Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Oops, I did it again.....FreestyleMom's new etsy.com shop

So, if you know me, than you know when I see something cute my first thought is: I could make that.

Then, once I make it my second thought is: I could sell that.

I do not know what it is in my chemical make up that makes me want to start businesses, but I find something that I enjoy and I want to share it.

My next adventure is award holders. (I've also been thinking they would make really cute jewelry holders too, but that's for a different blog post, ha.) Chase needed one for his room to show off the results of his hard work. I looked all over and nothing fit exactly what I needed. Most of them were very colorful, which are fun, but didn't go with the actual d├ęcor theme of his room. So I made one, and I had a fun time doing it.

I know so many women who run marathons and kids who dedicate themselves to competitive sports, and I think it's so important to celebrate and show off our accomplishments!

Here are a few of the holders I've already created and put on my etsy page. https://www.etsy.com/shop/FreestyleMom

These are shown without the hooks installed. We will send the hooks separate so that there is no damage during shipping, but the holes will be predrilled so it's easy to twist the hooks in.


The gold on these boards is awesome in real life. I mean, who doesn't love gold??? I've been infatuated with it for a while now and have a splash of it in pretty much every room!

Please check them out and pass them on to anyone you know who runs, swims, or plays any sport that will bring home bling.

I am all about custom orders, so if there is something special you have in mind, just let me know!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Award Shelf Tutorial::Oxygen is Overrated

My fifth grade son started swimming competitively since we moved to Minnesota last November. Since then, he's earned quite a few ribbons and we need a place to show them off! He's had this one blank wall in his room forever because I haven't known just what to do with it. Now I know!
So here's how I built the ribbon holder and shelf. I had my husband bring home a few things from Home Depot:
  • 1x10x6 cut in half, then one of those pieces ripped down the middle. So now I have a 1x10x3
 and 2 1x5x3.
  • A few miscellaneous pieces of Simpson Strong Ties to add the "metal" to the shelf and serve as the shelf brackets
  • 1 small can of stain
  • 1 pkg of screw in hooks (mine came with 8 which worked out perfectly)
  • 1 pkg of screws
  • 1 pkg of saw tooth picture hangers

Once I stained my two boards and left them to dry, the hard part began. I CANNOT free hand anything. So I looked online for how to make a stencil. You might already know how to do this, or have stencils that you love. I did not. So...I found this website called RapidResizer.com and they create stencils for you to print off and cut out. You could actually do this with any printed font, but since it was my first time, I used their site. The only limitation to this site is that it prints everything to fit a standard piece of printing paper. So if you split up your words, it can be difficult to get them the same size from one sheet to the next.

The picture above shows one of my words cut out using a plastic sheet protector I had in one of my drawers.
Below it the printed out and traced around paper that RR gave me. I had to take the middle of the O and the E's and tape them onto the board to work them into the stencil.
And if you're wondering, no it wasn't hard, but yes it took a while and yes my hand cramped!

Here is the board once I placed my stencil and blotted my white paint onto the board. I didn't take any pics of the actual painting, sorry! You can see in the very first picture that the painting isn't perfect, but I think it looks great for making a stencil out of a sheet protector. Besides, in this house: We don't do perfect!

Next I lined up my little screw in hooks every 4 inches (that worked out nicely).
Then, I got a little ADD and a little excited about the "hardware" so, I abandoned the little hooks and started screwing in my strong ties. I just love the look these give to the shelf. Very industrial.

Next, I screwed in the little strong ties to use as my shelf brackets. They worked great and were easy to install. I attached the shelf to the board and then went back to my little hooks.
I used my exacto knife to put a little dot where each hook should go, then I just twisted them in. Very easy.

I put 2 picture hangers on the back and I'm about finished.

I recruited my husband for hanging the shelf because I hate doing it. Not really sure why, but I just like to watch him do it:).

And there it is. Every time I walk by Chase's room I see it from the door way and am very pleased with myself, HA!

Chase loves the shelf and is already pumped to get to his next meet and try to bring home some more ribbons!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Book Reveiw: Fool Me Twice by Meredith Duran

Fool my Twice
By: Meredith Duran
ISBN-13: 9781476741352                        
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publication date: 3/25/2014

Sensible and lonely, Olivia Mather survives by her wits—and her strict policy of avoiding trouble. But when she realizes that the Duke of Marwick might hold the secrets of her family’s past, she does the unthinkable, infiltrating his household as a maid. She’ll clean his study and rifle through his papers looking for information.
Alastair de Grey has a single reason to live: vengeance. More beautiful than Lucifer, twice as feared, and thrice as cunning, he’ll use any weapon to punish those who fooled and betrayed him—even an impertinent maid who doesn’t know her place. But the more fascinated he becomes with the uppity redhead, the more dangerous his carefully designed plot becomes. For the one contingency he forgot to plan for was falling in love...and he cannot survive being fooled again.

I have been consuming historical romances at a startling rate this past year. I remember my mom suggesting them to me a few years back, "You should try them, you might like them." But I thought, no, not for me. I hated history in high school.
But for some reason, I think it might have been Lisa Kleypas, I moved from contemporary to historical romance and haven't looked back.

I still read contemporaries of course, along with suspense, but there is something about the historical drama and teasing and dialogue that I find very satisfying.

