Tuesday, August 13, 2019

July and August Books

I didn't read a lot at the end of June an into July so I skipped the last Show Us Your Books link up with Steph and Jana, but I wanted to pop in (late) today to share the last couple of months of reads! You can also follow along on my Bookstagram  where I show how many unread books I have on my new shelf and what I'm actually reading in semi real time!

Since there's quite a few this month, I won't go into full details on every single one or you'd be here way too long when you should be reading ;)

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

June Books: A Little Underwhelming

I feel like I'm in a little bit of a reading slump because I have been busy with life and haven't been able to read as much. Then, this weekend, I had almost a whole day to read and I just wanted to veg in front of the TV which I never do. But, I caught up on a lot of shows, obsessed over the new Jonas Brothers documentary and watched some romcoms on Netflix and ended the weekend feeling refreshed so I'm cool with it!

Thursday, June 6, 2019

May Exhaustion Leads to June Napping

Whew. I won't lie, I LOVE May but I am exhausted at the end of it. So much so that we're 6 days into June and I just now had the energy to recap May and plan out June goals!

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

May Reading: The Best Love Story Ever

Wow, I have somehow read 12 books since the last linkup and that time has included my birthday, barre instructor training and a housewarming party. I am shocked. If you get nothing from these reviews today except read Red, White and Royal Blue immediately, I'll be happy.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

April Showers Bring May Birthdays

My fourth favorite month is here! I say fourth because I love October - December the most but May is my birthday month so I LOVE MAY! Maybe it's tied for favorite month?

Before I recap my April goals and share some for May, I wanted to share a few April highlights!

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

April Reads

Somehow, even though we moved mid March, I still knocked out a slew of books. I didn't used to enjoy audiobooks, but the library here seems to have a longer waitlist on many of the books I want AND I drive a lot around central VA for work, so I have the time to mix in. I'm still really into my podcasts, but it's nice to have a good book, too. Since I'm doing audiobooks, I think that's why I've been able to keep my count up through the move!

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Fun April Ahead

Well, we are officially in the second quarter of the year! Very weirdly, my new company doesn't use traditional quarters and it's really messing with me. Another month has come and gone and it was a good one!

Friday, March 29, 2019

A Hodge Podge of Friday Things

I have so many things I want to discuss on the blog, yet no time to do write them. I want to set aside some time Sunday evening to write up some of those lingering post ideas. You know, in between unpacking boxes. But, today, I just had a few random things to share and none really warrant their own posts (yet). 

one // Happiness. I honestly don't know if I've ever been happier or more content in where my life is right now. I love my job. I love our (very messy) house. I love our town. It's finally stopped raining every single day like it has for 7 months now. I have quite a few exciting changes coming at the studio. I've made wonderful friends already. I don't have to sit traffic for an hour to go 8 miles down the road anymore. 

Even on cranky days - because, let's be real, we all have them - I'm still SO happy. This move was the best thing we could have done for ourselves and I'm glad we weren't too scared and made the leap. 

two // Book club. A few months ago, someone posted in our neighborhood asking if there was a book club in the neighborhood she could join. There wasn't and somehow I became the point person of setting one up? I'm not totally sure how this worked out... But we've had about 10 ladies show up each month and it's been fun getting to know some new neighbors. And in a silly turn of events, the person who originally asked hasn't come to any of them!

So far, we've read The Girl Who Lived, Before We Were Yours and Where the Crawdads Sing and chose our next 3 books last night: One Day in December, Educated and The Island of Sea Women. 

three // Barre. I think I've mentioned here before that I "work" at a local barre studio in exchange for free classes. Every Monday, you can find me behind the desk checking clients in, cleaning up after class and assisting as needed. It's been SO fun getting to know so many people this way and I just love how welcoming it is. 

Starting Monday, I'll be helping out with their social media account for the next couple of months and I am SO excited and a little bit nervous. I plan to spend a little time this weekend plotting out the week! I can't wait to have some fun with stories! 

Oh, and I also got to be a part of the most recent photo shoot :) 

four // Jane the Virgin! If you're not watching JTV, what are you doing with your life?! Seriously one of the best shows on television and it is sadly ending this season. Thursday was the season premiere and I haven't been able to watch it yet but tonight is the night! 

