What I’ve Been Reading

15 Jul

One of the perks of my new job is that I ride the Metro for about 25 minutes each way in the morning and afternoon. While many of you wouldn’t consider the Metro a PERK – as there are lots of terrible smells and generally odd people interactions – I’m pretty happy to bury my head in a book and enjoy 25 minutes of (mostly) uninterrupted reading!

I linked to each book on Amazon so you can click through and read the full description if you’d like. However, I always recommend trying your library first, because FREE BOOKS!

99 Percent Mine: A Novel by Sally Thorne

Find it here: https://amzn.to/2RV7WDo

The book centers around Darcy Barrett, who has had a life-long crush on childhood friend Tom Valeska. To complicate things (of course), she has a boy twin, Jamie who “saw him first” and is his best friend. Now as an adult, she is thrown into a situation where they are both single at the same time and stuck in close quarters with each other. You now, as it goes.

I thought this book was fun and I liked the lighthearted banter. However, I didn’t really love Darcy. She describes herself as a dirtbag and honestly she’s pretty selfish and unlikeable for much of the book. I get that she loves Tom, but really… it seems like he can do so much better. Of course, everything is a happily after at the end which is my thing. So all in all I’m going to stick with this book was fun, but I won’t bother searching out the other book by the author.

Gimme Some Sugar by Molly Harper

Find it here: https://amzn.to/2YDa05q

This one is another childhood best friends fall in love book. I’m not sure why I ended up with two books in the same specific genre… but I did. And I don’t even HAVE any childhood male best friends in my life! I basically picked up this book because it had a yummy cake on the front of it. Anyways, this story is about Lucy Brewer, a young widow that returns to her childhood town. She reignites a friendship with her childhood BFF, which soon turns to loooooove. There are complications, of course, but this one is as sweet as can be. Everyone in the book is pretty darn likeable and this was the perfect ‘beach read’ or ‘metro read’ if you’re me.

Outside the Jukebox: How I Turned My Vintage Music Obsession Into My Dream Gig by Scott Bradlee

Find it here: https://amzn.to/2XrI6gn

Like most people, I’ve come across Postmodern Jukebox performances on Facebook and YouTube and never really gave it much thought. I randomly picked up this book at the library and it was incredibly interesting to see how Scott built up this little idea of giving modern songs a vintage spin and turned it into a traveling “rotating supergroup” of performers. I found this book super interesting and highly recommend it if you are interested in how he made a little YouTube sensation into a full time gig.

Runnin’ With the Devil: A Backstage Pass to the Wild Times, Loud Rock, and the Down and Dirty Truth Behind the Making of Van Halen by Noel E. Monk

Find it here: https://amzn.to/2xyFRrY

I’m not a super Van Halen fan or anything, but I do enjoy my Classic Rock. So when I saw this book as I walked by I basically was like ‘hmmm… cool’ and threw it in my cart. This book was written by Van Halen’s manager who worked with the group their first 7 years. It was pretty darn interesting! To hear about the behind the scenes drama during the rise (and fall) of the David Lee Roth years. The band did Monk pretty darn dirty at the end of it and there is certainly some palatable bitterness, but WOW was it entertaining. If you like behind the music type stuff or have even enjoyed Van Halen a little bit, this book is a good one!

When you find out the world is against you: and other funny memories about awful moments by Kelly Oxford

Find it here: https://amzn.to/2XtykKp (this book is currently a free read on Kindle Unlimited)

I don’t know Kelly Oxford at all. I’m not sure if she’s a comedian or an author or writes for television. It’s pretty unclear. She certainly has a way with words and tells very cringy/embarrassing/funny stories throughout her book. It kind of threw me though when it went from being a silly little book about cringy stuff from her childhood and being a mom, to talking about sexual abuse. I get the importance of the chapters at the end, but it just felt like whiplash to get from point a to point b. All in all, it was a fine Metro reading book because about 20 minutes at a time was plenty to read it. I didn’t love it. I didn’t hate it. It was okay.

Do you have a book recommendation for me?

Disclosure: Pocketful of Joules is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. All images from Amazon.com.

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Clothing Purge Report: May and June

10 Jul

It’s bimonthly Clothing Purge Report time! Rather than just showing you what I purchase, I also like to show you what items leave my house and how I sell or donate them.

First a quick reminder… here’s my criteria for where I sell:

  • Poshmark/eBay: items that are in perfect condition.
  • My Instagram page: items that are in perfect or near perfect condition. I’ll typically post a collage of what I’ve listed elsewhere.
  • Facebook Sale Groups: items that are in perfect or near perfect condition in specific brands, such as Anthropologie, Boden, and Stitch Fix.
  • Donate to Thrift Stores: items in good condition or showing wear.

