Saturday, March 16, 2013

Shattered by Dani Pettrey

I am a reviewer for Bethany House and receive free books in exchange for reviewing them. The review are entirely my own. This review is for the book Shattered by Dani Pettrey.

This Christian fiction book started strong and kept my interest. Piper is a take charge, go-to gal who sets out to prove her brother's innocence when he is accused of murder. The last thing Landon wants is to arrest the brother of the woman he secretly loves, but it is his duty. When Piper's life is in danger, Landon takes a leave of absence to help her find the truth. As the two stumble upon new clues, they also begin to take a look at the feelings they have for each other.

I enjoyed the story. I got confused in a few places with all the characters involved since Piper has a lot of siblings. There were some obvious clich├ęs thrown in--a clingy woman throwing herself at Landon while Piper conveniently shows up just in time to see it or Piper going to a party she shouldn't and accepting a soda from a guy who nics it and tries to rape her as Landon gets there just in time to save her. There were also some unbelievable things like Landon discovering a bomb on the car as they are driving or an avalanche taking out the whole mountain and Landon and Piper surviving it.

Overall, though, it was a good read. Landon and Piper are both strong characters. Landon saves Piper and Piper saves Landon (twice!). If you like books with some action, romance, and a leading lady who saves the day, you'll probably enjoy this book.

I received this book free from Bethany House. The review is entirely my own.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

11 Ideas for New Kitchen Cabinets

When I was deciding what I wanted for my new kitchen, I spent a lot of time looking at ideas, suggestions, and what other people have done. I came up with a kitchen that I love and this post includes the specific items I requested for my cabinets. Many of these are standard for custom made cabinets, but I'll mention them anyway.

1) Adjustable Shelves--All of my shelves are adjustable, and I love it! My cabinets are very tall since they go all the way to the ceiling and the top shelves wouldn't be very useable if I wasn't able to adjust the lower shelves to make the top shelf just low enough that I can reach without a step-stool and can store tall items on them.

2) Built In Bookcase--My family loves books, and there are books everywhere all of the time. In the kitchen we find cook books, school books, and reading books. When we clear the table, it's always a challenge to find a place to put them. A built in bookcase was perfect for us. It is on the end, so it is not readily seen when first entering the kitchen and there are false panels on the front to make the end of the cabinet look like the rest of the drawers. My cabinet maker also wanted to add a door to cover up the bookcase since he thought it would be an eye-sore, so this is definitely an option. I think books are beautiful and add to any room, so I elected to not have the extra door covering up the book case. Again, the shelves are adjustable.

3) Plug/Sponge Storage--I hate finding a place for my plugs and sponges. This is the perfect solution.

4) Under the Cabinet Pull-Out Trash and Recycle--I love these. The size is perfect and it is so handy and out of the way.

5) Cutting Board with a Hole--I requested my cutting board directly over the trash so it could include a hole for scraping things directly into the trash when the trash is pulled out. The cutting board is reversible, so it can be used with the hole at the back or at the front. There is a regular drawer between the cutting board and the trash/recycle pull out, which is perfect for knives.

6) Verticle Platter Storage--My cabinets above my refrigerator are wider than usual to create more usable space. I love this verticle storage for platters and I will be adding more platters as I find them in my storage room.

7) Narrow Casserole Shelves--I absolutely hate stacking my casserole pans and having to pull out the whole stack to get to the one I want. This perfectly solves my problem.

8) Pull-Out Shelves with an Extra Shelf for Lids--My cabinet maker was going to install two large shelves for me, but I requested a 3rd because I wanted an extra shelf for lids. I originally was going to have a smaller shelf for the lids, but elected to make it the same size, and I'm glad I did since it fits all of my lids very easily, including my lids for my pans.

9) Behind the Door Spice Rack--This is my absolute favorite item in my entire kitchen. I love, love, love this adjustable spice rack. The shelves behind the door are 4" and will fit my large spice containers. The shelves inside the cabinet are also narrow, which I love, so that I don't have to search for my spices.

10) Lazy Susan--This corner lazy susan is large and handy for things like my crockpot, waffle-iron, etc. Honestly I don't love this item and will explain why in my next post, Things I Might Have Done Differently.

11) Oversize Drawers--I requested two of these oversize drawers so that I can store my regular dishes in them and my children (ages 6 and 3) can help unload the dishwasher. Previously I had dishes stored on my shelves above the counter and they could never help unload the dishwasher because they couldn't reach the shelves. These drawers are working very well.

Saturday, March 9, 2013


We recently bought a home and are working on fixing it up. I'm sure I'll be posting things as we do them. Our initial projects were professionally done, but from here on out we will be doing the improvements ourselves. Here is my kitchen that was just finished. I LOVE it!!! I'm posting a before and after picture to show what a huge improvement it is!



We still need to paint the walls and trim, add new window coverings, and there are a few more tweaks (like the little section of trim at the top that is missing), but it is looking great!