Life's Sweet Journey: Books
Showing posts with label Books. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Books. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

June Currently: Books I Am Reading to Listen, Learn and Grow

It's a new month, which means it's time for my favorite linkup with Anne...
To be honest I almost skipped this month. Things feel hard, edges jagged and this link up is one I usually reserve for sharing all the things I am loving. As an enneagram 7 I have a hard time sharing tough things, but I thought, you know what? Each of these is a monthly catch-up (even if just for myself) to look back on and remember where I was and how I was. It felt disingenuous to skip just because I didn't feel like I had a lot of "light" to share, especially given the state of what silence has continued to cost so many. So I am sharing the following exactly where I am; unsure, jumbled up and hurting but open...
Anti-racist books to learn listen and grow

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

March Currently & Amazon Finds of the Month

I'm beginning to sound like a broken record...
 yet again, here we are two months later and finally a new blog post. 

Hey y'all! Thanks for sticking around! I am wanting so badly to get back to this space, but time has just been flying and days so crazy and this keeps taking the backseat. So I'm trying again, again, and kicking it off with my favorite monthly linkup. Here's what life looks like around here currently:

{Fixing} My routine; so that I make more time for the things I enjoy, like this space! I have so much I want to share including my mother-daughter trip to Israel and Egypt and my thoughts on tour group travel. 

{Hearing} My current book club's pick of the month on Audible, The Giver of Stars by JoJo Moyes. Has anyone read it/listened; thoughts?! I'm a few chapters in and thinking this may be one I need to physically read, because I am having a tough time with the audio.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Great Reads of the Month October Link Up

Happy Wednesday!
It's starting to "feel a little cooler" here in Florida (and by cooler I mean low 90s as opposed to high), but I am not letting the heat stop me from pretending its fall which is my favorite time to cozy up with good book. With the stack I made it through this month I feel like I may as well have been holed up in a cabin with its own personal library. I am considering starting a reading round up, because I would love to see what everyone else is reading. Want to link up what you've been reading lately? Join in using the "add link" button at the bottom of this post for any book related blog posts you have and let's read together!

Books To Read One of Us is Lying

Saint Anything

I had forgotten how much I loved Sarah Dessen books when I was in high school. I had read her well into my early 20s as well and at some point fell away from it, completely on accident. When a friend mentioned one of her books the other day I decided to see if there was anything I hadn't read from her available when I went to the library. Saint Anything reminded me of everything I enjoy about Sarah Dessen and her writing. Not only that but Saint Anything is a book that hits very close to home for me...

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Spooktacular Books to Read in October

So my great options for books to read in October!

Raise your hand if you love October as much as I do?! Sure, I like pumpkins and pirate costumes and pretty leaves; all that jazz! But, what I really love is all things spooky and Halloween inspired! Here are some of my favorite books to read in October.

Books to Read in October

I have loved scary movies basically since birth, so a month full of them on tv makes my heart happy! I also love reading scary stories... where are my other 90s kids at?! Anyone else remember staying up late and scaring yourself by reading Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark?! Honestly, it takes a lot to truly terrify me and I would usually fall immediately to sleep. However, there are a few books that kept me up on occasion. I figured I would share some of my spooktacular favorite books to enjoy in October!

Friday, September 21, 2018

Friday Favorites and a #BOOKWORM GIVEAWAY!

Hey there FRIYAY!!
This week has been all kinds of crazy, so I am super stoked the weekend is here!! 
I plan to soak up as much vitamin D {and vitamin sea} as possible! 
Before I unplug for the weekend it's time for a little Friday Favorites fun!! 

Friday Favorite GIVEAWAY

ONE || I am still seven different kinds of in love with this suit! For the longest time I wouldn't wear a one piece {to me it was the ultimate sign of over 30}, but this suit is so fun and chic that I honestly feel younger in it! Also, one piece suits are so much easier for frolicking in the ocean with my nieces and nephews; which is the main reason I first decided a one piece was needed, so that my bottoms didn't accidentally get pulled off by little feet... again! 

TWO || Speaking of nieces and nephews... my dad has one of my nieces this weekend, while her mama is on a cruise (#jealous), and I am so excited to spend time with both of them! We had my littlest niece here a few weekend ago and the time with her was just the best. She lives the furthest away and is the one we get to see the least, so it was just a really sweet time having her here to snuggle!! 
Friday Favorites JBS boat dock

THREE || Things are moving along with Crimson House! The floors are almost done being refinished as I type this and we are so excited to see how it will all come together. We are hoping to be able to set a soft opening soon; nothing definite right now, but fingers crossed!! 

