Friday, April 28, 2017

Friday Favorites

Happy end of the week!  You know what that means...

...I'm linking up with ErikaNarci and Andrea to share my Friday Favorites!

Ninja Coffe Bar

I wrote about my new Ninja Coffee Bar (a.k.a. breaking up with Keurig) in my April Books and Beans post and I am loving it!  I'm looking forward to trying some of the specialty drinks that are shown in the book that came with it, but for now, my morning coffee tastes great and could not be easier to make.  (Did I mention it has a frother?!) 

Up and Vanished Podcast

Image result for up and vanished podcast

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You know how I love a good podcast to listen to while getting ready in the morning or driving to school.  I wrote about my favorites HERE.  My newest obsession is a podcast called Up and Vanished.  If you were a fan of the Serial Podcast, you will love this one as well.  It's a true crime/unsolved mystery about the disappearance of a 30-year-old former beauty queen and teacher over a decade ago.  I can't listen to this fast enough!

Olly Vitamins

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I know I've written about my hair vitamins before, but I am also completely sold on Olly Vitamins.  I take the women's multi and the probiotic.  They are chewable and taste great.  I take them every night before bed.  There are many different varieties, but these are the only two I'm taking right now.  If you've tried any of the others, I'd love to hear your review!

Toms Wedges

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These beauties are on their way to me from Nordstorm in an oatmeal color, and I am so excited!  I have been looking for a good neutral wedge and I love Toms.  I think these will look great with shorts and dresses.  I ordered up a half size based on the reviews.  

One True Loves
by:  Taylor Jenkins Reid

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I am still gushing over this book while on Spring Break in Disney World.  I loved it so much that I named it my favorite book of April!  You can see my review of all of the books I read in April HERE.

This weekend includes a baseball game, chaperoning prom, planting the garden and hanging out as a family.  ;)  Hope you enjoy the weekend with your favorites!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Books and Beans ~ April 2017

Another book lover pin from Hide-a-Book. Visit us at

Happy end of April!


This month, my coffee took a whole new direction; I officially broke up with my Keurig!  Honestly, the articles online about cleaning a Keurig and the money I was spending on K-Cups sent me on a search for a new option.  After doing research, I ended up buying...

a Ninja Coffee Bar!  It makes single serve (no pods required), a pot of coffee, iced coffee, and has a built in frother.  #thefrothersoldme


I read 3 fiction and 3 non-fiction books this month and rated them 4 stars or higher.  It was such a good reading month!

by: Ruth Ware
4 out of 5 Stars


It took me awhile to pick up this book but I'm so glad I did.  Although I think I liked her book In a Dark, Dark Wood a bit better, this book kept me in suspense until the very end.  The setting really adds to the creepy factor of this book and I may never get on a boat again.  :)

by: Pia Edberg
4 out of 5 Stars


After listening to a podcast on the Simple Sophisticate about the Danish concept of Hygge, I started seeing the word everywhere.  Hygge is all about incorporating simple luxuries into your home and life.  The podcast introduced me to the concept and this book gave specific examples of how to incorporate simple pleasures into everyday life.  Grab a cup of tea, a cozy blanket, light a candle and enjoy this quick read.

by:  Taylor Jenkins Reid
5 out of 5 Stars


This book is my favorite book of 2017...and it's only April!  I read my first Taylor Jenkins Reid book last month, and two more this month.  The main character in this book believes her husband to be dead, works to move on with her life, becomes engaged and finds out her husband is alive.  I could not put this book down.  

by:  Ruth Soukup
4 out of 5 Stars


If you remember, we worked on decluttering our house during Lent.  This book is a great motivator for finding your reasons for wanting to "unstuff" your home, mind, and soul.  If you need to declutter, read this book as your jump start.

by:  Becky Rapinchuk
4 out of 5 Stars


Yes, I read an entire book about cleaning.  #nerdalert  Our family cleans house on Thursday nights.  This has worked well for us this school year and allows us to go into the weekend with most of our inside work completed.  However, I am thinking about moving to a different schedule for the summer when we are all home more.  I follow this author on Instagram and her method for cleaning a little each day just may have to be my summer routine.  This book is full of useful tips, even if you don't adopt her cleaning schedule.

by: Taylor Jenkins Reid
4 out of 5 Stars


Again with the Taylor Jenkins Reid!  In this book, the main characters decide to have no contact with each other for one year after they realize that their marriage is no longer working for either one of them.  Their journey to repair their marriage and themselves will keep you turning the pages well past bedtime.  I. Love. This. Author.

