Friday, March 6, 2015

Pinteresting, Vol. 15

Happy Friday and welcome to Pinteresting! The part of the show where I roundup my favorite pins from this week and share them with the world. I pin recipes, decorating ideas, religious stuff, teaching thoughts, funny stuff from Tumblr, kids' activities, crafting ideas, knitting/crochet patterns, and cute cat pictures.

1)


 Fabric sharpies give plain white pillowcases a whole new look. I love how customizable this is: you could copy out a love letter, the lyrics from your favorite song, a single line written over and over and over... I imagine you could even trace or freehand a design and use colored fabric sharpies to make your pillows truly one of a kind.

2)


So my hair is getting to be quite long these days (I know, I never ever post selfies, so you have to take my word for it) and I've been playing with different hairstyles. My hair is actually getting to be too long for my usual messy bun so I've been looking at different kinds of braids in preparation for the summer. This particular 'do is a bit advanced but I plan to practice on my kid sister and eventually get her to do it on me until I can do it myself. Until then I'm rocking milkmaid braids.

3)


I've shared subversive cross stitch designs and patterns here before because they just tickle me. This one is fun and cute and definitely has the unexpected ending. (Unfortunately the link doesn't go to the webpage for the pattern - sorry!)

4)


I became vaguely familiar with the tradition of veiling statues and religious images on the 5th Sunday of Lent or for all of Lent last year, but I never knew why (other than as a mark of the solemnity and somber attitude of Passiontide/Triduum). 

5)


Haley over at Carrots for Michaelmas is my spirit animal or something because she's into all things British like me. While I'm not necessarily up on what's going on in the world of Downton Abbey, I definitely continue to love the costuming. In this post, Haley takes pieces from her wardrobe and puts them into outfits that have that Edwardian/post-Victorian vibe.
 
 This just makes me laugh because it's so darn accurate. My cat ignores me for a large part of his day or doesn't want me to be holding him, but he sits at my feet under my desk, curls up on files I'm working with, and when we get home he insists on invading my space and wedging himself in my lap while I'm knitting. What a stinker...
 

And that's it for this week's edition of Pinteresting! I always enjoy curating my favorite, most recent pins. If you're not currently on Pinterest, make sure you take a moment to say goodbye to your loved ones before you log on, because there's no going back! You can follow me on Pinterest (any or all of my boards, find your cup of tea) HERE. Happy weekend!

love,
Willow


**Author's Note: None of the images in this post are my property. I have borrowed them from Pinterest and made my best effort to ensure that the Pinterest pages linked to link to an original source. If you see your work here and want it taken down please see my About page and contact me. Thank you for not suing.**

Friday, February 20, 2015

Pinteresting, Vol. 14

Happy Friday and welcome to Pinteresting! The part of the show where I roundup my favorite pins from this week and share them with the world. I pin recipes, decorating ideas, religious stuff, teaching thoughts, funny stuff from Tumblr, kids' activities, crafting ideas, knitting/crochet patterns, and cute cat pictures.

1)


This salad looks divine. It's got tons of super-stuff in it, like the spinach and cranberries and avocado and almonds. I'm kind of inspired to eat more super salads these days because I had the most amazing salad at my friend Therese's house weekend-before-last during a knitting afternoon. This recipe makes a salad enough to feed 4 so obviously the amounts will need tweaking to make for one, but it looks like a good place to start.

2)


I've loved the rosary for a long time, and I've experienced many of these listed benefits firsthand (particularly that restful sleep thing!). I've actually spoken to one of my doctors and he's recommended the rosary for even his non-Catholic patients simply because it helps with anxiety - controlling one's breathing, having something physical and mental to focus on to prevent ruminating thoughts, etc. If you've been thinking about starting to say the rosary, I can't think of a better time than Lent.

 3) 



I've pinned similar ideas before but they were all a little... complicated. I like this because I have boxes that I've saved (because I save strange things like boxes) and this looks like a great use of one or two of them. I've been setting up a kind of mini-office station at the dining room table with a phone box (a small cabinet intended to hold a phone - no joke) but I really need a place to keep track of pens, markers, stamps and such. It would be really easy to just go and buy a small desk organizer but let's DIY something!

4) 
  Embroidered Handwriting Decor


We all have a few lyrics and quotes that we carry around with us, words that stick to our insides and follow us around. I can already imagine several of my favorite quotes or lyrics captured on muslin or linen and trimmed with lace, hanging around my house or tucked on my bookcases. I really love how it's someone's handwriting; I imagine you could even have someone write a message in their own handwriting and stitch over it or something...

5)


This little desk looks like my dream work space. It's small but has enough horizontal space to allow a little spreading and it has a bunch of drawers and spots for stuff. I doubt I would use it as a vanity but I would love a desk that doesn't have the massively tall overhanging shelves of my current setup. I just love a desk with cubby-holes and small, secret spaces.

