Monday, February 29, 2016

Read a Book: Wife of the Gods by Kwei Quartey {An E-Book Review}

Happy Leap Year!
February has been an interesting month and even though our Lil' Munchkin arrived, I was still able to get some reading time in. Hey, those late night feedings are good for something as she sleep nurses. Of course it is hard not to fall asleep while reading, especially when already tired...
I am thankful for the extra day this year to let me finish my third book for the month, and to be able to get this review up!

Here are the books I have read this month!
Wife of the Gods by Kwei Quartey
The Silver Door by Emily Rodda
Love Does by Bob Goff

This book, I have no idea how I came across it. I don't recall. But I read it as part of the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge for task 16: "read the first book in a series by a person of color" ...

The Story
This was a fascinating murder mystery, set in Ghana, Africa. We follow the detective through his investigation of the murder, while unearthing the truth to his own family tragedy.

I found the character in the book as neither extremely likable nor hated. But it is not because they were not developed well enough. They were developed well, with aspects which make them admirable and not. I did not like, nor appreciate, the main character's addiction to marijuana and his aggressive behavior. But at the same time, his aggression was towards those who mistreated and abused others or broke the law (even though his was hypocritical, with the marijuana addiction).  Yet, these elements of each character made them more real.

I found the language intriguing. The way the characters interacted and spoke to each other was almost formal. I wondered if this was just the others writing style or the way they actually spoke to one another. I'm thinking the later since the author, though living in the states now, was born in Ghana.

My favorite parts was the glossary of terms at the end and the background information of the given in the beginning about the servitude and slavery of women taken by "fetish priests" (Trokosi). A huge part of the book focuses on the controversial of the Trokosi within the nation itself. Ok, maybe not huge, but it took up a big part of it. 

It's a series!
Am I going to pick up the next book in the series? Probably, probably not. I really don't know right now. I liked it, but am not chomping at the bit to read the next one... I do want to learn more about the detective's family and what happens with his son who has a heart problem and the insurance in the country is not great, they cannot afford the surgery he needs.

Extra Thoughts
As a teacher, we were always on the lookout for books and stories which accurately betrayed other cultures. There are so many out there which do not give an accurate representation of countries and their people. When I end up finding one I hope does provide an accurate representation, I want to share it. I hope this book is such.

What do you think?
What books do you think are great/accurate representations of other countries, other cultures, and their peoples?

Read a Book 2016:
Maltese Falcon

Happy Reading!

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Sunday Lately {week 61}

Husband and my anniversary is coming up in a couple weeks. I've been sinking the fund for this one since a little after Halloween, a little at a time) and I'm excited to get to go out on our annual date! We haven't decided where or what restaurant, but it is one of the few times we eat out at an actual sit-down, serve you food, restaurant. I'd say I look forward to a night where I don't have to cook, but it's usually a grandparent that watches the kids and they are doing such a huge favor to us by just watching the kids, I can't impose on them more and expect them to make dinner as well! 7 years married, 9 years together. It doesn't seem like it's been very long and it really hasn't. But I sure do love this man and our family we have made!
A photo posted by JessiBerry (@jessiberry09) on

I'm loving every minute of having a newborn again. That is aside from the hellions the other two have become! And, the cold that has plagued our house for the last week. It does make it hard for me when I'm already tired.

I am still loving the way my little guy looked in his Boys Can Wear Pink outfit! It's been several days since I took the pictures and I still am in awe. Mostly cause the colors are not me and what I usually sew with, but also because my biased self can't get over his cuteness! I'm pretty sure this picture is going to get framed and hung up. He cracks me up. 

I have been working on finishing Love Does by Bob Goff since finishing the bible study a few weeks ago, have started The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah for my local book club book for March, and little man, husband and I have started the final book of the Three Doors Trilogy: The Third Door by Emily Rodda. I at least want to finish Love does before the end of this month... 2 days is enough to finish about 40%, yeah? I have my monthly book review scheduled for tomorrow too!

I have missed reading and really enjoy it! Though it's been hard since the colds entered our house and I'm overwhelmed by all holds coming in from the library at once. 21 days is not enough time to read it all... I am still on track for 30 books this year! Seriously though, GoodReads is amazing for finding new books, and keeping track of what you are reading. Little man and I use it as a virtual bookmark. Mostly because his sister is really good at walking off with the one in his book! 