I'm headed to hot yoga after work and then on to Annaliese's to watch it with her! She's making some delicious sounding cupcakes and I can't wait! 

five // Moving. One of my March goals was to have the entire apartment emptied but we still have a few car loads left. The storage unit is completely empty, but unfortunately we didn't get as much done over the weekend as we had hoped. Over the weekend, our goal is to finally get the last odds and ends out of the apartment. It's mostly decorating stuff so we haven't needed it yet - hence, why we haven't been ultra motivated all week. 

Also, our washer/dryer was supposed to be delivered the day after we closed, but if you saw my instastory, that didn't happen. Christian was at home waiting and they never showed. So he called, only to be told that they hadn't even arrived at the warehouse, let alone the store to be loaded into the truck for delivery and it will be AT LEAST two weeks. We still have the apartment so we can do laundry there, but it's annoying because we have all our stair railings off so they can maneuver up the stairs and there no sense putting them up until they are delivered... 

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

March Reads: Zombies, Cheshire Cats and Murders

Whew. Another month has come and gone and it's time to link up and share my recent reads. It's another long list so I won't give full recaps for all of them - just ones that I think you should know about! 

Feed // Mira Grant 
Rating: 4/5 
Genre: Dystopian/Zombie/Mystery
Challenge: Popsugar - a book you think should be turned into a movie OR a book with the same name as another book (the other option being Feed by MT Anderson) 

I can't even remember why I went after this book because it is NOT my type at all. I don't care for zombies one bit but I was really into this book. I think because it was less focused on zombie attacks and more focused on how the world recovered and changed from zombies becoming mainstream and how the rich and politicians have profited from the "rising". 

The book follows a group of bloggers who are following the campaign of a Senator running for president. You get a lot of backstory on the uprising in 2014, the security measures on how they continue to prevent large outbreaks, the science that caused the outbreak and then how politics has changed. There is a mystery thrown in for good measure. There are two more books in the trilogy that I can't wait to read!

Rating: 4/5 
Genre: Mystery
Challenge: Popsugar - a book that takes place in a single day


Depending on the version of the book you have, it is also called the Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. It's confusing but it meant to make it easier to distinguish between The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. 

This book is SO TWISTY and takes a lot of focus when reading. If you follow along on social media, you've probably seen that I go through books every few days if I don't have other stuff going on but this one took almost 2 weeks. Granted, we had friends and family in town which slowed me down considerably, but also it takes concentration. 

Aiden Bishop wakes up with no memories. It also turns out, he's not in his own body at all. Everday day for 8 days, he wakes up in a different body and is tasked with solving Evelyn Hardcastle's murder (which just so happens to look like a suicide). He has helpers along the way as well as someone trying to murder him. Needless to say this is a confusing roller coaster that was so fun to read! 

Rating: 4/5
Genre: Young Adult
Challenge: Erin's - a book that was turned into a movie


Rating: 3/5
Genre: Chick lit 
Challenge: Popsugar - A book with an item of clothing or accessory on the cover


Sophie Kinsella is always good for a fluffy read and this was no exception! There was a little romance, but mostly a book about friendship and life not always being the "ideal" of what you picture. 

Rating: 3/5
Challenge: Popsugar - a book told from multiple POVs


This book had SO much potential. I think the topic is great but the execution wasn't completely there. Nina's son is your typical "rich, white kid" who has no consequences for his actions who Snapchats a lower class, student in a compromising position while drunk. This topic is so relevant in this social media era, but unfortunately, it fell flat for me. And everything was wrapped up in an epilogue too nicely in my opinion. 

Rating: 4/5
Genre: Thriller
Challenge: Erin's - a book starting with the letter N


I read this in a day. It truly had my heart pounding and I even talked out loud to the book a couple times which made Christian laugh at me. There is some violence that I didn't love reading, but overall, a great thriller with some crazy twists. 

Rating: 2/5
Genre: Children's Lit 
Challenge: Erin's - a book originally published over 100 years ago 


Maybe I've just seen all the  movies too many times but I just did not enjoy this. I listened to it so maybe that was why? Or maybe if I had read it as a kid? Not my cup of tea. 
Rating: 4/5
Genre: Dystopian/Zombie/Mystery
Challenge: Popsugar - A book featuring an extinct or imaginary creature


So, yeah. I listened to all of these as quickly as I could. I thought this one was just as good as the first one while still being a pretty different type of story. I know that sounds weird and vague but I literally can't talk about this one or the final one without seriously spoiling the end to Feed and I just don't want to do that! 

