Tuesday, October 29, 2013


Is there something on my head?

There is most definitely something on my head...


(sigh) Moms decided it was cute to dress me up as a dragon.  I don't agree.  I think she's gone crazy (again).  Happy Pre-Halloween Day!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

BIY: Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Heaven

After my last post, I had some extra cream cheese frosting.  Soo.... I mixed it with some peanut butter and came up with this amazing frosting/fudge/topping/filling/PB buckeye mix.  I LOVE it!!  Try it out and let me know what you use it for.  The possibilities are endless!


Two 8oz Pkgs of Cream Cheese (softened)
1 bag (32oz) of Confectioner's Sugar (Powdered Sugar)
2 sticks of butter (softened)
Peanut Butter

1. Mix Cream Cheese, Butter and 2 cups powdered sugar together.
2. Add in vanilla and a small amount of milk.
3. Mix in remaining powdered sugar, adding milk as needed for moisture.
4. Add in peanut butter (use desired amount; I used 1.5 cups)
5. Refrigerate and serve!  Store in an air tight container for up to one week.

The possibilities list....
Quick, soft, creamy PB fudge
Quick, creamy PB frosting
Cake filling
PB Buckeyes
Cupcake filling
Truffle filling
Apple Pizza (with sugar cookie crust!)
Apple/Fruit topping
Ice Cream topping
Swirled brownies
Cookie filling

See? That's only a few!  Definitely book mark this recipe and keep it on hand for something quick, easy and OMG delicious!  Happy Baking!

Friday, October 18, 2013

BIY: Easy Pumpkin Cupcakes

Here's a quick recipe to spice up your Fall!  This recipe is so quick and easy, I highly recommend it for bake sales, dinner guests or just a treat for your family, friends, neighbors or coworkers.  Enjoy!

Easy Pumpkin Cupcakes

1 box Yellow Cake Mix (I like Betty Crocker)
One 8oz can of Pumpkin Puree
Cake Spice from Penzey's Spice Shop OR Pumpkin Pie Spice

1. Mix cake according to the directions.
2. Add in the pumpkin.
3. Mix in about 1-2 Tsp of Cake Spice OR 2-3 Tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
4. Pour into cupcake liners and bake until cake springs back when touch in the center
5. Cool

Cream Cheese Frosting:
Two 8oz Cream Cheese Package (softened)
Butter (softened)
1 bag of Confectioner's Sugar (Powdered Sugar)
1 Tsp Vanilla
1 Tbsp Milk

1. Put Cream Cheese into electric stand mixer.  Beat for about 30 seconds.
2. Add in vanilla and 1 cup of powdered sugar
3. Add in a teeny bit of milk
4. Mix in 1/2 cup of softened butter
5. Add more powdered sugar; continue to add until the entire bag is mixed in.
6. Add a little milk as needed to make as soft or stiff as you desire
7. Top cupcakes with frosting; seal and refrigerate after using

These easy cupcakes are a HUGE hit!  Try them and let me know how it goes! Happy Baking!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

BOOK TWO IS HERE!!!! Society of Feathers

Society of Feathers #2

Somewhere between falling and flying...you will find the truth.

The truth is being unveiled and Iris’ past is unlike anything she ever could have guessed. For Stryx, finding your missing half doesn’t always mean finding your mate. Iris has been missing a part of herself for so long that no one is sure she will be able to put the pieces back together and her ever reliable dreams may be forcing her astray. Coping with the death of someone she loved, she is forced to face the truth and break free from the lies that have caged her.


Iris lost herself in Falcon's arms, feeling the world drift away again as her lips melted against his stronger, larger ones. The warmth spreading through her body felt like electricity filling very part of her, pooling at the tips of her fingers where she touched his shoulders then traced along his arms. The tension that had worked its way up her back and through her own shoulders released as his hand brushed lightly down the length of her spine, sending sparks through every nerve.

"Please," she whispered softly, centimeters from his lips as they breathed in each other's warm breath. She felt herself lean towards him, this time not holding back as she moved his arm to her waist, making him wrap both arms around her fully. His secure hold on her was the only thing keeping her upright.

"Anything," he whispered into her ear a few moments later after she had caught her breath.

"Be the one beside me when I enter the masquerade. Be the one by my side when I change it all. I know I can do it on my own or with Nestor but...I don't want to. I want you both there with me,” Iris said.

The look on Falcon's face, the light in his eyes, showed her the joy he found in her invitation. "I was waiting for you to ask. Waiting for you to want to need me, even if you never will. It would be my pleasure, Izzy. I will always be there for you. Nothing could pull me away." He didn't say the words but they still hung silently between them, the knowledge that anyone who tried to pull him away from her would die trying. She knew she should be afraid, but somehow he was the only person she knew she could trust, the only one her heart was perfectly sure about, like a tether tied them together, connecting their lives.

