Monday, August 31, 2015

Inhuman-Inspired Outfit

If you read my review of Inhuman by Kat Falls, you know I loved it.  Straight up loved it.  I'm making my Library Media students read it this semester because I want someone with me about it! 

Today's outfit is obviously inspired by that book and focuses on the animal that eventually takes over a person.  So it's an outfit with a hint of animal.  *And let's just pause for a second--how scary would it be to have a virus/animal slowly take over your body?!

I chose a tiger because I loved the Tiger-Man in the book...unpredictable, vicious, yet well-spoken.  I wanted to design something that represented the danger yet fascination of a tiger.  And here's what I designed:

Chic, right?
  • I think rompers are pretty eye-catching because not everyone can pull them off.  Black rompers are elegant and sophisticated, yet casual at the same time.  You could wear them to a dinner party or a movie night.
  • The black sandals remind me of being outside (again, that animal trait).  There's enough detail on the sandal to keep the outfit from being too casual.
  • The gold necklace and gold spike earrings are so beautiful!  Draw your eye to them for sure.  A little edgy and elegant.
  • I couldn't resist the tiger bracelet.  It's not overwhelming "tiger" while still giving a punch of pattern.
What do you think?  I would totally wear this outfit!  How about you?

To see the outfit details, click here.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

My Stylish Week

Another week and another month has gone by!  I can't believe I've been back at school for a month! Here's what was stylish and special about this week:

Recently we started attending a new church and fortunately the transition was easy for the boys.  They've been all smiles every time we pick them up from class!

I was honored last week to present at CYPD, a library conference targeting librarians who work with children and teens.  I presented on how to connect students with books when you've just run out of ideas.  I had a full house, GREAT questions, and lovely feedback.  It rejuvenated me for a new week and I hope it did for everyone else, too!

Our oldest loves the movie Big Hero 6, but since it's not a super new movie, finding a Baymax toy proved to be a challenge.  But we did find one (thank you, FYE!) and he even joined us for our dinner prayer.

Luke painted our garage floor this week.  I know it's kind of hard to see in the photo, but it's a cream color with speckles. Next up will be trim!

Got to take a LUSH bath this week with this bubble bar.  It was delightful.



My older sis Alison came in to town this week from Washington, DC and it was fun to visit and celebrate her and Lauren's daughters' birthdays.  Here we are on a family walk together.  Too bad you can't see Alison's pregnant belly--it's so cute!

 So what made your week stylish?

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Chris Pratt Booktag

Chris Pratt is all the rage right now (Jurassic World, anyone?) so I had to jump on board and do the Chris Pratt Booktag video.  Check it out!


Enjoy!


Monday, August 24, 2015

REVIEW--Inhuman

You guys.  If you loved The Hunger Games or Divergent, you HAVE to read this book.  I just randomly picked it up for a teacher friend and he came back raving about it.  And then I read it.  And oh my word I LOVED it!

So let me tell you why!

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  • Book one in the Fetch series
  • Dystopian
The Gist:
Lane lives in a futuristic America that has been overtaken by a really bad virus.  Like if you get bit by an animal and get the virus, you eventually turn into that animal.  So a wall has been built to protect the west side of the country from the eastern, mutated side.  And Lane feels completely safe on her west side.  Until, that is, she is taken into custody and told that her ever-careful father is actually a Fetch, someone who illegally crosses the border to transfer materials.  To save herself and her father, Lane must complete his final Fetch task...but how will a Western girl ever survive The Savage Zone in the East?

What I Loved:
  • Everson!  Rafe!  I love them both!  I just don't know who I want Lane to choose.
  • The cliffhanger ending with Rafe--oh my goodness!!!!  What will happen to him?!
  • This book is dystopian, yes, but it is SO UNIQUE compared to all the others out right now.  No factions/districts/etc.
  • The ending is SO EXCITING.  I couldn't stop reading the final few chapters.
  • The Tiger-Man, the lionesses--I loved their unpredictability (as is the case with animals).
  • The villains were just so so good.
What I Didn't Love:
  • In Lane's second interaction with the Tiger-Man, I felt like Rafe and Everson should've known better than to let her go outside alone.  I saw that coming a mile away.
  • The cover.  It could be so much more.
I absolutely adored this book and am dying for Kat Falls to finish the sequel!  Supposedly it's supposed to be published in 2015, but Goodreads doesn't even have a title for it.  I'm dying!


I said recently in my MidYear Book Freakout video that Extraordinary Means is my favorite read of the year, but this book might just tie it.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

My Stylish Week

Time for another Stylish Week post!  I just love these posts!

Have you tried these yogurts?  I loved them this week.  They were the perfect pick-me-up in the afternoon when I needed some chocolate (but didn't want to actually eat a chocolate bar).  Luke didn't really care for these, which meant more for me!  The mint chocolate was absolutely delish, as was the banana chocolate.

