What the [BLANK] happened this weekend?

The best thing to come out of this weekend was a big fat win for the Sounders and it was fantastic being in the stadium for it. The Sounders vs Portland game was on Sunday in front of 64k+ fans. We’ve been struggling and it was not pretty but we will take the win. While It was not pretty, we fought hard. I feel like they played with so much more passion and you could see there was a different energy on the field. I hope they continue with the energy I saw on Sunday and finish the season strong. I also heard the Seahawks won their game as well. I could not watch that one but glad to hear they won. Yay for Seattle teams, I won’t even mention the team that plays at Safeco…

The big thing this weekend. I’m not sure if you are aware, but Washington State, well the Pacific Northwest, has been under attack from Mother Nature this summer. We’ve set record highs, we are in a drought, wildfires are everywhere and this past weekend we had a massive wind storm. Trees uprooted, power went out and some people still don’t have power. Now I’m not complaining because I only lost my power for about 30 seconds. Enough time to turn off my TV and interrupt my Buffy marathon but it did screw with my wifi. I’m just thankful that no major trees feel in my area and I didn’t get hurt. Unfortunately this can not be said for everyone. It’s just been a tough few months for my poor state and the people living here.

Tiff Sig

Oh Happy Day!

Friday is generally reserved for a book review but because I have been slacking, you don’t get one. Instead I want to attempt to spread some joy!

This morning I woke up late, groggy from lack of sleep, and I forgot to make my lunch last night. I got dressed and took the dog outside and the crisp air hit me and I felt incredibly better. Breathing in the wonderful crisp air that smells like rain and fall, some how gave me a boost of energy and positive vibes. I’ve been told that our cloudy days and rain often make people depressed, but for me it’s the complete opposite.

So today, if you happen to stop by and read this blog I hope I can make your day a little better. Please enjoy some motivation, inspiration and good vibes on this wonderful rainy Friday.

And most of all…

Make it your mission to spread joy, make someone smile and remind those in your life how much you care about them. You never know what someone is going through and a little positivity, even from a stranger, can go a long way.

Tiff Sig

Happy Women’s Equality Day!

My current projects are on hold. Project updates will be posted soon but I need to catch up on my reading first. Instead, today I wanted to share a tradition with everyone.

Since growing up, moving out and living by myself, I’ve started to miss the little things my family used to do together. One of the things I miss the most are traditional events and how we used to celebrate them. As a school age child, you’re often made aware of specific days, events, holidays and what not. As you get older, you tend to, not forget about them but every day life seems to overwhelm you and your thoughts. I don’t have any kids in my household so it seems a little silly to have a tradition for one but I want to share my August tradition I’m starting. Today is all about reminding myself about who made it possible for me to vote.

You might have heard about the Women’s suffrage, it’s a movement that’s happened all over the world. On August 26, 1920, 95 years ago today, the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution was certified as law and women were granted the right to vote, all woman. As a female, this day means a lot to me and creating a tradition to celebrate them seems like a great way to honor suffragettes. I want to do something special each year to celebrate and honor the women before me who made it possible to vote. When and if I ever have children, this would be a great tradition to share with them.

How I plan on celebrating Women’s Equality Day?

First things first, make sure my voters information is correct and up to date.

Next, get informed. Since my county already had August Primary elections, I’ll be looking up information about the General elections coming up in November. Since the US will be voting in a new President next year, it’s a great time to start looking into who might be running and some of the issues I will be voting on.

Lastly, it’s time to honor and celebrate those who make a difference. I have a list of famous women suffragettes that I will use but it can be any woman, past or present who I think has helped society in regards to women’s equality. I’m not going to do a research paper or anything, just take some time out of my day to read up on what a particular woman has accomplished. For the start of my tradition, I’m going to do some reading about Susan B. Anthony, unfortunately for Anthony, she passed away a decade before women could vote.

Time posted a great infograph today, Why we still need Women’s Equality Day, that shows why Women’s Equality Day is relevant and a much needed reminder that we still have a long way to go. Cheers to 95 years of being able to vote and cheers to women everywhere still fighting for equality.

Thank you Suffragettes and Happy Women’s Equality Day!

Tiff Sig

How do you plan on celebrating Women’s Equality Day?

What the [BLANK] happened this weekend?

