Author Archive: ladykatie32

High Five for Friday!

Another High Five for Friday… extra fun because today’s my birthday! It’s always nice to have Memorial Day weekend right around this time each year!

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 – Girls Weekend. The time went by way too quickly, but it was so great to hang out with my favorite ladies for a weekend!
2 – Patch of Dirt. Visited our lot this week… can’t wait to see a house grow up on this patch of dirt!
3 – Pitch Perfect 2. Such a fun movie! (And much more fun to see with girl friends instead of a husband rolling his eyes the whole time!)
4 – Planning. I finally started figuring out what I want to do for my next quilt. The math at the beginning is always the hardest part, but it’s exciting to start pulling bits and pieces together.
5 – Happy Birthday to Me! This week I asked my parents what they were doing when they were 28. I love finding out about stuff like that!

 …

#TBT: Survey Chain Emails

I used to love, love, love those chain emails with questionnaires. In middle school and high school, I would spend hours answering endless questions and email them to all my friends… and then wait to read all of their answers to the same questions… and then repeat the process all over again when another (slightly different) one came along.
I also filled many, many journals and diaries throughout those years and I always started a new volume with my “Infamous Survey” (I’m not sure what was so infamous about it) to give a snapshot of who/what/where I was before launching into the daily thoughts and tribulations that would fill up the next hundred pages. I actually still have all those old diaries… I can’t quite let them go. And on days like today, they come in handy!
Tomorrow just so happens to be my birthday, and around ten years ago I just so happened to start a new diary with one of those Infamous Surveys. Ten years ago I was 18: just graduated from high school and looking forward to college; Ten years later, I’m married and looking forward to building our first house. A lot can happen in 10 years!
Here’s a little Then and Now comparison for #tbt:
The Infamous Survey: 2005 and 2015
The Amateur Librarian
Age? 
2005: 18 years old
2015: 28 years old
Living Arrangement?
2005: House in Starkville, MS – soon to be dorm at MSU; mom, dad, brother (14)
2015: Apartment in Franklin, TN with my husband
Current book?
2005: Vanity Fair by William Thackeray and Kings, Queens, Bones, and Bastards by David Hilliam
2015: The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber, Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, and The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny
Favorite Board Game?
2005: Candyland, Life, Risk
2015: Bananagrams (I’m going to say they count…)
Favorite Magazine?
2005: Seventeen, Readers Digest
2015: Love Patchwork & Quilting, Country Living
Favorite Smells? 
2005: apple, mint, cookies
2015: peppermint, hot chocolate, grass after it rains
Least Favorite Smells? 
2005: wet dog, damp concrete after rain
2015: sewage, burnt food
Worst Feeling in the World?
2005: boredom and loneliness
2015: helplessness
Favorite Colors? 
2005: purple, green
2015: cool colors
Favorite Children’s’ Names?
2005: Luke, Ethan, Grace, Elaine
2015: Hazel, Ivy, Oliver, Jack
What is Most Important in Life? 
2005: Love – for God, Family, Self, Others, etc.
2015: Balance (what a question, ugh!)
Favorite Food?
2005: all forms of potato, Stromboli’s pizza
2015: grilled shrimp, almost any seafood
Chocolate or Vanilla? 
2005: vanilla for ice cream, and chocolate for everything else
2015: Eighteen-year-old me had it right!
Do you like to drive fast?
2005: I never go the speed limit, but I don’t drive recklessly fast
2015: Almost always the speed limit… my Dad’s motto has finally sunk in: The object of driving is to get from point A to point B safely!
Do you sleep with a stuffed animal? 
2005: Raif the Lovable
2015: Nope… but sometimes my real live cats sleep beside me
If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?
2005: I’d own a children’s book & toy store, and write and illustrate my own children’s books as well
2015: Something creative yet flexible in the publishing industry… I haven’t quite figured it out yet. (That answer above hits hard. I still wish I could do that!)
If you could dye your hair any color, what would it be?
2005: light auburn/honey
2015: Teal
What color is your hair now?
2005: dark blonde
2015: same
Favorite TV show? 
2005: Friends, Joey, The O.C., Gilmore Girls
2015: Jane the Virgin, Game of Thrones, Project Runway
Do you have a BF? 
2005: no
2015: Nope… a husband
Favorite Bands? 
2005: Reliant K, Carbonleaf, Fountains of Wayne, Norah Jones, Coldplay
2015: this is lame… but I don’t really have any favorites anymore. But if we go by which albums I buy the day of release? Then it’s Taylor Swift, Kacey Musgrove, Lorde, Kelley McRae
Favorite Ice Cream?
2005: mint chocolate chip
2015: coffee
Favorite Drink?
2005: I’ll drink anything, but I like cranberry apple juice or hot echinacea tea
2015: unsweet tea, hold or cold
Color of Toothbrush?
2005: green
2015: pink (why is this a question??)
Last night at this time, I was…? 
2005: sleeping from the jet lag of the London to Atlanta plane trip
2015: binge watching Mad Men on the dvR
Do you like school? 
2005: when I’m interested in the class or not bored
2015: Yes! I miss it.
Do you believe in love at first sight? 
2005: Attraction can lead to love, but first sight is too shallow for eternity.
2015: Sure, what she said.
What’s the best feeling in the world? 
2005: A fulfilling late night phone conversation.
2015: That “in the zone” flow when I’m really into a book/project/conversation and time doesn’t matter
Well, that was fun! And we can’t forget how every single one of those chain emails ended…
DIRECTIONS: Now, here’s what you’re supposed to do..and please do not spoil
the fun.
Hit reply, delete my answers and type in your answers. Then send this to a
whole bunch of people you know INCLUDING the person who sent it to you. The
theory is that you will learn a lot of little known facts about those who
know you…Remember to send it back to the person who sent it to you!

