Showing posts from December, 2012

2012 Favorites

I've been reading through everyone's "best of" posts for 2012, so I thought I'd share a few favorites from the year on the blog as well.
1. I started reviewing books for a few different publishing houses this year and I have enjoyed it so much! I look forward to getting new books and discovering new authors. This helped me to achieve one of my goals this year to read at least 60 adult books this year. I ended up reading around 65 this year. I have loved keeping track of books on my Goodreads account. I am hoping to read at least 60 again this year, in addition to all the children's books I read at home and for work.
2. I finished my first 10K! Again, this was a goal for this year and I was so excited to finish!
3. I enjoyed sharing my sewing projects with all of you. One of my favorites was this simple quilt I made
4. Linking up to What I Wore and sharing outfit posts has been a lot of fun. I feel like I've gained a lot of inspiration from lots of blo…

Book Review: Courting Cate

Courting Cateis book number 1 in The Courtships of Lancaster County series by Leslie Gould. Cate is the older daughter in her family. She's unconventional for an Amish woman - she spends her time reading books and helping her father with his business. She's known for being a little bit prickly and outspoken as well. Her younger sister Betsy is the sweet, charming, beautiful sister. The sisters are shocked when their father lays down the law and says that Cate must get married before Betsy is allowed to do so - even though no one is currently interested in courting Cate. When Pete Treger comes into the area, everyone things he is the perfect candidate for courting Cate, even Cate herself. The course of true love rarely goes smoothly, and Cate and Pete must weather a variety of twists, turns, and trials in the hope of a happy ending.

Overall, I did enjoy this book. I liked the characters and appreciated the growth that many of them went through during the course of the book. Wit…

December Purchases and Budget

December Purchases and Budget by gracenote30 featuring long scarves

This month, most of my purchases have come out of Christmas money or have been gifts. The collage above is a mix of gifts and things I've purchased.
Out of my budget this month, I got the following:  -Black Target blazer for $15 ($10 out of regular budget) -Periwinkle sweatshirt pictured above $3.40 after gift card -Red knit dress for $2.50 from Elder Beerman after coupon Total:  $15.90 out of regular budget
I also bought a knit headband to use while running for around $7, but I didn't like it very well. Any suggestions to purchase?
The red bird scarf, the raspberry cardigan, and the bubble necklace pictured above are a few of the Christmas gifts I received.
I have made several purchases the last couple of days because Kohl's was having a stellar sale!! Tons of markdowns, plus extra 25% off clearance and an additional code.
A few highlights: -Chevron skirt pictured above on clearance for $3.20 (This was on my spring…

What I Wore: Snow!!

This outfit was for shopping and work today. I only ended up having to work 2 hours, since we closed early at 3. It's really coming down out there! I have been thinking about buying a bubble necklace for so long. I convinced myself I didn't really want one because I was so late in getting one, but I really did still want one. My mom got me this one from Elder Beerman. I was so excited to see them at our little mall and super excited to get the necklace and earrings!

Sweater: Kohl's, Cords: LOFT (thrifted), Shirt: Chadwicks (old), Boots: Target, Necklace and Earrings: Elder-Beerman
My other favorite gift was the Fiesta Ware my parents got us. Such a surprise!! Any favorite Christmas gifts? I'd love to hear about them!!
I'm linking up to The Pleated Poppy What I Wore Wednesday!

Book Review: Betrayal by Robin Lee Hatcher

Betrayal by Robin Lee Hatcher is a historical fiction novel set in Wyoming in the late 1900's. Julia Grace is a widow trying to keep her late husband's ranch going all alone. When Hugh Brennan, a drifter comes by Julia's ranch, she hires him to help out with chores on the ranch and the upcoming cattle drive. She can only pay him in meals, but Hugh is more than happy to accept food and a dry place to sleep. Julia doesn't know anything about Hugh, but seems to feel she can trust him. Both Hugh and Julia have faced their share of heartache, betrayal, and loss, making them unlikely to become friends, but somehow understanding of each other as well. 
I've read a number of Robin Lee Hatcher's books in the past and enjoy her writing style very much. Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres of books as well. This book combines a great mix of mystery, action, and romance. The characters are very well-developed and interesting. Julia struggles with her past - both…

Merry Christmas!

I can't believe it is Christmas Eve! I've been finishing up a few projects, baking, and enjoying time with family. As if on cue, it just started snowing here a few minutes ago.
I am so grateful for this little place on the web and for all of you that take the time to read here! :)
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas!
I'll be back later this week with some book reviews!

