Thursday, January 27, 2011

Lady in Waiting by Susan Meissner

I'm a huge fan of historical fiction so I was immediately drawn to this book. My obsession with this genre began with a trip to the thrift store. I was browsing the books and came across "The Other Boleyn Girl" by Philippa Gregory. I recognized the title since it had recently been made into a movie so I bought it...and LOVED it! Within the next few months I acquired the rest of the Tudor series by Philippa Gregory and all of the ones I read so far are amazing. When I received "Lady in Waiting" I had no idea it would tie in with those books.

"Lady in Waiting" is two stories in one. The first story is about Jane Lindsay, modern day New Yorker whose husband of 22 years recently walked out on her. She runs an antique store and one day finds an old ring stuffed into the binding of a book. The ring is inscribed in Latin with the only recognizable word being "Jane". She instantly feels a bond with this ring and its owner and tried to find out more about it. Along the way she discovers more about herself and how to deal with her marrital problems.

Story two takes place in sixteenth century England right after the death of Queen Katherine, Henry VIII's sixth wife (this is where it ties in with the Tudor series). It's about Lady Jane Grey who would eventually reign as Queen of England for a total of nine days.

The story revolves around the decisions that both women have made (or that others have made for them) and how they affected their lives.

I give this story two thumbs up! You can download and read the first 4 chapters of this book on the WaterBrook Multnomah website.

As a reminder, I was given this book for free from the WaterBrook Multnomah "Blogging for Books" program. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A few of my favorite things

A few of my favorite necklaces:

Sorry about the small pic on this one. I can't figure out how to make it larger.
This beautiful necklace is by Bella Mei Designs. I met the owner at a craft show back in December. Actually, she walked past me wearing this necklace and I followed her back to her booth to purchase it.

This lovely piece is by Vixen's Natural Jewelry. I now own two of her necklaces and I just noticed she added a purple one to her line!

This gorgeous work of art is by 3Dots. Unfortunately, I don't own this one (it sold out before I got to it) but I have my eye on a few other items in her shop as well.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Whipped Shea Butter

I love whipped shea butter...the creamy frosting-like texture, the way it melts right into your skin. I've been wanting to make some for ages and finally got around to it. This is a picture of my first batch:

There are many tips and tricks on the internet about making whipped shea butter but I learned the hard way that softening the shea butter instead of melting it, doesn't work. It turned out all gritty.

What *does* work? First off, I melted the shea butter completely. After melting I added my oil, cornstarch (to reduce greasiness) and fragrance. Then I alternated between beating it with a hand mixer (with my pyrex bowl placed on top of a larger bowl of ice), and putting it in the freezer for 5-10 minute intervals. Voila!

Not only is shea butter good for your skin but it does wonders for hair as well! I've read about the benefits of using it on naturally curly but was always afraid to try it. I thought it would make my hair greasy. Not at all! No grease, no stiffness, and best of frizz!

Here's a picture of my hair after using the shea butter. I put a bit on my damp hair after my shower (no other product) and blow dried a bit and let it air dry the rest of the way. I should take a "before" picture of what my hair looks like without any product in it, but I'd rather not have anyone see me like that. It's scary!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

My Newest Toy

I've been wanting one of these for ages so I couldn't resist when I saw it at 40% off! I've already used it to make some of my Christmas tags and I plan on making some fancy ones to add to my etsy shop for next holiday season.

Anybody else treat themselves to a new toy recently? I'd love to hear about it!