FOUR || Y'all!! Have you read Into the Water?! It is soooo good!! I have had the hardest time putting it down. I had never read Girl on the Train, so I didn't know much about Paula Hawkins or her writing style. If you enjoy Ruth Ware's books I really think you will like Paula Hawkins too! I am so close to the end and am really hoping I can still say I love Into the Water after once I am finish. Anyone else hate when a great book has a terrible ending and you are sitting there horrified and wanting the last week of your reading life back?! I really don't see that happening with this one, but you never know... 

Into the Water GIVEAWAY

If you haven't read it yet, I am giving away my copy to one of you!! Share the love, right?! Join below! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway That's it for now, what are some of your favorites from this week?! 
Any good reads to recommend?! 

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

June Currently and Kindle Unlimited Recommendations

June, Y'all!! 
How is it already June?!
We have been on the road 7 months now and that thought is blowing my mind! 
Linking up with Anne for some June Currently fun today!

{Traveling} Up the Pacific North Coast!! We have finally made it clear across the US of A. We started in Orlando, FL and made it to the California coast on Memorial Day; which I found pretty fitting since I have spent almost every Memorial Day on the beach (granted on the east coast), with my toes in the sand. After being land locked for over 6 months it was definitely good for my lungs to breathe in that salty air! We made it to Oregon last week and head up into Washington tomorrow. Hoping to make it to Seattle midweek. Stealing a ton of ideas from Amanda's trip, but would love to know your Seattle faves if you have been! What do we need to see?! 

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

May Currently & a Giveaway

Happy May! 
Spring finally seems to be here. 
Being from Florida I am pretty much used to just about one season, but now that we are traveling full-time it has been so strange to experience this thing people call winter! 
Linking up for a May Currently! Here is a peek at our world right now:

{Celebrating} Adding a new state to our count; HELLO, UTAH!! And checking a big one off the bucket list... a post about our time at the Grand Canyon coming soon...

{Creating} A YouTube video from our time in Mesa Verde. I am running a bit behind this week and it's not up in time for Road Talk Tuesday, but you can catch last week's adventure in Grand Junction, Colorado! It was an awesome week filled with great hikes and yummy wine... 

We are so close to hitting 500 subs!! Will you be number 500?! We would love your support as we try to grow this little space!! 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

#TravelTuesday 18// 5 Ways to Enjoy a Road Trip

Happy #TravelTuesday fellow adventure lovers!! 
It's time for another link up (join at the bottom of the post)!!

I have been all over the road lately, so I figured I would take today to share some of my favorite items for passing the time on a road trip! 

Ways to Have Fun on a Road Trip

This post comes at a perfectly fitting time too, because I have been road trip crazy lately! First, we are trying to plan (and then fully execute) our big getaway, in which life will become one never-ending road trip, but secondly, we have been road tripping from Florida to North Carolina- and then between NC and Tennessee- for the last three weeks. On Sunday we will be loading up again and heading back to Orlando. I would like to think I have this road trip thing down pretty well! Maybe it was because my parents started us out with time on the road from a young age, but I LOVE a good day in the car and have found many ways to make the time more fun! 

Here are some of my favorite ideas for enjoying a road trip to the fullest... 
1.) A Whole Heap of Great Books! 
This is first and foremost my ultimate happiness on the road; give me a good book and endless hours to read and I will be in absolute bliss-mode! Here are my top 10 favorite road trip titles: 

