My Fall Clothes Shopping Wish List

I am going to be honest here – I am not a big shopper, especially for clothes. Books? Yes. Art? Yes. Clothes? No. I would like to blame motherhood but that is not it, not really. I have never been interested much, but yeah, I have let the wardrobe slide even further since I had Wyatt. I love buying him clothes but looking in my closet the other day I was like, ok, this is not good. Sure I am not going anywhere due to COVID but I need to do something about this situation. So many old t-shirts and ratty jeans, a few sweaters that were my dad’s that he gave to my husband but I stole because they were soft and comfy, a sweatshirt or two, and you have the contents of my closet, such as it is.

But what to buy, really, when I am not planning on doing much this fall? Well, I thought about that too. And, after seeing this closet reveal and how adorable Leslie looks, I was super inspired! I have a list, we will see how I do! (I need lists to survive..)

Gatherings this fall will be small, intimate, and (socially distanced) outside. And in Michigan, that means dressing for cooler weather. And fireside drinks! So this is where my mind went.

I totally definitely want this black Ivy Cardigan from tentree! It looks perfect for snuggling up in around a fire – plus it has a hood!! And the price is not bad either. I also love that they are sustainable and plant ten trees for every purchase.

And for those nights when I get together with my friends, hanging out by the firepit, sharing stories of homeschooling and parenting during these strange times over glasses of red wine, I think this sweater from H & M might help to make me feel a little less mom and a little more put together.

This shirt caught my eye..

And so did this one from United by Blue, another sustainable and ecofriendly company ..

Anndddd this one, again from tentree..

And I will probably need to get some new jeans and leggings while I am at it. Pair these with boots and warm socks and I should have a few things for fall!

Since I don’t shop too much, tell me, what do you think I should get? Where do you like to shop?

My Sunday-Monday Post

My Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

Last week I mentioned that Wyatt had to have emergency surgery – he is recovering well, and is acting more like himself, just with a few more naps than normal. We spent most of the week laying low, but then braved an outing out to the apple orchard for my SIL’s birthday. We had a nice although slightly damp time. Thursday night I also had a lovely socially distanced evening with my BFF Kelly, where I masked up and went in her house for the first time in 6 months to see her axolotls. Or rather, her daughter’s. I also saw all the new cool pieces that she has added to her home – she has excellent style. Then Saturday my family got together for a quick fire at my brother’s house – drinks and conversation were much needed for our mental health after our past week!

Read Last Week:

Nothing. I didn’t think I would get any reading done, but I tried. I picked up and started reading to DNF three different books. I blame me, not the books though. I did listen to quite a few podcasts though.

Reading This Week:

I am going to start The Sea of Lost Girls by one of my favorite authors, Carol Goodman. I am also hoping to read The Brave Learner by Julie Bogart which has been on my TBR for a while.

Posted Last Week:

A Misty Morning at the Orchard

Watching:

Wild Bill, Parks and Rec reruns (so much Rob Lowe in my life right now), Father Brown, and.. Cobra Kai. Which took me a minute to love but now I am all in with it’s 80s cheesy goodness.

And that is about it for now! We are leaving to go for a hike in a few minutes so I need to get ready. I hope to visit all of you soon!

A Misty Morning at the Orchard

Wyatt and I met my SIL Chrissy and my niece L. at the orchard yesterday, and I am so glad that we went. I was very nervous, it was 8 days post surgery and it would be our first outing too. I am glad I felt brave enough to say yes, because we had fun, despite the slightly damp day.

Chrissy and L. met us at the orchard at 11:30, and Chrissy masked up and headed into the store to grab out bags for picking while I stood between the cars and watched both kids. Then we headed back to the orchard, where they had row after row of apple varieties to choose from. Our little caravan of two headed all the way to the end before turning around and deciding we wanted to head for the honey crisp first. We parked and we put a blanket down as our base and went up and down the rows plucking the apples from the branches. The kids thought it was super fun! When we finished that area, we wandered over to the golden delicious and braeburn section, and added more apples to our bag.