One evening this week we took the boys to meet some friends and kick a soccer ball around.  Our oldest will be playing in a soccer league in September, so we were trying to warm him up and teach him the basics (like "No, don't pick up the ball!"  Or "if you're the goalie you can move to try to stop the ball!").  This little guy, though, had fun just playing in the grass:


The net was a big hit!

A package I have been SO EXCITED about came this week...this will definitely be in my August Favorites video at the end of the month (yep, I'm holding you in suspense until then!).


My friend Haylie braided my hair, which led to me making this video.  I got over 800 views in 24 hours which had me and Luke in hysterics!
video

I don't wear a lot of school spirit T-shirts, because I'm just so picky on my wardrobe.  But when my friend Blaine designed these T-shirts for the Cross Country team, I was sold.  They help celebrate the 30th anniversary of Back to the Future.



Next year is Top Gun...oh yes.

Friday night we were invited to "Symphony on the Prairie," an Indianapolis Symphony event at Conner Prairie (a historical, outdoor museum).  We went with some of Luke's co-workers.  It was jazz night and centered on Frank Sinatra.  Beautiful weather and such a nice night!

I made baked brie for our table to share (and put an airplane on top to represent Luke's aviation department).

Recipe is here.

Luke and I even danced--it was so fun!  Dancing to jazz under the moonlight!


And that sums up the stylish part of my week!  What made your week stylish?

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Throne of Glass-Inspired Outfit

Psst...I posted a YouTube video today.  Did you see it?  It's an outfit inspired by Josh Sundquist's book We Should Hang Out Sometime.  Check it out if you haven't!


But I'm also giving you ANOTHER outfit today!  This one is inspired by Celaena from Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas.  Celaena is one kick-butt character.  She's an assassin who can take down an opponent pretty quickly.  She's also in a love triangle (and I LOVE both guys!) which makes her softer side come out a bit, too.

So here's what I designed for a strong, fearsome woman who might also want to show off her girly side:

Doesn't this look like a tough yet girly girl?
  • Black skinny pants, a black-and-white striped shirt, and an army green jacket are the perfect combination for looking "tough cute."  The colors aren't girly but they flow together well (and stripes are really in right now!).
  • Black slip-on shoes were chosen because they're flexible and comfortable--exactly what an assassin needs, right?
  • A spiked bracelet gives the look an edgy feel, as do the ear jackets.  Ear jackets are very trendy right now and I love them!  Although I don't own any yet...sigh.
So what do you think?  Does it fit Celaena?

Want to see how to buy this outfit?  Check all the details here.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

REVIEW--Throne of Glass

It's time for another review!  I'm a little behind on the Throne of Glass bandwagon, but nevertheless I read the first in the series back in June.  This series is SO popular and everyone is anticipating Sarah J. Maas's newest book (coming out in September, I believe).  So let's jump right in!

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  • First in the Throne of Glass series
  • Fantasy
Gist:
Celaena is an assassin--a REALLY good assassin.  But after being forced to work in a labor camp for her crimes, she has the chance to free herself.  She will compete against 23 other killers, thieves, and warriors so that the last standing can serve as the king's champion.  Celaena definitely needs to win in order to find her freedom.
But this is no easy competition, and soon Celaena's competitors start getting murdered.  And if Celaena doesn't discover what's happening, she is likely to be the next victim.

What I Loved
  • This book could easily have been straight-up dystopian, but it has fantasy all over it.  That kept it unexpected and exciting!
  • Celaena's characterization was very well-done--she's a kick butt assassin but still has vulnerabilities, like her fear of the king.
  • The love triangle in this book is so good!  I love both Chaol AND Dorian...I don't know which one Celaena should choose!
  • I was definitely in suspense as to where this book was headed.  I couldn't figure out where it was going nevertheless how it would end.   
 What I Didn't Love:
  • This book was long.  It took me a long time to read...a lot of words.
  • I didn't really get to know many of the other competitors, so that part fell a little flat for me.
  • I got a little confused as to what was happening in the fantasy part of the book.  Especially at the end, I just wasn't following what the spiritual world was doing.
  • The cover is too futuristic to me.  She looks even a little Manga-ish on the cover.
  • And the title...I always have to think to myself "Throne of Glass not Game of Thrones."  Gets me every time.
I hate to say it, but I think this book was a 3/5 for me.  So many people absolutely rave about the series, but maybe it's because I'm not completely into the fey world...?


But I'll still be designing and outfit inspired by Celaena!  Check back for that soon!

REVIEW and GIVEAWAY--We Should Hang Out Sometime

It's Video Day!  Check out my review of Josh Sundquist's book We Should Hang Out Sometime.  And I'm giving away an ARC of the book!  Watch the video and subscribe to my channel!





