Anna McClurg

“Let us dance in the sun, wearing wild flowers in our hair...”

Ernest Hemingway: Our Kitty

Wednesday, August 27, 2014








Yes, you read that right, we got a cat!! Jed and I have waited a long time for this and finally there was an opportunity to adopt one! He is a bluepoint/bicolor Ragdoll and will be 12 months in the middle of September. He is a purebred* cat, and it was a situation where the woman who had him couldn't keep him any longer due to unforeseeable circumstances. He was actually destined to become a breeding cat from the Ragdoll cattery where he was born, but the cattery was moving so they had to sell him. The woman we got him from had him neutered (thank goodness!). We are so in love with this little/big fella and we are thrilled that he is part of our little household! I have always wanted a Ragdoll cat because they are said to be great with children and can be trained quite easily. And although I grew up with cats, they were always barn cats and I haven't had a huge amount of experience keeping a cat inside. I really didn't want to deal with shredded furniture and wanted a cat that would be good with people and wouldn't mind being picked up and held. This little guy is everything I ever dreamed of and more! Although naughty at times, I think he just needs time to adjust to his new surroundings. He has gotten into the habit of meowing all night long! We first thought we would let him into our room, thinking he might find a spot on the bed and sleep. But we soon discovered he had absolutely no interest in sleeping! He was all over us, purring and "kneading" as cats do (so adorable too!) but then he would hop off the bed and meow meow meow meowwww!! He wanted to play! So we decided this was just not going to work! So I looked up some tutorials on how to get your cat to stop meowing all night and we are trying out a system that I think might actually work. Basically closing the door at night and letting him meow as much as he likes, but we will give no mind to him. No "shushing" no "it's OK Ernest!" nothing. And soon we hope he will understand that his meowing gets him nowhere! We are also trying to play hard with him an hour or so before bedtime and then feed him his dinner after play time. This is in the hopes that he will settle down instead of go crazy around 10:30pm every night! Do you have a cat who likes to meow and play when it's bedtime? Any good tips you might like to offer this new cat owner? He is just the cutest little fluff ball there ever was and it's definitely hard to say no to the little guy! But I know it's for his (and our) own good!!

xoxo
Anna


P.S. Any good cat toy suggestions? It's sometimes hard to keep him occupied and he needs his exercise! He seems to like balls and shiny objects. So far we have some little catnip mice that he loves to toss around and run after. He also loves string, but I know that can be dangerous so I used some extra fabric bias strips I had laying around. He also LOVES the laser pointer, but we are extra careful with that one as not to point it in his eyes! I also like to use the laser pointer in conjunction with a toy like the catnip mice so he doesn't get frustrated.




*I definitely think it's great to adopt from a shelter, since we do know how many wonderful cats end up in shelters in need of a home. However we really wanted to have a cat that was more docile, especially since we are renting and because it would be our first house cat. We did feel slightly better adopting a purebred cat because he was in need of a new home, rather than buying a purebred Ragdoll kitten. Even after only having him a short while, I would highly highly recommend a Ragdoll if you are looking for a great house cat. They are a wonderful breed and such sweet kitties! I truly believe doing what you feel is best for you and your needs (whether that is adopting or buying a purebred) will in turn be the best for the kitty as well! :) 

Stripes!

Thursday, July 24, 2014




Stripes and linen, two of my favorite things! I made this new linen pullover, which I think is perfect for this hot summer weather we are having. The linen is beautiful quality and it was a pleasure to work with. I almost forgot how wonderful linen is! It's in the shop and on sale now! This one in size medium.

polka dot jumpsuit and lavender

Monday, July 7, 2014






I couldn't resist this polka dot jumpsuit from Zara. I just couldn't! I don't know if it suits me or not, but it's definitely comfortable and easy to wear. I now own THREE navy and white polka dot outfits from Zara. Apparently I can't get enough of these navy and white polka dots! I bought another playsuit only it has short pants and I also have a sleeveless "wiggle" dress that looks very 1950's to me. I guess my summer wardrobe will all coordinate! 

Now that we are home, I'm starting to see lots of plants "come alive" in our yard since we were last here during the end of March. I especially love the lavender plants and hope to plant a few more herbs. Maybe I will also get a chance to plant some vegetables in pots. I don't even know if shops are still selling garden plants anymore. I wonder if it's easy to plant pumpkins or squash in a pot or bucket for the fall? I don't want to dig up the backyard just yet as we are renting and I would need to talk to our landlord before doing anything drastic. But I have lots of space on our patio for potted plants. 

I also have lots of ideas for inside our house. I've been scouring Craigslist for furniture to replace our old hand-me-down pieces that we've had since we were married (and before). I really really want to get a "secretary" of sorts to hide away the computer in our living room. There are cords everywhere and it drives me insane to have them out in full view. Plus the computer is sitting on a really old and heavy desk that takes up way too much space in our small house. I'd also like to get a new dining room/kitchen table. Among other things, we'd love to paint all of our walls white. I think it will really open up the space in here and since we have smallish windows, I think it will make the rooms brighter. Jed is working night and day to finish a paper he is working on, and I can't do much without him, so I'm in the planning stages right now. But soon we will hopefully start to get this place looking a little bit more the way we want it to look. 

