22. July 2016 · Comments Off on 2016 Mid Year Review · Categories: Quilting, Reviews, Sewing

Yvonne of Quilting Jet Girl called for a mid year review.  She even sent me a nice email.  So here I am.  Reviewing.  Original text in black, new comments in red.  Here we go.

 

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Goal 1:  Don’t stress about this blog.  Blog when I want to.  Blog about what I want to.  Do not hold myself to any ridiculous standard of posting schedules that conform purely to dates and times other blogs have link up parties.  What is the purpose of link ups you ask?  It’s pretty simple . . . to bring people to your blog.  I’ve decided not to care about this.  When I switched the focus here to quilting, it was mainly because my mother urged me to keep a record of everything I make.  I still think that is the very best plan for me.  I still love photography and photographing my makes (though it is frustrating for me that that the only free time I have to do this is my daughters nap time which is my least favorite time of day for photography – I’m an early evening kinda gal.)

I just told you what I want for this blog.  But what DON’T I want?  I’m not looking to be famous.  I don’t want a million readers and sponsors and companies sending me freebies that will just eat more into the little free time I have.  I don’t want to create tutorials and teach others (yet) because I have way too much to learn myself.  I don’t want to write and publish quilt patterns.  I don’t want a book or a line of fabric (okay maybe I do want this one . . . it’ll be all bunnies, nothing but bunnies, bunnies as far as the eye can see!).

The other day I woke up early and didn’t feel like sewing or cleaning, which is what I normally do in the wee hours of the morning.  So I lay in bed, listened to my husband snore, and browsed my own blog.  I realized I am quite proud of the space I created here.  I’m proud of its diversity and ability to remind me of things I had forgotten.

I’ve posted twice (now three times) since the original 2016 planning party and pretty much neglected this blog so I’ve got the “don’t stress about this blog” part down.  Since I’m only blogging again at Yvonne’s prodding, I clearly don’t have the “don’t post just because of link up parties” thing down.  Whooooops.

Goal 2:  Finally get a sewing table.  I sew on the dining room table BUT we have a guest room that almost never gets used for guests (I already keep my sewing supplies in there).  Of course the one time someone wants to stay is right after I’ve just laid out 120 quilt blocks on the bed aka my design wall.  Figures.  My husband says we can talk about converting the guest room completely to my sewing room at some point.  In the meantime I have a corner carved out and really want to finally get a table.  It needs to be a certain size and dimension and of course I’m the crazy person who took apart my grandmothers old dining room table in the hopes of repurposing the wood into my sewing table.  I’m complicated.  I know.

Here’s my future sewing corner.  Hopefully.

L-Table

I have a guy.  A guy to build me a table.  That’s a step in the right direction, albeit a small one.

Goal 3:  Be on Instagram less.  I check Instagram way too often and really want to be more intentional about this.  More mindful.  I’d love to detox from it every weekend and I’d really love to give it up completely for lent next year.  I think this will help me focus on my makes rather than others’ makes.  I’ve already made some nice friends there though so I do really love the Instagram community.

I stink at this.  Working harder to unplug.  Sometimes it’s muscle memory.  Pick up phone, check Instagram.  I need to retrain myself.

Goal 4:  Make a lap quilt.  I’ve made lots of mini’s and mini mini’s and baby quilts . . .

Minis small

but nothing I can snuggle under.  I really want to change this.  I have a Modernized Disappearing Nine Patch laid out on the guest bed.  It fills the entire top of the bed so it’s going to be big.  I may pay a long armer to quilt this for me.  Maybe Yvonne from Quilting Jetgirl or Cassandra from Not So Dramatic Life?  I think they both offer these services.  I don’t know anyone local and would rather pay shipping charges to have someone I trust quilt my very first large quilt for me.

Modern D9Patch

 

YES!!!!!!!!!!!!  I did it.  My son immediately claimed it for his room.  I still haven’t blogged about it or even IG’d it.  But I kinda love it.

MD9P RW

I also made a smaller quilt for my daughter’s second birthday.  She rarely uses it but my son and I snuggle under it every day.  

