Friday, June 30, 2017

Friday Favorites!

It seems like Friday comes so much faster during the summer!  Once again, I'm linking up with ErikaNarci and Andrea to share my Friday Favorites.


This book...

When I heard that Taylor Jenkins Reid had a new book out, I could not get my hands on it fast enough.  I have blogged about the author A LOT because I love everything she writes.  I declared one of her books my favorite book of 2017 in my April Books and Beans post!  I just started reading her latest, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo,  and look forward to telling you all about it when I'm done.  


Star Wars Fragrance Collection

(Image from

If you know me in real life, you are probably surprised that this ended up in my Friday Favorites. :)  I had the opportunity to review this fragrance collection with my husband on his podcast this week and it was such a great time!  I went into it with low expectations, but the product and packaging really impressed me.  I especially likes the "Rey" and "Light" scents.  I also liked podcasting...a lot!  Here I am in the Coffee With Kenobi Studios...



Lord help me.  We joined a gym this week and I have gone three times.  Dan and I had a personal training session on Wednesday, and as of the writing of this blog, my muscles are still screaming at me.  I am hurting in places I forgot I had.  I made this a favorite because I know that pain means change and it's all part of my mission to take better care of myself and my health.  If I can walk tomorrow, I plan to return for some cardio. :)  Pray for me.


Kids in the Kitchen

One of the things I am really enjoying with my youngest this summer is cooking and baking.  He loves to grab a chair to stand on and work with me in the kitchen.  This book has the perfect recipes to do with kids and it's a great buy on Amazon right now.  We have made several of the recipes and we are excited to make the Red, White and Blueberry Pie that Shay made on the Today Show this week just in time for the 4th of July!



My name is Deanna and I love to organize.  I have a secret wish to own my own organizing business.  I really enjoy organizing pantries and closets.  I know that most people do not share this "Friday Favorite"!  Take me to The Container Store and I am one happy girl!  I have donated my time on a few organizing projects for friends and family and would love to get a few more projects completed.  Let me know if you'd like to hire me to organize something for you! :)

I hope you all have some fun pre-4th of July plans this weekend.  Enjoy the time with your people!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

What's Up Wednesday~Link Up!

Happy Wednesday, everyone!  Today I'm linking up with fellow bloggers MelSheaffer and Shay to talk about what's up!

What we're eating this week:

Summer is all about eating light in our house and anything we can throw on the grill.  I could eat Caprese Salad every day...

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What I'm reminiscing about:

My oldest turned 18 last week, so I've been reminiscing a lot.  I blogged about it HERE.  It was a big birthday and we had such a great celebration.

What I'm loving:

I am loving the unstructured days of summer.  It is so wonderful to have time to recharge and reconnect as a family.

What we've been up to:

We've been busy with travel baseball, high school graduation, and two birthdays.  We have also been hitting our local carnivals for yummy food and rides.  Summer is one long party in our house!

What I'm dreading:

When I was in Target the other day, I noticed that they were setting up the back-to-school supplies...before July 4th.  No Target...just no.

What I've been working on:

I've finished up my schedules for next school year, so my time has been spent working on this little blog.  I've also been busy setting up new systems at home to make life run smoother during the school year.  One of my passions is organizing, and summer is such a good time to reevaluate our household systems and fix what needs fixing to make everyday life easier.


What I'm excited about:

Dan and I are going away for a very quick trip close to home for our anniversary.  We look forward to these little trips for just the two of us.  Here we are last year in Hollywood when he had the opportunity to shoot a commercial.

What I'm watching/reading:

I'm slowly making my way through Parenthood on Netflix.  It's so good, but I wish I just had time to binge watch it.  If only my family didn't get hungry three times a day. ;)

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I have been reading a lot this summer.  You can read my June book review HERE.  I'm currently loving this book...

What I've been listening to:

I blogged about my favorite podcasts HERE, and I found another that I love!

So good!

What I've been wearing:

Summer clothes for me include a lot of shorts, t-shirts and yoga pants.  When I do return to work, I'm looking forward to wearing my new Stitch Fix clothes that I blogged about HERE.

What I'm doing this weekend:

We have a rare weekend with no baseball travel, so we will be spending a lot of time on our back deck, in our hot tub and in our newly finished movie room in our basement.  Even though I love watching my middle play ball, it will be good to have a weekend at home.

What I'm looking forward to next month:

More summer fun and our 5 year wedding anniversary.

What else is new:

That's about it.  I am looking forward to our tomatoes and cucumbers to be ready in the garden.  There is nothing better than eating from the garden!