This historical is the first I've read by this author. I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review, so here it is.

I liked this book for the most part. The opening pages were a little confusing, but I allow for that to a point because I assume I will understand it as I read further into the book.

Then, when the main characters met, it became very interesting and entertaining. I liked the whole idea of this confined, depressed duke brought back to life by a house keeper who was much more than a house keeper. The whole plot of the book was fresh and interesting.

But....the middle DRAGGED. The only word I can think to describe it is wordy. It wasn't bad, its just that so little actually happened, but yet it took forever to make it to the end. Again I'll stress that it wasn't unpleasant because I liked the characters and I liked where the story was eventually going, but it took a lot of words to get us there.

Also, there were some word choices in this book that just didn't work. She used a lot of unfamiliar language. And while in any historical the language is much more formal, and pleasing because of it, this word choice was such that I had to actually look up words to figure out their meaning. And I'm pretty good at either knowing my vocab or using context clues to keep reading. But some of the words took me completely out of the story. I especially didn't like how she referred to body parts. Some of her body terms were very clinical while others were very crude. I think the author needs to find a better middle ground here.

Overall, I enjoyed the book. The characters were unique and I could always understand their motivations. The author did a good job with making their feelings very clear and their behavior reflective of those feelings, which isn't always an easy thing to do!! I also enjoyed the over all plot. It was interesting. However, I didn't enjoy the pacing or the physical scenes in this book.

If another Meredith Duran books happens across my e-reader, I will definitely give her another chance.

If you've read any Duran books, I'd love to hear your thoughts on this author as well. Or if you have a historical author you'd suggest, I am all ears!!

Happy Reading!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Books I want to read in 2014

This is my To-Be-Read list for 2014 in no particular order. In 2013 I read a TON of romantic suspense and dove into the world or historical romance, so this list has a mixture of historical, suspense and contemporary romances. This list is by no means all inclusive, just a highlight of my goals for 2014. I hope you enjoy it and I'd love to hear what's on your list as well!!

Vixen in Velvet
By: Loretta Chase
Release Date: June 24, 2014

If you haven't read the previous two books in this series, I suggest you check them out. Scandal wears Satin and Silk is for Seduction.

Scandal Wears Satin (#2) is on sale on BN.com for $2.99 right now.

Waiting on You
By: Kristan Higgins
Release Date: March 25, 2014

Kristan Higgins writes great "closed door" romances, meaning all the sex happens behind closed doors so they are very mild. She has a great sense of humor and her books are an easy, pleasing read.

By: Marissa Meyer
Release Date: February 4, 2014
By far the book I am most looking forward to reading this year!! If you haven't read this series, go get it now and read it! So good. The other books in the series are: Cinder and Scarlet.
Meyer's offers the first five chapter of Cinder for free to see if you like it, which you totally will.

Far Gone
By: Laura Griffin
Release Date: April 15, 2014
I don't know much about this book except that the cover doesn't look like a typical Griffin cover. But I'm going to read it because if she wrote it, I will like it.

It Happened One Wedding
By: Julie James
Release Date: May 6, 2014
This is another author that, if she writes it, I will read it. So I'm excited for this book because I've enjoyed every other book she's written.

Romancing the Duke
By: Tessa Dare
Release Date: January 28, 2014
This author is relatively new to me. I haven't been reading historical romance for long, and I think she's a fairly new author anyway. But I like all her books because she has great characters and witty dialogue. I think this series, from what I can remember, is a little heavier on the romance. So if you like "behind closed doors" romances, it might not be for you. But if you haven't tried historical romance, I suggest you give it a try!

Shadow Spell
By: Nora Roberts
Release Date: March 25, 2014
Yes, I'm continuing my love/hate relationship with Mrs. Roberts. I guess I'm a glutton for punishment, or maybe I'm just hoping I'll pick up a new book of hers and love it as much as I loved her older ones.

The Trouble with Honor
By: Julia London
Release Date: February 25, 2014

I've actually already read this because I got an advanced reading copy for review. I think this is going to be a cute series. I'm ready for the next one and this book isn't even out yet.

Watch Your Back
By: Karen Rose
Release Date: February 14, 2014
So my husband's Valentine's present to me should be this book! I love Karen Rose and her twisted plots. 

Written In My Own Heart's Blood
By: Diana Gabaldon
Release Date: June 10, 2014
Okay, so I started reading this series last year and only got to book two. I loved this first one (it's 800 pages like most of the books) but had trouble with the second. Every review I've read says to stick with it and you'll love the series. Plus, they are coming out with a TV series about this book, so I want to finish it before they do. My mom just finished book 4 or 5 I think and she still likes them. It's a great plot and the first book was awesome. My goal is to get through several more books this year.
First book in series is called Outlander:
I hope you enjoy some of these books this year as well. If you've made your own To-Be-Read list for 2014, I'd love to hear what's on it!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Year's Resolution: Read Lucky for Him

I know reading Lucky for Him is at least on the top 5 of your New Year's Resolution lists. So, I'm going to try to make it super easy for you to cross that off your list!

I'm giving you 10 quick ways to enter the NY2014 gift basket give-a-way. Check it out!! And Pass it on!! a Rafflecopter giveaway