Friday, November 30, 2018

Book Club: December

Happy Friday friends! We're taking a break from chatting all the holiday things to chat about all the Book Club things. 

How is it already December?!? Our 2018 Book Club is almost wrapped up and next month we'll share our favorite books of the year. It will be 2019! That blows our minds!  

But before we chat about next year, we have one more month out of this year to add some great reads to the list, and this month definitely has some contenders! 

December 2018 Book Club Picks


My Audible game is still going strong and I got through five books this month. All of them were pretty heavy though and I didn't do that intentionally.  Lots of thought provoking stories and I cried lots of tears.  These books really moved me a good book should! 

First up was Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult.  This author writes about very controversial topics and this one is about race relations in our country. See...I told you it was heavy. The story is about an African American Labor and Delivery nurse who ends up caring for a white supremacist's baby.  A tragedy occurs and the aftermath turns the main character's life upside down.  I loved listening to this book because it was narrated by several different people and it really gives you great feel for their personalities and helps pull you into the story that much more!

I always know that Colleen Hoover books are going to hook me from the beginning and keep me reading/listening until I find out how they end.  Confess was no different.  It's about an artist who paints anonymous confessions that people submit to him and a girl who happens to stumble upon his gallery. Although, as chance as their meeting seems, it seems that fate is actually what drew them together.  The love story that develops between the two main characters has some unexpected hurdles to overcome and learning their connection to one another at the very end of the book is something I never would have guessed! 

The total shocker for me this month was Ryan's Bed by Tijan. I don't know what I was expecting from this book, but oh my goodness.  It shook me. I cried so much while listening to this and literally felt spent after. I wore my headphones while cooking dinner, while putting away laundry and stayed up WAY too late one night to finish it because it was just that riveting. Like Jen mentions below, it is more of a Young Adult genre, but involves the heavy subject of suicide.  This book had my heart aching.  It's about a 18 year old girl who is a senior in high school and has to deal with an incredible amount of grief and pain. I can't say too much without giving the story away, but she finds someone who becomes her rock and helps her though the darkest of days.  The ending has a MAJOR twist that I didn't see coming. I wanted way more.  I think the author ends the story in that way for you to process and make your own assumptions about it though. I have my own idea and if you listen to this, please email me about it!  I want to talk to someone about how it ended and what you think happened.  

After all that heaviness in I was hoping for something kind of light and a little more thrilling.  A few friends had told me about The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen. It's a little along the lines of books like The Last Mrs. Parish and The Girl On the Train. If you like those kind of books then you will like this!  A husband that seems too good to be true usually is and when his true colors are revealed it's too late for this wife. However, she comes up with a plan to make sure he doesn't hurt anyone else and the connections between the characters comes full circle. 

The last book of this month was another Colleen Hoover book, All Your Perfects.  I expected a typical love story like most of her other books, but this one was really different. It was about a couple struggling with infertility and really hit a nerve. Before my three beautiful children I dealt with this topic and this story brought back lots of many memories and feelings. I could certainly relate to the characters and was rooting for them the entire time.  The end of this book had be sobbing in my car one day.  Like I legit had to keep wiping my tears away so I could see to drive.  The husband's love and devotion to his wife was so incredibly touching and I wanted nothing more for them to both be happy. This book was SO emotionally driven, but really, really good!  

Okay Carrie Beth and I have had a role reversal the last few months. This back half of the year has been super crazy, and trying to balance all my roles has left me with little extra time. Carrie Beth has gotten me so hooked on Audible though. If I hadn't been introduced to audio books, I would have a big fat nothing to share. She also was the one who suggested the only two books I managed to "read". 

First up was All We Ever Wanted by Emily Griffin. Carrie Beth read this book during last month's Book Club and had nothing but great things to say about it. A friend also shared this suggestion on our Instagram feed, so I went with it. 

