Another Bookish Questionnaire!

Posted 7 February, 2016 by Trish in Reading Nook / 14 Comments


Twenty Bookish Questions


Look what I found in my drafts! First of all, I would like to thank Cara for being a fairly steller napper. Second, I’d like to thank Laura, whom I borrowed these questions from like a year and a half ago. Yay!

1. What is your favourite fictional food or drink?

I don’t think I’ve ever consumed a fictional food or drink. I hear butterbeer is pretty good? Hmmm–I guess I’ve likely also had green eggs in my lifetime (for St Paddy’s Day) but I wouldn’t call it a favorite.

2. How long did it take you to finish your last book?

On Thursday I devoured The Sculptor by Scott McCloud. I read 400 pages of it in one sitting (it’s a graphic novel), so it took me two days to finish. Before that I think it took me about 10 days to finish the 198 page Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri. Most of this is because it was a paper book so I couldn’t read it on my phone (which I do a lot these days).

Interpreter of Maladies

3. How many times do you stare at your books or bookshelves each day?

LOL! Genius. Wait–does the book I’m actually reading count? Otherwise, anytime I walk into the room with my bookshelves. Sadly this isn’t every day. But it never fails, even though I’ve seen those books a zillion times, I still stare at them!

4. How many Goodreads friends and books do you have?

It took me a while to figure this out, but I think 182 friends. I don’t use Goodreads very often–I just forget about it.

5. Do you ever quote books in public?

I do not–probably because I have a lousy memory for things like that. But sometimes I quote musicals. Ok, maybe I’ve quoted parts of “The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock” before. “Let us go then, you and I…”

Prufrock Coffee

6. Do you ever re-read books?

Rarely. Not because I wouldn’t like to–I keep most of the books I’ve read once in hopes that I’ll read them again, but all of those unread books on my shelves taunt me.

7. Do you judge a book by its cover?

Absolutely!! I’ve been mentally working up a post about disliking books with actual people on the covers. Like photographs of people. Nope nope nope.

8. Instagram, Twitter or Tumblr?

Twitter. Then Instagram. I don’t get Tumblr. Is it still a thing?

9. Which genres take you the longest to read?

Classics take me the longest to read–likely because my brain has to work harder for the language. Boring nonfiction also takes me a long time to read which is why I always opt for awesome nonfiction. :)

10. Who are your favourite BookTubers (or Book Bloggers)?

I have way too many subscriptions in my Feedy account. It’s a happy problem but also means that I’m often overwhelmed by favorite book bloggers. #cheat

I heart book bloggers

11. How often do you pre-order books?

Never. Ok, I’ve done it twice and ironically they were both released on the same day. I had to have Armada by Ernest Cline on audio and Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee in hardback. The only other time I’ve had  to have a book the day it was released was when Harry Potter came out but I didn’t pre-order.

12. Are you a shopaholic?

No. I HATE shopping. Except for crafts. I could possibly be a crafting shopaholic but I do try to set limits!

13. How many times have you re-read your favourite book?

Wuthering Heights? Three times. I’ve also read Great Gatsby three or four times but it isn’t a favorite–it’s just fascinating!

Cathy and Heathcliff

14. Do you own a lot of books?

I’m not in the same room as my book spreadsheet but I’m guessing probably 600-700 books? Not including some of the older collections I own that just sit on the shelf and look pretty.

15. Do you take pictures of your books before you read them?

Is this a thing? I don’t know–maybe to tweet or instagram the book but not as a general habit.

16. Do you read every day?

No. Ideally I would love to read every day but some days it’s just not a priority. Sometimes I’ll go a week or more without reading a single word and I’m OK with that.


17. How do you choose a new book?

Whim. Or ask Elle to pick a book for me. The last one she picked was Salvage the Bones and it was a winner.

18. Do you always have a book with you?

Yes–sometimes even if it’s just on the app of my phone.

19. What are your biggest distractions from reading?

Life? Kids? Crafts? The billion things going on in my head at any given point?

