Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2021: Update

 Hey there!  I received the rest of my order from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, so I have updated Friday's post (the TBD section) with my thoughts and copy and pasted below.  It was about half and half when it came to the items I hadn't received yet.  Which, to be honest, wasn't a bad thing, because it made it real easy to decide what went back!

Keeping:

UGG Slippers (True to size).  I was in need of a new pair of slippers, and could not say no to these ones in pink - the color is just too fun!  While even on sale they are still a little pricey for slippers, I can attest to the longevity of UGGs (I have multiple pairs of boots from college that I still wear, and I have had their slippers before that have lasted a good long time), and know that with the amount I will be wearing them, they are well worth the price.  Definitely keeping these!


Vince Camuto Afelia Knee High Boots (True to size).  I was on the hunt for new boots this sale, and these caught my eye right away.  I really liked the color, the thicker heel and the Western style.  I cannot wait to wear these!


Free People Too Good Sweater (True to size).  Usually the Free People apparel I go for is loose and flowy.  What drew me to it initially was the more fitted style, and the color - I thought the ivory would work well from fall to spring!  The material is still the same, thick sweater material that my other, oversized sweaters are, and the fit/neckline are both so flattering.  I will note that the sleeves are a bit long, but I prefer my sleeves a bit longer so it doesn't bother me too much, plus it looks cute with a cuff if you want to take off some of the length.


Returning:

Madewell 10-Inch High Waist Skinny Jeans (Size up at least one).  I was in the market for some black jeans, and thought I would give these Madewell ones a try.  I have only heard good things about their jeans, but these weren't it for me.  They were a bit snug, which seems to be the consensus according to the reviews online.  I thought about ordering a bigger size, but they were long, and honestly, I just wasn't feeling them.  Back they go!


To Be Determined:

Marc Fisher LTD Comara Over the Knee Boots.  I haven't tried over the knee boots before, but I really love the look of them.  I had looked at trying the Steve Madden OTK boots because they were cheaper, but ultimately ordered these because they have the tie in the back - I thought they would fit a bit better.  Update: These are still TBD.  I tried them on, and they fit really well, and seem to be very comfortable.  The only thing I am unsure of is around the ankle - they scrunch a bit, and I am not sure if that is normal, or 'the look', but either way, I am not sure I like it.  So, I am going to think on them for another day or two before deciding if they are keepers or going back to the store.


Sam Edelman Water Repellent Hooded Trench Coat.  I've often found myself wishing for a lighter coat that looked professional and had a hood for when it rains.  While I am still working at home for the time being, I think this will come in handy on those days I am heading to work in the rain.  Plus, I feel like it's one of those classic coats that will stand the test of time.  Update: If you need a classic coat, this is it.  It fits super well - roomy enough for a sweater underneath, but structured/fitted enough to be flattering.  The hood is removable, too, which is nice.  I can see myself wearing this for years to come!


Levi's 721 High Waist Skinny Jeans.  I purchased a pair of these jeans during last year's sale and wore the heck out of them.  I figured it would be good to have another pair for when I just plum wear my others out!  Update: These fit completely different from my other pair - not near as much stretch!  Also, had they fit properly, I don't think I would have kept them, because the color is similar to the pair I purchased off Amazon last year.  Definitely going back!


Calson Rounded V-Neck T-Shirt.  I ordered both the camo and rust colors, because I thought they would make great transitional tops.  As much as I am ready for fall, I know we won't be getting any fall-like weather for some time.  Update: This is a great basic, and one I will reach for often.  The rust color was a bit more rust/orange than I was hoping for - I was looking for one that leaned a bit more red, so that will be going back, but the camo is definitely a keeper!


Nordstrom Seam Detail Funnel.  I thought this was a really pretty sweater, and different from those I already have.  And I think it is one that could be dressed up for the office, too!  Update: This is a beautiful sweater.  I loved the style and the fit, but the material was not for me.  It's super soft, but I also found it very itchy.  Back it goes!


Hope you guys are having a great week!

One Piece Swimsuit Review: Aerie, Albion Fit, J. Crew & Summersalt

 This post may contain affiliate links, meaning that any clicks/purchases may result in a small commission at no additional cost to you.

 

A few weeks before my family's vacation to Michigan, my mom and I were discussing swimsuits.  Our conversation made me realize that I hadn't gotten a new suit in a few years and that I could probably use one or two.  Since I didn't have much time before vacation, I decided to order multiple options, that way if some of them didn't work out, I would still have other options and not have to reorder and potentially cut it too close with shipping.  Below are the suits I ordered, and what I liked/didn't like!


