Linking up with Steph and Jana. I only got through four books this month. There were several days when I just didn’t feel like reading. It happens. The books I did read were good, and definitely worth adding to the TBR! In 2019, I didn’t meet my reading goal on Goodreads and I was bummed. This year, I thought I was being lofty and set it for 52, one per week. Well, as of now I am 60 books in for the year!!! Who knew we would have a pandemic and I would be reading a lot more overall?!

The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth

The Good Sister

This book captured my attention pretty early on. I don’t know what it is with me and stories about twins. (I always think about PLL haha.) This was written from Fern’s point of view, and then you get Rose’s POV from her diary. I had some suspicions from the beginning and I was right in the end, but that didn’t take away from the book at all. There was definitely a twist or two I didn’t expect. This book touches on Asperger’s and people with certain sensitivities, and I think it was done really well. This is the writing I come to expect from Sally Hepworth and I am here for it.

Bottom Line: Read it! I flew through it because I wanted to see how it all turned out! (This one comes out early 2021, so pre-order now!!)

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

What Happens in Paradise by Elin Hilderbrand

What Happens in Paradise (Paradise, #2)

I enjoyed the second book just as much as the first, and flew through it! I really love all of the characters and the drama between the two families as they continue to find out what happened to Russ and Rosie. I have some theories, but wont know for sure until I can get my hands on the third book!!

Bottom Line: Definitely enjoying this series! Be sure to start with the first. This you need to read them all, and in order.

Bet Me by Lila Monroe

Bet Me (Lucky in Love, #2)

This is the cutest book! I absolutely loved every minute of this. The characters were really fun, I definitely LOL’d several times, and just love a good enemies to lover romp. It was one of those books that I kept wanting to read any second I had to spare. It was just light and fluffy and the right time for me to pick it up. I only have one complaint that I wont say because spoilers. And it wasn’t that big of a deal for me.

Bottom Line: Read it if you are looking for a fun fluffy romcom!

Date Me Like You Mean It by RS Grey

Date Me Like You Mean It

I absolutely loved Aiden and Maddie in this book. It was everything I have come to expect from RS Grey, but a little more this time. It was different somehow? More angsty than her usual and, and I liked how it was split into two parts. I laughed, I got frustrated for the characters, I had all the warm happies, I just loved it. This is a friends to lovers romcom that takes place over a year in Austin and Vail, and you get some Christmas in here too! The chemistry was hot hot hot and I couldn’t put it down.

Bottom Line: Read!!! This might be my new favorite from her.

**I received a copy of Date Me Like You Mean It from the author in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are of my own.**

Zoe’s Monthly Favorites

I have decided to start sharing a few of Zoe’s favorite books each month. I have done a few posts in the past sharing books she loves. Lately, we have been reading a ton!!! At least one at bed time, and sometimes several throughout the day.

The Monster at the End of this Book

I had this book when I was younger, and I am not sure what happened to it. I was on a mission to find it for Zoe awhile ago and I am so glad I did. Zoe cracks up every time we read this together. I hear her remembering most of the book as she “reads” it to herself too. I just saw that it is on super sale right now here.

I Want To Dance

Picture of I Want to Dance

This is such a sweet book about a bunny that wants to join a ballet class, and the teacher and girls in the class accept the bunny and all her friends. Zoe always comments on how beautiful the book is when we read it. I ordered this book from Carly. Please visit her shop here! If you are needing book suggestions, message her on Instagram and ask her to create a wish list for you! She found so many books for me that Zoe absolutely loves. (She didn’t ask me to say this, she doesn’t even know I am. I am just really impressed with Usborne books and plan to order more.)

The Little Engine That Could

Zoe said that this was a lovely book. It made me smile when she used the word lovely. Who doesn’t love a story where the underdog pulls through? I think I can I think I can I think I can.

Room on the Broom

I know Halloween is over, but Zoe really loved this book and we have still been reading it over and over. The witch in this book shows that there is room at the table or “broom” for everyone. I can’t think of a better message. It also shows the power of friendship and being kind. Definitely a must read for little ones.

Currently Reading

I want to start reading Anxious People because I need to hop on it for book club, but I am in the mood for something lighter. Hopefully I can get both finished before then!

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

The Flatshare

Things I Want To Remember – A Global Pandemic

Awhile ago, Steph shared a things she wanted to remember post and I thought it was a great idea to put it all in one place to reflect back on. Because with anything major in your life, there are some things you will never forget…but there are little things you want to remember.

