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Tag: progress

Oscoey Shop Update November 2023

Oscoey Shop Update November 2023

Our November shop update is small but mighty in Oscoey Shop. We are introducing two different cotton canvas tote bags! I am super excited about them and hoping you like them too. Both bags feature our Midnight Rainbow Flowers design and can be used for […]

Book Review: An Inconvenient Woman by Dominick Dunne

Book Review: An Inconvenient Woman by Dominick Dunne

At the end of September, faced with a mountain of books I had not read in almost a decade, I decided to start sorting through my books and reread any of those that I was unsure of keeping. I originally created this list of ten […]

Book Review: Pearl Cove by Elizabeth Lowell

Book Review: Pearl Cove by Elizabeth Lowell

When I created my post about rereading books kept in storage for too many years I wasn’t sure whether I would actually have time to read the books on my list. My post “Rereading Books Before I Give Them Away Part 1” was an attempt to get started with a small pile of books from the many boxes in storage since our move eight years ago. I reluctantly started “Pearl Cove” by Elizabeth Lowell and it was hard for me to get back into reading it but once I got going I remembered how much I love this book.


Pearl Cove” is a typical action adventure romance novel set in the Pacific surrounding a murder at a pearl farm. This is the third book in the series and I have no idea where I bought it or why I haven’t read the first two books but I will definitely look at my library to see if they have the first two. I may even purchase them from a second hand store if I like them, but I am not sure yet. I am supposed to be narrowing down my collection right?

The book is set in both Australia and Seattle focusing on the pearl trade and the murder of the creator of a rumored rare black rainbow pearl that is highly coveted. I will whole heartedly admit that I knew nothing of pearls before reading these books, or that Seattle had a pearl district. I have not yet done any research into the pearl trade in Seattle but I will tell you that this book gave me more respect for the humble pearl as a piece of jewelry. There are enough facts about pearl growing in this book to keep it interesting and the plot behind the pearls fits really well with the story. It does make me wonder more about the pearl trade in general and if more modern technologies have made pearl seeding easier.  A quick google search did reveal that black rainbow pearls are a real thing and that they are beautiful. The would fit in very well with our Midnight Rainbow aesthetic over at Oscoey Shop.

As far as the plot of the book goes, it fits in with a fairly standard romance novel, but I feel like I am missing quite a bit of back story by not reading the first two books. I am going to read the first two books before I comment on any of the continuity between them but from what I understand, the main characters Archer Donovan and Hannah McGarry in this book have previously met in another book. Hannah was married to Archer’s deceased half-brother which provides some conflict in their relationship. Their relationship in this book is strained and then magically better after a misunderstanding is cleared up which I feel is pretty typical of romance novels.

Overall I liked both Archer and Hannah but I felt like their characters could have had more depth. I am not sure though if that was because I didn’t read the first two books or if it was to keep the book at a shorter length. There was some macho man behavior going on with Archer but honestly this time around it didn’t bother me nearly as much as when I was reading Ecotopia. With romance novels I come to expect that sort of writing much more than with a more serious piece like Ecotopia.


I am not sure if I would recommend these books or not. I know that is kind of a cop out but I really feel like I should read the first two before passing any judgement so this review will be pretty short. I did not realize this was a romance novel when I added it to my list. My memories were more of the action/adventure parts of the book, of which there is plenty, but be fair warned this is technically a romance novel. I would definitely recommend starting with the first book in the series, “Amber Beach“, if you want a more complete read but as it is, “Pearl Cove” does stand alone as a great read!


Stay tuned for our next book review from our list, An Inconvenient Woman by Dominick Dunne.



Pearl Cove by Elizabeth Lowell

An Inconvenient Woman by Dominick Dunne



Rereading Books Before I Give Them Away Part 1


Book Review: Ecotopia by Ernest Callenbach

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 […]

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 […]

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 year recovering from massive burnout has been rough and although I still have some ways to got I am doing a lot better. I love all of the things I am selling and using my creative brain instead of my analytical one has been a challenge but I am enjoying the work much more.