Charlotte's Birthday Gift

Goal 5:  Finish my WIP’s or send them packing.  Probably to mom’s house.  WIP’s make me twitchy.  And my tastes have changed drastically in the past year as I become more ingrained in the quilting world.  I either want to finish my WIP’s or give them up entirely.  I’ve already sent one project to mom and she’s currently completing a lap quilt for me to give to my Mother-in-Law for next Mother’s Day.  I have a few long term scrap projects (a Wanta Fanta quilt for one) I want to start but I NEED to get the other WIP’s in check before I start more.

Mom finished the quilt I sent to her and it will be gifted next month.  I started working on a large lap quilt with a set of Polaroid blocks I was gifted . . .  and it’s sucking the freaking life out of me.  It’s so monotonous I don’t even want to sew right now.  And I’m not.  But I will finish and I’ll be so happy when I’m done.

Goal 6:  Buy less fabric.  Learn to WANT less fabric.  I’ve spent the last 5 months not buying fabric other than for projects involving birthdays or gifts.  I started this partially because there was a chance my husband would be needing back surgery and our insurance deductible is pretty high.  So not buying fabric seemed like a logical choice.  I also find myself getting a little anxious over all the new fabric lines that are constantly being released.  This is part of my issue with Instagram.  I see all the fabric everyone raves about and all the stash reports and all the amazing stuff being made with all the amazing fabric and it’s an overwhelming feeling for me.  I don’t like it.  I want to be the kind of person that is grateful and thankful for what I have and not be continually wanting more more more.  I think I am going to set a monthly budget for myself for my sewing hobby and I’m hoping this will help keep fabric purchases in check and help me be more intentional about what I buy.  Also I have realized that I don’t need half yards of every fabric in a line I like.  Fat quarters or even fat eighths are sufficient to whet my whistle and larger yardage can be saved for pieces I truly love or basics like the Grunge line from Moda.  My husband does NOT need back surgery, by the way (woot and woot) and his back is doing pretty well these days.  Prayers do work it seems.  Because we pray for this alllllll the time.

I bought a ton of fabric the first two months of the year then calmed down and then June hit and the big green eyed monster bit me again. So I’m a work in progress here.

Goal 7:  Start saving for a new sewing machine.  This is a long term plan.  I’d like a Janome Memory Craft 6300.  Renee at Quilts of a Feather has one.  Jessica at Quilty Habit has one.  My mom has one.  I have no desire to jump down the sewing machine research rabbit hole.  Recommendations by these ladies are plenty good enough for me.  My hope is to have a new machine when my daughter enters preschool so I have almost two years to save the money.  I think I can do it.

Meh.  I’ve decided I don’t sew enough nor am I a good enough sewer to warrant a new machine yet.  So I haven’t thought about it much.  Even when my husband gave me the go ahead to buy a new one.  I didn’t.  I shall consider that progress on Goal 6.

Goal 8:  Say NO.  To myself.  To others.  I see this a lot in quilt goals.  A lot a lot.  Which means it’s doubly important.  It also means I think you get it and I don’t need to elaborate too much.  I always told my mom growing up that quilters are TOO nice.  I still think this is true and sometimes to the detriment of their own goals and desires.  There is a line between doing for others (which I want to do – see Goal 10) and doing for yourself.  I’m planning on finding it.

I’m pretty much done making mini mini’s.  So that counts as a NO.  My friend Tara begged me to publish a pattern for the mini I made her and I said NO.  That counts too.  I’m cool here I think.

Goal 9:  Take regular planned sewing breaks.  I actually find this helps me refocus.  Gives me a chance to work on projects around the home like painting the dining room (I did this last month) or reorganizing the kitchen pantries (this is my January project), to sleep in if I want to (I’m an early morning quilter – early like 5 am) and to appreciate sewing again.  I think a 2-3 week break every 3 months should do it.

I’m doing this right now.  I kinda like it.  Hopefully I will WANT to sew more Polaroid blocks when I’m out.  

