Tuesday, October 29, 2013

What the What Wednesday

Fear not, people of the internet. I'm still alive, just lazy busy. Between work, homeschool, and hockey I've hardly a spare moment these days. But I thought I'd pop in today and share a few WIWW pictures. Nothing special, nothing new, but it's the best I've managed lately!
 Sweater and tee: Old Navy
Jeans and flats: Target
Necklace: Estate Sale

 Tee, jeans, flats: Target
Scarf: Old Navy

Tee, flats: Target
Jeans: Gap
Scarf: Lands End

I'm linking up at The Pleated Poppy!
pleated poppy

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

On Getting the Perfect Family Photo

Last weekend, I had the brilliant idea to take my own family photos. I knew we would have a few free hours on Saturday afternoon, the weather looked like it would cooperate, and there was still enough leaves left on the trees that the fall colors would make a great back drop.
Or so I thought.

My first step was to ransack my closet, and then Caitlin's. Together, we picked out a few cute, coordinating outfits and then moved on to the boys. We hit our first roadblock in Hunter's closet. Turns out he was sorely lacking in non-graphic shirts. Nothing a quick trip to Target couldn't fix, though. And I needed to buy a tripod anyway, so once those were both taken care of, we were good to go.
Again. So I thought.

Saturday was supposed to be overcast and cool. It wasn't. 
It was freezing. And sleeting. We managed to get dressed and ready, but by the time we were all set to go, it was snowing in earnest. I was starting to feel like Clark Griswold when his family wants to give up on their vacation. I had come this far. There was no turning back. It was a QUEST!

{Language warning! Clark drops the f-bomb repeatedly in this scene.}

I give you the results of my quest:
Caitlin got rain in her eyes...
And we all got frostbite.

Oh well. If nothing else, we'll have an interesting Christmas card this year!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Fall Reads

Hello, friends! It's been a while since I've posted... apparently I've spent too much time cozied up under a blanket with a good book, and not enough time blogging. But if you've read any of these books, you might understand why. I stumbled into a collection of winners over the last few weeks and really enjoyed them all.
{All images from goodreads

Rise and Shine, by Anna Quindlen, is the story of two sisters living very different lives in New York City. The elder sister is the wealthy and glamorous host of a morning news show. The younger is a hard-working social worker in a poverty-ridden neighborhood. They have a long-standing habit of falling into the typical older-sibling-caretaker and younger-sister-dependant dynamic. The sisters' close relationship is tested, and ultimately strengthened, however when their comfortable roles are shattered due to a life changing event. New York City, and Manhattan in particular, was almost a character in itself in this book. For someone who has yet to visit the Big Apple, it was fun to step into that world in the pages of this book. 

Anita Shreve's The Weight of Water was a dark, intense read. It simultaneously follows the stories of two characters- Jean a modern-day photojournalist, and Maren, a 19th century Norwegian immigrant. In the turbulent waters off the coast of a New England island, Jean is documenting the scene of a grizzly double murder that happened long ago. During her research, she discovers a cache of papers written by Maren, the sole-survivor of the murders. Shreve shifts from one woman's story to the other, which can feel abrupt, but it doesn't detract from the emotional journey to the edge that both women take. This was a suspenseful story, which explored the intertwined themes of love, loneliness, jealousy, and passion. I'm looking forward to watching the movie based on this book. It will be interesting to see how they adapt the complex story-lines to film.

Bring Up the Bodies is the sequel to Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall, which I really liked. But I loved Bring Up the Bodies. Thomas Cromwell is a historical figure I knew little about prior to reading these books; due to his obscure birth he has remained a bit of an enigma to historians. Mantel brings him to life in with a compelling and complex portrayal. Despite the fact that I know how his story ends {he shares the fate of so many others at Henry VIII's court}, I cannot wait to read the third installment in this trilogy.

Finally, I had to include one book from my favorite genre, the cozy mystery. Maisie Dobbs, by Jacqueline Winspear, follows a young woman of the same name in post WWI London. Maisie is a well-educated investigator and psychologist, but she started out as a servant. Think Downton Abbey meets Sherlcock Holmes. Maisie is clever, resourceful, and an extremely likable character. I enjoyed reading this, the first of her adventures, and look forward to reading more. 

I'm off to the library today to pick up a few more books. Hopefully I won't be so absorbed in them that I neglect all else! I'm not making any promises, though. 
Happy Reading!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

WIWW: September Edition

September was pretty hit and miss for both weather and "What I Wore" pictures. Some days were roasting hot, others were nice and cool. Some days I remembered to take pictures, most days I didn't. Even when I did remember, it was nothing too exciting and certainly nothing new. And I think my iPhone camera is on the fritz, so sorry for the grainy, weird colored photos.  I'm linking up with Lindsey, of course. 
pleated poppy
 Simple and similar outfits for warm days. 
Tees, carpis on right, and leopard flats: Target
Brown cardi: Banana Republic
White cardi: Old Navy
Capris on left: Silver
Jeweled sandals: gift from my step-mom {thanks, Vicki!}

 More warm-day-wearings.
Dresses and purple infinity scarf: {the now defunct} Shade Clothing
Leopard scarf: Old Navy
Both pairs of shoes: Target

 Church outfit. I love the color of this sweater and the shoes are a perfect match, though they look black here. They are really a pretty color, somewhere between plum and garnet.
Everything but the shoes: Banana Republic
Shoes: Target

 The return of turtleneck weather! Woo-hoo!
Sweater: Lands End
Jeans: NYDJ

 My Junk Bonanza outfit.
Cardi: Target
Boots: Macy's 
Scarf: Old Navy

My friends Katie, Jen, and I go to this huge, fun junk market every year and we always have a blast, not only picking out antiques at the market, but planning the perfect shopping outfits. We obviously have similar {fabulous} taste, as we all showed up this year with bright scarves and funky cross-body bags. You know what they say about great minds...
Do you and your friends have similar taste too?

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A 31 Days Fail

Happy October!
 Like Anne, I love Octobers. Fresh fall air, gorgeous leaves, and pumpkins galore: it's just glorious. Last October, I took part in Nester's 31 Days series. My 31 Days of Comfort Food was a fun experience, but kind of stressful. However, I was all set to go ahead with another 31 Days this year. I wanted it to be simpler, but still fun and relevant. About a month ago, I decided on a Pinterest based series and even made up a button. I had plans to write and schedule my posts ahead of time... but that did not even come closes to happening! In fact, I kind of forgot about it till last night, when I realized what day it was. So I uploaded my button and prepared to write a quick Day 1 post. 
Total fail.
I don't know what happened, but my cute button looks like crap when I uploaded it. It's bright and clear on my desktop. 
I decided it was a sign. I knew that I would be struggling to post every day and in all honesty, it probably wouldn't have happened. So no 31 Days for me this year~ I know my limits and this was not meant to be. Turns out, my idea was not all that original anyway, as several other bloggers are doing something similar. Instead, I will enjoy reading everyone else's posts while I indulge in a warm mug of spiced apple cider. All of the fun, and none of the pressure.
Are you taking part in 31 Days?