Monday, September 30, 2013

Small Home Living: Introduction


For the past 2 years, I've written a 31 days series during the month of October. I wasn't planning to participate this year, but I started seeing people talking about their topics and somehow, I decided to give it a try again.

Several months ago, I posted a little bit about our house. I'll get into more specifics and details over the next month, but our house is fairly small. I realize that the size of a home is definitely relative and depends on lots of factors like the number of people in the home. We have a family of 3, so we are probably a bit more comfortable in our smaller home than a family of 5 or 6 would be. I also know people live in lots smaller spaces than we do, too.

So what will I be writing about over the next month? I have some general ideas of what I'd like to write about including how we ended up in this house, when and why we decided to stay, the financial considerations, a house tour, and how we address different challenges living in a smaller space. I'm also hoping to tackle a couple of "problem" areas in the house as I focus on our home in October. I will continue to post book reviews and occasional outfit posts, too.

I would love to have you read along during this series, and if you are writing a 31 days series, please leave me a comment so I can check it out!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

September Clothing Budget

September Budget



What? Time for another budget round up?? It's true. September is almost over, so here's the wrap up on my spending.

I feel pleased with what I got this month and actually managed to cross a couple items off my current closet wish list. I feel like t-shirts and cardigans are constantly on my list. Most brands only seem to last for a season or so. Do you have suggestions for these wardrobe staples that really last for awhile?

Navy Striped Perfect Henley: Old Navy (exact) - free after reward certificate
Jason Wu tie-neck blouse and Merona sandals via Goodwill - $9.77 - My best thrifting trip this month! Worn here.
Sonoma Slubbed Tee: Kohl's (same shirt, different colors) - $3.07 - This is a really cute tee and I am considering buying them in other colors.
Merona Doubleweave Denim Pencil Skirt via Goodwill (similar) - $4.60 - Another great thrifted find! This is dressier than a regular denim skirt but still really comfortable and versatile. I always think of Heidi when I see these skirts. :)
Mossimo Ankle Pants: Target (petite version) - $8.86 - After doing my recent closet inventory, I realized I only have 8 pairs of pants. I wear pants often, so when I saw these for under $10, I decided to give them a try. I have the same pair in a tweed print that I wear all the time, so I'm hoping these fit.
Merona Tanks in Black and Navy (exact) - $4.86 - I wear these under everything!
Not pictured:
Tights from Meijer - I couldn't pass these up. 6 pairs for $4.80! I am stocked up for fall and winter now!
Black Cardigan - Sears - $6.39
Sonoma Straight Leg Pants in Burgundy - Kohl's - $6.53
Black Sonoma Ruffled Jacket - Goodwill - $5.65

Total: $54.53

I underspent last month by a few dollars, so the overage this month balances out pretty well. I also got a few things that I needed (pants, black cardigan, black jacket, tanks) and I managed to stay away from jewelry and scarves this month.

My hunt for affordable black skinnies continues (any suggestions??). I'm also going to keep an eye out for a a print dress, a cute and comfy "dressy" sweatshirt, and a 3/4 sleeve navy striped tee. As it gets cooler, cardigans, sweaters, and a cute winter jacket are also on my list and I'll be keeping an eye out for replacement riding boots, just in case mine give out this season.. I still have an eShakti gift card to spend and a Curated by Kelly gift card, too.

I can't wait to see what everyone else got this month!

*Please note, some links above are my affiliate links.

I'm linking up to Budgeting Bloggers at Franish!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

What I Wore: Formula

Over the last week, I've come to realize I have a uniform that I like to wear. Or maybe it's more of a formula for putting together a comfortable outfit. It's not the most exciting, but it has been valuable over the last few weeks as I've gotten used to getting up and out of the house with my daughter for school in the morning.

Here's the formula:

Pants (Jeans, Skinnies, Khakis, Dress Pants) + Simple Top + Scarf + Shoes + Accessories

Despite having similar elements, it is an extremely versatile formula and can easily be dressed up or down with changes in shoes and accessories. I can also add a cardigan or other jacket, too. I definitely wear other types of outfits (skirts, dresses, etc) but this is becoming my "go-to" outfit that I feel polished and put together wearing but don't have to think about too hard.

