Thursday, May 24, 2018

My Library Bag #6

This post contains affiliate links.
Graphic including books, dragon, castle, frog, the earth, and more.



We read.  We read a lot.  I haven't done one of these Our Library Bag posts in a while, but it is time for another! As of this moment I have 77 books, and one DVD, checked out on my library card.  Here's a sampling of what is in our bag this week!


100 Cupboards Book Cover

100 Cupboards by N. D. Wilson
This is one of current read alouds.  I'm not sure who's enjoying this book more, Catherine or me.  Mysterious.  Intriguing.  Engaging.  It's really well written and I'm absolutely loving it.

Since I am enjoying this book so much I decided that it would be the focus of my questions for the "What Are You Reading Wednesday" link up.

Why did you decide to pick up this book - cover or content?  Well, I'm going to be un-original here.  Remember last week, when I said I was reading The False Prince based on a Read Aloud Revival recommendation?  Well . . . this was another one of Sarah's picks.  I suppose that means content?

Who is your favorite character so far, and why?  I'm going for the obvious answer here, Henry.  At this point, it is his story and everyone else just isn't fleshed out enough.  (Uncle Frank gives me some pause though, he seems like he's a lot deeper than we might expect.  I'm really hoping to see that developed!)  However, Catherine says that Henrietta is her favorite because she's a girl and in on the action.

Will you finish this one?  Of course.  And judging from what we've read so far, we will also pick up the rest of the series.

Finish the sentence: This book reminds me of... Right now?  I am seeing echoes of Narnia: the mystery behind closed doors.

What type of read is this one? A great read aloud!



The False Prince Book Cover

The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen
Such a great read.  I really enjoyed this one.  I can't wait to get my hands on the next book! (This is the book I mentioned in WIPS: Yarn and Books.)  I have a feeling this series will get a blog post all of its own once I'm finished!


17th Suspect Book Cover

17th Suspect by James Patterson
Well, there's not much to say here.  It's the next book in a long line of unoriginal-just-barely-interesting enough crime mysteries.  But for some reason I keep picking them up.  I liken these books to the multitude of CSI: Name Your City available on TV these days: mildly entertaining and easily accessible.  There's also the fact that these are page turners.  I mean, quite literally, page turners.  With huge margins, extremely short chapters, and generous spacing there are barely any words on a page!


Talking As Fast As I Can book cover

Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls (And Everything in Between) by Lauren Graham
What can I say?  I'm a Gilmore Girls fan.  Haven't finished it yet . . . however, thus far the overall feel of the book is exactly as it should be, or at least what I want as a GG fan girl.  It just feels like Lorelai.


A young boy, wearing a red shirt with dinosaurs, is reading a picture book called Dick and Jane.

The Ultimate Dick and Jane Storybook Collection
Dominic has enthusiastically been reading this book aloud to anyone who will listen for the past week or two.  He has read every page on his own.  I'm so proud of him!


A baby is crawling among a variety of books, including Optical Physics for Babies, Quantum Entanglement for Babies, Rocket Science for Babies, Newtonian Physics for Babies, and General Relativity for Babies.

General Relativity for Babies (etc.) by Chris Ferrie
When I stumbled across the books, not just this one, but ALL of them, quite by accident, at the library I was super excited.  I don't generally borrow board books from the library but these quickly made their way into my bag.  (Although, they seem brand new, we might be the first people to check them out.) In a nutshell, they are totally awesome.  I highly recommend them!


A girl with a wide grin is holding two books: Lea Dives In and Mr. Popper's Penguins.

Lea Dives In by Lisa Yee
Catherine wanted to include this book as a notable read for this week.  She really enjoyed it.  I knew she did, since it was started and finished in less than 24 hours.

Mr. Popper's Penguins Richard Atwater
Technically, this isn't a library bag book.  I picked this up (for FREE!) from a homeschool curriculum swap.  It's a hilarious classic and I'm happy to add it to our shelves.  And again, Catherine devoured it.  I loved that she would read the amusing bits aloud to the family.

I think that's enough for now!  I hope that you find some time to cuddle up with a good book this week!


Tuesday, May 15, 2018

WIPS: Yarn and Books

This post contains affiliate links. 


What's a WIP?  It's short for "Work in Progress".  It is frequently used in the knitting and crochet world to refer to an unfinished project.