1.  Aerie Leopard Wrap One Piece.  I have seen this suit on multiple people/sizes, and it always had looked great, so I figured why not give it a shot?  I opted for the leopard print, but it also is available in solid colors, too.  I wasn't sure about the style, but once I put it on I realized why everyone hypes up this suit.  The cut out is at the perfect spot, and the fit/style in general is just SO flattering.  It's a true 'wrap', but you are able to wrap it around you twice and knot it, making it very secure.  I think that is also why it looks so good on multiple body types - you can really fit it to your body.  Also, the suit is full coverage, so you won't be tugging at your bottom to keep it in place/feel covered.  The price is the lowest of the bunch I am sharing, and I actually got it on sale, making it even cheaper than its current price (at least as I am typing this).  Highly, highly recommend this option.


2.  Albion Fit Maria One-Piece, Carolina.  I have had luck with Albion Fit in the past, so when I was looking for suits, I knew I wanted to check here.  They are a bit pricier, but I really think they are high quality and worth it.  I had actually seen this suit on instagram awhile ago and instantly fell in love.  At the time, I didn't think about needing one so I moved along.  But, once I saw it on the site again, I knew I wanted to at least give it a try.  I loved the mesh at the top - I feel like it just looks very sophisticated for a swimsuit, and the print with the florals is soooo extremely flattering.  The flowers hit at the perfect place that really accentuate your waist.  And while you have the modest front with the high neckline/mesh, the back is really fun, dipping lower with straps across the lower part.  Again, this is a pricier suit (you can get 10% off your first purchase if you sign up!), but I have found these swimsuits last, and are well worth it.


3.   J.Crew Ruched Femme One-piece Swimsuit.  J.Crew is another brand that I have had luck with a swimsuit before, which had me scrolling through their website.  The style I already had is no longer available, but it has the same ruching that this one did, which I really like.  Very flattering and comfortable.  I prefer swimsuits with straps, so when I saw this one with the straps and the ruching, I quickly added to the cart.  I went with the pretty seacoast blue color, and it is gorgeous!  It comes in a ton of colors, and if I hadn't had luck with any of the other suits, I definitely would have purchased this in another color.  It is a little pricey, although cheaper than the Albion Fit suit, but as my experience has been with the other J.Crew suit I have, well worth it.


4.  Summersalt The Marina.  Summersalt is one of those brands I had seen all around, specifically their one shoulder swimsuit, but never tried myself.  I wasn't sure about the one shoulder look on me, so I went with another option, The Marine.  I liked the simple style of the suit, with the different colors/diagonals to draw interest.  The suit was really flattering on from the front, but the back didn't fit my bottom well.  It rode up a bit - I am not sure if it was long enough (they did have long sizes you could try!) or if the elastic was a little loose and not as tight to keep it in place.  Regardless, as much as I liked it from the front, I knew I would be constantly pulling at it to cover my bottom, so back it went.  Had the others not worked, I might have tried their long size, or another one, just to see if maybe the elastic was the problem.  Price-wise it is in line with J.Crew, so a bit higher, but still less then Albion Fit.


All in all, I would say this was one of the more pleasant swimsuit shopping experiences I had!  I highly recommend both the Aerie and J.Crew suits, and if you want a unqiue, showstopper of a suit, Albion Fit definitely fits that bill.   

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2021

 This post may contain affiliate links, meaning that any clicks/purchases may result in a small commission at no additional cost to you.


While the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale has changed quite a bit over the years (I wish all cardholders could still shop at the same time, but I get why they cater to those who spend more), it is still a sale I enjoy shopping.  If you have been around here for any amount of time, you know I am a huge fan of fall, and love getting a jump start on fall wardrobe pieces...even if most of them I am unable to wear for months!


Below are the items I have purchased during the sale.  I've broken it down into items that I am keeping, those I am returning, and items yet to be received.  I did get notice yesterday that the rest of my items shipped, so I will update this post once I get them in and am able to try them on!


Keeping:

UGG Slippers (True to size).  I was in need of a new pair of slippers, and could not say no to these ones in pink - the color is just too fun!  While even on sale they are still a little pricey for slippers, I can attest to the longevity of UGGs (I have multiple pairs of boots from college that I still wear, and I have had their slippers before that have lasted a good long time), and know that with the amount I will be wearing them, they are well worth the price.  Definitely keeping these!


Vince Camuto Afelia Knee High Boots (True to size).  I was on the hunt for new boots this sale, and these caught my eye right away.  I really liked the color, the thicker heel and the Western style.  I cannot wait to wear these!


