Happy Monday Morning!
We have made it through another weekend. The last weekend of the month of February. Time is passing us by and the joys of springtime is 23 days away (not that I am counting). Icicles are forming from the melting snow and the sun has been peeking out more often. People are switching over their wardrobe from browns and blacks to pinks, oranges, and yellows. Yes friends, the seasons are changing.
This weekend was another eventful one, despite the fact I stayed home. Friday included games, new friends, fun, and chili (my dad’s award winning chili nonetheless). We woke up early Saturday and headed to the Amery Classic Theater to get some paint on the walls. It is just so exciting to see progress being made. Each day we put our hard work in makes the reality of the theater being open more of a reality. Two of our good friends came and helped painted and things got done. When I say things got done, I wish I could show you just how hard they worked and how amazing the space is looking. Add that with some pizza and beer, it was a very fun and productive afternoon.
Unfortunately, I can’t post any pictures up of the progress. We don’t want to ruin the surprises in store for all of you!!

On top of that our friends decided to stick around as Cor and I introduced them to the world of Settlers of Catan (Don’t know what that is? Your missing out!). We brought out the inner geeks, had some Spotted Cow, laughed along with Laughing Fox and played Settlers until the sun went down. Yes friends, it was a very good day indeed.

Sunday was another day of paint brushes, paint, and painters tape. I must confess though, we did sleep in a bit and have a lazy morning filled with coffee and conversation. The weekend ended with the red carpet of the Oscars and talk of the work week ahead.
Sometimes I forget how blessed I am in the hand that I was dealt. It is weekends like this where new people come into the picture and become friends, where old friends show up to support us and stay for fun and games after, and where family completes the circle of love that I feel each and every day.
Enjoy this Monday, friends, because life is grand and you are beautiful.

Well, we have made it to the end of the week. Let us raise our coffee cups to the end of the week! Today, I am super excited to bring to you all another book review. When Apostrophe Books contacted me to review a YA Paranormal Romance about vampires, I jumped at the chance. I think I replied within seconds of them asking me. Not only is this book right up my alley, it is a romance…with vampires. Seriosuly, need I say more. Make some shelf room friends, because this should go up on it!

The darkness is rising. Thousands of years ago, a prophecy was foretold and now it has awakened…17-year-old Selene Giovanni loses her father at a young age and is forever separated from her peers by the experience and an abusive mother.
When a young stranger, Gregori, starts at her school, Selene’s world changes dramatically. Her once dull and lonely life becomes exciting and dangerous.
With vampires and werewolves around every corner, Selene must make a choice between love, death and the fate of the world. And that is only the beginning…

First of all, I have to be honest and say that the start of this book reminded me a bit too much of Twilight. It threw me off a bit and I struggled getting into the story.  I think that in the YA paranormal fiction category, there is always that comparison with authors, especially when vampires are mentioned. It took me a couple chapters to get really into it because of this fact. You have a plain, yet beautiful girl who is attracted to a handsome rich vampire. You see where the comparison can be drawn? However, I am so glad that I stuck to it. The story took a couple of turns and actually threw in more story lines and more characters than I was expecting.  I am so glad I kept to it because the went through the lives of the six main characters made this book an action packed read. One thing I did love about T.L. Spencer’s writing is that she gave a history of each of her characters and explained to the reader why the characters acted certain ways and you really got to know each of the girls inside and out. The backstories went into such detail that I could have read three different books in this one book but Spencer had a way to make everything come together gracefully. The stories were so different but the transition between characters fused together and there was no confusion. I found myself developing relationships with each main character. I loved them, I was annoyed with them, but I felt for them also. This is a detail that shows just how great the writing was. The struggles within each relationship can be compared to most relationships these days and I love that Spencer kind of told a story with a lesson that was twisted into this great plot. Throw in the shape-shifters, vampires, and other supernatural powers, T.L. Spencer wrote a book that can be put up on the shelf with the other great YA Paranormal books!
Want to add it to your must reads? Get more information and purchase it HERE!
About the Author:
TL Spencer was born in Lincolnshire and, as her father was a member of the armed forces, she travelled frequently. As a child, she lived in places such as Reading and Salisbury, taking advantage of being a short drive from the mystical Stonehenge – one of her favourite places.
She was diagnosed with epilepsy while living in Germany aged 11, and turned to writing as a way to cope with her condition. She is now studying at university and hopes one day to become a teacher.
A fan of all things paranormal, her three-part novel Blood Prophecy won Apostrophe Books’ Fiction Fast-Track new writing competition, appropriately enough on Halloween, in 2012. For more information, visit her blog. She can be contacted via Twitter.