I started writing this post in June I think? The last update I did was in July before today. I am reading through it today and adding updates since some of the information needed updating. Those updates will be in bold italics.

I want to remember how terrifying it was on Friday, March 13, 2020 when I left my office in the middle of the work day to go get groceries and pick up Zoe. I didn’t know if I would be returning to the office on Monday or not. I had figured probably not. I wasn’t sure when the next time I could go to the grocery store would be, did I get enough food???? And what do I do with Zoe and daycare? That was decided for me that evening when we got an email from the director telling us they would be shut down.

I want to remember that evening because my sister came over and had a sleepover with Zoe. They had plans to go to a family event at Chick Fila that was cancelled. Tracy got together items and had an indoor egg hunt for Zoe here, and her and my nephew spent the night to have a sleepover party. It was the last time I saw anyone in person for a long time. Tracy was the last person in our home since March.

I want to remember that initially I thought we would be home for maybe two week to up to possibly a month.That originally I didn’t think that Zoe’s dance recital in May was going to be cancelled. Or her friends birthdays in June and July. I definitely figured she would be back to daycare by July. But now I am debating if she will even go back when the new “school year” starts in August. Or if she will do dance this fall. Seriously, most of the time it has felt like this is never going to end. Update, it is now November and she still isn’t back in school, and we are doing virtual dance for the time being.

I want to remember how much time I spent researching for lesson plans for Zoe in the beginning. And how quickly I fizzled out because working a full time job and schooling your kid and trying to keep up with everything else is hard. Damn hard. It is still hard and I am lucky to do a lesson 3-4 times a week.

I want to remember how vital Shipt and Instacart were for us during this time. We had all our groceries delivered by one of these two services each and every week. We had positive experiences, and I appreciate how hard our shoppers shopped for us.

I want to remember how resilient Zoe remained through most of this. Of course, she missed her friends and old routine. We definitely had some major meltdowns!!! But also, every night when we tucked her into bed, she would tell Chris and I what kind of party we were going to have the following day. A Frozen Party! A Jasmine Party! A Sofia Party! A Sunglasses Party! A DANCE PARTY! She found joy and something to celebrate every. single. day. Every single day for 8 months.

I want to remember what our new normal looked like. My typical weekday schedule has been to wake up at 5:00 am (letting myself sleep a whole extra hour!) workout, work (from 6:00 am to when Zoe woke up), let Zoe sleep in until she naturally awoke (anytime between 7:00 am – 9:00 am), make breakfast, walk Mac, do a lesson (most days not all), play outside, make lunch, make coffees for Chris and I and grab a snack for Zoe, work from about 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm while Zoe played/watched movies/colored, play Just Dance/Mario Kart/Sit on Deck with popsicles, dinner, go outside and ride bikes/walk/drive Minnie car, do pajamas and read a book, go to bed. This is still mostly our schedule, the time change and the fact that it gets dark is messing things up this week.

I want to remember how Zoom calls basically replaced the office. We have one every Monday morning (two once a month with the entire team) to discuss what we have going on for the week and anything important about certain jobs. It really is an excellent way to remain connected to your team. I always showered, did my hair/makeup and got for real dressed on these days.

I want to remember how important home items were that we took for granted. Side walk chalk, inflatable pools, sand boxes, bikes, paints, craft supplies. All of this became a hunt to find at one point or another. A pool I paid $21.97 for last year is over $100 and out of stock constantly now. A good reminder to keep these things on hand. Also, I will never be without toilet paper and disinfectant again. I will forever have a pandemic hoard stashed somewhere in my house.

Starting here…stuff I wrote out today before posting….

Chris and I have been enjoying some adult beverages most Thursdays and Saturdays after Zoe goes to bed. We go down in our game room and watch old sets from Tomorrowland and comment on how many people there were and will it ever be like that again. And listen to 90’s and early 2000 music. It has been like our “date nights” and very crucial for maintaining our sanity. I can’t imagine doing this pandemic with anyone else, and I am so thankful for him. He has been my rock through all this, and has let me cry and let my frustration out more enough times.

