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.

Destiny.Finds.Her

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Capture

 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.

October Foodie PenPal Reveal

Yay!  Time for my second Foodie Penpal reveal!  I’m not sure what part of the Foodie Penpal exchange I like better…..receiving a box of mystery goodies from someone or putting a box together myself to send to my partner.  It’s a pretty close tie, but I really like putting a box of goodies together and then hearing back about how much they liked everything.  Gives you that warm fuzzy feeling! 🙂

The day I came home from work and found my Foodie Penpal package on my doorstep, I ran inside and opened it up within about 30 seconds I was so excited….yeah, it doesn’t take much!  Just send me mail and I’m thrilled! My Foodie Penpal that sent me a package was Lisa who’s blog is Lisa’s World of Books if you’d like to stop over and check it out!  Lisa lives all the way up in Michigan & sent me a bunch of goodies!

Look at all that loot!  Nom, Nom, Nom!

These fruit strips from Stretch Island Fruit Co. were my favorite!  I used to get them when I lived in the Chicago suburbs.  They are a super healthy snack and count towards your fruit servings for the day!

Next up is a bar of dark chocolate.  Dark chocolate is my favorite, but I can’t eat it once it’s over 70% cocoa…just too bitter for me, but I’ve got a co-worker that will thank you!  I also love that this particular brand of chocolate donates 10% of the price of the bar towards saving endangered species.

Now, Larabars…I was familiar with, as I get them a lot, but I have never seen the Uber Larabar & let me tell you….it was DELICIOUS!  I love everything apple flavored and this did not disappoint!  As for the Perfectly Simple bar…I had never heard of these before and I was curious since it was toasted coconut, which I love!  I was expecting a chocolate covered coconut concoction, but there was no chocolate, which was nice for a change!  Especially since I grabbed this for breakfast one morning and I just can’t do super sweet stuff in the mornings and this was perfect!

I’m a peanut butter nut!  I’ve tried both of these before & they are so yummy!  These went perfectly with my…..

delicious Michigan apple!  One thing I miss about living in the midwest is getting to go to the apple orchards in the fall.  I don’t think they have them here in Florida.  So this was a real treat!

The last two items here are both Michigan made products, so I had never had either.  When Lisa e-mailed me and asked what I liked, I told her I like to eat healthy, but I’m open to anything.  So, to go towards healthy, she found these chips with no salt.  I tried them & have come to the conclusion that chips just aren’t the same without any salt.  As for the Faygo soda….did you notice the flavor written on the bottle?  Yes…it says CHOCOLATE CREAM PIE!  I didn’t know what to think when I seen this, as I had never heard of chocolate soda.  So I popped it in the fridge to get cold and had it a few days later when i was craving chocolate & it was one of the most odd, yet delicious things I’ve ever had.  I wouldn’t be opposed to trying it again!

Well, that about wraps up my reveal for October!  I sent my package to Erica, a fellow Floridian.  You can visit her blog here.  If you think you’d like to sign-up and take part in the Foodie Penpal exchange you can hop on over to sign up at Lindsay’s blog The Lean Green Bean.  You only have until November 4th to sign up for the November exchange!  Matches are e-mailed out on the 5th and the you have until the 15th of the month to put your package in the mail.  Don’t miss out on the fun!

Happy Halloween!

September Foodie PenPal Reveal

It’s Foodie PenPal Reveal Day!  This was my first time doing the Foodie PenPal Exchange and it was really a lot of fun!  I really loved getting to e-mail back and forth with some new people and be introduced to some new blogs to follow.  My Foodie PenPal was Sarah from over at Will Run For Pasta. Love her blog…especially since she’s the same age as me.  I love her list of 35 Things that she wants to do before she’s 35.  Make sure to hop over and check it out!

I was so excited the day I got my package in the mail, but I’m always excited to get packages in the mail.  But it’s so much more fun when it’s something that you have no idea what’s inside.  I opened up my box of goodies and I would have thought it was sent from someone that has known me forever, as she nailed everything that I love!

I love owls and she sent me a cute little owl box of chocolates from Harry & David, as well as the cutest owl post-it notes!  And if you’ve read my blog before…you know I love me some post-it notes!

