Monday, May 31, 2010

Blood Promise by Richelle Mead

Just got done reading the 4th book in the series - I've cried, road a roller-coaster of emotion and now in book 4 stand in shock. At first I was bord for the first couple chapters. Then, then I understood what she had to go through to find Dimitri and I wondered if it was reversed if I would be able to do the same. you walked in her shoes telling the family and morning him, still unsure of what she was doing. The end was astonishing- her love for Dimitri and her struggle with him, undead. It really tore my heart out. I do have to thank the author for not dragging out the 'father issue' to the 5th book and finally revealing it all in the last few pages of the book - making it all, make sense.

Now to see what waits for me in book 5! Book 6 doesn't come out to Dec 7th 2010, called Last Sacrifice.

Author Notes:
How far will Rose go to keep her promise? The recent Strigoi attack at St. Vladimir's Academy was the deadliest ever in the school's history, claiming the lives of Moroi students, teachers, and guardians alike. Even worse, the Strigoi took some of their victims with them... including Dimitri. He'd rather die than be one of them, and now Rose must abandon her best friend, Lissa – the one she has sworn to protect no matter what – and keep the promise Dimitri begged her to make long ago. But with everything at stake, how can she possibly destroy the person she loves most?

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Shadow Kissed by Richelle Mead

Wow what a roller-coaster, the last book left me crying - this one literally had me doing the roller-coaster ride of YEAH, NOOO, YES!, NO!!, OMG... It was wonderful, loved the ending, I can't wait to start the next book (yes I bought the rest of them today! lol)

I really don't like the Queen anymore, alot of things came out while the Novices were at court. Stirred things up of course. Even something about Rose's dad and omgosh, uhh I waited for it and nothing, it was only mentioned and nothing more came of it... better be in the next book darn it lol

Author Notes:
Rose Knows it is forbidden to love another guwardian. Her best friend, Lissa - the last Dragomir princess - must always come first. Unfortunately, when it comes to gorgeous Dimitri Beliikov, some rules are meant to be broken.

Then a strange darkness begins to grow in Rose's mind ad ghostly shadows warn of a terrible evil drawing near the Academy iron gates. The immortal undead are closing in and they want vengeance for the lives Rose has stolen. In a heart-stopping battle to rival her worst nightmares, Rose will have to choose between life, love and the two people who mater most. But will her choice mean that only one can survive.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Crazy 8 coupon giveaway!

Ok ladies - everyone can play - I've got this posted on facebook too!

I have 15 Crazy 8 coupons to give out... all expire May 31st, so I want to give them out in plenty of time for you to use them online this weekend.

To Enter:

2 Entry - Follow my blog my joining on the right hand side, post a comment that you've done that.

1 Entry - Post a comment telling me about a good book to read, one that you suggest :)

1 Entry - Post a comment and tell me your favorite Gymboree line and why

This ends at Midnight Central time Tonight (May 28th) and for the Winners - I'll email the codes to you, so make sure to include your email!!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Frostbite by Richelle Mead

I think my eyes are adjusting from all the reading today. This series has sucked me in (no pun intended) and I just can't get enough of it. Frostbite is the second book in the series (see the list on the right to find the first book review Vampire Academy). Rose and Lissa are at the academy and learn about more Moroi deaths just like the first one, being christmas season and now having new issues to deal with they (the novices from the academy) become secluded with royals and guardians, not wanting to split up, they stay together in a larger more secure group.

Rose grows up so much in this book and its the first time I felt myself coming to tears reading a vampire book. This book is more about Rose - her love affairs - if you can call them that and what she learns about herself and what she can accomplish. New characters are revealed making it twist a little and they loose one of their own. The author has really put herself into the book pulling out every detail about Rose - you feel like you know her, can feel what she feels. It's fantastic.

Author Notes:
Rose has serious guy trouble. Her gorgeous tutor, Dimitri, has his eye on someone else, her friend Mason has a huge crush on her, and she keeps getting sucked in her friends Lissa's head whole she's making out with her boyfriend, Christian.

There's a nearby Strigoi attack pt St Vladimir's on high alert, adn the Academy whisks its students away on a mandatory holiday ski trip. But the glittering winter landscape and posh Idaho resort only provide the illusion of safety. When three students run away to strike back against the deadly Strigoi, Rose must join forces with Christian to rescue them. Only this time, Rose - and her heart - are in more danger than she ever could have imagined...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Sunday I started a new series called Vampire Academy - It's been around for a bit but I hadn't picked it up til recently. There's 5 books out right now - #1 Vampire Academy, #2 Frostbite, #3 Shadow Kiss, #4 Blood Promise and #5 Spirit Bound. There's even a website for the series - Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Author Notes:

Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with an unbreakable bond to the earth's magic. She must be protected at all times from Strigoi; the fiercest and most dangerous vampires--the ones who never die.

The powerful blend of human and vampire blood that flows through Rose Hathaway, Lissa's best friend, makes her a Dhampir. Rose is dedicated to a dangerous life of protecting Lissa from the Strigoi, who are hell-bent on making her one of them.

After two years of illicit freedom, Rose and Lissa are caught and dragged back to St. Vladimir's Academy, hidden in the deep forests of Montana. Rose will continue her Dhampir education. Lissa will go back to being Queen of the elite Moroi social scene. And both girls will resume breaking hearts.

