Quilting Retreat 2019

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For those of you that don’t know, I attend a couple different quilting retreats with my Mom every year. You can see my post on last year’s retreat here. I also have a couple older posts from 20142015, and 2016 retreats. I’m not a quilter but I have found over the years that a quilting retreat is a great way to get some good reading done! So I tag along and while all the other ladies are quilting, I read! This year I was also determined that I be creative as well so I brought a coloring book to try and enhance my creative abilities. I also ended up helping one of the ladies with a project for a quilt she was making that was super fun! This year was another super productive and fun year, and I wanted to share with you readers a run-down of what happens at our mystical retreat weekends!

Here was my overall schedule for the weekend:

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We started retreat on Thursday afternoon this year, which was earlier than in recent years. The extra time made a big difference and allowed me just a bit more time to get reading and other things done! Below are some highlights and pictures from the weekend:

  • Thursday:
    • First picture colored! I purchased this Magical Planner on Amazon a few weeks ago because (a) I like magical things and (b) I like coloring. I already have a planner but I liked the information this planner has and I’m hoping to learn something new! Below are before and after pictures of the coloring! Love how all the colors really make the picture come alive.
  • Friday:
    • Mom and I went to a local winery, Chamard Vineyards, and did a tasting. We go here every year to get a stamp in our CT Winery Passports and also because we like wine! I snagged a few pictures below from the winery, which is beautiful.
  • Saturday:
    • My handsome husband came to visit! We shared a delicious lunch and then went for a hike. The retreat center where we go for the Quilt Retreat has extensive trails and also various sporting gear. We found a basketball court along the way and decided to stop and shoot a couple hoops (picture below!). There’s also a gorgeous outdoor worship space that I love taking pictures of every year, it’s right on the water and is just so peaceful. Picture included below!
  • Sunday:
    • I helped one of my friends, Debbie, with a quilt she was working on! I like stretching my creative muscles during retreat and I had great fun helping Debbie pick out which fabrics to use for the doggy glasses!

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I also included a picture below of a few other quilts that ladies (and mom) were working on during the weekend and another picture that I colored during the weekend. Also my desk space where I hang out for the weekend is pictured below!

 

Quilting Retreat 2018

Quilting-Retreat-1

For those of you that don’t know, I attend a couple different quilting retreats with my Mom every year. I’m not a quilter but I have found over the years that a quilting retreat is a great way to get some good reading done! So I tag along and while all the other ladies are quilting, I read! This year I was also determined that be creative as well so I brought a coloring book and a cross stitch project (unopened) with me to break up the routine and do something different. This year was another super productive and fun year, and I wanted to share with you readers a run-down of what happens at our mystical retreat weekends!

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Friday

Friday is a great day since its the first day of retreat! Mom and I leave in the morning, we stop somewhere on the way for breakfast (this year was Dunkin Donuts since it coincided with Free Donut Day!) and we try to arrive as close to (but not before) 10am as possible. Our retreat is hosted at the Incarnation Center in Ivoryton, CT. Retreat is held in The Lodge building, all the ladies stay in rooms on the wings and then there are tables set up in the center common room for the quilters. I lucked out and found a little nook right next to my Mom’s table that I use as my command center for the weekend. After we arrive Friday, we unload the car (which is a fantastic form of organized chaos), unpack our bags and get settled. Our rooms are private (there are some shared rooms if you wanted to share with people) and we each have a twin size bed. Bathrooms are shared in the hallway but the individual stalls have their own doors so it still ends up being very private. My mom and I always are in rooms at the very end of one of the hallways, which is right next to the building’s little library. Lunch is at 12:30pm so we spend the time before lunch getting stuff organized and catching up with the other lovely ladies at retreat. We’re also very lucky in that the dining area is right in our building, which is pretty convenient when its raining. So after lunch we have about a solid 5 hour stretch until dinner, then after dinner we have time to get things done until whenever we feel like going to bed. Also on Friday this year we were very lucky that a local store, Cate’s Sew Modern, came to our retreat center with items we could buy. Their store has such great fabrics, and though I’m not a quilter I am an avid fabric fan and I usually convince my Mom to buy something. They were so nice and we were very lucky to have them join us for an afternoon!

