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Amazon Favorites

Coming in late with some Amazon finds! I have a few repurchases, a few new products, a new hobby I am obsessed with, and the Christmas shopping begins! Have you started on your Christmas purchases yet? Linking up with Tanya for Prime and also for the Friday Favorites.

Peppermint Body Wash

I am really enjoying this body wash. Just Ingredients and a few other clean people I follow recommend it all the time. There are no parabens, no sulfates, no harmful chemicals or fake fragrances. This particular one has peppermint and tea tree oil in it, which is a neutral scent and great for problematic skin. It kind of gives a little tingle sensation which is perfect in the mornings when I am trying to wake up! Love this and will purchase again.

Biotin Gummies

This is a repurchase, as I am trying to get my hair to grow and be healthier after a lot of loss the last few months. While this brand isn’t perfect, it is better than most and these are actually working. I like that it has zinc as well, as I had to stop taking a multivitamin because of the iron content…it is nice to have zinc daily for my immune system through this.

Protein Powder

Another repurchase, I love this protein powder! It is grass fed and minimal ingredients. Taste great in smoothies, our whole family loves it. It is one of the only ones that doesn’t bother my stomach.

Cold Eye/Face Patch

I ordered this for Zoe, as she had the flu last week and was having some bad headaches with it. This helped her so much! We keep it in the freezer for anything she isn’t feeling well, had a headache, allergies or a fever. It is nice that it adjusts in the back, so you can really keep it in place if you are wanting to lay down and watch TV with it.

Diamond Art

Y’all! I am obsessed with diamond art!!! This is even more soothing to me than coloring. Basically you pick up diamonds with a little tool and place them on the canvas. Eventually you have a beautiful picture to frame. I already have several more in my cart for different holidays. I want to always have one if these going. Highly recommend as a gift. Even Zoe loves getting in on the action. This particular picture comes with everything you need and is so inexpensive!

Disney Store Mini Brands

We have been hitting the Christmas shopping a little more seriously as we get closer to the holidays! Crazy it is next month, right? Zoe loves the Shopkins and Mini Brand toys and she asked for this Disney Store to display some of hers. She plays with these things alone, with her Barbies and with the American Girl dolls…so they get used a lot. This is on sale right now, so scoop it up!

Kid Bible

I ordered this Bible for Zoe to take to church with her. It is the perfect size for her, not too big or bulky. It has the sweetest cover and illustrations throughout. She absolutely loves this and will be a great keepsake for her.

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Books – October 2022

Coming in hot with some book reviews. This was a slow reading month for me. I haven’t touched a book that wasn’t my bible or devotional in almost two weeks. I have been catching up on some podcasts instead of consuming audiobooks, so that has a lot to do with it. I read two of these and listened to the other two. I am ready to dive into my Christmas reads! Are you ready for the holiday season?

The Blue Bistro by Elin Hilderbrand

The Blue Bistro

After reading Hotel Nantucket and finding out that Mario was in a previous book, I wanted to go back and read it! Enter Blue Bistro. It was mentioned a few times in that book, as well as Fiona. I enjoyed getting to see their back story and learn about the infamous Blue Bistro. While I quite enjoy Elin’s writing, I felt like the day-to-day of the innerworkings of the restaurant was a little overdone and repetitive in this book. You can tell that she really researched the behind the scenes, and some of it is entertaining….but at times it dragged for me. I wish she would have put as much detail into Adrienne and Thatcher’s relationship. It would have been more of a 5 star book for me then. I felt like I didn’t root for them as much because of this. As Thatcher came off selfish and bossy. One thing that really bothered me, is that he was an alcoholic who no longer drank, but constantly forced Adrienne to carry around a glass of her signature drink…that he made up for her. Why??? Anyways….I may have liked them more together if I had more of them from the author.

Bottom Line: If you are a Hilderbrand fan, you must read them all! You never know when you will see these characters again.

The Man I Never Met by Elle Cook

The Man I Never Met

This book publishes November 22, 2022

Oh this book! It reminded me a little of Always, December, in that its more of a tragic, missed-connection love story. Davey from Austin, Texas accidently dials Hannah in London instead of the person he was interviewing for a job with. He ends up texting her about the interview after and they start talking. I loved how they got to know each other through texts and calls, as that is how Chris and my relationship started out.

But when Hannah goes to meet him at the airport, he doesn’t show. Why??? The reason changes both of their lives. I felt like the book progressed along very well, and I was very invested in both Davey and Hannah’s lives, as well as the lives of a few of Hannah’s friends that we meet. But but but. The ending was very disappointing for me. Everything else was so long and drawn out, and then the ending came out of no where and the book was over. What??? I wanted a little more, you know?

It was very original and different than many of the books I have read lately, and I quite enjoyed it. I had to know what was going to happen. I just wish we got more from the ending after all that time invested. It took the book from a 5 star read down to like a 3.5 or 4 for me.

