Friday, March 30, 2012

The Hunger Games - online and audio books

Since I had the week off for spring break I decided to read The Hunger Games trilogy (and I'm sure it helped that the movie came out this past week too!) I read the first two, saw the movie, and finished the third one yesterday. (No spoilers, I really don't talk about the books at all, just the process in which I read them all, because it's so different and I find it kind of amusing)
I can't even describe how I felt once I finished the The Mockingjay. I was so happy, teary eyed, a little sad, satisfied.... It was just SO good! I had heard mixed reviews on the third book, so I was a little apprehension, but it was amazing! I couldn't have ended it any better myself (almost makes me wonder about those people who didn't like it....)

I read these three books in an interesting way over this week. I read one the "normal" way, a paperback physical book in my hands. I read online. And I listened to the audiobook!

I listened to the first two chapters of The Hunger Games while I was getting ready for the murder mystery party we went to on Saturday....and then continued reading the actual book in bed when we got home...until Kevin questioned why I was still awake at 4:00 am! Read it Sunday on the way to church, and arrived at church with only 11 pages left in the book! (don't worry, I left it in the car!) I finished book one soon after leaving church. Wasn't too satisfied with the ending, but was okay with that knowing there were two more books.

I decided to wait until I saw the movie to read the second book. HA! By Monday morning I couldn't handle it any longer. I had Catching Fire on audio, but wasn't in the mood for that so started the online search. Libraries - out of the question, I'd be on hold forever. Checked out Amazon so I could read them on my kindle Fire, but am too cheap to spend $5.00 to put a book on my kindle...knowing I'd never actually "receive" anything. And then, I found it. (insert happy music here) Did you know you can read books online, like popular books, for FREE?! And you don't have to jump through crazy ads or fake sign ups to get it! Seriously, check out and when you choose the book to read, you don't have to download it, just click "read online" It's amazing! That's how I read all of Catching Fire. I was baffled by the ending and also excited, yet nervous, to figure out what would happen in book three.

Saw on movie on Tuesday with my good friend Melissa. It was fabulous! I thought they did a really nice job staying true to the book and was impressed in how they did so considered so much of the story goes on in Katniss' thoughts. However, it did bother me that for the final interview they each sat in their own white chair, when I'm pretty sure in the book they had a little red loveseat brought out for the interview. lol Yes, sometimes it's the little things!

I restrained myself from reading The Mockingjay because I was planning on going up to Michigan on Thursday and figured that would be the perfect time to listen to the audiobook. Fail, because of stupid car problems. But Thursday morning I started to read The Mockingjay on onread, but then decided to switch to the audiobook because that was the original plan, and I like to follow the plan. :) I think I am now hooked on audiobooks. Yes, they can take longer, especially since I read quickly, but it's awesome because you can do other things while reading. I cleaned, played tetris on facebook, and performed other mindless activities while reading listening, so even though pretty much all I did all day long was read The Mockingjay, I felt much more productive than that. And it forced me to slow down, because I don't control the pace, so I feel like I have more time to really get involved  and let everything really sink in.

I thought I'd hate audiobooks, but it turned out quite the opposite, so if you've never tried them you really should! You might love it! Plus, think of all the times you can be "reading" - in the car driving to work, getting ready in the morning, making dinner, cleaning up the house, etc!! And yes, I've already described (or at least tried) how I felt when I completed the last book. All I can say is - they are so good!!! My new favorites. Might go to the library later today to see if I can find any new books to "read" on my iPod!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Got T-shirts? Make headbands!

I saw this genius idea on Make it and Love it to make headbands out of old t-shirts! So, get excited, I made some of my own! I love them :)
Obviously, the yellow one is just a simple braid - love it, it's super fast and nice and thin. I love the thicker ones too though! The thick one is 5 strands and I would describe it like weaving a braid. Here's the 5 strand braid/weave in 5 SIMPLE steps! (I used a clipboard to help keep it in place)
 Photobucket Photobucket 
Tada! Continue that pattern and you'll be good to go! 

One hint while connecting the two piece together to make the headband, feel free to use hot glue for all parts except where the two ends meet up. I have found that stitching it together really helps it not break! Once you have the ends stitched up, grab a small piece of fabric leftover and wrap around the ends to make it looks pretty. I'm thinking I probably need to make some more headbands - one t-shirt can go a pretty long ways!

Update: check out my "knotted" headbands also made from t-shirts!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

There has been a murder...

There has been a murder! Don't worry, we caught the killer...unfortunately, after I (Josephine, the french maid) was murdered as well!

I went to my first murder mystery party this weekend and I was surprised at how much fun it turned out to be! I was Josephine, the french maid, and Kevin was Geoffery, the butler.
Kev and I went to a few thrift stores before the party to help complete our costumes. We found a vest for him ($2) and fishnets (50 cents) and a lace curtain (49 cents) for me! The rest we had or borrowed from my in-laws.

I had a black lacy dress, but, obviously, as a maid I needed an apron too! Preferably lacy too :) Luckily we found this odd shaped curtain thing - I drew on the picture so you'd be able to see where I got all the parts from!

I started by cutting off "A" - this would be the part that would tie around my waist. Next, I cut "B", the flap part of the apron. I folded the curtain in half so that I would cut it more evenly Photobucket 

 It now looks like this. See the bottom layer of lace is already there for me! I flipped the B "flap" part over the A - tie around my waist - section, and hand stitched them together, just enough so it would stay. Photobucket 
Next, I hot glued the other lacy layers (C and D) because I really am not very good with a needle - and the hot glue worked better anyway!!

And that's the apron! I used section E of the curtain to add a little lacy to my cami at the top of the dress. And section F was a bow for my hair :)

Here's my little trick for putting bows in hair. Tie the bow onto the bobby pin and then simply pin the bow in your hair! Super easy, and then if you decided to change your hair five times after you put the bow don't have to redo the bow five times!

