Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Spiced Praline Pecans


Crazi Beautiful Women has an incredible recipe for Spiced Praline Pecans on their website right now. Doesn't that picture just make you drool and want to run to the store to buy all the ingredients and get cookin'? Yum!

I hope you're enjoying the holidays!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Bloggers Wanted: (dis)Abilities in the Gospel Blog Tour

My publisher is gathering contacts for my book's blog tour. We are specifically looking for parents, teachers, and church leaders who are raising or teaching kids/teens/adults with special needs (specifically autism, downs syndrome and other mental disabilities) AND who also have a blog they post on regularly. If you or someone you know is interested in reviewing the book, please email me off list with your snail mail address, email address, and blog address (lots of addresses!) at danyelle@danyelleferguson.com The book tour is this summer.

You can find out more about my book at www.DanyelleFerguson.com

Thank you for all your support!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Winner of Missing by Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen


I know, I'm late drawing the winner of this contest. I apologize. I got caught up in all the school holiday parties, church activities, and family coming in and out of town.

And now, the winner of Missing by Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen is comment #33!

Rachelle

Congrats, Rachelle! Please email me your snail mail address and I'll send your book out once the holidays settle down.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and enjoy time spent with your family and friends!

Monday, December 14, 2009

New Clicks for Charity Winner!


Well, the original winner did not respond in time. And since she also left no way to contact her, I am drew another winner. A huge congrats to . . .

Casey Aubut!

I've already contacted Casey, and she's SUPER thrilled to win. Congrats again, Casey!

Christmas Treats: Buckeyes

One thing I love about Christmas is all the yummy treats. It's so much fun to make yummy stuff for my family and friends. I enjoy getting surprise visits on my doorstep from friends bringing by some of their favorite treats, too. It's just one of the fun traditions for this time of year.

This year, I discovered a new recipe on Walmart.com, of all places. This recipe is for Buckeyes. I have no idea why you would ever call something so yummy and pretty a nasty name like Buckeye, but not everyone is creative. A guy must have named them. =) So, here's a fun recipe for everyone out there in the middle of their baking frenzy, too.

There is only one thing I would change about this recipe: I made it with Ghiradelli Semi-Sweet chips - but the chocolate flavor was too strong with the peanut butter center. I suggest trying milk chocolate chips instead. I did make a small batch with white chocolate chips for my hubby - who's not a chocolate fan - and he loved them.



Buckeyes

Ingredients

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cup confectioners' sugar
1-1/4 cups semisweet chocolate morsels (1-1/4 cups = 7-1/2 oz)
1 tablespoon vegetable shortening


Directions

1. Blend peanut butter, butter, salt and confectioners’ sugar together in medium bowl with an electric mixer on low speed. Mixture will be stiff. Line sheet pan with wax paper. Roll peanut butter mixture into small, bite-size balls, about 3/4-inch round. Refrigerate until set; about 30 minutes.

2. Place morsels and shortening in top of double boiler with simmering water in the bottom. Melt ingredients over medium low heat; blend well. Remove from heat. ***I microwaved mine according to the package instructions.

3. Insert wooden pick into top of chilled peanut butter ball. Dip into melted chocolate, leaving only the top 1/4 of peanut butter ball uncovered for typical Buckeye appearance. Place coated side on prepared sheet pan. Repeat until all pieces are coated. Refrigerate until chocolate is set, about 30 minutes. Place in airtight container; keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Clicks for Charity Winner!


Wow! This has got to be one of the best contests I've fun! Thanks for being so excited about the EZ View Desktop and helping Clicks for Charity.

And now, the winner of the EZ View Desktop is . . .


Danielle!

Not only does she have an AWESOME name, but she's now in the final round to qualify for the Grand Prize, an EZ View Desk system!

Danielle - please contact me (queenoftheclan@gmail.com) within 24 hours with the following info: your full name, snail mail address, phone number, email address, and preference of black or vanilla finish for your EZ View Desktop.

Thank you to everyone who participated!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Gorgeous Embellished Kitchen Towels

My friend, Joni, is a creative genius. She can do things with fabric and a sewing machine that I only dream of someday being able to do. Her creations make me drool. One of my favorite things to do is to hop over to her Modern Myrtle blog, and scroll through her recent designs. Absolutely beautiful stuff.

Joni recently did a guest How-To blog for Bloom. I *loved* the embellished kitchen towels - and may even try to make a set myself, if I can get up enough courage to break out my sewing machine. But seriously, aren't these gorgeous?





















To learn how to make these embellished kitchen towels, check out this post on Bloom. Happy sewing!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Book Review & Give Away: Missing by Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen


From the back of Missing by Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen:

A BYU-Idaho choir tour in British Columbia turns out to be anything but ordinary when soloist Stacie Cox spots a kidnapped child from Rexburg during a performance. Before Stacie can alert the authorities, the little girl disappears. Stacie vows to find and rescue her, a choice that forces her to deal with her guilt-ridden past and another little girl that haunts her dreams. When the handsome Matt Brennan helps Stacie in the search, she tries to resist the attraction she feels for him. Yet as he gains her friendship and trust, her resolve to never fall in love begins to crumble. And after a series of harrowing events, Stacie must decide if she is willing to sacrifice her life - and a possible future with Matt - to save a stranger.


