Archive for May, 2013

5 Books I Love

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

Today’s post includes five of my favorite books. I was looking at my shelf the other day, and noticed that many of my favorites are not necessarily well known, so I thought I’d share.

Some of these books are not for everyone, but if they fall within your interests then I hope you can give them a try!

Book 1: My Life With Bing, by Kathryn Crosby


I’ve been a huge fan of Bing Crosby for a long time. I discovered him when I was around 8, and immediately started collecting music, radio show clips, and books about him. My absolute favorite biography is this one, written by his second wife Kathryn.

I’ve read this book at least 4 times, and it’s mostly because of Kathryn. She was around 30 years younger than Bing (they met when she was 19). However her strong personality, wit, and self-deprecating humor kept him on his toes and makes this book a fascinating read, especially if you enjoy the movies and actors from that time era. There is a large photo on each page, and plenty of stories about stars from that time such as Bob Hope, Judy Garland, Grace Kelly, etc. etc. I highly recommend it!


Book 2: Till We Have Faces, by C.S. Lewis


Most people have read at least some C.S. Lewis, but I haven’t talked to many who’ve read this particular book. I believe it is one of his more critically acclaimed books, but less popular overall. It certainly has a different feel – it is darker in a way. But I love it so much – I’ve read this one at least twice and will continue to read it every now and then. It is his retelling of the Greek Myth about Cupid and Psyche. It’s a powerful book.

Book 3: No Compromise, The Life Story of Keith Green, by Melody Green/David Hazard


I grew up listening to the moving, wacky, intense, wonderful music of Keith Green. He was a Christian musician in the late 70s and early 80s. I still listen to his music to this day, and never get sick of it. This biography tells of his life as a hippie, meeting his wife Melody, finding God, and his journey as a radical, no-compromise Christian. Keith died at the age of 28 in a tragic accident, along with two of his young children. I am continually inspired by him and how much life he lived in 28 years. This book is a quick but powerful read.

Book 4: You Will Never be the Same, by Basilea Schlink


Basilea Schlink was a German nun who founded a ministry and wrote many books. You Will Never be the Same is a very unique little book. She begins by discussing sin. The second part of the book is a list of different sins we may struggle with, including everything from absent-mindedness/daydreaming, to selfishness and greed.

The second part of the book includes a chapter on each of these categories. She begins by discussing each sin, and what it can look like. After that she provides steps to confronting the sin and repenting from it, and the freedom we can feel afterward.

I know this subject could be easily misunderstood, but if you read the book you will see how she treats the subject of sin with both gentleness and strength. There is a sense of the sweetness of true conviction and the freedom that comes afterward in each chapter. I’ve never read this all the way through, but I always keep it around and if I’m struggling with an issue, even as simple as worrying, I know Basilea will have scriptures and advice for me.

Book 5: The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak


This book is quite well known, but I just had to include it. I love it so much. I read it a couple years ago and will be reading it again. It’s set in Nazi Germany, and is the story of a little German girl who loves to read. It is narrated by Death, who has a charismatic and intriguing voice.

The characters in this book are ones you will always remember. I HIGHLY recommend this book!

That’s all for now! I’d love to hear about any books you’ve been enjoying as well, so feel free to leave a comment or a link to any similar blog posts. Happy reading!

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Grandma’s Bran Muffins

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013


Hi everyone! I have a new recipe post up on Huffington Post. You can view this recipe here:

These are the bran muffins my grandma and my mom make, and they are absolutely scrumptious. I’ve had them for breakfast the last several days in a row.

I really hope you give them a try!


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High Five for Friday! Star Trek, Blizzards and Vines.

Friday, May 24th, 2013

Happy Friday everyone! I’m linking up again with Lauren from for another H5FF post.

Here are five moments from this past week:


Last Friday I saw Star Trek with my friend Holly. I really liked it. I don’t know a lot about Star Trek, but I still felt pulled in by the story. I thought it was a nice mix of action and personality. Benedict Cumberbatch was supreme as a bad guy…I mostly know him from Sherlock (highly recommend that show if you haven’t seen it!) and he outdid himself here.


This was my Sunday morning breakfast. I’m trying to eat more “clean” meals these days, to balance out my love for sweets.


Case in point…this was my Tuesday afternoon lunch! On Tuesday both my brother and I were sick so we decided that totally justified Blizzards for lunch. It was pretty awesome.


Started Thursday off with a run at Green Lake.

My final moment for this week is courtesy of my little brother. If you haven’t heard of Vine, it’s an app that allows you to create 6-second videos. I thought this one was so funny. It features Mike and his guinea pig Gary. (You may need to un-mute by hovering over the top-left corner of the video.)


I hope you had a great week too!!

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Mixing Patterns

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013


Today’s post features one of my very best friends Grace. Grace is my personal stylist – I always turn to her when I have a fancy event coming up or any kind of fashion crisis. We went to the beach one Friday night and took some photos in the beautiful evening light. Grace has provided some fashion tips as well – enjoy!


Stripe it up!

There’s something about striped clothing that makes me a little happier. It’s like a little endorphin jolt in my outfit (I guess that would make stripes the fashion equivalent of having a chocolatey dessert after dinner?). Stripes are a great staple to have in your wardrobe. Here are some tips on wearing stripes:

1. Ignore any advice/tips that tell you wide stripes make you wider and not to wear them. It’s similar to the advice that black always makes you look thinner. No. No, it does not. I imagine some of you are now hyperventilating. It’s okay, just take a few minutes and put your head between your knees, breathe deeply, and move on to tip # 2.


2. Now that you’re back (and hopefully breathing normally), the second tip is from my favorite television fashion guru Tim Gunn. It’s all in the fit of the clothes.

Wide stripes, or any stripes (and yes, black) can look great no matter what your body type is, depending on the fit. I would suggest staying away from any cut of clothing that is too boxy though. You’ll evoke old-timey chain gang prison-wear. And that’s just not okay.

3. If you’re on the shorter scale and are afraid of looking shorter with horizontal stripes, try wearing chevrons. It draws the eye up and down, rather than just side to side.


4. Splendid is one of my very favorite t-shirt lines (they do sweaters, and cardigans too) and they use lots of stripes. They are a bit on the pricey side, but they are great quality, and are super soft and comfy. The line is available at Nordstroms, but if you are signed up for any sample sale sites, they will have Splendid on sale every now and again.


Print Jungle

Print on Print is a tricky trend. It can go sideways really quickly, so here are some tips that I’ve learned when putting prints together:


1. One of my best friends, an actual stylist, suggested that there should be some kind of commonality with the prints. This has singlehandedly been the most helpful tip I’ve picked up. For me, the easiest way to accomplish that is to pick prints with the same or similar color schemes. Here, I’ve chosen a neutral black and white stripe and a printed skirt in black and yellow.

2. I also tend to put together a geometric print (in this case stripes), with a more organic print (floral).

3. Use your instincts! If you’re feeling pretty cute, then you probably are! If you feel the prints aren’t jiving together, they probably aren’t. And if your instincts are bad, then I would say that you should probably skip this trend and wear your printed pieces separately. Real talk. =)


I am wearing:

Top: by Stem (line available at Nordstrom)
Skirt:  La Scala (bought at Peridot Boutique)
Leggings: American Apparel
Boots: Corso Como bought on Ruelala
Earrings: by Sarahfina Beads (
Nail Color: Fash Pack, Butter London (available at Nordstrom)

Thanks so much to Grace for guest-writing this post! If you have any questions for her, just leave them in the comments below.

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