Blog

Book Review: Ecotopia by Ernest Callenbach

Book Review: Ecotopia by Ernest Callenbach

When I was in early high school I read this book called “Ecotopia” by Ernest Callenbach. It had been recommended to me by my dad during a period of time when my family was headed towards chaos. At the time the book was eye-opening for […]

Rereading Books Before I Give Them Away Part 1

Rereading Books Before I Give Them Away Part 1

Eight years ago when we moved into our house I pared down my book collection by about 25% and put the rest into boxes. Until a few months ago those boxes largely remained untouched as we navigated life and I stopped reading all together while […]

Oscoey Shop Update September 2023

Oscoey Shop Update September 2023

We are excited to announce a small shop update for September of 2023 with three new stickers and a mini cross stitch pattern in the works. All of these items can be found in Oscoey Shop found here.

My favorite item for the new shop update is this Midnight Holographic Pumpkin Sticker which shines and sparkles in the sun. This was my first attempt at freehand drawing digitally with just the mouse. I am pretty happy with the result but definitely want to invest in an iPad when I am able to so I can use the pen that goes with it.

I put one in my planner this week to get me motivated to start using it again. I fell off the planner bandwagon towards the end of the summer after my classes finished and I am now determined to get back in the habit before fall quarter starts again in a couple of weeks. I am taking 10 credits and working part-time so I will be super busy and need to stay organized.

This is one of my favorite pictures of our newest pumpkin sticker. It really shows how beautiful the holographic effect is in the light!

Our next sticker is our Midnight Holographic Bats sticker which can be found here. I spent a lot of time on this one figuring out where the bats would go and although I really like this sticker I may revamp it for next year. I was trying to get the effect of the bats flying out of a tree in a sort of abstract way. Let me know what you think of this one down in the comments. I will be making a cross stitch pattern out of this one and getting it posted up in the shop by the end of September.

Our last new sticker is our Fall Rainbow Heart which can be found here. I love the fall colors on this one and this shade of purple is one of my favorites.

This Fall Rainbow Heart is smaller than my other stickers and looks great in a fall planner. I am going to use one of these next week in one of the corners as an added decoration.

I also thought these would be great as an envelope sealer. They match perfectly with our bronze envelopes that we use to ship out orders and would be great for fall cards. I may try and do a sticker sheet of these for the holidays as well.

 

Thank you for reading about our September 2023 shop update! I am starting to get ready for our first winter shop update coming up in the next few weeks!

 

Please note: Prices in the Esty shop may be higher to cover increased fees. If you are in the U.S. and Canada I recommend shopping our regular site.

Shop Site Links:

Oscoey Shop for U.S. and Canada

Oscoey Shop on Etsy for Outside of U. S. and Canada

Oscoey Shop Update #3

 

 

Gardening Update 07/05/23

Gardening Update 07/05/23

It’s been a while since my last garden update so I thought I would write up a quick one today even though my garden is in pretty bad shape. It looks like my last garden update was in April of 2022. Every year I think […]

2023 Summer Reads for Kids – What my Kids are Reading this Summer.

2023 Summer Reads for Kids – What my Kids are Reading this Summer.

I thought I would make a list of books my kids are reading during summer of 2023 as a fun way of tracking where my kids are at and to share book ideas with other book loving families. Last year I posted a couple of […]

2023 Goals Mid-Year Check In

2023 Goals Mid-Year Check In

As I sit here mid-way through 2023 with my first official Covid infection I thought I would take some time to look at my progress with my 2023 goals. For 2023 I wanted to focus on self-care and take time to relax every day. I did great the first couple of months of the year but then I was swamped with school work for myself and with kids activities in March and April so things kind of took a downwards turn for a couple of weeks but I am pretty proud of myself for getting right back on track once deadlines has passed.

I needed to remind myself of exactly what I had written for my goals and here they are below:

2023 GOALS

  1. Practice Self-Care every day. – My main goal is to practice self-care every day. I have found that I am not good at resting and my focus this year will be in practicing this.
  2. Puzzles, puzzles, puzzles! – As part of my self-care I set myself a goal of doing puzzles every week. I outlined it here in a recent blog post. I do want to try and sign up for a puzzle competition next fall but I am not sure if the timing will work out with my school and my kids’ school.
  3. Cross-stitch to finish projects. – I really want to finish my Zoo Alphabet project and start the Autumn Love project I bought last fall. I also want to make headway on both of the HAEDs that I have started and work through some of my smaller projects. I will be talking more about this on my YouTube channel but for now I want to finish some WIPS.
  4. Maintain my Commit30 planner. – My fourth goal is to keep up with my planner every month this year. I have found that writing things down really helps me remember what I need to do. I love my Commit30 planners and how every month you set a goal for yourself. You can find them here.
  5. Read some books. – I don’t have a concrete number of books to read this year but I do have a few that I want to get through. Some are favorites like this series by Dorothy Dunnett and others are new to me. I may post something later this year for one of my monthly goals but for now I just want to read a few books and rediscover my love of reading.
  6. Maintain the status quo with finances. – I am not working but I am taking classes all year for 2023 and this has made our budget very tight so my goal is for us to stick to it and maintain the status quo. I don’t want to take on any new debt and I also am hoping we can see an increase in our emergency fund this year. I don’t have any investment goals besides continuing to contribute to our account every month. The stock market has been down and I am just going to keep trucking along with our set amounts and not worry about it.
  7. Continue to grow my YouTube channel. – I have really enjoyed filming for my YouTube channel Oscoey which can be found here. This year I am expanding beyond groceries into cross-stich and my puzzle content.
  8. Keep working on my health. – I am still recovering from the major burnout I experienced last year and I am going to continue with recovering for 2023. I have been doing more gentle exercise, focusing on my eating and practicing self-care and it is slowly turning things around. I have signed up for one 5k so far (walking) and I am thinking of doing a 10k next fall.

