Sunday, September 27, 2020

Sunday Night Thought


Thursday, September 24, 2020

Fall Recipes

 Lately I have been sick and tired of cooking; during the summer months it’s hot outside, hot in the kitchen – who wants to deal with that? However, with the weather slowly cooling down and a crisp smell to the air, a new season of the year really does renew one’s spirit. 

I love nights by the fire, the smell of comfort food cooking in the kitchen, football or a fall themed movie on, and the endless options of layering and outerwear. I actually really do love cooking during the fall in winter season – the days are shot, the weather is cool, and it just the perfect setting to have the aroma of comfort food wafting through the house. Recently I have come across a few recipes that I will definitely be trying this fall season and thought it would be fun to share some with you all! 

One// Ina Garten Coq Au Vin

Anything that Ina Garten dreams up is basically guaranteed to be an outstanding meal. Any recipe that involves cooking with wine, I am 100% in; as cheesy as it sounds, it makes me feel very French. There used to be a French restaurant around where I live that served a fantastic Coq Au Vin, and they sadly closed a few years back, so I cannot wait to give this dish a try!


Two// Easy Crock Pot Cream Cheese Chicken Chili

I have actually made this chili a ridiculous amount of times, but I love it so much that I just couldn’t resist sharing it in this post. It takes 10 minutes or a little less to put together, cooks in a crockpot on low for six hours, requires a big stir at the end, and always taste so amazing and is such an easy dish to make.


Three// Pumpkin French Toast

Is there ever such a thing as too much pumpkin anything during the fall season? I think most would answer a firm ‘no’ to that question… it’s literally been ages since I’ve had French toast of any kind and definitely plan to make up for lost time, starting with this fall themed French toast!


Four// Make Box Cornbread Even Better

Not technically a full on recipe, but cornbread is basically a fall staple as far as food goes, so why not make it taste the best it possibly can!?


Five// Pumpkin Cookie Recipe

Like I said, there such thing as too much pumpkin flavored anything this time of year! These cookies just look so delicious and easy to make. Plus, lets face it, everyone loves a cookie!

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Falling For Fall

 Growing up summer was hands down my favorite season; days at the pool, no homework, no school, late nights, no schedule – what wasn’t there to love about the summer season? Now that I am older fall and spring are by far my two most favorite season of the year. I just love how they both seem to represent a renewal of life and demonstrate just how beautiful change can be. However, in all honesty, I think fall just might be my most favorite… I love the first morning when the humidity breaks and there is a slight crispness to the air. Plus let’s not forget about fall fashion…  

Confession I have way too many coats, sweaters, boots, and fall theme flats, but at some point it starts to turn into a collection of fall classics, so you have to keep building the collection, right…?  

One of my all time favorite early fall looks is a pair of fitted pants, classic tee, timeless blazer, and fall themed flats {either in color or design} to kick off the season. Sarah Flint shoes have become one of my latest obsessions; I mean, when Meghan Markle, Blake Lively, and Amal Clooney all wear a shoe from a designer that is great quality and reasonably priced, they are worth checking out, in my opinion. 

I love Sarah Flint’s classic Natalie flat, but recently I have become slightly obsessed with her Bennett flat in Pansy Floral Jacquard. The navy and goldish/brown color combination complete with a pansy flower print is just too perfect for the fall season. I love how you can wear them with a pair of jeans or black or navy pants with a casual sweater or elevate them to the next level with a silk top or dress. 

Recently I have been wearing them non-stop with jeans and darker color pants. Sarah Flint shoes are so comfortable and I love how they mold to your feet over time to create the perfect fit. I practically live in mine. In my experience her shoes seem to run true to size, but if you have any questions about the fit, Sarah Flint’s costumer service is amazing! Plus, you get $50 off your first Sarah Flint order when you use code: BALAURENK50 – they are seriously the perfect shoes for fall!

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Books on Audio

 It has taken me the longest time to get into to audiobooks; I literally listened to my first one back in April. I love the feeling of holding a book and being able to turn the physical page, so I have never really given a nook/kindle {still haven’t tried those} or audiobooks a chance until recently.  

