Good gosh do I love Key West.
I first went to Key West in February of 2020. A friend & I drove down from Miami, spent a day, & then headed off to another island. We vowed to return as soon as we could. Then, you know, March of 2020 came.
Fast-forward through all those crazy months to June of 2021 & we made it back, & we've already said we'll be back again soon. Key West has just the right vibe for people looking to enjoy good food, good drinks, independent shops, history, live music everywhere, & water views at every turn (it's a pretty small island).
This time, we got a great flight deal from Jet Blue & flew straight into Key West. If you can, I highly, highly suggest it. First of all, the drive from Miami is about 3 hours. Second of all, the Key West Airport is a small airport that's a real throwback, & you're immersed in the island immediately (you can grab a drink the second you enter the airport :) ).
If you want to get right into the island vibe, grab that drink & start walking. If you stay at Hampton Inn, you can WALK to your hotel from the airport-- it's .4 miles away, & you can walk along the water the whole way. The hotel itself has a nice pool, a great poolside bar/restaurant, & VIEWS. The breakfast was better when Covid wasn't a thing, but it's still ok, & you can always get coffee in the lobby (#1 reason why I love Hampton Inn :) ). They also offer a free shuttle to the Duval St area, so you don't have to worry about getting a car or Ubering.
After checking in & having a relaxing drink by the pool, I'd suggest heading to Duval Street for shopping, entertainment, & dining. Without question, our favorite dinner spot is Fogerty's. It's popular & right in the middle of everything, but we've never had to wait to eat. The food is wonderful. We got the bruschetta the first night & it was SO GOOD (& a smart idea if you're also having one of their alcoholic drinks). The salads were fantastic, too.
For brunch, I suggest Blue Heaven. Get there early... or at least don't get there too hungry. It's busy, but worth the wait for yummy food & the coolest atmosphere. We listened to live music while chickens wandered around. It's not gross like it sounds (I may have made a TikTok there if you don't believe me :)-- I"m @BeyondMomJeans). It just feels chill because that's how Key West is. Chickens are all over the place, & even though I'm not a big bird fan, I found myself cheering on little chicks as they crossed the street. Everyone's kind to everyone here.
I think that's the main reason why I love Key West so much. I've spent time in tons of beach communities on the East & West Coast. They tend to fall into two categories: honky tonk or snobby. Either they're selling you American flag string bikinis (not the look for me) & bongs or they're selling you $50 lobster rolls & making you feel like you may not be worthy of that lobster roll.
Key West is neither of these things. Yes, I'm sure I could have found a bong & an overpriced lobster roll somewhere on the island (don't buy Maine lobster in Florida, btw- that's just weird). That's not Key West's thing, though. Key West's official motto is "One Human Family," & they live that motto. The vibe is relaxed & friendly. There's good food, good drinks, good music, ocean air... pretty much everything you need to unwind & reset.
My favorite sale of the year has arrived! If you have a Nordstrom card, you can start shopping on the 16th; if you don't have one, you can start on the 28th. I have a card, so my big day is almost here! For more details on the logistics of the sale, click here (my blog post over on Coupons, Codes, & Killer Deals).
This post is about THE GOODS. What do I recommend, & what do I want to try? The answer is: LOTS.
I always buy:
1. A Barefoot Dreams cardigan-- the softest, & they never pill or get less soft. I live in these.
2. Bliss Plush Throw-- these also hold up well to washing. They make a great gift, too.
3. Zella leggings-- they don't sag on me even during a good workout (or a bunch of hanging out on the couch :) )
Those are my tried & trues... & here are the things I've added to my wish list to try out this year.
1. Free People Leo Henley Tee. a pretty, casual long sleeve for fall~
2. Sperry boots. really unique colors this year!
3. Bomba socks!! I have one pair & they really are next-level comfy
4. Sorel boots- Save $70!- I have one pair... but I love them so much that maybe I need two...
Please let us know what you snag!!
