopular Joe?"
I would recommend this book to mystery novel fans looking for an entertaining and light summer read.  If you haven't read any of O'Donohue's books, this also would serve as a perfect introduction to her writing style and to the Archer's Rest cast of characters.  I have enjoyed all of the books in the "Someday Quilts" series and this one did not disappoint.  Look for her next book, "The Double Wedding Ring", to be released in October. 

Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

August 2, 2013

Book Review - "A Season For Tending"

"A Season for Tending" by Cindy Woodsmall is the first book in the "Amish Vines and Orchards" series and once you read this one, you will probably want to read the entire series. Here is a quick summary from the publisher:

 "Old Order Amish Rhoda Byler’s unusual gift and her remarkable abilities to grow herbs and berries have caused many to think her odd. As rumors mount that Rhoda’s “gift” is a detriment to the community, she chooses isolation, spending her time in her fruit garden and on her thriving canning business. Miles away in Harvest Mills, Samuel King struggles to keep his family’s apple orchard profitable. As the eldest son, Samuel farms with his brothers, the irrepressible Jacob and brash Eli, while his longtime girlfriend Catherine remains hopeful that Samuel will marry her when he feels financially stable. Meanwhile, Samuel’s younger sister Leah is testing all the boundaries during her rumschpringe, and finds herself far from home in Rhoda’s garden after a night of partying gone badly. But Leah’s poor choices serve as a bridge between Rhoda and the King family when a tragic mistake in the orchard leaves Samuel searching for solutions. 
Rhoda’s expertise in canning could be the answer, but she struggles with guilt over the tragic death of her sister and doesn’t trust herself outside her garden walls. As the lines between business, love, and family begin to blur, can Rhoda finally open up to a new life? And what effect will this odd, amazing woman have on the entire King family?"

 As you can tell from the summary, this book contains many interwoven themes and story lines full of drama and angst, romance and heartache. The characters are very likeable to the extent that I found myself rooting for them and celebrating with them when good things started happening. The book ends in a slight cliff-hanger which means I will definitely be reading the rest of the series to find out what happens next. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys Amish fiction as I would consider this book to be particularly well written and unique for this genre. I also enjoyed learning a little bit about the business of Apple Orchards and how fragile the business of being a farmer can be.

 Disclaimer: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.