November 4, 2013

The Fright Circus

Let me start by saying that Halloween is my favorite holiday. Since the last week of August, I have been making weekly trips to Michael's, Jo-Anns and Target, looking for the most original Halloween decorations to add to my 7+ crate collection.

Michael's Craft Store, Palm Bay, FL Sept 17th 2013
Michael's was seriously disappointing this year. I'm not even kidding--they started clearing out their Halloween stuff and putting up the Lemax Christmas displays the second week of September. They're taking that whole Christmas "season" thing literally since you can count on this stuff being out until the middle of January.

For Halloween, I co-hosted a party with a friend at her house. Thought I'd share a few of our fun decorating tips: 

Replace your family portraits with portraits of movie stars and superheros.

See no evil, Hear no evil, Speak no evil skeletons.
We loved the construction paper bat Pinterest trend!

Convert a cluttered office desk  into a spooky setting with a white sheet and construction paper chains
Martha Stewart's Spooky Fence Post Deep Edge Punch helped us decorate mini water bottles for our refreshments--because it can be a challenge to keep a bowl of punch filled for a party of over 40 people.

Kid's Halloween Activity Table
The Magician's Assistant

Oh the fun things you can find at Good Will.
Skeleton Game

 With our large group, we decided potluck was the way to go. Along with the invitation, we included a ticket stub with the following message:

To our Wonderful Guests,

Please Bring a dish to share and provide the food category when you RSVP. There will be a prizes for the best dressed and spookiest dishes!

Best Costume received the skeleton trophy (purchased at Spirit Halloween.)
 Best Dish received a pair of hand towels (purchased at Target.)

July 3, 2013

Black Widow Cosplay

 UPDATE!  The pattern is now available in my ETSY shop Sorry, but it's just the one size until I have time to grade it larger or until I have more money to hire someone else to grade it. Check it out here:

When I'm not running our yogurt store or writing I enjoy sewing Cosplay commissions.
Black Widow, Avengers

For the 2013 Fanime Convention, I created a catsuit and gloves for "Black Widow" from the avengers.

Modeling the costume is Cosmic-Empress

For the record: Cosmic-Empress usually crafts her own costumes, but since I was planning on making this costume for myself, I offered to share the pattern. She purchased the fabric, provided the shoes,props, accessories, and wig--the essential elements that transformed this from a plain black catsuit into a recognizable Black Widow. 

This was one of the easier projects I've done because she selected a heavyweight knit instead of using a woven fabric and her measurements are very proportional.
Cosmic Empress

The SHIELD patches were purchased online.

Black Widow Technical Flat

June 25, 2013


by Kimberly Ann Miller
Release Date: 06/18/13
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press

Summary from Goodreads: 
A cruise ship. A beautiful island. Two sexy guys. What could possibly go wrong?

In the Bermuda Triangle—a lot.

Hoping to leave behind the reminders of her crappy life--her father's death years ago, her mother's medical problems, and the loser who’s practically stalking her--seventeen-year-old Autumn Taylor hops on a ship with her sister for a little distraction. When she wakes up in the Bermuda Triangle, she fears she's gone nuts for more than one reason: that loser’s suddenly claiming they're a happy couple... a hot guy is wrapping his arms around her and saying "Happy Anniversary"... and suddenly, she’s full of bruises, losing her hair, and getting IV medication. Autumn visits the ship's doctor, hoping for a pill or a shot to make the craziness go away. Instead, she's warned that these "alternate realities" could become permanent.

She just has to ask herself one question—how the hell is she going to get out of this mess?

 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png  photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg  photo 111AD205-AA04-4F9E-A0F4-C1264C4E9F30-1855-000001A1E8CEB6D7_zps9b730b94.jpg  photo B1426D4C-9EEC-4C0B-A1FB-90524B03C0CA-1855-000001A1E82B3B3E_zps17d98f4d.jpg

“Are you all right, honey?”

