Thursday, March 3, 2016

Books and Beans {February}

The best thing about February this year?  An extra day to read!  Grab your coffee of choice and join me in discovering some great new reads.

This month, my coffee of choice is....not a coffee (gasp)!!  I wanted to cut down on my Starbucks habit to help my wallet and waistline, so my favorite hot drink this month is a tea I found at The Fresh Market.  It is called Breakfast in Paris and yes, I did just buy it for the name.  However, it is really yummy too!  If you are a tea drinker or just need a break from expensive coffee like I did, I know you will love this black tea with a hint of lavender.  Cozy in a cup!


Lewis Howes has an excellent podcast on iTunes called The School of Greatness that I have been listening to for the past year.  This book is so good.  If you have a desire to live with intention, this book will inspire you to live your life with your eyes open.  Lewis has a motivating personal story and is great at encouraging others to find their authentic greatness.  Loved this book!

Where We Belong by: Hoda Kotb (2 out of 5 stars)


I love Hoda Kotb.  Love her on tv and especially love her inspiring Instagram account.  However, I did not like this book as well as her others.  I found it to be very "journalistic" and I really didn't connect with any of the stories after the first chapter.

The Power of Style by: Bobbie Thomas (4 out of 5 stars)


I read a lot of fashion books and find that they mostly offer the same advice about having a capsule wardrobe and quality over quantity.  While good advice, I loved this book because it goes beyond traditional advice and includes things like finding your go to colors and expressing your own personal style.  I also love how Bobbie incorporates psychology into style; makes my counselor heart smile!  I may or may not have ordered several items from Nordstrom after reading this book. :)

See Me by: Nicholas Sparks (3 out of 5 stars)


Nicholas and I go way back (hello ugly cry while reading The Notebook).  That being said, I liked this book but find his work formulaic.  Hey, I never promised to make profound statements on this blog! ;)  I liked the characters in this book but found some of the events at the end unbelievable and hard to connect to.  Not my favorite Sparks book, but not terrible, either.

February was full of nonfiction for me!  I'm looking forward to mixing it up again next month.  I would love to hear what you are reading, so please comment below.  Hope you enjoyed your leap day with a good book!

Books and Beans {January}

                                                       (found on

One of my favorite ways to spend a day is with a good book and a hot cup of coffee.  Let's be honest, I rarely get to spend a whole day reading, but I am able to fit in reading while I'm waiting for kids after practice, before bed, or while my family watches TV.  Each month I will be sharing and reviewing the books I have read that month along with my current favorite coffee concoction.  Of course, I welcome any book or coffee recommendations you can send my way!

Each year, I set a reading goal on Goodreads.  If you're not familiar with Goodreads, you can check it out here.  It's like Facebook for book nerds!!  This year, my goal is to read 52 let's get reading!

The Lake House by: Kate Morton (4 out of 5 stars)


The first book I read this year was "The Lake House" by Kate Morton.  This is the second book I've read by her (the first being "The Secret Keeper" which I LOVED) and she is a fantastic storyteller.  Her characters are well developed and the plot keeps you guessing until the end.  I will say that this is not a book to read when you need to shut your brain off; there are a lot of characters to keep track of and the story takes place in both the 1920's and present day.  In all though, Kate Morton's books are intriguing mixes of mystery, family drama and exquisite scene descriptions.

The Rumor by:  Elin Hilderbrand (3 out of 5 stars)


My next book was a lighter read.  I love reading books by Elin Hilderbrand.  Her beachy reads have accompanied me on many a vacation or been my go to when I want to be on vacation!  While this book was not my favorite of hers, it was a great for shutting off my brain and just reading for enjoyment.

Money Making Mom by:  Crystal Paine (4 out of 5 stars)


I started reading Crystal Paine's blog, The Money Saving Mom, years ago.  I have always found her ideas on money helpful and inspirational.  This book is great for those of you interested in jump starting ideas for multiple streams of income from home.

The Royal We by: Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan (3 out of 5 stars)


I enjoyed this book, but felt like it was about 100 pages too long.  This fiction story loosely resembles the love story of Will and Kate, and is full of drama and laughs.  I love reading about the workings of the royal family, and this did not disappoint on that front.  However, I found myself losing interest and I was disappointed in the ending.

Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology by:  Leah Remini (4 out of 5 stars)


Holy Batman.  This book was on my list for awhile, but I enjoyed it way more than I thought I would.  Honestly, I read it to find out about Tom Cruise and his crazy town antics.  This book is a disturbing look behind the scenes of Scientology based on Leah's experiences.  It was eye opening, sad, and brave on her part.  

This month, I am loving the Holiday flat white from Starbucks.  It is creamy, not too sweet, and full of Christmas spice...I'm holding onto the season as long as I can :)

That wraps up January's reading (and sipping).  Hopefully you find something that you might enjoy as well.  Let me know what you are reading and enjoying; I love a good book recommendation!