I’m Just Going To Veto The Last Two Weeks. Oh, and Zines.

Seriously, I’m pretending the new year just started this past weekend. Why? I’ve been sick nearly straight through since the weekend after Christmas. In all honesty, I was due – I very rarely get sick, I’ve been under a lot of mental stress, and once the holidays ended my body just went, “THAT’S IT. WE’RE SHUTTING DOWN.”, and BAM! Bring on the plague.

However, I am finally feeling pretty much 100% again and can’t wait to dive into my goals for January (which I am epically behind on)! Despite being sick, it was actually really nice to spend nights just vegging out with Netflix on the couch, and forcing myself to just RELAX. Yeah, the sickness part sucked, but I am so happy with myself for using all my free time to chill and recover, and not try and be working on projects and goals through the whole thing. It was a much needed break.

Today I want to talk about zines! As I mentioned in my yearly goals post, I really want to start reading zines. Why? Simply put, I feel they are right up my alley. I love memoirs, and personal blogs, and zines just seems like a fabulous mini-version of that. Plus, with every purchase I am supporting an indie business/artist/writer, which is yet another thing I love to do. So all around, it just seems like something I’m going to love.

I have to thank the wonderful Sonya Cheney for introducing me to the term ‘zine’ last year. As a zine writer herself, she had a few posts about them when I first started following her and I was instantly intrigued. Recently, she put together this post highlighting her favorite zine distributors. It’s an amazing jumping off point. There are pages and pages of zines to browse through! Here are my top picks for my first order:

Via Pioneers Press:

Anything by Julia Eff. I was drawn in by the titles, and after reading the descriptions, they sound amazing.

Better Days: Stuff That Helps With All This Anxiety by Sarah Rose. Given my anxiety struggles as of late, this sounds perfect.

Via Stranger Danger:

Always and Forever: A Zine About Friendship

Dig Deep, any of them.


I still need to decide what to order, but you can be sure they’ll be a post on my January picks! Do you read zines? What are some of your faves that I should check out?

Life In Photos #24


Our morning walks are still going strong! We decided to walk up near my mother-in-law’s house this week as she has some excellent back country roads to walk on.


My little miss had a blast collecting as much mica as she could find! She now has her own mica jar to fill to the brim.


We stumbled upon this gorgeous view on one of our walks. I am absolutely having our family photos done here this year! Especially once the leaves start to turn – it’s going to be so beautiful!


This tree in particular. I can’t wait until it turns, and we can take photos with it. So perfect!



I ended up having an little impromptu photo shoot with my miss when we came upon this rock. I am so in love with the pictures! I took about fifty! I have a ton in color too, which look great, but these two black and whites are a couple of my faves. I just love black and white photography.


And lastly, my little is so into ‘reading’ to her stuffies/toys lately. She has always loved to, but lately her stories are getting so much more complex! I love listening to her (though so far my attempts to record any haven’t been stealthy enough haha) and just basking in her imagination. It’s definitely one of the most amazing parts of becoming a parent.

Instagram RoundUp


Clockwise from top left…

1. This little fox is my first pattern that I designed myself for a plush! There’ll be a bit more info about him on this coming WIP Wednesday.

2. I attempted to make little French Macarons this week and boy was it a baking fail haha! However, despite looking all wrong, they really did taste delicious.

3. I don’t often do selfies, but I got tagged for one this week and my little had to photobomb.

4. We’ve still been having lovely visits with our donkey friends! The baby’s fuzzy head just kills me!! So cute!!


Novel Tea Book Club: July Review and August’s Book

At the beginning of July, I posted about My Life as a Teacup‘s new venture, The Novel Tea Book Club. I am so glad I joined, as it was such a great experience (and we read a great book to boot!).

