Summer Reads

I have quite the list (in my head) and I could probably sit here and add a ton more to this blog, but since I have only allotted myself a set time to write this, this is what we get! I love following people on Instagram and seeing their recommendations, as well as some of my favorite authors.  I would love to complete this list, so I’ll check back in towards the end of Summer and see how I did!

I love fiction, historical fiction, non-fiction.  Scary, romance, thriller, memoir, biography, murder mystery, and of course chick-lit.  I really don’t discriminate when it comes to reading!! Sometimes I feel like I over do it on Self-development and need to read something fluffy.

My goal is to read 52 books this year and I’m at 23 so far.  I usually have a hardcover book going, an e-book on my kindle app to read to fall asleep at night and an audiobook.

If you can watch several TV series and not get them confused, I promise you, you can read several books at once!

Currently reading this Summer gem:

On the waitlist for these at the library:

I really liked this author, as I read one of her books earlier this year.

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This had some great reviews.

 

I hear that this one is a tear jerker!

 

*this one is highly anticipated and I’m like 105 in line, so I may just end up buying this one!

I keep seeing this one all over Instagram and everyone is loving it!

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Personal Development list:

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I figured why not learn about Billionaires too?

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Currently listening to this one, thanks to my mom!  It takes place in the surrounding areas of Charleston South Carolina, and is a fluffy listen so far, so good!

 

 

I’m sure I’ll be reading many fun kid books as well!  I’m going to try and get the kids to the library weekly and enjoy lots of outdoor reading time.  Brooke is so excited to be doing the Summer reading program through Barnes and Noble, where she has to read 8 books and then can pick a free book in August!

 

What’s on your reading list?  If you have never read The Wife Between Us or The Last Mrs Parrish, and are looking to jumpstart your reading again, I would suggest beginning there!!

Weekend Rewind

Friday was the first day of Summer!! It came in hot too! We had such a gorgeous weekend weather wise, everyone here in the 585 seemed to be smiling.

The boys and I had lunch on the canal–I keep feeling this pull to the water, so I am trying to listen and make it happen more frequently!

Friday night was full of fun on a boat with some friends.  We had Mexican food for dinner and took a cruise down the canal.

I got my baby fix too–how cute is she?!

Saturday I dropped the kids off with my dad and step-mom and had some FREE time ALONE—whoa!  This time I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I went for super yellow nails for Summer. How fun!

I was able to get ready for our date night in peace and quiet–totally weird!  I decided to soak up that extra time and curl the hair.

Kid free and on our way to dinner!

We caught a glimpse of the view after the sun set.  Our city isn’t that big, but it’s pretty from a rooftop!

I wanted to go dancing (duh) but there’s not really any places to go out here, other than bars.  We made the most of it though!  I think one of my favorite parts of the night was when a lady asked us if we just started dating!  She said we looked so happy and we laughed explained we were kid free for a bit and actually are coming up on 9 years of marriage this July!  We took it as a compliment.  We do have so much fun together.  We had a lot to celebrate and so much to be grateful for.

Sunday morning we woke up with the dogs and took them out back to run around.  Afterwards we hit up Brueggers for a bagel breakfast sandwich and drove to our land.  Look at how many crazy daisies there are!

We also have a makeshift pond at the moment.  We are figuring out this water situation and will be living here soon.  I cannot believe we bought this land almost 4 years ago!

We spent most of the day chilling.  Joe actually napped!

 

I finished this book–it was good!  It was my “fall asleep reading” book until it wasn’t. It started keeping me awake because I wanted to know what on earth was happening! I kind of figured it out but still wanted to see it all come together in the end.  It read like a YA book, but wasn’t, if that makes any sense.

Sunday we scooped up the kiddos, took a little drive and then decided on grilling corn and sausages for dinner.  I am calling this a “Driveway Dinner.”  Joe grills, I bring out all the supplies, we all eat sitting around the grill and the kids can continue to play.  It relieves me from having to set the table and doing a bunch of dishes.  PS grilled corn was so good!

This one– be still my mama heart– she’s been working so hard on riding her bike without training wheels.  Sure she gets discouraged, gives up temporarily but then she’s back at it again in no time.  Such a metaphor for life really.

She was so proud and we are so proud of her!  #thisis6

I finished my setpbet finally!!! I will report on how much $$ I made if any hahaha.

