Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Book Review: Luther and Katharina by Jody Hedlund

Luther and Katharina by Jody Hedlund is a historical fiction novel like no other I've ever read. The book is based on the lives of Martin Luther and the former nun Katharina von Bora. Set in the 16th century, the novel is compelling and intense. It places the reader at the heart of the Reformation, a time period full of danger and persecution. The book does an amazing job of humanizing Martin Luther and Katharina von Bora. The characters are developed and realistic and the book has been well-researched and the events throughout the novel are based in historical fact.

I've read a number of Jody Hedlund's novels in the past. The time period and historic figures in this book set it apart from many others in the genre. I spent some time reading about Martin Luther and Katharina von Bora while reading this novel and felt that I learned a great deal from the book.

I feel that this book is very well-written, but I personally had a few issues with it that I want to share here in case any of my other fellow readers are sensitive like me. :) I usually read at night before bed and find it relaxing. This book is not one that is a good relaxing bedtime read. Because of the intense level of realism in the novel and the events that were a part of the time period, it is full of a great deal of violence and mayhem. In addition, I do not feel this book would be as good for a younger reader (or a more sensitive one) because there are several scenes where there is implied sexual violence against some of the characters as well sexual innuendo that is a part of the conversation among some of the characters. Again, this is a part of what makes the book so authentic to the time period, but it was difficult to read at times.

The book is definitely a page turner and absolutely fascinating in terms of the life of Martin Luther himself. I would give the book 4 stars for its historical content, but would need to rate it 3 stars for the issues mentioned above. I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for this review; all opinions are my own.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Fall Outfit Inspiration: Rust, Mustard, Ivory, and Leopard

I picked up this beautiful ivory and gold Dinah tee during Elegantees Labor Day sale. It was a great deal and is still available in some sizes in ivory, pumpkin, and cappuccino. It's a lovely weight with elbow length sleeves and pretty gold leaf detailing around the neckline. (Save 10% with code CARLY.)

I added a rust cardigan, mustard skinnies that I picked up at a garage sale, and thrifted leopard flats for a fall ensemble just right for our cool weather this weekend.

I thought my gold earrings and bracelet from I Am Just One went really well with the outfit, too!

How's your weather this week? Still hot or starting to cool down?

I'm linking up!

What I Wore Wednesday at The Pleated Poppy

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Late Summer and Early Fall Transitional Capsule Wardrobe

Late summer to fall and early winter to spring are the two most difficult wardrobe transitions for me. These are the times of year that I'm most likely to have trouble putting outfits together. Inspired by Carrie at A Lovely Little Wardrobe and Alex at Undergraduate Style, I decided to create a short-term transitional capsule wardrobe to help. In general, I've embraced capsule wardrobes as a way of life, but I am fairly flexible about how I use them. If I need something for warmer or cooler weather, I go ahead and pull the items I need from another part of my wardrobe. I sometimes tweak my capsules on a monthly basis as well.

The capsule above will be for the month of September, perhaps into October depending on how it works and how the weather goes. I have 29 pieces pictured here and will be adding this top from Elegantees (use code CARLY to save 10% on your order) when it arrives. I may add a few other items as needed as well, but the goal would be to stay around 35 pieces.

Here's what I've included:
Tops -

  • Purple long sleeve button up*
  • Sleeveless purple floral tie neck blouse*
  • Black and white stripe 3/4 sleeve tee
  • Blue gingham button up*
  • Dark green cap sleeve blouse
  • Light orange stripe tee*
  • Leopard shell
  • Bright green sleeveless shell*
  • Coral lace accent tee
  • Chambray long sleeve button up
  • Gray tee
Pants and Shorts -
  • Boyfriend jeans*
  • Khakis
  • Dark wash skinny jeans
  • Mustard skinnies*
  • Nutmeg polka dot shorts*
  • Olive green skinnies*
  • Black ankle pants
  • Sage green wide leg pants*
Skirts -
  • Teal knit skirt*
  • Dark denim pencil skirt*
  • Floral print skirt*
Dresses -
  • Black dress
  • Black, gray, and white animal print dress*
Completer Pieces -
  • Olive denim jacket*
  • Rust cardigan*
  • Plum cardigan
  • Light olive vest*
  • Tan cardigan
The * indicates that the item was purchased secondhand - via Goodwill, Plato's Closet, Ebay, Twice, ThredUp (get $20 off your first order if you sign up through my link - I'll also get $20 credit), Schoola (get $15 off your first order if you sign up through my link - I'll also get a $15 credit), garage sales etc. Since I like numbers, I'll mention that 17 out of the 29 pieces or a little over half of the items are secondhand. For the rest, there are a lot of Target pieces in there. :)

I'll be sharing some of my daily outfits using this capsule over on Instagram!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Book Review: Ties That Bind

When I finished reading the book Ties That Bind by Cindy Woodsmall, my immediate reaction was to try and find out when the next book in the series will be published. :) I've read a number of Cindy Woodsmall's books in the past and always enjoyed them. This book was no exception. Ariana is one of several children in her family, which includes her twin brother Abram. She dreams of opening a cafe to help with her family's expenses and she's getting close to having enough money for a down payment on the building. She's surprised when her former friend Quill arrives back in town, 5 years after leaving the Amish with her friend Frieda. Quill's motives are genuine however, in spite of what Ariana thinks. However, Quill quickly finds himself drawn into a situation where he learns of shocking news that will change Ariana's life forever.

Cindy Woodsmall's writing style is both intricate and emotionally intense. I found this book to be very similar in tone to her Amish Vines and Orchards series. There is a depth and richness to her characters and their interactions. I also feel like the book deals with real issues that are a part of families and the ending is definitely not a clean and tidy one. I would highly recommend this book to those that enjoy both realistic Christian fiction and Amish fiction. I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for this review; all opinions are my own.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Book Review: NIV Faithgirlz Bible

My daughter is already almost 8 and she has been asking for a fun looking Bible with pretty colors and patterns on it. The NIV Faithgirlz Bible certainly fits the bill. She was so excited when it arrived and she got the chance to begin reading it. The Bible is hardcover and very sturdy with a magnetic flap closure. The cover is decorated in shades of purple, aqua, pink, and green with owls, flowers, dot, and stripes. Some of the design is also metallic.

The Bible includes a number of features. Each book of the Bible is introduced with a page before the start of the verses. There are places within the Bible for readers to respond to what is being read ("In Your Own Words"), quizzes that ask how they would respond to a specific situation ("Bring It On!"), and explanations of interesting and difficult concepts ("Oh, I Get It!"). In addition, many of the pages include a box entitled, "Treasure This!" which highlights important verses. The text in the Bible is hot pink and purple and there are fun little graphics like flowers and swirls interspersed throughout the text. The NIV version is clear and easy to read.

I think this is a great Bible for tweens ages 8-11 or so. It's very visually appealing and the features are fun and relevant to the readers. I received this Bible from Zondervan in exchange for this review; all opinions are my own.

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