Easter Basket Goodies for Girls!

Easter is upon us once again, which I always get excited for.  For some reason, for me, it doesn't feel like Spring has actually arrived until Easter Sunday.  Perhaps it's because there is something so special about the day.  2,000 years ago on this day I imagine the world blooming with relief as Christ came to lift its burden.  What a beautiful reminder Spring brings.  The restoration of flowers, green grass, sunshine, warm breezes as the world once again sheds off its winter coat.  New life.  This is what Jesus did for us when he died and rose again three days later he shed, for us our burden, our winter coat.  So in the likeness of our Father who gives good gifts, Easter is such a special time to bless our loved ones with gifts as well.  I decided to put together all of my favorite finds that would be perfect for a little girls Easter basket.  I hope you enjoy! 

one // two // three // four // five

As I have mentioned a million times before I love the Baby Lit books as so does my oldest daughter.  When I saw that they came out with A Little Princess friendship primer I immediately placed an order.  I can hardly wait for Easter to give this to Ezrah! I love finding unique toys for my girls and I have seen these wooden camera's around a lot.  I just think they are so darling and you can get them in just about any shade of pastel you wish.  You can never go wrong with hair accessories.  My oldest daughter is in this phase where she loves to wear pretty dresses and have her hair done so I thought this would be perfect.  I had a hard time with this one though because I love the sailor bows from Wunderkind Co. so much but they are often sold out (for good reason) so you probably won't be able to get this specific bow in time for Easter but I thought it was a nice example.  Something that my daughter really loves is pajamas, she loves being in them and she loves getting new ones so I had to include these.  I love how you can mix and match the bottoms with the top and how Springy is this floral print?!  Lastly, I think it's always fun for girls to have their own version of the things that mommy wears.  So I found these pretty adorable heart shaped sunglasses.  Hopefully we will be able to put them to use very soon!  

I hope this was helpful for any of you who may be putting together baskets for your little girlies and I wish all of you a wonderful Easter!  May you be reminded of the burden that Christ bore for you and because of it, you are immeasurably free!  

Outings With Ezrah: A rainy Sunday Morning

Hi everyone!  Welcome to another Outing with Ezrah!  This particular outing just involved us going to Church on Sunday morning and running errands but I had to share this dress! 

Here in Washington State you have to act like it's Spring even when it is still raining so I put her in this adorable little dress from Target.  I absolutely love finding little dresses with unique patterns and this one is no exception!  The little swimmers are perfectly paired with ruffles and it totally says we are ready for sunshine! 

I hope you all enjoyed this short but sweet little lookbook and I hope you all have a wonderful week! See you next time! 

Bookish Academy Awards

Hello everyone! 

Today I thought I would do a fun post surrounding the topic of award shows and books.  So I am a huge fan of bookTube (Book reviewers on YouTube) and I follow quite a few people that I really love.  Every year I see a lot of them do what is called The Bookish Academy Awards.  They answer twelve questions, that are based on the award categories at the Oscars, about the books that they have read the previous year.  These are some of my favorite videos to watch!  They are so fun and I get some really good book ideas as well.  Anyway, even though I don't have a bookTube channel I thought it would be really fun to do it in blog form.  

Now I only read 25 books in 2016, which is really nothing compared to what some people read.  I was at one point pretty excited about this number until my father in law came to visit and told me that he read upwards of like 45 books throughout the year lol! I was very impressed, and a little jealous! But I still really wanted to do this and hopefully you guys see some of your favorite books or even get some good ideas for your own reading in the future!  Enjoy! 

1. Best Male Character in a Leading Role 

For this category I had to go with Rhysand from a Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas, which is the second book in the Court of Thorns and Roses series. I feel like this answer is very obvious, as I know this book is well loved but I just couldn't go with anyone else.  Without giving too much away, it took me awhile to get on board with this character but by then end of the book I was totally convinced.  It's like I really wanted to keep hating him but ultimately couldn't help but love him.  I literally can't wait for the next book to come out in May!

just a small disclaimer:  This book goes well beyond PG-13 and in my opinion shouldn't even be considered a young adult novel, as I would totally not let my teenagers read it.  So just be aware of that when you go into it or if you have children that may want to read it. 

