Monthly Digest

Monthly Digest | November 2021

Hello and welcome to a slightly late reflection on my experiences during the month of November. I had a lot of fun this month, but it was also SUPER busy. So, as some of you might have been able to tell, I only posted a few things. Sometimes real life just gets so chaotic you need to just focus on that. Anyway, I can’t wait to share some of what happened in November!

Reading

Crochet, Knitting and Crafting

Store front of yarn shop called Yarnia.

This month was a ton of fun when it has come to crocheting and knitting. I started off the month by going with a good friend of mine to a really lovely indie yarn shop. We spent easily an hour in this really lovely shop. They were so kind and helpful and had too many great options for my budget. I did a post earlier in the month showing what I picked up, you can find that here: Local Yarn Shop Haul. I even got to cast on one of the socks I was planning with the two blues and try my hand at color work for the first time!

On top of that I finished my last hand made Christmas present, I ended up crocheting the Avon Throw Blanket by Toni Lipsey. I ended up using a gray colored yarn and it was such a fun project and it really flew by. Following this, I ended up making the short version of the All Shawl by Doris Chan. I have not crocheted lace in a while and this detailed looking shawl was so much easier than I thought it would have been. I ended up finishing it in two days or so.

As of writing this I have four WIPs going, 2 are socks, 1 is a blanket, and 1 is a shawl. I am hoping to get two of these done before the year ends, but we shall see. I have really been loving making this the past few months.

Life

A tree lined walkway lit up with purple lights.

This month I did a lot of things between hanging out with a few of my friends, seeing my family later in the month for the holiday, which I loved and was so happy we were able to do this year. One thing that really stood out to me was a night time stroll my boyfriend and myself went on. This park that is a bit far from us was having an exhibit where the paths were all lit up and some of their statues. It was a really fun experience and thankfully we went when it was not too cold yet! It was so beautiful and it was great just to spend time in each other company and be out and about.

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Monthly Intent

Monthly Intent | December 2021

Hello and welcome to my little planning post for the Month of December. It is hard to believe that 2021 is in its final month and 2022 is right around the corner. I feel like I am already cooking up ideas for 2022, but I want to accomplish a bunch of things this month as well. I will say, I am going to try and be a bit better about posting, life has just been a bit hectic and it was not much of a priority. I have some ideas planned though for this month and I can’t wait to share them with you, also I will still be posting a wrap up of sorts for November, it will just be a bit late. Oops!

Reading Plans

This month I really want to finish reading the last two books in the Lord of the Ring Trilogy, The Two Towers and The Return of the King by JRR Tolkien. Apart from that, I want to read the second book in the Dune Series by Frank Herbert called Dune Messiah. If I read any more than that I will be thrilled, but those are the books I really want to get through before the year is over.

Crochet and Knitting Plans

This month I am taking part in Knitty Natty’s Sockmas challenge of sorts. You can find all the information on her website linked here. As I write this, it has already started since it started the day after Thanksgiving here in the US. The main purpose of this is to complete a pair of socks in the allotted time, about three weeks. As of right now I am about halfway through both of my socks so I am well on my way to achieve this. I decided to knit using the pattern Cafe Mocha by Twin Stitches Designs. I am using blue though instead of brown/tan yarn so it will look more wintery. Other than that, I really want to get my WIPs down and I don’t plan on casting anything new on as of right now, but we shall see. I feel like I always want to start a new project before I finish another one.

Random Goals

I honestly don’t have many goals for myself this month. I am really focusing on finishing up some of those pesky goals I had for myself this year overall, a lot of them you can see in my post Reading Challenge | 2021 Reading Goals. I also want to focus on getting organized and get better at making more manageable goals and expectations on myself. Lately, I have really been making outlandish goals for myself that are just not doable in the time I give myself and I need to just get better at being realistic while challenging myself.

Anyway, I hope you have a wonderful month and aren’t too cold as the fall weather starts to slowly shift into something that feels a lot like winter.

