Wednesday, September 30, 2015

My Bookshelf (Sob)

Many months ago, when I was still trying to do my 5 Monthly Goals in 2015 Thing (yeah, I know you forgot about it, too), I decided to tackle my bookshelf.  We have these amazing built-in shelves in the bedroom that have just become mine (since Caleb gets the whole dresser, and I have a million books).  I've shown parts of it to you before, like when I set up my jewelry organizers on one of the shelves.  That was still working great, but my books were in disarray, so I decided to organize them.  I also took the chance to add in the extra supports for the track shelving that we didn't have when we first moved in.

First, I took all the books off the shelves.  This made a mess.

I got rid of a few books (maybe 5), and also a lot of clutter that had just found its way to the bookshelves.  Once all the books were removed, I had basically empty shelves.

I dusted them, added the extra supports, and then began sorting my books.

Here's the final product:

On the very top shelf, I stashed our hats and our extra sheets and pillowcases.  We don't have a linen closet, but this is pretty much it for our linens, anyway, so half a shelf suffices.

The next shelf down holds non-fiction, sorted according to the BISAC system that our local library uses.  Because I'm a super nerd.

The next three shelves hold all my fiction (and my jewelry organizer stuff).  I was thinking about sorting between adult and juvenile literature, but there are some books that could go in either category, so I kept them all together.  I tried to leave a little room on each shelf for additions to my collection.

And yes, I do have 4 copies of Little Women.

I had some room at the end of the third shelf, so I used a bookend.  Just until I get more books that is.

On the floor, I keep crates with my slippers, hats, mittens, and purses.  I also put all my little kid books here.

Now, you may or may not have noticed the "(Sob)" in the title of today's post and here's why it's there: because all of this lovely organization is gone.  Gone!  While we were getting ready to (not) move, I knew I had to declutter my bookshelves.  While to me, my bookshelves say, "I'm well-read and have excellent taste in all things," apparently to a prospective buyer, they might say, "I'm a hoarder who has too many possessions.  Don't buy my house," or "Look how crammed full these bookshelves are; there must not be room for everything here. This house is sorely lacking in storage."  So, I had to pare down my collection.  And I did cry while I did this.  Yes, most of my books are just in boxes and they're okay, but my bookshelves look so empty!  Now they say to a prospective buyer, "Wow! Look at all this room!", while to me they say, "I hate books. And chocolate. And happiness in general." 

And yes, I could put it all back, but I don't have the energy for that these days.  Anyone want to come help a super nerd re-organize her bookshelves?

Love and Austen,
Leah Joy

Monday, September 28, 2015

Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Frosting

For Chloe's birthday (in May), I made a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, but I also made some chocolate cupcakes with raspberry frosting.  For my baby sister's birthday, I went all out and decorated with fresh raspberries.

They didn't all go up at her party, so she got to take them to church the next day and be the most popular person in youth group.

Chocolate cake with raspberry frosting is becoming one of my best-selling items in the bakery. :)

Love and Pink,
Leah Joy

Friday, September 25, 2015

Life Update

This post will be purely words, no pictures, so if you can't handle that, or you only come for pictures of cupcakes, you may leave now. :)

Let's see, I haven't really updated on anything personal in a long time, other than to inform you all that I'm pregnant.  (And if you say 'preggo' or 'preggers', I will have to hurt you. Moving on.)  So, I guess I can start there.  We are expecting a little baby girl on November 27, and if she's anything like me, she will be born on her due date. I've always known that babies are born with their personalities, but I never realized you could witness some of that while they're still in the womb.  At our ultrasound, Baby Girl was lying with her profile to the scanner, and so the ultrasound tech tried to make her turn so that we could see her face.  Baby Girl turned all right, so that her back was to us.  :)

The pregnancy is going quite well, and I really can't complain too much.  If my biggest problems are backaches and heartburn, I'm doing pretty well.