Fear made Lissa and Rose run away from St. Vladimir's – inside the Academy’s iron gates, their world is even more fraught with danger. Here, the cutthroat ranks of the Moroi perform unspeakable rituals and their secretive nature and love of the night creates an enigmatic world full of social complexities. Rose and Lissa must navigate through this dangerous world, confront the temptation of forbidden romance, and never once let their guard down, lest the Strigoi make Lissa one of them forever...

My Notes:

Book #1 the start of the Vampire Academy Series starts off in the thick of it, to my surprise. It does have a steady flow, inserting the good stuff (the secret pieces your missing) here and there as you go along, learning of what has happened and lead up to Lissa and Rose's escape from the academy.

I can't say much without giving anything away lol but it has romance, twists and turns that you don't expect, a strong sister connection between Lissa and Rose - Rose is able to slip into Lissa's mind and see everything she does with their bond. There's always someone out to get them (either the Strigoi or another student) and it's hard to believe what the truth is. Love how it was done, kept me on my toes and reading.

Rose learns a lesson of how strong she is and her determination of protecting Lissa. First hating to do more lessons and take up where she left off before the escape, but then loving the new found passion of wanting to be the best Dhampir.

Lissa - the once quiet princess starts throwing her 'powers' around and earns herself a spot in the spotlight amongst all the other Royals. She has to learn to control her powers and not go nuts in the process.

Of course there's teen issues - the characters are 17 and its a school. Dead animals, talk of sex and a passionate 'almost' love seen described by the author makes it not a preteen book.

Now to read the next one!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Caster Chronicles - Beautiful Creatures Review

Caster Chronicles - Beautiful Creatures #1

WOW I can't believe I just read a 563 page book in two days. I'm a little pooped (of course its 1am) tells you how good it is :) I was surprised when I started reading it that it was in a boys perspective. Never read a book like that before and I wasn't sure I could get into it. But they did it wonderfully. I was there, going through everything and the character had his soft side and the male perspective at the same time, really unique for me.

Ethan dreams of her, over and over again... until he sees her at school. Lena appears out of no where and in this small town she stands out like a sore thumb. No help from her outcast uncle. It wasn't the 'danger' of being with someone non popular that dragged Ethan to Lena - it was something totally different, dream like that pulled him to her.

Ethan and Lena get to know each other in a rain storm (she creates) and even though it doesn't start on good terms it blossoms and grows. Ethan discovers the truth of her family, the truth about his mom, Amma (basically his nanny) and how he's connected to Lena. There's a strong battle for good/evil with some strange characters in Lena's family. She has no choice on her sixteenth birthday or so she thinks...

GREAT story, in depth, tons of twists that are easy to follow, Teen ok - no gore, one ghost, more supernatural than anything. Really done in the eyes of a teenager :) It did leave me groveling for more at the end, I wanted to read a little more to get some answers but how else do they get you to read the next one, right?

Author Notes:
Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she’s struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps, and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town’s oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

Beautiful Darkness #2 comes out Oct 2010 and they already have plans for #3 (2011) and #4 (2012) YEAH!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Poison Apple Books!

Ok I had to laugh at the name, its fantastic! Poison Apple Books from Scholastic - Dead End #1, This Totally Bites #2 and Miss Fortune #3 (coming out in August) - perfect for girls 8-12 who love thrilling ghost stories, spectacular supernatural tales, and spooky mysteries

Right now Vampires, Gouls, Ghosts and more are what kids want to read right now but some books just have a little too much of the 'other' stuff we don't want them to be exposed to just yet. The books are just like the Candy Apple books - preteen/teen approved, just with a twist and an add of gothicness :) Just what kids are wanting and what mom would be ok with them reading.

Dead End is the 1st one we picked up for Amber - 174 pages long - so its not too long to loose her attention :)

Author Notes:
Casey Slater had her summer all planned out. She and her best friend knew what they would be doing all summer long and they would be doing it together. Then a few weeks before the end of school her parents tell her they have a surprise. Her parents bought a house in the middle of nowhere in New Hampshire, just outside Stillness. Her parents plan to restore this old creaky and creepy house. Everyone in town believes the house is haunted and soon so does Casey. She finds the diary from a girl who lived there 70 years earlier, Millicent Amelia Hughes, and while reading the journal, finds out Millicent's story and her own apprehension of being haunted are eerily similar. China cabinets fall over, vases explode, and all the electrical devices go on before the house has power. These and other events lead Casey to believe the house is haunted, and that maybe Millicent is out to get her. But things are not always as they appear. To quote the back of the book: "Casey thought she'd be dying of boredom, but now she's scared to death!"

My notes:
Casey has her entire summer planned, her best friend and her are going to party it up, sleepovers and all. Her parents have it planned too - in a summer home they just bought in New Hampshire - far away from her city apartment and her best friend - for the ENTIRE summer. Spooky things happen in the house, she befriends a boy named Erik who lives in the small town - they spend time together solving the mystery of the house and the diary she finds.

