Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Books and Beans~July 2018

It's book review time! You know that I read like crazy over the summer, so there are some good ones on the list!

Coffee

My "coffee" order of choice this month was a Starbucks iced green tea. It's the perfect summer drink when you're reading or out running errands. I have worked my way into drinking it unsweetened. Every little bit helps! :)


Books

by: Elin Hilderbrand
4 out of 5 stars


It wouldn't be summer if I didn't have an Elin Hilderbrand book on my reading list! This novel is about a couple getting married on Nantucket, as all good beach reads include. All the guests have come to stay on the island but the wedding is put on hold when the maid of honor is found dead the morning of the wedding. Part light mystery, part summer beach read, Elin Hilderbrand does not disappoint with her latest book.

by: Francine Jay
4 out of 5 stars


I loved this book as inspiration to clear out some clutter that had built up since my last purge in December. I am all about streamlining and simplifying and this book was very motivational in those areas. Even if you will never be a hardcore minimalist *cough...me*, you will find value in these principles for decluttering your space.

by: Lisa Jewell
4 out of 5 stars


I love a good mystery and this one is about as dark and twisted as they come. A teenage girl disappears on her way to the library and years later her mother starts a relationship with a new man. Both seemingly unrelated events intersect to form a good storyline. Although I had figured out the gist of the plot by the midpoint, the way it all came together was worth the read. If you are a fan of mysteries and psychological thrillers, add this to your list. 

by: Chrissy Metz
4 out of 5 stars


I love the show This is Us and this book was a great behind the scenes look into Chrissy Metz's real life and her rise to fame. I have so much compassion for her after reading this book and am even more excited for her that the show has found such success. Her life is a powerful example of overcoming tough situations growing up as well as the power that hurtful words can have on children. I definitely recommend this book if you are a fan of the show.

by: Reagan North
3 out of 5 stars


I threw a work book into the mix this month and liked this. The information was extremely basic, but it's always good to freshen up old skills. I did glean some good questioning practices for when students are resisting change, so I thought it was worth my time.

by: Melanie Shankel
4 out of 5 stars


I discovered Melanie Shankle when I started listening to the podcast The Big Boo Cast and I've loved her books as much as their conversations on the cast. Whenever I'm looking for a devotional or a Christian non-fiction book, Melanie's never disappoint. She is very relatable and so funny!

by: Rebecca Raisin
3 out of 5 stars


I loved that this book was set in Paris and a bookstore. A bookshop owner from the United States switches places with a bookshop owner in Paris. It is all very You've Got Mail and The Holiday, so what's not to love? It is a sweet little story, but I found some of the romance portions a bit predictable and tiresome. There is a whole series of these books set in different shops in Paris, and I would be likely to read another when I want an easy, "fluffy" read.

I hope you found a few page turners to add to your reading list. Remember, you can click the title or the picture of the book to be taken directly to the Amazon link. All photos are from Amazon and I do receive a very small commission if you order through the blog. It helps support my reading habit. :)

Happy reading and happy August, friends!

Monday, July 2, 2018

Books and Beans~May and June 2018

I can hardly believe that I have been away from blogging for almost two months! I have missed this creative outlet and connecting with all of you. The end of the school year is such a crazy time for me at work and home that everything gets out of balance. I am so grateful to have some downtime in the summer to get back on track with everything I let go during this time. I have five great books to share with you to kick off your July reading!

COFFEE

I have been having a moment with iced coffee this summer. If it's caramel flavored, even better! My favorite kind is one I make right at home with THIS and THIS.

BOOKS

A Nantucket Wedding
by: Nancy Thayer
4 out of 5 stars


This is the perfect beach read! It is set in Nantucket, involves multiple generations, a family wedding and enough drama to keep it all interesting. I really enjoy Nancy Thayer as an author and this book did not disappoint.