I'm knitting a crescent shawl.  It's a delightfully mindless knit.  I mean this in a good way.  Sometimes I just want to create and yet have no little grey cells to dedicate to the project.  (Yep, that's a Poirot reference.)  I'll share the super simple pattern once I'm finished.


Of course, there are more than a few other works in progress languishing in my craft room.  My Dragon Blanket is getting so close to the end, but I put it away for a while to focus on some "quick and done" projects.  As for finished projects, I did crochet a backpack and knit a hat.



I got a little ambitious at the library this week.  We shall see how many of the 17 books that are checked out for me will be finished before they're due.  (The kids are set for the week too, I have 73 items checked out right now . . .)  The Baby is at that stage where he wants to eat my books and becomes singularly focused on that task, making reading slightly more difficult than normal.



I am currently reading The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen.

I'm going to link up over at Marissa Writes, so here are the required questions and answers!

Why did you decide to pick up this book? 

Because it was recommended by Sarah of Read Aloud Revival.  I'm a sucker for good YA lit and I've enjoyed about 95% of the books that she has recommended in the past . . . I figured chances were good that I'd enjoy this book.

Who is your favorite character so far, and why?

Sage is the obvious choice.  He's scrappy, honest in his own way, and while completely imperfect you can't quite help but cheer for him.

Will you finish this one?

 Absolutely.

Finish the sentence: This book reminds me of . . . 

Well, at this point it reminds me of The Thief; however, I'm enjoying this book quite a bit more than that book.  (I struggled a little to really get immersed in The Thief.)

What type of read is this one?

If I didn't have responsibilities I think this is the type of book I would read cover to cover in a day.  Alas, I do have responsibilities (and I'm quite thankful for them!), so it's taking a little longer.  It is an enjoyable read.  At my library it's shelved with the juvenile fiction, but it doesn't feel childish.

Speaking of responsibilities, that's all for now, folks!  How about you, what are you reading or creating right now?


You can find where I link up here


Saturday, May 12, 2018

Sale on The Read Aloud Family (Time Sensitive)

This post contains affiliate links.

The Read-Aloud Family is on sale this weekend! The Kindle version is $2.99, regular price is $16.99. 

I've been a big fan of the author, Sarah Mackenzie, since the first time I stumbled upon her blog, Read Aloud Revival.  Reading is a way of life in our house.  We've personally loved her book lists, her podcasts, and her author interviews so while I haven't read this book . . . yet . . . I can only imagine that it will be filled with good things. 

Friday, May 11, 2018

The Watermelon Hat: A Free Knitting Pattern

I received the yarn for this project in exchange for my honest opinion. This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you purchase something after clicking on one of these links I might receive a small commission. This is no way affects the price that you pay.

A girl is wearing a pink, green, and white hat with black beads.

This gorgeous yarn is from Love Knitting.  This fun Watermelon Hat was knitted using MillaMia Naturally Soft Aran in Shocking Pink and Emerald Green.  This yarn is so soft and squishy!  It's such a fun cozy yarn.  Each ball has 87 delicious yards of yarn.  It can be machine washed, but don't put it in the dryer, it needs to dry flat!  There is lovely stitch definition and it was a pleasure to knit.  I'd absolutely love to work with it again!

(I must say though, that while I loved knitting the yarn, trying to get a good picture of the pink, was, well, shockingly difficult!)

This is a close up shot of the hat brim.  The watermelon theme is carried out with the use of color.

The Free Knitting Pattern

Begin knitting this hat with size 5.5 circular knitting needles.  I knit the entire hat on circular needles using the magic loop technique.

With GREEN yarn. 
Cast on 80.  Join, being super careful not to twist.  I used the crochet hook cast on method, I really like the look and I'm super comfortable with a crochet hook!

Work a rib knit for about one inch, I had six rows.  I used a K1P1 rib knit, but you could use a K2P2 rib knit, whichever you prefer.

With white yarn.

Knit around.

Switch to size 6 circular knitting needles.

With Pink Yarn

Before knitting with the pink yarn you must add your "seeds".  When choosing your beads be sure that they will easily string onto the yarn.  I used some black beads, very much like these beads, from my craft hoard.  Use my yarn threading tip to make it easier and then thread on about 100 beads.  You will need to continually push the beads down towards the ball of yarn while you're knitting.  If you find this tiresome you could sew the beads on individually after you've finished knitting.  I randomly allowed the beads to be worked in.