I was very excited when Ronda's publisher contacted me and asked me if I'd like to read and review her new book. Honestly, I had been waiting for it come out so I could snatch it up. Next to romance & humor, I love mysteries! And this book is definitely filled with mystery, some romance, and a bit of humor, too.

The prologue takes place when Stacie is just a young teen, spending the summer at her aunt and uncle's campground, when disaster strikes. A young girl drowns in the campground pool while Stacie is supposed to be watching her brothers. This scene just ripped my heart out.

The first chapter actually kind of confused me. This is the kidnapping scene. I actually wondered if Stacie was the kidnapper at first. I thought she had run away, changed her name, led a difficult life, which eventually led to kidnapping a young girl who looked like the girl who had drowned. But that assumption was totally dispelled when I moved past that scene and caught up with Stacie during her BYU-Idaho concert tour.

During one of her Christmas concerts in Canada, Stacie sees the kidnapped girl and recognizes her from the missing posters she had seen in Idaho. She abruptly cuts off her solo and runs, trying to reach the girl before she disappears with her kidnapper in the crowd. Her attempt is unsuccessful. The police aren't very helpful, and Stacie becomes determined to try to track the girl down.

All along the way, Stacie encounters obstacles, but is rewarded with clues here and there that keep her on the right trail. The pacing is fast, and kept me glued to the book. I was gripping the book for the last few chapters, hoping and hoping she would find the little girl, rescue her from the psycho kidnapper . . .

Missing is a gripping novel that kept me plastered to my coach, eyes reading as fast as I could, and swatting my kids away to go make PB&J for dinner. I just couldn't put the book down. This is an excellent first book by Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen. I hope she'll have another book out soon!

Visit Ronda's website here.

You can purchase Missing though this link:



Missing Give Away:

I have two copies of Missing by Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen for this give away. There are several ways to enter - be sure to leave a comment for each entry! This contest ends on Dec. 15th at noon. The winner will be announced that evening and must contact me within 48 hours or a new winner will be drawn.

1. Leave a comment on this post. Tell me why you'd like this book.

2.Facebook the contest and share the link back to this post.

3. Tweet about this contest with a link to this post.

4. Follow me on Twitter @TaDaFerguson

5. Become a Queen of the Clan follower.

6. Sign up for my newsletter-- email: QueenOfTheClan@gmail.com

Receive additional 5 entries! Blog about this contest. If you have a private blog, it will not be eligible for this part of the contest. In your blog post, please use the tags: Queen of the Clan and Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen. Also, be sure to provide a link back to my blog: www.QueenOfTheClan.com

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Isaac & The Cello

Monday night, our oldest son, Isaac, performed in his very first concert. He just started playing the cello this year. I was so excited when he decided to play an instrument. I played both the violin and the flute through elementary school, then switched to just the flute in high school. I love musical instruments and was thrilled to share something I love so much with my son. I have been super impressed with how excited he is to play. He practices every day he brings his cello home - and of course, loves to show off for his brother and sisters. Here's a video of Isaac playing the cello for MJ, Rob, & Anna.





The last year has been very mind-opening for me. I always worry about Isaac and autism. I wonder what his life will be like, will he have friends, will he go to college, will he be happy . . . So many questions that plague my mind. I will always worry, but this past year I've tried to worry a tad less, and celebrate more. Isaac has done some incredible things that he's loved - such as running 5K's and learning to fly a Piper Cub Airplane.

And now, he's playing the cello! I'm just so proud of all he's accomplished and how hard he's worked. Here are some pictures and another video from his concert:




5th Grade Orchestra
Isaac is on the back row, all the way on the right.

Isaac & his good friend, Libby

Isaac with two very awesome people!
Katie is Isaac's district autism specialist and Todd is his autism aide. Isaac adores them both and was so happy they came to his concert.

Isaac with his very proud parents.

I'm very excited to see how the rest of this year goes. If Isaac continues to be excited about the cello . . . I see a bright shiny new instrument becoming a new addition to our family.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Counting Clicks for Charity: The Original Scrapbox Gives Back Giveaway

I was so excited when Rachelle emailed and asked me to participate in this incredible giveaway.

Many of you may remember when I hosted a giveaway for The Original Scrapbox over the summer. They have such awesome products for anyone who is into scrapbooking, card marking, sewing, or if you're an organization freak like me.

But this give away is different - and so much better! This time, you have the opportunity to not only have fun entering a contest, but also to give back to two charitable organizations.

The Original Scrapbox is hosting the 12 Blogs of Christmas - of which, I am one of those blogs. From Dec. 4th - 11th, all of my readers have the opportunity to enter to win an EZ View Desktop. You can also visit the other 11 blogs to enter in their drawings as well. Each blog is giving away a desktop. Isn't that awesome?



