Thursday, January 16, 2014

Stitch Fix #2 Review!

Firstly, thank you to those who have already linked up and shared what they're reading on my last post. I love checking out the suggestions y'all are giving me! Remember you can link up for the rest of the month or comment on the post to enter the giveaway. :)

Alright, now on to the Stitch Fix! 

I LOVE Stitch Fix because:
  • It's easy. I strongly dislike shopping and making decisions so the help of the stylist is great.
  • It's fun. I was so pumped to get my box, see what was inside, and pick out new clothes!
  • It's convenient. Having it sent to my house to try on in my room with no shipping charge? Awesome.
  • It's customized for me. My stylist picks out the pieces especially for me and my body type.
If you need a quick explanation of what Stitch Fix is, here's the description from their Facebook:
"Stitch Fix has re-invented shopping, the way women really want to shop. Keep your wardrobe up-to-date with no hassle. You give us your size and style preferences, and your stylist sends you a selection of 5 items picked just for you. Try everything on at home, and only pay for what you want to keep! Free shipping both ways and a 25% discount if you buy all 5 items."

And here is my first Stitch Fix post that is much more detailed about the process. I kept the polka dot sweater and have loved wearing it!

My stylist definitely knocked it outta the park with this box. You may be wondering why I'm not asking for your help deciding this time...it's because I kept it all! Haha. LOVED it. I refrained from buying clothes with my Christmas money because I knew this box was coming. I had some credit from the lovely people who signed up from my link so that helped with my decision also. :) Which means that if you've gotten a Stitch Fix already, you should absolutely share your referral link with people -- when someone gets their first fix you get $25 credit! Which is awesome!

You should have seen me when the box was delivered...I skipped all the way to the door and then opened it as fast as I could. (After I took a pic of it, obviously.) It seriously makes me giddy.




It had a nice little note from my stylist and some cards that showed me outfit suggestions for the items in the box. So helpful!


The first items are the Fronz striped button-front cardigan and Adora skinny jeans.


If there was one thing that I was hesitant about keeping, it was this cardigan. I liked it, but I didn't think I loved it enough for the price. BUT, since you get 25% off if you keep the whole box, it was actually cheaper for me to keep it since I wanted everything else. :) Haha. When I paired it with the jeans I liked it a lot more. The pop of green is a nice touch and it is super comfortable.

When I saw the jeans in the box I was like ohhh boy. I strongly dislike trying on jeans because it's difficult to find a nice fitting pair. I was pleasantly surprised with these! The color wasn't something that I would pick up in a store but I love it. It makes me think that they truly took my Pinterest board into consideration because I had a few pins with "wine" colored pants. How cool!

The jeans also went well with the next item, the Howland square print crochet detail top.


It's pretty wrinkly so it looks kinda funny in the picture, but I LOOOVE this top. It's comfy and silky, I love how it hangs low in the front and back, love the tiny square print, and the crochet detailing is beautiful. At only $34 this was a no-brainer that I will be wearing quite a bit I'm sure!

And then one of the cats started hopping into the picture so I scooped her up. This is Floyd. Her sister's name is Pink. :)





Next up is the Finley bell sleeve knit sweater.


The quality of this sweater is amazing. I could wear it every day. (I've worn it twice since I got the box if that tells you anything!) I should have done a close-up because the knit detail is gorgeous.  So, so happy with this! I couldn't believe it was also under $40. I like how my North Carolina necklace I got for Christmas looks with it too. :)

Oh, and then, hey, another animal. This is Sunny the border collie. 



Last, but definitely not least, is what I specifically asked my stylist for - a blazer. She picked out the Benson 3/4 ruched sleeved blazer.


Love it! What I really love about it is how comfortable it is. That's obviously important to me as I've mentioned it like eight times in this post. But seriously it's so soft. The color is like boom in your face but I really like it. Anddd another cool thing is the inside -- black and white stripes! 


So when you roll the sleeves up you see black and white! Brilliant! (By the way, disregard the billowing effect that is happening with my black top in that pic, I'm not hiding anything, I promise.)


So there ya have it. The whole box is now mine. And any time you see me in the next few weeks or maybe ever I'll probably be wearing one of these articles of clothing so be forewarned.

What do you think?? Are you ready to try Stitch Fix yet?!

You should. I'm obviously a fan. Let me know if you do! I'd love to see what you get!