"I do need you. Even if I don't, I still need you." She whispered and kissed him harder, forgetting the world outside their doors, ready to explore the man that the boy she had known had become. The man who felt like such a part of her now that she had accepted him. She didn't know what she’d do if she ever lost him. She had never felt a connection this powerful, this all consuming.

"I love you." He whispered, his eyes gazing into hers, their intensity only pulling her further into the joy of just being close to him, just letting herself forget the world she wanted so desperately to help, to change. "I want to do something for you."

"What is it?" Iris almost pulled back, not wanting to lose the moment between them but instead she leaned the side of her face against his chest so that she could hear his heart beating.

"I want to show you what it’s like to run without hesitation, without taking away the one part of running that makes it so magical̶the freedom. I want to show you that freedom." He bent and traced his fingers along the back of her legs. They buckled but he lifted her, taking it as an invitation.

She smiled and leaned against his chest. This time he wasn't carrying her because something was wrong. It was like when they were kids and he wanted to show her he was strong enough to support her, that he could be that person who would pick her up even if she hadn't fallen. He walked to the door and she turned the doorknob for him. They found Autumn in the hallway.

"Wanna go for a run?" Falcon asked Autumn, his voice a conspiratory whisper.

"Sure!" She said and smiled lightly when she realized what Falcon was planning. "Every girl should get to feel the aves inside of her come alive."

Iris smiled feeling like she had her team. They were the people she needed and wanted by her side. They were the ones who kept her human and kind, protecting her at all costs. Nestor was upstairs with Nathaniel preparing for his duties in their upcoming plans. The rest of her family was downstairs. As they jogged by, they passed Jarem on the way, heading up to meet Diana. "We’re going running, wanna come?" Falcon offered and Iris laughed.

"If you invite everyone we may as well all go." Iris giggled and smiled widely, looking forward to it, not caring who decided to come. Iris knew that no matter how people surrounded her and Falcon, somehow they were always alone. They were the only two people in on the secret. That was their unusual type of love. It would only grow with time and trust as long as it was never betrayed.

"Sure, why not." Jarem said and smiled. He opened the door to Diana's room and hollered, "We’re going running with Falcon, wanna come?"

"Absolutely!" They heard Diana yell back. She joined them even though she was wearing a short dress. Not bothering to change, she threw a pair of high-tops on with it.

As they jogged through the house David joined them, leaving the fort to Neal, Garah and Griffin so as not to disturb Nathaniel and Nestor. When they went out the door, Diana led them to the back of the house, going through the garden to a strange trail beyond it. "Is this the fairy trail?" Jarem asked. When Diana nodded, he smiled and looked at Iris. "It's perfect."

"Wooooo!" Diana shouted, crying out like a hawk soaring through the sky. Jarem and even Autumn joined in and Iris realized it was for her and Falcon, egging them on. Falcon set her on her feet and knelt down the way he once had to offer her a ride on his back. She blushed feeling like that same little girl for one beautiful moment, attaching herself to his back and holding onto him tightly.

The bird calls got louder and louder until Falcon got ready and whispered, "You ready?"

"Yes." She whispered next to his ear and then looked straight ahead realizing, she really did need him. Falcon knew what she needed even before she did. As he started running, she shifted her weight and realized, she fit so well against his back, like they had been molded for just this moment, for him to give her the freedom that her body robbed her of. Suddenly her grudges against her body for being made the way it was disappeared as the wind whipped her hair away from her face. She arched her back ever so slightly to get the full effect and to keep her weight manageable for Falcon as he ran faster and faster. Her heart felt like it was soaring for the very first time. There was nothing like it, the faster he went the more amazing it felt. All she could feel was the earth around her and the link to her aves.

She couldn't help but giggle with glee as she watched Diana pass them, holding her arms out at her sides like wings. The wind was pushing her arms behind her, and her face was lifted toward the sunlight shining through the trees. Jarem sped to catch up with her and they started to race each other, getting competitive each time one of them would pass the other.

Autumn was at Falcon’s side as she called out, "Oh come on, go for it. She'll love it!"

"Faster!" Iris squealed like a little kid, the sheer joy of movement giving her a rush she had never felt before. As she leaned her face against Falcon's, she could feel that he was smiling as he gained speed. He wrapped his arms behind her, entwining his fingers at her back like he was stretching as his position formed a brace for her. She leaned into it and as he went faster and faster. She slowly let go of his shoulders and held her arms out at her sides like Diana. The sun beat down on her face and arms. As she closed her eyes, she felt like she was flying, really and truly flying.

