Bargain Treasures

What I’m Into ~ June 2015 Edition

What I'm Into ~ June 2015 Edition

 

Happy July, friends! Are y’all having a good summer so far? I’m wishing that these summer days would slow down a little. It feels like it is flying by much faster than I’d like – but I guess that’s just a challenge to be present and soak it all in!

 

It’s that time again – time to join the lovely Leigh Kramer in rounding up what we’ve been into in June. I love checking out all the awesome blog posts to find new ideas for books to read, movies to watch, and things to enjoy! Grab a glass of lemonade, curl up in the air condition, and check them out!

 

 Pretty Things ~

 

I could give up shopping, but I'm not a quitter! ~ justoneoftheboys.com

 

I saw this sign at a local consignment boutique, and I just had to snap a picture for Instagram!

 

Purple GUESS booties ~ justoneoftheboys.com

 

 

And speaking of consignment stores, I found these purple GUESS booties on clearance at one of my favorite local consignment shops for only $8! They were begging me to bring them home – and I just couldn’t resist! Now I can’t wait for cooler weather so I can wear them!

 

Vintage train case turned into a makeup case! ~ justoneoftheboys.com

 

 

I’ve been looking for a better way to store my makeup. I don’t have very much in the way of cosmetics, but I was outgrowing my little antique bowl. I hated that brushes and blush would fall out of the container, and it was leaving me feeling disorganized – which is not now I want to start the day.

 

I started browsing Pinterest for ideas, but nothing seemed to fit my needs. It was then that I remembered a vintage train cases! Many of them had small mirrors and trays – perfect for a retro woman on-the-go! I found this one on eBay. It’s faux leather, and in awesome condition! Someone replaced the fabric in the bottom of the case – it’s rather groovy now – but once I set my plastic tiered organizer inside, I couldn’t see it any more. It’s been the perfect solution to my makeup organizing woes. It has plenty of room for my small-ish collection, and a little more room to grow. *Wink* And I couldn’t be more thrilled!

 

Date night decisions - boots or wedges? ~ justoneoftheboys.com

 

We had a couple of date nights this month! I sent out a plea for help on Facebook and Instagram one night when I couldn’t decide which shoe to wear to our mystery date with a group of friends from church. I ended up picking the boots because I learned that our date was outside, and I didn’t want to be teetering around in heels when I didn’t know what we were going to do. We ended up going to an awesome little airport that also has a restaurant attached. We watched bi-planes take off and land as we devoured burgers and visited. What fun! Have you ever been on a mystery date?

 

What I’m Read in June~

 

Scary Close, by Donald Miller – I was excited to finally get my hands on his newest book! I’m introverted by nature, and tend to be pretty guarded – too guarded – to protect myself from the hurt of others, but this helped me to see that I am not gaining anything by keeping people from getting close to me. It was an eye-opener, for sure!

 

Still Alice ~ justoneoftheboys.com

 

Still Alice, by Lisa Genova – Wow. This one really got to me. I felt as though I was getting an unveiled look into what it must be like to have Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease. I’m a stickler for reading the book before seeing the movie, so now I’m excited to finally see the film soon!

 

The Life-Chaging Magic of Tidying Up ~ justoneoftheboys.com

 

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo – Now I know what all the fuss was about! This was a fabulous little book – so challenging and inspiring! I wasn’t even through the book yet when I purged a large portion of my closet. I have been hanging on to clothes and jewelry that I never wear. Even though my things were well organized, I didn’t realize how much the “clutter” of having more things than I need was affecting me. I love walking into my newly purged closet and seeing ONLY the clothes that I enjoy wearing. There’s also something much less stressful about knowing that whatever you pull out of your closet is going to feel good, look good, and boost your confidence.

 

Dear Mr. Knightley, by Katherine Reay – This had been sitting on my Kindle for several months, but it wasn’t until my friend Crystal from Money Saving Mom recommended this book to me that I finally started reading it. It was perfect to read by the pool when the boys began swimming lessons. It was heartwarming, thoughtful, and kept me engaged through the last page. It was just light and fluffy enough for summer, while inspiring me as a writer!

 

 

Reading in July ~

 

What I'm Reading - June 2015  justoneoftheboys.com

 

Love Walked In, by Marisa de los Santos – I’ve spent the last 10 nights trying to read this book before bed, but I kept falling asleep and losing my place! I picked it up this morning on our way out the door for swimming lessons, and by the time our hour was up, I thought the story was pretty promising!

 

The Husband’s Secret, by Liane Moriarty – I finished (and LOVED) Big Little Lies over Memorial weekend, and decided to dive into this one in July!

 

Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – I keep hearing over and over again what a wonderful book this is – so I used our Audible credit for the audio version to listen to this month! I recently watched Chimamanda give a commencement speech online, and was so moved, that I had to move it up on my to-read list!

 

Stories I Only Tell My Friends, by Rob Lowe – I’ve had this one on my radar for a while. I enjoy celebrity memoirs, and I’ve heard this one is especially good. I remembered recently while ordering other books from the library – so I just added it to the ever-growing stack. So many books, so little time!

 

The Kill Artist, by Daniel Silva – This one comes highly recommended by my friend Ashley. She loves spy books, and it sounds like this is the first one in the series. I loved the Bourne books, so I’m excited to step into this series!

 

A Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness – Our oldest has to do a book report over the summer and hand it in when he starts middle school in August. The book has to be over 150 pages, have literary merit, and be written between 2005 – 2015. We looked up lists of the best YA books, and this one piqued his interest. He flew through it, and was excited to get started on his book report – so I had to add it to my list to read this month!

 

Feathering My Nest ~

 

I finally tackled our middle son’s room this month. I’d only put it off for nearly *cough* four years *cough*! I had procrastinated because the former owners had put up a wallpaper border (blue flowers, btw) near the ceiling, and THEN painted the rest of the walls up to the line of the wallpaper. When I steamed and removed the flower border, it left a definite and unsightly line of demarcation.

 

That’s when I got out the spackle and filled in the area around the line, and the other areas that needed a quick layer.

 

Boy's room mid-project - rock wall, hanging ladder ~ justoneoftheboys.com

 

Then I sanded the whole room – and ended up with gray hair to show for it! Thankfully it washed right now. Whew!