I started out strong with keto and workouts when the pandemic first began. I stayed strong for months, slowly adding in more carbs when I realized that keto was messing with my body in a bad way. And then I got depressed sometime around August and started slipping up more and more. I think it was because I saw the summer coming to an end, and the school year starting and we were no better off than we were back in March. The light at the tunnel went dark, and I started getting really upset about all the things we were missing. Seeing our friends and family, going places, all the experiences we didn’t get to have with Zoe for several months. It was my dark time during the pandemic and I was in denial about it.

One of my daycare mom friends checked in with me several times, random texts that just said “Hey girl, you are on my mind. Just checking in. How are you doing.” I don’t think I have expressed to her how much those have meant to me, I hope to do it in person sometime. Hopefully over wine with no kids.

Shout out to Laura. We still gchat like we did throughout the day at work, and I appreciate her listening to my ridiculousness. I cannot wait until she comes over with her fam and we play arcade games and have the biggest dance party ever and order food from like 5 different places. We have birthdays and weekly lunches and Tomorrowland 2020 to make up for, among lots of other things. And Lindsay who has been pretty much a daily text for the last 8 months. She has cracked me up, listened to me bitch and rant incessantly about several things, and am so thankful for someone I have never hung out with in person, but feel like I have known forever.

I started online Christmas shopping in September. And now as we are approaching November, my company has sent out analytics saying that online shopping will be up 40% this year, and there will be so many shipping delays, if you want something for Christmas it needs to be ordered by November 30th.

And I cant forget mentioning that I am so so so so so thankful that I made the decision to leave my old job last summer. While I absolutely loved what I did, and some of the people I worked with…I hated the environment there. I felt like I was back in high school with the way they watched your every move and micromanaged the shit out of everything. They were very old school in may ways, and were not flexible at all with you and your family. They went back to work Monday, March 16th like there wasn’t a global crisis and haven’t stopped, No option to work from home.

Meanwhile, my current company sent everyone to WFH worldwide. And I am still working from home 8 months later, with no intentions of ever going back to the office full time. My boss has made comments like “Do what is best for you and your family” over and over again. I know that I am more than blessed in this area, and I never for a day take it for granted. Working from home full time while trying to keep your kid happy, learned, entertained, etc is so hard some days. MOST DAYS. But it is a privilege and a blessing that some people are not afforded, and I can never be grateful enough for it.

And if you made it to the bottom of this post, thanks for sticking around. I really just wanted somewhere for all my thoughts though this to land. I didn’t even want to get into the political war and divide that we have going on in our country right now. I just can’t with it. Both sides are insane. I am curious, what are some things that you want to remember from this time? I think I am going to get one of those 2020 ornaments I have seen around everywhere. For my Christmas tree that was up November 1 for the first time ever. Because 2020.



Anyone else always have a hard time adjusting to the time change? Honestly, I find it easier in the fall simply because we aren’t having to wake up earlier…but when you have kids…they don’t care what time it is. Zoe has been up extra early this week and it is killing my work flow! Plus, I feel like I have to stop working earlier in the day to take her outside before it gets dark. And picking back up later is hard, you know? We are going to have to find a new balance that works for us after all these months of the same schedule.

Reading – I am about to start reading Anxious People for Lindsay’s book club. Last month I read the book club book as soon as it came, and then forgot everything by the time book club came around. This time, I think I am going to take some notes and I waited awhile before starting.

Anxious People

I had just finished Date Me Like You Mean It from RS Grey this past weekend. I mention it because today is release day!!! This was such a fun romcom!!! I will review in more detail next week, but I think we could all use a cute romcom in our lives right now. The characters chemistry was hot hot hot.

Date Me Like You Mean It

Listening – Dont @ me, but Christmas music! We started decorating around the house this week. I am taking my time and doing little bits each day. It has been so fun and has brought me so much joy. I always listen to Christmas music starting November 1, even in a normal year. But this year…this year it is essential.

Watching – Other than election coverage and Friends reruns…not much to be honest. Well, I say that. We watched 2 Christmas movies this past weekend! I saw that Chuck Lorre is coming out with a new sitcom, and I just love his stuff so I hope to check it out! It premiers tonight.


Buying – I grabbed this shirt from Target last week. It is actually on sale for under $10 through the end of today! I have been all about practical pieces I can wear at home but still look appropriate to wear out in a casual setting.

Cooking – How good does this no noodle chicken thai skillet look??? I am adding it to the menu next week. I also plan to sit down with a few of my cookbooks and pick out some new recipes to try. I have several cookbooks and rarely ever crack them. I usually just scroll Pinterest for inspiration, but I want to make more of an effort to look at the actual books too. There are so many good recipes I haven’t tried!

