Bookish · Lifestyle

Finding Your Style

Do you ever wonder if you’ll ever find your style or if you are just regurgitating what everyone else is posting or buying? This is something I grapple with not just with clothing but with books. It took me too long to find my style so I thought I would share mine as well as how I found it (both clothing and books).


Why not start with my clothing style? This has evolved and changed over time and it’s something that I have so struggled with. I have gone from sporting event shirts and jeans, to dresses, to dELIA’S catalogues, to fast fashion and to everything in between! I finally in the last 2-3 years have come to my own in my clothes. I feel comfortable and confident in my clothes which is something that I haven’t felt until recently. I love a flowy pant as much as I love a graphic tee. If I had to label my style as anything I would probably call it “Hobbit Chic” because I am all about looking cute and being comfortable!

How did I get to the point where I found clothing I like though? Well, it was A LOT of trial and error. Two issues I had when shopping and choosing outfits in the past were picking cheap clothing or just copying what I saw other people wearing. That didn’t work for me. I have a 5’2″ athletic build and a lot of what I was seeing was on models close to 6′ tall, their body proportions are vastly different then mine! When it came to cheap clothing, I have nothing against finding a deal, but picking quality pieces makes a difference. Instead of cycling through clothes that were constantly falling apart or incredibly thin, I started by investing in some quality basics and that’s what made the difference. Almost all of my shopping happens at https://jeanmaries.com/ (and their app), but honestly you can’t beat going into a small boutique and getting some custom help! Jean Maries does an amazing job of helping me find things that fit my body and personality, so I would highly recommend finding a small boutique near you and asking the sales associate for some help. They’ll love helping you and you’ll feel so good by the time you leave!

I thought I would share a few inspiration pieces and things I actually have in my own closet below. But this is my general closet make-up/style. I definitely have some bright colors thrown in, but I love earth tones and burnt orange/mustard colors as well!


My reading style has definitely changed and evolved over time as well. It honestly was very similar to the process I went through with clothing, but with books. I actually grew up hating books, similar to hating clothes. My hate of books was based in my dyslexia, so I feel like I had a good reason when I was younger! As I grew up I started to develop more and more of an interest in reading. This interest started with the Trixie Belden series and grew through high school with the Twilight books. Throughout college I devoured dystopian novels and by the end of college I had discovered Bookstagram!

Now, I love Bookstagram and all book themed social media, but I found myself reading and buying everything that everyone else was. I muddled through this stage of my reading for the last 6 years, until this year. This year I took at 4 months hiatus from bookish social media and bought and read what I felt like buying and reading. This has forever changed me! Now I am reading and loving the things I actually enjoy!

So what’s my reading style then? Well, I am a mood reader through and through, but I have found historical fiction, adult sci-fi and fantasy are my go tos! Bookstagram (and bookish social media) pushes a lot of Romance and YA and those are things I thought I enjoyed until I started to branch out and find my bookish “style”. Now, don’t get me wrong, I still think those are great genres, but they are not my bookish style. I think it’s important for us to know ourselves and not just follow the crowd. Sure, experiment, read things outside of your comfort zone, but it’s always nice to have your own bookish flare!

Here’s a look at my bookish style:


There we go – that’s all! This might be interesting to you, or you might find it a useless read. Either way, it was fun to write and share my journey as a person!

Bookish · Lifestyle

Fall Trends & Reads

Honesty time, I love clothes. My collection of clothing rivals that of my books and that’s the truth! I love mixing and matching my clothes to my moods and the seasons. I try to keep myself from wearing the same thing too many times by switching up what I wear and mixing my pieces of clothing too! I find that some things work, while others, well, not so much… But in the process it’s been fun to discover my own style! With this I thought I would share some of my favorites heading into the Fall as well as some of the more popular trends, but with a twist – each outfit is paired with a book that I think would be a cozy Fall read!


Vest/Black Skinny Jeans

One trend that 100% love is the vests! Vests are HUGE this Fall and I love the chunky knit vests the best. They are so cozy and can be worn so many different ways with so many different shoes. If you grew up in the 90’s you might have PTSD from some of the not as attractive sweater vests that are parents put us in, but NO MORE. Now we can style them so many ways while looking cozy and cute for the Fall! Take a pair of black jeans, some ankle boots and you have yourself an adorable outfit, ready for work, school or maybe just a cozy day at home!

So what book am I pairing with this cozy outfit? Death by Pumpkin Spice! I love a cheesy mystery book so much and this one is so similar to Hallmark Mysteries! This would be the perfect book to take on the go or curl up with and read on a chilly Fall day.


Shacket/Faux Leather Leggings

Another of my favorite Fall trends is the shacket. Do I own 8 shackets? Yes. Do I still want more? Also yes. I love how comfy and versatile they are! You can throw it over a hoodie, a graphic tee, cropped top or whatever your heart desires. One item I love to pair my shackets with this are my faux leather leggings. These look so sharp for the fall and are honestly ridiculously comfortable. As far as footwear goes, you can’t go wrong with a pair of white or off white sneakers. I have loved pairing my white sneakers with everything from leggings to dresses this past year, they are so versitile!

What to pair with this comfy Fall outfit? Legends & Lattes! This book is adorable in so many different ways. How can you not love a fantasy world with a coffee shop?! I mean seriously, this book is the definition of a Fall read and is a must as we head into the crisp/cool air of the Autumn!


Bright Colors/Ballet Flats

I don’t understand it, but here we are, bright colors are in this Fall. You can still wear your favorite Fall tones from the mustards to the browns, but bright colors have worked their way into the mix! Another hot item are ballet flats, and while these are not my cup of tea, they would pair nicely with a pair of brow work pants and maybe a pink top like above! Browns and pinks are going to be a noticeable trend, as they are mixed and matched in multiple ways!


So what do we pair with some fun Fall brights? Love on the Brain! This adorable rom-com is the perfect transition from Summer to Fall. If you want to hold onto the rom-com reads of Summer but you’re ready for that Fall transition, pick this one up. It’s adorable and will leave you swooning for more!


Be on the lookout for more posts like this as I break down some of my favorite and the most popular trends as we head into Fall this year. So many fun options to choose from, you can’t go wrong!

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Finding the Balance

Lately I have been thinking about the balance in life, not work and home life, but more social media and what we expose ourselves to while participating in that. I won’t lie, I love social media. I love posting and participating and watching all the things, but it can really drag us down if we are not careful. Now, I don’t claim to be an expert on anything pertaining to social media or the affects it has on people, but I am observant and have watched its affects on myself and others. There are a few things I have noticed about myself that might help some of you as well, especially if you have been struggling with finding that balance. None of these are particularly groundbreaking, but if you’re like me you might that just seeing that someone else struggles too will be more helpful for you!


Comparison Game

I can’t tell you how much this happens to me. I am ALWAYS comparing my feed to other feeds, my videos to other’s videos, my books, clothes and house to other’s items. This is SUCH a dangerous game to play. This is a hard one to reign in too, as you can get so caught up in what other people have or how other people appear.

So what, how do I reign this in? This one is quite simple – I put my phone down. Anytime I find myself comparing anything about myself and what I have to someone else I put my phone down immediately. This seems simple but it’s hard. You want to keep scrolling and thinking and critically examining yourself compared to others, but you just can’t. Put the phone down and pick up a book or bake something or go for a walk! Enjoy your life and don’t try to compare it to others. You have no idea if that’s who the person you are comparing to even is!

FOMO

I surely can’t be the only one that suffers from a Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)? This is something that probably has the strongest hold on me with social media and something that causes me to purchase things and books I probably don’t need and will never use. I will see someone post a piece of clothing or a book and I will immediately want it, for fear that I would miss out on having that ite,

How do I combat this? This one’s a bit trickier as I am still working through ways to do that… I have a lot of self control items I have to work on with this. It is far too easy to jump on Amazon and purchase whatever I am missing out on, so to start with I deleted Amazon from my phone. I found that by removing the ease of purchasing items greatly helps for me. Another thing I do to help, is I think about what I already have. Even though I might be afraid of missing out on something, I have so many other “things” that I don’t need to add this new “thing” to the mix. This is something that I know not everyone struggles with, but for me it’s a serious catch with especially Instagram.

Loss of Time

This is one of those things that might play into your home or even work life. Do you find yourself scrolling and scrolling endlessly, no matter the app or site, only to look at the time and see that hours have passed? I will never forget the first time I looked at TikTok and I checked the clock and almost 2 hours had passed. Needless to say, I no longer have TikTok.

So how do we monitor our time and not waste it. Well, I think everyone kind of has their own way of dealing with this, but I actually use an App to help with this. What I use is a simple app called “Forest” that literally grows “trees” while you work, or read or spend time with your family. If you go on your phone to anything but this app (besides phone and text I believe) your forest stops growing and you fail. I am quite competitive and I feel bad if the forest dies, so this is VERY successful for me! If this is something that would help you I highly recommend checking it out, otherwise things like timers, or giving your phone to a family member can be just as successful for you!


Again, none of these are groundbreaking items, but they are things I struggle with when it comes to social media. It’s important for us to find that balance and not let social media take over who we are. That’s my 2 cents and I will leave it at that!

Lifestyle · Self Care & Books

Fall Vibes and Reading Time


Well friends, we are at the wonderful transition time of year where we are transitioning from Summer to Autumn and I love it. Summer is my absolutely favorite season – I love sitting outside in the sunshine and soaking up all the outdoors time, but Fall is a close second. I love the crispness of the air, the dewey mornings and the cozy reads. I love pumpkin spice and apples and warm baked goods. Give me ALL the lovely Fall things! I figured as we transition I would share some of my favorites to help you get through this in between season that leads us to Fall!


Okay, all of the following have been books I have read as I transition from Summer to Fall and they are perfect for this time of year! I find that I gravitate towards fantasy, mystery, and books with “cozy” vibes this time of year and these books are definitely that!

  • Transitional Books
    • Death By Coffee (1st in series by Alex Erickson)
    • Kings of the Wylde (standalone/1st of duology by Nicholas Eames)
    • Kings Dark Tidings (1st in series by Kel Kade)
    • Legends and Lattes (standalone by Travis Baldree)

Next up, how about some transitional clothing for this time of year? If you took a look at the pictures near the top you would see a few of these items, but I wanted to share some of my favorites as this time of year can be so confusing clothing wise. In the mornings I am bundled up and by the afternoon I feel like i have stripped down to a tank top and shorts!

ALL of these pieces can be found at https://jeanmaries.com and I highly recommend checking out their App for GREAT deals as well!

  • Shackets (both shown above in the first 2 images)
    • I am OBSESSED with shackets as you can get all sorts of weights and styles. They are great to take to the office or use as transitional pieces on those chilly mornings when you need something a little more to cover up with.
  • Jeans (specifically more cut-off style jeans)
    • Jeans that are lighter and not “floor length” can provide a great transitional staple! A pair of black denim is not only stylish as well, but can cut as “not jeans” for those of you that might also be teachers and are looking for something comfy as we head into the colder months!
  • Dress (short sleeved)
    • I think that short sleeved knee length dresses are SUCH great transitional pieces! They can function as something you throw on a shacket and some sandals with in the morning and shed that shacket layer in the afternoon. As it gets colder, toss on some leggings and boots and you have yourself a great fall/winter outfit too! This is something that can be used year round!

Those are just a few of my favorite things as we transition into Fall. Expect more cute and cozy things as we continue to transition. I will FOR SURE be sharing lots more of all the cozy things from books to clothes to fall outings so tag along for the ride, It’s sure to be fun!

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New Release Fall Fun

I don’t know why but Fall always feels like a time for new and amazing releases! Is it because Christmas is around the corner or do publishers know that Fall time is the cozy time? Either way I will not question it and accept all the amazing releases!

Two fall releases, coming out next week on Tuesday, September 6th, are these lovelies from Waterbrook & Multnomah (a division of Penguin Random House). I was so excited to be sent early copies of both of these items because 1.) I ADORE historical fiction and 2.) coloring is amazing and calming and everyone should be doing it!

First up, Still My Forever. This book (with it’s beautiful cover) is available NEXT week so get those pre-orders in now! I am in the process of reading this lovely book right now and it does not disappoint! Not only does it involve music (violin), but it’s historical fiction! What more could you want? Here is the preorder link: PREORDER

Here is a quick summary from Goodreads of the book:

Four years after leaving town to make a name for himself as a composer, Gilbert Baty has returned temporarily to Falke, Kansas. Now, he’s trying to keep everyone from learning the truth about his disastrous years in New York City. He hopes to start writing music again in Falke, but he can’t help being distracted by Ava Flaming, the brown-eyed baker to whom he was briefly engaged before he ended things–and who still stirs feelings in him he knows he has no right to pursue.

Ava had thought she was past the loss of Gil Baty. But to her dismay, she’s as drawn to him as ever. The situation only gets worse when Gil establishes a youth band in Falke, showing once more what a good man he is.

But when the band has a chance to compete in a statewide competition, Ava faces the prospect of heartbreak again. Could music take Gil away forever this time? Or might God be stirring in Ava’s and Gil’s hearts a new song that will draw them together for good?


The other item, the coloring book, I am so excited for its release into the world! This is actually something I looked through for this review and then promptly gifted to my mom because I KNOW how much she loves coloring. One of her favorite items is her Bible that has coloring in it, so I knew these Bible verse and nature images would be absolutely perfect for her! I was right because they can with her to our devotions at the beach this past week! These images are also perforated so they can be taken out and put in place and used for inspiration and encouragement throughout your day!

This amazing coloring book would be perfect for a teacher as the school year begins, or maybe you pick it up for yourself and enjoy the peace of coloring and reading God’s word! The coloring book also comes out NEXT week and can be preordered here: PREORDER


If you want to know more about either of these let me know because I would love to share with you all!

Lifestyle

Summer Favorites

Okay, before you come after me, I know that Summer is not over! In my mind Summer still has a lot of time left to go here, so hold onto your PSL’s and check out some of my favorites so far this summer!

Found at: KEDZIE

First up, the Kedzie bag! This is my second bag from them and I am obsessed with it! This is a side bag and you wear it similar to how you would wear a small side backpack or Lulu belt bag. In my opinion this is the perfect size summer bag, but it also transitions great in Fall as well! This bag holds my wallet, mini fan, keys, sun glasses, chapstick, phone and a few other odds and ends with no problem! Kenzie also makes ADORABLE interchangeable straps that you could add for a touch of color as well! I have 2 bags/purses by Kedzie now and LOVE them!

Found at: GOODR

Next up are my Goodr sunglasses and I am obsessed with these as well! I currently have 5 pairs and I just want them all! Each pair comes packages in a great box with a travel bag. These glasses are all polarized, which I love, and very light weight (perfect for all the Summer activities). If the colors don’t hook you the names sure will! I can’t recommend these enough, especially with most ranging from $25-30. These are a steal and perfect for anyone!

Found at: SOK-IT

Next up is one of my favorite little things ever, the Javasok. I use this thing EVERY single day and I love it. This is the medium sized sleeve and fits over anything from a Venti up for Starbucks and similar coffee cups. What I love about this is it keeps your cup from leaving condensation everywhere. I work from my computer each day and I am always worried about spilling on my keyboard our getting it wet. This lovely little invention eliminates that fear for me and it comes in so many fun colors and sizes!

This is something new to me and a big summer favorite (as I have had it every morning this summer) and that’s Califia Farms Cold Brew (Mocha). This cold brew is amazing! I love that it comes ready to go with almond milk in it. It’s not too sweet but it’s such a smooth coffee and the perfect way to start a warm day! I buy mine from Aldi but have seen it in most major grocery stores as well! I 10/10 recommenced as it saves money and is the perfect treat to start the day!

Onto my favorite book(s) and author of the summer! That goes to Timothy Zahn and his Thrawn books, hands down. I went through 6 straight audiobooks of Thrawn content by Zahn and that was not enough! I can’t explain how well Zahn writes the Star Wars universe and specifically Thrawn. I was drawn in from the first book (seen above) to the 6th of the new books. If you like Star Wars or even sci-fi books these are a must to add to your list!

Found at: GLIKS

Found at: JEAN MARIES

Finishing out with two of my favorite fashion items from the summer, some colorful sandals (these are from Gliks) and a light summer shacket (this one is by NewIn)! I can’t emphasize enough how much I love to be comfortable in the summer! I love cute new clothes but I loved even more when they are comfy! I picked up these sandals at the end of June and have worn them everywhere from date night to the Rocky Mountains, I seriously love them. This shacket, though newer, is similar to a few others I have. It is so light weight and PERFECT for those “chilly” summer nights by the campfire or on the boat. These two items have been so used and loved and while the sandals are definitely for summer, I can transition this shacket to fall and winter no problem!


WHEW! Okay, I think that’s everything for now, but I wanted to get those out in the world! I love these items so much and not only have they helped make my summer super enjoyable, they have also brought some joy to my every day life. Check them out or let me know if you already use any of these!

Travel

Colorado has My Heart

I am sitting here and watching Star Wars Lego: Summer Vacation and thinking over my very own Summer vacay. Over the last week I had the opportunity to travel across the country from Michigan to Colorado with my husband and in-laws. We met up with my sister in-law and her husband in Colorado Springs and I fell instantly in love with the city and the state. I love road trips more than everything and I love discovering what each state has to offer, but Colorado may be my new favorite. Up to this point I had visited A LOT of the states and I was a Florida girl through and through, but Colorado may have stolen my heart!

We started out our trip by going to The Garden of the Gods right in Colorado Springs and it did not disappoint! The rock formations were incredible and pictures do not do them justice. Here’s just a quick look into what we saw:

The next day we were supposed to be a trip up to Pike’s Peak, but due to some mis-reading of times for our train we ended up traveling along to Cripple Creek and checking out some fossil trees. While this wasn’t our expected day, it turned out to be interesting to say the least. We got to see some GIANT fossilized redwood trees and that’s always something!

Our Wednesday travels of the trip brought us up to Estes Park and Great Rocky Mountain National Park! This was one of the most amazing places I have ever been. I adore the mountains, but this was something like I had never seen before. From the wildlife to the hikes it was absolutely beautiful!

Our final day was spent shopping and traveling to Pike’s Peak and it was so worth the wait. We traveled by train up to mountain to the peak. The train ride takes about an hour, vs. the 1.5 hour drive if you choose to drive up or who knows how many hours if you choose to hike! This was one of the most amazing views I have every seen and we happened to be there as a storm rolled up through the mountain. I can’t explain how surreal it was to be up at 14,000 ft when this happened!

This trip was incredible and not only did I get to hike every day, but I enjoyed quiet time reading in the shadow of a mountain each morning. All in all, this was the most relaxed I have been on a vacation in so long. The atmosphere and views in Colorado was amazing and I am already planning our next trip out!!

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Making a Difference while Journaling

I can’t be the only one out there who watches the news or get’s a notification on their phone and thinks, “how am I supposed to make a difference in this world?” Not only as a human do I struggle with this question but also as a Christian. I am only one person, how can I serve others and make a difference everyday?

While I don’t claim to know the answer to this in any way, I do know that praying, journaling and utilizing my planner have helped me to stay on top of these worries and questions. When I reflect back to God and I take time to plan things out, this question of “how can I make a difference” seems so much less daunting.

I was fortunate enough to be gifted a review copy of Be the Difference from Ink and Willow. This LOVELY planner is set up in a very journal like way and I think it serves its purpose very well! This planner is set up with various prompts and spots for you to reflect on your own progress. A few key sections of it that I adore are:

  • A place to share things/topics I find interesting and I am passionate about.
  • Monthly reflections on your progress.
  • Things you want to advocate for/take action for.
  • A read/watch/listen list by month (more for fun!).