 

DIYers gone wild! Gray hair! ~ justoneoftheboys.com

 

I put up a few paint samples around his room, and let him choose his favorite. He chose this gorgeous color from Benjamin Moore – Hudson Bay.

 

I love Benjamin Moore colors, but I’ve always been so impressed with the durability and coverage of Behr’s Ultra primer and paint in one, so I had it mixed at Home Depot. I finished it in one day, and applied a few touch-ups the next morning before moving his furniture back into place. Now he has a brand new room!

 

And look how good his Ninja Warrior equipment looks against the new wall color!

 

Navy blue boy's room! A rock wall and a hanging ladder are a great way for little boys to get out their energy! Benjamin Moore Hudson Bay ~ justoneoftheboys.com

 

I’ll be sharing more about Aiden’s room makeover soon! Next up, Quinn’s room is going to get a fresh new look! I just might get started weekend!

 

What about you?

 

What have you been up to lately? Have you read any good books? Watched a fantastic movie? I can’t wait to hear about it!

 

As always, thank you so much for spending a little bit of your day with me. Your encouragement and comments mean the world to me! You can also find me on FacebookInstagramPinterest, and Twitter. I’d love to hear from you!

 

Until next time,

*Hugs*

~ G

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5 Summer Must-Haves for a Busy Mom

Summer Must-Haves for a Busy Mom!

 

It’s getting warm outside! Summer is in full swing here in Kansas. Our family was been busy with VBS last week, and we will be heading to swimming lessons and playdates over the next couple of weeks. I love the time that we get to spend as a family during the summer, but it can be crazy with so many activities!

 

My Three Sons - Swimming

 

I shared with you last week how much I love my new Beeyoutiful mineral foundation. Love, love, love! I enjoy hearing about the things that people found – what makes life easier – that I thought I’d share with you a few more of my favorite things.

 

Here are some of my go-to, can’t-live-without, must haves for summer!

 

Summer Must Haves!

 

Dry Shampoo ~

 

I don’t know about you, but I don’t have time to wash, dry, and style my hair every day. Between getting up early to work out, meeting up with friends at the park, and spending afternoons at the local pools and splash pads, I need something to help my hair stay fresh, easy to maintain, and looking good between washings. Dry shampoo is the bomb diggity!

 

There are two brands that I love:

Suave Professionals Refresh & Revive is cheap, smells great, and gives my hair a little extra volume oomph! I can pick it up at Target, blow dry my hair after a sweaty workout, and spray it in before styling. It’s a great way to buy myself a little time until I can wash it later.

 

Big Sexy Hair Power Play comes in a powder form that you sprinkle in at the roots. I wait a few minutes before I rub it in and brush it through my hair. I love that this one leaves the rest of my hair feeling silky and clean so I can go about 2-3 days between washings.

 

Benefit Eye Bright ~

 

This has been called A NAP IN A STICK – and I love it! It’s the lightest shade of pink, and when I apply it to the dreaded dark circles on my face, it helps light to bounce off that area! I look so much more awake, alert, and refreshed when I am sporting my Benefit Eye Bright!

 

Beeyoutiful Mineral Makeup ~ Review and Giveaway!

 

 

OGX Argan Oil of Morocco  ~

 

Heavenly. That’s how I would describe this stuff! I use OGX’s Argan Oil shampoo and conditioner, too, but this penetrating oil makes my locks soft, silky, and so touchable. I can’t keep my hands out of my hair!

 

Future Hope Jewelry

 

I bought the small travel size at Ulta months ago, and I’m still working my way through it! I rub a small drop between my palms and run my hands through the ends and middle of my wet hair after a shower, and then I style it.

 

Beeyoutiful Mineral Makeup ~ Review

 

P.S. – It smells divine, too!

 

Pucker up! ~

 

I’ve become a big fan of having a pop of color on my lips! My sweet friend Heather gave me a pretty gold tube of Bésame Red Velvet for my birthday this year!

 

I tend to have dry lips, so I always wear a lip balm – even over my lipstick. My favorite is the Burt’s Bees “Red Dahlia” tube from Target. It adds just a hint of color to my lips, and looks great over a darker lip color as well!

 

My sister-in-law Amy gave me a new lip lavender mint balm from Honest Company, and I love it! It’s clear, but adds a nice little glow to my lips while keeping them soft and hydrated.

 

Red Lipstick

 

Sunglasses ~

 

Pulling weeds in the flower bed. Mowing the yard. A family walk around our neighborhood. Swimming lessons. Park play dates. Driving our kids all over God’s green earth for summer activities.

 

I couldn’t do it all without my shades! I keep these Kate Spades with me all the time, and it makes active summer life so much better. Plus, all you need is a little pop of color on the lips, and no on can tell if you have bags under your eyes from being up at night with a sick kiddo like I was last night, staying up too late reading a good book, or just didn’t have time to put on your Eye Bright!

 

Sunglasses and White Summer Dress

 

What about you?

 

What are some of your must- haves for summer? Do you have a favorite sunscreen? A fabulous lotion? A delicious summer drink? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!

 

Wishing you a fabulous week!

 

*Hugs*

 

~ Ginger

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Beeyoutiful Mineral Makeup…and GIVEAWAY!!! (Winner announced!)

And the winner is #21 – Heather! A big THANK YOU to each of you who entered our giveaway! I encourage you to check out Beeyoutiful, and let me know what you think! 🙂

 

3 Ways to Love Mineral Makeup

 

Psssst… Can I tell you something? I’ve been on a mission recently… A mission to gradually replace my old beauty products with ones that are more natural. Have you ever looked up the details of what is in our cosmetics? Yikes! It’s pretty scary! Even though I want to turn to more natural products, I don’t want to give quality or appearance. There’s a reason I wear makeup! *wink*

 

And that is why I couldn’t be more excited to share my latest discovery with you! Eeeeeeek!

 

Tinted moisturizer had been my go-to “foundation” for years now. I started out with Cover Girl, then eventually switched to Aveeno thinking that would be more natural – but it would sting and make my eyes water even when I lightly applied it to my face. That can’t be a good sign. Then I tried a pricier tinted moisturizer, but it really wasn’t anything to get excited about. I was still using it every day when I read this article by my friend Rosanna which introduced me to Beeyoutiful Mineral Makeup:

 

 

makeup-monday-1

 

She asked me if I would like to try a sample foundation kit from Beeyoutiful Mineral Makeup to review here on the blog, and of course I said yes! Rosanna is a busy wife and mom just like me – but she’s gorgeous, talented, and always looks amazing! I knew that I couldn’t go wrong in trusting her advice. Even though I still wasn’t sure that mineral makeup would work for me, I was willing to give it a shot!