This past weekend went WAY too fast.

I went to the Mariners game with some friends. This was the first game I’ve been to this season and probably my last. The firework display after the game was great and the most exciting thing during the game was watching the wave. What does that say about your team when the crowd is more focused on continuing the wave then watching the game? We also ate fantastic nachos out of a helmet.

I played Skyrim most of the day Saturday and did some cleaning. At 7pm I watch the Sounders get beat by Real Salt Lake. That was a frustrating game. RSL’s goals were not fantastic or anything like that and the Sounders Defense didn’t play horribly but we just can’t score. It doesn’t help when the moment your team decides to push harder they get instant yellow cards, yet Mulholland a RSL player can have 5 fouls called and get nothing. We also messed up the few opportunities RSL gave us, again frustrating. We don’t have many games left so I hope they can step it up soon. Oh I also finished a few rows of my scarf during the game.

I did some baking as well. Nothing fancy but I had a craving for chocolate chip cookies. I was able to get the whole batch cooked before my oven decided to stop working. The stove top, clock and lights work but the oven won’t heat up. I’m going to see if changing out the heating element gets it to work again. So weird that it was working fine in the AM though. This will be a first for me!

Tiffany- The Tangled Taurus

Magic Strikes

This review contains spoilers.

Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews

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  • Genre : Urban Fantasy
  • Date Started :  July 22, 2015
  • Date Finished : July 23, 2015

Description: You can read the full description from the author’s website. This is the 3rd book in the Kate Daniel Series.

I am in love with this series and I’m finding it incredibly hard to not read ahead of my book club. Everything about this series has me hooked and ready for more. I’m usually that person who would skim the fighting scenes but not in this book. There is so much action in this book and it flows well. This book is about Kate getting pulled into a world of underground arena/gladiator style fighting.You read that correctly, gladiator style fighting, and apparently this is not her first time in this style of fight.

Much to Kate’s frustration she finds herself caring for a lot of people. I don’t mean caring for a sickly relative, I mean friends. Kate’s always been told to trust only herself and to not make friends. This is a constant struggle for Kate, especially as her bond grows with Andrea, Derek and the pack. Kate has a big heart, she can’t help it. So when she gets a call to help with a pack death and is told they don’t need her help, she is slightly uneasy. It’s not her job and if they needed help they would ask. After one of the longest days ever, she goes home and is in fairly good spirits because she knows she has 1 slice of pie left. Kate’s super excited about the pie, it’s sort of hilarious.

Kate gets a call from Saiman, informing her that Derek broke into his house. It’s Kate to the rescue and she finds out that Derek is after tickets to the Midnight Games. Kate negotiates Derek’s release but is then pulled into going with Saiman to the games to help him evaluate a team competing. Derek uses this chance to ask Kate to give someone at the games a note, a girl someone. Kate is suspicious but thinks Derek just has a crush on some girl.

During the first night at the games, Kate learns that the girl Derek is looking for wants to leave the cult/group she joined, the same group that Saiman wanted Kate to evaluate. The girl will give the pack information if they help her escape. Kate reads the note after the girl throws it away and discovers that Derek has arranged a spot to meet. Too bad the girl turns on him and Derek is left outside one of the packs properties and is severely beaten. It’s really bad and it made me feel so strongly for this kid and so much anger to the ones who hurt him. Derek may act like a man but before this incident, he was just a teenage smart ass with lots of confidence.

Jim and his group of guards hide Derek and the other bodies from Curran. Derek is in bad shape and they think he might go loup. Kate learns that the pack has been hiding it all from Curran. Turns out that Curran’s rule number 1 is the pack is forbidden from participating in the Midnight games after what happened when he took over. Jim has been investigating and has an inside man in the games and thought Curran would not understand.

Things are super tense and Kate, because she is awesome, makes a comment to Curran telling him that her and Jim are running away together. Of course, Curran gets pissed and it’s hilarious. The tension between Kate and Curran was fantastic in this book. Curran and Kate make a bet, if he can find her and the pack members before the pack grace period is up, she has to cook him dinner, naked. So much tension! Curran does find them, of course but she traps him in a loup cage and tells Julie not to let him out before the hour is up.

