Thursday, April 28, 2016


I've been reading, but not what I typically read.  I have been reading a series of Graphic Novels. Specifically, The Walking Dead Graphic Novels and I have loved them! I am a huge fan of the show and the novels somewhat follow the story line, but there are a lot of differences between the show and the books, which does not bother me one bit. I must say, I would find the novels pretty boring if it was exactly like the show. There are bits and pieces that are the same, but events may happen to a different character on the show. For example, Carol, who is a strong female character in the TV show, is the exact opposite in the books. I love her on the show, but not in the books. Others that have died on the show, are still alive in the books. I have heard people that have read the novels will not watch the show and vice versa. I would say you can do both because they are different enough, that you actually get two Walking Dead stories.

 I would definitely recommend reading them if you are a Walking Dead fan.

(I think that is my concentration face! ugh)

Other books that I have read are  
Ways to Disappear and The Swimmer. 

Ways to Disappear
by Idra Novey 
This book has been receiving amazing reviews, so I check ed it out from the library. I honestly think I cannot read 5 star books because the "prose" is beyond me at times. that is what I found in this book. I honestly loved the story of what I could understand, but the flowery poetry language...count me out. 
From Amazon:
Deep in gambling debt, the celebrated Brazilian writer Beatriz Yagoda is last seen holding a suitcase and a cigar and climbing into an almond tree. She abruptly vanishes.

In snowy Pittsburgh, her American translator Emma hears the news and, against the wishes of her boyfriend and Beatriz's two grown children, flies immediately to Brazil. There, in the sticky, sugary heat of Rio, Emma and her author's children conspire to solve the mystery of Yagoda's curious disappearance and staunch the colorful demands of her various outstanding affairs: the rapacious loan shark with a zeal for severing body parts, and the washed-up and disillusioned editor who launched Yagoda's career years earlier.

Idra Novey's exhilarating debut is both a novel of ideas and a novel of intrigue, an innovative combination of mystery, noir, and humor. 

I just couldn't grasp why the Brazilian writer would suddenly disappear what terrible "side effects" it will have on her family. She knows what it is doing to her family, but still stays away. That part I could not wrap my head around. At one point, I found my self thinking, there is no way a mother would allow that to happen!! 

The author's translator shares bits and pieces from the books Beatriz has written and it does help explain the authors' motives and moves the story along, but there were times that I just had NO IDEA what was going on! I am not good at deciphering poetry and descriptive language. I would give this book a 2 1/2 stars.
The Swimmer
by Joakim Zander

I started to read this book on the way home from vacation and it really grabbed my attention. The story is told from the CIA agents point of view in chapter that are dealing with him. The rest of the chapters are told from the typical third person. There were times that I was absolutely confused about what the CIA man was doing and where he was going and who he was talking to. I know there is a big story in those chapters, but I missed it. 
However, I did like the rest of the book and the other characters. They are not what or who you thin they are. There are twists and turns and some parts where you say, "Really."  I enjoyed the book, but I would not say it is the next Girl with the Dragon Tattoo author as the cover was stating.  would give this book 3 stars.

From Amazon:
A deep-cover CIA agent races across Europe to save the daughter he never knew in this electrifying debut thriller.
Klara Walldéen was raised by her grandparents on a remote archipelago in the Baltic Sea, learning to fish and hunt and sail a boat through a storm. Now, as an EU Parliament aide in Brussels, she is learning how to navigate the treacherous currents of international politics: the lines between friend and enemy, truth and lies. But Klara has accidentally seen something she shouldn’t have: a laptop containing information so sensitive that someone will kill to keep hidden. Suddenly, she is thrown into a terrifying chase across Europe, with no idea who is hunting her or why.
Meanwhile, in Virginia, an old spy hides from his past. Once, he was a man of action, an operative so dedicated that he abandoned his infant daughter to keep his cover. Now, he is the only man who can save Klara . . . and she is the only woman who can allow him to lay old ghosts to rest.

