30 Days ‘Til Christmas – Procrastinating the Organized Way

 

*This post contains affiliate links. Should you click on one and make a purchase, I will receive compensation. That said, all opinions below are my own. I was using List Plan It’s services for years before I signed up to become an affiliate because I find them so valuable.*

It’s November 24th, and you know what that means? Yup, that’s right, there are only 30 days until Christmas. Even though I had *planned* to complete List Plan It’s 100 Days of Christmas, let’s just say that time got away from me. I love the idea of doing one action each day that leads to having a completely organized holiday season. In fact, for those who don’t know me, the Halloween-Thanksgiving-Christmas-New Years corridor is my favorite time of year.

Last year’s holiday season was…disorganized. I had a good excuse. I had an arrival I was waiting for, a very precious one. But half of Christmas didn’t happen until after Christmas. Oh and because my “focus” item was too much Candy Crush Saga, I wound up with Digeorge Syndrome and I was unable to cut out, much less sew, Baby Girl’s first Christmas dress (that’s okay, because I’m going to do it this year!)

People always ask me how it is I’m able to get so much done. I will tell you a secret – most of the time, it’s because I take the time to organize everything down to the minute details using the system outlined by David Allen in Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free ProductivityA huge part of my ability to be productive relies upon my ability to create meaningful lists and plans.

Enter 30 Days to Christmas Procrastinators EditionThis book allows me to sit down with a glass of wine at the end of the day, sit back, and plan out the things I need to do to launch an amazing holiday season. We all know that I’m going to go overboard and exhaust myself. I might as well do it in an organized fashion.

Every day contains something that needs to be done. For example, the first week starts off with setting a holiday budget (advice we can all use) and creating both wish lists and gift lists. Wouldn’t it be nice when people call to say “What do you want for Christmas?” If you had an answer?

Each day has a checklist of do-able tasks. There are also links to ListPlanIt tools to help you make even greater use of the book. If you’re a Black Friday shopper, plan for that. Purge children’s toys and organize their rooms in preparation for gifts they will receive.

Armed with this book, it’s easy to be completely organized for the upcoming holiday. There are even tools for planning Advent activities (And I WILL make an Advent calendar with family activities this year.)

The best part? The book is on sale for 50% off through November 28th. So you can get this awesome planning resource for only $4.

30 Days to Christmas
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Use the following code in the checkout: BLACKFRIDAY50

 

Hurry before the offer expires!  Ends Friday, November 28 at midnight.

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Cecelia Color Block Pillowcase Dress by Bellamie Boo Couture Pattern Test

Cecelia pillowcase dress

Cecelia pillowcase dress

Recently, I completed a pattern test for Bellamie Boo Couture’s Cecelia Color Block Pillow Case Dress and Top. The pattern was really simple, and required only one sheet of paper to be printed – you have to love that!

The dress took less than an hour to make from start to finish. I did goof while making it and forgot to prewash my fabric again. I need to make myself a sign to hang over my cutting area that says “STOP! Did you prewash your fabric?” Oh well. I’m going to need to make more of these because they were so simple, and it came out so cute.

The test was probably one of the smoothest ones I’ve completed so far. Measure out the fabric you need, cut, trim the arm holes, stitch everything together. Originally I’d thought that I would add brown ribbon to the color block base – but I wound up going with a decorative stitch from my sewing machine. I also toyed with playing with my machine’s embroidery features where I put the satin flower. As you can tell, I decided to go with the flower instead.

I topstitched using the decorative stitch – and used the stitch for the hem. Don’t judge my hem! That pink fabric is slippery! Even pinned every centimeter or so, it slid around. I’d LOVE some hemming tips. It’s my least favorite part of sewing. In fact, it’s the reason that my green wool skirt isn’t finished yet. I’m terrified of hemming with the slippery lining fabric. The first go-round of the hem looked awful, so I stitched over it with the novelty stitch.

In all, I LOVE how it came out. Baby Girl also really loved her dress – in fact, she decided it was an exploring, romping around dress, not a sitting and being photographed dress! Nevertheless, I think it looks great on her.

If you would like to purchase the pattern, there’s great news! It’s available for free! (Free!) on Craftsy. She also has other patterns for sale (Including the Matilda dress for free). Her prices are more than reasonable ($1.50-$3.00) and she has things for babies through size 30 women’s. All sales made during this sale through the 24th will be going to Naomi Pike and Annemieke Jacobs whose families have been affected by cancer. I picked up four of her other patterns plus the Matilda (Sweet Tart, Elsie, Scarlet, and Annalise).

California Delicious Wine Basket Review

California Delicious Gourmet Gift Baskets

Napa Valley Gourmet Red Wine Basket by California Delicious

Napa Valley Gourmet Red Wine Basket by California Delicious

*I was provided with a wine basket from California Delicious in exchange for an honest review. There may be affiliate links in this post. Should you click on one and make a purchase, you will be supporting this blog and I will receive monetary compensation. All opinions are my own.*

Recently, I was approached and asked whether I would be interested in writing a review on the wine and baskets produced at California Delicious. I chose to try the Napa Valley Red Wine Gourmet Gift Basket. When it arrived, I was very pleased with the packaging. As you can see to the right, it’s very aesthetically pleasing, and nicely arranged. The picture really doesn’t do it justice. There were little decorative grape bunches in the basket (I have plans for those), and the bow was really festive. It makes a really nice impression right from the get-go.

Upon opening the basket, we found two bottles of wine (a Pinot Noir and a Zinfandel), cheese spread, pretzels, spicy honey mustard, bruschetta, and Ghirardelli chocolates. We decided that we would try the wines with meals that followed snacking on the other items.

Now, it’s important to note, we do not generally eat processed foods in our house (in fact, I’ve even been on a candy-making kick after donating some homemade candy to our church bazaar recently.) We tried the cheese and bruchetta and the pretzels and hot sweet mustard. They are about what you would expect from a gift basket – the real highlight was the collection of Ghirardelli squares.

The wines were both decently good. The 2012 Regalo Valley Ranch Artist Series Pinot Noir had a musty and aromatic nose. We paired it with my spaghetti (1lb ground beef, 2 pounds tomatoes, 1 onion, 5-6 garlic cloves, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, black pepper, a splash of red wine, and basil added at the end). It paired nicely, and it was an easy-drinking wine. It was very versatile as a light red wine. The flavor was light, very cherry. It was on the fruitier end of Pinot Noir wines, and it had a vanilla and berry finish. You could also pick up balsamic notes with a little bit of pepper. It’s a great wine for those who don’t drink a lot of wine or who don’t like heavy wines.

