Happy Earth Day!

Hello Everyone!

Happy Earth Day! Well we have had better and worse days weather wise for Earth Day. It’s cloudy and rain is coming this afternoon. But that won’t stop me from writing this post and being more mindful of my effects on the earth.

I thought I would share pictures of my spring garden as it slowly comes to life. My bulbs are dancing in the wind. My flowering shrubs are glowing this year. I would love to think I had something to do with the glow but a quick drive around town and I see this year most flowering shrubs are vibrant.

One of the exciting things happening this spring is my garlic. My son and I planted these babies back in early November. I never tried growing them but they are peeking up and making me happy. I hope now I can get them all the way to harvest.

Well I didn’t include any Earth day links this year but I do want to mention that even growing a few vegetables you typically eat in your garden is helpful for the earth and of course, yummy for your tummy. Using recyclable bags for both food and clothes shopping helps. Each year, learn new ways to help our planet.  It’s just a shift of mindset.

Enjoy your day!

Belinda

Top Ten Tuesday: Rainy Day Reads

Hello! It’s Tuesday and you know what time it is…Top Ten. Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl, Jana every week, they post a new topic/top ten list and invite everyone to share their own answers. Rainy day reads to me are books that draw you in fast. They are books that feel like an old friend, they are books that make me wonder. So here are 10 books that did that for me:

The Winter Sea (Slains #1)

The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley 

Love this author. Her books pull me in and take me away. I love that she incorporates historical facts into each of her stories. This one is sure to be a fantastic rainy day read for anyone.

 

 

 

 

Dread Nation (Dread Nation, #1)

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

Who said zombies aren’t cool? This book captures your interest from the start and the structure of the story with a letter from the main character and her daughter starting each chapter keeps you coming back for more.

 

 

 

The Invisible Library (The Invisible Library, #1)

 

 

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman

Books, libraries, magic, strong female with a sexy sidekick/secondary character is the answer to rainy day woes. This is the start to a really fun series. I have been taking my time with this series. I have only read two so far but really enjoy them.

 

 

The Sun Is Also a Star

 

 

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

A love story that takes the course of a day sounds crazy right but it really works with this story that also glimpses into the world of immigrants and deportation. A fast ride for a gray rainy day!

 

 

Sleeping Giants (Themis Files, #1)

 

 

Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

Good science fiction and fantasy always pulls me in with a sense of wonder. This first book in a trilogy is really easy to immerse into. The characters are interesting and the possibilities keep you guessing.

 

 

Land of Shadows (Detective Elouise Norton #1)

 

Land of Shadows by Rachel Howzell Hall

Just read this last month and wow, loved it. It’s a crime fiction but with a kick-ass black female detective. Something you rarely see in books or film. Eloise “Lou” is so smart and the story is so compelling. It is a fantastic start to a series. I have already bought the next book so I can go hang out with her and her partner to solve another case.

 

Rainy Day Sisters (Hartley-by-the-Sea #1)

 

Rainy Day Sisters by Kate Hewitt

I read this so long ago. But it is one of those stories where the main character has to put distance between her life to find herself and a hottie in the process. Couldn’t put it down.

 

 

 

The Wedding Date

 

The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory

Read this a few months ago and I don’t read much romance but this one pulled me in and never let go. I could not look away from this crazy romance. It was a debut book and I already bought another book by this author because she writes this stuff that good. Nothing like a little “steam” to chase away the gloom of a rainy day!!

 

The Salaryman's Wife (Rei Shimura #1)

 

The Salaryman’s Wife (Rei Shimura #1) by Sujata Massey

This is an auto-buy author and this began with this debut novel when it came out in 2000. I can’t believe it is almost 20 years ago I read this book. This was the start to an amazing series that brings you into the life of a Japanese American Rei who teaches English in Japan while also dealing in antiques. You learn so much in each book about different aspects of Japanese culture and the characters are fantastic. Many who re-appear in future books in the series. Once pulled into this series, you will forget it’s raining.

Kindred

 

Kindred by Octavia Butler

This was my introduction to this incredibly talented writer who went on to become one of the greatest science fiction writers. Unfortunately her life was cut short and we are left with her amazing books. This book was her debut novel and it pulls you in in a different way. It’s main character travels back and forth in time. It hits you with hard realities of slavery and keeps you coming back to find out what happens next. Don’t let the slavery deter you from such a rich experience. You won’t know it’s raining once you open the pages of this gem.

Happy reading!

Belinda

 

What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday – #514

Hello my creative friends! It’s been a little while since I posted my desk and snooped around yours. Hopefully I can get two in this month. Every other week seems to work better for me. Before I babble, let me explain for the newbies. For those of you that aren’t familiar with WOYWW (What’s On Your Workdesk Wednesday), head on over to Julia’s Stamping Ground and you will find desks from all around the world where we get to snoop on other crafter’s desks.

What a clean desk you might ask. Well that is only because I went to my annual girlfriend creative weekend and took a whole bunch of stuff with me to play. It is usually between 10 – 15 of us that attend a weekend in a beautiful Inn up north. I stayed and played for 4 days! If you want to see some sights from my craft escape check it our here. So that is why my desk is exceptionally tidy.

The floral binder is my new garden journal. I couldn’t resist the beautiful color and the flowers oo la la!!  It’s smaller than I usually use but I will give it a try and see how it works. It being smaller might help me update it more regularly since it would be bulky and heavy to lug around. Front and center is my case with my Prismacolor colored pencils. To the right of it is my brand spankin’ new colored pencil sharpener. I saw a colorist on YouTube talk about it this past weekend and had to have it. I have two small sharpeners that I use but this one gets the sharpest point and it’s said prevents some of the breaking that occurs on occasion while sharpening the pencils. My hands also get tired using my other manual sharpeners. This one you only need to turn the handle 3-4 turns to get an amazing point. It has a self grip for the pencil so it’s easy to use on my desktop or I can also attach it to my desk with the supplies included. So I am going through my case and sharpening all of my pencils in preparation for my next coloring session. This could not happen with my old sharpeners because my hands would be killing me. So I am happy with this purchase.

Look how sharp the pencil is after I sharpen it. So excited. Well that is all I have today. But I will spend the next few days checking out what you ladies have been up to since I last visited!

Make it a crafty day!!

Belinda

Annual Girls Trip Recap

Well hello my friends. I hope you are well today. It’s quite gloomy outside but inside I am feeling happy. I just arrived home Sunday night from my annual girlfriend weekend and boy is it good for the soul. I left Thursday morning and rode up with my friend who doesn’t mind the long drive. It’s always fun because we get caught up on each other’s lives and before we know it we are almost there. But our first stop is to this lovely cafe that serves the yummiest sandwiches and then when our bellies are full we ride the final 10 minutes to the Inn. I never tire watching all of the mountain views as we get closer to our destination.

This year was our 10th anniversary having this trip and when we arrived they had a fabulous spread that included a chocolate fountain with yummy fruit to dip in it.

I took the time to enjoy a massage right at the inn. I always put off getting them throughout the year but I think this year I am going to change that and try to incorporate it. Maybe one every other month because the knots and tension in my shoulders are no joke!

I worked on loads of card-making projects breaking out many new stamps and inks and then I even spent some time coloring in one of my new coloring books.

I tested out new techniques and played with new stamps. It was productive and fun to relax and play with my supplies uninterrupted.

The food and service at the Inn were amazing as usual. Once again I was spoiled by the staff when it came to breakfast options!

The ladies are so talented in so many areas. Two of my friends are amazing quilters and there was a lot of oooo and aaah going on all weekend as we pawed all of there pretty creations.

My friend Pam and I had been discussing her beautiful quilts and I asked her if she had time, if she could make me one. Well she brought the finished product to give to me on our trip and let me tell you, I am over the moon! I told her the colors I like and that I like hummingbirds. She made the most amazing quilt for me. She had it wrapped in a matching pillowcase. I couldn’t stop talking about it while I was there. Ok, maybe a little bragging! But it’s so beautiful. I even took it out and sat by the fireplace with my current read and broke it in. I am so grateful and feel blessed to have such a generous friend to lend her talent to make me something so special.  I know I am going to get a lot of use out of this quilt.

I broke in my quilt with a fireside reading session. I look forward to many hours with this beauty!

My friend Pam was a productive one this weekend. This is a wall hanging she made while we were there. It’s even more beautiful in person.

I stayed up later than I normally do to hang out but then each night I had a date with my book and fireplace. Unfortunately, most nights I didn’t read very far before I would fall asleep.

Kathryn made t-shirts to help us celebrate reaching 10 years of our creative escape!

Overall another successful trip and l look forward to the fun next year.

Belinda

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