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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Merry Ex-Mas by Sheila Roberts (Local Author) ~ Just Re-Released in Time for the Holidays!

This time of year is one of my favorites.  To me, it is about warmth, family and friends.  So it also brings with it some of my favorite books - those fun holiday themed books that bring with them those same things that I love so much about this time of year.

Local Author Sheila Roberts has a few fun holiday reads, one of which was just re-released with a new cover:  Merry Ex-Mas: Life in Icicle Falls.  This is the second book in the Life in Icicle Falls series that takes place here in Washington State.  Don't let that scare you away!  This book reads just fine on its own, but once you read it, you will want to go back and read Better Than Chocolate so you can get even more Icicle Falls!!!!

Fall in love with Icicle Falls and the residents and exes who live there.  One is getting ready for a wedding and a few exes are stumbling through the changes brought to life via their relationships.  Meet Cass, Charlene and Ella, and follow along as they deal with the holidays and their exes, which ends up bringing readers a fun-filled and heart-warming Merry Ex-Mas.

Cass's daughter is getting married just before Christmas, and she wants her father to walk her down the isle... to make life more challenging, said father comes complete with a new young wife!

Charlene's ex is back, after cheating on her and moving away.  He has come to the realization that what he had is worth fighting for - now, is Charlene going to give him a second chance?

Ella and Jake are recently divorced, and circumstances find them both still living in the same house with the goal of selling it before they go their separate ways, but you will laugh and cheer as things get crazy for Ella and her doubts and Jake with his determination.

See what happens as the holidays approach and these exes decide that they may not want to be exes any longer!

I hope you get to read some fun holiday books this year!  Start with Merry Ex-Mas, and also check out Sheila's other fun holiday books:  The Snow Globe (one of my favorites - I reviewed it a while back and will link to it as soon as I find it!), Nine Lives of Christmas and On Strike For Christmas.

Merry Ex-Mas: Life in Icicle Falls
by Sheila Roberts

Publisher: Harlequin MIRA (October 29, 2013)  ~  336  pages
Fiction / Romance / Holiday

Edition Reviewed: Hardback - Review copy received courtesy of the author, many thanks to both the author and the publisher for sending me a copy to review!

About the Book:
Christmas is the best time of year in Icicle Falls, Washington. But this year it's not so merry—for three of its residents, anyway….

Cass Wilkes has been looking forward to her daughter Danielle's Christmas wedding—until Dani announces that she wants her father, Cass's ex, to walk her down the aisle. Seriously? Even worse, it seems that he, his trophy wife and their yappy little dog will be staying with Cass….

Her friend Charlene Albach arrives at their weekly chick-flick night in shock. She's just seen the ghost of Christmas past: her ex-husband, Richard, who left a year ago when he ran off with the hostess from her restaurant. Now the hostess is history and he wants to kiss and make up. Hide the mistletoe!

And bring out the hot buttered rum, because the holidays aren't easy for Ella O'Brien either. Ella, newly divorced, is still sharing the house with her ex while they wait for the place to sell. The love is gone. Or is it?

Watch as Christmas brings all kinds of surprises!

*Disclosure: I am an Amazon Associate. I get a very small amount for any purchases made when you click through a link from Wendi's Book Corner, which I then save up to buy more books. :)

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Shutterfly - My One-Stop For Personalized Holiday Cards and Gifts (Includes Vote and Giveaway)

This time every year, I start thinking about our family holiday cards. I schedule our family pictures, and start stalking the Shutterfly site for an idea of what I want to represent our family for 2013.  It seems like every year they add more and more for people to choose from, which I love!

This year, they have a great 2013 Holiday Card Selection and Photo Gifts.
Some highlights of their 2013 Holiday Card Selections this year include:

  • 5x7 tri-fold and back of card designs (these are especially great if you update your friends on what you've been up to over the past year - you get additional space to share details and extra pictures)
  • Classic Designs: Traditional colors, iconic illustrations (traditional holiday scenes), sentiments, monograms, snowflakes
  • Contemporary Designs: Trendy colors, textures and layering, water color techniques, shine, glitter
  • Whimsy Designs: Full of humor and nostalgia, with fun sentiments
  • Merry and Bright Designs:  All about color and having fun
  • Religious Designs: Metallic type treatments, themed story ideas
  • Photo Basics Designs: Use multiple colors, vertical type, family name highlights

So, now that I've tempted you to check out all that you can do, let me show you some of my favorites for this year!  Shhh - making these was SO easy!!  I uploaded my pictures, and once I set up one card, Shutterfly automatically entered some things (last name, first names, photos) into each of the other cards I played with.