10 Great Book Titles

- The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern- My number 1 recommended book, no matter what list it is! Such beautiful imagery and imagination!  
- Unwritten by Charles Martin- Really anything by Charles Martin, but this one- a story all about redemption and finding a way back to yourself- is my favorite of his.
- The Winter People- I actually haven't read this one yet, but I LOVE Jennifer McMahon for when I am in the mood for anything spooky! Bonus: It's currently on sale for less than $6!
- The Nightingale- For if you are in need of a good cry! Kristin Hannah is another favorite author of mine and, while I don't usually like historically based novels, this one was drew me in from minute one. I read it on one of our very first RV road trips and Babe literally had to pull off at the nearest rest area, because I was just sobbing like a baby by the end of the book and he wasn't sure what to do with me! 
- The School for Good and Evil series by Soman Chainani- A fairy tale series for younger readers, these books are filled with so much fun and adventure that even older readers stay hooked! This is a series all about friendship and finding out who you truly are. Also, I thought it was just a three book series, but when looking it up to add here I found out there is now a 4th. I guess I know what I will be reading on my next road trip!!
- The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd- Combining my love for honey and bees with a beautiful story of the things that bring people together, this is a definite must read!
- Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen- Another favorite author, I love the touch of magical realism she throws in her books. They are easy reads, and sweet stories, perfect for finishing in just a day's drive!
- The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls- While I am not usually a memoir reader, this one was chosen for book club and had me hooked from start to finish. It's also set to be a movie, released in theaters soon, so if you are a "must read the book first" type of person it would be the perfect time to read it.
- The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood- I haven't read this one yet either (or watched it), but I am super intrigued.
- The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling- I would be remiss if I didn't include my favorite of all time favorites ever! While I know the entire world knows of Harry Potter and has either chosen to read it or not, if you are the latter, I just have to say "please give it a try!" I swore up and down I wasn't jumping on the bandwagon, but now, 10 years after I first did, I have read the series multiple times and am now currently listening to it on audio book!!

**Audio books are another great  road trip go to, especially for when you are driving it solo! While Babe usually listens to music while I read we sometimes like to listen to a book on tape (dating myself haha) together. Right now, anyone who signs up for a free Audible trial for the first time, can get two free books instead of one! 

2.) Fun Road Games!
We play these, especially when we take my nieces and nephews with us (once a year, 10 hours, 4 kids!); our go-tos are...
* The Grocery Store game- one person starts as "it" and they say "I'm going to the grocery store and I am going to buy something that starts with the letter ____". The rest of the car plays against each other to figure out what the person is buying. For example, it could be something easy like carrots, in which case that usually just gets guessed without any clues and the first person to say it gets to be "it". Usually though we try harder things (anchovies is a good one) and then people ask yes or no questions to get clues ("is it a meat?" "Do you find it in the produce section?"). If no one can guess it and everyone gives up the person who was it wins and gets to go again.
* 21 Questions- Someone picks a category (Person, place or thing) and something that falls into that category, without telling anyone what it is, and then the rest of the car works together to figure out what that person is thinking of by asking 21 yes or no questions. If the car figures it out within the 21 questions they win, if they don't the person wins and gets to go again. (A really great option for trying to stump the car- Rubber Cement)
* The Movie Game- Everyone goes around saying titles to movies, but they have to use the last letter of whatever movie was said prior as the first letter of their movie. For example, if the last movie said was Jaws then the next movie has to start with letter S. Movie titles can not be repeated and if someone gets stumped and can't think of a movie (or repeats one) then they are out. This continues until only one person remains and they win! To make it easier, if you have little kids, you can also include books and TV show titles.
* The Question Game- This is perfect for a car trip for two; you basically just go back and forth asking fun questions that you both have to answer. It's a great "get-to-know-you-better" or "what-if-daydreaming" option. Babe and I also play this on long hikes and ask things like:
- Would you rather live on the beach or in the mountains?
- If you could go anywhere in the world right now, where would you go?
- If all jobs paid the same, what would you most want to do?
Most of our questions somehow circle around to being about travel, but hey, can you blame us?! Each person answers the questions, even their own. If you have a hard time thinking of new things to ask we love Table Topics card sets! They even have a Table Topics: Road Trip edition!

*When we take the kids we also grab some board games that are easily played in the car, to keep them occupied so that we can enjoy some quiet time while he drives and I read (we love TroubleGuess Who, and Connect 4 because of the minimal amount of pieces that could get lost)

3.) Yummy Snacks!
We typically load up a cooler for the car; it saves us stopping more often, as well as spending too much at the gas station when we do stop! I have been loving Amazon lately for stocking up on snack items. It beats grocery store prices and saves me a trip to the store. You can typically find my Amazon guy delivering boxes of Vita Coco coconut water and KIND Bars (less than $1 each?! Yes, please!)!

