Fall Reading List

How is your 2017 reading goal panning out thus far?

Mine is...well...I'm behind. Around June, I was perfectly on schedule. Then, work hours increased, and reading consistency decreased. I'm sad about it, but at the same time...the most important thing is that I'm still reading. Right?

I've picked a few books off of my TBR to compile a sort of "fall reading list." Essentially, I have four books that I want to read during the months of October and November. I thought I would share them with you today.

I have been wanting to read this for a couple of years, and I recently found a hardback copy at 2nd and Charles for about $5. This is a re-telling of One Thousand and One Nights. I started reading it today, and so far it seems like it has a lot of potential to have a good, strong, female protagonist. Why did I choose to add it to my fall list? Well, that decision has nothing to do with the story itself, and everything to do with the fact that the cover of the book is red and gold and shiny and beautiful...which reminds me of fall. 

Ah, yes...another book that I have been meaning to read for years! The Shining is actually one of the few scary movies that I really enjoy, so I definitely want to see how the book compares. This will also be my first Stephen King read, and before my Grandpa passed away, he always encouraged me to pick up some Stephen King. The timing seems perfect, as Halloween is just around the corner. 

I know this is going to be the type of book that goes one of two ways...I'm either going to love it, or I'm going to hate it. I'm a sucker for anything set in the time period of World War II, and this sounds like it's going to be a very unique story for that time period. It also seems like it's going to have a lot of family aspects, which I appreciate. I think a good portion of this book takes place during the summer, so....not quite sure why it's on my fall list. I'll figure that out later. 

As difficult as it is to do so, it's time to move a couple of feet away from the glory that is Harry Potter, and give one of Rowling's other works a shot. This is a crime fiction novel, which just seems very appropriate for this time of year. I think it's going to be very interesting, and I'm excited to see how it reads.

What's on your fall reading list?


5 New Experiences I Had in Year 27

If you don't know me in real life (or if you don't follow me on Instagram), then you probably don't know that I celebrated my birthday last week. I turned 28 on September 27th. *Insert whiny sentence about getting older here.* September was a crazy busy month, so I didn't get to do much in the way of celebration. However, it was still a great day full of well wishes and love from my friends and family. 

I thought I would reflect on my most recent year of life by sharing 5 new experiences that I had in my 27th year. Let's go! 

1. I found a family. (Well, more like extended my existing family.)
I met, and fell in love with Slade. He already had our cat Rizzo, and then we adopted our dog Bell last December. Those three are my family. I love coming home to them every day, and knowing that they are in my life brings a comfort like no other. 

2. I finally went to Hogwarts. 
Back in March, I took my first ever trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It was awesome to finally get an interactive experience of the Harry Potter universe. I loved it all...especially the frozen Butterbeer. 

3. I took a road trip to Nashville. 
For vacation this year, Slade and I went on a road trip to Tennessee, then back through Alabama and Georgia. Nashville and Birmingham were super fun to explore. Can you really ask for anything more than great travel and good food? 

4. I joined a gym. 
After falling out of my at-home workout routine, I finally decided to give myself a new level of accountability by getting a gym membership. I never thought I would be one of those people who actually kind of like going to the gym. But, here we are. I don't always go as much as I should, however, I think the most important thing is that I am going. 

5. I pretty much started a side businees. 
In June, I started teaching with VIPKID. I was in need of some extra money, and had a TEFL certification that was going to waste, so I decided to do something about it. VIPKID is an awesome company that gives me free reign to work when I want, and how I want. I'm an independent contractor with them, so I'm essentially the product that my students are paying for. I'm in love with teaching these kids, and the schedule works perfectly around my full-time job schedule. 

27 was definitely my best year of life thus far. I know 28 is going to be even better! 

What are some new things you have experienced this past year? Have you celebrated a birthday recently? 


A Long Overdue Life Update

July 24, 2017: the date of my last blog post.

September 21, 2017: Today, aka as the day that I decided it was time to make an appearance on my own blog.

There's no one reason for my absence. I would say it's just a combination of working two jobs, and still trying to balance all other aspects of my life. I love blogging, but sometimes it just has to take a back seat for friendships and family and relationships...or just for a rare nap. September has also been an incredibly insane month.

Here are some things that have been going on in my world over the past couple of months!

//Slade accepted an offer for a new job! He's been out of town for the past month training in a different location, so it's just been Bell and I holding down the fort. We're more than ready for him to come home.

