Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Kids Behind the Blog {TKBTB V3}

Hall Around Texas

Nikolai - 5 yrs 4 months
1. What is your favorite thing to do with your friends? Play Batman and Spiderman at the park, and my legos
2. Who is your favorite person? My friend Gorden
3. When playing outside, what do your ideal sunny day plans look like? I like to play superheroes
4. What do you like to do when it's raining? (Since April showers bring May Flowers) Stay out of the puddles and play in the rain
5. If you could plant a garden of anything, what would you plant? cactus

Samara - 2 years 9 months
1. What is your favorite thing to do with your friends? eat cookies
2. Who is your favorite person? Aurora (Nikolai started shouting names, and this was the last one he said)
3. When playing outside, what do your ideal sunny day plans look like? Swinging
4. What do you like to do when it's raining? I don't know
5. If you could plant a garden of anything, what would you plant? A tiny one so it can grow into a big one.

Kiera - 2 months 2 weeks
is working on rolling over! She's got tummy to back mostly mastered, now she just wants back to tummy!

Join in with next month's questions on May 11th!
What is something I always say to you?
What makes Mommy happy?
How do I make you laugh?
What do you enjoy doing with me?
What is my favorite thing to do?

Until Next time!

Monday, April 11, 2016

2016 Finish Along: Quarter 2: Goals {2016 FAL Q2}

Here are my goals for this quarter!

1. Labyrinth Lap Quilt... I was debating on the backing, but it works and it needs to be done.

The Berry Bunch: 2015 Finish-A-Long: Labyrinth Lap Quilt

2.  My band shirt memory quilt... I found a backing by andover fabrics! It's perfect! There is no reason for this not to get done now! Ha!

The Berry Bunch: 2015 Finish-A-Long: Band Shirt Memory Quilt

3. This is little lady's baby shower quilt. From 2013...

4. This circle quilt. It was supposed to be for a MQG fabric challenge... It has sat in my sewing bag 

The Berry Bunch: 2015 Finish-A-long: Circle Quilt

5. These are supposed to be some Peasant Tops pattern by Tie Dye Diva Patterns for little lady. I know they are now too small for her, but I could still use them for this next little one coming, even if they are a 12 month and 18 month size!! 

The Berry Bunch: 2015 Finish Along: Peasant Tops

6. This was supposed to be Little Man's Going to Grandma's/&or/Grandpa's over night bag. It is supposed to be the Dorothy Day Tripper by Swoon Sewing Patterns (affiliate links) ... 
7. If I have enough left over I also want to make a Tiny Explorer Backpack by Diedelbug Handmade for him when we go to MOPs meetings, the Zoo, and anything else that seems to fit with learning and fun. ;) Only problem is, he doesn't stay over anywhere and we no longer go to the zoo (I haven't renewed our membership). I still want to do them, and we miss the zoo.

The Berry Bunch: 2015 Finish-Along: Dinosaur Bags

I've carried over this list since 2013! Don't believe me? check it out! Finish-Along
Sad, right? I know! same things over and over. At least this time I have the excuse of a little baby to take care of! Right?!? No?

Wish me good luck! ;)

Linking up!

2016 FAL

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Sunday Lately {week 66}

I've missed the last few weeks of this and I actually do kind of miss it!
This weeks prompts are: Planning, Loving, Reading, Wishing, Feeling.


I have nothing planned. I forgo planning at this point and am taking every day, one day at a time, one hour at a time. I can't plan. It goes to pot once I plan something. And, I'm lucky enough to feel like even getting dressed most days. I wanted to get the coffee going at around 5/6 am so that way I could get my day started, but even that went down the drain. My birthday is in a month and I usually start planning for those about now. I am so tired, the house is a mess and I don't feel like cleaning, and I don't even know if the husband feels like hosting either. But I miss having get together's with friends. A long time ago, before kids, we used to host once a month pot-luck BBQ. I miss having friends over. I miss those night-time s'mores. It just takes a lot of planning to do and I don't know if I am up for it. To tired. I guess I should figure out what to do for my birthday!


I joined in on a 30 Day Green Smoothie Challenge hosted by Simple Green Smoothies a while back and jumped back into it for this months green smoothie challenge. I love the green smoothies. Who would have thought that Kale, Spinach, Romaine, and even Brussel Sprouts would taste good in a smoothie? I mean Brussel Sprouts! I was out of leafy greens and had some of those so decided to use that and hey, it worked out pretty well! I had a hard time and was discouraged with them in January because most recipes have citrus fruits, and well by golly gee whiz, if I aren't allergic to every citrus fruit out there! But I found this nifty handy dandy substitution list here and it inspired my to try more fruits in the smoothies besides apples, pears and bananas. 
A photo posted by JessiBerry (@jessiberry09) on


What is currently on my kindle is In the Shadow of the Banyan By Vaddey Ratner. It's taking me some work reading it and I think it might be a good start for practicing a rubric... I'm enjoying reading it though it is taking some work for me. I love the imagery in the book, but it's a little much for me. Which may be why it's taking me a while to read through it. I also have Boys in the Boat by Daniel Brown ready for download from the library. I've got 2 days left to download it and I want to be more than half way done with Ratner's book before I download the other one. I'd rather have the middle grade version of Brown's book, which I am still on hold for.