Knit around.  Continue until hat reaches about four and a half inches high.  For reference, I knit 21 rows in pink before my first decrease row.

Decreases:
Round 1: *Knit 20 Stitches. Place stitch marker* four times around to end of round.
Round 2: *K1, K2tog, Knit to two stitches before next marker, SSK* four times around.
Repeat round 2 until there are 16 stitches remaining.
Round 3: K2tog around.
Break yarn and weave it through the remaining 8 stitches.  Finish off!


 

A note about the sizing of this hat.  My lovely daughter modeled this hat for me.  As you can see it fits her comfortably with just a slight amount of slouch.  The hat also fits me quite well.  Her head circumference is about 21 inches and mine is 22 inches.  

A smiling girl is wearing a knitted watermelon hat.


Saturday, May 5, 2018

A Handmade Hat: Jack and Jill Hat with Hearts

This post contains affiliate links.


I really like hats.  When I came across the Jack and Jill Hat by Izzy & Ivy Designs I knew I'd love it.  This pattern comes with a huge variety of sizes -- baby to adult.  The size range is a huge deal to me, because I just know that I am going to make a hat or two for myself!


For this hat, I started with a fat quarter of the cheerful hearts fabric and simply picked coordinating fabrics from my stash.  I think it turned out quite nicely!  It's so bright and cheery!


Sadly, it looks like the pattern might be retired, as I can't find it in the Izzy & Ivy Designs Etsy Shop.  It can be purchased from Whimsical Fabrics, which is where I bought my copy.  The shop owner at Whimsical Fabrics gives amazing customer service.  (I also found a listing in Etsy by another third party.  This one is a little cheaper, but I have no personal experience with the seller.)




Overall, I found the directions to be clear for this Jack and Jill hat.  I did read through them twice in their entirety before beginning.  For some reason I was nervous to start this project.  However, once I decided to just do it I had no problems.  This hat took me about an hour and a half from start to finish, and that  includes the time it took to trace the pattern pieces.  (I should note that I left out the elastic in the back on this particular hat -- it just wasn't necessary this time.)

I see many more of these hats in my future! 


Below are some of the bucket hats that I've sewn.




Thursday, April 26, 2018

Little Green Adventurer Backpack

I received the yarn for this project in exchange for my honest review.  This post contains affiliate links.  This means that if you purchase something after clicking on one of these links I might receive a small commission.  This is no way affects the price that you pay.

A boy in a red shirt is wearing a crocheted green backpack.  There is wooden fence in the background.  The boy's face is hidden.

When Love Knitting asked if I would be interested in reviewing some of their yarn, of course my answer was yes!  Who's surprised?  No one?

Yarn My middle child's favorite color is green, and it was his turn for some Mama made goodies, so this Main Street Yarns Shiny + Soft in Grass Green was perfect.  It is a 100% acrylic yarn.  It can be machine washed and dried, a huge plus for a kid's item!  The skein had 356 yards, which was a perfect amount for this project, I had only the tiniest amount of leftover yarn.  The yarn worked up quite easily with nice stitch definition.  It is nice and soft right out of the box.  There's a slight sheen, or shininess, to it.

Hook I used my Clover Amour size 7 crochet hook.  This is a little smaller than the recommended hook size of H/5 mm.  I wanted the body of the bag to be rather densely crocheted, to keep all of my little adventurer's finds from escaping.

The boy is wearing a red shirt.  He is stretching his arms out, along with the green straps of his backpack.


(Free!) Crochet Pattern

Bag

Chain 26.

Round 1 IN TOP LOOP ONLY Single crochet (sc) in second chain (ch) from hook, and in each of the next 23 chains (24 sc). Work 3 sc in the last chain.  Work back down foundation chain in opposite loop. (23) 3 sc in  last chain. slip stitch to join.

Round 2 Chain 1. (Working in both loops) 2 sc in the first stitch. Sc in next 23sc. 2 sc in each of the next 3 sc. Sc in next 23 stitches.  2sc in each of the next 2 sc. slip stitch to join.

Round 3 2 sc in first sc from previous round.  Sc in next 25. 2sc in next stitch. 1 sc. 2sc in next stitch (at the "end" of the oval). 1 sc in next stitch. 2 sc in next stitch. 25 sc. 2 sc in same stitch. 1 sc. 2 sc in next stitch ("end" of oval). 1 sc. slip stitch to join.

