Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Watercolor World

Watercolor paintings are the definition of ethereal- they're poetic and airy and all together lovely.  They look almost...effortless (although I can attest to the fact that they're not- anytime I've ever attempted a watercolor painting, it's ended up looking more like a tie dye t-shirt than anything else).  I've had a watercolor post in the back of my head for weeks, but after a quick visit to Target over the weekend, I knew the time was now.  They've got a whole mess of watercolor goodness at the moment, including but not limited to the super pretty pillow below.  Like you needed another excuse to go to Target, right?

1. Pink Wallpaper  2. Odessa Imagery Ring, Anthropologie $48  3. ECI Print Charmeuse Blouson Dress, Nordstrom $148  4. Decorative Toss Pillow, Target $19.99  5. Water Paper Paint Book, Amazon $15.63  6. Bottle Garden Cake Plate, Catherine Hammerton £10  7. Black Crow Studios

Get It Together: Black & White

The "room" below is chocked full of buzzwords guaranteed to add a few cool points to your space.  Take the filament lightbulb in the Cylinder pendant light for example, or the vintage lucite & ratan lounge chair...or- my personal favorite- the flap clock (I may actually need that).  A neat-o combo if I do say so myself.

1. Silver Cylinder Pendant, Pieces $485  2. Pair of Lucite & Rattan Lounge Chairs, Pieces $2850  3. Ming Bookcase, Dovecote Decor $1155  4. Black Ceramic Large Bowl, Habitat £10  5. Flap White Plastic Analogue Wall Clock, Habitat £130  6. African Mod Pillow, Villa Home
Monday, May 30, 2011

Design Musings

Land That I Love

Today is a day for honoring heroes- real, honest to goodness heroes.  If you're planning a celebration and want to think outside the berry stars and stripes cake, I hope you find a little inspiration below.  For those of you throwing or attending a picnic (pretty much all of you, right?  that's what I figured), make sure you check out last week's Table for Twelve- we had a crazy fun picnic in the park that you pretty much have to see.  Most importantly, don't let today pass you by without taking a moment to be thankful for our country, our brave servicemen and women and for the sacrifices of so many.  We owe them a debt too big to pay.  Happy Memorial Day, everyone!  Have fun and be safe!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Mucha Match

Every so often, I find myself cyber-stalking Alphonse Mucha.  No worries, I'm not in danger of a restraining order- he's a brilliant Czech artist from the late 18 and early 1900's.  I just love his work!  I was going through my iPhoto library the other day and noticed I'd pulled a few dresses (Jenny Packham and Versace ones to be exact) that very well may have been inspired by his paintings.  Quite a match, don't you think?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Foodie Files

Lasagna is so delicious, but for some reason I have to really psych myself up to make it.  To be totally honest, it kind of stresses me out.  Baked Ziti on the other hand?   Now that 's comfort food.  There's just as many ingredients and probably just as many steps, but for whatever reason it's almost thereputic to make (and even more thereputic to eat).  Here's the recipe I made last night...keep in mind, I typically cook for a small army so this is more than likely way more than you need.  The recipe below should feed about 8-10.

10 cups rigatoni
5 links mild Italian sausage
48oz tomato sauce
30oz ricotta cheese
1/4 cup Romano cheese
1/4 cup Italian parsley
16oz shredded mozzarella cheese

First, de-case your sausage...simple but just as disgusting as it sounds- pierce the case and squeeze it out.  Yeah.  Pretty gross.

Brown and drain sausage, then add tomato sauce and simmer for about 10 minutes.

Mix ricotta cheese, Romano cheese and parsley and set aside.

Cook rigatoni until it's al dente and transfer to baking dish(es- depending on how big a crowd you're serving).

Now mix all that goodness together, starting with the sauce....

...then adding the ricotta cheese (and spreading evenly throughout).

Top with mozzarella cheese (mmmmm....)

...and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.  Broil on high for 3-5 minutes or until the cheese is lightly browned.  I'm pretty sure I could eat this every day.  Holy cow, is it good.  

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Mirror, Mirror

I'm in desperate need of a splash of color today....aaaand, I think this dress should about do it!  It's so vibrant- not to mention a totally flattering cut!  I say file that one under "yes".  And while you're filing, make sure you include that wooden watch (!) and orange cross body bag.