Ignoring the messiness of my deck you can clearly see that Luna is great at practicing self-care by laying out in the sun on a hot day to soak up some rays. Overall I would say I have done great at my first goal. There are some days when I only get a little bit of time for self-care but I definitely have it on my mind every day and am getting good at recognizing when I need a break.

Puzzles. Well, I started out strong with my puzzle game but then I became more focused on stitching which is ok. I only have limited time available to me for self-care tasks and although I do want to work on more puzzles I have been on a a stitching kick as of late and that is ok too. I do want to finish at least one puzzle a month for the rest of the year and I think I can do it. We tend to do more puzzles over school breaks and this summer will hopefully be no exception. This flower puzzle I started at the end of April and I am still working on it. I have the border and some of the pieces put together. It doesn’t seem like a difficult puzzle so I should finish it quickly when I get back to it. Maybe for July I can work on finishing two puzzles.

My third goal was to finish up some cross stitch projects and I have definitely achieved this. I finished this Thank You one and I am about half way through a bookshelf bookmark for my son. I also finished several pieces for my store and made good progress on my Alphabet Zoo piece. I got sidetracked from some of my initial projects by stitching pieces for my store which was equally as fun but some of my other stitching goals got shuffled to the back burner while I have been stitching up samples. I am now focusing on stitching some fun pieces during the week as well as getting through the samples I need to stitch.

My fourth goal was to keep up with my Commit30 planner and I have done a much better job this year than in years past. There were a few weeks I skipped but overall I have been keeping up with my planner weekly and it has really helped keep my organized. School has been busier than I anticipated the last two quarters so I haven’t had time to add as many pictures to my calendar as I had hoped but I am still tracking my daily self-care habits most weeks and it has been great to look back and see what I have achieved.

My fifth goal was the very vague “Read some books.” which was purposefully not to specific. I wanted to focus on reading more for fun and not make it a chore. I used to be a very avid reader but as I got older and had more kids time to read became much smaller. I am someone that likes to read a book nonstop until I finish it. I can’t put it down and pick it up and read small chunks at a time, I need to keep going or I will forget everything I have read after a couple of days. So far this year I have read at least four books which is four more than last year so I will take that as a definite win! I read the Silo series by Hugh Howey coincidentally just in time to watch the TV show and I just finished a book my daughter gave me for Mother’s Day called “Daughter of the Moon Goddess” which was excellent. I traditionally read the “Outlander” series by Diana Gabaldon every summer but this summer I may tackle the much more weighty “Lymond Chronicles” by Dorothy Dunnett which is another favorite of mine.

My sixth goal of maintaining the status quo with our finances has been the most difficult goal for me this year. I wrote these goals in January before we found out that our biggest expense every month was going up by a large amount. All of our expenses went up this year but this one was a doozy and I knew immediately that I would have to work a little bit to make up for it. I have been focusing on my business and working hard at Oscoey Shop but businesses take time to build and I recently took on a part-time job to help out. I found one that is very low stress and will work around my kids’ school schedules. The job is also temporary and finishes up right around when my school is done which is super convenient. We are continuing to keep a close eye on our budget and have cut back some of our other expenses to help out.

Growing my YouTube channel has also proven to be more difficult than I thought but only because there is only so much time during the day and I can’t do everything. I would have loved to have filmed all of my grocery hauls this year and done Fridge and Freezer Recaps every week but I have not had time. My husband has been doing more of the grocery shopping and it is hit or miss whether I can film what he buys before it is put away or used. I would also have loved to have filmed my puzzles and more of my cross stitch but finding quiet time to film in my house is challenging. I am going to continue to work towards this over the next six months and see how I do.

My last goal for 2023 was to continue to work on my health and I have done a great job at this so far. I have been exercising more and I am eating much better. I graduated from meeting with a nutritionist every couple of months and just need to keep up with what I am doing. We recently took our first vacation in a long time and I was able to complete two 3 mile hikes within a couple of days of each other without having some of my health issues flare up so I was pretty proud of that. I am continuing to walk a few days a week and once I am over Covid I plan on starting back up again with my swimming. We are continuing to help my dad chop wood on a regular basis which is great for upper body strength and I am still doing a lot of gardening. I am hoping that by the end of the year my strength and endurance will be back up to where it was previously. My best takeaway from the last year of working on my health is that even small steps will help you reach your goal!

