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Good Reading http://blog.amykittel.com reviews, reactions, and other ponderings Mon, 21 Aug 2017 19:49:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.1 Pattern review for St Nicholas Stocking Cap for Crochet Kitten http://blog.amykittel.com/2017/08/pattern-review-for-st-nicholas-stocking-cap-for-crochet-kitten/ http://blog.amykittel.com/2017/08/pattern-review-for-st-nicholas-stocking-cap-for-crochet-kitten/#respond Mon, 21 Aug 2017 19:49:51 +0000 http://blog.amykittel.com/?p=495 image

First off I would like to thank Mono for modeling this lovely hat. Thank you, Mono!
Mono saw this hat and knew it would match his personality better than it would on David the Garden Gnome. (David is just too stiff.)

And a great big thank you to Crochet Kitten for letting me try out this pattern!
At first I was “slip stitch? Ugh.” But now I feel better about slip stitch and how to make to work!
Working this side to side gave it a “stretch factor”. I see many hats donated to the newborns and the knit ones fit and stretch. The crochet ones, while are beautiful, don’t stretch. BUT this side to side with slip stitch makes it so it does! And the wavy pattern is so cute!

My only suggestion is GO VERY LOOSE WITH SL ST. Go in, yo, pull out, and pull that loop even with your original loop on your hook, THEN pull it through. I’d practice sl st for several rows in a swatch until you get the hang out it. It will make your ability to go into the next row of sl st soooooo much easier.

You can find this pattern here for free from my friend, Crochet Kitten.




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I have Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. http://blog.amykittel.com/2017/08/i-have-non-hodgkins-lymphoma/ http://blog.amykittel.com/2017/08/i-have-non-hodgkins-lymphoma/#respond Sun, 20 Aug 2017 17:00:38 +0000 http://blog.amykittel.com/?p=514 In March I noticed a lump, then in April I got really sick with flu-like symptoms. I was in bed, down-for-the-count for 2 weeks. In May, I saw my Nurse Practitioner who wanted to wait another month and see if the 3 lumps I now had would go away.  By the time I got back from Canada in June, I had several more.  My doctor and nurse practitioner worked together to order labs, radiology scans, and a lymph node biopsy.  Our surgery crew at BDCH was excellent and, for the first time, I didn’t have any Post-Operative Nausea and Vomiting!!! YAY!!

The final word came in: Follicular B-Cell Lymphoma. Was I disappointed? Yes.  In my heart, I knew that’s what it was. I have a significant family history of NHL.

I met with the HemOncologist from UW Hospital. He explained that I have slow replicating cells. They look at the cumulative size of all my affected lymph nodes scattered throughout my body. Right now it is collectively not big enough to treat.

When a node gets to be >8cm OR the total nodes get to be larger than a specific “pile” OR my symptoms are affecting my quality of life OR my labs start looking bad (they are fabulous right now), THEN we will start treatment.

Treatment options are:

  • participating in a clinical trial at UW
  • getting weekly IV injections of Rituximab as an outpatient (it has no side effects!)
  • adding on chemotherapy, if recommended

Right now, we are going to reevaluate in October and go from there.

This is going to be a long fight and I need positive people/attitudes in my corner. I don’t want pity. Don’t ask me how I’m doing.  If I have a problem/not feeling good, I’ll let you know. I am no different today than I was the last time I talked to you.

My last request is to ask you to pray for strength, peace and God’s will.

Thank you all for your support and understanding.
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Healing Love by Jennifer Slattery http://blog.amykittel.com/2017/08/healing-love-by-jennifer-slattery/ http://blog.amykittel.com/2017/08/healing-love-by-jennifer-slattery/#respond Sun, 20 Aug 2017 14:10:30 +0000 http://blog.amykittel.com/?p=507 Healing Love  by Jennifer Slattery

4 stars


I loved this book, the reluctance, the conflict, the faith. This book made me want to go on a mission trip. Since I can’t go right now, I can serve Him locally in our food pantry and soup kitchen.

I’d heard of someone complaining about sexual overtones in this book. Yes, there are light suggestions of incest and rape. But if we ignored all the bad situations in our world, aren’t we condoning them. This is reality. Let’s shed light on these evil situations and chase Satan away with God’s enduring love.
Bad things happen to bring us closer to Him.

