Wednesday, May 28, 2014


Digging this song - it's one of those that makes you want to jump up and down while you sing!  Try it. I won't tell anyone! :)  Happy Wednesday.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

5 Star Book Recommendations

I love to read.  I love to bond with the characters in a book and get lost in their world.  It sucks when you are reading a bad book.  Yes, there I said it and can't take it back.  BUT a good or great book - the kind that you savor and don't want to end.  Well, that is a thing to be shared always and forever.  Below is a list of some of my favorite five-star books:

1) The Art of Hearing Heartbeats - This book had me from the first page literally.  It was a different kind of love story and reminded me a bit of "Eat, Pray, Love."

2) Rules of Civility - A dear friend in NYC gave me this book for Christmas.  She said it was her favorite book EVER.  I understand why.  It has lovely characters with NYC as the backdrop.  What's not to love?

3) The Book Thief - This book is amazing and such a different perspective on Nazi Germany.
4) The Bone Season - The best description for this book is Harry Potter meets Hunger Games.  It's magical and futuristic.  I LOVED this book.  It's part of  a series!

5) The Great Gatspy - I reread this book before I went to the see the movie a few years ago.  I forgot how great a book it is!  It's definitely worth reading every few years!
6) The Lost Art of Mixing - This book was a lovely tale of how different people's lives are intertwined in a small community.

7) The Help - I mean what's not to love about this book, right?
8) Terrorists At The Bus Stop - It's a great mystery thriller with Charleston as the backdrop.  I can't wait for his next book...but I am a bit bias as it's my dad's first book.
9) Night Circus - I love when a dear friend recommends either a great book or music.  This is such a sweet novel thus making the 5 star book recommendation list!
10) The Light Between Oceans - This is one of those sweet books that pulls you in from the first page.  And because I do not know how to lie, it made me donkey cry happy tears in the end!

11) The Mime Order - This is a much awaited sequel to The Bone Season.  It did not disappoint.  Can't wait for the third book.
12) A Well-Tempered Heart - This too is an amazing sequel to The Art of Hearing Heartbeats with such a sweet ending!
13) Wreckage by Emily Bleeker - I absolutely LOVED this book from the first page.  I gave it to a friend to read and she's carrying it in the car in case she can read it at a stop's THAT good!  This book makes my top 3 favorite books in 2015 list!

14) The Storied Life Of A.J. Fikry - Oh boy!  I can't say enough about this book.  It's a gem start to finish
15) Black Irish

16) We Never Asked for Wings

17) Our Souls At Night - Oh this book tells an unconventional story and get your attention from the first chapter!

18) Overseas - This book is one of my three favorites in 2015.  I didn't want it to end.

19) The Secret - A friend recommended this book years ago to me.  For some reason, I never read it.   I was looking for a book to download on a recent road trip and decided on this one.  Sidebar: First time I ever downloaded a book for road trip - can you say AMAZING? I've been practicing this notion of "manifesting the life you want" for years....but this book took it to a new level for me. And can you say perfect timing as the new year is on horizon?  This book also makes my top 3 favorite books in 2015!

20) Love Does - A dear friend gave me this book for Christmas!  It's a gem of a book.  Great way to approach life too!

21) Same Kind of Different As Me - Pure <3 for this one!

22) Along the Infinite Sea - This is the third book I had read by 
Beatriz Williams.  Her book Overseas was one of my favorite reads in 2015.  This book is a gem from the first page!  

23) When I'm Gone - Oh this book is a winner!  For those just catching up, 'Wreckage" by Emily Bleeker was one of my favorite books that I read in 2015 (and I read quite a bit).  This gem just came out.  The storyline and character build are AMAZING!  I found myself happy crying in the last few pages.
24) Just Fall - You wanna know a secret? Well not so secret in 2 seconds!  I LOVE book stores.  There is something very different and amazing about lolly gagging around a good old fashion book store.  I found THIS gem in B&N.  It was amazing start to finish!

I will keep adding to this list so check back.  What are some of YOUR favorite books EVER?

Roasted New Potatoes

I am trying THIS new recipe on for roasted new potatoes.  In addition to what's on their recipe, I added capers and parmesan cheese.  Here is the after picture:

Can you say YUMMY?

