Saturday, May 31, 2014

DIY: Jean Shorts and Dog Toys!

For the first time in a (very) long time I have two days off in a row. Without asking for them. Without plans. Without procrastinating on something.  And I didn't know what to do with myself.  All I kept thinking was..."What do "normal" people DO with this much time!?!"

And that's when I got crafty!

After surfing DIYs on Pinterest for way longer than I'd like to admit, I got out my sewing stuff and made some shorts!  I turned two pair of old jeans into shorts for the summer.

So, I took the two pair of old jeans (don't know how these two pair of jeans survived my clothing purge,but glad they did!) and refashioned them based on these instructions.  I found Sarah's tips very very helpful, especially cutting at a slight angle so the back isn't too short.  She gave very specific instructions on how she measure's her ideal short length too!!

The light wash pair ended up being a smidge tight in the thigh (fitted jeans), so after searching Pinterest for a few cute ideas to make them comfier, I settled on this one.

I cut a V in the side of the shorts, added the insert and voila! I then rolled up the edge a little, because I didn't like the "perfect cut" line on the bottom.  yay! Perfect and cute!

I then decided to clean out my sewing kit.  The kit has a very large bottom to keep fabric scraps in.  I had an old (sadly shrunken) cream wool cardigan in there.  Yosuke stole it, started playing with it and would not give it back.  He looked as if his long lost friend had returned!

Since he wouldn't give it back without whining, I decided to make him a rope toy.  I cut the back of the sweater into five 1 inch strips.  I then braided all five pieces together (thank you baking classes for teaching me a 5 piece braid!) and secured the ends with a few stitches and a knot.

He loves it! He has been playing with it for about an hour now.  yay!  He is a serious chewer though, so this is going to be a "treat" toy. :)

Because I had all of the materials on hand, these projects were completely free.  Even better!  The braided rope will definitely be something I make more often.  I like to go to thrift stores to find cheap jeans to cut up each year.  Since it's summer time, jeans are usually mega cheap at Plato's Closet!

I love being crafty, and with my new job I have the time to!  yay!!  Happy DIY day!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day!!

Happy Mother's Day to everyone wonderful, talented, amazing, loving, caring, nuturing, kind Mother out there!  Take some time today to say thank-you to the woman/women who raised you.  They deserve it!  THANK YOU MOM AND GRANDMA! I love you both! Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

It's Here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Guys!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's here!!!!!!!!!!!! The launch has officially begun!  *happy dance* *kermit flail*


Come hang out with us on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter!  Join in the party for fun conversation, prizes, writing help and so much more!  I'm so excited to be part of this amazing project.  I truly believe it will change the way writers plan their books and bring readers some incredible new books!  Happy Launch Day!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

{Blog Tour, Giveaway and Review} Stealing the Moon & Stars

Title: Stealing the Moon & Stars
Author: Sally J. Smith & Jean Steffens
My Rating: 3 stars

Book Blurb:
Jordan Welsh and Eddie Marino, Scottsdale private eyes, are hired to find out who’s stealing from the Moon & Stars Children’s Foundation. Foundation employees are suspected, but just as the pieces start falling into place, Jordan discovers a hidden agenda that puts her in the crosshairs of a crime lord. Who can she trust? 

Everyone has a dangerous secret, and the bodies are piling up. Even her partner, Eddie Marino, has a dark and mysterious past. Does she dare act on their attraction? Will it destroy their partnership?

The two have landed in a hornets’ nest. Nothing to do now but stir it up.

Book One in a new series featuring Jordan Welsh and Eddie Marino.

About the Authors:
Arizona native Sally J. Smith lives in Scottsdale with her husband. The rarest of breeds, an adult who was born in Arizona, she has been a writer since she could spell. These days she stays busy at her chosen professions of writing (novels, short stories, and articles) and freelance editing. When a free moment appears on the horizon, she’s out the door to a attend a play, a movie, a concert, or just take a long walk in the desert—if the temperature’s under a hundred. Other works include The Ghost Wore Polyester.

Jean Steffens also lives in Scottsdale with her family. She’s a mother, reader, movie fan, and the Steffens’ family chauffeur. She’s also active in church activities. Like Jordan Welsh, PI, Jean grew up in Chicago near Lake Forest. Jean’s mother, however, was nurturing—baking cookies, carpooling kids to school, kissing boo-boos—unlike Jordan’s mother, who’s allergic to the kitchen and thinks a carpool is a hot tub in a limo. Jean’s published work includes “The Night Before Christmas” in the Desert Sleuths Sisters in Crime Anthology, How Not to Survive the Holidays.

My Review:
What a great book!  I don't get the pleasure of reading many PI novels that are actually interesting!  Jean and Sally created the ultimate PI/romance book. I was guessing until the very end about the culprit.  I loved watching as the characters evolved - Jordan and Eddie's romance/friendship/work relationship; Jordan's relationship with her family (specifically her mother); and the dynamics between Jordan and several other side characters.

The only down fall to this book is that it was a teeny bit predictable for some things.  However, this didn't take away from the overall mystery, which made me very happy!  This is a great, light-hearted read.  I highly recommend it for those readers who like PI, mystery and light romance!

Enter the giveaway below to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Follow the authors on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.  Happy Reading!

Get Excited!

Monday, May 5, 2014


Someone didn't want to get up today!

Happy Monday!

The Countdown Begins!

Only 5 days left until the greatest launch party ever!! Catch up on all the evens and how to participate by visiting the website - Happy Monday!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Cook with Me: Milkless Pancakes

I love pancakes.  They are my absolute favorite breakfast food!  Sadly though, they usually trigger a severe migraine.  I've figured out that milk/dairy products are my biggest migraine trigger.  I can only have a small amount of dairy in a week - and no, I'm not lactose.  I've had that checked.  SO... I've been searching for a recipe for pancakes that tastes good, is light and fluffy but doesn't have milk!  Sounds easy, but it's not.
I finally (after a year of tasting testing batches) found a GREAT milkless pancake recipe!!  I did tweek it a little and cut it in half.

Here is what I came up with.

HilyBee's Milkless Pancakes:

1 cup all purpose, unbleached flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 large egg
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup water (do not add all at once!)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Indonesian Cinnamon powder (found at Penzey's Spice Shop; optional)
Yield: 5-10 pancakes depending on size
  1. Measure all dry ingredients into one bowl.
  2. Add egg, oil, vanilla and HALF of the water - stir with fork until all ingredients are combined.
  3. Add second half of water and stir with fork.  Leave some small lumps.
  4. Let batter rest; prepare pan - I use a small non-stick skillet.
  5. Cook on medium heat.  Pancakes will not get dark like regular pancakes, they will stay very blonde/light in color.
  6. Before flipping pancake over, sprinkle with cinnamon. (optional, but tastes amazing!)
  7. Flip pancake (once small bubbles form on surface) and finish cooking.
  8. Set on plate to cool slightly; add margarine while still warm
  9. Enjoy!!
I love this recipe!  The pancakes were so light and fluffy, super yummy and didn't give me a migraine. Happy Pancake Day!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Throwback Thursday - Puppy!

Then: He was so tiny! Yosuke at 9 weeks old.

Now: Still tiny! 1 year 4 months old.
Took this before we had him groomed. heh. He was so fuzzy!

Happy Thursday!