1. Blue Dress, Mara Hoffman  2. Psychometry Wayfarers, Cheap Monday $30  3. Avanessi One Love Bracelet, Shop Rumor $250  4. Avanessi Knot Ring, Shop Rumor $365  5. Date Brown Watch, WeWood Timepieces $119  6. Circle cut heels, Pierre Hardy  7. Wooden Square Shaped Hoop Earrings, ASOS $18.47  8. Havana Crossbody Bag, Nasty Gal $48

Baby Got Back

The backs of these dresses are outrageous....in the best possible way, of course.  I'm a big proponent of leaving my long hair down, but I'd gladly rock an updo for the sake of these lovely little numbers (I was going to joke that they'd be worth cutting my hair for, but that's just crazy talk.  I may or may not have hyperventilated a bit just thinking about it).  Seriously, though- are these awesome or what?

1. Floral Dress, Mara Hoffman  2. Cooperative Silky Colorblock Dress, Urban Outfitters $59  3. Rope Swing Dress, Kai-aakmann $61.60  4. Sequined Silk Dress, 3.1 Phillip Lim $675  5. Lattice Wrap Dress, Nasty Gal $58  6. Back View Dress, Anthropologie $168
Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Get It Together: Crazy Cool

Admit it- this stuff is cool.  That light?  Awesome.  The pillows?  Killer.  The chair?  Amazing.  The rug?  Totally crazy.  But also really neat.  I legitimately love this room.

1. Caviar Cluster Chandelier, Dovecote Decor $2,640  2. Global Bazaar Chic Pillow, Villa Home  3. Dragon Croc Pillow, Dovecote Decor $350  4. Floreo Leafy Plant, Habitat £30  5. Hanging Rattan Chair, Pieces $2,460  6. Beautiful Print, Jayson Home & Garden $440  7. Elio Neutral Wood Wall Clock, Habitat £35  8. Lumi Gift Set, CB2 $14.70  9. Custom Zebra Rug, Pieces $1195  10. Skeleton Keys, Z Gallerie $99.95

Guest Post: Jessica from Learning Love's Life

Hello, I’m Jessica and I have a little blog called Learning Love’s Life. I’ve been friends with Gabby since my freshmen year of college and she’s not only hilarious but incredibly creative too (which I’m sure is not news to you). When she asked me to guest post I brainstormed for a few days on what I wanted to share and then came the light bulb: push presents

Currently being 9 months pregnant I have all kinds of crazy thoughts running around.  So what is a push present you ask? It’s a very thoughtful gift from a woman’s husband given right after she becomes a new mom. Sort of a, “I know this isn’t going to make up for the traumatic and life changing experience you just had but thanks sweetheart” token of gratitude if you will. Rachel Zoe was recently given a push present from her husband: only a 10 carat ring, nothing too amazing of course. So I came up with a few items that I think would make for charming push presents for new mamas …

Fabulous new shoes like Hunter Wellies or Glitter TOMS: swelling and lack of balance are common side effects of pregnancy and it’s hard to part with our favorite heels. Getting a new pair to battle the elements, or just still be able to have some mommy style after baby is invaluable.

Concert tickets: a date night to see Adele or Mumford & Sons would serve as an excellent adults-only evening out .

New dishes and cooking extras: now that we’re domesticated so to speak, a good place to start is having a chic kitchen. Anthropologie is always a safe bet.

 A kindle or nook: reading is one of my greatest strategies of relaxation. As I’m holding an infant it may become challenging to also hold my latest warm-weather read. Having this small device can be handy during long feedings, cry-athons, or rocking baby to bed in the wee hours of the morning.  A delightful cover doesn't hurt either.

Dramatic accessories: if none of my favorite clothes fit yet, I can still feel like a presentable lady in new diamonds or pearls.

Rayban Wayfarers: new mom= no sleep. To battle the dark undereye circles, a classic pair of sunglasses when I’m running errands with baby will make all the difference in how I face the world.

Rosetta Stone: while many mothers love staying at home with baby, after a few days of cooing over the little joy it's common to begin to crave some adult interaction. Having this little nugget will serve to still make mama feel like a productive adult while also multi-tasking and working to develop baby’s communication skills. Experts say the best time to learn a new language is between birth and age 7!

