Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Best Books of Summer

I love my book club. What's crazy is we read a WIDE range of books and when we get together, we actually talk ABOUT the book. At least for a chunk of time. Because, well, aren't all book clubs an excuse for women to get together to eat, drink, and chit chat?! 

Here's what we've read (and loved) so far this year. Plus a few of my personal favorites. 

November 9th by Colleen Hoover 

Imagine meeting someone, having an instant electric chemistry only to find out they're moving across the country that night. You spend the day together and at the end of the day vow to meet up every year on that day for the next five years. The trials and tribulations of when one finds out the other's deepest, darkest secret and they wonder if it can last. I couldn't put it down. A definite page turner and turned me on to Colleen Hoover. 

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover 

My second Colleen Hoover book and I didn't think it could be better than my first and BOY IT WAS. Growing up in an abusive relationship household to then ending up in an abusive relationship and discovering more about herself than she ever thought she knew. Strength, survival, perseverance, and a book you can read in four hours in one sitting because you can't put it down. Speaking from experience. 

The Summer of 69 by Elin Hildebrand 

A total beach read. A story told of the summer of 1969 from the views of grandma, mom, and three sisters. Light-hearted and an easy read. 

The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory 

The sequel to The Wedding Date and followed by The Wedding Party (in my to-read pile) I read while lounging on the beach. Imagine being at a baseball game with your less-than-stellar boyfriend and he proposes to you on the jumbotron, and spells your name wrong, and you SAY NO. The horror! This is the story of what happens after she leaves the baseball game and the relationship that grows with the people who helped her get out of the game without being bombarded.  A super cute book. 

The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory 

Read this before The Proposal, don't make the same mistake I did and go out of order! Two people get stuck in an elevator and decide to be each other's date for a wedding that weekend. The story of what comes from that experience and how their relationship grows... I loved it. A lot. 

Educated by Tara Westover 

One of the best books I've ever read and recommend it to anyone and everyone. It also made me more angry than any book I've ever read. A memoir about a girl who was denied an education who decided to go out and get one herself. And the fact this happened in our day and age is what put me over the edge. Seriously. One of the best books I've ever read. Top three contender. 

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens 

Without question, the best book I've ever read. I don't keep books and I'm keeping this one. Kya, the strongest female character I've ever read, her story is one for the records. Strength, heartbreak, true love, perseverance, and the BEST ENDING of any book. 

I loved this book so much I went with some friends to Delia Owens' book talk and we stayed after to ask her more about Kya. Just remarkable. 

My to-read pile includes:

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert 

Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan

So tell me.... what have you read that you totally love? And what's on your to-read pile? 

Monday, August 19, 2019

Manners, Manners, Where Fore Art Thou Manners?!

The RSVP. Is it a lost art? Hold onto your hats people because the answer is YES.

Allow me to elaborate and explain.

RSVP is translated from the French term meaning "please respond" and is defined as "to reply to an invitation". Plain and simply, it means YES I AM COMING or NO I AM NOT. It does NOT mean I'm gong to say yes unless something better comes along. It does not mean I'm going to say maybe because I'm incapable of making a decision. It does not mean I'm going to say yes but bail on you last minute. It does not mean I can be an asshole and make the hosts wait to the last minute for a reply. It does not mean drag your tail between your legs and take forever to decide what you're going to do. It means YES or NO. Plain and simple. 

There are a variety of people in this world. Let's delve into the categories, and you can determine which you fit into.

1. Something better will come along, so I'm a maybe.

2. I can't confirm anything and am incapable of planning, so I'm a no.

3. Can't wait- I'm a yes! I'm writing it in my planner and putting it into my phone so I don't forget.

4. This sounds great- I'm a yes. But I'm noncommittal and won't likely show. Hope you'll still be my friend even though I bail all.the.time.

5. An invite?! Definitely yes! Another invite?! Definitely yes! I say yes to everything, I just wait til last minute to decide which one I'm gong to! And then I post on social media where I am instead of where I said I'd be. Grrrrr. 

I will be the first to admit that I have RSVP'd a "maybe" before. HOWEVER, I have been upfront, honest, and clear with the person hosting WHY I am a maybe and confirm that I will give them a definite response by two weeks prior. Why? Because I have manners and am considerate.

The way of the world these days has me worried for upcoming generations. Forget about handwritten notes, looking someone in the eye while having a conversation, holding the door open for the next person behind you, or even picking up the phone to talk to someone (isn't that what texting is for?!), they way of the world seems to be changing and I'm not sure I'm ready for the lack of manners and consideration that seems to be socially acceptable. 

