Author Archive: ladykatie32

Franklin City Sights: Pumpkin Patch

I wouldn’t normally blog about a ten-minute stop by a pumpkin patch on the side of the road… but this one happens to come with a background story.  We didn’t know anything about the pumpkin patch at all, other than that we noticed it pop up in the last week or so and drove by it almost every day. So when we were running errands over the weekend, we stopped by to pick out a pumpkin.
We found out that it is staffed with volunteers for the Cooper Trooper Foundation, and all proceeds go to research for pediatric cancer and “Cooper Trooper Caring and Courage Kits” for sibling of kids with cancer.  Cooper, the namesake, was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer as an infant but is cancer-free today – and in fact, he and his older brothers were running around the pumpkin patch that day.
The Amateur Librarian // Cooper Trooper Pumpkin Patch
So… I’m no affiliated or anything, but it was a cool story and definitely made us feel even better about picking up a couple pumpkins to take home.  It looked like there were some other fun things for kids too – a bouncy house and wagons if you pick out a pile.  If you’re interested in the foundation, here’s their website: www.coopertrooper.org
If you live in the area, you should check it out!  And now a small photo dump… of course!
The Amateur Librarian // Cooper Trooper Pumpkin Patch
The Amateur Librarian // Cooper Trooper Pumpkin Patch
The Amateur Librarian // Cooper Trooper Pumpkin Patch
The Amateur Librarian // Cooper Trooper Pumpkin Patch
The Amateur Librarian // Cooper Trooper Pumpkin Patch
Here’s our mama & baby pumpkins hanging out by our front door!
The Amateur Librarian // Cooper Trooper Pumpkin Patch
 More city sights coming soon as we explore the Nashville area!

Meow Monday: Nap Attack

Tali has been hubby’s new nap buddy lately, and it’s pretty cute.  One of my favorite lazy weekend activities is I listening to podcasts while I cross stitch, and hubby usually takes naps.

Cora is usually found right behind my head.

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

Tali usually perches on the couch, but lately she’s been cuddling closer and closer.

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

(There are no actual nap attacks… but I couldn’t think of any other title.)

High Five for Friday!

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  and stay grateful.


The Amateur Librarian // H54FThe Amateur Librarian // H54F

1 – Parents. It was so nice to see my folks again, even if it was a short visit. Of course we had to stop by the free beer tasting while they were here!
2 – Southern Festival of Books. It was really cool to browse some books and check out a couple of my favorite authors this past weekend. Can you tell I’m a Lev Grossman fan?
3 – Boot Weather. Finally, it feels like fall around here! (knock on wood)
4 – Wall O’ Bunting. My Dad always finds the best presents from his work travels – like this cat bunting! I finally got this hung up on the wall above my sewing machine, which is quickly becoming the place for all the bunting ever. I think my favorites are Spock the Cat and Dorothy with little Toto sitting on her back.
5 – Jane the Virgin. The premise of this show sounds pretty crazy (the main character is a virgin who is accidentally impregnated by her doctor… and a whole bunch of other complicated story lines) but I kept hearing good things about it, so we added it to the DVR and I was really impressed by the first episode! The acting is really good and the plot twists are crazy in a fun way.  I’ll be tuning in for the rest of the season for sure!

 …

I’m linking up with Lauren Elizabeth for H54F!

H54F

Project Pinterest: Easy Broccoli and Beef Stir Fry

I’ve been looking for some more easy dinner recipes during the work week, when I don’t feel like eating out but have no desire to spend an hour chopping up a million ingredients and then cleaning a million pots and pans.  My parents used to make a lot of stir fry growing up, but I’m not quite ready for tofu… so I went to Pinterest for inspiration, of course! Here’s the pin I finally settled on:
I modified the recipe a bit and cut down on the soy sauce (too salty for me) but basically followed the original recipe (which was also modified from another recipe.) Using Steamables broccoli also cut out a step (and another dish).
Broccoli & Beef Stir Fry
The Amateur Librarian // Easy Beef & Broccoli Stir Fry
Yields: 4 servings
Time: 30 minutes
Cost: Under $10
Ingredients:

For the marinade:

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 lb. flank steak, sliced into thin strips (or the pre-sliced “stir fry beef” from the grocery store)

For the stir fry sauce:

  • 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons. flour
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 bag Steamables (frozen) broccoli
Directions:
Make the marinade the night before. Before I cleaned up the previous night’s dishes, I mixed together the marinade ingredients in a bowl, added the meat, and popped it in the fridge overnight.
The Amateur Librarian // Easy Beef & Broccoli Stir Fry
When you’re ready for dinner the next day, start the rice and prep the sauce. In a small bowl, add the soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, and flour.  Pop the broccoli in the microwave (I used Steamables, but you could also sauté fresh broccoli in the pan and then transfer to a plate if you wish.)  Add the vegetable oil to a pan on med-high heat. Add the marinated meat and half the sauce, then sauté for 5-6 minutes until cooked through.
The Amateur Librarian // Easy Beef & Broccoli Stir Fry
Add the broccoli and sauté for another minute, and then you’re done!  Serve over rice.
The Amateur Librarian // Easy Beef & Broccoli Stir Fry
The Amateur Librarian // Easy Beef & Broccoli Stir Fry
The Amateur Librarian // Easy Beef & Broccoli Stir Fry
The sauce is a bit heavy, which is why I reduced it from the Pinterest recipe… but overall it’s super simple and tastes great!  Perfect for a busy weeknight since the prep is pretty minimal. This wasn’t hubby’s cup of tea, but that’s nothing new… as he said, “It’s not what I would order at a restaurant, but if I did this is what it should taste like”… which I’m almost positive is a compliment, ha!  I’ll take it.
The Amateur Librarian // Easy Beef & Broccoli Stir Fry
Thanks again, Pinterest!

WIWW: October 5-11, 2014

Another week of What I Wore Wednesday!

 

The Amateur Librarian // What I Wore Wednesday

What I Wore Wednesday is my motivation for wearing the clothes I own, finding new ways to mix and match outfits, and not wearing the same three things all the time! I kept a fashion diary for the entire year of 2012, in 2013 I added a bit about my days to go along with the outfit, and I’m continuing the same tradition in 2014… So these weekly check-ins are a mini journal of my life too!

October 5

October 5

plaid button down // Kohl’s
skinny jeans // Kohl’s
cutout flats // PayLess
Lazy Sunday, filled with the usual – catching up on chores, catching up with friends, catching up on some cross stitching. Loving the fall weather!
October 6

October 6

black+white print top // Kohl’s
black skinny pants // Gap
red t-strap wedges // eBay
Rainy Monday morning calls for an easy outfit formula. Quiet day at work… the calm before the storm!
October 9

October 9

chartreuse t-shirt dress // Target
black cami underneath // Old Navy
leopard print cardigan // eBay
black strap + cork wedges // PayLess
Easy dress to throw together with a cardigan while the seasons transition. Another rainy day, but it cleared up enough to walk after work. It’s definitely getting darker earlier now… so I bit the bullet and got a key card for the complex’s gym. (Boo, hiss!)  I’m going to miss walk/running outside, but I’m just loving my sleep too much to get up any earlier in the morning.
October 8

October 8

floral print top // eBay
navy cardigan // Old Navy
pearl bead necklace // eBay
grey pants // old
ankle strap heels // eBay
This week is all about easy outfits, especially as work got busier and busier. Good thing it was clear enough to walk after work – I was in need of some stress relief!
October 7

October 7

animal print dress // Belk
gold circle necklace // GroopDealz
red cardigan // Loft
black strap+cork wedges // PayLess
Another busy day at work, followed by a few errands to get ready for the weekend.
October 10

October 10

green tee with lace neckline // Anthropologie via eBay
brown cardigan // Ann Taylor outlet
skinny jeans // Kohl’s
brown ankle strap wedges // PayLess

Absolutely crazy day at work… and I had to leave early for another infusion. It’s so hard for me to let go of work obligations, especially when I have to leave early for an appointment and feel like I’m not doing my job well… blech. But at least my parents were here to help me! The infusion went smoothly and we had a fun night together… wine tasting at the Bottle Shop and dinner at Puckett’s Boat House…. yum!

October 11

October 11

plaid button down // Kohl’s
skinny jeans // Kohl’s
white flip flops // Old Navy

More plaid! We all slept in a bit and then went out for brunch before my parents headed home again. It’s always sad to see my parents go again so quickly.  Otherwise, we stayed inside while it rained all day to catch up on laundry and being lazy.

I’m linked up to The Pleated Poppy for WIWW!