Happy #tbt!

Reading Right Now

I find that my reading life often mirrors whatever else is going on – when life is crazy-busy-hectic, I have a million half-read books laying around and keep picking up (and putting down) more books left and right. When the pace slows down to the speed limit, so does my reading. Right now, I’m somewhat in between – I finished up a big batch of books and now that my brain and life are feeling a bit more settled (finding a house helped!), I find myself concentrating on just a few books.
As usual, I still have trouble sticking to one book at a time, and of course my To-Read List is still a mile long!
Here’s a look at what I’m Reading Right Now… and what I want to read next!
…Breakfast Book…
The Book of Strange New Things, by Michel Faber
The Amateur Librarian // May 2015 Reading Log
I loved reading The Crimson Petal and the White in college, but I haven’t read anything else by Michel Faber until this book. When I heard it was about a preacher in the near-future traveling to a distant planet to minister to the native aliens, while his wife stays on an increasingly chaotic Earth, I was already hooked. Reading this in small chunks at breakfast each morning is a bit excruciating because I always want to read more than I have time for, but that’s a good sign!
…On the Kindle…
Seraphina, by Rachel Hartman
The Amateur Librarian // April 2015 Reading Log
Normally I don’t gravitate toward fantasy when I’m looking for something new, but this one has been really fun to read. It’s YA with a strong female protagonist, dragons, and plenty of world building.  It’s a fun escape when I have a few minutes to read on my phone (doctor offices are the best time, especially if the wifi is spotty).
…After Hours…
The Cruelest Month, by Louise Penny
The Amateur Librarian // April 2015 Reading Log
I have to admit, this one has been slow going. In an ideal world, I would go to bed with plenty of time to read a few chapters every night… but we all know the world is not ideal, and I’m usually too tired to read at the end of the day. But I really enjoy this series, so I haven’t given up yet.
…To Read…
Station 11, by Emily St. John Mandel
The Amateur Librarian // May 2015 Reading Log
After this book got the Colbert bump in the wake of the Amazon-Hachette feud, I’ve been seeing buzz all over the place. I just picked it up from the library and I’m excited to get started!
Better than Before, by Gretchin Rubin
The Amateur Librarian // May 2015 Reading Log
I love me some Gretchin Rubin… her unique brand of self-help is dear to my introvert heart. I received this book to review via Blogging for Books, so it’s next on the list.
One More Thing, by B.J. Novak
The Amateur Librarian // May 2015 Reading Log
I only know B.J. Novak through The Office, but his children’s book is making big waves and I’m intrigued by this short story collection.
As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes
The Amateur Librarian // May 2015 Reading Log
The title says it all! I’ve heard great things about this book, especially that the whole cast got along really well and  had a lot of fun throughout filming. I love imagining that, so I’ll probably love reading about it too!

