2014A Right Brain Wannabe: 2014

Apr 8, 2014

Blog Tour: Dangled Carat by Hilary Grossman

Dangled Carat by Hilary Grossman: one girl's attempt to convert the ultimate commitment-phobic man into a doting husband with a lot of help from his family and friends

Hilary had gotten used to dating the commitment-phobic Marc, thirteen years her senior. They had a great relationship—why rush into things? She saw no need to pressure him for marriage, believing that when the time was right, he would propose. But after they had been together for four years, their friends decided to take matters into their own hands, pushing Marc to propose and making Hilary realize how much she really did want to marry the man that she loved. Unfortunately, Marc still wasn't ready—and their friends’ meddling in the form of a faux engagement party led to a disastrous New Year’s Eve that brought their relationship to an inevitable turning point. In this relate-able, lighthearted, and playful memoir, Hilary reminisces about her life before Marc—from the insecure and awkward teenage years she spent in a back brace and dealing with the loss of her father, to her early relationships and, finally, to the day she met Marc and realized that she really wanted to see him again. Through their first date—even though Hilary was technically seeing someone else at the time—and the ease of their early time together until Marc first decided that they were moving too quickly, up until that fateful New Year’s Eve, Hilary shares the details of their relationship and how Marc’s inability to commit led her to find an inner strength and confidence she didn't know she possessed. For anyone who has ever dated a commitment-phobe, who has found their patience wearing thin with the one they love, or who has sat around wondering if he is ever going to pop the question while trying to remain the very picture of patience and grace, Hilary's humorous and honest story will hit home.

I was very fortunate to get to participate in this Blog Tour with Chick Lit Plus and have enjoyed every minute of it.  Be sure to stop by and see all the tour stops for more reviews and inside Q&A with Hilary herself!

I was so excited to start reading this book as soon as I got my copy because it is a memoir!  I love reading memoir's because you feel instantly more attached to the author and the characters because they have a meaning of real experiences behind them.  I feel that Grossman did an amazing job at letting us into her life without it becoming to intimate and personal.

I feel that this book did a great job at walking the audience through some real situations that a lot of people struggle with on a daily basis...young adult and adult situations.  In this memoir Grossman takes us to an all familiar place of commitment issues and how she and her husband worked their way through them.  I found myself nodding away in understanding as she took us through all levels of the relationship and I routed them on the entire way!  Even though at points I just wanted to shake Marc and say 'Come On Already!!' I knew that they were meant for each other and time would be on their side.

I think this is a very charming and relate-able book.  Lots of laugh's, struggles, ups and downs...but most of all...this is a story full of love that made it through the test of time.

Apr 7, 2014

I am NOT M.I.A I promise...

I just wanted to reach out and let you know that I have NOT gone M.I.A.

There have been some things have come up on my side of the computer that sort of put a halt on my create side (and my free time).  I have SLOOOOOWLY been working on my first quilt...

...and have recently signed up for a monthly star quilt pattern with Elizabeth over at Don't Call me Betsy.  I think this Lucky Star club will give me some great exposure to the tedious world of quilting that I haven't had much practice in.  I may want to pull my hair out before I even complete one...but at least I'm going to give it a try!  Below is the color pallet I am going with and the first 3 star patterns released.

I hope everyone had a great weekend and please check back tomorrow for my review of Dangled Carat...It's the first Blog Tour I've done in a long time.

Mar 24, 2014

March #SewCrazyChallenge

Happy Monday to you!!

I finally found time to do some sewing over the weekend (along with learning very quickly that when Derick is gone I can make a MAJOR crafting mess).  Apparently having him around forces me to put things away...

I seriously woke up Friday morning to take my dog outside and frightened myself with how messy I was!

Messy or not, I was able to finish March's challenge with only a few days to go! I am so very excited about this little bag I made.  I am going to give the little bag to my friends little girl...I hope she loves it. 