I am happy that so many of you are enjoying these monthly Books and Beans posts.  Keep your book recommendations coming!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Spring Break~Disney World!

Our Spring Break this year was sooooo late but sooooo worth the wait!  Dan, Mason and I took a quick trip to Disney World and had such a great time.  Dan had planned to attend Star Wars Celebration in Orlando for his podcast, Coffee With Kenobi.  Mason and I were glad to tag along! We missed the older boys, but sadly, our breaks didn't line up this year.  That was one of the reasons I took them to New York in February.  They stayed home with the grandparents this time and were waited on hand and foot.  Everyone was happy!  

Get ready for picture overload.  #sorrynotsorry

This trip was Mason's first time flying and he did great!  (Notice Mickey Mouse hanging out of his backpack. :)

We landed in Orlando at 9:30 PM and it worked out really well.  We drove straight to our hotel and went to bed so we could get an early start in the morning.

We got to the Magic Kingdom bright and early for Extra Magic Hours.  Nothing beats walking through the gates onto Main Street.  

Required castle pic...

We were able to line up fast passes for all of the rides we wanted to hit.  Combine that with an early start and the longest line we waited in was 15 minutes!  Disney win!

Mason hammed it up before the Haunted Mansion ride.

When we were at Disney when Mason was one, he was petrified of the characters.  This time he was all smiles!

One of the highlights of the trip was Mason getting made up like Jake the Pirate.  He loved the entire process and I loved his eyebrows and sideburns!  

Of course, we had to ride Pirates after looking like a pirate.  After that, it was off to a late lunch with the characters at Chef Mickey's.

Such a busy fun-filled first day.  One tired little pirate.

After a stroller nap and a bath, it was time for a movie and pizza by the pool.  Notice he's still wearing the pirate hat.  He told us he wished he could start the day over.  #lovehim

We have been to Disney enough to know that taking a break between park days is the way to go.  So on day 2, we spent a lazy day at the pool.  The weather was so beautiful and we had a great time.  We cleaned up late in the afternoon to make our 3PM reservation at O'Hana.

On our way to dinner, we went to Sunset Point at the Polynesian Hotel.  This is where Dan proposed to me and we wanted to take Mason there.

Our dinner was fantastic and we headed to Disney Springs after to do some shopping.  Fun for everyone!

On day 3, we headed over to Hollywood Studios.  Again, we had arranged Fast Passes for everything we thought Mason would enjoy.  This park was by far the busiest, but we still did not have any long lines.

Visiting the Star Wars characters turned into one of the best memories of the trip.  #thingsithoughtidneversay

Mason was so happy that Chewbacca "kissed" Mommy.  Ha ha!

I don't know what it is about this picture, but I think it is so sweet!

Mason was so sweet with these characters...look at his hand on BB8...

Off to lunch...

For lunch, we ate with the Disney Junior crew, including Captain Jake!  One happy boy right here!

Before leaving this park, we took a picture in front of Mickey's of Hollywood.  Dan did the Disney College Program twice while in college and worked here as one of his placements.  He has years of pictures right here in this spot.

Mason took another stroller nap after this picture, so Dan and I made a decision to head over to Epcot for a little while.  We love exploring the countries and eating in Epcot, but weren't sure if Mason would like it.  He ended up sleeping for about an hour, so it worked out great.  When he woke up, we were in Japan and he saw Transformers for sale.  He is officially an Epcot fan. :)

So gorgeous...

Mason loved the big "golf ball". 

We ate in Italy, and it was fantastic as always.  We swam for a bit after getting back to the hotel and all slept like babies.

The next day, it was time to fly home.  We were able to sleep in and grab a quick breakfast at our hotel before driving to the airport.

Dan was staying an extra three days for the podcast stuff, so Mason and I flew home alone.  Our family has a running joke because Dan is ALWAYS patted down at the airport security.  This time, it was my luggage that caused the problem...

They saw this on the screen and took my luggage to a security checkpoint and proceeded to ask me a bunch of questions and go through my bag.  So much for my relaxing purchase of bath bombs.  Ha!

Mason was the perfect travel companion.  He played with Rescue Bots, looked out the window and ordered snacks like a champ.

We landed late in the afternoon and went straight to Parker's baseball game.  In all, it was a wonderful quick getaway.  I never regret traveling!

Friday, April 7, 2017

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!

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I'm extra excited to be linking up with Erika
Narci and Andrea to share my Friday Favorites on this Friday before Spring Break!