Took me 2hrs to read it with interruptions. Its good, little scary parts for teens but that's why they are reading it right? Normal teen stuff, all appropriate. It did teach a lesson - to have courage on your own without having to have backup - which was a nice added feature. It did rush through the best parts but as an adult I want more to sink my teeth into, as Amber was perfectly happy with it. No hanging ending either - I think this is going to be a great series for Scholastic to have! More Poison Apples please!!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Huggies MomInspired Grant Program

For those of you who haven't heard about this fantastic initiative, I am so excited to announce Huggies® MomInspired™ Grant Program. This program allows inventive moms to submit original, innovative and viable new business and product ideas designed to help make life easier for parents so that they can better enjoy everyday moments with their little ones. Until June 11th, you can visit to apply.

This program is open to moms who have an idea or already have a product/business and need additional funding to take it to the next level. Please note that the business or idea does not have to be one that fits within the Kimberly-Clark portfolio of products.This is all about helping moms nurture their business ideas and help them grow.

OK how cool is that! Got a great idea that would help make life easier as a mom/dad? This is the time to jump on it and get your business plan in gear and get off the ground!

Note: By posting this information, I am entered into a contest to win a $250 American Express gift card from MomSelect. I did not receive any compensation for this post and thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

GhostGirl Review

Ghostgirl by Tonya Hurley - new series, got for Amber for christmas (of course I read it before I wrapped it lol) and now there's a third book coming out! I do have to say what caught my attention was the book itself - the longer slender size, the cutout hardcover, the design - gothic and kiddish at the same time. Then I read the first few chapters and new it would be a great read.

GhostGirl - Rest in Popularity #1

Author Notes:
Now I lay me down to sleep,

I pray the Lord my soul to keep.

And if I should die before I awake,

I pray the popular attend my wake.

Charlotte Usher feels practically invisible at school, and then one day she really is invisible. Even worse: she's dead. And all because she choked on a gummy bear. But being dead doesn't stop Charlotte from wanting to be popular; it just makes her more creative about achieving her goal.

If you thought high school was a matter of life or death, wait till you see just how true that is. In this satirical, yet heartfelt novel, Hurley explores the invisibility we all feel at some times and the lengths we'll go to be seen.

My Notes:
I love the poetry through out, adds a little something extra and at this age Amber is learning about poetry and having to write her own, works perfectly. The design of the book carries through out the inside too... neat feature. Even their website is great! - Now about the book itself.

I thought it was a an odd way to die... a gummy bear. Amber thought so too. Makes you think to chew your food first lol. But the character Charlotte is always in a hurry as most teenagers are and she had fallen silently in love with Damen - She finally gets her chance to be with him... she gets paired up for Physics class, he starts talking to her a little more (which is what, more than a smile before?) and she's supposed to tutor him... the chance of a lifetime! But its her crush that kills her, chocking on a gummy bear behind closed doors watching Damen that no one sees or hears her... or looks for her. Sadley, Charlottes a loner... on her own and unpopular.

You gotta love, young love! She's not willing to give up even though she's dead now. Nope! She's on a mission to make Damen hers. First, she has to deal with Dead Ed class in the same creepy building she dies in and apparently its been there all along, alongside the other kids in the school.

She meets more ghosts in Dead Ed - even though she had no friends in real life, she finally breaks the cycle and makes them in death but first she has to stop chasing after Damen, realize that she has more important things to concentrate on - being dead and her classmates in Dead Ed need her help to graduate - The story does end happyish... a happy ending would be she's not dead so no not that happy lol... The characters are all teenagers and its a fast moving/skippy book just like teens are, Amber was able to keep up with it :) Preteen approved!

Moral of the story - Open your eyes! There's more around you than just you, don't be so self involved. Don't push love. Crush but don't go mad about it.

GhostGirl - Homecoming #2
Author Notes:
Heaven couldn't be a phone bank, could it?

Charlotte Usher discovers that the afterlife isn't quite what she pictured when she's forced to intern at a hotline for troubled teens. Before she can officially cross over, she'll have to be a source of guidance for one such teen. The problem is she doesn't have much advice to offer since dying hasn't exactly boosted her confidence level.

But when Hawthorne High's leading, love-to-hate cheerleader Petula and her gothic little sis' Scarlet find themselves suddenly resting-in-peace in comas, Charlotte's opportunity to save them will prove to be the risk of a lifetime-for all of them.

My Notes:
I LOVE this author - who would of thought that when you die, graduate and cross over that you'd end up having a crappy customer service job (people call you to help them, kinda like a teen help line) but Charlottes phone never rings.

Without knowing what 'real' friends are - Charlotte befriends Maddy who tries to seclude her from her Dead Ed friends in afterlife. Everyone is having reunions with family and friends but Charlotte. She wants to leave, unhappy and missing her one Alive friend Scarlett that she met in the first book (yeah I forgot to mention her, I can't tell you everything or you won't read it!) who actually needs Charlotte's help. Petula (Scarlett's older sister, mean little bugger) is sick, due to a bad pedicure infection - yes that's a bad way to die too! lol. But Scarlett finds a way to 'cross over' and get in touch with Charlotte - they hatch a plan to save Petula, who is hanging out and learning her own lesson on how to be nice, in a waiting room at the ghost section of the hospital. Kinda freaky how every living place has a ghost area connected to it ;)

In the end, Charlotte grows up a little and Scarlett becomes a closer friends, Homecoming is the most comical adventure and it leaves you kinda hanging... waiting for the next book Lovesick to come out.