On to this week's outfits!


Plaid Shirt: Kohl's (similar), Skirt: Merona via Goodwill (similar), Flats: Merona (exact, I believe), Necklace: Elder-Beerman
This skirt was a thrifted find from last week! So comfy. :)


Black Tee: Merona (exact), Green Skinnies: Jennifer Lopez, Kohl's (exact), Boots: Target, Scarf: Kohl's (similar)
Inspired by this pin. I like this scarf but it is not quite leopard print and I've been debating buying one with a more true leopard print - what do you think?

Do you have an outfit formula? Please share it with me in the comments!

I'm linking up!

pleated poppy

I Feel Pretty at Get Your Pretty On

*Links above are my affiliate links.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Book Review: Chasing Hope

Chasing Hope by Kathryn Cushman is a contemporary Christian fiction novel. It is the story of Sabrina Rice, a runner with her sights set on the Olympics. Medical problems make this dream impossible for Sabrina, so she attempts to put running in the back of her mind and tries to move on with her life. Instead, she focuses on a new set of goals, including a prestigious internship. She unexpectedly finds herself in the role of running coach when she meets Brandy Philip. Sabrina recognizes Brandy's running talent immediately, but wants nothing to do with Brandy or running. Brandy needs Sabrina's help to stay out of the juvenile detention center and Sabrina is her last chance. The road is anything but smooth as the pair face their challenges head on, but the outcome is beyond what either of them could dream or imagine.

This is one of my favorite books that I've read so far this year. I thought the characters of Sabrina and Brandy were very interesting and believable and I could especially relate to Sabrina's character. As a runner (even though I am not fast or a competitive runner), I really enjoyed that part of the storyline. The book was aptly titled - I could feel both characters chasing after a new, hopeful future. I think a lot of us can understand the feeling of not having our lives go the way we think they will, but this book helps us to all understand that we go through things in our lives for a reason, and God can use all of these things to shape us and to make us more effective in the position He has placed us in. I would highly recommend this book and will be looking for other Kathryn Cushman books to read in the future.

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

Monday, September 23, 2013

Monday Morning




Fall has definitely arrived here in Ohio! We had some hot weather at the end of last week, but after some rain the weekend was in the 50's and 60's. We're enjoying soccer and dance and playing outside over the weekend. I'm still adjusting to our new schedule (and not too well many days, I might add!).

I thought I'd share a round up of some things I've been reading and working on lately and see if you have any great articles, books, or really anything to share with me!
  • A few weeks ago, we took a trip to some gardens in a town around 45 minutes away. While we were there, we drove into their downtown area to find a coffee shop and walk around. We passed by a storefront and I had to turn around and take a closer look - you can see a picture above. Turns out, the storefront is the home of KPea Original. KPea makes gorgeous boutique style girls' dresses and accessories (and women's, too!). I am keeping an eye out for a KPea dress for my daughter. I love the look of their items and if you check out their Facebook page, they have a great mission and witness, too!
  • Blue Paper Lanterns posted a closet inventory this weekend, prompting me to do a quick one as well. My count, not including workout clothes, layering tanks, scarves, etc. was 189. As of this writing, I've gotten rid of 14 more items, bringing my current total to 175. It was really interesting to do and is going to be helpful to me in focusing in on specific wardrobe areas instead of buying the same things over and over. More coming on this in future posts!
  • I really enjoy reading Amy's blog and when she linked up to the post Septembering, a lot of it really resonated with me. Tell me I'm not alone with having mixed feelings about this time of year!
  • I received a catalog of books associated with the United Methodist Women's 2014 Reading Program. There were a lot of great titles on the list! One I'm thinking of reading soon is Awake - and a online discussion of the book started Friday, so I may buy the Kindle book and dive in.
  • I've been struggling to find much time to sew or craft, but I am hoping that will change soon! We got some fall decorations up this weekend, so I might share a few pictures yet this week.
Tell me about you! What are you reading, organizing, decluttering, creating, or thinking about? I'd love to hear from you in the comments!

still being [molly]

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

What I Wore: Layers and Jewel Tones

I managed to get two photos this week. I attempted to do one myself. It didn't turn out too badly. :)

We've had a number of cooler days (after last week being close to 100 for a couple of days) and layers have been needed for the cool mornings and evenings as well. I've also started adding in some deeper colors to my outfits.