Monday, August 17, 2015

The Sound of Letting Go-Inspired Outfit

I love this outfit.  I would wear this outfit today.  It's cute and fun but definitely looks more put together than just jeans and a t-shirt.  And that's just the type of outfit that I like--comfortable, cute, and easy to throw together!

In The Sound of Letting Go, Daisy is a trumpet player and finds an escape when she plays.  An escape from her autistic brother, an escape from her fighting parents, and an escape from her confusion on her own identity.  So as I designed an outfit for her, I wanted to design something trendy for a high school students while expressing her love of music.  And here's what we have:


  • The T-shirt is adorable--it's a throw to the movie Amadeus and is probably a favorite of many orchestra fans.  Pairing it with a short black skirt somehow makes a T-shirt even cuter and dresses it up immediately.
  • The burgundy cardigan adds some color and gives an extra layer to the outfit.
  • These Keds are adorable and keeps the look casual.
  • A wrap bracelet and pearl stud earrings are easy accessories that won't be in Daisy's way as she plays the trumpet.
I love the mix of the casual and the dressy.  Definitely an adorable look for school!

Interested in any of these pieces?  Check them out here.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

My Stylish Week

The third week of a new school year is always the time to REALLY establish our routine.  The "honeymoon" phase is over and we're all getting a little more tired.

So this week I made these breakfast burritos on Sunday and made enough to last for each of our weekday breakfasts.  This made our morning breakfast time so easy and quick...we just heated up a burrito and headed out the door!

This was one of our favorite dinners this week--shrimp pasta made in a foil package (which made cleaning super easy!).  I think next time I'll double the sauce recipe, but this was a win for the family!


We had a first for our family this week--a trip to the movie theater!  We took the boys to see Home at the dollar theater.  We were surprised when we showed up for the 3D movie, but the boys did great!  They looked adorable in their 3D glasses!  Our oldest sat mesmerized for the whole movie, while Luke and the younger one played in the arcade for the second half.


Monday was one of the best days I've had in awhile--work was fun, our morning went smoothly, and the boys played perfectly together.  And I was surprised when Luke was able to have lunch with me on his way to a work meeting.  We ate outside together on a picnic table.  What a handsome lunch date!

We picked up this really cool picnic table at Menards for our back deck.  Patio furniture was on clearance and we were able to get the display table and therefore not have to assemble anything!  I love the hexagon shape of the table--it fits six comfortably but can easily squeeze in extra children.  My dad pointed out that everyone can get up from the table without forcing anyone else to move--a nice perk!  The perfect addition for our backyard!


Our youngest has become obsessed with coloring lately (he calls it "harring!").  This is how I found him in the kitchen this week while I was making dinner.  He will color anywhere in any position.


And totally unplanned this week was Luke and little boy dressed alike for work/school.  How cute are they?!


Yesterday our niece celebrated her eighth birthday so we took the 3-hour trip to her party.  Our boys love music so we had fun singing along to the Disney Pandora station.  We had to listen to this song multiple times so the boys could sing along.

What made your week stylish?

Friday, August 14, 2015

Outfit Inspiration--Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

You guys.  I am obsessed with Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.  I'm reading the sequel, Hollow City, right now and it is a-mazing!  And since the third book in the series, Library of Souls, is coming out next month (!!!!), I thought it would be fun to design an outfit reminiscent of the books.

The covers of these books draw you in since they use actual photography.  I love the black and white, old school, creepy feel of them.

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Aren't they creepy?  And cool?

So the books take place in both present day and the 1940s...so I designed an outfit to go along with the black and white 1940s.


This skirt is perfect for these book covers!  It's a mix of black, gray, and white.
I paired it with a graphic tee that says "Forever After."  I think that phrase perfectly describes Jacob's feelings for Emma.

These shoes are so adorable!  They totally have a 1940s vibe.
A silver bangle cuff completes the look.

I added some black tights (a 1940s lady wouldn't have shown bare legs, right?).

This outfit made me happy.

What do you think?

Skirt--Ann Taylor
Tee--Old Navy
Shoes--DSW (brand XAppeal)
Bangle--gift

Thursday, August 13, 2015

REVIEW--The Sound of Letting Go

Have you been checking out my YouTube channel?  I LOVE posting videos about fashion and book-related topics, so make sure you check it out and subscribe!  Here are a few of the latest videos in case you've missed them:

Probably my favorite video I've made yet--the Inside Out tag!

Get to know me a little bit through the New to Booktube tag!

Today I'm reviewing The Sound of Letting Go by Stasia Ward Kehoe.  So let's jump right in!