Well friends, that is all for this Friday. I hope you enjoy this snowy day.

There may not be much to this post, but it leaves a giant impact on me. Enjoy!

I think that the title of this post says it all. I am once again an Aunt (and am obviously excited about it!!!). On Valentine’s Day my sister gave birth to a healthy beautiful little boy and I made the trip back home to go and meet the little guy. What a family my sister has. Everything about him was perfect down to his tiny little toes. My sister looked beautiful. I have never seen my niece more excited. My brother in law looked as happy as can be. Everyone is healthy and the weekend was amazing.
Welcome to the world Shane Carter!

Because of all the activities going on, my folks and I were put on babysitting duty for my niece. It is just so awesome to see her developing into the person she is and how her personality is definitely one of a kind. She is so smart and just a riot to be around. Since this was her longest stint without seeing her mom and dad, my parents got a hotel room in the town my sister was in. Here is a rundown of how I spent my weekend:
This weekend I….
·         Met my nephew for the very first time (this is definitely on the top of the list)
·         Saw my sisters beautiful family completed

·         Had a sleepover with my niece. Popcorn, juice boxes and movies included.

·         Slept with over what felt like a dozen Barbie dolls. I apologize to Cinderella for the suffocation.
·         Cuddled most of the night with my niece (and the pre-mentioned dolls)
·         Played Barbie’s until 10:00 p.m. quietly (We didn’t want Grandma and Grandpa to know we were still up)
·         Went swimming
·         Ate candy
·         Had girl talk with a three year old (this involved jewelry, horse, and Barbie talk)
·         Ate like a champion. This included Chinese take-out, McDonalds, Breakfast, Coffee, Turkey dinner, and popcorn almost every night. Yes, this is my idea of a champion (Don’t judge. You know you’re jealous!)
·         Made picture collages with my mom
·         Had a Roots Marathon with my dad (this consisted of me staying up until 3:00 a.m. because I was too invested in it to quit)
·         Naps. Ahh glorious naps. I think this is a must after watching a straight 6 hours of Roots
·         Drove back home to the sound of Garrison Keillor’s voice on MPR
Yes, friends. It was a great weekend and I am looking forward to the week ahead.

