Friday, December 21, 2012

Best Books of 2012

Well with only a few days left in 2012 I'm going to go ahead and wrap up my reading list. I have read 95 books this past year. My goal was to shoot for 100, but I didn't quite make it. I blame that on moving into a new house and the fact that one of the books I read was Gone With The Wind (which is over 1,000 pages!).

I have compiled a list of my favorite books that I've read this year in no particular order. They're not necessarily new books that came out this year, just my favorite that I happened to be reading.

1. Same Kind of Different As Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore: This true story really struck a chord with me and I know a lot of other readers as well. It tells the story of a wealthy art dealer and a homeless man and how their lives intersect. A must-read!

2. The Racketeer by John Grisham: While I always enjoy John Grisham's books, they're not usually one of my favorites (except for The Firm! One of my favorite books ever). The Racketeer is about a man in prison who has information about a murder. In exchange for this information, he is given freedom. There are many twists and turns that will make you want to keep reading.

3. Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell: I have always loved this movie, but had never read the book. I think the size of it intimidated me a little. It is one of my all-time favorite books now. Such a beautiful, bitter-sweet story. So glad I stuck with it and read the whole thing.

4. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn: This book has been everywhere! Just about anyone who likes to read has read it, I think. Nevertheless, all the hype is true. It is a fantastic book....especially if you like mystery thrillers. It tells the story of a man who wakes up on his fifth wedding anniversary to find his wife has disappeared. The story will keep you guessing all the way through and make you wonder what will happen next.

5. My Life in France by Julia Child: This book tells the true story of Julia Child moving to France and how it all started. She is a very good story-teller and I loved all the imagery she describes from France. And all the delicious food!

6. Before I Go To Sleep by S. J. Watson: Another fantastic thriller! This story is told from the point of view of Christine, a woman who wakes up everyday and can't remember anything. She starts piecing some things together though and realizes that she may be trusting the wrong people.

7. The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey: A cozy book that reminds me of "A Little Princess". Gemma is an orphan and this story follows her from childhood into adulthood. It's kind of a sad story that makes you root for Gemma the whole way through.

8. Creative Counterpart by Linda Dillow: This is more of a bible-study/self-help book. I really enjoyed it! Great book to read for any married woman. Makes you think about your marriage in a different light and gives good ideas.

9. Left Neglected by Lisa Genova: This was another popular book in the blogger world. And also for a good reason! The main character of the book gets into a car accident and suffers a brain injury that affects everything on her left side, making even the smallest tasks difficult. Genova also wrote Still Alice, which I've read and enjoyed and Love Anthony, which I haven't read yet, but plan to.

10. Kisses From Katie by Katie Davis: I purchased this for my mom last year for Christmas so it has been a long time since I've read it. It's one of those that I could definitely read again. It is an amazing true story about a young girl from Nashville who moves to Africa and adopts 13 children! She has such a heart for the Lord. A very inspiring story!

11. A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg:  My mom and I are suckers for true stories that include recipes in them. This is one of the best ones of those that I've read. Wizenberg shares stories and recipes from her life. A really good book!

12. One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp: A beautifully written book that forces you to look at the little things in life and be thankful in all situations. It's difficult at first to get used to her style of writing, but a definite must-read.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Finally moved in!!

We got all moved in on Saturday! So excited to be in our new house. I'll have to take pictures once everything gets put in its place. I'm also excited that I finally have some new clothes back that were in storage like this necklace and my boots. Have a happy Monday :)

Button-up: Target
Vest: Kohls
Pants: LC by Lauren Conrad from Kohls
Boots: JCPenney

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Fake glasses

What do we think of the glasses? Not sure I love them but it's fun to try something different! 

Top: borrowed from mom (J. Crew Factory)
Scarf: Charlotte Russe
Pants: LC by Lauren Conrad from Kohls

Monday, December 10, 2012

Tis the season for sparkle

I borrowed this cute sparkle top from my mom. I am SO ready to move and get the rest of my winter clothes out of storage. But until then, I will continue to raid mom's closet :)

Denim shirt: Target
Sparkle top: borrowed from mom (Express)
Pants: LC by Lauren Conrad from Kohls

Friday, November 30, 2012

High Five for Friday

Happy Friday! Linking up to From My Grey Desk for High Five for Friday. Enjoy your weekend :)

1. I always enjoy reading Mandy's blog Biblical Homemaking but was stopped in my tracks by this post, entitled "in the world but not of it". I think we've all probably felt that way: Is what I'm doing enough? Take a second and read her post. I hope you feel as encouraged as I did!

