Sunday, January 22, 2017

Happy new year!

Hello hello!! I can not believe it has been almost a year since I posted.. my apologies. Last year was a crazy year. If I had continued blogging I think you may have been disappointed in the amount of stitching I was doing. I don't really do new year's resolutions anymore but I do want to try to carve out more time for stitching this year.  I do still enjoy it so much.  I will post a picture of the tavern soon.  It is semi-finished.  The directions on the pattern were a little confusing, especially since I didn't have a photo of the finished product.  It must have gotten lost at some point and was extremely hard to find online, at least one that was close up and clear.  I never did find one.  I don't know if you remember, but a friend had asked me to stitch that for her, and sadly, she passed away before I finished. She had some heart problems but was staying in an assisted living facility, and seemed to be doing pretty well. Her death was sudden and unexpected to many of her friends, including me.  I plan on keeping the tavern in memory of her.   Here is a photo of my latest WIP- Blackbird Designs' "Strawberry Fields Forever." 
Yes, I have a long way to go!! I also have several UFOs I should start working on. 

Something else I am trying to do this year is make my house a toxin-free household as much as possible.  Did you know when an item has "fragrance" in the ingredients it can include 300 different chemicals, etc? Including formaldehyde? When I found that out I threw my plug-ins in the trash! I was told of a website- where you can look up everyday household products and see what toxins, skin irritants, carcinogens, etc are in them.  It is pretty eye-opening and pretty scary! I wish I would have found this site a lot sooner!  The great thing about essential oils is that instead of being harmful when diffused into the air, is that they are actually helpful! For instance, oils like rosemary can promote mental clarity! Lavender and cedarwood can promote restful sleep! Citrus oils such as lemon, orange, and grapefruit can help you feel uplifted and happy! The list goes on...  Cat owners do need to be careful as some oils are irritating to cats when diffused. 

Speaking of animals..what would a post be without Ginger and/or Kona? Here is a pic of Kona on our one snow day we have had so far this year-
Till next time-

Tracey ♥

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Happy February everyone!

Time flies! Can't believe we are heading toward the middle of the month already!

I have been working a bit on the tavern and made some decent progress, for a change.  I was just thinking that I need to pull threads for another project I have been meaning to start as well.  The pattern is on loan so I need to get working!  Here is the tavern thus far-

This is an older pattern; I think the copyright is 1977! But the friend I am stitching it for wanted me to do it with overdyed threads.  I think it will add a little something. 

I have been playing with my oils again- yesterday I made face cream and today I made shower gel.  The face cream works wonderfully! I haven't tried the shower gel yet. I will in the morning.  The face cream was so easy and quick! I found a recipe on Pinterest and changed it slightly.  You need 1/2 cup coconut oil, 2 tsp almond oil, 1 tbsp raw shea butter, and essential oil.(your choice- I used lavender and frankincense because they are good for your skin. 5 drops each.)

Put all ingredients in a mixing bowl.

Blend until a light, fluffy texture.

Put in an airtight container! Done!

This cream really works well.  I put it on my face at night before bed, and in the morning before I put my makeup on.  It is 7:21 pm and my face still feels so soft! And there is something comforting knowing that all the ingredients in it are not harmful in any way.

I started reading a new book this week - a Netgalley advanced reader copy.  It's called No One Knows by J.T. Ellison.  I wanted to read it because the preview reminded me a bit of the movie "Double Jeopardy", which I loved. I am curious to see if this book is similar or different.  I am also reading Spirit Driven Success by Dani Johnson. I have recently just discovered Dani via a friend and she is amazing.  Very inspiring and has good insight for all aspects of life. I highly recommend reading her books! 

That's it for today- hope everyone has a great week!

Tracey ♥☺

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Snow Day?

Well, the threat of inclement weather has caused the school district to call off school- wondering how the roads will be for going to work tomorrow?  We'll see what happens. 

I have made a little progress on Chowning's Tavern- not as much as I would like, but it's something.
Maybe if the roads are too bad tomorrow I can get stay home and get some more done. They did salt the roads so we'll see.

I was so excited to get the Dr. Bronner's Castile soap I ordered from Amazon today. (Thank you Bing Rewards for the gift card!) There are so many things you can make with it and there are no toxic chemicals.  The first thing I made was some foaming hand soap.  It was so easy! I had a foaming hand soap container I got from a friend.  I filled it 1/3 of the way with the Castile soap, added a few drops of Young Living Thieves oil(it has antibacterial properties and smells great), and filled the rest of the way with oil.  Easy peasy! 
Next I am going to make DIY dishwasher detergent, but I am waiting on the citric acid I ordered, also with a gift card. (Thanks, Swagbucks.) Also on the list: face wash, regular dish soap, and maybe shampoo. It's so fun!  And healthier!

