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Nadine

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Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! Next week at this time, it will be Christmas Eve. I can’t believe it!!! This month is going way too fast, as it always tends to do. We always have so many things going on between birthdays, Christmas, work always gets busy, and there are so many activities going on at school. Even though I decorate early for Christmas, I feel like we haven’t had enough time to enjoy it yet! We have many more movies to watch, cookies to bake, and books to read. I am really hoping to embrace it all over the next week and soak in this time. Everything is so magical to Zoe, and I know that this we get a short window while they are little for it. So I try not to get frustrated coming up with a million things for the elf to do, or get too stressed about when I am going to find time to wrap all these gifts. You know?

Zoe came home sick last Friday. We kept her out of school Monday-Wednesday this week to recover. She tested negative for the big C and flu, and were told it was a flu-like virus. She was the sickest I have seen her for awhile on Monday. It breaks my heart to see littles not feel well. She has been a trouper and has been doing better. She went to school yesterday, and got to go to her dance party last night. The girls got to dress in pajamas and we all brought a treat with us. They danced to Alvin and the Chipmunks for us and looked ADORABLE!!! And then we all sat around a make-shirt floor table and snacked and had so much fun. I really love that a few of us moms have been together since the beginning. It is so fun watching our girls grow through dance.

Today Zoe has a class Christmas party at school. Each kid is bringing a wrapped book for a gift exchange. I absolutely love that! We decided it is going to be her last day for the year. We don’t want her getting sick next week and taking us all out for Christmas. Plus, I have a few fun activities in mind I would like to do with her…so having her here will be easier to find that time to do them.

I ran into a friend at Target yesterday, and we ordered a coffee and walked around the store for an hour just shopping together. I was helping her pick up some stocking stuffers for her kids and I had a few teacher gifts and party things to pick up. It was so fun and relaxing and I don’t know why I don’t do stuff like this more often? Also. The sugar cookie almond milk latte (or whatever that huge mouth full is called) is delicious.

Favorite Purchases: I have been wanting this collared sweatshirt for awhile and pulled the trigger. It is so soft and so nice looking in person. It looks more like a sweater than a sweatshirt, which I love. It is cozy and the neck with the zipper is so flattering.

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I also grabbed this satin button up. Such a classic piece that is truly timeless. Both pieces were on sale, and I think they are still running a sale now.

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Speaking of sales, Tuckernuck had an amazing one going on earlier this week! I had been looking at this dress all summer, and kept it tagged for next spring/summer. It is on major sale right now and still available in a few sizes!

Black Sleeveless Charlie Dress | Tuckernuck | Stand collar dress, Casual  day dresses, Dresses

Favorite Recipe: I saw this air fryer recipe for cinnamon roll bites. You can do them in the oven too. How perfect for Christmas morning???

Favorite Funnies:

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Linking up for Friday Favorites. I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

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Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! I don’t know what happens in December, but I feel like the days go by so quickly. Work is always crazy around this time, as clients are trying to close deals before end of year. Zoe always has a flurry of activities in school, her social calendar is far more colorful than mine. We have her birthday and Christmas. We usually go to Gatlinburg in December. Coming up with Elf shenanigans for an entire month could really be a full time job on it’s own. Company parties. Christmas plays. Let’s not forget going to see lights and fitting in as many Christmas movie as possible. It’s a lot, but it’s also my favorite.

We celebrated Zoe’s 5th birthday last weekend. My mom and grandma came over Saturday and had lunch with us and spoiled Zoe with presents. Alabama managed to pull out the big win over Georgia in the SEC Championship, what an extra special birthday present! Sunday was her party with her friends and the rest of our family. My 16 year old nephew took off work for two hours to come to a fairy party. Is he not the sweetest, ever??? Zoe had the best time. We invited four of her sweet friends and had snacks, cake and they painted fairy houses.

Santa came to visit Zoe’s school on Tuesday, last night Zoe had her Christmas play where her class sang 5 songs and she played an angel, and today is Grinch Day. Busy week! Next week she has a dance Christmas party and her class Christmas party. She has really been soaking up all these fun events. We might venture out to a classmate’s birthday party Sunday afternoon. December birthdays are so hard, I want to support the moms who are trying to plan them around the Christmas crazy. Our town’s parade was moved to the same time as this party due to weather tomorrow.

Favorite Finds: I am pretty much done with my Christmas shopping. I started much earlier than usual this year and it is nice not to be stressing about that this month. I do still need to wrap everything though! I did pick up a few fun things.

Holiday Time Christmas Red Bow Wreath, 20 inch diameter

This wreath is GORGEOUS!!! I love it so much. I paid full price for it, which wasn’t bad at all. But now it is on clearance. Scoop this up! You will not be sorry. Look how pretty it is on our front door.

I saw someone wearing this color red and it looked so pretty and festive. I am more of a light pink/nude color…but I decided to grab this when I ordered my wreath. I am so glad I did. This color is stunning and the formula lasts much longer than anything else I have tried lately. So good in fact, that I was scrubbing it off that night. Definitely worth it! (In the color Individualist.)