July’s book was Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Book Store by Robin Sloan, and I found it to be a great read. I had no idea what it was about going in (other than the title) and I love that. Getting caught up in the mystery as the plot unfolds along the way is one of my favorite things about this book. I won’t go into spoilers here in case you decided to pick it up (which I highly recommend), but it had great characters, a very compelling plot/mystery, and I love that it made you think. It touched so much on the idea of physical books vs. technology, and where things are potentially going in that area which made for excellent discussions in the book club Facebook page.  For a more in depth review, I highly suggest you check out Kristin’s vlog review on her Youtube channel. It’s an excellent review which I 100% agree with.

As for the book club itself, I am loving that too! The Facebook page had some excellent discussions going on throughout the reading. There is no feeling of intimidation either – it’s totally free form for anyone to post in, and that is so great! Also, I love that there isn’t a sense of urgency to fly through the book to keep up. Everyone goes at their own pace, you comment on the posts you want to, and it’s entirely stress free. Perfection.

Speaking of August, the book club members voted and we are reading Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell! I’m excited (I voted for this choice) as I’ve seen it everywhere, heard all good things about it, but have yet to read it! However, I am totally slacking and haven’t bought/checked out a copy yet! Really need to get on that. . .

So, if you’re looking for a great summer book club, I highly recommend joining The Novel Tea Book Club for August if you haven’t yet!

Life In Photos #17

This series is supposed to be posted on Sundays, but lately it’s been totally random! Luckily, all our major weekend trips are done for the year, so I can start getting back on schedule with it!

E and beetle

My goal this year was to have my little not be afraid of bugs. She was terrified of them in spring. Now, she’s a bona fide bug lover! At least of ‘non-bitey’ bugs, as she calls them. But if it’s a beetle, butterfly, or caterpillar, she adores it. She is constantly building little bug shelters out of sticks, leaves, and grass for her bug friends!

building and dinos

Building sweet block castles for her dinosaurs!

cloud bull

We saw this cloud while driving, which I totally think looks like a bull charging with his head down. Do you see it? Or something else?


She loves to ‘read’, and I am adoring her being of the age where she knows stories by memory! It’s so cute listening to her read to herself.


A caterpillar friend she found while camping on our annual family reunion this weekend.

Instagram RoundUp


Going clockwise…

1. My little has been practicing her writing lately. Not bad for three and a half!

2. More radishes ready for picking! YUM! I love adding them in to tuna salad instead of onions. Adds great flavor!

3. Saga. So in love with it! My awesome neighbor has lent me the first two, and I can’t wait to read the third!

4. We took our first raspberry picking trip last week! So much yummy goodness – raspberries are my absolute favorite fruit!


Life In Photos #15

Hope everyone had a great 4th of July weekend! Mine was filled with family, fun, and food! Just the way I like it. Got some yummy recipe posts for later in the week too. For now, a photo catch-up.

Fourth dress

In her dress for the fourth!


Despite this picture being blurry and not well framed, I still love it. I love seeing the looks of joy on my favorite two people!

in the lake

lake with daddy

wrapped up

Beach trips! The water is still too chilly for me, but the miss just runs on in. Luckily Daddy is willing to go with her!

drying herbs

My herbs are doing great! Right now I’ve got oregano and basil up on the drying line. The oregano is actually ready to crush and get bottled. Also, pardon my chicken scratch menu board there. 😀


She’s such a serious painter.

reading to stuffies

Reading to her stuffies during quiet time.

candle stalactites

I always pack candles when camping, and I love the wax stalactites that taper candles make!

floor nap

Sometimes quiet time turns into a nap.

I guess I was pretty child focused with this weeks bunch! What can I say, I just love taking photos of her. I think I’m going to start finding some prompts to follow along with (besides #creativedaily) – maybe even a new photo challenge! Do you participate in one?

Life In Photos #9

Happy Easter to everyone! Although my little family isn’t religious, we still have an egg hunt and basket for our little miss, and then dinner with the family in the evening. I hope however you celebrate that it’s a wonderful day!


The little’s Easter basket. New comics, a couple handmade lovelies (from Sugar Crumbs and Crafteroni & Cheese), some toys and treats – she’s a happy kiddo!


Lately she has been all about this book of fairy tales. Brings it all around the house reading to her toys and stuffies. So cute!