#Nordstrom #Nordstromanniversarysale #barefootdreams #sorel #freepeople #bomba #sprerryboots
I went on my first girls' trip (post kids) a few years ago. My oldest friend & I went to Washington DC for three days. We stayed at a beautiful old hotel on Embassy Row, wandered around the embassies, visited museums, ate sushi, checked out the remodeled Watergate, read, talked about our kids, talked about things other than our kids, and checked out an amazing bakery/coffee shop that a student of mine had recommended. It was the perfect escape, & we're brainstorming for our next one.
Since that trip, I've gone on three trips with another girlfriend. We hit up Epcot's Food and Wine Festival for my 40th, & while we were there, I mentioned that Key West was on my bucket list because I was afraid it wouldn't be there forever (darn you global warming). We decided we'd have to check it out, & went back to Florida a few months later. We did one day in Key West, 1 in Marathon, & a couple where she had a home in Palm Bay. From that trip, we learned that Key West deserved more than one day, & vowed to go back.
A year & a half later, post-quarantine, we gave Key West its due & spent three days there (I highly recommend this affordable hotel, btw). The food, the music, the relaxed atmosphere...I am madly in love with that town (it'll get its own post at some point).
I'm also madly in love with girls' trips. Here's what I've observed about girls' trips that make them uniquely rejuvenating:
Now I don't mean to sell men short, & obviously there are exceptions, but this is my ode to girl trips, so of course I'm going to highlight what's awesome about women as travel companions. We rock, & if you haven't traveled with your gals yet, get to it!
Anyone else feel like this as they emerged from quarantine?? I feel like I "get" this doll.
Another quick update-- I posted another article over on Coupons, Codes, & Killer Deals. I took some time over my February vacation to read about the newest trends for spring/summer. Check it out here!
I've read a lot of articles from Elephant Journal, so I'm excited to share the first article I published there. My first article published was about an experience I had with Ginny, so I'm glad that this one is about James. Kid rearing is always an adventure! :). Please comment below & let me know what you think about this one.
I'm continuing to expand my online work, & I'm having so much fun! Too many ideas, not enough time in the day. I'm exploring new social media platforms to see what I like the most. So weird... but I think it might be youtube. Turns out I'm less self-conscious talking than I am taking pictures! Probably comes from teaching synchronistically the whole year...
Covid silver lining? :)
I've linked my new sites below if you'd like to check them out. Please let me know what you like & what you'd like to see more of! Where do you spend most of your online time?
Hello friends! I've been doing some of my writing over at another website. I work with four other moms to post lots of deals on Facebook, & we've created a website, as well. One of my first posts over there was sharing just how much fun my daughter and I have had with the new version of Mall Madness. Happy reading & playing!
It's been a LONG time since I've posted.... but teaching & home-schooling is no joke. My sense is that lots of you get that.
I didn't reach my GoodRead goal of reading 50 books, but I got to 43, so I figured I'd share the list here. I change the categories up a little every year, but these were the ones that made the most sense this year. I didn't do many "heavy" books-- I definitely didn't have the desire or focus for that. Lots of escapism here :). The starred ones were my favorite, & I've linked to some other ones I suggest you check out, too. Happy reading!
The Family Upstairs- Lisa Jewell
Then She Was Gone- Lisa Jewell
The Night Fire- Michael Connelly
Treason- Stuart Woods
Bad Little Falls- Paul Doiron
Shot in the Dark- Cleo Coyle
The Perfect Wife- JP Delaney
A Deadly Cliche- Ellery Adams
The Dutch House- Ann Patchett
The Forgotten Room- Karen White, Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig *****
Sex & Vanity- Kevin Kwan
Light Fiction/ “Chick lit”
Bridges of Madison County- Robert James Waller
I Owe You One- Sophie Kinsella
The Happily Ever After Playlist- Abby Jiminez *****
Love, Chocolate, & a Dog Names Capone- Abigail Drake
Beach Read- Emily Henry
Winter in Paradise- Ein Hilderbrand
What Happens in Paradise- Elin Hilderbrand
Troubles in Paradise- Elin Hilderbrand
Island Affair- Priscilla Oliveras
Sorry Not Sorry- Sophie Ranald
No We Can’t Be Friends- Sophie Ranald
It’s Not You It’s Him- Sophie Ranald
Jingle All the Way- Debbie Macomber
In a Holidaze- Christina Lauren
It Started with Christmas- Jenny Hale
Thank You For My Service- Mat Best***** -- I did this one as an audio book & recommend doing it that way-- Best narrates & his inflection definitely adds to the story.