6) 

Shelves above the bed

Ever since I re-re-read The Perfectly Imperfect Home, I've become slightly obsessed with making small but meaningful changes in my house. My bedroom is next on the list and I want to put something, anything on my walls. They've been bare and beige for far too long. Not sure if I'll do shelves (SoCal is earthquake country), but some twinkle lights, pictures or posters or pretty things to make my room a little less chaotic and more like a person lives in it instead of a hurricane.
 

And that's it for this week's edition of Pinteresting! I always enjoy curating my favorite, most recent pins. If you're not currently on Pinterest, make sure you take a moment to say goodbye to your loved ones before you log on, because there's no going back! You can follow me on Pinterest (any or all of my boards, find your cup of tea) HERE. Happy weekend!

love,
Willow


**Author's Note: None of the images in this post are my property. I have borrowed them from Pinterest and made my best effort to ensure that the Pinterest pages linked to link to an original source. If you see your work here and want it taken down please see my About page and contact me. Thank you for not suing.**


Thursday, February 19, 2015

2015 Reading Goals

So I'm not really one for reading lists and reading goals, because 2 years ago I insisted that I would read 1 new-to-me book every month and I came up one short but it was still a really good experience. However, I tend to re-read a lot or I don't read at all. It always (for me, at least) comes down to: "Will I knit, or will I read?" Also, this list is going up about 2 months late, since it took me a while (between reading, of course) to figure out which books I wanted to read this year once I finished racing through the Ranger's Apprentice series.



Because money is on the tight side these days (rent, utilities, student loans, cat food, etc.) I'm buckling down and basically going to avail myself of my to-be-read shelf or the library. There are quite a few books on my to-be-read shelf. I also have Audible credits I should utilize. But I figured I should make a master list of all the books I plan to read this year. 


My goal is to get at least 40 in: at least 12 of them have to be books I haven't read before and at least 4 of those 12 have to be classics I haven't read before. Additionally I want to read at least 5 non-fiction books this year: 1 essay collection, 3 religious/spiritual, and 1 that will probably be recommended by my favorite aunt at some point or another.


These seem like reasonable goals, right?  Right. Maybe once a month or so I'll update you on what I read. Maybe not. We'll see.  Here we go...

KEY: * = re-read; italics = classic; bold = new/not read before

- Ranger's Apprentice:
       + The Ruins of Gorlan *
       + The Burning Bridge *
       + The Icebound Land *
       + The Battle for Skandia *
       + The Sorcerer of the North *
       + The Siege of Macindaw *
       + Erak's Ransom
       + The Kings of Clonmel
       + Halt's Peril
       + The Emperor of Nihon-Ja
       + The Lost Stories
       + The Royal Ranger
- Persuasion, Jane Austen
- Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen
- Engleby
- Novel
- The Handmaid's Tale
The Sky Is Everywhere
- On the Road
- Tender is the Night
- 100 Years of Solitude
- The Secret of Lost Things
- The Orchid House
- The Crystal Cave *
- The Hollow Hills *
- The Last Enchantment *
- The Meaning of Night
- Anne of Green Gables *
- Madame Bovary
- Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore
- The Goldfinch
- The Mass of the Early Christians 
- The Privilege of Being Catholic
- The Lamb's Supper
- Biblical Defense of Catholicism
- The House of Rumour
- The Club Dumas
- The Elegance of the Hedgehog 
- The Sparrow
- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (I know, can you believe I've never read that one???)
- The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy

This list is far from exhaustive, and of course subject to change. These are the books I would like to have read by the end of 2015. Some of them are Kindle books, some of them are tattered paperbacks, a couple of them are audiobooks, some are secondhand hardcovers, and a handful are new. 

Hopefully I'll be able to pull together a few posts to keep you abreast of my reading, and if I'm feeling really ambitious I might even start posting book reviews. 

Do you have reading goals for the year? Do you think mine are too ambitious? Let me know in comments or with a list of your own...

Happy Reading!

love,

Willow

Friday, February 6, 2015

Pinteresting, Vol. 13

Happy Friday and welcome to Pinteresting! The part of the show where I roundup my favorite pins from this week and share them with the world. I pin recipes, decorating ideas, religious stuff, teaching thoughts, funny stuff from Tumblr, kids' activities, crafting ideas, knitting/crochet patterns, and cute cat pictures.

1)


 The pin links to a really lovely and thoughtful post written by Kendra of Catholic All Year (honestly, all of her posts are thoughtful and lovely) about older siblings and younger siblings. I really like how she illustrates what her family does and how it works for them. It might not work for every family but she talks about different strategies for giving older kids responsibilities that are empowering without overwhelming them. Seriously, go read it.

2)
This recipe combines two of my great loves: avocados and chicken. It features instructions on heating and cooking but I feel like once you get the amounts of the ingredients you can get really creative and go from there. Yum!