What will you read today?

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

What I Read to Decide What to Read

Several people have asked me how I go about picking the books I read. I must admit, most of the time it is by what others recommend. 

I also get great ideas from people I follow on instagram. They will put up their book recommendations and I check those out by typing them into Amazon and reading the reviews. Then while on Amazon, it will recommend books that are similar to the one that I may be searching. 

I have followed Stephanie Howell's blog for years. She has 5 little girls, her husband is in the  military, she has lived in Italy for the last 2 years, just moved back to the states, is an amazing crafter, loves her planners and is a HUGE reader! She can read up to 80 books in a year! I think she is a speed reader, which I would love to many book, so little time! 
Click here to read her latest book suggestions. At the bottom of the post, click where it says: "For more of my recently read book reviews, check HERE." It will take you to her GoodReads book shelf. She has over 200 books rated!

I am also exploring GoodReads and how it works. Let you know once I get it figured out!

I also receive the magazine Bookworms.  I recommend this as a gift to all your book loving friends!

A new book review magazine has just been released on April 1 and I have yet to get my hands on it. What I understand,  is that it is to come out every Friday on newsstands everywhere and also available on Kindle or the Kindle App.  It is published through GoodReads.

The most exciting news is that our town finally has an independent book store: Plot Twist! For so long, people in town have wanted a book store, so I hope that it is supported and well visited! I plan to be a regular there! 

After a little scrolling and browsing this weekend, these are the next books I want o check out: 
Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes
Pretty Girls by Mary Slaughter
The Nest by  Cynthia Sweeeny
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling

Another question I often get is WHEN do you read?
I always read before bed. I can't fall asleep unless I read. 
I read when I eat breakfast and when I am drying my hair. My mom gave me this heavy bookmark that works perfect to keep a book open and does wonderfully while I am drying my hair!
I read when I am waiting for the boys to get done with an activity.  Sometimes I will go a bit early so I can read for awhile in the car. 
I am also trying to put my phone down and read instead. If I have time to scroll on my phone and check out my instagram accounts, then I should be able to read! It works..sometimes! :)

Monday, April 25, 2016


We were all stunned when we hear the news on Thursday.
I believe the reason it hurts and touches people when we lose an amazing artist is because their music has given us so many life memories. So many things that happen in our lives are tied to songs. When you hear a song, you remember a moment in your life, happy or sad. Prince had so many songs that tied to many to different life moments. While watching different tributes this weekend, it became clear that not only was Prince a decent man and human being, but he did so much for others without needing the "deserved" recognition. He truly was one of a kind.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Rock 'n Rollers

This picture has come TRUE!! 
Sam will only wear plaid pj pants and 
Jack will only wear Batman boxers!!
Who knew!!
Actually, Sam has been taking guitar lesson for about four years and last night, Jack had his first drums lesson!! They have already made plans to have a jam session. With any luck, they will be the next Jonas Brothers and Jason can retire early!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Track Season!

Track season is in full swing for Sam. We now have three meets under our belt and Sam has ran pretty well! The first meet, Sam ran in the 4x200. I was excited because that was a race I ran when I was his age.  He was the lead leg and as you can see, he was in the top three. He did really well!

The next meet he ran the 4x800 and the open 100. (Wow! A sprint race and a long distance race!)  He was super nervous about the 800, but he didn't do to bad for his first time running an 800! Jason was excited about this race because that is what HE ran in middle school and high school.

Getting ready for the 800 hand off.

 And he is off! Looks strong!
 Finishing his first lap. Not a bad split for him.

 He had a little monkey jump on his back with about 300 meters to go, but he persevered to the hand off.

At least he wasn't yelling. "I'm gonna barf! I'm gonna barf!" Like one of the other kids running the 800. 

Last night we had another meet and he cut 3 seconds off of his 800 meter time! Yea, Sam!! Track season is short and we only have a few more meets. It's been so fun to watch Sam and how he is moving right along this first track season!