Helping me Read

20. What is your favourite place to buy books?

Well…since I’m still mourning the loss of Borders and my local indie bookstores and hate going to the mall where the Barnes and Nobel is, I generally buy my books on Amazon. Ooooh, or Half Price Books! Though I’ve been trying not to buy as many books the past year or so.

Well lookie there. A post! Feel free to take the questions and answer them when you need a rainy day post.

Tell me…what’s going on in your neck of the woods today? Reading anything particularly good? (I’m loving The Girl With All the Gifts).

Happy Reading!



Easy DIY Valentine’s Sign

Posted 4 February, 2016 by Trish in Crafty / 7 Comments

Tags: ,

Easy DIY Valentine Sign

Last October I made a really simple Boo sign that I ended up loving so much I planned to make a Joy sign for Christmas. But then I got to be ten months pregnant and was too tired to follow through. Instead of waiting an entire year to use up my supplies for a Joy sign, I decided that a Love sign was in order for Valentine’s.

The best part of this craft is that it can be done in 10 minutes here and there if you’re in the habit of stealing away time like I am. Or it can easily be completed in a portion of an afternoon.

Easy DIY Valentine’s Sign


  • Wood Plaque (I got mine at Hobby Lobby for $3 but any craft store sells them)
  • Letters to spell your word (also Hobby Lobby)
  • 12×12 square of scrapbook paper
  • Mod Podge (I like matte–use outdoor if you’d like to hang your sign outside)
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paint brushes (I use foam for most of the project but also a small brush for fine detailing)
  • Glue to affix the letters (I use E6000 but hot glue will work)

Love Sign Supplies


1. Paint around the edges of the sign. Because the center is going to be covered with scrapbook paper, there is no need to paint the entire surface–just enough to cover any lapses in the scrapbook paper and sign. Not shown below, but paint your letters while you are waiting for the edges of the sign to dry. Note: It’s hard to tell from the completed picture, but I lightly painted the edges of each letter with red highlight by running the sides of a tiny stiff paintbrush around the edges. I like the antique look it gives the letters as well as makes the white stand out.

Paint edges of Plaque


2. Trace the plaque onto the back of the scrapbook paper. Cut the scrapbook paper to fit. Sometimes it helps me to press creases into the scrapbook paper to get a good fit. Alternatively, you could use a razor to cut the paper without tracing first.

Trace the Plaque


3. Cover the entire surface of the sign with Mod Podge and attach the scrapbook paper. Press out any bubbles. Apply a coat of Mod Podge to the scrapbook paper to give the paper a nice even sheen.

Mod Podge!


4. Glue the letters onto your sign and marvel at how damn easy this craft was (my four year old helped me make the Boo sign). Add a ribbon to hang or a picture hanger (I like command strips) to stick to your wall. Enjoy!

Easy DIY Valentine Sign


And so easy to customize this craft for different holidays and events. If you chose a word for the year, this would be a great decorative reminder of your word! Elle even got her own little sign with the letters of her name (though don’t ask to hear the story of what happened when we all sat down to paint and her sister painted all of her letters for her…).

Boo Sign


See–wasn’t that easy?




Comics in February!!

Posted 3 February, 2016 by Trish in Reading Nook / 13 Comments



February can be such a dreadful month. Here in Texas it’s usually one of our worst weather months and I’ve always thought that it’s the shortest month because it is so miserable. Our weather actually hasn’t been anything to complain about, but I know that can always change within a day–70 one day and ice the next.

But the one thing I look forward to every year is Comics in February. Chris and Debi started this themed month a few years ago and I started reading along two years ago. Comics in February is an informal event–you’ll find most of the activity on Twitter and Instagtram where people tag #ComicsFebruary. Whether you’re a comic-reading veteran or new to the medium, join in this month! You might just find something you absolutely adore.

