Tuesday, June 27, 2017

My Summer 2017 Reading List Update

Well, it's nearly the end of June and I've made a huge dent in my summer reading list. What can I say?  I seem to be out of the reading slump I was in earlier this spring. And it also helps when some of your favorite authors have new books out, too. So today, I thought I would share a short summary of what I've read so far.

Summer Favorite
By far, the favorite book I've read so far this summer is Elin Hilderbrand's, The Identicals. If you do nothing else this summer, read this book! I finished it in two days! Like all her other books, it's the perfect beach read and I also cried at the end, and I am not even ashamed. I believe this is my favorite Hildebrand novel of all time.

The Identicals: A Novel by [Hilderbrand, Elin]

Biggest Disappointment
No words. I know I totally hyped this book in my previous post, but please do not begin your Gudenkauf repertoire with this one. It's the first book of hers that I had actually thought about not finishing, but I was determined to find out "who did it." Gudenkauf is known for her big plot twists at the end, but sadly, there wasn't one with this read. I think my hardest problem was that I just couldn't identify with the main character. 

Not a Sound: A Page-Turning Thriller by [Gudenkauf, Heather]

Just OK
All The Best People was just ALL over the place for me. I was like, wow! I enjoyed the book and it had a happy ending (thank goodness!), but it wasn't even a 4-star in my opinion. My heart went out to Carole and Allison, but that's just about it. 

All the Best People by [Yoerg, Sonja]

Currently Reading
Right now, I'm about 25% into James Patterson's, 16th Seduction of the Women's Murder Series. So far: Meh? It's got to get a little more exciting to keep me reading, but I absolutely love the series and characters!

16th Seduction (Women's Murder Club) by [Patterson, James, Paetro, Maxine]

Another book that I read, but wasn't on my original list, was The Letter by Kathryn Hughes.  Two stories in one. Such a sweet, kinda predictable read. And cheap, too! It was voted the most popular e-reader book on Amazon, so while I was waiting for actual library books to come in, I picked this one up on my kindle and really liked it. 

Looking Forward To
For you fans of The Good Girl, author Mary Kubica has got a new book coming out TODAY called, Every Last Lie. I can't wait to get my hands on it!

Can't Decide
I haven't read or seen many great reviews to Paula Hawkins new novel, Into The Water. Many of you will remember her first novel, The Girl On The Train.  I honestly wasn't a fan of that book, but I just couldn't put it down, either. Weird. 

So what are YOU reading this summer?

Linking up with Tuesday Talk, Royally Waiting, and Friday Favorites.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Weekend Recap

I have to say that it was all things red, white, and blue this weekend over at our house! We were on point with the upcoming 4th of July holiday!

On Friday evening, I decided to make our favorite M&M Cookies because LUCKY ME found the patriotic colored M&Ms on a recent Target run. I can never find the seasonal M&Ms, regardless of the season, but I bet I can find the coconut and coffee flavored ones any day of the week!  Bleh! We love these cookies!  You'll have to try them to see what the "secret ingredient" is! I was surprised the first time I made them! 

If we're home on Friday nights, 99.372% of the time, we're having pizza.  We either have it delivered, make our own personal pizzas in our outdoor pizza oven, OR have pizza cupcakes, which we really haven't had in a while and Alise was begging for them, so I let her make them. And if you saw my snap and was wondering why my child was sporting her dad's old green t-shirt with holes in it and no pants, well, that's how my tween is rolling these days. At least around the house. WHEN she decides to get out of bed.

My mom came over after supper and helped me start decorating our front door for the 4th. That is, until a monsoon from the aftermath of tropical storm Cindy decided to rear it's ugly head and I thought we might get electrocuted by the fan we had blowing on us to keep the nasty mosquitos away. Ugh! Still working on it!

Then it was time for Stephanie's game and unfortunately, we had to watch it via box score. Also, unfortunately, the team suffered their first loss of the season, so I didn't even talk to Steph afterwards because I knew she would be mad. She hates to lose and would rather be left alone to sulk and get over it in her own way. Baby Girl had another double-double, though, and brought her team within two points at the end of the third quarter, but for some crazy reason her coach took her out at the beginning of the fourth quarter. Why you would take a player out that's hot is beyond me. 

On Saturday morning, I had a nice, quiet morning to myself. We finally got to see some sunshine!  Wayne went to help a friend and Alise slept until I had to get her up for her hair appointment at 12:00. We had a late lunch, went shopping, and treated ourselves to ice cream! I wore a red, white, and blue ensemble - in a cute way, of course! Sorry. No pic to prove it. 

Supper was al fresco by the pool. Our new favorite steak recipe with a tossed salad and garlic bread. I even got brave and stuck my legs in from the edge. Maybe it was the glass of wine. We had banana pudding for dessert! And then is was time for another Saturday night basketball game!!