Kind Is the New Classy: The Power of Living Graciously
by: Candace Cameron Bure
4 out of 5 stars


This book is such a great reminder of how to be classy by being kind. I love reading Candace Cameron Bure's books and loved the practical examples she shared in this one for being a gracious and kind person. The world needs all the kindness it can get right now so this book's timing couldn't be better.

Magnolia Table: A Collection of Recipes for Gathering
by: Joanna Gaines
5 out of 5 stars


If you need me, I'll be making everything in this beautiful book! Is there anyone better than Joanna Gaines? My husband bought me this book as a gift and I adore it. The recipes, pictures and commentary by Joanna are perfection. Plus, it looks oh so pretty displayed!

When Life Gives You Lululemons
by: Lauren Weisberger
4 out of 5 stars


If you loved The Devil Wears Prada, buy this book now! You get to catch up with all of your favorite characters and share their crazy antics of now suburban living. This book was so funny and enjoyable. And can we talk about that title? Genius.

Go Ask Ali: Half-Baked Advice
by: Ali Wentworth
4 out of 5 stars


Ali Wentworth is one of the funniest people alive. If Tina Fey, Ellen and Ali Wentworth were all in a room together, I would never need an ab workout again. Told in the format of short stories, Ali serves up life advice and lots of laughs. I enjoyed this book so much!

It feels so good to be back to blogging and connecting! Thanks for sticking with me; have a great week!

Monday, April 30, 2018

Books and Beans~April 2018

I'm so excited to be back to blogging and talking about my April books! I read three fiction and two non-fiction this month. I have already started my list of books to read this summer. There are so many great beach reads being released in the next few months.

(www.pinterest.com)
#truth

COFFEE

This month, I've been firing up the Keurig to make my coffee when I get to work. This has been my coffee of choice...
I mean, butter and toffee? What's not to love?

BOOKS

by: Kristan Higgins
4 out of 5 stars

(www.amazon.com)

I love a good book in which that main character returns to their island home after life doesn't turn out exactly as planned. And when that main character ends up renting a houseboat to live in? Even better. This book opens with the main character, Dr. Nora Stuart, being hit by an exterminator truck and finding out that her current relationship is not what it seems. She returns home to heal, deal with her past and reconnect with her family. There is a big backstory in her life and it keeps this plot humming along. 

by: Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
4 out of 5 stars

(www.amazon.com)

O. M. Gosh. This book has a plot that is super twisty and engaging. I love including this type of book into my monthly reviews and this one did not disappoint. Although my sister had the twist figured out early on, it took me by surprise. Great plot, great characters. Add this one to your Amazon cart if you like psychological thrillers.

by: Jayme Ivey
4 out of 5 stars

(www.amazon.com)

I first learned about Jamie Ivey by listening to her podcast, The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey. She is a Christian podcaster and now author. On her podcast, she talks with her guests about marriage, adoption, parenting, etc. and it is like having an honest conversation with a friend. In this book, she tells all her deep dark secrets, personal battle with shame and how God redeemed her life. Such an honest and inspiring book.

by: Jessica Strawser
3 out of 5 stars

(www.amazon.com)

I was really looking forward to reading this book and it was just okay. It took me awhile to read it and I just couldn't connect with the characters. The plot is a little far fetched and meant to be shocking but I found it a little too slow moving. Maybe I'll try another one of her books and see if I can find one that is more engaging.

by: Claire Diaz-Ortiz
3 out of 5 stars

(www.amazon.com)

How many productivity books can I read in a year?! I got through this little book in one sitting. Although none of the content is groundbreaking, this book is perfect for a pick-me-up and getting back on track with goals. 

Happy Reading!
xo,
Deanna

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Books and Beans ~ March 2018

(Image from www.pinterest.com)

It's my favorite post of the month! March was good for reading. Settle in with a cup of your favorite warm drink and check out my book list from this month.

