Hi guys! I hope you all are enjoying your long Labor Day weekend!
I stepped outside on our porch this morning to drink my coffee and the weather was in the 60s! Now, it was quite a humid 60 degrees, but nonetheless hoping that the dog days of summer are on their way out. Are you team autumn or summer? Once September hits I’m in full fall mode. Bring on the pumpkin flavored foods, tailgating, and of course cooler weather!
To recap August in four words/phrases I’d use: hiking, job search, girls trip, & back to school.
Hiking has quickly become one of my new favorite hobbies while living in Atlanta. I recently wrote a blog post sharing my top three kid-friendly hiking trails in case you missed it. We hiked two of the three in the August heat and it’s safe to say it was a blast.
Things are moving along slowly but surely with my full-time job search. I made a post on LinkedIn the other week sharing that I am #OpenToWork which brought so many opportunities my way! I’ve quickly learned it’s all about networking and connections. Just this past week I had four interviews with different companies. Trusting that whatever is meant to be for me will fall into place.
In my humble opinion, girl’s trips are an essential to keeping your sanity, especially in motherhood. My girl group from college tries to plan a few get togethers a year, and mid-August all but two of us ventured to Charleston, SC. This city has a special place in my heart because I spent most of my growing up years there through middle and high school. Two of my friends actually live there now so we all have a place to stay!
I went Thursday-Saturday to be home Sunday to prep Blakely for her first day of preschool. We had a beautiful pizza dinner on the beach, two full beach days, took a CorePower Yoga class, went to dinner downtown at Mesu, and completed our nights at beach bars and Shem Creek. It was a fun-filled two nights that made my heart so full!!!
BACK TO SCHOOL
Blakely has officially started full-time preschool! So far she’s gone the past two weeks which has helped in me committing my days to job-searching. The first week was hard with her bawling at drop-off, but as the second week rolled around she started walking right in her classroom!
Picking her up is the best because she gets the biggest smile on her face and runs to give me a hug. I love our car rides home listening to her sweet little voice tell me all about her day. It’s still a transition I’m getting used to not being with her every moment, but so far it’s been so good for her and she really enjoys it. The teachers are wonderful and do a good job of planning out their days to keep these energy-filled toddlers busy!
AUGUST 2023 FAVORITE THINGS
I constantly had a book in my hand (or in my ear) this month, and ended up finishing three fiction books! I wouldn’t consider myself a fast reader per say, so adding an audio-book to the mix has helped me to stay on track for my 2023 reading goals.
How I Rate My Books:
To remind you guys of my ⭐ rating system, after I finish each book I rate them 1 through 5 stars. A 5 star read is the BEST of the best. It was moving in some way, completely swoonworthy, unputtdownable and I would recommend it to anyone. I don’t give 5 stars out often!
4 stars means it was a really great read, very enjoyable and I would still recommend it, but a few things didn’t work for me.
3 stars is a decent read, but not sure I would recommend it. I hardly give out 1 or 2 stars because chances are I would have stopped reading it in the beginning haha.
August Books I Finished:
- Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt ⭐⭐⭐⭐ STARS
- The Measure by Nikki Erlick ⭐⭐⭐STARS
- One By One by Ruth Ware ⭐⭐⭐⭐ STARS
GENRE: Literary Fiction/Magical Realism
SUMMARY: Remarkably Bright Creatures is a touching, quirky, and heartwarming novel about our connection with nature and ones search for the truth. We meet seventy-year-old Tova Sullivan who works the night shift at her local aquarium near Seattle as the cleaning lady. Years ago, she lost her son tragically to the ocean when he was only 18, his body never found. For Tova, this job is an escape from her grief of recently losing her husband and the grief that never went away from losing her son. She soon befriends an incredibly intelligent Octopus, Marcellus, who later helps her uncover mysteries about her past. We also meet another prominent character: thirty-year-old Cameron who appears in Sowell Bay searching for answers from his past. A fast-paces, interesting novel that readers will enjoy watching these three characters as their story and lives intertwine.
REVIEW: 4.5 beaming stars for this novel that made me feel all the warm and satisfying feels. The story is told in 3 POVs: Tova, Marcellus (octopus) and Cameron. Though all of the characters were likable, well-developed and complex, I enjoyed Marcellus’s wit and intelligence the best. This book was smart, engaging, humorous, and ultimately healing. And the cover is just so beautiful!!! Highly recommend.
SUMMARY: If you could know the measure of your life, would you? One morning, every person on Earth age 22 and over received a wooden box outside of their door that contained a string. The length of the string measured exactly how long you were going to live. As you could imagine, the boxes sent the world into a frenzy of questions and unknown. The Measure is a complex and thought-provoking novel with themes of unity, choice, free-will, standing up for what is right, and will reveal how we are all connected… or should I say strung together.
REVIEW: 3 stars for the brilliant idea and the strong beginning of this novel. I think I’m in the minority on this review, but I didn’t love this one. I do think that this novel had an incredibly unique and well thought out story-line that was interesting to follow, but to me it dragged on and on. It may be partly because I listened to it on audio-book and found it harder to follow with so many characters, but I found myself not excited to listen. In addition, it was too political for my liking and I didn’t find any of the characters likable or easy to connect or relate to. I’ve seen many people give this one 4 or 5 stars, so I still recommend you check it out to see if it’s for you!