Round 4 2sc in 1st stitch. 28 sc.  2sc in next stitch. 1 sc. 2sc in next stitch (at the "end"). 1 sc in next stitch. 2 sc in next stitch. 28 sc2 sc in same stitch. 1 sc. 2 sc in next stitch ("end"). 1 sc. slip stitch to join.

Round 5 Chain 1. IN TOP LOOP ONLY sc around. Slip stitch to join.

Rounds 6-44 Chain 1. Sc around. Slip stitch to join. (72 stitches total)

Round 44 Chain 1. Sc 4. 32 in back loop (inside the bag) only.  36 sc. slip stitch to join. (Note: the 32 back loop only should be centered along the back of the bag.  Adjust accordingly if needed.  This is where the flap will be added later.)

Round 45 Chain 2. sc around. (72)

Round 46 Slip stitch around.

Flap

Row 1 Single crochet in each of the front loops left from round 44.  (32)

Rows 2-27 Chain 1. Turn. Sc across. (32)

Strap 

Make two.

Chain 7.

Row 1 Sc in second chain from hook.  Sc across. (6)

Rows 2-72 Chain 1. Turn. Sc across. (6)

Button Flaps

Chain 5.

Row 1 Sc in second chain from hook.  Sc across. (4 sc stitches)

Rows 2-12 Chain 1. Turn. Sc across. (4)

Row 13 Chain 1. Turn. 1 sc 2 ch 1 sc. (This forms the button hole.)

Rows 14 & 15  Chain 1. Turn. Sc across. (4)

Finishing Sc evenly around, with three stitches in each corner.

Assembly

Whip stitch the straps to the bag, lining up the edge of the strap with the edge of the flap.

SC around all edges other than the opening.

Whip stitch the button flaps onto the bag flap.

Sew buttons.

Enjoy!





This is a side view of the little boy in a red shirt with a green backpack.  He is ready for an adventure!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Interview with a Four Year Old

This post contains affiliate links.  If you purchase something after clicking on these links I will receive a small amount of compensation.  It in no way affects the price that you pay.



There's a new four year old in town!  I know it's cliche, but HOW DID HE GET SO OLD!?!?

  1. How old are you? Four.
  2. What's your favorite food? All of them.  Probably not all of them.  I don't know.  Probably cake.  My favorite food is cake.
  3. What's your favorite book? Biscuit.
  4. What's your favorite color? Green.
  5. What's your favorite thing to do outside? Play on the playground.
  6. What's your favorite game? Ticket to Ride.  
  7. Where's somewhere you want to visit? The beach. (He then proceeded to tell me about how he wants to go to the beach in Alaska, because they have a big beach.  We live in Florida.)
  8. What state is your favorite? Alaska. Montana.  All the states.
  9. What's something that you are good at? I'm good at playing.  I'm also good at building Magformers.  And building puzzles.  And driving the Cozy Coupe.  I'm also good at getting in boxes.
  10. What did you do today that was nice? I don't know.  I played when you said play.
  11. What is something that you like to make? The Giant Road.
  12. What is your favorite letter? I think I like H and J.  Two letters are my favorite.
  13. What's something that you want to do this year? Digging.  
  14. What do you want to learn this year? There are a lot of things that I haven't learned.  (Wise, kid.  Wise.)
  15. What's something you like to do with me? Read.
  16. What's something you like to do with Daddy? Play games.
  17. What's something you like to do with your sister? Play.
  18. What's something you like to do with your baby brother? Play with his toys.
  19. What's your favorite day? Wednesday.
  20. What's your favorite holiday? Wednesday.
  21. What's your favorite building? Denny's. (We haven't set foot in a Denny's since he was an itty-bitty baby!)
  22. What's your favorite restaurant? Olive Garden!
  23. What do you want to be when you grow up? A word.
  24. Who is your best friend? You. (My heart melted.)
  25. What's your favorite thing that I made for you? My green hat.  (It's a Cherry Twist in green, just like this one.) 


Saturday, March 3, 2018

$250 Visa Gift Card Giveaway (Ends 3/16) US


Are you currently pregnant or have a baby at home? Today at Thrifty Nifty Mommy, Janessa is sharing tips on how to find the BEST baby deals and save money during baby's first few years!