Bottom Line: Read it.

**I received a copy of The Man I Never Met from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are of my own.**

On the Hustle by Adriana Herrera

On the Hustle (Dating in Dallas, #2)

I love a good enemies to lovers trope, and this one delivers. The tension between Alba and Theo is definitely there. Alba was such a strong and fierce female lead with a lot of personality. I loved the bookish themed d├ęcor that she did, it sounds so fun and definitely something I would love to see in real life. The steamy scenes in this book were hot hot hot. If you are someone who prefers closed door romance, this might be too much for you.

Bottom Line: Read it.

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

The Lifeguards by Amanda Eyre Ward

The Lifeguards

This one is hard for me to review, as my thoughts are a little all over the place. I didn’t really like any of the women in this book. So maybe that is why it is hard to sympathize with them. The only redeemable characters are Charlie (Liza’s son) and Joe, the detective. I liked that the women were not perfect mothers, I am sure there are some of their qualities that we could all relate to. But at the end of the day, they were rich women trying to protect their spoiled children.

The book was interesting and held my attention, but I felt like there were many things that didn’t get wrapped up in the end. I want to know what happened with the nanny that Joe hired? And not to give spoilers, but the final scene where we find out what happens…we don’t really know for sure how it all plays out. It was a let down. I love family drama and mystery, and this book is one of those that I will probably soon forget.

Bottom Line: Read it, maybe?

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Amazon

Linking up with Tanya for Amazon finds. Some health related things for me, and a few fun things for Zoe. Have you started Christmas shopping yet? I got the Amazon Christmas Wish List and American Girl catalog last week in the mail. I need to up my game. Last year at this time I was already half done.

Dumbbells

It was time to move up in weights! I should have done this a long, long time ago…but at least I finally have them. I need to order some 20’s and 25’s as well. These are great.

Ancient Remedies

I ordered this book after listening to Dr Axe talk on the Just Ingredients podcast. I already am a subscriber of his collagen protein powder and follow him on Instagram, so it is nice to have a physical copy of this book. I am about 1/4 of the way through it. There is soooooo much information and I know I will be referencing this a ton. Highly recommend.

Tooth Fairy Pillow

Zoe has her first wiggly tooth. We think. It isn’t super wiggly yet, but it did remind me to get prepared for the Tooth Fairy! How stinking cute is this pillow?! I don’t want to chance losing the tooth in her bed, or waking her up at night so this is a must. What is the going rate for a tooth these days?

Uncrustables Cutter

Zoe had her first uncrustables sandwich at school this month and fell in love. I don’t love all the unprocessed garbage in the packaged ones, so I grabbed this set to make them at home with better ingredients! I love that you can make big ones or smaller ones. Zoe said mine taste better, so win-win!

Pirate Costume

Wizland Girls Pirate Costume Buccaneer Princess Costume Pirate Lass Costume Pirate Role Play Dress Up Set

It was Pirate Day at school, and my girl loves a theme. This costume was so cute on her and it came with so many fun accessories that she can use to play with. This was a popular one, we know of two other girls that had the same one. I felt like it is better quality than a lot of the Disney princess costumes Zoe has.

Headphones For Kids

Zoe’s headphones that we bought at the beginning of the school year already broke. I decided to grab a different pair on Amazon, and she really likes these. They feel better quality than her last pair we got when we went back to school shopping and work with the tablet and laptop they use at her school.

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Books – September 2022

Book reviews for the month. I had some really good ones, and two not so much. I have a few Christmas books that came in that I cannot wait to get to! I am sure I will be breaking them out in the next month or so. I did listen to one of them this month, but it was only Christmas-y because it took place on a Christmas tree farm. Do you have any good fall books you have read/looking forward to reading? I would love a few suggestions!

Love on the Brain by Ali Hazelwood

Love on the Brain

I absolutely loved this one! Maybe even more than the Love Hypothesis, which is really saying something…because that book was fantastic. I love bad ass women in science, and Bee was so quirky and funny. Levi was a great male character in this book. I felt like there was a little mysteriousness to him, and he really ended up being a stand up guy. I loved Bee’s twin sister and her assistant. They were hilarious and added some fun to the main plot. I LOL’d several times throughout this book. I will say, I could have done without some of the woke talk in the book. I feel like authors love to throw in some wokeness in their writing and it just isn’t needed in the story. I cannot wait for Ali’s next one!

Bottom Line: Read it!!

The Perfect Couple by Elin Hilderbrand

The Perfect Couple

I didn’t realize this was part of a series, but it makes sense since it is supposed to become a series for TV soon. I have read so many Hilderbrand books, and yet I still have a decent backlog of her older stuff to read. I really enjoyed this one, I couldn’t put it down! I really wanted to know what happened, and I saw everything coming except the big thing of who done it! I liked how the book went between the present investigation and the past leading up to everything. Every character was fantastically interesting.

