Saturday, January 20, 2018

January Reading List

Ok, I know, January is more than half way over, but there's really no bad time to start a good book.  Since this is the time of year that people make and by now usually break resolutions, I thought I'd put in a few self help books that I've read and benefited from over the years.  The self help of course has a religious slant, so if that's not your bag, don't take offense, just pass them by and enjoy the fiction picks this month.

Read Alone or with a Group for Support:

I often find these days that the world is full of people want to say something, but for all their talking and yelling, they actually have nothing of value to say.  I appreciated this book for its insight into the talk problem, but I do wish it delved a little more into how to say something if you're the kind of person who doesn't speak up enough.

"Beyond just a “how not to gossip” book, this book explores what the Bible says about the many ways we are to use our words and the times when we are to remain silent. Karen will cover using our speech to interact with friends, co-workers, family, and strangers as well as in the many places we use our words in private, in public, online, and in prayer. Even the words we say silently to ourselves. She will address unsolicited opinion-slinging, speaking the truth in love, not saying words just to people-please, and dealing with our verbal anger." 

Ahhh, rejection, we've all experienced it and it is a painful and bitter part of life.  This book was a very raw and honest look at rejection, the causes, the consequences, and healthy ways of dealing with
it.  I read it at a time when I truly needed a boost and this book was a great help.

"Uninvited reminds us we are destined for a love that can never be diminished, tarnished, shaken, or taken--a love that does not reject or uninvite.

  • Stop feeling left out by believing that even when you are overlooked by others you are handpicked by God.
  • Change your tendency to either fall apart or control the actions of others by embracing God-honoring ways to process your hurt.
  • Know exactly what to pray for the next ten days to steady your soul and restore your confidence in the midst of rejection.
  • Overcome the two core fears that feed your insecurities by understanding the secret of belonging. "

  • The year was 2003.  I had struggled with my weight for many years always fad dieting and losing some weight only to gain it back plus some.  I just couldn't win against my food issues.  I was ready to give up.  Then I saw Dr. Phil's program and decided, "why not, I've tried everything else!"  So, I did.  I did the book entirely and in the proper order and I learned so much about why I over ate and how to deal with the issues behind the over eating.  This book changed my life.  As a result, not only did I lose the weight and keep it off in spite of two pregnancies that followed, but I have never struggled with food issues since then.  The book didn't work overnight.  It was a long process to unravel all those knots, but it was lasting help and lasting change.

    "You have a decision to make. Those are the opening words Dr. Phil uses in his new and groundbreaking weight loss book. You know he is talking to you if you are among the millions who have chased one fad diet after another, none of which ever works. Dr. Phil is talking about the decision you have to make to change all of that. You know those crash diets never last, and you have to quit lying to yourself and get real about making the ultimate choice to finally take control of your weight and your life. "If you are overweight, you are out of control. That's not a natural place to be," says Dr. Phil. The Ultimate Weight Solution will give you the control that you crave."

    Read Alouds:

    Winter Camp by Kirkpatrick Hill

    It seems fitting to have an Alaskan tale at this cold time of year.  My girls and I picked this
    book up at random from a thrift shop and decided to give it a read during one of our long winters in the chilly PNW.  Even though they were very young, we all enjoyed the this book of struggle, hardship, and the search for family and home.  

    "Two orphaned siblings struggle to survive a harsh Alaskan winter looking after a badly wounded miner, while their guardian, an old Athabascan Indian who has taught them the ways of their ancestors, searches for help."

    This time we traveled to Paris on our homeschool adventure to join a struggling mother and her little ones as they form an unlikely friendship that changes their lives.

    "Armand, an old Parisian living on the streets of Paris, relished his solitary life. He begged and did odd jobs for money to keep himself warm and fed, and he liked his carefree life.
    Then one day just before Christmas, a struggling mother and her three children walked into his life. Though he tried to ignore their troubles, Armand soon found himself caring for the family and sharing his unusual home under the bridge with them. It did not take Armand very long to realize that he had gotten himself ready-made family; one that he loved with all his heart, and one for whom he would have to find a better home than the bridge."

    This book was such a favorite that we're reading it again.  One of the nice things about leaving our homeschool days is that I can now circle back to all those books we enjoyed and we can read them again without the schedule and the rush.  I guess January is the month for orphan stories, because here comes another good one.  
    "Sixteen-year-old Kit Tyler is marked by suspicion and disapproval from the moment she arrives on the unfamiliar shores of colonial Connecticut in 1687. Alone and desperate, she has been forced to leave her beloved home on the island of Barbados and join a family she has never met. Torn between her quest for belonging and her desire to be true to herself, Kit struggles to survive in a hostile place. Just when it seems she must give up, she finds a kindred spirit. But Kit’s friendship with Hannah Tupper, believed by the colonists to be a witch, proves more taboo than she could have imagined and ultimately forces Kit to choose between her heart and her duty."

