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

CaptureCapture
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.

CaptureCapture

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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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.

Character.Splash

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!!  

Feelin’ the Love!

As I’m not one of those people that celebrates Valentine’s day, as it seems like a “Hallmark” holiday to me, I am one to celebrate unbirthday’s & today is mine!  Yay!  Well, let me tell you…it’s been a pretty darn good unbirthday, besides the 4 separate conference calls I had to be on today & not being able to get much else done inbetween….I definitely felt the love this week, even though it was all Valentine’s Day themed…haha.  Earlier in the week, I walked into my office to find an earlier Valentine from by bestie that was super adorable.

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See…I told you it was super adorable!  I cleared out the chocolate this week and then hung up the lid to the tin on my bulletin board.  I love me some old school Mickey & Minnie!

Then yesterday afternoon, before I closed up the office at work, my student worker came in and worked her magic on the front office and decked it out in pink and red decor all over the place.  It definitely caught everyones eye today!

IMG_1403And then….when I got into work this morning there were homemade cupcakes from Miss Decor & the other student worker, who is also Anti-Valentine’s day….she made heart shaped sugar cookies with black frosting and some had angry little faces on them…lol.  Cracked me up & they were pretty darn tasty too!  Then I walked into my office & had flowers, a handmade card & box of chocolates from my little decorator….such a little sweetheart!

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IMG_1411I’m not a flower person either, but these were super cute and had pink confetti hearts all over the flowers…ADORBS!  Then the card was just the icing on the cake.  Definitely felt the love today!  Thanks girlie’s!

 

Yummy Baked Cauliflower!

I was searching for new and interesting veggie recipes and ideas last week, as I was growing bored of just plain old veggies.  Then when I was searching allrecipes.com I came across the most fabulous recipe for baked cauliflower…yes, I said BAKED!

All you have to do is steam a whole head of cauliflower in some chicken broth to infused a good flavor and to cook it up so it’s pretty tender.  I’d say to let it steam in a pot for about 20 minutes.

In the meantime, go ahead and preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.  Then in a medium bowl, mix together 1/2 cup of seasoned bread crumbs, 2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese, 1/8 tsp garlic powder, 1/8 tsp salt & whatever other seasoning you’d like to add to the concoction.  In a small microwavable bowl, melt 1/4 cup of butter.

After your cauliflower has steamed for the 20 minutes and it’s tender when you poke it with a fork, you’ll want to move it from the pot to a baking sheet.  I usually put down a piece of parchment paper on the cookie sheet for easy clean up and so nothing sticks to my pan.  Anyways, once you have the head of cauliflower on the cookie sheet, go ahead and take a cooking brush and brush your melted but all over the cauliflower.  When you’ve got that all done, you’ll want to sprinkle or pat on the bread crumb mixture all over the head of cauliflower.  It should stick to the melted butter.  Once covered to your liking…pop that sucker in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.  When all is said and done, you’ll take something that looks like this out of the oven…

Yummy Baked Cauliflower

 

Yes, it was delicious!  So good in fact…that was my dinner for the night!  Can’t wait to make this yummy goodness again!  It’s an awesome way to put a new spin on your plan old cauliflower!  I would have never thought to bake it until I came across this recipe & I’m sure glad I did!  I hope you try it if you haven’t….you’ll love it…pinky swear!

Bon Appetite!

Jenn

Long Time, No See!

Long time, no see!  Man…I didn’t realize I hadn’t blogged since February!  Yikes…my bad!  I’m not sure I like this new look of blogger, but I guess I’ll get used to it.  Part of the reason I’ve been absent from blogging is because I’ve been going to different places around the Orlando/Kissimmee area and writing up some travel blogs/reviews for i.seekissimmee.com  I’ve always wanted to be a travel writer & even though anyone can apply to be a guest blogger for the website (AND you get paid $700 for your week of posts), it makes me feel like I’m an actual travel writer, especially since I’ll be getting a pay check for my posts!  Any who, I’ve basically been saving all the posts I’ve pre-written for my posts for i.seekissimmee.com.  Next week, all of my posts will go live, so you’ll have to check them all out!  I’ll make sure to post them on here as well.  I haven’t decided whether to post them as actual posts or just stick in links to the posts under my travel review tab.  I’ll let you know what I decide to do.

Other than that, not much new going on here since I last posted.  Started a new diet this past Monday.  Decided to try out Nutrisystem, since I like the fact everything is portion controlled and pretty cut and dry as to what you eat, which I need.  My official weigh in isn’t until Monday morning, but as of this morning I’m down 6.5lbs so far!  Talk about amped!  Love to see the scale go down!  Now I’ve just got to get into the routine of throwing in some exercise.