Too Much and Never Enough- Mary Trump PhD
The Italian Chronicles of a Rogue Tourist- Paul Monico
Freckle Juice- Judy Blume *****
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets- JK Rowling
Karen’s Witch- Katy Farina, Ann M Martin
Sideways Stories from Wayside School- Louis Sachar *****
Wayside School is Falling Down- Louis Sachar
Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger- Louis Sachar
Wayside School Beneath the Cloud of Doom- Louis Sachar
The Twits- Roald Dahl
Charlie & the Chocolate Factory- Roald Dahl
Charlie & the Great Glass Elevator- Roald Dahl
There’s a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom- Louis Sachar
The Boston Tea Party- Matt Doeden
How to Get Started:
Now for the fun part! What should you get??
Let's start with larger ticket items that you can really save some dough by subscribing & saving~
If you haven't gotten to 5 items yet, here are some low-cost items to add to your list!
It's been a long time since I've written on here...
but I've been busy. I imagine I'm not alone??
Life has been complicated, but good.
A couple updates:
1. an older post from this blog was published! Check out the final product here:
2. my online presence has expanded on Facebook. In addition to publishing fashion finds on
I'm also posting on three larger pages. You can get SO MANY amazing deals on both sites from some great women-- I highly suggest you join them all!
I look forward to touching base more often, and I hope this post finds you well!
You can also click below to link to Lightening Deals at Amazon-- they go quickly so grab while you can, & please comment if you find something great!
Note: I am a huge fan of Jane.com, & I'm happy to share my finds with you here. I also receive a small percentage of the sales made from my links here. This doesn’t cost you anything additional. Thank you for your support!
One of my favorite sites to explore (for hours...) is Jane.com. You never know quite what you're going to find, but I always find something. In the past, I've bought myself pajamas, boots, & earrings. Lots of earrings... :) This time of year, it's fun to use the site to look for things for my guy & my kids. My husband & I try to just schedule some time together for Valentine's instead of gifts, but sometimes that doesn't happen until March... so I often grab him a little something just to say "Happy Day" on February 14th. For the gentleman in your life, check here!
Three cool options at three price points that I'd recommend you check out:
Tie: $19.98 shipped
Watch: $58.99 shipped
Socks: $5.98 shipped!
My husband is a nice guy & all, but I really like treating my kids to a little something special on Valentine's Day, too. That said, we're still recovering from Christmas... so deals are a big deal for me. Jane has some children's gifts that are specifically themed for Valentine's Day. Here are a few of those at Jane! I usually just buy the kids a cool little toy that isn't specific to Valentine's so they can use it longer. .If you'd prefer to just buy a cool, unique toy, click below :) . I think the speaker is AWESOME, but I always buy bath bombs when I find good deals because they make bath time fun. I give my kids cups & they do "science experiments" with the bath bombs.
Squishy dolls: $6.98 shipped
Rubik Cube Speaker: $19.99 shipped free
Bath Bombs: $5.14 shipped
After you've shopped for your loved ones... check out all the rest of Jane's Valentine awesomeness to treat yourself & decorate your home! Then, comment below & tell us what you find!
Stuff I Love at Jane.com right now:
Love Raglan Hoodie: $29.98 shipped
Valentine Signs: $9.48 shipped
The Big Book Post-- Books I Read in 2019 That I Gave 5-Stars on GoodReads.
I read 53 books this year, & 10 made the 5-star list. Lots of them are on sale at Amazon right now, too, so I've linked them in purple if you're looking for a new book!
The Banker's Wife- Christina Alger
Reminded me of The Firm, but I felt more sympathy for these characters.