4.) Pretty Places to Stretch your Legs!!
5 Ways to Enjoy a Road Trip
Some days we are really just having to book it but, when we can make it happen, finding a nice place to stretch your legs, even for just 5 minutes can make a huge difference! Usually before a road trip I will try to research road side attractions that are a quick in-and-out or look for any outside areas that might be nearby. Keep an eye peeled for signs too and then use your phone to see how far off the exit they might be. On this most recent trip we saw a sign for High Falls State Park and lucked out with it being not even a 5 minute drive off the highway!! We were there just long enough to get in a bathroom break and then walk around admiring the falls for a few minutes, but it gave us a chance to get out of the car and get the blood pumping again!

5.) Good Jams!
I am all about a good road trip sing along!! Babe may roll his eyes to most of my singing, but I think he secretly loves it!! I'm usually jamming to country, but sometimes we like to mix it up a little. What is are your go to tunes on the road?!

And those are 5 of the ways we pass our road trip time! 
Any tips from any other road warriors out there? 
Share them or any other fun travel posts in this month's link up! 

Link up below and let's travel together!! 
A Travel Blogger Link Up from Life's Sweet Words
~On the 2nd Tuesday of every month I will be sharing a new travel post and would love to see where you have been exploring!
~Any linked posts will be pinned under Travel Tuesday on my Pinterest account. 
~Please leave a little love on the post directly before yours and then anywhere else you like! That way we can all grow this community together :) 
~Not many other rules, as I am not a huge fan of those sorts of things! Just add any travel related link and I encourage you to peek around and see where everyone else has been. 
~Feel free to grab the image from the sidebar and add it to your post so others know where to link up. 
~I will also be sharing my favorite post from the month before. June's fave was from The Urben Life, because I am all kinds of itching to get to Yosemite NP and Jenna's pictures from her First Timer's Guide to Yosemite just spurred on my desire to get there ASAP! 

Friday, April 28, 2017

FriYAY Fun! Life Lately!

I feel like Friday has become post day for me, but hey, what can I say?! I LOVE Friday! So why not share that with the world! I'm joining in for some more 5 on Friday fun with a little peek at my world recently... 

1.) My bestie left and moved to another state and I am sad, sad, but we did get some good quality time in before she left with a stay at Disney's Swan and Dolphin. Staying there had been on my Disney bucket list, because it had been one of my grandparent's favorite resorts, not to mention one of Disney's original hotels. Though now managed through Marriott, it was still a magical Disney evening! We dined, we lounged and we soaked up every last bit of fun together that we could! 

2.) Next weekend we head towards the Florida Panhandle for a stay at Torreya State Park. We had originally planned it for last weekend, when I didn't have to work Sunday, but had to switch to this weekend. We will have a little bit of a shorter window, as we will have to leave early on Sunday for me to make it back in time, but looking forward to journeying a little further from home. Any North Florida tips on things we should do? 

3.) I have been reading Chasing Slow recently and y'all?! You NEED to read this. So, so good! I usually have a really hard time getting through anything non-fiction. I grab a devotional or inspirational, self-helpie book with the best of intentions, then I get maybe a couple pages in and can go no further. They just can't keep my interest. Chasing Slow though?! Totally different story. Maybe it's because I feel like she is speaking my kind of language; speaking about a found love for less, talking to my heart about the letting go of the fast, rat-raced "American Dream" for a slower, life-lived journey. Maybe it's her story-like, laid back writing style, but whatever it is, I can't get enough. If you find me quoting strange things soon, that's what it's from... "The thing about the American dream, about marital bliss, about any rewarding pursuit in this world, is this: it isn't a given. It's a gift. When you forget this, when you forget to handle this gift with care, you will see that the American dream isn't a dream at all. It is a nightmare, and you have been thrashing through it, your twisted sheets a noose. And you question whether you can live with the snooze button." 

"We are young and a little dumb. Mostly, we are just young enough to think we aren't dumb at all." 

"Sometimes the most holy thing we can do is to be still. To sit down and twirl the fork and eat the pasta we're given." 

Seriously you guys?! This book (on sale on Amazon right now) is a must for any of those looking to slow down and wondering if less really is more... spoiler alert: it is!! 

4.) I tried Bulletproof coffee recently and let me just say, "game changer!" I started with just the basics: grass-fed butter, coconut oil and added a little creamer and almond milk, then blended it all up. Amazing, frothy goodness!!! It really did seem to help with my mental clarity and held me off until lunch. I now add a little bit of protein powder (just a smidge) and I "bit the bullet" (pun totally intended) and bought the official Bulletproof coffee Brain Octane Oil. I will let you know if I find it to be any more "powerful" than regular Publix coconut oil. 
5.) Because it's Friday and because I am trying to be productive today and plan all our upcoming adventures and do all the things, I thought it was time for a little Sweet Journey Shop perk. You can head over to Etsy and use the code FINALLYFRIDAY for free shipping through Monday! 