    Thursday, January 18, 2018

    At the Museum

        In April of 2016 I completed my very sewing project and it was a dress from Vogue's reprinted vintage patterns.  It took me a couple of weeks, maybe more, maybe less to complete that first dress and I had lots of help.  I chose this pattern because it had that great vintage style I love and it said it was "very easy."  But I was new and it was difficult because I was so new to sewing and I unfairly blamed the pattern.  I used the top from this pattern again on another dress, but the whole thing was a disaster and I again very mistakenly blamed it on the dress pattern.  
        Well, it's a new year and I had four fresh bundles of fabric waiting, waiting, waiting.  And, in case you hadn't noticed it's extremely cold outside and pretty much the perfect conditions for sitting by my fire and working on sewing projects, so I decided to get started.  I made a skirt in one day and it was riddled with problems like the gathering stitches broke just as I was nearly done with all that gathering.  But I decided to dive right in to the next project and began cutting out this dress that very evening.  I finished it by the next evening and even added an underskirt and a few extra touches like stitching around the neckline and shoulders and still finished it in a day.  This time I know, it's not the pattern.  I've improved so much since I've started and I absolutely adore the finished product of this dress and pattern.  I did shorten the skirt length by six or seven inches, because the original length swallowed my legs.  I also added an underskirt to make the skirt look fuller and it gave this dress some extra warmth on this chilly day.
        Today we're browsing our local art museum.  I really love this place.  It's mostly modern art that makes it into the rotating exhibits, but they do have a few classic masterpieces that I never tire of looking at, and of course, the scenery surrounding the museum is beautiful as well.  The water is frozen and dotted with snow flakes and leaves, and its nice and warm inside.

    Shop the Look:

    Michael Miller Norwegian Woods Too Foxtrot Jewel from

    Vogue Misses 1957 sz 6-14 sewing pattern #v8789

    Wednesday, January 17, 2018

    Taking the Train

    I liked this Taking the Train dress by Myrtlewood when it came out.  I liked it even better when it went on sale..  But, there was always something I spent my dress budget on instead.  I kind of always regretted not getting it, but I haven't spent the last few years endlessly searching for it.  I found it on PoshMark for around $25, so I took it.  Call it fate or maybe just the withdrawals from Christmas shopping, but I do like this dress and no regrets about finally buying it.  I'm hanging at the library today because my car picked the coldest day of the year to have the radiator go out.  Very fortunately, there was a mechanic within a few miles who fixed it well enough for me to get home, but it will need more work.  *sigh*  there goes the clothing budget.  Not to worry, I still have lots of great looks on the soon as it gets a little warmer outside.  In the mean time, I'll also throw in a pic of this sleepy little guy that greeted me when I came home.
    Shop the Look:
    Taking the Train Dress and Ruby Tights from ModCloth
    Thrift shop cardi
    Eyelet flats are old

    Monday, January 15, 2018

    ModCloth's Winter Sale on Sale!


    Right now take and extra 30% off all sale items at ModCloth's Sale on Sale
    Yes, I've already done my shopping and purchase three dresses.  I'm so exited!  There are so many great things in this sale!  Hurry over, because this sale ends on 1/19/18 at 11:59PM EST

    Saturday, January 13, 2018

    An Adorable New Face

    ...Actually, two new faces.  I went to the library today and someone arrived outside with a backseat full of puppies.  The lady said she found them in a ditch on her way into town and was waiting there for animal control to take them.  She asked if I wanted one and actually we've been looking for a puppy or two, so I decided to take two of them.  The white one is a boy and the brindled puppy is a girl.  Names to follow soon, but for now the little girl is very sleepy and very shy while the boy is all wiggles and kisses.  And this is one super cool library for letting me get my books with the puppies in tow before taking everything home.

    Shop the Look:
    Black Blazer from HolyChic
    Whale Dress from The Other Sparrows
    Burgundy Tights from Wal-Mart
    Necklace from Forever 21
    Bell Flats by Report

    Friday, January 12, 2018

    Navy Day:

    You already know I love  They have such amazingly flattering styles for all shapes and sizes there.  Today I'm sporting this Margaret Navy Pin Dot Dress.  It's part of KarinaDresses new Resort Collection and as always, Karina delivers.  Flattering, stylish with that gorgeous vintage flare.  If you haven't been to KarinaDresses yet, you've got to check out this new Resort collection.  There are so many great styles to choose from.
    Shop the Look:
    Margaret Navy Pin Dot Dress from
    Heels are old from Charlotte Russe

    Thursday, January 11, 2018

    Farm Life

    Life didn't go as I'd, not at all....but then again, it rarely does.  So, I focus on what I do have and the life that can be.  I take the good moments and hold onto them and try to let the past fade and all the things that don't matter slide, because this little life on this little farm, it may not be what I'd hoped for, but it can be good too.