Friday, September 19, 2014

Book Club Friday {Duchess of Love Series}

Hey y'all,

 This past week I ended up catching up on the Duchess of Love series by reading Loving Lord Ash and Surprising Lord Jack. I read the first book in the series, Bedding Lord Ned, back in December and then the prequel, The Duchess of Love, in January but I had never gotten around to reading the second and third books in the series. I am glad that I finally came back to the series since both of these books were great!
Frances Hadley has managed her family’s estate for years. So why can’t she request her own dowry? She’ll have to go to London herself and knock some sense into the men interfering in her life. With the nonsense she’s dealt with lately, though, there’s no way she’s going as a woman. A pair of breeches and a quick chop of her red curls, and she’ll have much less to worry about…
Jack Valentine, third son of the famous Duchess of Love, is through being pursued by pushy young ladies. One particularly determined miss has run him out of his own house party. Luckily the inn has one bed left—Jack just has to share with a rather entertaining red-headed youth. Perhaps the two of them should ride to London together. It will make a pleasant escape from his mother’s matchmaking melodrama!
My Opinion:
 Of all three books I think this was the hardest to get into. It might have been the way the book opens with Frances dressed as a man that the masquerade made it hard to connect with her for a bit. I did think there were a lot of valid feelings about being a charity case and Jack's need to protect all women in dire circumstances that clouded each other's feelings and ability to truly declare love. It is a great book and I liked that Jack was able to find someone without the matchmaking of his mother.

Kit, the Marquis of Ashton, is in a sticky wicket. He married young and for love—how na├»ve. He discovered his mistake the very day of his wedding, but he is saddled now with a wife he's reluctant to trust. And however much evidence he gathers against faithless Jess, he can't seem to prove her guilt to the final judge—his foolish heart.
Jessica knows she's bobbled her marriage, however innocently. A fairytale wedding makes no difference if she hasn't got the marquis charmed to show for it. Well, she's had enough of accidental encounters with naked gentlemen and near misses explaining things to her husband. It's time to buck up and go win her man back—even if she has to fight very dirty indeed.
My Opinion:
 This is probably my favorite book of the series and not just because one of the main characters shares my name. I was very frustrated with both characters throughout the book since I honestly wanted to toss them in a room together so they could shout out their feelings and move on but it goes to show you how much communication and trust play into relationships. I am so glad this relationship was rectified although it took eight years for all the truths and feelings to be settled.

What are y'all reading? 
My book club is reading Where'd You Go Bernadette so that is coming up shortly!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

I've Got My Eye on Ewe {Critter Couture}

Hey y'all,

The past few fall seasons have included a lot of critters making their way onto the runway and this fall from looking at stores is no different. I thought I would compile some looks over the next week or so of some adorable animals. Who needs a menagerie when you can add some critters into your closet?

Ever since I joined Phi Beta Chi, I have steadily been on the look out for adorable things with lambs on them. I currently only have lamb socks and pajamas but I am thinking this scarf from Target might need to join my collection for fun chapter apparel during on of my advisor duties.

I've Got My Eye on Ewe

Are there any critters you adore?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Wednesday Wishlist {Sept 18}

Hey y'all,

Between pet-sitting and recovering from Recruitment I have abandoned this little blog space and I apologize. Things have finally settled down and it is beginning to feel like fall here in NC! I mean, highs in the 70s work for me. I am ready to break out the crock-pot, go on nice afternoon runs, and be able to actually attempt to straighten my hair since the humidity is going down. 

As usual, I have complied a list of a few things that I am wishing for this Wednesday:
Wishlist Wednesday

Kate Spade New York Glitter Bug Stacy Wallet. How cute is this glittery wallet and it is on sale! I love my Hobo Lauren wallet but this is the perfect wallet that can be used to grab and go to the grocery store in style.

C. Wonder Printed Signature Tote. I am currently lusting after brown leather bags so when I stumbled across this gorgeous herringbone bag for under $100 it was immediately added to my list. I mean, who doesn't love a work tote appropriate for almost every outfit. Plus, we all know herringbone is a perfect fall pattern as seen by the infamous J.Crew vest.

Riding Boots. My old pair of riding boots have hit the dust. They were inexpensive and lasted over 4 years so I'm impressed but it's now time to find a new pair. Any suggestions of boots you have loved are welcome.

Fall Candles. Is anyone else obsessed with candles when fall hits? I love this Marshmallow Fireside candle from Bath & Body Works, it smells just like fall nights by the campfire making s'mores. Really. My other favorite fall/winter candle is Cranberry Woods. Grab it if you see it at the store. I am thinking Monday I might go and treat myself to a few new candles for our apartment.

Throw Blanket. Fall to me means hot chocolate, a nice candle burning, being wrapped in a blanket and eating food from your crockpot. This throw from Target caught my eye due to my love of polka dots and for under $25 I think I need to find this in store and check out the quality.

Gala ready dress. I have been loving looking at cocktail dresses. This fall/winter I am attending a few Broadway shows at the Durham Performing Arts Center as well as attending a wedding in December so finding the perfect dresses for a small budget has been interesting. But, Modcloth has so many great dresses you might be seeing a post soon!

What are you wishing for at the start of the fall season?

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Welcome Home, Alpha Zeta Class!

Hey y'all,

The past two weeks I have been super busy helping out my sorority's chapter as they prepared and underwent recruitment! Recruitment has always been one of my favorite times of the semester in the sorority and as the advisor I love getting to know the next generation of Phi Beta Chi. This year was a little different since our chapter is approaching campus total and as associate members of the Panhellenic council on our campus this is the first time we have been this large going into a recruitment. Well, politics aside, last night was Bid Night and we welcomed home 36 beautiful new members home! 