Now the Just Fruit Bar, in apple raspberry flavor was just out of this world!  I’m a big fan of fruit bars…I typically just get the Market Pantry brand from Target.  It was the first thing I ripped open and devoured about as soon as I got the box open since I hadn’t eaten all day.  It was delicious!

Next up was some Pure Honey/Raw Honey from The Honey Pit in Oregon.  It was some of the best honey I’ve ever had….I could have just sucked down the bottle, as I love me some honey!

I also got some yummy Marionberry Perserves from Harry & David’s.  I had never heard of a marionberry before, but it’s delicious spread on some toast!  Definitely something I’d want to buy again when I run out, which will be pretty soon! 🙂

And what better to help wash down some toast…Harry & David Pear Vanilla tea!  I love getting to try new flavors of tea and this one was pretty darn yummy!

Last, but not least was a Milk Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel Pecan Cluster from Moonstruck Chocolate Co. in Portland, OR.  I needed my nightly dessert fix the first night I was back from the cruise missing out on my 3 course meal….especially the dessert.  Lucky for me, this puppy was waiting for me in the fridge as I had to refrigerate everything chocolate when I received it because it all melted in the Florida heat.  It was soooo good….it was gone before I knew it….it practically left me licking the wrapper.

Well, that wraps up my Foodie PenPal reveal from Sarah.  Thanks again, Sarah!  I loved everything!!!

If you think you’d like to be a Foodie PenPal….head on over to Lindsay’s blog, The Lean Green Bean & sign up!  The next list of matches will be e-mailed out on the 5th, so hurry over and sign up if you want to be included!  It’s fun!

Daydreaming & Shopping

13 days and counting until the cruise & it can’t get here fast enough!  I have never been so ready for a vacation, as it’s been way too long since my last!  Plus I’m uber excited to be going with the BFF!  My last besties vacay was back in ’97 or ’98 when I was in college and went on Spring Break to none other than….Walt Disney World, which is now practically in my back yard!

So, now I’m sitting here on a Sunday night, dreading the thought of having to make it another full two weeks of work until some well earned R&R!  On the plus side of things though, I’ve been busy shopping and trying to find a few new things to wear on the cruise.  I’m not a shopper and despise it, but I was able to find a few good pieces to add to the wardrobe & most of them were on sale, which makes it even better.  This weekend I hit up a couple of malls and finally found a black dress for the captains dinner on the cruise.  I’m not a dress person whatsoever, so I wasn’t going to be happy with anything, but I had the hardest time finding ANYTHING!  Supposedly, it’s not dress season if you’re not a size 2!  Anyways, I got a suggestion from a good sales lady and landed a decent dress on sale for $30, which you can’t beat that!

Another thing that has kept me busy this weekend is coming up with ideas of goodies to send my foodie penpal!  This is my first month signing up, so I’m excited to see what my foodie penpal will think of the box of goodness I put together for her.  Plus, you’re not matched up with the same person that’s sending you stuff, so you get to “meet” two new people in the process, which is really fun getting to e-mail back and forth with some new peeps, plus you get introduced to new blogs….FUN!  Anyways, the matches are sent out on the 5th of the month, so if you’d like to join in and be a Foodie Penpal, you can read more and sign up over at the The Lean Green Bean blog.

Anyways, sorry not to have anything too exciting to post about.  I’ve just been preoccupied daydreaming of vacation.  I’ve cruised many times before & it’s always been a blast, so I’m super stoked!  Oh yeah, if you want a good suggestion for something to get the next time you run to Super Target…or at least that’s where I bought mine, buy yourself some White Chocolate Wonderful Peanut Butter!  OMG….BEST peanut butter EVER!  It’s this yummy gluten free peanut butter blended with sweet white chocolate.  They had a chocolate blend as well, but I’m sure it’s similar to Nutella, so I wanted to try something a little different & so glad I did!  Well, hope y’all have a great week!

Malena’s Gourmet Creations Review & Giveaway

Hello all my bloggy friends!  Are any of you out there addicted to Etsy?  LOL….silly question, I know…of course you are!  I have found some of the best handmade shops over the years on Etsy and now I’ve found another great find for you that is just too good not to share!!  The name of the shop is Malena’s Gourmet Creations.