And this month's bonus question...What is your favorite 4th of July tradition?

We love going to a minor league baseball game all decked out in red, white, and blue, of course, and staying to watch the fireworks after the game.  There's nothing more American than baseball!

If you blog too, link up and tell us what you've been up to!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Books and Beans~June 2017

(Image from

...AND diamonds... ;)

I read four books this month, two non-fiction and two fiction and they were all fantastic!  You need to order either of the fiction books if you want a good summer read and the non-fiction books if you want inspiration.  Remember, you can click on the title or picture of any book listed to be taken directly to the Amazon link.  Such a great month of reading!  My list for the rest of the summer is so long.  I love having extra time to read!


My drink of choice this summer has been a raspberry white mocha that I make at home.  So yummy!  I use my Ninja coffee maker and frother, Starbucks Coffee, Torani Raspberry Syrup and Torani White Chocolate Sauce.  You can do this either hot or iced.


Resisting Happiness
by:  Matthew Kelly
5 out of 5 Stars

This is such an excellent little book!  It is a very quick read and extremely inspiring.  The idea behind the book is that we are all resisting happiness by not doing things we know are good for us and lead to happiness:  eating well, exercising, completing tasks, etc.  Matthew Kelly gives excellent biblical based advice on how to push past resistance to bring more happiness into your life.  I really enjoyed this book and read it in one day!

Option B:  Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy
by:  Sheryl Sandberg
4 out of 5 Stars

After losing her husband unexpectedly, Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg wrote this wonderful book on finding resilience.  Her story and advice for moving through the most difficult times in life are important for anyone who has faced adversity in the past or who is going through a tough time now.  Especially for those who may be grieving, this book would be very helpful.

The Sunshine Sisters
by:  Jane Green
4 out of 5 Stars

I loved this book!  Jane Green is such a smart chick lit author.  This story of three sisters who come together as their former Hollywood star mother is dying is a great summer read.  The characters are well developed and the story line is enjoyable.

The Wicked City
by:  Beatriz Williams

Beatriz Williams is an author I have read and blogged about before and the more I read her books, the more I like them!  I typically do not like books that toggle back and forth with plots in two time periods, but this author has changed my mind about that.  This book takes place in the 1920's and 1990's in New York City.  The backdrop of flappers and prohibition make this book so exciting and fun.  Fans of Williams' other books will love her inclusion of former book characters.

You cannot go wrong with any of this month's books!  Happy reading, everyone!

**All book images from Amazon.  This post contains affiliate links.**

Thursday, June 22, 2017


My oldest turns 18 today.  He was the first person to call me mom and the only child to be born when I was a brunette. ;) .  So proud of this boy and so lucky I get to be his mom.

Happy 18th Birthday, Peyton!

The 18 years you have been alive just happen to be 18 of the best years of my life.  You were the first person to call me mom and your presence in this world changed my life forever.  It seems that I was 18 just a few years ago, yet we both know that's not the case. :)  The following are 18 things I wish I had known at 18:

1.  Follow your passions.  What lights you up inside?  What makes you lose track of time?  The world needs more people who are passionate about life.  Passions lead to uncovering God's purpose for your life.

2.  Be curious.  Never stop learning.  Be a student of the world.  Try new things and, if they scare you, even better.  Always be on the edge of your comfort zone.

3.  Be honest.  Practice honesty with others and with yourself.  If you are true to your word, you will live a life of integrity.  If you are true to yourself, you will know when to let go of things or people that no longer serve a positive purpose in your life.  Listen to this and do it sooner rather than later.

4.  Pursue health.  Move your body every day.  Find exercise that you enjoy.  Fuel your body with good food and limit anything that doesn't contribute to overall wellness.

5.  Have faith.  Pray daily.  Pursue a relationship with God by talking to Him like a friend.  Leave judgement to God.  Be an example of a loving Christian in this world by accepting and loving all of God's creation.

6.  Foster relationships.  Relationships with other people make life interesting and colorful.  Be open to meeting new people and getting to know them.  Be intentional about who you date and be a friend that can be counted on.  Be willing to learn from others, but don't let them change who you are at your core.

7.  Love your family.  Family is your beginning and your ending.  Foster relationships with your family of origin and create a loving family of your own.

8.  Travel.  The world is big; go see it.  Getting lost in this great big world once in awhile is the surest way to find yourself.

9.  Don't internalize other's opinions of you.  Other people's opinions of you are their business, not yours.  Look for patterns of opinions to be open to what you may need to work on, but do not get hung up on what other people think.  Know who you are and whose you are.  Nothing else matters.