Hello loves!
Yes yes, we all know that today is the fourteenth of February which is better known as the great and mighty Valentine’s Day.  People everywhere are carrying flowers or candy with the hopes of someone commenting on them. My Facebook feed is blowing up with comments about how great their significant other is. In reality, it is almost like a competition to see who loves whom more. ‘Jane’s’ husband gave her flowers but ‘Jill’s’ husband bought her jewelry. Surprises are happening all over and people are posting about how unexpected these surprises were (even though they might have been expecting them). Shoot. I am sounding bitter. This is not the case my dear friends. In fact, any day that wants people to spread the love and share their feelings is A-Okay by me. Love is in the air and I must say that I am loving it (Too Cheesy?) I hope you all out there in the world are enjoying this day one way or another. Single or not, it is surely a day to be thankful for the loves in your life, whether they are spouses, parents, kids, cats (guilty), or just the beauty that mother nature gives us each and every day. Share your love any way you want and be lovely like I know you are.  
I posted a couple days ago hinting (okay, maybe not so much hinting as telling) that I did want to celebrate this day by doing something special and that I would like Cory to surprise me somehow. Even though he may not read my blog, I thought it was worth a shot. Well, I was right on the second part. He didn’t read my blog. But I must say that this Valentine ’s Day is one for the record book. Cory and I did go out on a date yesterday and we went out to eat and to the movie ‘Warm Bodies’ ( Nothing says love like flesh eating zombies, right!) It was just a pleasant evening filled with laughs and just enjoying each other’s company (that is romance right there...right?)
We also made plans that tonight, we are going to stay home, make supper, and rent a movie (yes, people still do that). I assumed that was it and it sounded good to me, but Cory did have some surprises up his sleeve! As I was talking to a couple friends/coworkers at work, in walks Cory with a bouquet not of flowers, but of balloons. Along with that, some cheesecake.  Yes, the man surely knows how to make me happy. I actually have never been surprised like that on Valentine ’s Day. Ever. And it felt awesome (do I sound like the aforementioned Facebook braggers yet? Don’t worry. I won’t disappoint and will be giving you photographic evidence on my next post).  It made me both embarrassed (because I hate attention) but also happy. So here is an ode to Cory (please bear with me):
You are the high in my noon. THE FLAP IN MY JACK. The jelly in my bean. THE HOP IN MY SCOTCH. The fortune in my cookie. THE GRAND IN MY CANYON (not meant to be gross). The bees to my knees. THE ZIG IN MY ZAG. The rock in my roll. THE FOXY IN MY TROT. The pow in my wow. THE GEE IN MY WHIZ (Ew). The love of my life.

Okay, okay, you get the idea. Now let me get back on track. So some of you may be wondering why balloons and cheesecake should be a VD for the record book. Don’t get me wrong, for they surly made my day, but the real reason why this day of love is such a stand out one is that I am once again an Aunt! You heard me right! My beautiful sister gave birth to a love child. Literally. He was born this afternoon on this Valentine’s day! I can’t wait to meet him. I will fill you in with more details later. I just wanted to share this exciting news.
What a day! I hope you find yourself laughing, loving, eating sweets, and enjoying this day meant for love. According to the Beetles, Love is all you need.
Happy Valentine's Day, friends.


Good Monday Morning!

Now usually when I make a post on Monday, I talk about getting back to the grind of work and how I dread the Monday Morning Blues. This Monday morning, not so much. Why the change of heart you ask. It is simple. I am just getting back from a mini vacation that was both relaxing and very fun. I actually didn’t want to head back, but the impending storm made me head back a day early. I think my biggest disappointment this weekend was not being able to make it to my own sister’s baby shower. I know, I know. I should have stayed. You all don’t know how hard it was to actually leave early and miss it (stupid grown up job with responsibilities). On top of that, my other sisters couldn’t make it either. I guess we will just have to make up for it by spoiling the little man once he does arrive. But alas, I decided to head home Saturday evening around 9:30. I do believe that if I would have stayed, I would have gotten stuck down there until tonight or tomorrow. Hmmmm. Now I am really regretting not staying. J
All that aside, the end of the week/this weekend was pretty stellar. I took a trip back into my adolescence and enjoyed the small things that I remember brought me joy while growing up. I went sledding on my purple childhood sled named Comet (Sorry Pa for having to pull me across the lake with your granddaughter on my lap). I went for a walk on a frozen lake. I had grilled cheese and tomato soup. I put a puzzle together (sorry for leaving half way through mom!), and drank warm cups of tea in the evening. My Pa also made me my favorite kind of popcorn that I haven’t had in ages. It was relaxing and fantastic and I hope I can do it again soon. Along with that, My sister is about ready to burst as we all anxiously await his birth. Unfortunately, it wasn’t this weekend like I thought it would be, but I am eagerly awaiting the phone call to tell me that he has arrived.  
While doing all of these things this weekend, I was reminded once again about how lucky I am.  How many people can say that the things they enjoyed and remember growing up still bring pure joy to them this day? I sure can!
Yes, my friends. Things are pretty grand on my end of the spectrum.