The Regalo Valley Ranch 2011 Artist Series Zinfandel was a light Zin. It was all grapes and berries, it was smoother and had more of a coffee flavor than some of the big cigar box Zins we’ve liked in the past. It had notes of vanilla and hazelnut as well as cinnamon and nutmeg. It was easy drinking, with very little heat on the back end. We paired it with a simple steak with a bleu cheese crust and baked potato, and it paired well that way.

The basket would make a very lovely gift for a friend or family member with a special event or celebration. The mild wines make it a nice gift for those who aren’t necessarily “wine aficionados,” but they have just enough complexity to appeal to those who are. The snacks are fun, and the chocolate – who doesn’t like chocolate?

California Delicious has a lot of different gourmet gift baskets that range in pricing. Some of the other baskets of interest include:

Champagne Gift Basket

The Giant All-Star Gift Basket ($59.99) – Do you know someone who is still celebrating the San Francisco Giants’ recent World Series win? This is the perfect gift basket for them.  It includes Giants-themed peanuts and Giants-labeled Mumm Sparkling Brut.

Noah's Ark Newborn Baby Gift Basket

Mickey Mouse Basket of Baby Boy SurprisesMinnie Mouse Basket of Baby Girl Surprisesand Noah’s Ark Baby Gift Basket (all $99.99 each) – These adorable baskets make great little gifts for the new arrival among your friends or family members. I have to say, they are pretty awesome. I’m loving the little stuffed animals in the Noah’s Ark basket.

Olive Oil and Fig Balsamic Gift Set

For Thanksgiving, if you can’t be with family or friends, you can let them know you are thinking of them. The Olive Oil and Fig Balsamic ($29.99) gift set would be a nice gesture for the gourmet in your life. The Classic Chardonnay Wine and Cheeseboard ($39.99) includes a gift the recipient can keep using (I didn’t mention this before, but I kept the basket – it makes a nice place to keep fruits from our CSA available for snacking). I also think the Fall Pumpkin Spice Serenity Spa ($59.99) is a great idea. How many people do you know love the PSL?

In all, I enjoy gift baskets. I received one when I graduated from my Master’s degree program many years ago, and I savored every moment.  It stood out as a gift for years, because it was pretty, I got to try some new products, and it felt like I was being spoiled.

Telepathic Clans Saga by B.R. Kingsolver Book Blast

 

In the world of the Telepathic Clans, the descendants of the ancient race that once ruled Europe live in a shadow society…
Publication Date: April 22, 2012
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Urban Fantasy with a dash of romance. TheSuccubus Gift is a completely different take on thesuccubus myth.Brenna’s life isn’t the same after she discovers her unusual and mysterious heritage. In addition to being atelepath and having other paranormal Gifts,Brenna learns she has theSuccubus Gift. She’s always been a good girl and isn’t comfortable seducing men, except one she really loves. That’s just the beginning of her problems. Someone is stalking her. Then there’s the tall, dangerous woman who shadows her and hints a Goddess has linked them. And what is she going to do with a handsome, charismatic, womanizing man she knows she should avoid?Some days a girl just wants to pull the covers over her head and stay in bed — with a willing young man of course.

Publication Date: June 25, 2012
Book 2 of the Telepathic Clans Saga, the sequel to the multiple 5-star reviewed The Succubus Gift.
It’s not easy being a succubus.
Brenna O’Donnell and Rebecca Healy continue their integration into the Clan. Learning more about their Gifts and always seeking someone who will love them. After a crash course in learning about her genetic heritage, Brenna O’Donnell has discovered what it really means to be a succubus and has learned to embrace her strange Gift. Her major concern is whether Collin will accept her for what she is. As she adjusts to telepathic society, others in the Clan have plans that will strip the last of her freedom.
The social season is around the corner, including events that Brenna never imagined in her wildest dreams. The succubi, representatives of the Goddess on earth, are at the center of an ancient worship. And if a girl is going to be the center of attention, then obviously she needs a new dress.
Between the romance and glistening balls of the Clan’s social events, Brenna and Rebecca discover life is not secure. Telepaths from other Clans are kidnapping young girls and selling them into slavery.
A continuation of what one reviewer called an, “… utterly heart stopping onslaught of sex, violence and paranormal abilities …”
 
Publication Date: September 29, 2013
Private investigator RB Kendrick makes her living nailing cheating spouses, digging up other dirt to help in a divorce, finding long-lost relatives, and occasionally sniffing out criminal activity and fraud.
When she takes a job to find a missing girl, she has no idea she is headed for the most dangerous case of her career. Usually, her ability to read minds gives her an edge. But when the people she’s hunting are also telepaths, that advantage is limited.
The search takes her into the dark underbelly of telepathic society, where anything, and anyone, is for sale. She discovers that telepathic women and girls are being trafficked as the ultimate sex slaves.
With people trying to kill her, she’s on the run, not knowing who she can trust. Will she find the missing girl, or become a victim herself?
A novel of paranormal suspense set in the world of the Telepathic Clans.
 
 
Publication Date: February 14, 2013
Book 3 of the Telepathic Clans Saga, Succubus Rising
The Goddess has plans for Brenna and Rebecca, and the Goddess has a wicked sense of humor.
Rebecca Healy is a true wilder, growing up with no contact or knowledge of other telepaths. Discovered by a Clan member on the streets of San Francisco, she felt like she’d hit the jackpot. Finally, she knew what she was, or at least she thought she did.
When Brenna O’Donnell, long-lost heir of the O’Donnell Clan, and the strongest telepath in history, is returned to her family, she and Rebecca form a tight bond. Brenna has it all, looks, money, power, and men falling all over her.
Rebecca isn’t jealous, but it would be nice to find someone who would really love her and stick around in the morning. She’s intrigued by a handsome South American general, but of course, he has his sights set on Brenna. Carlos de Vargas wants more than love. His Clan has its back to the wall, and they hope for an alliance with O’Donnell. An alliance that would lead to war.
The story began in The Succubus Gift and continued in Succubus Unleashed. In Succubus Rising, questions are answered and new mysteries are revealed.
 
Publication Date: November 8, 2014
Book 4 of The Telepathic Clans Saga
Corwin has led Clan O’Neill for one hundred and fifty years. Nearing the end of his long life, he names a twenty-three year old girl as his heir. Not only is Brenna a member of Clan O’Donnell, she’s also a succubus, and many people disagree with his choice. When Corwin dies, his son Hugh launches an open rebellion.
But Brenna is named heir not only to O’Neill, but also to Clan O’Byrne, where Clan Chief Fergus’s oldest son Andrew joins with Hugh and Finnian O’Neill in their rebellion. Faced with war on two fronts, and rebels using terrorist tactics that capture the attention of the human press and authorities, Brenna must fight off assassination attempts while trying to consolidate her rule.
As if all that wasn’t exciting enough, her friend Irina is the target of repeated kidnapping attempts by members of a Russian Clan. Hoping to protect Irina, O’Donnell mounts an operation against the Gorbachev Clan. But the situation in Russia is no more stable than in Ireland, and they discover Irina is at the heart of the Russian Clans’ internal plots.
Confused yet? Be glad you aren’t Brenna and Rebecca, as they—along with Rhiannon, Irina, and the Irish Clans—attempt to sort through the mess in Succubus Ascendant, the action-packed conclusion of The Telepathic Clans Saga.
 
