Enduring All Things: May 2017

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Reading Roundup May {2017}

This post contains affiliate links.
You guys. I wish I had more time to read. Haha that's funny, right? Because I do have time to read. But I spend that time on social media and other mind-less, time-wasting tasks. But you know why?

Well, one reason is because I'm addicted. I'll admit it. Another is because I use social media to promote and grow my blog. I'm becoming more and more of an "influencer" online and I love it! And another reason is because I feel guilty reading when I should be blogging, working on my social media game, working out, or doing housework,

So when I "have time" to sit down and read, I instead spend that time on my phone because I feel a little less guilty for that. And because the time just gets away from me when I'm on my phone.
Anyway, all this to say I'm going to make a real effort to read more this summer. In the name of self-care, I'm going to (try to) change my attitude about getting everything done before I can enjoy myself. Even if I have to schedule reading time into my calendar and then turn off my phone during that time.

Oh, and I should let you know that I plan to read all "children's" books this summer: Narnia, Harry Potter, Mary Poppins, The Wizard of Oz, Anne of Green Gables etc.

But enough of my rambling! Let's get to what I've read this month, shall we? And this may look like a lot after everything I've said above but the reason I read this much is because I read a lot on the plane to and from Oregon, I read children's books that take no time at all, and I finished a few books that I started last month.

The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis

You guys, I've never read this one before! I'm pretty sure the only Narnia books I read growing up were The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (because I had to for school - the entire thing was in one of my literature text books).

Anyway, it was fantastic! I highly suggest it to anybody: child or adult! It set up the scene for The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe so beautifully. I got so excited every time I recognized anything from the future book. And I loved the parallels to the creation story in the Bible. It was really cool!

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

This one was much more similar to stories in the Bible than I remember as well. There were so many parallels that I just loved. It was a lot of fun going back and reading a classic from my childhood. I highly suggest doing that! I can't wait to finish the rest of the Narnia books!

The Cactus Who Craved a Hamburger {and other stories} by Rachel Guerrero

Ok so my blog-friend, Rachel of The Random Writings of Rachel, wrote a children's book! She lives in Malaysia and shares her home with several different interesting creatures on a regular basis. She started to make up stories about these creatures and eventually turned some of them into a children's book!

As I'm sure you know, I don't have children. But I still bought the book and read it myself. It was very entertaining and I'd say certainly not just for children. While the stories may be a little silly and involve a talking cactus and his adventures with a cicak (a lizard), it's more than just a picture book. In fact, there are a few full pages without a single picture. Oh and I should add that there are 3 short stories.

To read more about it click here and here.
I received this book for free as part of the launch team. All opinions are mine alone.

I talked about this book in my last Reading Roundup, last month's Thankful Thursday post, and a little in my Oregon recap. Y'all, Amberly is brilliant. This e-book is so much more than a list of date ideas. She has a few chapters on researched based reasons you should continue to date your spouse and the benefits of that as well as tips on how to make it a priority in every stage of life. Then she gets into the date ideas organized by category and each idea has a paragraph or two explaining just what you can do on this date. I have gotten some great ideas already and I'm inspired to make date night a big priority in our marriage again!
What did you read this month? Link up below!
Thanks for reading!

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Tayler from The Morrell Tale

Charlene from Enduring All Things

Autumn from Stay Gold Autumn

How It Works:

  • Reading Roundup will happen the last Tuesday of every month! The linkup will be open for two weeks!
  • There really aren't "rules." This is free and open. We are book lovers and want to read about your books!
  • Link up a post of a book review you did from this month. Or, a roundup of book reviews you did this month.
  • Try to hop around and engage on other people's book reviews! Make some new friends!
  • Grab this pinnable image to put on the bottom of your post! (But, no pressure to do so!)
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Monday, May 29, 2017

The Perfect Dress (Shop) for Wedding Season

I received this dress for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine alone.

Back in 2014, I wrote my first post in collaboration with eShakti. Two years later, they contacted me asking to do another post. Yes, I said two years later. In May of last year they asked me to write another post and I picked out the dress pictured below. But I never posted about it. I'm sure eShakti hates me at this point.

I kept waiting to post until I got my arms toned to where I wanted them. I hate my arms. Just like I hate most of my body right now. But that's a post for another time. Finally, I decided to take these pictures yesterday and publish this post. Who cares about my arms? And I love eShakti too much to let the beginning of wedding season go by again without telling you all about it.
I absolutely love this company because of all the customization you can get with these dresses! For this particular dress, I didn't change anything about the style like I did last time, but I had it custom made to my measurements!

That's right. Not only can you change the hem-line, neck line, sleeve length and more on any dress, you're also able to give them exact measurements rather than order a set size and hope it fits when it's delivered!