Y'all! The more I read this book the more nervous I became for ever having teenagers. It touched on so many topics that I feel are relevant and relatable as a parent. In case you missed it last month, the book follows two families after a incident at a high school house party. Some of the characters frustrated me, and there are some twists and turns in the story that have you rethinking your judgments on the situation. I loved the mother and her perspective, and love love love how it ended. Such a great book and highly recommend. 

And if you chose to listen to the audio version, I have to say out of all the books I've heard so far this one has been my favorite. I loved that the voices were from different narrators instead of just one narrator. It made it more realistic for me if that makes sense. 

The second book I listened to was Ryan's Bed.  Carrie Beth was almost done with this one and told me to put it on my list next. This book was so good too. I think it is geared more toward a young adult genre, but the story is tragic and engrossing it keeps your attention. I am not sure if it was the way the narrator read the book or if it was just the main character herself, but sometimes I found myself annoyed by her. I can't put my finger on it. 

The main character Ryan though...everyone needs a Ryan. 

The very last part of the book has a major twist too, and I needed like one more chapter because it left me with so many questions. I immediately texted Carrie Beth and asked if there was more I was missing. It's a book that makes you think, feel, and stays with you long after you are done. Put it on your list!  


I feel like I just need a good old fashioned heart-warming story. After all of the dark and deep and depressing stories I read last month, I need something happy. Hoping I will find it in this Christmas story.  Trading Christmas by Debbie Macomber is also a Hallmark Channel movie so that hast to be a good sign, right?

Okay, the latest Nicholas Sparks book was at the top of my list last month and I only got through the very first chapter before life moved to warp speed. This month though...

This month I will finish it! Surely I will have time somewhere between all the sports, school activities, holiday parties, holiday shopping, wrapping...right?! 

Now share with us! What have you been reading lately? This is the month made for warm fires, cozy blankets, and feel good books. We plan to soak it all in and need some great suggestions! 

January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November |

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Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Shoes that Bring Comfort & Joy

Thank you FitFlop for sponsoring this post. All ideas and opinions are our own. 

Have y'all been online shopping like we have?  We took advantage of all of the great sales over the past few days and knocked out a ton of Christmas shopping.  It's so much fun coming home to all those packages on the porch each day.  We can't wait to wrap them up and stick them under our trees! 

One sale we took advantage of and that is still going strong is from our friends at FitFlop!  We love their cozy slippers and think they are just the perfect gift for your sister, mom, mother-in-law or best friend. 

What other gift could bring both comfort and joy??!!  These moccasin slippers are lined with plush shearling and the glittery wool finish gives us all the heart eyes! 

Plus they already come packaged so cute and and ready for gifting!  This is the exact kind thing we usually buy for gifting and end up gifting to ourselves, too! 

Slippers//Leggings//Sweater (similar)
All of their comfy and cozy shoes are on sale. Most styles are up to 60% off AND they have an additional 20% off with code going on AND free shipping!

 My (Carrie Beth's) very favorite Classic Chelsea Boots are still on sale.  I have been wearing these all fall and they are still my go-to when I want to be comfy and cozy, but look cute! 

My (Jen's) buckle suede ankle boots are on sale getting so much wear this fall. 

It helps that they look SO good paired with our favorite leggings! It's a mom uniform and cozy outfit match made in heaven! 

We've even gotten our guys to jump on the FitFlop train.  

They both love their shoes and how comfortable and versatile they are. My Mr. has worn these on a date night, to work and even a tractor! 

The guys also have a few other pairs they are eyeing so we're going to take advantage of this sale and grab a few pairs to stick under the tree.  

You can check out all of the Cyber Week Deals on their website. Get a little Comfort & Joy for yourself and for everyone on your Christmas list! 

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Monday, November 26, 2018

Tween Girl Gift Guide

Thanksgiving break is behind us and that means we are in full blown Christmas mode now.  Our decorations are up, our trees are trimmed and the shopping has begun!

