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Youtube Spotlight: Bernadette Banner

Another costume-maker who I love to watch on Youtube is Bernadette Banner! She lives in New York city and her videos are full of cool historical research and an unbelievable amount of hand-sewing. I would call her crazy, but I'm hand sewing a king-sized hexagon quilt so....I'll call her ambitious and dedicated instead! Really though, her stuff is impressive, her vlogs are interesting and entertaining, and she does most of it in New York city which is basically a foreign country to a suburban Texas girl like me! Check her out!



Recent posts

Teaching them Catan

Over Christmas break, I taught Jack and James how to play Settlers of Catan.

After the babies were in bed, I set up the board and let them choose their colors. The first night we played, it was Catan in the simplest form.  No development cards, no longest road, and no robber until we'd gone around a few times and gotten the hang of it. Trading I let come naturally, when James didn't have the right cards for his settlement and I suggested that he ask Jack if he had one. We only played to five points. It was awesome.

I first played Settlers of Catan in college, with Gunnar and our friends and roommates, and with John and his friends. It became an obsession, and almost every night me and my roommate would set up the board while the guys cleaned up dinner, and then afterwards we would all play these epic long games with two games worth of land tiles, creative setups like "gold island" or "four islands," and lots of fun and sometimes even some arguments.

James,…

New Year New Goals! 2020

I have always been a huge planner junkie, and anyone who knows me knows that I have used a planner every single year of my life since the 6th grade.

Currently I use a customized horizontal Plum Paper planner, unbound, which I then hole punch and put into my original purple patent leather A5 Filofax binder. It lays open on the desk downstairs in front of the computer and I write everything the family needs to do and know in it!

I also love goals and goal-setting, and this year I used the Year Compass free downloadable booklet to reflect on my past year and make plans for the new year. It's very journaling-heavy, but since I also love journaling, it was perfect for me!

Which brings me to my goals! My friend Christina just posted her 20x20 goals for 2020 and while I am very impressed by her initiative, I'm not quite as ambitious! I've narrowed my goals down to a few major areas, many of them are just continuations from last year with a little expansion.

1. Be Black Belt Ready

What I'm reading/watching/playing December

ReadingThe Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee

I didn't love it. I didn't dislike it enough to stop reading it, but I definitely only read the bare minimum and it took me almost the entire month to read it.  I'm not even sure what I don't like about it, to be honest...maybe it's too "hard" of sci-fi for me? There is a lot of tactics and warfare. Maybe it's the random use of alternate words for normal things (like calling all the ships moths) that made it really hard to figure out what was going in..I don't know. I do like the main character and the situation she's in, but it's just not dramatic enough, and didn't pull me in.


The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch (Didn't Finish)

I hated it and couldn't finish. I got about 1/3 of the way through and was so not into it, so I read a bunch of reviews to see if it was going to get better, and the things described in the reviews were not things that I particularly wanted to read about, and…

In 2019

In the year 2019... I read 33 books
I finished 4 quilts
I made 46 blog posts
I earned my red II belt! 

And I had a baby! He's 7 months old now!


And much, much more! I made costumes and doll clothes, I cared for increased workload of kids full time, I went to Padre Island and Lake Buchanan, I helped out at my church's MOM's group, I laughed and cried and yelled and sweated..
It wasn't all good. I said goodbye to a very dear friend who has moved on in her life to new things. My father-in-law who has Alzheimer's is sadly not doing well. He is in a nursing home but does not know any of his children or grandchildren anymore. Jack broke his arm, we all got a pneumonia-like respiratory infection that lasted ages. My c-section recovery was long and very difficult. 



I didn't meet all my goals either...or rather, I re organized my priorities. I put my in-progress novels on the back burner and stopped going to my writing group.  I also neglected my Catan Quilt...partly d…

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! We did Christmas photos early in December, and I'm so glad we did because this season has been BUSY! Especially this past week which involved a water leak in our house and no hot water for the past three days, three kids with the flu, and of course Christmas! Luckily the illnesses didn't strike until the day after Christmas, so we all got to enjoy presents and Christmas Dinner and family time. It was a great day!

Hope ya'll's holidays are awesome!

Love from Angela and the fam!


The best of the almost 200 photos I took that day: 

What I'm Reading/Watching/Playing: November

What I'm ReadingBinti by Nnedi Okorafor This novella was AMAZING and well deserving of it's Nebula/Hugo wins! More happened in the first 30 pages of this book than in the entireity of some of the Wheel of Time books. (Joking! Kinda...) I'm not going to give too much away, it's super short and I recommend you just read it, but the culture, the aliens, and the technology were all very cool and interesting twists on the normal sci-fi experience. Read it!
Binti: Home by Nnedi OkoraforThis one was as terrible as the first one was good. I was cringing through the entire thing and wondering why on Earth the author was dragging us through so much pointless teen angst. Even the sci-fi elements that were so cool and interesting in the first book became boringly over explained in this one. Why???? I pushed through in the hope that the third one would be better, and because the first one was so good, and because it was so short.
Binti: The Night Masquerade by Nnedi OkoraforThis o…