Seriously. How much cuter can this picture get?

Pure joy found in a cup of tea and 1,000 pieces.

  Jealous Yet?

I bet alot of you don't even know what this is. Well friends, this popcorn popper makes the best popcorn. Ever. And I sat and watched each kernal pop and still enjoyed it as much as I used to.


Good afternoon Friends.

 I am very excited for today’s post and I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do. Authors are amazing people. They are creative and don’t tell us what to think, they tell us what to think about. It is my pleasure to bring to you an Author spotlight. Not only will you get an inside look into the author’s K.J. Klimasz mind, you will get to know more about his book. Enjoy friends!


 About the Author:

K.J. Klimasz lives with his wife and their three kids in the same small town both he and his wife grew up in about thirty miles away from St. Paul, Minnesota.  

 K.J.s’ favorite sport is hockey and he volunteers as a goalie coach for the youth hockey program in his hometown. He also enjoys fly fishing. Bass and Musky are his local favorites, but Bonefish and Tarpon off the coast of Belize are his all-time favorites.

 Family vacations are important to K.J. and his wife, and they try to take family vacations twice a year but usually settle for one.

 K.J. has worked as a machinist, a carpenter, and is currently working as a toolmaker building and repairing plastic injection molds.

Q&A with K.J. Klimasz:

Please tell us about your current release.

My new release is called Murders, Bikers, and a Meteor. The book is a collection of short stories that I’ve written over the past couple of years. The stories range in genre from crime drama to science fiction, with story settings in the 1950s, ’60s, ’90s, and today. The stories are dark in nature, and it seems that my best work tends to run a little on the dark side.

 Can you tell us about the journey that led you to write your book?

I started writing fiction in high school, but back in the ’80s personal computers were not very common and to be honest my typing was horrific.  I walked away from writing altogether thinking that writing wasn’t my niche. I didn’t get my first computer until the late ’90s. By then I figured my imagination had went unused for so long that it was gone, a use it or lose it kind of thing. A few years after that I met a gal, fell in love, and we got married. Shortly after we were married my new mother-in-law passed away, and my wife took her loss really hard. My wife began having panic attacks at night. I would ask her if there was anything I could do for her, and she replied, “Just talk to me.” I couldn’t think of anything to say, so I closed my eyes and just started randomly making up stories for her, and she would eventually fall asleep with me telling her stories.  After a while I had gotten the bug to write again, and I had came up with quite a few good ideas for novels, but I knew that I wasn’t ready to tackle a project of that size, so I started writing short stories. Stories that I’m happy to say don’t put my wife to sleep.  Over this last summer I decided to go through all of my short stories and publish a collection of my best ones.

Can you tell us the story behind your book cover?

My book cover and book title are tied together with one another. After I submitted my manuscript, I still didn’t have a title for my book and the publisher told me I needed to have a cover designed. The publisher then gave me the name of a graphics design company that they refer their authors to. I wasn’t really sure what I wanted for a cover, and I was having trouble picturing what it should look like. If I can’t picture it, how am I supposed to describe to somebody what it is I want?

I went for a walk, hoping I would come up with some rough idea for a cover design and then I remembered that I had an old friend from high school that used to work in video game graphics, so I gave him a call. He asked me what I thought of the old pulp fiction book cover designs from the ’50s and ’60s. I looked up pulp fiction book cover designs on the internet; saw some examples and I liked the idea. After seeing the old book covers and titles it didn’t take me long to come up with my own book title. I sent my title and some excerpts from my book over to my friend, and a day later he sent me my cover design and asked me if I would like to make any changes with it. I told him it’s perfect, don’t change anything.

 What approaches have you taken to marketing your book?

In addition to this blog tour, I also have an author’s website at www.kjklimasz.com, and my wife would like to create an author’s facebook page for me.

 What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

I get almost all of my story ideas, characters, and even dialogue pushing my lawnmower around my yard. Every story in my new release started with an old Honda lawn mower with a squeaky wheel making laps back and forth across my yard.

