Saturday, December 27, 2008


These are the best books I read this year!!!! The winner of the title of Laura Duet's Best Book of 2008 is Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri. Totally perfect in every way!
This year I decided not to limit my list to 10 books. I have just given you the cover pictures of all of the books that I loved this year. The main qualifier for a book to be on this list is that I had to want to rush home and read it everyday. I think that is my new standard; and I believe this is a good standard. I don't care about literary this or award for that. I just want a book that is riveting, lovely, funny, exciting, tells a good story and makes me care. All of these books did that.
So without further ado, please scroll down for a view of the best books of 2008. Are there any that you read?

As always, if you want to find out more about each book just go to and put the title in their search engine.

What was the best book you read this year?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

All is Calm, All is Bright

Merry Christmas!

I hope that all of my wonderful friends that I have found through this blog and in my life have a very happy Christmas! I wish for you moments of peace, time with family, and some of that special Christmas magic that only happens at this time of year.

Photo Credits: The photos posted here are by the brilliant woman who is behind the blog at Creative Breathing. If you go to her Flicker photostream you will give yourself several moments of pure joy!!!! Also, her blog, by the same name, is on my blog roll.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

My Mom's Christmas Magic

My Mom has a magical touch at Christmas time. Her house is a vision to behold. It always brings me feelings of joy, wonderful childhood memories, and it embodies the Spirit of Christmas to me.
My Mom decorates so beautifully with bits of whimsy here and there that just add that extra something happy!
Every year in December my Mom and I try to do a special day together before Christmas. Usually we go shopping. This year due to lack of funds we decided to hang out at her house (my childhood home) and she was going to learn to cross-stitch.
My Mom already is a great knitter, quilter, and needlepointer; but she has not cross-stitched and that is the only needlework I know how to do. So, she made us a wonderful lunch, we walked around the house looking at the decorations, and remembering where all of them came from; and then we sat down to stitch.
My Mom is working on a little Swedish girl ornament which I will show you when she is done. It is totally cute.
On December 27th my Mom and I are going to take a little mother-daughter trip up to Crystal Lake, IL to a cross stitch shop I have not been to.
Also in the new year we are hoping to take a class on stitching on linen at The Country Cupboard in Orland Park. Great place!
We wish that my Grandmas were here to go with us.
Also in the new year we want to make more ornaments like the one above. We love, love, love them. We learned to make them at Red Lead Paperworks in St. Louis.
My Mom's mantlepiece is always a wonder.
I love how she decorates for Christmas with old toys.
These are the stockings my brother and I have had since we were babies. My Grandma made mine and my aunt made Todd's.
Merry Christmas. God Jul.

Wishing you a season of joy, wonderment, and peace.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

1970's Christmas Wish List

I grew up in the 1970's. I remember paging through the Sears catalog to make a Christmas wish list. Here are some of the things I wished for during that decade.

Above is my favorite toy ever....Lite Brite! It is too bad that I don't have a child because I would love to play with this again.
Here is THE album of the early 1970's; and I had it. I was so cool!
I remember riding in the car down to visit my cousin Bobby in Kankakee and I played with my Chrissy doll. Oh, the fixing of her hair! Endless hours of fun.
I remember playing this game with my brother (and Monopoly).
One of my all time favorite things was to color in coloring books!
If given unlimited funds in 1976 I would have picked out this Chevrolet Monte Carlo for my family.
A must have album!!!!!!!
I loved Seventeen magazine!!!! Would have loved a subscription to this.
Spirograph....another toy that still looks fun.
Little Kiddles........these look horrifically ugly to me now; but I used to like them.
"I sunk your Battleship!!!"
Oh my, I thought toe sox were so cool! Until I wore them on a ski trip! Since my toes were not bunched together they each got very cold in their own little "sock." That was a mistake!

What was one of your favorite childhood presents???

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

History is cool!

I am reading The Other Queen by Phillipa Gregory. Here is another instance of something I said that I would never like (historical fiction) and it turns out that I do! After reading her popular book The Other Boleyn Girl several years ago I have been fascinated with Tudor England. Phillipa Gregory is a great author and such an interesting person. If you ever get the chance to see her at an author reading, GO! She is fascinating.
Anyway, this book is about Mary, Queen of Scots, who I have heard of but knew nothing about. As I am reading the book I have had to look up a bunch of information on the internet so I know what people are talking about.
That led to me finding all of these portraits of Queen Mary. I think they are so beautiful.
I want to do some kind of arty thing with them. Perhaps incorporate them into journal pages?
Are there any historical periods you are interested in?