One feature I love, that I LOVE to use is the ability to change the layout of the cards.  You can change the number of photo slots, where writing is, and in some cases the type of input (change a photo spot to text).  These are wonderful!  I want to say each of these cards only took about 2 minutes to customize once I had my pictures uploaded.

I also have to admit that Kevin was missing from the original photo shoot shown here, but he was in the next photoshoot, and I'm waiting on the photos... as soon as I get them, you'll see the WHOLE family in here!  Many thanks to Erika Ouderkirk Photography for catching such great shots of the family.

Preppy Snowflakes

Preppy Frames

Simple Snowflakes

Merriest Monogram Memories Trifold

Share the Memories Trifold

Vote for your Favorite Shutterfly Holiday Card

Giveaway Details:

One lucky reader is going to win a free $50 gift code and free shipping to use for their 2013 holiday cards or photo gifts - entry is easy!

, I'm having some problems with the Rafflecopter form, so I'm going to restart the giveaway with Giveaway Tools and see if I can add all the entries that are already in Rafflecopter to the new form....

*Disclosure: I am participating in this blog tour and will be given a code and free shipping to use for my 2013 holiday cards.  All opinions are 100% mine and I am proud to share my holiday card ideas with you . :)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

A Crafty Sock Needle Holder - Homemade With Love

I'm just learning to knit socks, which I have fun with - they are small enough that I can actually complete them, and quick enough to see nice progress to keep my interest.  I don't know if you are like me, but I can get bored with larger projects.

I knitted the pair of socks shown on the left because I have a slippery kitchen floor and I wanted to see if wearing Yoga socks would help keep my feet warm while still being able to walk without slipping.  So far I'm loving them.

I love the non-slip (because my heel and toes are both in contact with the floor), I love the look, and I love the color.

I have to admit that my toes are a tiny bit cold, but otherwise, this is a home run!

I've been slowly building my sock needles, and decided I needed a case to store them in - but the problem is that they are pretty expensive if you buy one from someone else, and I had found the PERFECT fabric.

My favorite color is purple, so this begged to be made:

It took me two afternoons and an evening to complete, which was pretty fast considering there were multiple school runs to pick-up my son, and lots of other interruptions.  :)  I'm rather happy at how it turned out - and yes, it still needs a tie strap, but I chickened-out on that and will wait for some help.

Now I'm plotting for the next organizer... if you have any tips for me, feel free to share them!!

Happy Crafting!!!  (If I can do it, YOU can do it!)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Come Join a HiyaHiya Free and Funny Sock KAL (Knit Along) Hosted by ME!!!! (Queen Elizabeth I Socks)

For the months of November and December, I am excited to announce that I will be the hostess for the HiyaHiya Queen Elizabeth I Sock Free and Funny KAL (Knit Along) over on Ravelry.

Join me over on Ravelry (sign ups are free), where we have a place to meet and share our progress.  When you sign up and agree to the terms of the KAL, I'll send you free clues (4 parts of the pattern, 1 at a time = you will have the full pattern by the end of the KAL) as you finish each section.

These KAL's are always fun, with lots of participation, photos, and help as needed - what a great way to knit socks!!!!

For this pattern, here are some of the basics:

Size: Woman's medium (9" foot).

Yarn: 100 grams approximately 430 yards of
fingering weight yarn. (shown in Koigu Yarn)

Gauge: 9.4 stitches * 10 rows=1 inch(*K2, P2* Ribbing Stitch)

Needle size: HiyaHiya Circular and Double Point Knitting Needles. US 4 (3.50mm), US 1.5 (2.50mm)

Skill required: knit, purl, lace st, cable st.

Pattern Style: Written pattern instructions with common abbreviations including charts.

Deadline: Dec, 24, 2013. Participants need to knit 2 socks.

HiyaHiya Queen Elizabeth I Socks A  ---QHSo71 
Copyright 2012-2013 Qianer Huang
(Shanghai Hiya Co., Ltd.)
Designed by Qianer Huang ( HiyaHiya )
Distributed in North America by
Distributed in UK by
Women's Sock Pattern - Size Medium (9" feet)

For complete details, please visit the KAL page here.

To see some of these beautiful socks already done, visit the project pages here.  These are really beautiful socks!

I hope you will join in and have some fun with us!  ~ Wendi
 . :)

Friday, November 1, 2013

Book List: Disney"s Wonderful World of Reading

Scholastic (and previously Grolier?) carries a series of books called Disney's Wonderful World of Reading that I absolutely love! As the mother of a 3 year old, I am always on the look-out for great books that catch my son's interest... and these do! Every single one that I've been able to find has become an instant favorite. With the fun stories (not too long, but not too short either) and beautiful full color pages, these are great books that our whole family loves!

