Embracing Beauty {a review}

Embracing Beauty - a review

When Trina Holden‘s book, Embracing Beauty, debuted, I wasn’t a mom. I wasn’t even considering becoming a mom. A few short months later I was surprised by a positive pregnancy test. How quickly circumstances change. At the same time my belly was blossoming with new life, my heart was quickly wilting over my changing shape.

The weeks until James’ birth turned into single digits and I found myself mired deep in the negative self talk and depression about my body that had followed me around most of my pregnancy.  I’m not new to body image issues and pregnancy had maximized my struggles. My mind kept drifting to Trina and the book I hadn’t read because I thought it wouldn’t apply to my life.

I wasn’t necessarily in the market for style advice, but the title – Embracing Beauty – gave me a glimmer of hope that this fellow momma might have a ladder long enough to reach me at the bottom of my body image pit.

Curled on the couch, with my belly bulging between my knees and my iPad, I read straight through Embracing Beauty in one sitting. The cold Winter weather outside was no match for the warmth of Trina’s wisdom and insight about God’s design for beauty. The first third of the book was indeed the ladder I needed to start my journey to embracing beauty.  As a bonus, I picked up some stellar style tips along the way.

We are to accept God’s definition of beauty and walk in it, with our head held high and a smile on our face. And when others notice us, it will be for the love that accents every angle— confidence in God’s love for us and a selfless love for others because we are no longer consumed with the effort of bolstering our own worth with what we wear.

Trina Holden in Embracing Beauty

The journey has had its set backs. What I thought was the hardest thing about pregnancy is turning out to be one of the hardest things about post-pregnancy, too. I am easily side tracked by the world’s definition of beauty. But, beauty, like fashion, comes in all different shapes, sizes and styles. It isn’t confined to the cover of a magazine. Beauty can be found in extra pounds, puffy eyes, and busy days. My focus shouldn’t be on getting back to my pre-pregnancy physique but on allowing my body and style to be a reflection of God’s beautiful creation.

Let’s embrace today’s beauty by clothing ourselves with the truth of His unconditional love for us.

Trina Holden in Embracing Beauty

Trina’s advice on style is helpful and inspiring regardless of your season in life and, most importantly, she speaks the truth about beauty for every woman. Embracing Beauty has a message I will return to again and again.

Come back on Friday to read my interview with Trina and enter to win a copy of her wonderful book!



Losing It & Rest {FMF}

I feel like rest is something I can never check off my to-do list, which is semi-infuriating. It’s not like washing the dishes or buying someone a birthday gift. Rest isn’t really quantifiable or tangible. But it is oh so necessary.

Physical rest, emotional rest, spiritual rest – it’s all encompassing.  I’m not skilled in having a balanced amount of rest in these areas. Traveling for work wears me out physically but is generally a great opportunity to spend quality time in prayer and scripture. I usually come home and feel like a tired plop who justs wants to veg out and do nothing.

Like many other things in my life, I probably over analyze rest and try to fit it in my perfectionist box. God asks us to rest but He doesn’t necessarily provide a manual. I like instructions, but I guess that’s part of resting – being still without an agenda.

Rest is an ongoing cycle and I’d like to find the rhythm.

Five Minute Friday


I’m reviewing a really great young adult novel on Kindred Grace today. Losing It by Erin Fry tackles some tough topics {death, illness, obesity, and friendship} with valuable insight into the mind of teenagers.

You can find the review here.


Getting It Together {a review}

Among many other things I loved about Tsh Oxenreider’s book, Organized Simplicity, I was drawn to the home management notebook idea.  I’m kind of OCD about organizing anyways, and the thought of having a binder full of important documents, schedules, and spreadsheets for just about everything was thrilling to my love of structure.

I never acted on Tsh’s good idea.  Meals seemed to get planned and the house was kept clean.  Bills were paid and, thanks to Facebook, I remembered 89% of people’s birthdays. As Tim and I adjusted to our new environs and the holidays arrived, we began to eat more meals out of a blue box than I’d like to admit.  I couldn’t remember if I paid the student loan bill and our bathrooms suffered the consequences of utter neglect.

Then, I got wind of Kayse Pratt’s new e-book, Getting It Together.  Yes, that sounds about right!

Getting It Together

A home management system that can be explained in under 50 pages?  Sign me up. Stir in the fact that Kayse kept me smiling with her honest reflections about her own home management attempts and I knew this was an attainable approach to home organization.

Plus, Kayse somehow knew that I’d be more likely to use a binder if it was pretty.  She provides simple instructions and ideas to make your binder visually appealing on top of having 30 cute printables!

kayse pratt

Some of the printables weren’t applicable since I don’t have kids, however, I made copies of five in particular:

  • Financial Goals
  • Auto Maintenance Log
  • Monthly Meal Planning
  • Perpetual Calendars
  • My Shopping List

Tim could attest that grocery shopping does nothing to enhance my mood.  My stress level escalates the longer I wander around trying to find everything on my list. I end up leaving unhappy and huffy, never wanting to set foot in a produce section ever again.

I’ve always thought grouping items by location would be the answer to my problems (in addition to avoiding Fred Meyer on a Saturday afternoon), but I didn’t want to bother with the initial break down of grocery store departments.

Kayse did it for me!  With tons of food to purchase before Christmas, the shopping list printable was such a time saver.  I wasn’t pushing my cart back and forth across the store or buying things I didn’t need.  One loop around the store and I was in the check-out line.

Thanks to Getting It Together, there is hope for a home management binder becoming a reality.

Hop on over to Kayse’s blog to grab a copy and we can get it together, together!

Here’s even more ways to to get Getting It Together:

  • Subscribe to Kayse’s newsletter.
  • Purchase as a PDF for just $3.99!
  • Purchase for Kindle on Amazon.

A Twitter party {#gettingittogether} is happening on Thursday, January 3rd at 7pm. Connect with others trying to get it together and discuss New Year’s resolutions, home management tips and tricks, and the ups and downs of keeping our homes running smoothly!

Kayse is also giving away one set of custom printables!

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