That colds would be over with. I am done with it. The baby cries and coughs, I have no energy and can't breathe, and the older two are snotting all over everything. I cannot bleach, lysol, wipe down everything enough! Actually I have done nothing of the sort. I'm waiting for it to run its course, and even then I will probably forget. The older two usually only get sick about once a year (ok at least 2 times for little lady)... So I hope that I'm still good, right?

I am feeling... Tired. Content. Loved. Blessed.
Sunday Lately with Blogger Tribe

Happy Sunday!
Until next time,

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Be Bold: Handmade Boy's Boys Can Wear Pink Season 2 {Blog Tour & Giveaway}

Welcome to my stop on Handmade Boy's Boys Can Wear Pink blog tour! This was such a fun tour last year and it worked out perfectly with my boy's favorite colors, brown and pink, and you can check out that post here! I love the message, that just because it's pink doesn't mean it's for girls. It's a color. That is all. Boys Can Wear Pink too!

The Berry Bunch: Be Bold: Handmade Boy's Boys Can Wear Pink Season 2 {Blog Tour & Giveaway}

The Outfit
I will be honest. I did not have as clear an inspiration this time. My little dude has switched his favorite color to brown (and it makes me horribly sad!) because he has since been made fun of. But he heard another little boy has a favorite color of purple, so I am hoping that pink makes it back into his list of favorites!

I really wanted a button down layered look for his outfit as I love the look that gives, but lets face it... Newborn babes do not allow for the time needed to make one of those, especially when said baby is sick and when you are as inexperienced as I am with button downs (I have only ever made 1).

So after a trip to Joann's we decided on the Bright orange fabric for the body of the tee and the pink for the binding and pocket. I was worried the two color choices wouldn't match. The colors are definitely more BOLD than I ever choose! And I love how they look on my little guy! Don't mind while I sit in awe for a moment... *smitten momma moment*

The Berry Bunch: Be Bold: Handmade Boy's Boys Can Wear Pink Season 2 {Blog Tour & Giveaway}

The patterns I used...
The Berry Bunch: Be Bold: Handmade Boy's Boys Can Wear Pink Season 2 {Blog Tour & Giveaway}
Spencer Slacks by Momma Quail Patterns (one of the giveaway sponsors!)

The Hat
The Berry Bunch: Be Bold: Handmade Boy's Boys Can Wear Pink Season 2 {Blog Tour & Giveaway}

The hat is repurposed from a pair of khaki's sitting in my bin and the lining is a pink fabric I was gifted from a cousin's stash. It is the same as the binding. I used a stabilizer that was a bit too thick, but that is ok. I think it became more of an Indiana Jones hat, but I like it!

The Berry Bunch: Be Bold: Handmade Boy's Boys Can Wear Pink Season 2 {Blog Tour & Giveaway}

The shirt

The Berry Bunch: Be Bold: Handmade Boy's Boys Can Wear Pink Season 2 {Blog Tour & Giveaway}

My little guy is super skinny, and long. The shirt is an 18 month width (I could have gotten away with the 2t because of the pulling at the arm) and 4t length. I need to redo the neck from 4t to the 5. But it is still cute! And I can't get over the color combo! It was also my first time, ever, doing the binding on a v-neck! The only other time I ever made this shirt was for Halloween 2013 and I didn't do a neck binding...

The Berry Bunch: Be Bold: Handmade Boy's Boys Can Wear Pink Season 2 {Blog Tour & Giveaway}

The pants

The Berry Bunch: Be Bold: Handmade Boy's Boys Can Wear Pink Season 2 {Blog Tour & Giveaway}

These are one of his favorite pairs of pants. As soon as they come out of the dryer they are worn, multiple times, before making their way back to the hamper. It was a pair I had sewn up for testing. So, they aren't new, but they fit the look so well!

The Berry Bunch: Be Bold: Handmade Boy's Boys Can Wear Pink Season 2 {Blog Tour & Giveaway}

The Tour!
Check out these other awesome creations!