Loaded with veggies and full of flavor this one-skillet Healthy Chicken Pad Thai recipe makes for a healthy, easy, and delicious weeknight meal! Strands of broccoli slaw, cabbage, and carrots stand-in for noodles making this healthy Pad Thai a satisfying Whole30, paleo, and gluten-free meal. You won't even miss the noodles!

Planning – I want to put a coffee bar in our kitchen/hearth room. Coffee is such an essential part of every day, and the Ninja coffee bar, mugs and all the coffee beans and stuff takes up a lot of space on the counters and cabinets. I think that coffee bars are so cute, and you can create more storage and also decorate them for the holidays. This is some of my inspiration.

I am also trying to plan out how we are going to make Zoe’s birthday special this year. Back in the spring, I never dreamed that we wouldn’t be able to throw Zoe a normal party with all her friends this year. I know so many of you have done kids birthdays during all of this by now, so help me navigate! How did you make it special? We already have all her presents, I just need to wrap them. I plan on making her a special cake/treat and we will probably order burgers or something that day since it is her favorite. Maybe decorate a little. But if you have any good ideas that worked for you, please let me know. She is beyond devastated that she wont be having her usual party that she has been talking about since the day after her birthday last year. She misses her friends so much, and I know that there is no making up for that.


Youd think i was black i swear to goddd i get so ghetto.
Clean up
33 Hilarious Parenting Quotes That Will Have You Crying From Laughter - CheezCake - Parenting | Relationships | Food | Lifestyle


Amazon Favorites

Linking up with Tanya today for my Amazon purchases. I have been ordering Birthday and Christmas presents like crazy the last few weeks for Zoe. I feel like there are going to be some serious shipping delays the closer to December we get, and I don’t want to take any chances!

Also, Chris and I have our 8th wedding anniversary coming up soon! We really don’t do presents for anniversaries, and stick to making some homemade lasagna and exchanging cards. Since we have moved to a new house and are spending a lot more time in it because 2020….we thought this year we would go all out for Christmas. So you will see some of that in this post as well, as we get stuff collected for our huge outdoor display!

Sewing Kit

One of Zoe’s doll outfits ripped when we were trying to change them. And two of Zoe’s dress up costumes have holes in them. I wish I knew how to sew so I could make all kinds of fun doll clothes for her!!! It would be so cool. But at the bare minimum, I need to be able to fix the ones we have when they tear. This sewing kit has everything one needs for a quick fix.

6 Ft Turkey

Chris ordered this inflatable turkey one night when we were drinking, and completely forgot he ordered it. It was quite the laugh when it came in 2 days later. We are inflatable yard decor people now. Who knew. 2020 does some weird things to you. He has a strobe light in his belly. It brings me so much joy.

Smores Sticks

We have this smores machine, and it only comes with 2 sticks. They are kind of short and there are three of us. I wanted to get some longer ones so I didn’t have to hover over the machine, and could make all of our smores at once. This came with a nice bag to store them in, and a silicone brush!

Day Light Bulbs

These are amazing for the garage. We have two bays and it seriously is brighter than day time in there at night with both of these on.

Collagen Peptides

Listen, I go back and forth on whether collagen is complete bullshit or a great product lol. It is supposed to be great for not only your hair, nails and skin….but also your joints. And it adds protein to my morning acai bowls without altering the taste. I put whey protein in there before, and it totally tastes like whey and not the delicious acai I love so much. I had the Vital Proteins brand before and I didn’t notice a single difference when I took it and when I didn’t. This time around, my hair has never been better. It could also be my hair products, but my nails are stronger too, so this is helping as well.

Mickey Christmas Train

How cute is this train?! Zoe squealed with glee when she saw the box come in the other day. It is so cool! I cant wait to get it set up under our tree.

Polar Bear with Penguins

We have a huge yard with a lot of road frontage between the front and side yard. We are going all out this year and doing a Snoopy scene in our front yard, and North Pole type stuff on the side yard. Enter this giant ass polar bear with penguins. Who doesn’t love penguins?

Santa Clause

If you don’t have a 12 foot Santa, did you even Christmas?


Do you want to build a snowman???

Snoopy Dog House

This will be for part of our Snoopy scene in the front.