So that’s the basic rundown for Friday. I was able to finish a book, color a picture, and do a couple blog posts (my May wrap up blog post and a review of the book I finished, The Death of Mrs. Westaway). I also started a new book and got maybe 1/3 of the way done before bed. I was supposed to be working for a little bit but I couldn’t get my webcast to load so I skipped that. My mom also got one of her quilt tops done, I included a picture of it below!

 

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Saturday

Saturday is a wonderful, full day of retreating! Meals are at 8am, 12:30pm and 6pm. There is a snack table for snacks. Mom and I usually try to get to a local winery, Chamard Vineyards, before lunch but this year we decided to go after lunch. We stopped by the Clinton Outlets first and walked around, but we weren’t in a spending mood so we walked away empty handed. We didn’t walk away empty-handed from the winery though! We had a wonderful time at Chamard, and though we had a little trouble at first finding room at the bar, once we did we had great wines and great service. We went back to retreat after purchasing a few bottles.

Saturday I got a lot done, I finished the book I started on Friday, Rainwater, and had time to do a post on it, plus I read a whole other book before bed. I also colored another picture and started a cross-stitch project. Our friend at retreat also showed us a quilt she was working on and the fabric had characters from a book series I was a huge fan of as a kid, I included that picture and a couple other quilter pictures of Mom below.

 

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Sunday

Sunday is a short day and is a little sad because we are getting ready to leave. Mom and I pack the car a little bit every hour so that by the time lunch is over we can just drive away. After posting about the book I finished before bed Saturday (The Opposite of Here), packing up all my junk, and working on my cross stitch project for awhile, there wasn’t much time left for reading. I did start a new book but didn’t get very far on it yet. That’s ok though! My mom did end up having time to finish putting a quilt top together, and I thought it looked awesome! Overall I felt super productive this past weekend and I was able to really do a lot of the things that I love doing. Plus the weather Sunday was GORGEOUS! The other two days were pretty humid and hot but Sunday was crisp and clear. Beautiful weather and a beautiful day.

Lunch is at 12:30pm and then Mom and I wrap things up pretty quickly after that. We always stop for a (good) coffee on our way home. I was very happy to see my husband and kitties once I got home Sunday, and after my very productive weekend, I spent the rest of the day Sunday relaxing on the couch. 🙂

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That’s a wrap! 

And that’s retreat! The other ladies do A LOT of quilting, and there are fun quilting related grab bags and door prizes and what not but since I’m not a quilter I kind of end up doing my own thing. I always have a lot of fun though and I can’t wait for next year!

2017 Book #55 – Storming the Castle by Arianna Hart

51qW7sNAt1LTitle: Storming the Castle
Author: Arianna Hart
Date finished: 7/4/17
Genre: Contemporary romance
Publisher: Entangled; Select Contemporary
Publication Date: June 26, 2017
Pages in book: 335
Stand alone or series: Dale series
Where I got the book from: Author’s Pal
NOTE: I received this book for free from Author’s Pal in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

Sam Castleton has fame, houses all over the world, and one really big problem—he’s got an album due and he can’t write. All he wants is a quiet place to get his head straight. Dale, Georgia, seems like the perfect quiet spot to try to hear the music again and get some lyrics down on paper.
With her daughter’s paternal grandparents making a sudden appearance and the difficulties of running her own lodge and being a single mom, Faith Adams doesn’t have the time to worry about the mysterious stranger staying in one of her cottages, no matter how sexy he is.
Her newest guest may be surly, but his money is good, so she’s willing to overlook his surly nature. If only she could ignore the way he awakens a searing hunger in her…
Each book in the Dale series is a standalone story that can be enjoyed out of order.