Goal 10:  Do for others.  I’ve made a few nice friends already and I hope to make more.  I’d like to be an encourager to these women who have encouraged me.  I’d like to send cards through the mail telling them how great they are.  I’d like to mail random fat quarters to internet friends for no reason other than to surprise them and brighten their day.  I’d like to do a few small giveaways on Instagram to pay it forward.

I’ve done a few things.  We can always do more.  But then I’m conflicting with Goal 8.  Hmmmmmmmmm.

Goal 11:  Learn the scant quarter inch seam allowance.  I use a quarter inch piecing foot so my seams are consistent. Consistent is good but my seams are always just over a quarter inch.  When you add this up over an entire quilt top it can amount to quite a bit lost.  I’d like to correct this.  To have a 12 inch block come out to 12 inches.  Exactly 12 inches.

Nope.  Nada.  Zilch.  I need to buy that tool that shows you where it’s at.  Maybe next year.

Goal 12:  Explore art quilts more.  I’ve always thought my sewing path would lead me to making art quilts.  I still do.  I want to let go of that sewing which makes me unhappy (I’m talking to you half square triangle), find my creative spark again and CREATE!

I did design a pattern and make a large mini for a friend but I haven’t scratched the surface on this.  Maybe next year.

Goal 13:  Give myself a break.  Relax.  This one is self explanatory.

I STINK at this big time.  Sigh.

Goal 14:  Figure out quilt labels.

I haven’t done this either.  Mostly because I don’t know what I want them to say.  I blog and IG under Midwestern Bite which is my old “food satire” blog.  Not sure how appropriate that name is for a quilt label.  I should probably just use my full name.  I think I can decide and accomplish by the end of the year though.

Thanks for the prodding Yvonne.  You’re still one of my all time favorite quilters!  Aaaaaaand now I’m off to scrub the bathroom.  I’d say I’d rather be sewing but if I were sewing it would be Polaroid blocks and I’d kinda rather scrub the bathroom.

– Joanna

Linking up with Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl for 2016 Mid Year Review

 

 

Much like my Throwback Thursday posts of late, I’m continuing to step out of my normal routine and blog about topics I don’t normally blog about.

Style.

And not food styling, people.

DSC_0091 RW

Fashion.

And not food fashion, people.  Actual fashion.

Butternut Squash Fashion RW

Yes, I did put a hat on a butternut squash specifically for this post.  I had to.  I mean, when I googled “butternut squash wearing clothes” no butternut squash wearing clothes appeared.  It was all recipes and butternut squash colored clothing.  Fortunately, thanks to me, no one will ever be disappointed by this search query again.

You’re welcome.

Right then, back to the fashion.  I mentioned before that I was attempting to banish all some of the black from my wardrobe and in my quest I had ordered a box of gently used clothes from ThredUp.

ThredUp

My box arrived and honestly, I couldn’t be happier.  And what kind of blogger would I be if I didn’t share my happiness?  A bad one.  Although the crappy pics of me in my bathroom mirror with my IPhone in front of my face in my attempt to retain a shred of dignity and anonymity kind of make me a bad blogger.  But whatever.

ThredUp is a fairly simple concept.  It’s pretty much an online high(er) end clothing thrift store.  You can buy or sell.  I created an account and signed up for their e-mail alerts.  I wasn’t ready to take the plunge until a 40% off entire order offer popped up in my inbox.  40% off?  My entire order?  Yes and please.

I picked out nine items and of the nine, eight worked.  For not having tried on a single piece I’d say that’s darn good.  Damn good even!

Here’s the piece I didn’t like.

Reject

I knew from the pictures it was a risk but I was willing to chance it.  I’m a daredevil that way.  Just call me Evil Jonievel.  It’s a little large and the collar just wasn’t doing it for me.  Also I don’t think the color works for me.  ThredUp has a return policy but since it’s only one piece, wasn’t that expensive in the first place, and I really don’t want to mess with it I’ve decided to find it a new home instead.  Any takers?  It’s new with tags and everything.  I’m willing to mail it out to one lucky reader who doesn’t have collar issues.  It’s a (seems Large to me) size Medium if that helps.  Speak up now or off to Goodwill it goes.

