Thursday, July 14, 2022

Everyday Organizing for Busy Moms {Paper Planners}

Happy July!!!  I realize this post is way overdue, but better late than never, right? Between really slow WiFi on vacation and just a busy summer schedule, everything is taking a little longer than normal.  It's finally time for this month's post in the Everyday Organizing for Busy Moms series.  

The topic today is something I feel VERY passionately about...the use of a paper planner.  

I know there are lots of digital options and I've tried keeping my calendar on my phone, but with 3 kids going in 3 different directions, plus all of my obligations on top of that, I have found that a paper planner is the way to go.  Some people make fun of me and I know it is sort of old school, but I promise you it will change your life if you can make yourself use it. 

I prefer to use an academic planner, one that runs July-June, because in my brain, that is how the year goes.  Our schools start the first of August, so July is when all of the back to school events and, beginning of sports things start.  

I used to spend a lot on Erin Condren planners each year and loved them, but decided that a smaller size would be better because I can keep it in my purse and always have it with me.  Each summer I order one from Amazon and they work out perfectly!  My only requirements are the size (around 6x8), the fact that it runs July-June and that it has a weekly view.  

Last year I had this one and this year I went with this one. It is under $10 and the best money you will ever spend.   Both have served me well!  I write everything in my planner.  Kids sports schedules, upcoming tests to help the kids with, appointments, blog deadlines, reminders of things I need to do on certain days, everything!  

I sometimes try to color coordinate, but it's not always pretty. I mark things out, highlight items, cross over things, white-out things and it is often a big mess.  It might not make sense to anyone else that looks at it, but the most important thing is that it makes sense to your brain.  I spend a little time at the beginning of each month to write down regular weekly practice times and ongoing items for that month, but then obviously as things are scheduled in advance I ALWAYS go ahead and write it down so I don't forget down the road.  

When I read Monica Aldama's book one of the tips she shared for being successful was to have a cheap planner that you can write things down in and I was like, she gets it! 

Seriously though, I know this method isn't for everyone and some people love their digital calendars.  I'm just offering this as a suggestion if you are struggling to keep up with it all because it 1000% works for me! 


January {Keep a Family Calendar}

February {To-Do Lists} 

March {Time Pockets}

April {Declutter}

May {Laundry & Dishes}

Follow us on Pinterest HERE.
Follow us on Instagram HERE.
Follow us on Facebook HERE.
Follow us on Twitter HERE. 

Monday, July 11, 2022

Book Club: June 2022

We're a little late on this month's book club, but that is only because we are having too much fun this summer!  Vacations, trips, camps, and kids home makes for lots of fun, but very little downtime.  We've been on a roll with some great books this summer though and can't wait to share! 



First up this month was Rivals by Katharine McGee.  It's the third book in the Young Adult American Royals series. This series is based on the idea that American has a Royal Family and is so clever and uniquely done. I loved the first book in this series so much that I named it my favorite of the entire year a few years ago.  The second book was good, but not great in my opinion, and this one was back to being one of my favorites that I'd read in a long time.  It continues to follow the same characters and reads almost like a soap opera with lots of different storylines between each of the characters and a lot of drama.  Knowing how this book ended I feel confident there will be a 4th book in the series.

My next read was Every Summer After by Carley Fortune and it gave me all the feels.  I loved this one and it reminded me so much of Love and Other Words which I named a top 3 favorite of the year last year.  It's a boy and girl next door friendship kind of story that turns into a love and then so much more.  They go through a lot together during their coming of age and grow up together experiencing life, love, heartbreak, betrayal, loss, and so much more. After many years of not seeing each other they are reunited and hash out all that went wrong so many years ago.  It was a page turner for sure and I couldn't stop until I knew what happened to these two characters.  

Last up this month was Meant to Be by Emily Giffin.  I love so many of her books so was excited to try this one.  The idea of this story is loosely based on the Kennedy family, a very high class, wealthy and very well-known family.  The golden boy and America's most eligible bachelor meets a girl with a rough past and the story follows their relationship trying to navigate their families, the media, and just their differences.  I enjoyed it, but it felt really long and kind of dragged on.  To me it was just a book about two people that kept going and going with little excitement or climax. 


June was beach vacation month. And beach vacation meant beach reading. Lots and lots of beach reading. It was glorious! Most of what I read, I loved! I read a wide variety of genres and quite a lot of suggestions off of our Best Books of Summer 2022 list. So, if you need something good to pack in your beach bag this month - I've got you! 

First up for the month, Emily Henry's latest, Book Lovers. Out of all three of the Henry books I've read so far, Book Lovers is by far my favorite. The characters, the back and forth banter, the fun sibling relationship between two of the main characters - all of it made for one super fun, couldn't put down, rom-com! If you are looking for an easier read with some laugh out loud commentary - this is the book for you this month! 