Schroeder, Snoopy and Leaning Lucy

And of course, you can’t have a Snoopy scene without these guys! We have some other characters coming from places other than Amazon.

Unicorn Monopoly Junior

This was on Zoe’s Christmas list. Chris’s favorite game in Monopoly, so I think it will be so fun to play the junior version with Zoe.

FurReal Snow Dragon

For whatever reason, this thing soared to the top of Zoe’s Christmas wish list after she viewed the Amazon toy catalog. We watched a video of it together, and it was pretty damn cool looking. It is basically a pet mood ring. I went to order it, and realized the shipping was several weeks out and decided we better get it now! Zoe literally cried for a few days on and off fretting over if she wanted the white one or the purple one. Chris ordered her both lol. She hasn’t asked for anything big this year, and she wanted her snow dragon to have a friend. She is so concerned with all of her toys having friends right now. Its clear that 2020 has taken a toll on her. I cant wait to see her face when she opens not one, but two of these! Here is the purple…

Secret Crush Doll

Another item from the toy catalog that went on Zoe’s must have list. Kids these days are all about the surprise toys. While we know what doll we are actually getting when we purchased this one, there are still a few surprises in the box.


Weekending – The One With Halloween

Happy November! I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. We made the most of our 2020 Halloweening and crammed so much in to one weekend, I am still recovering. It is funny how busy I am on a daily basis for someone who rarely leaves the house. Anyone else feel that way?

Friday we ordered Half Shell Oyster House for lunch. It was a big deal for us, because I actually walked in there to get our food. I prepaid on the phone to minimize my exposure. We went at an off time of day, so the place wasn’t packed out like it has been every time we have drive by since they opened. We ordered lots of food to have for lunch, dinner and snacking. Everything was delicious.

Friday night we made Halloween sugar cookies. This is the same recipe my mom used when I was little, and it has always been my favorite. I think I will try to make a post sharing it soon. The icing is THE BEST tasting.

We also did lots of Halloween crafting and pumpkin painting.

On Saturday morning I was going to work some, but the wireless was down so I started a new book instead! I read it in a few sittings because I couldn’t put it down!!! RS Grey’s Date Me Like You Mean It will come out Thursday, so mark your calendar! I think this is my new favorite of hers.

A sweet friend dropped off a goodie bag for Zoe after we had breakfast. Zoe was really excited.

Then we had our egg hunt!!! It was a lot of fun and might have been better than walking around trying to make awkward chit chat with strangers in a normal trick or treating situation. Plus, I controlled what went in the eggs, so only the good candy and some other stuff so it wasn’t a total sugar rush. Zoe decided on Snow White for Halloween. I feel bad not getting her a new costume, but she has so many princesses costumes and didn’t seem to mind wearing one of them.

Zoe wanted to take some pictures in her Halloween shirts since they most likely wont fit last year. She has been all about pictures lately.

Did you get to see the moon Halloween night??? It was insane! Zoe and I went and sat in the driveway for awhile just appreciating the view in the sky.

The Auburn and Alabama games were both a little boring, Bama shut out Miss State!!! Roll Tide!!! So I ended up taping off the dining room to get it ready for paint!

Sunday morning, Zoe and I had Gobbles (our inflatable turkey) out in the front yard, Halloween put up and Christmas pulled out into the hall by 8:00 am. We were ready!

I thought the dining room was going to be an easy job, but it took way longer than expected. The crown molding is gorgeous, but damn was it a pain in the ass! I like the red color it used to be on football jerseys, not on walls in my house. Red gives me anxiety. Here is a before and after.

I am obsessed with the color. It is Smokey Blue from Sherman Williams. I just got the furniture put back this morning, I still need to decorate and get the Christmas stuff out. (one lonely tree made it down there already, as you can tell.) I ordered some window pains and wreaths to hang, and need to figure out what, if anything, will go between them. The furniture in the room was Chris’s grandmothers and it was important to me to keep it the way it was given to us. I actually love the chair cushions. They are a dusty blue similar to the wall color with blush pink flowers on them.

We ordered from our favorite Mexican place for lunch. In the evening we ended up watching The Santa Clause and part of The Grinch! I made homemade hot chocolate. We have a lot of Christmas movies to get through, and I am making sure we get to them all this year! Last year got away from us so quickly. It is my absolute favorite time of year, and I am not letting covid, the election, or anything else ruin the Christmas spirit around here!