The next two pieces I like . . . but I don’t like right now.  One of the reasons I wanted new clothes was to easily shirt snack the baby in.  I assumed from the pictures they were button up.  They aren’t.  The buttons are purely decorative.  So while I like them, they are going to hibernate in the closet for the next year.  The one on the left is Express.  The one on the right is Ann Taylor Loft and a little more Soccer Mom than I normally go for but I’ve got two kids and one of them might end up playing soccer so I’d best get used to the wardrobe now.

Buttons 2 up

These next four pieces are my favorite from the bunch.  All from Express.  All super cute, comfy, easy, and flattering.  I  live in Target Long and Lean tank tops and these four shirts do a great job of pulling some focus away from that fact. Well, other than the fact the tank is blue.  I’m not suggesting these color combos, just too lazy to change.

Favorites

This piece is a bit more bohemian than I normally go for and I’m not sure it’s 100% flattering.  But I have continued to lose a few baby pounds since this picture was taken so it’s probably no big deal.  It’s a crocheted kind of weave in maroon and I like it, especially with the little cap sleeves.  I think without them it would be a no.  I don’t do vests, even vests from Express.  That’s my favorite clothing store btw, in case you somehow missed that.

Bohemian

Lastly we have a scarf, again from Express.  I’m trying to add scarves into my wardrobe since it’s apparently a thing now.  This won’t get much use till the fall.

Scarf

Here are my tips for shopping ThredUp:

1)  Shop a brand you know.  This will make picking the right size a breeze.

2)  Be patient and wait for a sale.  You can get $10 off for signing up with my referral link (gah, I can’t believe I just typed that) although to be fair I’m pretty sure every new account gets $10 no matter what.  Be even more patient though because a percentage off deal just might be better.

That’s all I’ve got.  It’s shopping people, not rocket science.

– Joanna

Question of the Day: Well, how do you think I did for my first ThredUp order??

P.S.  After reading this post preview my husband informed me I needed a disclaimer on here about how I wasn’t compensated for this review and all opinions are my own.  I sorta hate the fact that the blog world is so PC these days.  But because I always do what my husband tells me to do (hahahahahahaha did you all just die laughing cause I almost did) I’d like to state for the official record that I snark too much for most companies to have the balls to send me free stuff in exchange for a review.  I’m not into blogging for the free stuff.  Although if you want to shop my Amazon affiliate store so I can buy cool stuff with my commission that’d be totally cool.  Amazon didn’t sponsor this post any more than ThredUp did by the way.  So there’s that.

Please enjoy a post from the Father-in-Law.

Belt RW

I recently attended Alton Brown’s show “The Incredible Edible Tour” which played at our local university’s beautiful new performing arts center (which even though I taught there for thirty-five years was NOT named after me – but that’s another post).  All eleven hundred seats were sold out, showing the popularity of this Food Network star.  Most people became fans when his “Good Eats” show aired, then as host of “Iron Chef America” he added even more admirers.

altonTweet

Since I don’t consider myself a foodie fan of slicing and dicing weird and unpronounceable substances, I was a bit worried that I would be in for an evening of close-camera shots of sauteing octopus suction cups.  Not to worry – Alton’s blend of scientific humor, surprisingly good musical talents, and comedic stage props kept me entertained throughout the two hour show (with one intermission).

The show was based upon a list of “Ten Things I’m Pretty Sure I Think I Know About Food”, several songs he wrote about food (playing guitar and saxophone) with two other musicians, and two cooking experiments using giant inventions which made jet powered ice cream and baked pizza.

DSC_0977 RW

His many hilarious stories included one where, as a beginning baker in a fancy Atlanta bakery, ruined one hundred and fifty pounds of dough early one morning.  In order to hide this from his boss who hadn’t arrived yet, he carried it out to a dumpster in three garbage bags behind the store.  Several hours later in the hot Atlanta sun, the dough had risen to fill the entire dumpster and oozed out over the sides of it (the story now having an accompanying video of yeast sock puppets on a giant overhead screen with much burping and flatulence).

