Books – May 2023

Book reviews coming in hot! I am going to split up this month’s reviews into two posts, as I want to make sure I get this one posted on the release date for R. S. Grey’s new book!

Billionaires Don’t Go to Camp by Amy Zeigler

I enjoyed this clean romance. It is sort of an enemy to lovers / forced proximity trope in that Clara demands justice for Elliot’s reckless driving. The judge has Elliot serve the community by helping at Clara’s camp.

I feel like we get to see the spark start to form between Clara and Elliot and get to learn about her passion for helping and Elliot’s drive for business. I was not a fan of Elliot at all in the beginning, but he really started to grow on me.

Bottom Line: This was a cute read with good development. I am not as big of a fan of clean romance as I am something with a little spice, but I really enjoyed the storyline and the camp in this one.

**I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.**

Secretly Yours by Tessa Bailey

I usually love Tessa Bailey, but this one fell a little flat for me. While I enjoyed the parts about Hallie and her grandma, and her love for Lorna and her wine store, and her relationship with her best friend….she came off as really immature for 29/30. Writing secret admirer letters, the way she handled the Corked’s competition, the fact that she was a virgin at her age?! Like that might have bothered me most actually, because when you get to the steamy bits of the book I had major eye rolls when it came to her virginity. So unnecessary.

And while I enjoyed Julian’s family business, his past, and his mom and sister….he wasn’t fully developed for me as a character. I never truly felt the spark between him and Hallie. And the conflict on his part towards the end was a major WTF. I don’t know. And him calling Hallie “soft” as a compliment. No. This book moves slow throughout, and while there were parts I liked, it just was a miss for me I think.

Bottom Line: Meh, it was alright. If you are fan of Tessa Bailey and you just want to read them all…then do. But you might be a bit disappointed in this one. It Happened One Summer was a lot better.

Blushing in the Big Leagues by R. S. Grey


I couldn’t wait to read Tate’s story, and of course, I blew through this one so fast! It was so cute! This might be my new favorite R.S. Grey books, I don’t know, it is hard to chose just one to be a favorite….but dang I really loved Tate and Grant! This one revolves around professional baseball, obviously. It is a forbidden romance trope with a MLB’s little sister, so that is super fun. I love that we really get to meet and invest in this core group of friends. I almost feel like maybe there could be a good on Daphne too??? Come on R.S. Grey!! I am not ready to leave the Pinstripes just yet!

Bottom Line: Read it!

Happy Place by Emily Henry

I really love Emily Henry’s writing and was excited when I saw that she had a new book out. She has become a must read for me. I really loved the way Happy Place was laid out. We start with finding out that Harriet is going to be on vacation with her friends in her happy place, only to discover that her and her ex broke up over 5 months ago and now they have to act like they are together because no one knows. I love a good forced proximity trope.

I could really feel the love that Harriet and Wyn still had for each other throughout. I loved how we went back and forth between the beginning of their relationship and current day. I enjoyed all the side characters, the location… I could barely put it down and had it finished in about 24 hours.

Bottom Line: Read it!


Books – April 2023

April books coming in hot! A few good ones, a few that I could take or leave.

Just My Type by Falon Ballard

This was a fun read. I love enemy to lovers, and this was also a second chance romance. Lana Parker was a strong female lead. I loved her group of girlfriends, they were such great side characters and made me want to join their friend group! Seth was a little bland at times, I wish we could have heard his POV throughout the book, it would have made him a stronger character. I loved the premise and flow of the book. There was a lot of growth in Lana, and I like to see that in our main character. I will say, the article excerpts at the beginning of each chapter were a little disappointing. I felt like they were low-effort considering the entire book revolves around Lana and Seth’s work. I wanted something a little more clever.

Bottom Line: Read it!

