Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Eight Great Book Recommendations



From time to time over the past several years I've received emails from my blog readers asking about books I would recommend on a particular topic-be it fashion, entertaining, etiquette or inspirational. While I've replied to those messages personally with my timeless favorites, I thought I'd share a few of them here today since Fall is a great time for curling up with some hot cocoa and getting lost in a new book. A few of the best I've read have actually been recommended to me or gifted to me by others.

Anyone who knows me well knows that I'm not (nor have I ever been) interested in romance novels or science fiction books. However, I can be found immersing myself in all things self-improvement, home decor-related adding a little bit of fashion for good measure. As a woman in my young 20's, I'd sometimes go to my favorite large chain book store and enjoy a hot tea while browsing through magazines and books. A couple of my friends who would often join would wonder why I wanted to read books on self-improvement (it was not their genre of choice) and one even commented to me, "Isn't this all pretty obvious stuff? Why do you want to waste your time reading it?" Well, apparently it isn't quite so obvious because there is a very large market (not to mention section of the book store) dedicated to exactly that! ;) I think what we enjoy reading actually says a lot about us and what is important to us in our life. I tend to gravitate towards how-to's and learning new ways to become a better person and if you're also committed to personal growth and enjoy a good book, I hope you'll enjoy the suggestions I'm sharing below.




1. Harper's Bazaar Great Style (Classy Fashion)
2. The Reluctant Entertainer (Home Entertaining)
3. Paris in Color  (Photography/Travel)
4. Young House Love  (Decorating/ DIY Projects)






5. Emily Post's Etiquette ~18th Edition (Manners & Etiquette)
6. Unstoppable (Inspirational)
8. Real Simple Solutions (Organizing & Keeping House)


Each one of these 8 books are in my personal collection and what I love about all of them is that they are the kind you can go back to and reference time and time again, re-read, share and enjoy. They are perfect for yourself or as a gift! I grouped the first four together because not only do they have wonderful content but their covers are also so colorful and beautiful which are perfect to adorn any coffee table, making for a great decorative accessory. These first four are also a bit more light-hearted and therefore reside in my living room on end tables and coffee table shelving. The last four are a bit more in-depth reads and are thought-provoking by nature (specifically 5-7).

1. Harper's Bazaar-Great Style- This timeless guide offers a look at different types of attire broken down by category and provides a variety of ways to finish an outfit and even selects wardrobe essentials by age. It has just the right amount of text balanced with photos and is a great reference for women of all ages. Although this book was publishes a few years ago, the fashion is still relevant today as the focus is on classic pieces. I have read as well as flipped through many books on style and fashion and this is by far a more in-depth overview of the essentials vs. current trends that will become outdated in months and years to come.

2. The Reluctant Entertainer- Sandy, the Author, focus on the heart of entertaining, that it need not be perfect (an area I have always struggled with as it pertains to entertaining) but rather, inviting and uncomplicated. She also shares some of her family's favorite recipes that you'll actually want to make along with many fabulous photos that will have you rethinking the way you entertain or inspire you to try it out if you tend to avoid it.

3. Paris in Color - This book transports you to a world of Parisian lifestyle shown through a collection of photographs grouped by hue. Whether you've always dreamed of going to Paris or it holds special memories for you like it does for me (hubby and I became engaged there), it a beautiful book that is sure to be a conversation piece when left out as a coffee table book.

4. Young House Love- This married duo won me over when I began reading their witty blog 5 years ago. They turned their love for DIY and home renovations into a family blogging affair which led to their first book. What I enjoy most is that their projects are unique ideas I haven't seen anywhere else and many can be accomplished in a few hours or a weekend with big impact.

5. Emily Post's Etiquette- This is the quintessential bible of Etiquette. Filled with the proper protocol for an array of dilemmas, this is a go-to on all things manners and etiquette related. While there are several books written on the topic, most, including myself, regard Emily Post as being the queen of etiquette advice.

6. Unstoppable- Because we all need inspiration and encouragement from time to time, this book has been a wonderful resource during discouraging moments. It is filled with not only 45 powerful stories of those who overcame in a great way, but it also a guide to learning how to persevere and triumph in all areas of your life. This book was a gift given to me by my father a decade ago and I still find myself gravitating towards it.

7. The Purpose Driven Life-This is one of the best books I've ever read. It's the kind of book that you'll want to as a gift for any friend or family member in your life. If you've ever felt stuck, frustrated or wondering what the purpose of life is or why you are here on earth, this book reveals why we all exist and how to discover our God-given purpose so that we might live a fulfilling and meaningful life.

8. Real Simple Solutions- I think this is the type of book that would appeal to everyone because it's filled with loads of everyday tips, ideas, tricks and solutions to dilemmas we experience every day and who doesn't want to make life easier. It covers genius ideas from beauty, decorating, entertaining and celebrating to organizing, cooking and cleaning. Essentially, it covers every facet of your life and how to keep it simplified. It's filled with lots of great images and how-to photos that you can implement into your every day life.




What are some of your all-time favorite books within these categories?

Thanks for Reading!

XO





*image source: (1)

**This was a sponsored post however all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Photo Gallery Wall Inspiration



Does anyone else love photo gallery walls as much as I do? I feel they add such a great focal point to any room and can be a great way to utilize a smaller wall that you're not sure what to do with. It's great to have all of the main family photos in one open area where they can be enjoyed by those who dwell in the home and visitors alike.

For what has now become years I've been meaning to create one in our living room. There is currently a fairly blank wall with a bench residing there now (which is next to our entry hall) which by the way was awesome for me when I was pregnant and couldn't bend over so well to put my shoes on! Recently it's started serving the purpose of catch-all for the diaper bag, my handbag, camera bag and a few other regularly used items.The wall is currently painted in an accent color darker than the other walls in the living room so it stands out and I wanted it to be a feature wall but I just never got around to putting the wheels in motion. Ever since expanding our family recently with the addition of baby Lily and having recently selected photos of her after her newborn photography session, I'm motivated now more than ever to add this personal touch and begin this wall so we can showcase our special moments.

My plan is to use silver frames of varying sizes but I haven't decided if I want it to be a black & white gallery wall or if I want to include color. I'm also installing a couple long white ledge shelves in Lily's nursery soon for books, small framed art pieces and little accessories so I've been spending some time planning the layout for that wall also. It's funny how sometimes the smaller projects can be so consuming. I find it much easier to design and decorate for clients than for us in our home, living in the space just leaves too much time for indecisiveness with the details such as which photos to use since there is technically no project completion date. ;) I'm at the point now though where done is better than perfect and I can always re-arrange as the wall grows and replace photo at a later date if need be.




I thought I'd share some of the images that I've been perusing as I know photo walls can sometimes feel a bit daunting. There are a lot of great ideas here to get the creative juices flowing! Feel free to pin the images to your own Pinterest page or save them for reference for your own photo projects if you like. :)



{Simple and relatively symmetrical for a balanced look}





{Clean & crisp sophisticated look achieved with identical frames and print colors}




{Add whimsy and personality to a space with unique frames and fun pops of color}




{Organized with a varying array of objects and frames to keep it interesting}





{Classic black + white prints matted in white frames}





{Lots of color & personality. A fabulous use of the space above the rail}




{Simple cable & clips for an ultra modern effect. You can find 
picture hooks with AS Hanging Systems for all of your picture hanging needs}




{Eclectic gallery wall filled with personal bits from the family treasures}





{Ornate gold frames with classic black + white photos for a bit of drama}




{Compact photo grouping without any space in between-great for tight spaces}





{Genius ledge shelf photo gallery. You can re-arrange & swap out photos anytime!}




{Neat looking full gallery wall-simply use a strip of painters tape to create a clean line}




{An array of photo layouts to get you thinking outside the box}


Do you have a gallery wall in your home? If so, did you stick with only family photos or did you include objects and treasured keepsake items as well?

Thanks for Reading!

XO




photo sources: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6  // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10  // 11  // 12 // 13 // 14

*This was a sponsored post, however all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Fashion Friday: Stella & Dot Fall Favorites




It's been a while since we've had a Fashion Friday post but fall is my favorite season so I couldn't let it pass us by without sharing some great accessories. More fashion posts to come in future weeks! I'm loving the new fall collection over at Stella & Dot and in case you weren't aware they have expanded from jewelry only to a full accessories line including handbags, wallets, tech accessories and jewelry travel rolls.

I'm a big fan of their jewelry because I know it is quality, I never have to question whether it contains nickel (which contains lead) and is not safe for children or adults, which quite a bit of fashion jewelry contains. Their entire collection is nickel free which is important as they have a girls' jewelry collection too. They are always so on trend and their pieces are built to last not to mention they are so beautifully packaged they make for a lovely gift!

I took a peek at their fall collection recently and have included 9 of my favorite fall items:



{Right to Left}:  black stud earrings  //   statement necklace   //  drop sparkle earrings 




Stella & Dot is not only just an online boutique where you can purchase beautiful jewelry and accessories, but they create flexible opportunities for women to be work-at-home entrepreneurs as an independent stylist. Whether you're a stay-at-home mom looking to earn income, working full-time or part-time and are looking to create extra savings or fun money for yourself OR you just want to score a lot of beautiful jewelry for a steal, until the end of this month anyone who signs up as an independent stylist will receive $450 worth of gorgeous jewelry that you hand select for just a one-time $199 sign up fee. Isn't that awesome?!

With Christmas and the holidays right around the corner, what a great way to save up for your shopping or use the pieces as gifts. Now that kids have established themselves back at school, what a great opportunity to create a business of your own in your free time. If you're interested, click THIS LINK for more info or to sign up. This is the best deal I've seen them run so far, if you've been thinking about starting your own business with Stella & Dot, now it's such a great time to do it! :)



Which pieces are your favorite? Have you purchased any new accessories for fall yet? I'd love to hear about them!

Thanks for reading, happy weekend!

XO




*Please note that I was not compensated for this post.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

How to be a Woman of Worth



Good morning everyone! It continues to be quite busy around the Davis household hence my lack of posts lately. This morning I have a very rare moment where Lily is still fast asleep after hubby and I have already been up for over an hour, so I'm able to get a few things done before my day truly begins-praise God for small miracles! ;)

The quote above is a powerful one, I couldn't have said it any better and I felt it was worth sharing here on the blog even though you may have already seen it posted as our Sunday's Thought today on Facebook. If you're not following along there, be sure to pop by for quick daily inspiration and thoughts when I'm not able to post more lengthy posts to the blog.

Sunday's thought...for all of you classy women of faith, this quote serves as a gentle reminder that even though some days you may feel as though you cannot relate to the masses, it's a GOOD thing! We need more women who are set apart, fulfilling God's calling for their life, not afraid to break away from the 'in crowd' but instead are honored to be the lady that He has called them to be.

Thanks for stopping by!

Blessings,

XO

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