Happy Adventuring All!! 
Any fun plans for your weekend?! 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Sketchy Tacos Author Interview// Meg D. Gonzalez

Happy Wednesday! 
I am super excited to have share today's post with you! 
I just got done reading Sketchy Tacos and, for a travel lover like myself, it was absolutely perfect! If you love travel and want to be "whisked away" to Mexico, you should definitely check it out. It's a lovely coming of age story about a girl named Mila, who spends a beautiful (and sometimes blunderous) summer in Mexico, learning about the culture and even more about herself. I won't give too much away, but you can get a little glimpse of what's in-store by watching the book trailer over on YouTube. One of you will also get the chance to win a digital copy of your own to read. What I am most excited about though, is today's interview with the author herself, Meg D. Gonzalez! Here is a little more about Meg and her new novel, Sketchy Tacos... 
What do you love most about writing YA travel novels?
Oh, wow! Where to begin? I guess one of the things I love most about writing YA travel novels is that to write a travel novel, you have to travel! I've been traveling internationally since I was 13, and I fell in love with it even then. Luckily, my husband has that same love of travel. We use our vacations to check out new cities and countries whenever possible. Traveling has inspired several novels (which I hope you'll see soon)!
Another thing I love most about YA travel novels, is the adventure/discovery aspect. I can't travel nearly as much as I'd like, so I turn to travel novels to vicariously go on the adventures I long to have. When you're on an international adventure--whether in life or on the page--you discover all new cultures and customs, and you get the chance to view the world in a whole new way.
And why YA? Because YA novels are awesome! Young adults are still figuring out who they are and what they want to be. There's so much potential for growth and change. That's a lot of fun to work with as a writer, and a ton of fun to experience as a reader.
What are some of your favorite places to visit?
My #1 favorite city I've ever been to is Berlin. (Book 2 of the International Adventures series will be set in Germany.) There was so much history packed into one city and it lived comfortably, side-by-side with present-day Berlin. We took a long walking tour, which was an incredible way to discover the city, and our guide said, "The Germans are very upfront with their history. They don't try to sweep it under the rug. Their attitude is: 'This happened, and we will keep it here for everyone to see. That way it cannot happen again.'" We visited back in 2013 and that quote has stuck with me ever since.
Another favorite place to visit is, of course, Mexico! It's got a rich, vibrant culture that draws you in from the start. The food is amazing. My mouth is watering just thinking of costras--my favorite kind of taco (you can get a free guide to Mexican food here). And the people... There aren't words. They burn bright. They're loud and full of life. And they welcomed me with open arms. I will never forget my year in Mexico.
How do you feel you relate to your main character, Mila?
Like Mila, I moved to Mexico without knowing enough Spanish to get by. Unlike Mila, I moved in my twenties after marrying my husband who was born and raised in Mexico. Even though I had my wonderful husband there for support, I was a lot more alone than Mila, who's constantly surrounded by her host family, because I was stayed in an empty house for 10-13 hours a day while my hubby was at work. So those feelings of loneliness she struggles with totally come from me!
Also, Mila doesn't have a lot of confidence in her body image or fashion. I totally get that. The girls in Mexico are super fashionable, and I felt like my wardrobe never quite added up no matter what the circumstances were. And so many of the girls literally never had a hair out of place. As a young woman who was still growing out her hair that falls somewhere wavy and straight and refuses to go up without a halo of frizz, this was super intimidating.
The one thing that I wish I related to? Mila's skills as an artist. I love art supplies. The colors and textures are fabulous. I have more colored pencils and crayons than I could ever use. I walk into art supply stores just to admire the brushes, paints, and canvases, but I have no skill. I get these beautiful pictures in my head but I cannot get them to appear on the page. It's utterly frustrating. So I became a painter with words. And it allowed me to have a ton of fun with Sketchy Tacos. Read it and you'll see how!