 

It was a beautiful mix of some time for myself, time alone with Joe and some time with the family.  Summer, we are SO happy you are here!  Cheers to an amazing Summer and a wonderful week.

 

Book Club: More than a Book

What started out as a few of us girls sharing a love for reading, has honestly turned into such a beautiful thing!!  Last year a few of us talked about starting a ‘no stress book club.’  One where we didn’t even necessarily have to read the same book, but just get together, out of the house, away from the kids and chat about books, life, marriage, whatever!

What started out as 4 of us has grown into this:

You may have caught my posts about the wine bar book club.  We realized that it was a little more fun to all have read the same book!  These ladies are all so sweet and we are all at different stages of life.  Some are working moms, some are grandmas, some stay home, some of our husbands work together, some I’ve met because of my kids.  But somehow, we all bonded over words written on pages, a few drinks and tons of laughs.

Do you know what’s hard? Life.  Mothering.  Thinking that you’re alone, struggling or failing at this beautiful thing called motherhood.  Hearing each other’s struggles, triumphs, complete fails and utter disappointments has helped lift each other up and truly see what matters most in life.  Friendships, companionship, relationships…women are such different creatures.  While I LOVE being home and do consider myself a bit of an introvert, get me around the RIGHT group of girls and I feel so alive.  I hope these girls had as much fun as I did!

We had a fantastic dinner at Edibles downtown Rochester and I’m a bad blogger who forgot to take a photo of my scallops & brussels sprouts!  The Truffle tots were to die for as well.  Not to mention the brut champs…

The book that was chosen for February was this one:

It wasn’t beautifully written, so if you’re looking for a great piece of literature, this most likely isn’t for you. It was however, very gripping and kept me turning the page literally — this was the book where I was on page 77 and then couldn’t put it down until I finished at 1am.

It’s about a girl who stops at a rest stop due to some extreme bad weather.  She is trying to race the clock, as her mother is dying in a hospital bed.  She pulls off at a truck stop and ends up seeing a little girl kidnapped in the back of the van.  There are only a few people there, so she has to figure out who she can trust and whom she cannot, as the life of this little girl is in her hands.

I won’t lie, there were parts when I literally had to skim through…I can’t handle blood, guts and gore very well.  Nor did I like the awful situations mentioned, but they were brief and overall I enjoyed the book.

I’d give it 3/5 stars.

Oh and as for going out on a Tuesday night?  I most likely did not need the very last drink, “In da Club,” but it was so worth it.  Next time it’s a Thursday evening, so that won’t hurt so bad in the morning!

52 Books in 2018

I set a lofty goal for myself this year.  I have always loved to read, but I will admit, in the age of social media, I found myself scrolling more and reading actual books less.  I will say it was a lot harder to even try to read when I first had my babies too; when you’re sleep deprived and overwhelmed, it’s not easy to pick a book up from beginning to end.  Somehow though, I’ve found ways to sneak in books over the last few years; mostly through Audible (I LOVE it!)  My mom gifted me a Kindle for my birthday and well, I am an old fashioned reader by heart; I love a good hardcover and the smell of a new book in my hands.

Here it is January 31, and I have finished 5 books.  Three I listened to on Audible and two I actually read.  I have started listening to a new book and I am halfway through a new thriller novel–so to say the least, I am super proud of myself!! It helps that I have found some really great books and some friends have started a Book Club on Facebook.

My biggest question is, “How do you have the time to read?!” As with all things, I don’t.  I make the time.  You won’t find me bingeing on Netflix or sucked into too many TV shows. I am usually quite busy, so I listen to books quite often.  I used to say I couldn’t, but then I tried it and it’s actually really cool!!

I find myself plugging in my earbuds as I vacuum, fold laundry, wash the dishes, clean up the house etc.   Sometimes I’ll listen and walk on the treadmill at the gym.  I’ll even listen in the car sometimes!  My mom inspired me because she always listens to books at night, and I finally tried the whole audiobook thing.  Really, if you look for ways to sneak in reading/listening time, you’ll be surprised.