10.  Make mistakes.  Fail.  Mess up.  Start again.  Every time you make a mistake, you learn something.  Keep reaching and trying.

11.  Be a blessing to someone every day.  People are fighting battles we know nothing about.  Find one person each day that you can bless in some way.  Buy their lunch.  Smile at them.  Hold the door.  Small acts of kindness have the power to alter someone's life and, ultimately, the world.

12.  Smile.  The world needs more joy.  This is the way that you can contribute joy to the world on a daily basis.  Bring your own sunshine.

13.  Manage your money.  Avoid debt; it steals your future and limits your choices.  Always have an emergency savings account, because there is always an emergency.  Spend less than you earn.  Learn to be content with what you have.

14. Heal the past.  Know that the people who have hurt and disappointed you have given you an amazing gift.  A bad example is often more powerful than a good example.  Take those hurtful actions and experiences and use them as a blueprint of how to conduct your life differently.

15.  Plan for the future.  Set goals.  Have a destination in mind.  Know where you are headed and how you will know when you arrive.

16.  Live in the present.  Wherever you are, be all there.  Soak in every experience, even the bad ones.  Some of the worst days of your life will be the turning points that bring you to the best days of your life.  Don't burn bridges.  Embrace each moment and gracefully let it go.

17.  Ask for help.  Be open to having others help you.  It brings people joy to help and you may just learn a thing or two.

18.  Call your mother.

I love you, Peyton!


Friday, June 16, 2017

Friday Favorites!

Happy Friday!  Is there anything better than a summer Friday?  I've been extra intentional about self care this summer and it is making a big difference.  I will be blogging next week on how I am recharging to ready myself for next school year.  I'm officially at the point of my break where I am a bit unsure of what day it is.  And that, my friends, is GLORIOUS!  

I'm so excited to bring you a Stitch Fix Edition of Friday Favorites.  I'm linking up with ErikaNarci and Andrea.  If you blog too, be sure to link up and join the fun!

If you are not familiar with Stitch Fix, is a personal shopping service that sends you clothing through the mail.  After filling out a questionnaire and paying a $20 styling fee, a personal stylist mails you five items to add to your wardrobe.  You try them on, keep what you want and mail the unwanted items back in the postage paid bag that is included with your order.  You get to subtract the styling fee from what ever you keep and you get a 25% discount if you keep all five items.  There is also a personal note from your stylist and cards with pictures of the clothes and styling ideas.  It is so easy and the clothes are seriously cute!

I ordered my latest Stitch Fix a few weeks ago, my first in quite awhile.  Now I am wondering why I waited so long in between "Fixes"!  I usually keep one or two items of the five that are sent, but this time, I kept all five!  

My fix consisted of two tops, one pair of pants, a jacket and a purse.  I am usually very picky and brand specific about my purses (Kate Spade, I'm talking about you), but I just love this blue clutch with a tassel!  It has an optional metal strap that tucks nicely inside when you feel like using it as a clutch.

This shirt is full of fun details; button back, peek through lace top and floaty fabric.  It pairs perfectly with the pants or shorts for summer, but I will absolutely wear this to work with the jacket layered on top.  This shirt will be perfect for July 4th!

These shoes were not a part of my fix, but I purchased them at Nordstrom at the beginning of the summer and wear them a lot!  They are currently sold out at Nordstrom, but you can purchase directly from the Toms site HERE.  Even better, Toms will give you $20 off if you use this link and it's your first time ordering from their site.  I love Toms, their mission and these shoes just match everything.  Everyone wins!

These. Pants.  They are all the things.  They are a dark navy wash jean/pant with a bit of stretch...and all the momma's say AMEN!  They will be perfect for casual Friday at work or for a date night when I actually want to eat.  #allofthem

This jacket is made of crepe, which I've never worn in a jacket before, but is is so perfect for warmer weather when you transition to air conditioning.  The lining is a sweet navy polka dot, so it looks fun rolled back.

The back of the shirt hangs a bit longer making it a win with tighter pants.  

Love this look!  Even for hanging out in a wheat field. ;)

I love how everything in this fix coordinated with each other.  That is not always the case, but it did make it easier for me to purchase all five items.

The other shirt is a lightweight sweater material.  I love a nautical look and think this will look perfect with white jeans and wedges.

If you haven't tried Stitch Fix or, like me, haven't ordered in awhile, I think it is worth revisiting.  They also now offer styling services for men.  A gift card would make a great father's day gift.   Click HERE to schedule your own delivery of fun fashion.