Free People Too Good Sweater (True to size).  Usually the Free People apparel I go for is loose and flowy.  What drew me to it initially was the more fitted style, and the color - I thought the ivory would work well from fall to spring!  The material is still the same, thick sweater material that my other, oversized sweaters are, and the fit/neckline are both so flattering.  I will note that the sleeves are a bit long, but I prefer my sleeves a bit longer so it doesn't bother me too much, plus it looks cute with a cuff if you want to take off some of the length.


Returning:

Madewell 10-Inch High Waist Skinny Jeans (Size up at least one).  I was in the market for some black jeans, and thought I would give these Madewell ones a try.  I have only heard good things about their jeans, but these weren't it for me.  They were a bit snug, which seems to be the consensus according to the reviews online.  I thought about ordering a bigger size, but they were long, and honestly, I just wasn't feeling them.  Back they go!


To Be Determined:

Marc Fisher LTD Comara Over the Knee Boots.  I haven't tried over the knee boots before, but I really love the look of them.  I had looked at trying the Steve Madden OTK boots because they were cheaper, but ultimately ordered these because they have the tie in the back - I thought they would fit a bit better.  Update: These are still TBD.  I tried them on, and they fit really well, and seem to be very comfortable.  The only thing I am unsure of is around the ankle - they scrunch a bit, and I am not sure if that is normal, or 'the look', but either way, I am not sure I like it.  So, I am going to think on them for another day or two before deciding if they are keepers or going back to the store.


Sam Edelman Water Repellent Hooded Trench Coat.  I've often found myself wishing for a lighter coat that looked professional and had a hood for when it rains.  While I am still working at home for the time being, I think this will come in handy on those days I am heading to work in the rain.  Plus, I feel like it's one of those classic coats that will stand the test of time.  Update: If you need a classic coat, this is it.  It fits super well - roomy enough for a sweater underneath, but structured/fitted enough to be flattering.  The hood is removable, too, which is nice.  I can see myself wearing this for years to come!


Levi's 721 High Waist Skinny Jeans.  I purchased a pair of these jeans during last year's sale and wore the heck out of them.  I figured it would be good to have another pair for when I just plum wear my others out!  Update: These fit completely different from my other pair - not near as much stretch!  Also, had they fit properly, I don't think I would have kept them, because the color is similar to the pair I purchased off Amazon last year.  Definitely going back!


Calson Rounded V-Neck T-Shirt.  I ordered both the camo and rust colors, because I thought they would make great transitional tops.  As much as I am ready for fall, I know we won't be getting any fall-like weather for some time.  Update: This is a great basic, and one I will reach for often.  The rust color was a bit more rust/orange than I was hoping for - I was looking for one that leaned a bit more red, so that will be going back, but the camo is definitely a keeper!


Nordstrom Seam Detail Funnel.  I thought this was a really pretty sweater, and different from those I already have.  And I think it is one that could be dressed up for the office, too!  Update: This is a beautiful sweater.  I loved the style and the fit, but the material was not for me.  It's super soft, but I also found it very itchy.  Back it goes!


That wraps up this year's order!  Before I end this, I did want to mention two other items.  I purchased this cubic zirconia necklace last year, and absolutely love it.  It's so pretty and dainty, and adds the best little pop of sparkle.  It's adjustable, which is nice, and the very best part is that it is only $16.  Makes a perfect gift, too!  The second item is the Creme de Corps Body Moisturizer.  This body lotion is one of my very favorites.  I get super dry and itchy during the colder months, and this is the only lotion I have found that helps to remedy it.  While the price may seem a bit high at first, I found that one lasts me about 6 months or more, so when you break it down by month, it really isn't all that bad.


Have a great weekend!

Sparkling Water Chat

 Hey there!  Long time no blog!  I took quite a break, but last week I really got the itch to get back to it, so here I am.  I figured it would be fitting to start back up with a 'chat' post, aka a post where I just ramble on a bit, as if we were together, sharing a drink.  I've done coffee chats, a wine chat, and as I type this now, I am currently sipping on some sparkling water, hence the title.


If we were having sparkling water...I would share with you what I have been up to lately.  Lots of family time - antiquing with my grandma and mom, watching the Indy 500 in Indy (while not at the race, we enjoyed it at my brother and sister in law's house), celebrating my Dad's birthday, and most recently, we all spent a week in Michigan together.  