Ashley

In case you missed it, here's the link to get your first Stitch Fix box delivered to you so you can get awesome clothes. :) All of my opinions are completely honest and my own. I do receive credit if you use my referral link so have at it, y'all! 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

What I'm Reading Link-Up: January 2014

Welcome to my first What I'm Reading Link-up! Here's how it will work:
  • I"ll post my monthly reading list on the first Tuesday of the month. (With the exception of this one!)
  • I'll also let you know what books I loved from the previous month.
  • You can link a blog post of your reading list using the link-up feature, or you can just leave a comment with the books you're reading if you don't have a blog.
  • If you link-up your blog post, please acknowledge this link-up within your post. :) You can use the image included in this post.
  • I will leave the link-up/giveaway open for the rest of the month.
  • In the following month's link-up, I'll announce the WINNER of the book giveaway. The winner will get to pick a book from ANY of my reading lists - including Books I Loved in 2013.
My goal is to make this an excellent resource of book suggestions for you that will enrich your life! And, selfishly, I highly enjoy reading everyone's recommendations. :)



My January 2014 Reading List:

1. One in a Million by Priscilla Shirer

This is actually one that I accidentally left off my 2013 list and I don't know HOW I did that. It is so, so good. This is about the Israelites' journey to the Promised Land and how only one in a million of them actually made it there. (Joshua and Caleb were two of two million.) She challenged me to move beyond what a standard "Christian" does and into life abundant like Joshua had. I love Priscilla Shirer and highly recommend this! 

464764: One in a Million: Journey to Your Promised Land One in a Million: Journey to Your Promised Land

By Priscilla Shirer





2. Platform by Michael Hyatt

If you are a blogger, sales person, have an online shop, or want your business to have a presence online then you MUST read this. I haven't read anything more helpful and practical about building a platform online. The author knows his stuff because he's been so successful building his own platform, and he also used to be the CEO of Thomas Nelson publishing. The book is broken up into short chapters with almost all of them having a list of ways you can build your platform in a specific area. LOVED it and will be referring back to it often. You can go to Michael Hyatt's blog to get a glimpse of how helpful he is!


555038: Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World

By Michael Hyatt





3. Love Does by Bob Goff

I got this for Christmas from my bro-in-law (thanks, Joseph!) and have been reading it ever since. So far, so good! This book has generated a lot of buzz, and I knew I had to read it due to the stories about Bob Goff in Donald Miller's book that I referred to in my 2013 list. This guy is downright inspiring. It's basically a collection of stories from his life telling about the crazy awesome things he has done. Some of the stories I'm like how in the world?? but they're so unique and detailed that I know he can't be making this stuff up, haha. I love how he relates each story to Jesus and His crazy love for us. It's a fun and inspiring read for sure.

203751: Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World

By Bob Goff





4. The Jesus-Hearted Woman: 10 Leadership Qualities for Enduring and Endearing Influence by Jodi Detrick

This is a book I got at the Influence Conference that I've been enjoying recently. I'm not going through it quickly as I'm taking the time to answer her questions after each chapter. So far I've loved how she talks about having "graceful confidence" -- meaning being bold in leadership for the Lord through His power, but in a humble way that gives glory to Him. I like how she has pointed how some ideas that are new to me since I've read quite a bit on this topic.

830557: The Jesus-Hearted Woman: 10 Leadership Qualities for Enduring and Endearing Influence The Jesus-Hearted Woman: 10 Leadership Qualities for Enduring and Endearing Influence

By Jodi Detrick





5. The Help by Kathryn Stockett












A fiction book! Can it be?! Haha. I've had this on my nightstand for months now and just started reading it. I actually have the edited version that is borrowed from my sister-in-law (sorry I've had it so long, Anna!). By edited I mean most of the foul language is marked out with a pen by my mother-in-law. :) Haha! I loved the movie and knew I had to read the book. So far I keep wishing that I had read it before seeing the movie (which is what I ALWAYS try to do) because I keep picturing the characters in the movie and remembering what happens. But I'm still really liking it. I'm only a few chapters in and tears have welled up in my eyes approximately five times. 



I'm going to try to finish those before I add any more onto the list. And I need to read the books I already have in my possession, so that's what I'm doing. :) Go ahead and link-up if you want to or leave your reading list for the month in the comments!

Disclaimer: There are affiliate links in this post, but all opinions (as always) are my own. 
Also, I do not support everything each author mentioned says or writes. The only book that is completely all truth is the Bible!


Ashley

Monday, January 13, 2014

A Blog Update and Link-Up Announcement!

There have been about a million things running through my head lately. Ideas, dreams, prayers, plans, hopes.

It's hard to take things one step at a time! I can become so easily overwhelmed. But my husband is a wonderful encourager (and much more level-headed than me). :)

Expect changes coming to the blog. Ones that I want YOU to be involved with. I'm continuing to learn about being a wife daily and I love receiving ideas, advice, and encouragement from other wives. I hope we can turn it into more of a community on this little blog - helping each other out and lifting each other up! 

That will include some design changes that are WAY overdue. Thanks for bearing with me!