Author Emma Michaels

Emma Michaels is a multi-talented bookish girl. Not only is she the designer of beautiful covers, but she has many other accomplishments under her belt. She started book blogging in 2009 and was first published in 2010 (The Thirteenth Chime). She started The Writers Voice in 2011 as a way to help readers get to know authors on another level.

She moved to Washington at seventeen to be with the man that she loves, who asked her what she secretly wanted to be when she grew up. Naturally, she told him that she wanted to be an author, but at the time she thought "it was a pipe dream." He encouraged her to pursue her dreams and taught her that "sometimes reaching for the impossible can make a world of difference in your life." Now she is published and reaching well beyond what most people can imagine.

Book 1 is now 99 cents on Kindle!

Add Book 3 to your Goodreads list!
coming October 13, 2014

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, October 10, 2013

That was WHAT!?

Yosuke killed his toy.  Take a guess as to what it used to be.   It's not a mass of blue spaghetti.

Hint: It's made of yarn/strings!  Sorry it's sideways squished.  Photobucket didn't want to let me direct link with my changes. (sigh)  Stupid program.  Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Swords, Magic and Giants!

I've been addicted to the game Skylanders since it came out.  I've been collecting the characters and absolutely love beating the game.  I've played the first game several times through (five, I think...) and now the second one (Skylanders Giants) three times.

BUT!!! It's official!! I have ALL of the characters from BOTH games!!  My Mom surprised me with the final character I was missing, and never thought I would find.

My new favorite character.  
A magic, purple, knife wielding giant!  
A genie.  


Ooo... Scary, but sooo pretty!!!

She's the best Giant in my opinion.  I love playing this character.  Then again, if I can have elements or magic in some way... I'm a happy person!  Is anyone else still addicted to this game?  Happy Gaming!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Coconut Oil Days 3-5 and Final Thoughts

Welcome back!  During the last three days, I simply continued to use the coconut oil in the same way.  If you haven't read Day 1+2 yet, check it out!  Below are my results for days 3-5 and my final thoughts.

Day 3:
I used the oil as a face, leg and arm lotion.  It took a while to soak in and my legs dried out severely within a few hours.  My skin was so dry and looked like I've never used lotion in my life!  Not sure if I over-applied the oil or if my skin really was just that dry that day.  We'll try again tomorrow.

I also used it to remove my makeup again.  I've noticed a huge difference in my eyelashes.  They are softer and less weighed down.  They hold a curl better and just in general look better.  I definitely love this oil for a makeup remover!  After I remove the makeup, I apply a tiny bit to my eye area as an eye cream.  I've also noticed in just three days a big difference.  My eyes don't look as tired or puffy after applying.  Great use!

Day 4:
Applied all over again as a lotion.  Today was a bit better as I applied less of the oil.  My skin needed more lotion at the end of the day, not after just a few hours, but that is probably because I was inside with the heat on all day.

Used as a makeup remover and eye cream again.  Still love these uses.  I also applied a tiny bit to the ends of my hair at night to see if overnight it would soak in okay.  I'm hoping it will hydrate the ends of my hair a bit more.

Day 5:
Used as a lotion again, but only on my face and hands.  I don't think I like it for my legs too much.  It doesn't soak into my skin fast enough.

Used as a makeup remover and eye cream again.  Definitely my fav use for the oil.  The oil I applied in my hair last night did help.  It felt so soft in the morning and didn't look greasy.  I think instead of the intense hair mask, I'll use a tiny bit on my hair at night just for a quick hydration.

Final Thoughts:
5 Stars!!!
The Viva Labs Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil is great!  I really enjoyed testing the oil for so many different uses to find what worked best for me.  I absolutely love using this oil as an eye cream, makeup remover and face moisturizer.  My face looks and feels incredible!  I also enjoyed using it as a night-time hair "serum."  I apply a small amount to the bottom 1/3 of my hair and wash it in the morning.  It feels so soft, silky and looks shiny.  The oil does a great job for hair masks, but was simply too much for my hair to handle.  I highly recommend trying out this coconut oil as part of your beauty/skin care routine.  This should be an essential oil every girl has in her cabinet! This inexpensive oil is taking Amazon by storm!  Grab a jar before they run out!  Happy Review Day!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Many Uses for Coconut Oil: Day 1+2

I was contacted by a representative from Viva Labs.  They carry/make extra-virgin coconut oil on Amazon.  They asked if I would like to review their product for Amazon, and I said yes!  I've decided to try out a bunch of different uses for the oil to see what works best.