Last August I had the pleasure of meeting Jennifer Slattery in Nashville, TN for the Christian Fiction Reader’s Retreat. I’d never heard of her. But she’s got curly hair like mine, so I knew we had to be friends!! 

I bought one of her books then. Then I got a couple more. And the more I read her books, the more I loved them! Beyond I Do and Restoring Love are my faves! When Dawn Breaks and Breaking Free are already on my bookshelves, waiting to be read.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review


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Indivisible by Kristen Heitzmann http://blog.amykittel.com/2016/01/indivisible-by-kristen-heitzmann/ http://blog.amykittel.com/2016/01/indivisible-by-kristen-heitzmann/#respond Wed, 06 Jan 2016 03:57:06 +0000 http://blog.amykittel.com/?p=488

I love Kristen’s books, but I’ve found her recent contemporary books hard for me to read. In regards to Indivisible, the story is great, but the style of writing is hard for me to get through. I felt like I jumped into the middle and I was missing something. After a while the story was able to catch me, and it was a great story! I found the same with the Indelible. I would, and do, recommend her and this book. I just know that if I pick up the 3rd book it will be hard for me to read.

4 stars of 5.

Thank you to Blogging For Books for a free copy of this book in return for my honest opinion.

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A “Thank You” Thursday http://blog.amykittel.com/2015/11/scalemaille/ http://blog.amykittel.com/2015/11/scalemaille/#respond Thu, 19 Nov 2015 20:17:36 +0000 http://blog.amykittel.com/?p=472 For the last couple weeks, I’ve had the pleasure of testing a crochet pattern for my friend Crochet Kitten. It was fun and definitely a learning experience. I got to learn a new stitch called “crochet scale maille stitch“. It was tricky, but once I got the hang of it, the project just flew along!!

Tristan had mentioned he wanted to be Aragorn/Strider for Halloween. So when I was asked to make a crochet scale maille vest for Crochet Kitten, I yelled “YES!”



Here is my model Leviathan, my trusty dragon…. I mean cat, yeah, cat.  (Dragon scales are a bit heavy, but a cute idea!)


20151117_153859And here is the finished product! Since Tristan is in 6s and I wanted him to use it for a couple years, I made it a bit bigger in a size 10.

This was not finished by Halloween. Honestly, it wasn’t even started. But that was okay because Tristan saw the new Star Wars 7 light saber and quickly changed his mind and went as Kylo Ren.  He was asking if his scales would fend off a light saber attack? and “Mama, can’t you put scales on the back to protect be in case someone tries to light-saber me in the back?”


A great big THANK YOU to Crochet Kitten for the supplies and allowing me to help her out with this pattern!!

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Mailbox Monday! http://blog.amykittel.com/2015/04/mailbox-monday/ http://blog.amykittel.com/2015/04/mailbox-monday/#respond Mon, 20 Apr 2015 22:21:57 +0000 http://blog.amykittel.com/?p=469 image

I was excited to open my mailbox to find a package in there for me! I love getting mail(not bills) and I love it even more when there are BOOKS in my mailbox!
Today I got Deeanne Gist’s newest book Tiffany Girl that I am reviewing. On the super plus side: I will get to see Deeanne this Saturday at a book signing. Since I already had her sign the other books of hers I have….I wonder what book I will get her to sign???

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FO Friday http://blog.amykittel.com/2015/01/fo-friday/ http://blog.amykittel.com/2015/01/fo-friday/#respond Fri, 23 Jan 2015 14:02:42 +0000 http://blog.amykittel.com/?p=466 image

Got him in the mail last night. I finished him around 3am while I was at home on-call for work. There’s no snow around here, so I had to improvise!
I was told this “Olaf” is missing his middle body and his feet. Next they’ll want an icicle to impale him onto.

