Sunday, February 7, 2016

Mini Capsule Challenge

It's been a long time since I've done a capsule wardrobe challenge, so when I saw on Instagram that Style This Life was hosting a 20 pieces, 21 days challenge, I decided it was time to do another challenge. Even more fun, my daughter (she's 8) decided to join in. Here are the items we picked!

I snagged a screenshot from my items in the Stylicious app. We're both using it to organize our items and create looks. It's pretty fun - and actually the reason I think she decided to give it a try. :)

  • Gray striped dolman - Max Studio (Plato's Closet)
  • Red checked button up - Old Navy (Goodwill)
  • Blue chambray - Falls Creek (Meijer)
  • Black and white striped tee - Merona
  • Black and tan print tee - Old Navy
  • Yellow striped popover - Old Navy (Goodwill)
  • Olive vest - Christopher and Banks (Goodwill)
  • Charcoal knit blazer - JCP
  • Tan cardigan - Alfani (Schoola)
  • Cream sweater - a.n.a.
  • Camel turtleneck sweater - Croft and Barrow
  • Black cable knit sweater - Sonoma
  • Dark wash jeans - NYDJ (Goodwill)
  • Sage green bootcut pants - New York and Co (Secondhand)
  • Black knit pants - Croft and Barrow (Kohl's)
  • Gray bootcut cords - Eddie Bauer (Goodwill)
  • Kelly green cords - Lands' End (Goodwill)
  • Tan ankle boots - Arizona (J.C. Penney)
  • Black desert wedges - Toms (Goodwill)
  • Riding boots - Payless
Half of my items were purchased secondhand. 

On to my daughter's capsule - she picked everything with a little help, but photographed and described it all herself. Some of the pics are a little blurry, but I thought she did a great job! We have greatly reduced the size of her wardrobe already. She does a lot better with fewer choices in general. She is also like all of us and wears her favorites a lot. :)

  • Blue poncho - J.C. Penney (Super clearance for $4)
  • Jeweled chambray - Justice (Goodwill)
  • Star tunic - Justice (Consignment store)
  • Teal baseball tee - Meijer 
  • Gray tunic tee - Old Navy
  • Pink New Balance hoodie tee - Meijer (Just purchased for $4!!)
  • Gray heart tee - Target
  • Coral graphic tee - Kohl's
  • Pink sweatshirt - J.C. Penney
  • Blue sweater - Old Navy
  • Floral maxi skirt - Gift
  • Pink and gray striped skirt -Kohl's
  • Heart leggings - Target
  • Leopard skinny pants - Target
  • Pink and blue leggings - Old Navy
  • Faux leather leggings - Kohl's
  • Jeggings - Kohl's
  • Black boots - Kohl's
  • Brown riding boots - Old Navy
  • Skechers tennis shoes - Meijer
That's everything! We're ready for February's capsule adventure! I'll be posting outfits on Instagram throughout the challenge if you'd like to follow along there.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Book Review: The Painter's Daughter by Julie Klassen

Julie Klassen is a favorite author of mine. Her Christian historical fiction novels are full of suspense and rich detail, and are among some of my favorites. I was excited to get an opportunity to read and review her newest novel The Painter's Daughter. Sophie Dupont assists her father in his art studio on the north Devon coast. Artists regularly come to these shores to paint. Sophie gets involved with one of these artists, Wesley Overtree, and finds herself in "trouble". Before she has an opportunity to share her news with Wesley, he leaves for Italy. In the meantime, Wesley's brother, Captain Stephen Overtree arrives looking for Wesley, and when he realizes her predicament, he behaves honorably to her and proposes marriage. The remainder of the novel navigates their complicated relationship which basically continues to be a bit of a love triangle. There are a number of plot twists throughout the novel as well.

While I enjoyed this book, it wasn't my favorite from this author. It was less mysterious and suspenseful and focused a great deal more on the relationships among the characters. Because of the way the story started and then continued with Sophie's situation and arranged marriage, there was quite a bit of focus on physical intimacy. While everything was extremely tactful, this component did play a significant role in the plot. I was also a bit disappointed in Sophie's character; I felt it took awhile for her to develop and see the truth about some of the characters in the book. I also would have loved to see her painting play a larger role in the story.