Every writer dreams about being able to earn a living and support themselves off of crafting their stories. I once heard someone say, “If you’re going to dream, dream in Technicolor.” and if my Technicolor dream was to come true, I’d be able to say, “I earn a living mowing my own lawn.”

 Do you plan any subsequent books?

I am currently working on my first novel. The book is a mystery that starts out with two boys finding a body floating in a river. Once the victim’s identity is revealed the list of suspects grows with each new twist.

I think organization is the key to successfully writing a mystery, so I’ve spent a lot of extra time laying this story out, working in subtle foreshadowing and plot twists. I’m hoping to have the book completed next summer.

Tell us what you’re reading at the moment and what you think of it.

I’m currently reading Duma Key by Stephen King. I admire writers who can write in the first person. I say this because I’ve done a little first-person writing. At first I thought, “Oh, writing in the first person would be easy. I only need one point of view for my story.”  What I didn’t realize is that as a writer you have to go into character when you write, and you have to use your character’s speech pattern to tell your story. You need to give the reader the impression that your character is sitting right beside them next to a dying campfire, and your character is stirring the glowing embers with a stick and telling the reader his or her story in their own words. Stephen King has done this very well with his character Edgar Freemantle. Like all of King’s books he has great character development and an imaginative storyline. If you like Stephen King’s work, you’ll probably like Duma Key.

Stay Warm, stay cozy, stay awesome.

Cheers Friends!


Good Morning Friends.

As promised, I have a very exciting book review for you today. When I was contacted by Published.com to review Murders, Bikers and a Meteor! by K.J. Klimasz, I didn’t hesitate. Why do you ask? Well, the title alone made me think that this series of short stories was going to be a wild ride. I kept trying to guess what the three things had in common. The answer is simply this book and nothing else.


Murders, Bikers, and a Meteor! Is a collection of four dark tales ranging in genre from crime drama to science fiction and horror.

Join a young couple in the 1950s as they investigate a mysterious meteor crash in Arizona’s Sonora desert, and an extraterrestrial encounter leaves one of the kids with a whole different view of life and death. Or take a ride with a notorious motorcycle gang as their path crosses with an unsuspecting small town sheriff on a hot and humid Ozark Mountain day. See what happens when an innocent man answers his phone and finds himself thrust into the dysfunctional world of his drug addict roommate, and a prostitute. Take a late night road trip under a full moon with a high school student down a desolate highway that his parents had warned him not to take … He should have listened to his mom and dad.


The Author K.J. Klimasz sure likes his readers to feel one thing: Suspense. Each and every story is dark and suspenseful and I felt myself on the edge of my seat as I finished each one. Yes, this is a great thing for any reader to feel, but it was also frustrating at some points because I was on the tip of the climax in the story and Bam! I was hit out of nowhere with the end of the story. Don’t get me wrong. If my main complaint about the book was that I didn’t want the stories to end, the author did a stand up job in my book. Since this was a book on the short side (only 84 pages), and included a wide varity of genres, I feel as if it my duty to give you a short review on each one.
     This short story was creepy as it was good. The descriptive way the author described the all too familiar teen and his thoughts along with the grasshopper like man made this story stand out to me. Being that this was the first story in the series of short stories set me up to high expectations in reference to the exciting factor. This is also one of the stories that I felt had a proper start, climatic middle, and a resolution. I will say one thing, if I ever come across Highway 26A, I will be taking a detour.

Phone Call:
     I found this short story to be my favorite. All of the stories in this book were suspenseful, but this one I just didn’t want to end. The characters, the events that took place, and the tone for the story had me captivated from start to finish. By starting the story with a view into Kalya’s life just added to the dark undertone of the murder that took place. I found myself loving the manner of Axl and judging Kurt to the very core. If this short story was turned into full length novel, I would be the first purchase.

