Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 * A Blog Year in Review

I find it fun to look back through the year of blog posts. There are some posts that I had forgotten about or find fun to read over again.

I started the new year with finish up some redecorating of my room which I blogged about.

Kristin and I kicked off the Sisters Book Challenge.

I did my series on some Collections I have. 

I was inspired to make a new recipe.

We went to visit my brother and his family in Maine. It was so much fun!

I took my nieces and nephews on special outings for ice cream and Aunt Kati time. We had such a great time!

I found the perfect canisters for my future kitchen at Macy's.

Bekah had a photo shoot to document her new glasses.

We went to a barn sale and I came back with two vintage treasures.

This month was devoted entirely to my 31 Days series.

We enjoyed the fall colors while we anticipated a visit from Ryan and family over Thanksgiving.

I found and purchased my camera bag and matching strap.

Friday, December 27, 2013

What Are You Reading? Year in Review

This year, I decided to keep a reading journal. It helps me keep track of what I've read as well as books I want to read. It has helped me to read more books as well as keep a tally of how many books I've read this year. I also got a goodreads account which aids in the number of books read in the year as well as my book goal. I set a goal of 50 books to read this year but I exceeded that goal and read close to 60 books.

The most read authors of the year were Beverly Lewis and Agatha Christie. I read 11 Beverly Lewis books and 5 Agatha Christie books. They are both excellent writers and their books are easy to read. I never get bored with their books. 

My favorite book of the year would probably be Kate Morton's The Secret Keeper. This book was one on the Sisters Book Challenge reading list. (You can read my review of the book ~here~.) Next year, I plan to add a few of her other books to my list.

Rachel Hauck, author of The Wedding Dress would be a new favorite author. I love how the author wove four different women into her story about one wedding dress. 

The biggest disappointment in my reading this year was Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran. I thought this book about the famous wax sculptress would be a neat story but I found it to be boring and a few passages I had to skip. 

C. S. Lewis said that "A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest." This year, my favorite children's lit was Calico Bush by Rachel Field. This book took place in Maine during the French and Indian War. 

And my favorite non-fiction book would be How Not to Die by Dr. Jan Garavaglia. This book was easy to read and very informative. (You can read my review of this book ~here~.)

To see all the books I read in the year 2013, click ~here~.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Once in Royal David's City

Once in Royal David's City
words by Cecil Alexander

Once in royal David’s city
Stood a lowly cattle shed,
Where a mother laid her Baby
In a manger for His bed:
Mary was that mother mild,
Jesus Christ her little Child.

 He came down to earth from Heaven,
Who is God and Lord of all,
And His shelter was a stable,
And His cradle was a stall;
With the poor, and mean, and lowly,
Lived on earth our Savior holy.

 And, through all His wondrous childhood,
He would honor and obey,
Love and watch the lowly maiden,
In whose gentle arms He lay:
Christian children all must be
Mild, obedient, good as He.

 For He is our childhood’s pattern;
Day by day, like us He grew;
He was little, weak and helpless,
Tears and smiles like us He knew;
And He feeleth for our sadness,
And He shareth in our gladness.

 And our eyes at last shall see Him,
Through His own redeeming love,
For that Child so dear and gentle
Is our Lord in Heav’n above,
And He leads His children on
To the place where He is gone.

 Not in that poor lowly stable,
With the oxen standing by,
We shall see Him; but in Heaven,
Set at God’s right hand on high;
Where like stars His children crowned
All in white shall wait around.

:: :: :: :: ::

She gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped Him in cloths and placed Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.  -Luke 2:6-7

Friday, December 20, 2013

Photo Friday: My New Camera Bag and Strap

Instead of posting a picture and saying a few words about it for Photo Friday, this week I want to talk about my new camera bag and strap...

I have been looking for a new camera bag. I wanted one that was cute but still protected my camera. In doing searches on Amazon and other online stores, I saw a lot of leather and more traditional camera bags but nothing in cute colors or patterns. So I turned to Etsy. I searched, and searched, and searched for the right thing. Finally, I came across the shop Main Street Camera. They made camera bags with plenty of padding which could be adjusted to fit your camera. And they also had a variety of colors and patterns to chose from!

The next step was to chose which pattern/color I wanted. I finally decided on one but when I went to order, the bag had sold. I thought about picking a different bag from their shop but then I decided to put in a custom order for a bag similar to what I saw before. I also wanted a camera strap that matched the bag.

