Monday, November 30, 2015

Hollow City-Inspired Outfit

And I'm back!  I had a week to enjoy my family and collect my thoughts and now we're back into our normal schedule!

Before Thanksgiving break, I reviewed Ransom Riggs' Hollow City, the second book in the Miss Peregrine series.  I love this series and have already planned to read Library of Souls over Christmas break.

Earlier this year I designed my own outfit to fit the Miss Peregrine series, but today I thought I'd share an outfit geared toward one of the characters--Fiona.  Fiona is a very minor character in this book; in fact, she's not in the book for the second half.  But I'm so intrigued by her.  She loves Hugh but they're very quiet about their admiration for each other.  She doesn't talk because of a previous trauma in life.  She's reserved but steps in when needed and obviously loves the other peculiars.  So I decided to design a contemporary outfit based off her peculiarity with nature. 

Here it is!

So again, this is an outfit I designed based off of her character--not something I think she would wear.  That's what I love about this blog--I get to take characters and represent them through current fashion.

Here are the details:
  • Since Fiona is all about nature, I found a leaf print blouse.  I love the variation in greens, and I think the color pairs nicely with the burgundy corduroy skirt.  These have a definite nature feel.
  • The shoes and accessories again bring in a feminine yet rustic look.  Tall brown boots give the outfit an outdoor feel, and the brown watch and gold leaf earrings are simply yet sweet.
What do you think?  Would YOU wear an outfit like this?

To find all the individual pieces of the outfit, check out this resources link.

Many more book reviews/outfits coming up in the next few weeks! 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

And Through the Storm...We Give Thanks

You guys, Thanksgiving couldn't have come at a better time.

I've been a little blog/YouTube silent the last few weeks with good reason.  First, life was just busy--I was in Charleston, SC for YallFest and then at an Indianapolis library conference (which was so fantastic--I received the Outstanding School Librarian Award for 2015 AND I got to interview authors Katie McGarry and Lex Thomas in a panel session).  And then everything got crazy.

Our whole family either got a 24-hour flu bug or some kind of bronchitis virus.  So we basically all took turns either on the couch or nursing each other to health.

And just when things were starting to return to normalcy, I got a very unexpected phone call from Luke.

Luke lost his job.

We didn't see it coming, and it hit us one month before Christmas.  That was a hard hit.

But you know what?  We are so thankful.

In the midst of the craziness of the last week--realizing how my salary will not cover all the bills, assuming that companies don't hire new employees during the month of Christmas, knowing that none of our money can go towards any kind of "want" right now--we are so, so blessed.

Blessed with a community that jumps in before we even think to ask.  We had all of our meals provided this past weekend from co-workers, friends, and family.  My assistant graciously gave me plenty of space in my office so I could just think.  We had a gift sent to us in the mail that totally humbled us.  We've had family tell us not to buy them Christmas presents, a co-worker pray with me in my school cafeteria, and endless hugs, prayers, and talks.

Blessed with a God who loves us so fiercely.  He's been preparing Luke's heart in the last few months for this moment--a moment when Luke will need to lead us to live sacrificially and on mission. God knew we would need Luke's strong mindset and I am so proud of how Luke has given God the glory in all this.  We have found ourselves praising God for being so able to take care of us.  We are not bitter or angry at our situation--jobs come and go, but the Lord is so so good.  We're not embarrassed that we're having to live minimally--for we are rich in His constant love.

Life is harder right now.  We're living a life of buying only necessities and avoiding expensive entertainment (yes, this librarian will not get to see Mockingjay Part 2 in the theater!).  But our family is clothed, fed, and safe in a home and so we give thanks for these provisions.

So Luke and I are taking this week to pour into each other and our family.  Luke has repeatedly told me to brace myself for what God is about to do in our lives.  His plans are good and we praise Him for walking ahead of us.

Be back next week--thank you all for being part of our community.

Monday, November 16, 2015

REVIEW--Hollow City

YOU GUYS.  I got back from Y'ALLFest yesterday and it was amazing!  I loved every single second of it!  Overall I met 38 authors and got signatures from all--that's huge!  I'll be making a video recap for you, so watch for that on my YouTube channel.

Today I'm reviewing Hollow City by Ransom Riggs, the second book in the Miss Peregrine series.  I absolutely love this series!  It's killing me that I haven't read the third book in the series yet, but I'm waiting until I'm done teaching Hollow City in an English class (I don't want to get the two confused).  So let's get more into the specifics--

  • Fantasy
  • Second book in the Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children series
The Gist:
Following the events of the first book in the series, the peculiar children leave for London with Miss Peregrine stuck in the form of a bird.  They need to find help for Miss Peregrine, themselves, the other ymbrynes, and the rest of the peculiar world.  