Good night and sleep well knowing that the murder has been handcuffed and bought into custody! :)
Oh, and I won the best dressed award! Thank you, cute, oddly shaped, little, lacy curtain!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Cupcake Boot Camp!

A couple of weekends ago, I went to a cupcake bootcamp at the Merchandise Mart with my friend Kristine. It was a blast! We were there for about four and a half hours and learned how to make five cupcakes and frostings from scratch.
Did you know you're supposed to mix the butter and sugar together for about 5 minutes before adding any other ingredients? And that ALL the ingredients you use should be at room temperature (even the milk and eggs!)?  
Photobucket  Photobucket
We used these awesome cupcake scoopers to make sure the cupcakes were even - they were out of them at the store, but I totally want one!
We also learned how to make caramel on the stove...except when I tried it at home it was awful...but I'll try again (and if I get it to work I might post it for you!
The cupcakes our group made! Beautiful!
 Photobucket Photobucket 
 Frosting them was a lot of fun! I hoped they would show us more frosting tips and hints, but they really didn't. However, it's pretty easy when you have the right frosting tips! Photobucket 
It was super fun using the blow torch on the smore cupcakes!! Photobucket 
 These are all the ones I frosted and took home. Yumm!  And we got to take them home too! So delicious!

Monday, March 19, 2012

$.01 Beauty Box - nail polish!!

I'm so excited! I signed up for a beauty box from Julep just last week and it came already! Right now you can sign up and get one for just $0.01 ($40 value) with the code SHAREONMARCH! (current codes are COLORS4ONE or COLOR2012) FREE ($40 value) with the code FREEBOX - just pay shipping which is around $4.

If you want to continue receiving beauty boxes, you will be charged $19.99 monthly (They will contact you each month before they charge your card) OR you can cancel your membership (877.651.3292) when you receive your box and you'll pay nothing more! And get excited because there is a 3rd option, invite 2 friends to Julep Maven and when they sign up you will get an additional free month!

Check out my box!!! And it looks so cute.
Julep Nail Polish Beauty Box - 1 cent 
The nail polish is worth $14!
I'm super excited about the sparkly purple nail polish!
Julep Nail Polish - 1 penny 
For $.01 you really can't go wrong, and simply cancel when you receive your box OR invite 2 friends to also get this sweet deal and get your next one free!YAY! Go ahead and sign up here. Don't forget to use the code SHAREONMARCH! (current code is FREEBOX)
(This is not a sponsored post - I haven't done any of those - I just think it's a really sweet deal! If you use the link I provided I will get a credit toward a beauty box - which would be so exciting! If you sign up feel free to leave your friend link in the comments and maybe we can all help each other out!)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Remedy @ Andew Idol

Hello dear friends! I've been super busy the last couple of weeks practicing for Andrew Idol - the teacher talent show at my school! We performed last night and it was a blast!! Photobucket
We danced lots of cool dances (Wop, Bernie, Party Rock Shuffle, etc) and wore lots of neon! Check out the video of the performance below. Seriously, you have to check it out! It's AWESOME! 
We get up to the stage at about 50 seconds if you want to start there!
(I'm the one with the green shirt and pink socks)
And here's some up close pictures of my shirt. We painted them with puffy paint and added glitter. 
I'm quite proud of my shuffle man.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Thriftiness: Free Birthday Cards & 25 cent Coldplay!

Free Cards from! Use code: CCE2246, Valid 3/8 thru 3/14 for the 1st 25,000 Cards Ordered Daily!
I just ordered mine today. It's 100% free, even shipping, and you get to have fun with the card and add pictures and cool things like that! :) has SO many different options - it was harder for me to choose a couple to show on here than it was to actually pick the one I created! :)

 Coldplay's album Mylo Xyloto is only 25 cents on Amazon today - yes, 25 CENTS for the entire album! :) love me some coldplay... My all time favorite song is "Yellow" by them...speaking of yellow thing...

Random "me" fact for the day: I really like lemon juice. Like drinking lemon juice straight. Right now that's what I'm drinking, a small glass of lemon juice! haha!!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

My Wedding Album (and some Photoshop tricks)

So, I have photoshop. And I totally don't know what I'm doing, but it's super fun to play around with! So, I have two simple "cheats" that I use in order to get some cool pictures and layouts. (This way it looks like I kinda know what I'm doing in photoshop without actually doing all the extra work of figuring out what I'm supposed to be doing!)
I use actions - Pioneer Woman has some great ones and they are totally free! Actions are super easy to use and PW explains how to use them, really, all you have to do is push a button and it transforms your photo!

I use templates instead of creating my own layouts - OnOne Software has BEAUTIFUL layouts that I can't even believe are free - but they really are, and they are so simple to use! (They also have ones ones you can pay for, but I honestly liked the free ones better)

Here's my entire wedding album! Enjoy! :)
Wedding Album Page with invitation
 Girls Getting Ready Wedding Album Layout
 First Look Wedding Album Page

Bridal Party Wedding Album Layout 
Bridesmaids Wedding Album Layout

Groomsmen Wedding Album Layout

Bride and Groom Wedding Album Page
Walking down the Aisle Wedding Album Layout
Wedding Ceremony Wedding Album Layout
Leaving the Church Wedding Album Page
Couple Wedding Album Layout 
Bridal Party Wedding Album Page 
Bride and Groom Wedding Album Layout
Reception Speeches and Dances Wedding Album Layout

First Dance Wedding Album Page

Reception Dance Wedding Album Layout

End Page - Wedding Album
It was such a beautiful day. Creating this album took forever but it was worth it because it makes me happy :)

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