After working on my Reading List 2014 post for dayyys, I decided that it was way too much. Too much for me to even think about reading, and too much for anyone to read in a blog post, that's for sure! So I decided to make it a monthly thing. That's where a link-up comes in. :)

Each month, on the first Tuesday of the month, I will post a What I'm Reading Link-up. That means that I'll tell you what I'm reading that month, what my favorite book was from the month before, and you'll have a chance to link-up your reading list if you want to. That way we can have a resource of awesome reading lists to give you book suggestions! I don't care of one person or one hundred people link up. I just love checking out the reading lists of others.

I've heard that a major way to influence or help someone is to give them a good book. Reading can seriously change your life! I think it's so important because it shapes your thoughts and teaches you new things. That's why along with the monthly What I'm Reading Link-Up I'm going to give away a book each month. All you have to do to enter is link-up your reading list or tell me what you're reading in the comments. Then I'll pick a random winner to get their choice of book from my list. :) Yay! 

There will be more details tomorrow in my first What I'm Reading Link-Up. I know it's not the first Tuesday of the month, but I can't let January slip by! 

Hope you're having a great day so far. I'm off to my first eye appointment in a few years as a non-employee, haha. I'm excited to see the doctor I used to work for! Happy Monday, y'all. :)
By the way, are you following me on on Instagram? It's by far my most personal form of social media and my faaavorite. 


Ashley

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Books I Loved in 2013

Happy 2014, y'all! :)

As I've been making my Reading List for 2014 (come back to see that tomorrow!), it's been fun to look back at what I read last year. I chose to share the ones that truly helped me or stuck with me. Hope this helps with your list for the year!

All links are from ChristianBook.com, which I've found to have some better deals than Amazon. 

I'll start out with the books in the picture. Let me just say that I thoroughly enjoy reading an actual book with real pages that I can write on and flip through. But I also LOVE my Kindle. It's so easy to carry around, look up words in the dictionary, highlight and bookmark, and I've gotten so many books on there for free or really cheap. I truly love both real and digital!

Books I Loved in 2013:

1. The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp

This is an Advent devotional for the Christmas season, but I could honestly read it again if I didn't have such a long list of new books to read. It pertains to our lives year round for sure. I will definitely be reading this during in December for years to come! It even comes with Jesse Tree ornaments you can print out and use with your family.

387086: The Greatest Gift: An Advent Devotional The Greatest Gift: An Advent Devotional

By Ann Voskamp





2. A Million Little Ways by Emily P. Freeman

Talking about how God created us in His image to make art, this book was extremely inspiring. I think that anyone with any occupation can benefit from reading this book, but if you are a writer you absolutely MUST READ IT. It addressed so many issues I struggle with and I highlighted almost the entire chapter on criticism. Seriously, you can ask Jordan - entire pages were colored blue. It's because instead of making it all about self-reliance and strategies, Emily brings all topics back to the heart of the matter - who we are in Christ. READ THIS. 

722440: A Million Little Ways: Uncover the Art You Were Made to Live A Million Little Ways: Uncover the Art You Were Made to Live

By Emily P. Freeman





3. Embracing Obscurity by Anonymous

I picked this book up at a Beth Moore conference and read it pretty quickly. It's interesting that the author actually embraced obscurity and wrote it anonymously. Focusing on how Jesus was a humble servant, it is quite convicting. It made me look at many Bible passages in a new way. It also talks about the freedom in losing one's self to follow Christ.

677816: Embracing Obscurity: Becoming Nothing in Light of God"s Everything Embracing Obscurity: Becoming Nothing in Light of God's Everything







4. Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis

You may have heard of Katie Davis - the teenager who moved to Uganda and adopted 13 children. Yeah. So you already know this is going to be an awe-inspiring book. It definitely made me think about how precious each life is to our Lord and how we can make a difference for His kingdom as individuals. Sometimes thinking of the problems of this world can be so daunting and overwhelming, but this book gave me hope and inspiration!

612097: Kisses from Katie: A Story of Relentless Love and Redemption Kisses from Katie: A Story of Relentless Love and Redemption

By Katie Davis with Beth Clark





5. Multiply by Francis Chan

You absolutely must read this book and go through it with someone else. Seriously, do it. I'm still going through it with my friend Brittany. We meet on a weekly basis to discuss a chapter at a time and we have LOVED it. It's great for someone who's new in Christ because it goes through the basics of what it means to follow Him, but it's also perfect for long-time believers because it makes you get to the core of why you are a Christian and how the Bible says to follow Jesus. It's not a short book -- it has 24 different sessions, but it encompasses SO much. I recommend this to everyone!

408233: Multiply: Disciples Making Disciples Multiply: Disciples Making Disciples

By Francis Chan with Mark Beuving





6. One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp (and study guide)

You've probably heard of this book too as it's been a game changer in Christian reading. It focuses on being thankful in everything and how often that's really mentioned in the Bible. (Hint: it's A LOT.) It inspires you to actually LIVE your life in full joy because all is grace. It's not an easy/quick read in my opinion due to Ann's eloquent writing style, but it is beautiful and captivating. I did the study with the DVD in a small group of girls and learned so much. 