Maybelline SuperStay Long-Lasting Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick, Individualist

I got these Uno Junior cards for Zoe last year for Christmas in her stocking, but we just started playing with them a few weeks ago. She LOVES this game and it is so much fun to play with her. It helps her recognize her numbers.

Favorite Recipe: I have been making this stuffed pepper soup for a few years now, and it is definitely a favorite. It is in regular rotation once again and I am throwing it out there for anyone who hasn’t tried it yet or needs the reminder!

https://youtu.be/LF-fA0g9KNg

Favorite Workout: Heather Robertson is coming in strong with her new Fierce 14 series. This arm workout is killer. My arms were jello when I was done.

Favorite Funnies:

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Linking up for Friday Favorites. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

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Amazon

Coming in late because I don’t even know what day it is this week is crazy. I wanted to share our latest Amazon finds. We had a fairy party for Zoe’s birthday this past weekend, and had a few items on this list for that. As well as a few Christmas things of course, and other randoms. Linking up with Tanya.

Just Dance 2022

We love playing Just Dance around here and have all of them. Chris ordered this as a surprise and we were so excited!

Zesty Paws Mobility Bites

These mobility bites are something we order for Mac every 3 months. They work great at keeping his old body moving well. He takes one every night before bed and LOVES them like a treat. Bonus points that they are heart shaped.

Cherry Juice

Still going strong with the cherry juice over here. Chris and I both unintentionally stopped drinking it for a few days and we both noticed a major difference and went right back to it. Highly recommend.

Mike’s Hot Honey

LOVE to add this to my homemade chicken nuggets for a little kick. So many things you can do with it, great ingredients.

Flying Ball

Chris ordered this, and him and Zoe have been having fun with it. Would make a great stocking stuffer.

Craft Flower Bundle

I got these for an DIY Fairy House activity for Zoe’s birthday party. I loved the variety in this pack. They were perfect! Now we will have extra when the craft bug hits us.

Glitter Tattoos

Another item for Zoe’s Fairy birthday party! These were so cute and the girls loved them.

Fairy Wings

We had all the girls grab a pair of fairy wings when they got to the party. Loved this set.

Birthday Dress

This is the dress Zoe picked out for her birthday party! Looked so precious on her with her fairy wings.

Fairy Cake Topper

This was so cute on top of Zoe’s cake!

Unicorn Dress

Chris ordered this unicorn dress for Zoe and I put it away for Christmas. She loves to play dress up still and this is perfect for a switch up from the typical princess outfits she wears.

Fairy Tales Conditioner

I wanted to get something more than spray in conditioner for Zoe. Especially since her hair is being washed every night after school. She loves the bottle and scent and I love how soft it makes her hair look and feel. We have no tears when it is time to brush.

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Books – November 2021

I finally knocked out some Netgalley books this month. Most of them are already released, I am so behind on my Netgalley shelf! Definitely reading all the Christmas books. I love this time of year! Have you read anything seasonal yet? Do share! I am consuming as many as I can!

Always, in December by Emily Stone

Always, in December

Do not let this pretty winter cover or title fool you. This is not a lighthearted Christmas read. It was beautiful and I loved the story and all the characters. But I was bawling and the book is so heartbreaking. I wasn’t quite expecting that, as I believe this book was categorized as “romance.” I don’t think it could quite be called that, more of women’s lit or something. There is definitely a lot of depth to the story. We deal with grief, friendship, love and finding yourself. I read this pretty fast, because the story definitely grabs you and you want to see where it goes. I am just saying I wish I would have known that it wasn’t your typical lighthearted, cheesy Christmas romcom. Though, the book did have a few funny moments that had me smiling.

Bottom Line: Read it. With a box of tissues.

**I received a copy of Always, in December from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are of my own.**

Twelve Days to Save Christmas by Elizabeth Neep

Twelve Days to Save Christmas

This is a lighter Christmas read than Always, in December, but still covered some heavier topics. I really wanted to love Poppy, but there are so many times in the book that I wanted to shake Poppy and be like WTF is wrong with you?!?! RED FLAG!!! She is sweet but also seems very selfish and immature at times. I hated George and the whole group of friends they had together, as I think you are supposed to. I wish we could have gotten to know Theo, Marie, Aran and Avery a little more in the book. They were great characters that deserved more development and time with.

Bottom Line: This one was cute enough with the Christmas theme, but I think I would only really enjoy it this time of year. The story itself was a little lacking for me with Poppy’s personality.

**I received a copy of Twelve Days to Save Christmas from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are of my own.**

The Newcomer by Mary Kay Andrews

The Newcomer

I love Mary Kay Andrews and was so excited to get two new books from her just a month apart! (Go read The Santa Suit from her before Christmas!!!) This one grabbed me right away. It goes back and forth between present day and memories of Letty’s past with her sister. I really loved all the side characters from the motel, and even the FBI agent. You couldn’t help but root for Letty and Maya. The book was a little long at times, but I didn’t mind because I quite enjoyed the whole storyline.