My Lovely Wife- Samantha Downing
I grabbed this at the library & devoured it. You know part of their secret from the get-go, but they way it all plays out is crazy.
The Wife Between Us- Greer Henricks
Like My Lovely Wife, you get into this knowing something will surprise you, but the twist here was trickier. I like it when popular fiction is little challenging, & creepy :)
An American Marriage- Tayari Jones
Oprah & Barack Obama both recommended this, & they're smart. I did it as an audio book, & I'm not sure I'd recommend that because I'm not sure I fully appreciated the prose. That said, the "How would I handle this?" questions that came up with this book really got me thinking on my commute.
The Good House- Ann Leary
I've been meaning to read this forever. The protagonist is a realtor on the North Shore of Massachusetts, & her struggles are the focus of the book. When she drinks, she's unreliable, & I think that's what made the book so interesting to me. I was always a little unsure of what was going on.
Becoming- Michelle Obama
So neat to hear behind-the-scenes stories, especially of his presidency. You might want to try this one on audio book because she reads it. I love autobiographies that are read by the authors. (Side note-- listen to Bossypants by Tina Fey, too~)
Where the Crawdads Sing- Delia Owen
Everyone has already raved about this book, so I'm not sure what to add. I guess I will say that I normally HATE books that spend a lot of time describing nature, but I liked this book anyway. That must mean it's awesome.
A Student of History- Nina Revoyr
This book combines both references to classic movies & very timely references to people with money manipulating the system at USC (Hi Aunt Becky :) ).
Turn of the Key- Ruth Ware
Ruth Ware gets better with every book (you've probably heard of her from The Woman in Cabin 10 or The Death of Mrs Westaway). This book is ssssooo wonderfully creepy. Loved it!
Educated- Tara Westover
Non-fiction about a girl who grew up way off the grid. There are scenes from her childhood you will remember forever, & it's so thought-provoking, too.
I just finished reading an article from Vanity Fair titled "J Who?" (Summer 2019). This passage really resonated with me:
"J Crew, at various times in its 36 years, has struck an emotional chord... Today, scratch the surface of many a thirty-or forty something J Crew fan (ahem) and you'll find their inner teenager, waiting for the latest glossy dispatch from a land of just-beyond-reach privilege to arrive in the family mailbox. You couldn't put your finger on it, exactly, but what these people had, you wanted."
This description took me back, immediately, to the summer before my senior year of college. I distinctly remember choosing my first J Crew bikini-- super-simple- plain aquamarine. It represented my hope that I'd be cool enough to fit into those pictures in the catalog. I would have easy-breezy afternoons with friends on the beach. I'd be ready for wherever my day took me in J Crew apparel.
If memory serves, they had free shipping at $80, & the suit was around $50. I have always been a total sucker for free shipping, so I also chose a pair of shorts & a tee, but I labored for days deciding, because I wanted it all but was a poor college student & wasn't often buying J Crew clothing. I wanted to choose the best darn things in that whole catalog.
Obviously, I dedicated a lot of thought to this decision. I still remember it 20 years later. Why?? I was about to start a new adventure-- I was spending the fall of my senior year in Los Angeles, & I needed to choose the perfect J Crew tee shirt that fit my fantasies of what that time would be like. I was single & 20 years old & anything could happen-- & cooler things would happen if I had the right clothes.
