What’s Up, Y’all?

What’s up, y’all? πŸ˜€ It’s been a month since I announced the upcoming release of my YA novel, Mrs. Willows, but boy, it seems like much longer than that! I have been busy, busy, busy. Nevertheless, I am happy to report that formatting has been finished, the dedication and author’s note have been written, and the cover has been designed. Speaking over the cover, EEEEEP! It is soooooo pretty you guys!! I am in love with it and I cannot wait to share it with you! I will continue to keep you up to date on that as time goes on.

Something else I’ve done this month that I have wanted to do for a long time was make homemade ravioli!! My cousin and I found a recipe from Taste of Home and decided to try it out. Our pasta was a little too thick (next time we’ll have to roll it out thinner, but that’s harder than it sounds) and it probably should’ve boiled for a little bit longer…but other than that, we were very happy with the results! Homemade ravioli has been checked off the bucket list, and next on the agenda is cream puffs…at some point. πŸ˜‰

I decided to take a leap and try to make a ten-stitch blanket on my knitting loom, and so far it’s going well. I’ve enjoyed loom knitting for two years now (LoomAHat is amazing!) and have made hats, scarves, and dolls. Out of those three, scarves are my least favorite to make just because they take so long. My patience for big projects (or lack thereof) is the reason I put off the ten-stitch blanket for so long. I was afraid that I would start it and never finish, but as of now, I’m pleasantly surprised. It knits up quicker than I thought it would and I’m glad I decided to make each ring a different color. I like anticipating a color change.

My To Be Read pile has grown to…*counts on fingers*…five books. No, actually it’s six. πŸ˜› I just finished Beverly Lewis’ newest release, The First Love, which I enjoyed. Now I have to decide between June Bug by Chris Fabry or The Lost Heiress by Roseanna White. Oh, the hard choices we bookworms have to make!!Β They’ll all get read eventually, of course, it’s just a matter of what order I’ll read them in… I think I’m leaning towards June Bug. It intrigues me, and my grandma (who has read it twice) said it’s really good. πŸ˜€

Also I may have a slight addiction to this game on my phone called Township. It reminds me of Farmville on Facebook, and since Farmville never loads for me anymore, this seemed like a suitable replacement. I think I’m on level sixteen?

Excuse me for this short post, but this past week has felt like two rolled into one, and I am exhausted! I shall bid adieu and wish you a happy last day of September ~ and welcome October! I’m looking forward to corn mazes, apple cider, pumpkin carving (pumpkin seeds! yum!) and hot cocoa. πŸ˜€ What are your favorite parts of fall?

E m m aΒ Β  x o

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It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas…

beginning-to-look-like-christmas

Deck the halls with boughs of holly! I loooove Christmastime. It’s so festive. Currently the grounds around my area of life are laden with snow. My mum and I even built a snowman, a smidge taller than I am (and I’m 5′ 6″)! I’m in the midst of getting presents around and ready, singing Christmas carols, and thinking about what I’m going to make and bake for Christmas at Gram’s house. That all being said, I thought I’d dedicate a post to some crafts, recipes, and songs, all fit for Christmas. Ready?

One thing that I really enjoy doing at Christmastime is making gifts and cards. Under certain circumstances I buy them (i.e. lack of time or ability to make, or even occasionally, motivation), but there’s something really special about making stuff by hand. Here are some of the cards I made this year. Who knows, maybe you’ll find yourself inspired to get creative!

A Bookworm's Majestic Adventures

All the cards I started with a white cardstock card and used scrapbook paper, markers and stickers to achieve the look I was going for. On some of the cards I didn’t get very elaborate at all, because I was sort of on a time crunch. I found some pretty paper, slapped it on, and found a coordinating sticker. I think they turned out to be some of my best!

A Bookworm's Majestic Adventures

The Santa Claus card is definitely my favorite, and was relatively easy. I cut a piece of red cardstock to the width of the card, and then scalloped the edges so when I put it against the white card, it would look like the white puffy stuff on Santa’s hat. I did the same thing for Santa’s skin tone, scalloping the top the same way so it finished out his hat brim, and then scalloping the bottom so it looked like he had a beard. To bring it all together, I outlined everything in black, and drew his eyes, nose, and mouth. Ho, ho, ho!

A Bookworm's Majestic Adventures

Okay, so, I don’t know about you guys, but food is a huge part of Christmas in my family. It’s just delicious. There’s always an abundance of food, so you don’t need to worry about going hungry. The first thing on our Christmas menu is bacon-wrapped water chestnuts. It has bacon, so, need we say more? We always make a big batch of these this time of year, because they have the tendency to be eaten in heaping amounts at a time. It’s also good to have helpers, because if you’re making a lot…well, you’ll see why.

Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts Recipe

photo credit to Food.com!!!
photo credit to Food.com!!!

Ingredients:

3 cans water chestnuts

1-1/2 lbs bacon (cut the strips in half)

1 cup ketchup

1 cup sugar (white or brown)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Drain water chestnuts. Wrap each one with a 1/2 strip of bacon and secure with a toothpick. (Here is where help is a good idea if you’re making enough for a small army.) Place in a 9×13 pan and bake for 30 minutes. In a mixing bowl, mix sugar and ketchup together. Pour mixture over water chestnuts and continue baking for another 30 minutes or until they carmelize and crisp up. Enjoy!

Extra tidbit:

You will want to drain the bacon grease before adding the sauce.


Raspberry Almond Shortbread Cookies Recipe

photo credit to Food Network.com!!
photo credit to Food Network.com!!

Ingredients:

1 cup butter, softened

2/3 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon almond flavor

2 cups flour

1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam

Sugar to sprinkle

1 cup powdered sugar

3-4 teaspoons water

1-1/2 teaspoon almond flavor

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Beat butter, sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon almond flavor. Beat in as much flour as you can with electric mixer,, then stir in rest of flour by hand. Use cookie scoop (1-inch size) and place on ungreased baking sheet. Use thumb to press indentation into center of ball. Spoon in 1/2 teaspoon jam then sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 10 minutes. Combine powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon almond flavor. Add enough water to make drizzling consistency. Drizzle the cookies with icing.

Extra tidbit:

If you like blueberries, what about using blueberry jam? I haven’t actually tried this, but I am going to this year. Or peach jam, or apricot? Oh the possibilities. An array of fruit thumbprint cookies. And I believe we got about 36 cookies out of this recipe.

(Have you heard of seafoam candy? Oh my land, delicious. I did a post about it a year or so ago that you can find here!)


The final stop on our Christmas excursion is in the music department. What is Christmas without music?

A very non-melodic Christmas, that’s what.

Anyways, here is one of my favorite “silly” Christmas songs, sung by Gayla Peevy: I Want A Hippopotamus for Christmas. I discovered it about four years ago and sang it non-stop. My family loves it. (No, I’m totally not being sarcastic, hahahahaha…) Last year, my Grandma asked me what I wanted for Christmas. Because I like to talk in song lyrics occasionally, I told her I wanted a hippopotamus.

Guess what my Grandma got me for Christmas? A stuffed hippo. It was awesome. Hippa the Hippo is one of my favorite Christmas gifts. So if you haven’t heard this song before, here you are!

 

Second up on the favorite list this year is a brand-new one put out by one of my favorite singers, Beckah Shae. It’s called Smile. I love it because, like Buddy the Elf, smiling’s my favorite.

Merry Christmas!!!!!!!!

Love Emma xoxoxox