2. Best Female Character in a Leading Role 

Out of all the books that I read last year I hands down have to give this one to Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery.  This is a children's classic that I had been meaning to read for the longest time and I finally picked it up in November.  Anne just captured my heart from the very start with her endless imagination, stubborn yet kind spirit, and her constant yearning to seek out the beauty in everything.  She made me want to put flowers in my hair for every outing and eat ice cream for every meal.  I loved experiencing her learn and grow, I will never forget her!  I highly recommend this book to everyone regardless of your age, I truly believe that you would be delighted!  It has stood the test of time for a very good reason. 

3. Best Plot Twist 

I am giving this one to the Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.  Obviously I don't want to give to much away let's just say I didn't see what was coming!  Just to give a brief overview, the story takes place in 1945 Barcelona and centers on the life of a man named Daniel.  Daniel has a book in his possession called The Shadow of the Wind by an author by the name of Julian Carax.  He begins to look for other works that have been completed by the same author but discovers that every single book Julian Carax has written has been destroyed and in turn Daniel has the only remaining copy of the authors work.  Daniel then sets out to solve the mystery of the strange occurrences surrounding the destruction of these works.  If you are really into dark mysteries then this is really worth the read.  And let me just say there is some weird stuff that goes on in this book that will just mess with your mind.  Its intrigue will definitely keep you on the edge of your seat!

4.  Best Book Cover

When I was thinking about how to answer this I immediately thought of the Puffin Bloom edition of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland but then I thought that was a little obvious.  Although Puffin in Bloom will always have a special place in my heart I had to go with something else.  Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan has an amazing cover that I absolutely love!  At first glance it may not seem like anything special, although I do particularly appreciate the title font, which looks like it was hand written.  But the best part is that all of the bright yellow book spines, which cover the whole book, glow in the dark!  This was particularly exciting for me because I found this out entirely on my own.  One night it was just sitting on my nightstand and I turned off lights for the night and I looked over to see this glowing book.  Maybe it's the kid in me but I just thought this was the coolest surprise that just added to the excitement of reading the book. 

5. Best Side Kick Character 

As some of you may know, I started reading the Harry Potter series for the first time at the beginning of last year and have been having the time of my life.  So for this one I have to go with Ron Weasley.  I just love Ron so much.  I think he is so awkward yet brave, he's mischievous, funny, and of course, incredibly loyal.  I have loved watching him grow in the first five books and am very much looking forward to seeing more of him in the final two! 

6. Best Plot 

The best plot that I read last year was The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde.  I just really enjoyed the this story.  So just to give a very brief overview, it centers on a man named  Dorian Gray who one day has his portrait painted and falls in love with own beauty captured in the portrait.  He becomes saddened by the idea of growing old while his portrait will remain in it's youth.  He then finds a way to essentially trade his soul for eternal youth and in turn the portrait grows old instead of himself.  It's just a really good representation vanity and corruption.  It's dark and compelling and overall has a really great moral theme surrounding the heart.  I highly recommend this read! 

7. Best Book to Movie Adaptation 

I feel like the most obvious answer to this would be Harry Potter since by obsession also carries over to the movie adaptations but I also thought it would be fun to share which book I would love to see as a movie.  So I am choosing A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas.  For those of you who don't know this book is a retelling of The Beauty and the Beast and it is just so good!  The world that this story takes place in is just so interesting and filled with fantastical creatures and elements that I would really just love to see it come to life on screen! 

8. Best Book to Animated Film 

The book that I would love to see as an animated movie or even an animated TV show is The Adventures of Miss Petitfour.  I read this children's book with my daughter this past year and it is nothing short of charming.  I would just love to see more of Miss Petitfour and her sixteen cats through animation. 

9. Best New Author

A new author that I was introduced to this past year was JRR Tolkien and not in the way that most would expect.  I read The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, which is a book of poetry.  I really just fell in love with his imagination and writing style.  I know I am a little bit late to the party but I plan on reading more from him very soon, I especially look forward to reading the Hobbit!