As I read that sentence over, it sounds silly, but let's be honest, we've all believed in the power of clothes to create experiences for us. Most of us buy new clothes for job interviews. We treat ourselves to new outfits for vacation. Every summer, kids & their parents head to stores to choose their clothes for the next school year. My kids haven't expressed much of an interest in the past, but this year, I've saved up all of my Gap credit card rewards so that they can buy back to school clothes at the Gap outlet. Since it's kind of free money, I won't feel the need to be practical & tell them what to get. I'm going to let them get whatever feels good to them. I want to see what their fantasies are for the new school year-- is Ginny still all about dresses? Is James going to keep going with the collared-shirt look he's been choosing this summer? What clothes represent their dreams of the next school year? I may not be looking forward to the blood-sport that it finding the last white one-inch binder at Target, but the clothing part of back to school shopping excites me. My kids are starting new chapters, like I was back in 2000, & I'm looking forward to sharing their excitement. Oh, & we might swing by the J Crew Outlet after. Teachers need back to school clothes, too~
kIn case you didn't know, Michael's craft store offers $5 craft classes on Saturdays. Best idea ever! You don't have to schedule ahead of time, but if you find you have an open Saturday, you can get everyone out of the house. Ginny loves the crafts. James tried it the first time she went. I wandered the store for 20 minutes (you do have to stay in the store while they craft), & came back to find Ginny hard at work & James standing on the chairs lining the wall & carefully walking up & down them. The Michaels' employee was gluing his craft. He was just not ready.
Ginny, however, loved it then and loves it now, so we go, & frankly, I think James & I might actually have even more fun than Gin does. When I look back on James's preschool/pre-k years, I think those mornings will be some of my happiest memories. I don't get a lot of one-on-one time with James. He is my second child, after all. That's why I think he still chooses to not do the craft. Two years have passed since he stood on the chairs in that first class, & now he could totally handle following the directions. He just chooses not to. He appears to prefer time with me, & there's no way I'm discouraging that. The day will come when his favorite thing isn't hanging out with me. Until then, I'll follow his bliss around the store. We check out the holiday decor (Halloween is his favorite), touch all of the beads, & explore the toys. I watch his little face light up. We might just be passing the time while Ginny crafts, but man, I wouldn't trade it for anything.
Last weekend, my husband discovered a cartoon about the Revolutionary War. He’s a history buff, so he was psyched to sit and watch it with our kids, who are five and seven. By the time I got back from errands, it was off, and my daughter was telling me how she hated it because they were so mean to a man.
The debate about whether tarring and feathering is appropriate for a children’s show is a discussion for another day. The fact is, my seven-year-old had just learned about tarring and feathering, and it was haunting her thoughts. It was still on her mind as she got ready for bed, and she was in tears.
We talked about how that show took place a long time ago, but that bad things do happen in this world, and that stinks. We talked about how that was a kind of bullying, and we talked about what she would do if she saw bullying at school.
Then, we had to figure out how to get her brain to relax enough to fall asleep.
Round One: reading happy, easy books (for her, that’s I Can Read books). I gave her 5. She was still wide awake.
Round Two: listening to music, specifically The Lion King. This required me finding a CD player in the attic and the CD. She’s glad to have a CD player in her room… but no dice on falling asleep.
Round Three: reading a hard book that would tire her out. Enter Bad Kitty. She read the whole thing. Still awake.
Round Four: I cuddled her for a bit. Our kids never fall asleep if we lay down with them, so I knew staying wouldn’t help, but I figured she needed to talk more. She said that she was just so sad that that had ever happened to anyone. I told her that I’m sad that anyone ever experienced that, too, and I’m hate that there’s nothing I can do to change things in the past. As we talked, my mind went to the school shootings and climate change and migrant children in camps, and I started wondering if I’d fall asleep.
How do I slow down when my mind is racing with things that make me sad? I figure out what I can do around that issue and resolve to do it. I try to make my little pocket of the world better. I thought that might work for a first grader, too, so I suggested that Ginny think of nice things she could do at school the next day. I told her that it stinks that you can’t change all the bad things in the world, but you can try to make the world a little better again through your actions. I suggested that she lay down and think of the nice things she could do at school to make the world better again-- could she help a classmate? Compliment her teacher?
That was the last time I had to go into Ginny’s room last night. I think brainstorming nice things to do makes you feel a little more in control when the world feels out of control, and the truth is, the better you make the world, the easier it is to live in it. That’s going to be our new mantra at our house… because that protective bubble we put them in as babies and toddlers is just going to keep popping, and one day they’ll learn about slavery and the Holocaust and 9-11. I struggled to sleep for days after Sandy Hook.
