Happy Friday! Well, we are making it through our first week back to school! Zoe has come home on green every day, which is the best you can get for behavior. She is smiling and happy and cant wait to tell me the little bits about her day. This kid thrives there and it makes me so happy. I have had a few parents and teachers come up to me telling me they are so happy to see Zoe back. One of her friend’s dads hunted me down the other day and said that his kid went tearing through the house when she got home, couldn’t wait to tell her mom that Zoe was in her class again. <3
Her teacher is really good about taking photos and uploading them for us. Look at this sweet photo from her first day they did. She also did some group ones and it is so funny because back in 2019, they always called Zoe “Little Zoe” because she was a tiny bit of a thing and usually one of the smallest in her class. Now she is one of the tallest! She had some crazy growth spurts over the last year!
I just love her enthusiasm and to see her thriving so quickly. I was worried we were going to have a rough transition back. I am so glad I was wrong.
Favorite Finds: I found this pullover for under $15. I normally don’t go for plaid, I feel very manly and lumberjack wearing flannel shirts. But this short sleeve version might be the perfect find for me. Besides, it is hot down here until November…so finding “fall looking” short sleeve items is key. It comes in 4 colors and Time and Tru tends to run TTS.
Favorite Recipe: How amazing does that look! I love finding different ways to use quinoa, and thai flavoring is one of my favorites. I like to have meatless lunches as well, and you get some protein and fiber in this to keep you full. This makes the perfect lunch item for work, it doesn’t have to be heated.
Favorite Workout: An old faithful I broke out this morning. It is quick, but you get sweaty fast! I always add at least a 10-20 minute walk in after. I am trying to get as many outside walks as I can, despite the heat. I find it super helpful to get that sun and grounding first thing in the morning.
I have always wanted a quilted Chanel bag. They are so classy and iconic. They run close to $10k now, and that is insane to me. This Rebecca Minkoff one gives me those vibes for a lot less, and I really like that you can wear it as a shoulder purse or crossbody.
This bronzer has been on my wish list for quite some time. I never pulled the trigger because I had a bronzer that I enjoyed and didn’t need more than one. But I have hit pan and ready to try something new!
I have been really paying attention to the foods we eat, as I feel that a healthy body starts with what we feed it. So much disease and illness stems from inflammation and the garbage packaged foods at the store. While I don’t avoid them completely, I am trying to limit. I think this cookbook sounds awesome!
My month started out with a DNF, so I was a little worried that I was going to have another slump month. But then we read The One for book club, and I got a few books from the library that I had been waiting on…and things picked up quickly. Also, check out how many NetGalley books I knocked out! I have a real problem with going on requesting sprees, I am trying to clear my shelf. Linking up with Steph and Jana.
This one snagged my interest right away. The chapters in the book switch from Viv, to Thomas, to Eli to Tarryn. I really liked how we get each family member’s perspective. I love a good family drama, and this definitely delivered. Each person had their own secrets they were hiding from the rest of the family. It was truly messed up stuff, so that was interesting. I didn’t really like any of the characters, but I don’t think you are supposed to. The first good chunk of this book kept me going, and was fairly intense. And then the ending sort of fell flat for me.
Bottom Line: Overall, I enjoyed reading the book. It was really hard to put down, definitely kept me guessing the entire time. I just wish the ending was different somehow? It was sort of a let down.
**I received a copy of The Perfect Family from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are of my own.**
This was the July choice for book club, and I was excited to jump in. There have been so many good reviews on this one floating around blog land. And now that I am finished with it, I am left torn. I liked how the book goes back and forth between the different POVs of the Matched characters we get to meet, it really sucks you in immediately. Each of the storylines was very interesting, giving you surprises and heartache. But then I realized about half way through that they were all quite depressing, really. My faith in humanity has greatly diminished since finishing this book. None of the characters were all that likeable, they were very one dimensional. Each storyline was just so fucked up. As far as the dating DNA storyline goes, I liked Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren much more.
Bottom Line: I am not sure how many stars I want to give this book. It really held my interest the entire time, and it was very hard to put down. But then when I finished the book, I just felt sad for humanity and wanted to go cry in the shower. However, I remembered a lot of details about it to tell Chris about all the storylines, so it stuck with me. I also really liked talking about it with book club.