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Review: Princess Ever After by Rachel Hauck http://blog.amykittel.com/2014/07/review-princess-ever-after/ http://blog.amykittel.com/2014/07/review-princess-ever-after/#respond Wed, 16 Jul 2014 10:05:35 +0000 http://blog.amykittel.com/?p=452 Princess Ever After
Princess Ever After by Rachel Hauck

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really wanted to read this book! I’ve read Rachel’s Low Country series and I loved them!
I was concerned about reading this one before the 1st book. I asked Ms. Hauck on Twitter and she said I could read the second book first. Though I would not recommend it. Actually, I read A March Bride (A Year of Weddings, #4) then I read Princess ever after. So I kind of new what was happening, and since I am now reading  Once Upon a Prince (Royal Wedding, #1), I think I know how it’s going to end.

I don’t begrudge Rachel for telling me that. I didn’t have my hands on Book #1 at the time.

Anyway, I really liked the story. I loved the history thrown in there to make it all come back to where it needed to. I didn’t like the quick political completion. I’m sure it was hard to figure out how some things really would have panned out in real life, but it just happened over a paragraph.

My final words: go read the book, well, the first 2, then this one.

Thank you to NetGalley and Zondervan Pub for a free copy of the book in exchange for my honest review of the book.

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Captured by Love (Michigan Brides #3) by Jody Hedlund AND a Giveaway! http://blog.amykittel.com/2014/07/captured-by-love-michigan-brides-3-by-jody-hedlund/ http://blog.amykittel.com/2014/07/captured-by-love-michigan-brides-3-by-jody-hedlund/#respond Wed, 16 Jul 2014 09:28:02 +0000 http://blog.amykittel.com/?p=447 “Honey, guess where Jody Hedlund’s new book takes place?”

“Hilton Head Island?”


“Coronado Island?”


“Mackinac Island?”

Isn’t my Hubby smart?  By me asking “where does it take place” he knew that’s where he should pick places we had been to.

It’s been 2 years since we took a road trip to Niagara Falls, CA and then to Detroit, Frankenmuth, and Mackinac, MI. for the end of May/beginning of June, it was COLD. We have finally got smart and started vacationing in warmer places (2014 San Diego, 2013 New Orleans). I digress.

Having been to places I read about makes it more real. I can see the Fort inset on the hillside covered with lilacs. I can smell the water, and see what the characters would have seen. We rode tandem bikes around the island, so I could see the different ways the water hits the land. It’s amazing how much a small island could have such a controlling factor in a war.

I really enjoyed reading about the time of the early 1800s and Ms. Hedlund really brought the characters to light. I missed the frustrations Mackenzie should have had when learning about social etiquette, however, it would have made the book too long.

If you are looking for a book about the the War of 1812, fur trading, Mackinac Island, love, and God, look no further.  Click here for the Amazon.com link.

oh wait, are concerned because it is the #3 book in the Michigan Brides series? Don’t be. It’s a stand alone book, they just all have a common theme.
A big thank you to Bethany House Publishers for a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Captured by Love (Michigan Brides #3) by Jody Hedlund

It is 1814 and the British have taken hold of Mackinac Island and its fort, forcing American residents to swear an oath of loyalty to the British crown in order to retain their land. Pierre Durant is a voyageur–a fur trader who left his family home to find freedom and adventure. He’s been gone five years and when he returns, his family’s farm is at the mercy of the British invaders.

Torn between the life he’s grown used to and guilt over leaving his brother and mother, he’s drawn back into the loyalist fight against the British–and into a relationship with Angelique Mackenzie, a beautiful local girl who’s been befriended by the daughter of the British commander. As tensions mount and the threat of violence increases, both Angelique and Pierre must decide where their loyalties rest, how far they will go to find freedom, and how much they will risk to find love.

4/5 stars

And now for the Giveaway! One lucky winner will receive
Captured by Love by Jody Hedlund AND
A Stillness of Chimes by Meg Moseley!

To enter the drawing you need to leave a comment on older post, and then come back here and tell me which one you picked and why. You also need to tell me if you have read Jody or Meg’s books, and which ones. A winner will be chosen from all qualified entrants by my husband picking them out of his Notre Dame hat on August 9th before vacation starts! Be sure to leave your email @ address (dot) so I can notify you!
Good luck and happy reading!