The 40-Day Sugar Fast by Wendy Speak

This is the best book I have read on my relationship with food. Hear me out. While not every devotional day in this book went very deep, or was super life-changing….there were a few days that just really clicked with me and are the things I needed to hear. Especially the last few at the end. This devotional made me realize that sugar was ruining both my physical health and my spiritual one. And it goes beyond just sugar, spending…time on social media…etc. When you run to any of those things instead of God, you lack the spiritual fruit of self control and you will never be satisfied. I definitely plan to pick this up at least annually, as there are many good nuggets.

Bottom Line: Read it!

The next three are novellas by Ali Hazelwood. You can consume them all in one as Loathe to Love You, or separate. I chose to write about them separately below.

Under One Roof by Ali Hazelwood

This was such a cute, quick read. I liked how it started out in present time, then went in reverse over the last five months. I wish we would have gotten Liam’s side of the story, it would have been fun to know what was going on in his mind. But, obviously since this is a novella, there isn’t a ton of character development. In fact, I didn’t really feel the moment when these two felt a spark. While I really love Ali Hazelwood’s longer novels, I wish we could get away from the exact same copy and paste characters in each book. While I love she focuses on STEM women, they are usually annoying characters and the men are always dull and boring with super huge *insert eggplant emoji here.** While the formula worked for me in the first two books of hers I read….I want something more now! I enjoyed this one, but I have a feeling the next two in the series are going to basically be copies of this story. And that is a little disappointing.

Bottom Line: I think this series of three novellas is worth a read, but I wouldn’t rush to purchase them.

Stuck with You by Ali Hazelwood

This might have been my favorite out of the three? I feel like we really got to know Sadie and Erik more than the others. I could feel the chemistry more, they had a lot in common with their interests. It was steamy and fun! But again, big guy, small girl, science thrown in. Same formula.

Below Zero by Ali Hazelwood

This one was cute, but once again…same formula. For the third time in a row in one novella, I thought that was a bit much. I enjoyed the actual plot…of being stuck and the whole rescue. That part was fun. And I liked how each novel started in the current and went back to how the characters first interacted. But again. Three times in a row is a bit much.

Houseplants for a Healthy Home by Jon VanZile

I have gone all in on embracing the green thumb life. This book is full of different house plants and it talks about their benefits to promote healthy living, as well as general care for them. It is an easily digestible read, each page is set up the same. There are plants that help clean the air, promote digestion, better sleep, combat anxiety and depression, relieve pain, fight cold and flu, help with ear aches, PMS, there are even plants that act as an aphrodisiac. We are definitely adding more around here.

The book is very basic, I wish it had real photographs instead of illustrations. But it was just what I needed to get started. It is very easy to look up certain plants, as it is laid out alphabetically.

Bottom Line: Read it! You will definitely learn something.

Mama Bear Apologetics by Hillary Morgan Ferrer

We live in a society that breaks further and further away from Christian morals and values. There are so many lies fed to us every day. As parents, we are the gatekeepers to our children and what they are exposed to. Our kids are facing attacks on their faith that we never had growing up. I made a lot of notes while reading this book and I actually am hoping to start a local book club inspired from it!

Bottom Line: Read it!

Gardening for Everyone by Julia Watkins

I grabbed this from the library and fully intend to purchase a copy for myself. This book is full of beautiful photos, crafty ideas and knowledge/education about all things gardening. I really liked the layout and the way everything was presented. I found great value in this over other gardening books I checked out the same day.

Bottom Line: If you are a beginner gardener like me, definitely grab this.

Pineapple Street by Jenny Jackson

I love a good family drama, but I feel like this one doesn’t have a strong plot/storyline. Nothing really happens. I mean, nothing monumental. It is filled with immature, catty characters. I felt like the book was virtue signaling a lot of the time. I didn’t quit it, and I am not afraid to tell a book bye. So there is that. I did enjoy reading it at times. But it took awhile to get into and I rolled my eyes a lot while reading it. I feel like this book is getting a lot of buzz and it is lost on me as to why.