I haven't been doing a whole lot of reading since I have been to dog tired during those late night feedings. This week has been tough, no sleep, stress, and goodness knows what else has been going through my mind.

I really just want need to sew something!

The baby and I do tummy almost every morning once she is up-up for a couple hours. For the last few mornings she had been trying to roll over but getting caught up on her elbow. It was only a matter of time before she figured it out. I wishing she hold off until the weekend so her daddy could see her roll over for the first time (since I saw the other two do it) and she waited! Granted we both missed the first and second times she did rolled over. But, she can move from stomach to back! So exciting!


Stressed and maybe a little depressed. I'm gonna go on ahead and blame this one on lack of sleep...
I've been super stressed. And it also means I haven't been eating... Honestly it's almost 3 and so far all I've had is 2 cups of coffee and a tuna sandwich. At least I got in the tuna sandwich...

A friend posted this on facebook, and for me it's too true! When I do actually sit down to eat, I gorge. Of course, that means once a day when I am stressed. I know that's not a good thing. I started counting calories, looking at the different types of foods I eat, and establishing a baseline, all last week. I want to improve my eating habits, not diet. But after becoming super stressed out, it really isn't that great of a baseline. Eh, baseline for stressed out me. Now I know what to watch for. I guess I could let close friends know too, so they can give me a swift kick in the rear when I start getting this way... If it weren't for the green smoothies, I might not eat during the day at all until dinner! 

Sunday Lately with Blogger Tribe

This job of being a mommy with a new baby seems a lot harder than I remember. Unless that's just because I got two already running around.

Linking up, and hope y'all have a fantastic week! 

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Read a Book: After You by Jojo Moyes {Book Review}

This month has found me with my kindle during those late night baby feedings. As a result I have finished 6 books and started number 7! The only hard thing is putting the book down to care for the kids during the day. I get to engrossed in the story and NEED to find out what happens. Or in the case for this book, to involved in the characters and not finishing will drive me nuts.

The Story
Nothing like it's predecessor, Me Before You, which I absolutely loved. Instead this story follows our main character through the road of healing after the suicide of her charge from the first book. 

One can expect a person's world to fall apart after someone they love commits suicide. But to Louisa Clark, her fall apart is a deep depression. Almost to the extent of the reader developing an irritation in her actions, agitation toward her relationships she develops with others (how she handles those relationships), and a lack of pity and empathy for her situation. Majority of the book I was angry with the character, and in turn upset with the author. It was not at all what I had expected after the ending in Paris from the first book.

The introduction of Lily seemed to come way out from left field, as an attempt to keep the story going. Her selfish, argumentative, combative personality is tiresome. This character's mother only exacerbates the reader's frustration with Lily. 

I had a difficult time connecting with these characters, and in turn had a hard time feeling for the events which took place in the story. The only character I remotely enjoyed was Sam the paramedic, who was living his life; working, taking care of his nephew, and maintaining a 'farm', even after the death of his sister. To me he was real; he was relate-able. He makes sense to me. Despite what happens you keep living, keep doing what you need to do day-to-day. 

Besides my frustrations with the characters and it's affect on my appreciation of the events in the story, I fairly enjoyed it (once I got passed those things). Yes, your main character (Lou) is depressed. Is there any other way for her to behave? No. Her actions fit how the author set up her mentality. Lily is basically an abandoned teenager. Do I expect any better of her other than to combat adults? Not really. I knew 3rd-4th graders who acted in much the same way. It follows reality and I imagine the psychology of someone in a similar position. 

In the end...
The problem is resolved. Our main character overcomes her depression. Teenage Lily finds herself loved (her indiscretion taken care of - hilarious), and everyone moves on. Overall the ending made it satisfactory.

Throughout the book, it had some insightful moments in dealing with loss, healing and parenting.

My Rating
Over all, I rate this a 3/5 stars. But mostly because I got to a point where I needed to finish to see if/how things got resolved. Would I recommend it? no. If you've started reading it, go on ahead and finish. But honestly I don't think to much is missed if you don't read the book.

It did make me realize I need to develop some kind of rubric for scoring books. To teacher-ish of me? Probably, but I feel I need to keep things... hmmm... streamlined... accurate... consistent. Yes, consistency is needed. I'm thinking 5 categories for the 'out of' 5 star rating available on GoodReads. I'm an aesthetic reader, so I will miss things in the writing itself unless I have a hard time following the writing structure. I don't see words and letters. I am transported right into the story. It's great when I'm reading, bad when the kids are trying to get my attention!

So far this is what I am thinking:
     Story Line / Content
     Character development / ?
     readability / writing itself
     Conversation worthy
     Invokes personal thought/reflection

I wanted to go with aspects that are directly related to the book itself and also how it affects myself as a reader. Since not all books are the same, I think it might make it a little more fair? Probably not really, hmm...

What do you think?
What makes a book stand out to you? What makes a book awesome/horrible? What would you add/take away to a scoring rubric for books?

other Books I've read this month:
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry by Jon Ronson
Independent Study by Joelle Charbonneau
Graduation Day by Joelle Charbonneau
The Third Door by Emily Rhodda

Join me on GoodReads here

Happy Reading!