The pandemic and the currently circumstances of things has, for me, personally, made me a bit more anxiety prone and a little restless. I usually listen to music while I do my hair and makeup, go for a walk, or just have it on in the background while I work on something. I am one of those people who finds silence distracting…some times it’s nice to have a little quiet when you’re trying to process something but for the most part I have to have some sort of background noise. 


When I am working on different things I still play music or have a movie running in the background, but when I am doing my hair/makeup and go for a walk, I have started to listen to audiobooks in place of music and it has made such a difference. It’s just kind of relaxing to zone out and listen to a story while you’re doing something for yourself. I feel so much less anxious, and like I said, it’s just relaxing having a story read to you in a sense.


I haven’t listened to that many books on audio yet, but I thought I would share the few that I have so far! 


Mother City, by Starner Jones

Mother City is the first ever book that I listened to on audio. When I first started my first thought was: “this might have been better in book form” only because the first few minutes of the story are so descripted, and it was my first time listening to a book on audio so I was obviously a little leery about the whole experience… Within about ten minutes I was completely onboard with the whole audiobooks thing. Mother City is a fantastic thriller set in South Africa, that will undoubtedly hold your attention 


The Dutch House, by Ann Patchett

Tom Hanks Narrates this book and it completely made the entire story come to life. I love actually reading the book, but if I hadn’t listened to this particular book on audio I honestly don’t think I would have gotten as into the storyline as I did. I really hope at some point in time that this book gets made into a movie and that Tom Hanks plays the part of Danny as narrator of the story and the actual older Danny. 


Educated, by Tara Westover

Right after I graduated college I got really into reading autobiographies and memoirs, because I was so entranced with why certain peoples life turned out like they did, and how they decided to such and such for a career, and why some people decided to take a completely different road in life than the one they were on. Nowadays, a memoir has to just be super gripping to grab my attention. Tara Westover’s memoir was so well than that at some points I actually felt like I was actually listening to a piece a fiction, just because I would fall so deeply into her story. Highly recommend this one.


Before We Were Yours, by Lisa Wingate

This was such a fun book to listen to on tap. Wingate did such a flawless job of telling the story from past and present perspectives, and was able to switch from one to the other beautifully. 


This book grabbed my attention pretty easily, just because of the nature of the story. The Tennessee children’s home is located in Memphis, TN, about four hours away from where I live. And on occasions I’ll hear an occasional reference to the whole situation and it is just always so hard and so sad to believe that there once really was a Georgia Tann and a Tennessee Children’s home. Even though Before We Were Yours is a work at historical fiction, at times you feel like you are actually listening to a firsthand account. Very well researched and very well done.  


We Were The Lucky Ones, by Georgia Hunter

I feel like World War II books are always poetic, emotional, dark and a journey, just because of the nature of the time period he/she is having to weave your characters and setting into. I love how Hunter was able to weave so many characters into the storyline and the different accents and voice pitches that the narrator used to distinguish each character only added to the story overall. 


Would love to hear what your audiobook recommendations are if you all have any!

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Links I'm Loving

 I usually love these posts, but haven’t done one in a while… the weeks just seem to run together, and before you know it, Monday jumps to Friday. The change in the weather has already started to put a little extra spring in my step. I love the first morning, right before the leaves start to change colors, and all of the sudden you feel break in the humidity and a crispness to air – it just makes everything feel a little bit lighter. 


One// Get Organized with The Home Edit

I’ve only watched one episode s far, but I am officially obsessed with their Instagram and new Netflix series. For their first episode they helped Reese Witherspoon organized her closet and did a surprise closet makeover and the end results were simply inspiring.


Two// Fitzgerald Cableknit Sweater by Tuckernuck

I ordered this sweater last year and I wore it 24/7. Super warm, super comfortable, classic, and they got with pretty much everything, I’ll take one in every color, please! 


