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Nashville City Sights: CCFA Symposium (Again!)

Last November my parents drove up to attend the Nashville Patient Education Symposium hosted by Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA), and another program was hosted this past weekend. My mom was able to come along, which is always helpful to have another pair of ears to process the information. These education programs are always a good chance to catch up with the world of Crohn’s and see presentations by some of my doctors at Vanderbilt’s IBD Clinic. It’s good to see them outside of the doctor’s office… and a reminder that I’m getting really great care from the best in their field.
The Amateur Librarian // CCFA Education Program
Last November, I shared a few thoughts about life in remission, and it’s still true:
I’m in a stable remission these days, so it’s easy to forget the turmoil of the past few years when my health felt anything but stable… the symptoms, diagnosis, medications, surgeries, ostomy bag, infusions… it’s been a roller coaster at times. I’ve had to come to terms with the “chronic” part of Crohn’s, and I still deal with it every time I visit the doctor. But it was interesting to sit in the audience and learn more about it all, which is so different from sitting two feet away from my doctor in a tiny, uncomfortable room to talk about how my body is sabotaging itself. Lots of good information, mostly positive, and plenty of food for thought.
Deep remission is a good place to be in, and I’m starting to get excited about planning for the next few years, which is a success in itself since I used to feel like I would never again have the privilege of counting on good health. It’s still hard to let go of that feeling that everything could fall apart again, especially hearing from other patients who are in the thick of the disease and are struggling for remission, but I’m feeling hopeful after almost two years of good health. I’m lucky to have a great support system and doctors who know what they’re doing… there are no clear cut answers when it comes to health, but symposiums like the ones that CCFA hosts are a great place to start.
The Amateur Librarian // CCFA Nashville Symposium
Before and after the program, we spent the rest of our quick visit around home… cooked dinner in on Friday, stopped by the new neighborhood to see the progress on the new house, ate lots of free samples at Sam’s Club (we’re thinking of joining), and topped it off with dinner at Chuy’s.
The Amateur Librarian // CCFA Education Program
The Amateur Librarian // CCFA Education Program
The Amateur Librarian // CCFA Education Program
The Amateur Librarian // CCFA Education Program
The Amateur Librarian // CCFA Education Program
The Amateur Librarian // CCFA Education Program
The Amateur Librarian // CCFA Education Program
As always, the visit was too short… but it was nice to hang out with my mama for the weekend. She’s been by my side every step of the way from sickness to health and everywhere in between, and I don’t know how I could do it without her!
 More city sights coming soon as we explore the Nashville area!

Meow Monday: Neighbor Cat

 

There’s a beautiful bushy-tailed cat that wanders the neighborhood freely. We can’t quite tell if he belongs to someone, but he definitely seems to be surviving just fine on his own. His coat is glossy, he’s friendly, and he doesn’t seem very hungry.

We know this, of course, because we brought him a snack. He seemed mildly interested in the food, but came closer for some polite petting first before eating. I named him Bosco.

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

Bosco used to show up at our front door just to make Cora and Tali crazy, but he hasn’t done that for a few months. These days we mostly see him hanging out in the parking lot and jumping into the bushes if any kids come near.

Now that we’re preparing to leave this neighborhood for a new one, I guess we’ll have to say goodbye to the neighborhood cat and everything else. But until then, our friend Bosco will be around.

Alabama City Sights: Smith Lake + Natural Bridge

This weekend we joined my parents for a quick overnight trip to visit some family friends at Smith Lake. The water was beautiful and we had a full day catching up, floating in the water, tubing on the boat, and enjoying the company. You know it’s a sign of a good day when you have about two pictures at the end of it!
The Amateur Librarian // Smith Lake
The Amateur Librarian // Smith Lake
We spent the night at a nearby inn, which was pretty empty… but we had the restaurant – and visiting Italian pianist – to ourselves!
The Amateur Librarian // Smith Lake
The Amateur Librarian // Smith Lake
The Amateur Librarian // Smith Lake
Before we left the next day we checked out Natural Bridge (both the name of the attraction and the name of the town) about 30 minutes down the road. The Natural Bridge Park is home to the longest natural bridge east of the Rockies – over 120 feet long, amidst natural springs and petrified wood. It was pretty stunning to stumble across such a sight in the middle of nowhere (per Wikipedia, Natural Springs, AL: population 28!).
The Amateur Librarian // Natural Bridge AL
The Amateur Librarian // Natural Bridge AL
The Amateur Librarian // Natural Bridge AL
The Amateur Librarian // Natural Bridge AL
The Amateur Librarian // Natural Bridge AL
The Amateur Librarian // Natural Bridge AL
The Amateur Librarian // Natural Bridge AL
The Amateur Librarian // Natural Bridge AL
The Amateur Librarian // Natural Bridge AL
The Amateur Librarian // Natural Bridge AL
The Amateur Librarian // Natural Bridge AL
The Amateur Librarian // Natural Bridge AL
The Amateur Librarian // Natural Bridge AL
The Amateur Librarian // Natural Bridge AL
The Amateur Librarian // Natural Bridge AL
The Amateur Librarian // Natural Bridge AL
The Amateur Librarian // Natural Bridge AL
The Amateur Librarian // Natural Bridge AL
The Amateur Librarian // Natural Bridge AL
We packed a lot into 24 hours, and it was the perfect getaway in the middle of summer. It really reminds me of how glad I am to be living close to family again!
The Amateur Librarian // Natural Bridge AL
More city sights coming soon!