Our bags were filling up and getting heavy, but we were not ready to call it quits yet. We had one more small section we wanted to check out, the winesap apples. I have to be honest, I am not certain what these apples are like but we liked the name. Wyatt was super tired by this point so I stuck him in the back of the Subaru to hang out with while Chrissy and L. explored the field across the way, looking at the pumpkins, looking so autumnal sprawled out in the dew among their vines. L. came bouncing back, filled with excitement and wanting to show me the baby pumpkin that she saw so Chrissy stayed with Wyatt while I followed L. across the little bridge to the pumpkins. And we saw some enormous pumpkins as well as some teeny baby pumpkins. I guess fall has arrived, at least to our part of Michigan! I joked with Chrissy too, that she looked like a character from a Jane Austen novel walking through the fields..

By this point all of our feet were soaking wet and squishy, so it was time to call it a day. I would have loved to have had a picnic among the trees for Chrissy’s birthday (did I mention it was her birthday?) but it was too gross. We loaded the kids up and headed back to the front, making a little stop at the pick your own flowers field, where we realized we had no way to cut a bouquet. I never realized that one day I would be standing in a damp field lamenting that I didn’t have a pocket knife, but there I was. (and I came home and added a pink Opinel to my Christmas list..I will never go without flowers again! Lol)

All in all, we had a great time. I am so glad that we went, despite my anxiety, because I really think being with family, a change of scenery, and the fresh air did Wyatt and I both a world of good. I am so happy that we were able to share in Chrissy’s day! And look at this happy face!

My Sunday-Monday Post

My Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

It was quite a week. Wyatt had emergency surgery on Wednesday and since then it has been all about healing and recovery here.

Read Last Week:

I absolutely inhaled this book on Sunday and Monday. It was so good!! It actually freaked me out in parts and I loved the ending and the characters, and well everything really. Review soon. After that, I didn’t read at all, due to circumstances listed above. I did listen to lots and lots of podcasts!

Reading This Week:

I am not sure how much reading I will do. When I am anxious I tend to not be able to read very much. I did curbside pick up my grab bag of books for Wyatt at the library and my own library holds, so I have a few cozy mysteries to choose from. I may end up reading this. We will see!

Posted Last Week:

Book Review: The Conjurer

Currently..September

From Smiles to Stitches

Watching and Listening:

Father Brown, Wild Bill (Rob Lowe…), Teenage Bounty Hunters for our watch list right now. And the podcasts I am listening to like crazy are Casefiles, Redhanded the Podcast, Homemaker Chic, and Lore.

Stay safe everyone!

From Smiles to Stitches

This week started off with Wyatt’s first day of kindergarten, homeschool style! We had laughs and learning, and my hope is to foster a school year full of wonder and curiosity.

Our week went awry midweek though – early Wednesday morning Wyatt started throwing up at about 3 a.m. I don’t talk much here about some of the medical things Wyatt deals with, but one thing he has is a shunt that regulates the fluid in his brain. He has had it since he was one month old, and has never had a revision, which apparently is pretty unusual for a child to go this long without needing one. Well, one sign that the shunt is malfunctioning is repeated vomiting with no discernible other reason. After he vomited three times, we gathered him up and packed a bag and headed to the ER, crossing our fingers it was nothing. It ended up being a shunt malfunction, which was discovered very quickly by the amazing staff at the hospital. Within hours, Wyatt was in surgery, then in recovery. Within 24 hours Wyatt was home recovering. It has been a whirlwind of emotion and this momma is tired. We both slept in today, and he is now watching Mickey Mouse and eating Fruit Loops while I sip coffee and type this up. Billy is taking today off and is on a little walk and we plan on taking it easy today, but the hospital expects Wyatt to be able to resume his normal life activities probably by Sunday, maybe just with more breaks.

The resilience of my child is amazing. His tenacity and strength of will, which can be a test on normal days, is his power during times like this. He is a little groggier than usual, but otherwise happy to watching his cartoons and singing along.

Currently..September

Currently.. is hosted every month by Anne in Residence.

Didn’t I just write my August post? Sure feels like it. And yet, here we are in September already. Time is moving so weird this year.

Appreciating: my family – despite still distancing from them, we are still strong and united. We continue to support each other, and work as a community as much as we can. How we do it is a little different than normal, but we are working out ways. My brother and my mom have bubbled, as my brother and his wife work full time and my niece is going to be homeschooled, so my mom is on the job. My brother is helping my mother out in her home when something goes wrong, and if he needs to know how to do it, he calls my husband, who is usually the fix-it person. In return, I am coordinating all of my niece’s homeschooling, pulling together the lessons and resources and curriculum, and we are even having chat meetings to discuss materials needed for the weeks ahead and what the lessons will be covering. We are a team! And because I am me, I have given a name to our school – James Herriot Primary. I didn’t know how Wyatt’s transcripts would look in the future with our homeschool year, and I wanted to have a name in case it was needed. I am new to this whole thing! And I want to give a shout out to my dad as well – he lives farther away but has helped in his own ways. He and my stepmom drove an hour and half to drop off McDonalds to Billy and I at the hospital then turn around and head back home.