I found the pattern on Pinterest a while back and as soon as we were told we could make a bag for this challenge, I knew I was doing this one.

It was simple, but has some super cute details.  I love how there a little pockets on the outside and the straps add a great texture to the already awesome fabric I found.

Seriously...spent $3.00 on this entire bag.  I'd say I hit the jackpot!

Before I leave you for the day, below is my quilting progress!

I know...just fabric strips.  But, they are all sewn together and ironed! Next step will be to cut them into squares and start assembling the quilt top!

I'm so in love with the colors and can't wait for it to be finished!!

Mar 21, 2014


I just wanted to reach out and explain my absence.


With this said, the next couple of weeks I am going to be swamped with getting the planning started, but once I get my wedding planner hired then hings should slow down.

I do have some projects in the works for the March challenge, and some quilting things I'm working on.

I'll have progress for you soon I promise!

Mar 20, 2014

Book Review - A Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

A Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn't drink or swear, and she has the appropriate number of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance from the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand.

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby wants—and needs—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.


I actually listened to this one in the car so it took me a long while to finish...I only go 6 miles to and from work on a regular basis.  I found myself sitting in the parking lot not wanting to go in because it was getting so good!  I'd relate this to a page turner that I probably would have finished in 2 days had it not been an audio book.  

I think it was a great mixture of drama, suspense, love, fight, failure and success.  The author really knew what they were doing with all the turn of events that happened in this book.  I wanted so bad for Abby to succeed and do what she needed in life to get far away from her past.  I wanted so bad for Travis to straighten up his life and realize that he could do better.  I wanted so BAD for them to be together and happy and realize life was OK as long as they were together.  Basically...I was rooting for all character at all times.  This book did a great job in helping the reader build a relationship and opinion about each character.  And...I literally just realized that this is a series and there are more books...oh man, I may be reading a lot in my near future!

**Warning, if you are easily offended by cussing and/or aggressiveness I would suggest not reading this book.

Mar 11, 2014

Book Review - Recovering From Life by Debra McKenna

Recovering From Life by Debra McKenna
Recovering from Life is the tale of 39-year-old, red-headed spitfire Stephanie McCarthy's rollicking road to redemption. A gifted freelance writer in Northern California, Steph works days hawking frozen foods while her life limps along. Until her husband, Kenny, disappears into the crack ghetto. His descent into addiction catapults Steph onto a wild ride that feels unendurable--but ultimately leads to her own self-discovery.

Marooned in a state of financial doom, legal tangles, and emotional turmoil, Steph navigates the pitfalls of her new path, which takes her into the realms of drug dealers, high finance--and hot romance. With her wisecracking buddy, Lee, and other surprising allies at her side, Steph begins to rebuild her world as she stumbles into her own blind spots and wrestles with her faulty guy-radar.

When Steph at last spies the "Welcome to Reality" sign at the end of the road, she realizes that her job is to heal from a life she never chose--and to recover from the one that she did. But while she rides that roller coaster of recovery, Stephanie has one hell of a good time.

Recovering from life was a story about a woman who was stuck in the middle of trying to figure out how to juggle the stressful life she was being dealt along with staying healthy and putting her self first.  Stephanie had her life figured out...she had the husband, the dog, the house, and just started on building her career path of becoming a full time editor for a magazine.  Yes, she had some bumps in the road, but both her and her husband were survivors of substance abuse and were moving forward in life.  Or so she thought.

Little did she know that her husband had fallen off the band wagon and had taken everything they had worked so hard to get along with him.  The moment she thought it was over, it wasn't worth sticking it out, she realized she really needed to take a step back and get her life back in check.  Through some ups and many many downs, Steph and her closest friends came out the other side the best was they could.

I felt that this book was a good read, and the Debra did a great job of connecting you with a character that is probably very familiar to many in this world.  The book stayed light hearted, while throwing in some pretty funny loop holes, and did a great job conveying that these are real struggles, and they are not easy to overcome without a lot of support from great people in your life.  