GREAT series - AND to top it off my little chef got to watch Ace of Cakes make a Ghostgirl cake!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Fallen by Lauren Kate

Love picking good books :) Disney has optioned for Fallen by Lauren Kate - new 4 book series - Fallen is the first one - they've opted to take all 4 books before they even come out lol! This would definitely make a good movie!!

Author Notes:

There’s something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.

Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.

Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce–and goes out of his way to make that very clear–she can’t let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her.

Dangerously exciting and darkly romantic, Fallen is a page turning thriller and the ultimate love story.

My Notes:

Ok Yes the bookcover is what caught my eye - Loved it! Now I just got done reading it - omgosh I couldn't put it down. Luce character has so many oddities that seem to happen and you can't put them together til the end when it just opens up and swarms you with info that you were not expecting. Each character plays a role in the book, and yes I almost wanted to reread it - like re-watching a movie to see what I might have missed. It did hold me all the way through to the end where the author finally gives away the big secret and then hangs you by the thread waiting for the next one to come out... I hate major cliffhangers but for this one I'll wait eagerly.

Hourglass by Claudia Gray - Evernight Series

Hourglass By Claudia Gray - Evernight Series

Authors Notes:

After escaping from Evernight Academy, the vampire boarding school where they met, Bianca and Lucas seek refuge with Black Cross, an elite group of vampire hunters. Bianca must hide her supernatural heritage or risk certain death at their hands. But when Black Cross captures her friend--the vampire Balthazar--all her secrets threaten to come out.

Soon, Bianca and Lucas have orchestrated Balthazar's escape and are on the run, pursued not only by Black Cross, but by the powerful leaders of Evernight. Yet no matter how far they run, Bianca can't escape her destiny.

Bianca has always believed their love could survive anything--but can it survive what's to come?

My Notes:

The book flowed and it was an easy ready. There was no massive repeat of the prior books which I love and I was able to jump in and just enjoy the story. The Black Cross, Ghosts and Vampires are all in this one with a little bit of reflection on things in the past and how they fit in and what they really meant to Bianca now. A little sex but no 'scenes' - she nicely transitions from the beginning of sexual tension to you know what's going to happen to after wards. So its teen ok. Now it does leave you hanging... drooling for more. The next book called Afterlife isn't due out to March of 2011! No idea how to hang on til then lol

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Summer Toy Guide by Jenni Hunt

The Summer Toy Guide is here!

Jenni Hunt has done it again and put out a Summer Toy Guide to help you sell toys over the summer months and make a few extra dollars while the kids are out playing :)

What’s Included:

- 3 months of weekly hot lists including at least 25 toys that are currently selling well (with the links to auctions to prove it!)

- 3 months access to the Toy Reference Guide – an online directory to help identify and value used toys

- 3 months access to the MyToyGuide membership site with inventory resources and selling tips

- Downloadable Summer Toy Guide report filled with tips for buying inventory and selling used toys this summer.

Price: $27 (value $70)

Jenni has put out this Free Article for you - TOYS: New vs. Old

Selling New

Selling new toys can be a lot of fun… especially during the holidays. But, it can be a crazy game. Some of the most popular toys don’t even reach retail prices on eBay – while others can bring in three times what you bought the item for. Making it even more difficult is the fact that what sells great this week – may not be the best seller next week. The availability of the toy on store shelves is often the best indicator of whether a toy will skyrocket or be a dud – but, store inventory can change from day to day… making it very difficult to predict what is selling best and what to keep an eye out for.

Pros for selling new

  • Less risk – items can be returned to the store if they don’t sell
  • Finding inventory – you can shop online and call ahead of time to find stores that are carrying the item you are looking for. This can allow for you to purchase more of the same items… making better use of your time listing auctions – and saving time is saving money.

Cons for selling new

  • Hot selling items can have their ups and downs – going through both within the same week sometimes!
  • Lower profit margin – This isn’t always the case… but, in general the profit margin isn’t quite as good with new toys. Let’s look at it this way… when the die-cast Cars were super hot, you could pick them up for $3-4 each. Some of them were selling for $20-30 easy. If you take into account the other costs (listing fees, final value fees, paypal fees, etc.) – you probably end up paying $5-7 for each NEW car. So would have easily tripled your profits. However, if you find a USED Blue’s Clues Handy Dandy Notebook at a yard sale for $.25 and turn around and sell it for $20 on eBay… we can assume with listing fees your costs total $3. – That is a profit of over 600%!

Selling Old

In my opinion, selling used toys are quite a bit easier… and, honestly, I prefer them. The profit margins are often higher and the market can be just as good. Although finding used toys that are selling well can be difficult, if you have a general idea of what to look for, however, you can usually do well. In addition, because used toys don’t usually increase in availability, they tend to remain hot sellers for longer periods of time.

Pros for selling used

  • Higher profit margins – As I mentioned earlier… the profit margins can be much higher because you are paying, literally, pennies on the dollar for items.
  • Used toys tend to hold their value longer.
  • You can find inventory based on a theme – rather than finding a specific item.
  • Room to experiment – Since used inventory is so cheap, you can take a risk every once and a while and buy something on a hunch. A $1 investment could turn into a $30+ profit!