Since I'm due at the end of November, I started my Christmas list early.  I knew I wouldn't be able to make anything in December, and figured I might not be feeling up to it in November, and maybe even October.  So, I have most of my projects done, which feels great, but also weird.  As in, what do I do now?  So, I've decided to make a little quilt for Baby Girl.  More on that in another post. :)  I've even taken pictures of the projects I've made, but I can't share those yet, because of course, they're for presents.  I'm thinking I might pre-write and schedule the posts to come out after Christmas, when I'll be too absorbed in a baby to post otherwise.

Our biggest news, which then turned out to be our biggest disappointment, was that we were going to move.  A lady who lives down the street from my parents asked my dad, her friendly neighborhood Realtor, to list her house for her.  Of course, as soon as my parents know that a house is for sale in their neighborhood, they plot whom they want for neighbors, and sometimes get their way.  This time, my little brother brought up our names, and we decided to go see the house.  We really liked it and put in an offer, which was accepted.  The offer required that we sell our house in 60 days, so we, and many of our friends and family, spent 10 days getting the place ready to list.  We cleaned, touched up paint, decluttered, and did a million other things (most of which I was not allowed to do in my delicate condition).  My dad, also our friendly local Realtor, had a professional come out to take photos (which look amazing, by the way - very worth it!).  That same day, however, the seller got some bad news about her health and said she might need to reconsider.

So, we held off listing our house and kept it pretty clean.  After a month, she decided to stay put for now, although if she decides to move next year, she'll still honor our deal.  While we're content in our current house, we were also disappointed because there were a lot of things about the 'new house' that we liked better.  It's in a small neighborhood, not on a busy street corner, for one.  The basement was completely finished, for another.  It had plenty of room for us to grow.  However, we also can see the good in staying here - lower mortgage payments, we don't have the hassle of moving, and of course, it's already decorated just how we like it.

Late this summer, actually the same day our offer was accepted, I left my job at the library.  I really loved that job and didn't want to have to leave so soon, but it was wreaking havoc on my body.  I initially wanted that specific job (shelving books) because it was a physical job and I needed more exercise, but it did not go well with being pregnant.  For the first few weeks after I left, I was kept busy with the house stuff, and then with Christmas presents, but I'm starting to get to the point where I'm not quite sure what to do with all my time - hence the quilt for Baby Girl. :)  (And of course, there are always a million books to read, cupcakes to make, and - oh yeah - toilets to clean.)

Finally, one of our friends has moved in with us, into the basement (his choice).  He's hoping to build a bathroom and a bedroom down there, but, well, I'll believe it when I see it. :)

I think that's about it.  Come back next week for some pictures of cupcakes.

Love and Buttercream,
Leah Joy

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


I bet you all thought I forgot I had a blog.  Well, sometimes, I do.  Because I'm busy growing a human.  And there's a lot of other stuff that's been going on, but that's a story for another day.  In the meantime, I've been stacking up pictures of things that have happened and things I have made, so I have at least 3 posts for you!

This Spring, my mom and my sister took me to Windmill Island Gardens in Holland, MI.  We went the week after Tulip Time, when the tulips would still be plentiful, but the crowds wouldn't be.  However, it rained that week, so many of the tulips lost their petals.  We still had a good day, though, and got to see a lot of beautiful flowers!

They have this big field where there are rows and rows of tulips, and had it not rained, this field would have been amazing.  As it did rain, this field was a little sad.

This tree, however, was in full bloom, and I wanted to become a fairy and live in it forever.

We toured a real, working windmill.  Because it's real, and they actually use it for food production, we weren't allowed to explore it ourselves and had to sit through the extremely boring and uninformative tour.  "This is the storage floor.  This is where we store things."  (Actual quote, I kid you not.)

However, the view from the deck was beautiful!

Plus you could see down their pulley shaft, and we waved at some rascally children below. :)

"Look, Leah!  A blue door!"

Here's the far-away shot of the windmill.

We also saw this duck couple who apparently have all the ducklings.  I count at least 20.

I hope to update more about my life (and baby) later this week.

Love and Nutmeg,
Leah Joy