 

Overall I feel like my goal getting for 2023 is going well. There have been a few hiccups but that is to be expected. How are your goals going this year? Leave a comment below to let me know!

 

Links:

Oscoey Shop

Oscoey YouTube Channel

 

Daughter of the Moon Goddess

Outlander

Lymond Chronicles

 

2023 Goals

Oscoey Shop Update #3

Oscoey Shop Update #3

On Friday 05/05/23 Oscoey Shop will have our Tulip Collection 2023 drop at 10:00 am PT. I was very inspired by my trip to the tulip fields a couple of weeks ago and took so many photos! I knew right away I would try to […]

Arboretum in April

Arboretum in April

Recently we went to the Washington Arboretum near the University of Washington in Seattle. We have gone there many times in the past but have not been there for quite some time. We love to walk the trails and learn about the plants from all […]

Tulip Fields In Bloom

Tulip Fields In Bloom

It is tulip season in the Pacific Northwest. I love tulips and the years we make it out to the tulip fields are my favorites! We don’t go every year but we try to go at least every other. We have been to RoozenGaarde and Tulip Town and both are great. We try to switch it up since they have very different styles. For 2023 we went to RoozenGaarde and it was beautiful! We went super early on a Sunday morning and the crowds were not bad at all. It was raining most of the long drive up but once we got there the rain stopped.

We didn’t go quite early enough to get the gardens to ourselves but it was pretty empty when we got there just after opening on a cloudy Sunday morning. Cloudy days are the best for taking photographs because of the way the light bounces off of the tulips. I always get the best pictures on cloudy days.

I loved the combinations of purple hyacinths and red tulips. They were very beautiful together!

The pink and white tulips were some of my favorites!

These purple and yellow ones were not quite open yet but I took a picture of them so that I could remember which ones I like in case I am ever brave enough to plant tulips again. I am going to have to take some serious pest control measures because the moles ate all of my bulbs from underground. It was very disappointing!

I thought these raggedy looking pink ones were beautiful as well. They also were not quite open but I loved how the water drops looked on the petals so I took a picture anyway.

I am not always a huge fan of daffodils but these apricot an cream ones were so stunning! I may try to grow more daffodils next fall since the squirrels and the moles tend to leave these alone more.

My kids called these daffodils “egg flowers” because they looked very much like an egg. These were also some of my favorite flowers I saw that day.

I tried to get a good picture of these flowers but it was slightly windy and there wasn’t a lot of room to get a good angle. I am not sure what these were called but they looked like upside-down tulips. We all loved these ones!

It isn’t a trip to the tulip fields without the obligatory picture taken across seemingly endless fields of blooms. I wasn’t able to recreate my purple tulip photo but I did get some great pictures of the reds and yellows that made up most of the fields.

There were only a few rows of the purple tulips this year but they were still stunning.

Surprise alpacas! We took a break from walking to watch these alpacas eat. They were super cute!

My favorite tulips this year were these red ones that almost glowed in the light. This photo hasn’t been edited at all and it really shows how bright the tulips were under the overcast sky.

We had a great time at RoozenGaarde this year. I saw a lot of tulips I have not seen before, or don’t remember, and it wasn’t too cold for us. We just made sure to wear our rain boots since the fields can be muddy. I did buy one bouquet of some deep red tulips for my mom but otherwise we didn’t spend much more than the admission tickets. Parking was free with our ticket.

I should also probably note that this year there is a new farm called Tulip Valley Farms which we have not been to. If you are local you might have heard about some of the controversy around Tulip Valley Farms versus Tulip Town. I won’t go into detail here because I am no expert but basically the person who started Tulip Valley Farms used to be one of the owners of Tulip Town and there is now a lawsuit going on around it. I did link their website below if you want to check it out.

Thanks for reading about our trip to the tulip fields this year! Each field has different pricing and policies for dogs, parking and drones so be sure to click the links below if you want more information on that. RoozenGaarde was open the earliest in the morning which is why we chose it. We are all early risers and we had afternoon plans so we had to be home by a certain time. Also look out for another shop update at Oscoey Shop in time for Mother’s Day with tulip stickers, postcards and a new mini tulip field cross stitch pattern!

Links:

Oscoey Shop

RoozenGaarde

Tulip Town

Tulip Valley

 

Oscoey Shop Update #2

Oscoey Shop Update #2

This week we had our second shop update for Oscoey Shop located here or by clicking the link in the top menu of this page. Opening up the shop has awoken the creative side in me I forgot I had. My journey over the past […]


Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Never miss a post on our blog! When you subscribe, we'll send our latest posts plus helpful tips related to our blog's topics.

You have Successfully Subscribed!