Bottom Line: The best thing about this book is the cover. I gave it a solid 3 stars. I wanted it to be better, but still enjoyed parts of it.

Exes and Ohs by Amy Lea

I am trying to decide how I feel about this one. Trevor is amazing. I loved him throughout the book. Tara? Ugh. She got on my nerves! She is so immature for someone who is 30. I really don’t think that someone of this age would act so childishly at times. I liked the idea of going back through your exes, assuming they were half way decent people. But I also subscribe to the “they are exes for a reason” theory more often than not. I like slow burns and forced proximity, and we get both of that in here.

Bottom Line: This is another 3 star book for me. Trevor was a much stronger character than our leading lady, and frankly, he deserved better than her!


Amazon Favorites

Linking up with Tanya for our recent Amazon purchases.

Wooden Tags

I wanted to mark all the potted things we are planting, these wooden tags are great and they come with a marker to use with them! They are so cute and seem like good quality.

Black Light

Zoe’s teacher has a 10 day count down for the end of school, and one of the days is Glow Day. We ordered this black light to donate to her class.

Garam Masala

Our local grocery store isn’t the best when you are looking for spices like this, thank goodness for quick delivery! Going to make cashew chicken this week.

Tinkle Razors

This is a repurchase. I like to use these on my face for the peach fuzz, my makeup goes on much smoother!

Tile Scrubber Refill

Another repurchase. I love using this wand in our showers, it makes my life so much easier! Especially since we have tall ceilings and I can’t reach the top of our master shower. Works great in corners too.


Another repurchase! One bottle of this lasts us a long time. I use it on carpet, furniture, outdoor stuff, etc. With Mac getting older and having heart issues….he has had more accidents recently and we have really put this stuff to the test!

Molly’s Suds

Repurchase. LOVE this stuff. It is the best natural laundry detergent I have found. You have to make sure you are using the correct amount and the right temperature settings accordingly, and once you figure that out, it is easy sailing.

Monkey Costume

Kirei Sui Kids Animal Costume Black White Panda Tiger Monkey Bear Sheep Tutu Ear Headband Bow Tie Tail Paws Set

Zoe had her music program a few weeks ago, and it was jungle themed. Zoe chose to be a monkey and this was adorable on her!

Brown Girl’s Shirt

Lilax Girls' Basic Short Puff Sleeve Round Neck Cotton T-Shirt

I got this to go with Zoe’s monkey costume. I couldn’t find a plain brown shirt ANYWHERE in stores. I hated to pay this much for a plain kid’s shirt, but Zoe loved it and said it is her favorite fitting one she has. So I have a feeling cost per wear will be good for this come fall.

Parchment Paper

Talk about this nearly every month. Still can’t ever find unbleached parchment paper in our stores. Though, I did find some air fryer size ones this past month.


Books – March 2023

Some more book reviews coming your way! I had a lot of really great reads this month. Let’s jump in!

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

I wont lie, this book got a rough start for me and I wondered if I was going going to continue. I powered through and I am so glad I did!!! I was irritated with the fact that all the men seemed to be horrible in the beginning, because not every single man is awful and I am tired of the “toxic masculinity” phrase that is thrown around a lot. But it got better.

As someone who works in a male dominated profession, I know full and well that the “boys club” still exists and it took me years to find a company that treated me equally. So I have lots of empathy for Elizabeth.

The characters in this book were so dimensional. I loved Walter Pine, Dr Mason, Mad, Harriet and my absolute favorite was Six Thirty. What a clever and incredible name for a dog! I smiled, laughed, shed a few tears, got angry–basically all the feels in the book. It’s supposed to be a series on Apple TV, so I definitely want to check that out. The second half of the book is a long stronger than the first so if you find yourself struggling, hang in there!

Bottom Line: Read it!