Rating: 4/5
Genre: Dystopian/Zombie/Mystery

Again, can't say too much but I was listening to this one every second I had waiting for one big thing to happen and it was totally worth it! Another good one to finish out the trilogy. 

Currently Reading: 

On The Come Up // Angie Thomas (physical book)
The Luckiest Girl Alive // Jessica Knoll (audio-book)
Rich People Problems // Kevin Kwan (e-book)

Currently Checked Out from the Library: 
Hitler Youth // Susan Campbell Bartolli
The Au Pair// Emma Rous
An Anonymous Girl // Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

March's Book Club: 
Where the Crawdad's Sing // Delia Owens

As always, linking up with Jana and Steph!

Monday, March 11, 2019

February Showers Bring March Flowers?

Y'all. I swear it has not stopped raining since we moved to Charlottesville. But, it definitely rained most of February. I looked it up and we got 3.21 inches of rain last month and the average is .21 inches... needless to say we are wet mops over here!

At least one round of precipitation was snow and we got a snow day at least, but I am so ready for some sunny days and it looks like most of this week will be dry!

I had rough month in terms of goals, but it's not because I was being lazy - just the opposite, really. So, let's recap March:

Read 6 books. YES. I read 7 books actually. Some were recapped here and the rest will come next week!

Eat something green everyday. NOPE.  I won't even pretend I tried hard on this one. There were many days that I had spinach in my smoothie so this worked, but some days where I didn't even attempt. It's terrible, I know!

Go to spin class at least 4 times this month. NOPE. I did go twice, though! I found the class I like, so I plan to get some more in this month.

Go for a hike. NOPE. Not without trying though! We did get some long walks in, but as I said, it hasn't stopped raining in a month so all the trails were disgusting and most weekends it was raining. We also had Christian's best friend in town for two weekends and my brother for one.

Let's see if March goes any better...

I will go ahead and say that we close on our house this month and the second half of the month will be heavily focused on moving so I haven't set any really big goals since I know we will be busy. We also have a best friend's weekend planned next weekend!

Read 6 books. I had originally planned on my goal being 4 this month, but I've already finished 3 so... 6 is the goal and I feel like I should up it.

Be completely moved out of the apartment. We have the bare essentials in the apartment and I'm so ready for a normal kitchen with counter space so this is first on the list the week we close! I even joked last night that even if we aren't in the house the first week, I'll be cooking dinner there because I can't take it anymore!

I want to have the apartment empty by the end of the month but the storage unit may not be quite empty.

Try 5 new recipes this month. My original goal was 3 but I've already made two last week, so I decided to really challenge myself and increase it a bit. I'll be sure to share what I make!

Take 4 cardio classes. Our barre studio has two types of cardio classes that I've slacked on taking the last month so I need to get back to it. The yoga studio I go to also has the spin class I like so I plan on doing a few more of those!

11 days into the month is a good time to share goals, right? Oops! It's been a crazy March already and I know it's just going to get more crazy and I can't wait!

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

February Books

Wow I've read so much since the last check in! I'm actually kind of impressed with this because since the second week of January, I've basically only had one free night a week. This is great because it means I've been making friends but I also need to carve more time out for reading because it's my self care!

I mentioned in my last round up that I'm doing two different reading challenges and now I'm in a book club so I will be sharing which challenge its for or if it was for the book club!

The Lies We Told // Camilla Way
Rating: 4/5
Genre: Thriller
Challenge: Erin's - Book that is set in Europe; Popsugar - Book featuring an amateur detective

Clara wakes up to find that Luke hasn't come home or showed up for a big presentation at work. She's certain that something is wrong but everyone else thinks he's just left her. As she learns more about Luke's stalker and the past of his sister's disappearance, things get twisty. I really enjoyed the book and then the last few reveals just really shocked me and bumped my rating up to a 4!


The Kind Worth Killing // Peter Swanson
Rating: 3.5/5
Genre: Thriller
Challenge: None!

I honestly don't remember how I came across this book but I ended up listening to the audiobook version and I thought it was a good book to listen to thanks to the back and forth narrators. The two voices kept my attention more than a single narrator! The book had a lot of twists that were occasionally hard to find believable, but overall, it was a good thriller!