Teacher Gifts

We've already given gifts to dance teachers and preschool teachers! The pouch and bookmark above are the last two things I finished on Monday evening. Now I only have one more gift (hopefully) to finish! Are you still working on finishing any Christmas presents?

What I Wore: Sparkle

Shirt - Kohl's, Denim trousers - Worthington (thifted), White button down - Lands' End, Wedge boots - Target
I got this sparkly embellished shirt from Kohl's to wear to a wedding at the beginning of December. I wore it to the wedding with pearls, a black skirt, and tights. I felt like it was a pretty versatile piece, so I've been trying to wear it different ways this month. I got inspiration on ways to wear it from posts at Along the Lines of Style and Franish
I wore it with these trouser jeans, an olive blazer, and a statement necklace to church last weekend. This is how I wore it to my daughter's Christmas program. I'm hoping to wear it at least a couple more times in the next few weeks. I normally don't buy sparkly clothes, but this has been fun and since I purchased it on sale with Kohl's cash, it has been a pretty good little investment!
Any pieces you've been remixing and restyling lately?
I'm linking up to What I Wore at The Pleated Po…


I've been thinking about what to write since Friday. Debating. Deciding how much to say and how to say it. I posted a little craft post yesterday and worried that I should have said this first.
I have a young daughter. I used to be a classroom teacher. I am struggling the same way you are. Reading various articles trying to gain perspective, clarity, and comfort. Grieving. Hugging my daughter a little closer.
I've been trying to find ways to help both those grieving in Newtown and those in my community. I am thinking about how this blog, our shop, and my life in general can be more of an encouragement to others.
You many have seen some of these, but here are a few articles that I have read and appreciated from the last few days.
Newtown as I know itToday - Ways to HelpWords  If you have any articles, comments, or thoughts to share, I would love to hear them.
I have more posts coming: a book review, some more crafty gifts, and a What I Wore.
I'm off to read with my daughte…

Handmade Gifts

We've been making lots of gifts this year for Christmas including fabric bookmarks, earrings, necklaces, and more. These glitter clothespins are one of our favorite projects this year! Easy and frugal, too. Get the (simple) directions here at According to Kelly

Any great handmade gifts you've been making? We are hoping to do some baking for neighbor/friend gifts this week, also.

New Winner

Our original winner never responded, so we had to draw a new one! The new giveaway winner is Amanda K. :)
If anyone wants to enter some more giveaways, check out the Quilting Gallery Blog Hop with Giveaways going on this week!

Book Review: All Things New

I've been reading and reviewing a lot of Amish fiction lately, but I also enjoy historical fiction as well. Lynn Austin has been a favorite author in this genre in the past and the book All Things Newwas another great title by this author. Set in the South immediately after the Civil War ends, this book takes the reader right into this difficult and turbulent time in history.
Told in alternating points of view, the reader gets to know three main characters: Eugenia Weatherly, a Southern plantation owner's widow; Josephine, her daughter; and Lizzie, a now freed slave who chooses to continue working at the Weatherly plantation. We see these characters struggle to find a new normal in a South that is no longer as they remember it. Each one has to face hard things that they never thought they would face. Eugenia wants to regain her plantation's former glory; Josephine wants to learn to become more self-sufficient and have it be acceptable; and Lizzie wants to enjoy the freedo…

And the Winner is...

Thanks to everyone that entered our giveaway! I had such a good time reading all your comments about your sewing machines. You've convinced me to keep my older hand me down Kenmore, which is working pretty well for me. :)
The winner is...Gayla! I've already emailed her for her mailing address. Congrats!
Did anyone win a prize this year? We haven't so far, but still hoping!
Happy weekend!!

Giveaway Day!

It's Giveaway Day! Which is really a week of my favorite weeks! I love entering giveaways, finding new blogs, and seeing lots of crafty goodies!
Our giveaway will be open until Friday, December 7 at 11:59 p.m. EST. Enter using Rafflecopter below. The only mandatory entry is to leave a comment on this post - either about what kind of sewing machine you use and if you like it or if you don't sew, your favorite kind of Christmas cookie. Be sure to enter via Rafflecopter for your entry to count. Extra entries for following on Twitter or Facebook.

We're giving away 1 DQ Quilts Quilter's Quarters, a Simplicity purse pattern, and a Feb. 2013 American Patchwork & Quilting magazine. 
We're also offering a 20% discount in the shop with coupon code SEW20. We have some nice fabric and patterns available, plus some fun handmade goodies for gifts! Coupon valid until the end of the giveaway.
Good luck and enjoy entering!
a Rafflecopter giveaway