Book Review: The River

Monday, October 27, 2014

The River by Beverly Lewis is an Amish fiction book set in the late 1970's. The book tells the story of Tilly and Ruth, two siblings that used to be Amish. The sisters have remained close and involved in each other's lives, but they rarely interact with their Amish family. When they are invited to attend their parents' wedding anniversary celebration, they reluctantly decide to return to their home.

Ruth and Tilly have unfinished business in Lancaster County. Tilly is plagued by guilt from the death of her much younger sister. Ruth never resolved a relationship with her former beau. In addition, Tilly and her father have always had a very difficult relationship which has only gotten worse after she left the Amish faith. The visit ends up being significant for both sisters finding peace with these issues.

I always enjoy Beverly Lewis books and this one was no exception. She does a lovely job of describing the Amish community. The book also does a wonderful job of bringing the characters to life. The interactions among the characters are very rich and intricate - just like real relationships. The book didn't end up as I expected that is would, but in a good way. As is often the case, there is much more than meets to eye to the situations the women were dealing with. Understanding the perspectives of other people is vital to growth and acceptance of difficult situations.

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

Fall Capsule Wardrobe Update + 31 Days, 31 Ways

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

I wanted to take some time to write about how my fall capsule wardrobe has been going now that it is fall! I started wearing my fall capsule September 1 and have worn the 34 pieces (plus one I added) this entire time. I really have enjoyed wearing the pieces and haven't "missed" the rest of my closet too much. I planned to tweak the capsule as needed, and now that it is so chilly, I am swapping out some of the warmer weather pieces and putting in some more cool weather pieces. Here's the current capsule with the swaps and additions.

  1. Coral Tee
  2. Light Chambray
  3. Gray 3/4 Sleeve Tee
  4. Gray Striped Tee
  5. Light Blue Tee
  6. Navy and White Striped French Terry 3/4 Sleeve Top
  7. Blue Snakeskin Print Tunic Blouse
  8. Orange and Green Plaid Button Down
  9. Raspberry and Mustard Plaid Button Down
  10. Animal Print Shell
  11. Polka Dot Button Down Shirt
  12. Purple Print Blouse
  13. Hot Pink Plaid Button Down
  14. Black Long Sleeve Tee
Removed: Black Ruffle Top, Sleeveless Tie Snakeskin Blouse, Brown and Black Tank, Gray Tee
Added: Light Blue Tee, Raspberry and Mustard Plaid Button Down, Purple Print Blouse, Hot Pink Plaid Button Down, Black Long Sleeve Tee, Gray 3/4 Sleeve Tee

  1. Black Jeans
  2. Gray Houndstooth Print Pants
  3. Blue Skinny Jeans
  4. Tan Dress Pants
  5. Olive Jeans
  6. Sage Khakis
  7. Black Dress Pants
  8. Maroon Khakis
  9. Black Skirt
  10. Straight Leg Jeans
Removed: Abstract Animal Print Maxi Skirt, Boyfriend Jeans, Teal Skinny Jeans
Added: Sage Khakis, Black Dress Pants

  1. Black and White Striped Dress
  2. Gray Maxi Dress
  3. Black Short Sleeve Dress
  4. Red Floral Print Dress
Addition: Red Floral Print Dress (Thrifted and worn for my in-laws 40th anniversary party)

Completer Pieces:
  1. Rust Colored Cardigan
  2. Denim Jacket
  3. Cobalt Blazer
  4. Plum Cardigan
  5. Black Cardigan
  6. Mustard Cardigan
  7. Dark Teal Boyfriend Cardigan
  8. Brown Striped Cardigan 
  9. Teal Puffy Vest
Removed: Short Sleeve Teal Cardigan
Additions: Plum Cardigan, Teal Puffy Vest

This puts my current total number of pieces at 37. I removed 8 pieces and added 11 pieces. I may also swap in a sweater and/or another long sleeve tee. My goal is still to stay at around 40 pieces.