Cons for selling used

  • Can be difficult to find inventory because it all depends on what people are selling and wanting to get rid of; however, if you have a general idea of what sells (ie., Blues Clues is hot – so look for anything Blues Clues), and know where to look, it isn’t so tough.
  • Higher risk – it depends on where you buy your inventory… but, usually used items aren’t easy to return. Thrift shops will often have an exchange policy – but, you take a risk when you buy from a yard sale.

Now there are benefits to selling both used and new toys – regardless, the absolute best resource for knowing what is selling on eBay… is eBay itself! Spending time browsing through toy auctions for a length of time will give you a sense of what is selling… this Summer Toy Guide is designed to bring you some of this research.

Click Here to go to the Summer Toy Guide

Monday, May 10, 2010

House of Night Review...

Ok I read Tempted awhile back but I just finished Burned... LOVE IT!


Authors Notes:
So…you’d think after banishing an immortal being and a fallen High Priestess, saving Stark’s life, biting Heath, getting a headache from Erik, and almost dying, Zoey Redbird would catch a break. Sadly, a break is not in the House of Night school forecast for the High Priestess in training and her gang. Juggling three guys is anything but a stress reliever, especially when one of them is a sexy Warrior who is so into protecting Zoey that he can sense her emotions. Speaking of stress, the dark force lurking in the tunnels under the Tulsa Depot is spreading, and Zoey is beginning to believe Stevie Rae could be responsible for a lot more than a group of misfit red fledglings. Aphrodite’s visions warn Zoey to stay away from Kalona and his dark allure, but they also show that it is Zoey who has the power to stop the evil immortal. Soon it becomes obvious that Zoey has no choice: if she doesn’t go to Kalona he will exact a fiery vengeance on those closest to her. Will Zoey have the courage to chance losing her life, her heart, and her soul? Find out in the next spectacular installment in the House of Night series, TEMPTED.

My Notes:
I read this after I lost my grandma - the connection Zoey has with her grandmother is amazing and I love the way the story went.


Authors Notes:
Things have turned black at the House of Night. Zoey Redbird’s soul has shattered. With everything she’s ever stood for falling apart, and a broken heart making her want to stay in the Otherworld forever, Zoey’s fading fast. It’s seeming more and more doubtful that she will be able pull herself back together in time to rejoin her friends and set the world to rights. As the only living person who can reach her, Stark must find a way to get to her. But how? He will have to die to do so, the Vampire High Council stipulates. And then Zoey will give up for sure. There are only 7 days left…

Enter BFF Stevie Rae. She wants to help Z but she has massive problems of her own. The rogue Red Fledglings are acting up, and this time not even Stevie Rae can protect them from the consequences. Her kinda boyfriend, Dallas, is sweet but too nosy for his own good. The truth is, Stevie Rae’s hiding a secret that might be the key to getting Zoey home but also threatens to explode her whole world.

In the middle of the whole mess is Aphrodite: ex-Fledgling, trust-fund baby, total hag from Hell (and proud of it). She’s always been blessed (if you could call it that) with visions that can reveal the future, but now it seems Nyx has decided to speak through her with the goddess’s own voice, whether she wants it or not. Aphrodite’s loyalty can swing a lot of different ways, but right now Zoey’s fate hangs in the balance.

Three girls… playing with fire… if they don’t watch out, everyone will get Burned.

My Notes
- she bounces from character to character smoothly - some chapters splitting between points of views. I loved the book from beginning to end, you kinda know what's going to happen in the end (always a happy ending) but it keeps you wanting more :)

Friday, May 7, 2010

What was I thinking?? Mad Hatter...

Ok so super mom here has decided to jump high buildings and throw herself off a couple lol - I somehow promised Amber I'd throw a summer party for her again. Yeah... haven't discussed this one with hubby yet... we can wait on that one technicality, right?

No idea on a date... thinking July. But need to give the kids their invites before school gets out. I found a site that does reminder calls a couple days before an event for free - so I'm going to have Amber record her voice and send the reminder to the kids cell phones and home phones.

I found the cutest watermelon lollipops at the dollar store - huge ones with chocolate seeds in them and everything...
I always seem to get ideas on parties from lollipops LOL - last summer it was the camping party - we did marshmallow lollipops that looked like where on a stick (they tasted like toasted marshmallows too!)

I was thinking - picnic - cookout but then I thought - watermelons on a stick... odd...
let's go mad and do an Alice in Wonderland party... or should I say Amber in Wonderland party :)

Ideas so far...
decorating the porch with twinkle lights and streamers
setting up a tent outside for them to sleep in
Tea Party table with plastic chairs
Make some cardboard cards to put in the ground
let them play
flamingo croquet
Tea cup races on your head
build a house of cards? with teams
cookies with Eat Me on them
Little personal bottles with Drink Me on them

I think I found an invite I like - need to choose colors for it

And the wording might go something like this...

By the order of the Queen of Hearts,
You are hereby invited to a very merry unbirthday party

Now, statistics prove that you’ve one birthday.
Imagine, just one birthday every year!

Ah, but there are three hundred and sixty four unbirthdays
Precisely why we are gathered here

Because it’s a very merry unbirthday to you!
To me! Yes, you! …. Oh Me!
Lets all congratulate with another cup of tea!