321910: One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are

By Ann Voskamp




684404: One Thousand Gifts Participant"s Guide with DVD: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are One Thousand Gifts Participant's Guide with DVD: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are

By Ann Voskamp





7. Start by Jon Acuff

This book addresses how life has changed so much in recent times. People usually don't stick with one career/job for their whole lives anymore, and the internet has brought a whole new world of opportunities. Jon offers some excellent advice and motivation for doing what you love with passion in an awesome way.


077594: Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average, and Do  Work That Matters Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average, and Do Work That Matters

By Jon Acuff






8. James: Mercy Triumphs study by Beth Moore

This one is kinda different from the rest of the list as it is a Bible study book/guide. I haven't used it with the DVD's yet, but I have loved going through the book of James. It covers so much! And of course, Beth has her usual challenging and sister-like spirit all throughout her writing.  

871710: James: Mercy Triumphs--Member Book James: Mercy Triumphs--Member Book

By Beth Moore





9. The Duggars: 20 and Counting! by Jim Bob & Michelle Duggar

This was such a random read but I got it at the library and read it at the beach this past summer. It was SO interesting to read their story from when they started dating, their early years of marriage, and some parenting tactics they use. It even addresses why they've chosen to have so many kids. Whatever your opinion is about this family, I bet you'd be inspired by their trust in the Lord and interested in how they've handled their finances throughout the years. This was their older book, and the next one is on my list for 2014!

585633: The Duggars: 20 and Counting! The Duggars: 20 and Counting!

By Michelle & Jim Bob Duggar





10. Gospel by J.D. Greear

It is SO important to dwell daily on the gospel. That's what this book is all about -- allowing the truth and wonder of the gospel to sink deep into your heart, changing the way you think and act. The "Gospel Prayer" that he uses to remind himself of God's grace each day is an awesome example for us. J.D. is a pastor of The Summit Church here in North Carolina which has campuses all throughout the state. I've visited this church numerous times and have many friends who go there -- it is definitely a gospel-focused church! I have another one of his books on my list for 2014 (that you can see tomorrow!).

673122: Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary

By J.D. Greear, (Foreword by Timothy Keller)





11. Feminine Appeal by Carolyn Mahaney

I LOVED this book. I think it is excellent no matter what your relationship status is or if you have kids or not, probably because it is all about truths directly from Scripture. It goes through the list in Titus 2 that I've actually never really studied. Books like this have usually focused on Proverbs 31 (which is great), but Titus 2 is a chapter that has shaped my life immensely this year, all because this book pointed me to it. I think this is a must-read for all women! 

534140: Feminine Appeal: Seven Virtues of a Godly Wife and Mother Feminine Appeal: Seven Virtues of a Godly Wife and Mother

By Carolyn Mahaney





12. The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman

Another one that you've probably already heard of or read, I was a bit late to hop on this train. But, y'all, I am glad I did. It taught me so much about myself, my husband, family, friends -- pretty much everyone I know. It's NOT just about marriage. I tend to think that people want to be loved the same way I do, which is usually not the case! We are all so different. This book made a light bulb go off, especially concerning the differences between me and my husband and me and my immediately family members. I need to read it again as a reminder!

473158: The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts

By Gary Chapman





13. Quitter by Jon Acuff

This book kinda goes hand in hand with his aforementioned book Start. It depends on where you are in life, but this book has a lot of good advice about going for your dream job when you feel stuck in your day job. Including some advice that's not fun to read (like how you shouldn't quit yet!). It was intriguing to read about his story of quitting multiple jobs and landing his dream job. 
14. A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller

The author of Blue Like Jazz wrote this book about what he learned through making a movie of his book. So it's a book about a movie about a book. Haha. I haven't read Blue Like Jazz yet (it's on my list!), but this was a refreshing, easy read that made me look at my life in a new way. Each day I'm deciding to live my "story" -- what kind of story is it?
That's all I've got for ya right now. I know what you're thinking -- Where's the fiction? -- but I've been on such a nonfiction kick. I did read the Divergent series by Veronica Roth which I liked a lot, but not as much as The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins which I re-read this year also. There were a few other fiction books I read, but didn't like them enough to recommend. I'm hoping to read some compelling fiction this year so all of your recommendations are welcome!

Which reminds me, please do give me book recommendations in the comments! I may add some of them to my 2014 Reading List that I will be posting tomorrow. I may have to make it into two posts because it's seriously SO LONG. 

Ashley


Disclaimer: There are affiliate links in this post, but all opinions (as always) are my own. 
Also, I do not support everything each author mentioned says or writes. The only book that is completely all truth is the Bible!

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