Last but not least, a giftcard to her favorite store!  Being a new parent means learning that the world no longer revolves around you and your desires.  By gifting this simple piece of plastic, a mom can remember that it's okay for it to be about her every so often... within reason of course.

I hope you enjoyed some of my suggestions, even if you're not expecting they are reasonable gifts to ask for any upcoming birthday, anniversary, holiday, or the run-of-the-mill Tuesday.  
Thanks Gabby for letting me share!


No, thank YOU Jessica! :)  How much did you guys love that?  A lot, right?  I figured you would.  Luckily for all of us, there's more where that came from over at Jessica's blog, Learning Love's Life.  There's tons of good stuff over there, but I'll tell you right now what you've got to see, and that's her maternity shoot.  I'm pretty confident no one should look that pretty at 9 months pregnant, but what do I know.  To make sure you don't miss out on any of Jessica's adventures (I think we can all agree she's got some preeeetty exciting things on deck), follow her on twitter at @jessicamtyler.  Thanks again, Jessica!
Monday, May 23, 2011

Table for Twelve: Picnic in the Park

I've come to think of Table for Twelves like my digital children, so to pick a favorite would seem not only difficult but also kind of wrong.  None are better than the others, they're just...different.  Valentine's Day, for example, was the sweet one, Breakfast at Tiffany's was the classy one, Royal Wedding was the regal one, but this last Table for Twelve?  Now that was the FUN one.  In preparation for picnic season I gathered the troops, said a prayer for sunny skies and set sail to Nashville's Centennial Park.  Thankfully the day turned out to be a gorgeous one, but we had more than just the sun to celebrate.  I scheduled this Table for Twelve to coincide with the birthdays of my brother Joey and our sweet friend Elijah, so you'll notice a bit of a birthday curve ball in the mix as well.

In terms of the table itself, I used yards and yards of red gingham fabric to create a classic picnic tablecloth.  I kept the centerpieces simple- jars filled with beautiful wildflowers in our color palate- to give the table a bit of an organic vibe.  I was able to use the last of my Mom's wicker plate holders (apparently these were all the rage in the 90's) for the place settings, but since her supply dwindled throughout the years I used bamboo chargers to fill in the gaps.  My favorite touch was the mason jar glasses filled with ice cold lemonade (and a sprig of mint)!

I arranged to have "lunch boxes" catered through Whole Foods, complete with artisan sandwiches, pasta salad and a cookie.  We then created our own boxes to display the food and marked them with the type of sandwich inside.  I added a green salad, buffalo wings, potato chips and a big spread of fresh fruit to the menu (thank you, Costco) and boy oh boy was it good.

There were quite a few DIY projects involved in making our picnic extra special, but a few stood out as my favorites.  To shield our guests from the heat (as best we could), we put together really adorable fans and displayed them in a picnic basket.  We wrote a birthday message on ours, but this same idea could be used for a wedding, family reunion, or any number of outdoor events.  Since I like to keep Table for Twelve chocked full of treats, I put together a little goodie bag for everyone at the party.  Despite the potential for disaster (I had visions of destroyed iPhones as I filled my shopping cart) I loaded them with water guns, bubbles and candy.  We wrote everyone's name on mini-chalk boards and hot-glue-gunned them to bright yellow takeout-esque containers (a nod to the boys love of Chinese food).  I think my very favorite touch, however, was the pennant garland we made and hung from a nearby tree.  The wind made it a little hard to snap a perfect picture, but it sure did frame our party area well.

I got the boys a few outdoor games as their presents (ladderball, bocce, a new football and the most legit frisbee you ever did see), so we spent the rest of the afternoon playing in the park.  And as I think you can see below, it was a blast.

For more information on anything you saw in this or any Table for Twelve, or to find out more about Design-Muse's party planning services, contact me here.  Happy picnicing!

