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Showing posts from September, 2013

Small Home Living: Introduction

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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 sp…

September Clothing Budget

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September Budget by gracenote30 featuring low v neck tops

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 comfo…

What I Wore: Formula

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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), Neckl…

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…

Monday Morning

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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 …

What I Wore: Layers and Jewel Tones

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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




Book Review: The Secret Keeper

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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 bapt…

What I Wore: Thrifted

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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

Book Review: Take Flight! A Sisterchicks' Devotional

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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 …

7 Wearable Fall Styles

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7 Wearable Fall Styles by gracenote30 featuring a tube scarf
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 wit…

Friday Favorites

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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!

What I Wore: A Little Fall

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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 t…

One Piece, Many Ways: Olive Dot Skirt

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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!

Labor Day Yard Sale Fabric

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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 y…