Those are just a few of the items I am LOVING about this planner. I cannot wait to start it at the beginning of August and give it a go for myself. I will be sure to share updates here on how it’s going for me, and how it helps me view the question “how am I supposed to make a difference in this world?”

This lovely planner is out in the world August 9th, so preorder your copy today! It would make a great back to school gift for a high school or college student as well!

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Bible Verses and Home Conversations

I grew up homeschooled with my 4 siblings. We were fortunate enough to have an amazing mom with a degree in education that worked tirelessly for our schooling. We learned it all from her, from Kindergarten through 8th grade. A incredibly big part of our education was faith based. Being a Christian family it was important to my mom that we receive a Christian education as well. Each day we would have time set aside to watch her create felt Bible stories, or read us a story or even teach us some Hebrew. It was an education full of verses and memorizing as well! One “tool” my mom would use was a simple whiteboard and marker, adding the verses and having us go over them as a group. There are still MANY verses I can recite by memory thanks to her!

Recently I had a representative from Ink & Willow reach out to me about possibly checking out a new product for them. This product is a set of “Bible Conversation Cards” that I received in the mail today! I was overjoyed to get these not just because I was interested in reviewing them, but also because I can see the true value in memorizing verses.

The first thing that caught my eye with these cards, is that they are brightly colored. This is from the box to the cards themselves. It makes it not just pleasing to the eye, but also divides the cards up into categories based on colors. As a visual learning this is something that I find not just appealing but truly helpful when learning.

In addition to the cards being divided up by color they are also divided by category. There are 5 categories total:

  • God
  • Jesus
  • Holy Spirit
  • Me
  • Growth

Each of these categories falls into those parameters, with a verse that corresponds. The amazing thing is that on the back of the card it breaks down the verse and the thoughts/ideas behind it. They ask questions of the memorizing; questions that help a kiddo to reflect and think on what they are learning.

This set of cards is not just beneficial to a kiddo, but how amazing would this be for a parent, grandparent or even sibling to sit down with a younger child and go through these. They could be something you pull one out each night or week at the dinner table to discuss or even a way to wind down before bed.

As a past homeschool student, I could also see these being incredibly helpful to supplement any Christian faith based curriculum. These would add not just the memorization that is key, but also discussion within the “class” setting for the student! No need to go in order either, the parent could pick and choose verses and categories based on their curriculum. What a great way to get kids involved in their faith at a young age!

I know my siblings and I would have LOVED these and most likely would have started some competition to see who could memorize the most!

These will be available August 9th, and what a perfect way to start the school year right! Be sure to check them out and pre-order some today!!

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To Binge or Not to Bing

First off, I know I don’t have to say it, but sorry for the sparse posting lately! My sister recently got married so the last few weeks have been wedding crunch time with my family. I should be back to my normal daily posting schedule this coming week!


Okay – I have been thinking a lot about binging lately. Not your typical Netflix/Streaming Service Show binge, but instead a book binge! How many of us binge book series? How many of us wait for the whole series to come out before we read it? I have been going through the pros and cons of this in my head the last few weeks as I have been binging a few Star Wars book series and I think I have come to a conclusion and it’s not how I used to feel. I LOVE BINGING BOOK SERIES. There, I said it!

I did take some time to work out some pros/cons and I figured I would share them here if you are on the fence about binging a book series. I should say – this is not something I have really done until recently. I was all about reading one book at a time as they came out. Either way we are always waiting for that last book to come out so why not enjoy them all at once? Okay – moving on…. pros/cons of waiting for a series and binging it!

PROS:

  • You don’t have to wait for books to come out!
  • You can decide right away if you want to buy the whole series or not…
  • Box sets or discounts on buying all the books in a series!
  • Not having to wait to find out what happens to your favorite characters.
  • Getting to stay in that world and not learn a new one (or relearn after waiting…).

CONS:

  • Feeling like you have to finish them all before starting a new book.
  • Can be costly to buy them all at once instead of 1 at a time.

Honestly, I had a hard time coming up with Cons as I have been binging SO many series lately (mostly Star Wars) and it has been so beneficial and amazing!

Share your thoughts below… do you binge book series? Do you read as they come out? I would love to know!