Design Musings

Friday, May 20, 2011

Que Bella

I realized the other day that I'm sort of a serial celebrator...I honestly can't stop myself.  Perhaps I'll get it under control at some point, but today is not the day for that- today is a day for (you guessed it) more celebrating! :)  I mean honestly, I'm not even Irish and I threw a St. Patricks day party, nor am I Mexican and I organized a Cinco de Mayo fiesta- I pretty much have to celebrate the daylights out of my brother's birthday (which is today by the way)!  I wanted to make sure he got his day started right, so we had a breakfast party this morning, complete with party hats, funfetti cake batter pancakes and some brilliantly monogrammed party decor.  If he wasn't so opposed to people celebrating him, it would've been more outrageous but I tried to take it easy (I know...this is me taking it easy?  I told you, I have a problem).  As luck would have it, Joey's life long BFF Elijah was born the day after him, so we're celebrating both birthdays both days.  I love those boys like whoa- they're two of the funniest, kindest, most generous human beings I've ever met and a couple of my favorite people in the whole wide world.  I've got some serious work to do for their big party tomorrow (our very first co-ed Table for Twelve!  exciting, right?!), so I'm signing off for today.  Have an incredible weekend!  Oh and check out the pictures I snapped this morning...are we fun or what? :) 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Foodie Files

I'm in the mood for a picnic.  Coincidentally, I've got a super fun one scheduled for this Saturday. (Table for Twelve, anyone?)  Maybe it's all this planning, but I've been thinking about picnic food all day...a little about what our menu will look like, but mostly about how much I wish I was eating it right this second.  So I made myself some...oh the joys of adulthood. :)


1 lb of pasta (I went for the decorative variety, but just about any kind will work)
1 9oz tortellini package
1 cup balsamic vinaigrette
6oz cubed sharp cheese
6oz cubed sopressata
1 red pepper, diced
1 yellow pepper, diced

Chop up cheese, sopressata and peppers and set aside.

 Boil pasta and tortellini (seperately) for as long as their packages suggest.  

Rinse both pastas in cold water to speed up the cooling process, then drain.  Transfer pasta to a large bowl and add all remaining ingredients (pretty, huh?).

Gently stir in balsamic vinaigrette until it's evenly distributed throughout, then refrigerate until you're ready to serve.

And there you have it- delicious pasta salad!  I served it with balsamic chicken, corn on the cob and caesar salad.  Perfect Summer meal!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Mirror, Mirror

Sam Edelman sandal's are my very favorite Summer shoe (just bought a bejeweled black pair yesterday!), so I coordinated this outfit around the pretty leopard ones below.  I've never paired leopard with polka dots before but I've gotta say, I'm loving this combo!    

1. Polka Dot Top, Forever21 $15.80  2. Poem Shopper, Topshop $30  3. Moto Camel High Waisted Denim Shorts, Topshop $55  4. Teong Kay Necklace, Shop Rumor $77  5. Teong Kay Earrings, Shop Rumor $56  6. Grenna Nude Leopard, Sam Edelman $100  7. Contrast Cat Eye Sunglasses, Urban Outfitters, $14

Vintage Sunshine...and a Big Announcement!

I have news!  Great news!  News I'm p-u-m-p-e-d about!  Wanna hear it?  (Trust me, you do.  It's awesome).  Welllllll....I'm oh so happy to report that our team here at Design-Muse just got a little bigger.  We've got a Summer intern, folks!  And a stylish one at that.  Meet Miss Natalie:

Nat and I have a few things in common...we grew up in the same church, our families have been friends for what seems like forever, we're both Lee University gals and of course our most glaring similarity, we both love Joey Beretta a whole lot...in very different ways as she is his girlfriend and I am his sister.  This isn't her first appearance on Design-Muse...in fact, you might have caught a glimpse of her here or herebut over the next couple months she's gonna play an integral role in helping me make what you find here on Design-Muse even better.  I'm psyched.  Are you psyched?   She put together this post of vintage swim suits to help us all get through these rainy Spring days.  The best Summer ever is right around the corner, everyone!

Photo Credits L to R: Rey Swimwear, Taza and HusbandAnthropologie,
Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Get It Together: Rock the Casbah

1. Hand Woven Turkish Anadolu Kilim Pillow, Sukan $109.95  2. Porter Brass Lamp, Jayson Home & Garden $595  3. Duncan Chair, Anthropologie $298  4. Matisse Paintng, Art.com  5. Metallic Pouf, Nate Berkus $119.95  6. Happy Chic Relief Vase, Jonathan Adler $109.95  7. Casbah Rug, CB2 $79.95

The Most Interesting Man in the World {on Beekeeping}

A few weeks ago I put together a post inspired by my Dad's beekeeping hobby and mentioned I'd tell you more about out our bees later.  Well later has arrived, friends!  I know...you've been on the edge of your seat for weeks, haven't you? :)  Seriously though, I'm totally fascinated by these bees.  Since typing up some beekeeping stats seemed like a less than interesting approach (this is the kind of thing you've gotta see to appreciate), check out our very first video blog!  