 

I grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico, among writers, artists and weird Hispanic and Native American myths and folklore. I’ve lived all over the U.S. and earned a living doing everything from making silver and turquoise jewelry, to construction to computers. I currently split my time between Baltimore and Albuquerque.



I made silver and turquoise jewelry for almost a decade, ended up in nursing school, then took a master’s in business. Along the way I worked in construction, as a newspaper editor, and somehow found a career working with computers.

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads

My Thoughts on the Butterick Winter and Holiday Collection 2014

Last night, the new Butterick patterns were released. There are some good ones, some awful ones, and some meh ones (as with any of the pattern releases from them. I have to say, they did pretty well this time around.

Let’s start with the ones that I like.

B6128, Misses' Dress

Butterick 6128. While it looks like your standard wrap dress, here, the real charm is in the maxi view:

B6128, Misses' Dress

I’m not sure about doing contrast sleeves for it. I think it would look pretty elegant in a black crepe fabric.

B6127, Misses' Dress

6127 is a great little piece. I love the faux lace jacket. I wouldn’t be tugging at the bottom seam all night. I wouldn’t be doing view C (with the contrast bands) but I do like this view with the lace.

B6129, Misses'/Misses' Petite Dress

I love Butterick 6129. It’s a fun dress – in all the views.

B6146, Misses'/Women's Dress

Connie Crawford’s contribution with 6146 is quite nice as well, though, I’m almost certain I have a similar pattern in my stash.

B6130, Misses' Dress and Jumpsuit

I will preface this by saying that I don’t generally like jumpsuits. But I really like this one and the dress views as well for 6130.

B6130, Misses' Dress and Jumpsuit

B6143, Misses' Jacket & Coat

I like this single-breasted coat. It’s elegant and classic. 6143 will be a must have…even if I do have other coat patterns…

B6132, Misses' Top

I love the asymmetrical collar on Butterick 6132. This would be a great little top. I like the other views as well. I can see the pattern getting a lot of use once I got it cut out and fit it to my body.

B6123, Children's/Girls'/18

Cute! I’ll probably pick up 6123 for you know…the future when Baby Girl is bigger.

On to the patterns I consider to be “the bad.”

I think I just don’t get the whole Tilton thing. I don’t like either of the patterns in the new collection. If you like it, please explain it to me. I have a hard time picturing who wears these.

For your consideration, a silk tent:

B6138, Misses' Vest

I mean…it’s not flattering…maybe with a belt…but then you lose the seam details. I just find 6138…odd.

B6138, Misses' Vest

I mean??? It kind of from afar looks like you took some fabric, wadded it up, stitched some button holes and called it good.

They are probably fairly challenging patterns given the curved seams and all. They’re just not for me.

B6136, Misses' Tunic

The neckline on 6136 drives me nuts. I mean??? Iron?

Ok. and then there’s this.

B6140, Misses' Jacket and Coat

It’s not a Katherine Tilton. It’s a hot mess, though. It kind of looks like what may happen when I get frustrated with a pattern. “ARGHHH I can’t get anything to line up! WHATEVER button goes here and here! HAH! Done!” Or something…

That said, I do like the other two views of 6140. They look less…frustrated.

B6140, Misses' Jacket and Coat

On 6139, can you help me figure out what it is?

B6139, Misses' Vest and Jacket

There’s a lot going on in the picture. I think that the shirt underneath detracts from the jacket. The lines on these are fine, but it’s just kind of meh. I have some patterns that are similar but that I like better.

B6151, Misses' Corsets, Vest and Belt

Just in case you were confused about what to wear to the 50 Shades of Grey premier. Here’s Butterick 6151 for your consideration. There’s so much going on with it, I don’t even know where to start.

B6137, Misses' Pants

Just…you know…in case you needed to use a time machine to go to the beach in 1982, you can whip up 6137. I’m on the fence about this one. I think done right, these could be fun. I have to see them on someone else though first. So someone, whip these up!

B6124, Children's/Girls' Top, Gown, Shorts and Pants

The girls for 6124 are cute. I’m just not really sure what’s up with their pajamas. It looks like a Care Bear snuck into Mom’s sewing room at 3am and made adjustments.

I really wanted to like 6142 until I saw this:

B6142, Misses' Jacket, Vest, Tunic, Dress and Pants

I’m really not sure there’s enough going on there. I think that she should be wearing another pattern on her legs and a fourth on her shoes…just sayin’…

So those are the patterns I felt were worth commenting on. What did you think of the recent releases?

 

 

 

 

The Rebel Series by Lance Erlick Kindle Blast, Giveaway and First Chapter Excerpt

As a pawn in a bigger game, who and what can Annabelle trust?
Publication Date: October 1, 2014
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction

Voices in 16-year-old Annabelle Scott’s head aren’t God or signs she’s going mad—yet. Despite being a Mech Warrior recruit, she rebels against her post-Second Civil War society by not only refusing to kill Morgan, a boy she’s attracted to, but also helping him to escape. After officially kicking her out of the program, Commander Samantha Hernandez gives Annabelle auditory implants and contact cams for an undercover assignment to investigate her corrupt police captain. Morgan hacks the implants to plead for her help in freeing his brother from a heavily guarded geek institute.

Unable to get either her commander or Morgan out of her head, Annabelle can’t confide in her adoptive mom, her beloved sister, or anyone else. While this rift tears at her bond to her sister, circumstance prevents her from searching for her birth mother or who tried to assassinate her adoptive mom.

As a pawn in a bigger game, who and what can Annabelle trust, including whether her mission is the commander’s vendetta? Can she find a way to help Morgan and discover the link between the attempted assassination, the geek institute, and her corrupt police captain without leading Morgan into a trap, being exiled and separated from her family, or getting herself and those she cares about killed?

The Rebel Trap was written as a standalone story, but also follows Annabelle’s adventures from The Rebel Within.