Maybe Not by Colleen Hoover

This is a short novella following Someday Maybe that I didn’t know existed. There is also a third one after this! I plan to read the third still, but this novella was just ok for me. We get to know Warren and Bridgette that live with Ridge. It is written in Warren’s POV which is cool. While there were fun parts to the book and I liked getting to revisit these characters, there was just a lot of sex and immaturity that I didn’t love. We learn why Bridgette is the way that she is, but I feel like just because you had a rough life….it doesn’t give you an excuse to be a bitch to everyone. And I am trying to remind myself that these characters are both a lot younger than me, and I remember how I was in my 20’s…but they are just immature. Like all the pranking and they way they speak and act with each other. Just not a big fan. But I loved Someday Maybe so much that I want to continue on and read the next one.

Bottom Line: If you enjoyed Someday Maybe and want to continue on with the series, read it.

It Starts With Us by Colleen Hoover

This book had a lot of bad reviews on Goodreads. I feel like sometimes when a book gets picked up on Instagram or TikTok, it can get hate for simply being popular. I get it, as often times when a book is overhyped, I don’t get all the love for it. However, if you loved It Ends With Us, I feel you have to read this one.

I just loved Lily and Atlas. I know that not all victims have a great guy thta comes after the abuser, or an amazing support system, but each person’s story is different. And this shows that there can be hope and a good life. I feel like CoHo really showed how well an abuser can gaslight. It is realistic that abusers never really change.

While this book isn’t as riveting as the first, it was enjoyable and I am glad that I had the chance to read it and visit the characters again. I still feel like the relationship between Lily and Ryle’s sister and best friend is a little weird. But what relationship is perfect…you know?

Bottom Line: Read it

Gospel Centered Motherhood by Stephanie Boyles

I enjoyed this short devotional for moms. It was full of solid truths, and I liked the layout of a short devotional read, followed by some scripture to read, and then a place you can write out and reflect on each day. I especially liked the chapters on discipline and emotions. I needed to reminders of watching our tones and body language, and how we engage our emotions.

Bottom Line: Read it

Love, Pamela by Pamela Anderson

I am glad that Pamela finally told her story. She was everywhere when I was growing up. I loved her on Home Improvement, and my parents were super into Motley Crue so I do remember her Tommy years. Pamela is such an intelligent woman who really appreciates the good things in life like art, books, and she has so much passion for the things she speaks out about. I feel like the media was really unfair to her throughout her career. I enjoyed the book, but I do felt like it was a little watered down. But it is up to Pamela on how much she wants to share, so I can’t be mad about that.

Bottom Line: Read it.

Triggers: Exchanging Parents’ Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses by Amber Lia and Wendy Speake

This was such a great read. Highly recommend if you are a mom. I wish I would have read this when my daughter was younger, I realized I have made some mistakes in my parenting…we aren’t perfect. But this book would have helped me so much when we hit the toddler years. It is never too late to correct, and there are so many nuggets I have taken away from this book to apply to the future. I love that there is a part that focuses on the kids, and then yourself. Because many triggers are things we need to work on from within. I highly recommend this for parents, especially those of littles.

Bottom Line: Read it!

French Holiday by Sarah Ready

This releases April 26, 2023

I am a huge fan of forced proximity, especially when it is enemies to lovers. It just works for me. When Merry needs to get away after her sisters wedding, her godmother asks her to stay at her French chateau. Sounds perfect, right? Well, when she gets there….the last person she expects to bump into is Noah. The best man and her worst nightmare!

This book was full of charm, with two likable main characters. I really felt like we got to know them both and it was such a fun ride to the end. We also get a two for one story with Camille and Pierre mixed in. Even though I knew immediately how the mystery Noah was trying to solve was going to play out, it was fun how it all came together. Overall a delightful read!

Bottom Line: Read it!

