Wednesday, October 28, 2015

October Clothing Budget

It's been a few months since I've written a budget post. I have many thrifted items and lots of navy, gray, plum, and black this month!

October Clothing Budget

Here's what I got:
Airwalk Black and White Slip On Shoes - $5.30
Gray Merona Cardigan - $7.00
Gray Tee from Popbasic - $10.00
Coldwater Creek Tweed Vest from Schoola - $6.44
Gap Navy Geometric Print Shirtdress from Goodwill - $4.60
Plaid Shirt from Old Navy - $2.34 (on clearance + rewards)
Gray Print Cashmere Garnet Hill Cardigan (church rummage sale) - $0.50
Tan Ombre AB Studio Sweater (church rummage sale) - $0.50
Plum Quilted Daisy Fuentes Shift Dress (church rummage sale) - $1.00
Navy Lace Trim LC Lauren Conrad Top (church rummage sale) - $0.50
Floral Print Tennis Shoes from Target - Gift Card

Total Spent: $38.18

Lots of fun pieces this month. The church rummage sale was the most fun and the biggest surprise of the month. I found the items above for myself, a jacket and cardigan for my mom, and some Pyrex. I'm wearing the cashmere cardigan as I type this and it's so warm and cozy.

I'm linking up to Budgeting Bloggers at Franish!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Book Review: Love Everlasting by Tracie Peterson

Love Everlasting by Tracie Peterson is the third book in the Brides of Seattle series. I've read a number of Tracie Peterson books over the years and completed the first two books in the Brides of Seattle series as well. Love Everlasting is the conclusion of the series, so it is helpful to have read the first two books prior to reading this one. Aubrianna Cunningham and Wade Ackerman are finally considering beginning their courtship. Aubrianna is having some concerns about the relationship and how it will impact her long term friendship with Wade. In the meantime, Priam Welby, a recurring character (with a less-than-stellar reputation) from the other books in the series, makes it clear that he still has designs on Aubrianna. The ramifications of his interest end up being far-reaching and unexpected.

Where to start on my review of this book? First of all, I don't think the synopsis on the back of the book gave an accurate glimpse into the plot of the book. I don't want to give anything away if you were to choose to read this book, but suffice it to say that the "love triangle" between Wade, Adrianna, and Priam implied by the book's summary is not really a true love triangle. I kept reading the book and checking the summary and feeling confused. Second, the plot in the second half of the book is quite unexpected and very different from how the book begins. I also was not a huge fan of Aubrianna's character. I didn't feel that her behavior and decisions were consistent with how her character was depicted in the past books in the series. I'm typically a pretty fast reader and this book was difficult for me to get through. Unfortunately, it just wasn't one of my favorite Tracie Peterson books. I would recommend her recent Lone Star Brides trilogy over this one.

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

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Schoola Promo

If you've read this blog for any length of time, you know I love secondhand finds! I thrift a large portion of my wardrobe, and as ethical fashion has become more important to me, secondhand shopping has been a great way to avoid fast fashion.

Schoola is a new favorite site for me. I share my outfits over on Instagram now, and often tag my outfits with #schoolastyle, because I've gotten some great pieces from Schoola! Some of my faves: a herringbone Coldwater Creek vest, a red geometric Old Navy infinity scarf, a blue striped button up, and a pair of Old Navy khaki Pixie pants!

Right now, Schoola is running a great deal - sign up under my affiliate link and we each get $20 to spend. They are also offering free shipping right now, too, so it's a great time to try them out!

Have any of you tried Schoola yet? How was your experience!

Links above are my affiliate links; all opinions are my own.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Book Review: The Photograph by Beverly Lewis

The Photograph by Beverly Lewis is the story of three Amish sisters: Frona, Eva, and Lily. The sisters live on their own as both of their parents have died. Unexpectedly, Lily chooses to leave the Amish, and no one knows where she has gone. Eva tries to continue her day to day life, including running her candy shop and getting to know newcomer Jed Stutzman, while trying to solve the mystery of Lily's disappearance. Jed arrives in Eden Valley with a photograph he found on his trip from Ohio. He's sure he knows who is in the photograph, but appearances can be deceiving.

This book is the type of story I've come to expect from Beverly Lewis. Each book is a look into an Amish community and captures the lives of the fictional characters that live there. This book has a bit of mystery and suspense, but I feel it follows a pretty typical plot line for this type of novel. The book is very enjoyable and a pleasant and relaxing read. I'd recommend it to anyone that enjoys well-researched Amish fiction.

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

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Book Review: Luther and Katharina by Jody Hedlund

Luther and Katharina by Jody Hedlund is a historical fiction novel like no other I've ever read. The book is based on the lives of Martin Luther and the former nun Katharina von Bora. Set in the 16th century, the novel is compelling and intense. It places the reader at the heart of the Reformation, a time period full of danger and persecution. The book does an amazing job of humanizing Martin Luther and Katharina von Bora. The characters are developed and realistic and the book has been well-researched and the events throughout the novel are based in historical fact.

I've read a number of Jody Hedlund's novels in the past. The time period and historic figures in this book set it apart from many others in the genre. I spent some time reading about Martin Luther and Katharina von Bora while reading this novel and felt that I learned a great deal from the book.

I feel that this book is very well-written, but I personally had a few issues with it that I want to share here in case any of my other fellow readers are sensitive like me. :) I usually read at night before bed and find it relaxing. This book is not one that is a good relaxing bedtime read. Because of the intense level of realism in the novel and the events that were a part of the time period, it is full of a great deal of violence and mayhem. In addition, I do not feel this book would be as good for a younger reader (or a more sensitive one) because there are several scenes where there is implied sexual violence against some of the characters as well sexual innuendo that is a part of the conversation among some of the characters. Again, this is a part of what makes the book so authentic to the time period, but it was difficult to read at times.

The book is definitely a page turner and absolutely fascinating in terms of the life of Martin Luther himself. I would give the book 4 stars for its historical content, but would need to rate it 3 stars for the issues mentioned above. I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for this review; all opinions are my own.

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