 

I’m more of a medium tone, so they sent me an adorable fuchsia gift bag with EIGHT different shades of medium foundation to choose from and sample! EIGHT! And a small kabuki brush! One of the reasons that I’ve relied on tinted moisturizer for the last few years is because I’ve always had a rough time finding just the right shade of foundation to match my olive-ish skin – but Beeyoutiful was different.

 

(Ooops! I forgot to snag a photo of all eight samples… These were the remaining six shades that came with the sample package.)

 

Beeyoutiful Makeup Samples

 

I carefully watched Rosanna’s video on how to find your perfect match. There were so many shades that came in my sample package – but I chose the two that seemed like they might be the better matches, and I gave it a whirl. I was surprised to see that both shades matched pretty well! I ended up choosing the slightly darker shade because we were going into warmer months and my skin tans pretty easily when I’m outside in the summer.

 

Rosanna helped me put in my order – and a few days later this pretty package arrived in the mail!

 

Mineral Makeup

 

Once again, I followed along with the next video as Rosanna demonstrated how to use a kabuki brush to apply the mineral foundation. I loved that she also shows two other ways that we can apply the makeup. I had fun playing around with the different techniques, and over the next few days I tried all three!

 

Dry Brushing ~

 

First I tried the regular dry buffing method. Before trying mineral makeup, I had assumed that it would feel caked on, dry, and just gross, so I was surprised to see that it wasn’t any of those things! It felt light and fluffy – almost as if I wasn’t wearing makeup at all!

 

coconut earrings

 

Blending with a Moisturizer ~

 

Next I used a drug store moisturizer to blend with the mineral powder – and it was another great look! This created a little more coverage, so I will use this for a more dressed up, nighttime look. Even though my freckles weren’t as visible with this approach, I still didn’t feel like I was wearing heavy makeup. Oh, happy day!

 

Future Hope shirt

 

Airbrush Technique ~

 

This one is my favorite, and is now my go-to way to apply makeup each morning! I ran to Target and found NYX’s Dewy Finish Setting Spray to try. I look how it turned out! I like this look so much that I’m eyeing Beeyoutiful’s Lavishmint Hydrating Toner for when I run out – just like Rosanna uses in the video.

 

I love how this method evens out my complexion, but still light enough to show my freckles! I feel natural, as if I’m not wearing anything on my face – without scaring my friends and family!

Beeyoutiful Mineral Makeup ~ Review

 

My skin has never felt better!

 

I love that Beeyoutiful Mineral Makeup is a full disclosure company, and I can know exactly what I am putting on my body. At 34 years old, my skin has honestly never felt better. I’ve already told my Beloved that I’m excited to stick with this brand! I may get the slightly lighter shade of foundation to use as my summer tan glow fades this fall/winter, and I’m already looking at replacing my other cosmetics with Beeyoutiful’s fabulous choices!

 

It’s a GIVEAWAY!!!

 

Have you ever tried mineral makeup? Would you like to? Rosanna and the awesome folks at Beeyoutiful Skin have graciously offered to give away a FREE sample package and full-sized foundation to ONE LUCKY READER!!! This is the perfect opportunity to try something new! You can find your perfect shade and see for yourself how fabulous it is!

 

TO ENTER:

Just leave a comment below telling us your very favorite, can’t live without, gotta have it if you were stranded on a deserted island piece of makeup! Do you swear by a certain concealer? Are you a lipstick girl? Blush? Mascara? I’d love to know all about it!

 

The winner will be announced Friday evening!

 

Be sure to connect with Beeyoutiful on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to stay in the loop – sales, makeup tips, inspiration, and more!

 

Wishing you an exquisite week, my friends!

*Hugs*

~ Ginger

 

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What I’m Into ~ May 2015 Edition

What I'm Into May 2015

 

Once again it’s time to link up with the lovely Leigh Kramer and gab about what we’ve been into this month – (er, the past couple of months in my case)! Be sure to check out all of the wonderful links for the best book ideas, movie and tv reviews, and more!

 

My Birthday ~

Last month I celebrated my 34th birthday. The thirties have been hard for me, but this year wasn’t so bad. I welcomed it – and somehow 34 didn’t feel quite as daunting. Maybe that’s because I’ve been working so hard to take better care of myself, pushing myself out of my comfort zone, and finding out who I really am as a woman.

 

It probably helped that I had started an exercise routine 30 days before my birthday. I was feeling squishy, tired, achy, and self-conscious about how my clothes weren’t fitting very well. I had melted into a puddle of tears more than once, but I have a wonderful Beloved who pulled me into his arms and assured me that he loved me exactly how I was. I was inspired to stop moping and actually do something about it, so I began the 30 Day Shred exercise program, then progressed into trying PIYO.

 

I’m getting stronger, leaner, and more energized – which helped me to usher in this birthday with a smile.

 

Book Exchange Parties ~

 

I wish that I had snapped a picture from the other night! I hosted a white elephant book exchange party for the ladies of our new church – and I think everyone enjoyed themselves! My friend Kaila and I handed out invitations printed out on vintage-ish library check-out cards, and everyone brought snackies to munch on. We took turns picking out a wrapped book and finding out which books had impacted our friends.

Here are some of the AWESOME books that were shared:

The Chronicles of Narnia

For Men Only

For Women Only

The Pact

Sacred Marriage

Gods at War (I ended up with this one!)

Harriet the Spy

The Best Yes

One Thousand Gifts

Me Before You (This was my contribution to the evening’s festivities!)

 

And Speaking of Books…

 

Look at what my Beloved and our boys gave me for Mother’s Day!

 

Unfinished bookshelf

 

They really do know what speaks to my heart – a special place for my antique books!

 

Finished bookshelf

 

Future Hope ~

 

I am so excited about the work that my friend Katie is doing in Haiti with Future Hope Haiti! Her heart has been moved and she is working toward bringing hope to the people of Haiti! I love supporting them any way I can, and I won a t-shirt! One look at it, and my oldest son asked if he could have one, too. I’ll probably end up giving him mine. I love that he’s excited to spread the word of the work going on in Haiti!