Find your Queen’s Men and take a seat
Enjoy a light snack and a sweet treat.

A Garden with confections, characters and chatter
Don’t miss this fabulous tea party, hosted by the Mad Hatter!

For being our guests, we have a small favor
That is taken with you to later savor!

Eat Me! Drink Me! And don’t be late!
Join us as we celebrate

And down the rabbit hole we shall go

To Wonderland… or who knows?

Found these cute Mad Hatter gift boxes - put some bubbles and playing cards in

Any thoughts??

HereComesTheStork - Learn to Sell!

Here Comes the Stork is a wonderful place and its under new management and transforming and growing!!

HCTS is a place to make friends, expand your business, find support to boost your business - You can learn tricks and new techniques to sell on ebay,etsy and more!

Be a Sahm with an INCOME!!

What's Inside the Site?

Answers to some of the most "secret" questions asked such as:

  • Where do you buy your merchandise from?
  • How do you get such low-cost inventory?
  • How much money can I make in a month?
  • When is the best time to start selling summer, fall, winter, spring items?
  • What price should I start my item at?
  • What direct sales businesses have the most profit?
  • How do you become a merchant on Amazon?
  • How much time do others spend working?
  • What items make the most money?
  • Should I charge a flat ship fee or actual ship fee?
  • How should I package items?
  • What shipping source should I use?
  • How can I profit from selling toys?
  • What is the best way to photograph items?
  • How can I earn top-dollar for each and every item?
  • Where else can I sell besides Ebay?
  • How do I start my own website?
  • How can I expand my business?


  • They are having a huge sale on their membership... Check it out!! They are having a lifetime membership for $129 - that's a huge savings from the yearly plan!!

    I really love it there - Over the years I sold on ebay I made a bit of money to help with getting Ambers next seasons clothes, extras for her, school, xmas... It was really worth the time to go on, bond with the other members and share ideas and learn from the members.
    I hope you really like HereComestheStork!!

    Here Comes The Stork-Your Guide to Selling Online!

    Starbucks Frappuccino's on Sale!

    I'm in LOVE!!! Yes I know its just a drink but come on, no one makes it like Starbucks... I've tried! My favorite is Strawberries & Crème Frappuccino - I even got Amber addicted to it, used to have the lady pour a little into a small cup for her from mine before the whip creme got applied. Now that she's older she gets the smallest cup to herself lol. I even got my neighbor addicted to the Caramel Frappuccino... on the drive home (about 45mins) we get so sugar rushed we're laughing and giggling all the way home... true enjoyment :) You also have to try their lemon pound cake... ohhh Amber ate that like it was going out of style, ours finally started carrying it out in Machesney Park :) :)

    May 7th – May 16th, Starbucks will be featuring their New Frappuccino’s at half price during their Happy Hour – 3pm – 5pm!

    Starbucks also suggests you try the following new combos:

    Extra Coffee Caramel Frappuccino® Blended Beverage – A coffee-intense, decadent treat of buttery caramel syrup combined with new Starbucks Frappuccino® roast coffee, milk, blended with ice and topped with whipped cream and a swirl of caramel sauce.

    Mocha Light Frappuccino® Blended Beverage – With only 100, 150 and 200 calories in a Tall, Grande, and Venti, this delightfully sweet and reduced-calorie Frappuccino® beverage is a combination of mocha sauce, new Starbucks® Frappuccino® roast coffee and skim milk, blended with ice and made with coffee light syrup base.

    Soy Strawberries & Crème Frappuccino® Blended Beverage – Soy lovers can rejoice, with this coffee-free, non-dairy version of a classic recipe, adapted to include all-natural strawberry sauce, crème base, soy milk, blended with ice and topped with whipped cream.

    Wednesday, May 5, 2010

    Evernight Series Review

    Yeah I'm a bookworm or haven't you noticed??

    This is the Evernight Series - 4 books total to come from Claudia Grey. LOVE it so far! Totally preteen ok - a little scary but not horrible, there are some books that talk of ghosts, goblins and such and I just can't read them at night. This series is one of them due to the ghosts in the second book and me having to have a nightlight... stop laughing!

    The first if Evernight -
    Evernight Book 1 by Claudia Gray
    Author Notes:
    When the story begins in Evernight, Bianca has just left the small town where she's spent her whole life. She's a new student at Evernight Academy, a creepily Gothic boarding school where her classmates are somehow too perfect: smart, sleek and almost predatory. Bianca knows she doesn't fit in.

    Then she meets Lucas, another loner, who seems fiercely determined not to be the "Evernight type." There's a connection between Bianca and Lucas that can't be denied. She would risk anything to be with him—but dark secrets are fated to tear them apart... and to make Bianca question everything she's ever believed to be true.

    My Notes:
    I picked it up in the store and after the first two pages, knew it was for me. Easy read, teen romance, teen girl somewhere she doesn't want to be and disobeys but loves her parents... normal first book - gets you wanting more ;)

    Second book - Stargazer -
    Evernight Book 2: Stargazer by Claudia Gray
    Author Notes:
    Stargazer returns to Bianca's story a few months later. Both she and Lucas will stop at nothing to see each other again—even if it means living a life of secrets and lies. But even as Bianca finds herself torn between two worlds, she soon discovers they aren't the only ones keeping secrets. Will powerful forces within Evernight Academy keep her from deciding her own fate, or claim her forever?