Dan and I work at the same school and our break is so late this year.  We are so ready for a week off from our routine.  The older boys' breaks did not line up with ours this year (boo), which is why I'm so glad I got to take them to New York in FebruaryWhile they are enjoying their school week and some time with Nana, Dan, Mason and I are headed to the happiest place on Earth!  I will blog all about our quick little getaway when we return.  Mason turns four this summer and I think he is the perfect age to love all things Disney!  Plus, Dan and I got engaged at Disney World almost six years ago, so we have a lot of wonderful memories there.


Nothing like watching this kid play ball!  Our games have been quite chilly so far, but watching baseball makes me feel like summer is right around the corner.  Besides cheering for Parker, our family does this most nights....

(Excuse the on our basement is *almost* complete! :)

Dan and Mason are Cubs fans (I blame last year's excitement for Mason choosing the Cubs #bandwagon), and Peyton, Parker and I love the Cardinals.  Nothing better than a house divided over baseball.  Fun fun!!


I am still recommending and gifting THIS BOOK...

If you missed the other books I blogged about this month, check them out HERE.  It's time to start making your summer reading list.  I've linked all of my reviews from the last year to get you started.


I have been digging deep in my closet trying to brighten up my wardrobe with fun jewelry and spring colors.  It's also time for me to decide what to wear for Easter and Peyton's graduation.  Any suggestions are appreciated.  I will link up anything I find and share it with you as well.

Thanks again for all the love you've shown my little blog.  I love the contacts I'm making on Instagram and through the blog.  Have a fantastic weekend with your crew!

**Sorry about the font size in this post.  Special thanks to Blogger for being uncooperative during the formation of this post! :)

Monday, April 3, 2017

Books and Beans~March 2017

I feel like I should clean the house, so I am going to read until the feeling passes.:
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If you need distraction from your responsibilities, I've got a great list for you this month!


My coffee of choice this month was actually THIS TEA...

The Republic Of Tea Be Well Red Rooibos Tea - Get Heart - No.12 Herb Tea For Cardio Health, 36 Tea Bag Tin
I do everything I can to stay in good health.  Drinking this yummy tea can't hurt, right?


I read three fiction and three non-fiction books this month and they were so good!  I would love to hear your feedback on anything you have read from my reviews or anything you recommend that I read.  If you are interested in buying any of the books listed on Amazon, just click on the title or on the book graphic.  (All book images are from

by: Emily Ley
(5 out of 5 stars)

I. Love. This. Book.  Besides being aesthetically beautiful, it's message resonated deeply with me.  I have recommended it to many of my friends and I just know you will love it too.  If you find yourself trying to do it all, Emily's words will be a balm for your soul.  This pretty book now sits on my desk reminding me each day to hold myself to a standard of grace, not perfection.

by: Jacqueline B. Toner
(4 out of 5 stars)

I read this book for work to preview it for our school library.  I love the conversational tone and the information presented to teens struggling with depression.  It's hard to find books that are accurate, informative and reach teens where they are.  This one does all three.

by: Taylor Jenkins Reid
(5 out of 5 stars)

This was my first fiction book of the month and it was so delightful!  If you have seen the moving "Sliding Doors", where the main character splits off into two different lives based on one chance decision, you will love this book.  Each chapter toggles between two different realities based on one decision the main character makes early in the book.  It is very well done and a love story based on the influence of chance in our lives.

by: Adrianna Adarme
(3 out of 5 stars)

Because cozy is my absolute favorite word (running a close second is delicious), I had to read this book.  I liked this book but did not love it.  It included a lot of crafts that I would never do.  I did appreciate the idea of finding contentment right where you are, however.  If you like to bake and craft, this book will be a winner for you.

by: Sophie Kinsella
(4 out of 5 stars)

If you have ever read Sophie Kinsella's Shopaholic series, you will love this book.  The main character is trying to portray her life on Instagram as perfect and envying those around her based on their posts as well.  As we all know, reality is always different than what is portrayed online.  This book about a young professional living in London will make you laugh and lose track of time.

The Status of All Things
by:  Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke
(4 out of 5 stars)

Another social media book!  In this one, the main character is dumped at her rehearsal dinner and then given the chance to go back in time and rewrite history one Facebook status at a time.  While I often do not enjoy books with magic or fantasy in them, I really liked this book.  It seems I had an unintentional theme this month about letting life unfold the way it should and appreciating where you are!

Happy reading, everyone!  I already have a good list picked out for April.  I love sharing my recommendations with you.  If you missed any of my other Books and Beans posts, check them out here:

January 2016
February 2016
March 2016
April 2016
May 2016
June 2016
July 2016
August 2016
September 2016
October 2016
November and December 2016
January 2017
February 2017

**This post contains affiliate links.**