Quick Lit: February 2022

January was a crazy month. Less than three weeks in, I had surgery. It was a shock—everything came out of the blue. But with two weeks off work to recover, I spent a lot of time time reading. Then the beginning of February brought a winter storm, which meant more reading time. Today I’m sharing a few of my favorite books read from mid-January to mid-February.

A Stroke of Malice and A Wicked Conceit by Anna Lee Huber

I continued my binge of this series until I ran out of books. What do I listen to in the car now? I feel so lost. I can’t wait for book ten to release in April!

Lost in Darkness by Michelle Griep

Late last year, I reread Frankenstein for the first time since high school. I wanted to read it before I read Lost in Darkness, because it uses Frankenstein as an inspiration. Lost in Darkness is a great Gothic novel about scientists going too far in their experiments and doing more harm than good. This is the first in a new series, and I’m really looking forward to more.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

I wasn’t a big fan of this book until the end. That’s when everything came together for me. I still wouldn’t list it as a favorite classic, but I’m glad I read it.

In Search of a Prince by Toni Shiloh

I love a good royalty romance, and In Search of a Prince hit the spot! This is such a sweet story that deals with deep themes—forgiveness, grief, and trusting God when your future is uncertain. I love the characters and I’m so excited for the next book!

Midnight on the River Gray by Abigail Wilson

This is my second book to read from this author, and I’m completely hooked. Her Regency mysteries have the perfect eerie feel. I’ve already checked out another audiobook of hers from the library. Maybe these can fill the gap left from finishing the Lady Darby series.

What are you reading now? What have your favorites been this past month?

My 2022 Creative Goals

I love setting goals at the beginning of a new year! A few years ago, I decided to set creative goals for myself.

1. Finish my unfinished projects

Well, my goal is to finish as many as I can, because I have a lot. Some are projects I’ve already started, like the loom knit blanket I’ve promised my oldest (and youngest, but I haven’t even started his) and the Breezy Summer Crochet Blanket that I started over the past summer. Others are project kits or patterns I’ve picked up and never even started, like the Overnight Twist Cowl from one of my last KnitCrate boxes or the rose embroidery set I bought.

2. Learn new crochet skills

I found a checklist years ago that helps you figure out your crochet skill level, and I’m using that to find what I need to learn. The skills I want to work on most this year are:

  • Working with lightweight yarn (1 or 2 weight)
  • Learning to read crochet charts
  • How to make a chainless foundation row
  • Corner to corner crochet patterns

3. Learn new crafts

Once I discovered crafting, it opened a floodgate. There are so many crafts I want to learn! I want to learn some new things this year, like:

  • Cricut Maker—my husband and boys surprised me with one for Christmas and I want to learn more about what it can do
  • Drop spindle spinning—I took part in great craft swap last year, and my swap partner gave me a drop spindle. I’m just beginning to learn how spinning works, but it’s so fun and so relaxing!

4. Write more

Writing is my passion. I’ve had five short stories published, but my dream is to write novels. I have so many ideas. This year I have one idea in particular I want to pursue—a romantic suspense novel. I have a first chapter and a basic outline. This year my goal is to finish the book.

What are your creative goals for the year? Is there a new craft you want to learn?

What’s Saving My Life: February 2022

This year did not start off great for me. Less than two weeks in, I found out I would have to have my thyroid removed. At 42 years old, I had my first ever surgery. Thankfully, I had a stack of books to keep me occupied, and I’m now several books ahead on my Goodreads goal for the year. I may get further ahead—as I post this, we’re bracing for a major winter storm, with a possibility of several inches of combined ice and snow. I’m prepared, though. My iPad is charged, along with my book light.


When I taught myself to knit a few years ago, I fell in love with crafting. Knitting changed to crochet, and it clicked—it became a favorite hobby. Then I learned to cross stitch, and now I’m learning more crafts. It’s fun to make things I can use or wear or decorate my home with. But most of all, crafting is relaxing.

Crochet and cross stitch in particular are so soothing and help reduce anxiety when I’m really stressed. They require just enough concentration, and they engage my hands and mind just enough to calm me down. The morning of my surgery, I crocheted before I left for the hospital. It really helped settle my nerves.


I wasn’t a tea drinker until a few months ago. My oldest son loves hot tea. He kept asking me to try it, and I finally gave in. I wasn’t sure at first, but as I tried different flavors, I discovered I really love hot tea. I tend to go for fruit flavors and dessert teas, but I’m still trying new things all the time.

I generally stick to decaf teas, since I often drink them at night. I love orange and raspberry and pretty much anything with hibiscus. Currently, my favorites are Tazo Wild Sweet Orange and Celestial Seasonings Tangerine Zinger. I also tried Tea Forte Raspberry Ganache recently, and it’s so good! The Harney & Sons tea in the picture is perfect with a little milk and a dash of vanilla.


I know, leave it to a dental hygienist to say floss is life changing—but seriously, y’all, this is. I’d heard hygienists talk about Cocofloss at every CE event I’ve been to, but I just didn’t try it, partly because of the cost. At $8-10 for a spool of floss, it’s a little pricy, but after finally trying it, I’ll never go back to other floss. My teeth are so much cleaner when I use this. Plus, the flavors are really fun. So far, I’ve tried coconut, strawberry, and orange.

This hot/cold eye pack

My 40’s are not being kind to me. Becoming lactose intolerant, having my thyroid removed, and developing plantar fasciitis and migraines. My mother has migraines, so that doesn’t come as a surprise, but I’d never had problems with them until my 40’s. This hot/cold eye mask from Amazon is amazing. The ice pack is perfect for soothing a migraine, and the heat helps with neck pain during and after an attack.

Hoopla audiobooks

I’ve always been an avid reader, but I didn’t fall in love with audiobooks until a few years ago. For years, I had a long commute (an hour or more per day), and I would listen to audiobooks on my drive. Now I have a short commute, but I still listen. I also listen when I’m crafting for doing housework or any other time I get a chance. I love Hoopla! It makes it so easy to get books, and our library system has a great selection.

What’s saving your life right now?

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