Monday, October 16, 2017

What I Read: September

Hey! I'm only half a month late with this post! And I read twice as many books in September as in August...except that I only read one book in August. :) I'm sorry, you guys. Life is crazy right now. And I don't feel the same way about this blog as I used to, ever since Photobucket caused me to lose all of my photos. Does anyone even read this anymore? I'm thinking about just starting fresh, but more on that later. Here's what I read in September:

The Trumpet of the Swan, by E.B. White. Somehow, even though Charlotte's Web has been one of my favorite books since 2nd grade, I made it through childhood without ever reading this one. I liked it, but I didn't love it. I think it got better as it went along. But it was like it couldn't figure out what it wanted to be! Sometimes it was serious, all descriptive nature writing, and then suddenly it's absurd slapstick comedy. I just don't know.

The Good Girl's Guide to Great Sex, by Sheila Wray Gregoire. This was by far the best of these type of books that I've read since getting engaged. More details in my review, but it was just what I was hoping for and exactly what I needed!

I also had one DNF this month. After "reading" this book from the first week of September to basically the first week of October and only progressing about 40 pages, I decided to give up on it. It was a middle grade book I'd bought cheaply years ago, on Book Outlet or somewhere, because the cover was cute and it sounded interesting. But I'm just not feeling it right now so off it goes to a new home, and I don't really regret it. :)

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

What I Read: August

Here is the most pitiful "What I Read" post to ever grace my blog. :) Oh well! I tried...there was just a lot going on in August. Here's hoping next month will be better.

In a Sunburned Country, by Bill Bryson. I really did enjoy this book, though it took me entirely too long to read! It seemed a lot less negative, and his voice didn't grate on my nerves like it does sometimes. I'm not sure if that's because it had been a while since I read one of his books, or maybe because he seems to be really fond of Australia and it shows (as with England in his books Notes from a Small Island). It was interesting and amusing! (My favorite part was his description of cricket. Pretty sure that made me snort laugh.)

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Knitting: sparkly midnight rainbow socks.

I feel like I was knitting these socks for the longest time! And truthfully, it was a long time. I cast on April 22, and just finished them this week. I did knit another pair of socks and some other things in the meantime.

But now that they're finished, it's worth it! I love these socks...they're definitely my favorites that I've knitted in a long time. I just did basic vanilla socks, with the heel from Hermione's Everyday Socks. The yarn is from Unplanned Peacock Studio in her sparkly sock base, in the Midnight Rainbow colorway. I love everything I've ever made from her yarn, and these are no exception!

Now I just have to wait until it's cool enough to wear them.

Ravelry project page.

Monday, July 31, 2017

What I Read: July

July was a decent month for reading. I mostly read short, quick reads and while I didn't discover any new favorites, I basically enjoyed everything I read. As always, click on the title for my Goodreads review.

4:50 from Paddington, by Agatha Christie. I've considered myself an Agatha Christie fan for several years now, but I have enjoyed the last few of her books that I've read so much. They're comfort reads for me. And even though I'd seen the Marple adaptation of this one, I didn't remember who was the culprit so it was just as enjoyable as if I'd never encountered the story before. :)

Displacement, by Lucy Knisley. Something else that I've really been enjoying over the past year or so: Lucy Knisley's books. They're graphic novel memoirs, most of them involving travel of some kind. They're definitely not perfect but I really like them. And you can fly through them...the two that I read this month probably took only me about an hour and a half or two hours each to read. This one is documenting a cruise she took with her elderly, ailing grandparents, so it's a bit sad.

How the Heather Looks, by Joan Bodger. This was my big disappointment of the month. I'd been wanting to read this book for so long, and I expected to love it. It wasn't awful or even bad, but it wasn't as amazing as I was expecting. It was a bit dull and took me way too long to read.

Raymie Nightingale, by Kate DiCamillo. This one was also a little disappointing. I generally love her books, but this was lacking something. Even though it did have that quirky feel that I like and lots of unusual characters.

Things I Wish I'd Known Before We Got Married, by Gary Chapman. I'm getting married in a few months and I've heard this is a good book for engaged people to read. It was about what I expected, and a lot of it seems like common sense. But there were some good points, so I think I'll keep it to refer back to.

An Age of License, by Lucy Knisley. This was the last of her major books that I had left to read, and one that gets referenced a lot in her other books. It wasn't my favorite, but still good overall.

Come As You Are, by Emily Kagoski. Once again, I'm getting married and this one was recommended to me. It wasn't exactly what I was expecting...there was a lot of repetition of vague thoughts and metaphors. But again, it's something I might refer back to in the future.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Little house updates {number 2}.

First of all, I want to apologize that pictures of the little house* are always so dark and fuzzy. It really is dark there: lots of wood and not many windows. But I always seem to be trying to get pictures on overcast days, which doesn't help matters.

I thought it was about time for another update. Since I last posted, we've put down flooring in two of the four rooms that need it! Having real floors in the house feels like such an improvement and an accomplishment that I can't even explain it. Whenever I walk down there to do something, I find myself just admiring the floors, ha. :) We're trying to save as much money as possible, so we decided to try to install the floors ourselves. Not going to lie, I was very hesitant at first but I'm so glad we did! So far we've saved at least $700 in installation costs.

We used floating vinyl planks in the bedroom, which click and lock together. Once you get the hang of it, it's pretty easy to install, though it was hard physically. (Crawling around for about six hours...I was sore for days afterwards.) But it was so satisfying to see the floor gradually coming together that it was hard to stop once you got going!

Because of how unlevel and imperfect and pieced together the subflooring is in the rest of the house, that flooring was only an option in the bedroom. This past week we put down the kitchen floor, which was adhesive vinyl planks. Again, I was wary of adhesive pieces of flooring, but it worked out really well. The kitchen was about half the size of the bedroom, so it went down quickly. (But while the bedroom is basically done, we still have several more things to do in the kitchen...replace the countertop, hang a cabinet, move back in the appliances and island, etc.) We're planning on using the exact same flooring in the living room that we used in the kitchen.

Besides those major updates, we've been doing some random painting and staining to spruce things up. I'm so proud of that bathroom cabinet. We almost just replaced it (because we're going to have to replace the sink anyway), but I'm glad we kept it. I painted it dark brown (it was light gray originally) and changed the knobs, and it looks brand new. (Look at the state of the subfloor in the bathroom! That's what we're dealing with. And that's after we had the rotten spots replaced, ha.) And I've been planting flowers. It doesn't even bother me that they'll be dead by the time we move in this fall, because they already just make the house look so cozy and homey.

So two floors out of four...we're halfway there! The living room will be a big job but hopefully it'll look amazing. It makes me so happy to see real progress on the little house, and it will be that more satisfying when it's finished and it's our home to know that we did so much of the work ourselves. (By the way, I do post pretty regular progress on Instagram. More often than here, unfortunately.)

Other things have been happening too. Wedding planning, obviously, since the big day is now less than 3 months away! (What???) I'm making little bits of progress here and there. Within the next couple of weeks I'm going to sew my niece's flower girl dress, which I'm excited about. Some knitting has been happening, though not much. I haven't touched my cardigan in probably a month, and I feel like I've been knitting on the same pair of socks for my entire life. :) But I'm trying to knit some more baby and children's hats for craft shows this fall. It probably wasn't the best idea to attempt that with everything else going on, but I can use the extra money (more this year than ever!) and I do enjoy selling at those.

*When the house is empty, my family always refers to it as "the little house." It's on the same property as my parents' house, so that makes it easier to differentiate between the two, ha. But when someone is living there, it's referred to as that person's house.