COFFEE

My husband's podcast, Coffee with Kenobi, has an official coffee sponsor, OneNation Coffee. We have been drinking their product at our house for about a month now and are definitely fans! You know I am picky about a good coffee and this one is great. My favorite part is how our mailbox smells when it is delivered! Throw in the fact that this company is run by servicemen and I'm definitely sold. Enjoy this month's book review written while I sipped "Buckshot Blend". :)

BOOKS
(all images from Amazon)

I read seven books during the month of March! A special shout-out to Spring Break for making that possible. :) This month consisted of four non-fiction and three fiction and there wasn't a bad one in the bunch. Add a few to your Amazon cart by clicking either the book title or image to put on your summer reading list!

by: Greg McKeown
4 out of 5 stars


I really enjoyed this book and it helped me to begin to question what is absolutely essential in my own life. The basic premise is to work smarter not harder on the things that matter most. Think of this book as a decluttering manual for your work and your mind.

by: A.J. Finn
4 out of 5 stars


Oh my goodness! This book kept me on the edge of my seat and I could not put it down. If you enjoy books like Gone Girl or Girl on a Train, this psychological thriller should be your next read. The main character suffers from agoraphobia (fear of leaving the house) and spends her time watching her neighbors out her window. What she witnesses makes you question what is real and what is imagined. 

by: J.J. Virgin
4 out of 5 stars


This memoir about JJ Virgin helping her son recover from a traumatic brain injury is very good. Along with portraying a mother's love and resilience, she focuses on the lessons learned from this very trying time. Both she and her son are inspirational.

by: Kat Lee
4 out of 5 stars


I so loved this book! You all know I've become a fan of rising early and doing a morning routine. This is another book that just underscores how important that time is. I had not heard of Kat Lee prior to reading this book, but I am a fan now! Very motivating and enjoyable book.

by: Rachel Hollis
4 out of 5 stars


After reading a Rachel Hollis book last month, I couldn't wait to get my hands on anything else she had written. This cookbook was very good; simple everyday recipes and great pictures. Rachel Hollis is a girl who would be easy to be friends with!

by: Jasmine Guillory
3 out of 5 stars


Although this book was a quick read and the story was cute, it wasn't one I would rush out to read. When the main character gets stuck on an elevator with a stranger who then asks her to accompany him to his ex-girlfriend's wedding, drama ensues. When you are looking for a "turn your brain off" romance for your beach vacation, read this.

by: Sally Hepworth
4 out of 5 stars


Loved. This. Book. Sally Hepworth takes everyday situations, in this case, a neighborhood of friends, and brings you into the inner workings of each individual life. This book kept me entertained and guessing the entire time. Highly recommend!

Until next month, happy reading!

xo,

Deanna




Friday, March 9, 2018

Friday Favorites



I'm sure no one is happier that today is Friday than my co-workers. I've been sick AGAIN, this time with a wonderful cough included just for fun.  I am sick of hearing myself cough so I can imagine what my friends feel like.
Three cheers for the weekend!
I'm linking up with fellow bloggers ErikaNarci and Andrea to share my Friday Favorites!

ONE


This blend is on repeat to purify the air and clear out virus germs. It smells so fresh and so clean. :)


TWO


You all know how I love my morning routine and reading this book only encouraged me to continue!


THREE

I showed this little cutie High School Musical last weekend. Star Wars Blanket, check. Popcorn and candy, check. Surround Sound, check. Zac Ephron, check.


FOUR

Miss Zoe after her first trip to the groomer was a definite favorite this week. I will like her even more after her multiple trips to puppy school too. ;)


FIVE

One episode left. I'm in that Gilmore Girls state where I want to finish and don't want to finish all at the same time. I also just found out that it's an all new cast for season 3. WHAT? Age them with makeup, instead. #saveclairefoy
Now the BIG question, what do I watch next?


I hope you all have a fabulous weekend. I'm going to spend mine trying to find some sunshine to cure this virus once and for all!

xo,
Deanna


Monday, February 26, 2018

Books and Beans~February 2018


COFFEE

I do not recommend getting sick during this flu/virus season, but if you do, I have the drink for you!


