Author Archive: ladykatie32

Meow Monday: Cats of Instagram, Part Twenty

The cats took the weekend off for the holiday, so there’s nothing new to report! Instead, how about another Instagram update? We’ve made it all the way to Christmas 2014… only 7 months behind now, ha!

 

Sam the Man and Sam the Cat, reunited again!

Sam the Man and Sam the Cat, reunited again!

 

Cora models the new table runner

Cora models the new table runner

 

... And the tree

… And the tree

 

Tali is excited for holidays!

Tali is ready to get started on the last block of the Once Upon a Time cross stitch!

 

Mostly Tali is excited for naptime

Mostly Tali is excited for naptime.

 

Cora and the Tree Part 2

Cora and the Tree Part 2

 

It was so much fun to stitch the Once Upon a Time sampler along with the cats all year long!

It was so much fun to stitch the Once Upon a Time cross stitch along with the cats all year long!

 

Another glamour shot

Another glamour shot

 

New toys, old cat

New toys, old cat

 

This is one of my favorite pics of Cora, from the Mississippi snow days of 2010. Thanks, Timehop!

This is one of my favorite pics of Cora, from the Mississippi snow days of 2010. Thanks, Timehop!

High Five for Friday… next week!

It’s been a crazy work/life week, and my parents are visiting for the holiday… busy, busy, busy! So I’ll check in next week with a double High Five for Friday…

The Amateur Librarian // H54F

Have a great Independence Day Eve!

 

Reading Log: June 2015

Another quick month of reading in the books. I had a really great string of books all in a row – love it when that happens!

Below is my Reading Log for June 2015, with my thoughts about each book to help me remember what I read.  I’ve included all the books that I’ve read or finished during the month (even if I started some of them outside of the month).  And of course I keep track of my rating on the grade system, the binding, genre, etc… just for fun!

June 2015

HB = Hardback, PB = Paperback, AB = Audio book, K = Kindle.
F = Fiction, HF = Historical Fiction, NF = NonFiction, YA = Young Adult,
CL = Children’s Lit, B/M = Bio/Memoir, SFF = Sci-Fi/Fantasy, C = Craft

Title Start Finish Grade/

Format

Genre
The Book of Strange New Things,
by Michel Faber
5/6/15 6/19/15 A+
LB
SFF
The Last Anniversary,
by Liane Moriarty
5/23/15 6/4/15 A+
K
F
The Corner of White,
by Jaclyn Moriarty
6/7/15 Still Reading TBD
AB
YA
The Silkworm,
by Robert Gilbraith
6/7/15 6/13/15 A+
K
M
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl,
by Jesse Andrews
6/13/15 6/20/15 A
PB
YA
The Titan’s Curse (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #3),
by Rick Riordan
6/14/15 Still Reading TBD
K
CL
Nimona,
by Noelle Stevenson
6/20/15 6/20/15 A+
PB
YA
Funny Girl,
by Nick Hornby
6/22/15 Still Reading TBD
LB
F
Modern Log Cabin Quilting,
by Susan Beal
6/27/15 6/27/15 A
PB
C

Thoughts:

 

The Book of Strange New Things, by Michel Faber – A+

The Amateur Librarian // May 2015 Reading Log

First, the plot: In the near-future, a British minister is chosen as missionary to the native population of a far-away space colony. While Peter is far away from home and acclimating to a strange new planet and its inhabitants, his steadfast wife Bea’s faith begins to crumble as conditions on Earth spiral out of control. The synopsis intrigued me, but it was Faber’s writing that really drew me in… I just didn’t want it to end. Even though the plot is pretty out-there, the characters are so real that even the aliens felt almost mundane, especially as events on Earth begin to outweigh the strangeness of the aliens. I loved the exploration of faith, science, and relationships through the letters back and forth between Peter and Bea. Writing that sentence makes it seem like a thoughtful romance, but it’s much more complex than that. As the world falls apart in front of their eyes, so does their relationship. The ending was sad and a bit ambiguous, but in a good way (at least that’s what I keep telling myself).