I look forward to reading more from Debra in the future!

Mar 7, 2014

Sewing Convention / Blogging Conference

As you can tell by my blog roll, I am very addicted to reading blogs.  Especially ones about sewing / crafting / cooking.
It helps me escape my every day life and take a look at how others live and what they do for fun.

Recently I found that a lot of my favorite bloggers have been attending or will be attending a Sewing Convention / Blogging Conference this year.

I'm sure I am missing some, but what are your thoughts on the idea in general?

I'd love to attend something like this just to soak up the knowledge, meet some new people, and maybe start expanding my skills.

However, the whole idea seems a little overwhelming and intimidating to me.  I'd obviously attend by myself seeing that I am the only one of my friends that really sews.  If you can even say "I sew" yet...really I'm still learning.  And I'm still learning this whole blogging thing.  I'm not even really sure if I'm good at it...or want to pursue it enough to attend a Sewing Convention / Blogging Conference.

Is there an experience level at which you must be in order to really get anything out of something like this?

I'd love to hear from people who have attended one, your level of experience, and if you think it's something beneficial.

I'll keep you posted on if I plan on attending any.

Mar 6, 2014

Mr. Dino Quilt!!

Dum duh duh dum da da dum da duh dum!!!
That was my trumpet entrance.
You hear it?

I do.

All rise for the welcoming of ...


Mr. Dino Quilt

Mr. Dino Quilt

Mr. Dino Quilt is so great.

I love the colors. I love the size. I love what I learned from the project. I love that my nephew is going have my first major project.

A few things I learned:

1.  How to finish off a knot in a quilt

2.  Lining up seams when piecing the quilt together is important.  The seam ripper is OK to use.

3.  Fraying the edges of a rag quilt SUCKS.  I have bruises and blisters to prove it.

4.  Washing something with so much fabric can possibly be a disaster.  He came out SOAKING wet and weighing close to 50lbs I swear.  Three rounds of drying later and he was still soaked.  I had to hang dry him over night and pray that I didn't ruin him.  All is well tho, he survived.

Welp, I think I'm addicted to quilting. I already have my next one lined up and ready to start.  This next one will be a true quilt, and as you saw in a previous post, the experience hasn't started out all sunshine and butterflies.  I plan on trying to salvage what I can and learn as I go.

Here goes nothing!

Mar 4, 2014

Fabric Bookmark

Hope everyone stayed warm last night...looks like we are actually going to get above freezing today which is wonderful.  I'm starting to get cabin fever.
I also have to get to the UofA tomorrow for some work events and the warmer it gets the safer the drive will be.

Since we couldn't get to our regularly scheduled events yesterday I decided to whip up a quick bookmark last night and use up some scraps.

This was the first time I 'winged' something and you can definitely tell.  I had to use the seam ripper so the photos of my fabric show a little wear and tear.

I think it also shows that we all make mistakes and can learn from them!

I started with two different fabrics and some interfacing.  I made a triangle out a piece of paper and cut it out of all of my fabric choices. 2 of each.

I ironed on the interfacing to the fabric I wanted on the inside of the bookmark. I figured giving it a little more support wouldn't hurt!

Enter my fabric that I had to remove the seams because my first attempt was a fail.
Take your two opposite fabrics, put them wrong sides together, and sew just the bottom of the triangle.

 Turn it right sides together and top stitch on the bottom of the triangle again.  Do this to both sets of fabric.

 Line up your triangles, with the fabric you want on the the outside of the bookmark facing each other.  Sew along the two top sides of the triangle.  Flip the triangles inside out and top stitch again on the two top sides of the triangle.

Ladies and Gents...you have yourself a corner bookmark!

I could have measured the triangle to fit a little more snug, and the bottom corners didn't turn out 100% perfect.

But...I feel this was a great project for my first time 'winging it'.
I'm super proud of myself!