Now I will admit, that in order to get the brand new books, I believe you have to sign up for a book-of-the-month type club where they send you 3 books per month that you can send back, or pay about $4.00 plus shipping per book. BUT, I'm not willing to do that! Instead, I comb my local used book stores and Goodwill stores, where I typically find them for $0.75 - $0.99 each. The only problem I've run into is getting multiple copies of the same book (I am thinking of starting a Facebook Page to list my extra titles for sale, if I do, I'll post the link here).

In an effort to minimize my duplicates, I'm going to put as much information on here as I can, starting with this list: (All items in bold are ones that we have, those not in bold are the ones I am still looking for)

If I am missing any titles PLEASE leave a comment and let me know! I'd love to have a really complete list!! I copied this basic list from a WikiAnswers here... then added the titles that I've got that weren't on the Wiki list!

All BOLDED titles are ones that I own and have in my possession, titles that are not bold or are in red are those that I have not personally seen with my own eyes. 

101 Dalmatians
101 Dalmatians II Patch's London Adventure
101 Dalmatians Treasure Hunters
102 Dalmatians
A Bug's Life
A Christmas Surprise for Uncle Scrooge
A Narrow Escape
A Picnic in the Woods
A Present for Piglet
A Scare for Mr Toad
A White Christmas
Across the Big Country
Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp
Aladdin and the Dancing Princess
Aladdin and the King of Thieves
Aladdin and the Missing Jewel Chest
Aladdin and the Sly Magician
Aladdin and the White Baby Camel (aka Aladin and the White Camel)
Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves
Alice In Wonderland
All is Well That Ends Well aka All's Well That Ends Well
Atlantis (The Lost Empire)

Bambi 2
Bambi and the Big Snow
Bambi Gets Lost
Bambi Grows Up
Basil the Great Mouse Detective
Beauty and the Beast
Beauty and the Beast - Enchanted Chrstimas
Brer Rabbit and his Friends
Brer Rabbit and the Pot of Gold
Brer Rabbit Gets Tricked
Brer Rabbit Plays Some Tricks
Brer Rabbit Saves His Skin
Brother Bear
Button Soup
Cars 2
Cars: Back on Track aka The World of Cars: Back on Track
Cars: Look Out for Mater
Cars Toon: Mater's Tall Tales
Chicken Little
Chip and Dale's New Home
Christmas in the Country
Cinderella 2: Dreams Come True

Cinderella III: A Twist In Time
Cinderella's Busy Birthday
Country Mouse, City Mouse
Donald at the Seashore
Donald Duck and the Magic Stick
Donald Duck Buys a House
Donald Duck Mountain Climber
Donald Duck's Bad Day
Donald Duck's Big Surprise
Donald Duck's Birthday
Donald Duck's Birthday Surprise
Donald Duck's Tallest Tale
Dopey Gets Lost
Duck Tales: Christmas at the North Pole
Dumbo and His New Act
Dumbo and the Circus Train
Dumbo on Land, on Sea in the Air
Dumbo the Flying Elephant
Farmer Mickey
Ferdinand and the Robbers
Finding Nemo
Finding Nemo: Bruce Breaks Loose
Fool's Gold
Goofy and the Enchanted Castle
Goofy and the Magic Axe
Goofy and the Magic Fish
Goofy and the Miller
Goofy and the Pirate Treasure
Goofy in the Wild West
Goofy Minds the House
Goofy On the Hillside
Goofy the Gardener Makes Up His Mind
Goofy's Book of Colors
Goofy's Gags
Goofy's Neighbor's
Grandma Duck's Little Helpers
Gulliver Mickey
Henny Penny and the Big Bad Wolf
Hiawatha and the Big Flood
Hiawatha the Brave Hunter

