Monday, June 30, 2014

Wallbanger by Alice Clayton

by Alice Clayton

I have been dying to read Wallbanger! I love Alice Clayton's writing. This book is hilarious, sexy and romantic.

Caroline is an independent female. She's witty and not afraid to speak her mind, especially when she learns she shares a bedroom wall with a noisy neighbor.

Simon doesn't do girlfriends. He prefers the "company" (ahem) of the women in his harem, as Caroline calls it.

So when Caroline's friends start dating Simon's friends these 2 are forced to spend more time together. Of course feelings emerge and the 'will they' or 'won't they' battle begins!

I think my favorite part of this book was chapter 14. The car ride home from the cabin in Lake Tahoe. I loved that there was no dialogue, just the stream of conscious that each character was thinking. Alice Clayton can write some amazing dialogue (and even more amazing texts), but this chapter was perfect! I think I could read an entire book like this!

You won't be able to put Wallbanger down! It's funny, sweet, sexy, romantic and everything else you want in a book. You'll want to read it multiple ;) times.

Rating 5 out of 5 Stars! I loved this book, I loved the characters and their desire for each other! This is a must read! And the 2nd book in the Cocktail series, Rusty Nailed, is already out so you won't have to wait for more Simon Wallbanger!

Buy Wallbanger on Amazon & Barnes and Noble.

Friday, June 27, 2014

First Craft using Cricut Design Space

Part of my craft room organization included creating a binder for all my recipe print outs. I had no idea I had so many recipe prints, copies or tears (from magazines)! I used binder sheet protectors and dividers to neatly organize all the papers.

I put the binder on my book case and it was just a boring black binder. It needed a label and I had just the tool to create it - My Cricut Explore!

I opened up Cricut Design Space and found a fun font for my Recipes label.

I love the new Cricut Design Space! It is so easy to use, very similar to the Adobe Creative Suite. It was easy to select the font, center it and size my image. I can't wait to create more complex designs using the Space! Since I'm a designer, I love that I will be able to upload my own custom designs!

I found a scrap of Red Easyweed Vinyl, and cut out my creation. (I already "weeded" the design before I thought to take a picture. But it was easier than Easy!)

I used transfer tape to remove the vinyl from its backing and positioned it on the binder spine.

Transfer tape is a must have! It makes vinyl crafting a breeze! 

While my first Cricut Explore/Design Space craft wasn't so impressive, it reinforced my decision of getting a new Cricut. I can already tell that crafting with the new Design Space is limitless!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

My Happy Place

I finally got my new Cricut Explore in! I was ready to set it up in my Office/Craft Room when I realized the room was a MESS! I decided it was time to clean up and get organized!

The biggest issue was storage. The closet just had boxes stacked on top of each other and so much space was being wasted.

I decided to add some Closet Maid Adjustable Shelving (from Home Depot). We removed the wooden shelf and hanging bar since this wasn't being used. I used 4 of the adjustable brackets along the back wall. Then I hung a 12" x 8ft Wire shelf across the top. We purchased two 16" x 6ft wire shelves and cut them in half, creating four 3ft shelves that could be adjusted as needed.

The end result is Perfect! There is so much more storage space, and you can easily access everything. 

With the closet looking so great, I had to clean up and rearrange the rest of the room. I think I have found the optimal crafting set up!

My Crafting Room is definitively my happy place now!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Breaking Fences Blog Tour

Breaking Fences (The Breaking Series, #2)
by Juliana Haygert
Genre: NA contemporary romance
Word Count: ~80,000
Release date: June/2014
Cover by: Okay Creations

Summary from Goodreads:

All Beatriz “Bia” Fernandes wants is to prove herself—to her family and friends—though it’s hard to prove anything with an overbearing father and three famous polo-playing older brothers. After her acceptance into college results in a heated family argument, the Brazilian girl leaves everything behind to find her own American dream.

College life away from home is perfect until the people she believes to be her friends turn on her. With lies and rumors threatening to suffocate her, Bia turns to her only freedom. Riding.

But one thing gets in the way of her escape. Garrett Blackwell and his bad cowboy attitude. Working at the ranch is his obligation, bugging Bia is his newfound hobby. His thick skin and easy grin don’t hide what Bia already knows—this misunderstood and lonely cowboy fights his own demons. Brushing horses’ coats and mucking out stalls shouldn’t be this sexy, and it isn’t long before he becomes a part of her distraction.

However, escaping won’t solve her problems, and it’s up to Bia to break down the fences around her and prove her strength—not to her family and friends, but to herself … and for Garrett. Because standing on her own doesn’t have to mean standing alone.

* Companion novel of Breaking the Reins. Can be read out of order.*

My Review


Breaking Fences started a little slow for me, I was worried that with Bia off at college there would be no horses!

Bia has to deal with rumors and drama while starting back at college. She tries to remain strong, not letting the mean Greek girls win, but inside she is hurting. She's afraid to be herself, afraid of what other's will say.

Then Bia meets Garrett - hot, mysterious and wearing cowboy boots. At first I wasn't sure if Garrett was interested in Bia, but once they spend more time on the ranch they grow closer.

Garrett was a mystery - one second he was hot, the next he was cold - and I felt compelled to unravel it.

When Bia and Garrett finally kiss - HOT! The passion between them is so intense, sparks were flying from my kindle.

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars. The passion between Bia and Garrett will keep you turning the pages. Great for reading at the beach or poolside! Be sure to add Breaking the Reins and Breaking Fences to your To Read list!