 

Future Hope shirt

 

I love wearing my coconut earrings and bracelet from Future Hope! They go with absolutely everything!

 

Future Hope Jewelry

 

I love mine so much that I gave away a pair of coconut earrings on Facebook last week for my birthday! The giveaway went over so well that we just might have another one! Stay tuned!

 

Future Hope Earrings

 

 

Celebrating Being Seizure-Free!

 

Our middle son is officially finished with taking his epilepsy meds! He was declared seizure-free at his last EEG, and has been weaning off the medication. Our family celebrated this HUGE milestone with him – and we couldn’t be prouder for all of his hard work! He helped me write this post:

 

5 Things You Should Know About Absence Seizures

Crashing Into Grace ~

 

I had the unfortunate experience of backing into my Beloved’s car last month. I felt absolutely horrible about my mistake – and I managed to flog myself pretty well for not being more careful. It was my family who surrounded me with love and forgiveness that taught me the most important lesson of all:

 

Sometimes the best thing a mom can do for her family is to give herself grace. ~ justoneoftheboys.com

 

The End of the School Year ~

 

Quinn hat

 

Things have been pretty crazy around here lately! We finished up our school year, and it seemed even busier than in past years. My blogging took a back seat, but as life slows down a little this summer I’ll be able to share a little more of our story with you!

 

 

Books I’ve Read in April & May ~

 

I didn’t get to read as many books as usual. With getting up so early, I’ve found myself going to bed earlier and earlier – unable to keep my eyes open to read at night, but I did manage to get through a few!

 

The Maltese Falcon, by Dashiell Hammett – LOVED IT! Can’t wait to finally watch the film!

 

Glitter and Glue, by Kelly Corrigan – Another great book by Kelly Corrigan. This memoir focused more on her relationship with her mom, and it made me laugh and cry.

 

Hands Free Mama, by Rachel Macy Stafford – I’m going through this one slowly and soaking it up… Convicting and inspiring at the same time, and it’s helping me to stop and really be in the moment with my family.

 

Big Little Lies, by Liane Moriarty – WOWZERS! I loved her book What Alice Forgot, but when I started her newest story, I couldn’t get past the first few chapters. I had pretty much given up, but I’m so glad that my friend Jeri encouraged me to push through and keep reading. I’ve shared parts of my story with y’all, and I could relate to each of the three main characters in some ways. When I clicked past the last page on my Kindle, I couldn’t move. I couldn’t even cry. I just sat and soaked it all in – there were so many memories and emotions flowing through me. It was a good thing, honest! A fascinating page-turner, it also nudged me to dig deep and face some painful corners of my past.

 

Reading in June ~

 

Do Over, by John Acuff

 

Scary Close, by Donald Miller

 

Love Walked In, by Marisa De Los Santos – and if I enjoy it, I have the sequel ready to read, too – Belong to Me.

 

Gods at War, by Francis Chan

 

The Marriage of Chani Kaufman, by Eve Harris

 

 

What About You?

 

What have you been into lately? Have you read any good books? Watched any must-see TV? Found any great bargains? I’d love to hear all about it! I’m always looking for good recommendations for books, movies, and more! You can find me here, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest! I’d love to connect with you!

Wishing you an exquisite month of June, dear friends!

*Hugs*

 

~ Ginger

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Take a Little Time ~ One Little Thing

Take a Little Time for You! header

 

 

Happy Monday, Friend! Can you believe that it’s April already? Are you finding ways to take a little time for yourself? Have you been staying hydrated this week?

 

Last time I set a goal for myself to do at least ONE thing for myself every day. I’ve set this goal before, but haven’t always crossed it off my list. Some nights I’d be dragging myself into bed and realize that in the busyness of the day, I hadn’t taken the time to do anything just for me. I was determined to change that last week! I’m a busy lady, just like you – with kids, activities, responsibilities, and good things pulling me in different directions. I’ve found that when I take just a little time for myself, I am a more rested and refreshed person. I’m energized, happier, and a better wife and mother.

 

Taking care of yourself doesn’t have to be a big production, expensive, or selfish… it’s just taking a few minutes to recharge so you can have a better outlook on life as you take care of the people and responsibilities in your life. It’s a whole new mindset that I’ve been working on just a little bit at a time.

 

Here’s how it went down last week:

 

MONDAY – I spent time playing my piano. It’s hard to believe that she’s been mine for almost a whole year!

 

DSC_0060

 

 

TUESDAY – I tried some new teal eye shadow! My friend Anna has an awesome series of beauty videos, and she recently shared a Pop of Color tutorial where she showed us how to add some color to the eyes to bring a fresh bit of color to the face! Our family has been very careful to not spend extra money over the last few months, so this was a nice treat for myself! 

 

blue eyeshadow

 

 

WEDNESDAY – I lit a candle and took the time to really enjoy the fresh scent… We were also under a tornado warning and I thought it would be best to have a candle lit in case our electricity went out while I was making a poster for Game Night at our oldest son’s school. Sometimes a girl’s gotta multi-task!

 

(We used spray adhesive to attach the Captain America poster and the superhero-inspired letters to the giant poster board. Perfect for the class game – a ring toss!)

 

Freedom Toss

 

 

THURSDAY – I wore my new coconut earrings from Future Hope. They are lightweight, unique, and go with everything! I love them so much, that I think we might have another Favorite Things giveaway soon! Stay tuned!

coconut earrings

 

FRIDAY – I met with a friend from our new church to talk about a book we are reading together, and I was excited to learn that I could join in helping her plan events for the ladies of our church! 

 

SATURDAY – My sister Natalie treated me to a sister-date and a pedicure on Saturday afternoon! I had the most relaxing time sitting in a massage chair and catching up with her while our tootsies got the royal treatment!

 

Before I went to see my sister, I stopped by one of my favorite consignment shops and TJ Maxx with the gift cards that my parents and siblings gave me as an early birthday present! I hadn’t been shopping for myself in so long, and it was fun to try on clothes and find something special just for me! I found a cute summer skirt and a vintage looking top. I still have plenty left on my birthday gift cards, and I can’t wait to go shopping again soon!

 

Speaking of shopping…Has this ever happened to you?

