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Book Review: A Note Yet Unsung

A few weeks ago, I finished reading A Note Yet Unsung by Tamera Alexander. When I got the book in the mail, I was so excited because I think the cover is just stunning. It's so pretty; it made an instant impression on me and I was automatically looking forward to reading the book. Luckily, the book was just as good as the cover made it appear. While the book is the third in the Belmont Mansion series, with the exception of some overlapping characters, it is a stand alone novel.

Set in the 1870's, the reader is transported into the world of the orchestra. Despite being classically trained as a violinist in Vienna, Rebekah Carrington is unable to obtain a position in an orchestra because women are considered too fragile for such a position. She's unwilling to give up on her dream and uses her knowledge of music to gain a job working with Tate Whitcomb, the conductor of the Nashville Philharmonic. As they work together to compose and transcribe a new symphony, the secrets bot…

Book Review: Rhythms of Rest by Shelly Miller

For many years, intentional living has been our goal as a family. I read a variety of blogs and other resources that support this type of thoughtful living and decision making. I am not a big reader of nonfiction books, but when Rhythms of Rest by Shelly Miller showed up in my inbox, it sounded like something I'd like to try reading. I discovered several years ago that I am what is known as a "highly sensitive person" and my daughter is highly sensitive as well. Having opportunities to rest and recharge as well as good overall routines in place is important to both of us. During the first half of this school year (when I started this book), we were in a place of just being too busy and I was feeling the strain of that.

Enter Rhythms of Rest. The focus of the book is delving into what the Sabbath is and how we can make it a reality in our daily lives. In addition, the book discusses the benefits of Sabbath keeping and what a gift from God the concept and practice of Sabba…

Book Review: Mark of the King by Jocelyn Green

Mark of the King by Jocelyn Green is a Christian historical fiction novel like none I've ever read before. I finished the book a few weeks ago and it has continued to leave an impression on me. Julianne Chevalier is a midwife who was imprisoned after a women giving birth in her care died. She is branded a criminal whose only hope is exile to the French colony of Louisiana. This exit comes with a price - marriage to another prisoner. From the difficult passage to Louisiana to the untamed and unlawful lands and people Julianne finds there, her strength and faith is constantly tested. Full of mystery, sadness, suspense, danger, and intrigue, this novel is an intense journey. Julianne finds she cannot escape the mark that brands her a criminal, at least not in the eyes of people, but she can be made new through God's grace and mercy.

This book was incredibly fascinating because of its unique time period and location. I've never read a book set in the French colony of Louisiana…

Book Review: Waves of Mercy by Lynn Austin

Waves of Mercy by Lynn Austin is a Christian historical fiction book set in two different time periods in the mid to late 1800’s. Anna Nicholson is the daughter of a prominent Chicago family, seeking answers to deep questions about her life and faith after breaking off her engagement. As she thinks about her life and what she really wants, she goes to Hotel Ottawa in Holland, Michigan to regroup. There she meets Derk Vander Veen, a young worker at the hotel that is planning to go into ministry. At the same time, Geese de Jonge, Derk’s “adoptive” grandmother, is writing her story of emigrating to America from the Netherlands 50 years ago. Though painful at times, Geese understands that telling her story is important. She is shocked to realize that she and Anna may be connected and some of the most painful parts of her story may yield a sweet joy that she never anticipated.
The book Waves of Mercy is told is alternating points of view as Anna shares her thoughts and revelations and Gees…

Book Review: A Lady Unrivaled by Roseanna M. White

A Lady Unrivaled by Roseanna M. White is the third book in the Ladies of the Manor series. This Christian historical fiction book continues the saga of the coveted Fire Eyes diamonds that was started in the first two books in the series. The book series is set in the early 1900's and the story is told by interweaving the perspectives of those in the upper class as well as those in service. This title features Lord James Cayton and Lady Ella Myerston and their relationship that develops despite the peril they face in protecting the diamonds.

First of all, the cover of this book is gorgeous! Easily one of my favorites that I've read this year. Many of the reviews state that fans of Downton Abbey will enjoy this book and I definitely agree. There's a richness to the writing that really captures the characters and time period well. The book is full of intrigue, romance, and suspense plus characters that develop and change. Lord Cayton is actively trying to make himself a bette…

Book Review: A Heart Most Certain by Melissa Jagears

A Heart Most Certain by Melissa Jagears is a Christian historical fiction novel with a very timely and relevant message for all of us to hear. Lydia King is a member of the Teaville Moral Society and she truly has a heart for the poor. She's engaged to the son of the moral society's president, despite the fact that she doesn't love him. Lydia is hiding a secret about her own poverty and how close she is to being a part of those that Teaville needs to help. Lydia has been asked to get a donation for the moral society from Nicholas Lowe, the richest man in town, but he repeatedly denies her requests, regardless of how many times she asks. Lydia and Nicholas strike a bargain that shows her more about the character and heart of Nicholas than she could have possibly imagined.

This book was well written and interesting. I enjoyed the two main characters and was intrigued by the societal expectations of women of that time period. Lydia finds herself drawn into a world she couldn&…

Summer to Fall Transitional Wardrobe: 2016 Edition

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We still have a month left of summer on the calendar, but here in Ohio, we're already feeling a bit of a weather shift. It's still quite hot and humid, but mornings and evenings are cooler. I've always had trouble with the change of season in terms of what to wear (see my 2015 transitional capsule here and some winter to spring transition tips here) so this year, I immediately recognized the need to pull together a transitional capsule.

I picked an overall color scheme of gray, black, denim/chambray, orange, green, and purple. In looking at last year's capsule, I definitely see some similarities and six of the pieces are exactly the same! Here's what in the summer to fall transitional wardrobe for 2016.


Starting with casual bottoms:

Merona nutmeg polka dot shorts*Old Navy boyfriend jeans*Boston Proper dark wash skinny jeans*Sonoma medium wash skinny jeansStylus black skinniesAnn Taylor LOFT denim shorts* 


Work pants:

Old Navy lilac Pixie pantsAnn Taylor LOFT white cr…