The Giveaway
Prize package includes the following:
1 pattern of choice from Momma Quail Patterns
2 patterns of choice (excluding bundles) from Patterns for Pirates
3 digital designs of choice from Handmade Escapade
3 patterns of choice from Winter Wear Designs
Bartowski Slim Tie Pattern from Paraplu
$10 gift certificate from Mabel Madison

There will be one random winner. International entries welcome. Winner will be contacted via email and will have 48 hours to claim their prize before a new winner will be drawn at random.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Sunday Lately {Week 60}

This week has been a crazy week! We have had something going on every day this week!

I am working on completing my capsule wardrobe, but I feel like it is more of a dream instead of something that will come to fruition.
I used polyvore (mostly cause I was bored but didn't want to get my gum off the couch). That website is taking some getting used to for me. And I am thinking that pants are never gonna happen... But here they are so far.

Once I get some energy to sew, I look forward to having some nursing friendly outfits that will look cute too. This is not going to become accomplished in the crazy wardrobe in a week that is going on with the capsule sew along group! I wish I could, but there is just no way... Those ladies are crazy! Crazy and awesome!

I took the kids to see my grandmother this week. She had not seen the newest addition to the family and being on her side of town, I thought it would be nice. She even got to hold the baby! I wish I took a picture.

There was also a bridal shower for a cousin that I got to attend this weekend. We are so excited for them! And getting to see cousins is always fantastic. The theme was Alice in Wonderland's tea party. The table decorations, and everything, was awesome! I wish I took pictures there too. Cousins and Aunts looked so beautiful.

^^ I have no idea why the font went weird here^^

Sleepless nights... I am repeating the sleepless nights. I miss sleep. I miss feeling rested. It amazing what little amount of sleep moms need with newborns.

I finally finished writing the post about baby 3's birth story. I am so happy to finally have that out! Now, once I forget I can go back and read it.

I need to start working time for me back into my daily schedule. I used to have my entire day planned out, from laundry and dishes to computer and sewing time. I need to get back to that. It's part of my "Being Intentional" ... When I did this, I got stuff done. I just need to get back into that groove! I must be crazy, to plan out my entire day this way. But that's what the planner is for, and it keeps me on track. I know I have forgotten tons of things these last several weeks (more like last month) because I have slacked off... no more slacking!

At least I am no longer scheduling weight check visits with the doctor for the baby every 4 days! That was becoming to much; to much gas, to much time driving, to much time in the carseats (it's hard on their little bottoms), and to many missed nursing opportunities. It's about an hour drive to the doctors office for us. But she is gaining well! Yay!
Sunday Lately with Blogger Tribe

Hope ya'll had a fantastic week!

Until next time, 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The Arrival of Baby 3: A Birth Story

I need to get the story of lil' munchkin's birth down before I forget. Sure... It's been only about 15 days later, just 2 weeks since we were released! I'm sure some of my memory has gone.

I love birth stories.

Just like her brother and sister, our lil' munchkin was evicted... Induced... At 41 weeks we decided to get her out. We could have left her in longer, she probably would have benefited from staying in longer. But, that would have meant Non Stress Tests and those are expensive. Having a baby is costly enough. I don't like saying this because it's like we had no place to be bringing another child into the world, but we really couldn't afford to have NSTs every other day. We couldn't really afford to have one. So we decided to induce at the last day.

As seems to be the way with scheduled inductions, it is super early in the morning. Our appointment was at 5:30am. You arrive, get the paper work in and then sit around and wait for an hour.

I was feeling sick to my stomach with nerves. Why?!? I had done this, not just once, but twice before! But still. The night before I had difficulty eating dinner, that morning for breakfast I had nothing. I couldn't stomach the food. I had food poisoning or something a few weeks before and had difficulty eating since. I even lost several pounds from that to delivery.

We hoped that breaking the water would start labor. At 7:45am they broke it (I was 5 cm, 90% effaced and she was at a -1 station). Contractions were there, just not consistent or with enough intensity. They decided to give about 2 hours and then we would start pitocin. 

Around 9:25am we started the pitocin. It seemed like it took a while for anything to start happening. I love how time gets sucked after this! It's like being in a time vortex once things started moving along. At one point they checked and I was about 7cm but no change in anything else.