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  • Standalone novel
  • Realistic fiction / Novel in verse
Gist:
Daisy has always been the easy child, the good child.  Her younger brother is autistic and very high on the spectrum, meaning he can't handle attending public school, changes in his routine, or anything unexpected.  So Daisy never has friends over to the house for fear that her brother will have an outburst.  She never has a boy over.  She drowns herself in her jazz music.  And it's just so difficult.  But even more difficult is when her parents decide to send her brother away to an institution.  And the life that Daisy has created for herself suddenly changes and she just doesn't know how she will carry on without her brother and "normal" routine.

What I Loved:
  • I LOVE that this is a novel-in-verse, because the subject matter is a little heavy.  Having it in verse made it a little easier to read and just less threatening in that way.
  • This book just gets it.  I work with autistic students and I see siblings of autistic students.  Kehoe totally captures the emotions and struggles of having autism be a part of a family.  Especially the parent dynamics that constantly fluctuate.
  • I liked how Daisy used music as both an escape but also a way of expressing herself.  That's definitely a healthy way of doing things.
What I Didn't Love:
  • There's a love triangle here (which is fun to read!) but I didn't like how Daisy was changing herself for bad-boy Dave.  She dressed differently, acted differently--not so much a healthy message.  Additionally, I had a hard time believing that she wouldn't have any friends over because of her brother.  True friends are able to look past situations like that and love in spite of it.
Overall a really enjoyable read and one that I will definitely be passing on to others.  Four stars!





An outfit for Daisy coming tomorrow--AND an outfit for Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

OOTD--Stripes

Happy Tuesday!  Tuesday is usually the most tiresome day of the week for me (even more than Monday!) so I thought I'd share an outfit today to lighten up the day!

I wore this outfit a few weeks ago to my first "teacher day" at work, basically the day when the teachers have meetings to start off the school year.  It's one of the only days of the year when we're allowed to wear jeans without wearing school colors...woohoo!

I bought this T-shirt during the Nordstrom anniversary sale because it was SUCH a great steal.  And I can always use staple tees (especially stripes!) in my wardrobe.

 The great thing about a basic tee is that it can be dressed up or down with your accessories.  I chose to pair this shirt with a bright pink agate necklace from Lauren Elizabeth. 
*If you look closely, you'll see my boys' chalk artwork on our porch!  #mommylife

 I've been all about cuffing my jeans right now.  Bringing back the 80s!

Throwing my hair up in a top bun kept the look casual while wedge heels made this look more put-together.  Yes, casual AND put-together!

Shirt--Nordstrom
Jeans--Tommy Hilfiger
Necklace--Lauren Elizabeth
Wedge heels (old)--DSW
White stud earrings--Kate Spade

Sunday, August 9, 2015

My Stylish Week

What a busy, fun, change-filled week!  With our first full week of school, we got our family back into a routine this week and focused on a new year.  The boys adapted well (a little grumpy in the morning with the new wake-up time) and I was only slightly exhausted by Friday.

Take a look at what made my week stylish!

We had a really great food week in our house.  I spent extra care meal-planning because I wanted to make sure we were getting all the fuel we needed!  This above all came from The Pioneer Woman--it's her pan-fried pork chop, au gratin potatoes, and oven-roasted asparagus (pssst...don't tell my Crossfit trainers!).  

And this dinner was totally satisfying and perfect for next-day leftovers!  It's a sausage and roasted vegetables with penne--yum!

This is DEFINITELY going to be a staple lunch for us (I already made it again for this week!).  It's a tortellini salad with tomatoes, mozzarella, pesto, and olives.  Made enough for me and Luke to eat it twice for lunch!

This little guy started preschool this week.  The sign is hard to read--it says that he wants to be a fireman--but I just had to share this photo because he said this was his "fireman face."  He LOVED preschool and even got to feed the fish on Friday, which is what he was DYING to do.

I bought this LUSH tunic in two colors (white and olive) during the Nordstrom Anniversary sale.  A perfect purchase!  This tunic is long enough to cover my butt and a blank slate for easy styling.  Here I'm wearing the white with black skinny pants, the bomb.com leopard heels, and layered necklaces.

I wore the olive on Friday with jeans (we can wear jeans on Friday if we wear school colors and my school colors are green and gold) with my favorite $11 shoe purchase ever--tan sandal heels.

The shoes are amazing.

And speaking of fashion, one of my students wore this shirt this week and I loved it.  Nerdy cool, which is what I'm all about.  He said he got it from JC Penney (didn't find the exact shirt on their site).

After living in our house for 11 months and allowing the neighbors to watch us eat dinner every night (not to mention constantly fighting the setting sun), we FINALLY bought and installed new blinds.  I love them!

And we had this visitor this week!  Not sure if it's a moth, butterfly...male, female...but it stuck around for hours on our garage.

What made your week stylish?!