I am currently participating in the 31 Days, 31 Ways remix at Greater Than Rubies. She has some great daily prompts for remixing your wardrobe this month. I am linking up there and sharing my capsule pieces!

In addition, I am finally on Instagram and have been sharing some different looks on there. Would love to have you follow me there as well!

Book Review: Answering Your Kids' Toughest Questions

Friday, September 26, 2014

I received the book Answering Your Kids' Toughest Questions: Helping Them Understand Loss, Sin, Tragedies, and Other Hard Topics by Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson quite awhile ago. I asked to review this book because I have a 6 year old that asks really tough questions - and I know they will only get harder! I haven't read this entire book cover to cover, but intend to use it as a resource for ideas when needed. I'd like to give an overview of the content of the book even though I have not completely read it yet.

The first thing I noticed as I flipped through this book is that the content is based on the Bible. There are many, many passages of Scripture quoted throughout the text. The book addresses a range of topics including: sin, death, natural disasters, war, and more. Kids hear about these topics at school and on the news, so I know I need to be ready and have ideas on how to answer these questions as they arise. The second thing I really like about this book is the way that the answers about the different topics are broken down by age. There are suggested responses for preschool children, children ages 5-10, and children 11 and older. The book also emphasizes that we need to give the type and level of information that our individual children are ready to hear. We know them best, so we can tailor the content we deliver to them.

The book seems to be a great resource for addressing difficult topics with our children from a Biblical perspective.

I received a copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for this review. All opinioons are my own.

September Clothing Budget

September Clothing Budget

Time for another clothing budget post! Right off the bat, I spent around $30 on tanks and other essentials. I don't know about you, but I always procrastinate on buying boring stuff like socks and underwear. I needed to replace some things badly, so I started off with that. I spent more than $50 total because I don't include these essentials in my normal budget.

  • Floral Maurices Scarf
  • Red Target Infinity Scarf
  • Black and Brown Striped LOFT Tank
  • Black and White Print Jones New York Shorts
  • Merona Print Dress
Total spent at Goodwill: $12.85

  • 2 Pairs Lonna and Lilly Earrings
  • Plaid Merona Scarf
Total spent at Target: $18.75

  • School Tee to wear for Homecoming
Total: $5

Total spent in September: $36.60

I love my new scarves and the earrings are getting a lot of wear, too. I actually spent full price for the Merona scarf. It is available online now, and I've updated the photo above with a picture of it!

So, what did you buy this month?

I am linking up to Budgeting Bloggers at Franish.

Fall Style Me Pretty Challenge Sign Up!

Fall Style Challenge - Button Image 2

Happy Friday everyone! I wanted to post and share about the Fall Style Me Pretty Challenge sign up at Get Your Pretty On. I participated in the Spring Challenge and really enjoyed it. Alison releases a seasonal shopping list first, then uses those pieces in 21 different outfits over the course of the challenge. The pieces are essentially a mini fall capsule wardrobe.

The Spring Challenge was so much fun and a great way to think of new ways to put together my pieces! I actually was finishing up a shopping fast during the Spring Challenge, so I didn't buy too many pieces at all. Most of it involved shopping my own closet and finding different ways to combine these pieces. There is also a wonderful Facebook group for each challenge that you get access to as part of purchasing/signing up for the challenge. This is a great resource for sharing and support from all the ladies participating. I have to say, it is so nice to be a part of this challenge and not have to think about what to wear for these 3 weeks!

The outfits work well for polished, casual looks. I found them to be easily adaptable for business casual by swapping jeans for black skinnies, khakis, etc.

If you're interested in giving this a try, you can sign up for the Fall Style Me Pretty Challenge here. Sign up open today (Sept. 26) and regular registration is open through Oct. 2. The shopping list is released Oct. 3. The cost is $24.99 and Alison does offer a money back guarantee if you aren't pleased. You can see samples of three of the outfits at the sign up page!

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