The first year I participated, I struggled to make a list of books I wanted to read. Now the choices feel unlimited and I compile my list of “want to reads” all year long and collect them from the library come February. My stack is usually bigger than I can digest in a month, but that never stops me from going back to the library for more and more to add onto the top.

I tend to stick to Graphic Novels/Memoirs when reading comics, but I’ve added a few series to my stack this year. If you would like to join in or you’re curious about graphics/comics, I have a list of 10 Gateway Graphic Novels–though I’d also add Blankets to the list now.

Comics for February

What’s in my stack for this year?

Sweet Tooth by Jeff Lemire. I only grabbed the first three volumes but believe there are 6.

This One Summer by Jillian Tamaki.

March (Book Two) by John Robert Lewis. My only regret is that the third book isn’t out yet!

Saga by Brian K. Vaughan. I’ve been putting this one off because I want it ALL and only the first five volumes have been published. But I can’t ignore the hype any longer!

Castle Waiting (Vol II)  by Linda Medley. I loved the first volume but I know that the series doesn’t finish so I’ve been putting it off–but I think it’s time to get over that!

V for Vendetta by Alan Moore. Scott might have wanted to name our second Evie because of this movie.

I Remember Beirut by Zeina Abirached. A Game for Swallows was an eye-opening look at Beirut in the 70s and I want to know more.

Ghost World by Daniel Clowes. It’s been sitting on my shelf for years!

The Shadow Hero by Gene Luen Yang. I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve read by Yang and am looking forward to more!

Habibi by Craig Thompson because I adored Blankets

The Sculptor by Scott McCloud. This is the one I’m starting with and I’ve heard such rave things!

I don’t know how many of these I’ll actually get to, but I’m so excited for this month. You should head to the library and join in on the fun!

What are your “must read” comics/graphic novels that you’d suggest? Any favorites to add to the list?



Goodbye 2015. Hello 2016!!

Posted 31 January, 2016 by Trish in Life / 19 Comments


Happy 2016

What do you mean today is the last day of January?? Are you sure?  As I’m still transitioning to life with a newborn…and three kids, I thought about skipping this post when I didn’t get it up by the beginning of the month, but it’s tradition. Plus eventually life will smooth out and I’ll be able to think about more than when and what my children ate last.

When I look back at my list of things I wanted to do in 2015, I didn’t complete everything that I set out to do (I rarely do), but I’m pretty happy with the year and what I accomplished. I finished that dang Christmas quilt that I’ve been working on for years and I finished sewing all of my hexies together. I made two quilt tops for the (big) girls and made pretty substantial progress on a quilt top for a class I was taking. While I always wish I could spend more time in the craft room, I was able to steal quite a bit of time!

On the book front, I read the most books last year than in the past five–largely thanks to adding audiobooks back into the rotation since I went back to work. I wanted to read three books published before 1900 and I only read two that qualified but I did read two others that were published in 1900. So. It was a great reading year!

I had a lot of fun cooking from my cookbooks and even opened up a challenge until I decided to transform that into a crafty type challenge. Sadly neither took off the way that I hoped, but that’s the way of things. I’d like to do more cooking from cookbooks in 2016 as well as get back to Operation Use My Kitchen Stuff (to test out my new Instant Pot!) The “thing” that I continually (ahem) fail at is journaling. I really really would love to be a journaler, but I just don’t think I am. Maybe this year. Ha!!!! (Though I am totally intrigued by bullet journaling).


2016 Things

The things I want to do in 2016?

  • Read Lonesome Dove (for no other reason than it’s sitting on my shelf)
  • Read 36 books // Two books published before 1800 // Two books published before 1950
  • Finish Cara’s baby quilt, finish Elle and Evie’s quilts, finish the hexie quilt top (borders), and the Stitcher’s Garden top
  • Make two new recipes a month–ideally using my cookbooks/recipe scrapbook
  • Run a 10k (no really! I’ve had this on my list for years, but this IS the year I will do it!)
  • KonMari/Organize my house. I think I struggle with this one because it’s hard to measure completion–or is organization ever complete?
  • Get back into blogging. Like really. I’ve been struggling with this one lately–while you guys are so sweet to have stuck with me over the years, I feel like I don’t really know what I want my blogging purpose to be anymore. I LOVE blogging and I LOVE connecting, but it’s almost like I’ve forgotten how. Most of you will say not to worry, but it really has become such an integral part of my life over the past nine years.