The drawing for the EZ View Desktop will take place on December 12th.


But here's where it gets even more awesome - The Original Scrapbox is counting how many clicks (hits in web lingo) their website gets from Dec. 4th - 11th. When they reach 12,000 hits, The Original Scrapbox company will give one EZ View Craft Desk to The Friends of Utah County Children's Justice Center.

The Children's Justice Center is a homelike facility which serves children and families who are experiencing the crisis and chaos that comes with the disclosure of severe physical or sexual abuse of a child. While there, each child receives a doll or teddy bear, then have the opportunity to color and make crafts while at the center. The children will be able to use the EZ View Desk to access their supplies. It will make a wonderful addition to The Children's Justice Center!



Wait! There's even MORE! The Original Scrapbox is also going to give away one more EZ View Desk when they reach 25,000 hits on their website. This time, the charity will be chosen from a list of charity nominated by this contest's participants. That means you get to help by nominating a charity of your choice to be placed on the list!

To nominate a charity, send an email to RachelleWrites@gmail.com Rachelle is the co-ordinator for The 12 Blogs of Christmas. In your email, include the name of your charitable organization, a description of what they do, and the name & contact information for the person at the charity who deals with donations. Be sure to tell Rachelle why these products would benefit your charity.

Don't you think the EZ View Desk is gorgeous? Well, take a deep breath, because there will also be a Grand Prize Drawing from all the 12 Blogs of Christmas EZ View Desktop winners. One lucky person will win an EZ View Craft Desk on December 14, 2009.

As my kids would say, that's the most awesomest thing ever!

How to enter The 12 Blogs of Christmas Giveaway:

You may earn 1 entry each for doing the following Please make a separate comment for each entry. Make sure your contact info is easily accessible so I can contact you if you win: No purchase necessary to enter. Entries that do not follow all of the entry requirements will not be considered. *Note: This contest is open to residents of USA,Canada, UK, and EU countries.

  1. You must visit The Original Scrapbox website to be eligible for this contest. Choose your favorite product. Leave a comment here and tell me what your favorite is and how you would use this product.

  2. Become a Facebook fan of The Original Scrapbox here.

  3. Facebook the contest and share the link back to this post.

  4. Tweet about this contest with a link to this post and use the hashtag #scrapbox in your tweet.

  5. Follow me on Twitter @TaDaFerguson

  6. Become a Queen of the Clan follower.

  7. Sign up for my newsletter-- email: QueenOfTheClan@gmail.com

Receive additional 5 entries! Blog about this contest with a picture of the Workbox and the EZ View Craft Desk. If you have a private blog, it will not be eligible for this part of the contest. In your blog post, please use the tags: The Original Scrapbox,EZ View Desktop, EZ View Craft Desk. Also, be sure to provide a link back to my blog: www.QueenOfTheClan.com

Remember, there are 12 blogs to enter with a special way to help The Original Scrapbox give back!

There are 11 other awesome bloggers holding a contest to give away an EZ View Desktop. Yes, 12 EZ View Desktops will be given away—one from each blog! Stop by their blogs and enter for more chances to win:










Get as many entries as you can by telling your friends about this contest and stay tuned to my blog for more incredible giveaways! Good luck! Contest ends December 11, 2009 at 11:59pm.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Mormon Mishaps & Mischief: Hilarious Stories for Saints by D.N. Giles & C.L. Beck


It's finally out! Mormon Mishaps & Mischief by D.N. Giles & C.L. Beck has hit the bookshelves. Six of my own short stories appear in this fun humor book. Here's more about the book:

Ward meetings have never been so funny!

This collection of humorous anecdotes from celebrated LDS authors shows off Church members at their finest. From primary pranks to cheeky comments made by Zion’s youth to high priests hijinx, no age group is immune to the potential for humor.

Though it may not be in the official Word of Wisdom, laughter really is the best medicine. Whether you’re a senior missionary, or an eight

-year-old graduating to senior primary, you’re bound to get a kick out of these silly stories.

Read about:

*The preschooler who was afraid of being eaten by ‘Sunbeans’

* Establishing Zion in Cougar Stadium

*The ‘oddmonition’ of Paul

*The 14th article of faith

*Doing battle with the “Laman Knights”

*A young women outing that almost landed the class behind bars…and lots more!

Perfect for those long Sunday afternoons, Mormon Mishaps and Mischief will keep your family laughing all week long!



Mormon Mishaps & Mischief makes a fabulous stocking stuffer. You can purchase it here:




If you'd like to meet the authors and many of the contributors and have you book signed by all, then head on over to the Book Launch Party!

Dec. 9, from 6-9p.
At Barnes and Noble
330 E 1300 S
(University Parkway)
Orem, Utah
Review Disclaimer: Sometimes a book I review has been sent to me for free by a publisher or an author. This in no way effects my review, which is my own opinion about whether the book was a good read for me, fit my tastes, and if I would recommend it to others. Other than possibly a free book, I am not compensated in any way for posting a review.