 

A Shopping Monologue -

 

 

 Last Week’s Goals ~

 

  • ~ Drink 3 qt. of water each day. I did this all but one day this week. I feel so much more refreshed and energized when I’m drinking enough water! I’m also drinking coconut water and eating bananas to make sure that I’m not running low on potassium. 
  • ~ Wake up at 0530 or before to get an early start on my day with exercise and a quiet reading timeCheck! Getting up early is becoming a routine for me, and it’s easier now – three weeks in – than it was in the beginning. 
  • ~ Complete 30 Day Shred and 30 Days of Yoga every morningYEP! I have finished three full weeks of both the 30 Day Shred and 30 Days of Yoga. I’m in Level 3 of the Shred, and while it’s not super enjoyable, I’m not finding it as challenging as I’d hoped. 
  • ~ Get back into writingI have been outlining blog posts to share with you soon. 
  • ~ Do ONE thing every day just for myself – maybe play the piano, read, light a candle, or take a walk.

 

This Week’s Goals ~

 

  • ~ Be up by 0530 every morning to get an early start on my day with exercise and quiet reading time.
  • ~ Continue with the 30 Day Shred and 30 Days of Yoga every morning, or find something more challenging to finish out my month of working on my health. But do not weigh myself.
  • ~ Drink 3qt. of water each day.
  • ~ Write two more blog posts this week.
  • ~ Find ways that I can encourage a friend this week.

 

Will You Join Me? ~

 

I’m curious – as I’ve been thinking about all the things that have kept me from taking better care of myself, I’m wondering – What things are keeping you from taking a little time for you? Kids? Work? Crazy schedule? Are you like me and forgot how to take care of yourself?

One of the hardest parts of taking a little time for myself has always been coming up with ideas for how to take care of me. That’s why I’ve come up with a list of 101 FREE (or nearly free) Ways to Take a Little Time for US! And I’d be thrilled to send it to you! Subscribe to the free email updates from Just One of the Boys – just enter your name and email address below -and I’ll send you your FREE copy!

 

101 Ways

 

I’ll keep sharing even more of my progress on Facebook and Instagram this week with the hashtag #takealittletime, and I’d love it if you joined me. It would be way more fun with you! Let’s find a second to actually take a minute, SIT DOWN today, and just breathe. And don’t forget to do something for your heart – get it pumping today! You can even tell me how you are taking care of your body here in the comments or tag me in your photos! Let’s put our health, our hearts, and our heads back on the to-do list – and let’s start taking better care of ourselves today!

*Hugs*

~ Ginger

 

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Psssst… It’s Time for a GIVEAWAY!!!

SuPURSE Bowl

 

 

“These are a few of my favorite things…”

I shared earlier this weekend that we’ve been having a blast over on Facebook where I’ve been sharing some of my favorite things with YOU in giveaways! And let’s do it again today!

Just head over to the Just One of the Boys FACEBOOK PAGE during the Super Bowl for a chance to win a cute new purse for spring! And on top of that, it’s from one of my favorite places – JOYN! I absolutely love their story and their mission:

 

JOYN: FASHIONING BETTER LIVES

JOYN takes artisans living in poverty and joins them with the thriving fashion world.
Each step of our process is done by hand—creating more jobs, bringing more joy, and connecting more artisans with YOU.

 

It all started when I told my friend Ashley that I loved her bag – and wanted to know where she found it. She told me about JOYN, and the rest was history. I have two bags myself, one I use as a spring/summer purse and the other is when I just need an extra bag to carry library books, extra papers, or even granola bars and water bottles for my guys.

I love both of mine so much that I wanted to spread the love and give away a brand new JOYN bag to you! So today I am giving away a brand new JOYN handbag! It’s so pretty – and has such a wonderful story behind it!

 

JOYN purse

 

 

 

JOYN Purse 2

 

Join us on Facebook during the big game for an easy way to enter the fun! Can’t wait to see you there!

Hugs,

~ G

 

P.S. Full disclosure – I bought this purse on my own. I don’t know anyone at JOYN and I’m pretty sure they don’t know I exist, but I love these bags and the heart behind them so much that I want to share it with you – my friends!

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Take a Little Time ~ Take 3

Take a Little Time for You! header

 

Happy Wednesday, Y’all! I’m a couple of days late with this post. I had an incident this weekend… I’m pretty sure my finger is broken. This is what happens when you have a houseful of boys and you try to hang with them while playing basketball. I reached in for a steal – and now I have a swollen, throbbing, purple appendage where my wedding ring is supposed to be. Anyway – I’m doing my best to hunt and peck with my other fingers on that hand. Part of my goals for this week will certainly be to “baby” my hand so it can heal. It’s a literal pain to do anything – laundry, dishes, washing my hair. It will get better in time, just not fast enough for me!

How did you do this past week? Are you taking a little bit of time just for you? I’m still trying to get over the mental hurdle of believing that if I take better care of myself – Mom, Wife, Friend, Writer – then I can better care for my loved ones. But it’s true! Let’s find a few ways that we can all care for ourselves this week! Here’s how I did with my goals last week…

 

Last Week’s Goals ~

  • ~ Drink 60 oz. of water each day, and coconut water at least twice this week. I missed my goal twice this week, but I am feeling better by making sure that I’m drinking enough water!

 

  • ~ Eat a healthy breakfast (or brunch) each morningYep! Southwestern chicken salad, sausage/sweet potato casserole, chili… Odd choices for breakfast foots, but yum!

Chicken salad

 

 

  • ~ Remove my old polish and apply new polish to my tootsies. I have to confess – I didn’t remove my old polish. *pout* I slapped on a fresh coat of sparkly red on top of my older polish. But it serves me right since I don’t like how it looks now. I’ll be changing this ASAP!