Bottom Line: Read it!!!

The Sweetheart Deal by Miranda Liasson

The Sweetheart Deal

This is a take on Romeo and Juliet, which was quiet fun, as I love some family drama. The premise is also faking a relationship, which tends to work well for me. I loved Leo and Tessa as characters, and loved seeing them try to save their family businesses together. This is the first in a series, as I am guessing we will see perhaps Tessa’s sisters or Leo’s best friend in future books? I hope so! It was just a fun read that I finished rather quickly. I absolutely loved the ending.

Bottom Line: Read it! You have a morph of fake relationship/second chance romance/enemies to lovers thing going on.

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

Do I Know You? By Emily Wibberley

Do I Know You?

Publishes January 24, 2023

I really loved the premise of this, a married couple struggling in their 5th year, pretending to be strangers on an anniversary trip to try to save their relationship. I found it very realistic, as Graham and Eliza tried to navigate how to get back to how they were. I really liked that the chapters switched back and forth from Graham’s POV to Eliza’s. It drew me in quickly, and I felt like I got to see what each side was struggling with. This was a sweet read, sometimes the marriage in trouble trope is hard. This is a great reminder to always date your spouse. I liked this better than The Roughest Draft that I read last month by the same duo.

Bottom Line: Read it.

**I received a copy of Do I Know You? from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are of my own.**

Arsenic and Adobo by

Arsenic and Adobo (Tita Rosie's Kitchen Mystery, #1)

I do love a cozy mystery from time to time. Especially closer to fall. This was a fun read. I think the author might have gone overboard on all the food descriptions. It was a little maddening at times, and pulled me out of the story. It was more of a distraction, than anything. I also think Lila wasn’t the most likable character. She had two guys falling all over her, and I am not sure that she deserved either of them. But otherwise, I enjoyed this. Made a good palette cleanser.

Bottom Line: Read it.

Lovelight Farms by B.K. Borison

Lovelight Farms (Lovelight, #1)

I absolutely loved this book! While it takes place on a Christmas tree farm, it isn’t an overly Christmassy book. Though, I never mind lots of Christmas cheer in my books, but if it isn’t your think, you could still enjoy this one. This is a fake relationship/friends to lovers trope…and I am here for it. I just loved Lucas and Stella!!! The build up and pace of the book was perfection. You get fun and a little steam. There is also a little bit of a mystery going on at the farm, which kept it interesting. I cannot wait to read the next one!

I consumed this on audiobook, and I really loved the narration. It definitely added to the enjoyment of the book.

Bottom Line: Read it!

**I received an audio copy of Lovelight Farms from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are of my own.**

The Last Housewives by Ashley Winden

The Last Housewife

WTF did I just read? This book is so messed up. I know sometimes that is a good thing, if that is what you are craving, but this is just….I don’t even know? I will say that I read it super fast, because I did want to know where it was all going to go. But the content of the book? It is about a cult and making women be submissive to men with sex torture. To each their own if you are into that. And its not even a “trigger” for me, I don’t really care about trigger warnings in books. But I felt like the book wasn’t done very well. There was no big twist. And most of the story was Shay wanting to tell Jamie about her and her past, so it loses some of its edge that way. And the chapters that are in the present as they are investing what happens to Laurel, anytime Shay gets near danger she magically gets out. It is so unrealistic to me.

Maybe it is by design from the author, but I also couldn’t care about anyone in this book. I didn’t even feel bad for the victims. I especially hate Shay, our main character. The only one with redeemable qualities was Clem.

Bottom Line: If I didn’t have to finish this one, I wouldn’t have. I would say pass.

The Grace-Filled Homestead by Lana Stenner

The Grace-Filled Homestead: Lessons I've Learned about Faith, Family, and the Farm

Well now I just want to move on some land, grow a garden and play with goats! I want a grace-filled intentional life.

I received an audiobook of The Grace-Filled Homestead and really appreciated that the author read it. I enjoyed consuming this on audiobook, it felt like that author was just telling me stories about her life in my car. It kept me entertained.  I hope then released, it will come with PDF of the recipes and such, as that is hard to put to use from an audio copy.

Bottom Line: If you are interested in becoming more self sustaining, homesteading, farm house living, etc, read it!

**I received an audio copy of The Grace-Filled Homestead from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are of my own.**

The Second You’re Single by Cara Tanamachi

The Second You're Single: A Novel

Publishes January 31, 2023

I just couldn’t finish this one. Our main character Sora is so judgmental, constantly making comments about what people eat, wear, their body size. It is quite the disservice to put a midsized character in a book, and make her a total bitch. She is constantly talking about bacon, it is so cliche. I am tired of the healthy at any size movement that is going on right now, it should be unhealthy at every size for our country and the relationship so many of us have with food. I just can’t tolerate reading anymore of this garbage. Sorry.

