Destiny Finds Her by Miranda Lynn

Hi everyone!  I know it’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything on here, but I’m hoping to get back to it soon.  So my inspiration for posting today is to let everyone know about a new book that was just released called, “Destiny Finds Her”.  The author is my childhood best friend and I couldn’t be more proud of her, as this has been a goal of her’s since we were kids & I’m so excited to see her dreams come full circle!  Make sure and hurry over to amazon.com to purchase.  It’s only .99 cents for the Kindle version at the moment or you can also order a paperback copy of the book as well.  Well, I’ll leave it at that for now and leave you with some information about the book and author below.  Congratulations Miranda!  So proud of you!  Click here to purchase on Amazon.com.

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 Jami Morgan travels through time to fulfill a destiny set in motion hundreds of years in the past. Devlin O’Rourke’s life is turned upside down from the moment he sets eyes on Jami. Will Jami be able to accept her heritage, melt Devlin’s heart, and harness her powers in time?

CaptureI took a seat on the stones and pulled my knees up to my chest, resting my chin and just taking it all in. Moss crept up the stones on the bank, giving way to a lush carpet of grass and wildflowers. Again, I smelled heather, but couldn’t pinpoint where it was coming from. Heather couldn’t survive in this climate, even next to this little brook. It must be the combination of all the wildflowers’ scents mixed together.
My eyelids became heavy. This seemed odd as I’d rested well last night and hadn’t been up that long. I sat there, feeling a bit hazy and sleepy, and noticed a small creature venturing up, maybe to drink from the brook? It wasn’t a squirrel. The tail wasn’t long enough. Maybe a chipmunk, though the markings on the fur weren’t right. This wasn’t anything I’d seen before.
I watched it, trying to decide what animal family it could be from, when it looked up at me. It stared right into my eyes. I gawked, my eyes widening when I realized this little creature’s eyes weren’t the little black dots I would expect, but a misty gray seeming to swirl as if a fog was contained within them. This little creature winked, and then scampered away.
I shook my head. My imagination was running away with itself again. I attempted to move, but my body had other plans. Instead of finding myself standing, I’d actually lain down. My eyes got heavier the longer I rested. A small nap can’t hurt. I had no pressing work, and the call to Todd could wait. I closed my eyes and let the sun warm my face as I drifted off to sleep.
“Jami,” a voice whispered
Startled, I sat up and shaded my eyes.
“Jami, dear.”
I scanned the trees, trying to locate the owner of the voice.
“Down here, dearie.”
Peeking down, I found that the little creature who had scampered away, was in fact at my feet, gazing at me. I drew my feet up quickly.
“I’m dreaming.” I scanned the area again. “Who’s there? This isn’t funny.”
“Yes, dear, ye are dreaming and please quit thinking of me as a creature. I have a name, and it’s Roma.”
I stared at this little creature with its round black eyes and fluffy, multi-hued brown fur. I rubbed my eyes. Sure enough, she was still there. “But, how?”
“It’s a dream, dearie. Anything can happen in dreams”
“Who or what are you?”
“As I said, my name is Roma, and all ye need to know is I am here to help you. To give ye a bit of advice”
“What kind of advice?” Heck if this was a dream, I may as well play along. It could make for a great story if I remembered it when I woke up.
“Keep an open mind and an open heart. Yer fate is going to show itself to ye soon.” Roma skittered away into the trees.

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Mother of two boys, 3 four legged babies and wife to a loving husband who doesn’t mind the extra voices in her head.  Miranda grew up on a dairy farm in Illinois, but calls Portland, TN home now.  She is an avid reader, coffee addict and loves her day job working at the local public library.  Though her true passion is in creating her own worlds, characters and stories for her readers.

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It’s Been Awhile!

Hey there blogland!  Holy cow it’s been awhile since I’ve wrote a blog post…about 7 months or so!  I guess I just got kind of burned out & wanted to try to step away from being on the computer so much.  I’ve also been trying to get some sort of focus on eating right, exercising (still having a hard time with this one) & maybe putting myself back out there after a 3yr. break to try to find myself a mister.

IMG_2382I have been pretty good about the eating right.  For the majority of the year I was doing Jenny Craig, but I just kind of his a plateau and would lose and gain the same few pounds.  So, I finally just nixed that a month or more ago…it was just kind of expensive and honestly, I was burnt out on the food because I’m a creature of habit and was eating the same select meals every week and it just got old.  So I’ve kind of switched things up on my own and been trying to eat more of a high protein/low carb diet and I’ve actually started losing again.  I was looking through pictures the other day from back in February of this year when my parents visited and I’ve actually lost about 25lbs since then.  I didn’t really notice a difference until seeing pics side by side.  Plus, I also ordered myself a few outfits and purposely ordered a size smaller than normal kind of as a goal to get into, but to my surprise the smaller size fit already.