I’d like to get into shape (in due time) and figure out some kind of jouraling that works for me. I’d like to be more mindful and be better about putting my phone away while I’m around my littles. I want to be more patient–with the littles, my husband, and myself. It’ll be a busy year, especially when Elle starts kindergarten in the fall (how the heck did that happen?!), but I know it’ll be a great year.

What are some of the things you’d like to do in 2016?




One Month Update – 1.27.2016

One Month Update – 1.27.2016

  A month! It’s just not fair–not fair at all. Of course by now I know all too well how quickly the time goes. As difficult as the first few weeks are, I’m not ready for my baby to get bigger! I wish she’d stay teeny tiny for just a little longer. Even still, I can tell she’s grown so much since she was born. Cara has fit in perfectly with our crazy family–while I […]

Posted 27 January, 2016 by Trish in Life / 24 Comments

Tracking a Year of Meals

Tracking a Year of Meals

  Near the end of 2014 I was reading Dinner: A Love Story by Jenny Rosenstrach. Rosenstrach started keeping track of her nightly meals in 1998 and has kept up with her food diaries through meticulous journaling. I’m notorious for being a failure at keeping a journal, but I wondered if I could keep up with a monthly calendar of what we ate each night. I printed out a blank calendar for the month and […]

Posted 23 January, 2016 by Trish in In the Kitchen / 28 Comments

Best of Reading for 2015

Best of Reading for 2015

So below is my 2015 Year in Reading. Jamie from The Perpetual Page Turner has yet again provided us with the questions. Any links I have to book posts will be down at the bottom. Best of Reading in 2015 1. Best Book You Read In 2015? I wouldn’t have expected my first book read to be my favorite, but hands down Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed. In terms of audio, both Where’d You Go, Bernadette […]

Posted 17 January, 2016 by Trish in Reading Nook / 25 Comments

Introducing Baby Girl – December 27, 2015

Introducing Baby Girl – December 27, 2015

  I was going to post my Best of 2015 Books, but I thought it might cause a riot if I didn’t announce our sweetest little bundle first. On December 27th at 2:02 pm, Scott and I welcomed sweet little Baby Billy Bobbette to our family. Caroline Harper, whom we will call Cara, weighed 7 pounds 7 ounces and is 19.25 inches long. Pretty on par with her two sisters–plus the full head of dark […]

Posted 5 January, 2016 by Trish in Life / 62 Comments

Books I’ve Recently Read | Nonfiction November

Books I’ve Recently Read | Nonfiction November

  Oh hi! Look at that! A book post! I’m not going to go into the whole “Ugh I’m so tired this pregnancy is kicking my butt” song and dance, but if I disappear for a few days (or more) that’s likely why. Because OMG I’m so tired and this pregnancy is kicking my butt. I keep meaning to get some posts drafted up, but then hours pass and I look at the clock and wonder […]

Posted 25 November, 2015 by Trish in Reading Nook, Review / 27 Comments

Nonfiction November Giveaway – Tiny Beautiful Things

Nonfiction November Giveaway – Tiny Beautiful Things

  Hello hello!!! November is marching right along, though I’m grateful that we still have a little more than a week left until December makes it’s arrival. This is the last week of Nonfiction November hosted by Kim, Becca, Lu, and Katie. I don’t think there’s a topic this week and I’m not participating in the readalong of I Am Malala, so I thought that I’d celebrate this week with a giveaway!! My favorite nonfiction title […]

Posted 22 November, 2015 by Trish in Reading Nook / 26 Comments