The Death of Mrs. Westaway // Ruth Ware
Rating: 3.5/5
Challenge: Erin's - Book with a compass or cardinal direction in the title

I think I'm really on the fence about Ruth Ware. I've given the 3 books of hers that I've read in a 3/5 range so I guess I like them enough, but not one has blown me away yet. This particular one was good, but the ending seemed to come out of left field a bit and wrapped up pretty quickly in chapter or two.


The Girl Who Lived // Christopher Greyson
Rating: 4/5
Genre: Thriller
Challenge: January book club for my neighborhood; Popsugar - prompt from a past challenge (published in 2017)

This was surprisingly good! It appears he's written a lot of book that are tied together but this is a completely new story. The book opens with Faith being released from a psychiatric hospital. The night before her birthday when she is a child, Faith's father, sister, best friend and best friend's mom are brutally murdered but she lives. She spends a decade fighting survivor's guilt and self medicating. As the anniversary approaches, Faith is sure she sees the killer in town. Faith is an unreliable narrator which I do enjoy but there are also SO MANY suspects that I never figured it out and found the  ending shocking. The book was great and everyone in my book club enjoyed!


Severance // Ling Ma
Rating: 3/5
Genre: Dystopian / Satire
Challenge: Popsugar - Book about a hobby (blogging)

Ugh. I had really high hopes for this one when I read the synopsis on Book of the Month a few months ago. But, it just didn't live up to it. Candace is your "typical" NYC millennial as Shen Fever begins to take over NYC and eventually the world. She meets up with a group of survivors and they're travelling to a safe place to restart life. There was no real story or ending to this novel. It was just a story being told of Candace working while the city dies and then travelling with a group. And then it just... ends.


One Day in December // Josie Silver
Rating: 4/5
Genre: Love Story
Challenge: Popsugar - Book that includes a wedding

I really loved this book. This was another one I found via Book of the Month club that you've probably seen all over the place over the last two months! Laurie is on the bus on a busy December day and makes eye contact with Luke. They are immediately attracted to each other but, due to the crowds, are unable to meet each other. Laurie spends the next year looking for Luke and finally finds him again in December at her annual Christmas party that she throws with her best friend and roommate. Luke is her best friend's new boyfriend. The story is told over the next decade and you only see a few days out of each year. It's a book about love, friendship, growing up, family and all the pieces in between. Please read it!


The Lying Game // Ruth Ware
Rating: 3.5/5
Genre: Mystery
Challenge: Erin's - Book that is a friend's favorite or another participant in this challenge

Again, Ruth Ware not blowing me out of the water but being a good enough read. This is the story of four friends from boarding school with a big secret. The story moves back and forth between present day and the year they all spent together at boarding school. I definitely wanted to find out the secret but it wasn't as "aha" as I expected.


The Rhythm Section // Mark Burnell
Rating: DNF
Challenge: Popsugar - becoming a movie in 2019; Erin's - book made into a movie

I kept trying to start this, but couldn't get into it. So, I changed my book for this category to All the Boys I Loved Before because it's the cutest Netflix movie ever and I found out the book is set in Charlottesville!


A Wind in the Door // Madeleine L'engle
Rating: 3/5
Genre: Young Adult
Challenge: Popsugar - Book set in space

Is there something wrong with me that I don't like these books? I know so many people that do and they have high ratings on Goodreads, but they just don't seem to be my cup of tea. I loved Harry Potter so it's not the fantasy aspect, I don't think. But, the books just seem to over-complicate things that could be simple.


Once I get through these listed below, I have a few books that I own, like Becoming by Michelle Obama that I will be digging into as I wait for some long wait library books!

Currently Reading: 

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle // Stuart Turton (physical book)
Feed // Mira Grant (audio-book)
The Girls // Emma Cline (e-book)

Currently Checked Out from the Library: 
The Sun is Also a Star // Nicola Yoon
The President is Missing // Billy Clinton and James Patterson
To All the Boys I've Loved Before // Jenny Han
All We Ever Wanted // Emily Giffin

February's Book Club: 
Before We Were Yours // Lisa Wingate

As always, linking up with Jana and Steph!

Friday, February 8, 2019

January + This Week's Favorites

I started this post last week to be a January favorites post but since I'm a slacker, I added the first week of February in, too ;)

I know a lot people keep saying January felt long, which I can sort of relate to, but I had so much going on that I feel like it zoomed on by. I'm hoping February zooms by, too, because we close on our house in March!

