After thirty years, I feel like I FINALLY found a hobby (besides reading)! I had off from work yesterday, and I can’t even remember exactly what inspired me, but I decided I wanted to try knitting again. I had bought knitting needles and a skein of yarn a couple of years ago, but I was having trouble figuring out how to even get started. I’m lefty, and everyone in my family who knits is righty. I tried YouTube a couple years ago but whatever video I watched wasn’t helpful to me.
Yesterday when I searched YouTube again, I found a GREAT tutorial to get me started! It took be a little while – and a lot of patience – but I finally got the hang of it! I only know how to do a basic knit stitch (is that what it’s even called?), but I’m excited to learn more! I am very hopeful that I can make a little something for each of my family members for Christmas this year, but those may be high hopes!
Are you a knitter? Any suggestions for helpful tutorials or resources? What do you suggest for a good beginning project? I would LOVE some advice!
Obviously I was somewhat obsessed yesterday, and needed to keep practicing before bed!
I know I’ve been absent for a while – school started up again, and I’ve been busy with making sure I have everything ready each day, and basically getting back into a routine. I have to say, so far I feel like I’ve been awesome with sticking to a routine! I’ve been making sure to plan for the next day the night before, pack my lunch, pick my outfit and get to bed at a good time. Let’s all cross our fingers that I can stick to such a productive schedule!
Of course, with school comes less reading time. I had checked out another Beatriz Williams book (The Secret Life of Violet Grant) a couple weeks before school started, and was hardly moving on it. Most of the blame goes to work, obviously, but I also wasn’t as drawn in as I had been with A Hundred Summers and Tiny Little Thing. Finally, this past weekend the book really picked up and I made sure to get to bed extra early every night (7:30…I’m a wacko!) so that I had time to read a good amount. I finally finished the book the other night and was really pleased with it. A review is on its way, I promise! As soon as I finished, I began Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin, which I borrowed from my school library. OH MY GOD. This book was awesome. I read and read and decided I needed to finish it in one night, and did, and my tears would not keep themselves in my eyes. I forced my dog to sleep on the bed (you’re welcome, Jinxy…he had been on the bed, then jumped off,because he’s weird) and could not hug him enough. Lord. Just do yourself a favor and read that book, especially if you’re a dog lover like me. Review forthcoming, too…probably even before The Secret Life of Violet Grant.
Because a blog post is always better with a photo, here’s my little Jinxy:
As I finished packing to go to the beach, I felt like 7 books wasn’t enough. Two weeks, one book every two days, made sense mathematically, but I needed more choice. So I went to the library and borrowed two more books – Save the Date by Mary Kay Andrews, and another Sarah Addison Allen – Garden Spells. Now I was ready for the beach!
Mary Kay Andrews has been an author that I’ve wanted to read, but just never got around to. I always saw her books at Target (on my regular trips, where I wind up with way more than I went in for!), but never took the plunge to buy them. I could tell that they obviously were more fluff and not quite the literary fiction that I usually like. But, I do go for easy chick lit every so often, and I figured this beach trip was a good time to finally try one of her novels. I ended up with Save the Date because it was one of the few summery ones left at the library, and I have to say that it was a good first read from a new-to-me author.
The novel centers around Cara, a florist with a growing business in Savannah, Georgia. Most of her business comes from weddings, and in Savannah, word of mouth is everything. After several successful jobs, she lands the ultimate wedding – a huge budget, which means a huge paycheck for her, since she will not only be the florist, but the overall planner. This wedding is just what Cara needs to help her pay back the money she owes her strict father, and to establish herself as the florist for weddings in Savannah. It’s not easy, of course. Besides the planning itself, Cara has to worry about her budding romance with a cute contractor, keeping her business safe from a new, relentless rival, and keeping tabs on the flighty bride.
This was a fun read, and I’m so glad I finally started on Mary Kay Andrews. The characters and their problems were pretty realistic, which I appreciated. I have to say that the book was honestly better than I expected, since I went in with a chick-lit-fluff mindset. I found myself drawn in and interested, wanting to read more and more as I got further through the book. It also helped that the chapters weren’t terribly long – I could easily read “just the next chapter” to see what would happen, and find myself through the next five! Once I finished Save the Date, I wanted to see if Andrews’ other books were equally enjoyable, and so I borrowed a second one from the library (review coming soon!). I think that’s a good sign, and I’m glad I found another author this summer that I really enjoyed.
If you’re heading to the beach or the lake, or even to the pool for the last few days of summer, give Save the Date a try. I think, like me, you’ll be pleasantly surprised!
Are there any other authors and/or books you would recommend for summer reading? You know, so I can make my list for next year…or the middle of winter when I need to feel a little sun on my skin! 🙂
As I was writing my reviews for Tiny Little Thing and A Hundred Summers, I realized that I mentioned how both books had been on my TBR list for so long, and I didn’t talk much about why they caught my attention (maybe I said a thing or two about TLT). This is only a little embarrassing, but I know I’m not the only one so I am not afraid to admit it:
I loved their covers.
I just loved the cover of Tiny Little Thing! I love the ’50s and ’60s (and especially the ’40s), and I thought the girl’s dress was so perfect. And how could I not swoon over the cover of A Hundred Summers? Sitting on the beach, vintage swimsuits, big beach umbrella. Perfect.
That’s not to say that I bought the books solely for their covers, without reading their synopses! Of course I had to have an idea of what they were about before I decided whether or not to buy them. But those covers were certainly a big help!
Please tell me I’m not the only one! What are some books that had covers which drew you in?
Isn’t that hilarious? I didn’t come up with that on my own, of course. I have Bright Cellars to thank for that gem of a title. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of Bright Cellars (I always see it advertised on Facebook), but it’s a monthly club that matches you with wines based on results from a taste palate quiz that you take when signing up. What I really like is that you’re not locked in – you can cancel before your monthly shipment so you don’t get charged. I’ve only received my first box so far, but I have been very impressed up to this point.
I’ll be honest, I did not order my first box as soon as I took the quiz. I took the quiz, and then saw the list of wines that I was matched with, and then I think I exited the screen. A few weeks went by, and I kept getting emails with offers for a bonus bottle. That meant I would receive five bottles for $38 (your first box is cheaper than what the rest of them would be, just like any subscription service, I’d think). That sounded like a great deal, and so I finally ordered the box. It took about a week to get here, but I did receive an email upon ordering which said that they were backed up because of high demand. While I waited for my box, I actually received a handwritten thank-you note in the mail from the Director of Member Experience! How awesome!
When I finally opened my box a few minutes ago, I was impressed with how well everything was packed, but especially by how great the presentation was. Each bottle was wrapped in tissue paper, with a fun little wine quote on a sticker (this is where I stole my title for this blog post!). It made the experience even more fun to open each bottle and see which one was which. Also inside the box was a “Grape & Grill” Guide, which shows which wines pair well with different foods you might grill over the summer. I’m guessing there would be a different guide included each season.
I can’t wait to open my first bottle tonight and try them out! Once I try each bottle, I can go back on to the website and rate each one, which would give them more information on my tastes, and could give me even more options in the future.
If you’re interested in trying this yourself, visit this link so that you can get $30 off your first box. Then come back and let me know what you think!