SUMMARY: One by One is an entertaining locked-room mystery that had me constantly turning the pages. Eight coworkers take a company retreat to a gorgeous, snowy mountain chalet. It seems like the perfect getaway to promote company bonding, until an avalanche hits, they’re completely snowed in without power, and one of their leaders didn’t make it back to the lodge. With tensions high and one member missing, the rest of the team starts to wonder if their coworkers death wasn’t an accident. With no one to trust and no where to turn, the team has no choice but to resort to survival over togetherness.
REVIEW: 4 stars for this faced-paced enjoyable thriller. With so many characters introduced I thought it would be hard to follow, but the author does a wonderful job of developing each individually and allowing the story to move quickly and flow nicely. I loved the ski chalet setting of this novel and found it overall to keep me on the edge of my seat, especially the last half of the book. Ruth Ware has quickly become one of my must-read authors!!
2.) LISTENING TO…
My top 3 podcasts or podcast episodes of the month are:
1) NEW PODCAST ALERT🚨: Haven! | By Haven
- This podcast actually began in May and funny enough, I stumbled upon it from a clip I saw on Facebook. As I took my girl’s trip to Charleston this month (5 hours there and back) I completely binged almost every episode. Haven’s podcast has raw and honest conversations about relationships, motherhood, gender roles, career advice, and more. She dives deep into each topic bringing on insightful, relatable guests from her life. My favorite episode so far is either How To Not Botch A Job Interview (so helpful) and her Free Marriage Counseling series.
2) Jessica Seinfeld On Problem-Solving in the Kitchen, Stocking a Pantry, Family Dinners, and More | Lipstick on the Rim
- Jessica Seinfeld is a five-time cookbook author and healthy living enthusiast. They discuss how to make home-cooked meals simple and easy, ways to deal with picky children, the importance of family dinners and ways to take good care of yourself. One of the points I found most helpful is that if your child is throwing a fit trying to get a reaction out of you, instead of responding try to simply say “hm.” It’s neutral and apparently works for the guest and hosts of this podcast with their children! This episode is a must-listen for all my mamas out there.
3) Gals on the Go Podcast | By Brooke Miccio and Danielle Carolan
- You know those podcasts you have that are your comfort listens? That is Gals on the Go for me. They post new episodes every week, and as a listener it feels like I am in the room with them catching up, laughing and having girl time. They are also very active on Instagram and YouTube where I follow more of their life as well. A few months ago I went to their live show here in Atlanta and it was SO fun seeing them in person. Check this one out if you’re looking for an entertaining, girl chat podcast!
- Hamptons Forever | Prime Video: A one season reality show that follows summer in the Hamptons for college aged locals. Full of boujee parties, drama, jealousy, and romance, it’s definitely bingeable.
On my to watch list for September:
- The new season of Selling The OC is out September 8th (love any and every real estate show)
- The premiere of The Golden Bachelor is out September 28th (very curious and intrigued about this one)
- The latest season of Bachelor In Paradise is also out September 28th (can you tell I’m a bachelor superfan???)
- The Little Mermaid | Prime Video: I had higher hopes for this movie, but it was very colorful and I enjoyed the classic songs.
4.) CURRENTLY LOVING…
1. AMAZON SUNGLASSES… After tragically losing my Raybans to Lake Lanier, I decided it’s financially wise of me to purchase a cheaper pair of sunglasses. Two of my friends on my Charleston trip were wearing these, and luckily they didn’t gatekeep this amazing deal. They’re affordable (only $12 right now!!!), trendy and stylish.
2. TRADER JOE’S FLOWERS… Specifically hydrangeas. Having fresh flowers in my home brings me so much joy and Trader Joe’s is the place to get them. Three reasons why: they’re incredibly affordable, they change and adjust seasonally bringing you the freshest flowers, and they always have so many options to choose from. Great for personal use or gifting!
3. AMAZON FALL FAVORITES… These sherpa pumpkins are incredibly cute. This rust colored knit throw blanket is a must-have with over 4,000 5-star reviews. This black and white front-porch rug is perfect for fall.
4. LAKE PAJAMAS… I can’t believe I’ve never shared about these on the blog, but these pajamas are a game-changer. My mom gifted me the tank and shorts combo and it was perfect for these past hot summer months. Thinking I need to invest in a long sleeve shirt and pants pj set for the upcoming months.
5. HAIR DETANGLER/LEAVE-IN CONDITIONER… mom hack of the century!! If your toddler wakes up with incredibly tangly crazy hair like mine, you need this product in your life. Not only does it smell delicious, but with a few quick sprays in her hair it makes it so much easier to brush and style before school. And I love this brand!
5.) EATING all the fall foods…
Sharing 5 fall recipes for the upcoming season. Ready for all the pumpkin and apple flavors!
6) AUGUST BLOG POSTS
In case you missed it…