10. Best Action

For best action I am going to choose Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo.  While this was not my most favorite read of 2016 it was certainly packed with many attention grabbing action scenes.  I just personally didn't connect with this book in the way I thought I would but I would still certainly recommend it to anyone who is into high fantasy adventures! 

11. Best Historical Fiction

I only read one historical fiction in 2016, which was The Bronze Horseman by Paulina Simons and I really loved it!  This novel takes place in 1941, Russia during the invasion of the Soviet Union by Nazi Germany.  It follows the story of Tatiana and Alexander and their journey of love in a time overwhelmed by war.  This book will send you on a roller coaster of emotions and I mean emotion with a capitol E!  I just love this story so much and I am looking forward to continuing on with the series this year!  I also feel really inspired to read more historical fiction, which is something I didn't normally reach for in the past. 

12. Best Book 

Ok guys, we have made it to the best book!  I admit that I am cheating, but only slightly because I did read most of this book in 2016 but officially finished it at the beginning of the new year.  So my very favorite book of last year was Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix!  I loved this books SO much!  It was filled with adventure (as always), heartbreak, friendship, and courage.  There were so many questions answered and so many mysteries revealed.  I thought I would be sad to see Harry, Hermione, and Ron grown up because we meet these characters at such a young age, but I am finding that I am really enjoying it.  So, we will see if the two remaining books will rival the Order of the Phoenix for the title of my favorite Harry Potter book!  I am very much looking forward to finding out! 

I had so much fun reflecting on some of my favorite reads of 2016, I really hope you enjoyed this too!  I am thinking of making this a tradition! 

Here is a link to my Goodreads account, which I use regularly.  You can go there to see what else I read and all of my official ratings.  Also, let's be friends! https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/25095157-gabrielle-calvillo

I thought I would also mention some of my favorite BookTubers just in case you are interested.  I seriously love each one of these girls so much and I get so excited whenever they post new videos!

1. Regan from Peruse Project

2. Heather from Bookables

3.  Natasha from Tashapolis

4. Sasha from Abooktopia

That was in no particular order and there are so many others that I watch as well but I just had to mention these girls because their channels are some of the first that I started watching and I just love them and their content so much! Go subscribe if you are obsessed with books! 

Have a great week everyone :) 

Coffee Table Essentials

Hello everyone, welcome back! 
Today I am going to be sharing with you all how I styled my coffee table.  Having a good layout on your coffee table can really pull together your entire space.  So let's get started!

So it took me awhile to come up with a layout that I really liked because when you are working with a larger surface area it can be tricky to create a cohesive look.  For a long time I just had a few stacks of books laying in the center of it.  The key that I eventually found is to break up the surface into two or more sections.  You can do this with things like trays and books. I found this gorgeous marble tray at, you guessed it, Target, and it was the perfect starting point. To add some height I added some fresh white hydrangeas.  I realize that I may over do it with the hydrangeas but they are seriously my favorite so I think it's ok.  I also just think there is something so chic about them paired against the gold accents of the tray.  

Another tip:  hydrangeas are great for coffee tables (or any surface set out away from the wall) because of the way they bunch together they look great from all angles. 

Next I added this cute fox figure and this beautiful copy of Romeo and Juliet that I found in my grandparents garage awhile back.  I love the way the beat up old cover looks against the glamour of the marble.  I think it adds a fun juxtaposition. 

Of course a coffee table can't be complete without a set of coasters.  I found these at Anthropologie and I just love the quality of them.  I placed the white one on top and then layered the other two under it so that you can just see some color popping out.  Speaking of popping out, yes, those are crumbs on the table that I didn't see when I was taking this picture.  I decided not to retake it because this is real life here haha! #momlife. 

I could have stopped there and probably have been happy with it but then I decided to add this gold geometric "thingy" I liked the way it tied in with the gold from the tray.  I also think it adds to the juxtaposition of modern and vintage that I am trying to go for in my decorating. 

I hope you enjoyed this little post all about coffee tables.  I hope to see you back here next time!