Well, I’ll leave you with a photo collage of places I’ve been and that I wrote about for my featured travel posts this week.  Hope you check them all out next week!  Happy Saturday!

Game Day Appetizers

Well, with the big game day quickly approaching, I thought I’d pop in & leave you with a few yummy appetizers that everyone will love!  Enjoy!

This first appetizer, I stumbled upon while perusing on Pinterest.  It looked like a super cute and easy idea for a quick little meal in a jar.  Chili in a mason jar, topped with cornbread….how easy is that??  Super portable, individual servings & super cute to boot!!  Check out the how to over at the giverslog blog.



Spinach Artichoke Dip

1 (10 oz) box of frozen, chopped spinach (thawed)
1 (14oz) can of artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped
1 cup Shredded parmesan/romano cheese blend
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
10 oz prepared alfredo sauce
1 tsp. minced garlic
4 oz (1/2 pkg) of softened cream cheese

*Combine ingredients throughly in a bowl and spread mixture into a small baking dish.  Bake in the oven, preheated to 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until cheeses are bubbling and melted.  Serve warm with tortilla chips. YUMMO!!

BBQ Cups

3/4 lb lean ground beef
1/2 cup of BBQ sauce
1 tbsp dried minced onion
1 (12oz) pkg refrigerated biscuit dough
1/3 cup shredded chedder cheese


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease the cups of a muffin pan.

  1. In a large heavy skillet over medium heat, cook beef until evenly brown. Drain excess fat. Stir in barbeque sauce and dried onion. Simmer for a few minutes over low heat.
  2. Flatten each biscuit, and press into cups of the prepared muffin pan. Make sure the dough comes to the top of the pan. Spoon a portion of the meat mixture into each dough cup.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 12 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese, and bake for 3 more minutes.

This one is always a big hit!  You can also fill the cups with pulled pork, taco meat, etc…

Yummy Taco Dip

Equal parts sour cream and cream cheese. I used 16 oz. Of each. 1 1/12 packets of Taco seasoning. You mix that all together and spread in the bottom of a 9×13 dish. Then chill overnight. The following day, top with chopped lettuce, cheddar cheese, tomatoes and olives.  Get yourself a bag of tortilla chips & you’re set….so good!!

Anyways, those are just a few of my favorite apps that are super easy and will win over the hungry crowd every time! 

Random Things About Me

When catching up on my list of regular blogs I read, this weekend, I fell victim to another another one of Caitlin’s memes.  I have a hard time resisting filling out little surveys like this when I come across them, so here it is….don’t judge! 🙂


1. What’s a nickname only your family calls you?
Probably the most unoriginal nickname ever….Sis.  When I was younger, it was Sissy, which I’m pretty sure I may have thought that was my name for a while because when I look back at pictures of murals I did when I was younger, I signed them “Sissy”.  Sissy, of course started because that’s what my little brother called me.  Now that we’re older if it’s not Sis…it’s Hey Sister…which sounds so Hulk Hogan…lol!

2. What’s a weird habit of yours? 
If I’m talking to someone with an accent or I’m visiting some place where there is a definite accent…I tend to start talking with the same accent.

3. What’s a song you secretly LOVE to blast & belt out when you’re alone?
At the moment it’s “Love You Like A Love Song” by Selena Gomez.  I secretly like to belt out all songs, but only when I’m by myself or I’ll get the neighborhood dogs howling in agony.  I suck!

4. What’s one of your biggest pet peeves?
People that are phony and will tell you one thing to your face and then turn around and throw you under the bus…Assholes!


5. What’s one of your nervous habits?
I bite my lip or laugh hysterically.

6. What side of the bed do you sleep on?
Well, if I’m lying in the bed…I’m on the left side or center.  I just can’t sleep on the right side of the bed, unless I make it the right side of the bed by sleeping with my head at the foot of the bed on my side.  Confused yet?

7. What was your first stuffed animal & it’s name?
I think it was my red and white stuffed dog, which I just name Red Dog.

8. What’s the drink you ALWAYS order at Starbucks?
I rotate between about three drinks…Caramel Apple Cider is the most frequent drink order, followed by a Mocha or Caramel Frappucino & last, but not least, a Chai Tea Latte.

9. What’s the beauty rule you preach.. but never ACTUALLY practice?
Wear Sunscreen….I do most of the time, but not always.