 

Publication Date: March 25, 2013
Sixteen-year-old Annabelle Scott lives under the iron rule of a female-dominated régime that forces males to fight to the death to train the military elite. When pressed into service as a mechanized warrior to capture escaped boys, Annabelle stays true to herself by helping some escape. Her defiance endangers everyone she loves and thrusts her to a place of impossible life and death decisions.
Publication Date: June 12, 2013
Geo Shaw is a young Outlands frontiersman and a sworn enemy of the female-dominated Federal Union. Nineteen-year-old Annabelle Scott is a Union Mechanized Warrior charged with killing Outland rebels. During a skirmish, she should kill Geo but instead lets him escape, which mystifies them both. In a political power play, Annabelle is given to the Outland Warlord as a bride. She has no other choice than to get Geo’s help—but now there’s a bounty on him and his father. Betrayed by their own people, Annabelle and Geo have to overcome mutual distrust to rely on each other in order to survive.
Tell us a little about yourself and the story you’re in. What should we know about you?
Annabelle: That’s a bit tricky, you see, because everything I say and do is being watched and overheard, as you will learn in The Rebel Trap. Here, let me mask the connection. There.
I didn’t ask for any of this, really. I’m sixteen, forced to be a cop intern, recently arrested for fighting, actually protecting my younger sister Janine from a bully. For that, they kicked me out of high school, and coerced me into trying out for the elite Mechanized Warriors.
I guess it all began when that same Mech outfit took me from my birth mother when I was three. That pain still gnaws at me every night. It’s an ache I can’t share with my sisters, even Janine, with whom I share most things, well, before I got these tracking devices implanted. See, she doesn’t know we’re not biological sisters. When her mom adopted me after my mother was taken away, she made me promise to keep my adoption secret. We have entirely too many secrets to keep, which is hard now that my Mech commander can see and hear everything I do.
To add to the secrets, my commander officially kicked me out of the Mechs and kept me on as a spy to ferret out secrets within a corrupt police department run by my captain during my cop intern days. Did I mention that males have either fled to the Outlands or wound up in prison or as targets to train Mech warriors in the arena? Well, boys are outcasts and I’d never seen one until six weeks ago. When he was caught, I couldn’t kill him in the arena, which was the official reason for kicking me out of the Mechs. Now he has hacked into my implants to pester me to help his younger brother.
I just want to scream, but that bring two voices. My commander would tell me to suck it up. Morgan would be more consoling while adding pressure to help.
What do you think of the author? Be honest. We won’t tell.
Annabelle: It was a bit strange at first climbing into a guy’s head, but I found him quite open to listening to my tale, most of the time. Whenever he trotted off, letting his imagination take hold, I had to reel him back in to telling the story as it happened. You know how guys like to embellish?
One of the hardest parts for him to get was how I could remember events when I was three. He kept telling me no one remembers back that far. Well, one night, I decided to roll the tape of that day long ago, over and over. Let’s just say he looked horrible in the mirror the next morning. After that, he became a better listener.
Do you like being a character in the book?
Annabelle: I like that the author wrote down my story. After being unable to share even my thoughts while my commander was monitoring me, it’s a relief to finally talk about what happened. It was important to get it down before I began to doubt the mess I’d gotten myself into. I also needed to let others know in the hope they could prevent what I had to go through.
How do you see your future? Without giving anything away about the story, naturally.
Annabelle: I am reminded of something I once heard, something like this: “All it takes for evil to prevail is for good people to stand back and let it.” Yes there are problems and perhaps more than we deserve, but my adoptive mom taught me to never give in. I try to live up to her spirit as a leader of the opposition in a society that ostracizes those who don’t toe the line.
What do you know about your author’s plans? Can we expect to see you in any future stories?
Annabelle: I was glad the author told my stories in The Rebel Within and The Rebel Trap. I appear as co-protagonist in Rebels Divided. I have other stories to tell, but I can see the author has taken to writing a new series. These stories take place in a world faced with abrupt climate change, with an interesting girl protagonist I’d like to get to know. Perhaps after that I’ll bug him to tell more of my stories.

 

Lance Erlick grew up in various parts of the United States and Europe. He took to stories as his anchor and was inspired by his father’s engineering work on cutting-edge aerospace projects to look to the future. He studied creative writing at Northwestern University and University of Iowa.


He writes science fiction, dystopian and young adult stories and likes to explore the future implications of social and technological trends. He’s the author of The Rebel WithinThe Rebel Trap, and Rebels Divided, three books in the Rebel series. In those stories, he flips traditional exploitation to explore the effects of a world that discriminates against males and the consequences of following conscience for those coming of age.

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads

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EXCERPT–First Chapter of The Rebel Trap

 

I won. I lost. I’m out. I’m in. I cannot tell a soul. It was enough to spin my head, to make me wish I was back in that zoo of a high school I just left.

My thoughts darkened with the implications of what I’d done and the commitment I’d just made. I hurried out of Commander Hernandez’s sparse office; even the khaki-colored corridors looked darker than I remembered only an hour before. The drab lobby of the Tenn-tucky Mechanized Warrior compound brimmed with sister warriors, a gauntlet I had to squeeze through on my way out. Yet, I could no longer call them “sister” anything.

“Loser!” someone yelled. It sounded like one of Dara’s girls. Defeating the amazon bully in the mech tournament final hadn’t silenced her, or her posse.

“Hey, Annabelle,” Dara yelled, “how’s it feel to wash out?” She stood a head taller than the other girls like some ruling monarch.

Joke’s on you. I took deep, steady breaths while I marched toward the exit. Don’t get into a fight, I reminded myself. That was what she wanted, bringing up how, after the tournament, I’d refused to kill my male opponent in the separate arena final.

Hot, locker-room bodies surrounded me, sweat-soaked from their own arena fights to the death against boys pumped up with steroids and chemical enhancers to make the challenge even tougher. Some two dozen male corpses lay in the arena morgue, testament to the training and bravery of these recruits. Unlike them, I couldn’t bring myself to kill Morgan for sport, even when I had him pinned in a chokehold. For that failure, they took my title and kicked me out of the Mech Corps. Well, to hell with them.

Things weren’t that simple, though. They never were for me.

“You don’t have what it takes,” Dara shouted. The amazon’s large face tightened like a monstrous fist. She growled, “Weakness finally caught up with you.”

“They’ll strip away your title,” scrawny Margarite said from behind Dara.

I inched forward through the crowd, my eyes fixed on the tinted, bulletproof door that promised freedom. Don’t fight. Only a few more feet.

Dara stepped in front of me to block my exit. “You know what that means? I’ll have the title that’s rightfully mine. All that work for nothing. Sucks, doesn’t it?”

Not like getting a title you didn’t earn.

Brandy, my closest mech friend, cowered in the corner, face hidden beneath auburn curls. She brushed the hair aside and glanced up, eyes pleading. I hated letting her down. During training, she’d latched onto me as her lifeline. I sensed she wanted to talk, to get answers, but I was a pariah. I embarrassed the entire program by winning the tournament and the arena contests, yet disqualifying myself on a technicality.

I wanted to reassure Brandy, and thank her for being a good friend, but that would make her life hell with her sister recruits. I couldn’t do that to her. I looked for a path around Dara, one I could take without stirring a fight with one who needed no provoking.