Then, contractions started kicking in. We had been back and forth with my Mom-In-Law, giving updates about how things were going and give a heads up on when to bring the kids to see their baby sister. I had been standing and rocking, but it was like I couldn't get comfortable. I remember telling Husband to send his mom a message to let her know that they were getting more intense and she should probably head over. Of course, he responded with "are you sure?"... Which irritated me a bit. I didn't know for sure. Now when I look back on it, I feel a little silly. I settled on a yes. Sure, why not? I couldn't keep my eyes open during the contractions. My hips were starting to feel cramped. She was coming and was going to come fast...

It seemed like no time at all and the incredible urge to push came. I remember telling Husband that, but it felt too soon! Ha! I should know better! He ran and got the nurse. She did a quick check and sure enough, it was time! 

The resident doctor and my doctor came in, set up. Husband at one leg, the nurse on the other. The urge to push came and goodness me I gave it what I could! The nurse told me I could stop, I'm sure someone else repeated it. But there was no stopping. Lil' munchkin was there in one push at 11:57am. A whirlwind of a labor, Done and over before we knew it! Mom-in-law arrived shortly after little girl did. My mom got off work and was there too, but I honestly couldn't tell you when she got there!

Precious baby munchkin was 6lbs 11oz, 19 inches (though she might have been longer at the doctor 4 days later she was 19.75 inches). Her APGAR was 8/9. When it was time to go, her bilirubin level was 0.0!

And I can't get over her dark hair. So much hair!

And, I did it all with no epidural or pain meds! Third one with no epidural or pain meds!
This was labor 3 without an epidural or pain meds! I was mostly blown away/impressed/kind of confused, that our hospital no longer takes the baby to the nursery for 2 hours after birth. I guess the change happened not that long ago, and I kind of wish it were that way with the other two. It was so nice! Baby's first bath wasn't until after 12 hours. The food delivery was much more than it was before! Though the night nurse was still a stickler about nursing every 2/3 hours (all we wanted to do was sleep! all of us) and the day nurse was super awesome! They even put a tracker/alarm thing on her ankle!

I am feeling so proud of this little one already! I know Husband is too, and the kids are infatuated with her.

It's been a fun 2 weeks since coming home.

Oh, We got a little crocheted beanie too! for Heart Disease Awareness! #littlehatsbighearts

I'm so in love with this little one too... It's amazing how much love a heart can hold. It's endless!

Until next time,

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Sunday Lately {Week 59}

Me, being the follower that I am, used the prompts that was supposed to be for this week - last week. So I am using the prompts for last week - this week. Confused? I feel confused. My poor mush of a brain! Babies turn your brain to mush! 
Sunday Lately with Blogger Tribe


I have been creating nothing. I have an incredible urge to sew and no time nor the energy to do it. Not to mention we have been running rampant just to get appointments in, errands, and tons of other things done. I really want to do the diaper bag that I have planned for the baby. I'm tired of the big huge thing, but I am worried that the one I have planned out and have started cutting will be big and huge too. I am not a fan of big huge bags. But I am in love with this fabric! I got it from a friend. I am planning on doing the Swoon Vivian Traveler Bag (affiliate link) and had gotten half of it cut out before lil' munchkin came...


It is going to be hard finding time to do a lot of things. Starting tomorrow I am going to be on my own with all three kids. I haven't done anything this past week and am a bit scared to be on my own. I have a ton of dishes to play catch up with, a bunch of laundry that needs cleaned. I am in need of nursing shirts horribly. And we need to start pulling everything out of the craft room and office so we can go through it all and combine them to make the baby's room hers. So much to do! Honestly, I scared what we might find in the craft room. It has been a messy bottomless pit of a room for a while! 

Finding time with family this week was great. Most birthdays with our family seem to come in pairs. My brother's was the 12th and my sister-in-law's was the 13th. We took them out for dinner on their birthdays and it was great spending time with each of them. I know by the end I was winding down and was super tired (I slept in this morning, between feedings of course). I just hope that they enjoyed themselves too!