Anticipating: The changing of the seasons, from summer to autumn. These past weeks have been muggy and damp and hot, and I have not enjoyed them. I can feel fall in the air, and have even spotted evidence of it in the leaves on the trees and the ripening of the pumpkins growing in our garden. I am looking forward to jeans and boots and warm drinks on chilly nights, cozy mysteries, backyard fires, and more hikes in the woods.

Collecting: Random nature bits – hopefully by the time this post goes up my husband will have hung my awesome printer tray turned shelf for all of our little finds: acorns, rocks, an almost perfect yet empty robin’s egg, a blue jay feather, chestnuts.. whatever strikes our fancy and fits in our pockets for the most part. I am also building quite a collection of family/parenting/education type books! Some standout favorites are The Call of the Wild and Free, Awaking Wonder: Opening Your Child’s Heart to the Beauty of Learning, and Adventuring Together: How to Create Connections and Make Lasting Memories with Your Kids.

Starting: School! My son started kindergarten this week here at home. A different situation and beginning than we had ever imagined, but that is ok. We can do this! We are also working on some room redos – repainting the family room and freshening it up, and completely overhauling the office. And our house is not the only one getting a new look and a refresher – Harry our gecko is getting new digs this week too! We have been doing a lot of research and she will hopefully soon be enjoying her new bioactive enclosure! We are just waiting on everything to arrive! It will be bigger and have a much nicer atmosphere and substrate.

Finishing: Old projects! My hubby finally hung the shelves in my son’s room that I’ve been wanting him to hang for quite some time. Otherwise not too much – we are starting more right now than finishing anything.

How about you guys? Anything you are appreciating, anticipating, collecting, starting or finishing?

Book Review: The Conjurer

Goodreads Summary:

Sidra didn’t murder her husband. Yet even a jinni can’t wish away a wrongful imprisonment. Determined to prove her innocence, she returns to her adopted home—a French village renowned for its perfume witches—with her friends Elena and Yvette by her side. Here is where Sidra’s true destiny awaits, but danger also lurks in the village’s narrow lanes.

On her trail is Jamra, another jinni, who’s after more than revenge for the murder of his brother. He also seeks vengeance for the indignities inflicted on jinn by mortals over the centuries. When he learns of an ancient relic capable of unleashing chaos on the world, and that the weapon is in the hands of his murderous sister-in-law, he vows to destroy Sidra to get it.

Relying on a sisterhood of magic, a mysteriously faithful dog, and a second-rate sorcerer, Sidra defends herself using the village’s greatest asset: its perfume. It’s as beguiling a lure as it is a formidable shield. But is it enough for Sidra to protect herself and those she loves from powers yet to be released?

My thoughts:

This third installment in the Vine Witch series did not disappoint. I loved the first two, The Vine Witch and The Glamourist, and I have to be honest, this one might be my favorite of all three. No, wait..maybe it was The Vine Witch. Or maybe, The Glamourist. It is hard to say! I loved them all!

This book made me yearn for a place I have never been, with its descriptions of desert winds and the perfumed scents, such a sensory journey. And I absolutely loved getting to know the character of Sidra more; of the three characters, she is the most mysterious. We finally get to learn her backstory, what really happened to land her in jail, where she came from, and more about the jinni itself.

We see different sides to this hot tempered character- emotions such as vulnerability, fear, loyalty, and even fondness for Yvette. It was also nice to catch up with Yvette, and see how she was adjusting to her newfound ancestry and powers, and also with Elena who we started the series with. I love how their fates have been intertwined and how their shared experiences together has bound them to each other.

This book contains so much, witches and jinni and fairies and powerful, evocative descriptions; romance and danger, evil villains and brave allies. It was a fantastic read, and the very definition of the expression that reading takes you places.