Cool, huh?  I've flirted with the idea of adding the occasional "vlog" (don't look at me- I didn't make up the term) to Design-Muse's repertoire for awhile and now seemed as good a time as ever to try it.  While I haven't added video blogs to our weekly editorial calendar just yet, I'm hoping this is the first of many.  So what do you think?  Do you like this whole video blog idea?  Have any requests?  Talk to me, people. :)
Monday, May 16, 2011

Design Musings

Can't Judge a Book by it's Cover

Calling all fashion-loving bookworms: 1) We're kindred spirits.  Let's be friends.  2) Let me just tell you...I recently came across a line of purses by a chickadee named Olympia Le-Tan and you're gonna love them.  Her 21 piece collection is more than just stylish, it's smart.  Literally.  Le-Tan's line of clutch purses is hand embroidered to look like first edition book covers!  Beautiful and brilliant, don't you think?  The only problem is they're nearly as rare and expensive as their literary counterparts.  Only 16 of each title were made and each has a whopping price tag of about $1,500.  So join me in admiring them from afar or- even better- treat yourself to one!  For our first act as friends, you can let me borrow it. :) 

Photo Via Olimpia Le Tan & Stylehop
Friday, May 13, 2011

Que Bella

It seems Blogger is having a few issues today (and to clarify- I'm not being cute and referring to myself in the third person, I mean the company that hosts this website)...issues that erased the last two days of posts and prevented anyone who operates a Blogger run site from posting for the last 20.5 hours.  I'll leave it to the rest of the blogging community to go bananas and flood their inbox with hate mail...I figure they're doing the best they can...I just wanted to keep you in the loop and explain why it looks like I haven't posted in a few days.  While I wait and see if our last couple posts are recovered or if I have to re-write them, I want to show you something awesome.  At least I think it's awesome.  Look!

Anyone have a guess as to what this is?  Okay, you wore me down- I'll tell you!  One of these (exhibit B) is a picture I posted as part of March's Breakfast at Tiffany's-themed Table for Twelve...the other (exhibit A) is a picture sent in by a Design-Muse reader who used our party as an inspiration for her own shindig!  This literally makes me so happy I want to scream.  One of my main objectives in creating Table for Twelve (and Design-Muse in general, for that matter) is to be an inspiration and a resource.  I'm just so thrilled that- in this case- that's exactly what we were.  That being said, if you see an idea on Design-Muse and want help implementing it, please let me know!  We offer a range of full design services and would love the opportunity to help you out.  If you've used one of our ideas successfully and have pictures or stories you want to share, please oh please send them to me!  I'd love to show off your good work!  Now pardon me while I happy-dance the night away.  Have a beautiful weekend, everyone!
Thursday, May 12, 2011

Leaving on a Jet Plane

I have no clue what kind of plane I'm actually getting on in the next hour, but I know it won't be nearly as glamourous as any of the photos below.  Amazing, right?  Anyway- I'll talk to you fine folks once I get to Jersey this afternoon.  Have a killer Thursday!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mirror, Mirror

Don't laugh at me, but this outfit makes me think of the sun popping through the clouds on a rainy day...which automatically makes me like it, of course.  There's just something happy about it!  What do you think?

1. Double Date Dress, Modcloth $64.99  2. Structured Bar Drop Earrings, ASOS $17.93  3. Date Night Floral Ring, Nordstrom $55  4. Half Moon Bag, Cheap Monday  5. Yellow and Gray Sandals, Pierre Hardy

Pretty, Pretty Pop-up

You know what I'm loving these days?  Pop-up books.  The way they preserve a bit of old school magic that FaceTime and computer operated cars can't touch makes me smile.  I was flipping through my "nephew's" Peter Pan book the other day and was literally in awe...I thought- I know people use this word loosely, but this is legit art!  So now, for reasons I'm not totally aware of, I'm on the hunt for fun pop-up books.  Thought I'd share a few of the best ones I've come across thus far.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Get It Together: Au Natural