Several of the things on his top ten list included things like “Chickens Don’t Have Fingers”.  A pet peeve of his is his daughter always wanting to eat chicken fingers when he has told her repeatedly that they really don’t have fingers.  She asked him to prepare them for a sleep-over she had once while in the fifth grade so he went to a Korean meat market in Atlanta and bought two dozen chicken feet.  He boiled them (leaving the toenails on them in case the girls wanted to use them as toothpicks when they were finished eating) and presented them with a flourish (presentation is EVERYTHING) to a group of shrieking girls.  He received four phone calls the next day from angry mothers of traumatized little girls.

Another item on his list was “Buy American Food”.  He is not a believer in oranges from Chile or veggies from China.  The United States has better quality control and if you eat seasonal foods there’s no need to ever buy foreign food.

Dirty Veggies RW

He’s also surprisingly against paying more for organic and free range food (unless you’re a farmer doing all of this yourself). His reasoning is that these definitions are still rather vague and people sell all kinds of stuff with these labels just to get a bit deeper into your wallet.

His most important point of the whole evening was “The Most Important Thing In A Kitchen Is The Table”.  Food is about bringing people together to enjoy it.  Friends and family gathered around the table will create more lasting memories than anything even the most accomplished cook can prepare.

So, for a thoroughly enjoyable evening find a venue close to you while Alton’s still on tour.  Just don’t ask for chicken fingers.

– Father-in-Law

For more posts by The Father-in-Law, please check out The Old Man Cave.

Question of the Day:  Who is your favorite celebrity chef?  Would you rather eat chicken fingers or chicken feet?

Girl Reinvented.  Let’s talk about it.

Girl Reinvented

This is the first book review I’ve written in a long while.  This is also the first (non children’s) book I’ve read in a long while.  Don’t get me wrong here, I love to read.  Love to read.  I majored in it in college even.  My Husband and I have four bookshelves filled to capacity with books and more books stored in the garage.  Granted some of these are college textbooks, but they still count.  A book is a book.  This doesn’t even take into account all of Sweetey Petey’s books which are too numerous to count, especially at the early hour I’m penning this.  Sweetey Petey loves to read too.  Mike rarely ends a night without donning his headlamp and cracking open a book snugged up in bed.

This Midwestern family loves to read.

So why has it taken me so long to dive back into the pages of a good book?  Simple.  Life got in the way.  Or, more relevantly, my idea of life got in the way.  I rarely sit still long enough to appreciate a quiet moment, my mind always a whir with what needs done next, what project needs started or finished, what laundry needs folded, what playroom needs picked up.  It’s a trait in myself I’m working to change, thanks to Ann Moore . . .  but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Reading a book, and a book purely for fun at that, seemed so self indulgent recently.  I have responsibilities after all.  A home to create and maintain.  In light of this anti-mindfullness mindset I’ve grown into, you may be wondering why I chose to read this particular book.  That’s simple.  I know Ann.  Okay, maybe not so simple since I only sorta, kinda know Ann.

Don’t worry, Ann doesn’t use words like sorta and kinda in her book.

I’ve been reading Ann’s blog Cooking Dangerously and Ann has become an internet friend.  We’ve exchanged gifts, tweets, comments, direct messages.  Ann has even named one of our chickens!  Really that makes her as close to family as a Canadian internet friend can get.

So I “know” Ann.  But it’s more than that.  I look forward to her blog posts and find her witty, interesting and most of all unique.  She provides content and an individual point of view that is shockingly refreshing in a blogosphere full of food bloggers spouting the same dry run of the mill garbage over and over and over again.  Yes, I know kale is good for me.  Oh I can bake it into chips?  You don’t say?

Ann is modest enough not to shove her book in your face.  I’m rather modest myself (clearly I’m writing this BEFORE the picture I’m posting of my butt scheduled for May 8) but if I had not only written a book, but a book that you could find on Amazon in actual book form (self published e-books don’t count so don’t even try to tell me they do), you’d better believe your buttokis I’d be telling the world every danged day.

Don’t worry, Ann doesn’t use words like buttokis and danged in her book.