Wishing you and yours a wonderful weekend!

*This post contains affiliate links.*

Friday, June 9, 2017

Friday Favorites!

I happy to be back and linking up with fellow bloggers ErikaNarci and Andrea to share my Friday Favorites!

I know I posted this on my Books and Beans post for those of you who like my Facebook page yesterday, but it's too true not to repeat...

I love my job, but the days at the end of the year when the students are gone and I work on schedules  and paperwork all. day. long., it makes me extra thankful for summer!  


My number one favorite this Friday is SUMMER!

This summer is busy, busy, busy.  Between summer classes, travel baseball, and football, we don't have a full week to take a family vacation.  No worries, we are planning to take one during Christmas break and make the most out of short trips this summer.  I'm sure Dan and I will manage to sneak away somewhere as well.  

We plan to spend a lot of time hanging out at home playing and spending time as a family.  I am truly thankful that my career allows me to have a chance to be a full time mom for 8 weeks each year. 


I drink a hot tea of some sort every night before bed.  My favorites are HERE, HERE and HERE.  I buy the first two on Amazon and the last one at Trader Joe's when I'm near one.  


I know this makes me a complete and total nerd, but another one of my favorites this week is my new Shark handheld vacuum.  Seriously, if you have a pet in your house, you need this in your life.  When did I start getting excited about vacuums?  #adulting


One of my favorite things about summer is fresh food from the garden.  We tend to eat lighter and healthier during the summer.  Don't get me wrong, fall will always be my favorite season, but I could live on Caprese salad all summer.

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!  We are headed to Chicago for a baseball tournament.  Pray for shade! :)

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Books and Beans ~ May 2017

Hello, hello, hello!  The end of the school year is always such a crazy busy time for me, but I had no idea it would be a month before I could blog again.  Thank you to those of you who checked in with me.  I plan to have a consistent blogging schedule this summer.  I am so happy to be back today with a stack of books to recommend.  Remember, if you are interested in purchasing any of the books listed, simply click on the book title to be taken to it's Amazon link.  Easy peasy!

Maybe I should change this title to "hot drinks" because, once again, my coffee of choice for May is tea.  :)  I am in love with Trader Joe's Green Tea Latte Matcha.  Amazing!  We don't have a Trader Joe's in our area, so when I am near one, I stock up.

Despite not having much free time during the past month, I did manage to find time to read six books; three non-fiction and three fiction.  #gaveupsleeptoread

by: Judah Smith
4 out of 5 stars

I really liked this book.  It serves as a reminder to constantly work on your inner well-being first because everything starts there.  It was a fairly quick read with a very important message.  I love a book that can make me be more mindful, and this one did just that.

by:  Carrie Green
5 out of 5 stars

I loved this book!  If you are a female who owns your own business or would like to in the future, this is a must read.  Carrie Green gives practical advice and inspires you at the same time.  I bought this book and plan to re-read it this summer.

by:  Carlos Enrique Whittaker
4 out of 5 stars

This book also made me more mindful of paying close attention to the little moments in life and fully engaging in the present moment.  Carlos Whitaker shares personal stories with comedic timing.  I found this book to be very inspirational, especially with how I want to approach life with my husband and kids.

by:  Taylor Jenkins Reid
4 out of 5 stars

Oh Taylor Jenkins Reid, I heart you so much.  While One True Loves is still my favorite, I enjoyed this book as well.  After her husband is killed just a few weeks into their marriage, the main character must learn to create a new life and form a relationship with the mother-in-law she's never met.  As with all of her books, it is equal parts heartbreaking and engaging and will make you lose track of time.

by:  Nancy Thayer
3 out of 5 stars

I love a good beach read, and Nancy Thayer has written a few that I've enjoyed.  However, this book was difficult to get through and I had a hard time connecting with the characters.  Not my favorite.

by:  Chevy Stevens
4 out of 5 stars

Rounding out May with a mystery/thriller was a good choice.  This book kept me on the edge of my seat and had me stumped until the very end.  After raising her daughter as a single mom, the main character's abusive ex-husband is released from jail and she begins to experience terrifying events as a result.  I can usually figure out a mystery well before the end of a book, but there were enough red herrings here to let me enjoy the suspense until the end of the book.  Good book if you enjoy thrillers.

I have a long list of books to read this summer and will share them with you each month.  I am looking forward to being a full-time mom for the next 8 weeks...and then I'll be ready to return to work. :)