Monday, April 01, 2024

April 2024 Reading Challenge: Karma!

I recently grabbed a picture book off the library shelf called The Cow Loves Cookies by Karma Wilson and enjoyed the verse and illustrations...what a cute story! The end-flap advertised the author's "Bear" series, and I remembered Bear Snores On well, it being a 5-star read.

A Stack of Karma

After two great stories, I decided to see what else the author had cooking picture-book-wise and was flabbergasted by the sheer quantity--approximately 58 picture books! Are they all winners? That's the question that needs answering, and what this reading challenge is all about...reading Karma!

Childrens picture books by Karma Wilson:

1.) Bear Feels Sick (4 stars)
2.) Bear's New Friend (meh.)
3.) Bear Says Thanks (3.5 stars) 
4.) Bear Sees Colors (4 stars)
5.) Bear Snores On (5 stars)
6.) Bear Stays Up for Christmas (4 stars)
7.) Bear Can't Wait (5 stars!)
8.) Bear Finds Eggs (4 stars)
9.) Bear Wants More (4 stars)
10.) Bear Can't Sleep (3.5 stars)
11.) Bear Counts (meh.)
12.) Bear Feels Scared (3.5 stars)
13.) Bear's Loose Tooth (meh.)

14.) A Frog in the Bog (3.5 stars)
15.) Mama, Why? (dnf)
16.) The Cow Loves Cookies (4 stars)
17.) Sleepyhead (3.5 stars)
18.) Moose Tracks (4 stars)
19.) Horseplay (3.5 stars)
20.) Princess Me (3.5 stars)
21.) I Love Your Face (4 stars)
22.) Whopper Cake (5 stars!)
23.) Sweet Briar Goes to Camp (3 stars)
24.) How to Bake an American Pie (meh.)
25.) Duddle Puck The Puddle Duck (5 stars!)
26.) Moose Tracks (3.5 stars)
27.) Give Thanks to the Lord (3 stars)
28.) Hogwash! (4 stars)
29.) Hilda Must Be Dancing (4 stars)
30.) Big Bear, Small Mouse (meh.)
31.) Doormouse Dreams (meh.)
32.) A Dog Named Doug (4 stars)
33.) Who Goes There? (3.5 stars)
34.) Mama Always Comes Home (meh.)
35.) Animal Strike at the Zoo (meh.)
36.) Mortimer's Christmas Manger (3.5 stars)
37.) Mortimer's First Garden (3.5 stars)
38.) Bear Hugs (meh.)
39.) Mr. Murry and Thumbkin (3 stars)
40.) If I Were a Mouse (3.5 stars)

41.) What's in the Egg, Little Pip? (meh.)
42.) Don't Be Afraid, Little Pip (meh.)
43.) Where Is Home, Little Pip? (3.5 stars)

44.) What's the Weather Inside?
45.) Outside in the Box (3 stars)

Other "karma" books to read this month:

The Karma Map by Nisha Sharma

Thursday, March 07, 2024


Fun for Puget Sound Writers!

The Tipsy Typers (A Writing Club-In-A-Pub) is proud to announce Write-O-Rama on March 30, 2024 from 1:00-6:00 pm.


Part write-in, part social mixer, Write-O-Rama aims to expand your writing community and your word count, all during one enjoyable afternoon at the pub.

Amateurs and pros, extroverts and introverts, pro-tipsy and tea-sipsy are welcome. Come join the fun! To learn more and get your place reserved, click the link below:

Don't wait too long, space is limited!

Thursday, February 01, 2024

February 2024 Reading Challenge: Be My Guest!

Check out February's TBR pile:

Stop by...but don't stay too long, okay?

1.) The Guest List by Lucy Foley
2.) I Invited Her in by Adele Parks
3.) The Houseguest by Amparo Davila
4.) The House Guest by Hank Phillippi Ryan
5.) The Last House Guest by Megan Miranda
6.) You Can't Stay Here Forever by Katherine Lin

As you see, it starts with, "Hey, you're invited!" and ends with "Now, get lost." Lol. Mixed messages, over-stayed welcomes, regret, and even murder are the themes for this Valentine's month. Beware, nothing for your sweet tooth here.

Inspired by the title of Sam Sharland's picture book, Valentine's Guest House, which is filled with beautiful illustrations. If you like tigers, give this one a look.

Valentine's Guest House by Sam Sharland


"Come on baby and be my guest, come join the party and meet the rest,
Everything is gonna be alright, so be my guest tonight.
 ~ Fats Domino, Be My Guest

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Selected for the Writers' Room Residency 2024

Guess where I'll be writing this year? I've been selected to participate in the Writers' Room Residency program for 2024, so I'll be tippy-tapping away in the Eulalie and Carlo Scandiuzzi Writers’ Room at the Seattle Public Library! Whoot!

Inside the Writers' Room
Seattle Public Library

Want to read more about it or apply next year? Check out more information here:

Monday, January 08, 2024

Altered Cookbook

 My collection of recipes comes in all shapes and sizes: torn out magazine pages, printed copies, hand-scrawled recipe cards, and on a variety of scratch papers...and they all ended up in a big box that I'd pull out and dig through before cooking time.

Honestly, I enjoy the process of thumbing through the pile of odd notes. Well, I should say I did up until more cooks entered my kitchen. Then, too many hands were sorting and moving recipes around, adding to the time it'd take me to find what I wanted. It became apparent to all us cooks, that we needed a new system.

Handwriting all my recipes onto index cards wasn't an option and regular school-type binders weren't cute enough. I discovered the blog Fresh Vintage by Lisa S and got down to the business of finding my own copy of the ring-bound Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book from the 50s. 

