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And one week bleeds into another...

Here we are, at the end of August.  Next week is 1 September.  I could cry, if it weren't for the fact that I love fall clothes (but not the cooler temps), and that flare jeans are coming back in style.

Thank Jesus. 

I love me some flares (Gap Long and Leans were my FAVVVV when I worked there all through college and grad school....oh, how I miss them so....), and I'm looking forward to some flares and sweet sweet boot cut to come back to my jeans wardrobe for the fall and winter, taking the place of some of my skinny jeans.  As a former college athlete, my legs and ass are just not built for the skin-tight super-skinny jeans on the market these days.  My sister introduced me to leggings a couple years ago, and I want to wear them all.the.time.  If it were socially acceptable, I'd wear them to work.

I don't think the general would appreciate me attending a meeting wearing those.  Or maybe he would.... 


Unacceptable for everyday in the office.  Unless it's snowing, then all bets are off.   


The past couple weeks have been totes cray.  I'll sum it up for you:  a mind-numbing week-long meeting in California, delayed return flights, an unexpected overnight stay at O'Hare airport without my luggage (for the record.....I HATE O'HARE AIRPORT.  thank you for listening.), end-of-year work insanity, and a really, really bad Lyme flare-up.

The good thing is there is therapy in the form of great books and needle and thread.  

And a Starbucks barista who spells your name correctly without even asking how it's spelled.  #winning


I just finished reading one of Tana French's books, The Secret Place.  Her books are seriously so good.  If you like detective novels, def check her out.  I have holds at the library on the remaining two of her books that I have yet to read, so hopefully soon one of those will be available for download. (if you missed my amazing revelation to you all back over the winter, most local libraries have an ebook collection now, so you can download books from your library to your e-reader and get reading!)

Next up is the Halloween project I started - Cricket Collection "The Master and the Macabre."  I've been working too much with Shores of Hawk Run, apparently, because I found an f-up, and I can't figure out where it originated, so it's in time-out.  My OCD tendencies won't allow me to just keep going and hope no one but me notices the mistake.  So....indefinite time-out until I'm ready to find it.

The Master and the Macabre Cricket Collection #crossstitch #halloween #eapoe



The Master and the Macabre | Cricket Collection #crossstitch #halloween #eapoe

I want to stitch everything in that silk that's in the roof of the house.  Like, everything.

Those of you who've been following me for a while know that my most favorite thing to do is take some of these pieces that have been stitched on totally lame and drab fabric and shake that shit up.  Skeleton Crew is the best example - if you're stitching this (or plan to) and you want to make the same changes I did, head on over to my Fabric & Fibers page to see the list of color changes.  

Once this piece is done, I will post all color changes - I have most of them mapped out, but I've changed one so far as I go along from what I'd originally planned.

Fear not, friends.  You will be rewarded for waiting to see the final piece.  That is, of course, if you wish to make the same fabric and fiber choices I did for this spectacularly spooky Cricket Collection piece. 





If you don't have an LNS and you want the supplies to make my changes for Skeleton Crew, call up the gals at The Strawberry Sampler and tell them you want my colors - they will know exactly what you mean.  You could also order online from them - they actually have my changes as an option.  (disclaimer - i get nothing for suggesting you order through TSS - they were my LNS until this year when i moved to the DC area, and they're an amazing bunch of women running a small business, and i'm all about supporting small businesses, especially stitch shops.) 


Nerd Alert.

I've been impatiently waiting for my eleventy billion ebooks to come off the hold shelf at the library, so in the meantime, I checked out one from the history section. 

Because...I'm a nerd.

And also because, the American Revolution, Civil War, and Turn of the Century eras in American History are really intriguing to me.  European history will always completely fascinate me, as well the Ancient Egyptian, Greeks and Romans, so I really gravitate more towards books that deal with those time periods before anything else.  And, any time there is something on tv about The Templars, I'm in.  Hook, line and sinker.  A order of knights sworn to secrecy and to gather and protect ancient religious treasures and relics??  IN.  I have a book called Christopher Columbus, The Last Templar.  A Templar?  Chris?  Almost 200 years after The Templars had been forced to disband???  SO IN.

