Kindle (Paperwhite) vs Real Life Book: Pros and Cons

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For years, I debated on whether or not I wanted a Kindle. For years, I hated those electronic readers as they slowly crush and kill the paper industry… but finally, and very slowly, I started to change my mind. As a belated Christmas gift, my mama gifted me with the Kindle Paperwhite and now that I’ve read a few books on it, I wanted to share my thoughts!


Cons to the Kindle…

What I Love and Miss About Real Books

Smell: there’s nothing like paging through a new (or old) book and breathing in that sweet smell of paper and ink.

Cover Art: First and foremost, a book is most recognized by its cover… and I love Instagramming photos of the book I’m currently reading. I dearly miss having that beautiful (color!) book cover to gaze upon! I’m sure reading ebooks on an iPad or other Kindle versions help, but the Kindle Paperwhite just has a low quality black and white version of the cover that is rarely seen.

Tactile feel: In addition to the book cover, book designers and their authors go through a strenuous process to choose the best typeface and paper stock to give their books a visual voice. Whether its a modern sanserif font or the pages have that uneven cut paper, the book’s actual design in your hands gives it a life past the author’s words.

Size: Along with the cover, typeface and paper stock, the overall size of a book also makes a difference—whether its a small paperback beach read or a large heavy hardback. Reading a book that’s the same shape every time even can get a bit dull. Although I do love my leather rooCASE Kindle cover!

Percentage read: There’s nothing like knowing you only have 5 pages left in a book, knowing it’s about to all end. With the Kindle, sometimes the “percent read” will still read 8% to go, and then BOOM! the end—dumb appendixes!

It’s a lot harder to flip through, seeing how many pages are left… referencing back to an older portion (that you didn’t realize was important at the time so you didn’t mark it).

Borrowing Books: Sharing books is next to over… I love going over to someone’s house and perusing their bookshelves and striking up conversations over our shared favorites. And then borrowing one other!

Okay, basically my list primarily consists of the cons.

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Pros to the Kindle…

But what I do love about having a Kindle…

Convenience: Buying more books on the go… a road trip must. I always over pack books (rarely would I under pack). And only having to carry 1 book around.

Book light: The light in the Paperwhite lets me read all the time, again, handy on a road trip… while also letting me read late at night—if Andy’s sleeping—or even in dimly lit areas.

Highlighting: The highlighting function is awesome… I never would write in my own books (they’re too sacred to me! haha) so this feature is so awesome!

Cross Platform: The cross platform “bookmark” allows me to read on my Kindle and then when I’m out and about without it, I can still read on my phone at the exact spot I left off on.

Overall though, I love my Kindle. And I know that this will be my primary choice to read in the coming years. Although I hate to say that on principle! While my pro list is technically shorter, the overall convenience of reading on the Kindle does outweigh the longer con list. But for now, I’m alternating between an e-read and a paperback! Best of both worlds, I guess!

Please tell me in the comments, I’d love to hear your thoughts, on your preferred reading method!

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P.S. The book shown on my Kindle above is another book from Gone Girl author, Gillian Flynn. Not really the friendly for the G-rated audience, I realized, as I was editing the photos!

Book Review, Bridge to Haven by Francine Rivers, and Free Art Download!

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I read this book, Bridge to Haven by Francine Rivers, during my trip to upstate New York in May. Half, while cuddled up on the couch in wonderful 60 degree sunshiney weather and the other half on the plane ride home. The latter half, I cried like a baby… on the plane… amongst strangers. So I don’t quite recommend reading this in public. At least not that half. More specifically the latter quarter.

Without giving much away, this book is about a young girl, Abra, who was literally left at the side of the road as a baby by her mother. She was found by a pastor but then raised by another family later in life. Although she was surrounded by those who loved her, she went through her life blind, feeling so unloved, and then ran into the arms of men just to find the love she so craved.

She looked in all the wrong places for love, and by not seeing those that loved her, she felt so neglected by God. The lonliness and abandonment she felt dug at my heart. Her heart was so hardended that she couldn’t see the blessings that surrounded her.

How many out there feel this same way… and find themselves going down a path that only makes things so much worse?

If only she saw and understood the always forgiving, unconditional love that God offers, would she have missed so much more pain and heartbreak.

Anyway, just after finishing up this book I heard one of my favorite songs on the radio and was inspired to write out the title of it and then give it away for free to you all.

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Oh How He Loves Us is a song written by John Mark McMillian, performed by David Crowder Band. Every since hearing the single, I’ve loved this song. Particularly this verse:

And we are His portion and He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,
If his grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking.

Below you’ll find desktop wallpaper options along with iPad and iPhone backgrounds.

2560 x 1440 / 1680 x 1050 / 1440 x 900 / 1280 x 800 / ipad / iphone

Thanks for reading!

P.S. The “oh, How He Loves us” type was hand lettered by me, and the background was created with some Subtle Patterns.

Unique Gift Idea for the Bride: Bridal Beauty Scrapbook of all the Wedding Events, Bridal Showers and Parties

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Creating a scrapbook of all the bridal events for the year is a great keepsake and gift for a bride!

A couple years ago, I started up a scrapbook whirlwind by making 2 books for my girlfriends that were getting married in 2012. I started way too late into the year though and didn’t have nearly the arsenal of scrapbook tools that I do now! So for Amie’s book, from this past year’s wedding celebrations, ended up being triple layered in stickers and all sorts of embellishments! Plus I started it right away and did one page/event at a time—which allowed for my creative juices to really flow through each page.

So I just wanted to share a few of my favorite pages from these books and at the end of the post there are some tips if you find yourself making one for yourself or for a friend!