1. Shane Powers Hanging Glass Bubble Collection, West Elm $9-$24  2. Alarm Clock, Create Find Admire  3. Thomas Paul Linen Pillow, Home Remedy $47.50  4. Calandria Armchair, Anthropologie $1,598  5. Driftwood End Table, Crate&Barrel $399  6. Tribal Diamond Tibetan Wool Rug, The Rug Store 

I Dream of Jetsetting

I love Nashville and New Jersey- they both feel like home to me.  But every so often I wake up and think "I have got to get out of here!  I need to see the world!"  I'm thinking I probably will.  Maybe not tomorrow, but one day.  These killer pieces aren't making the wait any easier, however.  Especially that luggage- I haven't a clue how I'd keep it clean, but it's gorgeous.  I think it's safe to say...the travel bug is back, folks.

1. Bon Voyage Globe, Uncommon Goods $300  2. Diplomat Series Luggage, SteamLine $496-$520  3. Lonely Planet The Travel Book, Amazon $31.25  4. Canon EOS Rebil T2i Digital Camera, $798  5. Complexion Quenching Facial Mist, 3floz.com $10  6. Suede Passport Cover, Austin House
Monday, May 9, 2011

Le Paperie

Raise your hand if you love Anthropologie!  I raised both, for the record, but had to put them down to continue typing.  Much to my delight, they recently expanded their wedding line, BHLDN, to include decor, keepsakes, stationary and all kinds of other unforgettable pieces.  In true Anthropologie fashion, the selection is drool-worthy...you can check it out here.  I'm just gonna warn you now, however...you're gonna find some beautiful things.  Things you're gonna want.  Things you may not be able to justify buying.  And that can be a major bummer.  But fear not!  I've got you covered...at least with one beautiful item.  They put together a series of gorgeous paper flower bouquets and garland that sort of taunted me.  I saw it and said "I kind of feel like I can make that?"  So I tried.  Here's what I ended up with.

Not horrible, right?  I put together a little tutorial in case you want to give it a go.  Paper flowers for everyone!  

Design Musings

Sunday, May 8, 2011

For My Mother:

I have a really difficult time writing about my family- not because there's any shortage of wonderful things to say- but because every time I try, I find my words to be very insufficient.  Plus I get all weepy.  Even so, I couldn't imagine letting Mother's Day go by without saying something to/about my Mom.  I think everyone on earth owes their Mom a certain degree of gratitude for bringing them into the world, but my Mom gave me more than just life.  Through example and encouragement and all the resources at her disposal, she's worked hard to help me create a life I love.  In my unbiased opinion, I think our relationship is one for the history books.  We believe ridiculous things about each other...I, for example, believe she's the most naturally gifted person on earth (there's seriously nothing the woman can't do & do well) while she believes the reason I'm not currently engaged to [insert name of actor, professional athlete, or prince of any variety] is solely due to proximity issues ("Is Gerard Butler married? ...No?  He'd want to take you on a date for sure...you should write him a letter").  We've spent many hours laughing about how different we are, but more still discovering our similarities.  I feel so privileged that she's not just rooting for me or invested in me, she's a part of me.  Which is great news, cause she's brave, strong, generous, charming, confident, dependable and a million other beautiful things.  She's the kind of lady that could change the world.  And maybe she will.  Maybe we will together.

Friday, May 6, 2011


Well I haven't totally knocked out my To-Do list, so I'm not gonna buy my earrings just yet (though I'm hoping I'll finish it tomorrow- then off to Urban Outfitters we go) :).  I did buy myself a little treat, however.  One of my very favorite bloggers, Holly Becker of Decor8 fame, released her first book and I couldn't wait to get my hands on it.  In fact, it's the first book I've pre-ordered...I want to say ever.  It finally came this week and and I'll tell you what, it didn't disappoint.  We're talking 288 pages of gorgeous homes, stellar advice and tips from pros like Jonathan Adler and Amy Butler.  There are checklists, floor plans, quotes and inspirational pictures out the wazoo.  And every time I pick it up, I notice something new!  

I grabbed a few excerpts for you to check out, but they're only sneak peeks.  Wouldn't want to spoil the fun! :)  To buy a copy for yourself (or your Mom!  I hear there's a holiday for her coming up soon...) click here.