Some things I did:

Friday, February 1, 2019

January Achievements + February Goals

It is February! I genuinely have no thoughts on the month of February except that I'm ready for it to be over so it can be March and we can move out of our tiny ass apartment. Also, I can't get pictures to load on the blog today so we're going old school and just reading words not broken up by picture ;)


Read six books. YES. I finished my 6th book on January 21 and went on to read 2 more before the end of the month! I am currently reading two (one e-book and one hardback).

Purge the Instagram feed. MOSTLY. At the start of the month, I was really purging as I saw accounts I wasn't as interested in but dropped off mid month. But, towards the end of the month, I was back to aggressively clicking the unfollow button. As soon as I would unfollow a few, new ones would start showing in my newsfeed that I had forgotten about but really liked. I did notice that I would unfollow people, yet they still showed up in my feed and I'd have to unfollow again? Not sure what that was about, Instagram.

I did also follow a few new accounts but I really dug through their pages first to make sure I was truly relating to the content before just clicking follow after looking at the first 3 pictures.

No fast food or StarbucksMOSTLY. As a couple, we only got take out twice this month but they ended up being planned that way. But, I did get fast food a few times for lunch because I would have meetings across town and not be able to eat what I brought. (Eating soup is pretty difficult in the car). I did not have Starbucks until yesterday (which technically made it over 30 days without it) except when a friend bought it for me when we went to the dog park!

No repeated outfits / stop wearing workout clothes if not working out. YES. I think this was the best thing I did all month. After a few days of this, I started getting so many messages, texts and even people telling me in person how much they were loving it. I gave me the warm fuzzies because I was SUPER self conscious posting them because I don't have a cute picture taking mirror and the lighting has mostly been terrible but people really seem to relate to my Target/Old Navy outfits based off $100 sweaters that most people aren't actually buying!

I don't plan to keep doing this daily, but I'll probably do it a couple times a week plus share my own outfits because I've recently gotten a few cute things from a swap party Annaliese hosted and a local thrift shop that I can't help but stop in constantly. And I've already started looking for a cute mirror for the new house so I don't have to take bathroom selfies...

Back in the early morning routine. YES. Now, not every single morning was I up at 5:30 AM off to workout, but overall, I was Tuesday - Thursday with Friday as a rest or afternoon class day. Mondays aren't a 5:30 AM wake up since I work at the studio and take barre Monday nights, but I do try to wake up earlier to ease into the week or read before work.

Complete 20 barre classes in 30 days. YES. Well technically, I'm finishing Sunday but that's the last day of the challenge. This actually ended up being somewhat challenging and I was rushing to cram in classes the last week of the month. Since I don't pay for classes, I don't usually sign up to reserve a spot. I just show up to class if its open. Since we're running the challenge and had so many deals for the new year, classes have been FULL and it's been hard to sneak in!

Now onward to FEBRUARY GOALS!

Read 6 books. Honestly, this is going to be a goal almost every month in order to hit my end of year goal. Some months my goal will be higher or lower based on travel, visitors and when we move into the house (aka, March!)

Eat something green everyday. I'm a child and I hate green veggies. So in order to be healthier, maybe lose a couple pounds before bikini season and eat my veggies, I've made this goal for the month and Christian is on board. We both like green beans and broccoli so I foresee a lot of that in my future. Plus, I do put spinach in my smoothies so I'm kind of cheating with this goal.

Go to spin class at least 4 times this month. The hot yoga studio I joined also has a spin studio and a group fitness class component but I've only done yoga. I need to do a little more cardio (ahem, bikini season) so I'm committed to trying spin a few times. I already have plans to go with a friend next Friday! So just three more classes to schedule!

Go for a hike. We have hiked all of like two times since we moved and we really enjoy it. So this month, we're getting our booties out on some trail and hiking!

What goals do you have this month? Are you excited it's February or just pretty meh about it like I am?

Friday, January 11, 2019

Blooming { Vol. 1 }

I used to do "Five on Friday" posts but I thought maybe I would switch it up a little to keep my in check with my word of the year. I probably won't post these weekly - most likely I'll alternate with a Friday Favorites type post. But, let's start this first Friday post off with "how I bloomed this week".