I sent out my custom request and within hours, Emily and Jenn responded to me to talk details and by the end of the day, I had purchased my bag and strap. They were very speedy in getting my order made and out. It was even shipped before the date estimated. Shipping was fast, too. Within a week of putting in my custom order, the package was in my hands.

The bag and the strap are excellently made. With the adjustable padding, Nick fits in well along with my other lens and there is a bit of room for extra small items. The bag has an adjustable shoulder strap which makes it easy to carry at my desired length.

The camera strap fits well and has a pocket for a lens cap. I think I'll be using this a lot when I'm using the lens that doesn't have the lens cap leash on it. 

I would recommend this shop to anyone!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

{Guest Post} Chalkboard Gift Tags Tutorial

Yesterday, I shared with you what I used for my wrapping this year. Today, my sister Bekah is here to share what she used this year.

~ ~ ~

On our Christmas shopping trip this year, when we went into Williams-Sonoma, I saw some chalkboard tags and I was inspired to make my own. This year, I was using turquoise with pink and silver accents but these tags can go with any color theme.  

Below is a tutorial on how to make your own chalkboard gift tags. 


Twelve-year-old Homeschool student. Piano player. Lover of cats. Avid reader. Crafter.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas Wrapping

I like to change how I wrap my gifts each year. Last year, I wrapped with shiny polka dot and snowflake paper. The year before I went with aqua snowflake paper with red curly ribbon. I've also wrapped with paper printed with green and pink ornaments. Then there was the year I had a mixture of several brightly colored papers.

This year, I have a lot of red in my decor so I went with a red and white striped paper from Target. For tags, I used book page Christmas trees that also go with my tree decorations. These are tied on with jute. 

Do you change up your wrapping from year to year?

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A Vintage-Inspired Christmas

This past year, I have been leaning towards more of a vintage flair in my decorating. I have always loved the vintage look but this year I added a typewriter, a suitcase, a chalkboard, and a handful of vintage keys to my decor collection.

Vintage not only shows up in my decorating during the year, but at Christmastime as well. 

I decorated my tree with book page Christmas trees (tutorial found ~here~) hung up with red and white bakers twine with a few keys added here and there. 

A close up of the book page trees. You can see part of one of the keys, too.

I love my mini gingerbread houses and trees. I look forward to putting these out every year. 

I love using the color red especially at Christmas. The red in the plate compliments the red blanket and pillow bringing the corner together. 

My yo-yo Christmas tree, a candle, and a vintage hankie (a loan from my sister) top my vintage typewriter box. 

A vintage tin from my grandmother sits atop my two copies of A Christmas Carol. 

On this tray, I put a pitcher with holly, three red votive candle holders, and my red cardinal figurine. 

I love how just a few new decor pieces makes the whole space transform into something new and fresh. 

Merry Christmas!


Linking up to Nester's Tour of Homes...

Christmas welcome

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Away in a Manger

Away in a Manger
verses 1&2 anonymous
verse 3 John McFarland

Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
The little Lord Jesus laid down His sweet head.
The stars in the sky looked down where He lay,
The little Lord Jesus, asleep on the hay.

The cattle are lowing, the Baby awakes,
But little Lord Jesus, no crying He makes;
I love Thee, Lord Jesus, look down from the sky
And stay by my cradle till morning is nigh.

Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay
Close by me forever, and love me, I pray;
Bless all the dear children in Thy tender care,
And fit us for Heaven to live with Thee there.

~ ~ ~

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.  -Luke 2:7

Friday, December 13, 2013

Photo Friday: Love

Our cat Moses is an outdoor kitty but he tries to sneak in when the door opens. When Moses does come in he loves getting rubs and Ben loves to give them to him. 

They bonded...

They hugged...

Moses loved some chin rubs...

And they even posed for a picture...

Kati’s Little Corner of the World

Monday, December 9, 2013

Campfire Fun

When my brother, sister-in-law, nieces, and nephew were home for Thanksgiving, I was able to give them their Christmas gifts. It was so much fun watching the kids open the felt campfire set that I made for them. 

As soon as they opened it they set up a campfire and roasted a few s'mores.

Peter was fascinated with how the marshmallow stuck to the stick. He would pull it off and put it back on over and over again.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Photo Friday: Eight + Link-up

The week of Thanksgiving, all eight of my nieces and nephews were in one place. That doesn't happen too often since my brother and family don't live close. I took the opportunity to take pictures (some candid, some not so much) of all of them. 

top left to right: Gavin (10), Maddie (9), Owen (7), Eve (6)
bottom left to right: Ben (5), Nora (4), Alaine (3), Peter (3)

Kati’s Little Corner of the World