Matinee Jacket

I have finished up a tiny baby sweater for my friend who is expecting in August. The darling girl will be warm through the fall in this tiny sweater accented with some pearl buttons from my late grandmother’s collection.

Pattern: Matinee Jacket by Hadley Fierlinger (I love this book- Vintage Knits for Modern Babies; very straightforward yet lovely and delicate patterns.)

Yarn: Quince & Co Chickadee, 100% american wool


Garden Update

Good news! We are harvesting turnips, radishes, kale & lettuce!

Bad news… We have a bunny friend that is eating all the moderately ripe strawberries and the pea plants!

We planted some tomato seedlings this past weekend, as well as some cucumber, zucchini, and pole bean seeds. On the bunny front, my husband has located a live trap to apprehend the thief and relocate him. Fingers crossed we might enjoy a berry or two before they are finished producing. However the peas are likely too damaged to produce anything. We’ll just have to look forward to the possibility of pumpkins growing there later that summer!

How does your garden grow?

Currently Reading

March was not a great reading month for me. Work and home life was very busy and most of my free time was spend outside in the sunshine. Plus maybe I didn’t make good choices, because I didn’t love any of these books.

Little Failure: A Memoir, by Gary Shteyngart. It was just okay and really lost momentum as it progressed. I struggled to finish it and looking back, wouldn’t have been disappointed if I didn’t.

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, by Ayana Mathis. I can’t say I enjoyed this one while reading it, but it occupied my mind for several days after I finished it.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, by Mindy Kaling. There were parts I liked and parts that were really boring. I listened to the audio version.

Flora and Ulysses, by Kate DiCamillo. The girls and I decided to listen to this on the way to school in March. It was cute, and more appealing to my 10 year old. The 6 year old complained and requested more Ramona books at least half of the time, when I started playing it.

The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry, by Kathleen Flinn. I gave up around chapter 6, it was just too whiny. It was the audio version, so perhaps it was just the narrator. I wanted to shout “you are in Paris!!! how bad can it be?” I wrote down the quiche recipe, so maybe it wasn’t a complete waste of time. But this one, by the same author, is very interesting.

Happy Reading, everyone!


Love Yourself Now

With two impressionable girls watching my every move, this was a resolution for me for 2016. Leading by example and loving the way I am now, and sending the message of self-acceptance regardless of perfection, is something I think my 10 year old especially needs to hear. Here’s how I’m doing it:

  • Jogging/Walking- This is helping me balance stress, allergies, and insomnia. It’s also giving me a little ‘me time’ to listen to audio books.
  • Making time for hobbies- I love being creative and would knit, paint, sew, garden, and read ALL the day if that was financially possible for our family. But alas, it is not, so squeezing in an hour of so a day and more on the weekends is the best I can do.
  • Giving up on my ‘skinny clothes’- We cleaned our closets recently and gave away so many bags of clothes. And honestly, if I ever lose the extra creep up weight, I’m sure I will want to celebrate by buying something more in-style than my favorite college jeans.
  • Acknowledging the present and trying to savor it- My girls are 6 and 10. I’m enjoying the creativity and confidence of 6, and intrigued and challenged by the little kid/big kid balance of friendships and emotion of 10.
  • Taking time for spiritual health- Memorizing scripture. Daily devotional time. Writing down my prayers. All of this keeps me grounded, reminds me I’m worth it, and refills me with hope when I’m not feeling so confident.
  • Giving back- Helping friends with watching kids, sending food and being sure to spread more ‘thank yous’ around. Helping at church with the kids. Volunteering with local food pantries. Basically trying to pass on some kindness and light.


Young Living Essential Rewards

The Essential Rewards program is a reward program for an automatic monthly delivery of Young Living products.

You can change the order every month and there’s a 50 PV minimum. You get priority shipments and reduced shipping rates, as well as discounted pricing on exclusive product kits. You start accruing rewards points immediately but you get a full 20% back after your 13th consecutive month of participation.

My favorite two oils I bought this month were Joy and Envision. Both are blends that have a pleasing and unique citrus/floral scent.

YLEO Envision is a blend that contains scents that stimulate feelings of creativity and resourcefulness, encouraging renewed faith in the future and the emotional strength necessary to achieve your dreams. Essential oils: Spruce, Orange, Sage, Geranium, Lavender, Rose

I diffuse this one using my Orb USB diffuser at my desk at work. Of course, deep breathing is a fantastic way to deal with stress, but I feel deep breathing these oils is truly helping me create that peaceful, positive, and creative atmosphere that makes the work day something I look forward to instead of dread. It smells so lovely that it’s my “reward” for working at my desk.

YLEO Joy’s aroma invites a sense of romance, bliss, and warmth when diffused. When worn as a fragrance, it invites togetherness. Essential oils: Bergamot, Lemon, Palmarosa, Ylang Ylang, Rose, Geranium, Jasmine, Roman Chamomile, Coriander, Tangerine

I am so happy this comes in a 15ml bottle because it is my current favorite oil. I use with my shower gel and as a fragrance. I diffuse upstairs in the morning to help create a peaceful, warm atmosphere to get my girls out of bed and to school on time. I diffuse in the evening after dinner to keep those peaceful feelings going, especially since I am out of the Peace & Calming blend.

Here’s a couple of links if you are interested in learning more about essential oils and why I love them so much.

Young Living products are not intended to prevent, treat, or cure any disease or condition.


Spring & Summer To Do List

East Tennessee is one of the most beautiful places to live, with some of the nicest people you will ever meet. I love to travel and read about other places, but I am always thankful to be coming back home to the rolling foothills and scenic mountains of East Tennessee.

This is a small list of some of the things my family wants to do to celebrate this blossoming spring and summer in our Volunteer State:


In the Kitchen

Something new:

Edamame Parmesan, Trisha’s Table, Trisha Yearwood. Wow- so delicious! I couldn’t find shelled edamame the first time, so it was tedious to shell before seasoning and baking. But I found shelled edamame at another store so I can repeat with a little more ease this week.

Turkey Keilbasa Hash  I found this recipe on pinterest. I ended up grilling the keilbasa and making the potato hash in the skillet. Kids didn’t enjoy but adults loved it.

Something old:

Blackened Chicken Salad (with Tupelo’s blackening spice recipe) Perfect for batch cooking as well. We season and grill an entire pack of chicken and eat over salads that evening and for lunches the following few days.