Second for the month, I snagged the latest from the queen of beach reads herself. (Thanks MKA for the copy!!!) The Homewreckers is exactly what I enjoy in an MKA novel - fun home decor references, quirky characters, and at least a mystery or two. This story is based out of Savannah and features a home renovation reality TV show turned murder mystery. There's a little romance or two that pops up as part of the story, but it's totally PG and a backdrop to the mystery itself. Loved this one and it was the perfect beach read! 

This next one deserves all the hype it has gotten this Summer. Every Summer After is literally the perfect Summer read. This is a best friends to romance style story, but with all the feelings. As you get into the book you learn that something happened to split the characters up 12 years earlier, but you don't find out until the very end of the book. The characters cross paths again in the present day and all the magic seems to still be there, but the "mystery" issue still hangs over them.

I was in love with the story and characters right from the start. I wasn't even finished with it yet, and told all my girlfriends to read it. Even when I turned the last page I still wanted more of the Summers with Percy, Sam and the lake shores of Barry's Bay. Read it - you won't be disappointed! 

Next I decided to switch it up. Falling has been on my TBR pile for awhile, but it covers a heavier topic so I kept putting it on the back burner. On a whim I brought it to the beach and I am so glad I did. I devoured the book in a day. The story follows an airplane pilot who is called into work last minute. He does his normal routine and gets into the air when all things go wrong. Only no one is allowed to know. On the ground his family is experiencing their own crisis. The pilot has to make a devastating choice, and neither one is one he wants to make. I don't want to give it away at all, but the whole time I read it I kept asking my husband, "What would you do if this happened to you? What choice would you make?!" I was on the edge of my seat the whole time and the ending blew my mind. If you need something to get your heart rate up in a different this one!  

Closing out the month for me was Birds of California. I picked this one because the beachy cover caught my eye, it had a great review from Taylor Jenkins Reid and was the Barnes and Noble pick for the month. I figured I didn't even need to read the back with all those things going for it. So I went in blind. It was a quick read about a girl who was a child star on a popular TV show until one day her life began to spiral out of control. The novel is mystery in a sense because you don't know why things suddenly took a turn for her, or why she is so bitter about her career. When the show wants to relaunch all things come to a head again. I enjoyed the book, but compared to the fast paced ones before it, I didn't rate this one as high for the month. It also leans towards YA. If you need a quick drama filled read - this would be the one I would grab. 



Next up for me is Book Lovers by Emily Henry. 

I've had a few people recommend this to me it sounds like such a cute story! 


I've heard awesome reviews for Kristan Higgins latest, Out of the Clear Blue Sky. I already have it ready to go! 



January | February | March | April  | May |



Follow along with us on Goodreads!


Come spend the day with us on:

Thursday, July 7, 2022

Best Books of Summer 2022


Best Books of Summer 2022

Spicy romances. Edge of your seat thrillers. Family Secrets. Mysterious pasts. No matter your personal reading preferences, we have a little something for everyone in this year's "Best Books of Summer" list! 

So pull up a beach chair, grab your favorite pool side seat, mix your favorite patio-worthy cocktail, and get ready for a summer of great reading!  

Best Books of Summer 2022


Something Wilder by Christina Lauren
Second chance romance finds a treasure hunt in the wilds of Utah. This author duo does it again with a fun, quick rom-com that will be sure to heat up your summer. 

Every Summer After by Carley Fortune
Six summers to fall in love. One summer to tear it all apart. Haunting past choices, lake side childhoods, and blooming friendships all come together in one can't miss summer novel. Every Summer After has been gaining buzz everywhere and has quickly become a fan favorite one of book reviewers everywhere - not one to miss!

The House Across the Lake by Riley Sager
A psychological suspense set amongst the lakeside magic of Vermont. Casey chooses to escape to avoid the press, and quickly becomes entangled with the "perfect" couple from across the lake. As she looks further she realizes not everything is as perfect as it seems. 

Counterfeit by Kirstin Chen 
Designer handbags meets comedic mystery. Two Asian women team up to create the ultimate fake handbag scheme. When their business goes global their beautiful handbags catch more than just their eye of their buyers. 

Gilt by Jamie Brenner
Meet the Pavlin family - the original jewelers of the engagement ring. Family secrets, hidden pasts, and sparkling glamour come together in one rich novel. 

Book Lovers by Emily Henry
One of the most buzzed about beach reads of the summer, Henry delivers another must-read rom-com. Two rivals in the book world find themselves trapped in the same small town in North Carolina. By chance they land the same project. Can they survive in one piece? Find out in this laugh out loud must read!