In spite of these negatives, I feel Julie Klassen is a wonderful storyteller. The book was interesting to read and held my attention throughout its pages. I definitely recommend her books to fans of historical fiction.

I received a copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for this review; all opinions are my own.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Book Review: Amish Christmas at North Star

When I saw the release of Amish Christmas at North Star, I knew it would be a book I wanted to read. The book is comprised of four Amish novellas by authors Cindy Woodsmall, Mindy Starns Clark, Emily Clark, Amanda Flower, and Katie Ganshert. The book opens with the story of events that took place on November 30, 1990. On that evening, an Amish midwife delivered four babies in North Star, Pennsylvania. The babies were named "Rebekah's Babies" when the story appeared in local media. The novellas are Christmas stories that tell what happened to the babies: Elle, Eden, Kore, and Andy.

I think novellas are always very nice to read. They are typically short, easy, pleasant reads. This book was no exception. Each story was a lovely, cozy tale for the Christmas season. The only thing I disliked about the book was that many of the stories ended a bit quickly or abruptly. I think that is a potential drawback of novellas in general because they are so short. It's hard to fully develop a plot or characters. I did like how the book contained an epilogue (set one year later) that helps to extend the stories and tie up some loose ends. These stories include a bit of mystery, plus lots of what you would expect from Amish fiction - family, traditions, and food. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Amish fiction and/or any of the authors that are part of this collection.

 I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for this review; all opinions are my own.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Shop Your Closet: Capsule Wardrobe Holiday Outfits

The last several days, I have been looking constantly for holiday leggings and "cute" ugly Christmas sweaters. I don't have time to be looking for these items, and I don't want to spend much on them, but I keep seeing such cute outfits that involve snowflake sweaters, fair isle prints, reindeer, and more. I had convinced myself that I "needed" these items to create festive outfits. After finding nothing at two more stores tonight, I decided to make up a Polyvore set using items similar to ones I already own to create some festive holiday looks. I did a range of looks from casual to more dressy and I think I have some great ideas for outfits for the next few days.

Capsule Wardrobe Holiday Outfits

Look #1: Cream sweater, black ankle pants, black wedges, red scarf, black watch, and pearl studs

Look #2: Black short sleeve dress, gold open weave cardigan, riding boots, crystal statement necklace, and earrings

Look #3: Jeans, black and white striped top, buffalo check flannel, duck boots, and black stud earrings

Look #4: Black print ankle pants, black flats, dark green sleeveless blouse, green plaid blanket scarf, blue stud earrings

Look #5: Skinny jeans, black blouse, black wedge boots, red print scarf, red Christmas bow earrings

What will you be wearing for the holidays? Do you dress up for Christmas or stick with more casual looks?

Book Review: NIV Bible for Women

I'm getting caught up on some book reviews and have had this NIV Bible for Women for a few months, so I'm overdue to review it! I've been interested in getting a new Bible in a different translation for some time, so I was excited to get a chance to get this one to review. I think Bibles can be hard to review because each person is looking for something different in his/her Bible. I thought I'd break my opinions down into two categories - the parts of this Bible that aren't my favorite and then the things that I love about this particular Bible.


  • I think the outer cover of this Bible is really pretty - aqua with a sort of chalkboard look to the font on it. Unfortunately, this is a dust jacket and it's hard to keep it on the Bible. The Bible itself is just a hard cover and the cover is a really plain dark brown with an aqua "Holy Bible" printed on the cover. My preference is a leather cover or to have the pretty aqua outside to be printed on the cover.
  • This Bible is quite large/thick. My old Bible is a little smaller and less weighty, so it's easier to carry around with me. I also have a nice Bible cover for my older one.
Things I love:
  • The translation - I have had a New King James Bible for years and wanted to try a new translation. I really like the NIV. I find it much easier to read and understand. 
  • I like the size, color, and clarity of the text in the Bible. 
  • There are devotions included from a variety of women (many are popular authors and bloggers) and these are great practical applications of various verses, situations, and texts. 
  • The Bible contains different "myths" that women believe and applies Biblical truths to dispel these myths.
Overall, I think this is a great option for a modern Bible in a nice translation. I received a copy of this Bible from Book Look Bloggers in exchange for this review; all opinions are my own.

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