Unique Finds From UncommonGoods

Monday, July 27, 2015

When you're pushing 30, wedding invitations arrive pretty much bi-weekly in the post. You either dread it, being confronted by your "singleness" at every turn, or you revel in your friends' happiness. I'll admit, I'm a reveler! I love love (as you probably have noticed by the inordinate number of romance novels I have reviewed on this blog). The cool thing is, weddings give me another excuse to go shopping too. I'll admit, I'm not much for a crowded mall on the weekend (almost 30, an old fuddy duddy remember?), but I can easily get lost for hours on websites searching for the perfect gift.

Unbeknownst to me, until this past week, is an online store called UncommonGoods. Just as the name suggests they stock a variety of unique and interesting items for the home and office as well as the occasional foodie gift. The best part is that a lot of their stuff is manufactured right here in the good ol' US of A by various individuals working in harmony to preserve the environment all while keeping things cruelty free. Guys, a third of their collection is recycled or upcycled! You can check out artisan's studios here.You won't find these things at your big box store. Helping keep the American dream alive while accenting the home of a newlywed couple is a win/win situation for this shopper. One of my best friends is getting married this fall and I've already found a few items that I know the happy couple will adore. 

UncommonGoods definitely has it going on, when it comes to fabulous finds at reasonable prices. Their retail game is strong. Thanks to Tom from UG for reaching out to me with information on UncommonGoods and providing me with some cute home decor pieces for me to test out in my own home before I take the plunge for my friends' gifts. Check out my chic new candles and pillow below. 

To Capture Her Heart by Rebecca DeMarino ~ My Review

Thursday, July 23, 2015

To Capture Her Heart
(The Southold Chronicles, Book 2)
by Rebecca DeMarino
Copyright 2015
Revell Publishers
ISBN: 9780800722197
The Story:
In an uncertain time, she faces a choice that will change her life forever

It is 1653 and Heather Flower, a princess of the Montaukett tribe, is celebrating her wedding feast when a rival tribe attacks, killing the groom and kidnapping her. Though her ransom is paid by an Englishman, she is bound by her captors and left to die--until she finds herself rescued by handsome Dutch Lieutenant Dirk Van Buren.

Still tender from her loss, Heather Flower begins to heal in the home of the Hortons, English friends of her people. Torn between her affection for Dirk and her longtime friendship with Ben Horton, Heather Flower must make a difficult choice--stay true to her friend or follow her heart.

Exploring a unique slice of history, Rebecca DeMarino transports you to the wild land that would eventually become Long Island, New York.

To learn more about the book and where to purchase it, visit the Revell website.

My Thoughts:
I read so many books by so many different authors each year, that I sometimes forget whose books I've read and didn't enjoy. Last year I read the first book in The Southold Chronicles series, and unfortunately, it was a story that didn't connect with me. To Capture Her Heart promised to be an an interesting tale of the earliest years of settlers and natives in what would become the United States.

Shopping for Vintage: Flapper Style (Part 2) SUCCESS!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

A few weeks back, I posted about beautiful, vintage couture flapper dresses. At almost 100 years old, there are few that survived. If you're lucky enough to find something that isn't completely shattered or moth-eaten, it's more than likely a very small size. People just seemed to have thinner physiques way back when. I was not blessed with the trendy petite frame of the '20s gal, but I fit in more along the lines of the curvy 50s bombshell criteria. Searching for a flapper dress to fit a... eh hem...busty girl was no easy task. With a budget of measly $100 the results promised to be even more limited. 

One day while perusing eBay for what felt like the millionth time, I stumbled across a little gem in what looked to be a pawn shop's virtual store that was otherwise filled with video games and glassware and nonesuch. With shipping, the dress was a little over my budget, but thanks to the "Make Offer" button, I was able to get a true vintage Roaring Twenties dress with a 50" inch bust below my budget! Hello! When nearly ever dress I drooled over was a 34" max at the top or marked with a 6 thousand dollar price tag, the thought of ever finding a dress that would still give me that loose, straight silhouette without breaking the bank was giving me depression.

Litfuse Blog Tour: Beyond the Ashes by Karen Barnett (The Golden Gate Chronicles, Book 2)

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Beyond the Ashes
(The Golden Gate Chronicles, Book 2)
by Karen Barnett
Copyright 2015
Abingdon Press
ISBN: 9781426781414

The Story:
Where better to rebuild and face one's fears than in 1906 San Francisco, a city rising from the ashes? 

Ruby Marshall, a young widow, is certain she'll discover new purpose assisting her brother Robert with his cancer research, but she doesn't anticipate finding new love.

Dr. Gerald Larkspur dreams of filling his empty home with family, but he'd always hoped it would be a wife and children. In the aftermath of the great earthquake, the rooms are overflowing with extended family and friends left homeless by the disaster. When Robert's widowed sister arrives, the close quarters seem close indeed.

Ruby and Gerald's fledgling romance is put at risk when Gerald develops symptoms of the very disease they're striving to cure. Together they must ask---is it worth a second chance at love when time might be short?

 Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/1IGu1bg

To read what others are saying about the book visit the Litfuse website!

