Monthly Archives: November 2014

Book Review: The Job

The Job (Fox and O'Hare, #3)The Job by Janet Evanovich
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another fun book by Janet Evanovich! I loved it. I love this series. Kate and Nick are great.

Nick Fox is a world renowned thief who has been caught and is undercover working for the FBI. Kate is an FBI agent who works with Nick. She tries not to fall for him but he’s sexy and charming and handsome and smells good.

In this book they are trying to catch a notorious bad guy who’s had complete body plastic surgery and has assumed a new identity. They come up with a great plan to catch him that’s funny and suspenseful.

This is a fast moving book with great characters and a good story line. Highly recommend! πŸ™‚

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#SMTulsa visits the new Microsoft Store in Tulsa

Tomorrow, the new Microsoft Store in Woodland Hills Mall will open. They will have a ribbon cutting at 10:30. Then they have cool giveaways and events planned for the whole day.


Today, the SMTulsa crew was invited to take a VIP Tour of the store.

We met the store manager, Jared, who took us on the tour. There were lots of cool things to see. XBoxOne which runs your home TV, phone, etc. all from one spot.


Phones in price ranges for everyone.

viptour4The Microsoft Band, wearable fitness band with a display and tons of functionality.


Tablets, normally price at $199, will be just $99 tomorrow. 


A 3D printer for home. Beyond cool. πŸ™‚


And finally the thing I know I must MUST have. The Surface Pro 3.


Just look at how the fine point stylus writes on the screen! And it can do so much more. 


We had a great time and I think you will, too, if you go to the opening tomorrow to check it out.  We liked it! πŸ™‚


Book Review: The Heart Has Its Reasons

The Heart Has Its ReasonsThe Heart Has Its Reasons by MarΓ­a DueΓ±as
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m normally a very fast reader but this book took me a long time to finish. At the beginning, it moved slowly for me. But the back story kept drawing me in and made me want to finish. I’m so glad I did!

In an effort to escape the abrupt ending of her marriage, Blanca accepts a position in California, far away from her home in Madrid. She is to work on the legacy of a former professor at the college where she ends up. Although she is over qualified for the position, it was what she needed to get past the hurt in her life.

As she progresses through the life of the professor via his papers, she meets Daniel Carter. It is Daniel’s story that is the back story there. How, as a young man, he went to Spain to become entrenched in the culture and society so he could be a Hispanist.

This story was wonderful. I didn’t know exactly how the two stories would merge until close to the end. If you start to read it, and think it’s not moving fast enough, hold on and finish it! You’ll be glad you did.

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Raw Pumpkin Spice Smoothie

I’m not one of those girls who’s all gaga over pumpkin spice everything. I like the taste but hadn’t had it this year. This morning, I found myself with a banana crisis on my hands. Usually I have the same smoothie for breakfast: bananas, strawberries and spinach. I love it so much I usually have it for lunch! πŸ™‚


But I used my last “dead” banana yesterday at lunch time. I have frozen bananas and bananas that aren’t quite ripe yet. So last night I had to figure out what I was going to have for breakfast so I’d be prepared. I had used some of the pumpkin I had in the freezer to make Raw Pumpkin Hummus (amazing!) and thought that pumpkin could be a possibility.

I was nervous to eat a pumpkin raw. Why? I couldn’t tell you. Everthing I’ve tasted raw so far has been delicious. I was so drawn by the hummus recipe that I finally decided to try it. When I got the pumpkin all pureed, I tasted it and was surprised. It was sweet! And yummy. πŸ™‚  I then proceeded to Middle Easternize it. πŸ˜‰ 

So this morning, I decided to make a Raw Pumpkin Spice Smoothie. I used dates, frozen bananas, pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice. Then , after I took a pretty photo of it, I added a half a bag of spinach because I have just got to have it!  The spinach didn’t take away from the deliciosity of the smoothie, it just took away its pumpkiny color. Here I am making up all sorts of words in one paragraph. πŸ˜‰


So here’s the recipe if you’d like to try it. It is a big YUM! I think quite highly of raw pumpkin now, if you hadn’t guessed. 


Raw Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
A raw pumpkin spice offering.
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  1. 10 dates
  2. 2 frozen bananas
  3. 1 cup raw pumpkin
  4. 1 cup water
  5. 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  6. 4 1/2 oz spinach, if desired
  1. Add dates, water, bananas into Vitamix. Blend well. Then add pumpkin and spice and blend until combined. If you'd like to add spinach, add enough water to mix it in, approximately 2 cups.
  1. The spinach doesn't take away from the pumpkin-y taste!

#NaNoWriMo 2014

NaNoWriMo logo

Have you hear of NaNoWriMo? I believe I first heard of it four years ago when my friend Jen Luitweilter was participating. She explained to me that NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writer’s Month. And a lot of people do it!

I’ve had a book in my head for several years now. Back then, it hadn’t been there as long, though. I investigated the website and decided that the following November, I was going to sign up and finally write that booki.

The following November rolled around and I made an account at the NaNo website. And I chickened out. I hadn’t even written Pageant Savvy at that time. I’d written no book and I was terrified to write one. That no one would read it and I would be embarrassed. 

Another year went by.

It was November of 2013 and I thought, “This year, I’m going to do it!” I logged into my account at the NaNo website and this time, I entered the title of my book.

And I chickened out.

At this point, I HAD written a book but it was non fiction. My doubts were huge and I thought I simply couldn’t write fiction.

Earlier in 2014, My friend Becky McCray told me to just write the darned thing and get it out. Don’t worry about edits, that would come later. Great advice and I did think about starting to write it then but never did. Things got in the way, I was still scared.

I put “Win NaNoWriMo 2014” on my goals list. Write Mrs. Congeniality was already there. It’s been there. πŸ˜‰

This year, in September, I went to a blogger get together. There, I sat across the table from one of the Municipal Liaisons of the Tulsa NaNo group. I told her I had tried a couple of years to do NaNo but I had chickened out. She told me about the local group and told me she was going to hold my feet to the fire.

So this year, I logged into my account, entered a title, a synopsis, donated to the cause (NaNo is user supported) and began writing. Now after having written for seven days, my word count is just under 19,000. My dashboard says that I should complete my book November 22, eight day early. Whoa! 

And you know what? It’s been fun! This book has been in my head for so long, it’s just flowing out my fingers and I like it. Bigger news? I wouldn’t care if someone read it! And this is only the first draft. 

While I have a general idea of the story, I did write bios for all of the characters before I started writing. As I write, situations take place on the screen that, after I’m finished, surprise me. I had no idea I would write that. How fun!

I will win NaNoWriMo this year. And I will be so happy to cross two goals off my list. But I want to encourage you. If you ever thought you had a book to write, don’t be scared, sign up for NaNoWritMo and get it done in November. πŸ™‚