I've been enjoying one of St. Louis's best offerings - Forest Park - and indulging in my favorite coffee and breakfast (Deer Creek's Lox on a Bagel & Lavender Honeysuckle Drink) post-walk.  I've gone out to eat a few times, which has been a treat.  Like a lot of places, St. Louis has experienced some warmer weather than normal, but it hasn't stopped me from enjoying a good patio!  Seeing friends has also been a treat, and I am looking forward to continuing to do so! 

 

In addition to enjoying all the Indycar races, I have a newfound appreciation for the Olympics, after my brother had us watch the trials almost all weekend while celebrating my dad's birthday.  Plus, the Euro Championship was SO fun to get into, even though England's loss was heartbreaking.

I have been getting back into running, and rekindling my love for the Walk + Runs the Peloton app has.  I hope to be fully running the whole time in the near future!  At least that is the goal.

My flower have exploded, and it's been a joy to be at home to enjoy them during breaks from work.  My tomato plant has also been growing like a weed, but unfortunately, it keeps falling down because it's too dang tall and top heavy.  And I have no idea what to do about it, because I already got a bigger pot.  That said, I have been able to harvest some tomatoes which is super exciting.

I am sure there is plenty more I could share, but I would say that is a pretty good round up of life lately.  Plus work, of course.  Can't forget that!


If we were having sparking water...I would tell you how darn excited I am for fall.  Once vacation is over, it feels like summer if over.  Which is so not the case, but I am ready for fall, that is for sure.  Plus, the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale always adds to that excitement, seeing all the sweaters and boots!


If we were having sparkling water...I would tell you have much I have been enjoying The Bestie Breakdown podcast.  If you are looking for a light, feel like you are listening to your girlfriends talk, this is the podcast for you.  And if you have any podcasts you listen to already that are like that and you would recommend, please send them my way!    


If we were having sparking water...I would tell you about this photo clean up method I just heard of.  I found it via @rootsoutwest, who heard it from @lifelovelarson.  Basically, you go into your photos, search on a day, then go through all those photos for that day, deleting duplicates, photos you don't like, etc.  It makes it way more manageable than scrolling through the entire thing!


If we were having sparkling water...I would tell you about the new sparkling water flavors I have been enjoying, thanks to my sister in law.  I have been stuck on Waterloo's Black Cherry for some time now, but she's introduced me to La Croix's Peach Pear and Black Razz Berry which are also very delicious.  I don't branch out much myself, but would love a flavor recommendation if you have one you love!


If we were having sparkling water...I would tell you about what a joy my little nephew is.  Both of them are, obviously, but the younger one is at that age where he gets so excited about EVERYTHING.  For example, we had pancakes one morning and he could not stop telling everyone we were having pancakes, like it was the best thing ever.  My cousin and I kept talking about it, how if we all approached life like he did, with the pure joy about all these little things, the world would be such a better and oh so happy place.


And with that, my drink is finished and it is time to get going on dinner.


Have a good one!

10 Books I Can't Wait to Read: My 2021 Spring & Summer Reading List

 This post may contain affiliate links, meaning that any clicks/purchases may result in a small commission at no additional cost to you.


I love a good beach read.  Although it usually looks more like deck reading, or couch reading for me, but the sentiment is the same.  I always spend a bit of time early on in the season finding books and requesting them from the library, because you never know how long the holds are!

In no particular order, here's are some of the new reads I am looking forward to:

1.  Legacy by Nora Roberts.  If you are new here, Nora Roberts is my favorite author, and I always get excited for her new books!  I just feel like you get a little bit of everything with her books!

  From Amazon: Adrian Rizzo was seven when she met her father for the first time. That was the day he nearly killed her—before her mother, Lina, stepped in.

Soon after, Adrian was dropped off at her grandparents’ house in Maryland, where she spent a long summer drinking lemonade, playing with dogs, making a new best friend—and developing the stirrings of a crush on her friend’s ten-year-old brother. Lina, meanwhile, traveled the country promoting her fitness brand and turning it into a billion-dollar business. There was no point in dwelling on the past.

A decade later, Adrian has created her own line of yoga and workout videos, following in Lina’s footsteps but intent on maintaining creative control. And she’s just as cool-headed and ambitious as her mother. They aren’t close, but they’re cordial—as long as neither crosses the other.

But while Lina dismisses the death threats that Adrian starts getting as a routine part of her daughter’s growing celebrity, Adrian can’t help but find the vicious rhymes unsettling. Year after year, they keep arriving—the postmarks changing, but the menacing tone the same. They continue after she returns to Maryland and becomes reacquainted with Raylan, her childhood crush, all grown up and as gorgeously green-eyed as ever. Sometimes it even seems like the terrifying messages are indeed routine, like nothing will come of them. Until the murders start, and the escalation begins…


2.  The Newcomer by Mary Kay Andrews. In my mind, Mary Kay Andrews and summer just go together.  This one sounds like it'll be quite interesting, with the main character on the run with her little niece!

