Summer Reading List

The time for summer reading is fast approaching!  I plan to park myself in a bookstore as soon as the school year lets out and I am student free.  I don’t know what is on my summer reading list for this year, but I have a few good books to share with you to put on yours if you haven’t already read them.

  1. The Scribe of Siena by Melodie Winawer
    • Sort of like Outlander but with well researched historical and Italian flare.  And MUCH shorter.  If you’re worried about that kind of thing.  Also couldn’t help but create my own artwork for this book since I was in Italy not too long ago myself.Scribe-of-Siena-Book-Cover
  2. The Lost Sisterhood by Anne Fortier
    • Dive into a world of archaeology, ancient sisterhoods, and secrets.  If you didn’t get enough of the Amazons in Wonder Woman, then you will most certainly enjoy this book.
  3. The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani
    • Heading back to Italy with this book.  It’s an amazing story of Italian immigrants and how they made their way in an early America.  Oh, and it’s a love story.
  4. Tote-Bag-Summer-Reading-PNGBig Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
    • If you know me, I’ve probably recommended this book to you about a hundred times.  I can’t get enough of it.  Non-fiction and fabulous, Gilbert describes how to live a creative life without beating yourself up repeatedly or being afraid to share what you are doing with the world.
  5. All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness
    • A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night, and The Book of Life – If you are wanting a series to read and you enjoy a good tale of witches and vampires without all the teen-angst, then you will love this series.  Harkness is a college professor of history, and her intelligence shows in her writing.  These books are an answer to her own personal question of “If vampires and witches were real, what would they do for a living?”  Enter Diana Bishop, historian of alchemy and witch.  Harkness takes you on a page-turning journey of magic and history all rolled into one.

What’s on your summer reading list?  I’d love to know!


Embrace the Mocktail

Recently a friend of mine and I got into an epic fancy drink creation battle.  Ok…so it wasn’t quite that epic, but we had a good time.  I was also incredibly satisfied with one drink I made with black & blueberries.  My favorite part of the drink (besides the taste, obviously) is the vivid color.  It makes a great contrast to any summer table setting.

Black & Blueberry Mocktail

Servings: 1 short tumbler


  • 2-3 fresh blackberries
  • 5-6 fresh blueberries
  • 3 mint leaves
  • 1 lime
  • 1/2 oz. agave nectar
  • 5 oz. club soda

1. Using a cocktail shaker, muddle the blackberries, blueberries, and mint leaves with the juice of half a lime in the bottom of the shaker.

2. Add in the agave nectar and club soda and stir.

3. Using a strainer with semi-large holes, strain the mixture into a glass with ice.  I like to have some of the berry-mint bits come through, so I don’t suggest a fine sieve.  However, you do you, so strain however you like!

4. Enjoy!

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Educator Gone Illustrator

Hi!  I’m Josie: former teacher, current counselor, and someone who fell in love with illustration and pattern design.

My whole life I have been one of those people with too many hobbies.  I like to try everything.  My career as a Family & Consumer Science teacher really fit this particular characteristic of mine.  I was able to teach both fashion design and culinary arts to high school students, which was awesome.  Working with students led me to want to become a counselor, which I have done.  I’m definitely a textbook INFJ, guys.

When I moved to California from Texas with my husband, my world was a little rocked.  It took a while to find a job, and I became SUPER antsy sitting around at home.  I have a major need to make things and remain busy, so I started learning about Illustrator and pattern design through Skillshare.  I LOVED IT!!!  Fast forward three years, and I am working as an educator again, but I have gained this amazing world of art and design that I will never let go.

This is how Hey Miss Designs popped into my head.  Because I am an educator at heart, I made the scary decision to start teaching what I have learned.  (Currently working on my first online class!!  Yikes!!)  I wanted to create a brand that spoke to who I am as a person.  My students and my work as an educator came to mind.  If you’re an educator, you probably understand being addressed as “Hey Miss” on more than one occasion.  While I usually correct students and remind them of my actual name, this phrase has become special to me.  My students don’t say it out of disrespect; they say it when they need me.  So there you have it… Hey Miss Designs is a combination of my love of education and my love of illustration and design.  Stay tuned for all manner of inspiration, classes, and more (because my mind…).