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Braving the Wilderness

I do appreciate Brené Brown’s books.  She puts forth a lot of research and shares her thoughts unapologetically.  This book was really worth the read, especially if you’re someone who struggles with the past election.  She talks about how we can all be different, have different viewpoints, but we must stop attacking each other.  While I am not here to debate whether our president is a good fit, she makes some valid points about how we should act.  If you get offended over mockery of Hillary Clinton, then as a HUMAN you should get offended over mockery of Donald Trump.  I had a photo I thought about sharing, of a bunch of Women marching, with signs of genitals and horrible things said about Republican women and such.  It proves Brown’s point of, how is that acceptable? What are we teaching our daughters by tearing down other people simply on their political views?  My favorite quote from this book, “Stop looking for ways you’re not belonging.”  Wow.  So true!! If you look for it, you will find it.

 

UnFu*k Yourself

This was my first read of the new year.  I didn’t find too much new information in this book, but it was a good kick in the pants to start off my 2018.  He states in there, if you’re getting offended then maybe gift this book to someone else, as you’re not ready for the next level.  I didn’t get offended…Actually, maybe I should give this book a little more credit, as I bought my domain name after listening to the first few chapters New Year’s Day.  I did tear up a bit as he makes the reader picture herself on her deathbed…it sounds morbid but man it made me think! Am I doing all that I should be with this one life?  A few of my favorites, “Take out a piece of paper and write down what your life was supposed to look like in one area of your life that sucks.” — Yeah. Do yourself a favor and do that real quick.  Quotes from the books, “Accept things as they may happen.”  “Accept everything, expect nothing.”  Total game changers.

A Simplified Life

I LOVED Emily Ley’s Grace Not Perfection and was pretty excited over this book.  In my opinion, it was good, but it didn’t have that “wow” factor that her first book gave me.  She went through simplifying routines that I honestly rolled my eyes at. I am not downsizing my makeup or getting rid of my clothes. I try to not have an overwhelming amount of “stuff” but I really love that my kid are super creative and play with their toys, over them being glued to the TV or electronics. While I don’t love “messes” I know that they create a happy and stimulating home.  What I do love is her approach of just being ok, with not doing it all.  I used to be so hard on myself for not cooking a 12 course meal, coordinating napkins, decor, fine china, bla bla bla…if you wait for things to be perfect, (especially with kids and busy schedules!) you’ll never do anything! She suggests pizza night on Friday on the floor.  I took that idea for Mondays, when Joe works late and we get back from dance class late, I spread a blanket on the floor in front of the TV and the kids munch on fruit, veggies and fish sticks while watching a movie. Win win all around. It’s about giving ourselves the pat on the back and saying, “It’s OK mama!!” Kids won’t remember all of the small irrelevant details.  They’ll remember moments, and how you made them feel.  If you’re feeling overwhelmed with motherhood, I’d suggest Grace Not Perfection and then this book. Simple and easy to listen to while doing pretty much anything.

The Wife Between Us

It’s been awhile since a book has really held my attention and made me devour it in a sitting or two.  This book did exactly that!! I couldn’t tell who was who, what was really happening, who was the crazy one?! It had so many twists and turns, that it kind of did feel a little loose at the ending. I won’t give anything away, but I am still left with questions…that are unanswered and that always annoys me!  However, this book was JUST what I needed to get back into the reading saddle.  I despised some characters, felt sorry for some, and really was thrown off by a few things that came up.  There was some bothersome subject matter, but overall this book kicked off our book club and if you like Gone Girl type books, I’d say totally pick this one up or at least at it to your TBR pile.

The Last Mrs Parrish

Coming off of The Wife Between Us I had a total book hangover. I wanted to call the characters and see what was going on.  I didn’t think this next book could hold a candle to it as far as keeping my attention or desire to read another book right away. Boy was I wrong!! I read this one probably even faster?! It had such great detail, and right away your instincts and detective skills are trying to figure out what this main character is up to and what is really going on.  You love to hate some of these people and you really develop a desire to know how it will all unfold.  It will keep you up reading til midnight.   I loved how the book ended, and while I won’t give it away, I will say it was a little over the top…but in a good way.  Sometimes what seems perfectly perfect, may not be so perfect after all.  Definitely a must read in 2018!

So what’s next?

 

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This strange book!! I am about halfway through and all like what the what?! It’s got me thinking differently about everyone I meet and all of my neighbors.  It’s a little freaky and best read at night, if you like to creep yourself out a bit.

 

I’m thinking after this one I’ll lighten it up a bit because man, January was a wild ride!  What a way to keep your brain sharp though; read mystery novels/thrillers.  You’re always trying to guess the next move.

I can’t wait to see what I read in February. What is on your To Be Read (TBR) list?