Mar 3, 2014

Alphabet Magnets

Happy Iceday Monday to me?!  This weather is insane, 60 degrees on Friday to ice on Monday.

I know it's been a few days since I last wrote, I apologize for that. 
I know you've missed me!

The real job duties have been getting in the way of my creative time and inspiration this past week, and I have a feeling it will this week as well.

I travel occasionally for work and when I do, it's hard for me to keep the juices flowing, much less have a sewing machine close at hand.

Do you travel? How do you keep things flowing?

Any-who...I wanted to share with you the alphabet magnets I made for one of my girl friends who just moved into her new place.  I wanted her to have a little house warming present and I think they turned out great.

Earlier I shared with you my fabric snag but here are my fabric choices again.  I'm loving the aqua trend these days, I even painted my nails to match :)

For this project I started by going online to find some cute font I could duplicate on fabric. I needed a K and an M.  I wanted something with clean lines since I was going to be cutting it out of fabric.  I chose to make them about 8 inches tall since I wanted them to be a pretty big statement on her fridge :)  I cut out the letters using my pinking sheers to add a cute edge.

I needed a front and a back cut from each fabric, some interfacing, and a filler to make the letter have some depth along with being sturdy enough to stand on their own.

For the magnets themselves I found these cute strong magnets on Amazon. 30 for around 8 bucks and they are the perfect thing for a project like this.  

It took me a while to figure out how I was going sew them into the fabric without having visible stitch lines. Eventually I came up with the idea of stitching them by hand into the filler.  It may not be the BEST way, but it works.

After everything was sandwiched together, making sure I lined up the pinking sheer cuts as much as I could, I sewed them together using about a 1/4" hem allowance using an aqua thread for a little contrast.

I think they turned out great!  I have a feeling I will be making more of these in the future.

Hope you had a great weekend and I'll be sharing an update on Mr. Dino quilt real soon :)

Feb 25, 2014

Quilting Adventures?

So excited!!
Last week I posted on Facebook about how I MIGHT have bought a quilting kit. 
Ok. I did. 
And it arrived!!!

So many colors!!

Love them!!

Well, after I do my pre-wash THIS is what I have. 

Is this normal?!?
I can't find anywhere that says I wasn't supposed to wash the strips. 
I have been trimming and ironing for an hour now and all I have is this. 

Which is only a third of the strips. 

Some one please tell me if I have completely ruined my chances of making an amazing quilt. 

It's kind of depressing. 

I guess you only learn by trying.
I really hope I can keep this project alive and have something to show in the end. 

On a happier note I have been playing with leather again. Hope to have something to show soon!!

Feb 24, 2014

Weekend Catch Up

What a weekend!!

If you didn't know, I play a little kickball every once and a while.
Fun.  Friends.  Beer.  Sun.  Exercise.
It's the best combo ever.


This past weekend the LRKA hosted Chili With a Kick benefiting Youth Home.
Chili.  Kickball.  Fun.  Friends.  Beer.  Sun.  Exercise.
See...just add Chili and you have the best charity event ever invented.

I ended up playing 5 games in the span of 8 hours.
Can't Move.
Too Old.

We came in 3rd place and had a blast. Luckily I got to be on the same team as some of my great friends!

Ryan, Me, Mikey

That, my friends, is why I didn't get to do much creating this weekend.
Because I spent yesterday and today trying to recover from being old.

I did however receive an AMAZING canvas print from Derick's mom.

She stumbled upon an app on your phone that will turn pictures in to 'water color' paintings.
She did one of my sweet Pepe and had Cosco put it on canvas!
It is so awesome I just have to find somewhere to hang it (along with the antique post cards and kitchen posters that are still sitting in a pile on the table).
Apparently I have a problem with commitment + nails + walls.

I hope everyone had a great weekend and I'll leave you with a picture of some of the cheapest pieces of fabric I've ever purchased (Joann's + Coupons + Luck).

I have a great idea for them I just have to find the time to do it.

Until we meet again!