No Drought

Happy Tuesday!  I'm on a little stay-cation this week (which often means a bit more blogging then normal). Anyway, I've been outdoors as much as possible in the last few weeks - SUPing, biking, walking and running.  Next up: Beach yoga and SUP yoga.  Am beyond thrilled to try both of these! {Read: Like a five year old at Christmas kind of excited!}

As a result of working out outside and on the water so much lately, I've noticed that my skin and hair are a bit dry.  Enter stage right --> No Drought Dry Shampoo!  This product is simply fabulous!  My hair feels clean afterwards and smells better with the grapefruit and lime scent.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Artist of the Week: Brendan James Simplify Album

I am blessed in many ways...but I thank the heavens above daily for my amazing family and friends. Today, one of my college roommates posted on my Facebook wall saying that I should check out Brendan James' new album called Simplify which can be found HERE.  She went on to say that his music was inspired by James Taylor and Carlie Simon.  Sounds good, right?  And if that wasn't enough of a glowing review, another dear friend posted: "I agree w/ J.  He is fabulous."  So what did I do?  Download the album immediately!  It's been on repeat (because that's what I do) all day!  And I have to say, the album is amazing!  I highly recommend it.  The video Simplify on his website is also just magical.  His music is just soulful.   I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Thank you J & P for recommending his new album!!  I am a lucky girl to have friends like you!!

Happy Monday y'all!!


Update: Brendan James is touring this fall.  He does house shows and wants to do one in Wilmington, NC.  You can read his interview HERE!

Do you like music?  Do you want to be a part of a magical evening with cool folks and soulful music? If so, reply below.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Favorite Summer Things

Hello there!  Happy Sunday!  Below are a few of my favorite Summer things:

1) JR Watkins lemon spray - I love, love, love anything with a citrus smell and this just makes my entire apartment smell lovely!!

2) Bumble & Bumble mousse - I have thick hair that fortunately for me is very healthy (I know who complains about that, right).  Anyway, my hairdresser recently recommended this mousse to give my hair "a bit of grit" as she said to hold curl better.  I am seriously digging it!

3) All things No.7 - read THIS BLOG to learn more about it!  I swear I can tell a difference after 2 weeks.  I can only imagine the difference after 4 weeks.  And if you can't afford the serum, day cream and night cream which is $64.99 for the set, then just get the serum and apply it under your sunscreen.
4) Light blue perfume - It's a fabulous light scent for the summer!  Light Blue by D&G has been a staple for me for YEARS!!!  Love, love, love it!!

5) Fold up beach/ picnic mat - I am beyond obsessed with these things!  They are great for a day at the beach or a picnic AND it can easily be cleaned!!!  I found this one at Target but bought mine at Bed, Bath & Beyond a few years ago!!

6) Cover Girl Lash Blast mascara - I've tried other mascaras but always go back to this one.  And the true test -> I put it on one eye and compare the difference (obviously I eventually put it on the 2nd eye).

7) I've been searching for the PERFECT red lipstick.  Lo and behold, I found something even
better -->L'oreal Infallible Le Gloss red fatale.  It's actually better because it's a lip gloss which I like better and it's 8 hour (yes, I know).   I have to say that it's FANTASTIC!

What are some of your favorite Summer things?  (I mean besides Kool-aid - that is on everyone's list, right?) :0

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Every one of us knows fear

Below is yet another quote from this fabulous book I am reading:

"Every one of us knows fear.  So well!  It encircles us like flies around ox dung.  It puts animal to flight.  They bolt and run or fly or swim until they believe themselves safe or until they keel over dead from exhaustion.  Humans are no wiser.  We see that there is no place on earth where we can hide from fear, yet still we attempt to find one.  We strive for wealth and power.  We abandon ourselves to the illusion that we are stronger than fear.  We try to rule - over our children and our wives, over our neighbors and our friends. Ambition and fear have something in common: neither knows any limits.  But with power and wealth it just as with opium I sampled more than once in my youth - neither keeps its promises.  Opium never brought me eternal happiness.  It only demanded more and more of me.  Money and power do not vanquish fear.  There is only one force more powerful then fear."

Read that a second time - go and do it!  It's got a TON of good nuggets in it!  HERE is the first quote I posted from this lovely book.

No. 7

So, did you get the memo that I am living at the beach?  If not, you may be living under a rock (or not really following me on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook)!  :0

Anyway, as the weather gets warmer, I've noticed that my skin and hair is really dry which is new for me.  And as a true digital geek, I did tons of research online about inexpensive, but effective face products that are super hydrating.  Ultimately, I decided to try No. 7 face products (which are exclusively sold at Target).  Initially, I decided to buy a three pack of products that included a daily serum, day cream and night cream (retail is $59.99).  Below is a pic:

After 10 days, I am hooked honestly.  My face is so much more hydrated AND more importantly I can see the difference already.  Anyway, I actually sold a lady on No. 7 in aisle tonight (as I was buying a daily facial wash and mask by No. 7).  Yep, that seriously happened.  I told her my story and gave a glowing endorsement for the products.  Below are pics of what I bought tonight:

I would HIGHLY recommend the No. 7 products.  Question - do you have any hydrating products you like for your body and/ or hair?  Please - do tell!

Monday, May 5, 2014