I finished a really good e-book recently, called Under The Ice by Aaron Paul Lazar. I think maybe it was offered for free on Amazon at some point. It's the 9th book in a series about a man named Gus LeGarde. It was kind of like a cozy mystery, but also like a regular suspense book.  I am looking forward to reading the others in the series.  It was a good time of year to read this one as it took place in the winter. ☺  

Well, I better get to bed- in case I do have to work tomorrow.

Good night!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Semi-lazy Sunday..

This picture of Kona was actually taken yesterday- this is where he lays most of the time, on the back of the chaise lounge chair, usually when I am sitting there too.  That blanket came from my grandma's house. ♥ I got it when she moved to assisted living.  I love that blanket, and I love that it came from her, and a place where I have so many fond memories.  Usually it is over my lap. ☺ 

Today has been an alright day- went to church this morning then had to pick up some groceries.  It was a rainy morning so I was glad to get home.  Since then, I have just been doing things around the house off and on.  I started to make dinner and my daughter came in and promptly stopped me because she already had something in mind she wanted to make for dinner. So I let her do it! ☺ I folded laundry instead.  I was feeling a little blah off and on today- had an acidic stomach and heartburn.  I had made a roll-on of Peppermint essential oil and an oil blend called Di-Gize, as well as some almond oil to dilute it.  I rolled it on my stomach and my heart and am feeling much better!

I haven't done any stitching yet today- going to get to that as soon as I finish this post!  Watching "The Longest Ride" too- so far it's a great movie. I haven't read the book yet, which is good. I almost always watch a movie before I read the book it's based on, because the book is always better. ☺

Well- off to stitch!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Happy New Year!

Hello! I know you all thought I fell off the face of the planet.  I haven't, just been very, very busy.  A lot of changes lately, even before the new year started!  

A short time before Thanksgiving, my husband was put on third shift.  Since he was the dinner-cooker in our family, this made things a little crazier in the evenings, as the kids and I usually go to the YMCA, or my daughter to judo class, or my son to Confirmation class at church. So many evenings are just rush, rush, rush. As of right now we have no commitments on Thursdays.  I didn't have any on Fridays or the weekend either, but my son has joined a basketball team so sometimes we have games on Fridays and/or Saturdays.  

My husband and I also started the 21 Day Fix plan a couple of months ago.  I really like it and it has helped us lose some weight.  We are still following it because we aren't done yet. ☺  Until recently, I had been getting up in the morning and working out first thing.  I need to get back to doing it.  It is tough but I was surprised how it energized me for the day.  The meal plan is "clean eating"- fruits, veggies, meats, anything healthy really, just in controlled portions. We eat smaller meals and snacks but six times a day, so we are rarely hungry.  This too gives you plenty of energy!  Once you get used to it, you don't really want the "junk" anymore and find it makes you feel yucky (for lack of a better word) when you eat it.  

With the start of this plan, and an essential oil class I went to a few months ago, I have started a journey for an overall healthier life.  I was invited to a Young Living Essential oil class by a friend.  I had used essential oils before, here and there... for aromatic purposes, to keep mice away, to help with headache pain..and I was surprised to find out there is so much more you can do with them! I became a member and was welcomed into this awesome community of others trying to support their body systems naturally, as well as keep toxins out of their homes.   Not only does Young Living have 100% therapeutic grade pure oils (see but have cleaners and body care products that have no harmful ingredients.  Did you know you have 2000 pores in your feet? So when you mop with Pine-Sol or some other cleaner and step on the wet floor, you are absorbing those chemicals into your body.  Or your kid's body, or your pet's body, as the case may be.  I have always been a little nervous about the cleaners we use but this really hit home for me.

I am still stitching, though not as much as I used to.  I need to make time for it again.  Here is where I'm at on Chowning's Tavern-  
I want to make some good progress on it and then maybe work on one of my other UFO's.

I am still reading too but haven't read for NetGalley lately.  I hope they don't disable my membership!  I did cancel my Scribd membership for now. It's a great app and has a ton of books, but I have so many e-books saved and so many paperbacks on my bookshelf, I need to read those first.  Though what did I do today? Went to my library to order a copy of Spirit Driven Success  by Dani Johnson.  It was available at another local library so they are going to get it for me.  I just recently found out about Dani through one of my support team at Young Living.  She is amazing! She came from an abusive family, ended up homeless on the street and is now a multi-millionaire. She gives lots of great business advice as well as spiritual and life advice too.  I am not into "motivational speakers" but she is different.  I recommend checking her out when you have a chance.  You can find her at or on youtube.  She has an app as well where you can listen to her radio show.

Well, I think I have gone on long enough, huh?  Thanks for checking in with me. ☺ And if you would like to know more about Young Living's wonderful oils, or about using essential oils to promote your family's wellness, please leave a comment or email me through the "about me" section.  Of course you are welcome to leave a comment about anything else too! ♥

Peace, love, and Corgis-
(My tree is down now, this was from Christmas.)