 
Pants: Dockers, Shirt: Riders (really old!), Wedges: Payless, Earrings: Avon




Jeans: Jennifer Lopez (Kohl's), Shirt: Old Navy, Scarf: Target, Jacket: Lands' End (really old!!), Flats: Payless

I'm linking up!

Style Sessions at Style Elixir

I Feel Pretty at Get Your Pretty On

WIWW at Tucker Up

pleated poppy


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Book Review: The Secret Keeper


I have been doing lots of reading lately while waiting in line to pick up my daughter after school, so I was thrilled to receive two Bethany House books to review for September! First up is The Secret Keeper by Beverly Lewis. Beverly Lewis is a favorite author of mine, and I've read most of her books. This book is part of the Home to Hickory Hollow series, a collection of related titles that have various characters in common, but are stand alone books. I really enjoy reading her books and the way she brings the simple life of the Amish to life, while still discussing some of the issues that they fave as well.

In The Secret Keeper, Jennifer Burns chooses to leave her life as an Englisher to become Amish. She has always been drawn to a life of simplicity but her choice is still a great surprise to her family and to the Amish people of Hickory Hollow. Many are skeptical that she will be able to complete all the challenges set before her during the Proving time before she can be baptized. Jenny struggles with certain aspects of the Proving time, but she remains sure of her choice.

I think this book is another enjoyable read for those that like Amish fiction and reading about the lifestyle of the Amish. It is also a must read for Beverly Lewis fans because there are characters from previous books that appear in this novel as well. Overall, I would recommend this book!

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

Have you read any Beverly Lewis books or other Amish fiction? Any favorites?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

What I Wore: Thrifted


I apparently only got one outfit photo this week! Oh well. :)

I found this blouse at Goodwill last week. Jason Wu for Target and I just love it. The color and the dots are so pretty and I love tie neck blouses. I switched out the black dress pants with skinny jeans and flats after I got home from work.

Blouse: Jason Wu for Target (Goodwill), Pants: Dockers (Kohl's), Wedge Heels: Payless

I'm linking up!

I Feel Pretty at Get Your Pretty On

pleated poppy

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Book Review: Take Flight! A Sisterchicks' Devotional

http://www.randomhouse.com/images/dyn/cover/?source=9781590525371&width=1000

I typically review fiction books, but when I saw an opportunity to review Take Flight!: A Sisterchicks' Devotional by Robin Jones Gunn and Cindy Hannan, it looked like something I would enjoy reading. I've read many of Robin Jones Gunn's books, so I was excited to read this devotional. I really liked the book and felt that many of the devotions and stories were really relevant to things going on in my life right now.

The book is divided into 4 sections and there are 14 total devotions in the book. Each devotion includes a quote from a Sisterchicks' book, a personal story, thoughts about the story, and a variety of Scripture references to either read in the book or look up in the Bible. Other inspirational quotes that relate to the topic are included and there are lines to record personal thoughts if desired.

I felt the devotions were thoughtful and readable and had solid Biblical basis. I would have loved to see the book include more than 14 devotions, but this book would be a nice gift book for a friend or for yourself.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review; all opinions are my own.

Monday, September 9, 2013

7 Wearable Fall Styles

7 Wearable Fall Styles

Something about this time of year with Back to School and the changing seasons makes me want to shop! I've picked up a few pieces here and there, but I'm also looking for ways to shop my closet and incorporate some fall fashion trends without spending too much money.

The first step is to decide what fall fashions you'd like to try. For each person, this is different depending on your personal style. Here are a few fall trends that I am planning on incorporating this season. Not all of them are brand new for Fall 2013, but they are still showing up in the magazines, so that's good enough for me!

I've also started a Fall 2013 Trends Pinterest board where I've been adding style inspiration for this fall.

1. Black and White
Black and white is such a classic combination! Most of us have a basic white top that we can pair with some black pants or even a black and white top or sweater that can be paired with a simple black skirt. It's also fun to add a pop of color to black and white!

