Monday, July 17, 2017

My Reading Journal

If you have been reading my blog for a while you will know I LOVE to read.  I try to read a chapter or more each night and now I listen to audiobooks while I drive.  Over the years, I have forgotten what books I have read, that's what happens as you get old.  I have even read several chapters of a book and said, I already read this book.  

A couple of years ago I saw an idea on Pinterest that I thought was wonderful.......a reading journal.  Now why I thought this is was "new" idea when I was assigning my students to keep a weekly reading journal I don't know.  

Anyways in 2012 I found a beautiful notebook...
and I started to record my books.  As the years go by my entries have changed.  One thing that I have kept consistent is that I put a copy of the book cover in the journal.  That is a great visual reminder to me of the book. (I am a visual person.) 
I write down what was important to me.....quotes, thoughts, impressions, and other things that hit home.  Fiction books I generally rate and write brief summaries in case someone wants to know more about the story.   I want to make sure I give accurate facts and my true thoughts.    
I enjoy reading through my journal as well.  One of the things I noticed in my journal one year was I was only reading organizing and self help books.  So I made it a goal that year to read one fiction book a month.  Last year I noticed that a lot of my fiction stories took place in Paris, so this year my goal is to limit myself to one Paris book a month and stretch myself to read some classics or highly recommended books.  

I know I record my reading on this blog as well but there is something about having all my reading notes in one notebook that I just LOVE. #notebookaddict

Monday, July 10, 2017

Caterpillar Rocks for the Garden


In May I wrote about the ladybug rocks my grand-daughter and I made for the garden.  She had so much fun helping that we decided to make another project together.  One of her favorite stories is The Very Hungry Caterpillar so I thought it would be easy to make a caterpillar. We would make a simple caterpillar and she can practice counting the stones.
We made two caterpillars one for grandma's house and one for Haddie's house.  At grandma's house we found a patch of dirt to set up the caterpillar.  Then grandma went back later and planted some plants around the caterpillar.
The caterpillar is so easy to make, just find a few rocks and wash and spray paint them green and red.  I used circle sponges I found at Michael's for the eyes and nose.  Then I put two coats of Outdoor Mod Podge on the rocks.  

You will notice in the top picture I tried to make a Nemo rock for Haddie.  Right now she loves Nemo.  I let her take the Nemo rock home for her garden.   She put in near her playhouse.  

When Haddie comes over for a visit she likes to look for her ladybugs and caterpillar in the garden.  She has her rainbow ladybugs, her caterpillar and a butterfly windsock.  She is very proud of her things and likes to look at them for a while.  

Monday, July 3, 2017

DIY Thankful Signs

I am in love with a lot of the chalkboard signs on Pinterest and Instagram.  I love the ones that say Thankful,  Blessed, and Welcome and I wish I could make then all and hang them in my house. Unfortunately, I feel, that would be overkill so I have to pick one.  
I decided to go with the word Thankful because it is a nice reminder that you always have something to be thankful for.  

I purchased a small board at Michaels and spray painted it black with chalkboard paint.  

Next, I practiced and practiced my handwriting skills on scrap paper until I was happy with a thankful font.  

I used a chalkboard pen on the board to write thankful.  I am still considering going back and redoing it with a white paint pen.

Then I hung it up over my Starbucks mug collection.  I was really lucky that the board was the exact size as the mug rack.  It looks like it is part of the rack.

My husband and daughter said it is a reminder to always be thankful for your coffee.  

Monday, June 26, 2017

June Reading Log

I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You By C. Maum
I had a hard time identifying with this book.  Although the story was set in Paris I just could not identify with a man who had an affair and then complained the entire story that his wife and mistress left  him.  He is depressed because he misses his old life and wants his wife back....blah, blah, blah....I give this book 2 stars.  

The next book I read was The Vatican Princess by C.W. Gortner.  Wow, did this story open my eyes to the sandals in the early Catholic Church. The story is about a famous family of the fifteenth century in Renaissance Italy, The Borgia Family.  Lucrezia is the daughter of the pope.  She is trapped in her families web and forced to choose between family loyalty and survival.  This story has jealousy, family rivalry, revenge and papal politics all rolled into one story.  I give this book 5 stars.

The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin is another historical fiction story that I read this month.  Cora Cash is a young girl who is considered the richest girl in America in the 20th century.  She travels to England with her mother and decides to marry the Duke of Wareham.  (Her mother wants her to have a "Duchess" title.)  But things are not as they seem and Cora learns quickly her money can not buy everything including happiness.  Cora must decide what is her life and marriage worth.  I give this book 4 stars.  

Falling Together by Marisa de los Santos is a light hearted story about three college friends who were glued together at the hip during college but afterwards things fall apart. Penn and Will are brought back together to find their friend, Cat.  Throughout Penn and Will's journey they discover their love for each other, however can they forgive the sins of the past and learn to trust each other again.  I give this book 4 stars.  

That Summer by Lauren Willig is two stories woven together to create a mystery.  Story 1:  2009  Julia inherits a house near London and begins to clean it out and finds a valuable painting.  As she does this she meets relatives and a young man.  She also begins to remember the facts surrounding the death of her mother. Part 2: Imogen Grantham was trapped in a loveless marriage until she meets Gavin, a painter.  Their love story is sad and tragic. Lots of suspends, I give this story 4 stars.

Then I read, Friendship Bread, by D. Gee.  This story is about Julia who has suffered the loss of a child and is struggling to  hold her life together.  Her daughter finds some friendship bread on the porch. Through the process of sharing the bread Julia meets new friends, begins to deal with her son's death, notices her marriage is failing, and rebuilds the bond with her younger sister.  The friendship bread brings out the best in the community and the families it touches. I give this book 4 stars.  

Fish is a Tree by L.M. Hunt is one of those books that makes you think about how you treat the people around you.  Ally is a smart girl in 6th grade but she has dyslexia.  She has been in many different schools and has been able to hide it by being very disruptive in class.  At her new school Mr. Daniels is able to see through this and is willing to reach out to Ally and teach her to read and understand that she is not stupid.  I give this book 5 stars. 

Hungry Heart by J. Weiner, is a fun and humorous collection of real stories from Jennifer Weiner's life.  All the stories center around what lead her to be the writer she is today.  I give this book 3 stars.         

A Spool of Blue Thread by A. Tyler is the story of the Whitshank Family.  The story is mainly told in Abby's voice by it jumps around from generation to generation that all grew up in the same house.   Abby and Red had four children and lots of memories and secrets. Personally I would have liked this story told in chronological order.  I think it would have been easier to follow.  However it is a very good story.  I give this story 4 stars.  

The final book I am reading this month is Before We were Yours, by L. Wingate.  I'll be honest I have not finished this book however I am totally involved in the book.  I am always looking for free moments in my day when I can squeeze in a few more pages of this book.  It is about a young women, Avery,  who is trying to figure out her grandmother's mysterious past.  Her grandmother is in a nursing home and has Alzheimer's so her is forced to look for clues on her own.  Right now I would give this book 5 stars.  

Monday, June 19, 2017

Pinterest Father's Day Gift


My daughter-in-law found this idea on Pinterest and she asked that I help her put the idea together.  So I picked up the letters at Michaels and laminated a red heart.  The frame was a little harder to find, but Thank Goodness for Amazon.

When it was time to take the pictures the fun began.  You would think the 7 month old child would be hard to take pictures of however my little sweetheart was a bit harder.  

I know Pinterest will show the letters to be straight and perfect, but I think everything crazy gives the project character.  It brings out the personality of the children. 

This is a super cute idea and my son loved his gift.