Bottom Line: Read it if you are looking for a light mystery.

**I received a copy of The Newcomer from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are of my own.**

Snowfall and Secrets by Kimberly Loth

Amazon.com: Snowfall and Secrets: Lukas (Michigan Millionaires) eBook :  Loth, Kimberly: Kindle Store

I grabbed this free on Amazon awhile back. It was a quick, cute read. I wish that we would have gotten more character development, both characters had deep secrets from their past and they were sort of glossed over. I feel that is pretty typical of a short “winter romance” novel though. This passed the time just fine, but I am going to be honest and say I was a little disappointed in the ending. Everything was rushed and then a new character comes out of no where. I know the author was setting up for the next book, but it felt disconnected from the rest of the Lukas and Tess story.

Bottom Line: Quick cute read if you are into romance novels. I wouldn’t go out of my way to grab this one, but it passed the time just fine.

The Holiday Swap by Maggie Knox

The Holiday Swap

This was such a cute holiday read, that wasn’t too over the top with the Christmasy bits of it. I really loved the whole plot line of the twins swapping lives, reminds me of adult Parent Trap! I loved all the characters in the book, and the cute setting of Starlight Peak reminds me of Gilmore Girls for some reason. Throw in lots of yummy food since both twins work in the food industry and some hunky swoony men, and you have the perfect recipe for a delightful read!

Bottom Line: Read it!

Very Sincerely Yours by Kerry Winfrey

Very Sincerely Yours

This was really cute read. It gave me slight You’ve Got Mail vibes with the emails back and forth. In th beginning of the book, it is crazy how many red flags Teddy ignored in her relationship with Richard and how much of herself she gave up for him. I think a lot of people who don’t know what they want to do when they grow up (even if they are in their 30s!!) can really relate to Teddy throughout this book. I loved that we also got to go back and forth between chapters from Teddy’s view point, as well as Everett. Loved all the side characters as well.

Bottom Line: Very cute and whimsical romcom!

A Lot Like Adios by Alexis Daria

A Lot Like Adiós (Primas of Power, #2)

The premise of this book was good, but it fell very flat for me. So flat that I quit it about 1/3 of the way in. The book felt forced, I didn’t really feel a connection between the two characters. They were very immature for adults. I hated the fanfic chat throughout the book. It was boring and unnecessary. There were also so many topics that were forced in the book that didn’t really play to the story, like the author was trying to prove she was relevant or something? Hard no from me.

Bottom Line: Pass

Life’s Too Short by Abby Jimenez

Life's Too Short (The Friend Zone, #3)

I loved The Happy Ever After Playlist, so I couldn’t wait to read this. I was hooked right away and absolutely loved it. I did this on audio and I really enjoyed the narration. We get chapters from Vanessa and others from Adrian. I loved them both so much, and the side characters as well. I would love to see Becky have her own book! While this is a romcom that made me laugh, it also dealt with some seriously heavy issues. Obviously ALS, but also mental health, addiction, family drama and grief. It was written so well, and I enjoyed it so much. I am sad it is over.

Bottom Line: So good! Read it!

The Neighbor’s Secret by L. Allison Heller

The Neighbor's Secret

This was the book club choice for November. I will be honest, at first I wasn’t to happy to steer away from my Christmas reading binge, so it took me a little while to get into the book. However, once I got into it…I was in. I finished the second half of the book in a matter of a few hours of off and on reading in between life. I loved the whole neighborhood/book club scene. I would love to be a member of their club! I liked how we got present day with flashbacks to 15 years earlier. I never felt major tension in the book like some “thriller” type books, but that didn’t take away from my curiosity to figure out what was going on. I felt like it was a well constructed plot/mystery. I also appreciated all the mom talk and worry over their kids. It shows that no family is perfect, and we all have our things we are dealing with.

Bottom Line: If you enjoy books like Big Little Lies and Liane Moriarty, read it!

Currently Reading

A Season for Second Chances by Jenny Bayliss

A Season for Second Chances
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8 Thanksgiving Movies

I always love a good festive screening of a movie during the holiday. We started playing Christmas movies over here already, but I want to shift to a few Thanksgiving movies this week! Growing up, we always watched Planes, Trains and Automobiles on Thanksgiving. That evening, we used to put up our Christmas tree and watch Eddie and the Cruisers. Does anyone remember that movie? I am not sure what started that, maybe it was just that my dad wanted to watch it one time and it stuck. It wasn’t Thanksgiving or Christmas-y.

I put a list together of Thanksgiving movies. There is something for everyone on here. I chose Miracle on 34th Street because it does start with the Thanksgiving parade! That is something else I try to catch every year. We always look for the Snoopy float. Do you have a favorite Thanksgiving movie? Do you want the parade?