Three// Mini Waffle Maker 4 inch Orange Pumpkin

I am so excited for fall! In all truthfulness 2020 has just been one of those years that just keeps dragging on {I am sure a lot of you feel the same way} and I can’t wait for 2021. In the meantime, I am so thrilled that Fall is in the air. It’s the season’s that ushers in the holidays and I simply could not resist the getting the cutest mini fall waffle maker


Four// More Beautiful: All-American Decoration

I always love all the Blue and White Mark D. Sikes incorporates into his designs; I mean, look at Reese Witherspoon’s stores for example, beautiful. Cannot wait to flip through a copy of this book


Five// J. Crew Slim Perfect T-Shirt

It is surprisingly hard to fit just a basic tee at a reasonably price, that fits well. This Slim Perfect T-Shirt is, in my opinion, the perfect go-to basic tee. I love that the sleeves are a little longer so you can wear it with a skirt and then the fit makes it the perfect fit to wear under pullover sweaters

Monday, September 14, 2020

Gray And White

 Finding transitional pieces to wear between the fall and winter weather is always somewhat of a challenge. It either feels like summer weather with less humidity or like fall early fall temperatures with humidity. 

The best approach I have found is to start transitioning into fall with a change in colors {i.e. grays, navy, black, browns, blues, etc.}. Even if you are ready to break out the sweaters, boots, coats, vests, jackets, etc. try not to force a change in wardrobe too early if the weather doesn’t permit. 

One of the small things I am thankful for is that the no white jeans rule after Labor day is a thing of the past. I just love the chromatic look you can create with a white sweater and white jeans. I also love how gray and white always seem to work flawlessly together. This darker gray tunic from Rock Flower Paper is perfect piece and the perfect weight to carry over into the month of September and early October for those day that are a little too warm for sweaters and plaids.  

Even during the summer season proper this top would be a great piece to use as a swimsuit cover-up or to simply wear with a pair of white shorts. Definitely a 3 out of 4 season piece that is a great addition to anyone’s wardrobe at a very reasonable price! Plus, I am completely smitten with the design! 

Thursday, September 10, 2020

September Goals

 It seems so weird to me that it is already September…I feel like this has been the longest year ever, yet, at the same time, it has gone by so fast. I feel like the older you get the faster time seems to pass, and it seems that it is especially true this year. I have come to the conclusion that having too many things on your plate is just as bad as having too little; there definitely needs to be a balance. 

What my routine was last fall is drastically different from what it is this fall due to the pandemic {obviously} and various lifestyle changes. As I have mentioned before, I broke off my engagement back in January {which is a lifestyle change in and of itself} and honestly there were a lot of unrealistic expectations that was met with criticism after the engagement took place, that really absorbed a lot of my time… So, last fall my routine consisted of working in a school setting about three days a week, trying to maintain a blog, social media accounts, writing for various other things, taking care of a house {and almost everything that involves}, grocery shopping, cooking almost every night, being a support system, running errands, etc. 


This fall all I really have to concentrate on is myself, which is really weird for me, and at times a bit unsettling. As weird, as it is to say, sometimes, all the time I have at my disposable can be paralyzing. I’m obviously not engaged anymore, and I’m not working in a school setting at the moment {maybe after January depending on how Covid is doing}, definitely not cooking and grocery shopping almost every night of the week. Sometimes it’s just really weird having the opposite problem I did last year. 


I realize that I am not always going to have this much time on my hands so I have been trying to appreciate it, organize my time, and work on some self-improvement, and am embracing being able to do some of the things I had to let fall to the wayside last year in order to just keep up. So I thought I would share some of my goals for September to help me stay on track this month. 


Read More// This is one of the things I let fall to the wayside in 2019; I think I maybe read three books the entire year. This year I have read about nine times that amount. Plus, getting lost in a book is a great way to mentally escape the current circumstances, and even take a mental vacation. Last month I read/listened to 8 books and this month I am aiming for 9 books {I have already read 3 thus far}!


