My Bad Habit

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I used to think that the stack of books on my nightstand, all bookmarked in various places, was a bad habit.

Shouldn’t I be able to finish one book before starting the next? I obviously cannot answer that. But I certainly don’t feel compelled to break my multiple-book-reading habit when I come across something in one book that feels eerily similar to a passage in another book.

Having a pile of books that you are in the middle of is like having coffee with a few good friends, instead of just one. The conversation often benefits. And one person’s ideas inspire a similar thought from someone else–and the ideas keep building.

Books, of course, cannot hear each other speak. So when two quotes from two different books overlap so beautifully, it seems almost magical.

So I won’t break my habit. Not as long as my books are able to maintain a civil conversation.

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The Most Flattering Swimsuit I Have Ever Owned

This post includes affiliate links, which simply means I benefit in a small way if you click on a link and make a purchase. But the truth is, I would have shared the most flattering swimsuit I have ever owned with you even if there wasn’t anything in it for me. :)

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The last thing I want to think about in February is swimsuit shopping. I thought most people were the same way, but apparently there are some people who like to get a head start on things before everything is picked over. I admire that.

If you are one of those people who does shop for a swimsuit before temperatures start rising to tolerable degrees OR you dread swimsuit shopping like a bullet to the head, then might I share my very best swimsuit recommendation with you?

I present to you:  the most flattering swimsuit I have ever owned (they have it in black, and purple, and many other colors, too!)

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I ordered it two years ago before Eric and I went to the beach (back when we lived near beaches… I’m crying now), and I couldn’t get over how great I felt in it. It’s totally vintage-looking for starters, but here are a few elements that make it really flattering:

1) The subtle cinching around the waste and hips

2) The low-cut thighs that are so 1950s, with a slight overlay in the front

3) The halter neckline (it’s a tie back, so it’s adjustable!)

4) A butt that stays put (thanks to the low-cut thigh holes)

It looks darling with a big beach hat (like this one), and a simple cover-up for strolling the boardwalk. What do you think? Do you have a favorite swimsuit that tops all the rest? If you do buy this one, the odds of not liking it are certainly not in your favor (check out the reviews!).

Happy swimsuit shopping!

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How to Write a Sentence: a book review

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My brother and sister-in-law gave me this book for Christmas called, How to Write a Sentence: And How to Read One, by Stanley Fish. Have you heard of it? For a book on writing–oh but it’s much more than that–I sure read it like a thriller page turner.

How is this different from other books about writing? For starters, this book is not about writing in general, but only about writing sentences. Just as the title suggests. Consider the provocative title of the second chapter: Why You Won’t Find the Answer in Strunk and White.

I know. It’s blasphemous.

I, for one, always have my copy of The Elements of Style nearby, how is he is so bold to make such a claim?! Fish says this:

“In short, Strunk and White’s advice assumes a level of knowledge and understanding only some of their readers will have attained; the vocabulary they confidently offer is itself in need of an analysis and explanation they do not provide.”

According to Fish, the style guide’s answer to the question, “what is a sentence?” does not go deep enough. Okay, fine. So, instead of talking about the technical elements of a sentence, Fish spends the rest of the book delving into his love of good sentences, and deconstructing them in a new way. And it didn’t take me long to get sucked into the game.

He spends entire chapters on the types of sentences we can create, using them as structures on which to create new sentences with our own words. His dissection style is nothing like a grammar book. His way is much more inspiring, and even practical. While Fish isn’t changing any rules, he is simply going past them, and proving along the way that that is where all the fun is. Whether you love or hate grammar, if you love the English language, you will like this book.

The point is, if you love writing, you must first love sentences.

And if you can’t write a well-formed sentence, or even appreciate one, then you can’t write well. And there is more to writing a sentence then subject and verb placement. More to writing a good sentence, anyway.

Fish is like a chef whose peers want to teach you to cook by spending one day on the onion, another on the potato, and another on knife cutting techniques. All that is well and good, but Fish takes you aside, hands you a chip piled with guacamole and says, “let’s talk about what exactly makes this combination so surprising and delightful. And then we will see what other surprising chip dips we can make using a vegetable, acidic element, root vegetable, and an alkaline fruit”.

In short, where Strunk and White provide the rules, Fish offers form. And he shows through many examples that those forms are fool-proof, if you can only dissect the forms properly. But once you have done the dissecting, the possibilities are endless. Literally!

Creating sentences is way more fun than you ever believed!

Since reading the book, I have been on the lookout for sentences that I love. It’s hard. There are plenty of quotes and inspiring thoughts to love, but finding great sentence structures when the meaning of the words is stripped away is not an easy task.

His chapters on first and last sentences will have you reaching for every book on your book shelf, eating up the first and last sentences of everything you can get your hands on. What a whole new world he has opened up!

Overall, this book is a delight to read and I would even go so far as to call it a must-read for writers and readers who want to be better writers and readers, whether or not you agree with him 100%.

What do you think? Are you intrigued? Will you read it? What are some of your favorite books for writers and readers alike? Comment below! And click on the book below for info, and more reviews.

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Favorite Finds

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This was at 26 weeks pregnant and 33 weeks pregnant. Today, I am on my way to 35 weeks and I really can’t believe it. Around the holiday season, I had so many other things on my mind, that ever since January my third trimester has been flying by! I am grateful that it doesn’t feel like it is dragging on forever, but I feel an urgent need now to finish up all the little projects we want to get done before baby gets here. Only five and a half weeks left!

And now, a few of my favorite finds from the past few weeks…

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1) Violet received these little cow booties (from a local Oklahoma store) at my baby shower a couple of weeks ago. Aren’t they hilarious? I love them!

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2) Since I can’t stop daydreaming about summer, I took a mental vacation to St. Lucia via this post (that first outfit!!).

3) Hilariously accurate-sounding texts from the Dashwoods (of Sense and Sensibility fame)

4) I’m currently trying to finish the Harry Potter series for the second time around before the baby comes, and then I really, really want to read this book, thanks to this friend’s review. Have you read it?

5) Lately, I’ve been into “doing my brows”. I might want to try this stuff next, instead of a pencil. Do any of you have any opinions on it?

 

6) Lost in Translation: An Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words from Around the World. This is such a fun book for your coffee table if you like words accompanied by cute illustrations.

7) How to take a selfie from The Daily Tay:

 

8) I really enjoyed this post from a favorite blogger of mine: You don’t have to go to grad school (to have a life of the mind).

9) Seven ways to grow your twitter audience–a realistic plan that produces genuine connections.

10) A chic (and very simple) updo using only a hair claw.

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Share a favorite find of yours from around the web in the comments, OR share a post from your blog this week! I’d love to read it. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

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