Author Archive: ladykatie32

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 – Pumpkin Patch. Stopped by the side of the road to pick up two little pumpkins. We’re not carving this year, so hopefully they won’t turn to mush… (not that that’s ever happened to me before…)
2 – Guild Stitching. I haven’t touched my sewing machine in a few weeks, but I’m still plugging away on the Autumn sampler, so I brought my cross stitch project to the “open sew” at this month’s modern quilting guild meeting. It was fun to get some stitching time in while admiring what everyone else was working on.. and enjoying homemade BBQ & caramel popcorn!
3 – Vintage Quilts. Speaking of the guild meeting… one of the ladies brought some really old quilts that have recently been found in her family. There were about a dozen total, and they were so cool! The hand stitching and color combos were really amazing… and inspirational!
4 – Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods. I picked up this book at the Southern Festival of Books a couple weekends ago, and I finally had a chance to start delving into it.  I love Greek mythology, and the illustrations by John Rocco are beautiful!
5 – Happy Mail. The ladies at Crafters for Courage host an annual fundraiser on Instagram and this year I won two awesome prizes – a Jamberry kit and a pincushion made with Heather Ross scraps. I love happy mail!

 …

I’m linking up with Lauren Elizabeth for H54F!

H54F

Short Lists: Want to Read vs. Should Read

You know what I miss? Book chat! So here are a couple short lists.
There are a lot of books out there, and never enough time to read them all.
Right now I want to read: 
Lena Dunham’s new book.
The Amateur Librarian // Book Chat
I always like a controversial feminist, and after reading a few of Lena Dunham’s pieces in The New Yorker, I’m convinced that she’s an honest-to-goodness actually good writer (shocking, I know, since she also writes/directs/stars in her own show). Plus, it’s fun to be in on the cultural conversation.
The latest book by Liane Moriarty.
The Amateur Librarian // Book Chat
I read What Alice Forgot this past summer and loved it… and I’ve heard really good things about this one too.  I really want to get lost in another can’t-put-it-down book.
The last book in the Magician trilogy by Lev Grossman.
The Amateur Librarian // Book Chat
The Magician’s Land is the last in the trilogy, I’ve had the book in hand for a couple weeks (and it was signed by the author) but… I really want to savor it so I’ve been waiting for the right time to start reading.
Girl’s Gone Child’s book, Rockabye.
The Amateur Librarian // Book Chat
I was somewhat aware of the Girl’s Gone Child blog for the past few years but didn’t read it regularly, but lately it’s really been speaking to me. She’s an old-school thoughts-and-feelings blogger, who doesn’t mess around with crafts or photo booths or home decor, which is kind of refreshing while all the other professional bloggers are looking more and more like picture-perfect magazines. Her book came out quite a few years ago now (2008), but lately I’ve been thinking about picking it up. I don’t have a great track record with enjoying books by bloggers, but this bee in my bonnet probably won’t go away until I read it.
Right now I should read:
Piles of Newbery books.
The Amateur Librarian // Book Chat
I’m trying to go about the Nerdbery challenge as cheaply and non-stressfully as possible – so most of the books I’ve accumulated have come from Paperbackswap.com, Kindle Unlimited, or library books. But now I’ve got piles all around and they’re constantly calling my name…
Speaking of library books… there are piles of those too.
The Amateur Librarian // Book Chat
With due dates.  I can never leave with just one or two books.
Here is Where by Andrew Carroll.
The Amateur Librarian // Book Chat
Remember Blogging for Books? Yeah, I got two books in and then got stuck on one. It’s interesting but it’s super long and I couldn’t get the ebook on the Kindle so I usually forget to look at my Overdrive app to keep reading.  Excuses, excuses… a couple months in, I should really just power through and finish it… but… did I mention all those other books that I want to read right now?
Book problems are the best problems :)

WIWW: October 12-18, 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 12

October 12

polka dot chambray top // Old Navy
green skinny jeans // Old Navy
white flip flops // Old Navy
Wow, I didn’t realize this was an all-Old Navy outfit until I typed it out, ha!  The weather was pretty weird, as it usually is while the seasons change – rainy but humid and neither cold nor hot – hence the long sleeves and flip flops. We stopped by the Southern Festival of Books for the afternoon. Lunch, books to browse, and author sessions – great combo for a Sunday afternoon. (More here.)
October 13

October 13

floral print top // Loft
mustard cardigan // IG closet
black skinny pants // Gap
nude flats // PayLess
Crazy Monday at work, and that’s all I have to say about that. At least I had this cheery yellow cardigan amid the gloomy weather. Hubby’s office went home early due to weather, but the storms didn’t amount to much in our area, thankfully.
October 14

October 14

striped wrap dress // Target
navy cardigan // Old Navy
gold circle necklace // GroopDealz
brown ankle strap wedges // PayLess
It was almost too chilly for bare legs, and maybe for the rest of the year (knock on wood). More rain, which makes me want to hibernate… and definitely doesn’t make me want to work out. So I didn’t.
October 15

October 15

polka dot top // Loft
grey cardigan // Forever 21
chevron necklace // GroopDealz
olive green skinny pants // Gap
black boots // Belk
It’s finally boot weather! Broke them out for the first time this season. More rain, but I finally made myself go visit the treadmill, which was as much for my mental well-being as physical.  (Although I probably need to stop indulging in hot chocolates too, ha!)
October 17

October 17

grey sweater // Loft
navy cardigan // Target
seed pearls // inherited
navy+white print skirt // Loft
grey tights // Gap
blue-tipped flats // gift
Not feeling the heels this week at all! Wintry dress to match the weather outside, although it finally stopped raining.  Had a date with the treadmill again – trying to make some new habits!
October 16

October 16

black top with lace neckline // Anthropologie via eBay
olive green vest // Forever 21 via eBay
skinny jeans // Abercrombie & Fitch via eBay
nude flats // PayLess
 
TGIF… seriously. It was quite a rough week at work, but things finally calmed down by Friday. The rain also passed finally, so the temps were a bit warmer with the sun out again. That’s why I love vests! Just a little extra warmth when you don’t need a whole layer. Kicked off the weekend with our favorite Friday night tradition – free wine tasting, followed by dinner out
October 18

October 18

green tunic with lace neckline // Kohl’s
skinny jeans // Old Navy via eBay
nude flats // PayLess

Modern Quilt Guild meeting – hard to believe a month has flown by since the last one. I haven’t even touched my sewing machine! But meeting with this group is always a huge inspiration. I brought along my cross stitch project for the “open sew” and we enjoyed lots of good food – homemade caramel popcorn, macaroni & cheese, brownies, and one member’s professional barbecue chicken… so good.  Otherwise, just another Saturday.

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

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!

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