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Hauls & Unboxings

Local Indie Bookstore Haul

picture of hauled books

Hello and welcome to a small post sharing my finds at my most recent trip to an indie bookstore. I posted earlier in the week about taking a day trip with a friend and going to visit a yarn store, you can read about that here: Local Yarn Shop Haul. On this adventure we also walked around the corner and took a bit of stroll to a really lovely bookstore. I didn’t get a chance to take a picture, but this bookstore was packed with books. There was not a nook or cranny that was not filled with books and I was so excited. It was also one of the most busy indie bookstores I have seen before, which made me happy. Anyway, on to the two books I ended up picking up!

The first book that caught my eye was The Stone Face by William Gardner Smith. What first caught my attention was the black and white cover that really stood out among all the colorful and saturated colors of the other covers. This ended up being a historical fiction novel from around 1963 and this was a rerelease. This story follows a man named Simeon Brown who lost an eye in a racist attack. This story focuses on how he left America to escape racism and made a home for himself in France, which at the time was known as a safe haven for black artists. My understanding from the description is that the book mostly follows him once he is in France, but I cannot be 100% sure. I look forward to reading this ASAP. I had no idea that France was ever seen as this so I am curious to explore that.

The second book I picked up is Dune Messiah, the second book in the Dune series by Frank Herbert. I am only about 100 pages into the first book and I can tell I am going to want to continue the series so I decided to pick it up and support this indie bookstore. At first I didn’t think they had the book in stock, but a really lovely person helped me locate it. I was so thrilled because this was the one book I really had a plan of buying this day.

Anyway, while this is a small haul, I am really happy with the books I found and added to my TBR. The past few months my book hauling has slowed quite a bit and has been more meaningful and honestly, I am really happy about that.

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Crochet, Crafting, Art & More · Hauls & Unboxings

Local Yarn Shop Haul

Image of hauled items

Hello and welcome to a little post sharing some of my more recent yarn related items. This past week I took a trip with a friend of mine to go to a little local yarn shop to stock up on some items that I can’t really get in the crafting stores in my area. I had such a great time not only spending it with my friend, but us also going through all of the amazing stuff and struggling to narrow down what we actually wanted to take home with us. Trust me, I wanted to take home more, but my wallet said I wasn’t allowed.

I am so excited to finish my final present project I have currently going so I can jump in and start using these products I picked up. I think with the Sly Fox dye I am going to attempt to knit a hat for the first time. I am planning on following the pattern Sockhead Slouch Hat by Kelly McClure, which is free at the time of writing this. As for the Sharknado skeins I am planning to make a really nice and comfortable pair of socks using a pattern called Cafe Mocha by Twin Stitches Designs. I feel like it would look really cool in the colors I picked up.

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Monthly Intent

Monthly Intent | November 2021

Hello and welcome to a another Monthly Intent post where I am going through my plans and goals for the month in various aspects of my life including; reading, crafting and general adventures! This month I know the weather is really going to be getting cold and I am going to be trying to stay as cozy and warm as I can inside my house. Due to this, some of my ideas of the month are not as adventurous as previous months.

Reading Plans

This month I am thinking I am going to be focusing on nonfiction reads and taking part, kinda sorta, in Nonfiction November. The only offical account I can see for this month long readathon is a twitter account with the name @NonficNovember. Here you can find an accountment video and general information. Generally the goal is to read nonfiction in November. Currently on my shelf I have quite a few nonfiction novels that I am going to allow myself to pick from.

  • Titian by Ron Chernow
  • The Unwanted by Michael Dobbs
  • Sons of Cain by Peter Vronsky
  • Writing On Stone by Christina Marsden Gillis
  • Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
  • How to Be a Stoic by Penguin
  • Stoic Wisdom: Ancient Lessons for Modern Resilience by Nancy Sherman

Crochet and Knitting Plans

This past month I did a lot of crocheting and making for others trying to get all these presents done with plenty of time incase something comes up. Thankfully, I finished all but one present. The one that remains I just added to my list about a week ago, so there would have been no way to do it sooner. This last and final present is the Avon Throw Blanket by TL Yarn Crafts. I am really excited to make this one honestly because it is chunky yarn, but simple with a little pop. Following that I am going to focus on making my after thought heel socks. I am not really following a pattern for this I am using my own measurements so I have nothing really to share pattern wise. I will say I am inspired by