When my girls were little they would be excited about the latest American Girl catalog arriving so they could circle all their favorites and wish for what Santa would bring them. My oh my how times have changed. Now I get texts from them with links to specific items they want.  A part of me misses those days of a catalog and marker, but I will say it is nice to have specific links to shop from.  I like knowing for sure that I'm getting what they want.  I have no shortage of ideas for them this year and they are probably the easiest ones on my list to shop for!

I put together a quick little Tween Girl Gift Guide in case any of you are in search of the perfect gift for the tween in your life. Maybe a niece, neighbor, friend or daughter that you just aren't quite sure what to get.  Heck, Half the things on their list could easily be on my list, too!  They have nice taste!

1. Water Bottles - They carry water bottles with them everyday to school and sports, so having a new one is always fun.  Their favorites are Swell, Corcksicle, or this Contigo style. 

2. Wireless Headphones - They are constantly listing to their music or watching YouTube videos!  

3. Vans - How very hip of them, right? Vans aren't just for skaters anymore.  All the kids are wearing these now. 

4. Sherpa Pullovers - We shared about these pullovers a while back and the kids still love them.  At this price, I'm going to grab them another and throw a monogram on it! 

5. Facial Cleansing Brush - Never too early to start practicing good skincare practices.  Plus, these make washing your face fun! 

6. Caboodles - They are back!  I remember my caboodle and when I saw these were making a comeback I couldn't wait to introduce my girls to the organizational goodness.  I can just imagine them getting all of their hair and makeup stuff in all the little compartments. 

7. Kendra Scott Necklace - Talk about nice taste, right?!  I love that my oldest loves jewelry though and the birthstone line is perfect for girls this age.  Plus, it will be a special piece they can wear into their teen years. 

8. Flair pens - It's way more fun to take notes and do homework with fun pens! 

9. Uggs - A pricey item, but the quality can't be beat and the comfort is top notch. Did you know Dick's Sporting Goods carries Uggs? I didn't until last week and today they have 25% off your order including the Uggs!  If you are thinking of purchasing now is definitely the time! 

10. Grab and Go Hair Ties - The latest in a ponytail holder! 

11. Crocs - I know. I thought the same thing.  These can't possibly be coming back, but they are!  All the middle schoolers are sporting Crocs with charms. My kids wore these when they were little and I can't believe they are making a comeback. Amazon has at the best price I've been able to find! 

12. Vera Bradley - Something that doesn't go out of style is Vera Bradley!  From backpacks to lunch boxes and crossbody bags to makeup pouches...they'll love it all! 

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Friday, November 23, 2018

Friday Favorites: Black Friday Edition

Happy Friday friends! This might be one of my favorite Fridays out of the year. It's a stretchy pants kind of day (when isn't it?!) after yesterday's huge meal, and we're chillin' in South Georgia with our besties. 

Lounging, online Black Friday shopping, and drinking wine.

I don't know about you, but that's my kind of Friday. 

This week has been filled with a blur of holiday activity, and today we are sharing all of our favorites from the week. As usual linking up with some of our favorite fellow mommy bloggers for Friday Favorites

First up - these shoes!

 Cardigan | Top (similar) | Jeans | Oona Buckle Suede Ankle Boot |

Y'all - stop what you are doing right now and head to THIS POST to check out these shoes and to enter our giveaway to snag a pair for yourself!

We are giving away to 5 LUCKY WINNERS a $50 gift card to FitFlop. Winners get announced tonight so hop to it! And they are having an amazing Black Friday Sale! 

And speaking of awesome giveaways...we have an amazing one that just started yesterday with Old Time Pottery!

We just love their home decor and entertaining departments, and the minute their holiday decor was released I couldn't wait to get my hands on it! Stay tuned for a holiday decor post in the upcoming weeks, but for now enjoy this little sneak peek and then head over to THIS POST on Instagram to enter to win a $100 gift card for your own little holiday shopping spree.  

Tons of awesome holiday sales started way before today. We have a running Black Friday Guide going on HERE, but more and more discounts are popping up. One of my favorites so far is the Beautycounter sale. This is like seeing a unicorn - it almost never happens!