This site participates in affiliate links and receives a small fee for affiliate recommendations at no cost to you. As always we only recommend products we have tried ourselves. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.


cross stitch pattern
Our rainbow Self-Care Every Day cross stitch pattern.

One of my dreams ever since picking up cross stitching over a decade ago has been to make patterns. Life got in the way and I never even downloaded the software but a little bit ago I took the leap, spent the money and now I have made two patterns finished so far. The first is my Purple Tulip Fields pattern which I have not stitched yet and this Self-Care Every Day one shown above. I have a few more I am still working on that should be released in the next few months. My next few will feature flowers but I am also thinking of doing another version of my Self-Care Every Day pattern in darker colors. Is that something you would be interested in? If so leave a comment below and let me know.

holographic sticker with black background, flowers and a rainbow
Holographic Midnight Rainbow Flower sticker.

Oh man were these holographic Midnight Rainbow Flower stickers hard to photograph! They are dark, holographic and beautiful but they reflect light like crazy. Believe me, in the sun they sparkle fabulously and I absolutely love how they turned out. These and my matching Midnight Rainbow Flower Postcards balance with my Brights collection which has the same pattern but in bright, vibrant colors. I really enjoyed making these and I am thinking of what to make for next time. I don’t think the new items will be in time for my May shop update but possibly for the June one.

Matte black postcard
Midnight Rainbow Flower Postcard

Speaking of my Midnight Rainbow Flower Postcards, I love these too! The matte black finish on the side you write on is amazing. I used both metallic Sharpies and Pental Milky pens to write on the back and it is very clear to read. I preferred the Sharpies but I write with really large print so I don’t think I could fit very many words on the back. I may look for finer Sharpies and see if those work too. Do you like these? Let me know in the comments.

Tulip field postcard
Orange Tulip Fields Postcard

Another thing I did for this shop update was to lower all of my postcard prices and list my Nature Photography Series One postcards individually in case people wanted to just buy one or two. The five pack set still comes with the super cute mini-sticker pack while supplies last. I love how pretty all of these photos turned out as postcards. These have traditional white backgrounds and can be written on with regular pens. My May shop update will heavily feature tulips from my trip up to the tulip fields last week. I got some really great photos with the overcast sky we had!


Purple Tulip Fields puzzle
Purple Tulip Fields puzzle

One item that did not make it into Oscoey Shop this time around was puzzles. I am still trying to find a manufacturer that I love and produces a higher quality puzzle. If you have one and are happy with them please let me know! This sample the photo turned out fabulously but the pieces were very loose to the point that I couldn’t even brush my hands over the top without several coming apart. This would definitely not have passed a pickup test! I have three designs finalized and I’m working on a fourth. My goal is to have puzzles released in June of this year. Fingers crossed I can get everything together in time!!!


Thank you for reading about our newest shop update. I am going to aim for one update a month until the end of the year but I may skip one this summer to spend some time with my family. Please let me know if there is anything you would like to see more of in the shop. I am still finding my groove and open to suggestions.


Have a fabulous day! – Jennifer at Oscoey



Self-Care Every Day Pattern 

Purple Tulip Fields Pattern

Holographic Midnight Rainbow Flower Stickers

Midnight Rainbow Flower Postcards

Metallic Sharpies

Pental Milky pens

Nature Photography Series One Postcards

2023 Goals

2023 Goals

My goals for 2023 revolve quite a bit around self-care and doing things that make me happy such as cross-stitching, gardening, puzzles, hanging out with my family and reading. I am also trying to make them pretty open ended so I don’t feel to rigid […]

2022 Goals End of Year Reflection

2022 Goals End of Year Reflection

2022 was a year with mixed results for me. As I reflect on my 2022 goals post from March of this year I am struck by how different my year turned out from where it started. I started the year gung ho about my career […]

2023 Goals: Puzzles

2023 Goals: Puzzles

It’s that time of year again for goal setting and reflection. I am hopeful for 2023 and one of my focuses will be self-care. I love puzzles so I am setting a goal of working on my puzzles for 2023. I was very inspired by Karen Puzzles on YouTube (link here) with her journey towards the puzzle championships. I had no idea there were competitions!!! I have not found any in my area yet but I am definitely keeping an eye out. All puzzles mentioned in this post are listed at the bottom so if you are here for my 2023 list feel free to scroll on down.