  From Amazon: In trouble and on the run...

After she discovers her sister Tanya dead on the floor of her fashionable New York City townhouse, Letty Carnahan is certain she knows who did it: Tanya’s ex; sleazy real estate entrepreneur Evan Wingfield. Even in the grip of grief and panic Letty heeds her late sister’s warnings: “If anything bad happens to me―it’s Evan. Promise me you’ll take Maya and run. Promise me.”

With a trunkful of emotional baggage...

So Letty grabs her sister’s Mercedes and hits the road with her wailing four-year-old niece Maya. Letty is determined to out-run Evan and the law, but run to where? Tanya, a woman with a past shrouded in secrets, left behind a “go-bag” of cash and a big honking diamond ring―but only one clue: a faded magazine story about a sleepy mom-and-pop motel in a Florida beach town with the improbable name of Treasure Island. She sheds her old life and checks into an uncertain future at The Murmuring Surf Motel.

The No Vacancy sign is flashing & the sharks are circling...

And that’s the good news. Because The Surf, as the regulars call it, is the winter home of a close-knit flock of retirees and snowbirds who regard this odd-duck newcomer with suspicion and down-right hostility. As Letty settles into the motel’s former storage room, she tries to heal Maya’s heartache and unravel the key to her sister’s shady past, all while dodging the attention of the owner’s dangerously attractive son Joe, who just happens to be a local police detective. Can Letty find romance as well as a room at the inn―or will Joe betray her secrets and put her behind bars? With danger closing in, it’s a race to find the truth and right the wrongs of the past.

3. Golden Girl by Elin Hilderbrand.  My goodness, does the plot of this story have me wondering what is all going to happen!

From Amazon:  On a perfect June day, Vivian Howe, author of thirteen beach novels and mother of three nearly grown children, is killed in a hit-and-run car accident while jogging near her home on Nantucket. She ascends to the Beyond where she's assigned to a Person named Martha, who allows Vivi to watch what happens below for one last summer. Vivi also is granted three “nudges” to change the outcome of events on earth, and with her daughter Willa on her third miscarriage, Carson partying until all hours, and Leo currently “off again” with his high-maintenance girlfriend, she’ll have to think carefully where to use them.

From the Beyond, Vivi watches “The Chief” Ed Kapenash investigate her death, but her greatest worry is her final book, which contains a secret from her own youth that could be disastrous for her reputation. But when hidden truths come to light, Vivi’s family will have to sort out their past and present mistakes—with or without a nudge of help from above—while Vivi finally lets them grow without her.

With all of Elin’s trademark beach scenes, mouth-watering meals, and picture-perfect homes, plus a heartfelt message—the people we lose never really leave us—Golden Girl is a beach book unlike any other.

4.  Under the Southern Sky by Kristy Woodson Harvey.  Kristy Woodson Harvey's book, Feels like Falling, was one of my very favorite books I read last year and I have high hopes for this year's new release!

From Amazon:  Recently separated Amelia Saxton, a dedicated journalist, never expected that uncovering the biggest story of her career would become deeply personal. But when she discovers that a cluster of embryos belonging to her childhood friend Parker and his late wife Greer have been deemed “abandoned,” she’s put in the unenviable position of telling Parker—and dredging up old wounds in the process.

Parker has been unable to move forward since the loss of his beloved wife three years ago. He has all but forgotten about the frozen embryos, but once Amelia reveals her discovery, he knows that if he ever wants to get a part of Greer back, he’ll need to accept his fate as a single father and find a surrogate.

Each dealing with their own private griefs, Parker and Amelia slowly begin to find solace in one another as they navigate an uncertain future against the backdrop of the pristine waters of their childhood home, Cape Carolina. The journey of self-discovery leads them to an unforgettable and life-changing lesson: Family—the one you’re born into and the one you choose—is always closer than you think.

From “the next major voice in Southern fiction” (Elin Hilderbrand, #1 New York Times bestselling author), Under the Southern Sky is a fresh and unforgettable exploration of love, friendship, and the unbreakable ties that bind.

5.  Family Reunion by Nancy Thayer.  I am super close to my grandma, so a book about that grandma/granddaughter relationship sounds right up my alley.

