Monday, July 31, 2017

Books and Beans {July 2017}

In true July form, I killed it with my reading this month.  I have so many recommendations for you! Remember, you can click on the book title or book picture to be taken straight to Amazon.

But first, let's grab a drink...


The Rosemary Lavender Latte from a local coffeehouse is all. the. things.  Obsessed.


by: Jen Sincero
5 out of 5 Stars

This book is so good.  If you are looking for motivation for business or just life in general, this book is for you.  I loved her writing style because it is humorous and different than others I have read on this same topic.   I really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading her others.

by: Nancy Thayer
4 out of 5 Stars

Nancy Thayer is one of my favorite summer beach read authors.  This book did not disappoint.  The main character lives year-round on Nantucket in a house left to her by her grandmother.  Working as a librarian and in a relationship with a local carpenter named Nash, this book is a great escape for summer reading.  

by: Toni Hammersley
5 out of 5 Stars

Ahhhh, be still my nerdy (but organized) heart.  I loved this book by fellow blogger Toni Hammersley.  Her suggestions and approach to organization are easy to implement and the pictures are great as well.  This book is full of tips broken down by area in the home and will get you motivated to get your ducks in a row.

by: Taylor Jenkins Reid
3 out of 5 Stars

You all know my love affair with anything written by Tayor Jenkins Reid, so I wanted to love this book...but I didn't.  There are elements to love, but it drags and I found it extremely sad.  The love affairs of Evelyn Hugo rival even the raciest of Hollywood elite and the typical Taylor twist at the end did not disappoint.  However, I could not give this book more than three stars. :(

by: Dorothea Benton Frank
3 out of 5 Stars

Dorothea Benton Frank is another author I like to read in the summer.  Although I enjoyed this book about two families who meet at the same beach each year, parts of it drug on for me.  Their lives intertwine in interesting ways but everything is a bit predictable.  Overall, beach read high on family drama.

by: Bunmi Laditan
3 out of 5 Stars

Fans of the Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella will love this book.  Despite the best of intentions, the main character just can't streamline her role as a new mom.  This book is very funny and over the top.  Although I found parts of it to be unbelievable, that is kind of the point of the book.

by: Elin Hilderbrand
4 out of 5 Stars

Elin Hilderbrand is my absolute favorite author for summer beach reads.  I have loved all of her books and this one is just as good.  The main characters are identical twins who could not be more different.  In true Hilderbrand form, this book involves family dynamics, relatable characters and will have you curled up for an entire afternoon to see what happens.

I'd love to know what you've been reading and any suggestions you can send my way.  Happy reading!

**This post contains affiliate links.**

Friday, July 28, 2017

Friday Favorites

It's officially my last Friday of summer break.  Cue the ugly cry...

Is there a feeling for being so very excited about the new school year but so very sad that break is over?  If so, that's exactly what I'm feeling right now.

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


I have blogged before about my love of Stitch Fix, but I received a new subscription box this month and it is so fun!  FabFitFun includes beauty, fashion, food and jewelry in their boxes and it is well worth the money.  This box is delivered four times per year; one for each season.  If you love subscription boxes as much as I do, click HERE for $20 off your first one!


Summer Reading

My July reading list was so good!  Check back on Monday for the reviews.  For now, you can read my June reviews HERE.


Yes, I am still finding things at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.  These t-shirts are the best! 

I bought white and navy, and wish I would have gotten a few more.  They are excellent quality, look cute and are less than $16!  I have worn mine with jeans for a super cute and casual look.


I am anticipating the new school year and starting it off right by giving my office a refresh.  It all started with this cute sign from Hobby Lobby...

and it has turned into a full on overhaul.  Yesterday I hung removable wall paper on one wall and gold decals on the others.  I love the way it looks!  I will do a post on my counseling office decor when I am finished.

Enjoy the weekend with your favorite people...that's my plan!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

What's Up Wednesday~Link Up!

It's the last Wednesday of the month, so I'm linking up with fellow bloggers MelSheaffer and Shay to talk about what's up!

What We're Eating This Week

We are still eating everything we can out of our garden and from the farmer's market.  
Like these yummy Italian Zucchini Boats.  See the recipe HERE.

And my absolute favorite, a garden fresh tomato sandwich.

Isn't it so much easier to eat healthy in the summer?!

What I'm Reminiscing About

Our wedding day...5 year ago.  I blogged a bit about it HERE.

What I'm Loving

Unfortunately, I am loving EVERYTHING I bought from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale!  I bought quite a bit thinking I would return some of it, but that didn't turn out the way I planned.  Needless to say, I have a great start on my back-to-school wardrobe. :)  Truth be told, I would have bought a few more things if they hadn't sold out!  See my favorites HERE.  

What We've Been Up To

We've been cramming in the family fun and marking off the to-do list in anticipation of the school year.  Last Sunday, we went to a trampoline park and had so much fun.  It was also a great workout!

Dan and I took a short trip for our 5 year anniversary and had the best time.  We rode bikes, napped by the pool, ate yummy food, drank champagne and shopped.  The perfect quick getaway!