Malena’s Gourmet Creations specializes in making completely natural, handmade soaps, lotions, lip balms, mud masks, moisturizers & more!  I love the fact that in her description of each product, she lists the ingredients along with the benefits of each ingredient!  It’s kind of like a little science lesson!  For instance, Papaya Extract is good for stabilizing oiling skin, as well as a good exfoliant for removing dead skin cells!  Who knew?  Another plus is when you order, your shipment is sent out pretty darn quick.  I ordered and received my package within a week and it was packaged super well with bubble wrap and tons of pink tissue paper!  Even living in Florida and my package sitting outside in the heat, everything was perfectly fine when I opened my package.


It’s hard to pick a favorite item, as everything I’ve tried has been excellent, but if I had to pick I would say it’s the Massage Lotion Bar in the scent “Viva La Juicy”….it smells Aaa-Mazing!  I had never heard of a lotion bar before, so I thought I’d try it out and I’m so glad I did.  It comes in a little metal tin for you to keep it in, so you can throw it in your purse or keep it on your desk for whenever you may need it.  It’s super moisturizing and it doesn’t leave your hands all greasy feeling, like some lotions do.  Plus, this has little ridges around the heart shape, which gives your hands an excellent massage when applying!  It comes in so many different scents, it’s hard to choose, but I highly recommend “Viva La Juicy”.  It smells so good!  If you’re a lotion person & travel….this would be an awesome item to get since it’s not a liquid and you wouldn’t have to try to cram it in a quart size baggy with all your other liquid cosmetics!


My next favorite item I ordered was the lip balm.  This stuff is the BALM!  Haha…bad joke, but, seriously….it’s off the hook!  It contains things like beeswax, sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, shea butter, cocoa butter….so super moisturizing!  What I love is the fact I don’t have to constantly reapply like you do with some lip balms.  This moisturizes so good…it literally lasts for hours.  Plus you can get it in numerous lick your lips yummy flavors.  I went with the “Pink Frosting” flavor due to my love of cupcakes.  I think the next flavor on my list to try is “Cotton Candy”.  YUM!!


Anyone out there love face masks?  I do!  If you do is well, you’d love the Dead Sea Mineral Mud Mask!  This is a pretty thick mud mask…I would almost describe it to have a clay like texture, which is great because a little goes a long ways!  Just put on a thin layer and let it dry for 15-20 minutes and then wash it off with some warm water and leaves your skin feeling so smooth & refreshed!

Now for a little surprise for all you lovely readers out there!  Malena was sweet enough to send me a couple bars of soap with my order & I’d like to give you all a chance to win one of these bars in a giveaway!  I have two full sized bars…one in the scent Crisp Lettuce & the other in the scent White Truffle Raspberry.  I tried out a sample bar of the Frosted Cranberry.  Loved the soap…it lathers up really well and leaves you smelly good and leaves you squeaky clean!

How to Enter

To be entered to win the Malena’s Gourmet Creations Soap Giveaway, all you have to do is follow this blog & visit Malena’s Gourmet Creations Etsy shop & leave a comment of which product you’d like to try out for yourself.  For another entry, “like” Malena’s Gourmet Creations on Facebook & leave another comment that you did so.  While I’m still deciding on whether to transition my blog to wordpress completely, you can also follow & leave a comment on my blog here for an additional chance to win.  I will pick two winners and the contest ends on Friday, August 17th at 8pm EST.  Best of Luck & spread the word on the giveaway!  Wouldn’t want anyone to miss out on getting to try out a pretty great product!

 

It’s the Little Things: Confirmation E-mails & Free Wi-Fi

Happy Sunday everyone!  Sorry for not being able to post a lot lately.  I’ve had ongoing internet issues at home with my AT&T service.  Waited around all day at home yesterday for repairman #2 to show up and he never showed, so now I’m at my local Barnes & Nobles, trying to get a few things done before my weekend totally disappears.  Anyways, on to my little things link-up with Lindsay over at Hello Hue.

