Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas Cheer + Penguin Love

The days keep moving closer and closer to Christmas. I still can't believe it's December, but we are almost halfway through the month now.

Christmas advertising for stores can sometimes be annoying this time of the year, but when it is done well, Christmas advertisements are very good. My roommate has introduced me to a British department store called John Lewis. Apparently, it always has a good advertisement around Christmas time, and I think that you'll enjoy this one featuring Monty the Penguin.


Not entirely sure how effective this advertisement is because it mostly just makes me want a penguin, and that is not going to happen.

Hope that you're enjoying the holidays!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

10 Free Classic Books for Kindle



You can never have too many books to read. As much as I love paper books, I also like e-books. Did you know that you don't have to have a kindle to read e-books from amazon? You can download a free Kindle Reading App to read those books. You can also download free classic books to read.

Here are a few great classics that I've found on amazon.(Although I've linked to the free versions check the price before downloading just to be sure.)

Add a few of these to your reading list!

Les Misérables 

Dracula

The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes

Little Women

Frankenstein

Pride and Prejudice

The Scarlet Letter

The Odyssey

Wuthering Heights

Treasure Island
 
Happy reading!

Do you read e-books? What are some of your favorite classics?

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide 2014


Christmas is coming up soon. While the holiday is about much more than presents, it is a great feeling to know that you've gotten the perfect gift to give someone. It's not always easy to think of good gifts though. Here are a few recommendations for the different friends that you have. Just in case you're wondering, yes, I do want absolutely every single one of these.

For the one who loves all things girly: Taylor Swift's new album 1989

For the traveler:  Luckies of London Scratch Map - Deluxe Edition

For the one obsessed with The Princess Bride: As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride

For the one who needs to relax and a break:  Pocket Posh Coloring Book: Pretty Designs for Fun & Relaxation

For the one who loves to send letters: Happy Mail Box

What suggestions do you have for gifts?

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Books to Read After The Hunger Games


Have you seen Mockingjay: Part 1 yet? This movie is the latest one adapted from the best-selling Hunger Games trilogy. I read the first book in the series because Jennifer made me which turned out to be a good thing. There is still one more movie left to come out in theaters, but if you have been reading ahead of the movies, you are most likely in search of new reading material. Here are my suggestions for what to read next if you like The Hunger Games.

  • Divergent - This book is the most obvious recommendation because it is a YA dystopia with a strong female protagonist. If you enjoyed The Hunger Games, chances are that you will like this one as well. I've only read the first two books, so I cannot comment on how well the series ends. I do know that I'm currently hooked. Just a warning, there are several violent scenes in this series. Be aware of that as you decide whether or not to read this one.
  • Uglies - This book is another YA dystopia. However, it came out several years earlier. At first the society in the book appears to have created a utopia, but, of course, the reader soon finds out that everything is not as perfect as it seems. Each book in the four book series focuses on a different aspect of the society, and for the most part, the plot follows the story of one central girl. 
  • The Selection - YA dystopia again. This one asks what would happen if the US became a monarchy? The prince chooses a princess from the people in a bachelor-style televised production. The main character didn't want to become part of those selected to participate, but once she is there, she does not want to leave. The concepts and characters in this book make it a must-read. I've only finished the first two books, but I am looking forward to getting my hands on the next one. 
  • The Giver - Most people have probably heard of The Giver. Not only has it recently been made into a movie, but it's a common read in high school English classes. The world in the story seems to be a utopia. The main character Jonah is chosen for the role of the Giver's apprentice when he turns twelve. There he begins to receive memories that the rest of the society has chosen to keep apart. This book has less physical action that the other ones I have mentioned, but it will probably make you think the most.
  • 1984 - This is a classic dystopia novel. Chances are that you've heard references from the book many times even if you've never actually read it. Orwell imagines where society might be headed in the future, and what he imagines is not a place that anyone would like to live in. 
  • The Road- This book explores what happens to a father and son as they wander around a post-apocalyptic America. It has very dark tones, but I think that it is an important book to read. 
  • Harry Potter - Yes, I know that you've heard of this one before, and you're probably questioning why it's on this list because everyone's already read it. That is not true though. I know plenty of people who are only now reading it for the first time. Those who are drawn to The Hunger Games for a complex plot, a wide cast of characters, and a fully developed alternate world will like Harry Potter.
  • A Wrinkle in Time - This is another older book. Two siblings and a friend go searching for the siblings' father across different planets. While the book isn't quite as flashy as The Hunger Games, it is a widely loved book for a reason. The main characters are all deeply relate-able, and the story is remarkably complex yet clear at the same time. Even though it's labeled as children's literature, it is truly a book for everyone.

How many of these books have you read? Would you suggest them to others?

Monday, December 1, 2014

9 Ways to Make a Friend Smile




For all of you with sisters, roommates, best friends, and other important girls in your lives, here are some simple ways that you can show that you care.

1. Send her a letter in the mail.

2. Bring her flowers.

3. Show up at an event to support her.

4. Bake her a surprise treat. Like these cupakes.

5. Leave positive post-it note messages somewhere she will see them.

6. Lend her a favorite book that you've just finished reading.

7. Make plans for lunch together.

8. Invite her over to have a cup of tea.

9. Text her just to say hello.

This post was inspired during the weekend when I felt a little down only to check my mailbox and find not one, but two letters addressed to me. Instant happiness.

What are your favorite methods for showing your friends that you care about them? What makes you feel loved?

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Field Notes: November 2014



A few of our favorite things from November. 

If you've been feeling overwhelmed by the pressure of trying to do everything perfectly all the time, check out Hannah Breacher's post You Can't Be All the Things.

From Tirzah Magazine here's why you should make a Not-To-Do List rather than a To-Do List. 

Also, you can now get devotionals from Tirzah in your inbox each morning. Such a great way to begin your day.

I've mentioned before that I love journaling, and here's 25 ways to fill a journal page.

These Dulce de Leche Thumprint cookies are already making me crave Christmas cookies. And, they're topped with sea salt!

The Thanksgiving holiday period has just ended. Check out our Christmas pinterest board for ideas for the upcoming season.

It's no secret that I love books. One of my favorite places for recommendations is a feature on The Simply Luxurious Life called This and That. It's a collection of recommendations usually for things to read, watch, and buy.

Our most popular post on Life of Lovely this month has been Things to Do in Paris.

We'll leave you with this post of important bunny gifs.

Hope that you had a great November!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Book Review: The Best Yes



Chances are that a lot of you like being busy, you like helping people, and you like having many things going on at once in your life. It's so tempting to want to be the girl who can pull off a million different things perfectly at the same time.

And it would be great if we were actually capable of doing these things. After all, so many of the things that we want to do are good, but I am sure that you know that the more you try to do at once, the less anything gets done.

In order to be effective, you have to say no to some things. But, how do you know which areas need a no and which need a yes?

Before I left for France, some friends of mine gifted me with a book by Lysa Terkeurst called The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands.

Lysa Terkeurst shares practical strategies and personal stories that help you discover the Best Yes answers in your life. The advice that she offers makes sense, but I wouldn't have thought of it by myself. Of course, throughout the book is the theme that we need to rely on God to show us the best decision. However, it is so hard to always know what relying on God looks like, and it's too easy to think that we can just rely on ourselves instead. It takes effort and intention to trust God, but the more that we do it, the more likely we are to continue to do it.

If you find yourself feeling stressed or overwhelmed by busyness, or if you feel as if you don't know what path to choose amidst the millions of choices that you make every day, The Best Yes is a must read.

Have you read The Best Yes? What books have you been reading lately?

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