November 25, 2014

November 2014 Reading

Some months are better than others. It's just the way it goes. I anticipated reading lots and relaxing this month with lots of books, but it didn't happen.

I did read a bit though.

Before I get started, I want to invite you to read To Kill a Mockingbird with me as I host the Reading to Know Book Club next month. :)

Rainbow Valley, by L.M. Montgomery. I recently confessed on Facebook that I have never read all of the Anne of Green Gables series. This surprised several who know me well (including my husband) since they know I like LMM's work. I've actually read quite a few of her "other" works. Maybe that's why I hadn't managed to finish the Anne series. Either way, I was happy to pick up in the series where I had left off. Rainbow Valley is about Anne's children...and even more-so about their friends who live in the manse. It was a bit slow for me at the start, but before long I was wanting to take a stroll through Rainbow Valley, too.

Little Author in the Big Woods. A good children's biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Linked to complete review.

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Book Store, by Robin Sloan. Wonderful book set in modern-day San Francisco. Definitely recommend. Might be a favorite of the year.

Oh Pioneers, by Willa Cartha. Pultzler Prize winner about a smart woman on the Nebraska frontier. Interesting, but not wonderful.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through an affiliate link, I earn a small percentage at no cost to you. Thank you!
~ Annette
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November 24, 2014

Getting Started...

I'm busy this week gearing up for a houseful of family (if the possible snow doesn't stop them) to celebrate Thanksgiving. In the meantime, I'm taking advantage of my children's half days at school combined with beautiful weather today. [Edited: The weather will be warm but incredibly windy. We may need photos taken inside.]

I hope to capture a beautiful photo of my children for our Christmas card. Wish me luck!

Are you planning for Christmas yet? A little planning goes a long way!
Photo Christmas Card Alternatives: What to do when you cannot get a nice picture of your family.
Preparing Christmas Cards: Several ideas to prepare now for Christmas cards without actually putting them together yet.
Alternative Gift Giving: Give more time of yourself and experiences instead of more "stuff."
Christmas Gift Planning: Plan now for giving later.
Children's Christmas Letter Printable: Use a simple form letter to find out what the children really want for Christmas this year.
Would you join this Christmas journey with me? See all of the Less-Stressed Christmas posts.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through an affiliate link, I earn a small percentage at no cost to you. Thank you!
~ Annette
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November 21, 2014

Weekly Wrap-Up

It's Friday already! Whew.

My week was busy. Maybe a bit busier than I'd like, but not overwhelming. Here are a few of the blessings this week.
1. Friends. I went to a friend's home for a nice visit. I spent some time on the phone with a friend having a hard week. And tonight I'll be getting together with three of my closest friends. In these busy days, it's harder for us to all get together, so it will be a rare treat. I think we all need it, too. It's been many, many months.

November 19, 2014


It's been a busy time of cleaning around here. We had to move some furniture, clean up from the sanding I mentioned, and more. The blog may be a little quiet until after Thanksgiving.

November 17, 2014

Recipe Tip

Maybe you are like me and have a recipe that you use time after time, but you don't quite have it memorized. For me, it's the best chocolate chip cookie recipe. EVER.

Instead of pulling out the recipe each time I make chocolate chip cookies, I keep it in the handiest place ever.
Keep your favorite recipe taped to the inside of your cupboard door.

November 14, 2014

A Dusty Week

It's time to think about the week. What's been happening with you? Can you name a few good things?
1. A new haircut. My hair has turned a bit funky. It used to be stick straight. Now it has it's own fuzzy personality. My stylist put in some long layers. When I arrived home, Big Sister (age 8) asked me how I got curly hair. It's not that curly, but certainly has some body. The best part is that I'm not fighting it any more. And no, I'm sorry, but I don't have a photo...

November 10, 2014

How to Remove Blood Stains on Carpet

Two of my children often have bloody noses. Recently, they were wrestling and one of them began bleeding. Thankfully only a few drops of blood dripped on the carpet.
how to remove blood from carpet
I sent the bloodied child to the bathroom and provided tissues. Then I got to work. I grabbed the bottle of peroxide that I keep in the laundry closet and a few paper towels.  In just a minute or two the blood stain was gone. Here's how.