     This story set me right back into the tome of Roswell at the start. Young lovers witness a weird occurrence in the desert. I was a bit apprehensive at the beginning. This didn’t last long. What I thought was going to be a Science Fiction story through and through was actually a very deep and dark story about glimpses of the future and having no control. It’s about relationships and friendships and trying to save something that is just out of reach. “Glen was blinded by a bright flash of light, and saw the worst nightmare of his life, weightless, through hundred-year-old glass”(54). To me, this could have yet a deeper and darker meaning that where the story ends. Do we all live in a weightless fuzzy world, not really knowing what we see or how to stop life when it takes an unexpected turn?
Yella Bag:

     Wow. Just wow. Props to the author for ending the book with a bang. This story was the wildest ride of all and is yet another story that I think should be tuned into a full-fledged novel. Again, the character development was done in a great style where I was always routing for the sheriff and his dog adopting widow helping personality. The bad guys were literally bad to the bone and when a misunderstanding leads to a standoff, this story is definitely one that makes you scoot to the very corners of your chair and transports you into the world of gangs, small towns, and a sheriff wanting to do good.  This was also the most frustrating story to me because of how it ended. To end the story in the middle of the standoff with sirens on its way, two men hurt, and bullets running low is just rude, but in every sense, very good. This was the longer ones of the book but found my pages turning faster than I could read. K.J. Klimasz left me wanting more so I think his mission was accomplished.

To wrap is up, this series of short stories covered almost every genre a reader could want. The stories were thrilling, dynamic, and nail biting. Every character was developed which is hard in short stories at times and the transitions between them were done very well. It was a fast read with even faster story lines. Do yourself a favor and read this book. It is worth every moment, just keep in mind you will be left with wanting more.

Want a peek into the author’s thoughts and mind? Check in with me Sunday for an exclusive Question and Answer session with the author himself!


Good Morning.
So before I get on to today’s post, I just have to mention a couple of exciting things coming up.  First offl, on Sunday you all have to check out my blog because I am going to be reviewing Murders, Bikers, and a Meteor. And if that title alone doesn’t catch your interest, I will also be doing a Question and Answer session with the author and that spotlight will be posted on Sunday following the review!  Another exciting thing is that I found a project to work on. I am not going to tell you the details because I am still fine tuning them, but let’s just say you will be exposed to many things.
With that said, I am going to change direction and talk about a topic that is loved by some and hated by others. Yes, I am talking about Valentine’s day. The day that men feel pressure to plan the perfect date and where women sit by and expect to be swept off their feet. A day where the single are singled out and where relationships are put to the test. A day where the word “Romance” is translated in many different ways and where even the most laid back woman claims “You don’t need to get my anything,” but still expects something (ahem, this would be me). I know some girls who protest this day and some girls who live for this day. Long past are the days where you could buy a box of Valentine’s day cards with kittens on them telling everyone just how “Purrrr-fect” they are and place them into a modified Kleenex box.
Now, I think Cory and I have a good relationship. Fights are rare and we know how to have a good time. He is a laid back guy and I consider myself a laid back gal (Despite what he says). Getting right down to it, I do wish he was just a bit more romantic. We have had discussions about this said topic and let’s just say our definitions differentiate. Romance to him means playing an online role-playing game together all day or sitting beside each other on the couch in silence and feeling happy to be there. Don’t get me wrong, these things are great, but to me they don’t spell out romance. This is also coming from a guy who is a logical thinker and doesn’t really have emotions (in not so many words). On the other hand, romance to me means planning fun nights out, random surprises (and I am not talking about taking the garbage out without me asking), notes, and so on. I live by the cliché. I don’t need a grand gesture and have in fact told Cory to never get me flowers (side note: I think flowers are too expensive and last for such a short time. Plus my cat eats them and gets sick. If cat vomit isn’t romantic, I don’t know what is. Just not a fan). What I need are small things that remind me that he is more in love with me now than when we first met (which I hope it the case). We also have never been able to spend Valentine’s day together since we met. This isn’t a big deal to me (contrary to what this post seems like), but it would be nice to take part in the Hallmark Holiday one way or another this year.  Now, we still haven’t got the green light on this because he may have to work on the actual day of the Valentine, but he does have the 13th off. What this means is that I am making the poor guy celebrate Valentine’s day one day early (scandalous, I know). The debate that I am having is this: should I let him off the hook and plan things myself (but make him pay of course J ) or should I make him plan it and see what he comes up with or maybe we should be real romantic and sit on the couch together WHILE playing video games (Even more scandalous. The sad thing is that if he reads this, he would probably choose the last option). I think this is where it gets hard, because I do want him to think he married stellar gal and not put any pressure on this already high expectation day, but I also want to do something. I think herein lies my problem. Sigh.
To all of you V-Day protesters and single ladies who dread the 14th of February, don’t worry. Deep in the minds of all guys (and some gals), we are jealous. Restaurants are packed, Service is slow, prices seem to be a little bit higher on everything, and even the happiest of couple argue about something or another. Expectations are high and let’s be honest, what woman is really in the mood after she eats both her significant other’s and her body weight in bread, noodles, dessert, popcorn, and chocolate. Just saying. So grab your fav movie, order take out, and have a great evening because half of the world is suffering while you’re completely content.
To all of you gals that take the day off from work because you think Valentine’s Day is a legit holiday and you are still wondering why the post office doesn’t recognize it as one, any advice for me would be helpful.
All of this aside, I am excited to have a night out with great company, and even if we spend it sitting and playing Online Role Playing games, I know we will have a good time. It is around this holiday that it is just a bit easier to stop and smell the roses.
Enjoy life friends, because each moment is something special.