Sunday morning, I woke up with an horrendous back ache and spent most of the morning laying on the heating pad and watching Titanic with Wayne. I know that's four hours of his life he'll never get back! HA! We had a rather lengthy discussion as to whether or not Rose died or whether she was dreaming when she met Jack at the clock at the end of the movie.  What do you think?

That afternoon, he and Alise went to the movies with friends to see, "Transformers" (insert eye roll) and so I had the entire house to myself again. I read, took a nap, made a strawberry poke cake and another sheet pan dinner for supper. I see a habit forming, but I am so enjoying the no-mess clean up afterwards! Alise and I watched Food Network Star and continued to cheer on Cory. I made Wayne promise me that if he made it to the final two contestants that we would go to his after party here in town at the end of the summer. 

And THAT was our weekend! And it was wonderful! 

Friday, June 23, 2017

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, Peeps!  It's been a while since I've posted about Friday Favorites. It's not that I've been boycotting Friday or anything - I mean, who would do that? It's just that normally by Thursday nights, I'm over the week and if I'm not tidying the house for the maid to come the next day, I'm relaxing with a book and an adult beverage. But this week, I decided to try to get back in the swing of things and here are some of my favorites!

//one// Y'all!  What can I say?  This pic showed up on my Insta feed and I seriously busted out laughing!  These two royal look alikes totally crack me up!! I'd like to think that they have such a fun and mischievous relationship!  It makes me smile that the Queen has seemed to "soften" as she grows older. Diana would be so proud!

//two.// Look who caught me in the church parking lot last Sunday! I got out of the car and heard, "Laaaaurrraa! I thought that was you!" Some of you will recognize Mrs. Lea from her blog, CiCi's Corner, and if you don't, well, please stop by and tell her I sent you! Lea and I first met last year at a basketball game, so it had been a while since we had seen each other. She and her husband were attending our church with her son and his family. Cutest granddaughters, evah!

//three.// Recently, we were at Newk's and I just wasn't in the mood for a sandwich. I heard someone in line behind us say, "Their mac and cheese is really, really good," and I was in the mood for comfort food I guess, so I decided to try it. Oh. my. goodness. Order the mac and cheese! I just ordered the "plain" mac and cheese, but I think for the summer, they have quite the variety of one of my favorite side dishes! 

//four.// I'm ashamed to admit that I haven't watched the season finale of This Is Us yet.  I know.  Don't judge. But I will soon. Very soon.  In the meantime, get ready for September 26th. Doesn't that sound so far away? Be sure to set those DVRs, girls!

//five.// Love getting emails from our local library that my book requests are in and so excited to get these two since they're on my summer reading list! However, I feel the pressure to get them read quickly because, I don't know if your library does this or not, but ours will not renew a book if it has been placed on request by someone else.  You either have to turn it back in or pay the late fine. Really? 

//six.// Check out these wine glasses, y'all, from a local boutique! Talk about bling!  These would be perfect for hosting a bachelorette party, bridal shower, or Girls Night Out!  On my way to pick up two, or three, or eight of these babies this weekend!  I LOVE them! 

//seven.// I hate to end things with an odd number - the OCD in me is coming out - but I have to say that the "Sam" that my friend, Deina, painted for me is just THE cutest! Can't wait to get our front door all festive this weekend! Maybe I'll share a pic next week!

Here are some other posts from this week that you might enjoy reading: 4th of July Inspiration, Royally Waiting Wednesday, and Pinterest Five

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Pinterest Five

Can y'all tell I'm in a writing rut? I mean, no offense, to my BFS - that's Best Friend Snapper! - Amanda over at Cardio, Cabernet, and a Keyboard who came up with the swell idea for this linkup, but I'm struggling with writing as of late. Summer is in full swing and we are living the easy life. What can I say? Last summer, I took a small break and then right when I decided to do it, the writer's block vanished and I was back in business. So who knows...? But probably for the remainder of the summer, I'll be popping in and out of Blog Land.

So, yes!  Back to Amanda!  She came up with this awesome idea to give us monthly prompts and have us plug them into our Pinterest search engines and see what pops up! I wasn't sure if we should search our personal boards or just throw it out there in general, so I decided to go the personal route.

This month's search term: Summer DIY

Here are the top five pins that popped up from my own Pinterst Boards when I typed in Summer DIY!

So I'm pretty proud of the first one!  Look,  I have no idea how long ago I pinned this, but obviously fidget spinners have been around for a few years. And so on point for that "bored" kid that still nearly has over half their summer left and wants to complain that they have nothing to do (sound familiar?)! I just threaten with more chores and the boredom tends to cease. For a while anyway. This pin is from Perfection Pending.