What I'm Dreading

I absolutely love my job, but the start of the school year kicks my tail every year and makes me very difficult to live with. ;)  There are just not enough hours in the day to enroll new students, change schedules, and address everyone's emergencies.  Summer brain is for real and the transition back is like being thrown in a freezing cold deep end from a super comfy lounge chair.  :)

What I'm Working On

I'm busy sifting through my work email and trying to get a start on a few things before next week.  Email is the worst...can I get an AMEN?

What I'm Excited About

I actually love the start of the school year and new school supplies.  It's always fun to see the students again and hear about their summers.  I am also doing a few updates to my office, so I will share a tour with you when those are completed!

What I'm Watching/Reading

We are loving family movie nights in our recently finished basement.  We've been watching some family classics.

I have been reading everything I can get my hands on.  I'll have a new Books and Beans post on Monday, but you can see my June recommendations HERE.

What I'm Listening To

It's all about the Toddler Station on Pandora and our Vacation Bible School CD at our house right now.  There is nothing sweeter than hearing a little kid sing about God.

What I'm Wearing

This week...workout clothes.
Next week...Nordstrom deals. :)

What I'm Doing This Weekend

I plan to relax, hang out with the family and practice self-care to gear up for the start of the school year.

What I'm Looking Forward To Next Month

A brand new school year.  I love working in education because we get two New Years each year, one in January and one in August.  This year will be my 20th year in education (say what?!), Dan's 12th year (he worked in insurance prior), my oldest will be a freshman in college, my middle a sophomore in high school and my little starts pre-school.  Life is busy, crazy and fun!

What Else Is New

I have been helping Mason learn his letters.  We were working on his name the other day and this is how I found it later.  Little did I know he was over it and bilingual!  No mas!

I think that about covers it!  Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Home Plate {Italian Zucchini Boats}

There is nothing better than eating from the garden in the summer.  Unfortunately, my garden is not doing so well this year, but I do have a few excellent farms near me that make up for my lack of crops.  My sister shared this idea with me and I altered it so that all of the ingredients come from Aldi!

Italian Zucchini Boats
Sweet Italian Turkey Sausage, casings removed
1 white onion
fresh mushrooms
1 jar spaghetti sauce
Fresh zucchini, sliced into two and hollowed out
Mozzarella or Parmesan Cheese

Slice the mushrooms and remove the casings from the sausage.

Finely chop the onion.  I love my Pampered Chef Manual Food Processor for this step.

Add the onion, sausage and mushrooms in a pan.  Cook until sausage is browned.  Cover with the jar of spaghetti sauce.

Hollow out the zucchini making "boats".  Fill with the sausage mixture.

Top with cheese of your choice and cook at 350 for 45 minutes.

I love to make an appetizer plate to keep my family happy while I am finishing dinner.  All of these items are also from Aldi.

Super simple summer dinner perfect for dining outside!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Friday Favorites!

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

This week, I have only one favorite to share.  This guy...

Today is our 5 year anniversary.

Our love story is my favorite.  It is proof that God delivers on his promises and is capable of bringing beauty out of ashes.

My husband is my best friend, biggest fan and co-coordinator of this chaotic life we have created together.  I. Love. Him.  Perfect?  No.  Perfect for me?  Yes.  

Friday, July 14, 2017

Friday Favorites~Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Edition!

Happy Friday of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale!!
Cardholders got early access yesterday and I found several items I knew you would love too.
I am linking up with fellow bloggers ErikaNarci and Andrea to share my Friday Favorites...Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Edition!  Click on the name of the item or the picture to be taken directly to the site.  If you are a cardholder, you can buy now.  If not, add it to your cart until the sale begins next week.


They are advertising this cardigan as a robe (pretty sure I've never walked around in my robe like this), but these cardigans look amazing with leggings and a tee.  And, they are so soft!!


I have wanted a romper for awhile now, but I've had difficulty finding one that is not too short.  I love the Halogen brand and this one looks like the perfect length.


The jeans are often one of the best parts of the Nordstrom Sale.  Especially when you can get them for under $40!  I love the release hem look.


You need to click the link and see the back of this sweatshirt to completely understand why I love it so much.  Such a cute casual look with the jeans above.


Is my love of soft cardigans evident yet?  I joked last winter that I only wore blankets that were posing as clothes.  It seems this winter will be the same! :)


There is nothing better than a blazer to have as a wardrobe basic.  It looks great at work and also with jeans.  This one comes in both black and white and is under $50!


I bought this shirt in a straight neckline version last year and I wore it all. the. time.  These shirts are so incredibly soft and comfy.  It's the perfect fall shirt!


I love the cold shoulder look, but haven't bought anything in this style yet.  This dress is so cute and stylish and under $50!


I'm always on the hunt for the perfect black pant.  I love the fit of these and how they combine the words skinny and stretch... :)


I bought a pair of grey booties last year and wore them to death.  Grey goes with everything and these would be so cute with jeans.

There are so many other deals on purses, makeup and jewelry.  To shop the entire sale, click below:

Shop the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale for Brand-New Fall Arrivals for everyone - it's our most popular sale of the year! Ends August 6. Prices go up August 7. FREE Shipping. FREE Returns.

  I love shopping at Nordstrom because of their free shipping and free returns policy.  I love anything that makes life easier!

Happy weekending and happy shopping!