Meow Monday: Cats of Instagram Part 23

Time for an Instagram shenanigans starring your favorite kitties Cora and Tali! I’ve finally caught up to 2015, and this batch features the snow days in January & February. Quite different from the dog days of summer we’re experiencing right now!

 

Cold weather inside = craft time inside.

Cold weather outside = craft time inside.

 

Cora loves quilts too!

Cora loves quilts :)

 

A bit of summery stitching in the middle of January... Tali is ready for warm weather too!

A bit of summery stitching in the middle of January… Tali is ready for warm weather too!

 

Sweet Tals.

Sweet Tals.

 

There's nothing Tali loves more than fresh laundry!

There’s nothing Tali loves more than fresh laundry!

 

Snow day!

Snow day!

 

More snow!

And another snow day… so much snow!

 

Stitching + Tali = Cozy Night

Stitching + Tali = Cozy Night

 

Cora keeps me company while the sewing machine whirs

Cora keeps me company while the sewing machine whirs

 

Neighborhood watch on patrol!

Neighborhood watch on patrol!

Foundation to Finished: July 2015

I haven’t blogged too much about our experience building a home yet, but it seems like a good time to catch up on the process so far and start sharing monthly updates on our journey along the way.
The Amateur Librarian // Foundation to Finished
Buying a house is something I’ve looked forward to for a long time. We are finally settled enough that we want to stay in one place for the foreseeable future, so a few months ago we decided it was time to find a house. Not necessarily the perfect dream home or “forever home”… (at first, we weren’t even sure we should buy instead of rent), but after a couple months of interacting with the crazy house market here in Franklin, we decided to build our first home.
We signed on the dotted line in May, and now we’re finally breaking ground. These past two months were a whirlwind of decisions, but it’s time to sit back and watch the action unfold! We’ve been visiting the new neighborhood about once a week to see the progress of the model homes and the other houses under construction, but we’re finally starting to see some action on our own lot. Very exciting!
Here are a few highlights from the past couple months:
…Picking a Plan…
The Amateur Librarian // Foundation to Finished
The Amateur Librarian // Foundation to Finished
…A Very Expensive Patch of Dirt…
The Amateur Librarian // Foundation to Finished
The Amateur Librarian // Foundation to Finished
The Amateur Librarian // Foundation to Finished
The Amateur Librarian // Foundation to Finished
The Amateur Librarian // Foundation to Finished
…Decisions…
The Amateur Librarian // Foundation to Finished
The Amateur Librarian // Foundation to Finished
The Amateur Librarian // Foundation to Finished
The Amateur Librarian // Foundation to Finished
The Amateur Librarian // Foundation to Finished
The Amateur Librarian // Foundation to Finished
…All Caught Up to the Present…
The Amateur Librarian // Foundation to Finished
The Amateur Librarian // Foundation to Finished
More updates coming soon… projected to finish in November 2015!
The Amateur Librarian // Foundation to Finished

Nashville City Sights: Window Shopping

Window shopping is one of my favorite hobbies, and the deadly heat this weekend was a perfect excuse to check out some new (to us) shops in Nashville… plenty of a/c was appreciated, and spending was off the table (except for food!). Most of our weekend adventures tend to last from 10-2 – we leave the house mid-morning, get to our destination, eat lunch, and are back home in time for a mid-afternoon nap.
Window shopping was no exception:
…Franklin Farmers Market…
We started the day down the street at the farmer’s market. It’s super busy during the summer months, so we didn’t spend too much time with the crowds, just got some breakfast from the food trucks and people watched for a bit. I was looking for eggs but couldn’t find any (sold out!), so we left empty handed (but full!).
 The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights
…Hi-Fi Buys…
After the farmer’s market, we headed toward Nashville. Hubby’s looking for new headphones so we stopped by Hi-Fi Buys to test drive a few.
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights
…Preservation Station…
I’ve been so curious to see the inside of Preservation Station, and what a treat! This place is old house heaven… so many vintage & antique everything… doors, chandeliers, stained glass windows, doorknobs, drawer pulls,  mantels, hardware, etc. etc.! I loved it. We may be building a brand new house, but I can’t wait to find some old treasures to bring to our new home some day.
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights
…Craft South…
Next, we headed toward 12 South for lunch. But I couldn’t resist visiting Craft South one more time! It’s such a visually inspiring place, I know I’ll be coming back again soon.
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights
…The Flipside…
We finally tried out The Flipside for lunch, and we’ll definitely be back again soon. Winner winner, chicken dinner!
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights
On the way back to the car, we picked up some peaches from a roadside market and headed home for the day… window shopping is exhausting!
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights
More city sights coming soon as we explore the Nashville area!