10. Which way do you face in the shower?
On the rare occasion that I take a shower (I’m a bubble bath girl), away from the water.

11. Do you have any ‘weird’ body ‘skills’?
Not that I’m aware of, although I can roll my tongue, which I guess not everyone can do.

12. What’s your favorite ‘comfort food’/food thats ‘bad’ but you love to eat it anyways?
Toast…that’s why I don’t buy bread and I threw away the toaster when I moved a year ago.

13. What’s a phrase or exclamation you always say? 
Dammit or OMG….I don’t really know…I don’t even pay attention to what I say…lol

14. Time to sleep – what are you wearing?
I only sleep in my undies!  

Knock, Knock….

Knock, knock….anyone still out there?  I took a brief break from posting during the Thanksgiving day holiday & I’ve just been too tuckered out to post anything any of the evenings this week when I’ve gotten home from work.    Hope everyones turkey day went well….mine was nice and relaxing.  We did nothing but eat, watch t.v. and play Wii golf all weekend.  My fiance and I attempted to check out Wal-mart when they opened up at 10pm on Thanksgiving Day and it was INSANE!  We grabbed a couple of things and went straight home and I refused to go back out for the midnight sales, so I went to bed and let my fiance venture out on his own since he likes to shop.  He was out all night, but I’m pretty sure he came home empty handed…lol.  Those crowds are crazy!

I’m getting so excited….only two more weeks until I’m a plane again, heading to my parents house for a week and a half!  Can’t wait to see everyone!  My last time home was in February.  Hopefully, it won’t be another year before I see everyone again after this visit….that’s the sucky thing about living so far away.  Luckily, I get three weeks of vacation a year, but even that doesn’t seem to stretch as far as I’d like, when you try to plan an actual vacation, but then want to fit in trips home to see family as well.

Anyways, just wanted to drop in and say “Hi”!  I’ll try to be better at posting this week!  Have a great weekend!

R.I.P Ezra

Rest in peace, my darling dog, Ezra!  You’ll be missed!  I was hoping you’d be around to greet me at X-mas when I come home this year, but as least you don’t have to suffer through another winter!  Enjoy doggie heaven!

R.I.P. 
EZRA: 1996-2011

ScentSationals

Hey y’all!  Sorry I’ve been M.I.A. lately…I really need to get back in the habit of doing regular posts.  Anyways, just thought I’d check in & say “Hi”!  I haven’t been up to much lately…just counting down the days until the holidays!  I’ve already got a ticket booked to Columbus, OH for Thanksgiving with my fiance` and his parents.  I can’t wait to see them all!  Then I was able to take off about a week in a half to go home for Christmas…now I just need to get a ticket booked!  Either the fares are too high or I don’t have the moola when a good deal comes along…never fails.  Anyways, hopefully I’ll be able to get one booked within the next month.

While I’m posting, I thought I share with you a couple of my favorite finds of the week!  I was out at Hobby Lobby browsing for a Parisian style poster for my office because the walls were a little bare and needed a little decor.  Anyways, I found a nice huge poster that I loved, so I toted it around the store while browsing at other crafty stuff.  Then I stumbled upon a display of ScentSational Ceramic Fragrance Wax Warmers & they were on sale for 50%, so they were only a whopping $10 each….SCORE!  I had been wanting one for awhile now for my home & at that price I had to pick one up for my office as well!  I got a blackish-grey one for home and then a red one for the office.

If you don’t have one of these yet, I’d highly recommend going out and buying one straight away!  I’ve had one going in my office all week and people are loving it!  I had one teacher come in and just sit for awhile because he loved the scent of spice cake that I had going in the warmer…lol.  I picked up about 4 packs of the ScentSational Fragrance Wax Cubes.  At $3.99 a pack, it was kind of expensive for my taste, but cheaper than that Scentsy brand I used to always hear about.  I bought 2 packs of the Spice Cake scent, 1 called Coconut Sun & 1 called Cinnamon & Brown Sugar…all smell totally delicous!  Then after I left the store broker than I’d have liked to have been, I ran to Wal-mart real quick to pick up a few things and they had Better Homes & Garden brand Wax Cubes and they are only $2 a pack….SUH-WEET!  So, I picked up a Baked Apple Strudel & Wild Berry Cheesecake….YUMMO!!  Anyways, I’d would rate these above and beyond and candle….they are just so fragrant and the smell fills the whole room!  Plus, they a lot safer than having a open flame….it’s just a light bulb that heats up the wax.  Well, I’ll stop rambling for now!  Have a lovely weekend everyone!