2. I am currently reading my 90th book of the year. Still hoping to hit the 100 mark by the end of the year. My mom, who is a super reader, has read over 110 this year already!

Pinned here.

3. Getting a massage this weekend! Super excited :)

4. I made this recipe from Taste of Home this past week. If you love the Chicken Enchilada Soup at Chili's then you will love this! It tastes almost identical.

5. How pretty is this?!

Pinned here.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Polka dots

Love this polka dot top I got over the summer in Chicago! I really don't wear it enough. I may try it under a bright pink sweater I have as well...

Sweater: Old Navy
Polka dot shirt: Francesca's Collection
Pants: LC by Lauren Conrad from Kohls

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

J. Crew skirt

I've had this skirt from J. Crew Factory for a while now. I have had trouble finding tops to pair it with. Finally I had to call my mom and have her help me. Here's what we came up with.

Sweater: Ann Taylor Outlet
Skirt: J. Crew Factory
Tights: Forever 21

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

St. Charles, MO

My mom and I went on a shopping trip last weekend in St. Charles, MO, which is a historical town with so many neat shops and restaurants. We had such a great time! The inn we stayed at was so cool. Check it out.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Back to work

Hello there everyone! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. My mom and I went to St. Louis and stayed the night to do some shopping over the weekend. We had a great time! Pictures to come soon.

Below is a picture of the outfit I wore for family pictures last week. Am anxious to see how they turned out!

Dress: Gap
Vest: Kardashian Kollection from Sears
Necklace: J. Crew Factory

Friday, November 16, 2012

High Five for Friday

Happy Friday :) Linking up to From My Grey Desk for High Five for Friday.

1. Mom and I are staying the night here in a few weeks. I can't wait! We plan on doing some Christmas shopping as well.

2. Going to see the newest Twilight movie this weekend! Looking forward to it plus a big bag of popcorn, pretzel M n M's and a Mello Yellow :)

3. I'm in charge of dessert this year at Thanksgiving. I made this pumpkin pie recipe last year and it turned out great. Plan on making it again! (Mine was not nearly as pretty as the one below though!)

4. We have family photos with my husband's side in a few weeks. I put together what I'm thinking about wearing on Polyvore.

Pinned here.

5. I really want to do something similar to this in our new house!

Pinned here.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Same sweater, different day

I knew I'd be wearing this sweater a lot. Here I am less than a week later and I'm wearing it to work again. It's the perfect cozy sweater!

Sweater: Gap Outlet
T-shirt: Old Navy
Scarf: Old Navy
Jeans: American Eagle
Watch: Fossil
Bracelet: Forever 21

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Girls sweater

This sweater is also from Gap, but from the little girls section. I bought it in an XXL online and kept my fingers crossed that it would fit. And it did :)

Sweater: Gap
Leggings: Maurices
Boots: borrowed from mom
Nail polish: eToile in "Periwinkle" (from my Birchbox)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Old sweater

I have had this sweater for probably 3 years now and this is the first time I've worn it! I have never been able to find anything it looks right with. I just threw it on over this button-up yesterday morning and was pretty happy with how it turned out.

Also, please continue to ignore all of the boxes in the background. We still haven't moved to our new house yet and are still in limbo at a rented duplex.

Button-up: American Eagle
Sweater: American Eagle
Jeans: American Eagle
Boots: Old Navy

Monday, November 12, 2012


My favorite part of this picture is Drakey in the background with his favorite stuffed animal, Robert. Yes, his stuffed animal has a name. It's a long story....

Sweater: Ann Taylor Loft
Vest: Kardashian Kollection from Sears
Pants: LC Lauren Conrad from Kohls
Necklace: J. Crew Factory

Friday, November 9, 2012

High Five for Friday

Linking up with From My Grey Desk for High Five for Friday. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

1. My husband sent me flowers this week for our anniversary :)

2. I've been reading this book in the morning's before work. Very good!

Buy here.

3. Plan on making these Double Chocolate and Espresso Cookies this weekend. They're a recipe from Giada De Laurentiis.

Pinned here.

4. I came across this post yesterday. I feel like she took the words right out of my mouth, describing the constant struggle between fitting in with the world and doing what Jesus calls you to do. Please take the time to read it!

5. My husband's birthday is next week. I ordered him his favorite sugar cookies. Shhhh! Don't tell :)