Ann and I were quite far along in our internet friendship before I even knew she had written a book.  She mentioned it in passing, I searched for it, couldn’t locate it (she penned it under her maiden name) and I had to ask her.  After that, I was obsessed.  I knew, just knew, I had to read Ann’s book even if it was about clowns, which I hate.  I hate clowns.   Fortunately it wasn’t about clowns.

To avoid any potential feelings of guilt over a just for fun, just for me purchase,  I used funds from my Midwestern Bite Amazon associate account, ordered Ann’s book and waited . . . impatiently . . . for it to arrive.

I’d like to interject here and say, for the official record, I promise any future book reviews WON’T take me this many paragraphs to actually get into, mmmm K?

Don’t worry, Ann doesn’t use words like mmmm K in her book.

I read Ann’s book within a week.  I’m sure a lot of you are thinking it took you a whole week?  I can read a book in a day!  Yes, well, I could too back before I was seven months pregnant and with a toddler underfoot so don’t judge.  A week is good for me thankyouverymuch.

And don’t worry, Ann doesn’t use words like thankyouverymuch in her book.

Here’s what the book jacket has to say about Girl Reinvented:

“Tabitha Mahony has always been that polite, smart, heavy girl who flies under everyone’s radar, until one day an unfortunate low-rise jeans incident brings her the kind of publicity no one is looking for. Rather than taking the challenge in stride, Tabitha begins to question the personality she has developed over the past sixteen years. What has she really gained from being who she is? She only has one crazy loudmouth friend, she has zero prospects in the guy department, her mom is too busy and her brother is too stoned to notice her … mostly she just feels miserable all the time. She wonders if she could instantly become someone new if she decided to. Could you? What would you do differently? Would you ask out that crush? Confront that pretty little sour-faced girl in the tennis skirt? Get drunk? Chase that dream? Yeah, so would she.”

First off I’d like to reiterate that Girl Reinvented is a quick read.  That’s not to say short.  That’s not to say lacking in content.  It’s quick because you want to find out where the track leads you.  Much like a train ride, you just can’t get off till you reach your destination.  Sure, there may be a few stops along the way (it’s 346 pages after all, you aren’t going to get out of this one without at least a few bathroom and snack breaks) but you sit back and absorb the scenery flowing past you.

Scenery.  That may have been my favorite aspect to this book.  Ann Moore paints a vibrant visual picture, her words and comparisons conveying not only imagery, but feelings as well.  Through her it is easy to see what the characters see and feel what the characters feel.  If they turn their head, you turn your head.  If they jump out of a plane, you jump out of a plane.

Yes, there was jumping out a plane.  I’ll get to that.

Right off the bat I was able to relate to the main character Tabitha.  No, I was not overweight.  Other than a minor falling down the stairs incident, no I never had a soul barring embarrassing moment in front of the whole school.  I even had a few prospects in the guy department and more than one loud mouthed friend.  But feelings of isolation?  Feelings of not always belonging?  Feelings of unachieved aspirations?  Uncertainty?  Yes.  I’ve had those.  Haven’t we all?  While reading this book it was easy to slip back into the tumultuous days of high school and recall those feelings we’ve all felt at some point in our lives.  No matter what social group you fell into, high school had its rocky moments.  That’s just how it’s meant to be.  A learning experience where you start to really find yourself.

And that’s just what Tabitha does.

Girl Reinvented is classified as a Young Adult Romantic Comedy.  As such, your first question may be but hasn’t it all been said before?  A guilty pleasure of mine has always been high school TV dramas.  Gilmore Girls.  One Tree Hill.  Dawson’s Creek (I can’t believe I just admitted that).  Edgemont.  Felicity.  You get the picture in picture.  One complaint I have about this genre, however, is the repetition.  Oh, someone had a pregnancy scare?  No way.  Someone had a drug problem?  Huh.  That’s new.  Somebody was cheated on?  Gasp.  You don’t say.  Young adult entertainment is clearly a subject that has been fully explored in all forms of media.