3) 
Better Than Eden

Mary over at Better Than Eden wrote this really great meal planning post and the title says it all: Boring Girl's Guide to Family Meal Planning. Does that have my name written all over it, or what? She breaks it down so it makes sense and it's inspired me to actually buckle down and figure out a way to make meal planning work for my life. If I'm successful, I may even post about it! (If not, we'll pretend it never happened and continue fumbling through the feeding myself process.)

4) 

My little sister J asked me several weeks ago during Confirmation class why Catholics have a corpus on the cross (she said Jesus' body but corpus is more accurate, don't you think?). I gave her roughly this explanation and we discussed it as a class. I like having things like this on hand, though, for a quick reference if my brain ever decides to take leave of me.

5) 
Theresa at Ordinary Lovely has been running a lovely series on family-friendly soups for the last week or so and it's been really neat! I'm not a huge soup-lover, but I like chili for sure and she even gives a meat-free version of this! Lent is less than 2 weeks away so I'm seriously thinking about making this to have for a Friday option.



And that's it for this week's edition of Pinteresting! I always enjoy curating my favorite, most recent pins. If you're not currently on Pinterest, make sure you take a moment to say goodbye to your loved ones before you log on, because there's no going back! You can follow me on Pinterest (any or all of my boards, find your cup of tea) HERE. Happy weekend!

love,
Willow


**Author's Note: None of the images in this post are my property. I have borrowed them from Pinterest and made my best effort to ensure that the Pinterest pages linked to link to an original source. If you see your work here and want it taken down please see my About page and contact me. Thank you for not suing.**


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Yarn Along - Wildflowers, Week 4

Greetings! Obviously one of favorite things is reading, but I also quite love knitting. Ginny over at Small Things hosts a lovely little link-up so once you're done here go visit and see what everyone else is up to.



 The back is finished!!! 222 rows of stockinette plus 11 rows of shortrow shaping and the back is finished!!! (Well, it's currently blocking, unlike what is shown in the pictures, but loooooook!)


The current, unblocked dimensions are about 20 inches across and about 18 inches from edge to the top of the shoulders. I'll share next week what the blocked dimensions come to.  The shoulder shaping and short rows were a little nerve wracking because the whole time my brain is singing, "Don't screw up, don't screw up. You can't go back if you screw this up." My inner voice is a real sweetheart, isn't she?

Reading:
I was in Salem, OR over the weekend (might post about it later this week but I didn't take a single picture so I'm not sure you just want a block of text...) and didn't bring any reading material because I knew that my aunt would have some lovely somethings for me to read - and I was working like mad to get this knitting done for our deadline of tomorrow evening. She leant me this lovely little book:


This book. It feels like a coffee table book, but I read it cover to cover. I love the watercolor illustrations, and I loved the author's voice - so conversational. While there are moments when she says really beautiful, profound things, in later chapters she becomes a bit pretentious - as if by not having this one French candle I might as well be a cave-dweller. I went into it knowing that this woman writes from a slightly upper-crust Manhattan perspective (worlds away from my blue collar roots), so it wasn't overly surprising. Overall, it was a very nice book, with clearly separated chapters, lots of practical advice, and it's easy to see how her methods can be applied to even my tiny, low-budget home.

When I get my own copy I'll post a more thorough review, I think. 

Oh! I also started reading the first book in the Song of Ice and Fire series, The Game of Thrones on the plane ride back from Portland. I'm only about 40 pages in and I'm not sure if I like it. It's violent (which I knew) but intriguing. It's reminding me how long it's been since I've read real, true fantasy for adults. Not sure if I'll keep reading or not.

On Friday we start casting on for the fronts and on Sunday we'll be working on the gorgeous wildflower pocket chart so next week hopefully I'll have lots more pretty to show you.




If you want to know what else I've got on my needles, head on over to my Ravelry page for a look-see.

That's it for me today.  What have you been knitting and reading lately? Let me know in comments and then head over to Ginny's to see what everyone else is up to!

Love, 

Willow



*Author's Note: The Yarn Along button in this post is property of Ginny Sheller and is used with permission. The cover image of The Perfectly Imperfect Home is sourced to the Amazon page and is used for illustrative purposes only. All other images used in this post as well as text are (c)Whitney Miller and may be used only with my express permission. See my About Page for details.*


Monday, February 2, 2015

52 Lists, Week 5

Happy Monday! Welcome to my 52 Lists Project, wherein I feature one list every week for 2015. To join in with your own list, scroll down to the link at the bottom, print out your own list, and then share it however you wish!