This past month I did a lot of crocheting and making for others trying to get all these presents done with plenty of time incase something comes up. Thankfully, I finished all but one present. The one that remains I just added to my list about a week ago, so there would have been no way to do it sooner. This last and final present is the Avon Throw Blanket by TL Yarn Crafts. I am really excited to make this one honestly because it is chunky yarn, but simple with a little pop. Following that I am going to focus on making my after thought heel socks. I am not really following a pattern for this I am using my own measurements so I have nothing really to share pattern wise. I will say I am inspired by Knitty Natty who make so many socks! I think I might use her tutorial for the heel, but I am not totally sure yet.

Random Goals

When it comes to other goals in my life I would really like to go to a yarn shop this month. I have not been to a yarn dedicated store in almost 4 or 5 months and I have a project in mind that I want special yarn for. I am hoping to be able to bring a friend along with me, but we shall see how that goes. Other than that I would love to have a really delicious hot coca when the weather turns colder and snuggle up with a good book.

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Monthly Digest

Monthly Digest | October 2021

tea and books on a bench

Reading

Total TBR Count: 36, Last Month: 35

Crochet & Crafting

This month I was thankfully able to finish SO MANY presents I wanted to get done. I finished two different stockings following the pattern
Reindeer Stocking
 by Sincerely Pam, a cowl to donate, and a blanket following Golden Granny Blanket by ChiWei Ranck pattern. Then after that I made my scarf for this year, I made the pattern Super Scarf with Pockets by Lion Brand Yarn and I love it because it gives me extra pockets! You can never have enough of those. I am really thrilled with all I was able to accomplish crafting wise. I really didn’t think I was going to have time to start let alone finish my scarf.

Life

apples on an apple tree

This past month has been filled with a lot of adventures, but my favorite would have to be going apple picking with my significant other. It was a really beautiful day, the sun was out and it wasn’t too hot or too cold out. We decided to try all the types of apples and picked one of each kind on top of what I needed to make an apple pie. I never made an apple pie before so that was a fun little experiment that ended up delicious.

Another fun adventure was my significant other and myself also went to Princeton and walked around the downtown and around the campus. It was another lovely time just spending outside and enjoying our surroundings. On top of that we got some delicious tea and then did some book shopping, pictured at the top of this post. I have really been exploring Stoicism and I was able to find a few books on the topic so I was thrilled.

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Thanks for Reading! Sincerely, Luna

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Reviews

Someone Picks My Books | My Doctor | Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

Hello and welcome to another installment of Someone Picks My Book, this month I am reading a book that was recommended by my doctor at my most recent annual visit. We always name a few books for each other, which is a lot of fun. I ended up picking Anxious People from the couple they mentioned mainly because I have seen this cover and title all over the place.

Description

Looking at real estate isn’t usually a life-or-death situation, but an apartment open house becomes just that when a failed bank robber bursts in and takes a group of strangers hostage. The captives include a recently retired couple who relentlessly hunt down fixer-uppers to avoid the painful truth that they can’t fix up their own marriage. There’s a wealthy banker who has been too busy making money to care about anyone else and a young couple who are about to have their first child but can’t seem to agree on anything, from where they want to live to how they met in the first place. Add to the mix an eighty-seven-year-old woman who has lived long enough not to be afraid of someone waving a gun in her face, a flustered but still-ready-to-make-a-deal real estate agent, and a mystery man who has locked himself in the apartment’s only bathroom, and you’ve got the worst group of hostages in the world.

Each of them carries a lifetime of grievances, hurts, secrets, and passions that are ready to boil over. None of them is entirely who they appear to be. And all of them—the bank robber included—desperately crave some sort of rescue. As the authorities and the media surround the premises, these reluctant allies will reveal surprising truths about themselves and set in a motion a chain of events so unexpected that even they can hardly explain what happens next. – goodreads.com

What I Liked

This novel really has a unique premise to it. I mean, you jump right into a hostage situation in an open house. The life stories that are explored are interesting if that is something you enjoy reading for sure. The main thing I like about this book is that it really shows you don’t know what goes on in other peoples lives and what they are dealing with that led them to where they are.