There will be other tough nights. Instead of counting sheep, I’ll encourage my kids to brainstorm ways to make their classroom, their town, and their world a little better. It’s my responsibility to give them strategies to get a good night sleep, because tomorrow, I want them to get out there and change the world.
I set a goal to read 50 books every year. That was a slightly easier goal before I had kids... :) It was also an easier goal before I got a smart phone, but since my husband woke up a few months ago & found me playing on my phone at 3 am, he's encouraging me to charge in the bathroom overnight. I'm back to reading before bed, & that's been great. It's a much better way to relax before bed-- I swear, sometimes I fell asleep just to escape what I was seeing online before I moved my phone out of the room.
So, anyway, I read books this year. :) Below, I've listed my favorites & told you a little about them. After that, I've listed every book I read in 2018. I thought about listing them chronologically, but frankly, you don't care what order I read things in. Instead, I've divided them by category so you can skip to books you might be interested. I'd love to get comments from you if you've read any of these! I'd also love to get suggestions for what I should read next. I hope you have a great reading year in 2019!
My Favorite Books (not necessarily written in 2018, but read in 2018)
(also in no particular order-- that's harder than picking a favorite child!)
When Life Gives You Lululemons- Lauren Weisberger-- This is the same author who wrote The Devil Wears Prada. If you haven't read that, read it, because it's awesome. Then, read this. It's got some of those fun rich-people details, but it's also rich with real characters you invest in emotionally.
Ginny Moon- Benjamin Ludwig-- Ginny has a developmental disorder, & the book is written from her perspective. It's not confusing, however. The structure just allows you to see how she understands things while also hearing what her foster parents, teachers, & others say to her. Her struggles with her birth mother are compelling, too.
The Reason You're Alive- Matthew Quick-- I've read a bunch of Matthew Quick (Silver Lining Playbook) books, & this is my favorite. I didn't want to like the main character, but I couldn't help myself. An author who can help you have sympathy for the unlikeable is worth reading.
The Death of Mrs Westaway- Ruth Ware-- Ware wrote The Woman in Cabin 10, but I liked this one a lot more. What starts as a case of mistaken identity becomes very, very suspenseful very, very quickly.
The President is Missing- Bill Clinton & James Patterson-- I've read almost everything Patterson has written, & I was extra excited for this one. I got just what I hoped for-- suspense & plot twists a la Patterson, & insider knowledge of the White House & presidential security from Clinton. This is long but I read it really quickly. Everyone I know who has read it loved it, too~
The Hate U Give- Angie Thomas- haven't seen the movie yet, but the book was compelling. It's a Young Adult novel, but it doesn't feel silly. Every character is well-developed, & the story is wrenching. Starr is a teenager whose family has left the inner-city, but who still have many ties to their old neighborhood. She's the sole witness when one of them is murdered by a police officer. Kirkus says, "This story is necessary. This story is important." I'd concur.
Everything, Everything- Nicola Yoon- another Young Adult novel. A friend recommended this one, about a girl with an illness that prevents her from leaving the house. I loved her & the cute boy who moves in next door...
Bonus Favorite Books- ones to share with your kids!
The Haunted Library- Dori Hillestad Butler- I got the first one at the Library of Congress, & now I've read three in the series with my kids (ages 4 & 7). How can I not recommend it??
Mother Bruce- Ryan T. Higgins- my favorite picture book of the year! There are now others in the series, too. Bruce is a grumpy beat who got some eggs to eat, but they hatched & imprinted on him.