What I Loved:
  • You get to see the minor characters in larger roles in this book.  I loved seeing their personalities and back stories, especially Bronwyn, Enoch, Hugh, and Millard.
  • Speaking of Millard, I LOVE him!  The soft side of him really came through in this book.
  • The ending!!!!  What a shock!
  • There are crazy action scenes just full of suspense.  I kept wondering how in the world they would make it through certain scenes.
What I Didn't Love:
  • There was a slow start to the book.  My friends and I have been telling our students that you just have to "get across the water."  That's when the momentum picks up.
  • I miss that the photos in this book weren't photos that Jacob found; they were photos that just showed what Jacob was seeing in the moment.  It took away a little bit of the magic of the photographs. 
It's hard to list anything I didn't love in this book, because it really was a fun, suspenseful, crazy read! 

Have you read Library of Souls yet?  What did you think?

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Goodbye, Rebel Blue-Inspired Outfit

You guys!  Tomorrow I leave for YALL Fest!!!!  I just cannot wait for it!  I will be vlogging my trip, so stay tuned for next week to see all the details!

And if you can't go a few days without seeing me (haha!), check out my YouTube channel for some videos I'll be uploading.

Yesterday I reviewed Goodbye, Rebel Blue by Shelley Coriell.  It was such a fun read that inspires you to think beyond the typical day-to-day busyness.

Today's outfit is inspired by the protagonist, Rebel.  She likes to push the limits and sometimes admittedly jump past those limits.  She has a hard time fitting into the established life of her family and longs to be independent. 

And that is all reflected in this outfit:

I know, I know--there's practically no blue in this outfit.  But Rebel doesn't play by the typical rules, right?
  • Distressed jeans and a rock n' roll T-shirt give Rebel the edgy look.  
  • The other accessories are also edgy and not straight-from-the-mold.  High top, black-toed shoes, stud bracelets, and a fringe purse all work together to make a "rebellious" outfit.
What do you think?  Would you wear an outfit like this?!

Want to see all the specifics of the outfit?  Check it all out here

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

REVIEW--Goodbye, Rebel Blue

Happy Tuesday!  Tuesdays are officially my least favorite day of the week (which I'm not alone on and probably inspired this book).  And today it's foggy.  So a blah-looking Tuesday.  So let's review a book I loved to cheer it all up, ok?!

Today's review is on Goodbye, Rebel Blue by Shelley Coriell.  The cover is so striking (of course, I AM obsessed with all things blue).


  • Realistic fiction
  • Standalone novel
The Gist:
Rebecca (Rebel) Blue is what her nickname replies--rebellious.  She lives with her cousin, aunt, and uncle after her mom passed away and she just doesn't fit into their suburban, rule-following lifestyle.  After-school detention is no surprise for her, but it is for goody two-shoe Kennedy Green.  When Kennedy and Rebel make out bucket lists as an after-school detention assignment, Rebel doesn't take hers seriously.  But Kennedy is killed on the way home that night and Rebel finds herself completing the items on Kennedy's bucket list in her honor.

What I Loved:
  • Rebel doesn't complete Kennedy's bucket list exactly as written. She has to be creative in finishing the list (gondolas/kayaks), and I think this is a good lesson--sometimes your big dreams can be closer than you think.
  • Rebel's own bucket list is hilarious--vacuum a magic carpet?!
  • The story is fast-paced and engaging.
  • There was strong characterization here--not as fluffy as I first expected.
What I Didn't Love:
  •  A police officer hints that Kennedy's death wasn't an accident, but that's as far as that plot line goes.  I would have loved for that to be explored.
  • The story was a little predictable.
My favorite quote:
"I try to live fully and passionately in the moment without a bucket list, but maybe other people need one to get them started."

A fun read that gets you inspired to live beyond the typical day-to-day.  Four stars for me!

Don't forget to watch my YouTube channel!  I'll be back with a Rebel-inspired outfit!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

My Stylish Week

My Stylish Week is now a video!  Check it out if you'd like!


Friday, November 6, 2015

A Time To Dance-Inspired Outfit

Happy Friday!  Whew, after this week I am READY for a weekend!

Yesterday I reviewed A Time to Dance, a lovely book about a girl overcoming adversity and finding her love in dancing.  The book taught me quite a bit about Indian culture and dance, so today's outfit is inspired by the female protagonist Veda and her love of the dance bharatanatyam (look it up on Youtube; it's really cool!).

