September 2017 Favs

 

And just like that, another month is over and we are entering a new season. I absolutely love fall. I love boots, scarves, leaves changing, the fact that it’s wine harvest and pumpkins. This month has definitely started to feel chillier and it’s darker outside in the morning and getting darker earlier. And I love it!

Now that it’s October, I thought I would share my favorites from this past month! So, here we go.

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Launching new travel & life abroad pages

Europe Travel Destinations

I have been working on updating my blog and how it’s all organized. This month I finally finished and launched my new travel and life in Germany pages! Now you can see all the posts relating to these topics in one neat, clean place. I’ve organized the travel page by country, so if you’re traveling somewhere or planning a trip, you can easily find what we did, where we ate, etc! And if you’re interested in moving abroad or what life is like in Germany, you can more easily check that out, too. I hope you like it. Leave me a comment if you’d like to see something added to these pages, like post ideas.

Meal planning

I stepped up my game with meal planning and branching out with new recipes this month. I still have a long way to go but I am putting forth the effort to eat healthier (most of the time) and to not waste as much food. I have been using Pinterest to find a lot of recipes and just got some new glass containers (similar here), which make meal planning and prepping more fun!

Reese Witherspoon’s Glamour article

I love Reese Witherspoon and always have. I love her even more now that she’s speaking out on ambition for women and creating a space in Hollywood where powerful women are accepted. What’s not to love about that message?

The Influencer Podcast 

(Source)

I am obsessed with this podcast. It’s from Julie Solomon, a famous publicist, who brings together all types of influencers to share their successes and tips on being successful. An influencer is someone who has trust with their audience and can influence purchasing decisions. I am learning so much from the podcast and if you have your own business, blog or just want some life success tips, I definitely recommend it!

A chocolate cappuccino 

A chocolate cappuccino

How good does this look? OMG. I went out for coffee with some friends and I ordered a chocolate cappuccino. It’s exactly like it sounds and was the most delicious thing ever. I will seriously order it again…and again…and again.

Another favorite this month is reading a ton. I shared my latest book reviews a few weeks ago in case you missed it!

September 2017 Favorites, a new podcast, books and meal prep

What are your favorites from September?

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Summer 2017 Book Reviews

 

In June I wrote about the 7 books I wanted to read this summer. Now that it is officially fall (!) I thought I’d share what I thought of some of these books. I didn’t read all 7 because finishing my other book (Dark Moneytook me way longer than I anticipated, but I did manage to read 4 books, so that’s what I’ll be sharing today.

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Truly Madly Guilty 

I had big hopes for this book since it’s written by Liane Moriarty who wrote Big Little Lies. But I have to say that I was quite disappointed by this book. I kept waiting and waiting and waiting for the big event to happen only to be disappointed by it.

The premise of the book is that a group of friends all gather for a BBQ when something tragic happens. The book is told from each character’s perspectives and it bounces back from the BBQ scene of the crime to present day. The writing is well done and the characters are definitely developed but I did not think the climax was all that great. And I actually was pretty upset and exhaling like crazy when I would finish another chapter and be pissed that nothing happened.

Would I recommend a friend to read this book? Probably not.

Into the Water 

Now this book by Paula Hawkins, who also wrote Gone Girl, was the opposite of Truly Madly Guilty. This book got better the more I read it. Initially, I was nervous about it because it was slow to start, but the suspense keeps growing.

This book is about a town in England that has a reputation of witch hunting and then years later, women continue to go into the water as suicide. A high school girl is found in the water and not shortly after, the girl’s friend’s mother is found the same way. The story is told from different character perspectives, which I love, and you learn the backstories about what made the women go into the water. There’s a lot going on, ranging from a manuscript to a forbidden relationship to a marriage on the verge of divorce because of cheating. It’s a deep book but I thought the twists and turns were really well done.

Survey says, this book is worth reading, but probably not if you’re headed on a beach or lake vacation!

Talking as Fast as I Can 

A memoir from Lauren Graham is all about her life as an actress on Gilmore Girls, Parenthood and the Gilmore Girls reboot. If you’re a fan of her shows, you will like this book. She doesn’t go into super detail or share too many behind the scenes drama instances, but I enjoyed it. It was especially interesting to read about how she became an actress and struggled to land roles in the beginning. The stories of her childhood living on a boat with her dad are extremely fascinating and funny.

As far as memoirs go, I thought Lauren could have gone deeper and shared more of her feelings instead of just, “Oh, I went back to the set. It’s so weird being here.”

Read at your own risk. It’s a fast read but you won’t walk away knowing a bunch of new information, a bunch of on set drama or much of anything else.