My rating:  4.0 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. Be sure to check out my BLOG TOUR post on this book as well! This book tells the story of Sam Castleton and Faith Adams. Sam is a famous singer who is going through the cliche rich guy crisis after becoming disillusioned with his rock-and-roll lifestyle. This is especially frustrating for him since he can’t seem to write any new music, which means no new album for the record label. So Sam’s manager arranges for him to spend a couple of months in a cabin in the woods of Dale, Georgia to re-group. The cabin being rented happens to be owned by Faith, a single mom with a lot on her plate, including running her B&B and raising her daughter, Piper. Sam spends time getting his feet back under him; exercising, not drinking, eating right, and spending some quality time with Faith and Piper. His muse thankfully returns and he comes up with some great, if different, new material, mostly based on his new feelings for Faith. But can a country girl and a rock-and-roll celebrity really make it work in the long term?
Overall I really liked this book. Faith was a fierce heroine who was also incredibly vulnerable and I really liked the dichotomy between those aspects of her character. And Sam was dark, brooding, sensitive and steamy, everything that a hero should be in a romance novel. This book was pretty steamy, Sam and Faith lit up the pages with their chemistry and it made the book feel more emotional as well. The plot line was interesting and engaging, there was enough going on to hold the reader’s interest. This book had great supporting characters and a cute/sweet ending. I would be interested to read more by this author, and I would recommend this one for a great summer read!

The bottom line: I really liked this book. It was pretty steamy but also quite romantic and touching. I would be interested to read more in the series, I would recommend checking this one out!

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

Reading Retreat! 2016

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So this weekend is my annual Reading Retreat! For those of you who haven’t seen my posts in prior years, I’ll give a little explanation. Every year my Mom goes on a Quilting Retreat with her Quilt Guild. The retreat is at the Incarnation Camp in Ivoryton, CT. While I’m not a big quilter, I went a few years ago to spend the weekend with my Mom and have gone every year since. I spend the whole weekend reading, hanging out with Mom, and chatting with all the awesome ladies at retreat. The Camp provides our meals which means extra reading time since there is no food prep. I always have a great time and I usually get a lot of reading done. I wrote about my experience at retreat for the past two years, you can see those posts here: 2014 and 2015.

So for this year I wanted to make it a little more structured, mostly because I still have so many books to get done for the month of May. So I’m doing a Reading Retreat Read-a-thon for the coming weekend!

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Looking at my review schedule (I sort by publication date on my priority list) the next 5 books on my To Read list are all historical romances, so this is going to be a great fun weekend! I love historical romances and I haven’t been able to read quite as many lately so this is a great coincidence that I have so many on my goals list for the weekend! I’m including more books here than I will most likely be able to read in 3 days because I am an optimist and would love to actually be able to read all of them this weekend. My goals for this weekend are as follows:

So that is my plan for this weekend and I am very excited to be spending the weekend at retreat with my mom and our friends! I am doing something different this year in that I am not bringing my computer so I won’t be doing any of my review posts until most likely Monday. If you’d like to keep up to date with my travels and adventures this weekend though be sure to check out the Rebeccabookreview Facebook page to keep up to date! Happy Memorial Day weekend to you all!

Quilting Retreat 2014 (aka Reading Retreat)

So every year I go with my mom on her Quilting Retreat. Her Quilt Guild goes on a three-day retreat where they quilt pretty much non-stop. I never caught the quilting bug but I tag along and spend the whole weekend reading. Its a fantastic weekend every year. We arrive Friday morning and unpack all our multitudes of items and we stay until just after lunch on Sunday. We stay at the Incarnation Center in Ivoryton.  It has a large middle room where all the quilters set up and two wings of rooms attached off the large main room. We get three meals a day, all of which are quite delicious. Last night for dinner we had grilled steak, a sweet potato mash, and roasted asparagus. Yum! And the best part is we don’t have to worry about doing any dishes!

I was able to finish 2 (and a half) books this weekend. I also got to exercise and spend some time relaxing with friends. And my husband even drove down yesterday to spend some time with mom and me. During the weekend, we also go to a nearby quilt store and a couple wineries during the weekend. The Incarnation Center is a great spot, they have hiking trails, a large lake, and a lot of animals on the grounds. My favorite animals are the burros that live behind the building we stay in. I’ve included some pictures in this blog post of our fun adventures this weekend! Also be sure to check out my mom’s blog to see what she got done this weekend!

Link to Mom’s log: http://www.joanne94w.wordpress.com