Book Review: Fallen Crest High

Good Morning!

I love a good romance and Tijan delivers on that with her Fallen Crest Series. We first meet our motly crew of characters, Samantha, Mason and Logan; at a gas station. You know that stereotypical gas station that apparently everyone in high school stops at. The Sak n Pak in Vmars is a good example. Samantha’s mom has left her dad for Mason and Logan’s much richer father. That is really all that they know about each other, but from that point on things get nothing but interesting. There are a ton of great characters in this book. Analise, Sam’s really irresponsible, wanna be trophy wife mom. James Kade, Mason and Logan’s cheating father with seemingly more money than sense. David, Sam’s father and the local private school football coach.

Samantha is an emotional mess having just moved out of her home to move in with her mom’s new man. She has a crappy boyfriend and a crappy pair of best friends. While Mason and Logan are an interesting, loyal and somewhat complex pair of brothers that are not about to be lied to by any adult. Mason is a silent, watchful type. He seems to be biding his time for the first quarter of the book. Then came the pivotal moment when Sam goes from passively to actively dealing with the changes in her life. She has had enough and she shows a spark that not only captures Mason’s interest, but it captured mine as a reader.

I can’t wait to see what Tijan does in Fallen Fourth down, which will hopefully come out later this year. Sam is a great match for Mason and I hope that Logan finds his match as well. The first book details family dynamics and how they deal with them to become a family by choice rather than blood. I love books like this and a great bonus is that right now Fallen Crest High is free on Amazon. Go download it and give Tijan a try. Also like her on Facebook. She is always writing POV scenes from her books for her fans.

A little bit about the author:

I didn’t begin writing until after undergraduate college. There’d been storylines and characters in my head all my life, but it came to a boiling point one day and I HAD to get them out of me. So the computer was booted up and I FINALLY felt it click. Writing is what I needed to do. After that, I had to teach myself how to write. I can’t blame my teachers for not teaching me all those years in school. It was my fault. I was one of the students that was wishing I was anywhere but at school! So after that day, it took me lots of work until I was able to put together something that resembled a novel. I’m hoping I got it right since someone must be reading this profile! And I hope you keep enjoying my future stories.

 

Film Review: Why Veronica Mars is a Role Model for Female Empowerment

Positively Smitten Magazine

Film Review: Why Veronica Mars is a Role Model for Female Empowerment

By Jessie Stracener

Please note: Spoilers ahead.

The “Veronica Mars” TV series was really inspiring to me as a young woman, and the movie, which came out a few weeks ago, just made me an even bigger fan. It had me on a trip down memory lane and I have got to say I am so happy about it. This is nostalgia as its very best. The “Veronica Mars” movie will only get one complaint from me: It was too short! I absolutely loved it. It was a movie, by the fans, for the fans, and it was also true to the Veronica from our beloved series.

I think everyone has heard the story, but in case you missed it, this incredible movie was a product of a Kickstarter campaign. All of the money was raised by fans (like me) because they wanted to see a real conclusion, or at least a continuation of…

View original post 534 more words

New beginnings

Good morning fellow humans,

Yesterday was such a strange day. I walked three miles. That was definitely different. I try to walk at least one  a day but yesterday I walked three. I got up, paid my power bill, dropped the husbands uniform off, cleaned up after the puppy who had decided to try and chew a picture frame, and then I was scurrying off to work. Except that yesterday I wasn’t scurrying off to my office or to the daycare, but to a new and frankly exciting opportunity.  Yesterday I was brought in to help with the creation of the most adorable little girls clothes that you can imagine. They, or I guess I could say we, also make women’s clothes, but I haven’t seen that side of things yet.

Picture is property of http://idyll-wilde.com/

I love the environment. I love that I don’t have to worry about a gossip grave vine. I love that I am doing something beautiful and organic and natural. I’m happy about this. I hope that everyone else, everywhere is finding something to be happy about. My husband is coming home tonight. I get to do something exciting next week which is still a surprise. I finally bought my domain name so at the top you should be seeing something new where the url is. To top off my happy list I came home to flowers last night.

Photo: Thank you handsome husband

Thank you handsome husband.

