Friday, August 29, 2014

Book Review: Rewind

Rewind to my Senior year of High School and my British Lit class. We had to read a book by a British author. Having older siblings I knew this was coming, I had helped my sister with her report when she was a Senior on "A Room with a View" by E.M. Forster. The semester before this class I read "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen. It's a small school so the teacher kept track of siblings and what they had read, so you couldn't not read the same book as your sibling. But I was prepared, until I got to class and the teacher said that too many had chosen "Pride and Prejudice." Ugh! I would have to start all over and pick a new book to read, I chose "Jane Eyre" by Emily Bronte.

I just finished re-read "Jane Eyre" this week. Prompted by Netflix and one of the newer movie versions of this book staring Michael Fassbender and Mia Wasikowska as the lead characters.

And as I remembered from way back when I first read this book, the first half is very hard to get through but the second half flies. If you can get through the first half, it is totally worth it for the second! Warning: the conversations and descriptions can get a bit wordy and hard to follow, at least for myself.

The title character of Jane Eyre, is wonderful! She is not a beautiful, well off girl. She is "... poor, obscure, plain, and little..." She is one who has had to fight to survive against prejudices and worked hard to reach and grab for her independence. She respects herself and the law of God.

I did not realize how much this story is about her relationship with God. The differences in what I noticed now and not all those years ago, show my growth in life and understanding is amazing!

I would recommend this book for anyone! But mostly for young women who are facing social pressures! Jane remained strong and true to herself and the Lord she survives throughout the book but still struggled with temptations and finding her own life's mission.

Monday, August 25, 2014


Saturday night Jon and I went to our first Corn Stock Theatre performance. Corn Stock is one of the many local theatre groups in our area. They are known for performing under the tent in the summer months aka its outside, in an open air tent.

They have a kid's summer camp that I actually participated in many, many years ago. I actually did it twice, the first time it was just 2 days of learning the basics of theatre and stage etiquette, costuming and they had us repaint the floor. The next time I did it it was a week long and we were divided into groups and each group rehearsed and practice a song and dance from a musical. I didn't quite enjoy that experience because I was the youngest in my group by a few years.

Anyway, one of the guys I work with gets season tickets with his wife every year and offered me their last ticket  few months ago before Jon had Saturday's off, luckily they were able to get an extra ticket so Jon could join us.

The musical was Monty Python's "Spamelot" aka the stage version of Monty Python's classic film, "The Holy Grail." I loved it, it is a great representation of the movie, including the most loved scenes from it! It made me truly miss being on stage (I can't sing so the musicals weren't for me but I loved the drama club in high school). The performance was wonderful and the talent was truly on par! The singing was great too!

I'm hoping that next year I will be able to go to a few more performances. I would love to really check out more of the local theatre groups and their performances in the future!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Friday Bonus: Kimono Love

Kimono Love

I am totally loving the Kimono trend right now! I'm just finding it difficult to find ones I like locally! I'm not a huge fan of all the fringe I've found on them but I love the patterns and airy feel and look they give.

My suggestion for wearing them is to keep the rest of the outfit simple and structured or slimmer to the body. Keep accessories basic but try to add complimentary pops of color with the shoes or jewelry.

Remember the star of the show is the Kimono, so let it shine!


No, I'm not on a food diet specifically but I am on a cash/spending diet! After moving, we have been really bad with spending. I believe its the first time ever that Jon and I have felt financially secure in our marriage. We went a little crazy with spending, not massive bucks but enough that I've put my self on a spending diet.

I'm been shopping and eating out way too much lately! I hate the guilt that follows me after making unnecessary purchases. I believe this is my upbringing, my parents didn't buy me everything I asked for and most certainly did not spend money frivolously, I was told no a lot.

Now, is the time to start knuckling down to save as much as possible! I've been buying things that are not necessary nor do we have room for them! So, I'm dreaming and planning for when we do get to the point where I can start in on decorating the house. I'm great at window shopping!

Tips for going on a Spending Diet:

1. Cash Budget - If I eat out or any extras I want, I must use cash which is also allotted like an allowance.
         - In the past, we usually have gone with $20 each per week. Whatever you don't spend rolls over.
         - Also, I have a Starbucks card and at the beginning of the month I load my card with $25 for the month, once its gone I have to wait until the next month to reload. This is a luxury, not a need!

2. Don't tempt yourself - If you know you'll be tempted to spend money just don't even go into the store unless you have a list or have blinders on!

3. Grocery Shopping - Plan menus and shop with a list based on that menu! Take your time! We mainly grocery shop at Kroger, and I use our Kroger Plus Card, it gives us Fuel Points and in store deals. I also like to shop at Aldi's for specific items like eggs, coffee creamer, bread.

4. Be countable - I feel better when Jon knows what purchases I have made either before or after. He knows when I'm going to shop and usually what I'm looking for or what my budget is. I feel this communication between us helps strengthen us because we are being open, honest, and considerate of the others opinion!

5. Learn to be content! This is probably the biggest hurdle we face. We are so fortunate to have a home and jobs that enable us to buy groceries and clothing. That we can have hot showers and hot meals each day!

Sometimes you'll slip up and others you'll do really well. This is what works for us, and just a few tips if you are looking to save but don't know where to start!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

I'm Not One...

