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2017 Fall Reading List

September 21, 2017

Tomorrow is the first day of Fall! Sure, it’s still 90 degrees and I killed a mosquito in the bathroom today, but it’s the thought that counts! Recently, I shared about finishing my Summer Reading List. Now that I’m finished with it, I’ve started looking towards fall. I’ve compiled a Fall Reading List to share with you. Fall is my favorite season, so I’ve decided to celebrate with lots of fun fiction. I’m sure I’ll add a few other books, but here is what I have so far.

2017 Fall Reading List

Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham

While I am aware that the 1921 Tulsa race riots were some of the worst riots in US history, I know very little about them beyond that. Dreamland Burning is a novel that discusses the Tulsa riots and their context today. When a skeleton is discovered in Rowan Chase’s back house, she is plunged into the racially fraught history of her hometown, and struggles to navigate her own place in those same racial tensions. This book was highly recommended by Anne Bogel of A Modern Mrs. Darcy, and so I bought it when the kindle version went on sale.

2017 Fall Reading List

Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst

I heard a lot of buzz about this book earlier in the summer. The full title is Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely. Since all I want for Christmas is some decent self-esteem, this sounded like it could be a good book for me. I’m not expecting it to solve all my problems, but it will probably fall into the Christian Lady Encouragement genre on my bookshelves. Who knows, maybe it will be a great small group read someday, when I have friends…

2017 Fall Reading List

The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

This book was also recommended by Anne Bogel of A Modern Mrs. Darcy. I’ve seen a lot of favorable reviews about this book online, so I’m excited to see what the fuss is about. I’m going into this one blind, though, because I have no idea what it’s about or when or where it’s set. The cover art is not particularly telling either. It could be anything! I just know that I’ve heard a lot of good things about The Nest and so I am intrigued.

2017 Fall Reading List

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children By Ransom Riggs

My background knowledge for this book is that Ransom Riggs is a friend of John Green, and I like John Green. Also, it has interesting cover art.  I would like it to be acknowledged that I used the original cover in this post and not the movie cover, because original is better. Thank you. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children was recently made into a movie, but I haven’t seen the movie yet. It looks a little bit like vintage X-Men, so we shall see. I’ve been interested in this book for years, so I’m finally going to work on reading it.

2017 Fall Reading List

The Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie

You know I’ve got to have a good murder mystery in here somewhere! I grabbed Murder at the Vicarage when it was a Kindle deal (are you noticing a trend here?).  It features Miss Marple, rather than the mustachioed Hercule Poirot, but I have no doubt that it will be equally delightful. For books about murder, the moods of Agatha Christie’s books are always so charming. This is one of the guilty pleasure books of my reading list and I’m excited to dig into it.

2017 Fall Reading List

North and South by Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

Am I solely reading this book because of the TV series featuring Richard Armitage? Perhaps. I’ve seen enough snippets and gifs of the series to be seriously interested in it. But, of course, I must read the source material first. North and South follows the story of Margaret Hale, a middle class lady from the South of England, who is forced to move to an industrial town in the North of England. During this transition, she learns more about the working class, industrial life, and the brooding Mr. Thorton. This book is pretty much guaranteed to be full of sexual tension of the restrained period drama type, so I expect to enjoy it thoroughly.

2017 Fall Reading List

Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beaty

I bought this book a long time ago when is was reviewed on Epbot. Serafina and the Black Cloak is a children’s/young adult book suitable for the 10 to 14 year old crowd (or older, like me!). It takes place at the Biltmore Estate, which I actually visited a few years ago. I thought it was an incredible place, and think that everyone should visit if they can. I can’t wait to see how it works as a fictional setting. Serafina lives in the basement of the Biltmore as their Cheif Rat Catcher, but when a man in a mysterious black cloak starts stealing children away from the estate, Serafina finds that she has much more than rats to catch. 

2017 Fall Reading List

Emma by Jane Austin

I am here to confess that I am a bad Austenite. I have never read Emma before! I’m sorry. I attempted to read Emma once in high school, but for some reason I never got very far. My interest was re-ignited by the Pemberly Digital youtube series: Emma Approved. I loved the Lizzie Bennet Diaries, so I want to watch Emma Approved, but I knew I couldn’t do it without reading Emma first. It’s time. Also, the classic is free to read on kindle (yay, public domain!) so I really have no excuse.

2017 Fall Reading List

All is Grace by Brennan Manning

I had never heard of Brennan Manning before, but his book was a Kindle Monthly Deal a while back. At first, I passed it by, but then he was quoted in another book I read ( I think it was At Home in the World) so I went back for another look. I suspect it is going to be the kind of book that I read slowly. At least, it’s  the kind of book that I probably should read slowly.

