Books on my Shelf: Vaca Reads

I was on vacation in Aruba last week (the best!) and I was so happy to have so much time to read. Reading is one of my favorite things ever, especially on vacation.

I got to read so many great books and have some awesome recommendations for your summer reading list!

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Here is exactly what I read, what I thought, in the order that I read them:

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This was a great mystery and suspense read. I’ve read a ton of Lisa Scottoline books and loved them all. This one was different from her crime and mystery books because instead of being about a lawyer, it focuses on a judge. This took barely any time to really get into the story and was all around worth reading. Very suspenseful!

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Sophie Kinsella’s books are always so funny. She has such an easy way of writing and telling a story that I can never put her books down. I loved the characters in this book and the story that developed around them. This book was a little bit predictable – but in a good way. You love what you know is going to happen next and can’t stop reading to ensure that it does. It’s that kind of story.

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Wow. I loved this book. I was a little bit weary of it because it didn’t get amazing reviews on Good Reads. It was reviewed to be more…average. But, I think those reviews were oh-so-wrong. I loved this story and seriously could not put it down! I loved escaping to the Nantucket island where this book took place and getting lost in the minds of the characters. I really loved how it was set in all of their voices rather than just one characters. Definitely a fast paced book and a perfect summer read.

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Nicholas Sparks always writes a good story and this is no exception. I will but a warning that this is an emotional read. It definitely had me going. I don’t want to give up too much – but have tissues nearby! Totally worth reading.

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At first I was really skeptical about this book. The story line of it seemed really weird. But, I have to say it turned out to be an amazing tale. It was even educational and eye-opening. I loved the way the female took on a different and unique role in the novel and thought all of the characters and problems surrounding them were developed really well. This book did a great way of dealing with a real-world issue (that doesn’t get nearly enough attention) in a touching fictional light. I can’t wait to read more Kristin Hannah books!

What have been your favorite reads so far this summer?

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The Best {Summer Playlist}

I am in full summer mode.

I may not be a little kid anymore, but who doesn’t love a little summer vaca? A little sun, sand, and relaxation? What girl doesn’t love kicking back with a good book and fruity cocktail in hand?  {I know I do}

Anyways, I have been loving my summer playlists. There are just so many great summer tunes out there that I cannot resist them, especially when the weather is nice and the sun is shining.

Here are my favorites summer beats. Sunglasses on, radio up…oh yeah, it’s summer.

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Books on my Shelf: Picoult Oldie but Goodie

Now that it’s summertime, I’ve been trying to read as much as I can. Between the beach, the boat, sitting on the deck, and vacation…it’s hands-down the best time to read.

Anyways, I just finished an old Jodi Picoult book that I’d never read. Second Glance started out weird but ended up being oh-so-good. And intriguing. And weird…in a good way.

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I’m someone that loves weird, strange, and slightly creepy stories. This was right up my alley.

I will say that it starts out a little slow and confusing. It’s not an initial hook like many of Picoult’s other reads. But, it’s more than worth trudging through the slow beginning to get to the fast-paced, suspenseful, I-can’t-put-this-down middle and end.

One of the most interesting things about this book is that the middle section is a major flashback. Without giving too much away, this book is unique in the way it spans across time, which makes the story super cool.

This is a great summer read if you’re into mysteries and suspense.

Ways to Welcome {Summer}

The weather has finally turned and it’s time to get your tan on, soak up the rays, attend and host barbecues, and head out on the boat. It’s SUMMER.

My favorite season by far, it exudes warmth and fun, fun, FUN. It’s an understatement to say I am happy about the season finally being here. I feel like we suffered in the cold for way, way too long this winter (um, goodbye to a blizzard named Nemo).