 …

The Last Anniversary, by Liane Moriarty – A+

The Amateur Librarian // May 2015 Reading Log

I just had to stay up late one night to finish this one – Liane Moriarty’s books always do that to me. Another fun cast of characters that are almost more enjoyable to follow than the actual plot – the unraveling of a decades-old mystery involving an abandoned baby, the pair of sisters who found her, and the lucrative tourist attraction spawned by the mysterious circumstances. I loved the POV chapters as we got closer and closer to the truth, and as always the women were relatable and hilarious. Maybe not as powerful as Big Little Lies or What Alice Forgot, but still a joy to read furiously until the very last page.

 …

 

A Corner of White, by Jaclyn Moriarty – TBD

 The Amateur Librarian // June 2015 Reading Log

Still reading. I have to admit that the first thing to catch my eye is the fact that the author is sister to Liane Moriarty – one of my very favorites! I’m hoping that writing runs in the family… I’ve listened to about 5 hours so far, and I’m having a bit of trouble getting into the story. But the characters from two different worlds are finally starting to interact, so I’m hoping it gets more engrossing.

The Silkworm, by Robert Gilbraith – A+

 The Amateur Librarian // June 2015 Reading Log

The third book in the Cormoran Strike series was just announced with a release date in October, so I jumped Book #2 to the top of my list. Once again we follow private detective Cormoran Strike and his trusty sidekick Robin, as their working relationship and backgrounds are more fully fleshed out amid another gruesome murder case. It’s a relief that the characters are already set up from the first book and now we can just enjoy their partnership. This book revolved around the publishing industry, which was fun for me! There were loads of funny jabs at the insular world of publishing, from trendy small presses to self-published authors to egotistical writers. JK Rowling never disappoints with the snappy writing and interesting characters (aside from A Casual Vacancy – not my cup to tea) and I was glad I read this one on the Kindle as I made frequent use of the dictionary feature. Can’t wait for the next installment!

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, by Jesse Andrews – A

 The Amateur Librarian // June 2015 Reading Log

Man, this book. I didn’t want to give it a chance since it seemed like a TFIOS ripoff and the movie seemed to spring up to capitalize on their success, but it was completely different. There’s still a girl with cancer and still three friends and not much of a plot, but it worked for me. It’s much more hilarious than a book about cancer has any right to be. I was giggling and quoting every other page. The author really nails the high school voice, and you definitely have to exercise your inferring skills to figure out how the main character really feels since it’s written in the first person and the narrator is definitely unreliable. I wanted a more satisfying ending, but that’s life.

The Titan’s Curse (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #3), by Rick Riordan – TBD

The Amateur Librarian // June 2015 Reading Log 

Still reading. Sometimes I just want some old-fashioned adventure, silly dialogue, and some Greek mythology thrown in… Percy to the rescue! I’m reading this series at the slowest pace ever, but enjoying it.

Nimona, by Noelle Stevenson– A+

 The Amateur Librarian // Reading Log

I’ve heard a lot of buzz around Noelle Stevenson’s comics LumberJanes, and when I heard that she wrote a standalone YA graphic novel, it sounds like a good entry point to get into her work. I was not disappointed! The story moves quickly, pairing a mysterious shapeshifter and a villain together in an alternate medieval world. There were some laugh-out-loud moments but ther depth of the characters made the brief tale much more endearing that I expected. This is exactly the kind of thing I wish I could’ve read in middle school. I loved the ending, and even though it’s not a series (yet), I’m hoping for more!

Funny Girl, by Nick Hornby – TBD

 The Amateur Librarian // June 2015 Reading Log

Still reading. One of my favorite podcasts, Pop Culture Happy Hour, chose this novel for a discussion a couple months ago and it sounded intriguing enough to add to my library Hold list. It follows Sophie Straw as she pursues a comedy career in Britain during the 1960s. I can’t say I know much about the pop culture details across the pond at that time, so I’m really appreciating the fun photos throughout the book, from actresses to commercials to buildings that are mentioned in passing. So far, so good!

Modern Log Cabin Quilting, by Susan Beal – A

The Amateur Librarian // Reading Log

I’ve had this one on my Amazon wish list for years… so when I saw it on the bargain table, I snatched it up. Log cabins are such a traditional block, but depending on the layout and fabric choices, they can also fit the modern aesthetic. I liked the quilt patterns, but I rarely feel interested enough in home décor projects to actually want to make them, and that was the case for this book too. I also wish there were measurements provided for smaller versions of each pattern, since I don’t do queen size quilts on my home machine. I also have a pet peeve that popped up in this book – artsy photos that don’t show the entire quilt top. I appreciate the “lifestyle” look, but when I’m trying to decide if I want to follow a pattern, I would rather see the whole quilt top than a pretty photograph. But on the whole, I’m glad to add this title to my crafty book collection and I’m pretty sure my next quilt will be a log cabin in some way!