//I've established a pretty full teaching schedule with VIPKid. I teach from 5am-8am before I head off to my full-time job, and I also teach about 10 hours during the weekends. I LOVE this job. I have some adorable students, and there's something completely awesome about knowing that I'm interacting with these Chinese students across the world.

//Hurricane Irma blew through Florida earlier this month. It certainly shook things up for a couple of weeks, and I feel like the state is just now beginning to work its way back to "normal." My family, my friends, and I, were all very lucky! No one had any major damage, and most people had power back within in a week or so. Hurricanes are always scary endeavors...everyone is frantically trying to prepare their home and evacuate, and people become animals when it comes to everyday necessities such as gas and water. Bell had a grand old time in the post-hurricane mud though. In the picture above she was drying off after we had to give her an impromptu bath.

//One of my best friends got married! I have known Liz since first grade, and yesterday I was lucky enough to be the maid of honor in her wedding. It was held at the most beautiful venue, and I don't think anyone could have asked for a better day. The weather was awesome, and everything was 100% perfect. It's so awesome to see friends happy!

My birthday is coming up next week! I will be turning 28 on September 27th. Slade and I will also celebrate our one-year dating anniversary on September 29th, AND Bell turns one-year-old on September 29th as well. So much happens around this time of the year!

I'm going to make a personal goal to write one blog post a week. One post is super doable, and I think if I just post at random instead of making myself commit to a specific day, it will be much more likely to happen.

What have you been up to lately? Tell me about all things new and exciting!


3 Things to Treat Yourself to This Summer {Featuring Warby Parker}

Why yes, I did disappear for an entire week without warning. The flu is a sneaky, sneaky snake. Last weekend was spent on the couch with body aches, a blocked nose, a cough, a fever, and all of the loveliness that comes with those things. It took several days for me to begin feeling normal again. But alas, here I am.

That is out of the way...now let's talk about something more pleasant. As an adult who works two jobs, I often find the summer months a bit depressing. (I'm aware, that doesn't sound pleasant, but stick with me.) You know how it goes...you open up the ol' Facebook or Instagram, and you're slapped in the face by vacation updates and travel photos and general fun in the sun that others have posted. All the while, you're sitting at your desk because money and vacation time are sparse.

Sometimes, you just have to say no to summer trips and shenanigans. Sometimes money has to be saved, and those paid days off have to be used towards other obligations...such as fall wedding season, ha ha. However, this doesn't mean that you can't fit in a bit of summer fun between your responsibilities. Here are some small things you can do to treat yourself amidst a long, hot work week.

1. Have a relaxing day off.
A 24-hour time period can be more than enough to relax. Instead of sitting in front of the TV on your rare day off, go do something that is going to rejuvenate you. Have a spa day. Drive to the coast or to the lake. Go on a mini adventure with your significant other or your BFF. Do something that is out of the norm for you. You'll be glad that you did!

2. Try something new and yummy.
Summer is a time for cold, delicious treats. Ice cream, of course, is a given on any summer day. But, if you really want to treat yourself, go for something that is a bit more exciting. Maybe you want to try your own recipe? Maybe there's a new place in town you've been meaning to hit up? Whatever it is, make sure it's something that is a rare treat...such as the edible cookie dough pictured above!

3. Buy yourself a pair of quality sunglasses.
If I had to choose one summer MUST-HAVE (besides sunblock), it would be sunglasses. The summer sun is no joke, even if you are just back and forth in your everyday life. Investing in some good sunglasses is awesome for a couple of reasons...they protect your eyes from harmful rays, and...they're cute! Throw them on while you're driving to work, and you'll feel like a new person.

Warby Parker just released their newest collection called the Sculpted Series. These glasses are made in Italy, and they have two layers that create a really cool dimension. My favorite style is the Stella, which is pictured above. They are such a beautiful neutral color, and they almost have a retro look to them, which would make them a perfect accessory to add interest to any summer work outfit.

Warby Parker's glasses (both sunglasses and eyeglasses) are super unique, and you can tell how much care goes into each item that they craft. They also partner with non-profit organizations in order to provide glasses to those who need them, but cannot afford them. When you purchase a pair, they donate a pair. This helps to ensure that people everywhere have the means to read, learn, and grow.

These sunglasses will make you feel great about yourself, but they will also make you feel great about helping others. Click here to check out their new sculpted series.

How do you treat yourself when you're in the middle of a work-filled summer? Tell me in the comments below!
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