Fun fact: Although not the origin of the superstition, Friday the 13th is linked to the fate of the templars.  

Back to the book.  So, I'm impatient, and I decided to check out a book called George Washington's Secret Six.  



I kept gravitating toward this book whenever I'd be in Barnes and Noble, so I decided to check it out on ebook from the library instead.  It was a very good account of the spy ring that helped GW squash those pesky Brits and get the American Rebels ahead in the war.  I won't spoil it for you, in case you're as big of a nerd as me and you want to read this, too, but there are four plots that the spies foiled, including the big one involving Benedict Arnold.

I was expecting this to read much like ever other history book I pick up to read for fun (again. nerd.), which is usually akin to a college textbook.  However, the author of this book really made it accessible and it reads more like fiction.  It's a quick read, keeping it as general as possible as to not get into the real nitty gritty details of the circumstances surrounding the war, but giving enough details so you can piece everything together and see how much these spies really risked in the name of freedom.

The best part?  One of the six was a woman, proving vital to the ring because she was able to get into the inner social circles of the British officers, and her identity still remains a mystery.

Next up is the new book from Eric Larson, Dead Wake, which I started last night, and I'm already loving it.  

What are you guys reading????  I'm always looking for recommendations!  You guys have given me some great ones so far!! 

Happy Thursday!!


Book List.

So, I've been on a reading rampage.  I haven't had much time over the past couple years to read much, and I miss it.  This summer, I started making sure to carve out time to read, and flew through some pretty great books.  Erik Larson is officially one of my new favorite authors - I read both In the Garden With Beasts and The Devil in the White City over the summer, and they were incredible.  He has a new book coming out soon about the sinking of the Lusitania, and I'm really excited to get my hands on a copy.

I told you all recently that I had an incredible amount of time on my hands after work, now that I live so close to the office, and picked up reading again.  I finished All the Light We Cannot See, and loved every bit of it.  In between working out, unpacking, (yes, den is still somewhat of a disaster...) and carving out time during work at lunch, I've managed to keep up my rediscovered love of reading.

A few weeks ago, while trying to figure out what book to read next and how I was going to afford all these new books I had to read, it hit me: the library.

One of my first orders of business when I moved down here was to get myself a library card.  One of the local branches is literally two blocks away, so one morning, to get away from all the unpacking, I walked over and got a library card.  Fun fact: most local libraries now have an ebook catalog, and you can check out books for your e-reader online - you don't even have to leave your house! You may have to download software to allow the books to be transferred to your e-reader (I have an ancient nook from B&N, one of the first gen editions, and the books transfer perfectly, so you don't need one of the up-to-date new-fangled things to have it work), but it's really simple and totally worth it.

You should have seen me that night when I remembered I could do that.  OMG.  I was like a kid in a candy store....only I was a nerd at the library website instead.  (sigh)

Some of you had given me great book recommendations, so I went searching for the ebook versions of all of them.  They're not available - they're all checked out - but you better believe I got myself on the holds list!!  I went crazy - I currently have 6 ebooks on hold, and that's because I've read 2 that became available already.

First up was In the Woods.  A great suspense novel that I highly recommend if you like those kinds of books.

In the woods

Second, The Language of Flowers.  One of the ladies at my LNS back home told me about this book, and it was very good.  Definitely not what I expected based on the title and the story that transpired, but still very good.

The language of flowers

Currently, I'm on the hold list for the following books:  Orphan TrainBroken HarborThe Miniaturist, Girl on the Train, A Spool of Blue Thread, and Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker.  I'm sure that list will grow as I devour every single one!

What are you guys currently reading?  Do you have any suggestions for what I should add to my ever-growing holds list at the library?  Have any of you read the books I mentioned above?




What a week, friends.  What a week.

It even started with a holiday! Then, on that holiday, it snowed in DC.  And people forgot how to drive and act like normal people.

Thank God for AWD and the guys at Firestone who fixed my tire earlier in the day on Monday.

How have you guys been?  So remember how I was losing my mind about all that extra time I have after work?!  Well, I filled it with a great book this past week.


Has anyone else read this?!  I kept hearing about it, kept getting annoying emails from Barnes and Noble telling me IT'S 40% OFF THIS WEEK!  BUY IT BUY IT BUY IT.