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

The Widow’s Guide for Second Chances by Valerie Pepper

This releases April 11, 2023

I didn’t realize until I dove into this book that it takes place in Alabama! Like what?!?! So that was fun. But besides that, I really enjoyed this book! This is a new to me author, and it wont be my last from her…that is for sure. I really loved Devon and Aaron. I could relate to both of them, and they grew throughout the book. I loved how the town was rooting for them. I laughed out loud, and nearly had tears…basically all the feels while reading this book. Aaron’s brothers were great, and so was Devon’s. I felt like their relationship grew organically, as well as the friendships and family dynamics that were at play.

It was cute, emotional, steamy (whoa!) and had two amazing dogs. What more can you ask for in a book? This is the first book in the Guided to Love small town romantic comedy series, and I cannot wait to get my hands on the next one!!! I read this at the beach in less than 24 hours. Simply could not put it down.

Bottom Line: Read it!

**I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.**

Check Mate by Leah Brunner

I didn’t realize this was the third in a series until I got to the end and there was a little blurb about Brooks story! I am definitely going to go back and read the first two, and then the forth one for sure! I loved Isabella and David’s story! I really liked everyone in both of their families too. This is definitely a book that could be a stand alone read, but it is one I want to read the whole series of. David and Isa are so different, but they soon learn that they have many similarities. This is another enemy to lovers book, and it had me in stitches laughing over the prank shenanigans in the beginning. There is definitely some depth to the story as well though, as they navigate family drama/dynamics. Another book I finished in less than 24 hours at the beach!

Bottom Line: Read it!

Currently Reading

Just My Type by Falon Ballard


Amazon Finds

Linking up with Tanya for out latest Amazon finds. I haven’t done a post in a few months, so there is a good bit here!

To-go Condiment Containers

Zoe has been taking hummus to lunch a lot lately and I was using silicone cupcake holders, but they make a huge mess in her bentgo box. I tried the throw away kind, and they always leak or get deformed. Enter these. Amazing! Pretty! Leak proof! Why did I wait so long?

Lavender Syrup

My favorite coffee order is an iced lavender latte, no matter where I go. I decided to order a clean version of the syrup for home so I can recreate them.

Gabby Dollhouse Toy

Gabby's Dollhouse, Flower-rific Garden Set with 2 Toy Figures, 2 Accessories, Delivery and Furniture Piece, Kids Toys for Ages 3 and up

I grabbed this for Zoe for Valentine’s Day. She loves Gabby and has most all of the characters except Kitty Fairy and Carlita. I thought this was such a cute set to add to her collection. She plays with these dolls all the time.

Organic Pads

Rael Organic Cotton Cover Pads - Heavy Absorbency, Unscented, Ultra Thin Pads for Women, Postpartum (Extra Long Overnight, 24 Count)

I have always skipped over these when sharing our purchases, because I figure no one wants to really talk about them. Maybe it is TMI, but after months removed from the conventional feminine products like Always or Stayfree, I have to share how amazing and life changing these are. My period is lighter, I have less pain, and none of the uncomfortable feelings I had from wearing the other mentioned brands. I will never go back. Ever. They have lots of different sizes based on your needs. Look into the ingredients that are being used by Always and others, and you will see that it makes sense why you have discomfort after wearing them for a few days.

Unbleached Parchment Paper

Basically a monthly reorder. Love this stuff.

Bee Keepers Natural Cough Syrup

I had a lingering cough for over two weeks. I used the throat spray from Bee Keepers and absolutely love it. But when you get about half way through the bottle, the spray stops working because it gets jammed up. My guess is because honey is sticky. I decided to grab the cough syrup instead.

I also got the kids version for Zoe. Allergy season is here and I want to be stocked up! She uses the kids throat spray a lot and really likes it.

Also grabbed these to keep on hand. As you can tell, we really like this brand. I almost got a bag from another brand at Publix, but when I looked at the nutrition facts there was so much added sugar!! These only have one gram, you have to check labels even for cough drops and medicine these days for all the added garbage. So sad.