    My Notes: This is where the action is... more romance, ghosts - again - read in the daylight lol, more twists and turns that shock ya... she ends it wanting more and thankfully the next book is already out! I've got it on its way :)

    Tuesday, May 4, 2010

    The Reckoning Review

    I just read all 390 pages of the Reckoning from the Darkest Powers Series by Kelley Armstrong...

    The first in the series is the Summoning

    Author Notes: Chloe Saunders sees dead people. Yes, like in the films. The problem is, in real life saying you see ghosts gets you a one-way ticket to the psych ward. And at 15, all Chloe wants to do is fit in at school and maybe get a boy to notice her. But when a particularly violent ghost haunts her, she gets noticed for all the wrong reasons. Her seemingly crazed behavior earns her a trip to Lyle House, a center for 'disturbed teens'. At first Chloe is determined to keep her head down. But then her room mate disappears after confessing she has a poltergeist, and some of the other patients also seem to be manifesting paranormal behavior. Could that be a coincidence? Or is Lyle House not quite what it seems...? Chloe realizes that if she doesn't uncover the truth, she could be destined for a lifetime in a psychiatric hospital. Or could her fate be even worse...? Can she trust her fellow students, and does she dare reveal her dark secret?

    My Notes:
    Really got me sucked in - loved how smooth it moved and I've been reading so many vampire books it was a nice change of pace :) Started this series last year and finally got to the third yesterday when it came out. I had to wait patiently for it lol

    The next is the Awakening

    Author Notes:
    If you had met me a few weeks ago, you probably would have described me as an average teenage girl—someone normal. Now my life has changed forever and I'm as far away from normal as it gets. A living science experiment—not only can I see ghosts, but I was genetically altered by a sinister organization called the Edison Group. What does that mean? For starters, I'm a teenage necromancer whose powers are out of control; I raise the dead without even trying. Trust me, that is not a power you want to have. Ever.

    Now I'm running for my life with three of my supernatural friends—a charming sorcerer, a cynical werewolf, and a disgruntled witch—and we have to find someone who can help us before the Edison Group finds us first. Or die trying.

    My Notes:

    It's hard to say anything about this book without giving anything away - Chloe finds her powers and there's even a young romance :) The others in the book really learn their powers extent too.

    The last one the Reckoning

    The whole gang in the book has to learn who to trust, where their love truly belongs (so a little love triangle) and how strong their powers really are compared to the 'normal' supernatural beings. She leaves you hanging at the end for another but in a good way.

    I LOVE this series and could devour another book instantly. It's fast paced but its well written to keep up, definitely a preteen book, its about finding themselves, learning to trust their instincts, figure out their real powers and learn to lean on each other.

    Monday, May 3, 2010

    The Changing Room Contest...

    Earlier this month, I introduced you to Cristina Carlino and her campaign for She Colors My Day - the now worldwide movement which embarks upon a global journey to create for a cure. Inspired by a mother's infinite love, this ever widening circle of caring will benefit Susan G. Komen for a Cure ® and The Entertainment Industry Foundation's Women's Cancer Research Fund. Thank you for your support!

    To continue giving back to women everywhere, Cristina has published her first interactive journal, "The Changing Room: A Mother's Journal of Gratitude to Her Little Girl." This interactive journal by Cristina Carlino and YOU captures all those astonishing parenting moments before they fade into the swirl of everyday life. Throughout the book, Cristina shares her personal story and asks questions that inspire you to remember those first precious years of motherhood. This journal is a special place for your memories, drawings and letters. One day it will become a priceless keepsake for your daughter. (For more on The Changing Room, click onto this video link:

    Changing Room

    Cristina's friend, actress Mariska Hargitay is in love with the book, and she and Cristina have joined forces for her Joyful Heart Foundation, benefiting survivors of rape, incest and abuse. The neat thing is 100% of the net proceeds for The Changing Room will go to Joyful Heart.

    Mariska says this about the book:

    "This beautiful and rare journal is an expression of the exquisite and tender delight Cristina takes in motherhood. As if by magic, the journal opens doors into the most precious terrain where the miracles of childhood transform into memories large and small. What a gift to be led to this place of wonder, joy and gratitude. And we are so pleased that 100% of the net proceeds from this book are being donated to the Joyful Heart Foundation. Thank you, Cristina!"

    To celebrate the season of mothers and the release of The Changing Room, Cristina is hosting a WISHES FOR MY LITTLE GIRL PHOTO CONTEST on her Facebook fan page ( Five winners will receive a free copy of The Changing Room.

    To enter Cristina's Wish and Photo Contest, Wishes for My Little Girl, click onto Cristina's Facebook Fan Page, and post your favorite photo of the little girl in your life -- it can be your daughter, a niece, a neighbor, the daughter of a friend. All our little girls need our wishes. Tell us of a big wish you have for this little wondrous person.Winners will be determined by the number of "Likes" they receive from other Cristina Carlino Fans, so invite your friends to Cristina's fan page and vote! Hurry! Contest ends on Monday, May 10th.

    Note: By posting this I am entered into a contest by MomSelect to win a free copy of TheChangingRoom

    Sunday, May 2, 2010

    Movie weekend...

