Saturday, November 22, 2014

Cakeway to the West: Part 16...

...Guess what? We reached 250+!!! We still have two bonus cakes to get, maybe some "unofficially" cakes, and there's rumor there's a couple more not placed. Either way, we've reached 250-woot, woot!!!

Cake #244 Lincoln Park

Cake #245 City Museum

Cake #246 Mary Meachum Freedom Crossing
This one is definitely kind of scary to get to. My sister parked then I had to walk a little less than half a mile, out of her sight, to get it and it's in downtown. Luckily, I found it and it was a pretty location.

Cake #247 General Daniel Bissell House

Cake #248 Old Chain of Rocks Bridge
Now, this one was pure dedication! The road to the cake was CLOSED due to a water main break so we had no access to it on the Missouri side where it's located. We drove to the Illinois side and isn't this picture amazing???

So we found the bridge and discovered we could walk across it...a mile there and a mile back. Too bad we weren't in my car because we didn't have the stroller. So my sis, me, AR, and Champ (her dog) took off across the bridge. AR was pretty good the first half mile, me carrying her and her walking some. Once we hit the half-mile mark, she wanted me to hold her the entire time. I had to pee and my back was killing me but I did it  because that's what mommas do, right? We were almost over the bridge and I couldn't handle it any more so my sis took her. Here she is crying because I wasn't holding her!

FINALLY! Got the cake...then walked a mile back across the bridge!

Cake #249 Columbia Bottoms

Cake #250 Fort Belle Fontaine
WOOHOO!!! Two-hundred and fifty cakes, baby!

Cake #251 Green Center

After this cake, we went to Jilly's for lunch and cupcakes of course!!! The hunt's not over...

Friday, November 21, 2014

Baby Rockstar Lullaby Renditions of FROZEN!!! Sunday night around 11PM, AR wakes up yelling, "Mommy! Come get me, please!" The house was silent, it was just her and me, so I walked into her room to see what was going on. When I get into her room, our conversation went like this:

Me: What's wrong, baby?
AR: The monkey touched my back. (not crying, but obviously upset)
Me: What monkey? You mean Ms. Monkey? (she has a lovey sock monkey)
AR: No, the old monkey.
We moved all her pillows and quilt and couldn't find a monkey. I brought her to bed with me and all day Monday, she talked about this monkey. I finally realized that it was the black gorilla that the local carwashes have standing outside, waving at people trying to draw them in. Recently, she's become very aware of them.

Anyway, long story short, that next night, she did not want to go to sleep because of this monkey (didn't help we saw him on the way home that night either!). Luckily, the Baby Rockstar Lullaby Renditions of Frozen CD was sitting in our mailbox.
AR was so excited about this! She got in her crib, started talking about the monkey, and then pointed to her CD player and said, "I want my Frozen CD, Mommy!" Happily, I turned it on, gave her a kiss, and walked out of the room. No tears, nothing!!! I highly recommend this CD for any little Frozen fan that needs help winding down at nap/bedtime.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Mrs. Cavanaugh's Chocolates Review...

...Remember the other day I told you about Mrs. Cavanaugh's Chocolates? Well, I received a box in the mail and couldn't wait to try them out (sorry, the caramel one isn't pictured because we opened it right away!). These were delicious and I love the packaging. They're going to be perfect to give to the neighbors for gifts this year. We'll have to order a few extra boxes for ourselves!

My readers receive Buy 1 lb Get 1 lb FREE of Mrs. Cavanaugh's Chocolates use promo code: usfamily2014

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Santa Season has begun!!!

...So Santa season has officially started! I have to say I'm really more excited about it this year than years past simply because AR "gets it" this year. This past Sunday, we went to Bass Pro Shop to see Santa. As soon as we got inside, she started yelling, "Christmas tree! Look, Mommy, Christmas tree!" It was just pure excitement and joy that only a child has. It gives me chills and makes me want to cry! I'm going to soak it all in and try to enjoy the holiday season as much as her this year.

We usually always go while Matt is gone hunting. It gives us something to do and it's usually early enough in the season that there's no line. WRONG! This year we had to wait in line for like 20 minutes. I know that's not that bad but when you're with a 2.5 yo, it's an eternity! Luckily, there was a dog behind us in line so that entertained her. Plus we're working on colors and counting so there were endless things for us to count. Anyways, we finally got to the front of the line and she was so excited! The dress she is wearing is an 18 months and she barely fit, I'm shocked we got it buttoned. She was such a big girl, told him her name, what she'd like for Christmas, and that she'd been a good girl. I was so proud of her!

Afterward, we played some games, did a craft, and I wrote a letter to Santa for her while she worked on her penmanship. We asked Santa to bring Mommy lots of patience and she hoped Daddy wouldn't eat Santa's cookies.

It was snowing when we drove home. I saw this sitting on our front porch...yeah, probably time I throw that away, huh?