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Trinity’s Arm http://blog.amykittel.com/2014/07/trinitys-arm/ http://blog.amykittel.com/2014/07/trinitys-arm/#comments Tue, 15 Jul 2014 04:52:55 +0000 http://blog.amykittel.com/?p=442 On Sunday, Trinity decided she was tall enough to ride Tristan’s bike. But she panicked on the slight decline of driveway and took her feet off the pedals and crashed. She got 2 My Little Pony stickers and a purple splint for her ER visit.


She got a “bow fracture” where the bones bow, not break, like an adult would.


She’s out of swimming, and t ball and gym for the summer.
But she got herself new LaLaLoopsies: Rosy and Stumbles Bumps & Bruises, the nurse and wrapped up teddy bear. Quite appropriately chosen, by herself.

Followed up with ortho doctor today. She got a pink cast for her arm (no, they were not out of purple). 4 weeks at least. She’s doing well. Distraction is her best medicine, but does regularly take Advil and Tylenol with codeine (blech) which she takes, but then drinks a toddler-sized shot of black olive juice with a black olive. (Double blech)

I have confined her to the garden to keep her out of trouble. Sigh. I always knew she was my little trouble maker.


I have a feeling I may need to crochet Pink Escher a pink cast as well.


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There is no reason why you can’t have a Mary Kay Satin Pillowcase with this giveaway! http://blog.amykittel.com/2014/06/432/ http://blog.amykittel.com/2014/06/432/#respond Mon, 23 Jun 2014 19:38:20 +0000 http://blog.amykittel.com/?p=432 Did you know that a satin pillowcase can be a great complement to your anti-aging regimen? It’s true, and we’ve got great news.

Starting today, through Aug. 15, you can qualify to purchase a beautiful Mary Kay® branded, satin pillowcase and drawstring bag for $5 when you purchase any skin care products totaling $40 or more suggested retail.

Check out this quick blog post about how satin pillowcases can help you sleep beautifully. Be sure not to fall asleep on this offer, because it’s available only while supplies last!

Order online Amy’s Mary Kay.

Wait, did someone say GiveAway?!

From now until August 15, 2014, for every 10 Pillowcases purchased on my MK website, I will give away one pillowcase plus a $50 Mary Kay gift certificate here on THIS website! To qualify for the drawing place your qualifiying Pillowcase order on my www.MaryKay.com/akittel website and leave me a blog post below with your name, email, and your favorite Mary Kay product! When I have 10 pillowcase orders from my website, I’ll put the names from the comments in a hat, up to that date, and have the Hubby draw them out of his Notre Dame baseball cap. Oh, did I mention you can qualify multiple times? After each pillowcase drawing, the slate is wiped clean! Which means you can place another pillowcase qualifiying order and get entered for the 2nd drawing!

Good luck! Happy sleeping faces!

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Wilton Candy Melts http://blog.amykittel.com/2014/04/wilton-candy-melts/ http://blog.amykittel.com/2014/04/wilton-candy-melts/#respond Wed, 30 Apr 2014 17:04:49 +0000 http://blog.amykittel.com/?p=428 Last Halloween, my cousin asked me to make cupcake toppers for the cupcakes. We found a bat mold and black Candy Melts. It was a big hit! The great-grandchildren loved it!
They were quite easy to make. And it was fun too! I just didn’t like paying full price for the candy or molds. So after the holidays, I run to Joann Fabric store and check out the leftovers they are trying to get rid of, I also check out the clearance section once in a while. I’m slowly building up my molds and Candy Melt options. I have not tried the flavorings that you add to the melts yet. But I just picked up Red Velvet and Marshmallow and Cherry Cordial (all on clearance).
Since I have a 3 year old princess, I bought this mold and a candy melt mold tips book (each for 50¢!) and made the pretzels the other day.
My princess was poofing everyone with her wand!


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Meet and Greet with Deeanne Gist and Debbie Macomber http://blog.amykittel.com/2014/04/meet-and-greet-with-deeanne-gist-and-debbie-macomber-2/ http://blog.amykittel.com/2014/04/meet-and-greet-with-deeanne-gist-and-debbie-macomber-2/#respond Sun, 27 Apr 2014 03:38:21 +0000 http://blog.amykittel.com/?p=420 Today over 50 authors met for a luncheon in Milwaukee followed by a book signing session. My mom and I travelled into town to meet 2 of our favorite Christian Fiction authors! I had my picture taken with Deeanne Gist and got her new book Fair Play and It Happened at the Fair


Mom met Debbie Macomber and got her new book Blossom Street Brides (Blossom Street #10).