Is their relationship worth a second chance at love when time might be short? New from @KarenMBarnett + a #giveaway! http://litfusegroup.com/campaigns/beyond-the-ashes-karen-barnett

My Thoughts:
So here's the thing, these days my TV viewing habits and my reading habits are really overlapping. I've been watching loads of period dramas on my iPad (network TV is basically nothing but reruns), and reading historical fiction 24/7, so these things blend together in my mind. My latest obsession is the historical medical drama. Series such as BBC's The Crimson Field and London Hospital give a glimpse at early treatment methods for things from gunshot wounds to cancer treatments and it's fascinating!

Beyond the Ashes by Karen Barnett explores similar territory with a liberal dose of faith mixed in. All the while reading this I couldn't help but picture the monstrosity that was the early X-Ray machine and the precautions that weren't taken when in use! Yikes!

Doctor Who Series 9 Trailer!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

It's Comic Con week, so you know there are going to be a few great reveals when it comes to our favorite movies and TV. One of my most favorite series' would be Doctor Who and the new trailer looks fantastic. Even though Clara REALLY annoyed me in series 8, I'm holding out hope that she is redeemed in series 9. It looks like some old favorites will return as well as new favorite, Missy! Look for Doctor Who in September!

Happy Viewing! 

I. Can't. Even.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

When my posts titles are gibberish, you know it's probably going to be a fangirl post. I am not going to disappoint you today. I'm fangirling over the new BBC Sherlock promotional photo featuring the fabulous duo of Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch in period dress for the one off Sherlock special slated for the holiday season. I really won't be able to cope with seeing these two on my screen  like this. It's just too much for my heart to bear. I. AM. SO. EXCITED.

Photo from Sherlockology

The Innocent by Ann H. Gabhart ~ My Review

The Innocent
by Ann H. Gabhart
Copyright 2015
Revell Publishers
ISBN: 9780800723415

The Story:
Carlyn Kearney has spent two lonely years not knowing whether to mourn or to hope after she receives word from the Union Army that her husband is missing. When the war ends without further word, Carlyn finds herself penniless, in debt, and forced from her home. With nowhere else to go, she seeks refuge at the Shaker village of Harmony Hill.

The Shakers profess peace through simple living, but to Carlyn, the Shaker life seems anything but simple. When mysterious deaths disturb the peace of the village, Carlyn falls under intense scrutiny. Can a kind sheriff help her expose the true culprit?

Bestselling author Ann H. Gabhart invites fans back to Harmony Hill for a story laced with intrigue, romance, and heart.

To learn more about the book, visit Revell's website!

My Thoughts:
The Innocent by Ann H. Gabhart is yet another terrific installment in the series of Shaker novels set at Harmony Hill. Set directly following the Civil War, it features a beautiful war widow, her dog, and a handsome sheriff. Centered around mysterious

TLC Book Tours ~ Royal Wedding: A Princess Diaries Novel by Meg Cabot

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Royal Wedding

About Royal Wedding

Print Length: 448 pages • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (June 2, 2015) From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Princess Diaries series, comes the very first adult installment, which follows Princess Mia and her Prince Charming as they plan their fairy tale wedding—but a few poisoned apples could turn this happily-ever-after into a royal nightmare. For Princess Mia, the past five years since college graduation have been a whirlwind of activity, what with living in New York City, running her new teen community center, being madly in love, and attending royal engagements. And speaking of engagements. Mia’s gorgeous longtime boyfriend Michael managed to clear both their schedules just long enough for an exotic (and very private) Caribbean island interlude where he popped the question! Of course Mia didn’t need to consult her diary to know that her answer was a royaloui. But now Mia has a scandal of majestic proportions to contend with: Her grandmother’s leaked “fake” wedding plans to the press that could cause even normally calm Michael to become a runaway groom. Worse, a scheming politico is trying to force Mia’s father from the throne, all because of a royal secret that could leave Genovia without a monarch. Can Mia prove to everyone—especially herself—that she’s not only ready to wed, but ready to rule as well?

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Meg Cabot

About Meg Cabot

Meg Cabot was born in Bloomington, Indiana. In addition to her adult contemporary fiction, she is the author of the bestselling young adult fiction series, The Princess Diaries. More than 25 million copies of her novels for children and adults have sold worldwide. Meg lives in Key West, Florida, with her husband. Find out more about Meg at her website, follow her blog, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.
Be sure to check out TLC Book Tours to read what others are saying about Royal Wedding!

My Thoughts:
Princess Mia is all grown up and about to plan a wedding -- if she can find the time between family scandal and dodging paparazzi. Royal Wedding is just what you'd expect from Meg Cabot. It has the fun and fanfare of the original YA series, but with a more grown up story line and dialogue. I love that I've pretty much had the opportunity to grow up alongside all of my favorite characters.

This book is set up like a journal and it includes snippets of texts and things like grocery orders, to-do lists, and a wedding invitation thrown in at random spots. Those kind of fractured the flow of the story, so I could have done without, but still, as a fan of The Princess Diaries stories, one can't be disappointed with the book. Mia's classic freak outs are not to be missed! I can't remember the last time I laughed out loud while reading, so this was indeed a refreshing break for me.

If you're looking for a fun summer read to take with you to the beach, Royal Wedding definitely fits the bill. The book fits my "beach read" criteria with it's fast-pacing and short chapters (there are no chapters, but rather dated journal entries), so it's easy to stop reading and go for a dip in the waves. Hopefully, there will be more installments to follow in this series!

~ My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

*I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.*

Happy Reading!