This site participates in affiliate links and receives a small fee for affiliate recommendations at no cost to you. As always we only recommend products we have tried ourselves. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.


Practice puzzle #1 – 300 pieces large size.

I started my 2023 puzzle journey in 2022 with some practice puzzles. We have a bunch stashed from over the years so I dug through our pile and started puzzling. I timed my first one which was Grandpa’s Garage at 300 pieces and it took me 1 hour, 18 min and 56 seconds to complete. If that seems fast to you, this was a super easy puzzle with large pieces. For comparison, in 2022 at the World Jigsaw Championship the fastest times for this 500 piece London Postcard puzzle was 34 min and 25 seconds which is amazing!

The Craft Cupboard by Colin Thompson

Next I tackled the 1000 piece The Craft Cupboard by Colin Thompson. This one took me about eight hours but, huge caveat, I had help from my husband with sorting for the first four hours which is when everything is the most difficult. No doubt if I had done this on my own it would have taken way longer. I loved this artist and I’m already thinking about which ones to add to my list for the future. I would really like to do the massive 18,000 piece Magical Bookshelf but one, it is super expensive and two, I have no idea where I would put it to keep it safe from dogs and kids. I am sure it is the size of my living room (or bigger) and logistically I don’t know how it would work.

500 piece Home for Christmas

I pulled this 500 piece Home for Christmas Puzzle out of our stash and it was unopened. We got this one out of one of those random Woot boxes many years ago. Did you ever do those? My husband was really into them for a few years and we did get a few good things out of them but it was mostly stuff we gave away. I will put a photo of the box below but I could not find this one on Amazon although it looks like you can find it on Ebay if you are interested.

Home for Christmas

I found a similar one on Amazon here. I didn’t time this puzzle because my daughter really wanted to help with it and honestly if she had not helped me it would still be sitting there undone. The quality on this one was not great and it was hard to tell if the pieces fit together correctly and with the glare I was having a really hard time seeing the colors. If I did another one of these I would try to change the lighting up a bit and see if that helps.

Golden Gate Bridge 500 pieces

Lastly I started this 500 piece Golden Gate Bridge puzzle of unknown origin from my family room. This is the brand Costco carries so we probably got it from there. I had a great time sorting this one and had it sorted in a record 15 min into edges, the bridge, some sky and then the rest of the pieces.

Golden Gate Bridge First Sort\

Unfortunately I quickly remembered why we don’t buy this brand of puzzle any more. The pieces do not fit well together and I really struggled to get the edge put together. I gave up after about an hour and started working on the clouds. I am really glad I didn’t time this one because it will probably take several hours. My kids have been helping me a little bit but they are also discouraged by how difficult it is to see if the pieces actually fit together. I will post a photo here on my Instagram when I finish this one, hopefully before the end of the year!

Snow Day!

To keep track of my puzzles I will be filming as much as I can and posting it here on my YouTube channel. I have created some boards on Pinterest linked here and below. The completed list is currently blank but as I work on my puzzles I will add them to the completed one. For now, I am finishing up what I have started and trying to pry out of my kids which puzzles they bought me for Christmas. Ha ha!


Happy holidays and puzzling everyone!


2023 Puzzle List


Completed 2023 Puzzles



Puzzle links:


World Jigsaw Champions Website


World Puzzle Championship Individual Puzzle:

London Postcard


The Grandpa’s Garage puzzle is a Goodwill find and I could not find a copy but here is an interesting 300 piece substitute:

The Silver Trout



The Craft Cupboard



Magical Bookshelf



Christmas Cottage

Golden Gate Bridge Puzzle


September 2022 Grocery Spending Wrap Up

September 2022 Grocery Spending Wrap Up

September was an expensive month for us as far as groceries go. All of our stock up trips seemed to happen this September and that caused our grocery total to be higher than usual. We also have been trying to eat healthier which of course […]

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