I wasn't fortunate enough to find one at the thrift store, or patient enough to wait around. I went ahead and ordered a used version from Amazon, paying top dollar (*cough-cough*)...but I was happy with the quality and relatively clean condition...considering it's a used cookbook and all.

Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book
Published January 1, 1953

The first step was to peruse the cookbook for pages to remove...and I can say with confidence that the recipe for the Liver-sausage Pineapple below (without any pineapple whatsoever) would never be made by moi. Goodbye to the recipe, but the photo has so much vintage-goodness that I set it aside in case it makes the cut later.

Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book, circa 1953
Page 61, Appetizers and Beverages

The opposite page boasts, "Served with hot coffee or chilled juice, [these snacks] put people at ease, spark good conversation." I bet!

Pardon me as I go back in time for a spell to jelly molds, green olives, and casseroles... I'll be back soon with more work-in-progress photos.


Scrapbook paper options from Echo Park Paper Company:

Country Kitchen by Carta Bella

Farmhouse Kitchen by Echo Park Paper Co.

Farm to Table by Carta Bella

Homemade by Carta Bella

Monday, January 01, 2024

Fabulous Five: Favorite Reads for 2023

I've read over 300 books for the 2023 Goodreads Reading Challenge, which is a HUGE number for me mainly due to my Picture Book BINGO Reading Challenge last October. Due to the quantity, I easily picked out five of my favorites.


1.) The New Rooster by Rilla Alexander
4.) Mel Fell by Corey R. Tabor
3.) I Want to Be Spaghetti by Kiera White-Ruiz
4.) Little Witch Hazel by Phoebe Wahl
5.) Burt the Beetle Doesn't Bite by Ashley Spires


Picture books and easy readers aside, I read so many good books that I honestly had a hard time choosing five favorites. But after some mulling, five books rose to the top:

1.) My all-time 2023 favorite read goes to this SPECULATIVE FICTION...

Ripe by Sarah Rose Etter

2.) Best read from a local PNW author is this MEMOIR...

Rough House by Tina Ontiveros

3.) Wonderful audiobook and great hook into a MYSTERY series goes to...

Out of Range by C.J. Box

4.) Best COMING OF AGE / DYSTOPIAN read goes to...

Deadlands by Victoria Miluch

5.) A gem! I highly recommend this CHRISTMAS ROMANCE audiobook...

Faking Christmas by Cindy Steel

Friday, December 01, 2023

December 2023 Reading Challenge: Christmas Book Binge Reading

Every December I immerse myself in holiday and winter themed literature, looking for those stories with Christmas spirit to warm my heart. Alas, this season is no different. If I recommend a book, I'll tag the title with a big, bold link. Let's get to it...

A Holly and Jolly Reading Pile


1.) The Christmas Pine by Julia Donaldson
2.) Last Stop on the Reindeer Express by Maudie Powell-Tuck
3.) The Twelve Cats of Christmas by Feather Flores
4.) The Best Christmas Ever by Chih-Yuan Chen
5.) Robin Robin by Don Ojari and Mikey Please
6.) It's Christmas, David! by David Shannon
7.) This is Christmas by Tom Booth
8.) Deck the Walls! A Wacky Christmas Carol by Erin Dealey
9.) Fly Guy's Ninja Christmas by Tedd Arnold
10.) The Christmas Quiet Book by Deborah Underwood
11.) Minerva Louise on Christmas Eve by Janet Morgan Stoeke
12.) Samurai Santa: A Very Ninja Christmas by Rubin Pingk
13.) How Do Dinosaurs Say Merry Christmas? by Jane Yolen
14.) Maple & Willow's Christmas Tree by Lori Nichols
15.) Peppermint Post by Bruce Hale
16.) Bear Noel by Oliver Dunrea
17.) The Christmas Boot by Lisa Wheeler
18.) A Whisper in the Snow by Kate Westerlund
19.) The Twelve Days of Christmas: A Peek-Through Picture Book by Britta Teckentrup
20.) The Little Match Girl by David Warner
21.) Seek & Find Classics: A Christmas Carol by Sarah Powell
22.) Christmas is... by Gail Gibbons
23.) Luke and Lottie: It's Christmas! by Ruth Wielockx
24.) The Gingerbread Man Loose at Christmas by Laura Murray
25.) The Christmas Owl by Ellen Kalish & Gideon Sterer
26.) Dasher Can't Wait for Christmas by Matt Tavares
27.) Christmas in the Country by Cynthia Rylant
28.) The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree by Gloria Houston
29.) Repair Shop Stories: The Christmas Doll by Katie Hickey
30.) The Christmas Book Flood by Emily Kilgore
31.) Yetis Are the Worst! by Alex Willan
32.) Mortimer's Christmas Manger by Karma Wilson


33.) Scaredy Squirrel Prepares for Christmas by Melanie Watt


34.) The Jolliest Bunch: Unhinged Holiday Stories by Danny Pellegrino
35.) Faking Christmas by Cindy Steel


36.) Lily Sees Dead People by JD Douwes


37.) Frosty Exchanges by Raine Winters
38.) Blue Christmas by Mary Kay Andrews
39.) Chasing Noelle by Sonja N. Griffing


40.) Thin Ice by Paige Shelton


Check out the 3 recommended Christmas/winter reads for 2022 here!
Check out the 8 recommended Christmas/winter reads for 2020 here!
Check out the 3 recommended Christmas/winter reads for 2019 here!
Check out the 3 recommended Christmas/winter reads for 2018 here!
Check out the 8 recommended Christmas/winter reads for 2017 here!