It's the Medicine Ball Tea from Starbucks. They use two types of tea, steamed lemonade and honey to make it and it helps ease a sore throat and congestion. I am so happy to be feeling better!

BOOKS

The only perk of being sick was I had a few extra hours to read. This month, I read six books and they got better as the month went on! I have two five star books for you this month; one fiction and one non-fiction.

by: Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza
3 out of 5 stars

(www.amazon.com)

I grabbed this book at the library one afternoon and read it pretty quickly. It takes place in New York, so of course I would want to read it! The premise is a girl whose male business partner tells her she's fat and needs to take a sabbatical to get back in shape. This spurs her to try all kinds of crazy things to lose weight. The book is very tongue-in-cheek about the fitness industry and the quest for skinny. It's an enjoyable read with some funny moments.

by: Marie Tourell Soderberg
3 out of 5 stars

(www.amazon.com)

Several months ago, I read THIS BOOK about the concept of hygge and loved it! I am still enraptured by the concept of the cozy life, and honestly read this book because of its cover. The book itself was ok, but I liked my original read better. This is a good one to check out from the library and scroll through.

by: Kate Hudson
3 out of 5 stars

(www.amazon.com)

You all know I can't pass up reading any book about entertaining or lifestyle in general. Kate Hudson's newest book is full of great pictures and a fun idea or two. 

by: Beatriz Williams
4 out of 5 stars

(www.amazon.com)

I never enjoyed historical fiction until I read Beatriz Williams' books. This one also did not disappoint. Although racier than some of the other books I've read of hers, the characters and story lines drew me in. Like her other books, this one spans two different time periods with a suitcase full of items bridging the two women. If you like historical fiction and books about strong women, this book is for you.

by: Liv Constantine
5 out of 5 stars

(www.amazon.com)

If you liked Girl on a Train or Gone Girl, this is your next favorite book. I literally read this book in one day; I could not put it down! It's suspenseful, the characters are CRAZY and it has several twists and turns. I cannot wait for this book to be made into a movie...Reese Witherspoon, I'm lookin' at you to make this happen! (Pretty sure Reese isn't reading my blog, but she should.) :)

by: Rachel Hollis
5 out of 5 stars

(www.amazon.com)

Like most of the great non-fiction books I read, I heard about this one on a podcast. I had never heard of Rachel Hollis before, but I am a fan of her work after reading this book. She runs a lifestyle company called Chic Media and she is delightful, honest and fun. Read this book if you need a pick-me-up or need to be motivated to live life on your own terms. Such a fun book!

I hope you found a book or two to add to your list! I honestly love the feedback I get from these posts and would love to hear what you are reading and loving!


Friday, February 23, 2018

Friday Favorites



After being sick with the worst virus last week, I'm finally healthy and linking up with fellow bloggers ErikaNarci and Andrea to share my Friday Favorites!

ONE

(www.imbd.com)

I drank the Kool-Aid last weekend and it was awesome! I took Mason to this movie and loved every minute of it. In fact, I had the entire album downloaded from iTunes before we got back to the car. Such a great movie!

TWO


I'm so grateful to have a wonderful mom and husband who kept everything together in our house while I was falling apart last week. I was able to rest and recuperate, which is not always easy for me to do! A few Medicine Ball Teas from Starbucks helped me feel better too. Feeling better is my Friday Favorite!


THREE


One plus of being sick was having time to read. THIS. BOOK. I will be reviewing it in my Monday Books and Beans post, but I had to include it here too.  It is so good!

FOUR


Parker turned 16 and passed his driving class with flying colors...in the snow! He is loving his new wheels and freedom. 


Could my Valentine be any cuter?!

FIVE



Whenever I find a new beauty product, you know I love to share. I typically buy expensive mascara, but have been having issues with it ending up under my eyes at the end of the day. I recently ordered this drugstore mascara HERE and I am loving it! I love the price even more. If you are searching for a great mascara, maybe you'll like this one as much as I do!

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

xo,

Deanna