Meow Monday: BFF+E

Every so often I catch the cats being besties… and lately, it’s been happening as the sun goes down and they catch the last few rays together on the window ledge.

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

I’m pretty sure the heater Tali is laying on is the only thing keeping Cora from falling off, ha!

 

P.S. Sneaky peek… a certain furry someone was mighty pleased that I finished up a quilt over the weekend! I’ll get pics up later this week.

The Amateur Librarian // Low Volume Plus Swap Quilt

 

Super Quick Frugal Tip: Cold Brew Iced Tea

I mentioned this super easy tip last week, and I wanted to do a quick post so I don’t forget about it (plus, the image is pretty generic for Pinterest… oh, the horror!)
Cold Brew Iced Tea
The Amateur Librarian // Cold Brew Iced Tea
I picked this tip up from The Splendid Table… talk about a eureka moment!
All you have to do it fill a pitcher with water, add a tea bag, and let it sit in the fridge overnight?!
The Amateur Librarian // Cold Brew Iced Tea
There’s no going back now! As soon as we moved back South, I started drinking sweet tea again. I was able to cut it down to half-and-half but now I’ve been Unsweet all the way for all of 2015… and now I’m brewing it myself at the beginning of every week.
Did you see that Starbucks just started doing “small batch cold brew tea” too? Guess I’m up on the latest barista trends and didn’t even know it!

Nashville City Sights: Quilt Shop Hop

 I’ve been on a fabric fast for the past few months in preparation for the Music City MQG Shop Hop this past weekend… it was so worth it! We visited 5 quilt shops in the area which ran special discounts for our group and had an absolute blast shopping all day long, from Franklin to Nashville to Goodlettsville and back again.
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
Donuts & fruit greeted us at our first stop, as well as a tutorial for their Shortcut Binding Tool which is great for creating two-color binding and binding with a flange. I’m so glad I finally got a peek inside, since it’s just a few miles down the road.
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
I started slowly with a few fat quarters – throughout the day I tried to concentrate on finding yellow and low-volume prints – I have a quilt in mind, and it helped me to resist buying everything under the sun!
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
Craft South – Nashville
I was probably most excited to finally get inside Craft South, Anna Maria Horner’s new brick and mortar store. As expected, every inch was beautiful and welcoming. Even the bathroom!
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
I couldn’t resist a scrap bag of Anna Maria Horner’s woven Loominous line, plus some yardage to make pillowcases. I’m sure I’ll be back for their classes or events.
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
The Fabric Studio – Nashville
This teeny shop packs a punch – I probably got more here than anywhere else! I just can’t resist scrap bags, or fat quarter deals… and there was a “garage sale” table where I picked up an adorable sun-bleached zipper pouch for cross stitch WIPs.
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
My haul!
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
We stopped at a brand new coffee shop down the street, Eighth and Roast, for a mid-day caffeine break and they kindly let us eat our boxed lunches there too. Shopping is exhausting – and makes you hungry too!
Quilter’s Attic – Goodlettsville
The first thing that caught my eye were two gorgeous barn quilts on the buildings around this shop… totally reignited my obsession with barn quilts! Inside, there’s a big selection of fabric as well as books and notions. My favorite part is all the quilts hanging everywhere… so much inspiration! Everyone especially loved those pinwheels on the stairs, and at the top is an entire showroom as well as a classroom for workshops.
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
I limited myself to a few fat quarters and a booklet of patterns… I’ve been looking for an excuse to use up some mini charm squares!
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
Stitcher’s Garden – Franklin
Back in Franklin, we ended the day with Stitcher’s Garden. This shop is right down the street from me, but you have to be in the right frame of mind to brave the aisles (and piles and stacks and baskets and cubbies) stuffed to the brim with fabric. It’s quite the experience!
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
Of course I managed just fine… and added some more yellow and low volume to my stash!
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
My bag was quite full by the end of the day! Spreading it all out was like an adult’s Halloween candy!
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
Of course the first order of business was sorting it all into color order before adding it to my stash.
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
Whew… what a day! I had so much fun touring the area and getting to know all the shops tucked away that I haven’t had time to visit. A big shout out to all the stores, who welcomed us and fed us along the way, AND especially to the amazing guild ladies who organized it all!
More city sights coming soon as I explore the Nashville area!

Meow Monday: Let the Cat out of the Bag

Cora loves it when I go shopping… because then she gets to climb inside the bags and shred the tissue paper until I ruin the fun by cleaning up.

 

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

This weekend was an EPIC shopping event… I’ve been on a fabric fast for months in preparation for the Music City MQG shop hop to FIVE different quilt shops in the area. Excited to share my haul and a glimpse of the shops tomorrow!

Until then… here’s precious Cora and her favorite bag from this weekend. (Sorry my foot is in each picture… oops!)

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

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