Workout// I have been trying to get back in shape – it’s one of my top goals for 2020 and probably 2021 as well. This is another activity I let fall to the wayside. By the time the engagement has ran it’s course, I was so stressed out by everything that had been going on within that situation that I had gained weight and my face was even swollen from the stress. For this month I am aiming to walk 5 miles every other day and do a round at nighttime yoga


Establish a routine// It’s nice to have free time, but I feel like I am just overall more productive when I can fall routine. This month I really want to work on setting a routine for myself and having more of a rhythm to my day


E-Mails// Staying on top of emails. Sometimes I wake up to so many emails that it can be daunting. My goal is to answer them as they come, because as we all know, incoming email does not have a pause button!


Going to bed Earlier// Last year I was at full mental capacity and would stay up just trying to process different things and I fell into a pattern of going to bed really late… I really want to work on going to bed before midnight. I feel like rest is one of those things people take for granted – being rested really just does bring out the better version of yourself


Blog More// With everything that is currently going on it makes it hard to come up with things to write about on my blog. You’re not really out living your usual everyday life and I think having kind of a mundane life at the moment can lead to a mental block when it comes to some things


Instagram// Post at least every other day. Instagram is probably my most favorite social media platform and you definitely get more out of it when you post and interact on a regular basis


What Are Some Of Your September Goals?

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Guest Post :: 5 Steps To Flawless-Looking Skin

 I think it is safe to say that for most women, having flawless-looking skin is among their top beauty goal. Just to clarify – I think you should always embrace the feature you are born with and I think natural born freckles and beauty marks are gorgeous. When I envision flawless skin, I think of skin that is blemish free, not oily, and just over all has a healthy glow. Today Peter Minkoff is sharing five wonderful tips to have flawless-looking skin. 

If you’re one of those girls who want to have flawless-looking skin no matter what – welcome to the club, you certainly aren’t the only one! Of course, we’re here to help you out, so look no further and keep on reading. Here are the top five steps to flawless-looking skin, so check them out and get down to business right away!

Stay Away From The Sun As Much As Possible

In case you didn’t know, the sun is your skin’s biggest enemy. This is simply because its harmful rays can speed up the process of aging and cause depigmentation spots that can negatively affect your complexion. Apart from that, prominent wrinkles and fine lines are also likely to affect your self-image and self-esteem in a bad way. It’s exactly why you should use sunscreen every single day, all year round – not just during summer. Protecting your face from the sun with sunglasses and a hat is crucial, too. Don’t skip it and you’ll see what we were talking about! 

Switch To Organic Skincare Products

When it comes to your skincare routine, we must say that organic products are what you should go for. First of all, these are much gentler than conventional beauty products because they don’t contain potentially harmful chemicals such as parabens, mineral oil, petrolatum, and similar ones. Instead, these are based on organic ingredients such as different kinds of oils that are formulated without any toxic chemicals. It makes them perfect for all skin types – including the sensitive one – so don’t wait any longer and give them a try. Your skin will be more than thankful for such an improvement! 

Opt For Revolutionary Beauty Treatments

If you’re a lady who loves to pamper herself to the max and experiment with the latest beauty treatments, you must know that these are one of the best ways towards flawless-looking skin. That’s right, so all you need to do is to find one that perfectly suits your needs and preferences. For example, if you have a prominent capillary network on your skin and you want to get rid of it, you should definitely go for angioma removal. These can be removed quite quickly, painlessly, and efficiently, which are other benefits you shouldn’t overlook. Aside from that, it will also boost your self-confidence and help you feel better in your skin, which is truly priceless, right?

Make Sure To Exfoliate Regularly

When you think of perfect skin, what does it look like? It’s probably silky smooth and soft to touch, isn’t it? Needless to say, flawless skin can’t be achieved if you don’t exfoliate regularly. This is simply because the dead skin cells will pile up on the surface of your skin and make it look extremely dry, flaky, and dull. Besides that, this dead skin buildup won’t let your favorite creams and lotions penetrate the skin. So, all you have to do is to make a DIY scrub, use it two to three times a week, and voila – your skin will be completely refreshed and rejuvenated!