Monday, April 18, 2016

One Layer Card

Today I am going to share with you a super easy, one layer card. A "one layer" card is coming back in style.(fancy!) Basically, it is stamping directly on the card front or a card panel. You create layers with your stamping instead of using die cuts. 

The supplies I used for this card were Tim Holtz Ranger inks in the following colors: Picked Raspberry, Wild Honey, Chipped Sapphire and Tea dye.
 The stamp set I used was the Penny Black Flower Sparks.
 I love this stamp!

To begin with, I cut a circle in a piece of cardstock to use as my mask. I attached the mask to the card panel with some washi tape.

I then stamped my flowers.
 I lightly inked the circle area with Tim Holtz Tea Dye ink.
 When you remove the mask, all that is left is to decorate a bit!
I then used my new Misti stamping tool to stamp the sentiment.
Side note: this is my new absolute favorite stamping tool. If you use stamps, then this tool is a must for you! 
I lined up my sentiment "Thank You" on my card and stamped it in black. Not only was it exactly where I wanted it, but it was also straight! If your image doesn't stamp well, you can re-stamp in the exact same spot with the Misti!

 I decided to add some small enamel dots to some of the centers of the flowers.
I then attached the card panel to the card base. You can leave the card as is, but I felt as it needed a little something.
I first tied a navy sheer ribbon around the card.

 I also tied navy and white bakers twine which I liked more then the ribbon. It kept with the light breezy feel of the card! :)
This card was quick to create and would be easy to duplicate! I cannot take the credit for coming up with this card. I saw it on a you tube video, which you can view here.
Can't wait to share more cards with you!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

I am an Introvert...

Something that I have discovered about myself is that I am an introvert. "WHAT?!?!  No way!! You are SOOOO out going and bubbly and talkative!"

Yup, I'm an introvert.

Let me explain: I am an introvert that has learned to live in an extrovert world. 

If you look up the definition of an introvert it means shy. And yes, I am shy. In my younger years I was extremely shy. So shy, that many peers referred and called me a bitch, aloof, arrogant and stuck up. I overheard one group of high school peers say, "Katie is so cute, too bad she is such a bitch!" Hearing that, I wanted to go back further in my shell, but realized that it was time to become "un-shy."  

I am still shy and struggle with my shyness as an adult, especially in new situations. Unfortunately,  I am still referred to by the names above at times.  So I have decided to try to explain what it is like being an introvert living and surviving in an extrovert world!

This cartoon hits the nail on the head when it comes to ME! 
I find that many people often misunderstand the true definition of an introvert vs. an extrovert….they assume that introverts are not very social and extroverts are the life of the party. This isn't always necessarily true, which honestly surprised me!  So, I hope that I can shine a little light on the life of an introvert from my perspective!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Decisions, Decisions!

Ever have one of those days?

"Can't decide if I need a hug, a large coffee, 6 liters of water or 2 weeks of sleep."
 For me, usually the coffee or sleep win!

Monday, April 11, 2016

A Little Card Making...

Good Monday Morning! Hope you had a wonderful weekend!
( I have obviously already had my cup of coffee!!)

One thing I spent a little time doing this weekend was playing with a few new stamp sets and creating a few cards. I am just teasing you today though! I want to make sure you stop back later this week to check out how I created them and what I used to create them!
A goal I have had for sometime is to share more of my creative side and different things I am creating! Hope you are excited about this as I am and maybe I can spark a little creativity in all of you!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016


So this happened yesterday at my local Starbucks!
For a brief moment I thought I was back in paradise!

Monday, April 4, 2016


I downloaded Snapchat on my phone...finally...
 I don't understand (yet) how to use it or how to follow people, but the boys and I had some good belly laughs over how we could change our appearance! 

But, this one scared me!
I am speechless! He looks like he is 20!

And then he reminded me,
 he is still only 10. Phew!!