Buy Breaking Fences on Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

About the Author

New Adult author and contributor at NA Alley blog.
While Juliana Haygert dreams of being Wonder Woman, Buffy, or a blood elf shadow priest, she settles for the less exciting—but equally gratifying—life of a wife, mother, and author. Thousands of miles away from her former home in Brazil, she now resides in Connecticut and spends her days writing about kick-ass heroines and the heroes who drive them crazy.

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest


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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

by Rainbow Rowell

When I read the tagline for this novel "A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love." I was sold! And then when I realized the fan fiction was based on a certain wizarding world I knew I had to read it!

Cath and her twin sister Wren have just started college. They are living separately, per Wren's wishes, and they are adjusting very differently. Wren is partying and Cath basically never leaves her room.

In new situations, all the trickiest rules are the ones nobody bothers to explain to you. (And the ones you can't Google.) Like, where does the line start? What food can you take? Where are you supposed to stand, then where are you supposed to sit? Where do you go when you're done, why is everyone watching?...Bah.
I love all of Cath's idiosyncrasies, she is so relatable! And I love how she thinks, and sometimes says exactly what I would.

Courtney didn't seem to get that they were avoiding the subject. (That girl had the subtlety of a Spencer's Gifts Shop.)

I am a Rainbow Rowel Fangirl! I plan on reading every book she writes. I love her style, laid back and real.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars! What a wonderful story! There's romance, family drama, gay fan fiction and real life. This was a great book and I would recommend it to anyone! And add ANYTHING by Rainbow Rowell to your "To Read List" this Summer!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Cricut Crafting

In anticipation for my new Cricut Explore (an electronic cutting machine), I wanted to share some of my favorite crafts I've made with my Cricut.

I initially bought my Cricut for Scrap booking, I wasn't really aware of all the crafting possibilities it had!

My first "Big" craft outside of scrap booking was an invitation for my friend's wedding shower. It was tropical themed, so I knew my Life is a Beach cartridge would be perfect. I combined that with my Wild Card cartridge to create an envelope!

I printed the invitations on white card stock with a tropical font, added the flip flops and glued them to the envelope.

After I upgraded to the Cricut Expression, I learned about vinyl. Basically, my Cricut could cut shapes and monograms into stickers!

I had an abundance of Mason Jars, and had seen numerous Pins about making lanterns for Halloween. I used glass paint and painted the inside of my Mason Jars green, orange and purple.

I purchased some outdoor black vinyl and cut out some Halloween shapes. After using transfer tape to position my cutouts, I added battery powered tea lights to complete the lanterns. Now I have a great decoration I use every year for the trick-or-treaters! (You can read my full post on the Lanterns here.)

The craft I am most proud of are the family vacation shirts I made. In 2012 we took a family vacation to Disney World! It's very popular for families to wear matching Disney themed shirts so I knew we needed some!

I had purchased the Disney Mickey Font cartridge years ago and never fully utilized it. Now I was finally getting my chance! I knew I wanted the year (2012), our monograms and Christmas Vacation on the shirts. I played around with a few design ideas and placement using paper cuts outs.

I cut the final design out of heat transfer t-shirt vinyl and ironed the cut outs on to green and red t-shirts!

These were so EASY to make! They were also affordable, much less than getting custom shirts printed. We received so many compliments while at Disney, people even asked where they could buy the shirts.

I can't wait to get my new Cricut Explore and craft some more!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Perfectly Messy Review

Perfectly Messy
Release Date: May 2014

Summary from Goodreads:
Popularity isn't everything it's cracked up to be. Justin Marshall knows this better than most. For the captain of the basketball team, small business owner, and son of Minnesota's next governor, life can get pretty overwhelming. But Justin can handle anything as long as he has Lucy, the girl who fell for the man he's trying to be.

But for Justin and Lucy, finding time together proves challenging. Stolen kisses and whispered promises just aren't enough. That is, until scandalous photos of the couple are leaked to a press intent on creating a juicy scandal during Justin's dad's gubernatorial campaign. And when Lucy becomes fair play for the tabloids and gossip pages, Justin does the only thing he can to protect her: he breaks her heart.

For Lucy, junior year is everything she hoped it would be: new friends, second chances, and a boyfriend she can't stop kissing. That is, until the boy she's pretty sure she loves chooses the life his family wants for him, over her.

Now it's up to Lucy to teach him what it really means to have everything. Because for Justin, being who everyone needs him to be just might cost him the one person he can't live without.

My Review

Perfectly Messy is the follow up novel to Effortless with You. I haven't read Effortless with You, but I think Perfectly Messy can stand alone. (Though now I want to go read how Lucy and Justin fell in love!)
Wow Justin's schedule is CRAZY! Between school, basketball, his painting business, his dad's campaign and everything else, he barely has time for Lucy. Justin is a good guy and tries to please everyone. He is definitively not perfect, but he tries to always be there for Lucy.

Lucy tries to be strong and confident, even when everything is a complete mess. I don't know how she does it! She tries to be the perfect girlfriend and not worry Justin, and just puts more pressure on herself.

Justin and Lucy's new relationship has to deal with lots of outside drama, but in the end can true love prevail?

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars. If you are a fan of YA Romance, add Effortless with You and Perfectly Messy to your Summer Reading list!

Buy Perfectly Messy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Kobo.

About the Author

When Lizzy Charles isn’t scrambling to raise her two spunky toddlers or caring for premature and sick babies as a neonatal intensive care nurse, she’s in a quiet corner writing or snuggled up with a novel and a few squares of dark chocolate. Black tea keeps her constant and she loves guacamole. She married her high school sweet heart, a heart-melting musician, so it’s no surprise she’s fallen in love with writing contemporary YA romance novels.

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