    Movies - - - Toothfairy was Awesome - laughed several times...LOVED It's Complicated... Mike and Amber are doing the Transformers 1&2 right now, they love them so much... I liked Young Victoria, can't get enough of the victorian age :)

    'Wicked' Review

    I just finished the five book series Wicked by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie - only took me since Feb lol - Its the New York Times Bestsellers list each time it came out!

    The first is Wicked: Witch & Curse - It's a double book - about a million pages long but captivating (they all are)
    Author Notes:
    Holly Cathers's world shatters when her parents are killed in a terrible accident. Wrenched from her home in San Francisco, she is sent to Seattle to live with her relatives, Aunt Marie-Claire and her twin cousins, Amanda and Nicole.

    In her new home, Holly's sorrow and grief soon give way to bewilderment at the strange incidents going on around her. Such as how any wish she whispers to her cat seems to come true. Or the way a friend is injured after a freak attack from a vicious falcon. And there's the undeniable, magnetic attraction to a boy Holly barely knows.

    Holly, Amanda, and Nicole are about to be launched into a dark legacy of witches, secrets, and alliances, where ancient magics yield dangerous results. The girls will assume their roles in an intergenerational feud beyond their wildest imaginations...and in doing so, will attempt to fulfill their shared destiny.

    My Notes:
    Who doesn't wish they could find out when they are a teen that they belong to a long line of witches... but the ugliness (a curse) that comes with it wasn't something I'd wish for. Teen romance, sibling rivalry, love quadrangles within timelines/ancestors (got you curious?) - its ok for a teen to read. I couldn't put the book down.

    The second book - Wicked 2: Legacy & Spellbound - another double book - that continues directly where the last one left off with very little overlap (love that it doesn't rehash too much and you can jump right in)

    Author Notes:

    Holly Cathers is not the same person she was almost a year and a half ago. After discovering her connection to an ancient legacy of witches, Holly has accepted her destiny as a descendant of the House of Cahors. She is determined to end an intergenerational feud that has plagued her family for centuries.

    Holly will have to overcome unworldly obstacles as she battles to protect her loved ones -- including Jer, a member of the rival House of Deveraux and her one true love. A war of magical proportions is being waged, and Holly is at the center of it all.

    Lives will be lost, and sacrifices will have to be made...

    My Notes:
    Hmm not so much a teen series anymore with demonic possession, killing sprees between the rivalries... but it kept me moving and reading. I love the insanity of it all and how the authors were able to keep the complicated things happening straight in my head - the characters move around alot, so many things happening at once...

    The last book Wicked - Resurrection - normal book size 401 pages - its the finally of the series

    Author Notes:
    A threat more powerful and frightening than anything they have faced before looms over the Cahors witches as both the Devereux and Cahors family lines face extinction, and Cahors family secrets are revealed.
    Holly, Amanda, Nicole, and the rest of the Cahor witches face, in this third chapter in the Wicked series, their biggest threat yet--one far more devastating than some all-in-the-family feud, or even than the multi-generational tension between the Cahor clan and the Deveraux witches. All the witches must join together in order to stay alive.

    My Notes:
    Ughhh it doesn't really leaving you hanging but wanting MORE - another book... I loved the series! Ok so you get want you want in the end but not the way you'd think it happens - what did you think I'd tell ya?? lol There's a baby, More fighting, possessions, truths come out and more Cathers witches are found ;)

    Now the big surprise came back in October 2009 when they released that - DreamWorks Studios Acquires Rights to Young Adult Book Series “Wicked” - This would be the coolest to see in the movies!!

    Overall - the series was good, not all teen (definitely not preteen) readable, captivating, tons of twist-n-turns and drama. No explicit sex - except the tension of course between the teens.

    M&M Coconut Review

    I love Green :) was a little sad that there was only 3 in the bag lol.... WAIT... DANG IT

    Well I'm back after running to Mike since my tongue was swollen and my throat started to close up, I had to down a couple pills - Guess I'm allergic to the Coconut ones :( Still hurts to swallow, but my tongue isn't as swollen.

    Initially, the taste was similar to a Mounds Bar - which I can eat and have a million times before. Great mix of M&M's and Mounds .... unfortunately I don't think I can eat another one :(

    Have fun trying them...

    Saturday, May 1, 2010

    M&M Pretzels Review

    (I'm so not ready for this - says Orange)

    Ok - cute packaging! This was the sample package they sent out... soo Amber and I tried them. Mike doesn't care for pretzels, so he was out of the running lol. Amber devoured them of course.

    They disappeared so fast and I was not about to take a picture of half of an eaten one lol - just imagine a hard pretzel with chocolate around it.

    My thoughts... well the first one was odd, more the unexpected crunch and feel of the pretzel lol... second, not bad... third was really getting the salty sweetness. If you love pretzels, go for it! But I personally will stick to my peanut M&M's ;) But I can't wait to try the coconut ones!

    Go to to check them out :)

    Winner of VistaPrint Contest!!

    Thanks everyone!! Our winner is - Jessica -

    Blog Credit:
    Graphics used on page are from digital scrapbooking kit Sugar Rush by Flergs and Ziska. Blog arranged by Designs by Sarah using her Blog Design Service.