There are SO many uses for coconut oil - beauty/skin care, health supplements, cooking and baking.  I've chosen a few (all beauty/skin care related) to test out.  Here are my first results.

It comes in a little plastic container (15 fl oz) and is solid.  However, it melts at a very low temperature (76*F) so it really isn't solid for long.  It smells incredible - like toasted coconut shavings.  I love the smell and taste of coconut!  So relaxing and yummy. (insert giant happy face)

Day 1:

First, I applied the mask per the directions - enough to make my hair look wet/greasy from roots to ends on dry hair.  While the mask was soaking in, I used the oil as a shaving cream.  This I was super skeptical of.  I first tested it on a small section of my leg to see if it hurt or turned red.  Nothing, so on to my full legs.  I applied it in small sections then shaved.  It worked really well actually!  I lightly rinsed off my legs afterwards then rubbed the oil into my skin.  It was actually faster than my normal routine too.  No razor burn, no red bumps, no burning, no itching.. all good!  Think I'll start using this weekly as a replacement for my shaving cream.

After 40 minutes, I washed out the oil (two washes with my regular TRESemme shampoo).   Results? OIL SLICK!  I don't think my hair was ready for that much moisture.  After it dried completely my hair looked and felt greasy the rest of the night.

Day 2:

I washed my hair two times again this morning, felt "dry" in the shower.  Not oily anymore.  So I put a tiny bit of conditioner on the ends of my hair like always and rinsed.  My hair looked incredible! Super shiny and soft.  I think I simply over applied the oil when I used it.  Next time, I'll use less.  I definitely won't use this treatment very often.

I also tested the oil out as an eye cream and makeup remover today.  BEST idea EVER!  These were definitely my favorite uses so far.  As an eye cream - it was light weight, soaked in well and made my eye area feel super soft.  At night, I used it to remove my Maybelline The Rocket waterproof mascara.  This mascara in waterproof is extremely difficult to remove and I have never been successful (with any product I've tried) removing it fully the first time.  Guess what!?  The oil took it off perfectly!  I gently massaged the oil on my lashes then used a damp cotton pad to wipe it off.  It hydrated my lashes and took off all the makeup.

What I recommend so far:
Definitely use it as a lotion/moisturizer, eye cream and makeup remover.  This is going to be my new "holy grail" product for those uses.  My skin is incredibly soft AND feels better.  If you have very dry hair, use this as a mask.  It will be great for the harsh Winter months.

So far I really like this product!  This is the first coconut oil I've used, but it is very good.  Other reviewers had the same results (many used other brands first).  One of the best things about this oil?  It's 100% organic, inexpensive and has an incredible amount of uses.  I'm very impressed!  Happy Coconut Days!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Yosuke's Snacks: Fav Frozen Peanut Banana Treat!

I had a few extra ingredients laying around and thought I would make Yosuke a treat.  He loves frozen treats!  This time I changed the recipe and it was a HUGE success!  This is a cost effective way to give your dog (or puppy) a healthy treat with little to no preservatives!

2 Tbsp Natural Peanut Butter
1 Ripe Organic Banana (right before they go bad so they are extra soft and strong)
1/4 C rolled oats
5-10 pieces of Crispix cereal (no-sugar or sodium added variety)

1. Peel the banana; Cut up 2/3 of it and put into a small bowl (I used his food dish); Eat the remaining 1/3
2. Add oats and peanut butter; Stir with spoon until they combine into a gooey mixture
3. Smooth out mixture until smooth on top, filling the entire bottom of the bowl.
4. Sprinkle the top with Crispix cereal pieces
5. Freeze for 30-60 minutes (we did 45 since he loves it to be mostly frozen, but not completely)
6. Serve the treat to your pup while you eat dinner or just as a snack.

You can split up the recipe in little ice cube trays as well (I recommend a silicon tray) for smaller quick treats.  Sub in any type of nut butter that your dog might like, just use the natural/less processed versions as much as possible.  The recipe can be double or cut in half easily for different portion sizes.  This was a "special" treat and Yosuke didn't have a treat of any other kind (crazy right?!) for a whole week.  I do not recommend this recipe if your dog has any allergies.  If you are watching their weight or helping them lose weight, take out the Peanut Butter OR give them smaller portions.

Yosuke went CRAZY for this treat.  It combines all of his favorite foods and it's healthy for him!  No more preservatives or fake frozen treats for this little guy.  Spoiled?  Definitely.  Worth it?  Definitely - and it's cheaper!  I see this being a new fast and easy treat combo for in those hot months or just as a fun little snack whenever.  Happy Treat Day!