And then we got home and that innocent excitement and joy came back as she stood at the fence and jumped up and down because it was snowing. Melt my heart...

Want to start a poll on how many Santas we'll see this year???

Saturday, November 15, 2014

My First Author Signing!!!

...So remember I told you all I wrote a book? Well, I've actually written four and all will be published by 12/31/14. There's also another book already finished that I'll be releasing in March 2015, plus at least two more in the Burning Lovesick series, one more that I'm currently working on, and possibly a short, sports novella that will be in a boxed set releasing next summer. So yeah...just like everything else I do, I've kinda jumped in head first and am fully submerged!

There's definitely a learning curve, but luckily, there are tons of resources, fellow authors, and reviewers that are willing to support me and help me out, which I need lots of that! It's an expensive process and I have yet to break even, but the way I'm looking at it is like this: I enjoy writing. It's a hobby. Hobbies cost money. If I wasn't writing, I'd be spending money doing something else. If I end up breaking even, that's just a bonus. I won't be quitting my day job for this and I highly doubt I'll be going on "tour" any time soon either. ;-) It's just fun, I enjoy it so it is what it is!

Last Thursday, I attended my first "signing event" at the local library. I was all set up with the first two books in the Burning Lovesick series, Love is a Fire and Burst Into Flame and I even had copies of my book The Right Pitch that won't be released on it's own until the end of December. I felt like I'd officially made it! I was the real deal...however, it was a little odd to introduce myself by my pen name!

While I didn't end up selling any books, I still had a great time. I met fellow, local authors and exchanged ideas with them. The lady beside me and I agreed to share our secret with each other if we even figured out how to make it big. I met the library staff that's been so supportive whether it's through stocking my book on their shelves, retweeting my tweets, and hosting this awesome event. I also met some readers in the community and handed out some business cards. Hopefully, over the next year, I'll get some more local readers that will come see me next year.

Oh! And I had a pretty awesome assistant with me for the evening!

In case you're looking for a great, personalized Christmas present or just want to purchase the ebook, here are the links to my books (if you want an autographed copy, contact me and we'll work it out!):
Burning Lovesick Series
Everybody's After Love-This book is based here in STL and the main characters are loosely based around Matt and me. This book is available for pre-order and will release 12/3.
The Right Pitch-This book is available for pre-order and release 12/31. HOWEVER, it is a part of a boxed set that will release 12/8 which will include stories from ten other authors and only be 99 cents. I will update with the pre-order link when it's available.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Mrs. Cavanaugh's Chocolates...

Time was when Marie Cavanaugh spent hours in her South Dakota farmhouse each Christmas season making pecan rolls and homemade chocolates for holiday gifting.

"It started when my aunt sent her pecan-rolls recipe," Mrs. Cavanaugh recalled. "I gave the recipe my own touch and started making the yummy specialties. Then I began dipping chocolates. Our friends and neighbors loved these treats, encouraging me to start a candy business. Finally, I decided it might be a good idea.'"

Her husband George and children Carla, Lorraine, Calvin, Colene and Genise rallied, helping Mrs. Cavanaugh fill demands for her homemade sweets.

...In 1972, the family moved to Utah, leaving good friends and their beloved cattle ranch.

"It was a difficult decision, especially for George," Mrs. Cavanaugh said. "He was excited about making our new venture, which we chose to call Mrs. Cavanaugh's Candies, a great success. We felt Utah was blessed with good chocolates and that we would enjoy - and could compete with - those who pride themselves on making excellent chocolates."

Millions of pounds of chocolates later, Mrs. Cavanaugh's candies have earned a reputation for unquestionable excellence....
Ask chocolate aficionados. They will direct those seeking the best chocolates to the popular Mrs. Cavanaugh's Candies. My readers receive Buy 1 lb Get 1 lb FREE of Mrs. Cavanaugh's Chocolates use promo code: usfamily2014


Friday, November 7, 2014

Harlem Globetrotters Coming to STL!!!

Don't Miss The Harlem Globetrotters Coming to St Louis on Jan. 2. Save $7 Off Select Tickets to any Harlem Globetrotter Game with promo code FAMGUIDE now on sale! The iconic Harlem Globetrotters are coming to an arena near you with their unrivaled family show, featuring some of the greatest athletes on the planet. With incredible ball handling wizardry, amazing rim-rattling dunks and trick shots, side-splitting comedy and unequaled on-court fan interaction, this must-see event is guaranteed to entertain the whole family creating memories that will last a lifetime. The Globetrotters will face a great challenge this year against the Washington Generals who were the last team to beat the Globetrotters in 1971, and are now coached by a former member of that team. They are on a mission and will do whatever it takes to win, with a new strategy that is sure to give the Globetrotters a run for their money. My Readers save $7 Off select tickets to any Globetrotter Game this season at Use promo code FAMGUIDE


I have always loved the Harlem Globetrotters! I know we'll be getting tickets to take AR to her first game. Hope to see you there!