And from Frugal Coupon Living, THIS post of some ah-mazing ideas!  I think if I get REALLY desperate, I'll show Alise the paint tattoos. 

I love absolutely EVERYTHING about this watermelon birthday party! So girlie and pink! And perfect for that little one's day in the sun! I wish Pinterest had been around when Alise was younger! What a fun twist for a watermelon stand for summer instead of lemonade! You could sell ice cold watermelon by the slice! AND lemonade!

Forget the art and projects.  Just give me the food and drinks!  This pin was posted for Labor Day originally, but I believe the reason I chose it was because of the this wonderful looking dip that I haven't tried yet! Shame. on. me. One for the summer bucket list! 

There are no words.  I have no idea why I pinned this Fired Ink Art other than the fact that it is so pretty! 

And those are my top five pinterest pins for Summer DIY! I hope maybe these pins will give you a little inspiration for those moments when "summer is boring" and "there's nothing to do." Of course, there's always the chore route, too! Alise is actually cleaning windows this week.  There's nothing wrong with a little child labor in my opinion!

Enjoy your week!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Royally Waiting Wednesday

Happy First Day of Summer, Friends!  I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing here in Louisiana though. I dread the heat. 

But first things first.  Everyone is asking about Stephanie. She is doing well in her new "home" for the summer and is eating, sleeping, living, dreaming, and practicing basketball. We face time several times a day, as well as text throughout the day, and she seems happy and upbeat. The biggest challenge she's had, of course, is the language. Her coach doesn't even speak English! Athletically, she's playing well and doing what she does best - even without air conditioning. Yes, you read that right!  No A/C. She has scored a double-double in all of her games, which is awesome. She and her roommate, who is from Texas (Thank you, God!), have a car, so they've gotten to do some site seeing and eating out and she's enjoyed that. 

Some of you have asked how long Stephanie will be overseas and the gig is only through August. The two main reasons she decided to go for the summer was to get in shape and to see if playing overseas is what she really wants to do. Time will tell.


In the words of my late grandmother, I had another "spell" last week. Remember how I had an anxiety attack or a damn hot flash on the way to the dentist last winter on interstate? Well, I was driving home from work last week and one minute I was belting out "He's A Cold Hearted Snake" with Paula Abdul, and the next minute I felt like I needed to pull over into the median with my hazards on because I thought I was having another attack.  I wore sandals that day to work and all of a sudden my feet began sweating profusely (and I don't sweat, I "glisten") and my chest and arms began tingling. I thought my hands were going numb. It scared me, but I slowed down and turned up the A/C and told myself I was NOT going to pass out. It lasted about fifteen seconds. I made it home and had a slight case of the shakes, like my sugar was low, but that quickly went away, too, after I ate a few crackers. Stupid me, TOTALLY forgot to tell my new doctor about what happened when I went to establish myself as a new patient a few months ago.  It's just weird that it happens while I'm driving.


Speaking of doctors, remember how I told y'all that my favorite OB/GYN in the whole wide world was no longer associated with the medical group she was with? And I had to see that other idiot? Well...my favorite OB/GYN in the whole wide world has opened her very OWN practice and I can't be more prouder of her OR more excited to see her again. I'm calling this week to schedule my annual exam for next year!


I was recently at my BFF's house and she had the prettiest ceramic wax burner going and her house smelled absolutely wonderful. So, I decided to buy myself a burner - like I don't already have about fifteen of them in the house, according to Wayne! - and I tried the Grapefruit Fandango scent for the kitchen.  Jennifer had Valencia Orange melting at her house. I went back last week and got the Sorbet, so between the two of us, we're keeping Aromatique in business!


So many of you have asked about the 4th of July tank top that I featured on Monday. Unfortunately, the tank has sold, but hopefully you can contact the vendor and still order one for yourself.  Etsy has so many wonderful designs and Target also has a great selection of 4th of July tanks and t-shirts for America's birthday!


Last night, the girls and I went to see Rough Night. It was absolutely hilarious! But if you're wondering if all the funny parts were in the previews, I would say, yes, most of them are.  It was a fun night with friends, though! Lots of popcorn and laughs!

I've had Baby Girl in the kitchen this week showing her how to make some staple meals. Monday night, I showed her how to make taco cups in case I die and forget to leave instructions in my will. At least her and her daddy won't starve! She keeps kidding about wanting to go on Master Chef Jr., but the kid's got a long way to go. I don't think being able to make brownies from a box mix qualifies you for a cooking contest on television, even if it is a bunch of kids!

I hope everyone is having a great week! Stay cool!  My hair is not appreciating the humidity right now at all!