From Amazon:  Eleanor Sunderland loves living on Nantucket, in a gorgeous cliffside home that has been in her family for decades. Yet this year she can’t help but feel a bit isolated, even as the island begins to come alive with summer tourists and travelers. Her best friend has skipped town on a last-minute cruise, leaving Eleanor feeling lonely and nostalgic about her family’s weekend trips to the island, made less frequently in the years since her husband’s passing. Now, her money-driven children contact her mostly to complain and to beg her to sell her beloved home for a steep payout. Hoping to kick the season off on a good note, Eleanor decides her seventieth birthday may be the perfect occasion for a much-needed reunion.

Fresh off the heels of her college graduation, Eleanor’s dear granddaughter, Ari, has just ended an engagement that felt less like true love and more like a chore. She longs for a change of scenery and to venture far from her parents’ snobbish expectations. Taking advantage of her newfound freedom, she heads to Nantucket to clear her head before graduate school, moving in with her grandmother and taking a job at the local beach camp. As she watches Eleanor begin to form a bond with an old acquaintance, Ari herself becomes completely smitten with a friend’s charming older brother. But just as grandmother and granddaughter fall into a carefree routine, a few shocking discoveries throw them off course, and their ideas of the future seem suddenly uncertain.

Eleanor and Ari make exciting connections, old and new, over the course of an unpredictable, life-changing few months, and learn to lean on each other through every new challenge they face in life and love, in this tale filled with Nancy Thayer’s signature Nantucket magic.

6.  The Summer House by Lauren K. Denton.  What can I say, I definitely judging a book by the cover here!  I am hoping that the story lives up to the cover!

From Amazon: Sometimes it takes losing everything to find yourself again.

Lily Bishop wakes up one morning to find a good-bye note and divorce papers from her husband on the kitchen counter. Having moved to Alabama for his job only weeks before, Lily is devastated, but a flyer at the grocery store for a hair stylist position in a local retirement community provides a refuge while she contemplates her next steps.

Rose Carrigan built the small retirement village of Safe Harbor years ago—just before her husband ran off with his assistant. Now she runs a tight ship, making sure the residents follow her strict rules. Rose keeps everyone at arm’s length, including her own family. But when Lily shows up asking for a job and a place to live, Rose’s cold exterior begins to thaw.

Lily and Rose form an unlikely friendship, and Lily’s salon soon becomes the place where residents share town gossip, as well as a few secrets. Lily soon finds herself drawn to Rose’s nephew, Rawlins—a single dad and shrimper who’s had some practice at starting over—and one of the residents may be carrying a torch for Rose as well.

Neither Lily nor Rose is where she expected to be, but the summer makes them both wonder if there’s more to life and love than what they’ve experienced so far.

“The perfect summer read! While following the endearing relationship between Rose Carrigan and Lily Bishop, Denton introduces readers to the utterly charming town of Safe Harbor. Situated on the Alabama Gulf Coast, you’ll feel the sun, taste the salt, and linger with new friends—you won’t want to leave. And with lyrical prose and rich characters, The Summer House is a beautifully poignant reminder that we are never too young to find a good place to stand nor too old to start over.” —Katherine Reay, bestselling author of The Printed Letter Bookshop and Dear Mr. Knightley


7.  Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid.  The plot of this book sounds verrrry mysterious!  I like this author, so I am excited to see how this book plays out!

From Amazon:  Malibu: August 1983. It’s the day of Nina Riva’s annual end-of-summer party, and anticipation is at a fever pitch. Everyone wants to be around the famous Rivas: Nina, the talented surfer and supermodel; brothers Jay and Hud, one a championship surfer, the other a renowned photographer; and their adored baby sister, Kit. Together the siblings are a source of fascination in Malibu and the world over—especially as the offspring of the legendary singer Mick Riva.

The only person not looking forward to the party of the year is Nina herself, who never wanted to be the center of attention, and who has also just been very publicly abandoned by her pro tennis player husband. Oh, and maybe Hud—because it is long past time for him to confess something to the brother from whom he’s been inseparable since birth.

Jay, on the other hand, is counting the minutes until nightfall, when the girl he can’t stop thinking about promised she’ll be there.

And Kit has a couple secrets of her own—including a guest she invited without consulting anyone.

By midnight the party will be completely out of control. By morning, the Riva mansion will have gone up in flames. But before that first spark in the early hours before dawn, the alcohol will flow, the music will play, and the loves and secrets that shaped this family’s generations will all come rising to the surface.

Malibu Rising is a story about one unforgettable night in the life of a family: the night they each have to choose what they will keep from the people who made them . . . and what they will leave behind.


8.  Blush by Jamie Brenner.  I admit, I love a good, 'trashy' novel, so a book about restarting a book club based on those to save your family winery...sounds good to me!