I really need to get into the habit of exercising again.  I was doing really well for about a month and doing the treadmill everyday and getting in at least a couple miles.  Sometimes, I’d even jump on for a second go of it later on in the day if I was really bored.  The only reason that sidetracked me though was a pair of dress shoes that I wore for a weekend that tore the hell out of my feet, making it impossible to wear socks and tennis shoes because it was so painful and bandaids and tape didn’t stick to the backs of my heals to try to get any relief, so that left me to get out of my habit.  Now I just need dig down deep and find the motivation and desire to jump back in the game.  It is hard though…I’m the first to admit, I hate to exercise….at least at first.  I’ll get there eventually though.  At least I managed to get through Thanksgiving without too much of  a gain!

Lets, see….what else have I been up to??  Oh yes, I have been working on a three piece painting for a friend of mine that they commissioned me to design and paint.  It’s Star Wars themed, so of course this brought me great joy as I’m a Star Wars geek. I tell you…I have never in my life had such a fun time painting.  I was so excited with each phase, from coming up with rough sketches of possible layouts of the symbols to just getting the first coat of paint on the canvas!  I even did miniature magnets of the designs first to make sure they looked just right.  Hopefully, I’ll be getting some more magnets done and in my Etsy shop if you’re interested for a little Star Wars art for your refrigerator!  Promise they look pretty bad ass!  Each canvas for the large wall hanging I was working on was 12×36, so its 3ft x 3ft if you put them all together.  I’ve had a couple of the painting done for about a month or more now, but I was having trouble getting the 3rd piece drawn to scale.  It’s so much easier to draw tiny than on big scale for me.  But the other night, the creative bug hit about midnight and when it hits I have to jump on it, so I did some sketching…wasn’t happy…took a pen and when over the pencil sketch to try to make some corrections and finally got it to look just so and then I took my exacto knife and cut myself out the stencil, so I wouldn’t mess up the main canvas, as those suckers aren’t cheap.  Then a few hours later I was all done.  A little sad that they are done & might even be sad to see them go to a new home, but I’ll also be happy knowing my art work is hanging in someone else’s house and that they love it.

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IMG_2410I would be totally happy to duplicate these paintings again if anyone out there is interested.  Just shoot me an e-mail at thelittleblackraincloud@yahoo.com or visit my etsy shop and put in a request for a custom piece and we’ll get you going!

Yay for the Freakin’ Weekend!

Happy Friday, y’all!  This has been the slowest week ever, so I’m hoping this weekend goes nice and slow, as well, but we all know it won’t!  It’ll more than like go by super fast and Monday will be flying upon us like those crazy creepy flying baboons from the new Oz movie.  Oh well, it is what it is….happens every week like clockwork!

Giveaway.Painting

If you’re interesting in entering a giveaway for one of my 8×8 “Moonlight Cherry Blossoms” paintings, make sure and head over to Simply Stephanie blog a.s.a.p.!  All you have to do is visit my Etsy shop “The Painted Palette” & take a look and then go and leave a comment on her blog, as to which painting you like.  Easy peasy!  The winner will be announce on Monday, May 6th, so you only have until this Sunday to enter.  Last I checked there were only 4 comments, so you have a pretty good chance, so go enter!

kissimmee

Remember in my last post where I said that all of my posts I’ve written lately were in draft mode over on i.seekissimmee.com?  Well, if you head over there now, my first post has been published, so you’ll have about 10 more that will be published throughout the next week! Some of the posts you’ll see over there this week are for some pretty good places to eat, like Hawkers, Beaches & Cream, & Blue Bird Bake Shop.  You’ll also see my review of the musical dinner show the Hoop Dee Doo Revue, which is pretty spectacular, as well as things like the Boardwalk, Downtown Disney, shopping at The Loop & of course the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival.

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Other than that, not much else going on.  Been doodling a bit in my sketchbook & playing around with my logo character.  Tomorrow is my 1 month weigh in.  I’ve been trying my best to be a good girl and eat more veggies and smaller portion sizes.  My goal for the month was to hopefully be down -10lbs, so fingers crossed I can hit that in the morning.  As of week 3, I was down 7.7, so far, so we’ll see!  Well, until I post again…yak at ya y’all later & have a fabulous freakin’ weekend!!  

