Happy Friday friends! I thought I'd change it up a bit today and participate in the popular #fridayintroductions hashtag on social media. I decided to put it up on the blog instead of Instagram that way more people can see it when they visit the shop!
So let's get started!
Fun Fact #1: I live an (almost fully) paleo lifestyle.
First off, if you haven’t heard of paleo it is basically a lifestyle where you do not eat grains, dairy, legumes, processed sugar, and soy. I always say I’m like 95% Paleo because I do indulge in the occasional cocktail/wine and some hummus! Plus there is only so much you can control at restaurants if you like to eat out.
I have been paleo for over two years now! I decided to eat paleo after my first round of Whole30 when I realized I had an intolerance to gluten and dairy. I actually really enjoy being paleo and it's crazy to see how much my taste buds have changed since cutting out all the processed food.
Fun Fact #2: I love scary movies
Suspense, Thriller, Horror... all the genres that relate to that I love them. If I am not catching up on TV shows reading a book then I'm looking for a new scary movie to watch (or show... anyone else obsessed with American Horror Story?)
Fun Fact #3: Animal Lover
I have always loved animals and always will. Growing up I had a cat most of my life (even though I am actually allergic to them) and now my husband and I have three dogs and an outdoor cat (he would go crazy living inside). A couple years ago, a friend of mine and I had even started our own 5k charity walk (with your dogs) called Tails & Trails that we had locally to support our local animal shelter. We organized it for a couple years and loved every bit of it!
Our Pets: Cooper, Ranger, Bowie & Slider
Fun Fact #4: Bookworm
I love to read! I always have a book on me (typically downloaded to my phone nowadays) so that I can read in my spare time. Just like my love for scary movies I love a good thriller book. I try and list all the books I have read or am currently reading on my Goodreads account. You can check it out or leave a comment below to recommend any good books you have read lately.
Fun Fact #5: Eclectic Taste in Music
I listen to music probably 90% of the day. I love all genres of music and when I say all I mean ALL. I've got everything from songs from the 50s all the way to Cardi B. I'm not even going to link my Spotify playlists because they are so random! I commute to my full-time job every day so I get plenty of listening time in plus I will have it on as background noise while I work.
Do we have anything in common? What are some fun facts about you?
I’ve gotten quite a bit of reading done lately and wanted to share some of my recent reads and some reviews on them. Overall this group of books I definitely recommend if you are looking for something new to read!The Party by Robyn Harding
Kim should have heard it, would have heard it if she hadn’t installed earplugs and taken half an Ambien. The girls were two floors below, but she’d anticipated giggling, music, a few late-night trips to raid the fridge. . . . To ensure a sound sleep, she’d nibbled a bit of the sedative, despite having had two glasses of white wine after dinner. She’d done it plenty of times without incident. She’d always been a light sleeper, and, lately, adequate rest had become imperative for Kim. There were too many hormones wreaking havoc with her humor. And there was far too much tension in her marriage to handle without a good night’s sleep.
“Mom! Dad!” Kim dragged herself up from under the warm, wet blanket of sedation. It was Hannah’s voice, tearful, close. . . . Kim opened heavy lids and saw her daughter at the end of the bed. Tall, pretty Hannah wearing a nightie that looked like a football jersey, the number 28 across her chest. It was Hannah’s birthday today—sweet sixteen—she was having a slumber party. So why was she here, in the small hours of the morning? Why was she crying? As Kim struggled for lucidity, she realized something was terribly wrong. Tears streamed down Hannah’s face and there was something on her hands . . . something dark and wet, glistening in the faint glow of the LED clock radio . . .
My Review: ⅗ stars
I thought this book was a good, easy read. There was a lot going on in the short novel but it all tied together nicely in the end. I like books that jump around with the characters so you get different perspectives. It was not as much of a thriller as I thought it was going to be based on the summary but more of wondering what was going to happen to all the characters. If you liked Big Little Lies you might give this one a try!
A teenage girl is missing. Is your daughter involved, or is she next? When Karen Finch’s seventeen-year-old daughter Sophie arrives home after a night out, drunk and accompanied by police officers, no one is smiling the morning after. But Sophie remembers nothing about how she got into such a state. Twelve hours later, Sophie’s friend Amy has still not returned home. Then the body of a young woman is found. Karen is sure that Sophie knows more than she is letting on. But Karen has her own demons to fight. She struggles to go beyond her own door without a panic attack. As she becomes convinced that Sophie is not only involved but also in danger, Karen must confront her own anxieties to stop whoever killed one young girl moving on to another – Sophie.