Perfect Your Makeup Base

Perfecting your makeup base is the last step towards flawless skin. Of course, applying your foundation won’t be enough to make it happen. Firstly, you must exfoliate your skin to get rid of the dead skin cells, excess oils, dirt, and makeup residue. The next step is moisturizing your skin and the area under the eyes. Then use a primer to create a perfect base. This product is essential as it’ll keep your foundation in place all day long. Once your primer is applied, use a makeup sponge to apply your foundation. This tool will allow for perfect application and a natural, no-makeup-makeup look. Of course, you can always use some setting powder to set your face if you have an oily T-zone. This product will do wonders for your face makeup, without a shadow of a doubt!

As you can see, there are many amazing tips on how to make your skin look and feel flawless. However, these five are the best ones out there, so be sure to stick to them if this is your ultimate goal at the moment. Just follow our guidelines and you won’t make a mistake, that’s a promise!

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Labor Day Weekend Sales

 As ready as I am for fall, it really is hard to believe that it is already Labor Day weekend. At times the summer just seems like it has all kind of blended together. Sometimes, I honestly feel like we haven’t even left March…it has been a crazy year to say the least. I am ready for 2021, but in the meantime at least we have fall, the holidays, a few sales to get excited about!

Abercrombie// 40-60% off, plus an extra 15% off select styles

Anthropologie// extra 40% off sale clothing and more, 20% off furniture favorites and all upholstery

Ann Taylor// 50% off your purchase

ASOS// 15% off everything with code: ASOSNEWSUMMER

Ballard Designs// Up to 25% off everything and up 75% off clearance 

Banana Republic// 40% off purchase

Bergdorf Goodman// Extra 20% off designer sale

Brooks Brothers// 30% -50% off favorite styles

Club Monaco// 25% off all full price items with code: ALLNEW

Country Club Prep// 40% off plus free shipping 

Draper James// The Lucky You Sale! Up to 75% off

Dillards// Take an additional 40% off clearance 

Gap// Extra 50% off sale styles with code: SALE and 40% off everything else with code: SHOP

Jack Rogers// 30% off sitewide with code: LDW30

J. Crew// Extra 70% off all sale styles with code: BYESUMMER

J. Crew Factory// 50% - 80% off everything

J. McLaughlin// Extra 40% off sale

Joules// Up to 25% off

Kate Spade// Extra 40% off sale styles with code: HEATINGUP

Kiel James Patrick// Extra 25% off all sale items

Land’s End// up to 40% off full-price styles and up 75% off sale & clearance with code: NICE

L.L. Bean// Up to 60% off clearance

Loft// 50% off with code: YIPPEE

Macy’s// 25%- 60% off select items

Madewell// Up to 50% off with code: HIFALL

Neiman Marcus// $100 off $400 with code: NM100

One Kings Lane// 20% off sitewide

Pottery Barn// 10% off $100 or more, 15% off $250 or more, 20% off $500 or more, 25% off $1500 or more with code: SAVEMORE

Ralph Lauren// Enjoy 30% off when you spend $150 or more

Sur La Table// Labor Day Event, up to 50% off

The Outnet// Up to 65% off plus an extra 30% off bestsellers

Vineyard Vines// Up to 80% off all sale styles

West Elm// 15% off $150 or more, 20% off $500 or more, 25% off $1000 or more, 30% off $3500 or more

Whitney English// Take 15% off everything in shop

Williams Sonoma// Extra 20% off all clearance with code: EXTRA and 20% off tabletop, bar, and wine

Friday, September 4, 2020

Guest Post :: What Are The Different Types Of Ice Cream Servers

 You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy ice cream, and that is pretty close, at least in my book. With summer drawing to a close I am fitting as much summer themed ice cream into this last few days as I can. On the other hand, let’s not kid ourselves, ice cream never goes out of season or style! Today Lauryn Kline from Lunares Home is sharing all about the different types of ice servers, including bowls and seveware!

