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Shen Dove Style: January 2013

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Book Review: The Twelve Tribes of Hattie

I rarely say this when I read a book these days, but though The Twelve Tribes of Hattie was a good read (it is an Oprah Book Club pick after all), it didn't resonate with me the way I expected it to. I really wanted to love this book but it just didn't come together for me.  Seeing the main character face (and overcome) so many hardships during her life made the book a heavy read.  I'm sure this was the point of the book, but I guess I was in the mood for a lighter story during the time that I read it.  The story was told through several narrators and because of this, it took time for me to connect with the characters.

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie revolved around Hattie Shepherd who moved to Philadelphia from Georgia during the 1920s. At the age of 17, Hattie and her husband have twin babies. A tragedy occurs in young Hattie's life that shapes her and subsequently affects the other children she has (11 in total).  The story which spans several decades is told from Hattie's point of view as well through some of her children (and one grandchild). 

There were some great portions of the book with beautifully and sadly written passages.  I definitely rooted for Hattie from page one until the final page of the book. The beginning and the end of the book were the most compelling to me. I thought this was a promising debut novel though it wasn't a favorite.  I would be willing to read Ayana Mathis's next book to see how it comes together.

My verdict: Read this book if you're interested in reading about the Great Migration, family drama or stories set in Philadelphia. Otherwise, this may not be the book for you.


Monday, January 28, 2013


Blazer: F21 (old); Dress: Target; Boots: It's Vintage Darling; Necklace: Eastern Market vendor

Since I've packed up my DC apartment and moved, these photos that were taken over a week ago are the last batch near the alley of my former apartment building.  I love the DC apartment and neighborhood (Capitol Hill) I called home for the last few years.  I particularly loved the brick exterior that is so common to DC architecture.

Change is good so I'm looking forward to finding another beloved spot to photograph my outfits and most likely get confused looks from neighbors as they catch me documenting my outfits.

Here's to a positive and productive week!


Friday, January 25, 2013

Links of the Week: January 25th

On this snowy Friday, I'm daydreaming of taking a vacation to a warm locale, how about you?  Here is some reading material to check out over the weekend.  

With the recent Inauguration still on many people's mind, read about how First Lady Michelle Obama serves as a fashion icon.

In need of some reading material while you're staying in from the cold? Check out this reading list for books to spark your creativity.  I've actually read Twyla Tharp's book last year and enjoyed it.

Want to figure out how to share more about yourself on your blog?  Read this advice.

Trying to meet a savings or debt payoff goal this year, try starting a money lunch club.

Be bold. Be true.

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Currently wishing for...the perfect rug

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As I pack up my DC apartment to officially move into my Philly apartment in a few days, I've started thinking of textiles to add to my new apartment.  I'm on the hunt for the perfect rug for my living room.

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Black + Stripes

Shirt: Old Navy; Skirt: Urban Outfitters (similar); Shoes: GO Jane

As much as I love bright, poppy colors wearing black and white never gets old for me.  When I'm short on time, especially in the Winter, black and white is a simple, quick choice I go to time and time again.


Previous looks with striped skirt: 12
striped skirt previously worn

 Happy Wednesday!

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Monday, January 21, 2013

Inauguration Day

Vest: swapped; shirt: Charlotte Russe (old); Jeans: Urban Outfitters; 
Shoes: Target; Necklace: Eastern Market (DC)

This outfit worn to brave the crowds at Inauguration Day was chosen with comfort rather than style in mind.  As much as I love dressing up, tromping around the National Mall and Capitol Hill called for jeans, walkable shoes and a furry vest.


For those in the US, Happy Inauguration and MLK Day!

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Friday, January 18, 2013

Links of the Week: January 18th

Happy Friday!  Here are some links to check out over the weekend.

We all need to treat ourselves sometimes, check out these tips on medicinal bubble baths.

Still trying to get your diet in balance after the holidays?  Check out these detox soup recipes.

Want to take up thrifting shopping this year?  Check out this blog post: thrift shopping mistakes newbies make.

If you will be in DC this weekend and are still finalizing your inauguration plans, check out this Inauguration Weekend Survival Guide.

If you're planning on clearing your closet any time soon, keep in mind that you can recycle old clothes at H&M and get a 15 percent discount.

If you're experiencing blogger burnout, check out these tips on how to get reinspired after blogger burnout. 