I loved this book and I hope to read more from this author in the future! Thank you to NetGalley and to 47th North publishing for the chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

My Sunday-Monday Post

My Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

I took an unplanned break last week – from everything it seems like. Wyatt and I were super lazy. The weather was horrid and humid, and we didn’t want to go outside. We seemed to have lost motivation for everything. Friday night though I had a socially distance social gathering my friends, despite the stormy weather. We just gathered in the garage, all spread out, with the garage door open. It was a good time. Finally, today, the weather is much cooler, and we might have our mojo back. Just a little. We went for a family hike in the woods, the first in months, then had a little picnic.

Read Last Week:

I really enjoyed this third book in the Vine Witch series! This book focused on Sidra the fiery jinn, her past, and the new danger facing her – as well as Elena and Yvette, who have found themselves entangled in each other’s fates it seems at every turn. Review soon.

Reading this Week:

I can’t decide between these two. As for Maniac, I am sure this book will freak me out but having been to Bath, MI on a brief visit while my husband interviewed for a job there, I have been curious to know what happened there. While my husband was at his interview, I explored the town which is pretty small, and saw the memorial that stands at the site of this tragedy. And Southern Book Club – well, that might be the winner in this race. I have wanted to read it for a while now! We will see which grabs me more while reading. UPDATE: I started Southern Book Club and was sucked in…it’s riveting and I think scares me more than Maniac would have!! Terrifying but so good!

Watching:

Father Brown, Teenage Bounty Hunters, and we are also rewatching Parks and Rec. I find myself saying “literally” a lot more right now..

And that is about it from where I am sitting! Wyatt’s first day of Kindergarten homeschool is Monday – I am looking forward to it!

My Sunday-Monday Post!

My Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

Last week was our last week of our summer homeschooling sessions. It was a good week! We started one of Wyatt’s ancestry weeks where we learn about the places his family comes from, and our first stop was Hawaii! Billy is Hawaiian and I felt like it was a good week to end the summer learning on. Otherwise, our week was just a week – nothing super exciting happening around here. We have been spending our weekends working around the house, just puttering around. We have been working on little projects, like this soap we made!

Read Last Week:

Finished up the last bit of 100 Things to do in a Forest and posted my review. I also read Enduring Spirits, which is the newest in the Witches of Palmetto Point series I began and devoured at the beginning of the pandemic.

Reading this Week:

I am super excited to begin this one! I have loved the first two in the series and have high expectations for this third installment in The Vine Witch series.

Posted Last Week:

Homeschooling Summer Edition: Hawaii

Friday Favorites, Artist Series: Potters!

Book Review: 100 Things to do in a Forest

Watching:

We are still watching Father Brown and finishing up The Umbrella Academy. We added Wild Bill and Teenage Bounty Hunters to our watchlists though to start as soon as we finish up. Wild Bill is on Britbox and stars Rob Lowe in a British series – should be fun!

That’s all from here this week – stay safe everyone!

Homeschooling, Summer Edition: Hawaii!

Our final week of summer homeschooling! I wanted to end our summer session with something fun – and also meaningful. This week, Hawaii week, was the first of our Heritage Weeks that we are going to start working on this year, that focus on Wyatt’s ancestry – and what better way to end the summer with a week “in” Hawaii.

Billy’s grandmother, so Wyatt’s great-grandmother, was a born and raised Hawaiian, and so was her family for as far back as you can go. Wyatt and I talked about how Hawaii is a chain of Islands in the Pacific Ocean, read about Hawaiian legends, gods, and goddesses, talked about the native plants and vegetation (including pineapples and coconuts of course, with a tasting!), surfing, volcanoes, geckos (although not like our gecko), sea turtles, and listened to Hawaiian music, especially ukulele music. Wyatt liked Elvis’ version the best. He learned Hawaiian words, like aloha, ohana, and mahalo, designed his own surfboards, and made a grass crown. We also talked about the importance of tattoos in the Hawaiian culture, and gave this little tough guy a few temporary ones.

Resources Used:

Coconut Learning Pack and Mini-Hawaiian Adventure from The Masterpiece Studio

Volcanoes Unit Study – Stephanie Hathaway Designs

Books Read:

Tell Me a Tattoo Story || Hi’aka Battles the Wind || Maui Hooks the Islands ||Maui Slows the Sun || Pele Finds a Home || Hina || The Magic Ukulele || Secrets of the Seashore || Nerdy Babies Ocean || Ohana Means Family

We of course also watched Lilo and Stitch, Moana, and a Disney short called Lava, which was adorable!

It was a great way to end our summer session! Next week we have a vacation week, as we rest up for his first week of homeschool kindergarten! (wish me luck!)