2017 Fall Reading List

You are Free by Rebekah Lyons

I actually saw a bunch of girls reading and discussing this book at Panera. They girl were my age and having a deep discussion. It made me curious. I can definitely dig the cover art and style. Again, I suspect this is another Christian Lady Encouragement book, but I figure I need a few of those every now and then, right?

Do you have any exciting reading plans coming up? I was at Knit Night earlier this week and we spent practically the whole time talking about books. I have a ton of new recommendations up my sleeve! What else should I add to my list?

Knitting Lifestyle Seasonal

DFW Yarn Crawl 2017!

August 24, 2017
2017 DFW Yarn Craw

Hello Everyone! We are currently in the thick of the DFW Yarn Crawl! Anyone else participating? I’ve never done a yarn crawl before, though I’m familiar with the concept. My mom used to work at a quilt store and they would do similar events. Every so often a bus would drop a load of quilters and they would swamp the store until the bus came back again. While the yarn crawl did have a bus, I chose to use my favorite form of transportation: my husband. (It goes without saying that I let him drive me everywhere so I can knit.)

I’ve been able to visit 3 shops on this yarn crawl so far. It’s not over yet, so I’m hoping to add at least a few more. So far I’ve been to Jacob’s Reward Farm, Mckinney Knittery, and Fiber Circle. 

Jacob’s Reward Farm

DFW Yarn Crawl 2017 - Jacob's Reward Farm

Until the Yarn Crawl, I’d never been to Jacob’s Reward Farm. It’s super close by and I passed it all the time without knowing it! It’s a teeny tiny little place, but they did have a trunk show going on for the yarn crawl. If you’re interesting in getting into spinning, this is a good stop for you! They have lots of spinning paraphernalia, including spindles, carding brushes and roving. 

2017 DFW Yarn Crawl - Jacob's Reward Farm

I don’t spin much these days, and never got past the “park and draft” phase with a drop spindle, though I’d love to return to it someday. Due to my lack of spinning ability, I don’t buy roving very often. That being said, I have become seriously obsessed with weaving this week and love the way roving looks in that, so I may need roving after all. If you’re not looking for spinning supplies, there’s not a lot at Jacob’s Reward Farm. However, they do sell farm fresh eggs if you give them a call ahead of time, so I feel like this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

McKinney Knittery

2017 DFW Yarn Crawl - McKinney Knittery

The McKinney Knittery is my home base of yarn stores, where I go once a week for knit night and generally keep up with their stock. They are an easy favorite, and despite being tiny as well( Their address is 106 1/2 S Church St! It’s like Harry Potter or something!), they stock an impressive array. I went mostly to check out the Lazy Cat trunk show, though they’ve gotten in Madelinetosh and Long Dog yarns since I was there(on Saturday), so I may have to go back!

2017 DFW Yarn Crawl - McKinney Knittery

While we were there, we were able to visit the shop owner Ginger, her puppy, and her husband, who was stationed outside making root beer floats. You guys know I can’t turn down a good root beer float. I didn’t buy anything at McKinney Knittery, because I am saving myself for their Hedgehog Fibers shipment (though I could maybe be persuaded if some Long Dog yarn matches the fade I’m putting together), but I will be back in the near, near future and I’m always excited to see what is new. 

Fiber Circle

2017 DFW Yarn Crawl - Fiber Circle

Whenever we get a new knitter at knit night, they invariably get asked this cryptic question, “Have you been to Fiber Circle yet?” Despite my best efforts, I had never been there prior to this weekend. My mom and I tried to drive up to Farmersville to go there once, but it was closed. I’ve heard that it has strange, unpredictable hours, and that sometimes you have to call first before going. The phrase “call first” elicits a huge “nope” response for me, since calling people is a huge part of my job and I prefer not to do it in my off time. Hence, I’d never been to Fiber Circle. 

2017 DFW Yarn Crawl - Fiber Circle

My lovely, dashing hubby was so kind to drive me up to Fiber Circle during the yarn crawl and he got to witness it with me. All I can say is, now I know what people are talking about! Fiber Circle is the biggest yarn store in the DFW area. It might even be the biggest yarn store in Texas. and it is stuffed! Like, to the ceiling. Fiber Circle was freaking The Hubs out, and he’s normally pretty chill about yarn!

