Sunday, September 30, 2012

31 Days of Seeking Simplicity: An Introduction

For the month of October, I will be blogging here about seeking simplicity. September was a crazy busy month. I was planning to blog all about projects for the month of October, but after some unexpected circumstances last week, I decided God was telling me to slow down and seek simplicity.

I am not sure how this will look for me each day during October, but I do have some ideas. I am hoping to create things with supplies I have on hand; cook simple recipes; stay home more; shop less; say no to meetings and get the idea. Some days I may just share a thought for simple living, other days a recipe, and yes, there will still be projects.

I am hoping October will be a pleasant transition and preparation for the busy holiday months. Leave me a comment - how do you seek simplicity? What choices do you make that allow you a chance to slow down, breathe, and find peace?

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Friday Finish and a Giveaway Winner

 This week ended up being a little out of the ordinary including an ER visit, but I did get some sewing done and I didn't forget the necklace giveaway winner!

I finished this scrappy fall-ish lap quilt. I used 40 5" squares (mostly from scraps) and 3 10" wide pieces to make it.

It is in our living room as we speak.

And...the winner of the necklace giveaway is Alaine88. Congrats!

Monday begins my 31 days series. Originally I was planning to write about 31 days of projects, but my week gave me a change in perspective, so I will be writing about 31 days of peaceful living. :) Not to say there won't be any projects, but the focus for our October will be different than I thought.

Have a great weekend!

I'm linking up!
Skip To My Lou

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

It's Almost October...

I blogged for 31 consecutive days last year...I might try it again. What do you think? Will you give it a try??

Monday, September 24, 2012

Fabric Fun

I have to share about a super fun fabric contest going right now. Fresh Squeezed Fabrics is a great Etsy shop with beautiful fabrics and bundles.

They are running a contest right now and the details can be found here. In a nutshell, visit Fresh Squeezed Fabrics and pin one of their fabulous fat quarter bundles to one of your Pinterest boards. Get enough re-pins to equal the dollar amount of the fat quarter bundle you pinned and you win the bundle! The contest is only open for 3 days, so get pinning!

Leave me a comment if you repin my pin and would like me to do the same. I would be happy to do so!! :) Happy Monday and good luck!

Book Review: A Season for Tending

I recently finished reading A Season for Tending by Cindy Woodsmall. It is the first book in the Amish Vines and Orchards Series.

I've read other books by Cindy Woodsmall before and her newest book definitely did not disappoint. Rhoda Byler is an Old Order Amish woman with remarkable abilities to grow fruits and herbs, to can, and to run a business. She also has a gift that makes other Amish in her community suspicious and frightened.

Samuel King is an Amish man who is trying to maintain the profitability of his family's apple orchard. A chance encounter between Samuel's sister Leah and Rhoda leads to an unlikely business partnership between Rhoda and the King family. Despite Rhoda's uniqueness or perhaps because of it, she is quickly embraced by Samuel, Jacob (Samuel's brother), Leah, and the rest of the King family and they become business partners and friends.

This book was wonderful. It was realistic with just a touch of suspense. The characters in the novel are not perfect, nor are their lives. The plot is full of twists and turns, joys and tragedies - much like life itself. Rhoda, Jacob, and most of the other characters are struggling to work through fears from the past that hinder their ability to move into the future with confidence.

One thing I really appreciated about this book was that everything was not tidied up into a box with a neat little bow. There is uncertainty about how many of the situations will be resolved...but we will have to wait for the next book in the series to see what happens next. This book is full of feeling and emotion and deals with real life issues that most of us can relate to. If you'd like to read part of the first chapter, you can read it here.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What I Wore: Fall and a Giveaway

It definitely feels like fall here in the Midwest. Mornings are downright chilly! I finally wore my boots for the first time yesterday and I debated tights today...but it is not quite cool enough. I decided on black pants and booties instead.

 Grey shirt - White House Black Market (Garage sale - $2!), Cardigan - Merona (NWT at a garage sale, $2 - I altered it as it was too big.), Pants - Limited (Goodwill), Booties - Payless, Necklace - Avon, Sunglasses - Firmoo

I have been looking for a turquoise necklace set for awhile and when I saw one through Avon for a great deal, I bought a second one to give away to one of you!

To enter, leave me a comment about your favorite fall trend or what piece is on your essential fall clothing list.

I'll leave the giveaway open until next Tuesday and announce the winner next Wednesday in my What I Wore post.