*I'm in Salem today! I'm coming home tonight but I wanted to post this ahead of time anyway.*

Week 5: List What You Are Grateful For
This list is always long, and always feels incomplete or insufficient because so, so much in my life is so very good (even when I can't really see it).
  • I LIVE ALONE NOW!!!
  • I can afford my rent
  • I have a stable, well-paying job that allows me some flexibility
  • I have the time and energy to keep my home cleaner
  • I have space to keep my books
  • Gatsby
  • Catholic bloggers
  • my knitting friends
  • I have a reliable car
  • extra babysitting jobs
  • Vlogbrothers videos
  • my Catholic faith
  • penpals
  • counting my sisters among my closest friends
  • still having health insurance and affordable healthcare
  • music, art, literature, and dancing - and growing up with parents who exposed their children to culture and the arts
  • my large, crazy, beautiful extended family
  • mini-vacations to Salem, OR
  • the opportunity to travel so much when I was younger
  • living in a world where there are Christmases
  • living in a world where books are so accessible (and becoming more and more accessible to more and more people!)



So there's my list! It is, of course, far from complete. I feel like it's pretty obvious that I'm grateful for the roof over my head and the fact that I know how to read and was educated and live in the 21st century with all its conveniences and modern medicine and on and on and on. I wanted this list to be really specific and pared down a little, if that makes sense. 


What are you grateful for? What specific blessings can you not imagine living without? Let me know in comments or with a list of your own!


Happy Monday, brave ones....

Love,

Willow


For more fun with 52 Lists, click down on "52 Lists" in the little categories section at the bottom of the post, and go over to Moorea Seal's site to see more!

Check out Moorea Seal's entire project at her blog below:
http://www.moorea-seal.com/p/52-lists.html  

Friday, January 30, 2015

Pinteresting, Vol 12

Happy Friday and welcome to Pinteresting! The part of the show where I roundup my favorite pins from this week and share them with the world. I pin recipes, decorating ideas, religious stuff, teaching thoughts, funny stuff from Tumblr, kids' activities, crafting ideas, knitting/crochet patterns, and cute cat pictures.

Sorry if y'all have really missed this feature (I'm sure you haven't). The pinning's been slow lately and I've been working on other projects so I haven't been spending as much time searching out brilliant new pins. 

1)  


I've read and practiced dozens of different ways to get my messy, curly locks into something resembling a classy French twist (including this funky chopsticks version, which is neat but challenging) and this one I really like. I have long, thick hair, so when I put it in an up-do, I need security to reassure me that it's not going to be falling down awkwardly in the middle of dinner. That overlapping vertical line of bobby pins? That's the kind of security I like. 

2) 

 I really love this watercolor illustration (assuming that's what it actually is), but I think something like this would be such a cool tattoo. The stack of books, sailing ship, and typewriter are my favorite parts, but imagine how you could customize and personalize this concept! The wheels in my brain are turning, turning...

3)


Lent is coming! Ash Wednesday is in less than 3 weeks (it feels like we only just finished Christmas and now we're jumping into Lent already!) and while it is one of my favorite parts of the liturgical year, I like to be prepared so I don't get overwhelmed. Simple, healthy, meat-free meals ready in my arsenal allow me to worry less about what I'm having for dinner and focus more on, you know, Lent. 

4)


 First off, I adore Theresa at Ordinary Lovely. She's smart, funny, Catholic, and so very sweet. Also, she crochets. And sometimes, she shares her crochet "recipes" with her readers. This one is for really simple - but really pretty! - dishcloths. I dunno about you guys, but I'm always going through dishcloths and kitchen towels and using some cheap cotton yarn to make some myself just sounds like a useful thing to do, amiright?

5)


I actually clicked through and found the true source (eBay) because the pin linked to someone's tumblr with a rather unsavory url that I wasn't comfortable linking to here. Anyway, these shoes are just really, really cute and cost about $30 plus shipping. I don't know if I absolutely have to have them since I'm not a huge shoe-wearer but I'm glad I know where to go looking if the fancy strikes.

6)


It was my turn to host our Wildflower Cardigan knit-along last night, and I served these. I was inspired by pesto-stuffed cherry tomatoes a couple I babysit for made for a potluck (they left some on the counter for my dinner and oh my goodness they were yummy!). This recipe called for yeast, I have no idea why. I left it out. I used cherry tomatoes instead of big ones and served them on top of crackers. Maybe sometime soon I'll make the recipe and my edits a post of their own.

That's it for this week's edition of Pinteresting! I always enjoy curating my favorite, most recent pins. If you're not currently on Pinterest, make sure you take a moment to say goodbye to your loved ones before you log on, because there's no going back! You can follow me on Pinterest (any or all of my boards, find your cup of tea) HERE. Happy weekend!

love,
Willow


**Author's Note: None of the images in this post are my property. I have borrowed them from Pinterest and made my best effort to ensure that the Pinterest pages linked to link to an original source. If you see your work here and want it taken down please see my About page and contact me. Thank you for not suing.**