“What ya do, fall in love with that redhead?” Rox yelled. The dark-complexioned loner must have decided to align herself with Dara now that I was out.

The jibe bit hard. Yeah, I’d like to get to know Red—Morgan. Even if I didn’t, I won’t kill for sport. Maybe if I hadn’t saved him several times before the arena match, I might have acted differently, but that wasn’t it.

For the past six weeks as a mech trainee, I’d counted these girls as friends, with the exception of Dara. Now, their scornful looks reminded me of high school. Escaping at 16 had been a gift. Now I longed to return to a cage I understood.

I held my head high, squeezed between Dara and Margarite, and pushed the weaker girl out of the way. I ached to yell out the truth, but Commander Hernandez had been clear and insistent: “Tell no one you’re still in the program.”

Instead, I kept moving and endured jabs to my arms, already inflamed from my fight. Morgan had been a tougher competitor than Dara, and almost killed me twice. Yet, I couldn’t hurt him. Stay calm.

Dara grabbed my arm and pulled me back. “I’m not finished with you.”

“Yes, you are.” I yanked free and pushed through the glass door into sticky heat. Haze drifted in from Knoxville. I was tempted to take my mech-cycle and race to the Outland border to make sure Morgan crossed safely. Then the mechs would follow me and catch him for sure. Patience, Annabelle. Besides, the commander took my electric cycle when she officially kicked me out of the program.

The forest-camouflage guardhouse across the concrete clearing seemed miles away. My adoptive mom and her electric sedan weren’t waiting for me outside the gate, where the commander had arranged for her to pick me up. Nor was Mom’s car among the line of other cars and buses leaving the arena parking lot. Sweat soaked my neck and beaded up on my forehead.

On unsteady legs, I moved toward the gate. It felt like nightmares where I reach for my birth mother while mech-warriors tear me from her arms and send her to prison for trying to help my dad escape. That happened when I was three. Yet the horrid ache returned to me nightly as a fresh wound. To spare me from an institution Mom adopted me and raised me as her own.

I picked up my pace to get away from the taunts that echoed from Dara and her crew on the steps behind me. I had to get outside the compound, which reminded me of a prison with its high concrete walls, concertina wire, and hidden cams.

Still shaken by the mess I’d gotten myself into, I also reeled over having just witnessed someone try to assassinate Tenn-tucky State Senator Cora Scott, my adoptive mom, in the middle of my life-and-death struggle with Morgan. What a cluster. I prayed no one would connect his escape to Mom or me.

She still wasn’t outside the gate.

While getting out of here sounded great, I couldn’t face Mom’s disappointment at my failure or relief that I was out of the mech program. I wasn’t out. Yet. But I couldn’t tell her. I didn’t need Janine’s probing questions either, or her attempts to comfort me as if I were the younger sister. At least with me officially out of the program, she wouldn’t feel the need to join the mechs to follow me.

Where are you, Mom?

I reached the guardhouse. Still no car.

The stocky guard with coal-black hair stepped out of the shadows and blocked my exit. Though shorter, she had the commander’s solid build and looked ready to take my head off—me, the true winner of the Spring Mech Tournament. She probably could. Even though I’d gone through grueling mech qualifications, I hadn’t completed my training yet.

I hung my head. “Sorry, Sandy.”

She grabbed my arm and spun me around to face the building. “You will be. Commander wants you back in her office.” She pushed me toward the mech building and that gauntlet of angry recruits.

“What’s going on?” I looked behind and still couldn’t see Mom’s car.

“Don’t cause me any grief,” Sandy said. Her thick fingers dug into my forearm, making me gasp.

She pushed me back to the building. “Whatever it is, I suggest you humble yourself. The commander has never recalled a washed-out recruit before.”

“Come on, Sandy, give me something.”

Dara, Rox, and Margarite glowered at me from the top step. They blocked the door.

“I don’t know, but good luck,” Sandy said. “For the record, I had my money on you.”

She pushed me up the steps. “Everyone out of the way.”

Dara looked like a giant next to Sandy, but the great amazon stepped aside. Sandy dragged me along the khaki-colored corridor back toward the commander’s office. My eyes watered. It was like getting a pardon from prison, only to have the judge reverse her decision.

“Haven’t you had enough?” Dara yelled after me. “Had to come back for more?”

I dropped my gaze to the concrete floor. Moving toward freedom had given me courage. Now, as my nerve bled away, I could only imagine what had gone wrong.

<Don’t be alarmed,> a muted bass voice said directly into my skull.

You know how when someone says think fast, you can’t? My brain scrambled to make sense of this male voice deep inside my head, given that I’d never heard a masculine tone until six weeks ago.

Sandy tugged me forward. “Don’t keep the commander waiting.”

I pulled back. Morgan, what are you doing in my head? It felt like the mech com-link that allowed you to hear another’s projected thoughts. I couldn’t imagine how to turn the blasted thing off, or how to talk to him without Sandy overhearing. I couldn’t let her or the commander think I was crazy on top of everything else. I considered that possibility.

Morgan said. Mechs are rounding up the other boys. Your mom’s in danger.>

I froze. I wanted to see Morgan’s face. Yet I didn’t trust all this craziness inside me, as if I wanted more than just to see him. His tone did sound comforting, though, the only really friendly voice since I ran the gauntlet.

Sandy yanked me forward.

<Sorry for being such a bother. I need your help,> Morgan said somewhere inside my skull.

I followed Sandy, shook my head, and mouthed, “No.” As if somehow, he could see that. I’d done my bit. I’d tried to help him escape.

The gravity of my situation sank in. Had Commander Hernandez caught the nurse helping the boys, or connected the escape to Mom? The entire idea had been stupid, a rushed effort because I really liked Morgan, despite having to fight him. I should have had a better plan, but I was not a planner.

 

Inferno Romance Book Box Set Blast

Passions so intense they’re almost too hot to handle.
Publication Date: November 17, 2014
Genre: Erotic Romance

Devour Me: Taryn Cummings could not believe she was accepted into the prestigious International Institute of Culinary Arts culinary institute she dreamed of studying at in beautiful Paris, France. It was a far cry from her unglamorous life back home in New York where she helped her mother run their small family-owned restaurant called Sam’s. The Institute churned out the top chefs in the world, including the wildly sexy and eccentric Master Chef, Errol King, whose celebrity personality was larger than life.   She wanted excitement in a city of romance and thrills, but arrived to find her apartment barely livable and herself in need of a suitable place to stay. A chance meeting at the Institute brings her face-to-face with her new roommate…the devilishly charming Errol King, who would be guest teaching her class this term.   The attraction is as hot as the fire they cook with, and while Errol King, the notorious bad boy chef with an attitude, can get anyone he wanted into his bed, he wanted this woman more than anything. Something about her sweet innocence and sad eyes reach into his harden heart, but is it enough for him to forget his past?
Belong to You: My honeymoon was almost everything I dreamed it would be, a tropical paradise, turquoise water, romantic walks on the beach, and loads and loads of mind shattering sex. The only thing missing was the groom.
After seven years of coasting through a relationship with Michael, my senses were numb. A week of passion with a stranger was just what I needed to clear my head and take back control of my life. But how do you move on when the man that was only supposed to be a fling somehow seeps into your soul and steals your heart?