What surprised me about Girl Reinvented, was, in fact, the surprises.  Yes, there was a popular kid picking on an unpopular kid.  Yes, there were teenage crushes.  There was even a catfight.  These are standard predictable young adult fare.  But there was also jumping out of a plane.  Say what?  Yup, I didn’t see that coming.  There was also Irish dancing.  You heard me.  Irish dancing.  There was an entire descriptive presentation of breast augmentation.  I just reeled the boys in now didn’t I?  I thought as much.  I almost skipped ahead in the book just to find out what Tabitha’s scandalous presentation would be about (I managed to refrain) and once I got there all I could think was, say whaaaaaat?

Ann Moore definitely threw in a few curve balls I didn’t expect, leaving me to wonder as I read what else she had up her sleeve.  Where would she take Tabitha, next?  I won’t spoil it for you.

Tabitha aspired to be a writer and Ann Moore included a few of her literary attempts within Girl Reinvented.  I will admit I had a hard time getting through these passages.  I cringed on more than a few occasions and immediately wondered if my own young writing was as forced as Tabitha’s.

All together, Girl Reinvented was a fun read and made me want more.  More Ann Moore.  More books.  More.  More.  More.  Since reading Girl Reinvented, I’ve breezed through Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple and started The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (don’t fret, there are no clowns in this particular circus – I confirmed before I started).  I’ve checked in with my Facebook friends for book recommendations, Googled book clubs both local and internet based, joined Goodreads and stopped in at the nearest library to peruse the Fiction shelves.

Ann Moore made me realize I had missed reading and missed it something fierce.  My love affair has been rekindled and my priorities have been shifting.  So what if the laundry doesn’t get folded till tomorrow.  So what if the playroom is a mess, it’s not like it would have stayed tidy for long anyway.  I’ve got characters to immerse myself in and plots to be drawn into and imagery to fill my pretty head.

And with that, I’ve got some reading to do before the toddler wakes up and we read Richard Scarry’s Cars and Trucks and Things That Go for the bazillioneth time.  Goldbug!  Or as the boy says . . . GOOOOOAL DUG!

But before I leave you, how about I give you something?  How about I give you Girl Reinvented?  If you want to read it too, all you need to do is comment and tell me so.  No Rafflecopter to mess with, just leave me a comment, and one of you will read this book on my dime.  Well, The Husband’s dime.  The giveaway runs till this Saturday at midnight after which Sweetey Petey will draw one of your names, most likely from an Easter egg.  The winner will be announced next week.  You’ll e-mail me your address and your book will be shipped straight from Amazon right to your front door.  Or back door, depending on your UPS driver.   Ours sometimes picks the detached garage which is less than helpful.

Oh, and this giveaway is open to US residents only.

Have a great week all and I hope to see you back here for a quick DIY nursery post and some chip talk.  Chip talk?  What kind of chip talk you ask?  You’ll have to wait to find out.  I don’t want to spoil that for you either.

– Joanna

Question of the Day:  Do you want to win this book?  Then tell me so!!!  Oh, and if you win and you’d rather have the kindle version, I’m sure that can be arranged too.  The Husband would probably even prefer that since it’s cheaper.  

I’m two and a half pages into my book review of Ann Moore’s book Girl Reinvented.  Expect to see it on Monday along with a giveaway!  I haven’t told The Husband about the giveaway yet so hopefully he’s cool buying one of you a present since I make zero money.

Also expect to see a nursery DIY project I’ve been working on.  Here’s a teaser.

Teaser

Have a great weekend!

– Joanna

Question of the Day:  What are your weekend plans?

The Loving Hut. It doesn’t exactly scream vegan restaurant to me. Based on the name alone, I would have guessed tropical. Pineapple. Coconut. Pineapple flavored coconut. Long red straws and teensy tiny umbrellas. Daiquiris. Buff guys in white shorts and sandals bringing me fresh towels. Sand beneath my toes. Aaaaaand now I either want a beach vacation or Hildi from Trading Spaces to come design a room in my home.

Sand in my living room? Why the heck not!

So, the Loving Hut. I was visiting relatives out of town and Mom suggested we try the new vegan place.

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