Option B

I just finished this book today, literally. I read it in four days. It’s a book about facing adversity and building resilience by Sheryl Sandberg, author of Lean In, and Wharton Business School professor, Adam Grant.

Sheryl famously lost her husband suddenly and had to rebuild her life and be strong for her two children, while also being the COO of Facebook. She shares her experience of going through the most horrific event imaginable and Adam Grant shares more psychological and researched practices of overcoming obstacles. The two share their own experiences and experiences from others with facts and research sprinkled throughout.

Everyone will go through something difficult in life, whether it’s losing a spouse, parent or child, getting fired or being abused. We will all go through something. I recently lost my grandmother and this book was a reminder that while life does go on, relationships are forever.

I would recommend everyone to read this book even if you haven’t gone through something awful. It will give you the tools to go through the stages of grief and to get to the other side. Word to the wise, don’t read it in public, like say, on a train. You will ugly cry.

I am now going to read the final three books from my summer list before moving on to more books this winter. I am so happy that I am back in the groove of reading and find that reading before bed helps me sleep and helps me accomplish one more thing a day. Next on the list is Small Hours

Have you read any great books lately? 

Latest Books I've Read and Their Reviews

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9 Things I Do Every Night

 

I love reading routine posts from other bloggers and successful people. I love seeing what people do every morning and night in order to have a great, successful day. I find it so interesting and inspiring. This article is especially interesting because it shares evening routines of successful people.

A twist on the evening routine, I thought I would share 9 things I do every night. These aren’t in any particular order but thought it would be fun to share. It helps me realize that I need to put more effort into making a nightly routine and figure out what will work best for me.

I’d love to hear what you do every night that relaxes you, helps you fall asleep or prepares you for the next day. Leave me a comment below!

*This post contains affiliate links.* 

  1. Set a few goals for the next day. I usually don’t write these down anywhere, but I think about a few things I definitely want to accomplish the next day. I look up the workout I want to do so I’m prepared at the gym, think about a blog post I want to write and any cleaning or shopping that needs to get done. I like waking up knowing what I want to tackle and having an idea of what the day will be already.
  2. Watch at least two episodes of something funny so I don’t have nightmares. It’s usually Friends, 30 Rock or recently How I Met Your Mother. 
  3. Feel guilty that I’m watching tv and not reading. Some nights I do read but it’s not often enough. I swear I’m trying to get better at this and maybe I’ll do a  challenge some month to read every night before bed and report back.
  4. Organize our bedroom. Somehow our bedroom becomes a catch all throughout the day, whether it’s clean clothes that need to be put away or my outfit that I changed out of and into yoga pants immediately after getting home from work. Our bed somehow always seems to be covered in stuff. I spend just a few minutes organizing everything so I don’t fret over it while trying to fall asleep. I swear I sleep better with an organized bedroom.
  5. Text my mom, sister and best friend. The time change is difficult and my night is usually the best time to chat with everyone. Countless times I’m in bed texting with everyone. I’m usually catching my mom up with what happened during the day, sending housewives GIFs with my sister and discussing the latest celeb drama with my best friend. It makes me feel connected and still part of everyone’s life when I do this.
  6. Do my skincare routine. It’s pretty low-key actually. All I do is wash my face with this cleanser, use a gel from my dermatologist, dab on eye cream and then neck cream. It only takes me five minutes, anything more than that makes me not want to do it. I use Olay products because that’s what my Mima used and she didn’t have any wrinkles pretty much until she was about 85. Learn from the best.
  7. Think absolutely random thoughts before falling asleep. Please tell I’m not alone in this. Something about being in bed makes my mind go bonkers. I think the most random thoughts, sometimes intense, sometimes stupid. Like the time I told Vinn that I really wanted to get a sock organizer one night while drifting off to sleep. Or thoughts about our upcoming vacations or how much I really want to buy some new shoes. Again, please tell me I’m not alone.
  8. Plan my outfit for the next day. Similar to thinking random thoughts, I think about what I want to wear the next day. I love to think of new ways to use the clothes in my closet and how to style them in a new way. It really is one of my favorite things.
  9. Kiss Vinn and Copley good night. Always.

What do you do every night before falling asleep? 

Things I Do Every Night, skin care, routine, random thoughts

 

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5 Favorite Organization Products

 

There’s something about August that makes me want a fresh start, probably because it used to be the start of a new school year. And a new school year means new pens, a planner, new notebooks, new clothes, and new goals for the future. In the spirit of a fresh start, I am using this month to get better organized and create a space with less clutter.

I absolutely love having a clean, organized home and believe these 5 products really help me stay on top of it. Now, I just need to find some way to organize all the beer Vinn buys.