I personally can’t wait to finish reading Tamera Alexander’s A Beauty So Rare so I can read my new books! Don’t worry, you’ll get a good review of A Beauty So Rare 🙂
Oh yeah, the others authors, I’m sad to say I didn’t know any of them. Best of luck to them!

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Review: A Broken Kind of Beautiful http://blog.amykittel.com/2014/04/review-a-broken-kind-of-beautiful/ http://blog.amykittel.com/2014/04/review-a-broken-kind-of-beautiful/#respond Wed, 16 Apr 2014 05:44:32 +0000 http://blog.amykittel.com/?p=409 A Broken Kind of Beautiful
A Broken Kind of Beautiful by Katie Ganshert
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Last year I read Wildflowers from Winter. I can’t remember how I came across a copy of it, but I like reading local authors. I really enjoyed it! I was given an opportunity to read and review Katie’s newest book A Broken Kind of Beautiful, I knew I wasn’t going to pass it up. I usually prefer Christian Historical Fiction, but after having read her first book, I knew I was going to like this one.

Talk about a different world: NYC, models, drugs. The one thing I did know was South Carolina. How? I’ve vacationed a few times on Hilton Head Island (mentioned in the book a couple times). So when Ivy lands at Hilton Head Airport, I chuckled and told my husband, because our condo was right across the street from it! It is such a tiny airport. teeny, tiny. Anyway, it was nice to read about an area of the country that is familiar to me and warm. After this last Wisconsin winter I’m ready to fly south.

If you haven’y bought this book yet, please do. The emotional and motivational Christian themes in this book will make you glad you did.

Read Ch. 1 here

A big thank you to Katie Ganshert and Waterbrook Multnomah for a ARC to read and review with my honest opinion.


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An Invitation from author Katie Ganshert http://blog.amykittel.com/2014/04/an-invitation-from-author-katie-ganshert/ http://blog.amykittel.com/2014/04/an-invitation-from-author-katie-ganshert/#respond Wed, 16 Apr 2014 05:05:53 +0000 http://blog.amykittel.com/?p=401 Save the Date 



With a Facebook webcast party on Monday, April 21st at 6 pm, CST! There will be lots of prizes, a fun chat room where party attenders can interact, two author guests, and did I mention prizes? The best part? You can participate from the comfort of your very own home. You can even wear your pj’s if you want. Nobody will know. I’d love it if you’d hop on over and RSPV. Please feel free to share the invite with friends! The more the merrier.

There will also be an in-person celebration on Saturday, April 26th from 1-3 pm at Books-A-Million in Davenport. If you live nearby, I would love to see you there! There will be free truffles and lots of hugs.

-Katie Ganshert


Thank you Katie!

Katie can also be found on Twitter sharing about writing and life with her family.

A Broken Kind of Beautiful Came out yesterday. You can find it on shelves at your local brick and mortar, Amazon and B&N


A Broken Kind of Beautiful
Sometimes everything you ever learned about yourself is wrong.

Fashion is a fickle industry, a frightening fact for twenty-four year old model Ivy Clark. Ten years in and she’s learned a sacred truth—appearance is everything. Nobody cares about her broken past as long as she looks beautiful for the camera. This is the only life Ivy knows—so when it starts to unravel, she’ll do anything to hold on. Even if that means moving to the quaint island town of Greenbrier, South Carolina, to be the new face of her stepmother’s bridal wear line—an irony too rich for words, since Ivy is far from the pure bride in white. 
If only her tenuous future didn’t rest in the hands of Davis Knight, her mysterious new photographer. Not only did he walk away from the kind of success Ivy longs for to work maintenance at a local church, he treats her differently than any man ever has. Somehow, Davis sees through the façade she works so hard to maintain. He, along with a cast of other characters, challenges everything Ivy has come to believe about beauty and worth. Is it possible that God sees her—a woman stained and broken by the world—yet wants her still? ]]> http://blog.amykittel.com/2014/04/an-invitation-from-author-katie-ganshert/feed/ 0