I am in the process of switching things around (not for the rooms, though that is something we really need to do) but of our payments for bills. We paid off my school loan this last week (YAY!!!) and I am getting ready to snow ball that payment onto another bill. Yay! one step closer to becoming debt free! Still a long way to go, but it'll be great when we finally get there! I am beyond excited! 

Oh, and Husband asked me to fold his clothes so they can go into the drawer all organized like the kids and mine are. KonMari for the win with that one! Super excited! And that means his clothes might get closer to actually being put away instead of just draped over his drawers... We will see! But that made me super happy! 


I know I am forgetting something! I forget tons of things and lately my brain feels like mush! I have not done a single thing for my bible study these last two weeks. I know a baby is a fairly decent excuse, but I should still be spending time on the bible study. God will forgive me. The ladies will understand. I just miss the time. I totally spaced sharing my dress with the "For the Love of Tunics and Dresses" tour on instagram! I felt so bad! I made a check off sheet in my planner just so I wouldn't forget and I didn't even use that. I should have! 

I am sure there is more that I am forgetting, but I don't know what it is! As long as I don't forget the doctor appointments this week, we are good!


I am craving red meat. Burgers, meatloaf, steak. We had spaghetti squash for dinner the other night, I walked Husband through the process, and I wanted some steak to go with it so badly. I am sure that I am still in need of the iron from it and that is why the cravings for the red meat. Oh, and spinach! I just want a huge plate of fresh spinach. I don't need dressing or cheese or anything else! Just spinach! Mmm, sounds so good...

and now...
I am going to go through each item of clothing before I put them back into the dryer. found a crayon in the bottom of the washing machine. I do not want to have to ruin my 'fairly new to me' dryer because of a silly crayon, or any of Little S' clothes... Life with kids... Never a dull moment! 

Linking up! 

Until next time...

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Nursing Friendly Willow Wrap Dress: For the Love of Dresses and Tunics {Love Notions Blog Tour and Giveaway}

Welcome to my stop on Love Notion's  "For the Love of Dresses and Tunics"! I had to jump on the chance to participate on a dress or tunic because I have been totally in the mood for something to wear with my bright green leggings from here but was having the hardest time finding anything Ready To Wear from the store! Perfect timing and opportunity to make a beautiful garment!

And? I am so In Love with this dress! I made the Willow Wrap Dress, just perfect for this nursing momma! It was the first thing I made from my Spring Capsule Wardrobe and I am so glad I did!

I feel beautiful in it! I felt beautiful while I was pregnant, and feel beautiful now!

I love the gathers on the side (hard to see in this fabric). But even with my post-partum belly (by only 5 days) This dress still looks awesome!

And some cuteness with the baby... :D

Even the husband is happy with the way I look in the Dress! Bonus since it's purpose is for date nights. I plan on wearing it for Valentine's day. We do dinner at home, sometimes in front of the tv with the kids, sometimes not. I'm gonna pull out some candles and set up the table for a nice date night in, and I'm excited! A girl has to feel beautiful, especially after having a baby only a few days ago!

I'm also thinking of pairing it with my leather jacket and some heels for a wedding in March. I might end up sewing a blazer later, but for now the leather jacket will do nicely! Oh, I am excited to wear this out with the husband!

Check out these other awesome bloggers and their incredible creations!

There is a Giveaway!
Winner receives: 5 patterns of their choice from Love Notions (bundles excluded) & $50 GC from Girl Charlee!
There are three entry opporunities: visit LN page, leave a blog comment, & sign up for the LN newsletter.
Winner has 48 hours to claim their prize, after that, a new winner will be chosen.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Pattern was provided free of charge in exchange for participation in the tour. 
All views and opinions expressed are my own.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Sunday Lately {Week 58}

I joined a group of bloggers and once a week they participate in a weekly update. Getting the readers closer to the writers, an opportunity to share what's been going on, and a chance to put down ideas. 
Every Sunday they post a response, or brain dump if you will, to 5 prompts.
This weeks prompts: Updating, Remembering, Needing, Wearing, Being

So many blog posts to write, so much to say! It's amazing how much life changes in a day/month/year. Our baby girl decided to join us on Thursday, creating our little family of 4 into a family of 5. I'm loving it, my world surrounds this amazing little bundle. I can't wait to get out the birth story of her arrival. Those stories always fascinate me! And it is nice having them here to be able to go back and reread later!

