Stitch Fix Men is Here!

~This post contains affiliate links through which I may be compensated. All opinions are my own, and in this case, my husband’s.~

I have been receiving shipments of gorgeous clothes and accessories from Stitch Fix for over two years now. For the last year my husband has been kind enough to take pictures of me in the clothes so I can share them with my readers. This month my husband stepped out from behind the camera and let me take pictures of him to help announce the launch of Stitch Fix Men.

That’s right, now the men in your life can enjoy the same convenience of having a personally curated box of clothing and accessories sent straight to their door. Your husband, boyfriend, father, brother or co-worker may not know they need this in their lives, but they do.

I thought I hated shopping for clothes, but my husband takes it to the next level. He doesn’t go into stores. He buys the same pair of black pants and Nordstrom brand dress shirt over and over again. When I heard Stitch Fix was launching the Men’s side of their website I could not wait to sign Anthony up. I wasn’t sure I could convince him to fill out the “Style Profile” that allows your stylist to tailor the box to your particular taste, so I decided to surprise him and filled out the profile myself and keep his first fix a secret.

The men’s profile is very different from the women’s and includes color swatches and sample outfits that help the man filling it out to pinpoint the exact types of things they would wear. I really appreciated it because I could imagine Anthony in each of the outfits and when I burst into laughter I knew that was a style I should not pick. There is also a place on the profile to describe the types of clothes you like. I mentioned the brands/styles my husband always purchases and his love of comfortable clothing.

After the profile is filled out, you get a chance to write a note to your stylist and let them know what you would like to see in the box. I mentioned sweaters/sweatshirts, socks, and casual shirts. Then I sat back and kept my Stitch Fix secret.

Two weeks later, this little beauty showed up:


The first thing Anthony said when he saw the box sitting on the counter was, “I don’t like what I am seeing. A Stitch Fix box with my name on it…”


But once he started opening the box I knew he liked it. The Stitch Fix Men’s box is accented with dark green instead of light aqua. The clothes are wrapped in butcher paper instead of white tissue paper. All of these things were noticed by Anthony which means he liked them.

Then we got to this:


Anthony said, “I do not want compliments. I don’t want anybody to notice anything has changed. And I do not want a stylist. I don’t want style, I want clothes. They need to think of a better name for the people who pick out the men’s clothes.” So I told him to come up with one, and he did, “Apparel Consultant.” I actually really like it; it does sound more masculine. Take note Stitch Fix, Anthony wants an Apparel Consultant.

At this point I was dying to see what he thought of the clothes inside the box.

Here is his note from, Jennifer, the Apparel Consultant *cough* stylist, who picked out his box.


Since this is his first fix the note is pretty generic. As a stylist gets to know you, the notes become more personalized. Remember, if you get a stylist you like you should email and ask to keep them.

Now this is where I about peed my pants from surprise. After going through the box, Anthony said, “We can do the photoshoot this weekend.” Whaaaaat? I didn’t even have to beg on my knees to get him to model the clothes? He must like the stuff enough to show it off! So, now for your viewing pleasure, my handsome husband, noted fashion photographer, in his first ever Stitch Fix clothes!

1. Mavi Zach Straight Leg Pant-Olive, Size 34, $98


These were so soft and Anthony even commented about how nice they felt. The color was great, very neutral. Not to mention I have been trying to get him to wear these gorgeous brown shoes more often and they looked great with the pants. But as soon as he put the pants on I knew he wouldn’t like them. They were cut too tight. He prefers a wide leg and looser fit because he hates to feel restricted. While the fit at the waist was perfect, the cut was just not his style. So back they went.

2. Hawker Rye Essential Wash Long Sleeve Shirt-Navy, Large, $58



Anthony paired this shirt with the Mavi pants like his “apparel consultant” suggested and they looked fine together. The shirt was a lighter weight than the Nordstrom dress shirts he usually wears and felt pretty casual. He said it was “soft, but not in a good way. It didn’t have the crispness I like in a button up shirt.” We both appreciated the button down collar because I mentioned in his profile he only wears that style. The color and cut were flattering, but it seemed a little too short to tuck in. He also tried rolling up the the sleeves (they were a little too long and he likes to wear his shirts like that way anyway) and he noticed the fabric had a white line on the inside that would have shown. Ultimately this shirt wasn’t anything special and Anthony said, “I like my shirts to take me from work to weekend.” I’m not kidding, that is a direct quote. So this weekend wear went back.

Alternative Apparel Champ Fleece Sweatshirt-Navy, Large, $50



I wanted to keep this sweatshirt for myself. Soft does not begin to even cover they way this felt. I loved the color and it looks so good with these old grey jeans I found in a stack of clothes on Anthony’s side of the closet. These jeans are more the style he likes to wear, but are a bit baggy for my taste. I loved the casual look of the sweatshirt and so did Anthony. The collar was a little too loose and the end of the sleeves were a little tight. I love when Anthony wears sweatshirts and wanted them to send him a new one since he only has a few old ones on rotation. So I was very happy to see this. Anthony liked it too, but could not get over the lack of a hood. So this too went back.

4. Stance Richmond Classic Crew Light 2-Pack Socks-Black, $20



Well I do not have a picture of these in the original packaging because Anthony decided he wanted to keep them right away. I figured I could still get some pictures because normally he likes to wash everything before he wears it. Not these socks. He wore them right away and we have already washed them. So, the socks were a huge success. Anthony said, “They are just the right thickness and just the right stretchiness.” We will be requesting more when he gets another box (yes, he wants to try Stitch Fix again.)

5. Flag & Anthem Berkshire Puffer Vest-Red, Large, $79.50



Apparently my obsession with vests stretches to men’s vests as well. I loved this vest the minute I saw it. The red and navy combo is one I love and the little bit of plaid on the collar was such a nice detail. It fit Anthony very well and he really liked it too. I knew once I saw the price there would be no way to convince Anthony to keep it. He just didn’t think he would wear it enough to justify buying it. I googled the vest and found it on a few websites, so you better believe I will be stalking them to see when it goes on sale.

Even though he only kept the socks Anthony felt like the items sent were all
close to his style. The quality was excellent. He would like to get another box and even has an idea of the items he would want them to send. I am so glad Anthony enjoyed his first experience with Stitch Fix! It was as much fun for me to watch him un-box and try on his stuff as it is when I get a box myself. Which is good, because I ordered this box in lieu of my October box, so my fix obsession has been satisfied.

If Anthony can enjoy the convenience of Stitch Fix, the men in your life can do it too! Click here to sign yourself, or some you know, up today!

Until next time,

I love you more than new socks and my husband’s first Stitch Fix box,


P.S. to see my Stitch Fix Reviews check out the links below:

September 2016

August 2016

July 2016

June 2016

May 2016

April 2016

March 2016

February 2016

November 2015

October 2015

September 2015

August 2015

July 2015


September Book Banter

Welcome to September Book Banter! This is a monthly post where I share the books I have been reading over the last month and ask you to weigh in on them and share what you have been reading! I have linked each book through my Amazon affiliate links. If you click through this blog post and buy something I have linked, I will receive a small commission. So thanks in advance for clicking through!

The first month of school is over. Fall is in full swing. This month I finished up my summer reading and started gravitating towards my go to fall reading picks: dark and twisty mysteries and my comfort food books, or books that make me feel at home.

Here is what I read:

1. The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim


I picked this book up on kindle to add a classic to my end of summer reading. I had heard that this was a romantic book and the description was “enchanting.” Four woman who do not know each other rent a home in Italy for the month of April to add some spice to their lives.  Italian April? Yes please. This book was very, very slow. Since it was short I stuck with it. At first you find yourself reading  why the women wanted to escape their lives with a holiday over and over again. You also get to read about what they think of each other. As the month goes on the holiday isn’t “curing” them of their woes. The women end up having some visitors join them in their Italian getaway  and that is when the story picks up and then abruptly ends. I was a little disappointed in this story, but can imagine the characters would be more vivid on screen and think a modern retelling of this would be intriguing. The book was not the summer ending story I was hoping for.

2. The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery 

95693One of my very best friends loaned me this book by the author of Anne of Green Gables. While the main character, Valancy,  is no Anne Shirley, her name alone makes her pretty rad. Valancy is an unmarried 28 year old “old maid” who lives with her mother and aunt. She is part of a prominent family in the town she lives in. She always does what her family tells her to and never has any fun. One day she finds out something that changes her mind about how she wants to live her life. Her adventures after flying the family coop are funny and endearing. She strikes up interesting relationships with some of the biggest outcasts in town and goes to a “wild” party and encounters things that make her blush. While the “twists” in the plot were very predictable I really enjoyed this book. L.M. Montgomery can write characters like nobody’s business and there were some good ones in this book. If you like Anne and Emily of New Moon you really should read this.

3. Truly, Madly, Guilty by Liane Moriarty

26247008Ever since I read, What Alice Forgot by the same author (whose name I recently learned to pronounce as lee-on not lee-ann) I have made sure to read all her new books as they come out. This is her latest and I checked it out from the library. It is about three families and how a spur of the moment get together gone wrong has them questioning marriages, friendships and parenting. Moriarty is the queen of compelling, mysterious plots and this book definitely has the same element of intrigue as her other novels. However, this one was a little slow for me. Moriarty was dangling a plot carrot for what seemed like a veeeerrryy long time and because of it, I could not identify with the characters. Once I knew why the characters were acting the way they were I began to really enjoy Moriarty’s use of human psychology and the characters began to get more interesting. I actually think I would appreciate this book more if I read it for a second time. But, the carrot dangling left me feeling hungry and I do not know if I’d pick it up again.

4. Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo

16052012I must confess, this is my first book by DiCamillo. I own Because of Winn Dixie  and The Tale of Despereaux but have not read them yet. The reason I picked this one up is to do a little field trip research. I really want to take my students to a play this year. The one I really wanted to see was Robin Hood, but I am worried it might be a little too much for my younger students. This story is making its stage debut and there is going to be a show in Portland this winter. I needed to read this before I pitched it to the school director so I bought the paperback and got to reading. This is the story of an ordinary comic book loving girl named Flora who rescues a squirrel from a vacuum. The incident with the vacuum gives the squirrel “super powers” but Flora’s mom quickly becomes the squirrel’s nemesis and Flora has to try to save him. This book was a delightful read, and combines a regular chapter book with graphic novel. I was describing it to a few students the other day and they were laughing just listening to the description. I think a fun, light story like this one might be just the right play to introduce my students to the stage with. Plus I want to see how it translates! The tickets are a little more expensive than I want them to be, but hopefully we can go see it.

5. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling 

3Well folks, I intended to start my 7th or 8th reread of this series way earlier in the year but just didn’t get around to it until now. I listened to this book on audible because… Jim Dale, enough said. But also because I fell in love with Harry Potter on road trips with my family. These books are my childhood. And lets be honest, my adulthood too. Anthony and I read them aloud to each other while we were dating, (he hadn’t read them, and I could NOT date someone who had *gasp* only seen the movies) we re-watch all of the movies every December and we went to Harry Potter World in Universal Florida for part of our honeymoon. We even had a Harry Potter cake topper at our wedding and our sisters walked down the aisle to HP music. My ringtone is Harry Potter. One of my most beloved teaching memories is when I forgot to silence my phone, it rang during class and a wee kindergarten student said, “Wow, you know Harry Potter!” Why yes, yes I do. He lives in my soul. I mean, my top choice for “3 fictional characters that describe you” is Hermione Granger (the other two are Belle from Beauty and the Beast and probably Cookie Monster, but that one is up for debate). So it is safe to say this was my favorite read of the month. I cried more than I care to admit, at parts that have never made me cry before. If you haven’t read this, please do. Now. Like seriously, stop reading this and go!

6. The Secret Place by Tana French

20821043This is the fifth book in French’s Dublin Murder Squad series and my second favorite of the five (my favorite is #2 The Likeness) I have been trying to savor these books since I first started reading them 2 years ago, but I am now caught up and eagerly awaiting the next book (which comes out October 4th, 2016 and is called The Trespasser). Each book follows a secondary character, or two, from a previous book as they try to solve a murder as part of the Dublin Murder Squad. These books are suspenseful and creative. I think they’d make an excellent Netflix series. This book was set in an all girls boarding school. There is something so intriguing and a little creepy about boarding school so I was hooked right away. The case in question had almost gone cold until one of the boarders (a young girl from a previous book) brings a note-card with information about the death of a boy from a neighboring boarding school to an officer she knows. The rest of the book takes place flashing back to the events leading up to the murder and the present day investigation after the note-card is discovered. French does such a good job of keeping you guessing and really gets at the heart of her characters. I stayed up WAY past my bedtime to read this one. It is a perfect fall read to keep you on the edge of your seat. I think my next French book will be on audible, because I have heard the Irish accents make the stories even better and I believe it. Disclaimer: these books can be graphic and contain a lot of bad language so sensitive readers beware.

My fall reading is off to a good start and the reads just keep piling up (I am still boycotting my local library but have found one a little out of the way that does not charge for parking so my “holds” list keeps growing). What have you been reading to kick off fall? Have you read any of the books I mentioned? Let me know in the comments.

Until next time,

I love you more than plot twists and the golden snitch,


September 2016 Stitch Fix Review

~This post contains affiliates, if you sign up (which you should) I will make a small commission, all opinions are my own.~

Fall is in the air and I could not be happier! Not only does fall bring football, baking and gorgeous foliage, it brings the cutest, coziest clothes. I think fall is my best clothing season. The rich jewel tones look good on my pale skin and the conservative cuts are more flattering on my body type. So you better believe that I was pretty excited for my September Stitch Fix box to arrive.

If you don’t know what Stitch Fix is, head back to my first review and read all about the reasons why I am addicted to this style curating service. Here are the basics: Fill out a style and size profile at to let your personal stylist know what you like (you even get to send a note to your stylist highlighting what you are looking for), link a Pinterest board with pins that demonstrate your style (here is mine-I update it every month), pay $20 styling fee that will be credited towards any purchase you make and sit back while your stylist sends a box of delightful clothing items and accessories your way. When the box arrives try on the pieces in the comfort of your own home and think about what you’d like to keep for three days! Then send the pieces you don’t want back in the prepaid envelope, or keep it all and get 25% off your purchase! Its simple, fun and addicting.

Check out what I asked Jason, my stylist, for this month:


As you can see I gave him a lot to work with. I have found I get my best fixes when I keep less that 50 pins on my Pinterest board, only pin clothes I’d love to have and give my stylist options. Jason has been styling me for over a year because I requested to keep him as my permanent stylist by emailing

Here is what Jason sent:


Burrito of Beauty


I was a little bummed at first about not getting a bag or shoes but then these gorgeous leather Sam Edelman boots in grey went on a major sale and I got mine for $51 and I snapped them up (mine are wide calf, regular is available too)! I am still waiting for the perfect fall bag, but the clothes Jason sent were too beau-ti-fall for me to be sad for long. Let’s take a closer look!

Edyson Mayfare Bootcut Jean-Navy, Size 10, $98


The price on these pants made me want to cry. I have never paid that much for jeans. But, I have never had bootcut jeans that had a long enough inseam and then some. I am 5’7″ but have loooooong legs. In the pictures above I am wearing a 2 inch heel and the pants are too long! In my world that is crazy talk. So yeah, I kind of love these jeans. I wore them with two items from this fix so you will see more pictures of them on later in the post. They make my butt look good and my legs look long. They seem to have the right amount of stretch, but held their shape through the whole photoshoot. I am keeping these very expensive, beautiful, long jeans.

2. Market & Spruce Cotulla Button Back Sweater-Beige, Size Medium, $58



This is a Stitch Fix Fall favorite. A lot of the ladies on the Stitch Fix Buy, Sell and Trade group I belong to on Facebook go crazy over this. I’m not kidding. I just posted the picture of the folded clothes on the board and someone could ID the sweater when it was FOLDED UP and asked to buy it!  Lucky for me, that is exactly what I wanted to happen. While I am in love with the elbow patches and cute button back, the overall cut  and color were not super flattering on me. I am starting to think that I am just not a sweater gal. Maybe Jason can prove me wrong in a later fix, but this sweater was not for me. It looks cute styled wit the jeans from this fix. If you like sweaters that look like your grandpa wore them (I do!) and they look good on you (not me) then request this puppy. It is super soft and is not solid beige, it has little flecks of black that make even more grandpa-y (yes that’s a thing, and yes it is a look I like).

3. Laju Balla Cargo Vest-Olive, Size Medium, $88



Well folks, the most adorable, versatile, soft, expensive vest has arrived. My love for vests started last fall and I have been wanting an olive cargo/utility vest since then. Did I want to pay $88 for a vest? No. Did this particular vest make me want to pay $88 for it? Yes. Yes and yes. I wasn’t sure I was going to like the neckline, but looking back on the pictures I think it looks great. I decided to style this more casually with a striped shirt and the bootcut jeans from above. I am wearing 3 inch wedges in these pictures and the pants are the perfect length. I also have on an adorable necklace I won in a Stitch Fix accessories contest and think it adds just the right touch to this casual, cute and comfy outfit. Don’t worry my friends, this vest will make appearances with the last two pieces in this fix as well. Its the vest that won’t quit and I’m keeping it.

4. Le Lis Roanna Knit Dress-Navy, Size Large, $74


This dress was pinned on my Pinterest board becuase I am super into florals; especially light flowers on a dark background. This navy dress also has tiny cute cutout details at the hem which add a little something extra. It is a pull on dress so it has a little bit of stretch. I love that the sleeves are to my elbows. No visible arm pudge here! I love that it is easy to mix patterns with it by adding leopard print shoes! I love that it looks cute styled more casually with the cargo vest and sneakers. But it was too tight across my stomach for me to keep it. I am wearing spanx in these pictures and know I wouldn’t be comfortable without them, which limits how often I would wear this. You do not want to see the belly pooch pics from the side. Luckily, I found  someone that wanted to try this out and she bought it from me!

5. Moon River Ora Faux Suede Skirt-Burnt Orange, Size Large, $64






This was my “Jason surprise”skirt and I couldn’t be more surprised by how much I love it. At first I was thinking, “Who needs a burnt orange skirt?” But after trying this on and styling it I started thinking, “Everyone needs a burnt orange skirt.” This skirt is so soft, a little stretchy and it was surprisingly easy to style. My first thought was to pair it with blue because orange and blue are complimentary colors and I think they look amazing together! So I threw on my softest Target chambray shirt and fringed shoes from Nordstrom. I topped the look off with more blue with my bag. This gorgeous light blue bag was another accessory I won in the Stitch Fix accessory contest. They really hooked me up; the bracelet I am wearing came from them too! Then I put the button back sweater and cargo vest from this fix back on and paired the resulting outfit with boots from Aerosoles. I think they are both equally adorable. I’d say this skirt runs a little big as it was loose on me. I am trying for a size exchange (you can do it at checkout now!) but will keep it either way. I cannot wait to think of more ways to wear this.

If you are keeping score I decided to keep everything which means I get 25% off the total bill. That brought the total down from $382 to $266.50. Don’t forget your $20 styling fee is credited towards your purchase! I decided to sell 2 items that were not quite right for me and kept the other three items for a total out of my pocket of $167.50 for an average of $55.83 per piece.

I LOVED this fix. My closet is feeling ready for fall now. What are your favorite trends for fall? Do you agree with my choices? Let me know in the comments and don’t forget to follow me on instagram @whitksmith for more outfit inspiration!

Until next time,

I love you more than bootcut jeans and olive green,



Tom was ready for his close-up!

Check out more of my Stitch Fix Reviews here:

August 2016

July 2016

June 2016

May 2016

April 2016

March 2016

February 2016

November 2015

October 2015

September 2015

August 2015

July 2015


Summer Recap

Way back in June I decided to make a Summer To-Do List filled with fun things I could do during my first summer back in Oregon. Today is the last day of my summer, because school starts tomorrow, so I decided to revisit my Summer To-Do List and see how I did! You can read the original post here.

  1. Pick lots of berries-You better believe I did this. Not only did I go to a U-Pick Farm with my sister I also went to a U-pick blueberry farm with my friends who were visiting from Arizona, then went back by myself, and also picked tons of blackberries on my walks near my house. Yes, this summer was bursting with berries, and I loved it.

  1. Make jam-My sister and I used the berried we picked and made Strawberry Rhubarb Jam! For our first time canning we did pretty well, especially since every store we went to was almost our of rhubarb. Next summer we want more rhubarb tartness and less strawberry sweetness. 
  2. Go to the beach at least once per month-I am happy to report that this was a success. In June, I went to Pacific City and Tillamook when my friends from AZ were visiting. I had been to Tillamook plenty of times, but had never been to Pacific City since it is not on highway 101. Let me tell you, the beach there was gorgeous and the beer and food at the Pelican Brewery were delicious. I am excited to go back.

    In July, Anthony and I headed down the coast to my hometown, Brookings, for my ten year high school reunion. Not many people showed up but I had a blast with those who did and the weather was gorgeous. 

    In August we went to Gearhart and Seaside for a few days to stay with Anthony’s family. The first day we were there we got to spend a lot of time with the newest, 6 week old, member of our family and his almost two year old sister. It was very special. We also ate tons of saltwater taffy, played on a swing set at the beach and ate the best sourdough clam chowder bread bowls EVER. 

  3. Plant something- Well, I planted things, and they grew. But the deer ate all of my sunflowers, morning glories, squash and wildflowers. Stinking deer. We will need to build a fence before we plant a garden next spring. I did manage to get a few blueberries off of my bush in the front yard and grew basil like crazy in my window garden inside!
  4. Get a flag holder and flag mounted on our house- Yessssss! I got this one down times 2 and love seeing our gorgeous flags blowing in the wind. 
  5. Start a good exercising routine again-I started up my Daily Burn account in June and did this pretty regularly through July, but when August hit it was too hot in the house to turn on the electronics or jump around all over the place. I was able to take many walks this summer and even got a tan line from my exercise shirts! I am really going to try to keep it up during the school year. 
  6. Get outside every day-I was pretty good about this as well. I know I left my house every day, but some days it was only for a few minutes and on others I spent the whole day outside. I feel so much happier when I get outside, even in the rain, so I definitely need to keep this one going. 
  7. Have a house warming BBQ-We did this too! We invited our family over for a pulled pork and baked potato party and had a blast! Our house was filled to capacity and we are still eating leftover baked potatoes in everything from egg scrambles to soup, but we had so much fun. We borrowed folding tables from family and I got some chairs from craigslist to make it happen since we don’t have dining room furniture and it worked out perfectly! It really made me want to get a deck built out back so we have more room to entertain.
  8. BBQ three times per week: This we did not do. We cooked on the grill, but not as often as I would have liked. But just because the rainy season is coming, doesn’t mean we have to stop grilling! 
  9. Ride a bike-I didn’t have a chance to do this either. When we visited my parents we loaded my car with so much other stuff that there was not room for my bike! So now, this too, will have to wait until I can get my hands on a bike.
  10. Visit Enchanted Forest-Ok, so we hit the point in the list that I totally failed. We did not visit Enchanted Forrest, but we learned that they have been members of the organization my husband works for for over 30 years! So we definitely have to check it out. 
  11. Attend events/festivals around the Salem area-We went to the Oregon Jamboree, a country music festival that my family has been going to for 10 years now. There was a lot of good music, food and the biggest ice cream I have ever seen. It took three of us to finish it! Hopefully I  will be headed to more festivals this fall! 
  12. Order wedding pictures and hang some of them up-Well I jumped the gun on that one and posted that we got decorations up under number 7. So yes, we did this! It took so excellent communication skills to get the pictures up on the wall just the way I wanted them, but now I love the finished look. The A&W and light up tree are decorations from our wedding and the tree is sitting one some gorgeous books. Here is a closer look. 


    Decorations up!

  13. Make Homemade ice cream-Nope. I didn’t get around to making ice cream. Towards the end of the summer Anthony and I started counting our calories because our clothes were getting a little too tight. So the last ice cream we had was the HUGE one at the Oregon Jamboree. 
  14. Go camping-We slept in my mom and dad’s travel trailer when we to Brookings in July and we slept in the back of my car on the folded down seats during the Oregon Jamboree, so does that count? We never made it to the wilderness. Maybe next summer. 
  15. Have a picnic-We have taken our food outside a few times this summer and did not have a bug problem whoop-whoop! I am hoping for some Indian summer days ahead so maybe we can get another picnic in before the rain comes. 
  16. Go wine or beer tasting (or both)-We haven’t done an actual wine tastings this summer, though I have tasted a lot of wine, Willamette Valley Vineyards Rose anyone? I did a ton of beer tasting though because I finally like beer! Well, not all of it, but there are some I will drink! Hooray for growing adult taste buds! 

    IMG_7727 (3)

    Gilgamesh, a local Salem Brewery 

  17. Find a way to get involved and give back in my community-I volunteered at Vacation Bible School at my church which landed me a subbing position in the four year old class on Sundays! I thought it couldn’t get any better but, I asked Anthony if he’d like to help me and he said yes! So now we help in the fours class together and I couldn’t be happier. I never imagined he would actually want to do it! We have been having a blast with the Sunday School kiddos. IMG_8624
  18. Paint my front door-Sadly, my door is still a horrible color. I had a guy come out and do an estimate, picked a color and kept in contact with him. He told me I would be put on the wait-list and I have not heard anything! I am pretty bummed, but know I should just start over with another company. Any recommendations for painters in the Salem, OR area? 
  19. Explore someplace new-YES-my summer was filled with exploration. I went hiking near Multonomah Falls, went to the High Desert Mueseum (I had been there before a long time ago), explored some little towns around Salem, went to a gorgeous house for a fundraiser, hit the beach at Pacific City, visited Gearhart, spent time with family playing in the fountains in Wilsonville, the list could go on and on. This summer was very busy, between work and spending time with family, and I wouldn’t want it any other way! 

    Even though I didn’t check everything off my list I’d say I had a pretty successful summer. Now it is time to go pick out my school clothes for the week and get to thinking about fall.


    Until next time,

I love you more than summer days drifting away and uh-oh those summer nights,


Book Banter August 2016

Summer is almost over! I cannot believe it. I start school next Tuesday which means my reading time will take a hit. This month I managed to read 7 books! I read some of my favorites of the year this month and cannot wait to share them with you. If you decide you want to read one of the books, click below the picture and it will take you to Amazon and kick a small commission my way as I am now an Amazon affiliate. Do not forget to link your Amazon account to AmazonSmile for Cascade View Christian School (more on that here).

Let’s get to bantering about books.

1. The Green Mile by Stephen King

This was my first Stephen King novel and I had never seen the movie. I know, I know, super weird and practically a reading crime . I have heard my mom rave about the book and the movie for years. Which meant I knew I’d love it, but also that is would make me bawl like a baby, because that is my mom’s book style, ok and mine too. I picked it up on audible right before I put my account on hold because I was wracking up credits faster than I could listen to audiobooks. This book lived up to all the hype. I loved it. The story was intriguing and beautiful. The characters were so well written. My one complaint is that I didn’t love the end. I would have been more satisfied if the last chapter had never happened, but it was so excellent otherwise I forgive Stephen King for that. I cannot stop thinking about this book and I finished it at the very beginning of the month. It has a place on the list of my favorite books of all time, and that is saying something since I love books and read often. I wish I could have read this as the serial it was meant to be when it first came out. But really; get it, read it, love it.


2. Before the Fall by Noah Hawley26245850

Warning, do not start this book while on a plane. It opens up with a plane crash. This plane crash is what drives the plot of the book as only two people survive it; one the young son of the man that chartered the plane and the other an artist that is on the plane for reasons many people find mysterious. The story of what caused the plane to go down introduces the reader to a wide range of intriguing characters. I had heard great things about this book so my expectations were high. I thought it was a fun story. I liked the flashbacks that led up to the plane crash and the relationship between the two survivors. I love the title. But this book fell a little short for me. I thought I would be picking up a page turning summer read, but it wasn’t compelling enough for me. I also read it right after The Green Mile so there is that. Overall it was a good quick read, but it wasn’t my favorite of the summer.

3. Wildwood by Colin Meloy

This is my children’s literature pick for August and it is the first book in a three book series. My wonderful friend bought me the hardback set for Christmas last year and they are gorgeous. The author is a fairly well known musician and his wife created the gorgeous illustrations for the books. I would hang prints from the story in my house, that is how much I like them. It also helps that they match my living room color scheme. The author lives in Portland, OR and the story is set in a wood in a neighborhood in Portland. I loved that the story took place so near to me. I would describe it like a modern day Narnia, without as much allegory and with some Portland flavor. There are two main characters; a young boy and girl, that venture into the Wildwood, a place no one in Portland goes. They find themselves there when the girl’s baby brother is kidnapped by crows and taken into the wood. Both humans and talking animals help them navigate the battle between good and evil that is enveloping Wildwood. They discover they have a bigger part to play in the battle than they bargained for. I enjoyed this story a lot. It make me chuckle a few times and I could believe (magic aside) that this could happen in kooky Portland. I think it would be a great read for 4th grade and up (or younger depending on your child’s maturity) boys and girls. Reading it aloud would be fun as well! I am looking forward to the next book.

4. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany29056083

I am a Harry Potter fan. I have read all of the books more than 4 times each and watch the movies frequently too. I grew up with Harry. Even though the books were set before my growing up years I was pretty close to the same age as Harry when the first book came out. I love Harry Potter so much I even added nods to the books in my wedding. So when this book/play came out I was not excited. Yes, you read that correctly. I had made peace with the fact that the series was over. I didn’t need to know what happened next. In fact, I hated the epilogue that went with the last book and pretend like I never read it. And this play picks up right where the epilogue left off. There were parts of this I enjoyed; the spirit of adventure, Ron, being back in my favorite enchanted land, Ron, Scorpius Malfoy and did I mention Ron? There were also parts that I didn’t enjoy; Harry, the story line, the stage directions, the parts about Polyjuice, etc. I think I would have enjoyed this much more on the stage. One of the stage directions read, “Draco walks up on stage and stands beside Ginny. This is almost a Spartacus moment. There are gasps.” Really? They had to put that bit in there about Spartacus? I laughed a ton reading the stage directions. So that was good. In my brain this is not connected to the Happy Potter series, but it was a fun read.

5. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh 

This classic has been on my list for awhile and I finally got around to reading it because it is on this book list. I am trying to read through a book from each letter until I have read the whole list! This was my first pick for the letter B. I am not sure what I was expecting with this book but it took me awhile to get into it. It reminded me a bit of The Sun Also Rises, because it featured young people drinking a lot, doing nothing with their lives and talking about how rough their families make it for them. But, I felt like I got more out of the Hemingway novel than I did this one. There were some very excellent sentences like, “I feel the past and the future pressing so hard on either side that there’s no room for the present at all.” Another good one was, “His heart; some long word at the heart. He is dying of a long word.” So there were some bright spots and a character of two that I enjoyed. I think I would have liked this better if I had read it for a book club and could discuss it with someone.

6. The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure 

This was my historical fiction fix for the month. The book is set in Paris during the Nazi occupation of WWII. The architect the book is titled after is a modernist Parisian architect who finds himself constructing creative hiding places for the Jewish people who are still stuck in Paris. At first, he is not really sympathetic to the Jews he is hiding, but as he continues his work his feelings change. It doesn’t help that to hide what he is doing, he has to start taking German contracts to design factories for them. There are more personal twists and turns throughout the whole book. This was a great read for me; I couldn’t put it down. I am excited to look into other books by this author.  Content warning: there are racy scenes, bad language and some brutal scenes. Be warned, if you are very sensitive to those types of things this might not be the book for you.

7. All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot

This book. How have I waited this long to read it? It was so so so so good. I listened to it on audio and found myself going on longer walks, or sitting in the garage so I could listen to it for a bit longer. This book is the semi-autobiographical story of a veterinarian in England in the 1930’s and 1940’s. The stories are based on the author’s real experiences as a vet in the countryside, which means he treats both large and small animals. The stories range from light-hearted to gut wrenching, with a bit of gross in between. But this isn’t just a book about animals; it is about people too. With each story you really get an understanding of the characters and how they are changing and growing because of their experiences.  This is one of my favorites of the year and probably another to add to the list of my favorites of all time. I love books that are about real life, but have been written by an author that has lived an examined life. So good. Content warning: there are medical terms for both male and female body parts and some graphic death and birth scenes.

So that is it for my August reading! These were great picks for me to end the summer with and now I am looking towards some darker reads this fall. What did you read in August? What was your favorite book of the summer? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time,

I love you more than healing pigs and building site digs,



ModCloth Stylish Surprise is Back!

ModCloth is having another Stylish Surprise event! Stock up on marvelous mystery items for $20 or less — dresses, shoes, decor, and more…which awesome pieces will you score? No coupon code necessary, simply add a Stylish Surprise item to your bag and wait till you see what what you get!

I have received a Stylish Surprise from ModCloth before and blogged about what I received here.  This time around I am sure the surprises will be full of spring and summer items that are going out of season. Dresses are $20, separates are $15, and shoes and decor are only $10! You won’t know what is coming your way, but that is why it is called a surprise! I have some money credited to my account from making returns from previous ModCloth purchases that I am going to put towards my Stylish Surprise purchases this time around. I took a peek at their sale items and found some great pieces I’d love to get in my surprise. You can buy all of these items now at the sale price, or wait to see if you get anything like them in your Stylish Surprise! Order quickly, because these usually go fast!

Journey to the Center of the Mirth Flat – $24.99

Retail Price: $49.99
You Save: $25.00


Carnival You Need Top in Confetti – $27.99

Retail Price: $39.99
You Save: $12.00



Sending My Fest Wishes Dress – $27.99

Retail Price: $69.99
You Save: $42.00


Clambake My Day Dress – $25.99
Retail Price: $64.99
You Save: $39.00




You Know the Espadrille Wedge in Mint – $34.99

Retail Price: $49.99
You Save: $15.00



Put the Gears in Ocean Travel Bottle – $14.99
Retail Price: $29.99
You Save: $15.00



Party Setup Squad Dress – $21.99

Retail Price: $54.99
You Save: $33.00



Deal: Stylish Surprise from ModCloth
Start: 8/29 @ 12pm EST
End: While Supplies Last

Until next time.

I love you more than summer end sales and surprises in the mail,



Make My Students Smile by Setting up AmazonSmile


It is almost time to head back to school for teachers in Oregon! In fact, this is my last week of summer and my school has already had our Open House.  I got to meet most of my students and their parents. I am very excited for the new school year to begin! Last year I started my teaching position after the year had already started so I feel much more prepared this time around.  I spent a lot of time working on school wide policies, researching and ordering curriculum over the summer so I am anxious to see everything I have been working on in action! Also, we have doubled our enrollment in grades K-8 from last year!

Since we are a growing low-cost private school we do not have all the funds we need to buy all the books and supplies I’d like the students to have. We are starting a new literature curriculum this year and need to buy class sets of classic books like, Charlotte’s Web, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, Island of the Blue DolphinsLittle House in the Big Woods and The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. We also need to purchase science equipment like dissecting kits and scientific calculators for our pre-algebra students. Not to mention, we are working on raising money to buy a modular unit for our 6th-8th graders to use next year since we are out of classroom space.

We have a lot of fundraising to do. This is where you come in. My favorite online retailer,, has started a fundraising program called AmazonSmile. My school is set up to receive donations from this program and we need you to help us raise some money. It is very easy for you to help, and it doesn’t you any extra when you are making purchases on Amazon. All you need to do is link your Amazon account with AmazonSmile for my school, Cascade View Christian School. Then shop Amazon like you normally would and a bit of every eligible purchase you make will come to our school. This is a private and easy way to help our school stay affordable (we charge $2,000 per year, not per month, for students to get a private Christian education and have provided over $6,000 in scholarships this year) and help us create well-rounded students.

To find out more about how to set up AmazonSmile check out this How To link from Amazon:

I know all of the faculty at my school and I really would appreciate the support! We want to make the education a student receives at Cascade View Christian School one that will provide a lifetime of love for learning and a foundation for them to build a successful, faith-filled life on.

Please let me know if you have any questions. I would love to acknowledge your support if you choose to set up AmazonSmile for Cascade View Christian School, so let me know in the comments!

Until Next Time,

I love you more than a new school year and dissecting things without fear,