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?
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?