Thursday, November 05, 2015

The Foxglove Killings by Tara Kelly

I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley and the publisher in turn for an honest review.  Unfortunately I thought I downloaded it and I didn't, so it expired! So I bought it. Anyway, that aside, this was a very good book! I don't usually read young adult novels but this one sounded interesting.  It was very interesting! I read it in just a couple of days; I did not want to put it down.  It kept me guessing and assuming, and then proved me wrong. There were some surprises for sure. A very good and fairly quick read!

Alex and Nova have been best friends since grade school.  Both from financially strapped families, they have little in common with the spoiled "cakes"- rich kids, that come to visit with their families every summer.  Then one of the cakes goes missing, and later turns up dead, found with a foxglove in her mouth.  And another cake goes missing..

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Playing With Fire by Tess Gerritsen

I was provided an advanced reader copy of this book by Netgalley and the publisher, in turn for an honest review.  Many of you may have heard of Tess Gerritsen  because of her "Rizzoli and Isles" series.  This book was not from that series but just as good; in fact I have never read a book with a plot similar to this one. 

Violinist Julia Ansdell is traveling in Italy when she happens upon a handwritten piece of street music in a music book she bought.  It is like nothing she has ever seen or played before; when she plays it she is entranced.   She finds though that when she plays it her daughter acts strangely, seeming to do almost evil things.  She researches the origins of the music, as well as taking her daughter to doctor after doctor, but everyone seems to think Julia is the crazy one.  Her research takes her back to Italy.  Shortly after she arrives there she finds people seem to want her dead.  But why?

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Finally a stitchy post!

Sorry it has taken me so long..I keep getting engrossed in books and my stitching gets laid aside. :( I am trying to make a better effort to fit some stitching in each day, even if it's just on my lunch break. So here is my progress on the tavern as of today. I will probably work on it some more after I finish this post. 

My mom and dad were here to visit this past weekend.  We had a great time as always, and it 
went by much too fast, as always.   We had originally planned to go to Wilmington, but due to circumstances beyond our control, our plan was foiled.  We still had fun though-went out for breakfast and walked around downtown here in town, went to the mall for a bit, then just relaxed at home and had a nice dinner.  The next day we went to church then did a little more shopping after eating some lunch.  DD and I have birthdays coming up so they bought us some presents, then we headed home and rested our feet.

 I have taken a short break from Netgalley and am reading a book actually from my bookshelf that I haven't read yet; Echo Park by Michael Connelly.  It's pretty good so far.  Fortunately it has been a little easier to put down than some of the others I've read recently, so I actually get a little stitching done.  We'll see if it lasts..

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Mrs. John Doe by Tom Savage

I'm sorry, I know I have been having a lot of book reviews lately and not a lot of stitching. I  just keep finding all these great books to read and get so engrossed I just want to keep reading.  Then I don't get any stitching done. Is anyone else like that?

This book was brilliant.  I had never read any books by Tom Savage before I read this one.  I was not disappointed.  I was provided an advanced reader copy of this book by Netgalley and the publisher in turn for an honest review.  This book was like none I have read so far.  I hesitate to even write a summary as I don't want to give too much away.  Nora Baron is called to England to identify the remains of her husband, who has died in an accident.  After doing so she is prepared to take his remains and go home, when someone tries to take her purse- someone she saw watching her on her flight over to England.  From there ensues an action-packed story with many twists and turns; I wished I had had a block of time to just sit and read the whole thing at once.  I definitely will be reading more of Tom Savage's books. This was an excellent story.

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Cluttered Attic Secrets by Jan Christensen

I was provided an advanced reader copy of this book by Netgalley and the publisher in return for an honest review.  It was a fun story and I was surprised by how the story panned out, which is a good thing. It is about a woman named Tina, grown but still living with her mother and uncle.  She is a professional organizer but evidently used to be a psychiatrist or psychologist. This comes out later in the story; I'm sure if I had read the series from the beginning it would have been spelled out. One night she is called by her best friend Leslie.  Leslie lives in an old Victorian house that has been left to her by her aunt.  It has been in the family for many, many years and has generations of stuff in the attic.  Although her aunt was a neat and organized person by nature, the attic is a disorganized mess.  Leslie decides to start going through it and hears unusual sounds, and thinks she sees an apparition of some sort. Leslie calls Tina to ask her to come help her and also help investigate as she is a bit afraid.  Then a man turns up murdered in the side yard of her house. The story goes from there, Tina and Lisa doing some investigating on their own, and eventually calling in the police.

This book is a part of a series and was the first one I read. I'm still on the fence if I will read another. I understand I read an advanced copy of the book, but there were many typos and at times the characters changed names, as well as other mistakes. I am curious if the other books are the same.  The main character, Tina, also kind of got on my nerves, though I can't put my finger on why.  Would I recommend it to someone? I'm not sure.  I see others have given it four and five star reviews, so others obviously liked it more than I did.  Overall not a bad book; I think if I liked "Tina" better I would maybe read another in the series.