Monday, July 31, 2017

The Inkblots

The Inkblots is part biography of Hermann Rorschach, part history of psychology, part cultural commentary, part history of the inkblot test known as the Rorschach that wraps up in a large, meandering undertaking with a heavy emphasis on the Inkblots in America after the death of their inventor. The book is interesting, overwhelming, and heavy handed in turns. I learned a lot reading this book, but it doesn't have a strong thesis. It wanders around the topics like a river - the current moves you, but you don't go in a straight line. It rather felt like the author just wanted to include as much information on everything relating to these ten blots of mystery as possible, even if it sacrificed quality. I believe this book would have been more compelling as separate books addressing the different parts. Yes, they wove together in real life, but reading about them on top of each other makes for a dense read. Of course, if one was already familiar with the basics about the test and a brief outline of its history or controversies this book would likely be an easier read. For the novice, having absolutely no knowledge and never having heard of this test before cracking the book open, it was a bear of a task. Interesting at times, and a drag at other points. Given, however, that an overview of the Rorschach does not appear to exist outside of this book, it is valuable and worth investing time into reading if you are looking to broaden your knowledge about the man, the test, American culture, or psychology.

I was given a complimentary copy of The Inkblots from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review. 

Friday, April 28, 2017

Let it Be

As a stay at home mom with soon-to-be four children under four years of age it's really easy to get overwhelmed. You're always at least two steps behind and just as you start catching up your child figures out how to get in their closet and dump out all the boxes of clothes you had nicely organized for their sibling to grow into.

It's very easy to get stressed and frustrated. That's why I love the message of "Let it Be" .... now that doesn't mean live in a pig-sty but realize these years and this season are fleeting and sometimes it's ok to let things not be right how you wish they were.

Let it be & give your kids a hug. They want to help you fold the laundry & it's not how you want it? Let it be. They're learning. They're proud because they picked out a clashing outfit all by themselves? Let it be and enjoy it while it lasts. Just laugh and enjoy the little moments that will disappear sooner than later. Let it be, and find that you are present, focused, and joyfully there. It's a reminder I need often, and I love this shirt provides that reminder for me.

Yes, I'm pretty much the worst selfie taker ever ;-) This Fashion Friday, I wanted to celebrate the reminder to LET IT BE and challenge myself to dress up this T-shirt that lends itself to casual wear. I chose my black and white maxi skirt to keep the outfit in classy colors, but added pops of color with the mint and gold necklace and bracelet, paired with gold earrings. A classic Southern white floppy hat adds a finishing touch! This outfit is great paired with gold, white, or black sandals! 

Outfit summary:
Sun Hat: Target
Gold earrings: Target
Tee: Cents of Style
Necklace: I modified from a layered Walmart necklace
Skirt: Walmart
Bracelet: Target

This weekend only Cents of Style has their BE series tshirts discounted! Their tees are serious go-tos for me. They have modest necklines and are long enough I don't have to worry about my midriff showing ... I mean, look at that! I'm in the final weeks of my pregnancy and I can *still* wear this shirt without worry of skin shining in the middle! BUT when I'm not pregnant it doesn't look excessively long! I have no idea how they pulled that off, but its brilliant! Brilliant I tell you. I love versatile clothes!

There are so many styles and colors to choose from and through 4/30 they are all just $15.95 + Free Shipping when you use the code BESTORY at checkout! What shirt is YOUR favorite?

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Open when...

This is a TINY book. The "envelope" size is small than your usual envelope, and there's not much more than a paragraph...if that, in each "letter". And there are only 12 letters.

Honestly, the book made me sad, because it seems like the kind of things you would own only if there is no one around to encourage you. I mean, what's a generic paragraph from a stranger going to do for you that some good friends or close family couldn't do more?

I also was mixed up as to what kind of book this was. I knew it was "letters to lift your spirits" but I was thinking it was from the "faith" section - from a Christian perspective. It's not. It talks about karma, and about Buddhist belief, and how the first step to forgiving someone is realizing they're an idiot. Hardly Christian thoughts!

While the artwork is absolutely adorable, the content is so less than stellar that it's not a book I'll be keeping around. But, if you like generic messages of affirmation and positivity, this might do it for you.

I received a complimentary copy of Open When... from Blogging from Books in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

When God Made You

As parents we are constantly looking for inspirational, motivating, God-centered books for our children to encourage them along. I was optimistic when I saw this book from Matthew Paul Turner - The back of the book reads:

YOU, you...God thinks about you. God was thinking of you long before your debut.
From early on, children are looking to discover their place in the world and longing to understand how their personalities, traits, and talents fit in. The assurance that they are deeply loved and a unique creation in our big universe will encourage them to spread their wings and fly.
Through playful, charming rhyme and vivid, fantastical illustrations, When God Made You inspires young readers to learn about their own special gifts and how they fit into God's diving plan as they grow, explore, and begin to create for themselves.
'Cause when God made YOU, somehow God knew That the world needed someone exactly like you!

Unfortunately, when I picked up this book online I was unable to read this back description or I would have lost some of my optimism about this book. This gives you a very good feel for the book. The book is NOT about God - the book is about YOU. Every page is focused on you (aka the child reading the book) and whenever God is mentioned it is in the context of him thinking about you. Reading this book you seriously walk away with the impression that God is completely and totally absorbed in you and everything you have to offer and give with your unique and amazing talents.

This is a false idea. And a problematic one, on a theological level yes, but also on a practical level. We keep filling our children's heads with delusions of grandeur. We constantly fill them with grandiose ideas of greatness and uniqueness only they can bring. They are special and unique - it's true, but, intentionally or not, we belittle common, ordinary things in the process of trying to build them up.

Is it any wonder we have disgruntled college graduates? They expect to have the world handed to them, instead they can't find a job in their weirdly specialized field. They can't even find a job in their normal field sometimes. Or it doesn't have the pay "they deserve" or some other perk "they need".

We don't give them the idea that maybe their talent is best used in a ministry, not a full time job. Or that maybe its ok if they have an ordinary Joe job, like being a plumber or mechanic or electrician. These are jobs that are regularly demeaned, but in our modern world we can't live without them.

Maybe the point isn't on US and OUR special abilities, but doing *whatever* we have using whatever talents we have (because not everyone actually has a special talent) to the best of our abilities to bring glory to God.

Bringing glory to God is something entirely lacking from this book, and yet that is one of our biggest purposes in life. The closest this book gets to anything remotely Biblical is when it vaguely mentions you being a peacemaker and loving each other.

The God of this book is an undefined "other" being that fits into just about any religious framework, yet it is intended to be for Christians. There is NOTHING in this book that makes that evident. And it's a shame.

I received a complimentary copy of When God Made You in exchange for my honest opinion from Blogging for Books, but I won't be hanging on to it.

(I also didn't dig the illustrations. They might work for some people, but I found them odd.)

Thursday, February 16, 2017

A Pun-ny Game (Right Participants Required)

I picked up Punderdome for my dad. He has ALWAYS made puns, a good number of them groan worthy. My siblings and I got the gene too, though not as strong. I never realized how much I made my own puns till I got married ... I get a lot of eye-rolls ­ŁĘŁ.

I gave this to my dad as a "get-better" present after his unexpected heart surgery. NOTE: giving a game of puns after heart surgery is a bad idea. BAD IDEA. Cause we laughed a lot. And that's pretty painful when your sternum is healing!

Making puns on demand is not the easiest task, if someone isn't into puns they WILL NOT like this game. My mom & husband bowed out after a couple rounds cause it just wasn't their thing.

The thing about puns is they don't have to be great - you just roll with it. It may be horrible, but that doesn't mean you won't win the round. If you like puns and thinking on your feet, you'll enjoy this game.

A couple complaints about the game itself, though - the included paper for writing down the prize for winning is not perforated. You have to get scissors out everytime! C'mon! Just perforate it.

Not all the words on the cards are spelled correctly. Run it through spell check, proof read it. It isn't impressive when you pull out a card like "OYLMPICS"

With the right people, this game could be side-splitting, but otherwise it's a dud. It's truly a love-it-or-hate-it scenario.

If you have a bunch of folks who want to play a game but aren't that into pun-making, but want a little brain workout, Mad Gab or Balderdash are likely a better options.

I received a complimentary copy of Punderdome from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest opinion, which I have given. 

Friday, December 9, 2016

Perfect Presents from Children

I was compensated for this post. This post also contains affiliate links. This means that, at no additional cost to you, I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. 

I am so excited about these Christmas cards from Tiny Prints. Why? Because my oldest is 3.5 years old and she's super excited about Christmas and gifts this year - and these cards let her have her own little gift to give family members!

She can color them and enjoy it. They don't cost that much. She puts her own touch on it. And everyone goes "aaawwwww".

You can have the option of putting a picture on the back of the card, which is totally cute. I left ours blank to give room for her own personal little message in her scrawling hand.

If you want something more sophisticated than a Christmas coloring card, they totally have you covered. Just check out this sampling of options from Tiny Prints! 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

CUSTOM OOAK Christmas presents??!

I was compensated for this post. This post also contains affiliate links. This means, at no additional cost to you, I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. 

There is so much of the same ole same ole in stores these days, it's easy to feel like your gift is going to be the same gift one or two other people give someone. What about unique? What about special? Personalized?

Tiny Prints allows you to have truly one of a kind Christmas cards and presents like customized mugs and picture ornaments! (and I have totally unique and personalize-able non-picture Christmas ornaments in my Etsy store!)

I don't even know how to pick my favorite card option! These are just a few of my favorites - aren't these gorgeous?

AND you can get custom gifts! Like these ornaments, stockings, iphone cases, mugs, and pillows (and there are sooo many options to choose from!)!!

There are just so many gifts to choose from at Tiny Prints to truly stand out this season! Which ones catch your eye?