Feb 21, 2014

February's #SewCrazyChallenge

I have been slowly working on this challenge all month.  Unlike last month where I finished it in 1 day...I wanted to make this one last.  I learned new things and practiced old skills.

February's challenge was for the Home.  There were multiple options...a set of pillows, some oven mitts, or a bean bag.

As soon as I saw the pillow challenge it reminded me of a Pin I found on Pinterest for inspiration and thought it would be PERFECT!  THIS is the inspiration pin and here is my pillow.

It was one of the hardest things I have ever done.  I boughr multiple colors of fringe, cut each tassel off and then re-attached them all together in an alternating pattern.  

I know there was a better way to execute this but I feel the end product was pretty darn good.  

Pepe sure thinks its the best pillow she's seen lately!

As for the other pillow with ruffles, I wasn't able to find a Wool Fleece mixture at any of my local fabric stores so decided I'd grab a few fat quarters and make the heart shaped oven mitt.  

I have used attempted bias tape before and after I was done I KNEW I was doing it wrong.  After doing some research I came across this amazing tutorial and was so excited I had a project to try it with.  Not only was I going to sew on bias tape 'correctly' but I was going to make my own!!! DanaMadeIt has another tutorial on her blog on how you can easily make bias tape out of 1/2 yard of fabric.

3 bias tape makers later...I DID IT!  This has opened so many doors for me I can just tell.

I love how I was able to match the colors perfectly.  There are a couple of hiccups around the tip of the heart but I know with more practice it will only get better.

I already have a project in mind to get more practice.  So many things going on in my brain...I just have to do one at a time!

Hope you enjoyed my contribution to the #sewcrazychallenge and make sure you stay tuned for next month's! I can barely contain myself...

I'm horrible at this patience thing.

Feb 19, 2014

My Top 10 Recipes

I hope I haven't made a promise I can't keep.

I got really excited after talking to Derick about my post for today. 

My top 10...in the history of ever.

Then, after really thinking about it, I hope I didn't get everyone excited for a few dinky recipes that make only Derick and I happy.  You know...one of those 'Womp Womp' moments.

Either way, here are 10 recipes that are close to my heart, and that also make my taste buds dance.

In no particular order...because coming up with just 10 was hard enough!


1.  BBQ Cups by Mom
BBQ. Enough said. Add some cheese and its even better!!

2.  Sausage & Rice by Mom
I make this as comfort food. It was the first thing I ever made for Derick, so if you ever ask him his favorite thing I cook this one always comes up.  Its a staple dinner for sure.

3.  Taco Soup by Mom
So simple, so filling, so amazing.  Leftovers are even better!

4.  White Chicken Chili by Mom
This is always a huge hit, so much so that I've been offered money to make a batch to deliver to my gym trainer!

5.  Hot Wing Sauce by "Google".  
I have no idea where I got this from, it's been a long time!  We haven't actually made this in a while...now that the weather is getting warm I'm feeling some wings in my future.

6.  Slow cooked Pork Carnitas by Skinny Taste
I add pineapple and mozzarella to the taco and it is amazing.

7.  Spinach Lasagna Rolls by Skinny Taste
I would suggest adding some quartered cherry tomatoes.  Maybe even roast them a little before hand.

8.  Avocado, Mozzarella and Bruschetta Chicken by IowaGirlEats
Just the title says enough about this one.

9.  Poppyseed Glazed Ham Sandwich by AgirlandAgluegun
I made this last night. I can't even explain what this glaze did to the sandwich bun. It was to die for.

10. Sweet Basil & Oregano Bruschetta Chicken by McCormick
Funny thing, this is actually a seasoning packet you can buy next to the taco seasoning.  I grabbed it as a quick meal one day and it turned out to be a massive hit.  I roasted quartered cherry tomatoes, whipped up some noodles and added the chicken.  Yum.

I'd love to hear some of your favorite recipes...I am always looking for things to add to the list!