So that’s what I’ve been reading during the month of June.  I’m always looking for more book recommendations – are you reading any good books?

WIP Wednesday

Another weekly update on my current WIPs!

 

Low Volume Plus Swap

Remember the low volume plus blocks I made a couple months ago?

The Amateur Librarian // Low Volume Plus Swap

Lindsay of Lindsay Sews put the swap together, and she brought my swap blocks to the June Music City MQG meeting. I requested warm colors, and over the weekend I finally got to play around with layouts. It’s so much fun to see all the fun fabrics that went into each block, and to be almost finished already!

The Amateur Librarian // Low Volume Plus Swap

 

The Amateur Librarian // Low Volume Plus Swap

I think this is the layout I’m going with, but flipped around so the yellows are in the top right corner, progressing into orange and red in the bottom left corner. I’m going to do QAYG blocks again so hopefully I can have this one hanging over the couch by the end of the summer.

The Amateur Librarian // Low Volume Plus Swap

 

Impossible Cross Stitch

Picked this up again and made some progress! It’s about time to put it down so I can get back to the Woodland Creatures cross stitch, but I’m having fun seeing this come together.

The Amateur Librarian // Impossible Cross Stitch


The Amateur Librarian // Impossible Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Impossible Cross Stitch

Love Patchwork & Quilting mini project

My favorite quilting magazine comes with a free gift each month – sometimes notions or supplies and sometimes mini projects. I started this adorable hoop applique and have been working on it when I have some free time. I haven’t done any embroidery in quite a while, so it’s been fun to practice that again on a no-pressure project.

The Amateur Librarian // Applique Hoop

 

The Amateur Librarian // Applique Hoop

 

The Amateur Librarian // Applique Hoop

And that’s about it!

Linking up to WIP Wednesday on Freshly Pieced.

WIP Wednesday @ Freshly Pieced

Liebster Award

I found out over the weekend that Caroline of Caroline’s Days nominated me for the Liebster Award! Thanks so much, Caroline!!

Liebster award

Here’s how it works. You must:

Thank the person who nominated you,
Link to their blog,
Answer their 11 questions,
Create 11 of your own and nominate 11 bloggers to answer them.

So here goes. My questions from Caroline were:
1. When did you start blogging?
2010… one year into teaching, one year into marriage!
2. Is your blog a big or small part of your life?
Medium. I’m always thinking of ideas for posts and snapping pictures, but I do most of the writing over the weekend so it doesn’t take too much maintenance during the week. It helps that I don’t make any money off it, so I don’t have to deal with sponsors or ads, ha!
3. What is your day job?
Production wrangler at a publishing company… editors, artists, and typesetters, oh my!
4. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
2020… Hopefully still here in TN and enjoying our new house!
5. Who is your style icon?
Reese Witherspoon.. what can I say, I like to dress like a classy mom!
6. Do you have any pets?
Yes!! Two little bundles of fur, Cora and Tali.
7. What place would you love to visit?
I would love to see Ireland… maybe I could visit Caroline!
8. Are you an early bird or a night owl?
The early bird gets the worm… and this bird can’t stay up late enough to hang with the owls anymore.
9. Name one bad habit you wish you could change.
Parking… it’s definitely not my strength, but I should really try harder to correct it when I can. Usually that makes it worse, but it’s definitely a bad habit.
10. Who is your celebrity crush at the moment?
Um… I’m gonna call out Chris Pratt for being adorably crush-friendly!
11. What are you afraid of?
Getting sick again… gotta appreciate good health!
I’m breaking the rules just a bit & cutting down the number 11 to 5… hope you don’t mind!
And the 5 bloggers I nominate are…
I took a page out of my Infamous Survey to come up with a few questions… And your 5 questions are:
1. What are you reading right now?
2. What were you doing at this time last night? 
3. What are your favorite baby names?
4. What do you like most about your favorite hobby?
5. If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?
You’re not obliged to answer the questions or take part if you don’t want to or if you’ve been nominated before. There’s no pressure!

