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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Monday Getaway: Friend-iversary

The other night, one of my best friends and I were talking about how fun it would be to go on a trip to Europe. We decided that after we’re older and married, we will leave our husbands for a trip and call it a “friend-iversary” of sorts.

I can’t help being excited for adventures like that to come. I also can’t help but plan outfits for such trips.

Here are some of my picks:

croatia

Fleur Dress | Round Frame Sunglasses | Bucket Bag | McKim Wedge | Valor Studs | Chimera Bangle

paris

Willow Asymmetrical Hem Dress | I Kissed a Frog Multi Clutch | Chandelier Earrings | Kitty Pumps | Chunky Chain Bracelet | Stila Shadow

siena

Pastel Skinny Ankle Jean | Translucent Stone Necklace | Elara Wedges | Colorful Mono Eyeshadow

london

Avalon Station Necklace | H&M Dress | Coach C Wire Cuff | Nina Lalita

spain

Aqua Floral Skirt | Artist Boatneck Tee | Miz Mooz Papaya | Straw Hat

Do you like the dress I picked for Paris? The short in the front, long in the back was such a popular look at my formal this past weekend!

Words of the Week: Each Moment

Last week I was in Florida and felt so relaxed and as worry free as I could possibly be (and for me, that’s saying a lot). Usually I have so much stress and anxiety over silly things, but during my vacation I was able to sit back and actually enjoy what was going on around me, what I was doing and the people I was with.

I feel as though over the past year and a half I’ve spent so much of my time rushing around. Rushing to finish that paper. Rushing to be ahead of all the work I need to do. Rushing from her to there on errands around town when I’m home. Rushing to meetings and constantly rushing to please everyone and do everything. It is seldom that I sit back and enjoy the moment that I’m in and much more likely that I’m in a rush. 

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My sister always makes fun of me when I rush before I leave the house. She says I get frantic running up and down the stairs because I forget everything. When I rush through life, it is kind of like that. Although I don’t seem constantly frantic and frazzled, I find myself forgetting to be appreciative of the moment I’m in. Forgetting to be happy and actively aware of how great that moment I’m in can be, because I’m way too busy thinking of what I’m going to do the next moment, and the one after that, and so on.

After having such a great vacation and truly realizing how important it is to value the moments and be present to them, I feel as though I need to prioritize doing that more often. I know I can’t change the way I live with a snap of my fingers, but I need to take more time to enjoy the little moments of my life and stop worrying about things ahead.

I can do this in so many ways, and so can you. Try to enjoy each moment by:

Disconnecting from the virtual world

Reading a good book

Spending time with a friend

Taking a walk (preferably on the beach)

Calling someone you love

Painting your nails

…the list goes on and on

Make this moment count before it gets away from you!

Back in the Swing of Things

Now that Spring Break is officially over (wah) I really need to get back into my normal routine.

I am someone that thrives on a normal routine, although I do try to mix it up sometimes because I don’t want to be too…pre-planned. Being too reliant on a routine is definitely not healthy, so I find it’s best to have a balance.

routine

Anyways, getting back on normal schedule can be a struggle, especially after a vacation or time off. Here are some of the best ways to go back on a routine, quickly!

  1. Write it down – write down your exact schedule, hour by hour (literally!) the night before you are going back to a normal routine. Doing this can help you keep on track as best you can. Don’t worry if you don’t follow the plan exactly, but use the written list as a guide to hit all the key things you need to do.
  2. Clear your head – the night before returning to a normal schedule, make sure you clear your mind completely. Read a book, take a bubble bath – do whatever you need to do to ensure you have a clear head and are ready to get back to work the next day.
  3. Include fun time – in your routine, be sure to include things you’re really looking forward to. I know in mine, I read every night before bed, no matter what. I really look forward to that time, since I love to read for fun. This will give you motivation to trudge through, knowing you have something to look forward to.
  4. Don’t over-schedule – especially when you’re easing back into the swing of things, you don’t want to over-plan for yourself. Make your routine as basic and simple as you can to avoid becoming overwhelmed, especially when you’re just getting back into it.
  5. Mix it up – maybe you won’t want to return to your old routine pre-vacation, and if will be exciting and fun to start something different! Mix up your regular schedule and add something new in or change the timing around. It could be invigorating!

What are your best ways to dive back into your routine after a break? What motivates you to get going again?

Vaca Favorites

I love being on vacation! It is just the best. You wait for it for so long, then when you’re finally there you just want to enjoy every minute of it. That’s kind of where I’m at right now.

Anyways, I definitely have a bunch of favorite things about vacation. A lot of them, really. But I decided to narrow it down to my top five (in no particular order):

timeHaving time – whenever I’m home and it’s a normal day, I usually feel so rushed to be doing something at all times and pressure to keep on going, going, going and to work, work, work. On vacation I feel so much more relaxed and able to just let things happen and not have to rush around and do three million things at once.

reading

Reading for fun – this is one of my favorite things of life, let alone on vacation. But, on vacation my love for reading is definitely heightened. I read so many books and love every page of them! (By the way…if you’re looking for a good author Barbara Delinsky is great!).

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Dressing for summer – this is especially great during winter vacations, where you’re so happy to get rid of sweaters, scarves, and jackets for a week. Putting on summer clothing is so freeing and easy. And, not to mention, cute!

memories

Making special memories – each vacation is filled with amazing memories that I keep forever and love looking back on.

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Spending time at the beach – the beach is my favorite place to be and is the easiest place for me to relax. It gets helps me feel like myself and is such a comfortable place to just have fun.

What are your favorite things about vacation?