Who normally gets into shows on TV however, I do get sucked in with reality shows but I never rearrange my life to make sure I don't miss them. It also helps that we live in an age of DVR but even as a kid I never was so obsessed with a show that my week would be ruined if I missed it. A few on the list of tried and true shows Rehab Addict (waiting for the new season to start in September) and a lot of TLC shows: The Duggar's, The Little Couple, Bride Day. Currently, as a couple we love watching Dirty Jobs marathons on Discovery.

Before moving one of Jon's requests for the new house was DirectTV (I'm not promoting them, its just what we have currently) and he wanted the movie channel package. And since then I have been sucked into a few shows.

I started the summer by getting sucked into Penny Dreadful on HBO via a Saturday night marathon leading up to the season finale the next night. I literally watched every episode but the finale in one evening. Very dark and disturbing. Why I thought this would be a good show to watch all alone, in a new house, I don't know.

The past few weeks my Tuesday night shows are Married at First Sight and B.O.R.N. to Style on the FYI channel. I've missed a few episodes of the Married at First Sight show, I forget its on because I try not to turn the TV on until I'm ready for bed, it comes on at 8:00 pm immediately followed by B.O.R.N. at 9:00 pm. I've only missed the the season premier of B.O.R.N., which I caught later. I love it and makes me wish I could have Jonathan and crew make over my wardrobe! And that I could handle living in the city so my style wouldn't look so out of place in a cornfield.

But the main obsession right now just started on Starz! It's called Outlander, only 2 episodes in and I'm hooked. Its based on a book series by Diana Gabaldon. I'm not so patiently waiting on the first book from the library!

Jon also is into a new show on Cinemax called The Knick, staring Clive Owen. It looks very interesting but definitely one that I'll watch with caution and will need to be in the right mood to make it through an episode. It's very graphic with surgery scenes.

I'm looking forward to seeing how Outlander and The Knick move forward into the fall and what shows we have to look forward too! Do you have any new shows or returning shows your obsessed with?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Book Review: Here We Go Again

So, I finally got sucked into the "Divergent" books series by Veronica Roth. I went to my local library, got on the waiting list for the first book; which came back a few days later. I sprinted up to the library before it closed on a rainy Monday after getting the email and began.

It took me a few chapters to really get into and then I was hooked and I devoured it! A few days later when I was finished, I went back to the library and got on the lists for the next book, it was going to be a long weekend of waiting. Until my sister-in-law, said "I have those books if you want to borrow them." The book heavens smiled upon me! I got the next two books and began reading them.

I'd say the order in which I liked them are, Divergent (1), Allegiant (3), and then Insurgent (2). Now, I was put off going into it because of the hype of the movie and it being yet another post-apocalyptic type series. Hello, Katniss? But I will say I enjoyed that there were no supernatural beings, totally think that that is totally over done.

I really like first-person perspective reads. I did enjoy the 3rd book because it brings more than one perspective in, though it took me longer to read because I would get confused on whose perspective it was. There were parts where the story seems to drag on and some really good/interesting plot twists I didn't see coming. I did cry. Jon literally came home from work the night I finished the series to me sobbing. So, you are forewarned. The plot twists are so good I'm going to stop because I don't want to give anything away.

Definitely, worth the read despite the hype of the series and books. I'm only slightly sickened by the fact that the author, Veronica Roth and I are the same age. Where did that kind talent and drive gene go within me? Seriously?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Stuck in a Rut

Feeling stuck in a rut, again. For me its feeling all your energy moving but having no way to release it or having my ideas and wants being put on the back burning while working towards grown-up goals.

We are mostly settled at the new house and now begins the next leg of that process. We are going about this home unconventionally as my family already owns, we are already living in it and we have yet to buy it but we need to save up a down payment. Which leads to putting ideas and wants on hold to reach that grown-up goal.

Yes, we did sell our home in the city and yes we did walk away with some money, however almost all of that went to paying off debts. I don't want to go in to details but before we moved we were down to just house related debts aka the mortgage and a loan for the windows. Two years ago we took out a home equity loan and all 30 of the windows were replaced in the old house. Foolish? Maybe. Peace of mind? Totally worth it and we believe it was a massive selling point for us. And we exceeded our goal when selling, we wanted to break even but we actually came out with a little after everything was said and done.

Now, we are finally able to start putting more money away but that will mostly be going toward our next down payment. We've been unbelievable blessed in this whole process. I can't believe how much the Lord has protected and guided us and I am in awe. The next few steps are to become content with our new space as it is and keep giving the Lord control (I want to have the reins, so this is difficult) in all faucets of our life.

I read a great article yesterday on that really helped put this in perspective for me. It reminded me that even though myself and others may find areas of improvement for my home (I want new carpet and fresh paint, its a smaller house it won't cost that much to make it how I want it, right?), that I need to change my "perspectacles." I have home that we are better able to maintain and there are NO projects or remodels to be done! No bathroom upgrades, no 1950's kitchen with original oven! No roof leaks! There is no stress on my husband in this house!

When we have time together, it is time together not stressing over home repairs. We can focus on each other! And we finally have the same days off, still different shifts for work during the week but we have 2 full days every weekend! What another blessing!

So, when you feel stuck, what do you turn to? Do you turn to the world for comfort and drive yourself into a deeper rut or to the Father, where true comfort, peace, and contentment are really found?