Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Books I'm Loving Lately

I'm a reader. Always have been and always will be.

I go through phases, though, where either I read voraciously or not at all.

I'm in total book consumption mode now.

Here are a few books that I'm loving lately.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

I'm a huge fan of Holocaust historical fiction/biographies. I was completely in awe of The Diary of Anne Frank and Night by Elie Wiesel is one of my most favorite books ever. The Book Thief did not disappoint. Here's the description from Amazon:

The extraordinary #1 New York Times bestseller that is now a major motion picture, Markus Zusak's unforgettable story is about the ability of books to feed the soul.

It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.

Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement. 

In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak, author of I Am the Messenger, has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time.

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Reminiscent of Eleanor and Park & The Fault in Our Stars, this is truly a beautiful book. It started out a little slow for me, but by the last page, I had to close it and wait awhile because I did not want it to end. Description via Amazon:

Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.
Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.
When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.
This is an intense, gripping novel perfect for fans of Gayle Forman, Jay Asher, Rainbow Rowell, John Green, and Jenny Downham from a talented new voice in YA, Jennifer Niven.

Three Little Words: A Memoir by Ashley Rhodes-Courter

I'm only about 10 pages into this one, but I'm hooked already. 

An inspiring true story of the tumultuous nine years Ashley Rhodes-Courter spent in the foster care system, and how she triumphed over painful memories and real-life horrors to ultimately find her own voice.

"Sunshine, you're my baby and I'm your only mother. You must mind the one taking care of you, but she's not your mama." Ashley Rhodes-Courter spent nine years of her life in fourteen different foster homes, living by those words. As her mother spirals out of control, Ashley is left clinging to an unpredictable, dissolving relationship, all the while getting pulled deeper and deeper into the foster care system.

Painful memories of being taken away from her home quickly become consumed by real-life horrors, where Ashley is juggled between caseworkers, shuffled from school to school, and forced to endure manipulative, humiliating treatment from a very abusive foster family. In this inspiring, unforgettable memoir, Ashley finds the courage to succeed - and in doing so, discovers the power of her own voice.

What other books should I add to my wish-list? What are you reading now?

Monday, February 16, 2015

Stitch Fix #8: Stripes, Leopard, and Embroidery, oh my!

Stitch Fix Number #8 was such a fun one! 

My new stylist, Kirby, really seems to grasp my style oh, and she's from Austin, too!

Here's what I received:

Up first is the Elvina Embroidery Detail Pocket Front Top by Papermoon {$44}

Elvina Embroidery Detail Pocket Front Top by Papermoon StitchFix $44

Pocket Detail of the Elvina Embroidery Detail Pocket Front Top by Papermoon StitchFix

This is such a fun little light-weight casual top that I can see myself wearing all year long. It's warm enough to be layered over a cami during the winter months and light-weight enough to wear during Spring/Summer paired with shorts and/or over a swimsuit. And that pocket detail? Swoon.

{THML Kahlo Knit Top - $68}
THML Kahlo Knit Top StitchFix

Embroidery Detail of THML Kahlo Knit Top StitchFix

This a stretchy knit top with a funky little hem along the bottom. I love that pop of orange embroidery, but this wasn't the perfect fit for me. It was a little tight along the bust and a little too flowy in all of the other places. 

{Daniel Rainn Adley Crochet Trim Blouse - $68}
Daniel Rainn Adley Crochet Trim Blouse StitchFix

I immediately loved this one because of that crochet trim. I'm not a huge fan of navy (I have received a ton of it lately), but this blouse was cute enough to overlook that. It's lightweight, loose-fitting, and would be so easily dressed up or down. I liked it best with skinny jeans and flats, but it'd be cute with white capris or shorts, too! This one was a little big on me in the shoulders, so it ultimately went back, but I did wrestle with that decision for a few days. 

{Ellison Davis Leopard Print Button-Up Cardigan -- $68}
Ellison Davis Leopard Print Button-Up Cardigan StitchFix

Huge fan of leopard here, although after trying this on, I've realized I'm not quite brave enough to wear this much of it. I prefer it in small pops or maybe it's just that this print seemed so big (does that even make sense?) compared to other leopard print I own. I don't know. I think this would look so good with a chambray top and white jeans. 

{Fun2Fun Sonoma Striped Sleeveless Top -- $38}
Fun2Fun Sonoma Striped Sleeveless Top StitchFix

I know I'm likely in the minority on this, but I love me some polyester tops. The fit my casual, comfy style perfectly. This one was no exception. The vneck + orange + high-low style won me over completely. I liked this untucked with a pair of dark skinny jeans and also tucked in with a pair of distressed cut-off shorts. Totally versatile. And that price point? Oh, yes.

Final Thoughts: 
I still believe that StitchFix is the very best way to shop. 
It couldn't be more convenient or fun! It's seriously like Christmas when that little box shows up. Ready to give it a shot? Simply sign up, fill out your style profile, link up your Pinterest board (here's mine)so your stylist can get an idea of what you like, and schedule your first Fix. You'll be charged $20, but that amount is deducted from whatever it is you decide to keep. They offer a 25% discount if you decide to keep all 5 pieces. Free shipping both ways and you have 3 days to try on everything in the comfort of your own home. It doesn't get any better than that, promise!

The link used in this post is my unique referral code. You definitely don't have to use it, but I'd be incredibly grateful if you did! Once you sign up, you'll receive your own code, too. Just so we're clear, I was not compensated in any way for this post and all opinions are my own.