One more thing that I am oh so excited about, that article I wrote on Veronica Mars, the movie, was published as a contributing post on Positively Smitten today! My life is good. I’m going to hold on to that thought as the demons of the day attempt to wear me down.

What are you all happy about today?

Have a wonderful Friday and an amazing weekend!

J

Thrifted Thursday: Felt finds

Good afternoon fellow bloggers,

I went out to the local thrift stores this morning just hoping to pick up a few fabric remnants and maybe a cute new top. I definitely lucked out in all categories. I picked up this awesome, very full, bolt of black felt for $10.00! That is right folks, I said $10.00. This stuff was $4.99 a yard in stores. I can’t believe my luck.

This felt will be the most fun! I can use it to line projects, to make my cute mushroom houses, to line pin cushions, to make felt animals. It is so awesome and exciting. I bet I have enough to make a ton of things.

Here are a few things I have made so far:

DSC03334

and

KINDLE_CAMERA_1393593391000

Do ya’ll have any ideas for my black felt?

J

Ah the lies we tell ourselves

Good morning,

It’s Wednesday, or hump day. I am going to work today. Hopefully it will be a vomit free day.  This stomach flu, virus, icky thing apparently takes a while to get over. I’m going to tackle a topic that we don’t often talk about. You know that fluffy nonsense that people say to you that sounds, smells and probably tastes like bullshit.

bullshit meme

I come from a line of bullshitters….Not very PC I realize, but is extremely true. More true than I can possibly put in print. You just have to live some things. My father, bless him, used to lie and say he wasn’t really drunk, even after several beers. Now it tends to be something along the line of I’m going to move into this crappy environment again, but I will stay clean and semi sober and not put my health at risk. My mother had mostly less harmful bullshit. She could tell you that she loved you while choosing her 21 year old boyfriends side over anything you or your siblings might have to say. Or while moving her three teenagers in with a man she hadn’t known for 6 months… I don’t want pity or sympathy or any of that because its in the past and I am obviously not subject to someone else’s poor decision making being over the age of 18, with two over the age of 18 siblings. I can now officially make my own bad decisions. I simply want to plead with the bullshitters of the world to just stop.

Perhaps because I feel like I am surrounded by it lately, but I have actually hit my limit in the bullshit quota. I hear a series of phrases all the time, directed at myself and others, perhaps you all, in the internet world, can sympathize.

Your house isn’t clean enough.

Get a real job.

What are you doing with your life?

You would be so pretty if you could just lose a little weight.

What did you do with your day?

Don’t you just play with babies all day, why are you tired?

Oh, your husbands a cop, whats that like?

Your too young to know what tired is.

Are you pregnant?

Don’t you just sit at a desk all day and play on the computer?

I’m sure there are a thousand more but those are the ones that immediately come to mind. These things come out of the mouths of our boyfriends, husbands, friends, family, coworkers..etc. People who think they are just being helpful. The truth is it is bullshit. If you have ever worked reception, then let me tell you it takes the patience of a saint. No, your secretary doesn’t sit on her behind all day, otherwise nothing would ever get done. If I, or any other woman, was pregnant, and wanted you to know, we would tell you. Stop asking every time we get the stomach flu or look a little bloated. It is in poor taste and its just rude not to mention annoying as hell for those of us that have a slim chance of conceiving. When I work a 40 or 50 hour work week, come home and take care of 3 dogs and a household by myself I am not too young to know about tired. I’m so sorry to have to tell you forty year old bitter people this, but I know the ache in the shoulder and bone weariness that is tired. Yeah, my husband is a cop. Whats it like being married to a dentist?

1502713_968023378065_760675259_o

Are you beginning to see the ridiculousness attached to any of the above stereotypical questions? I certainly do. So why do we do it? Probably because we think we must know better than that poor, silly, person who had the bad taste to complain or comment on their life in our general vicinity. The reasons we do it do not matter. We simply need to stop.

To quote the mighty George Carlin “It’s all bullshit folks, and it’s all bad for ya.”

J

 

Scrap Stash Musings: Coffee cozy updated photo tutorial

Happy Tuesday fellow bloggers,

In honor of some awesomely happy news that I may be able to share with you all next week and because I’m still working on my huge scrap map project I bring you a scrap coffee cozy with some neeto freehand embroidery.