Do you feel me? Do you see that people have no consideration for a host anymore? Or is it just this little hole I live in... I'm going to guess it's the first. 

Friday, August 16, 2019

Fashion Friday: Joggers in the Summer

It's Fashion Friday time y'all! And this week brings you.... joggers! 

Now, I am a HUGE fan of joggers. It's like wearing yoga pants but being a bit more "dressed" if that makes sense. With that being said, this is one of the hardest articles of clothing for me to style because I won't wear them with heels or wedges because that just looks silly to me. I just find them to be an easy item to gravitate towards to look casual, but yet not I-just-rolled-out-of-bed casual. Check out 5 of my go-to outfits that I wear with my favorite pair of joggers. And don't judge, because I think I own ten pair of joggers...

OUTFIT #1: I Mom So Hard

It's easy peeps. A graphic tee, joggers, and some fun slip-on sneaks. Bam. You're dressed in your momiform. 

OUTFIT #2: It's a Bit Chilly Outside

It's getting to the end of summer and sometimes it's chilly. I have a few long-sleeve tops that I tend to gravitate towards and this easy breezy one is top of the list. Looks good with white jeans, joggers, shorts, over a bathing suit, you name it! 

OUTFIT #3: Errands 

Running around like a chicken with your head cut off sometimes? Ok good, me too. Having a bigger-than-normal bag to throw on with an easy tank and joggers is a great go-to mom look while still being presentable. Just check if you're wearing white that you don't serve your toddler spaghetti sauce or ketchup! 

OUTFIT #4: Travel Day

We travel often. And I've got our travel outfits down to a science. I always wear a pair of joggers because they're easy, fun sneakers to feel more "put together", a striped tee because who doesn't love (and own) a striped tee?! And my go to travel bag never leaves my side. 

OUTFIT #5: Mom So Hard Again 

I'm preppy. I have always had a preppy style and have always been categorized as preppy. Joggers are not really preppy. But mix them up with a polo and BAM, instant preppiness! Ha! 

I hope you've enjoyed this weekly edition of Fashion Friday and that you join me again next week! If there is anything you'd like to see styled, drop me a comment below or find me over on the gram and message me there. See ya next week for another edition of #fashionfriday

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

CT Hidden Gem: KidCity

I have been meaning to share about KidCity for months, heck, even years at this point, and for some reason never get to it. 

Last week, I brought my 3-year-old on Monday morning (membership perk being able to go Mondays before they open to the public) and while there realized I needed to share this fab find with my fellow CT mom friends. 

KidCity is a kids museum in Middletown and is three floors. The "basement" is meant for kids 2 and under and is an underwater theme. The floor is a bit cushioned and you can't wear shoes. It's great for those who can't walk yet but also good for your smaller toddlers to crawl and climb without being knocked over by big kids. Yes, I went there. Sorry. 

The main floor and top floor both have a lot of rooms. Each room has a different theme and carries interests for all different types of kids. My son loves every single room for a different reason and while we are there almost weekly, we never go to every room on a single visit. 

My son's favorite spot in the whole place, the hand-washing station. 

Some hidden things I love about Kid City:

- Every room you go to has seating for the parents. Whether it's a bench, an actual chair, a shelf built into the wall, they make sure there's always a spot for parents to pop a squat. 

- There's quiet rooms and rooms for moms to nurse. 

- You always find something new every time you go. We have been members now for three years, we go almost weekly, and I am not exaggerating when I say every single time we go I discover something new. 

- If you're a member, you can go Monday mornings 9-11 before they open and it's less crowded. They also have a few member nights where they stay open late but know those times get crowded. 

Helpful tips about Kid City:

- You have to pay for parking either on the street or in the public lot. And note, you WILL get a ticket if you don't. Been there, done that. 

- Membership is TOTALLY worth it. 

-  Amato's Toy Store is across the shared parking lot as well as R.J.Julia's bookstore. Well worth the few steps to get there and shop a bit. 

- Main Street in Middletown has a lot of family-friendly restaurants so it's a great place to go for the day. 

- Plan to be there for a few hours. It's a lot and can be overwhelming. And don't worry if you don't get to every room. Last month I just discovered a room I never knew was there because I didn't walk down a certain hallway EVER. 

Have you ever been? Do you have any tips or tricks to share?