Does courtship exist anymore?  Check out this New York Times article to learn how the dating landscape has changed for 20-somethings.

Want to look festive for Valentine's Day?  Here is a roundup of some Valentine's Day inspired projects.

Since it is almost MLK Day, take some time to read Dr. King's Letter from a Birmingham Jail.

Have a lovely weekend! 


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Double Printed

leopard and navy 1
Blazer: Macy's boys section; Top: F21 (similar); Skirt: thrifted; Boots: It's Vintage Darling

I thought I'd lost the top I'm wearing for most of 2012 only to find it in my childhood room during the holidays.  It's funny how finding an item you haven't worn in a while can spark new ideas on how to wear it.

leopard and navy 2

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Monday, January 14, 2013


Jacket: Buffalo Exchange; Shirt: H&M; Jeans: Gap (old); Scarf: Express (old)

 I enjoyed the weekend's mild weather, but it felt a little odd to wear a leather jacket in the middle of January.  Am I the only one hoping for one good snow before winter ends? Just me?  

Here's to a positive and productive week!

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Friday, January 11, 2013

Links of the Week: January 11th

Happy Friday!  It's been a great week, but I'm welcoming the weekend.  How about you?
I'd like to start sharing blog posts and articles I've bookmarked during the week in case you are looking for weekend reading material.

Andrea from Fly shares her wish for herself and her readers for the new year.  I definitely feel inspired after reading her post.

I'm a strong believer that what you think is just as important as what you say.  For this reason, I bookmarked Jess Lively's advice on decreasing negative self-talk.

If you're focusing on being chic and fiscally responsible this year, check out Claire of Fashion Bomb's advice on how to be fashionable and fiscally sound.

If you're day dreaming of taking a foodie vacation to LA sometime in the future like me, check out Joy from Oh Joy's list of her top 20 bites of last year.  I'm sure I'm not the only one who weighs in food, dessert and snack options available when picking travel destinations.

For more travel inspiration, check out the New York Time's list of 46 places to go to in 2013.

I stepped back from most social media outlets for the latter part of last year but feel inspired to be more active on social media in 2013.  If you are getting back into the social media groove, check out these tips from Breanna Rose for Pinterest and Bloglovin.

Have a lovely weekend!


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Spring Minded

Pink Denim and Lace 2
Lace Blazer: Marshalls (similar); Pink Top: Marshalls; Jeans: Gap; Bracelet: Gift

I purchased this top before the holidays with a mind to wear it in the spring, but the top also works layered over a blazer while it's still cold. Sometimes wearing a pop of bright pink is called for on a winter day.  Let's pretend I didn't have to put on a coat, scarf and gloves after taking these pictures...

Pink Denim and Lace 3

Pink Denim and Lace 1

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Monday, January 7, 2013

Winter Reading List

Winter 2013 Reading List

So the way I usually compile my seasonal book lists is if I hear about a book in multiple places and it looks remotely interesting, I add it to my list and reserve it at my local library.  I had heard of all of these books from traditional and social media, so I thought I'd make it a point to read them during the duration of winter. I'll write my thoughts on the books as I read them.

What's on your to-read list this season?


Vest Habit

maroon stripes and fur 1
Top: H&M; Jeans; Target; Fur Sweater Vest: Old Navy; Shoes: DSW; Necklace: Shoxie

Happy Monday! I am a creature in habit regarding several things including fashion.  I don't know what it is with me and any type of vest, but I love them.  I've had this sweater vest for a while and I just found another vest on clearance for $5 at a second hand store over the weekend.  I'm, sure I'll get tired of them eventually, but for now, I'll just go with it.

  maroon stripes and fur 2
Have a great week!

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Friday, January 4, 2013


Happy Friday!  For most of December, I had resolved not to write resolutions.  I love setting goals and writing resolutions, but it's sometimes hard to remember them throughout the year.  But then I got this book and was inspired again to plan out my year in detail.  I have many resolutions and goals for the year, but here are a few of them:

Remember my theme for the year: Make it Happen.  Setting goals is a great practice, but making them a reality is even better.

Shop second hand as much as possible.

Be intentional about supporting local and independent artists, designers and entrepreneurs.

Plan out non-essential purchases more carefully.

Make time for creative endeavors.

Make time for people, activities, and hobbies that are important to me.

Be more intentional about health and fitness.

Do you make New Year's resolutions or goals?  If so, what are they?