The Lost Summers of Newport by Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig, and Karen White
Murder, lies, and mansions all come together in this historical fiction novel set in Newport, Rhode Island. Secrets spanning over 100 years all come together for a modern day must read!

The Lies I Tell by Julie Clark
One wronged woman decides to take matters into her own hands for redemption. She is determined to expose the con-artist who ruined her life a decade earlier, until she becomes entangled even deeper with him. Was she wrong all along? 

Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid
TJR brings back a past character for their own tale. Carrie Soto is a world famous tennis player on the backside of retirement age. As someone comes along to take her top titles and records, she's looking for one last win in this can't put down tale. 

By the Book by Jasmine Guillory
Overworked and underpaid, Isabelle decides to leap at an opportunity to prove herself once and for all. Only once she digs further into the situation she realizes more than just her job is at stake. Her heart might be just as on the chopping block. 

Out of the Clear Blue Sky by Kristin Higgins 
Lillie is both dreading and looking forward to the next phase of her life. When her empty-nester dreams are thrown for a loop by her husband, she gets angry. From one laugh out loud scene to the next, you fall in love with Lillie and her new life. 

Meant to Be by Emily Griffin
A loose spin on the romance between JFK, Jr. and his romance with Carolyn Bessette. The story takes a look at their relationship, their travels together, their differing backgrounds, and a family curse.   

The Dead Romantics by Emily Poston
A ghost writer finds herself back home facing ghosts of her own past. And maybe a special new one or two. This hilarious debut novel has been announced as a Good Morning America Book Club read and as a Barnes and Noble Read. In short - not one to miss! 

The Edge of Summer by Viola Shipman
Set along the shores of Lake Michigan, Sutton sets along a journey to find out clues to her secretive mother's past. As she digs deeper, she finds answers to more than just questions about her mom. 

Hotel Nantucket by Elin Hilderbrand
When a developer decides to renovate the infamous Hotel Nantucket, he only wants the best. He goes above and beyond when it comes to cost and hiring the right staff. But without ever stepping foot in the building or meeting in person anyone. In this behind the scenes look at resort lifestyle, luxury, and what it takes to "make it", you find yourself immersed in both the drama of the present and a spicy story of the past. 

Nora Goes Off Script by Annabel Monaghan
When a script writer turns to her own life for inspiration, she gets more than she bargains for. Namely in the form of her own home being the star of the show. Comedy meets heartwarming in this fun beach bag worthy novel. 

Privacy by Nina Sandowsky
In this psychological thriller meets romantic suspense, a therapist learns that their clients are being being watched. As things escalate and cryptic messages are received, the media gets a hold of the story. In the frenzy the therapist partners with an unlikely alley only to learn the target on her back becomes larger.  

The Summer Place by Jennifer Weiner
Weddings always bring out the best in everyone right? In this novel, a beloved Cape Cod house gets one last blast when Sarah's 22 year old step-daughter announces she is marrying her pandemic boyfriend. Secrets emerge, wedding hiccups are a plenty, and families will never be the same. 

From the Jump by Lacie Waldon
Liz is overworked and tired of missing out on life. She decides to take matters into her own hands when quits everything to meet up with friends of hers in South Africa. But one friend might change it all. And if they go back to their normal lives, will everything she worked for disappear? 

It Girl by Ruth Ware
A decade old murder at Oxford University suddenly doesn't add up. Revisiting old facts, sometimes you learn the guilty might not have been guilty at all. If you are looking for a page turning thriller to throw in your beach bag - this is it!

The Homewreckers by Mary Kay Andrews
The queen of beach reads delivers all of our favorites in one fun novel. HGTV, romance, and murder mysteries take center stage in this can't put down whodunit. Demo day will never be the same. 



January | February | March | April | May |


Follow along with us on Goodreads!


Come spend the day with us on:

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Serena & Lily Outdoor Dupes

We love decorating our outdoor spaces. They are an extension of our homes. We also covet the cool, calm coastal vibes of Serena & Lily. But Southern summers can be harsh on outdoor furniture and accessories. So while Serena & Lily items last forever, we also get super excited when we spot something in the wild that is a great dupe for less money!

We were astonished to find one of our favorite outdoor sets of the season is from Walmart! It's a great dupe for a very similar (and more expensive) set from Serena and Lily. But at less than a fifth of the price! 

Digging a little deeper, Walmart was giving us some major S&L inspo. Here is just a quick peek at some of our outdoor porch decor favorites.

Have you spotted some great Serena & Lily Dupes? We'd love to hear about them!

Come spend the day with us on: