Friday, May 6, 2016

Book Review: Fading Starlight by Kathryn Cushman

I was really excited to receive the book Fading Starlight by Kathryn Cushman in the mail this week. Believe it or not, I was actually out of books and it arrived at the perfect time. This book is realistic fiction, which is a little different than what I typically read, but it was a nice change of pace. Lauren is an up and coming fashion designer, fresh out of design school. She's been given an opportunity to have one of her designs on the red carpet at a major awards ceremony, but when there's a serious "wardrobe malfunction" at the event, Lauren believes her career is over before it's even started. She finds herself needing to find an out of the way place to live until the whole mess settles down. She gets a low paying job with a local high school costume department, but the unexpected perk is a free place to live. The cottage needs some work, but it puts her smack dab in the middle of Charlotte Montgomery's world. Miss Montgomery is a former Hollywood starlet that's been a recluse for years. Miss Montgomery is so secretive that she is extremely abrasive and unkind at first meeting. Lauren learns that there is much more to Charlotte Montgomery's story than meets the eye.

This was an excellent book! I have always loved reading about clothing in books (maybe that is strange, but it's the truth!), so I liked the way couture gowns were worked into the story. I also did some musical theatre and costuming for shows, so that part was fun as well. I found all the characters in the book likable, including Miss Montgomery (eventually). The one valuable lesson I learned is that in life we often think things are going to go one way, but God sometimes has other plans for us and His plans are better than we could have dreamed. Lauren struggles throughout the novel to actively live her faith through her interactions with Miss Montgomery. She also wants to "fix" her situation by taking matters into her own hands instead of doing what God wants her to do. I could definitely relate to her feelings. I'd recommend this book to those that enjoy realistic Christian fiction with minimal romance, no violence, etc. It was a very pleasant enjoyable read.

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

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Book Review: A Treasure Concealed by Tracie Peterson

A Treasure Concealed by Tracie Peterson is the first book in a new series, Sapphire Brides. This Christian historical fiction book is set around the turn of the 20th century in Montana Territory. Emily Carver has grown up with her parents in gold mining camps. Her father is sure he is about to strike it rich - as he has believed for all of Emily's life. Emily longs to live a "normal" life in a home and with a family of her own. This dream seems impossible as she's only ever lived near the mining camps - moving often - and usually disguised as a man to ward off unwanted attention from the men living in the mining towns. When Caeden Thibault, a geologist working for the government, arrives in the camps near where Emily lives, two very different people meet and we learn that there is more to both of these individuals.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. In addition to the historic setting of the book, there is quite a bit of mystery and suspense in the plot. I feel that this book is pretty typical of the other titles in this genre. The plot of the novel contains some violence due to some of the twists and turns that occur in the book. I'd recommend this title to people that enjoy historical fiction novels that also contain action and adventure.

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

Thursday, March 31, 2016

March 2016 Clothing Budget

I haven't done a clothing budget round up in awhile, so decided to put one together this month. I have been loving navy and gray lately, and that's definitely reflected in my purchases.

March Budget

March Budget by gracenote30 featuring ankle jeans

  • Navy Lands' End Blazer - $5.67 (Thrifted)
  • Purple Croft and Barrow Cardigan - $1.28 (After coupon)
  • Gray JCPenney Cardigan - $7.70
  • Gray Old Navy Jeans and Burgundy Pixie Pants - $7.43 (After ON Rewards)
  • Navy Old Navy Pixie Chinos - $6.18 (After ON Rewards)
  • Navy and White Old Navy Sweater - $5.11 (Thrifted - not pictured)
  • Cobalt Apt. 9 Necklace - $0.64 (After coupon)
I am so happy to have some more pants and cardigans in my wardrobe! Looking ahead, I want to get some color in my wardrobe for spring and summer. I'm looking for floral and lace, too and am in the market to replace some flats. :)

I'm linking up to Budgeting Bloggers at Franish!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Schoola Promo: 50% off at Schoola!

If you've read this blog before, you know that I love thrifting! While I do buy a number of items at Goodwill and other local resale shops, I also really enjoy thrifting online. I've gotten some great things at Schoola lately - including my polka dot chambray, tan cardigan, and khaki Pixie pants. My daughter also has a number of Schoola items in her wardrobe, mostly dance tops from Justice. :)

I wanted to share about a great Schoola promo going on right now! You can get 50% off plus free shipping with the code SPRINGBRK. My affiliate link is above and you can also get $20 to use at Schoola if you sign up and make a purchase using my link and haven't purchased through them before!

Have you ever shopped at Schoola before? Any favorite purchases?

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Book Review: Whatever is Lovely: A Coloring Book for Reflection and Worship

We've all seen how popular adult coloring is these days! A couple of months back, I had the opportunity to review the coloring book Whatever is Lovely: A Coloring Book for Reflection and Worship. The book is beautiful. It contains a variety of lovely pages that are based on Bible verses, hymns, inspirational quotes and more. The book is a larger size, approximately 9.5" square. Designs include animals, flowers, trees, geometrics, and more. The pages would be lovely framed once they are colored. I have to be honest; I am not much of a color-er. :) I gave this a try and while coloring is not my favorite thing, my mother really enjoys it, so I will be gifting her this book. I only colored on one of the pages.

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

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