The pack wants revenge on the group that has been killing pack members so Jim, a few pack members, Kate and Saiman entering the Midnight Games. Lot of great fighting scenes happen when they are at the games. We discover Saiman’s true form, get to see Jim, Derek, Kate, Andrea, Raphael and Dali (a clumsy partially blind tiger) fight together. Shit hits the fan though when Curran, Mohan and Aunt B. show up at the Games. Curran replaces Saiman on the team and they end up kicking major butt.

We end up learning that they are dealing with mythological figures from India, who somehow have tricked M-scanners to think they are human. The bad guys in this book eat the pack members they take and want to steal the prize gem from the Midnight Games. This gem can cause the shifters to not shift and they want to use it to destroy the pack. We find out a little more about Roland and how he is connected to this group of mythological creatures and how the pack is growing too large for Roland to ignore anymore. We also learn Kate’s big secret and exactly why she is so worried about her blood. She shatters a weapon that can only be destroyed by Roland himself, which basically announces who she is.

Everything that happens to Derek in this book made my heart melt and you know his character has been forever changed. Julie’s school experience and how Kate handles what the kid is going through is completely heart warming. And now we just need to wait to see how Kate and Curran’s naked dinner turns out. Oh wait, I think Curran said she could wear underwear that he picks out.

This book had me hooked. We learned so much and experienced a lot of important story building events.  It was really hard not reading ahead so I’m giving this book 5 stars. I would read it again and again and it only reinforces my love for all things Kate Daniels.

Tangled Taurus Book Review Rating 5 Stars

Computer Area Decor

I posted my computer area makeover a few weeks ago for a Battling Chaos post and I’m finally getting around to posting some of the decorations I did. I cleaned up all of the binders, papers, file folders that had NOTHING in them, and trashed some of my old computer games. I love the new look and can’t wait to transform the the rest of my living room.

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BEFORE

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AFTER

I did a few minor upgrades which I’ll cover in a couple Wednesday Project posts.

  1. Beauty and the Beast picture
  2. Small Perfect sign
  3. Desk recolor
  4. Shelf recolor
  5. Cork board decoration
  6. Blue box for outgoing mail and things to file

 

Beauty and the Beast Picture

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This was a fun project. My all time favorite Disney princess movie is Beauty and the Beast. Since the living room is where I keep the majority of my books, I thought it would be appropriate. I wanted something simple to do but still creative. I found a frame from TJ Maxx on clearance for $5 and painted it gold. It had a few scratches but I planned on painting it, so who cares? The little plate below was silver but to stick with the theme, I decided to paint it gold.

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While that dried I came up with an idea for the picture. Originally I was going to paint Beauty and the Beasts silhouettes on a dark blue background. I didn’t want paint anymore so I printed off random pages of the story from different sources online. Some of the pages are in French and some in English but all tell the tale of Beauty and the Beast. Next I took those pages and aged them in the oven with coffee and coffee grounds. I found a blog post on how to age paper over at Confessions of a Plate Addict. I followed her instruction except I did not use foil under my paper and I added coffee grounds to make some age spots stick out.

After the pages were aged I used mod podge to glue the pages together. Working from the back to the front like you would normally glue paper. I left the top clean and clear of mod podge so I could add the silhouette. I ended up drawing the silhouette on with charcoal. Then I used a spray to set the charcoal so it doesn’t flake off. Put it all together and I now have this super cute Beauty and the Beast picture!

Small I’m not Perfect sign

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I got this sign from a friend for Christmas and I love it. Originally it was a light blue and I wanted it to be just a little darker. I didn’t want to paint it so I went to Lowe’s and found Cabot interior wood stain in the blue I was looking for. I sanded the edges of the sign and lightly sanded the front. I added about 3 coats of the stain and then 1 coat of Minwax Polycrylic Protective Finish. It turned out pretty good and while the front is a little difficult to read, it’s still readable. All in all a good first time experience with staining wood!

Tiffany – The Tangled Taurus

What the [BLANK] happened this weekend?

My weekend begun with a Seahawks preseason game Friday night. Yes I know they were not playing their top players but it was still a tough game to watch. The universe decided to do me a favor and with only the 4th quarter left, my power went out. With nothing else to do because I could not use my phone data to watch the rest of the game, I went to bed!