The majority of the officers on Philanthropy Night.
I am lucky to work beside such wonderful women who thoughtfully lead the chapter.

 The seniors in front of the house at Bid Day! 
It is crazy to think I was a Senior when it was these girls' bid day!
 The Alpha Zeta Associate Member class after receiving their bids!
 Traditional photo at the Old Well!
A quick selfie with KR! 
I can't believe she is a Senior and will be "hopefully" off to med-school next year!

I hope you all have a lovely Saturday!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Motivation Monday

Hey y'all,

I have been steadily trying to get healthier and this summer I participated in Tone It Up's Bikini Challenge. While the challenge was great, I had a lot going on so my participation was not 100%. Well today marks the start of their fall challenge, termed Frisky Fall

Essentially the challenge consists of weekly workouts (a lot of the workouts are free on their Youtube channel and those on their DVDs can always be supplemented) and lots of inspiration from the TIU community. Karena and Katrina are so caring and really do put in a lot of effort for everyone to have a healthy lifestyle. There is a nutrition program that consists of eating lots of fruits and veggies, and eating clean. This is all about positive changes for health not a get fit quick. 

The challenges also include you doing either 100 miles or 150 miles before Halloween. This consists of anything from walking, running, biking, swimming or going to fitness classes. I was so surprised when I finished my 100bysummer a week early! This challenge I am opting for 150byhalloween since I have my half marathon on October 19th so 13 miles will automatically be done-not to mention all my half training runs to account for!

If you want to follow along, new routines are posted every Tuesday during the challenge but every Sunday afternoon you will get a new week of routines already laid out that cover toning up your entire body (not just spot targeting).

So if you want to get in a nice healthy routine (8 weeks of consistent healthy habits=them sticking) before the holidays begin I would recommend checking this out! I mean, FREE workout routines and lots of encouragement are perfect motivation for fitness. Let's go make our Pinterest Fitness boards jealous!

What do you do to stay fit? Have you tried Youtube videos to supplement your fitness?

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Gameday {San Diego St}

Hey y'all,

Last year I loved making and posting gameday attire for football season so I thought I would get back to that series. Today's game for Carolina is against San Diego St. and is the stripe out game so I made two different looks depending on where in Kenan your tickets are!

Here is the stadium map:
Also, how great does the field look for the game? I love following the Turf guys on Twitter!
Here are my looks for both stripes black or blue:

Stripe out

With the weather still pretty warm I thought some nice dresses would work out. I love wearing dresses to the game since they are so easy to throw on and you look so put together. Perfect for those pictures in the stands while waiting for the game to start. 

Are you going to a game this weekend? What is your favorite thing about gameday?

 As always GO HEELS!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Friday Funny

Hey y'all, 

I know that most people as they transition into life as a postgrad have searched through the Ikea website and catalog. I think as well, most of us has seen a commercial for any apple products so this video had me giggling at my desk. I thought this video would brighten your Friday afternoon!

What Ikea pieces are your favorite from the new catalog?

Book Club Friday {The Light Between Oceans}

Hey y'all,

Today, for Book Club Friday I thought I would share my book club's most recent read. We read, M.L. Stedman's The Light Between Oceans.
 After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season and shore leaves are granted every other year at best, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby.

Tom, whose records as a lighthouse keeper are meticulous and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel has taken the tiny baby to her breast. Against Tom’s judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them.

M. L. Stedman’s mesmerizing, beautifully written novel seduces us into accommodating Isabel’s decision to keep this “gift from God.” And we are swept into a story about extraordinarily compelling characters seeking to find their North Star in a world where there is no right answer, where justice for one person is another’s tragic loss.

The Light Between Oceans is exquisite and unforgettable, a deeply moving novel.
I liked this novel. It was an easy read, but not altogether captivating until you hit Part 3. I felt like a lot of the characters faced terribly heart-wrenching sad situations and very few people are able to be truly happy at the end of the book. Tom is such an interesting charachter having survived the war to take on the role as a light keeper only to begin to pursue a girl/dissuade her from the lonely life. Tom and Izzy have such a great relationship in the beginning of the book only to watch how various factors and decisions apart from one another destroy them. I can honestly say I would never want to be in the situation of living on an island seeing only one person for months on end but it was interesting to see how Stedman weaved that life into the characters. Some of my favorite quotes are below.

“You only have to forgive once. To resent, you have to do it all day, every day.”
  “Putting down the burden of the lie has meant giving up the freedom of the dream.” 

What have you been reading this week?

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Food Rut

Hey y'all,

I feel like I am currently in a dinner food rut and need your help! It can be hard to cook meals for just one person, especially if that meal (like tacos) makes plenty and you then are eating it for the entire week. I know with Pinterest, my collection of cookbooks, and blogs this should not be the case but I would love some feedback of some of your favorite meals for the weeknight!

Here are some of my go-tos:

Chicken Stroganoff (when it gets cooler)

Breakfast for Dinner
 Mac and Cheese
Baked Chicken & Couscous

Thanks for all of your help and suggestions!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Shake It Off

Hey y'all,

I think by now, the majority of the world has heard Taylor Swift's new song, Shake It Off. However, I thought I would share this cute video of the Diamond Cutters from the Durham Bulls. It is almost the end of the summer and I am sad I never made it to a bulls game this year especially for this kind of entertainment.

Yep, and this is not their first performance. You can watch many more here

I hope this brought a smile to you this Wednesday afternoon! Don't forget to check out my Wednesday Wishlist post as well. 

What are some of your summer traditions?
 Anythings you need to complete on your summer bucket-list?