Meow Monday: Sleeping Cuties

 

Let’s face it, cats are cutest when they’re sleeping. And of course I can’t help but snap a few pics…

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

Sweet dreams!

High Five for Friday!

Another High Five for Friday!

I’m sharing the highlights of my week… five to be exact!  I love the idea of focusing on five little things that made me happy… definitely a fun way to recap the week and stay grateful.

The Amateur Librarian // H54FThe Amateur Librarian // H54F

1. Inside Out. This movie is the best… seriously, go see it this weekend if you haven’t already! Now we’re on a Pixar kick and have been re-watching all our favorites.

2. Pillowcases. The Music City MQG made 120+ pillowcases in 4 hours to donate to the Ronald McDonald House in Nashville. Riley Blake donated fabric and the combos were so super cute. It was a great assembly-line project for the group and now I want to make a bunch for myself!

3. Finished! No WIP Wednesday this week because my latest quilt is finished! I don’t want to share on the blog until it’s gifted, but I’m pretty excited that I actually finished it early.

4. Kacey Musgraves. I’ve been humming along to her new album all week. Mind your own biscuits and life will be gravy :)

5. Book Therapy. I haven’t been to a real live bookstore in a while, but it was such a treat to wander the shelves for a bit… and come home with a fun stack, of course!

 …

Lazy Lunches for Adults

As I’ve mentioned before, we’re officially in Money Saving Mode now that we’re building a new house. Eating out is where most of our money goes, by far… and even though cooking at home and bringing lunch to work is the obvious solution, it’s a hard habit to break! I’ve been looking to Pinterest (of course) for lunch ideas, but most of the pics and ideas are a bit too… Pinterest-y, if you know what I mean…. AKA I don’t have time for gourmet lunches with a ton of prep work or a thousand ingredients.
But still… I’m determined to change my eating and spending habits!
The Amateur Librarian // Lazy Lunch Ideas for Adults
So here are Five Non-Sandwich, Super Easy, Healthy-Enough, (Lazy) Adult Lunch ideas that have been working for me lately:
1. Tortilla + Leftovers = Wrap.
Greens + Leftovers = Salad.
Some leftovers can be reheated and eaten the next day, no problem… but some leftovers require a little more creativity. Almost anything can be wrapped in a tortilla to become a taco/wrap, or added on top of greens to become a salad… especially if you don’t have a full meal or only a side dish leftover.
2. Hummus with dippables.
This is my favorite idea, because with a few minutes of prep work this meal can last a few days in the work fridge so I don’t even have to remember to bring home my lunch box at the end of the day. I throw in a bunch of baggies full of dippables, and I’m good to go (bonus points for no-need-to-slice items like carrot sticks). This could work with any dip, but I like hummus because it actually makes me feel full by the end of the meal.
The Amateur Librarian // Lazy Lunch Ideas for Adults
A few of my favorite dippables:
  • carrot sticks
  • Kalamata olives
  • pretzels
  • pita bread
  • broccoli
  • tortilla chips
3. Burrito Bowls. 
This is another good one for leftovers, and it’s endlessly adaptable. All you need is a bowl and a bed of rice, then add whatever else you have on hand that could go into a burrito…
  • leftover ground beef, chicken or fish
  • black beans
  • lettuce
  • avocado
  • sour cream
  • tortilla chips
  • salsa
  • shredded cheese
4. Soup.
Every couple of months, I make a big batch of soup (my favorites are Sour Cream Potato Chowder, Mama’s Chicken and Rice Soup, and Vegetable Chowder) and freeze about 6-10 individual portions in small tupperware containers. I eat these for dinner a lot, but it’s just as easy to bring for lunch and heat up in the microwave (most of the soup should be thawed by the time you eat lunch, but make sure you transfer to a bowl first so you don’t ruin the plastic containers). Bonus points if I remember to bring a couple slices of good bread or crackers!
The Amateur Librarian // Lazy Lunch Ideas for Adults
5. Homemade Lunchables.
This idea comes from the Kids-Only section of the grocery store: Lunchables. It’s also super easy to make an adult version with better ingredients. Slices of quality ham and fancy cheese are just as fun to layer on top of crackers these days. Pop a Capri Sun in your lunch box if you’re really feeling nostalgic!
Take a look at my friend Lesley’s Adult-Friendly lunchable… yum!
After a month or so of eating in most nights of the week and bringing my lunch to work more often, we’re on the right track… let me know if you have any other frugal tips!