What are you reading right now?

Cheers to the Weekend

A great day:

Good food.

Shopping.

Spa pedicure.

A funny movie.

Free cocktails.

Hibachi.

Insert two friends I haven’t seen in over a year, and then it’s a perfect weekend!

So much girl talk and giggling and good times. It was so great to get away from the real world and catch up for a couple days in Birmingham. I really needed that breath of fresh air and conversation after a crazy busy couple of months. So much fun was had, in fact, that I took all of two pictures the whole weekend… and that’s the best sign of a girls’ weekend!

Cheers!

The Amateur Librarian // Cheers!

 

Meow Monday: Cats of Instagram, Part Twenty-One

More #catsofinstagram for you! This batch hails from October, when the weather was still nice but starting to drift toward the holidays. (Wow, I need to actually finish up that quilt…) Lots of Timehop action this week, of course!

Waterlogued BFFs

Waterlogued BFFs

 

My little sewing assistant

My little sewing assistant

 

Poinsettias!

Poinsettias!

 

Cora always says goodbye through the window

Cora always says goodbye through the window

 

Couch time = stitching and cuddling

Couch time = stitching and cuddling

 

Let the Timehop begin... baby Rochester! (We housed him for a couple weeks in college before he went to his new home)

Let the Timehop begin… baby Rochester! (We housed him for a couple weeks in college before he went to his new home)

 

Baby Cora!

Baby Cora!

 

Seriously, so cute!

Seriously, so cute!

 

Ironing 1/4-inch seams open - no fun! But Tali is a great assistant.

Ironing 1/4-inch seams open – no fun! But Tali is a great assistant.

 

Cuddle train!

Cuddle train!

High Five for Friday!

Another High Five for Friday… it was an exciting week around here, as you’ll see by my #1 highlight!

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 – It’s Official… we’re building a house! After finding out firsthand how crazy the real estate market is around here, it made sense to build instead. We signed the papers this week and should be in our new home by Christmas. So exciting!
2 – The Who. Sam’s dad drove up to go to The Who concert on Monday, and it was a great show!
3 – Birchbox Goodies. I love racking up free points by reviewing the samples in my monthly Birchboxes and this week I finally used them up. Mostly to get Jouer Tint in the Petal shade (this stuff is amazing! The creme blush is so easy to apply and it actually lasts all day), but I also picked out a cute Baggu reusable bag and fancy English tea… you know I can’t resist a cute tin for the price of FREE!
4 – A Few New Favorites. I’m always looking for good podcasts, and here a few recent finds I’ve been enjoying in the car this week:
  • Happier with Gretchin Rubin – short and sweet, with practical tips about happiness
  • Over Due – two dudes talking about those books that you’ve always meant to read but haven’t gotten around to yet
  • Worst Bestsellers – fun guests and lots of giggling about really bad books
5 – Upcoming. Tomorrow I’m heading to Birmingham for a girls’ weekend and I’m so, so looking forward to some girl talk and relaxing. Life has been pretty busy for the past couple months, and I can’t wait to take a deep breath… plus, it’s been way too long since I’ve seen my BFFs!