I am sure you are shocked to see that there are a few CL books I haven’t read yet. I am finally getting to this one, and I gotta say, it was well worth the wait. I liked how the story alternated between the past and present, and we saw the relationship between Macy and Elliot grow every other chapter, and then got present day. I felt like the relationship between Sean and Macy wasn’t super believable. It seemed way to easy and detached? But that was also the point. When we finally find out what happens, oh man. Cue the tears! I really enjoyed this one, and it will move on up towards the top 5 CL books for me. Another book I tore through in just a few sittings.
Bottom Line: Read it!! I feel like even if romance isn’t your jam, there is something to appreciate here in this book. This one is less romcom than their usual books, with more serious elements thrown in.
This book is available for pre-order. It comes out August 12, 2020
A new R.S. Grey?? Sign me up! I think I read this one in about 24 hours, which never happens for me. It just grabbed me from the beginning. I liked that we had a time jump between part 1 and part 2. It was very different than any of the other RS Grey books I have read in that sense. Honestly, I felt like Raelynn was a pretty badass female, doing what she needed to do to get by. I also liked Ben, and R.S. Grey is always good about side characters, Lele, Trey and Anthony were all pretty cool. I would love to have this as a series with the different guys from Ben’s team.
Bottom Line: If you like romcom, check it out!
**I received an ARC of King of the Court from R.S. Grey in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are of my own.**
I am so behind on Jasmine Guillory books, but I was excited to jump back into her world. I liked both Nik and Carlos, probably Carlos the most. And I really like how Guillory brings characters from previous books into this book. The meet cute was really fun in this one, and probably the strongest part of the book for me. I felt like the humor of the book fell a little flat.
Bottom Line: With the baseball/California setting…it is the perfect summer read!
I was really excited to jump in, the premise sounded fun and a bit unique. I will say, I felt like I had a hard time connecting with the characters. I liked that it wasn’t an insta-love romance…but it also left me very frustrated. The characters basically had a hard time communicating their feelings to each other through the entire book. I felt like some of their thoughts were a bit childish? And Tara’s whole situation. She was 28 and she had two 30 year old twin brothers, and they all lived at home with their parents still? I did like that Tara was a brew master. Having a female heroine in a predominantly male driven world was pretty cool.
Bottom Line: This one passed the time fine, I wouldn’t not recommend it. But I also wouldn’t be in a hurry to read it either.
**I received a copy of The Dating Dare from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are of my own.**
I got about 30-40% into this book, and I decided to quit. I just can’t with the main character. The whole premise of the book, her pretending to be her best friend for a job and hiding it from said friend is just messed up. How can you do that to your friend? And Birdy is such a mess of a person in general. She makes one stupid mistake after another. Get your shit together, girl! Plus, the author takes cheap shots at Americans, acting like we are all classless idiots. No thanks. I don’t think I will be picking up anything else from this author.
Bottom Line: Pass
**I received a copy of The Summer Job from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are of my own.**
I didn’t realize this was the third book in a series when I requested it. (Some of the reviews said you do no need to read them in order.) I think this one one of those “read now” deals I got an email for. The premise sounded good with family secrets, but I just couldn’t get into this book. The writing was sort of all over the place, and the characters were not very relatable to me. I was bored and maybe I just picked it up at the wrong time.
Bottom Line: At the time of my review, the book had really good reviews on Goodreads, so I can’t say not to read it since I didn’t finish it. Maybe it picked up? It just wasn’t for me.
**I received a copy of Oh William! from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are of my own.**
Well, I am coming in late today because it is the first day of school for Zoe. She is starting her last first day in pre-school. That hit me when I was walking out to the parking lot all sad and lonely, and ran into a mom friend who was dropping off and kindly reminded me of that little fact. Zoe has been making comments about being nervous to start back, but when she popped out of bed this morning and squealed with excitement that it was the first day of school. She didn’t eat much for breakfast, so I knew that she was still a little nervous. At drop off, she gave me three hugs and was going in for a fourth when she saw her friend, and went running off after her. Not even a goodbye. So it was an easier drop off for her than me.
I am just glad that parents still get to walk their kids to class as of right now. I like to communicate with the teachers as much as possible to know how she is doing and little bits about her day. I hope that she is having an amazing time!