#SorryNotSorry

LittleRainCloudImageHELLOOOOO??  Anybody out there?  I’d say sorry I haven’t posted for awhile, but I’m not. I had just realized I was spending way to much time on my computer, iPhone, iPad & whatever other technology based gadget I could get my hands on!  So much so, I wasn’t getting out and doing anything on the weekends because by the time I walked away from my computer or whatever I was using, my weekends were gone, which left me not feeling so great because I wasted so much time.  Recently, I banned all electronics to my office area, so if I want to be on the computer, I have to go to that room if I want to look something up, rather than having it attached to me from the time I get home from work until I go to bed.  I’ve noticed it’s helped me mix things up a bit.  Now I’ll come home, make dinner and then sit down and enjoy it while I watch a random episode of something on the t.v.  Then I’ll head to the office to do a quick check of things online and then since I’m in my office where I have all my art supplies, I’m more prone to playing around with my paints and brushes vs. starring at the computer screen, which I already do Mon.-Fri. from 9-6.

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I’ve also been trying to work on a few sketches and come up with some new ideas of things to paint.  You wouldn’t think it would be so hard to come up with ideas, but sometimes it my mind is as blank as my canvas when it comes to new ideas.  Kinda of like writers block, I guess.  Any of you out there have any ideas of things to paint that you may be interested in if they were in my shop?  Feel free to throw out some ideas!  I’m always game for a new challenge!

I am pretty excited that I have had a couple of sales over in my etsy shop over the past couple of weeks! I think I screamed when I got my first actual sale & then a week later I had a request for a custom painting!  Made my week!  I’ve even had some other e-mails for possible requests in the future….LOVE!  I’m my own worst critic & you have no idea how thrilled it makes me feel when someone likes my work!

Besides disconnecting from technology a bit & painting, I’ve also been busy blogging believe it or not.  Where are these posts, you ask?  Well, currently they are all saved in draft mode & will be published over on i.seekissimmee.com sometime in the coming week.  You’ll see me under the “Who’s Next” section if you go over to the website now.  I did the same thing last year and enjoyed it so much, I signed up a year ago for another crack at being their guest blogger for a week.  I love writing up all those posts, but man am I glad I’ve got them all done and out of the way.

Anyways, I just thought I’d pop my head in for a bit & let you know I’m still alive!  Just been too busy getting messy playing with my paints lately & enjoying it!  Well, I will do my best to write a little more regularly, but I can’t make any promises!  Have a great weekend y’all!

Cutest Fairytale Photoshoot Ever!

Alright everyone!  Be prepared to be blown away by what I think is the cutest baby photoshoot EVER!  If you know me, you know I LOVE anything fairytale related, so I totally fell in love with these photos when I saw them!  What’s awesome is that these were taken of one of my high school classmates little girl, Maddie.  I’d be surprise if you haven’t seen these photos yet, as Miss Maddie has taken Pinterest by storm!  The photographer, Wendi Riggins, is based in my hometown of Burlington, IA & you can view more of her fabulous & oh so creative photos one her blog WendiRiggins.com. Anyways, I thought these were too adorable not to share, so, enjoy the photos from Wendi’s “Once Upon A Time” photoshoot!  Make sure to check out WendiRiggins.com for more photos!

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Salon Time, Shopping & Friends…

To put it short & sweet…I had a pretty good weekend.  I had taken Friday off & spent a good portion of the day at Aveda getting some new highlights/lowlights.

Then as soon as my appointment was done at Aveda, I headed to Ulta to see by brow girl.

Then on Saturday morning I got up fairly early & headed for the Orlando Premium Outlet Mall in search of a light coat, since I’m flying back him to Illinois on Friday for close to a week and a half & I know it’s going to be chilly!  It’ll probably be the temperatures I used to love, but Florida has spoiled me and chilly in Florida is 70 degrees.  Well, I made the mistake of going in the Coach store & then them handing me a 30% off coupon as soon as I walked in the door.  Doomed from the start!  I sharked the store about 5 times & finally narrowed down my choice & walked out with a brand new purse.  I love purses like most people love shoes, but I only buy a new purse maybe once a year and I use it till it’s falling apart, so I don’t feel bad.  Would love to have a matching wallet, but I have a hard time spending that much money on a wallet…buy that time, I wouldn’t have anything to put in it!
After the Coach store…I popped in one more store & grabbed a cute scarf & then headed home before I spent any more money.  After chilling out at home for a couple of hours & headed back out for an evening with friends at Downtown Disney.  The Festival of Masters art show was going on & it’s always neat to see all the Disney artwork.  The only downside of going to this even was parking…45 minutes driving around the parking lot before finding a spot to park…wasn’t a happy camper.  But the frown was quickly turned upside down when I met up with the BFF to scope out the art work.  They actually seemed to have a lot more art work out vs. last years event.