Eventually....those B&N emails got the better of me when I found a B&N a mere 10 minutes from my apt, so I got out my member card for that additional 10% off, and made the leap.  

It was. So. Good.  So good.  My only gripe is that the author goes back and forth between years during WWII, and where I normally don't mind that time flip every once in a while, in this book, I legit forgot what year we were in as I was reading, and each time it changed, I had to go back and see what year I had just been in.

Does that make any sense at all?  I feel like I'm in an episode of Big Bang Theory where Sheldon and Leonard are discussing the possibilities of time travel.  Also, that wasn't a paragraph up there, but a giant run-on.  You're over it, though. 

Anyways.  If you're looking for something new to read this frigid weekend, check out All The Light We Cannot See.  I highly recommend it.

What are you guys reading?  Do you have any recommendations of great books you just couldn't put down?!  I'm looking for suggestions!

Stay warm!


Sunday Things.

It's hard to believe, but it's about to be mid-August.  Summer is winding down, and I've only made it to the beach twice.  Tragic.

I do love Sundays, though.  For some reason, they're less chaotic than Saturdays.  At least for me, anyway.

Sundays are for catching up on summer reading.  I put down Elizabeth I (again), and started The Devil in the White City.  So far, it's excellent.

Scones also happen on Sundays.  Well, all weekend, really.  I made these blueberry scones this weekend (gluten-free/grain-free), and they're delish.  Gotta use up those blueberries while they're still in season, and baking with them is always a good idea.

Coffee and magazines are a favorite Sunday activity of mine, right before I ignore laundry for the entire day.  And the fact that I have to cook for the week.  Today's lineup:


Happy Sunday, friends :-)


A Gift Wrap Idea

Yesterday, I took a trip to central jerz to see one of my besties from college for her son's 2nd bday.  H-Man is 2 already.  Can't friggin believe it.  

Side note: best part about being an aunt (besides having H-Man scream over the phone "BYE AUNT JACKI!!! BYE!!! I LOVE YOU!!! BYE AUNT JACKI!!!!" and actually be able to pronounce a "j" at 2....) is that I get to go to the children's section of Barnes and Noble, and go straight to Dr. Seuss.  I may or may not have a slight obsession with Dr. 32....


Armed with four of the most important beginner Dr. Seuss books a kid can have (we'll get into the more advanced Dr. Seuss books like How The Grinch Stole Christmas and The Lorax at a later date) (aside from the one and only, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish) - There's a Wocket in my Pocket, The Cat in the Hat, Marvin K. Mooney, Will You Please Go Now!!, and Oh, The Thinks You Can Think, I spread out on the dining room table to wrap them all up, only to remember that I have no baby/kid wrapping paper.

Naturally.  Why would I check to see if I had any BEFORE I went out to get his gift?  Because, duh, that would make too much sense.

I do, however, have plain brown paper, which is easy to dress up and make pretty.  Also - 2-year-olds generally don't care about the paper - they just want to rip it off to get to the good stuff.

Mkay.  So, how did I end up making brown paper look cute?  Simple.


Fabric riboon and a cute tag.  My cousin wrapped our Christmas gifts similarly this past Christmas, and I thought it was a fantastic idea.  Simple and pretty.  So, for H-Man, I chose three jelly roll strips that I had in my stash - all coordinating, of course - wrapped two around the gift, and then used one to tie the bow.  The tag I made with a simple stamp I got at Paper Source, distressed the edges, and wrote the sentiment on the other side.  Before tying the bow with the yellow ribbon, I attached the tag with twine to the fabric, which was then hidden from view after I tied the yellow fabric ribbon.

So easy, yet still cute and polished.  You end up looking like you actually had it together when you wrapped this gift, even though if your friends could have seen you frantically running around the house trying to figure out how the hell you're going to wrap books with no wrapping paper, they'd wonder how you survive without wearing a helmet and elbow pads on a daily basis.

There you have it!  A cute and simple way to wrap gifts!  Don't have fabric remnants all over your house?  Use ribbon instead! Get a roll of wide ribbon, and do the same thing.  It looks just as awesome.  Trust :-)

Much love ~~~