Saturday I wanted to get started on some of my cleaning. I’ve been thinking about switching to natural products for some time but have always been to scared to switch. It doesn’t really have anything to do with cost as much as what chemicals I’m using and what if I ruin something!  Saturday I decided to try out  50/50 Distilled White Vinegar and water on my entry way. I added a few drops of Sweet Orange essential oil to help with the smell. Cleaning wise, it pretty much is like most store bought stuff. My entry way is a bitch to clean because it’s not smooth, the dirt can build up in sections. I’m going to have to really scrub at it to get it clean no matter what I use but this was a cheap and chemical free way to clean. Next up I’m going to experiment with carpet cleaners.

I went through all of my CDs and separated them into keep, sell/donate and download piles. I need to figured out if my sell pile is even worth anything to anyone and I need to get an external drive for my music. I currently don’t have anything to back up my music on and I don’t want to use a cloud storage. Oh and I even found a cassette tape I used to listen to ALL THE TIME when I was in Elementary school. After the sorting I left to meet up with my friend A. We had planned on going to see a free movie in the park but it had rained that morning and dark clouds were rolling in. We decided to stay home and pick up some Redbox movies, since I had a few free codes and have tacos for dinner. Pretty fantastic end to the day even if we didn’t get to do what we have originally planned.

Sunday was a completely lazy day.  I started a new game in Skyrim. I have not played this game in forever and had a blast starting up again. I think I put a load in the dishwasher, other than that I think I played Skyrim all day! Oh and the best part about this last Sunday, the SOUNDERS WON! We had new players play, we had Oba back and all the players seemed to be on top of their game. It was fantastic!

Tiffany – The Tangled Taurus

Grave Peril

This review contains spoilers. 

Grave Peril by Jim Butcher

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  • Genre : Urban Fantasy
  • Date Started :  July 6, 2015
  • Date Finished : July 9, 2015

Description: You can read the full description from the author’s website. This is the 3rd book in the Dresden Files.

This book in the Dresden Files series is about the spirit world crossing over into our world, Vampire politics and old enemies. This book is not as exciting as the first two but it’s still enjoyable. I did feel a little out of sorts when the book started though. I felt like I missed a few chapters and kept asking myself, who is this guy with Dresden? Were we supposed to know him or something? The whole book is based of an event that we were not there for. Little hints here and there about a case Dresden, Michael and Murphy and her agents worked. The entire book felt like I had missed out on something important. This really frustrated me.

So quick run down of the book. Susan and Dresden are apparently in a committed relationship. Bad guy breaks part of the spirit world while trying to take out people close to Dresden. Dresden frantically attempts to stop the bad guy before his friends are killed. Dresden goes into the spirit world to chase a ghost and runs into his grandmother/godmother, who wants to turn him into one of her dogs. Dresden attends the Red Courts ball with Michael to see if they can catch the person trying to kill people.  Huge big bad fight happens at the party, Susan shows up and annoys the hell out of me and we meet Thomas. Susan is bitten and then the bad guy makes a Dresden suit and wears it around to terrorize people and cause more problems for Dresden. The bad guy is defeated and Susan moves away.

Another quick and entertaining read. While the story was not the best and hard to follow at times, Butcher writes some fantastic characters and some not so great ones. Michael, a true Man of God, made me uncomfortable. I don’t do well around religious talk and it’s probably just me but his lectures to Dresden made me uncomfortable. If I met this man in real life, I would think he was nuts. Dresden handles him fantastically though. Towards the end of the book, he started to grow on me. Susan who is Dresden’s girlfriend is one of the characters that I can’t stand. I’m totally supportive of ambitious woman. I’m not supportive of woman who seem like they would do anything for a story. Every time Dresden and Susan talked I felt like she just wanted a story and not to mention what an idiot she is. I mean come on, why would you go to a Vampire’s party, uninvited and sneak in? Do you want to get yourself killed? I just don’t get what Dresden sees in her. The “love” they talk about is all talk and no substance. I’m glad she moved away. My last person I want to mention is Thomas and I loved him. Yes he is a vampire and I hope he does not become a totally asshole. I’d like to see and hear more from Thomas in later books.

