So many books, so little time

SOOOO, I love to read, and I mean LOVE to read. I typically have a stack of about 10 books I’m reading and then a running list of books I want to read. I have to budget how much money I spend on books each month. Is that bad, a book budget? Anyways, I’m  currently reading And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns. I love all three of Hosseini’s books; his books are very real, beautifully written and terribly sad, hopeful, and happy all at the same time. Inevitably, some of the characters in all three books have terrible, unhappy, hard, miserable lives, yet they are good people who somehow  better the lives to others whether they mean to or not. Hosseini is an amazing writer and I always look forward to his novels, no matter how sad they may be. I encourage you to read all three of these amazing novels.

Here are a few books I have recently found and are on my “to read” list. Has anyone read any of these books or have any suggestions on books I should read? Thanks and have a great hump day!

Image Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman

ImageNeverwhere by Neil Gaiman

Image Bellman & Black: A Ghost Story by Diane Setterfield

Image A Fatal Likeness by Lynn Shepherd

Image The Red Garden by Alice Hoffman

Image The Girls of Murder City: Fame, Lust, and the Beautiful Killers who Inspired Chicago by Douglas Perry

 

Image The Remedy: Robert Koch, Arthur Conan Doyle, and the Quest to Cure Tuberculosis by Thomas Goetz

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The Little market

I stumbled upon this amazing website called The Little Market and I am completely obsessed with it! Literally everything on there is amazing and I can’ decide what I want first, because, selfishly, I want it all.

Before I show you a few of my favorite items, here is a little information about The Little Market in their words, ”

The Little Market works with artisan groups in developing countries around the world. We provide design insights, helping our artisan partners showcase their skills to a broader audience.  The work of each of our groups is funded through earnings from the sales of their fair trade and locally made products.

The market has always served as a gathering place. We view The Little Market as a place where a global community can come together to combat poverty, empower communities, and create social justice.

All of our pieces are handmade by artisans who are paid a living wage for their work. When people are paid a living wage the cost of goods becomes higher. When you purchase fair trade goods, you are providing our artisans with the means to provide food, school fees, and medical visits for their families. Since we started placing orders, many of our groups have been able to hire back gifted artisans who had been laid off when there was not sufficient work.

While shopping you may encounter a product that is currently sold out and will ship again soon. Handmade products take time and can only be ordered in limited quantities.

We hope that you find that a purchase that changes lives is the greatest gift of all.

The Little Market’s mission is to build sustainable partnerships with artisans in developing countries, by connecting them with customers through an online marketplace. We seek to empower women artisans to rise above poverty and support their families.

Our handmade goods showcase the artisans’ traditional skills and their dedication to preserving their artisanal techniques.  We source all of the artisans’ products ethically and practice fair trade principles. We acknowledge the interdependency of people around the world and our responsibility to help others.”

First, these trunks are so vintage and amazing. I adore the mint color, but also the traditional classic color options as well. I have always dreamed of owning a trunk suitcase since I was a child. I love looking at old photos, and I particularly enjoy the ones of people who are traveling and all their belongings are in trunks. I associate trunks with the 1920s and before… besides rambling, I don’t really know how to describe it, but I love them and love how spacious they are. Perfect for packing all the unnecessary clothes I feel I have to bring with me. Below are two of the trunks The Little Market has to offer, the first is the Classic Large Trunk and the second is the Vanity Trunk, I’d like both please.

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Second, The Little Market sells these amazing scarves, each of which is hand-woven using soft alpaca AND is colored using natural dyes (Handmade in Bolivia by Asociacion de Artesanos Andinos. This site offers these scarves in the most beautiful colors, so rich and vibrant. Even the “dark” colors such as gray seem alive and pulled straight from nature. Finally, the scarf is 24″ x 74″, long enough to wear practically anyway; the price point is $100, but that is a steal for such a beautiful hand-woven, naturally dyed scarf. Image

I am a huge fan of baskets, I think they are perfect for storage and they come in so many shapes, sizes, and colors. This cute Gourd Basket in sea foam green (also available in rose and white) is a definite purchase. Some info on the baskets The Little Market has to offer, “A network of rural Wolof women in nine Senegalese villages work together to create beautiful handcrafted baskets. Using locally grown millet stalks and recycled strips of plastic, the women bring supplemental income to their households by weaving baskets between their daily duties. Handmade by Wolof Weavers of Senegal.{“ This basket is great for decorating and storage, meaning you can leave it out and keep away clutter without the basket looking like storage. Isn’t stuff like that great?