2. Animal Prints
I say leopard is basically a classic at this point. Leopard flats or a leopard scarf make even a simple outfit really fun. Another great print this year is snakeskin. I picked up a snakeskin scarf at a garage sale this summer and a snakeskin print blouse at Goodwill. They are surprisingly versatile and can be paired with lots of colors.

3. Wine or Burgundy
This color is so pretty! I saw a pair of wine colored pants at Kohl's in my size over Labor Day and knew I wanted to buy them. They were only $6.50! This is another color that I feel works as a neutral - it looks good with lots of different colors. I also have a pair of wedge heels in this color and can't believe how often I wear them. There are so many pins on Pinterest that incorporate this color.

4. Cobalt Blue
Bright blue is so pretty and flattering. I have had a bright blue button down has been in my wardrobe for awhile and I am planning to wear it with black or grey pants. Add in a pop of bright blue with accessories like earrings or shoes, too!

5. Military Inspired
Olive green is another great color that mixes and matches well with a variety of colors. Military or utility style vests and jackets are also great for layering with lots of different looks from pants to dresses.

6. Plaid
I had a ton of plaid shirts when I was in high school (in the 90's lol!) but last fall, I realized I didn't have any plaid. I picked up a couple plaid shirts from Kohl's on clearance and one from Goodwill and have started to really enjoy wearing plaid again! Plaid is fun to wear with jeans and boots of course, but plaid tops also pair well with skirts or over a dress.

7. Ankle Boots
I love wearing ankle boots with jeans and pants, but I still haven't been brave enough to try them with skirts and dresses. They are comfy and fairly practical, so this is another fun trend. I have a wedge pair in a taupe color, plus a pair of black ones. Super cute with skinnies, too!

So there you go! Seven fun and wearable styles for fall. Did I miss any of your favorites? Leave me a comment with your favorite fall look!

I'm linking up!

Style Sessions at Style Elixir




still being [molly]

Friday, September 6, 2013

Friday Favorites



Happy Friday everyone! Here are a few of my favorite things this week!

1. Fun thrift shopping trips - I found a Jason Wu for Target blouse, a pair of Raven denim trouser jeans, and leather-upper Merona wedges on my last trip - for $15 total. Wore the blouse yesterday, jeans and wedges today. They will definitely appear in my next What I Wore post. :)
 

2. Run finished for the day - 5.5 miles, the longest in several weeks and it was beautiful.



3. Half price Yankee Candle votives at our local Pat Catan's - can't wait to smell the Salted Caramel one!

4. New bright blue flats - Got these for $7.20 over Labor Day weekend and am hoping they fit!



5. Sewing progress - I am so close to finishing a mug rug, but my machine is acting up - eek! Crossing my fingers I can get it figured out.

6. Spending more time with my daughter this weekend! I miss her when she is at school.

What are your favorite things from this week? Any fun weekend plans?

I'm linking up!

Style Elixir

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

What I Wore: A Little Fall

 
I only have two pictures this week! My daytime photographer is in school, and it gets dark so much earlier at night. I need to get in a better routine for photos! Ohio weather is feeling very fall-like. Cool in the morning, but it warms up quickly as the day progresses. I am pulling out different color combinations and starting to add in some layers to account for the variable temperatures.
 
I still really like grey and mustard together. It's hard to see, but the flats and necklace are both mustard-colored. This is an example of a photo that was taken just before dark. ;)

Denim Capris: Lee (Goodwill), Grey Tee: Merona, Flats: Merona, Necklace: Elder-Beerman


These green skinny jeans are becoming wardrobe staples for me. They're not as bright as my hot pink pair, which make them easier for me to wear.

Tee: Sonoma, Tank: Merona, Jeans: Jennifer Lopez, Necklace: Charming Charlie, Sandals: Born

I found a cute pair of wine/burgundy/maroon pants at Kohl's on Labor Day and wore those yesterday. I will be wearing them a lot this fall! I'm also waiting on a couple other weekend purchases that I am hoping will be a regular part of my fall wardrobe.

