Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Big 3-0

Hey, 30! That's right. Next week, I'll be turning the big 3-0. I've gotten the hint that this makes my parents feel old (insert laughing-with-tears emoji). My husband isn't feeling big feelings about this milestone because he reached it last year, plus birthdays aren't fussed over in his family. My friends are perplexed because most of them thought I was actually 25/26 (woohoo!). And me? Reaching thirty doesn't feel weird to me. Don't get me wrong, I'm jazzed about my birthday, just no more or less than other years.

You won't be seeing any extra fuss or big party pictures from me for this birthday. Actually, the only plans I've made are to sew something special for myself, go to work like normal, eat dinner at the Outback (like every other birthday for the last ten years - I LOVE their cheese fries), cash in some birthday freebies and possibly watch the season finale of the Batchelorette. It should be low key and fun!


Thursday, July 14, 2016

Mocha, the Stubborn

It went like this...

"Mocha you need to move. I have to make the bed..."
Mocha stares at me. I pick him up and move him. 
He jumps back up.
I move him and make most of the bed. 
He jumps back up.
I'm tired of moving him.
He stands his ground in this spot for the next six hours, just to be stubborn. 

That cat is just too funny :) I think I'll call him "Mocha, the Stubborn" from now on!


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

What I'm Reading: July

Another month, another set of book reviews! Keeping with my fiction kick, I've found some real winners. As of the 1st of this month, I started prepping inventory for the September Handmade Vintage Market in Noblesville, Indiana, and it's a wonder that I'm able to find time to read at all, espeically since my "to read" pile is HUGE. (Post to be updated throughout the month - FYI!)

To Love a Stranger by Colleen Coble // I know Colleen Coble is a bestselling author, but I'm not sure I have read any of her books before. It's probably because she writes in the religious romantic genre, and I tend to stick closer to the mystery/suspense genre.

This book was a quick read, being around two hundred pages. The story revolves around Bessie, who has to deal with the ramifications of her younger sister's mistake of marrying a man by proxy...using Bessie's name instead of her own. Apparently, if Bessie reveals the truth of what happened, she would be sending her sister to jail for forgery. Reluctantly, Bessie feels like she has no choice but to travel to meet her new husband, Jasper, who is shocked to find that his new wife doesn't look anything like the photo he has. Great concept for a story line.

I wasn't a huge fan of this book, but not because of Coble's writing style or great character development. I'm just not that intrigued by Christian romance books.

The Witnesses by Robert Whitlow // I've never heard of this author before. I guess that Whitlow has a JD who has used his background to write several legal mystery books. Knowing that the author has a strong knowledge of law (I hate when I read a book and can tell the author doesn't have a base knowledge of what their characters do), coupled with how intriguing the short synopsis sounded, I was happy to pick up this book.

In this book, Parker is a young lawyer who accepts a position in the firm of his current love interest's father. Soon the secret inheritance he received from his grandfather, an 82 year old hoping to erase a murderous wartime past - an ability to see future events in his mind's eye - interferes with the small-town courtroom law.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book! It was bursting with great characters and suspense. Definitely a book to consider adding to your library queue.

Disclaimer: Several of the books in this post were provided to me free of charge in exchange for my honest review. All the opinions expressed are completely my own. Also, affiliate links used. This means that if you purchase a book via the Amazon links, I'll receive a small percentage. Thank you for supporting Sunday Charm!

Monday, July 11, 2016

The Mayan Mosaic Quilt Pattern

One talented quilt pattern designer, Suzy Quilts, is releasing a new quilt pattern on July 21st called the Mayan Mosaic Quilt. She included me in a test run of the pattern, and I simply can't wait to show you what I cooked up!

The only areas that I deviated from her pattern were to 1) eliminate the last row on each end of the quilt (the triangle rows) because I was running out of fabric, 2) use four fabrics instead of the combination of five fabrics Suzy used in her pattern. I wanted to use five fabrics, but after debating on fabric color combinations for over an hour, I wasn't able to find a fifth color that I loved enough to use with the other four colors that I was DYING over. And then 3) I used a different method for creating my HST's than the pattern called for, but that didn't change the resulting finished HST's in size, just a matter of personal experience at what method I work better with.

This pattern was slightly more time consuming than I originally thought because of creating 120 HST's. Those always take me a while, even though the time goes quickly when I start a Netflix series. Then again, if I wasn't trying to knock out this quilt in the span of two days while my husband was out of town for a band trip, it might not have seemed as time consuming! ;)

I machine quilted this quilt...very simply. I didn't want to distract from the design.

The instructions in this pattern were clear and easy to follow. Suzy listed a couple additional color combos at the end of the pattern to kick your imagination into gear and included a blank quilt pattern for you to fill in your own colors to get a feel for how it would look.

My symmetry lovin' heart gives this quilt pattern a fave review! Plus, the resulting quilt is STUNNING in person!


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Some Good Fun

I love a good game. Growing up, some of my favorite memories were playing board games with my family (game of rummy, anyone?!). Besides the tried and true board games - rummy, Uno, Sorry, Battleship, etc - here's a list, and review, of some of the most recent games I've played with friends.

Farkle // I first played this game with my in-laws, with a simple set of six dice (so you don't officially need the "game" in order to play Farkle). The idea is basic, revolving around trying to roll different combinations with your dice. It's good fun and and easy for new players to learn. It's so fun that when my college roommates and our husbands got together last September, we played this game multiple times...with all of us (over 12 people) around a extra large table. It got a bit rowdy!

If you don't want to spend $10+ dollars on this game, just grab six dice and Google the rules. You'll love it!

Punderdome // I was SO excited to try this game. The box appealed to me with its fun colors and fonts, making me jump at the chance for a game night with my BFF and our husbands. And my excitement was short-lived. Not that I don't love a good pun, but this game requires all participants to be on top of their game, mentally sharp and in the mood to create cheesy puns. If you're feeling the effects of a long work week, this probably isn't a good game to play. We didn't even last five minutes after reading the instructions. :\ If you're in the mindset to think quick on your feet, consider this game. Otherwise, I'd steer clear.

Apples to Apples // Because this game is always a winner with groups. I can honestly say this game is counted among some of the most rowdy and boisterous group games I've enjoyed. Apples to Apples is best played with larger groups (over six people). It's easy to learn and is based on comparing words, people and places in each round, with the person whose turn it is choosing the best comparison or combination option to their card. For instance, if the word is "irriatating," the options other players could throw out as comparisons could be "helping someone move," "cracking your knuckles," "hipsters," or "Hilary Clinton." See how Apples to Apples could encourage hilarity?
Disclaimer: The game Punderdome was provided to me free of charge in exchange for my honest review. All the opinions expressed are completely my own. Also, affiliate links used. This means that if you purchase a game via the Amazon links, I'll receive a small percentage. Thank you for supporting Sunday Charm!
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