Nashville City Sights: Southern Festival of Books

One of my favorite authors, Lev Grossman, blogged some time ago about his upcoming appearances, including the Southern Festival of Books in October, so of course I checked it out… lo & behold, it’s an annual event in Nashville!  So you know I had to go…
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Southern Festival of Books
It was overcast but the sun peeked out throughout the afternoon, so fortunately it didn’t rain on us.  We browsed the stalls, bought a couple books, and ate lunch at the food trucks.  But the best part by far was the author sessions! The whole weekend was jam packed with them (and all free!) but there were two in particular I wanted to see on Sunday – Jacqueline Woodson and Lev Grossman, of course.
The War Memorial Plaza was a part of downtown that I hadn’t seen before, so it was fun to check it out.
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Southern Festival of Books
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Southern Festival of Books
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Southern Festival of Books
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Southern Festival of Books
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Southern Festival of Books
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Southern Festival of Books
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Southern Festival of Books
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Southern Festival of Books
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Southern Festival of Books
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Southern Festival of Books
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Southern Festival of Books
The first session I wanted to see was Jacqueline Woodson talking about her latest novel Brown Girl Dreaming. It was really cool to hear her voice as she recited (from memory) several passages and verse from her last few works, as well as her newest novel. The Q&A was really fun too..
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Southern Festival of Books
I intended to buy Brown Girl Dreaming to have it signed, and I was super bummed when I found out it was sold out. But I got my program signed at least.
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Southern Festival of Books
It was also a great chance to see the Nashville Public Library – you know I love visiting new libraries!
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Southern Festival of Books
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Southern Festival of Books
I’ve followed Lev Grossman’s Magician trilogy over the last few years, so I was excited to see him (again!) for a great session and book signing afterward.  The session was so much fun – and even after hearing his story from several different angles over the past few years, it was very cool to hear him in person. And again, the Q&A was great.
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Southern Festival of Books
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Southern Festival of Books
Fun fact… the guy in front of us struck up a conversation while we were waiting in line, and he was actually visiting from the military base in Columbus, MS.  Small world!
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Southern Festival of Books
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Southern Festival of Books
Can you tell it was the highlight of the day for me??  Just for funsies, here’s a comparison of 2012 & 2014:
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Southern Festival of Books
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights: Southern Festival of Books
 More city sights coming soon as we explore the Nashville area!

Meow Monday: Forever Young Adult Photo a Day Challenge

Forever Young Adult is one of my favorite book blogs, so I jumped on their bandwagon and joined the #fyaphotoaday challenge to post every day of September in response to the book-related post. Now that the month is over, I thought I’d share on the blog. The cats made a few appearances of course!

The Amateur Librarian // #fyaphotoaday

 

1. You and a book

1. You and a book

Nothing better than reading in bed… especially a hotel bed! This was Labor Day weekend when we visited Dismal Falls.

2. Childhood Favorite

2. Childhood Favorite

3. Currently reading

3. Currently reading

The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt (I like the second cover better, though).

4. Favorite Series

4. Favorite Series

The Magician trilogy by Lev Grossman… and hopefully, I’ll get him to sign book #3 too!

5. Favorite author

5. Favorite author

LM Montgomery, forever!

6. Your shelves

6. Your shelves

Still loving the ROY G BIV organization!

7. Your bookmark

7. Your bookmark

When I was 18, my uncle took me on a trip to Paris and London, and I collected bookmarks as souvenirs along the way. Still love using them for all my books!

8. Most Read

8. Most Read

Every time the next book came out, I had to read the series from the beginning again… and the whole series most summers… so this first book has been read many a time.

9. Most anticipated

9. Most anticipated

So excited to delve into the last book of the Magician trilogy by Lev Grossman!

10. TEABS

10. TEABS (The End of an Awesome Book Syndrome)

Rainbow Rowell is just plain magic… if each of her books were about 200 pages more of dialogue, I would lap it right up.

11. Fictional love

11. Fictional love

Captain Wentworth is my favorite of the Austen heroes.

12. Powerful Quote

12. Powerful Quote

I went down the Pinterest rabbit hole of “John Green quotes” and finally settled on this one. From The Fault in Our Stars.

13. Reading Spot

13. Reading Spot

The kitties make this spot cozy.

14. Best Cover

14. Best Cover

Jackie Oakley’s new LM Montgomery covers are GORGEOUS and I want them all!