From Amazon: For decades, the Hollander Estates winery has been the premier destination for lavish parties and romantic day trips on the North Fork of Long Island. But behind the lush vineyards and majestic estate house, the Hollander family fortunes have suffered and the threat of a sale brings old wounds to the surface. For matriarch Vivian, she fears that this summer season could be their last—and that selling their winery to strangers could expose a dark secret she's harbored for decades. Meanwhile, her daughter, Leah, who was turned away from the business years ago, finds her marriage at a crossroads and returns home for a sorely needed escape. And granddaughter Sadie, grappling with a crisis of her own, runs to the vineyard looking for inspiration. 
 
But when Sadie uncovers journals from Vivian's old book club dedicated to scandalous novels of decades past, she realizes that this might be the distraction they all need. Reviving the "trashy" book club, the Hollander women find that the stories hold the key to their fight not only for the vineyeard, but for the life and love they've wanted all along. 
 
Blush is a bighearted story of love, family, and second chances, and an ode to the blockbuster novels that have shaped generations of women. 

9.  Where the Grass Is Green and the Girls Are Pretty by Lauren Weisberger.  The title got me - I feel like you can't NOT sing this song when reading it!

From Amazon:  A seat at the anchor desk of the most-watched morning show. Recognized by millions across the country, thanks in part to her flawless blond highlights and Botox-smoothed skin. An adoring husband and a Princeton-bound daughter. Peyton is that woman. She has it all.

Until . . .

Skye, her sister, is a stay-at-home mom living in a glitzy suburb of New York. She has degrees from all the right schools and can helicopter-parent with the best of them. But Skye is different from the rest. She’s looking for something real and dreams of a life beyond the PTA and pickup.

Until . . .

Max, Peyton’s bright and quirky seventeen-year-old daughter, is poised to kiss her fancy private school goodbye and head off to pursue her dreams in film. She’s waited her entire life for this opportunity.

Until . . .

One little lie. That’s all it takes. For the illusions to crack. For resentments to surface. Suddenly the grass doesn’t look so green. And they’re left wondering: will they have what it takes to survive the truth?

10.  The Summer Seekers by Sarah Morgan.  Three women, and a road trip?  Sounds like a great summer read!  I have read some of Sarah Morgan's Christmas books, so I am excited to try a summer one!

From Amazon:  Kathleen is eighty years old. After she has a run-in with an intruder, her daughter wants her to move in to a residential home. But she’s not having any of it. What she craves—what she needs—is adventure.

Liza is drowning under the daily stress of family life. The last thing she needs is her mother jetting off on a wild holiday, making Liza long for a solo summer of her own.

Martha is having a quarter-life crisis. Unemployed, unloved and uninspired, she just can’t get her life together. But she knows something has to change.

When Martha sees Kathleen’s advertisement for a driver and companion to share an epic road trip across America with, she decides this job might be the answer to her prayers. She’s not the world’s best driver, but anything has to be better than living with her parents. And traveling with a stranger? No problem. Anyway, how much trouble can one eighty-year-old woman be?

As these women embark on the journey of a lifetime, they all discover it’s never too late to start over.


Wednesday Favorites: TV Shows, Comfy Shorts, An Afternoon Snack, At Home Workout + 2 Amazon Fails

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Happy Friday Monday Wednesday!  Well, I had meant to get this up on Friday, but Thursday was one of those days at work where I just was exhausted afterwards, and didn't do much more than plop myself on the couch and heat up some leftovers for dinner.  Then, since I had a pretty low key weekend planned, I thought oh, I will get it together to share on Monday.  Before I knew it, though, Sunday evening rolled around and I had not opened my computer once!  Soooo, I am sharing my favorites today!


TV Shows.  

Shahs of Sunset (Bravo - seems like you can watch on Peacock and Hulu).  I absolutely LOVE this show.  I have been watching from the beginning, and this season's premiere was probably one of the best episodes ever.  It's about a Persian friend group, some of whom have been lifelong friends.  Over the years so much has gone down, and while some friendships have been fractured, it seems like this season (will hopefully) bring some repair, and of course, their normal hijinks.  


Mare of Easttown (HBO Max).  This show is about a small town detective (Kate Winslet) who is struggling to solve a disappearance, as well as dealing with her own personal struggles.  Add in a murder, and lots, and lots of other things.  It's a bit of a 'darker' show, but so very good.  One thing to note - it's similar to 'normal' TV in that a new episode is released each week on the streaming service.  I didn't realize that when I first heard about the show and was sorely disappointed when I settled in, expecting to watch a few episodes.  It's worth the wait, though.  So good!