If you are a Beautycounter fan this is a great time to stock up on your favorites, or snag some great gifts! If you've been thinking about trying it, now is the time. Almost everything is 15% off and you get Free Shipping on orders over $50.

We mentioned some of our favorite Beautycounter products in our Fall and Winter Beauty Guide, but their holiday sets are a great deal right now.

For tweens and teens there is a great set that would be perfect as a gift (especially for those just getting into a make up and skin care routine) and a great lip set that is only $22.50. We are also loving this fun lip gloss set (You can keep some for yourself and gift some to others. The sale makes it less than $8.50 a tube!).
There are so many great deals - check out the whole sale here

We take our family photos this week and I died laughing at this...

It's so true!

And as a former family photographer I'm pretty laid back about the process, but still people... just smile and look one frame!

I'm pretty pumped about our outfits this year. I decided to do traditional Christmas. Here's a sneak peek...

| Click HERE to see info on entire look! |

Okay my next favorite is life changing. Life. Changing.

Carrie Beth has gotten me hooked on Audible. I am such a reader and love holding and actual book. I didn't think I would like listening to a book, but I have opened a whole new world of entertainment!

I loved that the first book was free so that I could give it a try to see if I liked it. (Right now they are doing a two books for free deal.) But now, I'm smitten. I've "read" through a few books now, and can't believe how often I've gone to use the app.

I listen while I'm in the car, doing laundry, washing dishes, sitting at the kids closed practices or even the grocery store (yes, I was one of those people this week).

I love that I have something to help pass the time doing menial tasks. I love that I don't have to listen to the Little Mermaid in the car for the 1000th time. And I love that I can "read" books on my list while multitasking doing other things. Otherwise a lot of them wouldn't have gotten any love anytime soon. 

A few weeks ago I was speaking on an Insta-story and a few of you asked what color my Kendra Scott earrings were...

While I love me some Kendra Scott earrings, these are good dupes for less than $15. And they are much lighter. Much much lighter. These are the Rose Howlite color, but there are tons of colors and shapes and right now they have a $2 off coupon making this pair $9.99. 

A few weekends ago we had a girls day and went shopping. I found this plaid hooded puffer vest and haven't stopped wearing it since!

It's so warm and cozy! And perfect for casual holiday events or just winter wear in general. 

I wish it came in other colors!  Currently it's on sale for $20!

| Puffer Vest | Sweater | Jeans | Wedges | LC's Dress | LC's Boots |

And I wish we had more girls days like that one. It was so much fun!

This Sherpa Fleece Pullover has been a favorite of mine for two years now. I shared this on social media earlier in the week, but it was on sale for 50% off.

It keeps dipping in and out of the sale so keep checking if you are on the hunt for one. I own it in three colors and love love love it! 

| Sherpa Fleece | Jeans | Purse | Rainboots |

I've seen a dupe on Amazon and am tempted to order one to see if it's similar. For less than half the price I could be so in for a few more. 

I have a few other favorite outfits lately. The black jeans Carrie Beth talked me into are still a favorite! Everyone needs them in their lives. I plan on enjoying their stretchy like quality and forgiving elastic waist band right on through the holidays.

| Sweater | Scalloped Tank | Jeans | Shoes |

This sweater might be one of my favorite cozy finds too!

I snagged it while doing a little "grocery shopping" at Target, and so many people asked about it after I wore it. This is the cream color, but it comes in a ton of other colors too!

| Sweater | Jeans | Shoes | Watch |

It's a little oversized (this is the x-small), and I'm pretty petite so I just did a front tuck in my black jeans and it worked. I'm always on the hunt for a good soft, non-itch inducing sweater, and this one meets all requirements. 

That wraps up my favorites for the week! Now I'm off to our cabins to spend time with this girl and her family...

Doing a whole lot of this...

And this...

Some of this...

And maybe sneaking in some of this...

Nothing like a good old country Friendsgiving celebration. :) 

Happy weekend friends! 

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