Hiawatha's Bear Hunt
Home on the Range
How Cinderella's Mice Tricked Lucifer the Cat
How to Catch a Heffalump
Ice Age
Ice Age 2
Jungle Cubs: Bee a Friend
Lady and the Tramp
Lady and the Tramp II - Scamps Adventure
Lambert the Sheepish Lion
Li'l Wolf and the Three Little Pigs
Li'l Wolf and the Three Wishes
Lilo and Stitch
Little Hiawatha
Lucky Puppy
Merry Christmas Uncle Scrooge McDuck
Meet the Robinsons
Mickey and Goofy's Race Around the World
Mickey and Minnie's Gift of the Magi
Mickey and the Beanstalk
Mickey and the Magic Cloak
Mickey Mouse's Joke Book
Mickey Mouse's Riddle Book
Mickey's Christmas Carol
Mickey's Counting Book
Monsters Inc
Monsters University
Mowgli and Kaa the Python
Mowgli and the Lost Elephant Child
Mulan II
Oliver and Company
Our Hero, Scamp
Peter and the Wolf
Peter Pan
Peter Pan and Captain Hook
Peter Pan and Wendy
Peter Pan: Return to Never Land
Pete's Dragon
Piglet's Big Movie
Pinocchio & His Puppet Show Adventure
Pinocchio & the Isle Of Fun
Pinocchio and the Whale
Pluto the Detective
Pocahontas and the Baby Eagle
Pongo and Perdy, Two Happy Dalmatians
Pooh's Grand Adventure: The Search For Christopher Robin
Pooh's Heffalump Movie
Pumbaa Runs Away from Home
Quasimodo the the Rescue
Return to Oz
Robin Hood and the Birthday Penny
Robin Hood and the Golden Arrow
Robin Hood and the Great Coach Robbery
Robin Hood Saves the Day
Robin Hood Sends a Message
Robin Hood Spins Gold
Robin Hood Wins Again
Roquefort the Mouse Detective
Scamp & the Kitten
Scamp Learns a Lesson
Scamp Saves the House
Scamp to the Rescue
Simba and Nala Help Bomo
Simba and the Big Flood
Simba the Fortune Teller
Sinbad and the Robber Birds
Sinbad the Pearl Diver
Sinbad the Sailor
Sir Goofy and the Dragon
Sleeping Beauty
Snow White & the Messy Dwarfs
Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs
Snow White Helps the Seven Dwarfs
Snow White Visits the Seven Dwarfs
Snow White's Christmas
Tall & Short a Book of Opposites
Tarzan and the Jungle Games
The Adventures of Mr. Toad
The Almost Missed Christmas
The Aristocats
The Aristocats and the Missing Necklace
The Aristocats Get Into Mischief
The Big Bad Wolf and L'il Wolf
The Black Hole
The Brave Little Tailor
The Christmas Helpers
The Emperor's New Clothes
The Emperor's New Grove
The Fairy Without Wings
The Fox and the Hound
The Great Mouse Detective
The Hare & the Tortoise
The Haunted House
The Haunted House Party
The Hunchback Of Notre Dame
The Incredibles
The Jungle Book
The Jungle Book 2
The Lion King
The Lion King 1½

The Lion King II: Simba's Pride aka Simba's Pride
The Little Mermaid
The Little Mermaid and Spot
The Love Bug
The Magic Grinder
The Mice and the Circus
The Mickey Mouse Birthday Book
The Mickey Mouse Magic Book

The Mickey Mouse Make-It Book
The Mystery Box
The Mystery of the Missing Peanuts
The New Adventures of Mr Toad
The Penguin Who Hated the Cold aka The Penguin That Hated the Cold
The Prince and the Pauper
The Princess and the Frog
The Princess Who Never Laughed
The Rescuers
The Rescuers Down Under
The Rescuers Trouble in Devil's Bayou
The Return of Jafar
The Runaway Wolf Cub
The Small One
The Sorcerer's Apprentice
The Sword in the Stone
The Three Musketeers
The Tigger Movie
The Wild

Three Aristocats in Trouble
Three Favorite Tales
Three Little Pigs
Tinker Bell
Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue
Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure
Tinker Bell Secret of the Wings
Tinker Bell's Secret Adventure
Tod and Copper
Tod and Vixey
Toy Story
Toy Story 2

Toy Story 3
Toy Story Toons
Treasure Planet
Trouble in Devil's Bayou
Trouble in the Jungle
Webby Saves The Day aka Duck Tales: Webby Saves the Day
Winnie the Pooh
Winnie the Pooh and a Day for Eeyore
Winnie the Pooh and the Birthday Expedition
Winnie The Pooh and The Windy Day
Winnie The Pooh and Tigger Too
Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree
Wreck-It Ralph
Please let me know if you believe any of these titles are in error, or if I am missing any (which I'm sure I am!) - your help will be greatly appreciated!!

Originally published on this blog 8/2010, As I update the list, I update the date to keep it near the top and easier to find.

Update 10/16/2012:  I have cross-referenced my list with two other very long Disney Wonderful World of Reading Lists, one being a site in the UK (will post links when I find it in my files) and one being a current publisher site.  The publisher's site only includes more recent books, while the UK site includes some I can't find pictures of.   I did remove some "suspect" titles from my list, one was an early reader book that was not part of Disney's books, and some others had variations of the names.

Update 10/2013: I was contacted by a very nice man named Michael, who was helping his Mother-In-Law get rid of some things... among them were some of these books!!  He gave me a great deal on 17 that I was missing, so now my collection is even better.  :)  Thanks Michael and family!!

Update 11/2/2013:  Added new books - Frozen, Monsters University, Planes, Tinker Bell: Secret of the Wings, Toy Story Toons, Trouble in Devil's Bayou

Update 12/2014:  Added a few new books that I've been able to find.

~ Wendi
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