I'm linking up! pleated poppy

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Book Review: When Hope Blossoms

I love fall and apple picking is one of my favorite things to do in the fall. I was excited that an apple orchard was a component of Kim Vogel Sawyer's last book, When Hope Blossoms. Amy Knackstedt and her 3 children move to Kansas to start over. Amy hopes that Kansas will be just what her family needs as they try to move on from the death of her husband. They settle into their farmhouse - which needs a lot of work - and begin their new life there. Their closest neighbor is a man named Tim Roper who owns an apple orchard. Tim doesn't seem to be the friendliest neighbor, partly because Amy and her family are Mennonite - and Tim walked away from the Mennonite faith years ago. Throughout the book, Mr. Roper begins to soften and forges unlikely friendships with the children and with Amy as well.

During the course of this book, both Amy and Tim are forced to confront difficult situations from the past. These memories are preventing both of them from being able to move on with their lives.

I really enjoyed the characters in this book. I felt all of them were very believeable and I liked all of them, too. The children - Adri, Parker, and Bekah - were an interesting part of the storyline. These characters all have burdens to bear and the book does a good job of addressing sensitive family issues and dynamics. I thought this was a great book and would highly recommend it.

I did receive a free copy of this book to review through the Bethany House Book Reviewers program. All opinions are my own.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Storytime Planning

I don't normally post much about my job, but I work as a Program Librarian, primarily in the area of youth services. We are working on incorporating more early literacy skills into our storytime planning, so I created two storytime planning documents.

The first is for me to plan a full session of storytimes - ours are 6 weeks. Here I will put my theme, letter, literacy focus, etc. The second is a weekly template to plan out all of the materials, books, songs, etc needed to actually conduct the program.

Find the storytime planning sheet here for free at Teachers Pay Teachers.

The weekly planning document is located for free at Teachers Pay Teachers as well.

Hope someone can use these!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

What I Wore: Dresses, Sunglasses, and Statement Necklaces

 Dress - Kohl's, Belt - Target, Shoes - Payless, Sunglasses - Firmoo

It's September! I got some amazing deals in August - there were some great sales! One of my favorites was the dress pictured above. It was 90% off in our Kohl's store, so it was $5.40...and I had a $5 off coupon! I think it will work well with boots, jackets, cardigans, and more, so it seemed like a good purchase. It got a great deal on the green bracelets and earrings - they were around $5 for everything. I also have a fun turquoise set coming from Avon and I got an extra one to give away! Look for that soon. :)

 Chambray Shirt - Kohl's, Skirt - Merona (thrifted from Goodwill), Wedges - Target, Necklace - Kohl's

My hubby surprised me with the hot pink necklace from Kohl's. It was also on sale for $5.40. I wasn't going to buy it since I had already gotten a lot of new things, but I kept talking about it, so he bought it for me last night. 

I also was so excited to be contacted by Firmoo to review a pair of their sunglasses. First of all, I really needed a pair of sunglasses. I misplaced mine a couple of months ago, and they never turned up. Firmoo has an amazing selection of fashion and prescription glasses and sunglasses. They are very stylish and come in a variety of colors. 

I chose these fun oversized sunglasses in black. The sunglasses arrived very quickly - I was impressed. They came with a case, a little bag, a cleaning cloth and a repair kit. The sunglasses are very comfortable on and they make me feel kind of glamorous. :) They do a great job of shielding my eyes from the sun and the lenses are also a nice color. I have trouble with sunglasses that have lenses that are too yellow or a funny color - they bother my eyes. These sunglasses are extremely nice.

You can try Firmoo, too. They offer a program where first time customers can try a pair of their glasses for free. You just pay shipping. Check out the free glasses program at this link. I did receive a free pair of sunglasses in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own.

Have you gotten any amazing deals recently? Any style tips for transitioning from summer to fall? Leave me a comment!

Links above are my affiliate links.

I'm linking up!  pleated poppy

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


We have a winner in our Back to School giveaway! It is number 106:

Stray Stitches (Linda G) said...
I like creating table toppers or table runners for gifts. Thanks for the opportunity to enter your wonderful giveaway!

Congrats and thank you to all who entered. I got some great gift ideas and may even try to compile all your responses into a couple of posts so we can get started on Christmas crafting!

Have a great week!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Thrifted and DIY Decor

My grandparents had a lot of mason jars in their home. I have been lots of projects in mind for them. I started by painting several of them - turquoise, green, brown, and lavender. I am going to try making some into soap dispensers as well.

I also found these cute birdhouses at a garage sale a few weeks ago. I was going to paint them but decided I like them white. We have them sitting on top of a wooden file cabinet in our house.

There is still time to enter the giveaway!

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