The Singles Game- Lauren Weisberger
When Life Gives You Lululemons (Devil Wears Prada #3)- Lauren Weisberger
Ginny Moon- Benjamin Ludwig
The Knockoff- Lucy Sykes
Carnegie's Maid- Marie Benedict
The Reason You're Alive- Matthew Quick
Live By Night- Dennie Lehane
The Wicked City- Beatriz Williams
My Ex-Life- Stephen McCauley
Surprise Me- Sophie Kinsella
The Wrong Side of Good-Bye- Michael Connelly
The Woman in Cabin 10- Ruth Ware
The Death of Mrs Westaway- Ruth Ware
Unbound- Stuart Woods
Shoot First- Stuart Woods
Black Schooner- KD Mason
Haunted- James Patterson
Fifty Fifty- James Patterson
The President Is Missing- Bill Clinton & James Patterson
Dead Cold Brew- Cleo Coyle
Psycho- Robert Bloch
Unraveled- Maggie Sefton
How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, & the Hidden Power of Character- Paul Tough
Keys to Parenting the Gifted Child- Sylvia B. Rimm
There Are No Grown-ups: A Midlife Coming-of- Age Story- Pamela Druckerman
Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark- Bill Dedman
The Elite (The Selection #2)- Kiera Cass
The One (The Selection #3)- Kiera Cass
Love & Gelato- Jenna Evans Welch
Tell Me Three Things- Julie Buxbaum
The Hate U Give- Angie Thomas
Everything, Everything- Nicola Yoon
Early Chapter/Middle Grade
The Rainstorm Brainstorm (Wellie Wishers)- Valerie Trip
The Mystery of Mr. E- Valerie Tripp
Ashlyn's Unsurprise Party- Valerie Tripp
Meet Molly- Valerie Tripp
Isadora Moon Goes to School- Harriet Muncaster
The Chocolate Fudge Mystery- Cam Jansen- kickin' it old school!!- David A. Adler
Junie B, First Grader: Aloha-ha-ha!- Barbara Park
Junie B, First Grader: Dumb Bunny- Barbara Park
Al Capone Shines My Shoes- Gennifer Choldenko
The Unlucky Lottery Winners of Classroom 13- Honest Lee
The Haunted Library- Dori Hillestad Bulter
The Ghost in the Attic (Haunted Library #2)- Dori Hillestad Butler
Christmas in Paris- Anita Hughes
Season of Wonder- RaeAnne Thayne
Deck the Halls- Carol Higgins Clark & Mary Higgins Clark
Silent Night- Robert B. Parker
Happy Reading in 2019!!!
I LOVE THE HOLIDAYS. My kids are also big fans (are there kids who aren't??). Now, my kids are totally happy to wear Christmas clothes year round, & with teeshirts & such, I'm all in. I have a hard time shelling out for a fancy dress Ginny will only wear once, though. Just rubs me the wrong way, so I've collected a bunch of dresses below that look totally festive but aren't crazy-dressy or crazy-Christmas-- she'll be able to keep wearing her dress & feeling pretty the whole winter. Let me know if one of these will work for your little elf!
I've had a rough couple of weeks-- some sad news. I'm really trying to keep rolling, & I decided my solution was to start Christmas NOW. I watched a Hallmark movie last week, the kids & I listen to Christmas music in the car, & I've already decorated my bathroom (I know, that's weird. It's just that I'd just bought the scented light thing. Everything else is up in the attic). I hear everyone complaining about how the season starts so early... whatever. I'm embracing it. I'm going to the Christmas Tree Shop tomorrow to take advantage of their Friends & Family sale. The kids, my mom, & I go every year & grab new ornaments, wrapping paper... the fun begins! The season is only so long, the kids are only little for so long, & I'm ringing it all in. This holiday can bring lots of stress, but it brings so much joy, & who can't use a few extra weeks of joy?
I hate, HATE those tiny button batteries. I've been using a book light that uses AAA batteries, which works ok (& doesn't require a tiny screwdriver), but my mom says I must upgrade to this-- it's rechargeable, which means A- better for the environment & B- you'll never be left in the dark! Moreover, it's got three brightness, which mom is raving about. Here's the link:
And while you're at it... Grab this book! One of my latest five-star-reviewed books on my GoodReads page :) Light without being silly, & with plenty of fashion~
I'm so grateful to have you here with me. I LOVE being a mom, but I'm trying to still be "me" while being a mom, & this blog has been a tool for me to figure that out. Hopefully it's that for you, as well. I look forward to hearing from you so that I can make this blog meaningful for you. Thanks for being here!