 …

Woodland Creatures Cross Stitch: May

I’m working on another yearlong cross stitch project (see last year’s Once Upon a Time sampler here) but this one is a bit more laid back since it’s an older pattern and I don’t have to wait for the mystery blocks to be revealed each month. I love Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery’s Woodland Creatures sampler, it is so super cute!
I’m loving the quick blocks, and May was super quick and cute. What an adorable little gnome! I have a little gnome living in my rosemary plant on the porch that came home with me from Rock City in Chattanooga… and this guy looks just like him!
Below are a few progress pics:
The Amateur Librarian // Woodland Creatures Cross Stitch
The Amateur Librarian // Woodland Creatures Cross Stitch
The Amateur Librarian // Woodland Creatures Cross Stitch
The Amateur Librarian // Woodland Creatures Cross Stitch
The Amateur Librarian // Woodland Creatures Cross Stitch
The Amateur Librarian // Woodland Creatures Cross Stitch
The Amateur Librarian // Woodland Creatures Cross Stitch
The Amateur Librarian // Woodland Creatures Cross Stitch
Here are the finished months so far:
The Amateur Librarian // Woodland Creatures Cross Stitch
The Amateur Librarian // Woodland Creatures Cross Stitch
The Amateur Librarian // Woodland Creatures Cross Stitch
The Amateur Librarian // Woodland Creatures Cross Stitch
The Amateur Librarian // Woodland Creatures Cross Stitch
Five months down, seven to go!
 
 The Amateur Librarian // Woodland Creatures Cross Stitch
I’ll be sure to share my monthly progress, similar to last year. Stay tuned!

More Pinterest Inspiration: Dream Home

How about another round of Pinterest inspiration? House hunting has been taking over my life lately… so of course I’ve been pinning away! Most of these are “aspirational” instead of realistic… but that’s the point of a dream house, right? (Especially because I live nowhere near a beach.)

Below, a hodgepodge of dreams in no particular order…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bedside Essentials

I love my little bedside table, and all the little things on it.

The Amateur Librarian // Bedside Essentials

Let’s take a closer look, shall we? I’ve linked to a few older posts if you’re interested in reading more.

The Amateur Librarian // Bedside Essentials

1 – “Be the day short, or be the day long, at last it weareth to evening song.” I designed this cross stitch sampler myself, when I was going through a really hard year and needed to remind myself that this too would pass. (Via Anne Shirley, of course!)

Blogged here.

2 – Embroidered Wedding Sampler. Of course this sampler is special too… I started stitching my senior year in college while I was engaged… and finished it up after almost two years of marriage.

Blogged here.

3 – Reading Material. Of course I have a few books to read!

Blogged here.

4 – 10 Year Journal. I’ve been writing nearly every day in this journal since the start of the year – with just a few lines for each day, it’s easy to keep up and the idea of looking back on what I wrote 10 years from now is so much fun!

Blogged here.

5 – Bedside table. I found this pair of bedside tables at Cozy Cat Consignment Furniture – by far my favorite furniture store in the area! I love perusing this store every so often for great finds, and so far I’ve brought home a dining room table and coffee table too!

Blogged here.

It’s comforting to have a few of my favorite things at my bedside every night… and once I started taking a closer look, it was quite the trip down memory lane!

The Amateur Librarian // Bedside Essentials

Meow Monday: Nothing to Report

House hunting has taken over my life… we’ve slowed our pace a bit since we first got started, but we’re still driving around neighborhoods and open houses and new listings every weekend and most work days too. The market is crazy around here (which I’ve probably mentioned fifty thousand times by now, sorry)… most homes get multiple offers over the asking price within 24 hours of being listed. We’ve put in 5 offers so far… and none have worked out. We’re *trying* to be patient, though!

In the meantime, nothing much is going on with the kit-cats. I haven’t been snapping many pics lately since I feel like I’m hardly ever home…. but of course I have a couple new ones from around the house.

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

It helps to know that the cats don’t care where we are, as long as we come home to them.

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