Meg D. Gonzalez Author Headshot
Who knew that one night of salsa dancing could change the course of a life? When Meg D. Gonzalez accepted Alan’s offer of a dance, she began on a journey that pulled her out of her sheltered life and into a big and beautiful world. Living in Mexico for a year showed her a rich culture and varied landscape that captured her imagination, and she just knew she had to share. Meg would love to connect! You can email her at meg (at) or connect with her on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram. Check out Meg D. Gonzalez’s new teen travel novel, Sketchy Tacos, now only $3.99 on Amazon.

Sketchy Tacos Cover Image

"Mila’s summer in Mexico is going to be perfect. She has a plan. If only life would stick to it. After facing everything from a flash flood to Moctezuma’s revenge, from a romantic date for two to a gaggle of snide girls, teenage artist Mila Gulick finds the biggest challenge comes from the war within herself. Her heart, her art, and even her safety are at risk as she struggles to find a balance between cultural differences, old assumptions, and strange romance. Will her trip end in disaster or will she find the strength for which she’s been searching?"  To get the latest updates, the first two chapters of Sketchy Tacos, and instant access to the adventurers’ and writers’ resource libraries, click here now!

Sketchy Tacos really is a beautiful story, in a vibrant setting!
I love getting to "travel", while sitting at home, with the help of a good book!
Enter the giveaway below to for the change to take a little trip to Mexico with Mila!  
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, September 2, 2016

Flamingos and Fridays and All Things YAY!

FriYay! It's Friday!! 
I love Friday! One, because HELLO WEEKEND! 
Two, because Babe as been gone all week and he comes home today! 

We have been all over the place recently, so I thought I would play a little bit of catch-up around these parts by joining in for a little 5 on Friday! We will start with the most recent first... 

~1~ With Babe gone all week I got to enjoy a healthy dose of home-aloneness! I love the man, dearly, but I also think time apart can be a good thing. A week without Babe typically looks like this: popcorn for dinner EVERY night (Whirley Pop, I LOVE you), scary-slasher film marathon (think Scream; they're my guilty, 90s-kid-at-heart pleasure), total bed-hogging, a super messy house (which I will be cleaning all day since I promised I would try to do housework), and a slumber party with my mom's pup (Babe does not approve of dogs in the bed- don't show him this picture)! Ok, so maybe not the healthiest after all (for my body anyways), but so good for my soul!! I love a little bit of time for me! Plus, it makes me appreciate him all the more... especially when a hurricane might be coming and he asks me to go outside (in the rain, while it's pitch black dark, wearing only my robe) so that I can place sandbags along the length of the french doors. Then, I asked, "well, how do I get back in?!" and he responds that, duh, I have to run to the front... cue complete downpour! Ok Babe, you can come home now!!

~2~ Before Babe left, we took off for the weekend to Rainbow Springs State Park for some river tubing (post coming soon) and I fell even more in love with sweet Freddie the Flamingo! I had originally purchased him for the kids to use on our Georgia trip, but I have since adopted him as my own (which I may or may not have had in mind the whole time)! Flamingos make the absolute best floats and here's why- perfect head rest!! Seriously, the neck of the flamingo is great for all the resting of the head! It can go behind your neck as a cradle or can be folded down behind your back to form a chair; should you wish to sit up a little more! Also, if you want to flip and lay on your stomach, you can rest your chin up on it by tucking it under. Seriously, get yourself a flamingo float! Now all we need is a River Rat for Babe! 

~3~ Babe and I have recently been big into playing games! We have an ongoing rummy game that we have been playing for years, but we have recently been throwing in some other games too. One of my favorites from childhood is SORRY! We pulled it off the shelf and started playing. Then, after the first game, we decided to make it a little more interesting and I came up with the idea for Double Sorry! It is a really neat way to put a little more thought into the game and make it last a bit longer too. Here's how you play: Instead of just having one color you choose two colors. You set them up exactly how you would regularly and begin playing. You don't actually go twice (meaning you don't go once for one color, wait for the other person to go and then go go for the other color), you still go once, but when you draw a card you can choose which color you are going to move. For example, if you were playing yellow and red and you drew a two, you could choose to take either a red piece from start or a yellow piece. Then let's say you get a 5 when you draw again, you could move a piece of the opposite color (i.e. move the red from start, but the yellow 5). The first person to get all of their pieces (of both colors) to Home wins. It adds a little bit more strategy to the game. We love it! 

Any games you love?! Either tweaked or not tweaked?! We would love some good two player game ideas! 