How have you found ways to save money on all of your baby's needs?
The Philosopher's Wife has teamed up with Janessa, a few other bloggers, and the amazing (FREE) shopping app Flipp to bring you a $250 Visa gift card giveaway, to help you stock up on all of baby's essentials! What's Flipp? Flipp is the essential app for your weekly shopping. With Flipp you can search circular deals and coupons by item, brand, or category to quickly find the best deals on your weekly essentials and make saving money super easy. Flipp is the only app that matches local circular deals with coupons from the brands you love to bring you the most savings. Simply add loyalty cards from your favorite stores on to Flipp and then clip coupon deals to your card for instant savings at checkout. To keep you on track of your weekly shopping, Flipp’s ultimate shopping list will help you plan ahead by finding what’s on sale and stay organized in-store. Flipp brings you the latest weekly ads from your favorite stores including Walmart, Target, Family Dollar, Walgreens, Kroger, and over 800 more retailers. By using Flipp, you can save 20-50% on the items you need every week. With Flipp, you can also save money on your favorite brands with coupons from Tide, Gain, Dawn, Crest, Charmin, Bounty, Olay, Pampers, and hundreds more.

Flipp is free to download in the App Store and at Google Play.



 If you'd like a chance to win the $250 Visa gift card, sponsored by Flipp, just enter using the Giveaway Tools entry form below. Good luck!

Disclosures: Prize fulfillment is the responsibility of Flipp. This giveaway is open to residents of the US who are 18 years of age or older. Void where prohibited. This giveaway is not associated with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, or Instagram.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Our Library Bag #5

This post contains affiliate links.  This means that if you purchase something through my links I will receive a small commission.  It does not affect the price you pay whatsoever.




This is the catch up Our Library Bag post.  We've read a lot since the last post; here are some books from the past six months or so:

For the kids:


ABC Animals is the new Freight Train for Dominic.  This means that we read this book approximately 27 million times a day when it was checked out.


The Book With No Pictures made my "big" kids laugh hysterically.  I think this will be one of those books that you either love or hate, so just be warned.  (Did you see that this book was written by B.J. Novak?  I've actually met him in real life!)




The Magic Tree House books are immensely popular with my seven year old.  I think she's read about thirty-five of them so far.


For me:


Mortal Engines  "It was a dark, blustery afternoon in spring, and the city of London was chasing a small mining town across the dried-out bed of the old North Sea."
That's the first sentence of the book.  Quite a fascinating visual image, isn't it?  A city, quite literally, chasing another city?  This is a fairly quick read, and it was enjoyable.  I haven't decided if I will read the rest of the Predator Cities Series, but I have added them to my list, just in case.  


Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle)  Once I started this book I couldn't put it down.  There's just something about this series that draws me in.  It's a bit grittier than a lot of the other YA that I read.  It does read as a "middle" book -- it's neither the beginning nor the end of the tale.


Maybe in Another Life Have you heard of Modern Mrs Darcy?  It's fast becoming one of my favorite blogs.  This was one of her "Unputdownable: 17 books I read in 24 hours or less (because they were just that good)" picks.  I totally understand why it made the list.



The Blue Castle L.M. Montgomery wrote more than just Anne of Green Gables.  This is just such a sweet little romance.  I laughed.  I cried.  I loved it.  (I might have been a tad hormonal since I read it while pregnant.)


I'm going to stop there for today!  It's my hope that this will be a weekly post . . . but we'll have to see how things go!


Friday, February 23, 2018

Seven Quick Takes

This post contains affiliate links.



1.  Hello again!  Yep, 2017 was a rough year.  I barely blogged at all!  Oh my.
2.  I had a baby!


3.  I had HG for most of last year.  (Hence the lack of blogging.)

4.  While I currently have a giant list of craft projects both to start and to finish, I have been focusing on just one right now: my Hooded Dragon Blanket.  (I'm living dangerously; I'm crocheting this rather large project using discontinued yarn!)

5.  I am a huge fan of babywearing, although this is the first time I've used a wrap.  I absolutely love the Moby wrap.  It's a game changer.


6.  Can you believe the Eagles finally won a Super Bowl?!



7.  Speaking of sports, who's watching the Olympics?



I'll be linking up with Kelly