Over the weekend I finished my second book of the year, The Perfect Nanny and got to work on the third: The Clockmaker's Daughter.  I feel like I'm in a little reading rut because I've had a lot going on (and I decided to binge watch the last season and a half of Jane the Virgin thanks to Whitney finally watching it!). But, I've got a huge stack from the library that I've got to get through before I rack up any more late fees! 

On Monday, I joined a hot yoga/spin/weight lifting studio to supplement the barre classes I take. I like to mix things up and get cardio in different places and I just freaking love a good yoga class. They offered me a great new client special so I jumped right on it and I've already taken a hot yoga class this week and have two scheduled for the weekend! In addition, I'm 4/20 for my barre class challenge!
I set a goal to get back to waking up early and working out because I truly do love that schedule the most. I started slow on Monday by just waking up about 30 minutes early but not working out ( Monday nights I'm at the studio so I take class then!). I jumped in hard with a hot yoga class at 6:15 Tuesday morning which was aggressive since Monday was Bachelor night. I made it to barre Wednesday morning but Thursday, my body said no. I went to bed at 9:15 Wednesday and woke up at 7:15 Thursday... So I swapped my sleep in day from today to yesterday :) 
So part of my bloom challenge, is investing in friendships here in Charlottesville. Well, this week I did a lot of that. Saturday I dragged a friend to barre and then we ate brunch. And by that I mean we sat in the restaurant for 3 hours catching up! On Sunday, a couple friends and I took our dogs to the very muddy dog park and spent almost 3 hours letting the dogs play while we talked about life.
Monday night I hung out with a friend who I hadn't seen since the first week of December and watched The Bachelor and talked about life. And on Wednesday, I met a new friend for drinks after work and we had a lovely time. You would also think Christian would be used to me meeting up with people "from the internet" but he still finds it weird...
And on Thursday we had our weekly "family dinner" with our best friends and finally showed our friend the last Harry Potter movie! He had truly never seen them until we started them a few months ago. Now he finally knows how they end! I'd definitely say this week was very successful in the friend department and that my introvert really wants to spend some time alone this weekend.
It was a very successful, tiring week and we've got plans to celebrate a friend's birthday and play in the 4-6 inches of snow headed our way!!

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Shopping My Closet {Week 1}

One of my goals this month is to not a repeat an outfit or wear workout clothes if I'm outside the apartment and not working out. I had gotten in a really bad rut of only wearing "athleisure" on the weekends when I have a FULL closet I should be taking advantage of.

Today I'm sharing last week's outfits starting on New Year's Day and skipping Sunday thanks to staying in my leggings all day going from barre, to the muddy dog park, to washing Ellie and the cooking dinner. I say that all counts as a workout.

I didn't think about sharing these as a blog post until a few days in so the first few pictures are the worst. I'll also say that our apartment is super tiny and dark and it's dark outside when I get home from work so many of these are going to be taken in the bathroom at work so if you hate looking at bathroom stall doors, maybe skip these? Christian has been a trooper and has snapped a few for me when he's around.

And finally, I'm sharing them all on Instagram, too with the posts linked so you can shop the blogger's I'm "copying" if you want. I'll also tell you where my clothes are from in this post!

Well, without further ado, the outfits from the first week of this challenge!

Day 1

My Look: 

I got dressed super late in the day so the lighting was terrible. I tried it in our apartment and out on a walk. I swear in person these tops are the same color, but I haven't edited/brightened my photo at all.

Leggings: Zella from Nordstrom // Thermal: Thrifted // Striped Tee: Old Navy // Necklace: Anthropologie // Boots: Literally no clue


Day 2 

My Look: 

Jeggings: Old Navy (similar)  // Sweater: Old Navy // Boots: Steve Madden, super old 


Day 3 

My Look: 

Sweater: No idea // Jeggings: Old Navy ( I love these pants so much) // Flats: Target 

Day 4 

My Look: 

Sweater: Target // T-shirt: Old Navy // Pants: Old Navy // Booties: Old Target // Necklace: Anthropologie // Dog: Australian Shepard Lab 


Day 5 

My Look: 
Long Sleeve: Old Target // Scarf: Old // Jeans: Old Navy // Booties: Old Target


Week one, complete. Do you have any cute bloggers I should follow for inspo?