My Review: ⅗ stars
I thought this book was interesting. It was one of those books that just popped up on my “you might like” section and have never heard of it before and it was very inexpensive so I bought it on a whim! I did enjoy the book and there was definitely a couple twists throughout that kept me interested. The ending was a little predictable I thought but still a good read overall. Karen and Sophie are the two main characters and while I liked them they also bothered me. There were times where I wanted to reach into the book and tell them they were stupid and just talk to someone and it would speed things up quicker but obviously, most of the things they did ended up tying things together later.
When debut novelist Eliza Fontaine is found at the bottom of a hotel pool, her family at first assumes that it’s just another failed suicide attempt. But Eliza swears she was pushed, and her rescuer is the only witness.
Desperate to find out who attacked her, Eliza takes it upon herself to investigate. But as the publication date for her novel draws closer, Eliza finds more questions than answers. Like why are her editor, agent, and family mixing up events from her novel with events from her life? Her novel is completely fictional, isn’t it?
The deeper Eliza goes into her investigation while struggling with memory loss, the closer her life starts to resemble her novel, until the line between reality and fiction starts to blur and she can no longer tell where her protagonist’s life ends and hers begins.
My Review: ⅗ stars
Not going to lie it took me a couple days to really get into this book. I have always been a big Sara Shepard fan, I have read the entire Pretty Little Liars series, The Lying Game Series and a few of her other books but this one was completely different from her other ones. I thought the beginning drug on a bit so I would read a couple pages then get distracted but I finally sat down one day and powered through and I am really glad I finished it. I found the storyline interesting on this one and once I got halfway through the book it started to get good and everything started coming together and I had to finish to see what happened. Overall I thought the book was good and I did enjoy it other than the beginning dragging on a little bit!
Lucy Albright is far from her Long Island upbringing when she arrives on the campus of her small California college, and happy to be hundreds of miles from her mother, whom she’s never forgiven for an act of betrayal in her early teen years. Quickly grasping at her fresh start, Lucy embraces college life and all it has to offer—new friends, wild parties, stimulating classes. And then she meets Stephen DeMarco. Charming. Attractive. Complicated. Devastating.
Confident and cocksure, Stephen sees something in Lucy that no one else has, and she’s quickly seduced by this vision of herself, and the sense of possibility that his attention brings her. Meanwhile, Stephen is determined to forget an incident buried in his past that, if exposed, could ruin him, and his single-minded drive for success extends to winning, and keeping, Lucy’s heart. Lucy knows there’s something about Stephen that isn’t to be trusted. Stephen knows Lucy can’t tear herself away. And their addicting entanglement will have consequences they never could have imagined.
Alternating between Lucy’s and Stephen’s voices, Tell Me Lies follows their connection through college and post-college life in New York City. With the psychological insight and biting wit of Luckiest Girl Alive, and the yearning ambitions and desires of Sweetbitter, this keenly intelligent and staggeringly resonant novel chronicles the exhilaration and dilemmas of young adulthood, and the difficulty of letting go, even when you know you should.
My Review: I give this one ⅘ stars
I finished this book in 24 hours and while for the most part the book was pretty predictable I couldn’t put it down! I found the main character Lucy relatable and even though I wanted to yell at her through the pages a couple times I get it because we mostly all have that one dysfunctional relationship that went back & forth. This book was filled with lots of drama and dysfunction and I liked the way it all came together in the end.
Sidenote: The entire book I had Little Lies by Fleetwood Mac stuck in my head thanks to the title and the multiple Fleetwood Mac references throughout the book. Here is the link so you can get it stuck in your head too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIYthyp2lto
If you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust?
Cass is having a hard time since the night she saw the car in the woods. It was on the winding rural road, in the middle of a downpour, and a woman was sitting inside―the woman who was killed. She’s been trying to put the crime out of her mind; what could she have done, really? It’s a dangerous road to be on in the middle of a storm, and she probably would have been hurt herself if she’d stopped. Not only that, her husband would be furious if he knew she’d broken her promise not to take that shortcut home. But since then, she’s been forgetting every little thing. Where she left the car; if she took her pills; even the alarm code. The only thing she can’t forget is that woman, the woman she might have saved, and the terrible nagging guilt. And the silent calls she’s receiving, or the feeling that someone’s watching her…
My Review: ⅘ stars.
I enjoyed this book! I was able to read it very quickly and immediately got hooked from the first chapter. There is a big twist in the book as to who is watching her and why they are doing it. Overall it kept me interested throughout the whole book and I definitely recommend reading it if you like a mystery/thriller type of story
When you read this book, you will make many assumptions. You will assume you are reading about a jealous ex-wife. You will assume she is obsessed with her replacement – a beautiful, younger woman who is about to marry the man they both love. You will assume you know the anatomy of this tangled love triangle. Assume nothing. Twisted and deliciously chilling, Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen’s The Wife Between Us exposes the secret complexities of an enviable marriage – and the dangerous truths we ignore in the name of love. Read between the lies.