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Finally, this bag is not yet available, it is listed in the “Coming Soon” section, but either way it is beautiful, European, vintage, vibrant, and I can’t wait for it to be available, shown with hand-woven scarf. It’s the perfect weekend get away bag, yes?

ImageBe sure to check out EVERYTHING, because it is so unique and amazing. I am in awe of the talented people who make these items.

Is that a purse?

While “window shopping” online, I noticed there are a great deal of purses for sale that do not look like purses. Some of these purses are cool, some are weird, some are interesting, none of them I’d actually use, but never the less they are fun to look at. I especially like the clutches that look like books. Here are a few of the ones I particularly enjoyed finding. Happy Shopping!

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  1. Kate Spade Wicker Car Tote
  2. Kate Spade Milo Clutch-speedometers
  3. Yazbukey Donna Sardina Mirror Leather Clutch
  4. Papa Razzi ‘Nadine’ Newspaper Clutch
  5. Kate Spade License Plate Clutch
  6. Tiger Minaudiere
  7. ‘Pandora-Postcard’ Clutch
  8. Wedding Bells-book emanuelle’ box clutch (front and back shown)

Cork-ey for Spring and Summer

Has anyone else noticed that cork is everywhere? I was browsing J. Crew a few days ago when I suddenly realized they have tons of items in cork, everything from shoes, to belts, to magic wallets, bags, etc. When did this happen? Is this cork a new trend?

I must say, I am not entirely sure how I feel about this concept of cork as a material. I have had corkboards since I was a child and one thing that always happens over time is chunks start to fall out, the color turns to a dark and rotten looking color, and all the holes weaken the cork. Eventually, I just throw the cork board out and get a new one. I mean they are not expensive. My concern/question is, is the cork used to make these wearable items the same as the cork found in a corkboard? What would happen if say, you are wearing your Tory Burch sandals and you get caught in the rain, will they mold or mildew, change color? I have too many concerns and questions about the care and life of these products to decide if I like them or not. Sorry, the jury is still out.

However, I will say, J. Crew has a nifty cork and gold bracelet I’m digging (not online so no picture) and this jewelry box from C. Wonder is pretty cool.

What say my peers? Does anyone have any cork shoes or handbags? How well do they last and are they hard to care for?

Below are a few cork items I found that I think are cute, again not sure about their care and life.

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  1. Reversible Cork and leather belt
  2. Cork Knife Set
  3. Cork Envelope Clutch
  4. Tory Burch Miller 2 Cork Sandals
  5. Cork Double Wrap Bracelet
  6. Gold Flecked Cork Frame
  7. Gold Flecked Cork Jewelry Box
  8. Convertible Cork Wallet
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My Artsy Cat, Winston

My Artsy Cat, Winston

This is one of my favorite photos of my rescue cat, Winston. He has such a personality! He responds with various “meows” when you talk to him or ask him a question, which makes me feel less crazy, loves to cuddle, and follows my husband everywhere, and I mean everywhere. Winston will even hold John’s finger with his paws when he sits in John’s lap. What a guy.

Anchors Away into Spring

I love anchors; they just scream summer to me. When I see anchors, I think of lazy summer days, the beach, Baldhead Island, boating, shorts, boat shoes (of course), and for one reason or another stripes. I guess, for me, anchors: stripes:: stripes: nautical. While it is only spring, I can’t help but notice anchors are beginning to make an appearance, albeit a small one. Here are a few fun anchor things I have found, I can’t wait/ hope more anchors are coming soon. Has anyone else found any fun anchor things? I’d love to see them. Have a happy Monday!

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  1. Embroidered Anchor Keeper Belt
  2. [CF] Nature Baby for J Crew Bib
  3. Factory Cotton v-neck sweater in anchor
  4. Sundry Anchor ¾ sleeve Top 
  5. Blissful Case
  6. KJP Boatyard Skipjack 
  7. KJP Bailey Lost Atlantic