So tell me - what is the correct fashion word for dark red? Also, any interest in some blog posts here about making fall trends wearable and shopping your own closet for fall? I'd love your thoughts!

I'm linking up!

I Feel Pretty at Get Your Pretty On


pleated poppy

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

One Piece, Many Ways: Olive Dot Skirt



It's time for another One Piece, Many Ways link up at Putting Me Together! I love doing these remix posts and getting inspiration and ideas from others.


I decided to show the different ways I've worn my olive dot skirt in the past and talk about a couple of ways I hope to wear it this fall.


I wore this combination as part of a past 7x7 remix. the top is a black and tan print and the neutrals work well together in the outfit.


I like how the olive and plum tones work together here and I tied the colors together with a scarf.


Chambray goes with everything! I added the hot pink statement necklace and nude wedges to complete the outfit.

This fall, I'm planning to wear this skirt with my riding boots and possibly even ankle boots. It would work well with a simple grey or black top, plus a coordinating cardigan or jacket.

Stop over to Putting Me Together for many more remixing ideas!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Labor Day Yard Sale Fabric

We're excited to be linking up with Quiltville's Labor Day Yard Sale. We've got lots of fabric to list! Some is washed and some is unwashed, but I've tried to designate which is which. All prices include U.S. shipping, either First Class or Priority through USPS depending on weight. Payment is through PayPal. Please leave me a comment if you are interested or send me an email through the email address in my profile. I will check in periodically through the day and try to invoice by tomorrow. Thanks so much and happy shopping!!


Susan Winget Bundle - 2 pieces gold stripe animal fabric, 1st piece 1 yard, 2nd piece 35", 1 piece patchwork print 2 yards, $14.00 (unwashed)


Vehicle Print Susan Winget Fabric - 2 yards, $7.50 (unwashed) - SOLD!


Punctuation by American Jane Panel -  1 yard, $5.00 (washed) - SOLD!


 Potpourri Italian Cooking Panel by Grace Pullen - 23" by WOF, $5.00 (unwashed)


Autumn Scenic by Springs Creative - 2 pieces, 1st piece 21", 2nd piece 1 yard, $7.50 (unwashed) - SOLD!


Robert Kaufman North American Endandered Wildlife - 1 yard, Robert Kaufman Nature Studies - 54", $8.50 (unwashed)


Pink Pastel Patchwork, Scrolls, and Flowers - 1 yard patchwork print, 1 yard flowers and scrolls on pink, $7.00 (unwashed)


4 piece Tea themed fabric bundle - Red Mary Engelbreit approx. 27" by WOF, Pink, Black, and Grey approx. 18"x35" (Windham Tea for Two), Black, Pink, and Green Tea Cups approx. 21"x35" (Windham Tea for Two), Colorful Tea Pots on Grey-Green approx. 21" by 72", $10 (washed) - SOLD!


5 Piece Polka Dot bundle - Dark Blue with Purple and Aqua Dots 25"xWOF, Hot Pink Dot 1 yard, Blue with Multi Dots 30"x11", Olive Green Dot 33"x13", Aqua Dot 17"xWOF, $11.50 (washed) - SOLD!


 4 Piece Black, White, Tan, and Red bundle - White with Black and Tan 34"x26", Black with White and Tan 35"x30", Black and White Damask half yard, Red and White Damask 16", $11.50 (washed) SOLD!


6 Piece Novelty Bundle - Roosters 24"x34" (washed), Monkeys 21"xWOF (unwashed), Woodland Animals Patchwork 28"xWOF (unwashed), Dogs 19"x16" (washed), Sweet Treats 53"x 20" (washed), Cats 23"x19" (washed), $12.50


4 Piece Pink Floral - Large Tropical Flower 19"x20", Light Pink Floral 24"xWOF, Brown and Cream 17"x22", Black, Pink, and Green Floral 24"x30", $8.50 (washed)


2 Piece Green and Blue Prints - Green Paisley 21"xWOF, Teal Floral 21"xWOF, $7.00 (unwashed) - SOLD!


2 Piece Blue-Grey and Gold - Sunflower 17"xWOF, Blue-Grey 17"xWOF, $5 (unwashed)


Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Panel - 22"x WOF, $4.50 (washed)

 

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