What I Didn’t Like

This is a very personal thing when it comes to reading, but I thought personally there were so many side stories I started to loose interest. I am not someone who enjoys a large cast of characters. I enjoy maybe 4 if I am being adventurous. I feel like this book gave peaks into the lives of these peoples, all great ideas and really made it clear that you never really know what someone is dealing with, but I never connected with anyone. I want to make it clear, I DNF’ed this book at 70% so I gave it a real try, but I just didn’t feel overly drawn or connected to anyone. I did feel empathetic to people who do deal with these things though. Some of the things that happen to these characters I would not wish on anyone at all. Like I said, this is a really personal thing when it comes to reading and I feel like it is also affected by my current mood.

Overall

This was not the best book for me. I had a hard time getting into it or connecting with the characters because it jumped around so much for me personally. I really loved the idea of the book, looking at what is going on in the lives of those who were taken hostage as well as the failed robber. This book explores the hardships that sadly a lot of people end up facing. I thought the ideas was GREAT and I can see why other people adore this book. It really has a lot going for it. It just isn’t for me, at least not right now. I can see myself reading this again in the future when I am in a different mood and feeling differently about it. But, as of right now I DNF’ed it at 70%.

Up Next

Have you read this book before or is it on your TBR?

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Thanks for reading! Sincerely, Luna

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Monthly Intent

Monthly Intent | October 2021

Hello and welcome to my monthly intent post for the month for October! This month is pretty straightforward and I don’t plan on doing anything too out there, apart from maybe reading some spooky read and decorating with more skulls than normally sit on my shelves. But, I do have a quite a few things I would like to do otherwise, here are those plans and goals!

Reading Plans

This month I have three books I want to prioritize the first is finishing Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb, I read the Farseer Trilogy this year and I enjoyed it. I want to continue working my way through Hobbs works. Plus, I hear this trilogy is even better than the last. Another book from my 2021 reading goals I want to get to it is my reread of The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien. I read this 6 or 7 years ago and a lot of the details are starting to fade away so I thought this year would be a great time to reread. I already read The Hobbit last month so I am thrilled to be back in the world. The last book I am hoping to get to between all my mood reading is The Boy From the Woods by Harlan Coben. I have not read a thriller in a while so I am thinking October might be a really great month to jump into the genre.

Crochet & Knitting Plans

This upcoming month I really want to focus on finishing a few presents and also a donation I am in the middle of. A friend of mine let me know there was an LGBTQ+ organization that was collecting winter items for LGBTQ+ youth. The website for it is Knit the Rainbow if you want more details. I am really excited about creating these items. I have a hat and a cowl already going and I am going to try to finish a few more items before the end of the month.

As for the presents I am making I have a blanket and two stockings I need to get done, but I feel like I can get at least the two stockings done before October is done and really focus on the blanket either at the end of the month and November if need be. Both are using bulky yarn, so they should work up fairly quickly. After these projects are done I am going to be starting to make a few things for myself again.

Random Goals

This month there is not a ton I want to get done other than what I already listed. Reading and crafting are at the top of my to do list. If I was going to add another goal it would be sit around a camp fire and make some s’mores to send off the summer and welcome fall in.

What are you planning on doing this month?

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Monthly Digest

Monthly Digest | September 2021

Reading

Total TBR Count: 35, Last Month: 33

Crochet & Crafting

This month I am thrilled to say I finished my first pair of knitted socks and I already cast on another pair. I don’t think I will be working on this second pair anytime soon because I have a few gifts I want to get through first before making something for myself. In addition to that I also finished my poncho/sweater I was working on for months. I feel like this month was really LETS GET EVERYTHING DONE! It really felt great to finish both of these because the socks are my first knitted project ever and the poncho is the first wearable I did in the round so it was challenging, but really rewarding because it came out wonderfully and I can’t wait to wear it when it gets colder.

Life

This month has been a bit of an adventure in a few ways, but I am happy to say I was able to go apple picking with my boyfriend and we were able to pick a few different kinds just to try and then enough to make some delicious treats! I love going to pick my own apples, but pick my own food in general. It is so fresh and the flavors are just so much better in my option because of it.