Hope you all have a lovely week! 

xo
Anna

Pre-Order: Linen Sleeveless Button-Ups

Friday, July 4, 2014





Happy 4th of July! This week has been a whirlwind. Jed and I returned late Monday evening from our three month stay in Seattle. We drove all the way out there, so we had to drive back. Our car was packed to the brim! I always tell myself next time I won't bring so much, and I think I am doing so well at it until we barely get everything packed in. Ugh. Someday I will learn! I brought a lot of clothing I didn't even wear and a lot of fabric I didn't get a chance to sew into anything. I guess what I've heard about the weather there is true. Seattle really doesn't have much of a summer like I'm used to! I actually kind of liked that, though. It was nice not really having to switch out my wardrobe until July. But now that we are back in Colorado, the sun is shining and it's a lot warmer here.

I've been thinking of more summery tops to make and I decided to order linen to make some more of those sleeveless button-up tops. I wanted to give you all a chance to pre-order in the size of your choice (xs, s, m or l). Otherwise I'll go ahead and make them in smalls and mediums as those are the sizes most people seem to want. I am not ordering a lot of fabric, each design I have enough for one top. However if there's a design you realllly want and it's already sold, I will try to get more. Also, if you pre-order I'm pricing these tops at $110 instead of my usual price ($130). Just email me (gracefullady@gmail.com) with your choice in fabric and where I would ship the finished top (zip code or Canada/Overseas) and I will send you a PayPal invoice. Let me know if you have any questions!

For those of you here in the States, I hope you enjoy the holiday! I still can't believe it's already July. Time goes by so fast when you're having fun!

xo Anna

P.S. For those interested, I am planning to write about my time in Seattle soon!
P.P.S. If you are interested in a floral cotton lawn top, I have some fabric in stock. Just ask and I will send you pictures. :)

Teeth whitening kit and a giveaway

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


I was given the opportunity to try out a teeth whitening kit by Smile Brilliant* a few months ago and also host a giveaway for this teeth whitening kit. I hope you don't mind another giveaway! This will probably be the last one for awhile, as I'd like to focus on my own blog content rather than doing reviews and product giveaways.

That said, I have been thinking of whitening my teeth professionally for awhile now so this whitening kit couldn't have come at a better time. I've tried a few drugstore whitening kits before, but they never seemed to work for me. The thing I love about this kit is that you have the ability to make trays that fit your teeth perfectly. They give you all the things you need to make an impression using a clay that they include in the kit. You mail your teeth impressions back to the company and within a few weeks you have perfectly fitting trays. The whitening gel they give you also lasts a long time, at least it has lasted me a long time (I still haven't finished the first container and they send you three). I decided to whiten my teeth slowly as I didn't know how they would respond to the whitening gel. The first time I tried it, there were white spots that appeared on my teeth and I admit I freaked out a bit! But they actually faded within an hour or less. Because of that, I decided to only use the whitening gel every other day for no more than an hour at a time. I can see a slight difference in the color of my teeth, but they never were very yellow to begin with. I drink coffee every day and I haven't given that up while doing this, so perhaps that makes a difference. So far I am happy with the results and I am planning to continue with the whitening gel every other evening up to an hour at a time until my teeth are as white as I want them to be. It's also important to note that you should not use this kit if you are pregnant or nursing.

If you would like to be included in a drawing to win this teeth whitening kit, sign up below and I will pick a random winner in one week. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
*I received this teeth whitening kit, courtesy of Smile Brilliant, in exchange for this review/giveaway.

Three Year Wedding Anniversary!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014







Today Jed and I are celebrating THREE whole years of being married! I cannot believe it has already been this long! We have enjoyed every bit of those three years (plus the two years we had together before we got hitched). Sometimes I think about how crazy lucky I am to have met him. How we met is kind of funny, actually. We "knew of" each other for a long time because we were both homeschooled and were enrolled in the same homeschool assistance program. However I was much more involved in that program than Jed was, so our paths never crossed during our school years. In fact, I actually went to his high school graduation without even knowing who he was! And he remembers seeing me at a high school play my little brother was in. I guess I was the only person knitting in the theatre and he thought that was cute! Anyway, years later he and one of my brothers became friends and started hanging out together with his siblings to watch movies every week. Apparently my brother talked me up so much that it led Jed to go find me on Facebook and invite me to movie night. He didn't think I would come and I thought FOR SURE my brother was trying to set me up and I almost didn't go. But I ended up going anyway and boy am I glad I did! At first I wasn't really interested in a relationship, so when Jed asked me out, I told him right off that I wasn't interested. But there was something in Jed's reply that made me re-think my decision. And actually, Jed said later on that he didn't actually think he was asking me out on a date and didn't realize how obvious it was that he liked me! But I think girls generally have a pretty good idea when a guy is coming onto them. In any case, I feel bad now that I turned him down so hard at first without thinking that maybe he just wanted to be friends. We ended up going on that date and it turned out to be an incredibly awkward time, at least that's what I thought! Soon afterwards, I got a Facebook message from Jed saying he had a wonderful time! No way! I really thought that it went badly and that he didn't like me at all after that date. Looking back now I see how much I read into everything. Needless to say, I agreed to go on a second date, and when I finally stopped over analyzing everything, I realized what a sweet and kind person he was and how much fun we were having together. The rest is history! I love him more than anyone in this world and that love grows deeper every single day. And I know he loves me every bit as much. He's my best friend and the one person I can talk to about anything and everything. We are both unique with somewhat different personalities, and I think that makes our relationship as a couple more interesting, but also challenging! He makes me a better person. I don't know what I would do without him! Perhaps it's silly to say, but I truly believe we were made for each other.



P.S. These pictures were recently taken at my brother's wedding (the same brother who I thought was trying to set me up) at the very spot we were married three years ago. We were married in an old 19th century church in Amana Iowa and it just so happened that my brother had his wedding reception there this past May!