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

A January of Books

It's already time for the first link up of 2019! Four of these were read last year with just the first two being read this year. 

I'm trying something different this year by completing the Popsugar reading challenge for the entire year as well as participating in Erin's Book Challenge that's running January 1 - March 31. I picked my books based on what was already on my "to read" shelf on Goodreads but I did of course have to add some for a few categories. So, for the books I read in 2019, I'll be adding the challenge category that it checks off (if it does, of course. 

Books read in 2019

The Perfect Nanny // Lila Slimani
Rating: 2/5 
Challenge: Erin's - book that was originally published in a language other than your own

Nope. Apparently it was based on a true story but has no real conclusion. This is not spoiled because its the first line of the book - the nanny kills the children and then it goes back and forth from her perspective and the parents of how she came to be their nanny and the time between that and the kids dying. But, there is NO resolution and its a very choppy book. I read it in a day, though, because it was short. 

The Third Wife // Lisa Jewell
Rating: 4/5
Challenge: Popsugar - book you meant to read in 2018

Yes, read two Lisa Jewell books back to back. This one was not the thriller I was expecting but had some good character growth while still maintaining some mystery throughout. 

2019 books read to date:

Currently on the nightstand: The Clockmaker's Daughter, The Death of Mrs. Westaway, The Rhythm Section, The Lies We Told, One Day in December, The President is Missing, Severence, Rich People Problems and The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

Books read in 2018:

I Found You // Lisa Jewell 
Rating: 4/5 

This book was so GREAT. A great thriller with pretty good characters that didn't come off as too unbelievable like some thrillers do. 

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban // JK Rowling
Rating: 5/5 

Just doing that reread on audiobook with Christian :) 

China Rich Girlfriend // Kevin Kwan
Rating: 3/5

I think these books are great, fluffy reads. Although occasionally, I can get a little bogged down by all the over the top descriptions instead of actual actions taking place. 

The Last Day of Emily Lindsey // Nic Joseph 
Rating: 4/5 

This book was interesting! I thought the twist of somewhat obvious, but then there was an additional twist on top of that which I thought was less obvious. 

Linking up with Steph and Jana!
Life According to Steph

Monday, January 7, 2019

January Goals

Hey look at this - 3 new posts in 2019 and it's only the 7th! Let's see if we can keep this up.

Last week I recapped my year of thrive in 2017 and looked forward to 2019: the year of bloom

As I mentioned in that post, I didn't come into January with a bunch of health and fitness resolutions. Over the last two years, I tried a lot of new fitness and "diets" and I've finally found something that works for me. I didn't want to come into the new year trying to drastically change anything, but just get back on track with a lifestyle I enjoy after a crazy few holiday weeks.

I've broken my goals for the year down into monthly goals and plan to share them monthly and how they align with my word.

Read six books. My goal for the year is 70, so I've broken it up in doable chunks based on what's going on each month. I've already read 2 and started the 3rd over the weekend so I think I'll be good here...
Purge the Instagram feed. I know a lot of people that purged their feed from accounts that don't spark joy. I've started doing the same. I follow so many accounts that with the new algorithm, I just don't see them all. I've started trimming them down as they pop up and I realize it either makes me sad/mad/annoyed or I just don't relate. For example: some accounts that started as blogger follows are now only posting pictures of their kids. Their kids are cute, but I don't have any or want any right now so it's just not relatable. Not to say I'm unfollowing people the second they have a baby, just if that's literally every single post because I no longer relate :)

No fast food or Starbucks. This is partially a health goal and partially a budget goal. I am the only cook in our household. Don't worry, Christian does like literally every other chore. I'm a horrific housewife - not in my nature. But, in December, I was worn out so we did a lot of passes through the Zaxby's drive thru... But that's just not good for us and we're trying to finish saving for our down payment which is now most likely due a month early. I mean, YAY for getting out of this tiny apartment but YIKES because we would have preferred that extra pay period to make us feel a little more comfortable jumping into the projects we need to complete the second we move in.
No repeated outfits / stop wearing workout clothes if not working out. Since we moved, I've been lazyyyyy in my closet. A few weeks ago, Nadine did a "lifted her look" challenge and I loved it! So I bought a few basics I was missing with Christmas money and I'm taking on the challenge. Check out her posts about it for more details, but basically I'm taking inspiration from my favorite fashion bloggers and recreating them in my closet - no repeats!