My Review: 4/5 stars
I thought this book was very interesting. The summary is spot on for this book as there are a few twists and turns throughout the story that kept me guessing! I really enjoyed this storyline and was not able to predict the direction that the author was going in. I definitely recommend this book if you like love triangle, mystery drama books!
Reading is one of my all-time favorite things to do! I recently finished up a couple books that I thought I would share in case you are needing some new summer reads!
#1: The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn
My rating: 3.5/5 stars
Summary: If you liked The Woman in Cabin 10 or Girl on the Train then you should definitely give this book a try! Anna Fox lives alone—a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times . . . and spying on her neighbors. Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, a mother, their teenage son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble—and its shocking secrets are laid bare. What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control? In this diabolically gripping thriller, no one—and nothing—is what it seems.
I really enjoyed this book and the only reason why I didn’t give it a higher rating was because I felt like it dragged on a bit (at the beginning mostly), but I loved the storyline and definitely recommend it. It picks up halfway through and there is a big twist that had me hooked and couldn’t put the book down until the end!
#2: One of us is Lying by Karen M. McManus
My rating: 3/5 stars
Summary: Pay close attention and you might solve this.
On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.
Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.
Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.
Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.
Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.
And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.
Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose? Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.
It was definitely a quick read I finished in about two days and enjoyed it. Overall I liked the story and the characters but it was a little predictable for me and didn’t have a big thriller/shock factor to it. It was still a good read and definitely recommend if you are looking for a good poolside read and like puzzles!
#3: Hide and Seek by Richard Parker
My rating: 4/5 stars
Summary: Lana Cross would do anything to protect her perfect family but on a trip to an adventure park, they slip out of her sight. When she finds her husband, he’s out cold on the forest floor. Then the truth sinks in: Cooper, her four-year-old son, is missing. No one stopped the man carrying the sleeping boy. The park cameras don’t show where he went. Then Lana receives an anonymous message, telling her to visit a local school with a horrifying history… This is no random attack. Whoever took Cooper is playing a twisted game, and if Lana wants to find him, she must participate. How could there be a link between the school and her missing son? And can Lana find her little boy before it’s too late?
This one was a wildcard book. I hadn’t seen any reviews on it or had heard about it before. It popped up on my “you may like this one” section based on other books I was clicking on online and the storyline interested me. I ended up reading it in about two days and thought it was really good! I liked the storyline and the characters and there was definitely a few twists in it that kept me interested until the very end. I loved how the mom was so relentless and fearless to get her son back. Overall this one is great and I definitely recommend!
#4: People Like Us by Dana Mele
My rating: 3/5 stars
Summary: Kay Donovan may have skeletons in her closet, but the past is past, and she’s reinvented herself entirely. Now she’s a star soccer player whose group of gorgeous friends run their private school with effortless popularity and acerbic wit. But when a girl’s body is found in the lake, Kay’s carefully constructed life begins to topple. The dead girl has left Kay a computer-coded scavenger hunt, which, as it unravels, begins to implicate suspect after suspect, until Kay herself is in the crosshairs of a murder investigation. But if Kay’s finally backed into a corner, she’ll do what it takes to survive. Because at Bates Academy, the truth is something you make…not something that happened.
This one I had pre-ordered so I read it the day it was released (literally read the whole thing that day too!) This one was also a quick read for me and it had an interesting storyline. I felt like it started to get a little predictable towards the end but overall it was a pretty good revenge/mystery book. There was definitely a couple twists in it which made it a pretty fast-paced book so it was never boring and it kept me interested until the very end!
#5 The Safest Lies By Megan Miranda
My rating: 4.5/5 stars
Summary: Kelsey has lived most of her life in a shadow of suspicion, raised to see danger everywhere. Her mother hasn’t set foot outside their front door in seventeen years, since she escaped from her kidnappers with nothing but her attacker’s baby growing inside her—Kelsey. Kelsey knows she’s supposed to keep a low profile and stay off the grid for their protection, but that plan is shattered when her dramatic car accident and rescue by volunteer firefighter and classmate Ryan Baker sparks media coverage. A few days later, she arrives home to find her mother missing. Now, to have a chance at a future, Kelsey will have to face her darkest fears. Because someone is coming for her. And the truth about the past may end up being the most dangerous thing of all.
