Books, In My House

Books: Looking for Lovely

I write about most of the books I read, and that means writing about the ones I didn’t love. I didn’t love Looking for Lovely by Annie F. Downs, but I really liked certain parts, which was a enough to keep me going. Downs is a public speaker and author of several inspirational books. This is the first of her books that I have read.

In some chapters I was irritated by this woman, but not to the extent that Rachel Hollis drove me nuts in Girl, Wash Your Face. Downs does annoying things like name-dropping country music band Lady Antebellum, but then she throws the reader a real-life gem of wisdom on finding ways to find beauty and joy in the simple parts of life. Her honesty about her battle with food addiction and depression is inspiring and brings meaning to the message of the book.

Downs does a good job of balancing hardship and humor. For instance, she is not afraid to poke fun at herself, writing about things like the earrings she wore in middle school that featured a pig’s face as the front and the pig’s behind as the back. I had those exact earrings!

Looking for Lovely is a quick read that provides the reader some nuggets of genuine, applicable ideas for being joyful and positive. It is worth weeding through a few lackluster chapters to grab onto them. The overall message of finding happiness in simplicity resonated with me, even if it wasn’t my favorite book of all time.

9

(Image from amazon.com)

Advertisements
In My House

Valentine’s Day Favorites

I don’t know when exactly I went from despising Valentine’s Day to really loving it, but I think it happened somewhere between marrying my hubby and embracing the inevitable girly antics that come with raising two young daughters. Valentine’s Day is unapologetically girly and I love it! Here are a few things rocking my world for this Valentine’s Day.

val

1. The Fiesta heart-shaped dish is the perfect candy bowl. I have it in lemongrass (seen here) but it comes in almost every Fiesta shade. Mine is currently filled with Valentine M&Ms. (Bed Bath & Beyond) 2. This banner is a simple way to add a festive touch to a dining room or across the mantel. (Pottery Barn) 3. Pajama pants are a cute and cozy gift idea. (Gap) 4. These raffia hearts would look beautiful in a bowl as a centerpiece or in vases on the mantel. (Pier 1) 5. I bought these conversation heart leggings for both of my daughters. (Target) 6. A Neil Diamond Valentine card. Need I say more? (Debbie Draws Funny on Etsy)

In My House

For the Mom Buying Her Own Stocking Stuffers

Like a lot of moms out there, I buy a few goodies to stuff my own stocking every Christmas. I don’t want my four-year-old asking why Santa filled everyone’s stocking but Mommy’s, and, quite frankly, I just really love stocking stuffers. They’re small, fun, and don’t require cleaning out an entire closet to find space to store them. So, pretty much, they’re the best kind of gift! Here are my favorites for my own stocking this year.

Picture1

1. These enamel pins by Rifle Paper Co. are perfect for a stocking. I’m actually also giving them as gifts to my daughters’ preschool teachers this year. (Anthropologie) 2. This cute little box holds a small tube of my favorite moisturizer and a purse-size lip gloss. (Clinique) 3. This drinking glass features a schnauzer that looks so much like my own Norman. I would use this on my dresser as a jewelry catch-all. It comes in other dog breeds as well. (Anthropologie) 4. Wear Your Music offers jewelry made from guitar strings of all kinds of musicians ranging from James Taylor to Jason Mraz. I would of course choose a bracelet made from James Hetfield’s guitar strings. (Wear Your Music) 5. This is one of my favorite hand creams to get through the dry winter months. Vanilla marshmallow is one of the best fragrances. (The Body Shop) 6. I love the bow detail on these gloves and gray is always a favorite for me. They also come in black and pink. (Kate Spade)

In My House

Some Holiday Favorites

It is hard to believe that Christmas is only a little more than a week away. I have been enjoying the anticipation through the eyes of my two young daughters. I also shamelessly ordered all my own stocking stuffers from Sephora and Anthropologie. Are there any other moms out there who order their own stocking stuffers? I’ll post my favorites later, but for now here are a few other items I’m loving this Christmas season.

Christmas.png

1. These animal ornaments are the cutest and would make great gifts for teachers and friends. Who doesn’t love a small smiling sloth? (Crate & Barrel) 2. I am thrilled at the abundance of non-candy advent calendars on the market. This Playmobil Santa’s Workshop has been a huge hit with my girls. (Target) 3. These metal monogram ornaments are gorgeous on the tree or tied on a gift in place of a bow. (Anthropologie.) 4. This table runner will be lovely to dress up with red and green décor, but also will work for everyday. (Target) 5. My friend and I visited Anthropologie on our recent trip to Salt Lake City and both fell in love with this skirt. It’s pricey and we had both just spend a lot of money on Metallica tickets so we passed this time, but I’ll be watching to see if it goes on sale! We were thrilled that the store is featuring the same fox image on their shopping bags this season so we still got to take this lovely design home, just not in skirt form. (Anthropologie) 6. A store in my small town carries homemade taper candles in a variety of gorgeous hues. I recently grabbed some dark forest green ones to pair with a black and white runner on my dining room table. These are similar and under $4 for a pair. (Target)

In My House

Sweater Weather (All Under $35)

This morning when I drove to work, the thermometer on my car said it was 1 degree outside. Yes, 1, people! It’s officially sweater weather in western South Dakota. While I’m not a fan of freezing cold weather, I do enjoy a cozy sweater and here are four beautiful ones. I ordered the first one over the weekend and am holding off on the others for now, but someone out there should definitely purchase them soon. Can you believe Thanksgiving is next week?

Sweaters

1. I ordered this sweater online this past weekend because I love the deep green. I hope it arrives in time to wear for Thanksgiving and it will be great through the holiday season. (Banana Republic) 2. Loft is my go-to for comfortable sweaters that take me from work to play to church and back to work again. This light blue is gorgeous. (Loft) 3. The cheerful bright yellow and ruffles on this sweater caught my eye. (Halogen for Nordstrom) 4. I love how the sleeves on this sweater add feminine element to an otherwise basic black top. (J.Crew)

In My House

A Few Favorites

I don’t do much shopping, but I like to share some of my favorite things. There’s no theme this time, but here are six of my favorite recent purchases. This is a little more fun than posting my grocery list.

Fall

1. This might be the last year I get to select my youngest daughter’s Halloween costume without her feedback. So an adorable, fluffy snow owl it is! (Target) 2. Just try to challenge me to a game of Golden Girls Trivial Pursuit. Always Fits is my new favorite web site for fun, quirky gifts. (Always Fits) 3. This black bomber jacket has been my favorite item to transition into the chillier months. (Gap) 4. I started purchasing some products from The Honest Company because my youngest daughter has extremely sensitive skin. I selected this mascara on a whim as an add-on product with my last shipment. The primer adds length and the mascara has a great consistency. It stays put all day, but comes off easily with a cosmetic wipe. (The Honest Company) 5. I actually haven’t purchased this super cute rug yet, but I have been eyeing it. I love October! (Pier 1) 6. After years of aggressively ripping a brush through my super thick wet hair I heard about Wet Brush and decided to give it a try. I love this brush! (Wet Brush)

In My House

Is Every Cast Member from The Hills Promoting Hello Fresh? Weird.

For whatever reason (crazy work schedule, motherhood, trying to be a Metallica groupie) I have been absent from the blog for a while. During that time, it seems that nearly every cast member of MTV’s decade-old hit reality show The Hills has started promoting meal-kit delivery services. Furthermore, it seems that Facebook’s has unveiled a new algorithm with the sole purpose of flooding my feed with these meal-kit ads despite the fact that I have never ordered one, expressed interest in them on social media, or otherwise “liked” them.

wiederholt2018-141

Photo by Tayhart Photography

First I scrolled by Lauren Conrad in a cute pink peasant top in her perfectly spotless (read: unused) white and stainless steel kitchen happily unpacking a Hello Fresh box. Not 24-hours later, I scrolled past Lo. (You’re asking yourself “who?” and I did, too, but I’d recognize that silly name and deer-in-the-headlights facial expression anywhere.) Lo from The Hills. What? Really?

If you’re Hello Fresh, you really have to ask yourself: If Lauren Conrad is promoting your product do you also really need Lo promoting it, too? That’s like getting Stephen Curry to promote your new line of high-end athletic supporters and then also signing the guy who serves Gatorade to the Golden State Warriors to do a later-aired ad for the same product. You like that sports reference? That’s basically just to impress my husband in case he ever breaks away from his Fantasy Football line-up or ESPN.com and reads this blog.

I am not saying I have anything against meal-kit delivery services. I might even be willing to try one someday. I just think some of these advertising choices are a little bizarre, and trying to convince me that Lauren Conrad’s busy schedule as a mom, designer, or whatever you call her, is anything like my life or the lives of the other real-life working moms I know just doesn’t work.

Real-life working moms don’t cook in gorgeously clean kitchens while wearing adorable pink peasant tops. They cook in kitchens with appliances smudged with tiny finger prints, while still in a pencil skirt from the office, but in a Fleetwood Mac shirt with no bra because their toddlers are begging for snacks before they can completely change out of their work clothes.

I haven’t been on Facebook for a few hours, but I can almost guarantee that when I do, something special will be waiting in my feed. It will be Spencer and Heidi standing in a pristine kitchen, unpacking a cardboard box and talking about how Hello Fresh saves them so much time in their packed schedules of juice cleanses, plastic surgery consults, and anal-bleaching appointments.