 

 

Tattooed Dots: Easton Crawford put his modeling career and good looks before his marriage until it was over. Years later, he is finally learning how to be the father his daughter needed him to be. He’s not looking for a new mom for his daughter—just nightly casual hook-ups. When his best friend, Avery, convinces him that a good way to meet a lot of single women is to go on a singles cruise, Easton finds more than just a hook-up when he meets a fellow cruiser, Brooke.
Brooke Bradley has taken care of her younger sister, Bailee, for most of their lives. While their mother was enjoying not being a mother, Brooke became the adult in the household at thirteen. She had always taken care of the people in her life, especially her boyfriend, Jared. If it wasn’t for Brooke, Jared wouldn’t know how to function throughout the day.
When Brooke’s best friend, Nicole, gives her a gift of going on a cruise without telling her that it’s a singles cruise, will Brooke find someone willing to be her constant and finally leave Jared?
Brooke and Easton learn that people are brought into their lives for many reasons. Over time, they find out what those reasons are. Some are to be a temporary acquaintance while others are there for life.
Chase: A struggling actress finds herself in over her head when she takes a job as an escort and finds her first client is a sexy, dominating presidential candidate.

 

 

3:AM Kisses: Baya Brighton is looking forward to her first year at Whitney Briggs University, new friends, dorm life, and finally being close to her brother again. Love is the last thing on the list, but when Baya meets her brother’s roommate she begins to have thoughts and feelings that make even her blush.
Bryson Edwards has a secret he prefers buried in the past and long forgotten. He keeps himself busy with the important things, loose girls, fast cars, and long nights working at the string of bars his family owns. When his roommate’s sister shows up on the scene, she’s far too innocent and sweet for him but he can’t shake Baya out of his mind and worse, it looks like she’s seeping into his heart as well.
Adam’s Apple: Adam Kingsley reigns as the prince of Manhattan. His looks and money let him get away with all types of sins. It’s been an intoxicating ride until he meets Kathryn Delcour, an alluring socialite with unique erotic tastes.   Adam finds this complex woman too tempting to resist and will stop at nothing to have her, yet she is warned to stay away from him and his player ways. But will she be strong enough to hold the charismatic Adam Kingsley at bay?   The passionate lure of ancient sexual practices and a former business partner wanting to inflict a deadly revenge set the scene for an erotic love story. All told in Adam’s point of view.
Fixed on You: A bartender with obsessive tendencies and a billionaire built on dominance come together in a steamy story that explores the line between head games and love-cures-all.

 

Consequences: Every action has consequences.
Waking in an unfamiliar bedroom in a luxurious mansion, Claire Nichols is terrified to discover that a chance encounter led her into the cruel hands of her abductor, Anthony Rawlings. Claire has no understanding of why she’s there, but it’s been made abundantly clear—she is now his acquisition and every action has consequences.
Learn the rules to survive.
Facing incomprehensible circumstances, Claire must learn to survive her new reality—every aspect of her livelihood depends upon the tall, dark-eyed tycoon who is a true master of deception. Driven by unknown demons, he has no tolerance for imperfection, in any aspect of his life, including his recent acquisition. Anthony may appear to the world as a handsome, benevolent businessman, but in reality Claire knows firsthand that he’s a menacing, controlling captor with very strict rules: do as you’re told, public failure is not an option, and appearances are of the utmost importance.
Captivate the captor.
To fit together the pieces of the puzzle, Claire must follow his rules. Will her plan work, or will Anthony become enthralled by Claire’s beauty, resilience, and determination, changing the game forever? If that happens, will either of them survive the consequences?
Seduction & Temptation: Daughter of a very powerful drug lord, Lola Anders life has always been dangerous and full of dark secrets. It’s something that’s always bothered her, but even more so after her mother dies. Lola thinks there’s more to her mother’s death than what she’s been told; that one of her father’s many enemies might have had something to do with it. And when a secret is revealed about her mother, Lola decides it’s time to leave the dangerous life she’s grown up in and get some answers.
But before Lola can get too far, she’s kidnapped by Frankie Catherlson, one of her father’s enemies, and given a choice—commit murder or let her father die. Worse, Layton Everett is the guy chosen to make sure she goes through with the hit.
Lola has known Layton since they were kids, but their friendship was ruined when he went to work for Frankie without so much as an explanation. Lola thinks Layton is just keeping an eye on her to make sure she goes through with the murder, but when it all comes down to it, Layton just might be on her side.
Allure: Tattoo artist by day, exotic dancer by night, 22 year old Six has been fighting his attraction for the girl of his dreams. Why? She’s the high society daughter of the Mayor. Oh, and she’s only 17. But what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas…right?
Not likely.

 

Kailin Gow has been known in The World Journal, an international newspaper, to be a phenomenon. She was profiled on the homepage of Amazon.com as an Author Success Story who overcame personal obstacles to become a bestselling author, appeared as one of Amazon’s top authors for the Kindle Fire launch release, and is one of the earliest indie authors who have sold over a million books. She writes for Fast Company as a publishing expert, had appeared on a CBS TV News as a bestselling author who writes fiction and non-fiction with a social conscious, and has made speeches and appearances across the U.S. and on top 15 national radio regarding self-esteem and issues relating to women.



Kailin Gow uses her author platform to bring awareness to issues affecting young adult and women. She has appeared on national radio as a regular guest on topics such as body image, self-esteem, dating and sexual relationships, bullying, and more; often brought up in her fiction books for young adults and women.



She holds a Masters Degree in Communications Management from The University of Southern California, and degrees in Drama and Social Ecology.



An ALA YALSA Reader’s Choice Nominated Author for her YA series, the Bitter Frost Series, in 2011, she was also a speaker at BEA in 2014, and multi-author signing event organizer for the popular Rockin’ Events. Two of her book series is in development as a video games, including the Bitter Frost Series and PULSE Vampire Series.



Her true life experiences as a world traveler where she has traveled to over 25 countries, logging hundreds of thousands of miles, absorbing the cultures and collecting stories relating to places and the romance of the land, and incidents in her personal life, has inspired her to write and publish over 150 books with over 27 series in multiple genres.