After looking around and working up an appetite, we quickly decided to do dessert first after walking by the Ghiradelli store and the amazing chocolate smell that was hanging in the air.  We ran in one of the shops and picked out one of the best chocolate cupcakes I’ve ever had….so good!  After shopping around for awhile, we finally decided we were ready for dinner & decided to try the House of Blues since we’d never ate there before.  Bad side…it was about an hour wait and then when we finally got in and seated it just wasn’t the best experience.  All of the workers were pretty rude, which is unusual when you’re in a Disney area!  Food was all overpriced and nothing to write home about…I don’t think I’ll be going back, but that’s just my personal opinion.  When I’m spending money to go out, I don’t appreciate rude service whatsoever!

After dinner…when met up with a good friend to catch up on life events and what not & just had a good time out walking and talking.  So Saturday was a pretty good day in my book!  Then Sunday I ran around and did a little more shopping and picked up some odds and ends & that was my weekend.  Now I’m counting down the days until Friday when I fly home to see family!  Can’t wait, but I will miss my friends in Florida that I’ve gotten quite used to getting someone out and about at least one day every weekend. 🙂

It’s the Little Things: Painting & Halloween Fun

I thought it was time to do a little things post, as I’ve been slacking since the link-up over at Hello Hue hasn’t been up for a little while, but it’s back up again, so it you’d like to join in and do a “Little Things” post you can link up here.

I got the creative bug this week and did a few paintings for my shop.  Loved how this Cherry Blossom painting turned out.  I did it on a 3×3 canvas & turned it into an adorable magnet.  I’m currently working on a 10×10 version for the BFF since she liked it so much.

I went to Hobby Lobby this afternoon and literally everything was 50% off….it took so much to just walk out with one thing!  All of the framed pics and canvas paintings were 50% off and I was just drawn to the “Bird on a Wire” pic.  I walked away about 5 times, but kept going back and finally an old woman walked up behind me and said, “That’s a good one, I think you should get it”, so who am I to argue with an adorable old woman, so I got it! 🙂

On Halloween, my adorable student worker came in all decked out in her Snow White costume and totally decked out my front office in decorations and passed out candy!  Love my student workers…they are adorable and so full of energy.  So thankful for them…they brighten my day.

Thursday morning I get to work and a Nutella truck is in the parking lot, passing out free Nutella and waffles covered in Nutella.  YUMMO!

Other things Not Pictured:

Making plans for some Disney fun for the next two Saturdays in a row!

Seeing pics of my BFF all decked out in full on Princess costume in order to get some $2 Chipolte!  And then getting a phone call that night to hear a funny story….yep, it’s the little things that make my day!

Seeing another good friend post in excitement that he got a role in the t.v. show “Vampire Diaries” and is in Altanta Facebooking status updates from the set in excitement.  So proud of him!  He’s going to be a famous in no time he’s so talented!

It’s Novemeber…15 more days until I get to fly home for a week and a half!!  Can’t wait!

The Painted Palette

If you haven’t noticed yet that I’ve added a new page to the blog, let me point you to it now. 🙂  That page at the top that says “My Etsy”!  I finally took some time and opened up an Etsy shop & it’s called The Painted Palette.  It you’re looking for some cute hand painted magnets for your fridge or some art work for you walls….go on over and take a peek!

I’ve been painting & drawing since I was a wee little girl.  I remember going to the chiropractor with my mom growing up and the receptionist would give me the end rolls of the white paper that went across the chiropractor table & there was always quite a bit left in my opinion, so I’d sit and paint murals for the kitchen wall with my watercolors and would sign them “Sissy”, as that is what I was called growing up due to having a little brother that insisted that was my name.

To this day, I still love to paint and draw!  A blank canvas to me is like a kid in a candy store…pure love!  I don’t always know what I’m going to paint, so I’ll start on a background and then usually something just comes to me or a happy little mistake will turn into something pretty cool.

I also do custom paintings, so feel free to message me if you would like something particular.  I’d be happy to paint you something for your baby nursery or something personalize with a name…you name it–I’m game!  If you’d like to shoot me an e-mail, you can send it to me at thelittleblackraincloud[at]yahoo.com

You can find me on Etsy as the shop “The Painted Palette“.  Stop on over and take a look!