Book Review – Beauty Begins by Chris Shook & Megan Shook Alpha

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This book digs into the thoughts, issues, and setbacks that every woman has. “Making peace with your reflection” is a challenge that few women seem to conquer in today’s society. How do we become and feel beautiful in a world that embraces “pretty”? How do we see the most accurate reflection of who we are when there are distorted “mirrors” all around us?  We live in a “Selfie” obsessed world, yet when the make up is washed off and the door is shut, most women do not even like the person they are. “Beauty Begins” helps the reader discover the answer to these questions and realize how to find their own true beauty that will not fade with age. Whether you are 15 or 45, I encourage every woman to read this book and find the balance between loving your self and being selfless.

 

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**I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review**

Own It – The Power of Women at Work by: Sallie Krawcheck

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It isn’t easy being a woman in the working world. The children’s needs, laundry, monthly cycle, cooking, and relationships don’t just STOP and WAIT as we run our businesses and pursue our dreams. It can feel like a balancing act, with never enough hours in the day.

 

Sallie Krawcheck shows women how to play to their strengths and use the way the business world is evolving to their advantage. Technology and being able to work from home is enabling more and more women to be able to perform jobs at a capacity that they may not have been able to before. Networking and emphasis on gaining gender equality are also things that our mothers and grandmothers didn’t have in the professional work environment, and we can now bank on. Today, more than ever, women are taking control of their finances and their future. That is a good thing! For themselves and their children.

There is one chapter, “The Flexibility Without Shame Conversation”, that hit home for me. I cannot tell you how many times I felt guilty that I had something else in my life to do besides work on a weekday (or weekend). In the last few months I have learned that I can be a mom, a boss, and a wife at my own pace. If I am 100% when I am in each role, then I can do all of them well. Blending and balancing every aspect and taking the day as it comes.

 

 

 

**I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review**

Packing in a Carry-on for a 5 day Trip

 

I leave for Nashville in ONE WEEK! I am far from ready, but at least my clothes are packed. I’d like to start off this post with a shout out to the man who bought me these amazing Steve Madden shoes 😍 they are a dream! So comfortable and sexy and versatile 👠 

 

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I built my wardrobe for this trip off of this piece. A simple black blazer. It can go with just about anything. My formal dress, a pair of skinny jeans and my new shoes, a pair of dress pants and my flats…it’s going to be my “layer” for all those unpredictable temperature conference session rooms. 

Accessories: one belt, one pair of heals, one pair of flats, it’s Nashville…so brown boots 👢 and minimal jewelry. I usually wear the same 4 things everyday anyways. 

2 cardigans, 1 pair of jeans, 1 pair of slacks, 1 pair of dress pants.

I put my socks and underwear in the shoe box to save room. 

Layers. Layers. Layers.

A pair of comfy flats and my wallet where I can easily access them.

Traveling day outfit. Lularoe! 

My not even close to being packed personal item bag 😟

Shoes and pants

Roll the shirts. Layer the blazers and dress.

A whole week away from this kid. I’m gonna miss that face ❤❤❤

 

Update: The trip went GREAT! I had way too many clothes, I only wore about 2/3 of them. I also acquired a new pair of shoes while in Nashville.

Love Unending – Rediscovering your Marriage in the Midst of Motherhood

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This book was worth the wait. 21 days to rediscovering why you fell in love with the person you’re currently trying to balance the craziness of life, work, and children with.

Something they don’t often cover in marriage counseling or “what to expect” books, is how having a baby (or 2) will change you and your relationships. From hormones to body shape to adding another person to the family and more items to the “To Do” list, Children take a toll on our lives that we often do not prepare for or realize. In the midst of all that, friendships and relationships often get pushed to the wayside and deprioritized.