As I mentioned on Friday, I didn’t get to do a lot of the things I had planned last week. I did manage to take Zoe on a lunch date Friday. She chose her favorite Mexican restaurant, and of course, I said yes! I hope to make this a yearly tradition, going out to lunch to celebrate a new school year.
After we left there, we took some food back to Chris and then headed to Open House to meet her teachers and see her classroom. When we walked in the front door, several of Zoe’s past teachers were standing in the hall and everyone yelled “Zoe!!!!!” when we walked though. Several came running up to her, commenting on how much they missed her, how tall she has grown, how long her hair has gotten, how excited they are that she is back. She was just beaming from all the attention, I know it meant a lot to her. We went up to see her classroom and talk to the teachers for a few minutes and I think we both felt better when we left. The women that work there are truly a blessing.
Saturday we mostly hung around the house. Zoe rode her bike, practiced her hand stands in the yard and made pierogis for lunch. We ordered Moe’s BBQ for dinner, and stayed inside most of the afternoon as a storm rolled through. We did manage to get a long walk in Saturday night after it stopped raining.
Sunday morning we played several board games and had leftover BBQ for lunch. Zoe and I ran to Publix to grab some dinner supplies, and then spent the afternoon outside. I set up the slip n slide and water table for her in the backyard. We also enjoyed some bomb pops.
That evening we had pork medallions, mashed potatoes and lima beans for dinner. Zoe and I had all her stuff packed up and ready to go for school in the morning. She has known for months what her first day outfit was going to be, and she made sure everything was together for that.
Happy Friday! This week…oof. I had so many plans this week that I thought out in my head of things I wanted to do with Zoe since it is her last week before school starts. While we managed to squeeze a few quick things in, like grabbing some new shoes and a trip to the library….we didn’t do anything else I wanted to do. That is always how it goes, isn’t it?
Zoe finished out both summer dance and gymnastics this week. I feel like she has grown so much with both. At dance we were in a class with none of her regular dance friends she had been with for the last two years, so she branched out. And in gymnastics I watched her go from being nervous about the height of the bars and beams to hanging upside down from her knees and jumping across the highest beam. Her coaches pushed the girls so hard all summer, and it definitely shows in their skill level. I am so glad that we took a small summer class to get her introduced to everything before we join a larger class for a full session that starts in two weeks.
This afternoon we go to open house to meet the teachers and get a lay of the land for the upcoming school year. I was really hoping for a regular year, but alas, it seems there is going to be a lot of unknown again. I am thankful we still have this year in 4K before kindergarten.
Favorite Purchases: I haven’t done a Friday post in a few weeks, so I have a few new favorites to share. First off, Walmart is back with new colors of my most favorite sweatshirt!! I basically lived in them all last year, and plan to do the same this fall/winter. I grabbed the leopard and want to get the coral and black as well. I have several colors from last year, and they were all wonderful.
I found this faux leather skirt on clearance for $12!!! You seriously cannot beat the price for something so fun and edgy, yet still classic. It runs very true to size and is fully stocked when this post went live. This is a piece I was a little nervous to add to my wardrobe, because it is slightly out of my comfort zone, but I have already found several ways I want to style it and it is definitely worth it for the price.
This concealer is $10-12 in stores, but I found it for under $6. I had just finished my shiseido concealer and wanted to try something new to me. I like the shiseido one, but it didn’t blow me away. It is solid and the best one I had tried in awhile. This Loreal one actually provides better coverage for a fraction of the cost!!! I am still new to using it, a little goes a long way!! But with setting powder I got it to last all day with minimal creasing into my fine lines…which is always my main struggle with any concealer. This one definitely holds up to the higher end ones.
Target has kids shoes BOGO 50% off right now. Zoe picked out the cutest sneakers and some glittery ballet flats. Both are very neutral gold tones that will go with all her outfits. The sneakers are so cool because not only do they have glitter and rhinestones on them, but they also light up on the sides!! They are the perfect sneakers to wear with pants and dresses. It is hard to find kids sneakers that look cute with dressier things, and I like her to wear better shoes at school when they are on the playground.
The sneakers are gold on the sides, the pink is really on the tongue and bow with a little pink light up on the side when you walk.
Favorite Recipe: This really is the best balsamic dressing I have made. I have been craving salads everyday because of this recipe.
Favorite Workout: This one has a lot of full body moves, and after four rounds, you will feel it!!