On top of that I decided take these monthly goals I have for myself and get a little whiteboard and put them up in the room to really make sure I meet the fun goals I have set for myself not just the adulting ones I need to do. I want to make the fun things I want to do a priority too. So, I picked up a cute little white board and decorated it a bit and picked up some fun colors to use. I am adding a section for the goals I have, my tbr, but also my current yarn projects. Turns out I was in the middle of more than I thought. I am loving having these things in one place so I can really focus and see what I have going on. Organization at its finest!

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Thanks for Reading! Sincerely, Luna

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Reviews

Someone Picks My Books | Bookish Minna | The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

Picture of ebook on ipad on a pile of blankets.

Hello and welcome to a bit of a delayed post of my August Someone Picks My Books. This month the wonderful Minna from Bookish Minna picked my book. Not only can you find them on their blog, linked earlier, but you can also find them on twitter @bookishminna. This is my first introduction to the works of N.K. Jemisim, but I will say I have heard this book title quite a few times through blogs and twitter. So this led me to be really curious with this choice to see if I like their writing style or the world they seemed to build for their book series.

Description

This is the way the world ends. Again.

Three terrible things happen in a single day. Essun, a woman living an ordinary life in a small town, comes home to find that her husband has brutally murdered their son and kidnapped their daughter. Meanwhile, mighty Sanze — the world-spanning empire whose innovations have been civilization’s bedrock for a thousand years — collapses as most of its citizens are murdered to serve a madman’s vengeance. And worst of all, across the heart of the vast continent known as the Stillness, a great red rift has been torn into the heart of the earth, spewing ash enough to darken the sky for years. Or centuries.

Now Essun must pursue the wreckage of her family through a deadly, dying land. Without sunlight, clean water, or arable land, and with limited stockpiles of supplies, there will be war all across the Stillness: a battle royale of nations not for power or territory, but simply for the basic resources necessary to get through the long dark night. Essun does not care if the world falls apart around her. She’ll break it herself, if she must, to save her daughter. goodreads.com

What I Liked

As I stated earlier, I have never read anything byN.K. Jemisim and I was curious to see if I liked their writing style. The great news is, I really enjoyed how they crafted this story and brought it to life. The author was able to pull me into their world with barely any issues, I could clearly picture everything the author talked about or described.

I also really enjoyed getting to know and go on a gritty adventure with the characters in The Fifth Season. The didn’t come across flat in any way, which I appreciate a lot. I find in fantasy it is easy to write a flat character, but the combination with a rich world and these dynamic characters I was truly thrilled. Fantasy is a hard genre for me honestly, I either LOVE it or LOATH it. I go past hate. I am happy to say that this book really is one I truly enjoyed and it really comes down to the talent of the author being able to so clearly get across their world and characters without us actually being in their head.

What I Didn’t Like

The one thing I had the most “problems” with, I put it in quotations because it wasn’t really a problem is the fact the author using unique phrases etc. that takes some times to get used to. I read the book from the library, but it is my understanding from other reviews I have come across there is a glossary so I would suggest looking at that. But, understanding these phrases isn’t too hard if you use some context clues and it really does add to the story. It makes the world feel that much more real, but also adds to it being an fantasy because it does not use the same vocabulary as the reader does.

Overall

This is a really great fantasy novel and series, I didn’t know it was a series when I first picked it up. It is rich with details and great characters. It can be a little bumpy if new vocabulary or sayings are thrown in, but is easily remedied and you can easily fall into the tale. I am so thrilled that Minna picked this for me because while I heard about this novel before I would never have picked it up because the description for me didn’t do it justice. While the whole idea of this novel is heart breaking, just needing basic necessities to live, it was a very enjoyable read and I really hope to continue this series one day.

Up Next

Next month I am reading a book picked by my doctor. We often share our recently reads when I go in for my routine check up and I decided to use one of the book they told me about as my September book!

Have you read this book before or is it on your TBR?

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Thanks for reading! Sincerely, Luna

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