Becky takes 21 days of encouragement, challenges, thinking, remembering, and praying to bring us back to that place where our marriage is a priority. Love and intimacy is often replaced by duty and occasional sex, in Love Unending she challenges us to move beyond our selfish thinking and see through HIS eyes to rekindle romance and intimacy that you had when you first met, as well as deepen it as you grow together.

**I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review**

 

 

Nothing to Prove – A Must Read

 

 

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Nothing to Prove by Jennie Allen, is a MUST read for any women who has ever felt they are “not enough”. With all of the responsibilities and stresses in life, it can be very easy to feel overwhelmed. When you have to make choices that make you wonder if your children, marriage, or career suffer; it can feel as if you are not enough for any of them. Being a women is hard. Our thinking often gets the better of us as we attempt to impress others and ourselves. Jennie digs into these feelings and helps us realize that we don’t need to prove anything to anyone (including ourselves) and that God IS enough, even when we are not. The cover may not look like much, but the pages opened up a world of peace and relief from the pressure that I was unconsciously putting on myself.

 

 

**I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review**

Train Playroom

It was 65° outside yesterday morning ♡ December 17th. 

By the time I took the kids to the playground in the afternoon it was 32 and windy 😦 

We can’t avoid Winter forever. I also can’t avoid Christmas forever. I’ve been slowing getting all of Little Man’s presents in the mail and pilling them in his room along with anything else I want to procrastinate on. After he laid down for a nap, yesterday, I decide it was time to get motivated. I’d gone to At Home and found a wire flatware holder that I planned to repurpose as a train shelf. 

It worked perfectly! 

I put together his Train Table and Gorilla glued the bridge together. The other pieces I left loose so he could rearrange. The top flips over and the other side is a chalk board. 

This wooden sign was given to us by a dear friend when he was born. 

I wanted this to be an uncluttered space where he could play and be creative without being over stimulated. 

I read about Toy Rotation about a year ago, and I love the idea. Last month I went through all his toys and clothes and donated almost 4 boxes worth of stuff. I tried to be purposeful with what toys he kept. In his closet are 2 shelves neatly stacked with toys that he can take out one at a time and play with in the open space on the other side of his room. The closet locks so he can’t just drag everything out and make mayhem. It’s been studied that children do better and are less overwhelmed when they do not have too many stimulating factors around them when they play. So we are implementing toy rotation. Also, the walls are not too busy. 

I picked up a few baskets at the Dollar Tree for his wooden train and blocks. I still need to find some clear contact paper to make the window so you cannot see into it (the parking lot is RIGHT there and my toddler doesn’t always keep his clothes on).

In the other corner of his room I will be installing these wire baskets on the wall along with a few small wall lamps. Then a few oversized throw pillows and his reading corner will be complete (I love how many books he was giving for Christmas. Thank you to family for understanding the power of reading).

The last thing I did was unpackaged all his gifts (make them play ready) and wrap them (STAR WARS wrapping paper found at the Dollar Tree!) 

If you have any creative Play Room ideas, I’d love to heat them! I’ll be sure to update with pictures of the reading corner once it is complete.

Happy Holidays! 

Update:

Today (December 23rd) I finally put the finishing touches on Little Man’s Playroom. His reading corner is set up. 

thThese baskets are from At Home. They are perfect for his board books. Instead of throw pillows I used some of his character pillow cases over new pillows. I put a spot light on the wall for better lighting at night. 

The window treatment I was looking for was $15 and I wasn’t ready to commit. I ended up getting some contact paper from the Dollar Tree that did the job perfectly. 


I decided the leave the final corner of the room empty for his to play and use his puzzles. 

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Coffee Table  Conversation Starter 

“The Illustrated Book of Sayings” by Ella Sanders is a must have coffee table book. This unique and beautiful book is a great icebreaker and conversation starter. 

Each page has creative illustrations and a well known saying with its origin and story. It will be sure to enlighten, entertain, and educate you and your friends.
You can read about the author here 

*I received this book in exchange for my honest review from Blogging for Books*