This dress fits like a glove. Which is good because that means I haven't gained too many inches since I ordered it a year ago!
I love this dress so much! If you know me, you know these colors are perfect for me. You also probably know that I love plaid. What makes it better is it has POCKETS and BRA STRAP HOLDERS!!!! And guess what! Most of their dresses have both of those things. Why don't all dresses ever made?

Unfortunately, this dress is no longer available. Which I guess is to be expected as it's a year old. But here is a similar one. And it's on sale!
Now these dresses can get a little expensive for some people. I get that. But they really are great quality and you just can't beat the customization! With that being said, they do always have a good selection of items on sale, as well as overstock.

I haven't bought anything from them besides dresses but I have had a hard time finding jeans that fit lately so I might try some from eShakti denim soon. You can give full measurements of several points on your legs.

And what's the best part? Right now, new customers get a $25 gift coupon and 5% off site-wide and free shipping! Unfortunately this deal ends today. I'm sorry I am just now posting about it but hurry up and get in on that sweet deal! Shop eShakti right here!
Have you ever bought anything from eShakti? What are your must-haves in a dress? Pockets and bra strap holders? What are you wearing to weddings this summer?
Thanks for reading!

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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Thankful Thursday: Silly Things

The other day Pearson and I were laying in bed and I was wondering aloud what I should write about for Thankful Thursday this month. I mean I'm thankful for a lot of things this month. As with every month, of course. But this month was really good. But Pearson said "You know what I'm thankful for? The fact that microwaves automatically turn off when you open the door!" So we proceeded to come up with some other silly little things to be thankful for and I decided to publish it because it's fun to be silly sometimes!
  1. Microwaves automatically turn off when you open the door.
  2. Lamp shades aren't really flammable. They aren't, right?
  3. Toilet paper.
  4. Opposable thumbs.
  5. Indoor plumbing
  6. Sliced bread
  7. Coffee stirrers
  8. Handles on coffee mugs
  9. The paper sticking out of a Hershey's kiss. (Easier to open and you get to the chocolate quickly!)
  10. Scented poop bags for cleaning up after Pip
  11. Hair
  12. YouTube
  13. Deodorant
  14. H2O
  15. Forever stamps
  16. George Lucas is no longer involved with Star Wars
  17. Jar Jar isn't in the new Star Wars movies
  18. Finding the PERFECT LuLaRoe print and it's IN YOUR SIZE!
  19. LuLaRoe in general.
  20. Making it through a hard workout and actually feeling good after instead of feeling like you're gonna die!
  21. Waking up before your alarm and realizing you still have an hour left to sleep!
  22. The Ice Bucket Challenge is over
  23. Now you can buy anything online. Even groceries. Hello never leaving the house again!
  24. Sanitary packaging on most products (so people don't sneak poison in them at the store)
  25. Warm socks
  26. Auto-save
  27. Laughing so hard you can't breathe. Especially after an intense ab workout
  28. Caller ID (Is it still called that when it's a cell phone?)
  29. Netflix
  30. Someone invented the wheel
What are some silly things you're thankful for today?
Thanks for reading and link up any posts about gratitude below (the linkup is open for a week)!

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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Planks and Specks - Why you can't Change your Spouse

I've always been told that I can't change other people. And I know that to be true. I mean, it just makes sense, right? You can't make other people do anything. You can't change them. God can. God can work on them. Maybe you can change yourself and hope they change as a result. You can pray for them. But you cannot change them.
So then why do I always fall back into the mindset of trying to change Pearson? And please tell me I'm not the only one. Please.

Even if I'm not consciously thinking the words "I really wish he would change the way he does this", I often find myself wondering why in the world he would do something a certain way. Or why he won't do what I want (even when I don't tell him). And if I'm not careful, I may even start to resent him just for being a different person from me!

However, sometimes it's easier to stop trying to change our spouse over the little day-to-day things than it is when it comes to major faults. Sins. Hurts they've caused us. But...
"Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother's eye." -Luke 6:41-42 (ESV)
Here Jesus is calling our own faults planks and our spouse's faults specks because our own issues cloud our judgement. We have to work on ourselves first.

It's not our responsibility to fix our spouse or anybody for that matter. That's God's job. Jesus never called us to fix others. He called us to love them and care for them, but not to fix them.

This applies to our spouse as well. I think your spouse is the hardest person to not try to fix because you know them the best.  You live with them. You do everything with them. The two of you are "one." So you really know their faults, right? But guess what! Jesus doesn't want us to change them either!

When we choose to remove the plank in our own eye first, others are more likely to see Jesus through that than if we just try to change them directly. People don't like being forced to change but often they change with their environment.

When I chose to remove the plank in my own eye, it made all the difference.