As I prepared for the arrival of our little girl, I went back over the stories of the other 2. It helped me with this one, remembering what it was like even though knowing ever story, just like every person, is different. I was so nervous about how this one would go. 

Now, as I look at this precious little one, I remember what the other two were like as babies. So little, so needy, but oh so sweet! I missed those little noises and coos. I just missed having a little baby in the house!

I feel like I'm needing so much more rest and sleep after this little one's arrival than the other two. But it's so much fun just sitting and watching the older ones admire their baby sister. So much love in this house! 

I'm still walking around in pajamas. After all, it's only been 2 days since we returned from the hospital. I cannot wait to wear a particular dress that will be posted here in a couple days. :) I've been dreaming up my spring, nursing friendly, capsule wardrobe that I will try to start sewing in a couple weeks.

I'm focusing on being a mom. Focusing on my husband, myself and healing, and the kids. 
Sunday Lately with Blogger Tribe

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Building a Capsule Wardrobe: Preparing for Spring

Wait, Spring? Already? Are we even close to being out of winter? I guess some of you are still experiencing snow on the ground and the thought of spring seems so far away. Punxsutaney Phil has said it will be an early Spring! But here in the lovely desert, we had experienced 80* weather already last week. If anything, I should be preparing for summer! Ha! But, spring will work decently from about... now... until April/May! And it fits perfectly into my goals this year!

Goal 3: I want to finish with the KonMari method on my clothes. I held onto a lot last year to prepare for the pregnancy and for nursing. But then turned around and ended up accidentally discarding nursing shirts. I really want to cry because I have maybe one or two tops that work for that! I also still have a bunch of clothes that hasn't worked for me in over 10 years and should probably discard them regardless of whether I *think* I am going to turn the items into clothes for the kids. Hey, the discount second hand stores are taking spring wear now!

Sudoku sheet from Free Notion
Goal 4: I want to rebuilt my capsule wardrobe. I thought I was happy with what I had last year, but I have come to realize that it doesn't work for me now. Really? I don't know if I can fit into any of the clothes that I had. I don't know how much weight I will loose, and how fast, once this baby decides to finally make her debut (as of today: 40weeks+5days)... But most those clothes took me years to fit into and never really fit the same way after kids... Why keep them? Especially when I love the items I have sewn for myself!

Sew for myself I shall! So I used my outfit planners from the kids printable wardrobe planners (girls, boys) and the Sudoku sheet from Free Notion (both modified to fit the odd sizing of my planner) and the motivation from the pinspired pirates hashtag contest (which I completely missed) to plan some nursing modifications to shirts. They even have a spot in my planner set-up which I love having so easily accessible!

outfit planners (girlsboys)
I have to say that I am really excited! Hopefully I can actually spend the time on the sewing, but based on necessity I think I have to!

I have quite a bit of my fabric already! That is always a good feeling! I love these fabrics, picked up at the local discount fabric store a while back and now I know just what to do with them! All together there seems to be less continuity between them, but I will also do a pink, purple, blue and green camisoles for layering under and to add an element of modesty during nursing...

I just need to work on the bottoms, but I may wait a little longer to work on those and use what I have not yet purged. And who knows what is going to fit ...

These were the colors That I was thinking. I am finding that I am loving pinks/purples and the blues!

Adding the neutrals of brown, blue/denim and white. with green as an accent. I'm still debating on black too...

I just need a jacket/blazer, but not sure the pattern or the fabric to use: possibly navy blue, denim, or both. But it's all in time!

I'm just excited to get something together that I will love and that I will wear.

Now... If only I can bring myself to get rid of the other clothing items that are just taking up space!

Looking for inspiration?
Pinterest Inspiration: Nursing and MaternityCapsule Wardrobe, Outfit Inspiration, PDF Women's Sewing Patterns

I want to hear from you!
What are your plans for your clothes this year?
Do you just use what you have (hey, if it works it works!), or do you just get what you like? Do you tend to stick with certain colors?
Do you capsule your wardrobe? How do you plan it out?