I was estatic to get my e-mail confirmation that my customized Erin Condren Life Planner had been printed and shipped & will be in my hands by August 7th!  I can’t wait!  As you all know, I love office supplies and I also have a small addiction to calendars….I LOVE THEM.  I hang them everywhere.  I prefer the paper calendars vs. electronic ones too because I love to write in different colored ink all over them….maybe that’s the artsy side of me that likes that.  Hello, my name is Jenn & I’m a calendar addict.

A few weeks ago, thanks to a co-worker from another campus who was visiting the campus I work on…she introduced me to Malena’s Gourmet Creations.  I was so excited to get my order in the mail this week along with a few extras…she’s so sweet!  Oh my gosh, guys!  This stuff is awesome!  Look for a blog post on the items I tried out later this week & possibly a giveaway!  Keep an eye out…you won’t want to miss out!

Stepping out of my comfort zone & wore a dress to work.  If you know me…you know I’m not a dress person….AT ALL!  Well, when I was walking around drinking my wine slushy at the mall last weekend, I see the dress and thought it was super cute, so I bought it.  And since we had corporate visitors at work this week, figured what the heck!  I’m uncomfortable in a suit jacket too, so might as well do it.  So I did….got lots of rave reviews, even though uncomfortable & uncomfortable by all the compliments…it felt kind of good to do something out of the norm for me.

Booked the final leg of my flight home for Thanksgiving!  Someone better be at the Burlington airport at 1:10 on November 16th to pick me up! 🙂

Since internet has been down all weekend…that met no streaming netflix, so I made the best of it and turned it into a Twilight marathon on Saturday.  How Kristen Stewart could cheat on Robert Pattinson is beyond me….he’s welcome at my house anytime!

Free wi-fi at Barnes & Nobles & Starbucks all in one stop…LOVE!  I feel so at home in a bookstore…I could so live here!  I always wanted to have my own book store…maybe one day!

Orange Chicken Chinese take-out….smelled and tasted awesome!  I’m not much on Chinese lately for some reason, but someone mentioned it this week and I’ve had a taste for it ever since.  Craving complete!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Jenn

Influenster Holiday VoxBox Review

 Back in November I was on Twitter and noticed I had a couple of more followers, so I always like to take a look and see how many of them are robots.  Then I clicked on the website associated with a follower called “Influenster”.  I browsed the site real quick and it is free to sign up, so I did.  You basically just fill out different survey’s and you earn badges.  Then the site evaluates the survey’s and decides if you sound like an eligible candidate for one of the themed “VoxBoxes”.  For instance, they have a green badge with all green and organic products & if they think you sound like a good fit, then they’ll send you a box of products to review, blog, twitter and facebook about to get the word out about the products.  Lucky for me, shortly after I signed up I was selected for a special “Holiday VoxBox”!  It’s pretty exciting to get a box of products you haven’t tried before for completely free in the mail.  If you’re interested in becoming an Influenster, go to the website and sign up at www.influenster.com!  Well, I took the Christmas & New Year’s holiday to take my time to review the products & let you know my thoughts and opinions on the products.  Now, on with my review!

Look at all the goodies that I got in my Holiday VoxBox from Influenster.com!

The first thing I tried right after snapping this picture was the Larabar, as I had just gotten home from work and was really hungry.  I had seen the Larabar advertised by Jillian Michaels on The Biggest Loser during one of the seasons and I had been curious to give them a try.  The flavor that came in my VoxBox was the Apple Pie flavor, which was absolutely delicious!  I love apple everything, so it was an easy sell for me!  The great thing about Larabar is that no matter the flavor, they are made from whole foods and don’t containe more than 9 ingredients!  I will definitely be picking up more of these in the future!  They come in super handy to throw in your purse if you’re going on a plane!  I know I’ve seen these available at Target stores, but I’m sure they are available at many retailers and grocery stores.  If you have a hard time finding them you can go right online to the larabarstore.com and purchase them online!

The next thing I tried was the Mentos Pure Fresh Gum.  If you like a peppermint flavored gum, you’re really going to love the Mentos Pure Fresh Gum!  It has a strong peppermint flavor that will definitely clear your sinuses…lol!  I had a few people at work try it…one spit it out, as they hate peppermint.  Another thought it was pretty good.  The only downside about this product is the packaging!  Worst packaging ever….I broke a nail and an ink pen trying to get the darn pack of gum open!  It had a little plastic pull tab that you’re suppose to pull up on and peel the plastic from around the top, to allow the flip top to open.  I’ve never had to fight so hard to get a pack of gum open.  If they changed the packaging, I’d buy it again, but until they do, it won’t be on my shopping list.