Shorts.

I was on the lookout for some running shorts, and wanted ones that were a bit longer than my normal.  Nothing too long, but just a little longer.  I came across these 5" ones from Target, and love them.  I initially ordered the black, and ordered the navy shortly after wearing them.  They are just so dang comfy!  I actually haven't worn them running yet, but I have worn them on walks, working in the yard, and just lounging around, and they are definitely good for that, too!


Afternoon Snack.

I was craving a snack the other afternoon, and looking for something on the healthier side.  I ended up with a brown rice cake, spread with a Laughing Cow cheese wedge, and topped with Everything but the Bagel seasoning.  It was really good, and the perfect way to bridge that lunch/dinner gap.


I have read that rice cakes actually don't have that much nutritional value, even though they are often touted as 'health/diet' food.  That said, it does seem like brown rice cakes are a little better than the regular rice cakes.  Even though the nutritional value might not necessarily be there, I do think the crunch of the rice cake helps satisfy that chip/cracker crunch I sometimes crave, so I think it still works well (at least for me) for a snack that is on the healthier side.


At Home Workout.

The other day I went to go do a workout on the Peloton app, only to find out my iPad was dead.  I wanted a larger screen than my phone, so I decided to forego the Peloton app altogether, and pull out an old faithful from Honey We're Home that I had printed out years ago.  And goodness gracious, was it was a good one.  I was so dang sore afterwards - it's amazing what some squats and lunges can do, haha.  If you are looking for a quicker (~20 minutes), at home, full body workout, definitely check it out.


Now for the fails.


Diva Laundry Detergent.  I have heard for years that this detergent was the best smelling thing - ever!  I never gave it a go, but came across it again, and decided to go for the smallest container, just to give it a try.  It was definitely an impulse buy, haha.  Anyways, the scent that everyone says is the best. thing. ever.?  Well, it's not for me.  It's super strong, which is great if you enjoy the smell, but it was so darn perfume-y, I did not.  I don't even know what exactly it smelled like, but perfume-y is all I can describe it as.  


Black Sunglasses.  I saw these on Alexa Anglin's instagram, and they were so darn cute.  They were on sale for $13, so I figured I would give them a go.  They looked itty bitty on me - not quite like children's sunglasses, but right on that edge, haha!  Super cute on her, but on me?  Not so much. 


I am hoping to be back next week with my (late) spring & summer reading list.  I shared 10 books I couldn't wait to read last year (post here), and thought I would do the same this year.  It's always fun seeing what is out and new!


Hope you all have a great rest of the week, and for those of us with Memorial Day off, a great long weekend!



May Flowers: 2021

Today is my annual flower post - a sure sign that spring is fully here, and summer is right around the corner.

Like last year, I kept things pretty simple, opting to have one type of flower/plant per pot.  Geraniums and petunias are my go-to's - I went with a classic pink (baby face) for the geraniums and my absolute favorite purple (bordeaux) for the petunias.  I love how the pentunias have the lighter purple, with the dark towards the center of the bloom. To complete my trio of pots, this year I went with licorice.  My mom had planted some last year, and I really liked the shape of the leaves and the color so I knew I wanted to have some for myself this year.

Also new this year, are 'mosquito shockers' (pictured below next to the geranium).  My backyard is a haven for bugs, and I really wanted to try some lemongrass this year to try and help keep them at bay.  Well, the nursery didn't have any lemongrass, but it did have these plants.  I feel like the leaves are really neat, and with the purple-ish color around the stems, they compliment my petunias.  I have three scattered around my deck, and am hopeful that they will help with the whole bug situation.  I haven't issues with bugs that much since planting them, but I also think it's a little too early for them to be super bad, so I can't credit the plants quite yet.

I took a picture of the tags, which include the specific colors, in case you are interested in looking when out picking up flowers for yourself!

Everything is already looking so great, as we have had a decent amount of rain, and it hasn't been too hot yet.  The geraniums are in full bloom, and the petunias are starting to bloom, as well.  I have already been enjoying them while out on the deck, and I love seeing the pop of pink through the windows when I am inside.  I can't wait until they grow even more, and really fill out those pots.

If you want to take a look at year's past, you can check out the posts below.  

Past Posts:
May Flowers: 2015 (Includes the step by step of planting)

May Flowers: 2016 

May Flowers: 2017 

May Flowers: 2018 (no post here - I moved into my condo mid-summer and it looks like I never did a post on what flowers we ended up with!)

May Flowers: 2019