A Common Guide to A Few Uncommon Goods

Last week, I mentioned that I’ve been struggling with decorating the bookshelf in my living room.  Then the first day of fall hit and I was able to add a bunch of my fall decor to it and I feel much better about the feel of the overall shelf.
But my brain keeps going to after the holidays are over and all that decor is gone.  I still need a few items to fill in the missing spaces.  I’m still planning to scour my favorite home decor stores but I’ve also realized that I need to start taping into the online market way more than I do.  I hardly ever buy things online.  I have no idea why, but I just like the feel of buying stuff in the store and bring it home more than having to wait for it to come in the mail.  Plus if I buy online and I don’t like the item, I have to go to the post office to send it back and that’s a pain.  
However, I do realize that there are some amazing websites with some great decor items that are out there and waiting for me to find.  And wouldn’t you know it, one of those sites has actually found me!  So today I bring you a short little guide to one of my new favorite websites!

Before hearing from the team at Uncommon Goods, I had never heard of their website.  But I am so glad they are now on my radar because they have some really cool stuff.  A lot of which I think would work perfectly in my apartment.  
What I love is how unique their merchandise is.  Most of the items on their website are provided by artists and smaller manufacturers so you’re not likely to find them in the stores you visit on a weekly basis.  In addition they work with those artists and manufacturers to make sure the products they create are made in a socially and environmentally conscious way.  You can read all about their mission here.
I’m excited to share a few of my favorite products from their website.  These are all things that I think would add a little something extra and personal to my little space.  A lot of them incorporate my love of travel too.  I’ve been trying to find a way to incorporate that into my apartment and Uncommon Goods has a ton of great stuff!
Here are few of my favorites!  
1. Heart Marks the Spot Pillow      2. Cross Country Keepsake Board

3. Wanderlust Cross Stitch Map        4. Custom Map Coaster Set
Here are a few more of my favorites that aren’t necessarily travel themed. 

5. Bedside Smart Phone Vase       6. Books&Eyeglasses Mismatched Earrings       7. Hello Coat Hook
                                                8. Hand Embroidered State Pillows
The other thing I LOVE about Uncommon Goods is the fact that they really cater to the gift market.  I’m in the phase of life where all of my friends are either getting married, celebrating anniversaries, or having babies and Uncommon Goods is chalk full of fabulous unique gift ideas for two of those types of friends.
I seriously spent about 2 hours browsing the website trying to decide which of their wedding gifts would be perfect for two sets of friends who are getting married this fall.  Then I found out that they also do personalized wedding gifts and the decision was even more difficult.   I was able to settle on two items that I think both of my friends are going to absolutely love and I am super excited for them to get them.  
I want to share a few of my favorites because I think these would be good for just about anyone that’s getting married!

9. New York Times Anniversary Book   10. Date Night Bucket List  11. Personalized Lazy Susan                
                                                           12. Personalized Cutting Board

One of the best parts about Uncommon Goods is that their website has something that will fit everyone’s budget.  The items above range from $18 to $150.  The personalized items are going to be pricier but are so fun and cute that I think they’re worth it.  
Now to browse through more of the wedding gifts check out their collection here.  If you’re interested in the personalized wedding gifts click here.  You can also browse their anniversary and bridal shower collections here and here.  
I am so glad I was introduce to the Uncommon Goods website.  I know it’s going to be a site I come back to when I need to uniquely uncommon gift for a friend or family.  And even when I need a little something uncommon for myself!
This was a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Uncommon Goods.  However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Currently- September

Happy Wednesday friends!
It’s the last week of September (I’m sorry what?!) and I am in shock that it’s already over.  We will officially be in October on Saturday, which means my Halloween decorations will be out and I will be a very happy camper.  I just can’t bring myself to put up Halloween decor before October, just like I can’t bring myself to put up Christmas decor until after Thanksgiving.  But I will say it was so hard to keep myself from buying more Christmas decorations at Hobby Lobby yesterday. 
Ok I’m babbling.  Let’s get to the point of today’s post shall we! 
I AM…….

Reading…..Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly.  It’s another WWII historical fiction novel that follows 3 girls during the war.  I have a feeling this is going to be a super deep novel.  So I’m actually doing something I rarely do and that’s read two books at once.  I’m reading one of my cheesy romance novels at the same time.  That way I can balance out the deep stuff with some light and fluffy nonsense.

Watching….. This is Us.  If you haven’t seen the pilot, then you need to crawl out from under your rock and watch it.  Because it is amazing!  I’m so glad that good TV is finally back on.  My DVR is loaded and sadly I’m having to do most of watching on the weekends because my weekdays are so busy.  But that’s ok!

Wishing….I was better at keeping a planner.  I SO want to be the type of person that uses their planners day in and out.  But if I’m 100% honest I completely forget to use it about 85% of the time.  I usually just end up using my phone but I love planners and so I keep buying them and partly using them.  I spelled barbecue sauce on my most recent one so I’m in the market for a new one.  That I won’t use.  It’s a problem.

Feeling….pretty darn good!  Y’all we are officially into the fall season and are 2 days away from officially being in the “holiday season.”  I finally decorated for fall and lite my very first fall scented candle this week.  And it was glorious.  I am so ready for the holidays it’s not even funny!

Thinking about….trying out two things.  First, Stitch Fix.  A few of my friends have tried and seem to really like it.  But I’m worried that the clothes I’m sent will be too expensive because I really don’t spend that much money on the clothes I buy.  The clothes that I’ve seen are super cute though.  So I may try it for a month or two and see what I get and decide if it’s worth it.  Second, one of those meal prep food things.  You know like, Blue Apron or Hello Fresh.  I love the idea of having everything I need for two or three meals sent to me with the recipes and all.  Seems so convenient.  So I think I’m gonna try that too!

Looking forward to….THE HOLIDAYS!  Lots of fun stuff is coming up in the “ember” months and I am so excited.  I have a trip to Kansas, a wedding, Thanksgiving, a Disney trip in December, home for the holidays, and obviously Christmas itself!

Wanting….cooler weather.  It may be officially fall but the state of Texas has yet to receive any fall like weather.  Not surprising at all since it is Texas but still.  If I’m smelling fall inside I want to be feeling fall outside.

Loving….The Preppy Printshop on Etsy.  I plan on buying 4 prints from her shop and now I’m just trying to decide which sizes to get.  These two are my favorites!

                      Watercolor Pink Peony                                                      Reading is Cool

Needing….to wrap my head around the fact that I am now licensed to drive a bus!  Yep, you read that right.  I can now drive a school bus.  I passed my Commercial Drivers License test yesterday.  I literally never thought I would ever be driving a school bus.  Like ever.  But I be driving said bus with 36 girls packed on it on Thursday! And earn a whopping 20 extra bucks doing it!


Alrighty, that’s all I’ve got.  Hope you have a happy hump day!  Two days to the weekend! We can do it! 🙂

Linking up with Jenn and Jess for What’s Ha-“Pinning”!

PS.  I have been slacking it big time on responding to comments the last couple posts!  Please know that I read each and every one of them and I appreciate them so so much!  I’ll get my act together this week and get on top of replying! 🙂

I’m Guest Posting – 5 First Time Traveler Tips For Europe

Happy Friday Friends!

Popping in to say that I’m guesting posting over at The Wandering Weekenders!  Ashley and her hubby just got back from their very own European vacation and since I went on my trip 2 summers ago, she asked me to share some tips!

So I did just that!  Head over to her blog and you can read all about them!

Have a great weekend! Catch ya on Monday! 🙂

What’s Ha-"Pinning" – Bookshelf Styling

I’ve been in my apartment now for just about two months.  I did some fast and furious decor shopping when I first moved in but I haven’t really done all that much since.  The last big items I bought for the apartment were the pillows for my couch.  I haven’t really shopped for the apartment at all this month and now I’m in the mood!  Specifically I’m dying to improve the look of the bookshelf in my living room.  I have a few nicknacks on each shelf but when I look at it I don’t feel like it’s complete by any means.

In case you forgot here’s what the bookshelf currently looks like:
It’s just so blah to me.  And I want this bookshelf to really pop!  I’ve been scouring all my favorite stores for little nicknacks and books to fill it with but it’s taking FOREVER! And I’m slightly irritated that I haven’t found what I’m looking for immediately.  But I know that decorating takes some time and patience so I’m trying and will most likely be buying pieces little by little.  
Any who, I’ve been scouring Pinterest for some bookshelf styling inspiration.  And I thought it would be fun to share what I’ve found so far!  
I think in order to get my shelves to look like these I know what I need.  But my question is where the heck do I find all the cute stuff to do it, that doesn’t cost me and arm and a leg!  
SO…..if you have any suggestions for my little ole bookshelf please share them!  I’m on the bookshelf styling struggle bus so any help would be appreciated! 🙂
Hope you have a great Wednesday friends! 
Linking up for:

A September Life Update

Hello and happy Monday friends!  I’ve been pretty silent in all forms of social media lately.  So today’s post is brought to you by my need to give a life update.  I mentioned this on Instagram but I’ve just been having a hard time getting back into the swing of work and blog.   I’m exhausted when I come home from work in the evening and literally want to do nothing more than watch crap TV.  But like I said, I’m gonna work on it!

Alrighty, so what in the world has been going on with me during the month of September you ask?  Here’s a little update:

-First of all I can hardly believe we are already in the 9th month of the year.  Like holy wow that came up quick.  Next thing you know I’ll be showing off my Christmas decor and it’ll be 2017!

-Work work and more work.  Between teaching and coaching my life is consumed by work.  During the week if I’m not at school, then I’m sleeping.

– Labor Day weekend was by far one of my favorite weekends of the entire year!  I went to Atlanta, Georgia and met one of my new nieces! I spent 4 days with them and smothered Brynn with all the cuddles I could.  We had a great time hanging out at Jordan and Brian’s house and exploring their part of Atlanta.  I cannot wait to see them again in December at our home away from home!

– I’ve finally gotten to the point where I like living alone.  It took about a month and half for me to really adjust and decide I like it.  But I’m happy to report that it has happened!  More details on my thoughts on living alone are coming in a post all it’s own later this week!

– I tried Sprinkles Cupcakes while in Atlanta for the first time and while it was definitely tasty, but I honestly don’t see what all the fuss is about.  If you ask me Nothing Bundt Cakes is better.

– I’ve been trying to pick up some odds and ends for the apartment.  I feel like my bookcase needs some series love and I’m struggling with finding pieces I like.

– The trip to Disney that I was supposed to go on in October was cancelled, but I’ll be going in December instead.  Which honestly has me even more excited, because hello…Christmas at Disney is the best time of the year.

– One of my favorite authors, Sarah J. Maas released the latest book in the Throne of Glass book. Empire of Storms and it was amazing.  I can’t wait to write my review on it in October!

– This weekend was the perfect blend of relaxation and getting stuff done.  I love weekends like that! I met up with a friend, read a book, took some pictures for a friend,  and went to 3 of my favorites stores: Barnes & Noble, Home Goods, and Target.

– While taking the pictures, my friend Rebekah found the most adorable little spot for picture taking!  I cannot wait to go back to this area and take more pictures!

-I also watched a little Netflix and got my DVR all ready for the big network premier week!  A ton of my favorite shows are coming back this week and I may not be able to catch them all in real time.  So thank god for DVR!


Whelp, there ya have it.  September has mostly been about work and I don’t see it being any different as we wrap up the last two weeks of the month.

Have a great Monday friends! 🙂

Linking up with Biana for Weekending!

Your Next Favorite Book: August Reads

August wasn’t my favorite reading month.  While I enjoyed the books I read I didn’t devour any of them as has been the case with some of the books I read during the summer.  None the less I did find two that I thoroughly enjoyed!

I’m calling August the month of the Netgalley book.  Since three out of the four books I read in August were books I got from Netgalley.  If you’re a reader and have never heard of Netgalley, I suggest you get on that train ASAP.  It’s a website where you can request, yet to be released books in exchange for writing a review on them either on the website itself or on your blog.

Sadly you won’t get every book that you request.  But I have gotten the majority of the books I’ve requested so I’m still a happy camper.  Anyway, definitely worth checking out if you love to read!

And now on to the goods!

Goodreads Synopsis:  The highly anticipated new standalone novel from Martin Cruz Smith, whom The Washington Post has declared “that uncommon phenomenon: a popular and well-regarded crime novelist who is also a writer of real distinction,” The Girl from Venice is a suspenseful World War II love story set against the beauty, mystery, and danger of occupied Venice.

Venice, 1945. The war may be waning, but the city known as La Serenissima is still occupied and the people of Italy fear the power of the Third Reich. One night, under a canopy of stars, a fisherman named Cenzo comes across a young woman’s body floating in the lagoon and soon discovers that she is still alive and in trouble.

Born to a wealthy Jewish family, Giulia is on the run from the SS. Cenzo chooses to protect Giulia rather than hand her over to the Nazis. This act of kindness leads them into the world of Partisans, random executions, the arts of forgery and high explosives, Mussolini’s broken promises, the black market and gold, and, everywhere, the enigmatic maze of the Venice Lagoon.

The Girl from Venice is a thriller, a mystery, and a retelling of Italian history that will take your breath away. Most of all it is a love story.

My thoughts:  This is one of the books I received from Netgalley.  And yes, it’s another WWII book.  I just can’t help myself y’all.  This one caught my eye because it’s based in Venice and I’ve been to Venice, so I thought, “Sweet, I’ll be able to recognize the places they’re talking about.”  Wrong.  It doesn’t exactly take place in Venice but more so on one of the islands close to Venice.  But it was still a really fascinating read.  I haven’t read much about WWII in Italy and how it affected the Italians.  (Well save for having seen Life is Beautiful, phenomenal movie btw.)  I wish we had been given more back story on Guilia.  Although I do realize the story was supposed to be centered around Cenzo and his family.  Still would have been nice to read more about her.  There were times when the dialogue got a little confusing.  It was super fast paced at times and was difficult to keep up with.
But again I liked learning a little bit more about what it was like in Italy in the last days of WWII.  The love story was just okay.  I would have been perfectly fine with the book had there been no love story at all.  
Anyway, it’s worth a read if you’re into WWII historical fiction! 

Goodreads Synopsis: When she arrives at the famed Barbizon Hotel in 1952, secretarial school enrollment in hand, Darby McLaughlin is everything her modeling agency hall mates aren’t: plain, self-conscious, homesick, and utterly convinced she doesn’t belong—a notion the models do nothing to disabuse. Yet when Darby befriends Esme, a Barbizon maid, she’s introduced to an entirely new side of New York City: seedy downtown jazz clubs where the music is as addictive as the heroin that’s used there, the startling sounds of bebop, and even the possibility of romance.

Over half a century later, the Barbizon’s gone condo and most of its long-ago guests are forgotten. But rumors of Darby’s involvement in a deadly skirmish with a hotel maid back in 1952 haunt the halls of the building as surely as the melancholy music that floats from the elderly woman’s rent-controlled apartment. It’s a combination too intoxicating for journalist Rose Lewin, Darby’s upstairs neighbor, to resist—not to mention the perfect distraction from her own imploding personal life. Yet as Rose’s obsession deepens, the ethics of her investigation become increasingly murky, and neither woman will remain unchanged when the shocking truth is finally revealed.

My thoughts:  This was another book I received from Netgalley.  This was a good one.  I really enjoyed The Dollhouse.   The transition between present day and the 1950s was ok, but I did find myself wishing the whole book was all focused in the 1950s.  I kept trying to picture myself in the book.  Which floor would I have lived on, if I had been a Barbizon girl in the 1950s.  What would my dream job be?  I’d love to say model but in reality I most likely would have been a secretary or something.  
Anyway, good read and I enjoyed it!  

Goodreads Synopsis: Saxon barbarians threaten to destroy medieval Wales. Lady Branwen becomes Wales’ last hope to unite their divided kingdoms when her father betroths her to a powerful Welsh warlord, the Hammer King. But the fledgling alliance is fraught with enemies from within and without as Branwen becomes the target of assassination attempts and courtly intrigue. A young woman in a world of fierce warriors, she seeks to assert her own authority and preserve Wales against the barbarians. But when she falls for a young hedge knight named Artagan, her world threatens to tear itself apart.

Caught between her duty to her people and her love of a man she cannot have, Branwen must choose whether to preserve her royal marriage or to follow her heart. Somehow she must save her people and remain true to herself, before Saxon invaders and a mysterious traitor try to destroy her.

My thoughts:  The cover and the synopsis had me really excited to read this.  But to be honest, I was bored for the majority of the book.  I love British history and have read books similar to this but it just didn’t do anything for me.  I even found myself reading ahead to find out the end of the story because I just couldn’t get into it.  Maybe I just wasn’t in the right mindset for this genre right then but meh, I’ve read better.   Oh and this was the final Netgalley book I received. 

Goodreads Synopsis: Winter, 1945. Four teenagers. Four secrets.

Each one born of a different homeland; each one hunted, and haunted, by tragedy, lies…and war.

As thousands of desperate refugees flock to the coast in the midst of a Soviet advance, four paths converge, vying for passage aboard the Wilhelm Gustloff, a ship that promises safety and freedom.

Yet not all promises can be kept.

Inspired by the single greatest tragedy in maritime history, bestselling and award-winning author Ruta Sepetys (Between Shades of Gray) lifts the veil on a shockingly little-known casualty of World War II. An illuminating and life-affirming tale of heart and hope.

My thoughts:  I know I know.  Yet ANOTHER WWII book.  I told you it’s my favorite.  This was probably my favorite of the four.  I loved the detail and the way the story was told from 4 different perspectives.  I loved that it was told from the perspective of teenagers, rather than adults.  I cannot imagine having to go through the horrors of war at a time when you’re supposed to be learning about life and love.  The children and teenagers who lived through WWII lost their innocence in a way no one should.  And this book does a great job of showing us that.  This was another topic from WWII that I was previously in the dark about.  I had never heard about the sinking of the Wilhelm Gusloff, nor had I learned much about WWII in Baltic region.  So this was an eye opening book in more ways than one. 

Even though I loved the book as a whole, I will say I was a tad disappointed with then end.  I felt like is had and abrupt ending and I wanted more.  Much much more.  Still 100% worth the read though.  I give it 5 stars!


That’s a wrap for August friends.  The Dollhouse and Salt to the Sea are definitely worth your time.  The other two you can take or leave.

Have a great Tuesday!  Linking up for:

Life According to Steph