Pool side Reading List

People, people, we are SO close to the summer. So.close. We’ve got less than 30 days of school left (but who’s counting?) and the summer is calling to me. I love the summer with a big, big love. It’s my favorite season, by far. (I’ve already gone into the many reasons I love it, here, on this post , entitled, “Summer, I love you.”)

I’m ready for lazy mornings, longer days and the pool. That pool is my happy place. So many happy memories are made there. My great grandfather built this giant pool in 1960 for his two grown daughters, who swam for exercise. Like to swim laps, it’s a huge pool.

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I mean, come on. Ok, now ask me if I think you should get a pool…..Hell no. Unless you’re going to get a pool boy, in which case, go for it. BUT, since it’s pretty much a family heirloom I plan to enjoy it to the fullest. Which puts me here, doing this:

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In heaven, I will be by the pool. Reading, and probably eating Twizzlers.

As the summer gets closer, I’ve been putting together a list of books I plan to read, poolside of course, and want to share them with y’all! If you plan on reading anything other than my blog this summer (ha ha), I’de love to have you join me in reading one of these books and let me know what you think! Some of the books I’m listing are books from last summer’s reading list, and several books I haven’t read, and am looking forward to picking up.

Last summer, I read  America’s First Daughter, based on Thomas Jefferson’s daughter by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie. I love historical fiction, and if you do too, this is a good choice.

I haven’t yet read, but am planning to pick up another by Dray, and Kamoie: My Dear Hamilton 

Also, Bear Town by Fredrik Backman

Another amazing read from Fredrik Backman and from last year’s Summer Reading List,  is A Man Called Ove

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

Also GREAT, by Kristin Hannah, and from last year’s Summer reading list, is The Nightingale. 

Let me know if you plan on picking up any of these books for your summer reading pleasure, and I’de love to chat! Let’s start a book club! What should we read first?

What are y’all planning to read this summer? Are you anxiously awaiting the summer season, like me?

Looking forward to hearing from you, thanks for reading!!-Steph

*I have attached the links to these products should you wish to purchase them. If you do decide to use my link to purchase one of my favorite things, I will receive a small portion of your sale. This is at no extra cost to you. Thank you!!

 

 

 

 

 

Decorating Books to Pull you out of a Slump

Good morning, and welcome to “Monday morning confessions from the Yellow house.” I’ll be your host, because well, it’s my blog, and if you’re here (I love you!), you potentially are interested in what I have to share.

I’m in a slump. A dumpy, grumpy, slumpy slump. I’ve been uninspired and unmotivated. Bleck.

There are weeks where I am full of ideas, good ones even, and I can execute them beautifully. I even photograph them sometimes, blog about them! Aren’t I impressive? Puh-lease. I’m even grossed out with that version of myself right now.

BUT, there’s grace for that, and everything. Grace and understanding when you feel like a bump on a log when it comes to your long list of to dos.

So, to get me back on my creating, motivated, inspired feet, I checked out some books from the library that I thought might ignite some creativity and spark some inspiration in me. Sure, there’s inspiration abundant on Instagram, on HGTV, or DIY network, but there’s really just something about a book. To me anyway, it’s much more soothing to look at beautiful photos in a book than it is on my phone screen. Which is cracked, so everything looks funky on there anyway. But you know what I mean.

In case you are also seeking advice on honing your style, or just looking for a rope to pull you out of your pit of decorating despair (too much? dramatic, I know.) I wanted to share these books with you, and some others I haven’t read, but would love to check out soon.

Here’s to feeling creative and inspired!

A Touch of Farmhouse Charm: Easy DIY projects to Add a Warm and Rustic Feel to Any Room
by Liz Fourez

If you are a DIY-er, this book is FOR YOU. If you’re not, you will be spurred toward becoming one. It was very inspiring and written so well, as to encourage you that you CAN, as the acronym DIY suggests, “do it yourself”.

Restore, Recycle, Repurpose: Create a Beautiful Home by Randy Florke and Nancy J Becker

This book was full of inspiration and written well to boot. (Read about how we turned old bowls into pendant lights) Repurposing projects are my favorite and make your house so special.


The Nesting Place: It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful by Myquillyn Smith

A sweet friend of mine actually gave me this book for my birthday. So, since I own it, it’s pages are dog-eared, and marking gems like this: “…you can’t DIY yourself into loving your home. No amount of painted furniture or stenciled pillows will make you more content with what you have.”

Girl, preach!

“The imperfections play an important role: they put people at ease.”

Myquillyn Smith writes like she’s your best friend, and also has a fantastic blog: thenester.com

Here’s some I’ve got on my list for my next, inevitable slump. Because, it happens.

750 Great Ideas for Decorating on a Budget
The Inspired Room by Melissa Michaels
Flea Market Fabulous: Designing Gorgeous Rooms with Vintage Treasures by Lara Spencer

I know there’s TONS more out there, so share with me if you have one that’s been tried and true for you! I would love to hear about it.

