review

The More of Less by Emily Margaret

I'm a firm believer that "simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" and have become a big fan of the currently popular minimalist movement. Late last year, I discovered the blog Becoming Minimalist from Joshua Becker, and have enjoyed reading about adopting a more minimal, simplistic lifestyle. So when I had the opportunity to read his new book, I was pretty excited.

The More of Less - Emily Margaret

In The More of Less, Becker shares his story about how he and his family discovered the benefits of living with less, shows how everyone can benefit from a more minimalist lifestyle, and offers practical tips to apply to your own life.

Becker defines minimalism as "the intentional promotion of things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts us from them". When I first heard of this lifestyle, it was portrayed as living the the fewest possible number of possessions, so I like how Becker debunks this myth and shows that instead it is about only having things that help you do the things that matter most to you and getting rid of the things that don't.

However, I have to confess that I didn't finish this book.

As an occasional reader of his blog, I felt that this book sort of forced-feeling. To me, the first three chapters could have been shorted together to be only one chapter, and the rest of the book felt that way to me. I rarely stop reading a book before I get to the end, but this book felt like it was written to reach a certain page count and it wasn't holding my interest despite how much I like reading about the minimalist lifestyle.

For someone who hasn't read Becker's blog, they may not feel the same way, but as someone who is familiar with the minimalist idea, this book felt sadly unnecessary despite my best intents of finishing it. If you are new to the idea of minimalism, I would still recommend you give it a read as The More of Less provides some interesting insights in to the popular lifestyle.


I received a complementary copy of this book in exchange for review from Blogging for Books. All opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way.

Are you familiar with the idea of minimalism? Would you read a book about it, or would you prefer to read a blog?

What is Creativity? by Emily Margaret

If you've been reading my blog for any amount of time, you can see that I talk a lot about creativity. But what does that really mean? What does creativity mean to you? How do you incorporate it into your everyday?

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For me, creativity is more than just making a pretty picture or writing a book. It's more of a lifestyle and perspective; a way of doing things that aren't necessarily the most common route. It's trying new things and experimenting, because I enjoy the process as well as the destination.

One way I'm more creative is through intentionality in what I consume and buy, because not everything is good for us and our dollars have more power than we think. I've been slowly transitioning to more natural & healthy beauty products because a quick scan of any common beauty product will show you a list of ingredients that are difficult to pronounce and are known to be harmful.

Recently, I had the opportunity to try the HASK Bamboo Oil Strengthening collection and I'll admit- I'm picky when it comes to natural products because they sometimes don't work as well, especially when it comes to sulfate-free shampoos. I know they're better for you, but I've used several different ones in the past that just didn't do the job. However, I was pleasantly surprised with HASK's Bamboo Oil Strengthening Shampoo and Conditioner. They cleaned my hair as well as regular shampoo, made my hair feel really soft, and smell amazing.

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For extra moisture and strengthening, HASK also has a Strengthening Shine Hair Oil and Deep Conditioner. The oil can be used on wet or dry hair and I've enjoyed using it after blowdrying my hair to smooth down the frizziness and add some shine (because I pretty much look like this after using a hair dryer). I haven't tried the Deep Conditioner yet, but if it's anything like HASK's other Bamboo Oil products, I know I'll love it!

What is creativity to you? How does it influence different areas of your life?


**Disclosure: I was sent the products mentioned above in this post in exchange for review. All thoughts are my own honest opinions and were not influenced in any way by the company.**

The Knot Outdoor Weddings | Book Review by Emily Margaret

Engagements, weddings, and wedding planning have been on my mind lately. No, I'm not engaged, but several of my friends have recently become engaged (or will soon!) 

In helping my friends with wedding planning, I've seen that there's a lot more time and work going into the process than you'd think. Many wedding vendors, such as photographers, caterers, and florists, get booked several months in advance and popular dates get reserved quickly, so planning a wedding involves coordinating many elements. Having helpful resources is a great thing, and I recently read a book that you may find interesting if you're planning a wedding.

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Written by Carley Roney and the editors of the well-known wedding website, TheKnot.com, The Knot Outdoor Weddings is a beautiful book featuring 50 real outdoor weddings in various locations. Elements of each wedding are featured in gorgeous photography (of course my favorite part), like stationary, flowers, cakes, venues, and other decorations, providing a wealth of inspiration. It's pretty much pinterest in a book, minus all the mason jars and burlap. Amidst the featured weddings, there are tips for choosing flowers, venues, cakes, and other ways to help your wedding meld with your chosen location. The last chapter in the book offers more in-depth advice, including a timeline checklist to help keep you on track, which I found particularly interesting as a chronic list-maker. I also especially appreciate that in the very back of the book, credits for the wedding vendors are included so if you see something you love, you can learn where to find it.

Overall, The Knot Outdoor Weddings is a beautiful book. It would make a great coffee table book or an engagement gift. However, I must note that the average person would not have the budget to recreate any of the weddings in this book, but that doesn't mean you won't draw inspiration from it, and even if you're not planning a wedding, it's still fun to flip through.

I received a complementary copy of this book in exchange for review from Blogging for Books. All opinions are my own.

Refresh | Staying Inspired by Emily Margaret

In the dark grey days of winter, it can be hard to find inspiration. It's easy to feel inspired to create when the days are long and bright, but when the temperature drops and everything outside is grey, I have to find other ways to get the creative juices flowing. As I wrote last week, I want to have more of the things that I find life-giving, rather than life-draining. One thing I've learned is that it's important to make some time to care a bit for yourself, because it's hard to help others and be creative when your soul feels dusty and dry.An simple way to make a bit of time for yourself is to take care of your skin, because we all know that winter is not a friend to your skin. I recently got to partner with St. Ives to try a few of their new products and I really enjoyed taking a bit of time for myself and refreshing my skincare routine.

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Exfoliating regularly is great for your skin, especially in the winter. Both the St. Ives Oatmeal Scrub and the Even and Bright Bodywash contain natural exfoliants to get rid of dry skin, and I love that they're also paraben free (yes, I'm a crunchy mom, though I'm not an actual mom). The Oatmeal Scrub can be used also as a mask, though I found it a bit too drying for me personally as a mask. 

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The Bodywash smells AMAZING. The bright citrus scent is just like fresh fruit, which I love, because a lot of skincare products are too flowery-perfume-y for me. The downside is then I want to eat a bunch of oranges after I get out of the shower, haha.

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Lastly, I got to try St. Ives' Refresh and Revive Pear Nectar and Soy Body Lotion, and let me say that it also smells fantastic. Just like fresh pears, which to be honest I'm not too crazy about pears, but I really like the scent of this lotion. Sometimes with body lotions the scent is too strong and I feel like I took a bath in perfume, but this has just enough to be nice and not overpowering. It's also not too greasy and absorbs quickly into your skin. I did find that it wasn't as moisturizing to my hands, but I'm the kind of person who has 3 different hand creams in her bag at any given moment.

What are some ways you like to take a bit of time for yourself? How do you find inspiration during the wintertime?


I was provided with these products in exchange for review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.