Thursday, July 21, 2016

What Alice Forgot | BBRBF Book Club + Outfit

Hello and welcome to another edition of the BBRBF Book Club! This month we read "What Alice Forgot" by Liane Moriarty and we also recruited another awesome member, Lyndsey of Dressed in Mascara. Welcome, Lyndsey!

From GoodReads:

"Alice Love is twenty-nine, crazy about her husband, and pregnant with her first child.

So imagine Alice’s surprise when she comes to on the floor of a gym and is whisked off to the hospital where she discovers the honeymoon is truly over — she’s getting divorced, she has three kids and she’s actually 39 years old. Alice must reconstruct the events of a lost decade, and find out whether it’s possible to reconstruct her life at the same time. She has to figure out why her sister hardly talks to her, and how is it that she’s become one of those super skinny moms with really expensive clothes.

Ultimately, Alice must discover whether forgetting is a blessing or a curse, and whether it’s possible to start over."

Truthfully, I did not expect to like this book as much as I did. I do enjoy contemporary family dramas, but I've been reading a lot of those lately and I could feel myself itching for something a little more scintillating. Something with mystery, or murder, or magic. Yet this book, with it's breezy writing style and emotional power plays, hit me right in the heart. With three kids of my own, I am well on my to becoming 39 year old Alice. My son is 6 years old and from those first moments of finding out I was pregnant to wrestling three kids into car seats while everyone is screaming and fighting and everyone is bored and hungry, the years have just been accelerating wildly. It's crazy, it's chaotic. It's moving way too fast and all I can think about is the stress and the exhaustion. It's entirely possible to lose the sparkle. You don't appreciate your spouse, you don't appreciate your kids, and all you can think about is getting to those moments when you feel like you are more than just a vending machine spitting out snacks for whiny kids. 

From the very beginning I knew exactly how Alice became the cold, hard person that had disconnected from everyone in her life. I knew it because I am living it. Children are the hardest thing on a marriage. They're the hardest thing on friendships. But, Alice allowed herself to become completely lost to any of the joy. It was so satisfying to watch as Alice saw her life anew without the haze of the monotony and the bone deep exhaustion to hide all the wonder of those three tiny lives.

The realization of her marriage falling apart, trying to figure out why, and how she can save it was the bulk of the book. It was painful to experience a 29 year old Alice coming face to face with the future of her marriage. The author did an excellent job of creating this reality where ten years of hardship and resentment had just fallen away from one spouse while the other was still filled with years of painful memories and hurt pride. Sometimes I didn't know if I should root for them or accept that the rift was beyond repair, but I certainly appreciated the way the resolution was handled.

There are several book covers for this book and I kind of cheated and picked the cover that matched my wardrobe. You'll forgive me, right? As well as picking up the theme and colors from the cover, I also wanted to a portray a more youthful look to pay homage to 29 year old Alice. The Alice that was still young and playful and wore her daughter's dress up scarf just because she liked it.

I also tried to accomplish a good twirling shot because this skirt was made for it. But, in a completely apropos turn of events my daughter decided to interject with her own twirling skills. That's motherhood though and I would much rather twirl with my baby than get the perfect picture.

On a scale of Total Pile to Masterpiece, I'd give this book a Heartbreaking yet Heartwarming Reminder to Enjoy Life.

If you've read "What Alice Forgot" let me know what you thought in the comments and make sure to pay a visit to Sara and Kristina for their outfits and reviews!

Dress: Kohl's (similar) | Shirt: Kohl's (similar in straight sizes, similar in plus) | Shoes: Payless (similar) | Lips: MAC lipstick in Vegas Volt

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Retro Teal and Red | Picnic Pretties Mood Board

So, I had a weird weekend! We took an impromptu trip up to the island our family has rented land on for a couple of generations now. The whole island is strictly used for camping and the only things on it are ramshackle cabins and campers. Nobody is allowed to build there anymore so what's there is there and that's it. On our plot, we inherited a camper from the sixties or seventies, it's hard to tell because it is so weathered, and a kitchenette made of plywood and roofing materials. It even came with an old refrigerator from the fifties! I'm sure when it was new it was quite a cozy place but now it's more like the set of a Rob Zombie movie. I mean everything on this island is worn, battered, and patched up to see another day. Frankly, that's part of its charm though. At least for us.

The island seemed like a perfect place for my next Picnic Pretties Mood Board inspired outfit. You can see the whole mood board here on Pinterest. I didn't expect this series to be so reminiscent of my grandmother, but here I am again thinking about how my grandma spent so many of her summers camping on this island. This is her washing dishes 45 years ago on the same shore that I took these photos.

But here's where things get interesting. The second day, my grandpa wants to take the kids for a ride on the trailer. They love hanging out in the back while he putters around on his tractor and he loves it because he isn't very mobile anymore, but still loves playing with the kids. 

Well, on this particular day my mom and I are walking along behind so that nobody tries to jump ship and my kids began to beg us to ride with them. It's not the first time adults had been on it so we oblige. We start down a bumpy path and I shout to my mom that I feel like I'm falling and she chuckles back. 

Then all of a sudden the feeling heightens.  Now I really feel like I'm falling, I thinkThen I'm upside down in the air. No, I'm actually falling. For a moment I think I have just been bounced out until I see my mom flying through the air above me. Oh, and I'm taking everyone else with me.

I hit the ground and blink my eyes open to see the trailer on it's side slowly driving away from us. Sawyer is sitting up next to me. Ok, he's fine.  Amelie is laying on the ground next to him screaming. Oh, god. My mom is on her back in the bushes. Where's Hudson? I get up and frantically start searching and discover him farther back into the bramble. Both him and my mom are laying there with their arms and legs sticking up into the air with the most startled expressions on their faces. I grab at Amelie and check her over. She appears to be all in one piece. My mom rolls over and starts pulling Hudson out of the woods. He appears to be fine, too. With shell-shocked expressions, we stand up and look towards my grandpa on the trailer, still obliviously driving away from us. He reaches the end of path and the trailer rights itself as he drives out of view. I turn toward my mom and all that comes out of my mouth is, "He's going to be so confused when he gets back to camp."

He does eventually come back for us and the look on his face is one of pure bewilderment. 

He stops the tractor and throws his hands up in air to ask us what's going on. My mom yells to him that we got thrown from the trailer and he says, in the most incredulous tone, "oh, come on!" And that was it. We lost it. Peals of laughter come pouring out of us and we can't stop. We laugh the entire walk back to the camp (because we are not getting back in that thing) and we laughed for hours after.

We laughed as we were still shaking from the shock and the fear. We laughed as our adrenaline came down and we started to feel every bump and bruise. We laughed as we discovered that none of the children had more than scratches and were only interested in playing minutes later.

We took turns telling our version of the story and laughed at the reenactments of our faces and how the only way to describe the position that I found my mom and Hudson in was "turtling."

Never in my life has an incident of such pure fear turned into something so hilarious. We are so lucky to have come out of that event relatively unscathed. Both my mom and I are incredibly sore this week but I'll take that over a broken neck or a bashed in head any day! I am so awfully glad that we got a good story and not a trip to hospital out of this!

Skirt: Handmade by me (similar) | Shirt: Torrid (similar in straight sizes, similar in plus) | Shoes: Modcloth | Scarf: Thrifted (similar) | Lips: MAC Viva Glam II