DSC03267

I couldn’t get my sewing machine needle to thread so this was done entirely by hand this morning while catching up with Veronica Mars in anticipation of the movie release. The first thing i did was printout a template which you can easily find online. Then I cut out inner and outer lining and a layer of fleece to line it.

DSC03244

I then sewed one lining piece down to the fleece and freehand embroidered that heart using dmc floss.

DSC03248

After I sewed the other liner piece onto it, right sides facing and leaving one side open I turned it inside out, added some elastic and a button and voila!

wpid-KINDLE_CAMERA_1393922956000.jpg

And here is one more!

DSC03265

I’m thinking of doing a quilted one over the weekend.  Hope you all enjoyed this revamped tutorial.

Have a wonderful day!

Pinterest Pin cushion round up

Recently I have been working to get through this box of scrap fabric. It really feels like I am barely putting a dent in it. Here are a few pincushion ideas gleaned from Pinterest that I hope to work on next week.

1. Neat little scrappy cushion

2. Here is something for the hoodoo that you do!

001-Voodoo-Pin-Cushion-Dream-A-Little-Bigger

3.Mini hexi pincushion

Will have to try to make one of these hexie pincushions

4. Cute use of those empty spools.

wooden spool pincushion

5. Love the laceShabby Chic Pin Cushion  by picocrafts

6. I love this embroidery!

Pincushion

7. I love owls. I’ve actually made a few of these.

OwlPincushions_SQ_Quilt-RabunWEB

owls

8. I love gnomes!!!

Gnome

9. This is an outside of the box cushion

Love Bug, my ladybug pincushion in Stitch Craft Create magazine and on their website

10. And of course the awesome mushroom pin cushion!

little mushroom pincushions

Check out more of my pin cushion pins here.

I hope you have all been inspired.

J

It’s that time Marshmellows! Review of the Veronica Mars movie

Hello Marshmellows,

I just took a trip down memory lane and I have got to say I am so happy about it. This is nostalgia as its very best. The Veronica Mars movie will only get one complaint from me: It was too short! I absolutely loved it. It was a movie, by the fans, for the fans and it was also true to the Veronica from our beloved series. I think everyone has heard the story, but in case you missed it, this incredible movie was a product of a Kickstarter campaign. All of the money was raised by fans (like me) because they wanted to see a real conclusion, or at least a continuation of a show that taught us so much and was cut way too short.

Veronica-Mars

We see Veronica again in a short montage, mostly featuring season three content to catch up those of us that had not been compulsively re-watching the series for all of February and March. Then we meet present day Veronica, extremely successful, and every bit as sarcastic. She is about to take the bar exam and become a corporate lawyer protecting those huge companies that she spent her PI days making more honest. She is once again dating Piz. She is living the high life in New York.  She just completed an ivy league education. And to top it all off, she is bored.

Honestly at this point I am thinking that this Veronica is so awful and a complete departure from her earlier self. Luckily Logan calls her up to ask for her help beating a murder rap on his freshly dead girlfriend, and fellow Neptune High graduate, Carrie Bishop. She heads back to Neptune, just for a few days, she tell Piz, which ends up encompassing her high school reunion and several key Neptune events that all coincide with the murder of Carrie Bishop. Everything is connected, as per usual, and at the center of it is the Neptune Police Department. While Veronica is doing her thing uncovering secrets we learn that Logan has cleaned himself up, joined the Airforce, and become an actual respectable adult. This is where I am going to rant a little.

Before I watched the movie I read the piece on why Piz was the better choice for Veronica, which is crap. I suspected it was crap when I read it, but then I watched the movie and knew it was crap. Whatever we might have said about young Logan, this new Logan is all grown up. I don’t want to to disrespect the writer of the piece, but again I completely could not disagree more.

End Rant

Veronica Mars, back when the series was fresh, and now when they are doing a movie after a long pause, is all about empowerment. Veronica is a girl, then a woman, who can damn well do whatever she puts her mind to. Instead of giving in to the mean girl syndrome or caving to peer pressure and pretending she only has three brain cells to rub together, Veronica is smart and sassy and determined and not afraid to flaunt that in the face of whoever tries to put her in a corner. Veronica is the female empowerment role model I would want my daughters to idolize and the woman we could all learn something from.