2017 DFW Yarn Crawl - Fiber Circle

I’ve never seen so much yarn in one place. They have yarn of every different type, from hand dyed to Lion Brand. The only catch is that you have to find it in their store! I couldn’t tell if there was a system to what yarns went where, but it’s not easy to find things there. That said, the staff did checked on us frequently, and we were able to find what we needed. I did pick up one skein here, so add to my Find Your Fade stash. It’s coming along nicely…

Find Your Fade

So far I’ve kept it local on this yarn crawl. With a lot of family and church stuff going on, I wasn’t ready for a huge trek to Fort Worth. Plus it gives me something to do next year! I’m hoping to hit a few more of the Dallas shops, just to round out my passport. My husband even offered to drive me there….

Anyone else doing any yarn shopping this weekend? What are you looking for.

Lifestyle Seasonal Tutorial

Pink Elephant Baby Shower: My Favorite Things

July 20, 2017
Pink Elephant Baby Shower

You will recall that I recently completed a pink version of the Elijah pattern for my upcoming niece. The pink elephant was by design, since I knew I was going to be throwing a baby shower. What better theme for a little girl than pink elephants? Somebody described elephants once and the reincarnated souls of some really decent people and I’d have to agree that I think that elephants are some of the most caring, intelligent animals out there. Those qualities are a great thing for a little girl to strive for, so I thought elephants made a great theme. 

I decided to make the theme a little bit more fun by incorporating the pink into the elephant idea. I normally don’t go for hardcore gender stereotypes for babies but:

1. I had just finished my pink Elijah.

2. I had pink tablecloths leftover from my wedding.

3. The mom likes pink. I like pink. Pink is cute.

Because I live in a teeny tiny apartment, my mother graciously allowed me to use her house to host. This meant that I had lots of room for fun decorations and activities. Here is some of what I did:

Baby Elephant Guest Book

Pink Elephant Baby Shower - Baby Elephant Guest Book

I owe most of this guestbook to AJ at Aspen Jay. She has made this adorable elephant print available online here. Perfect for my pink elephant theme! It’s a 11 x 14 print, which we were able to print at home. You can also have it printed a Office Depot for less than $2 (I checked.). You can customize it to be blue, pink or yellow and it can say the babies name or just “welcome little one”.  I picked “welcome little one,” because I don’t wanna cramp the momma’s style by tying her down to a name too soon. I cut out different shades of pink paper using a 1 inch Circle Punch Tool. Guests signed a circle and stuck it to the print using scrapbooking tabs. After the shower, I just moved the glass to the from of the frame and voila! Easy nursery decoration!

Pink Elephant Baby Shower - Photo Booth

Baby Shower Photo Booth

I used a pink tablecloth and some mylar balloons to create a quick and easy photobooth! The mylar ballooons were bought at Michaels are were totally easy to use. You just blow them up with a straw and they seal shut. The balloons I got even had pre-made little tabs to string them up with. (Otherwise, I’ve heard that you can tape a straw to the back and thread string through that.). To go with my DIY photo booth, I added a foam board Polaroid frame (I just eyeballed the dimensions and my dad cut it out with an exacto blade and a straight edge. Along with that, I cut out some shapes (found here) and glued them to little sticks that I found at the Dollar Store. I’m really happy with how it turned out!

Pink Elephant Baby Shower - Baby Headband Station

Baby Headband Station

I was afraid about how this was going to work, but it turned out to be a lot of fun! I bought several packages of fabric flowers from Hobby Lobby (on each day with a 40% off coupon.) and used these Elastic Baby Girl Headbands from Amazon. The rest is everyone’s creativity! We set up two hot glue guns (on plastic placemats, to protect the table and tablecloth) and a sign and everyone just went from there. The baby headband holder was made from an oatmeal container, painted white and then covered in fabric, hot glued to a candlestick! I’m really pleased with how it turned out!

Note: If your shower has little kids in attendance, you may not want to have the glue guns left unattended. Ours was adult only, and therefore I figured everyone could handle a glue gun.

These were my three major DIY efforts for the shower. I have so much  more that I didn’t get good pictures of. It went by so fast! Not picture are a LOT of pink chocolate drizzled rice krispie treats (so many…) and pink chocolate dipped nutter butters, both of which turned out really well. (Pro tip: apparently you can thin colored candy melts with shortening, which would have made my life so much easier.) There was also cake, and fruit, and I even made 7 layer dip and queso for the first time ever! We decorated the mantle and a special chair for the new mom and also made really cute favor bags for my circus animal cookie favors. Whew!

I feel so accomplished. 

I had a lot of fun to planning and throwing this baby shower. I’ve realized that I really like planning things like this and I can’t wait to do more in the future! I can’t wait until I have a home of my own to host in too. Have you thrown a party recently? What was your favorite part of it? Any recommendations for new things to try? Let me know in the comments!