Back in the early morning routine. I won't lie, our tiny apartment makes this hard because neither of us can get up without waking the other one. But, I'm much happier when I wake up earlier and squeeze in a workout or some reading time.
Complete 20 barre classes in 30 days. My studio is hosting a challenge that started on Saturday to complete 20 classes in 30 days. I am ready to get my butt kicked!

Do you have any January goals or are you more of a resolution for the year kind of person?

Friday, January 4, 2019

From Thrive to... {My 2019 Word of the Year}

Ah, a new year.  A time to set a bunch of resolutions about getting skinny and completely changing everything about your life... If you're listening to the media. But that's not how it works. You can't just wake up on January 1st and be a new person.

Over the last two years, I've worked on bettering myself slowly and have really built some solid habits and grown as a person. I've made fitness a solid part of my life since 2015 and I LOVE to workout - except for cardio LOL but I will find creative ways to do it that I enjoy because I know its good for me (hiking, long walks, megaformer). I know how to eat healthy and have things I enjoy to eat that are good for me. I've embraced who I am and if people don't like it, cool.

So, yes, it's a new year, a new "book", a fresh start, etc. But, you're also still you so just be you and give yourself grace to embrace that. And then make small changes throughout the year to keep bettering yourself or reaching new goals.

This is why I like the idea of a word of the year and keep doing it. I'm able to make smaller goals fit into a larger vision for the year without feeling the pressure to lose 20 pounds, get 7 promotions, and have a perfect Pinterest house. 

I struggled to decide on my word this year because I had so many great words that would fit my current stage of life. To finally make a decision, I did a little exercise that I decided to put into this post.

What I'm leaving in 2018: 

Guilt. I touched briefly in my last two yearly recaps that my parents are divorcing (who knew it took this long...). Unfortunately, it hasn't been amicable and my brother and I have really been put through the ringer from our dad. 2017, I let it completely control me and wreck my year. In 2018, I started setting boundaries but then would try to open the door back up, only to be upset again. I kept opening the door because I feel guilty that he is "alone" (he's not) but it's not my job to fix anyone else. I have to prioritize healthy relationships so GUILT is staying in 2018.

Fad dieting. I mentioned yesterday that I tried a few diets this year: 21 Day Fix and keto being the big ones. Did I lose weight on keto? 10 pounds. Guess what 10 pound came right back over the holidays? But, as a result of trying them, I did learn how my body reacts to certain foods AND what I can mentally do. Keto was so mentally hard that I could never live that way but I did learn that my body responds to less carbs. 

What I'm taking with me into 2019:

Confidence to be me. This year, I really embraced who I am. I am pretty basic in my love of Fall and all things pumpkin decor. I'm over the top crazy about Christmas. I'm way too obsessed with Harry Potter. I love to read thrillers but won't watch scary movies. I genuinely love Zaxby's and won't turn down a McDonald's Coke and french fries. My beer taste is embarrassing and I'm drunk after 2 drinks. I love cold weather but also love complaining about being cold. I am an introvert who likes to be the center of attention and talks way too much. I like to watch all The Bachelor shows even though I usually read spoilers and think they're all crazy.

Taking care of my mental health. For me, this is setting boundaries and spending time alone or at least in silence in the same room as my husband. This is also reading a lot of books that help me disconnect. And working out.
Great friends. I feel like I really honed in on who my great friends were last year and I've started building some great foundations here in Charlottesville as well. Distance doesn't matter when you've got great friends. I haven't lived in the same city as two of my most favorite friends since I was 18 but here we are still being friends and going on vacations together because those two just get me and I couldn't be without them!

Big goals for 2019: 

Read 70 books. 

Buy our second house. 


Explore Charlottesville. 

Build my Harry Potter Christmas tree ( just WAIT until you see it!!!) 

Prioritize friendships.

Secret fitness goal. 

Secret goal in case Christian reads this post ;) 

I promise I'll update when those two secret goals are completed.

But there are my big few goals - if you can even call some of them "goals". Nothing earth shattering - just some things that make my heart happy. I also have a few smaller goals that I'm working on each month (January's will go live Monday!) but all in all, they all get me to the same place.

And that is to my word for 2018:


You've heard the saying "bloom where you're planted". Well, last year we planted ourselves somewhere really great and now I'm ready to bloom here.