I enjoyed Dresden in this one. His sense of humor makes me laugh and while his fighting style can sometimes bug me, his personality makes up for it. Attending the Vampire Custom party as a cheesy vampire, that’s pretty great. Overall the story was engaging and entertaining if not a little confusing. I don’t think I’d read this story again but I definitely look forward to reading the next book in the series. I’m giving Grave Peril by Jim Butcher a solid 3 stars.

Tangled Taurus Book Review Rating  Stars

Open When Letters

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OPEN WHEN…You miss home – INSIDE : 1. Put on rain boots 2. Pay too much for a chai 3. Find traffic and sit in it. ENJOY!

I’m sure you have heard about Open When letters. If you have not, they are a great low cost going away gift for friends or family members. I found a few pictures on Pinterest about them and thought it would be a great idea for one of my book club friends, S, who is moving away.

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OPEN WHEN…When you need a vacation – INSIDE : Hop into a dirigible, but don’t forget the chicken.

I’ve been trying to think of a great going away gift for her. She has been with the group for about 3 years and we are sad to see her leave. She’s changing professions and moving to an island so we are not THAT sad for her but I wanted a way to show her we will miss her. We are really going to miss her, she is constantly upbeat and wonderful.

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OPEN WHEN….It’s the first day at your new job – INSIDE: At least you aren’t the Dark Arts teacher, they never last the year…You’ll be great! Have Fun!

I came up with a few ideas for the envelopes and inside but wanted the whole book club to participate. I wanted it to be a group effort and I’m glad I did because I got some great cards out of the group. On Friday during book discussions I handed out note cards, envelopes, and pens. S had to miss the meeting so it was the perfect opportunity to complete this project. We wanted the cards to reflect some of the books we had read and you’ll see examples from Harry Potter (JK Rowling), Finishing School (Gail Carriger), Cat and Bones Night Huntress (Jeaniene Frost), Anita Blake (Laurell K. Hamilton), Kate Daniels (Ilona Andrews), Mercy Thompson (Patricia Briggs), October Daye (Seanan McGuire), and Chicagoland Vampires (Chloe Neill). Here are some of the ones we came up with, from our book club to her when she moves away.

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S absolutely loved the open when letters and even cried.

Tiffany – The Tangled Taurus

Now that I’m starting to post my Minimalism changes I’ve added a new page under Projects! Check it out.

What the [BLANK] happened this weekend?

I had my monthly book club meeting this weekend. It was slightly different than most of our meetings since we did some crafts during discussions. Good book discussions though. We are reading a series that 90% of the members like, so that helps. To be honest, I’m not sure why we are reading the series because most of us have already read the whole series. Oh I know why, because it’s a fantastic series. We love Kate Daniels!

I also came up with a pretty aggressive reading schedule for myself. I’m not behind on my book club books, with the exception of the Anita Blake series. In order to keep up I need to stick to the following schedule though. I have 10 books to read by October 2nd. My upcoming reading;

  • Finish the second half of Second Grave on the Left (8/10-8/12 : 62 pages a day)
  • Continue reading Kiss the Dead (8/12-8/15 : 96 pages a day)
  • Start Dark Debt (8/15-8/19 : 93 pages a day)
  • Start Night Seeker (8/19-8/23 : 85 pages a day)
  • Start Summer Knight (8/24-8/28 : 113 pages a day)
  • Start Affliction (8/29-9/4 : 82 pages a day)
  • Start Third Grave dead ahead (9/5-9/9 : 78 pages a day)
  • Start Jason (9/10-9/16 : 43 pages a day)
  • Start Magic Bleeds (9/17-9/20 : 117 pages a day)
  • Start Dead Ice (9/20-10/2: 42 pages a day)

This weekend I also took my nephew to see Ant-Man. My sister needed help this weekend and when I asked my nephew if he wanted to see it, he got super excited. He really likes superhero movies and even knew more about the movie than I did going in. The poor kid had never seen a Marvel movie in the theaters before, glad I could change that for him. After the movie we went and played mini golf. He really likes mini golf but boy does that kid need to learn how to accept the word no. Every time I told him no or not right now he would try to negotiate with me. When I would repeat myself and say no he would start to throw a fit. Luckily it was never a full blown tantrum but damn that kid tries to negotiate everything.

Other than that I was pretty lazy and didn’t do anything productive, except run the dishwasher and do 1 load of laundry.

Tiffany – The Tangled Taurus