15. Worst Cover

15. Worst Cover

Not the “worst,” but not my cup of tea. Not my favorite book, either… sorry JK!

16. Drink of Choice

16. Drink of Choice

A grande hot chocolate and a stack of library books is the perfect combination!

17. DNRIP

17. DNRIP (Do Not Read in Public)

Too many tears to read in public!

18. Fred Savage

18. Fred Savage

Fred Savage hates “kissing books” in the Princess Bride movie… and I don’t “hate” Junie B. but she sure is a brat!  And it’s annoying to read intentionally grammatically incorrect sentences.

19. Favorite Adaptation

19. Favorite Adaptation

Can’t decide!

20. Book store/Library

20. Book store/Library

Love the library, of course!

21. Funniest Read

21. Funniest Read

Love this blog, and the book was LOL funny for real…

22. Most Recent DNF (Did Not Finish)

22. Most Recent DNF (Did Not Finish)

Couldn’t finish either of these… but maybe one day…? The Language of Flowers was very controversial on Instagram… some people loved it & thought it was worth pushing through, and some hated it & said I should let it go entirely.

23. Beach Read

23. Beach Read

Perfect beach read – fast, funny, thoughtful!

24. Biggest Swoon

24. Biggest Swoon

I’m not big on “swoon” these days but I gobbled up this stuff in high school and still have a special place in my heart for Rilla’s “yeth” at the very end.

25. FYABC Recommendation

25. FYABC Recommendation

It’s not often that Newbery Winners are also YA, so I think this would be a good book club pick… it’s next on my list!

26. Most Recent Buy/Borrow

26. Most Recent Buy/Borrow

I bought it, read it, and then the author signed it!

27. Own (But Never Read)

27. Own (But Never Read)

Just a few from the shelf waiting to be read…

28. Overrated

28. Overrated

I just couldn’t get over the premise… and I never had any desire to finish the trilogy (or see the movie) after the first book.

29. Bestworst Cliffhanger

29. Bestworst Cliffhanger

Biggest cliffhanger ever… right now I’m enjoying the TV show too much to spoil myself with the books (backward, I know!)

30. Read This Month

30. Read This Month

A few of my favs from the month of September!

Such a fun challenge!

High Five for Friday!

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  and stay grateful.

The Amateur Librarian // H54FThe Amateur Librarian // H54F

1 – Plaid Weather. So ready for Fall weather and more plaid!  We’ve had some cozy rain this week that I didn’t mind at all… because when it’s sunny, it’s still 80 degrees.
2 – Autumn Harvest Party Sampler. Finally got started on the new sampler – and surprise surprise, I love it!
3 – Serial. NPR’s This American Life just started a new spinoff podcast called Serial – it’s one story told over 12 episodes instead of a couple stories told in one hour – and so far it’s super interesting. Love having something new to listen to while I walk.
4 – Wrinkle in Time. Instead of re-reading A Wrinkle in Time for the upteenth time for the Nerdbery Challenge, I decided to try out the graphic novelization – and it’s really good! It’s fun to visualize the story in a new way.
5 – Weekend. (Random pic of the cats for funsies – you’re welcome!) This work week was pretty crazy… so even though it hasn’t happened yet, I’m definitely looking forward to this weekend. My parents will be in town, there’s a festival going on in downtown Franklin, and I also hope to check out the Southern Festival of Books in downtown Nashville. Three cheers for the weekend!

 …

I’m linking up with Lauren Elizabeth for H54F!