This outfit is inspired by the clothes used in bharatanatyam.  Here's what I came up with:

  • These flowing pants are very popular in bharatanatyam, so I chose a pair that wasn't too bright or patterned.  The black button-up top is similar to the shirts seen on the male dancers.
  • The black flats are simple yet a definite part of the outfit.
  • Bubble bracelets and anklets are very popular in the dance, so I chose a group of bracelets that are similar yet still chic.
  • Evil eye earrings ward off bad spirits--there's much symbolism behind them.
So what do you think?  Do you see the resemblance?

Want to see details about this outfit?  Get all the specific here!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

REVIEW: A Time to Dance

Time for another review!  I read this book back over the summer, but I'm finally cranking out a review for it (isn't it crazy how life can just put things on the back burner?!).  Today's review is on A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman.

  • Realistic fiction/Multicultural
  • Standalone novel 
The Gist: 
Veda is a dance prodigy in India and defines herself by her dance ability.  After being elated at winning a competition, she is in an awful accident and loses a leg.  Veda must now learn to adjust to her new life and learn how to dance all over again.

What I Loved:
  • This book showed me a side of a culture that I had never seen before.  I felt like I was learning as I was reading.
  • Veda's feelings for her therapist (and his lack of feelings in return) was very real.  I've seen this happen in school settings before and found this representation to be spot-on.
  • This book wasn't just about preparing for a competition; it was about learning to readjust your life and loving something so important to you.
  • I loved Veda's grandmother.  A great role model in a fictional character! 

 What I Didn't Love:
  • As much as I enjoyed learning, there was a LOT to take in with this book.  I did have to do some research (especially on bharatanatyam) to make sure I was following the story correctly.
  • Veda's recovery seemed REALLY fast.  From reading Josh Bleill's nonfiction book One Step at a Time, I learned a lot about recovery from losing a body part.  I think Veda should have had more recovery time before dancing so soon.
My favorite quote:
"I love that he's such a gentleman.  I hate that he's such a gentleman."

A fairly enjoyable read for me, but one that I had to focus on in order to fully follow.  Three stars from me!

I'll have an outfit for Veda this week so come back to check it out!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

My Stylish Week

This will be the last "normal" post for My Stylish Week, because starting next week I'm bringing you VIDEO!  Yes, I love watching vlogs and it has inspired me to make my own, so from here on out you'll get to watch my week unfold!

Our church is about 35-40 minutes away from our house, so we have started a tradition of stopping at restaurants in the city on our way home.  Last week we ate Bazbeaux's Pizza...yum!

 We were tempted to order "The Luke."

We also went to Zoo Boo, a Halloween-themed event at the Indianapolis Zoo.  We joined my sister and her two littles, too.  I love my little Buzz Lightyear's face in this photo!  Baymax was the perfect costume for my older son and I heard MANY kids say, "Look, Mom!  Baymax!"  I think he stood a little prouder because of that.

Our Buzz was obsessed with the tigers.

 Christmas catalogs started coming in last week and this guy was so excited to circle his toy wish list.
So of course his little brother joined in, too.  He had no idea that he was actually circling bedspreads and mixers rather than toys.

 The weather cooled down a bit so I got to wear my new coat!

What made your week stylish?

Monday, November 2, 2015

Made You Up-Inspired Outfit

I really loved the characters in Made You Up.  There was no love triangle (thank you, Francesca Zappia!), the characters were realistic, yet there was depth to each individual.  I could've designed an outfit for any of the book's characters, so I decided to just stick with Alex, the protagonist.  She's smart yet a bit on the outskirts, and I wanted both those traits to be featured in the outfit.  Here's what I created:

  • I picked bold red pants because Alex's hair is this bright red.  Not orange or ginger--RED.  Colored pants are fun to add in a wardrobe.
  • The T-shirt is a patent shirt.  With Alex and Miles always sharing random historical facts together, it seemed natural for Alex to wear a nerdy shirt like this.
  • The black cardigan keeps Alex from being the center of attention and keep her comfy.  I think she would have wanted to wear something baggy--something she could "hide" in.
  • I've mentioned before that author Francesca Zappia wore Converse shoes for us, so I just automatically think of Alex as wearing them, too.  A simple black pair.
  • I don't think Alex would wear a lot of jewelry, just basics like this watch.
So what do you think?  Would you wear something like this?  Does it fit Alex?

Don't forget to check out my YouTube channel--I posted an October Wrap-Up video today!