The next product I grabbed and tested out & was the NYC New York Color Liquid Lip Shine in the color Nude York City.  You can’t go wrong with a good nude color in your makeup bag!  I’m a lip gloss girl, as lipstick never lasts and always seems to get all gross.  This liquid lip shine was awesome!  For starters….it smells amazing when you open it up and pull out the wand.  It goes on with ease and it lasts for a really long time…until you eat & then of course you have to re-apply!  I loved that this never had that sticky feeling to it and the color was just gorgeous and very simple.  Another awesome fact…this stuff only sells for about $2.50 anywhere that sells make-up.  I’d definitely recommend purchasing this product, as it won’t disappoint and you can’t beat the price!


While I was at my parents house over Christmas break, I decide to try out the imPress Press-On Manicure Nails.  Unfortunately, I got a print design vs. a solid color called “Lil Drumr Girl”.  It was a hot pink with black zebra stripes…not my style.  The packaging is super cute, as the nails come in a unique plastic case that looks like a nail polish bottle.  The packaging states that they will last 7 days if applied right, so I followed the directions and got the nail all applied and put them to the test.  One thing I do like about these nails is that they aren’t long.  Some of my nails were actually longer than the press-on nails, so I had to do a little trimming.  Once on, they felt very secure and looked as realistic as an animal print nail can look.  I did a few dishes…rough housed with the dogs, slept in them , washed my hair & they were still good to go.  One day two I really put them to the test by helping my dad clean up the very dirty and cluttered basement and by the time we were all done, I was missing a nail.  So of course I took them all off at that point.  If you’re not a get down and dirty type of person or are just looking for something for an evening out…these would probably be a good choice for you!  They have many prints, as well as solid colors available.  If you on on the website http://impressmanicure.com/ you can print off a $1.00 coupon if you’d like to give them a whirl!  Definitely cheaper than getting your nails done!

Another product that came in the VoxBox to try out was Coconut Scrub bar soap by SoftSoft.  I’m sure this is a brand that you have all heard of and used in your homes over the years.  I know it was always very prominent in our household growing up in the form of a pump liquid handsoap.  The soap has a nice, light, coconut scent.  It also has crushed coconut throughout the bar as an exfoliant.  I tried out the soap and the first thing I noticed was once the bar was wet and lathered, there wasn’t much scent to the bar at all.  It didn’t leaving your skin dry or with any soapy residue, like some bar soaps, so that was a plus.  My sister tried it out and she really liked the exfoliating aspect of the bar.  It is another inexpensive product that can fit any budget.  This won’t replace the current bar soap I use, as I’m an Oil of Olay girl and you can’t get a better moisturizing soap than that, but if I ever had to choose something to use besides Oil of Olay, I could see myself buying this again.

Last, but not least was the Montagne Jeunesse Peel Off Face Masque.  I absolutely love face masks!  They always make your skin feel so nice and refreshed.  I had never tried this brand before, but I couldn’t wait to give it a try.  I got the cucumber “flavored” mask…I’m not sure how else to put it, but I can guarantee you I didn’t taste it…lol!  It was a cool green liquid gel that spread out very easily on the face.  It was a single use sample and there was more than enough to cover my whole face.  I sat and surfed the internet for about 20 minutes, as I waited for it to dry, so I could peel it off, which is always the best part!  After I got the mask all taken off, my skin felt so silky smooth!  I will definitely put this in my line up of products to use in the future!  I love the cucumber one, as it give you a very fresh feeling, but I’d be willing to check out any of there masks, as they come in a variety of different kinds!  You can click on this link to see all the different types.

Well that wraps up my evaluation of my Influenster Holiday Vox Box, so I hope you’ll go out and try some of these great products & spread the word if you like them!  If you like to do product reviews, make sure to visit Influenster.com and sign up, so you can get a Vox Box sent to you!