May and June were super busy months for me with our Hawaii vacation, leaving my old job, and starting my new job. I didn’t really do any purging on Instagram, Facebook, or by donating to the thrift store. However, I did sell a bunch of items out of my Poshmark closet:

  • FabFitFun Show me Your Mumu robe, $26
  • Anthropologie top, $29
  • Lucky Brand embroidered tank top, $20
  • Kate Spade Trench coat, $85
  • Hello sweater, $11
  • Boden dress, $39
  • FabFitFun necklace, $10
  • DVF maxi dress, $86
  • BHLDN dress, $49
  • Blank NYC jean shorts, $28
  • Rock and Republic jean shorts, $23
  • Eileen Fisher sweater, $19
  • Kate Spade purse, $69
  • J. McLaughlin wrap dress, $35
  • Current Elliott Jeans, $24
  • Joie dress, $48
  • Anthropologie maxi dress, $55
  • Kate Spade jeans, $20

I sold a total of 18 items and my earnings were $676 before Poshmark fees (20%).

Most of the items were from my closet that I had worn over the years and fallen out of love with. Two items were from the FabFitFun box (cost $49 a quarter) that I didn’t love, so I resold them for a total of $36… making the rest of my quarterly box just $13.

A couple items were thrifted and flipped:

  • I bought the Joie silk dress for $5 and sold it for $48
  • I bought the J. McLaughlin wrap dress for $25, wore it twice and then sold it for $35.

I’m planning on doing another mid-summer purge of my closet and listing some more items on Poshmark. I’m also going to list some of Jack’s outgrown items in bundles for (hopefully) quick sales.

If you’ve been thinking about trying Poshmark, you can use my special invite code to open an account and get $5 off your first order. Just use: POCKETFULOFJOUL

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. If you choose to use my special Poshmark code to sign up for an account, you will get $5 off your first order and I will also get $5 off a future order.

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Work Style: June 2019

8 Jul

I started my new job at the beginning on June and one of the things that I was weirdly excited about was actually working outside of my house five days a week. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVED my work-from-home-in-my-pajamas days… but actually getting dressed up 5x a week is kind of fun.

For now. I mean, I’m sure I’ll be complaining about it in a few months. Actually, I’m hoping to go back to one telework day a week in the Fall, so it may be the perfect compromise.

Anywhoo, all these work days mean LOTS of work outfits! I share my daily look in Instagram, but I thought it would be fun to have a looksee at all my June outfits in one spot. It also helps me decide which ones need to go… or at least need to be hemmed/tailored/etc.

Week One:

Here is my first week of looks and I stuck my favorite in the center there. I thrifted that vintage pleated skirt last month and I LOVE how it looks with my faux wrap top and wedges. I plan to revisit lots of variations of this look. My least favorite look is the dress and cardigan on the lower left side. The combo of the high neck and low hem makes it look a little frumpy – so I’m thinking I’ll hem this one to knee-length and see if that improves it.

This was my first jeans Friday in YEARS and I like the mixed patterns of the floral sweater and leopard print loafers. I don’t really have many professional looking jeans Friday looks, so we will be talking about this again soon in another post!

Week Two:

Once again, my favorite look is in the center – the painterly skirt with a navy blouse and bright cardigan. This look was professional but fun, and even had pockets! Funny enough, my least favorite outfit this week was my jeans Friday look. I love that orange sweater, but the sleeves were all bagged out from pushing them up all day. I’m going to try and shrink it just a smidge in the washer/dryer so that it’s not quite so floppy.

Week Three:

I love that dark floral dress in the center photo (thrifted) and topped it with a simple (also thrifted) black cardigan. It’s just comfy and classic and looks totally work appropriate while feeling like pajamas. My least favorite outfit from this week is the black/white/red combo from the top right corner. It looks cute in the photo, but the silky sleeves of the tab-sleeved shirt kept falling down all day driving me nutty. I’m going to try to pin them discreetly next time I wear the blouse to see if that helps at all.

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A Wedding Portrait (3 of 3)

3 Jul

I’ve mentioned that all three of my siblings happened to get married within a 9 month period of time. Well, the last wedding was over Memorial Day weekend, which means it was time for me to dust off my cross-stitching supplies and get to work on my third wedding portrait.

You can see the first one (for my brother’s September wedding) here. And here is my other sister’s portrait (for her December wedding).

When it came to the portrait I did for Kelsey and Chris, here is a photo of them (borrowed from my sister’s instagram page) on their wedding day that I referenced for colors:

I also took a few of my own photos the day of the event, so I could try to best copy the shape of Kelsey’s dress and little details like Chris’ tie-tack, his brown shoes and each of their eye colors. I started by sketching out my intentions:

Then I spent a bunch of hours making sure it was perfect. Once I finished, I felt like it was still missing something… their dog! My sister and her husband love Mambo like one of the family, so I decided to add her into their wedding portrait. Here’s a Mambo reference photo (also borrowed from Kelsey’s account…):

And here is the finished wedding portrait:

I love the way it turned out and it was a fun way to make something special for each of my siblings to celebrate their big days!

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