I really enjoyed this book, I love Megan Miranda’s books and haven’t read one of hers that I don’t like! This one was definitely one of my favorites from her. I thought the storyline was very unique and there were a couple of big twists throughout the book. From the very first chapter, there is thrill, mystery and tons of questions that keep you wanting to read more to see what happens!
#6 Ten by Gretchen McNeil
My rating: 3/5 stars
Summary: Ten teens. Three days. One killer. It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—an exclusive house party on Henry Island. Best friends Meg and Minnie are looking forward to two days of boys, booze, and fun-filled luxury. But what starts out as fun turns twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine. And things only get worse from there. With a storm raging outside, the teens are cut off from the outside world . . . so when a mysterious killer begins picking them off one by one, there’s no escape. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on one another, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?
This one was a good quick read as well. I found it to be better than I thought it was going to be and I was definitely interested throughout the book. This one has a very Scream/I know what you did last summer vibe to it (I love all those cheesy scary movies lol). If you like a little murder mystery but also want just a quick read this one is a good one!
Some books on my summer reading list are:
They All Fall Down by Roxanne St. Clair — already finished
The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy — already finished
The Party by Robyn Harding — already finished
The Elizas by Sara Shepard — currently reading
The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll
Fragments of the Lost by Megan Miranda
See How She Dies by Lisa Jackson
The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison
What are some books on your summer reading list? Have you read any of the ones mentioned above? Let me know in the comments below.
Graduation is just around the corner and it’s time to start planning those announcements & parties! This year I opted not create a whole collection of pre-made graduation announcements but I am taking on custom orders starting today!
A little bit more about graduation announcements:
Why do people send out graduation announcements?
- Your parents are proud of your accomplishment and want to share with family & friends
- Your friends and family genuinely want to know about a major life event
- It’s tradition, among others like save-the-dates, birth announcements and holiday cards, your graduation announcements are the perfect place to start building your contact list.
- It’s a keepsake, like above with save-the-dates, birth announcements and holiday cards you will keep it for years to come.
What do you write on a graduation announcement?
A graduation announcement is not an invitation so the only things you need on there are:
- your name,
- the school you are graduating from,
- class of (year)
If you want to add more things to your announcement some popular ones are bible verses, quotes, and/or where you are attending college (for high school graduation announcements).
Who should you send them to?
You should send graduation announcements to anyone your family would send a holiday card to. This is a great time to start building your own list that will carry on with your for further life events you want to announce.
- Parents, Grandparents, Aunts/Uncles, Extended family members
- Friends and family friends
- Favorite teachers and tutors
When do you send them out?
Graduation announcements should be sent out at least two weeks before the event if you are including an invitation to a graduation party or the actual graduation ceremony. If they don’t include an invitation, you can send them up to six weeks after the event.
Custom Graduation Announcements
Just head to the shop and fill out the form to get started!
I personally always recommend sending the files to a local print shop in your area for three reasons:
- They are much easier to work with than larger stores such as Office Depot, Staples, Kinkos…
- They are typically less expensive and are flexible as far as timeframes
- And, the most important you are supporting a local business plus they will make sure the job gets done correctly!
There are also some great online options as well like mpix.com or vistaprint.com where you can upload your image and order the quantity you need! These take a couple extra days since they are shipped to you but it’s worth how easy it is and it’s one less errand you have to run (you can order the envelopes too with them too!)
Printing at home is always a great option too! You can easily print out the invitations, cut them and they are ready to go. For this option, you just want to make sure you have all the necessary and proper tools such as quality ink (and enough ink), a thick cardstock to print them on, either a cutting machine or a sure way to make sure you are cutting them all straight.
I have recently fallen in love with podcasts. I will admit I do not listen to them every day but I do try and listen to a couple throughout the week.
A little fun fact is that this is actually not my full-time job! I work an 8-5 job Monday-Friday and commute about an hour each way (it’s actually not that far mile wise but traffic is a whole different story). So on an average week, I have about 10 hours worth of drive time which is where I started listening to podcasts!
I do love my music so there are days where I don’t want to think just drive so that is a Spotify day. Lately, though I have been trying to get in a couple episodes of podcasts here and there throughout the week.
I really like the creative business ones because they really motivate me, I will seriously have a list of things I want to do by the time I park my car. Those I try and listen to in the evenings because if I listen to them in the morning on my way to work I just get bummed that I can’t jump in and start implementing these plans!
I also love a good murder mystery one! I have finished serial (season 1) and have been recently listening to up & vanished and my favorite murderer. I have always been fascinated with murder mystery stories /cases & courtroom drama. Another fun fact: I originally wanted to go to be a lawyer… but I just really didn’t want to do three more years of school (haha).
Do you listen to podcasts? Which ones are your favorite?