When I started to work on my anxiety and depression by making myself go to social events and do things other than sitting on the couch watching TV, he did too. When I started going to therapy, he became more self reflective and started making changes to become a better person. When I started getting serious about my health, he did too (as much as he could while in grad school). When I wanted to connect with him and do fun things together to really work to make our relationship the best it could be, he eventually got on board, stopped staying so late at work and started planning things. When I put forth effort to let him know he's the most important person to me, he did the same!

So maybe you've heard it a million times, "You can't change your spouse!" But maybe you haven't thought about it in the plank/speck context. I know I hadn't until I read Alisa Dilorenzo's book, Called to Love (aff). And to me, this analogy. given by Jesus, makes the concept that much more important. Here's to becoming your best self and focusing on bettering yourself rather than fixing your spouse's flaws!
Have you experienced this in your marriage? Do you ever fall into the trap of trying to fix your spouse? Thanks for reading!

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Monday, May 22, 2017

Date Your Mate Month & a #MaugerisDoOregon Trip Recap

Disclaimer: I recieved Amberly's e-book free of charge as part of her launch team. But I honestly love this book and would have purchased it myself at full price.

Well there's about a week and a half left of "Date Your Mate Month." I love this month and I think dating your spouse is a great thing to celebrate.
As Amberly said at the beginning of the month, dating your mate is more than just going on dates every once in a while. It's about perusing each other. It's about treating each other like you did before you were married, when you were just dating and were all each other thought about!

Of course, going on dates is a big part of that. I mean, that stage of life is literally called "dating." But dates don't have to fit a mold. The word date doesn't always mean getting dressed up and going out somewhere expensive. But it does always mean you need to be intentional, planned, and different from your every day routine.

According to Dictionary.com (and Amberly's e-book, Prioritizing Date Night in your Marriage) a date is defined as “a social appointment or engagement arranged beforehand with another person, especially when a romantic relationship exists or may develop.” Arranged beforehand. That's what makes date night different from every other day of the week or month or year.

So basically, a date could be anything from an at-home movie or game night to an entire weekend getaway.

Pearson and I have enjoyed a few dates this month. The biggest one, of course, would be our weekend trip to Portland, Oregon! On Thursday, when we first got there, we went on a nature walk at a park close to our hotel. This is one of my favorite types of dates because we talk and catch up and connect so well while were on the move and we get to explore and exercise at the same time! After that we just hung out in Hillsboro and went to bed early because Pearson's interview was the next day.
On Friday, after Pearson's interview, we got dinner and then drove about an hour and a half out to the coast. The scenery on the drive through the mountains was gorgeous and we sang, talked, and connected along the way. When we got there, we walked along the beach for a bit. It was very romantic and not to mention a fun new experience we had together. Neither of us had ever touched the Pacific Ocean! Going on both long walks and long drives are great date suggestions in Prioritizing Date Night in your Marriage.
A post shared by Marriage Blogger | Charlene (@charlenemaugeri) on
Saturday was our fun touristy day. We saw the Nike factory and of course stopped by a Guitar Center in Beaverton. Then we took the train into Portland. Our first stop was Washington Park where we walked about two miles of trails (another walking date) and saw the Vietnam War Memorial, the Rose Garden, and more.
When we got downtown, we were forced to get off the train at an earlier stop than we planned because they were doing construction. And it was terrible timing because right as they were making everybody get off the train in a part of town that had nothing but office buildings we couldn't get into, it started pouring. We could barely see a few feet in front of us for all the rain. So that was fun. But it didn't last very long. We spent the rest of the day exploring Portland, sampling good food and wandering around "the largest independent used and new bookstore in the world," Powell's Books.

Dancing in the rain and visiting a bookstore are both in Amberly's e-book so I totally count them as separate dates!

On Sunday we slept in, packed up, checked out of our hotel, and caught our 1:30 pm flight home. Which landed at about 11:00 pm EST. And we were exhausted!
Side Note: Does anybody know what kind of flowers these are? They were EVERYWHERE out there. In several different colors. Both of the pictures above are the same flower (I think). They grow in bunches and look like hydrangeas from a distance, but up close you can tell they're big, individual flowers. I love them and I'm dying to know what they are!
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Some other dates we've been in this month include a YouTube date night, a readathon date night (we're reading Eragon together switching off reading aloud), a food trucks in the park event, and we saw Guardians of the Galaxy volume 2.

You can get Amberly's e-book, Prioritizing Date Night in your Marriage, for only $7.00 through the end of this month. (It goes up to $10 after Date Your Mate month).

In this e-book, you'll get...
  • Research based reasons you should continue to date your spouse after the two of you get married.
  • Benefits that your marriage will enjoy when you make date night a priority.
  • Seven tips and suggestions for making date night happen, no matter what obstacles life brings.
  • Over 200 ideas to keep date night fresh and fun throughout every stage of your marriage (with explanations - not just a bullet point list).
  • Date night ideas to fit any budget, time constraint or other limitations.

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