Play Food Kit 1

Play Food Kit 2

One of Zoe’s favorite things to do is pay restaurant with Chris and I. She asks us nearly every evening if we would like to order from her restaurant, and she gets work “preparing” us “food” from her play kitchen. Chris ordered these two kits for Valentine’s for her and she couldn’t be happier with them.

Scratch Paper

Chris also ordered this scratch paper kit for Zoe for Valentine’s Day. This would be cute for the Easter basket also! I love that it comes with stencils that you can use.

Dance Bag

Zoe’s original dance bag that I had monogrammed for her when she started at 2.5 is too small to holder even one pair of her tap shoes now. I had to get her a big girl version, and this is what I thought would grow best with her. I love all the compartments, and that there is a separate area for her to store sneakers in. It comes with a shoe bag inside that are perfect for her dance shoes!

Children’s Bible

NIV Heart of Gold Comfort Print Holy Bible, hardcover: 9780310768524 -  Christianbook.com

Zoe lost her bible at church before Christmas and it was never turned in. I decided to order her a new one, and wrote her name in it in several places. This one is really cute in person and has some devotionals scattered throughout that I really like that reminds me of the one I have and read daily.


Another constant reorder. My chiropractor suggested an electrolyte drink every day and I have to be honest and tell you that this makes a HUGE difference in how I feel. I never knew this could have an effect on my back and hip pain…but wow! I missed two days of it and I was so sore, and the next day I had one and felt better immediately. This really helps me stretch my time between appointments with him. I have tried many flavors from this brand, watermelon is my favorite with blue raspberry and pink lemonade as close seconds.

Baking Powder without Aluminum

I can never find baking powder without aluminum in stores, I grab this on Amazon when needed. Why do companies add aluminum when you don’t have to??


Zoe had a dress up day at school and needed a lanyard since she was a teacher. This is a great quality and we are keeping it for the next time a need arises.

Mario Book

Page 1

Added this to our library.

Coffee Glass

These are STUNNING and hold a good amount of coffee. They are also short and wide to fit under our expresso machine. Not a lot of mugs fit. The gold spoons are so pretty and dainty and having lids is a great option! Very high quality. There is a $3 off coupon on the date I posted this too.

Glass Straws

I love that this pack has two different size and shaped straws. These are perfection and makes drinking anything you use them with feel luxe. I have been making iced lattes every afternoon, and I love to use these. Easy to clean and an amazing price.

Breville Touch Expresso Machine

We purchased the fancy screen Breville Touch and cannot be happier with it. 100% worth it!!! We can recreate any coffee drink at home with a few easy steps and it is actually fun and sort of a hobby of ours now. Anything we make at home tastes a million times better than the burnt taste Starbucks doles out. Highly recommend this machine!

The next few items are accessories we have collected to use with the Breville. They aren’t necessary but if you are serious about your coffee, definitely things to consider to make life easier.


The Breville comes with a tamper, but this one weighs a lot more and makes it easier to get an even pour.

Puck Screen

Expresso Shot Glass

Knock Box

Makes dumping grinds so much easier than running across my kitchen to the trash can, dripping everywhere as I go.


Tap Shoes

Dance Class Unisex-Child Molly Jane Tap Shoe Mary Flat

It is recital season and time to get the right color shoes for our costumes…and always the time it is time to size up for Zoe’s ever growing feet. We love these tap shoes! So much better than ones with ties.

Ballet Shoes

Dynadans Soft Leather Ballet Shoes/Ballet Slippers/Dance Shoes (Toddler/Little/Big Kid/Women) …

Again, so much better than ones with ties that never stay tied!

Dance Leotard

EQSJIU Toddler Ballet Leotard for Girls Dance Skirt Camisole Ballerina Dress Outfit Nude 2-10 Years

Grabbed this to gift Zoe on recital day. This is an amazing price!!! I always get her a new leotard for a recital gift as we head into summer dance classes.

Protein Powder

Constant repurchase. Such a great price for grass-fed whey protein.