H54F

Finally Finished: Christmas Tree Skirt

It is nowhere near close to Christmas yet, but this tree skirt is my favorite finish from my UFO pile yet.  And actually, it’s the very last of them… I’ve officially worked through every half-finished project that’s been plaguing my conscience for the last 5 years!  (One of them was actually taken apart instead of finished… but I’ll get to that some other time.)
You may remember (but probably don’t) way back in 2010 when I started this tree skirt.
The Amateur Librarian // Christmas Tree Skirt
I took a class at my local quilt shop (LQS) and had grand plans of starting a holiday tradition of dressing every tree with this tree skirt… and then I got stuck. I could not get past the dreaded “quilt and bind as desired” because I had no method at all, let alone one that I desired!
The Amateur Librarian // Christmas Tree Skirt
And let me tell you… while I’ve improved in a lot of areas since then, binding is still my nemesis and bias binding on SO MANY CURVES is exactly what kept this at the very bottom of my UFO pile all these years.  Every once in a while I would get an itch to finish and would start Googling for tutorials… but it just looked too daunting. Since I’ve been on a roll lately, I decided to take another look at the printed instructions and power through. Lo and behold, the tree skirt was not meant to be quilted OR bound, but simply turned.  It was just my LQS that wanted to quilt it as part of the class… and then after the top was completed in class, I never learned how to actually finish it. It’s an understandable impulse since they’re a quilt shop… but… it’s a shame that an unnecessary step held me up for four years!
The Amateur Librarian // Christmas Tree Skirt
Luckily I hadn’t gotten much further than laying out the quilt sandwich and basting, so I removed the basting and batting. I still wasn’t excited about all the curves, so I changed the shape into triangles which made all the difference.
The Amateur Librarian // Christmas Tree Skirt
The Amateur Librarian // Christmas Tree Skirt
With a good podcast in the background, I finished it up in a couple hours… with NO quilting and NO binding. Hallelujah! You can bet this skirt will be gracing our tree this year… and I’ll get some better pictures.
The Amateur Librarian // Christmas Tree Skirt
The Amateur Librarian // Christmas Tree Skirt
The Amateur Librarian // Christmas Tree Skirt
The Amateur Librarian // Christmas Tree Skirt
But I was too excited to share this finish to wait for a photo op!
I’m linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish Friday!

WIWW: September 28-October 4, 2014

Another week of What I Wore Wednesday!

The Amateur Librarian // What I Wore Wednesday

 

What I Wore Wednesday is my motivation for wearing the clothes I own, finding new ways to mix and match outfits, and not wearing the same three things all the time! I kept a fashion diary for the entire year of 2012, in 2013 I added a bit about my days to go along with the outfit, and I’m continuing the same tradition in 2014… So these weekly check-ins are a mini journal of my life too!

September 28

September 28

black+white color block top // Charming Charlie
bird print scarf // eBay
skinny jeans // Old Navy via eBay
nude flats // PayLess
Last day at the Wizard World convention in Nashville. Another long day, but fun!  I was definitely dragging by the end. We packed everything up and got home around 7 PM – the earliest night by a long shot! Hubby and I celebrated with dinner out and a bottle of wine – I was super glad I had the next day off to recuperate!

September 29

September 29

navy color block top // Stitch Fix
skinny jeans // Kohl’s
white flip flops // Old Navy
I had a day off after the convention was over to recoup. Started out with a walk, with time to catch up on laundry before meeting hubby for lunch and then a stop by the library and a couple other errands. I even had time to read in the afternoon. Perfect day off except that I was in denial about my sniffles… and by nighttime I knew Tuesday would be a sick day.
September 30

September 30

leaf pattern tee // Kohl’s
skinny jeans // Aeropostale via eBay
white flip flops // Old Navy
Sick day – lots of sleep, lots of bad TV… but at least I had time to finish up the September block for the Once Upon a Time sampler. I was still checking work email all day long, so it wasn’t an entirely restful day.
October 1

October 1

black+brown chevron top // Charming Charlie
tassel necklace // Charming Charlie
black skinny pants // Gap
black strap+cork wedges // PayLess
Back to the grind… and that fake smile is about how I felt all day long. Lots to catch up on and not feeling 100% sure didn’t help.
October 2

October 2

black top // Banana Republic via eBay
geometric pendant // eBay
floral skirt // thrifted
nude flats // PayLess
Another day, another dollar! Easy black top + skirt, with flats since I wasn’t feeling the heels.  That’s about it for Thursday.
October 3

October 3

striped top // eBay
skinny jeans // Kohl’s
cutout flats // PayLess
Even though my work week was only three days long, it felt like a full week. But on the plus side, I worked a full Friday because I’m officially full-time now… woohoo! I was excited to catch Gone Girl on opening night – really great, a bit shocking but a great translation of the book!
October 4

October 4

pink top with lace neckline // Loft
puffer vest // jacket refashion
skinny jeans // Kohl’s
white flip flops // Old Navy

Lazy Saturday – lots of time spent curled up on the couch with the cats and starting the Autumn Harvest Party sampler. Great Fall weather matched the cozy day, but of course I’m still hanging onto my flip flops!

I’m linked up to The Pleated Poppy for WIWW!

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