Yup. This is us in a nutshell. (Circa 2007)

 Happy Monday!
I hope all of you had a fantastic weekend and are rejuvenated for the week ahead.  We are back to the grind of yet another workweek and the countdown to the weekend has already begun even as we catch up from the days past. It is both sad and satisfying to see another weekend come and gone and with it took the month of January.

HELLO FEBRUARY! Let’s us greet the month of Love with, well, love. I have a feeling that this month is going to be splendid. It is a couple days into the month and it is already off to a great start. Why do you ask? This is why:
Weekend Recap otherwise known as One Helluva Great Weekend.
Thursday: Now, we all know that the weekend joy usually begins on Friday for me. I get amped for the end of the day and every Friday is a holiday to me. This will never change and my inner child comes out when it is time to lock the doors and head out for the day, but I feel that this past weekend came a day early for me. I feel like the events that took place should be posted for your enjoyment (okay, so it is more for my delight, but humor me). After work on Thursday, Cory and I went out to eat. Now this is rare for us, especially on a weekday, but we were both feeling it. Not only did we want to unwind with a few beers, there was some conversation that needed to be had. Nine beers later (relax, it was a sampler tray and we shared it), we left the restaurant happy and in good spirits (pun definitely intended).
On the way home, there was a random number that kept calling and calling my phone. Now we all are guilty of ignoring phone calls when the number is unrecognized. I didn’t think too much of it because, quite frankly, I was getting just a bit annoyed. Fast forward to later in the evening, they call again. I decided to answer it just to see what they wanted, and behold, it was my sister! This may not seem special to all of you, but this is my sister who is stationed over in the Kingdom of Tonga with the Peace Corps. I rarely ever get to hear her voice. This has been especially hard for me because she was my go to gal when I needed to vent about things or need advice. Two pre-paid phone cards later later (Thanks Ryan!), tears of laughter and of longing were had. Advice was given. And she made my weekend start off with great feelings of joy. Man do I miss her each and every day and just to be able to talk with her was amazing. She makes me so proud to call her my sister and I will forever look up to her. Seriously. She and her husband are both amazing. Take a look at their ventures as they change the world here!
Friday: Must I mention that I now get off work at Noon on Fridays? This in itself is pretty darn great. Even if I had nothing planned, it would still be a great day! Luckily, I did have something planned. When I got off work, I headed home, took a nap (Seriously. Rough life.), packed, and headed out the door to go stay with a friend in the Cities. We ordered Chinese food, drank wine, watched bad television, and had craft time. It was the perfect snowy girls night in. Now, I know that all of you must be wondering what craft we made. Okay, so you may not care, but I will enlighten you anyways. With Valentine’s Day creeping around the corner, I have been looking for cheap but fun ideas to do with your date. I came across a neat idea from a fellow blogger Six Sisters Stuff that involved coloring and coffee. Two things I love and it was cheap, so I figured it was a win all around.
Here's what to do.
Grab 2 plain mugs.
Get out your paint pens (or sharpie if you don't have paint pens lying around).
Keep paper towels handy just in case.
Cover those mugs in your art and writing.
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
Take them out of the oven.