Last night I had the house to myself and whipped up some easy Brinner – sweet potato homefries and scrambled eggs. Om. Nom.


We went on an adventure in the woods on Friday and this was my absolute favorite shot of the day. I have such a love for partial black and whites – I seriously would love to have a room for just photos of that nature!

– Kayly

Life In Photos #2

*A quick update on my December baking post which would normally be today. Originally for my daughter’s birthday this past weekend I was going to make vanilla and chocolate cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting, but after she had a bite of her Daddy’s carrot cake (see December Baking Week 1) she requested that instead! And the sugar cookies I made for her party were the same recipes as the ones I posted already. . .so the long and short of it is I have no new recipes to share this week, oops! But feel free to take a look back at December Baking Week 1 and snag those yummy recipes. I can’t recommend the carrot cake enough. And there will certainly be more December baking posts. . .this week kicks off the beginning of holiday baking!*

What we’ve been up to lately:

Life in Photos #2

First Row:
1. My little fashionista.
2. Finally started wrapping Christmas presents!
3. Got my new corner gallery up and I love it.

Second Row:
1. Eight inches of snow makes my miss a happy girl.
2. Mimi gave us some new marble road sets (or ‘marble castles’ as my three year old calls them!).
3. My miss has been very into reading by herself lately. . .I love to listen to her narrate the pictures!

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A-Z Book Survey

Alycia from Habitual Homebody had yet another cool survey post – this time about books! So here it is – feel free to snag it to use yourself.

Author you’ve read the most books from:

I think it’s probably Augusten Burroughs. I’ve read all but two of his books, and they are excellent. Such a brilliant combination of dark humor, sad truths, and honesty. I like that.

Best Sequel Ever:

I think I’ll have to go with ‘The Girl Who Played With Fire’ by Stieg Larsson, which is Book 2 of  The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo series. I liked ‘The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’, but I wasn’t riveted for the whole book. With Book 2, I was. I could NOT put that book down. Book 3 is fabulous as well – I highly recommend the whole series.

Currently Reading:

‘The Way of Shadows’ by Brent Weeks. It was loaned by a friend who knows I love fantasy novels, and it is quite good so far. And it’s one a trilogy, so I have two more after, yay!

Drink of Choice While Reading:

Tea. But then again, tea is always my drink of choice. However, if it’s super late, or I’m in bed, usually it’s a bottle of water.

E-reader or Physical Book?

I have both, and I like both equally. Originally, I thought I would hate a Kindle. Nothing beats holding a physical book, or that lovely book smell. But when we got our Kindle many years back, I begrudgingly tried it, and found out I like it! It is really so much more convenient in bed than trying to comfortably lay and hold open an 800+ page hardcover book. And since it’s not a standard screen like a computer, I don’t get the headache problem from staring at a screen too long (which is why I will never get a Kindle Fire).

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School:

I’d have to say Simon from the YA series Mortal Instruments. He’s nerdy, a bit weird, into anime, and hot. Pretty much sums up my actual high school dating experience! But I think he’s realistically the most like me and my friends in high school, therefore, the most likely fictional guy I would’ve dated.

Glad You Gave This Book A Chance:

‘Lamb’ by Christopher Moore. I was in a bookstore, just browsing the shelves, and I picked up Lamb. At first, I was put off because it had to do with religion (it is a ‘re-telling’ of the Christian gospel according to Christ’s childhood pal, Biff. Yes, it’s a comedy). Now, I have nothing against religion, I myself am just not a religious person so I wasn’t sure I’d be interested in the book. But a complete stranger (a girl about my age ,which was 20 or so at the time) saw me with it and said, “Just read it. You will love it. It’s hilarious.” Well, that was enough for me. I bought it, and it is currently one of my all time favorite books. It IS hysterical, but it has it has sad and serious moments as well. I definitely recommend it.

Hidden Gem Book:

‘Lamb’ by Christopher Moore. See above question.