Anyways, there are so many ways to celebrate summer’s arrival! Here are some of my favorites:

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Barefoot by Elin Hilderbrand | Pure Paradise Body Wash | What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty | South of the Border Bon Shopper | Essie Summer 2013 Collection

  1. Incorporate citrus! – Citrus is without a doubt the flavor of the season, so bring it into your life in one way or another. You can try baking a citrusy recipe (lemon bars, anyone?) or even just adding it to your cooking or drinks. I personally love lime.
  2. Switch your handbag (and all your accessories!) – Switch out your handbag to a more summer-friendly option. I know that in the winter I tend to stick to black, while in the summer I love using my bright pink JPK bag and fun green Longchamp.
  3. Change your scent – summer comes with a whole new pallette of scents – so take advantage of them! Switch your body wash, lotion, and perfume to something that you love and that reminds you of summer!
  4. Paint your nails – every occasion calls for a perfect nail color, so why not paint yours in a festive summer color? There are so many great ones out there that really make a statement!
  5. Stock up on beach reads – go to Barnes & Noble and stock up on some fabulous summer reading books! There are so many to choose from and this is one of my favorite things about the summer.

What are you doing to welcome summer?

Preppy Product: J.Crew Chino Shorts

Summer is here and it’s shorts season! Hip hip hooray!

I have an addiction to shorts. A big one. I have an unspeakable number of shorts in my drawers…it’s kind of a problem.

Anyways, my favorite shorts come from J. Crew, hands down. They’ve been my favorite for a while. They fit great, are great quality, and best of all – come in a ton of colors and patterns. They’re all-around perfect.

Here are some of my factory favorites this season:

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Chinos | Oxford Chino Short | Dotted Chambray Short | Scalloped Eyelet Short | Seersucker Short | Summer Plaid Short

What are your favorite summer shorts?

Watermelon Crawl: Pink and Green

What could be more preppy than the color combination of pink and green? I’m gonna go with…just about nothing.

Not only is pink and green the epitome of preppy, though, it’s also super adorable. And great for summer. And, pretty much, every other time of the year.

That being said, there are tons of great pink and green products out there right now just waiting to be purchased, used, worn, and shown off.

Here are some of my favorites:

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Flatiron Nylon Maryanne | Cora Dress | Double Wrap Bracelet | Woven Chevron Pillow | Ahoy Matey Maybook | Custom Jacks | Oxford Chino Shorts | Tiny Bits Clutch | Daisy Daisy Bracelet

Keep in mind this is a great color combo not only to use in clothes and accessories, but also when it comes to decorating, buying stationery, wrapping a gift, and so on. You can never go wrong with a little pink and green!

Organizing & Storing your Winter Clothes

Since summer is officially well on it’s way, it’s time to put away all those sweaters, scarves, jackets, and winter clothing. This can be a daunting task. For sure. I mean, I know that I have so many clothes that it’s hard to even know where to start. There are moments during this process that I simply want to throw everything into a bin and put it in the basement. But, I’ve definitely learned that ends up being more of a hassle in the long-run.
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Organizing your winter clothing nicely, neatly, and precisely at the end of the season makes things much easier next winter. All in all, it just makes your entire life (and wardrobe!) more organized. Here is how to do it in a cinch:
1. Utilize labels and a key – label every bin or container you use to store these clothes. It will make things 100% easier. Label things such as “accessories”, “bottoms”, “sweaters”, and “jackets” in order to find things easily the next winter. You can write these things on labels, use a color coding system (with a key in Excel), or make big, cardstock sheets that you put inside the bins but are visible from the outside, see here.
2. Separate – Like I said, everything should be in it’s own spot, separated by category. It just makes sense to put the pants with the pants, the sweaters with the sweaters, and so on. This way, you don’t have a random mod podge of clothing and you know where each item is.
3. Fold and colorize – don’t just throw things in a bin like I know we’re all tempted to do (at times). Instead, fold everything nicely, and colorize items within clothing sub-categories. This way, if you randomly have to look for that gray cableknit sweater, you’ll know exactly where to find it and be able to locate it without rifling through every other sweater and ruining your system.
4. Sort out old stuff – if you didn’t wear something all winter, don’t pack it away! Get rid of it! Donate it to Goodwill or a clothing bin because if you haven’t worn it all season, odds are it’s just taking up space. Why hoard it for another year if it’s not a piece you’ll even wear?
5. Keep your stuff separate – make sure to return anything borrowed that you may have at this point to its rightful owner rather than packing it away with your stuff. Additionally, don’t mix your items with anyone else’s in your family. It just makes finding things much easier in the long run, trust me!
Organizing can definitely be an annnoying task that seems totally annoying. But following these tips makes it an easier process that you’ll be glad you did next winter when you switch over your wardrobe!