Thanks for reading, and happy Monday! XO, Steph

Using Books in your Decor

The house my grandmother lived in when I was growing up, had a library. A whole wall of books, complete with a library ladder. A real life library ladder. There were many reenactments of Belle, (from Beauty and the Beast, duh.) singing about adventure, a few rungs up on that library ladder.
My sister and I always played in the library, and now as adults, share a love of the intoxicating smell of books. If you find either of us in a bookstore, book fair, or a library, you will see us smelling the books.
I’m not sure if it has anything to do with our childhood playtime in our Car Car’s library, but I still prefer a book over my kindle. My kindle doesn’t smell, or feel like a book. Yes, it has a dictionary, can fit well in my purse, and it can sync with my phone. But it also tells me my location, instead of page number, which doesn’t actually help me thank you very much, and it runs out of batteries at the critical part of the story, because I forgot to charge it. Because BOOKS don’t need to be charged.
Call me old fashioned, it’s fine.
Again, maybe it’s deep in my subconscious or something, but I also use books a lot in my decor. Here’s a few photos, both from our yellow house, as well as some inspiration I’ve found browsing Pinterest.
That’s my Car Car in the picture inside the bookcase.
This side table is a hodge podge of photo albums, old books and new ones.
If you take the jacket off of a hardcover book, even a new book, it immediately gives it more character. Some of the books in this case were purchased at goodwill, or a thrift shop, and some are books we’ve personally read, and saved.
If you have books you don’t care for the color of, or you don’t feel like are decorative/pretty enough, you can just flip them around. I actually like the look of the pages showing here and there. It changes up the textures, which I think looks good.
This bookshelf is styled beautifully, but only using books with the spines facing backwards.
Avert your eyes, librarians!
Visit the blog: Made by Katy.
Or, you can wrap them,
like I did on my fall mantel:
I used plain, thin paper to wrap these, but brown craft paper, or wrapping paper would look great too. (Buffalo checked paper for my Christmas mantel…..It’s happening.)
These books were wrapped in linen:
This photo is from Juniper books.
This is from our entry area.
We didn’t really have the space for a floor lamp, but we really wanted a lamp that could give light over the back of the sectional. I used these books to give it some height. I wrapped the books on the right in jute to “bring them together”, both actually and decoratively. Those three books don’t have anything in common really so the jute just makes it work, in my opinion.

 

On my sofa table, I used some orange books to compliment the color of the pumpkin I used in my old tool box. Orange isn’t a color I really ever use, except for during fall.

 

These books are complimentary to the colors used in my pillows, and the slipcover on the sofa.

 

Any trip I make to Goodwill, or similar shop, I’m always on the hunt for blue books.
These books above the TV compliment the rug, and the pillows.
Blue books. All the blue books. 

 

Like the sofa table, this lamp just needed some height. I used an old dictionary, and an old seminary textbook since this is the “office” area. (It’s actually in the middle of the house.)
No full wall bookshelves with ladders (yet), but lots of books added here and there. Used practically, to add height, or decoratively to add color.
I hope this post encourages you to use something you probably already have-books!-in your decor, and maybe spruce up a space or two in your home before the Christmas decorations come out!!
Too soon? Maybe. I’m getting so excited!
Have a great week, and thank you so much for reading. XO, Steph

End of Summer reading list

Can you even believe it is August? August! The weeks have just flown by! We’ve been busy, we’ve been lazy, but they’ve gone quickly either way.

 

And, if you believe the TV commercials, school is about to start! Don’t rush me, HEB! Quit being a party pooper.

 

Anyway, summer is sadly coming to an end, and since summer is often synonymous with reading (by the beach, in the mountains, on a road trip), here are a list of some books that I’ve read and really enjoyed. I won’t try to describe them for you, since Amazon can do that, but would love to chat with you about any of them if you need help deciding!

 

All of the books I listed here, although some have some serious subject matter (The Nightingale is about WWII), they are lighter reads, perfect for the last month of summer. You can finish up before the madness begins, again. Also, none of these are very new, so you should have no problem finding them at your local library.

 

I hope you can find time to slow down, read a book and just BE this summer. Don’t let those pushy, consumerist TV commercials make you feel like it’s too late.

 

Happy Reading!



This starts off with a pretty intense scene, but is a heart warming story of an unlikely friendship started in an unlikely and unfortunate way. 



This is one of those with some serious subject matter. It’s written from Ernest Hemingway’s wife’s perspective. If you know anything about Ernest Hemingway, you can imagine. 

Any of the Liane Moriarty books that I’ve read would classify as “beach reads” in my opinion. But, this one is my favorite by far.

 

This sweet book will make you want to send handwritten cards and letters again.

 

This is a whole series of books. The main character is a sassy, moralistic lady from Botswana who opens her own detective agency.

This follows two sisters during WW II. I love historical novels.

 

This book is about a sweet old man, who values all the old, English traditions.

This book is also about an older man, who is endearing, but in a less obvious way. I think I read this in two days.

I would love to hear from anyone who reads these, or anything! I always love a good book recommendation so comment with your favorites, too!

Thanks for stopping by! -Steph