~4~ I just got through listening to the sweetest audio book (thank you Hoopla) for this month's book club! A Man Called Ove is a must read! I wasn't sure if I would like it or not, but my heart was so invested in sweet, grumpy old Ove and his story. He lost his wife a few months before the book takes place and all he wants in the world is to die so that he can be with her, but a rag-tag cast of neighbors, who can't seem to get by without his help, keep getting in the way of ending his life. This story pulled on my heartstrings for so many reasons, but I think a good bit of the pulling may have been because, in some ways, Ove reminded me of Babe- my own grumpy, hard-working, sees-the-world-in-black-and-white, not-so-secretly-soft-hearted, kinda-old man! I found myself dropping sweet tears many times throughout the book as I pictured what our lives might look like as we continue on this journey together. Do yourself a favor and grab a copy (or listen for free on Hoopla-all you need is a library card)! 

~5~ And now, not only is it Friday, but it's the Friday before Labor Day!! Three day weekend, please and thank you!! While we will probably be checking a lot of things off the to-do list this weekend, I am excited for an extra day to spend hanging with friends and relaxing (or doing his favorite thing... housework) with Babe! 

What are your plans for the long weekend?! 
Whatever they may be, I hope it is a wonderful one! 
Happy Friday Y'all!

Friday, May 13, 2016

5 Great Road Trip Reads!

With all the road-tripping and book-clubbing I have been doing the last few months, I have been reading like crazy! And I LOVE it!! Here are are a few reads I recommend for this summer... 

The Night Sister- Jennifer McMahon writes with an edge of darkness and The Night Sister had the added element of a supernatural feel. This book was a little spooky, so if you don't prefer the dark and scary, I would steer clear. However, if you don't mind it, then this book was great! I couldn't put it down. It centers around two different time periods, jumping back and forth between the past and present. I don't typically prefer books like that, but she did it in way that was easy to follow. It centers around two sets of sisters, their understanding of each other and a mystery that has taken generations to figure out! 

Red Queen- I didn't know this at the time it was given lent to me, but apparently Red Queen is one of the newest "in" things and I can see why! It was really good! The main character, Mare, is a teenage girl from the lower class because her blood runs red. Silver bloods are the elite, because they hold special powers and in turn run the kingdom. Eventually Mare finds herself thrown into their world and sets out on a path to turn the kingdom around and create a fair society. She finds herself town between worlds, between brothers and between the girl she was and the woman she is becoming. Definitely a great read! I am looking forward to the second book, The Glass Sword, but I have heard it is a bit of a let down, so I'm not in a rush to disappoint myself. Anyone read it and thought differently? 

True Colors- I actually read this a while ago, so it isn't super fresh, but I remember how much I loved it!! So much so that I ended up buying a copy (something I only do with books I love) and am planning to reread it and use it as my pick for book club next month. It centers around the bonds of sisterhood and how strong they can be -or how damaged they can become- when outside forces break open the bubble that they had created for themselves. We will see if I still love it as much as my memory thinks I do! 

* Even before leaving for Kenya, I had been feeling this weight of "stuff"! Just so much crap pardon my french everywhere I turned!! Since returning from Africa, the desire to purge my house and life of ALL as much of it as possibly is now even stronger! In America we just live with this need to "have"- we need this, we want that- when ultimately it ends up being something sitting on a shelf and cluttering our lives. The desire to live more with less led me to grab these off the shelf where I had tucked them and dust them off... 

Seven- A while back I told myself I was going to walk through Seven by Jen Hatmaker and really do each month of purging; getting rid of 7 things a day for a month, only eating 7 foods for a month, choosing only 7 items of cloth to interchange for a month... Well, somewhere amid the 7 things a day I got a little sidetracked and never jumped back on board. But there's not time like the present to jump back into something and so I begin anew!! Join me?! It really helps the Jen Hatmaker is a hysterical writer and a wonderful encourager! I can do this! 

The More of Less- I grabbed this book by Joshua Becker, through Blogging for Books, a while ago thinking it might come in handy if and when I convince Babe that we should pack it all in and hit the road in Flo full-time. Well, that day has not come yet, but I don't need to wait until (did you read that Babe?! UNTIL!) it does to start living more with less!! It's all about "finding the life you want under everything you own" and has great anecdotal stories, along with tips, tricks and whys, for working your way towards getting rid of some of the stuff that's bogging you down! I'm excited to read more and really start purging this house of the things it doesn't need! 

Happy Friday friends and happy reading!! 
Any awesome reads to share?