Bottom Line: Pass

**I received a copy of The Second You’re Single from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are of my own.**

Currently Reading

The Blue Bistro by Elin Hilderbrand

The Blue Bistro
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Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!!! It is dreary and there is a slight chill in the air here this morning, I mean, a chill for it being 70 at 7am….but fall is coming!!!! AND FOOTBALL IS HERE!!! Man, it was so nice having games on the TV last weekend!

I need to share our trip to Fairhope/Daphne/Mobile we took a few weeks ago. Dropping this picture of Zoe and I here. I could live on one of the houses that runs along this street with this view everyday for sure. So breathtaking.

I started this post last week and never got the chance to finish. I really want to get back to posting every Friday. I just love sharing things I am loving, and little bits of life thrown in. The last few weeks have been crazy. This week has been the week of appointments. I was chosen as a room mom for Zoe’s class. I had a PTO meeting followed by a room mom meeting this week. Then had a chiropractic appointment after. Wednesday I got my hair done. Thursday I had another chiropractic appointment, followed by another doctor appointment. Today I am hoping to have a lunch date with two dear friends I have not seen since March 13, 2013. We went to lunch together at Ashley Mac’s, I went back to the office and my boss said we should head on home and try to hit up the grocery store on the way. That it might be a few weeks before we were back in the office. A few weeks. LOL.

new hair who dis

Zoe also started year 4 of dance this week!!! And she rocked her gymnastics class. They were working on sticking landings from the spring board and my girl was perfection. She had three parents come up to her after class telling her how amazing she was. The amount of pride shining through her smiles and thanks you….ahhh my mama heart was bursting!

I mentioned above I went to the chiropractor twice this week. I started back last Monday. It had been 12 years since I had been to a chiropractor. I started going to one when I was in elementary school for headaches, then various activities in my childhood kept me going to keep me aligned. They got me through a really bad car accident in high school. And now I return because I just don’t feel great. My upper back in tense AF, my lower back hurts and my hips. Goodness my hips. Ever since pregnancy, I have daily pain in my hips. Turns out after x-rays that one hip bone is sitting a lot higher than the other. A lot higher. I couldn’t believe the pictures! No wonder why I am in so much pain. It has finally caused pressure on my lower back. I say all this to say….living in pain is common in our late 30’s and beyond. However, it doesn’t make it ok. If you are struggling with something, don’t wait like I did. I cannot tell you how life changing just a few visits have been. I know I have to go a lot right now…but in a few more weeks I will level out to a more reoccurring appointment for maintenance. I am never going to get off track with that again.

Favorite Purchase: I had this blouse on my wish list during nsale, but of course it was gone before I could shop. I was casually walking around after a doctor appointment a few weeks ago, and this was just sitting front and center on a rack in my exact size, just waiting for me!!! I scooped it right up and rushed to the fitting room. It was everything I wanted it to be, the perfect fall statement blouse! I cannot wait to wear this when the weather chills out. The sleeves are ballooned, but come in at the wrists, so I find that it is flattering. I love Free People for the quality.

I also ordered these sneakers. I have had my eye on them for months now. I went shopping with my SIL last week and saw a similar pair in stores and couldn’t stop thinking about them. I did some major digging and found these for a major discount compared to what they are being sold at in boutiques. SCORE! These are going to go with everything.

I currently have my eye on this moto jacket. How cute is this???? Would work perfect for super casual, but you could also dress it up a little bit. I haven’t pulled the trigger yet.

Favorite Podcasts: I love Just Ingredients as a podcast, and the information she shares on Instagram as well. I highly suggest her podcast, any episode. But I especially suggest her most recent one with Josh Axe. It is amazing. I really want his book now.

I also really love Healthy with Heather Brown. Heather is a local Birmingham blogger who shares lots of wellness, health, faith, family and meal prep hacks. I really love her energy and have been following her for years. She launched this podcast last month and I haven’t missed an episode yet. I also found my FWTFL coach through her.

Speaking of Faster Way to Fat Loss…my coach took off over the summer from new clients (she has still been amazing for all existing members!!) She is offering her first round for fall that will start Monday, September 12. If you are looking for accountability and to break the cycle of crazy diets…I highly suggest her!!! Here is my link if you are interested. I can talk for hours about how amazing FWTFL has been for me. If you have any questions, let me know. I am glad to share any information.

Favorite Recipe: I shared this on my Instagram stories, but wanted to drop it here too. This Banh Mi Bowl is amazing, easy to throw together, and health.

Favorite Fall SB Order: Trust me on this! The key is ordering a tall so that you have the perfect amount of sweetness! I had an amazing drink, and didn’t blow my macros for the day! Yay!!

Favorite Funnies:

Linking up for Friday Favorites! Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!