From visiting Romania, she was asked to write stories about vampires; visiting the Black Forest in Germany and seeing the castles of Europe inspired her to write fantasy; visiting Asia’s mystical mountains inspired her to write action adventure and mythological dystopians. From her experience in college as a peer counselor and her volunteer work with women’s shelters, she was inspired to write contemporary romance with social issues for women, new adults, young adults, and teens. Having faced adversity, including battling stereotypes and bullying, Kailin Gow has become a well-known speaker and figure in media against bullying.



Kailin Gow is an active advocate against bullying in the workplace and in schools. She has written The Shy Girls Social Club Handbook Against Bullying which won the Indie Excellence Awards (NIEA) in 2014 for Young Adult Non-fiction.



She resides in the American West with her husband and daughter, but had lived for a decade in Texas, and briefly in England. Besides being a full-time author, she volunteers for many organizations. She spends way too much time on Facebook than she is supposed, but loves meeting new people from all walks of life.

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Amazon | Google+

Vi Keeland is a native New Yorker with three children that occupy most of her free time, which she complains about often, but wouldn’t change for the world. She is a bookworm and has been known to read her kindle at stop lights, while styling her hair, cleaning, walking, during sporting events, and frequently while pretending to work. She is a boring attorney by day, and an exciting New York Times & USA Today Best Selling smut author by night!

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter

Kimberly Knight lives in the mountains near a lake with her loving husband and spoiled cat, Precious. In her spare time, she enjoys watching her favorite reality TV shows, watching the San Francisco Giants and San Jose Sharks kick butt, crushing candy on Candy Crush, playing computer games like World of Warcraft with Audrey Harte and online poker. Now that she lives near a lake, she plans on working on her tan and doing more outdoor stuff like…watching hot guys waterski. However, the bulk of her time is dedicated to writing and reading Romance and Erotic fiction.
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Pinterest

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cassia Leo loves her coffee, chocolate, and margaritas with salt. When she’s not writing, she spends way too much time watching old reruns of Friends and Sex and the City. When she’s not watching reruns, she’s usually enjoying the California sunshine or reading – sometimes both.

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter 

Addison Moore is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author who writes contemporary and paranormal romance. Her work has been featured in Cosmopolitan magazine. Previously she worked for nearly a decade as a therapist on a locked psychiatric unit. She resides with her husband, four wonderful children, and two dogs on the West Coast where she eats too much chocolate and stays up way too late. When she’s not writing, she’s reading.

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  InstagramNewsletter

Raised in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri, Liv now resides in Manhattan with her first and hopefully last husband. After relocating eleven times during his corporate career, she qualifies as a professional mover. Learning to bloom where she’s planted, Liv brings her moving and life experiences to her writing.

Liv received a degree in communication from the University of Maryland. She has published her debut series, Touch of Tantra, and the Love in the City romance boxed collection set.

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Mailing List

Laurelin Paige is the NY Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling Author of the Fixed Trilogy. She’s a sucker for a good romance and gets giddy anytime there’s kissing, much to the embarrassment of her three daughters. Her husband doesn’t seem to complain, however. When she isn’t reading or writing sexy stories, she’s probably singing, watching Game of Thrones and the Walking Dead, or dreaming of Adam Levine. She’s also a proud member of Mensa International though she doesn’t do anything with the organization except use it as material for her bio.

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter 

Aleatha Romig is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who lives in Indiana. She grew up in Mishawaka, graduated from Indiana University, and is currently living south of Indianapolis. Together with her high-school sweetheart and husband of twenty-eight years, they’ve raised three children. Before she became a full-time author, she worked days as a dental hygienist and spent her nights writing. Now, when she’s not imagining mind-blowing twists and turns, she likes to spend her time with her family and friends. Her pastimes include reading and creating heroes/anti-heroes who haunt your dreams!

INSIDIOUS is Aleatha’s seventh novel. It is her first time to delve into the world of erotic thrillers. The Consequences Series, her first series has been categorized as psychological thriller and dark romance. With INSIDIOUS, Aleatha took the twists and turns of CONSEQUENCES and turned up the heat.



CONSEQUENCES, her first novel, was released August 2011, by Xlibris Publishing. Then in October of 2012, Ms. Romig re-released CONSEQUENCES as an indie author. TRUTH, the sequel, was released October 30, 2012, and CONVICTED, the third in the series, was released October 8, 2013. Unexpectedly, the fourth book of the Consequences series came to life with REVEALED: THE MISSING YEARS. It is the fourth full-length novel in the series. It explores the years in CONVICTED that previously were only mentioned, as well as a complete character glossary and timeline. REVEALED was released May 20, 2014.



INSIDIOUS, the first released book from TALES FROM THE DARK SIDE will be released October 21, 2014. TALES FROM THE DARK SIDE will be a series of standalone, dark, erotic thrillers guaranteed to take you on a wild, hot, and dark ride. Each novel in the series will be independent of the next. The characters from one book will never be revisited. Instead, Aleatha leaves it up to her readers to imagine how each story will end while remembering that it is the journey that is the most fun.



Aleatha is a “Published Author’s Network” member of the Romance Writers of America and represented by Danielle Egan-Miller of Brown and Miller Literary Associates.

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads

Jessica Sorensen is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author that lives in the snowy mountains of Wyoming. When she’s not writing, she spends her time reading and hanging out with her family.
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter 

USA Today Bestselling Author Lacey Weatherford resides in the beautiful White Mountains of Arizona, where she lives with her family. When she’s not out supporting her children at multiple sporting/music events, she continues to love writing and reading.
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Seamingly Smitten Fall 2014 Pattern Tour & Giveaway – Lace Front Knit Top

Seamingly Smitten Sewing Patterns Blog Tour

Seamingly Smitten Sewing Patterns Blog Tour

*I received a free pattern for the Lace Front Knit Top by Seamingly Smitten Sewing Patterns in exchange for providing a stop on the tour. All opinions are my own.

DSC_0588I am lucky enough to be the first stop on the Seamingly Smitten Sewing Patterns Fall 2014 Pattern tour. I had a lot of fun with this one; I chose to make the Lace Front Knit Top. I have a lot of fabric (by a lot I mean my fabric closet is overflowing) that I’ve found recently at thrift stores and online for rock bottom prices. The fabric I used for the top was only $.98. That’s right; I made a shirt for ninety-eight cents. The pink knit I used was fifty cents, and the lace was forty-eight cents. Crazy, right? Of course, I had to purchase thread to match the pink knit, but that will be used in other projects in the future as well.

What I loved most about this pattern was that it was so easy. Even though I had to take baby-tending breaks, the shirt itself took about 20 minutes to stitch. The hem took a bit longer. I made the size XL based upon my measurements.

My fabric is waiting!

My fabric is waiting!

Printing out and taping together the pattern took a bit longer than I’d hoped, but I think that’s because I’m hopelessly neurotic when it comes to matching PDF patterns up. I made a couple of adjustments when cutting the pattern – I added an inch to the length because I prefer my shirts a bit longer (I have a Momma pouch which provided a very loving and safe home for two incredibly precious people), and I didn’t cut across the cut line for the top. That is because I decided to use a scallop-edge lace for the top instead of the straight edge in the picture.