For another gift idea, see my post on a scrapbook of letters for the bride!

First up, Lauren’s scrapbook:

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This was my first ever scrapped page… I remember being so excited working on it with my mama at her kitchen table.

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I’m pretty sure we blew Instagram up on the day of their wedding! So we definitely needed to have a #wagonerwedding page—which also included a wood engraved sunflower from their wedding favors.

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My absolute favorite page in Lauren’s book was their wedding day page. I just love the pictures she chose—by All Aboard Studios.

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And here’s a few of my favorite pages from Brittany’s book:

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Their engagement party was Anchorman themed so we chose some of our favorite Anchorman quotes for the page.

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My mom and I had fun making the pages for our Fairy Weekend… that was such a great weekend! We included the fairy house, fabric from the sparkly purple tablecloth and a mini paper scroll to remember our moments reading our bride our favorite memories with her.

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I love the details on the shower page too… since we had a panty line and lavender sachets, the book had to have them too! More photos here.

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And just like Lauren’s, my favorite page in Britt’s book is of the wedding. It was such a beautiful day. They had moss covered table numbers so I found some green glittery numbers for the wedding date and also included a key from their favors! So much fun remembering the day through the details.

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And now a TON of photos from Amie’s… I had a really hard time narrowing down my favorites…

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Starting with page 1, I loved that I had found a bench sticker to remember where Matt had waited for his soon to be fiance!

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And we included lace from the mason jar decorations at the engagement party!

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Engagement photos below are from Harvard Photography.

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Bridal shower photos below are from J. Rose Photography.

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With the shower being as detailed as it was, I tried to incorporate as much as I could… from the cupcake topper to the paper flowers on the favor boxes.

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Photos below are by me! See more from our engagement session here.

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The bachelorette party was also filled with details! We saved a business card from our crazy scavenger hunt in Pacific Beach along with some kisses from “Pin the Kiss on the Groom” game. And of course a giant ring sticker to remember our light up rings when we went out dancing—just wish I could find a pink ring for the book!

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Hashtag: #pankratzwedding! I loved having an Instagram themed page in Lauren’s book so we had to have one here too! And I love my new banner punch I got in my stocking at Christmas! I was really excited to use it in the book!

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And then the wedding… Amie had a very hard time narrowing down photos and since I knew my scrapbooking adventure was coming to a close, we decided just to include the whole wedding! See more photos of the glorious day here.

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This is one of my favorite pages! It was such a sweet moment!

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There were just a few name card tags leftover from the wedding… it made a great touch for the reception page.

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And with one odd page left, we ended the book with a page remembering their honeymoon in Zion.

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And now a few tips on making your own Bridal Beauty Scrapbook!

  • It helped that I took the majority of the photos with my camera so I had access to all the high quality images right away.
  • During the event remember to grab an item or 2 to use in the books: business cards, tissue paper, etc.
  • Remember the details that aren’t photographed and use as details in the book. For example, during the bride’s family portraits, a butterfly landed amid the girls’ bouquets so I made sure to get some butterfly stickers. Also, the bouquets were made with purple hydrangeas so I made sure to get those stickers for the wedding pages too.
  • Have the bride pick out the photos. I loved asking the brides to pick their photos because they chose totally different pictures than I would have—it makes the book that much more special because its their favorite memories of the events.
  • To save money, try to get sticker packs that will last through several different events so you aren’t buying a set of embellishments for just one single page. I have a pretty solid aesthetic across all the pages so it was easy to mix and match sets of stickers and paper.
  • Another money saving tip… I waited until the big paper pads went on sale at Michael’s so I got Buy 1, Get 1 Free! And to make them last, I bought one in warm tones and one in cool colors that would look good together to get a good variety but also keep a cohesive look.

A few more notes about the books… all of them are 8×8, a perfect size for a coffee table book. Brittany’s was bought at Michael’s while Lauren’s and Amie’s were bought at Hobby Lobby. All photos were printed at Sam’s Club.

Are you a scrapbooker? I just love it! Please share your tips below!

P.S. Dear Mom, I can’t say I’m sorry enough that I made fun of you for years for all the money and time spent on scrapbooking as I am growing closer and closer to having quite the paper crafting hoard myself. Please accept my apology. xoxo

Shelved: Books to Read


I don’t know about you, but I really think I may have more fun choosing and buying books than actually reading them! When I redid our office library and created our crate wall—I know, I know, I have yet to post about this—I kept one crate just for books to be read. And it’s actually overflowing and stuffed full. And I’m even having a tough time choosing which books to read for our upcoming trip to the east coast! Any suggestions, dear readers, on what to read next? Or any other books I need to add to the shelf?


  • Message in a Bottle – Nicholas Sparks, I have read every single one of his books but somehow missed this one!
  • This Present Darkness – Frank E. Peretti
  • Left Behind series
  • Walking on Water – Madeleine L’Engle, a gift from my dear friend Melanie
  • And the Shofar Blew – Francince Rivers
  • Sarah’s Key – Tatiana de Rosnay, borrowed from my mama
  • The Calling – Brother Andrew, a book series my husband loves
  • Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • C.S. Lewis Signature Classics
  • Game of Thrones series, on the third book of the series
  • The Host – Stephanie Meyer, I loved the Twilight books but this one always sounded too scary for me, but having seen the movie trailer I added it to the list.
  • The Mortal Instruments series, on book two of the series

Right after I got this post together, my mom recommended The Art of Racing in the Rain which I then found on sale at Target! Score! That’s added to the suitcase!


P.S. You can follow a more extensive list of books on my to-read list here on Goodreads! Let’s be friends!