Don't mind our Feline Friend that is sniffing the markers. He has an adddiction.

So, we were both super excited to do this. Not only is it cheap and easy, it was a lot of fun! We spent far too much time on them, but again, it was so fun. I decided to make one for Cory and put the Amery Classic Theatre logo on a mug for him. I was super excited to not only prove to him that I think of him (sometimes), I also wanted him to see that I can draw to. After I gave it to him with a proud (and loud) “look what I can do” moment, he asked me if the sharpie was going to poison him (always the logical thinker). I (again, very proudly) told him that the marker wasn’t going to come off. He still seemed hesitant, so to prove him wrong, I put it in dishwater and started to rub. Much to my dismay, the sharpie did start to come off. Disappointment ensued. I think next time, I will actually try the paint pens, that or just make decorative mugs that you can’t drink out of. (Dang Cory an him always proving me wrong). Anyways, I would still recommend this project but maybe try the paint pens, or baking them longer. Either way, I will try it again and let you all know how it turns out.

Saturday: It is a known fact that I am an early riser. Sometimes, when spending the night at other places, it can get awkward when I wake up 4 hours before the host does so it made me very happy to know my friend was also an early riser. With some coffee in our systems, we set out to do some retail therapy at the Mall of America and spend money we don’t have on things that we don’t need. Seem practical? Of course not. Did we do it anyways? Of course. We are women. With our wallets feeling lighter, we went our separate ways and headed home. Cory and I had another rare date night planned. He had the evening off for once and I wanted to take him out. We had one of the best evenings we have had in awhile. We headed to Hudson, WI for the Hot Air Affair festival. Now this festival was going on all weekend, but on Saturday evening they had an event called “The Field of Fire.” What this means is that dozens of hot air balloons land on a field and they light them up and you can walk around in the midst of them. I was very excited about this! We got there a little early and because of this, only a couple of balloons were up. Because of the snow that was beginning to fall, they -14 weather, and the fact that I chose fashion over function, we decided to head indoors to check out the food vendors and craft fair (and to get warm). Now, we were only in there for about 15 minutes, but this being our first time there, we didn’t know that the hot air balloons only stayed up for 15 minutes. This being said, when we walked back outside, all of the balloons were already coming down. Sadly, we missed the main event, but we still got to see a couple of them up and walk around. Next year, we will know to suck it up and brave the cold. I was still glad we went and it was neat to see the few balloons that we did see and the snow that was falling looked like glitter. It was still a spectacle!


The pretty glitter snow turned into sharp stinging snow. It was about that time we headed back to the car.

After that, we shed some layers (by which I mean gloves and sweatshirts because we dressed warm) and went out to eat. We actually bought a bottle of wine (which we never do) and had ourselves a splendid evening out (plus, it helped warm us up quickly). It was delightful from start to finish and it was just nice to have an actual date night.
Sunday: I slept in, cleaned the house, ate too much food, and watched the Super Bowl with some great people! It was a great end to a great weekend. Not only that, I have a short week at work this week. I am taking a mini vacation and going home to spend some time with my family and hopefully welcome a new nephew into the world. Exciting times are ahead and I can’t wait.
-Cheers Friends!