Then, I made my first mistake.

Yup, those things happen. Shhh…I totally forgot to pre-wash my fabric. I have no idea what will happen to my gorgeous shirt when I wash it. I was so excited about getting started cutting things out…that I totally spaced on pre-treating the fabric!

Then, I made my second mistake.

DSC_0585You see, originally, I’d thought I’d do the shirt with a really soft really luxurious red jersey I had that I got for about the same price as this pink. But, I didn’t have enough of that fabric for this shirt. So, I was excited when I folded the pink fabric and there was plenty.

You know what I’m going to say next, don’t you?

That’s right. I totally cut the fabric with the stretch going the wrong way. Oh, and I realized this after I’d already cut out the back, and I’d gotten halfway through cutting out the front.

GAH!

DSC_0587DSC_0590So, I continued on my journey. The instructions for the pattern were really clear and straightforward. That didn’t stop me from making mistake number 3. I read the directions probably 2o times before starting to sew. Somehow I missed the word “baste” in the whole stitch the lace to the shirt step. So, I stitched and then turned the fabric, creating a finished neckline and sleeve. It actually worked in my favor because I didn’t have to hem the front neckline – yay! I decided to add the cuffs at the very end, because I felt that it needed something, and I definitely am happy with the way they look!

I carried on with no further incident. I decided to topstitch around the neckline and sleeves just before they meet the cuffs – partly because I liked the way it looked in the test photos for the pattern, and partly because I felt it needed a little more. I love how it turned out.

Here are some pictures, underneath them, you’ll find information about the giveaway, and a coupon code you can use to get your own Lace Front Knit Top pattern from Seamingly Smitten.

I’m thinking that I need to make another of these shirts – I’ll extend the lace a little further down, and do navy blue on navy blue. I’m then thinking I’ll hand-bead the lace to make a dressy knit shirt that I can wear out on date night. – FUN! -

-Giveaway-

If you like this pattern and the others you see during the pattern tour, you can head over to the Seamingly Smitten Etsy shop and use the coupon code PATTERNTOUR50 to recieve 50% off of your purchase through the rest of November.

-and-

You can enter the Rafflecopter giveaway to try to win. The pattern tour will run from November 13th through the 21st. Here’s the schedule again (with links):

There will be 3 winners for the giveaway:

  • First prize: $50 to fabric.com and 6 free Seamingly Smitten sewing patterns
  • Second prize: $30 to fabric.com and 4 free Seamingly Smitten sewing patterns
  • Third Prize: $25 to fabric.com and 3 free Seamingly Smitten sewing patterns

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

What’s on My Sewing Table at the Moment

Oh boy! I’ve finally had some time to start prepping patterns and gathering notions – and GASP! Start sewing. Here are some of the things I’m working on right now.

In progress, I have an A-Line skirt. I originally was going to try to complete it for the Sewing Bee at Pattern Review, but I just ran out of time. And as someone *just* getting back into sewing after a hiatus, I didn’t want to rush it. That’s what next time is for, right?

Simplicity 9825 - at your service

Simplicity 9825 – at your service

I’ll be posting later about the completion of this skirt – it’s almost done, save for the zipper, waistband facing, and hem. I’m rather enamored with it.

Next is this project using a pink jersey fabric and some lace. I won’t say what it’s for yet, but if you come back on the 13th, you’ll be able to see a finished project. I may have made a goof or two, but I think it will still come out great.

Oooh, what's this going to be?

Oooh, what’s this going to be?

I have a pair of pants I’m pattern testing, I don’t have a picture of that yet, but I will write about my experiences soon.

I was going to do this:

Butterick 4686 - View D

Butterick 4686 – View D

But you know what happened? I just didn’t have quite enough fabric for it. I’m thinking I’ll make a vintage pattern (Simplicity 9822 ,the middle view) with the fabric instead. Of course, that’s going to require some fun pattern grading. But, I think it will look good. I’ll use the lining fabric for the test pattern.

vintage 70's Simplicity 9822 skirts, 3 styles/lengths, size 12 waist 25.5 hip 36

Remember how I wanted to do the coat in the Fall Essentials Wardobe Challenge? Here’s the coat stuff, all ready to go:

Vogue 8346, Italian wool fabric from Mood

Vogue 8346, Italian wool fabric from Mood – View B

And I want to sew up this dress (I originally bought the fabric with a different Vogue pattern in mind…):

McCall's 5975

McCall’s 5975 – View C

I also have these guys prepped and ready to go (I just need to sit, make the pattern adjustments, and stitch them up).

McCall's 6654 - View C

McCall’s 6654 – View C

DSC_0271

McCall’s 6654 – View B

DSC_0272

McCall’s 6654 – View G & McCall’s 6796 – View A

So that’s what’s up on my end. I have two refashions to complete, and a few things for baby girl to get done as well – including her Christmas dress. So, I plan on being a busy bee in the next little while!

Celebrate Rent the Runway’s 5th Anniversary!

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Rent the Runway is celebrating their 5th anniversary. In honor of this occasion, they partnered with designers to create their exclusive 5Y Collection. To start celebrating with Rent the Runway, shop for a dress or gown from one of these 5Y Collection designers: Badgley Mischka, Christian Siriano, Marchesa Voyage, Monique Lhuillier and Lela Rose. Complete your look with fabulous accessories by Kenneth Jay Lane and Oscar de la Renta. Here are just a few of the amazing looks available to you:


Declaration Gown – $400.00

Pink Mikado silk blend (61% wool 39% silk). Sleeveless. Sweetheart neckline. Full hi lo skirt. Hidden back zipper with hook-and-eye closure. Boned bodice. Lined. Made in the USA.

Emmy Gown – $150.00

Black (Shell – 100% Viscose, Lining – 100% Polyester). Sleeveless. Boat neckline. Fitted skirt with beaded waist applique. Hidden side zipper with hook-and-eye closure. Lined. See size and fit tabs for lengths. Imported.

Scholar Gown – $450.00

Red silk faille (100% silk). Sleeveless. V-neckline. Hidden side zipper with hook-and-eye closure. Lined. See size and fit tabs for lengths. Made in the USA.

If you need another reason to shop now, read this: Rent the Runway is the hottest sensation in rentable designer dresses and accessories. Dresses are tailored to fit all shapes and sizes (available in sizes 0-22), and you can even select an additional backup size to be shipped at no extra cost. Rent the Runway also has more than 25 stylists on hand available as consultants to help women find the perfect look, wear it and send it back with no dry cleaning, no shipping costs, no stress.

Shop Rent the Runway’s exclusive 5Y Collection.