Did you know that every single dish had separate serving containers dedicated to it? There are separate serveware dedicated not only for main courses and curries, but also for desserts such as ice creams. Yes, you heard that right! When you go into any reputed brand’s serveware section, you will find a section for the “ice cream server.” You will be thrilled to find a variety of options in this section.

What Are Some Popular Ice Cream Server Collections?

Ceramic bowls, ice cream scoops, ice-cream mixing sets and dessert bowls in different sizes, materials & colors are some of the usual collections that you will see when you are looking ice cream serving utensils. However, if you are looking for pieces of classy, elegant and useful ice cream serveware, you should opt for the pint ice cream holder.

What Is The Pint Ice Cream Holder All About?

Yes, all the bowls and sets that we told you in the above paragraph are great for serving ice creams. However, what about the tub from where you take the ice cream to be put into these bowls? Most of the time, the ice-cream tubs that are available in the market get very cold, and you have to wait for some time before you can take a scoop out of it.

With pint ice cream holders, you don’t have to worry at all. They are made from food-safe materials, which means, your ice cream will remain fresh and cold in it for a long time. You can buy your favorite brand of ice cream and empty the contents into this holder, so that you can serve your guests in style when you are hosting a party.

Why Is This Quite Popular Today?

You might have some of the best serving dishes in your house, but your collection is incomplete if you haven’t bought the pint ice cream holder yet. It is not surprising to know that the pint ice cream holders are quite popular today across the globe. They are stylish and available in many colors. They also come with a scoop for easy serving. You can also store your home-made ice-creams in these folders to serve them fresh & tasty to your guests.

You will not see your ice cream frozen, when you have stored it inside these holders. Also, they are quite elegant and do play a huge role in improving the visual appeal of your kitchen’s serveware collection.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

August Reading List

One of my favorite things about books is that they are a great way to escape and get caught up in a different world structured around character, their own success and failures, and maybe to a place you haven’t been before, and even gain a new point of perspective when reading a piece of historical fiction. 


With everything that has been going on the past few months and how it has limited what we normally might do such as going on vacation, into work, or even just going out to eat or to the gym, it is definitely nice to pick up a book to take your mind off of all that is going on. The news lately has been stressful for me… I honestly don’t think it is healthy to have a constant updated death count that some of the news channels do and on top of that I find the political aspect a little scary. Maybe it’s because I’m older now and actually pay attention to what is going on, but I really feel like the gap between the Republican and Democratic Party used to not be so wide; I feel like the two parties used to have more common ground than they currently do. 


August has felt like one of the longest months ever to me. I think I just hit a wall and the sameness and everything just running together finally got to me. Needless to say I read a few more books this month than I usually do, and overall they were all pretty great reads!


Girl In The Blue Coat, by Monica Hesse

I think this particular book is technically classified in the young adult genre {make fun of me all you want, but I love YA novels; it’s my guilty pleasure}, and it is such a fantastic read, especially if you love historical fiction. 


Girl In The Blue Coat is set in German occupied 1943 Amsterdam. The main character, Hanneke, becomes the main finical contributor for her family. She works at a funeral home where the owner works in the black market. She spends her days procuring and delivering black market good to her regular paying customers. One customer, whom she knew before the war started, asks a favor of her that will lead her into more complicated waters and drudge up memories of her deceased boyfriend who passed away fighting on the front lines early on in the war. 


This book is such a quick read and will have you turning pages up until the late hours of the night.


Astonish Me, by Maggie Shipstead

I have been meaning to read this book for the longest time. I spotted the cover a few years ago at a local bookstore and completely feel in love with the cover art, but was in a hurry and didn’t have a chance to see what the title was and after they never seemed to have the book in stock again. A few weeks ago I saw a picture of the same cover on Instagram {you have to love the age of social media} and immediately ordered it off Amazon. 