All in all the movie was really worth watching. It was worth the money I paid Amazon for the digital copy because it wasn’t showing in my home town. It is very re-watchable and it is a must have for long time fans of the series. The movie did not disappoint. I have a tiny amount of hope that Veronica might come back to us in some form or another. Check out the movie and let me know what you think!

 

J

Thrifty Thursday! Its Back!

In honor of hitting 100 followers…dun dun dun…

Thrift Thursday is back!

So I realize that I haven’t done a thrifty Thursday in a really, really long time. The problem was that I hate just saying…oh ah look what I got on the cheap. I wanted to also give some pointers on how I find the good stuff. I am always hearing, “Oh that’s great that you found that cheap frock, but that never happens to me” or “I go to the thrift stores but can’t find anything…” Both of these statements irritate me. If I can walk into nearly any thrift store or consignment shop in this great nation and find a bargain, or an extra super duper bargain on something useful for me or my husband or my sister, then everyone can do it.

So on to the tips portion of the program. Last Friday a friend at work told me that the local consignment shop was having a $2.00 sale on some of their specific tagged stuff.

Tip number 1: When you hear of a deal, take advantage of it.

Simple I know, but most often people don’t take advantage of the deals that are right in front of them. So I called up my sister and we headed to the shop. There was a room full of $2.00 goodness.

Tip number 2: Take some time to sort through the trash for the treasure.

It seems to me that people expect to spend 5 minutes shopping and find that golden nugget but it doesn’t work that way. I spent about thirty minutes hunting around and came up with a lot of awesomeness.

Image

Image

First off these nearly new, New Balance tennis shoes.

$2.00….

That’s right….$2.00

Yeah, I was a little in shock at my own luck actually.

Image

I love, love, love this color. The price was also right at $2.00. I wore it today and it was amazingly comfy,

And because I am attempting to be less stiff and weird here is a weird, but not stiff photo.

Image

Yeah, its almost embarrassing. Hope those tips are helpful. Until next time.

J

Scrap Stash Musings: DIY Mushroom Home tutorial

Good Morning!!

I love a scrappy project and today I am publishing my first pattern. Hopefully you all will like it as much as I did. It is a fun project. It could be a key chain, a child’s toy, an ornament, or whatever. I tend to not label my projects. I think they find their own homes.

Step 1. Download my Awesome Pattern! This is my first one to ever make myself so if you guys have any suggestions I would love to hear them.

DSC03310Step 2. After you get the pattern pieces cut out its time to choose your scraps and felt to make this cute little mushroom house happen. I used some of my hugemongous stash of black felt and some pink scraps that I had in my stash.

DSC03312Step 3. Cut all your pieces out.

Cut all the pattern pieces out as well as the small circles for the mushroom cap and door handle. You will also need a piece for the top tab if you are going to include one.

Step 4: Sew down your mushroom cap spots! This is sort of a fun part to me. I used black thread on black spots and instead of sewing the edges I sewed them down with a star pattern.

DSC03326

Step 5: Sew down the door and windows. I used regular stitches on the door and door hand and then I used a long straight stitch on the window.

DSC03327Step 6: This step is not necessary but I really liked it. I took some tiny seed beads, sewed five down in a circle pattern for a flower and added green stems and leaves with DMC floss. This was an easy, but neat little detail. It took about 10 extra minutes.

DSC03325Step 7: Sew the two pieces of the house part together leaving the top open.

DSC03332

Step 8: Stuff the house part of the mushroom.

DSC03333

Step 9: Sew the top half of your mushroom together with the tag inserted so that it looks something like this.

DSC03328

Step 11: You can either sew your two pieces together or hot glue them together. I used a combination of the two methods and here is the result!

DSC03335

Tada!

After I finished I really didn’t like the seam line so I added some black ric rac and I think I really like the finished piece.All together it took between an hour and an hour and a half. I wrote the tutorial and took pictures while I was making this and so it took about 2 hours with all of that.

DSC03340 DSC03342

Please leave a comment, share on Facebook, or twitter or pin on pinterest. I have a board for my Scrap Stash Projects and I would love for ya’ll to follow it.

J