*This post contains affiliate links.*

Glass Jars

Nespresso Pods Organization

I am obsessed with glass jars. I have four in the kitchen. They are great for storing baking ingredients and Nespresso pods. I love that they are nice to display but also great for storage. I also love that these are relatively inexpensive, come in a variety of different sizes and can be used in many areas of the house. I even have a pretty large one to hold wine corks. These jars on Amazon are absolutely perfect.

Acrylic Mail Sorter

The amount of mail we receive has drastically increased now that we live in Germany. Most of it is junk mail but we do receive several bills on paper. I have a system on my desk as a way to organize all the paper thanks to an acrylic mail organizer (similar here). The first slot is for things that need to be dealt with (like bills), the second for cards or gift cards and the back two are for small papers that don’t really have any other place.

Pineapple Key Holder 

Keys Organization

Having a designated area for our keys makes it extra quick to leave the house because we aren’t searching for our keys in pockets or purses. I love pineapples because Vinn proposed at the pineapple fountain in Charleston and love having different pineapples around the house. I think the one I have is supposed to be nailed to the wall, but I love it as a key holder.

Wine Rack 

Organizing Wine at Home

This is a super small thing, but I love having a wine rack. It’s great for knowing what and how much wine we have on hand, as well as for a cute display. We have one from Crate & Barrel that can hold up to 8 bottles of wine. We usually have 6 bottles of wine at home at a time and this works perfectly.

Baskets 

Like glass jars, baskets are great for storing Copley’s toys, my hair products and makeup. I know this isn’t groundbreaking, but I used to use those big see through containers to store everything. While these worked well, they didn’t look pretty. Now with baskets, I have everything contained in a nice way, while still looking great.

These are my five favorite organization products that help keep my home neat and tidy. I would have all of my kitchen countertops covered in jars if I could. I would love to know your favorite ways to stay organized at home, at work or even on your phone!

 

Keeping Your Home Organized

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July 2017 Favs

 

Seriously, it’s almost August. I cannot believe it. Pretty soon there’s going to be pumpkins and Santas everywhere. But, for now, I’m enjoying the pleasantly mild weather we’ve been having here in Germany and I’m looking forward to one more long, summer weekend. Since it’s the end of a month, today I am going to share some of my favs from July.

In case you’re new, My Favs is where I share some of my favorite products, new finds that make daily life a little bit better and any fun things I’ve been watching, reading or listening to lately.

*This post contains affiliate links.* 

This month I finished reading Lauren Graham’s book from my 7 books to read this summer  list. It was a relatively quick read and is definitely a must-read if you’re a Gilmore Girls fan. I did find the book to be a little boring before getting to the Lorelei Gilmore phase of her life but overall, it makes for a perfect beach read. Now I’m reading Truly Madly Guilty and am having a hard time getting into it. It’s a lot like Big Little Lies in that there are several different characters and you get their perspectives on the same event. I have yet to get to the “big event” or the hook and I’m really looking forward to it. My goal this August is to finish this book and one more, maybe Option B.

We had several vacations this past month, which were amazing. We flew twice with Copley to Nice and Croatia. She does really well on airplanes and I think it’s all thanks to this lavender spray. I spray all over her bag (we use this one and never had a problem with any airline) right before we are about to board and I really believe that it calms her down and makes her feel more safe. The spray is made by the same company that makes Thunder Shirts and is said to mimic the mother’s pheromones, which is why it is relaxing for dogs.

(Source)

On the what I’m watching front, Vinn and I totally binge watched Friends from College last week. It’s a Netflix original show with Fred Savage, Colbie Smuders from How I Met Your Mother, and Keegan-Michael Key. The show hasn’t been so well received on sites like Rotten Tomatoes, but we thought it was really funny! It’s about how a group of friends from college all still hang out twenty years later and still haven’t really grown up. They all allegedly went to Harvard, have real jobs and are trying to navigate life as an adult, while still acting like college kids. It’s laugh out loud funny and Fred Savage is my favorite! I wish he was the new host on Live with Kelly.

About three times a week this entire month I ate a snack of a Granny Smith apple with Gruyere cheese. I know I’ve mentioned this many times on the blog already, but it definitely deserves a spot on the monthly favs. I don’t know what it is about this snack that I love so much but I just do. I think it’s because the apple is tart and sweet and then the cheese is so soft. It’s a great snack because it has healthy fat, sugar and protein from the cheese. The one negative is that Gruyere cheese is on the expensive side, so I may have to cut back a little.

bringing your dog to Croatia

And, last but not least, a cute picture of Copley from our trip to Split. I just seriously love this dog with my whole heart. I can’t go too long without a cute puppy picture!

What did you love this July? 

July 2017 Favs

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