Important Moment in your Reading Life:

When I was nine or ten years old I read a book called ‘The Daydreamer’ by Ian McEwan. It was the first book I remember that really sucked me into another world. It has fantasy elements in (the main character is constantly daydreaming about his everyday life) and it is the first memory I have of realizing that reading can really show you amazing things.

Just Finished:

The third book in the Gentlemen Bastard series, ‘The Republic of Thieves’ by Scott Lynch. This series is absolutely fantastic, and the first book ‘The Lies of Locke Lamora’ is in my top ten books of all time. The Republic of Thieves is good, but not as good as the first two. It suffers from sequel-itis, in that it really seems to be setting you up for the NEXT book, which sounds like it will be far more interesting. But this was still a great read.

Kinds of Books You Won’t Read:

Romance novels. I’ve just never had an interest. I mean, not that I mind stories involving a love story, but for the most part they are secondary plots in the books I like. That being said, I have read the 50 Shade of Grey series, and I don’t consider them love stories. They are basically porn, in book form.

Longest Book You’ve Read:

A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin, book 2 in his Song of Ice and Fires series. Clocks in at 1,004 pages. Dance with Dragons (Book 5) is longer, but I have yet to read it.

Major book hangover because of:

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green. I am not a sappy person, but every since I had a child, I can not handle anything having to do with sick/dying children. This whole book was about kids with cancer. Cue sobbing silently on the couch for half the book, and for about an half an hour after I finished it. But despite that, I highly recommend the book because it is excellent!

Number of Bookcases You Own:


One Book You Have Read Multiple Times:

Besides the entire Harry Potter series, I have read Dry by Augusten Burroughs about eight or nine times. It is in my top ten books of all time, and I love it every time I read it.

Preferred Place To Read:

Curled up on my couch with a blanket.
Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read:

“The marks humans leave are too often scars.”
John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

“Much of my life had been devoted to trying not to cry in front of people who loved me, so I knew what Augustus was doing. You clench your teeth. You look up. You tell yourself that if they see you cry, it will hurt them, and you will be nothing but a Sadness in their lives, and you must not become a mere sadness, so you will not cry, and you say all of this to yourself while looking up at the ceiling, and then you swallow even though your throat does not want to close and you look at the person who loves you and smile.”
John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

“We’re as likely to hurt the universe as we are to help it, and we’re not likely to do either.”
John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

This whole book gave me the feels, but those quotes are a few I really love.

Reading Regret:

The Great Gatsby. I couldn’t even finish it. I didn’t care about a single character in the book, nor any of the events.

Series You Started And Need To Finish (all books are out in series):

The Divergent series by Veronica Roth. Allegiant (the final book) just came out last month, and I bought the whole series but at the time, my hubs had taken over the kindle. When he’s finished, it’s next on my list!

Three of your All-Time Favorite Books:

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
World War Z by Max Brooks
Lamb by Christopher Moore

Unapologetic Fangirl For:

The Mortal Instruments series – they’re a YA series, and while I recognize they aren’t spectacular, I thoroughly enjoy them!

Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others:

Allegiant (final book in the Divergent trilogy) which just came out, and the next Gentlemen Bastard book which probably won’t be out for years, as the most recent one just came out last month. But I want more!

Worst Bookish Habit:

Constantly adding to my ‘Want To Read’ list on Goodreads without ever actually reading books on that list. I’m usually too frugal to constantly buy books, so I read books my neighbor loans me that aren’t on my list (but at least they’re good!).

X Marks The Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book:

The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson (Book 2 of the Mistborn series – excellent series!!)

Your latest book purchase:

Bought The Republic of Thieves (Book 3 of Gentlement Bastards) and the Divergent trilogy on the same day.

ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late):

When I first read the Divergent series. I could NOT put those books down – definitely my favorite YA series. I had a couple late-nighters with the Mortal Instruments books as well.

Hope you got some new books you’d like to read out of this – I did in reading the previous answers! I tend to sway towards fantasy novels, and I have a soft spot for YA series so if you have any recommendations, I’d love to hear them.

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