Friday Faves :: sequins, style profiles, chicken, & a free audio book

Friday Faves

Happy Friday to you!

Last week, I also told you happy Friday. But it most definitely did not start out as a happy Friday for me. Why, you ask? Because of a small little detail known as timing. Specifically, the timing of when I took a zinc supplement. I instagrammed about my experience here if you want more details. Suffice it to say: eat before taking zinc.

However, my condition had much improved by the time Friday evening rolled around. So much so that Jonathan & I were able to go on a date! Like, not a home date like normal, but a real live DATE NIGHT! A super sweet friend asked if she could come over and make cookies with my kids so we could have a date night and I said, DUH. aka “that’s so sweet! we would absolutely love that!” and indeed we did.


I even painted my nails for the occasion. And I wore this sequin top for the first time ever. Because I’ve discovered that sequins + children who want to be held do not go well together. It’s okay. This is the only item I own with sequins on it, so it’s not like I’ve lost half my wardrobe or anything. I got this little guy from Twice, but it’s originally from

Speaking of shirts + sequins…I’ve discovered I’m either really picky, don’t know my style preferences very well, or most likely a combination of both options. I took a free Style Profile from StitchFix a few weeks ago and it was actually very helpful because it made me think about clothes, whether I liked them or not, and why.

Take, for example, these next 3 options they gave me:

sf sf2 sf3

Now, I realize I may very well be in the picky camp. But really.
If I had to pick only 1 option from the 9 choices above, I would definitely go with row 3, option 1. But I would prefer a bit more color. Like bright pink. Or green. Turquoise is good too. Don’t ask me why I picked so much gray during my recent shopping spree. One thing I have discovered is that I luuurve color.

If you have any epiphanies about the best way to go about discovering one’s clothing style, let me know. In the meantime, let’s talk about chicken.


Because I just ordered from Zaycon for the very first time this past week and I’m super curious to try it out. It’s supposed to be “farm fresh” and I’ve only heard positive things about all their meats. At $1.98/lb, I figured it was worth a try. My pick up date isn’t until November, though, so it will be a few months until I can report back on things.

Finally, this week is Book Week on ye ol’ blog.

book week

I don’t know who thought it was a good idea to write a bajillion (or 5) book reviews in the space of a couple weeks. Clearly, this is not my norm. Writing book reviews makes me stick to a topic instead of my normal rambling. Like clothes to chicken. Makes sense to me. Anyway, if you haven’t caught up on all the book reviews, so far I’ve reviewed Steal Like an Artist, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and Pretty Takes Practice.

And in the name of book week, I had to share this last goodie. I’ve wanted to read Eight Twenty Eight ever since I heard of it several months ago. So when I got an email this week that it was free for everyone signed up for ChristianAudio’s newsletter, well – I hopped right onto that and started listening while chopping up tomatoes for spaghetti sauce. I’m only 1 hour into it, but it’s great so far. It’s only free this month (that would be July 2015), so if you want it, hop on over here & snag it while it’s $0! And if you have no idea who this couple is, this video tells their story and is totally worth the 9 minutes.



That’s a wrap, friends! Hope you all have a fantabulous weekend!

If you’re a blogger, link up a post of your favorite things from this week with me and Susanna!
We’d love to have YOU – yes, you! – join the party! Please just link back and you’re golden!

Pretty Takes Practice :: a book review

book week

Today’s book review is a totally light + fun read entitled Pretty Takes Practice.

pretty takes practice

This particular book grabbed my attention while I was browsing the “New Non-fiction” section of my library. I had never heard of the author before but was quite happy to discover that Charla Muller lives in my very own city of Charlotte, NC. It’s like we’re friends. I mean, at least I suppose I have a better chance of seeing her while sitting in traffic, waving maniacally, and coming across as a total stalker.

Anyway, I picked this book up on a Saturday afternoon and proceeded to stay up late that night reading and laughing quite loudly, as I am prone to do when my offspring have been safely tucked in bed. It’s not a good habit. But it’s one that’s difficult to break, especially when you’re reading something as funny as Pretty Takes Practice.

This is Charla’s {see, we’re on a first name basis already!} second book and she writes about her experience in the public foray – specifically, her appearance on the Oprah show – and how it caused her to see herself in a new way. Like, on national television and in high definition. That combination has a way of making any minor blemish or flaw suddenly become quite large. Insurmountable, even. And that’s exactly the effect it had on Ms. Muller. As a result, she set about to discover the meaning of beauty. The result is pictured above: a book detailing both her quest + results of her findings.

Perhaps the moment I laughed the loudest was when she recounted her experience of ironing her shirt while wearing it, burning her collarbone during the ironing fiasco, and then attempting to explain it away to a concerned colleague. When I tried to relay the hilarious story to my husband, he was left wondering what was so funny. My interpretation of this event is that he has never been so lazy as to try and iron an article of clothing while wearing it. I, on the other hand, have attempted this deed on multiple occasions. This is why most of the clothes I choose to wear are either of the wrinkle-free variety or just plain wrinkled. I digress.

This book is not written from a Christian perspective, although Charla does indicate that she grew up in a conservative Christian environment here during her TEDx talk. So while the book leaves you with the author’s final thoughts on beauty, I found it helpful to keep in mind God’s words on beauty from Proverbs 31. You remember what they are? “Beauty is vain.” He doesn’t say that we shouldn’t work to be beautiful – that much is clear even as you read the rest of that chapter. But He does say that it’s vain. Fleeting. Empty. How easy it is to see both meanings of the word “vain” evidenced in our world today.

Overall, this is a super light and fun read. It’s a great book to pick up when you want to wind down for bed, but don’t have many brain waves left for the day. Humorous, lighthearted, and without pushing any major themes – I would consider this book to be a classic beach read. If you’re looking for an easy book to wrap up your summer, add Pretty Takes Practice to your list!


Looking for more great books to read?
Check out all my book reviews here and see my favorite marriage books here!

books to build your marriage


The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up :: a book review

book week

life changing magic
I listened to most of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up while driving home from Kentucky after my husband’s PhD classes. By the time I arrived home, I was ready to TIDY UP ALL THE THINGS. Unfortunately, we left 2 1/2 days later for missions trip, so I only had time to tidy my closet. I most definitely should have taken a before picture, like I did here. But alas, I did not. I did, however, include an overhead shot here.

I liked…
I benefited from reading this book both from receiving an increased motivation to tidy my house as well as a better method of doing so.

I didn’t care for…
Personally, I didn’t care for her method of organizing pictures (laying them all out one by one and deciding which to keep), but that’s mostly because my pictures are all in books instead of loose. IF, however, I had boxes upon boxes of photos like she referenced in the book, I’m sure this method would be helpful.

I also don’t subscribe to her practice of treating inanimate objects as relational beings. She recommends thanking your items for a job well done, emptying your purse each night so it has room to breathe and relax after a hard day of work, greeting your home when you enter the door, etc. I agree that talking to your things would most likely cause you to take better care of them. But the fact remains: they are things. Things are not relational. There is a God who has given me all my things who I choose to thank instead.

Overall, it was a helpful and motivational book on organizing. If you’re looking for some tips on how to cut through the clutter of your home or if you just need a solid kick in the pants to git ‘er done – this book’s for you. If you don’t want to spend money to read it, check your library. Or even better, check out the 31 Day Simplify Series from October.

Simplify 300


Steal Like an Artist :: book review

book week

steal like an artist
I can’t remember how I first heard about Steal Like an Artist, but I seem to remember seeing it via instagram – maybe from Emily or the Nester. If you love to create (whether by writing, making music, taking pictures, or any other form), read this book. I started reading it on a Friday night and got up early on Saturday to finish it. Did you catch that? I got up early on Saturday. That’s saying something, my friends. I came to the couch armed with a pen, paper, and a copy of this book on my phone (via my insanely awesome library).

If you’re creative, read this book.
If you’ve ever wanted to be creative but feel like everything’s already been created, read this book.

Here are some favorite quotes:

“Draw the art you want to see, start the business you want to run, play the music you want to hear, write the books you want to read, build the products you want to use – do the work you want to see done.”

“You are, in fact, a mashup of what you choose to let into your life.”

“You don’t want to look like your heroes, you want to see like your heroes.” <— one of my absolute favorites

“Be curious about the world in which you live. Look things up. Chase down every reference. Go deeper than anybody else–that’s how you’ll get ahead.”

“Pretend to be making something until you actually make something.”

“School is one thing. Education is another. The two don’t always overlap. Whether you’re in school or not, it’s always your job to get yourself an education.” <— YES!

See why I loved it? Just re-reading those quotes makes me want to read the book again. So inspiring and empowering.

Any other books you would recommend for creatives?

let’s talk about books.

Although I have not created a book list for 2015 or even made a goal for how many books to read, this fact remains: I’m actually still reading. Shocker, I know.

I’ve read several books lately that are just too interesting not to share, so I’m declaring this to be book week. I even created a graphic to celebrate the occasion.

book week2

It’s a perfect time for it, of course, as there are still a few solid weeks of summer left. But then, it’s always a perfect time for book week in my opinion.

Here’s how I’ll break it down:

  • book reviews
    • 2 memoirs
    • 1 spiritual help
    • 1 organizational
    • 1 creative/inspirational
  • 6 reasons to love your library
  • some of our favorite children’s books
  • books I want to read
  • how to read when you don’t have time
  • link up of your favorite books {shooting for Friday, 8/7}

I absolutely love finding new books to read, so I would be thrilled if you could plan to link up a list of your favorite books with me at the end of this series!

I think we’ll be able to fit Book Week into 2 weeks, as long as the fingers keep typing, the babies keep sleeping, the husband keeps studying, and the iced coffee keeps flowing. And we also need the brain to keep working. Critical. But not always possible. Because sometimes it just shuts off and I start acting like a crazy person. You’ve done it too. You know you have. And I realize that fitting it into 2 weeks technically makes it book weekS, not book week. It’s okay. Work with me here.

Book Week(s). Coming to a computer near you. I’ll start off tomorrow with a good old book review + my fave quotes.

book week