Astonish Me tells the story of a young American dancer who helps a male Soviet ballet dancer defect in the 1970s. The have a passionate love affair that eventually runs its course. Joan finds herself reflecting on life and her progression and future within the dance company she is currently apart of. She reaches the conclusion that she will never rise out of the corps or be a prima ballerina. Fate steps in when she discovers she is pregnant; she decides to quite the company, marry, and start a new life out in California. Once her son Harry reaches a certain age it becomes apparent that he has a gift for dace and Joan is pulled back into the world of ballet. 


I will say that I have been wanting to read this books for a while, and maybe my hopes for the storyline were too overreaching, and overall it is a good book, but it wasn’t my favorite book I read in August. I think there were just one too many story twist for me, and it made the whole book feel a little off. 


The Dutch House, by Ann Patchett

I have gotten super into audio books lately. I have only listen to four in my life and three were in the month of August. Listening to music while I was  working out or getting ready for the day started to make me antsy, so I tried audio books, and it’s so much more relaxing listening to a book on audio than music some days. 


The Dutch House is narrated by Tom Hanks and hearing him narrate this book just makes the whole story. The story is told from the perspective of the younger brother, Danny. The story of The Dutch House is spread over five decades. Danny starts at his and his sister’s, Maeve childhood. His father originally purchased the Dutch House as a surprise for his wife after he came into some money by making a few smart real estate investments after World War II. 


The house in one way or another takes more than it gives and for the most part Danny and Maeve can really only depend on one another. It is a beautifully dark story that will leave you mesmerized at certain points. 


The Editor, by Steven Rowley

Who can ever resist a book where Jackie Kennedy Onassis is one of the central characters?! The Editor is set in the 1990s when Jackie Kennedy is an Editor in New York City. She acquires a new author, Eddie, whom she helps edit his non-fiction novel that is based on his family, and mainly his mother. 


I like the premise of the story, but the main character at times could be a little too all about himself and a little whiny and at times it just really took away from the overall story. 


The Sun Is Also A Star, by Nicola Yoon

As you already know, young adult novels are my guilty pleasure… I haven’t watched the movie yet, but the book was fantastic. It’s a quick read and I love the overarching theme that sometimes moments in our lives exist to bring us to a certain point and time and that if something is meant to be, it will eventually happen. 


The Sun Is Also A Star centers around its two main characters, Natasha and Daniel. Natasha is girl of science; she doesn’t believe in fate or destiny, but on what could very well be her last day in New York City she meets Daniel who is the complete opposite and is bent on convincing Natasha that fate and true love are real. 


Educated, by Tara Westover

Educated is another book that I listened to on Audio and Tara Westover does a beautiful job of telling the story of her life. It is truly amazing the amount of determination the human spirit posses and the amount of courage and perseverance it took Tara Westover to rise above and make her own way in the world.


Truly an amazing story; cannot recommend enough


Before We Were Yours, by Lisa Wingate

This is such a well-told story that unfolds in a beautifully tragic way. I have heard such wonderful things about this book and was excited to finally read it. 


The story alternates between the late 1930s Tennessee and present day South Carolina. Before We Were Yours is told through present day Avery Stafford and 1939 12 year old, Rill Foss. 


Rill Foss and her four siblings live on the river in a shantyboat. On the night her mother gives birth at a hospital to twins, while still under the effects of medication she is convinced to sign her children over to The Tennessee Children’s Home. At first the children are assured that they will be returned to their parents, but once the truth becomes more apparent Rill tried with all her might to keep her brother and sisters together. 


Avery moves back home with the intention of helping her family through her father’s health crisis and possibly to take over his position. A function at a nursing home leads her to meet to Mae, who she later finds out plays an important role in not only her life, but also her family’s.


The Guest List, by Lucy Foley

This story is made up of the bride, her sister, the best friend, the groom, the plus one, and a few old school friends. On an island in Ireland guest gather to celebrate a wedding that is soon to take place. The groom, a TV star, and the bride, a magazine publisher, seems like a match made in heaven on the surface. The ominous story of the island brings secrets to the surface and reveals unknown facts about various people present for the wedding. 


This is a book you definitely have to be in the mood for, but once you get into the swing of it, it is a face-paced read.