WIWW: Six Months Later

After three years of daily Fashion Diaries from 2012-2014, I quit documenting my outfits in 2015. Funny as it may sound, it was part of my life and felt pretty strange when I suddenly stopped.
It’s been 6 months, so I thought I’d check in on life post-Fashion Diaries…
  • It’s easier and quicker to get out the door in the morning!
  • I’m not so worried about “likes” on social media… I didn’t realize that I had become addicted to the feedback and attention.
  • I gave myself permission to wear the same clothes more often, and not worry if I wear the same pair of pants three times in a week.
  • My jewelry has become a lot more simple – instead of a different statement necklace every day, I’ve been wearing one delicate necklace that goes with everything.
  • Without the external motivation of “likes” and comments, I’ve definitely let my style go a bit. The simplicity is mostly a relief, although sometimes I miss being more creative.
  • I’m less active on social media without the daily motivation to post. I wouldn’t say that’s a good or bad thing, just a side effect.
  • When I posted  every day and recapped my outfits once a week on the blog, I also had a quick review of my day-to-day life in a nutshell. This year, I started using a 10 Year Journal (best Xmas present!) so I still have that daily journal of my life.
 Here are a few favorites from the past 3 years – not necessarily because of the clothes, but because they remind me of those days… both mundane and eventful!
The Amateur Librarian // What I Wore Wednesday

Office days in San Fran!

 

The Amateur Librarian // What I Wore Wednesday

I had quite a cardigan collection on the West Coast!

 

The Amateur Librarian // What I Wore Wednesday

Gloomy days in San Fran

 

Last day of work in San Francisco

Last day of work in San Francisco

 

First day in Franklin

First day in Franklin

 

Picking up the kitties from their MS visit

Picking up the kitties from their MS visit

 

July 19

So many textures, so many shoes

 

April 26

Weddings!

 

April 24

Beach trip!

 

May 1

Nashville music!

 

Exploring TN

Exploring TN

Treat Yourself

I found a forgotten gift card… instead of spending it on groceries or eating out, I decided to treat myself to a bookstore visit. I love reading eBooks but there’s nothing like browsing a bookstore, amiright?
Here’s the stack I came home with:
The Amateur Librarian // Reading Log
Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell
The Amateur Librarian // Reading Log
I’ve actually read this one before as an ebook… but this is the special edition! It’s fitting that a story about fan fiction has real-life fan art on the endpapers, and there’s a ribbon bookmark as well. The best part though is the excerpt of Rowell’s newest book Carry On, the story-within-a-story that’s alluded to throughout Fangirl, now a real story coming out in October. So exciting… and I’ll probably end up reading this one again in anticipation of the semi-sequel.
Station 11 by Emily St. John Mandel
The Amateur Librarian // Reading Log
My BFF and I are going to reinstate our long-distance, two-person book club this summer and this is our first pick! I’ve heard so much buzz about this one that I couldn’t resist. Normally I would shy away from apocalyptic fiction (I blame it on my day job) but this one seems to transcend the genre.
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
The Amateur Librarian // Reading Log
Graphic novels are a thing I would like to read, but I never really know how to get started. I’ve heard a lot of buzz around Noelle Stevenson’s comics LumberJanes, and when I heard that she wrote a standalone YA graphic novel about a shapeshifter, it sounded like a good entry point. My library doesn’t have it yet since it just came out this year, so I wanted to see if I could find it at the bookstore even though I was pretty sure it’d be too expensive. When I found that it was only $12.99, I snatched it up. It’s a quick read but so, so good! This is exactly the kind of thing I would’ve loved in middle school, and I loved it now too.

Modern Log Cabin Quilting by Susan Beal

The Amateur Librarian // Reading Log

 

I’ve had my eye on this one for quite a long time and I have been wanting to make a log cabin quilt lately, so when I saw this on the bargain table I was sold! One of my favorite quilt pins comes from this book, and I’m excited to dive into more inspiration. Somehow I never feel guilty about impulse buys when it’s a book.

What are you reading right now?

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