I opened my eyes. An attractive young woman with red hair and brilliant
green eyes was looking at me. What I thought was salt water from the
ocean must have been tears because my face was the only one nearby that
was wet. I glanced at her concerned expression and smiled. “Yes, thank
you. I’m fine.” I swiped away a tear with my finger. “Just…everything’s

She stepped closer and lowered her voice. “This cruise will change
your life. Nothing will be the same when it’s over, but it will be worth it.
You’ll see.” Her emerald eyes twinkled, and she nodded her head once.

I forced a laugh to be polite. “Thanks. Enjoy your cruise.”

What a weirdo. What did that even mean? How could a cruise change
my life? I moved from my spot to avoid more weirdness from her and
found a less populated area at the back of the ship. New York and New
Jersey disappeared behind us as we charged toward Bermuda and away
from the mess my life had become.

A cloud covered the retreating sun, sending shivers through me. A
white-haired lady dropped her purse and lots of change tumbled out. A
penny hit my foot and landed on tails.

My cell phone buzzed. I pulled it from my pocket. I had thirteen
messages and thirteen texts. How would Nisha survive the next five days
without hearing from me? I took care of the messages and told her I’d call
her when we got back to Jersey.

Even though I was not very superstitious, a bad feeling crawled into
the pit of my stomach and took up residence.

I knew what I was leaving behind, but what was I floating toward?

Kimberly Miller received Bachelor's degrees from Georgian Court University and Rutgers University and a Master's degree from The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. She is an avid reader and particularly enjoys true crime and young adult novels. She grew up in New Jersey and currently resides in Monmouth County with her husband and three cats. When she’s not writing, she loves to travel to sunny islands where she snorkels by day and stargazes by night. She always takes her Nook with her. 


(2) $10 gift card to Amazon or Barnes and Noble
Spencer Hill Press is also doing a giveaway for a cruise!  Click HERE to enter to win!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

March 31, 2013


Haven't blogged in FOREVER but am hoping to start again soon. 

I just moved within the last month and it has come to my attention that I own backpacking equipment and a sleeping bag, but no tent.

Went to Craigslist looking for a cheap tent and was inspired to write this post based on the exaggerations of what Coleman thinks qualifies as a "6 person tent". (Means 2 people, 1 midget, and their bags.) 

3-compartment tent, spacious, lots of fun for the whole family.
Great condition, downsizing 'cause our elephant retired.
Supersized tent, comes in sections. Create your own unique shape.
Allergy alert--this is not from a non-smoking home.

No delivery--you pick up. Sinai Desert.

January 4, 2013

Clutch Murder in the Second Degree

As long as I've been married, I've told my husband that he needs to quit sitting on the clutch of our standard-shift truck at the stoplights. It is not that hard to shift it to neutral and hold the foot brake, and it's not like Florida has a ton of hills where he has to worry about rolling backwards.

My husband's response has always been: "I've driven tons of stick-shifts and I've never worn out the clutch."

I say: "My dad is a mechanic and he says it wears it out faster."

He says: "Whatever, I'm not changing the way I drive because I don't think that's true."
So... not only today did I get to tell him "I told you so." But so did the transmission mechanic as he handed us a bill for $730 dollars. (Clutch and slave chamber replacement.)  The icing on the cake though... is that this is the same guy we just paid $2000 dollars two days prior to rebuild the transmission on our 05 Taurus because that failed on my way home from picking my brother up at the airport at 1 am.


I see you removed my transmission, now can you  put it back where you found it?
 (For the record:  both vehicles are Fords. The Taurus is an automatic and has 75k. The tranny problem was inherited from the manufacturer because Ford used cheap metal to make the torque converter. The truck is an 03 Ranger at 90k, and I do take regular and good care of all our cars.)
Clutch disc worn down to the rivets.

Today's lesson is: It is much cheaper to replace your brakes than to pay someone $85 an hour to take out the transmission and replace the clutch. 

It is also cheaper to replace a clutch than to rebuild an automatic transmission. 

Read more here:


Read more here: