Decluttering | My Books

declutter

So this time around I did not take pictures of my declutter for two reasons, I had way to may books to fit in a single picture and the second was, I did not want to look back on some of my unread books and get mad at myself.

Now in the KonMari method you are instructed to get rid of all your unread books and only keep books you have read and spark joy. You are not allowed to read descriptions and you cannot open the book. You can only look at the cover and hold it in your hands. Now as a book worm running a bookblog I obviously love books. I love surrounding my self with them and often buy new ones even though I have some unread ones waiting for me at my house. This category was very difficult for me.

I decided to break this category down into two groups read and unread. I decided to tackle the read ones first then the unread ones, more on that later. I think the longest part was taking all the books off of my shelf. I counted all of my beloved books and it was nearly 200 books. Even though I am a book lover, for some reason this just felt like to much. I knew deep down I was never going to reread 200 books. I knew I had a lot of work ahead of me.

When I finally conquered my read books I took all the unread books off of my shelf and placed them on the floor in front of me. Now, I broke a rule. I kept some of my unread books for a few reasons. The first was I just went on a short vacation with my mom and I bought a few books that I have already started to read so I knew I was going to read them and they filled me with joy. The second reason was even though they were unread they filled me with joy. Now the whole purpose of this method is to surround yourself with things that spark joy, well just because something is unread doesn’t mean it does not spark joy. Even though I broke this rule, I did end up admitting to myself that I was not going to read all the books on my TBR, so they went into the donation bin.

When I finished going through all of my books I went from nearly 200 down to 119. I donated nearly 80 books. Even though I have already done this and all the books have found a new home at my local library I cannot believe I had that many books. I am currently sitting looking at the books I have left and I cannot imagine where those 80 books fit.

Even though I removed 80 books from my collection I am very happy. All the books I have are sitting properly so their binding will not be damaged. I can see each book I own. All the books I have make me happy. As a bookworm it is like a dream come true. My books reflect me, they are well taken care of, and they aren’t crowded or hidden away.

Now that the hard category is finished, on to an easier one!

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REVIEW | A Sea of Straw by Julia Sutton

Book Review

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*First I want to thank the author, Julia Sutton, for sending me a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.*

A Sea of Straw is not just a love story, it is about a man, Ze, who has to deal with a corrupt and horrible regime and a woman, Jody, who must find a way out of an unhappy marriage with a young child to find happiness. These two people meet in Lisbon by chance. What follows in not just a novel packed with romance, but a book that deals with individual heartache, living under the control of a corrupt government, and making difficult decisions that could have repercussions.

Before I get into the things I adore about this books, I would like to point out that you need to give this book about 50-60 pages before you decide to keep reading or not. I had a little bit of difficulty getting into it at first, but when I was able to get past those 50-60 pages I was invested.

A Sea of Straw had a historical background that I am not familiar with myself. This books takes place in Portugal during a period of time it was ruled by a fascist government. If you want a little more detail you can visit these links, Carnation Revolution and European Integration and Carnation Revolution. I do not want to give possible spoilers/information if someone wants to read this book without knowing background of this political time period and how it affected the Portuguese people . I have to say this is the first book in sometime that led me to research a topic on my own, for me this is a huge positive because it shows me how involved I was in the story that I needed to know more.

Another thing I enjoyed about this novel was the fact it showed not only the political tension of what Ze was going through, but it also showed what Jody was going through. Even though it was the 1960s when Jody and Ze met, Jody was still at the mercy of her husband even with the progress made for woman’s rights. This books does not shy away from talking about struggle and hardship, but in doing so exposes the reader to what feels like authentic experience.

I have to say that the story Sutton  wrote is so believable and raw that you have no choice but be rooting for Ze and Jody. You want them to have the love and life they deserve to have.

Description: 

Will a man walk two thousand kilometres for a woman? In 1967, Ze will. Salazar’s Portugal has become a prison for him.

1966: When Jody, young mother and designer from Manchester, arrives on the Lisbon coast, she brings the lure of ‘Swinging London’ to Portuguese painter Ze ‘s existing dreams of freedom. A nascent love is interrupted when, back in England, husband Michael forces her to choose between their 2-year-old daughter Anna and Ze . And Ze, at home in Lisbon and grounded by the state’s secret police, can only wait.

For both Jody and Ze, love is revolution. And personal and political threads weave their story, a period piece set amid the then socially conservative North of England, the light and rugged landscapes of modern Portugal, and the darkness of the dying years of Europe’s longest-running dictatorship. A Sea of Straw, with its pervading atmosphere of saudades, is a quest for love in revolutionary times.

-goodreads

Overall, I have to give this book 4 stars. It not only intrigued me enough to do my own research, but this novel is written so well. You feel for the characters as there are small victories and mourn and became angry when things are not working out for them. All I have to say is give a try and read it! I highly doubt you will be disappointed.


Book Information

Publisher: Cheyne Walk

Publication Date:October 25th 2016

List Price: $12.20 (Amazon.com)

ISBN: 978-0993286339

Pages: 292pages


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BOOKSTORE TRAVELS

Blog

Hello Everyone, I just wanted to share my most recent trip to the bookstore. So for this bookstore adventure I decided to stick a little closer to home and go to The Strand in NYC.

Here is a little show on my walk over to the store. Looking at the traffic makes me happy I am a walker. I have always preferred to walk to places if I can, I feel like I get to see more and I have an opportunity to take a side trip if something catches my eye.

Here is the outside of The Strand, if you have not heard about this bookstore it has the tagline “18 miles of books”. It has new, used, and out of print books so there is something for everyone.

Here is a picture I took in a one of the bookstore nooks. I did not take many pictures because it was very busy that day and I wanted to respect the privacy of others. I did end up spending about an hour and a half in the store. Most of that time I was just scanning the shelves to find something that caught my eye.

Book Haul:

EVERYMAN’S LIBRARY POCKET POETS: EMERSON

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Lately I have been getting into poetry and this pretty little edition caught my eye so I decided to take it home with me.

MISERY BY STEPHEN KING

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I am a very avid Stephen King reader. I easily read a Stephen King book a month. This edition has been one I have kept my eye out for so when I saw it I added it to my pile.

11/22/63 BY STEPHEN KING

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This is a book I have read already, but I borrowed it from the library. I enjoyed it so much I decided I wanted a copy of my own as long as it was not so much. I ended up finding this in the standard size for only $10.00, even though the same edition next to it was $20.00. So I added it to my heavy pile of books.


I hope you enjoyed my little bookstore adventure!

What book should I add to my lookout list?

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TAG | The Awesome Blogger Award

Tag Tuesday

Reading Challenge

Thank you Charlotte for the TAG! Please go check out her blog it is wonderful.

Rules

1. Thank the person who nominated you
2. Include the reason behind the award
3. Include the banner in your post
4. Tag it under #awesomebloggeraward in the Reader
5. Answer the questions your nominator gave you
6. Nominate at least 5 awesome bloggers
7. Give your nominees 10 new questions to answer
8. Let your nominees know that they’ve been nominated

The Questions

What is your proudest achievement?

Graduating Uni, because there were people who said I would not be able to do it. Showed them. 🙂

What is your favourite blog post that you’ve written?

2017 Goals! I say this one because I have had this blog for over a year now, but I never really used it until this past January. It is in this post where I set my goals and finally decided I was going to do this, something I enjoy. I rarely give myself time to do things I enjoy, but this year is different and I am so much happier.

If you could spend a day in any city, where would it be?

I honestly have no idea, when traveling I don’t normally go to cities. I tend to go to more outdoor places.

What is your favourite tv show?

I would have to say that I enjoy That 70s Show, Friends, and Sherlock. I don’t watch TV that often though.

Do you have any pets? Share a photo if you want to.

I recently acquired a fish, he is currently so small I can’t really get the camera to focus on him. >.< He is so new that I have yet to settle on a name, if you have any ideas please share!

Do you prefer reading in first or third person? Present or past tense?

I honestly do not have a preference

What is your favourite time of the year?

I love Autumn, I love sweater weather and it isn’t way to cold just yet.

The best book you’ve read recently?

The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt by T.J. Stiles, it is a monster of a non-fiction but it was a wonderful read.

Your favourite item of clothing?

I have this Marauders Map dress that I just adore.

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What was your favourite movie to watch as a kid?

The Shining… yeah I watched scary movies possibly a little to young, but I loved them.

My Questions:

What was your favorite book as a child?

Do you use a library? If so, how often?

Do you keep a reading journal?

What books do you have the best memories associated with?

Have you ever borrowed a book from a friend and never returned it?

What movie have you watched the most?

If you could tell people to read 2 books, which two would you pick?

What is your favorite thing about blogging?

Which book character do you think would be afraid of the dark?

How do you organize your books?

 

I TAG:

You are more than welcome to do the tag if you would like!


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September TBR | 2017

TBR

This month I am only planning on reading 2 books, mainly because I have been slowing down on my reading lately and I do not want to force myself to read and make everything worse. So without further delay here are the books I plan on reading in September…wow, it is already September. Where is 2017 going?

Where the Light Falls by Allison Pataki & Owen Pataki

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This is a historical fiction novel that takes place during the French Revolution. I am excited to see where this novel takes me.

From the courtrooms to the battlefields to the alleyways of Paris, with cameos from infamous figures in French history, the Patakis have crafted an epic, action-packed novel of the French Revolution as it has never been seen before. Three years after the storming of the Bastille, Paris is enlivened with the ideals of liberty, equality, and fraternity. The monarchy has been dismantled and a new nation, for the people, is rising up in its place. Jean-Luc, a young optimistic lawyer, moves his wife, Marie, and their son to Paris, inspired by a sense of duty to contribute to the new order. André, the son of a former nobleman, flees his privileged past to fight in the unified French Army with his roguish brother. Sophie, a beautiful young aristocratic widow and niece of a powerful, vindictive uncle, embarks on her own fight for independence.

The Dire King by William Ritter

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This is the fourth book in the Jackaby series, which if you are new here, is one of my favorites. I have never been disappointed by one of these books. Each one is always better than the last. If you have never read any of these books I would encourage you to try them.

The fate of the world is in the hands of detective of the supernatural R. F. Jackaby and his intrepid assistant, Abigail Rook.


What are you going to read this month?

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August 2017 | Wrap Up

Well this month I felt like I read a lot, but at the same time I felt like I didn’t. I did end up reading 5 books during a readathon, but other than that I did not read so much. I feel like that is going to start to become a pattern. We shall see what happens.

I Read:

Wrap UP | 7 in 7

Eye of the Storm by Frank Cavallo

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Rating: 4 stars!

On a research mission in one of the most remote regions of the world, former Navy SEAL Eric Slade and Dr. Anna Fayne are caught in a mysterious storm. Catapulted through a rift in space-time, they are marooned on a lost world.

Struggling to survive and desperate to find a way home, they must confront the dangers of this savage land—a dark wizard and his army of undead—a warrior queen and her horde of fierce Neanderthals that stands against him—and a legendary treasure with the power to open the gateway between worlds, or to destroy them all: the Eye of the Storm.

And It Came to Pass by Laura Stone

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Rating: 4 Stars!

Adam Young is a devout, young Mormon following the pious path set forth for him by his church and family. But when his mission trajectory sends him to Barcelona, Spain, with a handsome mission companion named Brandon Christensen, Adam discovers there may be more to life and love than he ever expected.

Poems Selected by Himself by Robert Graves

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Rating: 5 stars!

Since these poems, written at the fairly constant rate of four or five a year since 1914, are offered to a public considerably larger than they reached in hard-cover form, I have omitted the more baffling or shocking ones. The order is roughly chronological.

I Reviewed:

REVIEW | And It Came to Pass by Laura Stone

REVIEW | Eye of the Storm by Frank Cavallo 

Bingo Update:

I managed to get 2 bingos, next time my goal is to get 3.


What did you read this month?

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TAG | The Sunshine Blogger Award Vol. 2

Tag Tuesday

I was tagged by Chelsea and Irena you should go check out their blogs!

If you would like to see Volume 1 you can find it here: THE SUNSHINE BLOGGER AWARD

Chelsea’s Questions:


1. Which movie would you love to see on the big screen (something that you’d either love to see in the movie theatre again, or an older movie before your time that you never had the chance to see in the theatre and would love to)?

I would love to see the Shining in the movie theater, when I was younger it as my favorite movie and I always wished I could have seen it on the silver screen.

2. Which book would you love to read for the first time again?

I would love to read Little Women by Louisa May Alcott again. I just love this classic so much!

3. Do you have a favorite publisher or publisher imprint?

I do not.

4. If you worked in a bookstore, what would your one staff pick recommendation be, and why?

The Jackaby series by William Ritter, one of my favorite series of all time.

5. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever used as a bookmark?

A piece of candy, it was all that I had at the time!

6. Is there a classic that has been on your TBR for ages?

I tend to read the classics on my TBR faster than more modern books.

7. What’s your favorite bird?

I love owls, I always have since I was a little girl.

8. What color do you wear the most?

I tend to wear blue a lot as of late.

9. What are your thoughts on binge-watching? Is it something you do, and if so, which show did you last binge-watch?

I have binge watched in the past, but I don’t do it often because I tend to loose interest quickly and start to do something else and stop paying attention.

10. What’s your favorite episode of your favorite TV show and why?

I don’t really watch TV, so I am not sure what to even pick for this.

11. Do you have a favorite bookstore/used bookstore?

I don’t have a favorite, but I love exploring new bookstore as often as I can.

Irena’s Questions:

1. What is your favourite period in history (the one you find most interesting)?

I do not have a specific time period, but I find revolutions interesting.

2. If you could be a fictional character for a day, who would you be and why?

Cath from fangirl, I know it isn’t so magical. But, I do not want to have the fear of the Dark Lord rising and such.

3. What is your favourite TV show at the moment?

Once again, I don’t really watch TV often. But, I do love I Love Lucy.

4. What is the best book you’ve read so far in 2017? (Or at least one of the best, I know it can be hard to choose.)

This year my favorite read was a non-fiction booked called, The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt by T.J. Stiles.

5. Do you have a favourite toy, from childhood or now? (Yes, I still buy toys for myself.)

When I was younger I loved playing with strings, I used to spend hours making friendship bracelets.

6. Who are some of your favourite villains?

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Dolores Umbridge, she is a horrible, but she is a great villain.

7. What is the favourite place you’ve visited?

I would have to say I enjoy Niagara Falls (Canada) and Maine. There are both absolutely beautiful places.

8. What is your favourite snack?

I love tiramisu.


9. If you had to choose, would you rather become a vampire or a werewolf?

Vampire, I feel like turning into a wolf every month would be painful.

10. Pirates or ninjas? 😛

Pirate because I am way to clumsy to be a ninja.

11. Share a quote you really like!

My Questions:

  1. What was the last funny video you saw?
  2. What three words best describe your current read?
  3. What is your earliest bookish memory?
  4. How do you organize your books?
  5. Do you have an auto buy author? If so ,who?
  6. What’s your favorite season? Why?
  7. What fictional character do you think is most likely to hide in the dark?
  8. What was your favorite book as a child?
  9. What book has influenced you the most?
  10. How often do you go to the library or bookstore?
  11. What are the three best apps on your phone?

I Tag:

Aria

Lynne

Jewels

As well as anyone else who would like to answer these questions 🙂


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Book Haul | August 2017

Book Haul

It is that time of the month once again to share with you the books I picked up this month. August turned into a huge book month for me. A book I preordered came out, there was a library sale, and I took a trip to an independent bookstore. I was also lucky enough to receive a few books from publisher to review via print and ebook. Without further delay here are the books I am adding to my every growing TBR.

Physical Books:

The Dire King by William Ritter

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The fate of the world is in the hands of detective of the supernatural R. F. Jackaby and his intrepid assistant, Abigail Rook.

11/22/63 by Stephen King (Read)

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Life can turn on a dime—or stumble into the extraordinary, as it does for Jake Epping, a high school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine. While grading essays by his GED students, Jake reads a gruesome, enthralling piece penned by janitor Harry Dunning: fifty years ago, Harry somehow survived his father’s sledgehammer slaughter of his entire family. Jake is blown away…but an even more bizarre secret comes to light when Jake’s friend Al, owner of the local diner, enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession—to prevent the Kennedy assassination. How? By stepping through a portal in the diner’s storeroom, and into the era of Ike and Elvis, of big American cars, sock hops, and cigarette smoke… Finding himself in warmhearted Jodie, Texas, Jake begins a new life. But all turns in the road lead to a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald. The course of history is about to be rewritten…and become heart-stoppingly suspenseful.

Selected Poems by Robert Graves (Read)

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You can find a mini review here: Wrap UP | 7 in 7

Since these poems, written at the fairly constant rate of four or five a year since 1914, are offered to a public considerably larger than they reached in hard-cover form, I have omitted the more baffling or shocking ones. The order is roughly chronological.

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

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The orphan Pip is destined to become a blacksmith like his brother-in-law Joe. But when Pip meets the beautiful Estella Havisham, he yearns for a gentleman’s education in order to woo her. A mysterious legacy answers his ambition, and changes the course of his life, taking him far from the Marshes of youth—far, so he thinks, from his early terrifying encounter with an escaped convict, and his sister’s class resentments. In this fictional autobiography, Pip’s coming-of-age story becomes representative of the changing social landscape of nineteenth century England. As Pip’s education provides upward social mobility, he must also learn hard lessons about self-delusion and forgiveness, love and loss, and the true nature of his Great Expectations.

Eating Mindfully by Susan Albers

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This book introduces and adapts the concepts of mindfulness and acceptance to the observation and management of eating habits. The result is a series of exercises and meditations that reinforce healthy habits and lead to greater tranquility at meals.

Misery by Stephen King

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Paul Sheldon is a bestselling novelist who has finally met his number one fan. Her name is Annie Wilkes, and she is more than a rabid reader—she is Paul’s nurse, tending his shattered body after an automobile accident. But she is also furious that the author has killed off her favorite character in his latest book. Annie becomes his captor, keeping him prisoner in her isolated house.

Everyman’s Library Pocket Poets: Emerson

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Ralph Waldo Emerson is one of the best-loved figures in nineteenth-century American literature. Though he earned his central place in our culture as an essayist and philosopher, since his death his reputation as a poet has grown as well.

Audiobooks:

Under the Dome by Stephen King

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On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day in Chester’s Mill, Maine, the town is inexplicably and suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. Planes crash into it and fall from the sky in flaming wreckage, a gardener’s hand is severed as “the dome” comes down on it, people running errands in the neighboring town are divided from their families, and cars explode on impact. No one can fathom what this barrier is, where it came from, and when — or if — it will go away.

Books from Publishers:

With Ballet in My Soul by Eva Maze

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A life spanning close to 100 years is noteworthy, if only because of its longevity. The rich life of a woman committed to a professional vision ahead of its time, filled with glamour, excitement, and adventure, is truly remarkable. Narrated in her own words, this is the story of such a woman, Eva Maze, who, from the time she left Romania as a teenager in 1939, dreamed of being a ballet dancer, and through a series a circumstances, became instead one of the most successful theatrical impresarios in Europe – with a career spanning more than 40 years.

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

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Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: Her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”


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Wrap UP | 7 in 7

Wrap Up

Wow, what a readathon! I have to say I am very impressed that I did so well with this readathon, especially since I failed the last one I attempted. Anyway, I figured I would share the books I read over this past week. If you want to know more about these books please go and visit my TBR post, TBR | 7 in 7.

This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki, Jillian Tamaki

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Overall, I liked this graphic novel. The art was beautiful and the theme itself was a great fit. But, one downside I would have to say of this is that at times it can be slow and draggy. For me, I find it difficult to find a graphic novel slow because you have constant dialect and images to look at. So when I started to feel that way towards this it bummed me out a bit. Rating:3/5 Stars

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

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Awesome graphic novel, I have been hearing about it on and off for a while and it was always good so I picked it up from the library. It did not disappoint me at all. I loved the story and the art style. Rating: 5/5 Stars

My Favorite Thing Is Monsters by Emil Ferris

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I had such high hopes for this graphic novel. I have been hearing such good things, maybe the hype overpowered it for me? Not to sure. I found the art work to be cluttered and the writing to be difficult to read. I love the concept of this, so if I were you I would look into it and see if it is for you. Rating: 3/5 Stars

Poems Selected by Himself by Robert Graves

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During this readathon I headed to an independent bookstore. Lately, I have been reading more and more poetry and decided to pick up a collection. I am not sure where I heard of Robert Graves, but I had his name written down in my notes so I searched for his works. I was shocked when I was only able to find this collection from the 1960s. I hope to find more of his works in the future, because I think his writing is wonderful. If I were you I would look up his name and read a few of his poems. Rating: 5/5 Stars

And It Came to Pass by Laura Stone

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The one full novel I was able to read, I was given this title via netgalley and I have written a full review which you can find here:REVIEW | And It Came to Pass by Laura Stone. Rating: 4/5 Stars.


Well, there you have it my 7 in 7 wrap up. Overall, I think I did a good job. I read a total of 5 books and read 1,400 pages.

What have you read in the pas week?

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Decluttering | Daily Clothing

declutter

I have to say over the years I have collected a lot of clothing that at times seems all over the place. I have dress clothes and high heels as well as having t-shirts with skulls and lace up boots covered in studs. I think the main reason for this is because over the last 10 years or so of my life and style has changed considerably. At this point in my life I can no longer wear the clothes I wore 10, 7, or 5 years ago on a daily basis to work. So i have essentially two different wardrobes in my closet. I have work clothes and weekend clothes, but this makes it hard to find clothes to wear. I would like to streamline my clothing and have pieces that work well together.

Now, in no way am I going to give up my leather jackets or my studded boots, but I need to find a balance between these and my work clothing. Now through some research I have come across katberries post on capsule wardrobes and loved the graphic that she

posted. It shows a variety of colors that work together and can be mixed and matched. I used this for a guide while sorting through my clothing. Now, I am not aiming to have a capsule wardrobe, but I want my clothes to work together.

I did not discard clothes if the color was not on this palette but I did discard them if I was iffy and they were not on this palette. Since I am aiming to mesh my personal style and my work clothes together I though it was most important to remove things I was iffy about and did not help me in this venture.

I will say that I do have some clothing in storage that I cannot get to at this point in time, but I am going to sort through it as soon as I can get access to them. Trust me, if I could go through them I would have. Anyway, I will stop my rambling and get to showing you my before and after for my closet.

Before

After


I stunned myself with this process. In the first picture you can see my closet is jammed packed with clothes, shoes, and other odds and ends. I hated opening my closet, I usually had  trouble finding things and when I went to take a shirt out a few more usually came with it. I ended up getting rid of 5 bags worth of clothing and shoes. All of which I donated right away since 99% of it was in good condition. Plus a lot of it was work clothing I did not really enjoy anymore and I know work or professional clothing is much needed.

My closet is now more open at the bottom, I can actually see the back wall! Plus, my clothes aren’t as jam packed. Also, my shoes now all fit in my vertical shoe organizer and I was able to get rid of my floor one, which never did much good for me honestly. I am very happy with this outcome. I cannot wait to do the next category, although I am a bit worried because it is books. Ekk!

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