 

  • ~ Clean out my purseCheck! (Side note: My Beloved and boys gave me an Etsy gift card for Christmas, and this was exactly what I was looking for! It’s a fun and funky purse, but it’s also big enough to carry my laptop when I want to do a little writing-on-the-go. Check out the seller’s Etsy shop! I couldn’t be happier with my new bag, and the seller was a dream to work with!) I cleaned out the library receipts, Pokémon cards, church papers, and other things that have collected in my purse since Christmas. Ahhh… I love having a clean purse! Now it only houses my wallet, my sunglasses, lip balm, keys, and room for books or my laptop. Much better!

new purse

 

 

  • ~ Put on real clothes during the work week – stay away from my comfy sweats until after supper or over the weekendGuess what?! I didn’t put on sweats once last week! Sure, I wore leggings and a poncho, but that’s as close as I got. I felt more energized and ready to tackle the day. I’m still tempted to crawl back into sweats after I shower in the mornings, but I’ll keep working on it. I didn’t get photos of every outfit, but I did manage to get a few pics…

Take a little time to dress for the day! 1

Homeschooling and errands ~ (Red shirt – JC Penney, vest – Kohl’s, jeans – Levi’s 535 from Kohl’s, boots – Vince Camuto from Dillard’s, jewelry – my Beloved’s old AF wings and an antique watch necklace from my dad.)

 

Take a little time to dress for the day! Church outfit - red boots, red pashmina, striped skirt

Church outfit ~ (White shirt – TJ Maxx, striped skirt – consignment store, red Pashmina – Qatar {from Hubby’s last deployment}, red boots – Lucky)

 

Take a little time to dress for the day! Blue suede Toms and black shawl scarf! Practical mom uniform!

Homeschooling, cooking, errands ~ (Gray tunic – TJ Maxx, black shawl – thrifted, Domaine jeans – thrifted, blue suede shoes – TOMS clearance)

 

Take a little time to dress for the day! Orange motorcycle jacket and scarf.

Assisting in Science class at our homeschool co-op, homeschooling, errands ~ (Gray sweater tunic – Bass, orange motorcycle jacket – consignment store, scarf – Afghanistan {from a few deployments back}, jeans – Levi’s 535, boots – Vince Camuto.

 

  • ~ Take multivitamins each morning.

 

  • ~ Visit my counselor once this weekAnd what an encouragement it was! As always she challenged me, made me smile, made me cry, and made me think. I have assignments to work on and left feeling ready to tackle life once more!

 

  • ~ Work out for at least 10 minutes EACH day. This happened every day but one. Getting better! I did a 20 minute Pilates video most mornings in the dark, just me and my zebra socks…

Take a little time to exercise!

 

 

  • ~ Make more facial oil cleanser by Tuesday. I’m almost outYes! And it feels sooooo good! 

 

  • ~ Do at least ONE thing every day just for myself – even if it’s just for a 5 minutes. I know that I did a few things for myself over the week, but I’m pretty sure a couple of days flew by without me giving thought to doing something for myself. 

 

This Week’s Goals ~

  • ~ Drink 60 oz. of water each day, and coconut water once or twice this week.
  • ~ Eat a healthy breakfast (or brunch) each morning.
  • ~ Take multivitamins each morning.
  • ~ Put on real clothes during the week, and post pictures to The Pleated Poppy’s What I Wore link-up.
  • ~ Work out for at least 10 minutes five times this week.
  • ~ Remove my old polish and apply new polish to my toes.
  • ~ Memorize. Work on James 1:1-4 with a group of friends.
  • ~ Do at least ONE thing for myself every day… just because.
  • ~ Tackle that one project I’ve been dreading.
  • ~ Go easy on myself and my injured hand.

 

What About You? ~

I’ll be sharing even more of my progress on Facebook and Instagram this week, and I’d love it if you joined me. It would be way more fun with you! Let’s find a second to actually take a minute, SIT DOWN today, and just breathe. Let’s put our health, our hearts, and our heads back on the to-do list – and let’s start taking better care of ourselves today!

*Hugs*

~ Ginger

 

*Linking up with Women With Intention and Coffee for Your Heart today!

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What I’m Into ~ November 2014 Edition

It’s here! It’s here! The November Edition of What I’m Into is finally here! I love this link-up hosted by the lovely Leigh Kramer! Fix yourself a cup of hot cocoa, curl up in front of the fireplace, and check out the other awesome link-ups this weekend. That’s what I’m doing right now!

Our Little Corner of the World

A little laundry time…

What I'm Into Nov laundry

A little hot tea in my jammies…

What I'm Into Nov pajamas

A little writing here, a little bling there, a little dark polish that’s perfect for fall…

What I'm Into Nov 1

A few science experiments… (Pop Rocks and Sprite)

science experiment

And a whole lot of snuggling…

What I'm Into Nov Snuggles

Between the Pages

What I'm Into Nov As You Wish

As You Wish, by Cary Elwes – Favorite book of the month! I listened to this book with our Audible credit – and I can’t recommend the audio edition of it enough. Cary Elwes, (aka Westley) takes us on the journey to filming the much-beloved classic movie The Princess Bride. I love this audio version – Cary Elwes does incredible accents, and most of the movie cast lent their voices to reading their own memories from this amazing movie! I laughed until I cried during stories about Andre the Giant and Miracle Max! It has pretty clean language. Fair warning – it may have contained the d-word (as my boys call it) once or twice, but my two oldest boys have enjoyed listening to it with me as we cook and clean up in the kitchen, and when we’re in the car running errands. If you loved the movie (I still haven’t read the actual Princess Bride book yet!), I’m betting that you’ll also love As You Wish!

Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces that Stand in the Way of True Inspiration, by Ed Catmull – This was a fascinating look into Pixar – the history, the ups and downs, and the things that have made it great! I’m not a boss in business, but it gave me some ideas for cultivating creativity and teamwork in my own family!

Sheltering Rain, by Jojo Moyes – I’m a big Moyes fan, and my friend Jan was nice enough to lend me her copy of this book! It wasn’t my favorite book by this author – that title still goes to Me Before You – but it was still enjoyable.

Yes please

Yes Please, by Amy Poehler –  I feel like I’ve been waiting for this book for years! It was an awesome look into her early life, her work on SNL and Parks and Rec, and laugh-out-loud funny!

Food: A Love Story, by Jim Gaffigan – Looking for more laughs? Check out Jim Gaffigan’s newest book! I listened to this on a road trip, and he kept me in stitches – and made me pretty hungry!

On my Nightstand

I’m about to dive into several books this month:

A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table, by Molly Wizenberg

Delancey: A Man, a Woman, a Restaurant, a Marriage, by Molly Wizenberg

#GIRLBOSS, by Sophia Amoruso

Save the Cat, by Blake Snyder

What are you reading this month?

Screen Time

My Beloved and I went to see the new Hunger Games movie on opening night with my siblings. The six of us plus a few of their friends really enjoyed the first installment of Mockingjay, and I can’t believe we have to wait a full year before we get to see the second half! Mockingjay was my least favorite book in the trilogy, but I was pretty impressed with the movie. Go figure!

We also saw Jon Stewart’s directorial debut – Rosewater.  Wow. The true story of a journalist who was imprisoned and tortured while covering the 2009 elections in Iran. We were the only two people in the theatre, which was pretty sad considering this is still going on all over the world.

Interstellar – Whoa. Buckle your seat belts, folks. This movie is a wild ride! I can’t tell you more than that – but it left me wanting to see it again!

Top Gear and Top Gear US are huge favorites in our house full of men. Joe and our boys have been watching past episodes whenever they get the chance – and I enjoy watching it, too!

And we’re still catching up on this season of Homeland. Let me just say this – If the Taliban lays one finger on Inigo Montoya (Saul), so help me, I’m never watching it again!

On the Blog

Once upon a time

I shared how forever can finally begin!

Chapter 12 ~ My New Friend

My New Friend ~ Chapter 12 of Our Story

Chapter 13

She Began to Twirl Once More ~ Chapter 13 of Our Story

Building Your Nest Together - Williams Sonoma

What I wish I’d known all those years ago about registering for my wedding! Don’t make the same mistakes I did!

Coming Up

We’re going on our honeymoon! After being married for four years, we will finally get away together, relax, recharge, and celebrate the wild roller coaster of our life together so far! Hawaii, here we come!

How about you?

What have you been into this past month? Have you read any good books? Seen any must-watch movies? What shows are you watching these days?

I’d love to hear all about it!

Have you signed up to have my new posts delivered straight to your inbox yet? Just go to the Subscribe Now section to the right – and you won’t miss a thing! It’s as easy as that – and nothing makes me happier! Don’t forget – you can also find me on FacebookInstagramPinterest, & Twitter!

Until next time,

*Hugs*

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What I’m Into ~ October 2014

What I'm Into - Trying New Things October 2014

I’m so excited to be back and linking up with the lovely Leigh Kramer again this month! Her WHAT I’M INTO link-up is a highlight of my month! Pour yourself a steaming cup of apple cider, curl up with a blanket, and check out the other awesome links! I know I will!

He’s home!!!

My Beloved finally came home! Deployment is over! My friend Katie told me recently that I’ve been glowing since he returned! I went to meet him at the airpot. My eyes began to overflow with emotion as he walked toward me at the baggage claim. The instant that he put his arms around me, I felt the weight of the world being lifted off my shoulders. I cried as the realization set in – He was home safe and sound. The months of fear, stress, being alone, and trying to be tough were finally over. It was so good to be at home again in his arms…and I melted. *Happiest of happy sighs*

We came home and pretty much hibernated for the next two weeks before he had to go back to work. We did school with the boys, went on family outings, cooked, played, and watched movies together – soaking in the feeling that our family was finally complete!

Daddy Joe's Bedtime Story

Joe also began a new project – designing and building a new TV stand for our living room! We decided to go with a clean, almost mid-century look. I think it will mesh beautifully in our living room once it’s finished!

Joe's TV Stand Plans

Joe's TV Stand - Wooden cuts

He went back to work after his two weeks home with us… but the exciting news is that his time in the Air Force is coming to an end! He’ll be moving home very soon – and we will finally get to begin the new phase in our life together! *Happy Snoopy Dance!*

New ‘do ~

It was one year ago that I made a big change. My Beloved was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2014. Caring for those touched by cancer became close to my heart, so I cut off twelve inches of my hair and donated it to Children With Hair Loss. I loved my long hair – but I honestly wasn’t sad to see it go. I knew that it was going to a little girl who needed it so much more than I do, and I haven’t regretted it since!

A Year of Trying New Things

I decided to bring a little color into my life recently. I’ve never really dyed my hair, but I’ve always wanted just a little color peeking through my dark mane. I went to my hair magician last week, and I couldn’t be happier! A little chop-chopping, straightening, and color will make a girl feel like a brand new woman!

Can you spot my little wild streak of color? It’s temporary – only lasting through a few washes – but I love it so much that I might take the plunge and do something a little stronger!

New Hair

Pucker up ~

My beautiful friend Heather and I went to Sephora last week! It was her first trip to that heavenly place – and we were on a mission. She was looking for lipstick and ended up with the lovely NARS shade “Charlotte”. I hadn’t planned on buying anything, but you know how it is when you walk into Sephora… it’s nearly impossible to not by something. And, boy, did I strike gold!

Do me a favor, and head to your nearest Sephora. When you get there, try Marc Jacobs Lust for Lacquer lipgloss. It’s infused with champagne grapes – and it tingles your lips with an awesomely cool feeling! Just try it and let me know what you think!

Here we are with our new kissable lips!

Heather and Ginger

Between the pages ~

While I was so busy snuggling with my Beloved that I actually didn’t get much reading accomplished this past month, but here’s what I have been reading lately:

Off the Sidelines: Raise Your Voice, Change Your World, by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand  – An inspiring and challenging read for all women!

The Nesting Place: It Doesn’t Have to be Perfect to be Beautiful, by Myquillyn Smith – Filled with beautiful pictures, practical advice, and engaging stories from a favorite blogger, it encourages us to bloom where we’re planted! LOVED!

A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity, by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn – The sequel to my favorite book from last year, Half the Sky, that tells the stories of amazing people all over the world who are making a difference!

Magic Treehouse #1: Dinosaurs Before Dark, by Mary Pope Osborne – Quinn has been reading this out loud to me in the afternoons after school. His reading is improving every day! I have loved revisiting this series with each boy around this age! So fun!

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenixby J.K. Rowling – Aiden and I are reading this together at bedtime. He laughs at my Dumbledore accent, and I love experiencing this story for the first time with him!

On my nightstand ~

My lovely friend Jan, (and fellow Jojo Moyes fan), lent me her copy of Sheltering Rain. I think it’s one of the few Moyes books that I haven’t read so far, and I’m excited to get lost in another one of her stories! Her writing allows us to see many sides of the story. I may not always like the decisions her characters choose – but she always makes me think!

This week I was thrilled to see Amy Poehler’s new book, Yes Please, arrive on my doorstep! I’ve been a fan of Poehler’s since her SNL days, and I have been excited to dive in to her memoir!

If you need me over the next few days, you’ll find me curled up with my nose in one of these books!

Yes please

Screen time ~

Since he’s been home, my Beloved and I have been catching up on episodes of The Blacklist, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, New Girl, and The Big Bang Theory. I started watching the first season of The Good Wife recently. Whoa. I think I’m hooked!

I’ve also been keeping up with Downton from across the pond. Shhhhh…I don’t want to give anything away. I’ve loved this season so far, and I can’t wait to see where these stories lead!

Swing dancing ~

We also went for our very first swing dancing lesson! Joe and I tagged along with friends, and we learned the basics of the Jitterbug. SO MUCH FUN!!! I can’t wait to go back! I’ve always had two left feet, but maybe I’ll actually learn how to dance after all!

On the blog ~

I shared my struggle with finding ways to show love to my ex-husband, and I received so many kind and encouraging responses from you! I can’t tell you what that means to me!

Mommy, Do You Still Love Daddy?

I also answered more of your questions in the DEAR GINGER series:

Dear Ginger

~ 10 Ways Counseling Changed My Life…

~ Why Homeschooling?

~ My Husband is Having an Affair…

 We also had some wonderful IN HER SHOES guest posts:

(Click on the photos to read the post…)

In Her Shoes ~ Just Breathe

In Her Shoes ~ I am the Kitchen Sink

In Her Shoes ~ 7 Things I Didn't Know About Entreprenuership

What about you? ~

What have you been into this month? Seen any great movies? Found any books I should add to my GoodReads list? I’d love to hear all about it!

Wishing you a lovely November!

*Hugs*

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10 Books that Stuck with Me…

I was tagged by one of my favorite people, my Aunt Nanette, and my lovely blogging buddy Sadie of Cottage & Home to share with you ten books that have stuck with me throughout my life, and I thought that I’d turn it into a blog post! I’m sure you’ve seen this going around on Facebook. The instructions say that you don’t have to think long or hard about this list. Just name the first 10 books that pop into your head, so here goes…

1. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee ~

Books that Stuck with Me ~ To Kill a Mockingbird - justoneoftheboys.com

This book absolutely changed my life. I first read it when I was about 14, and it peeled the blinders off my eyes as I read about a new, real, gritty side of life. I learned that you should still fight for what is right, even if it’s a losing battle. I saw courage in the face of unspeakable hardship, a father’s love for his children, and how friendship can blossom in the most unlikely places.

P.S. Joe knows that I have always wanted to name a (possible) future daughter after my connection to this book. We’ll see what happens. 😉

2. The Little House series, by Laura Ingalls Wilder ~

Books that Stick ~ Little House

My books are so worn from the hours spent pouring over Laura’s stories, that I had to get a new set to replace them! My aunt and uncle gave me my first set when I was in the 2nd grade, and I will keep those books on my shelf and treasure them always. Now they’re next to the newer set that I’m accumulating, ones that the boys and I can read without worrying about my older books falling apart! I’m still planning to add Little Town on the Prairie and These Happy Golden Years to my collection as I find them.

3. The Ragamuffin Gospel, by Brennan Manning ~

Books that Stick ~ The Ragamuffin Gospel

When I came home from living in Russia for a year, I had a crisis of faith. The legalism from my past caught up with me. I was so tired of trying to be perfect, and I was struggling under the weight of serving (who I believed) a harsh and unloving God. As I made my way through this book, my cold and aching heart began to melt and heal. I still come back to Brennan Manning books and sermons when I need a reminder that I am loved. Totally, completely, and undeservedly…just the way I am.

4. Anne of Green Gables/Emily of New Moon, by L. M. Montgomery ~

Books that Stick ~ L. M. Montgomery

Oh, the many girlhood nights I spent with a flashlight under my covers pouring over the trials and adventures of everyone’s favorite Canadian heroines! Broken slates, moving to New Moon Farm, bosom friends, and poetry – Love these books!

5. Resurrection, by Leo Tolstoy ~

Books that Stick ~ Resurrection

I first read Resurrection (Voskreseneeyeh) while living in Moscow, Russia. I haven’t found a copy in English for my collection, but I did buy this beautiful Russian version!

6. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare ~

Books that Stick ~ Shakespeare

My large copy of the Complete Works was a birthday gift from my mom and step-dad. This gem had been sitting in a teeny-tiny library for years! Knowing my love for vintage books, my mom bought them a new version of Shakespeare’s works, just so she could surprise me with the antique copy! The smaller books of plays are ones that I have collected over the years from used bookstores, garage sales, and estate sales.

7. Safe People/Boundaries Series by Clound & Townsend ~

Books that Stick ~ Safe People and Boundaries

My sister-in-law sent me a copy of Safe People when my first marriage began to fall apart. It was through reading it and the Boundaries books that I realized that I could and SHOULD develop healthy boundaries in my relationships.

8. Half the Sky, by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn ~

IMG_4137

Talk about a wakeup call. This book opened my eyes to the unspeakable hardships that women and girls have been facing in many parts of the globe. I love that each chapter not only makes the readers aware of what is going on in many cultures, but also of the people who are working tirelessly to end this oppression and empower women and families all over the world!

9. Me Before You, by Jojo Moyes ~

Books that Stick ~ Me Before You

This book wrecked me for all other modern fiction. Book. Tissues. Enough said.

10. Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott ~

Books that Stick ~ Bird by Bird

Part memoir, part writing guide, this book has been my go-to pick for invaluable writing inspiration and encouragement – as only Anne Lamott can give it!

That wraps up the list of ten books that have stuck with me over the years. I could have gone on and on… Austen, Brontë, Dumas, L’Engle and more.

I’m dying to know – Which books make YOUR top ten list? What were your childhood favorites? Have you read any of the books on my list? What are you reading right now? I’d love to hear all about it!

I’d love to be GoodReads buddies! You can also find me on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. “Won’t you be my neighbor?” 🙂

Happy Reading!

*Hugs*

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I’m Ginger ~

I'm a wife to my Beloved, mom of three boys, bookworm, survivor of a broken heart, and Kansas Girl. It is my desire to encourage you. No matter what storm you're going through right now, you are not alone. I promise.

Join the fun!

MY GIFT TO YOU!