I've been documenting our annual cruises here on the blog since 2015! We love to go as a family, especially because everyone can do their own thing but we are still together. Because of the pandemic, we haven't been on a cruise in a couple of years - so getting back to it felt extra special! Plus, besides my core family we had a few family friends join which made it so fun! 
In an attempt to get these posts up more often, this Recent Reads post isn't as long. However, maybe that's easier for you to consume anyway. Enjoy and leave a comment below with what you've been reading lately! 
While I don't think I can choose a favorite part of our UK trip, Port Isaac might be it. I can't describe the charming beauty of this place! It's so photogenic, and we loved walking around taking it all in. My favorite day included doing the cliff walk (which was fairly arduous and muddy!), followed by a pint of beer at The Golden Lion, and eating *fresh* lobster at The Mote restaurant right on the water. It's just gorgeous and quaint. 
Sunday
Run - 2 Miles - 219 Calories
Let's talk running! I decided to start from scratch and do the C25K program from the very beginning. I figured it can't hurt to get back to basics and build up to running a full 5K. Then I'll build off that towards my Half Marathon next April. Today was Week 2, Day 2. Love the C25K app for this. It has the plan already built in and will ding when it's time to run and when it's time to walk. 
I thought it'd be a fun prompt to go down memory lane today and talk about childhood books! Reading has always been a huge part of my identity and I think reading great books when I was younger totally spurred that on. These were a few series I loved as a kid:
On our drive from London to Cornwall, we stopped by the neatest place! Stonehenge was on our list of to-dos, but a co worker recommended visiting Avebury instead. This is the largest Neolithic stone circles in Britain, and it's nestled in the sweetest little village. It was a great place to stretch our legs and explore. We loved chatting with the workers at the coffee shop, and definitely enjoyed a pint at The Red Lion Pub!
Going to try a slightly different format with todays recent reads post! These posts usually take me a long time to put together because I read so much, so I'm going to attempt to do some quick recaps and one sentence style reviews. Let me know what you think, or if you prefer the more detailed format. (By the way guys! This is post 21! You've got so many book recommendations under this tag! And of course you can follow along on Goodreads.)
Admittedly, I wasn't all that excited about visiting London when we were planning this trip. Cities aren't really my thing, and I definitely get more excited about visiting nature. But, boy, I did not expect to enjoy London so much! I was excepting a New York City, but it felt more like Chicago...like the colors and the cleanliness. Chicago, but obviously much more historical and old! Maybe if you've visited both cities you know what I mean. 
Unfortunately, we ended up sick after our Europe trip! It was awful. My doctor said it was just a terrible upper respiratory thing, but I also ended up with an ear and eye infection on top of it. I really can't remember a time being that sick in my entire life. While, we both felt terrible, it was actually kind of nice to be forced to chill at home for a week+ after traveling. I know our pugs loved having us on the couch!
Because we didn't want to rent a car while we were in Ireland, we were so happy to find a bus tour that would take us outside of Dublin! This is the tour we chose, and we all highly recommend it. (Plus there is cash back if you use Rakuten!) The tour was all day. It took us to the Cliffs of Moher, a pub for lunch, a really neat seaside stop that has some unique rocks, and then into Galway - and of course back to Dublin. 
We are now Home Sweet Home after an amazing few weeks in Ireland and England! I have so much to share, but figured I start here. Here's a few photos from a great day in Dublin! We joined a tour of the Jameson Distillery and then we walked over to the Guinness Factory for another great tour, and lots of free samples.
If you would have told me in the past that Blake and I would become coffee drinkers, I'd be so shocked! Neither of us picked up coffee drinking in our adult lives for the longest time. I can tell you the exact  time I first drank a coffee and enjoyed it. I'll remember that day vividly, ha! One day I was babysitting my nephew when he was a toddler, and I decided to take him downtown and go to the Museum of Natural History here in Tallahassee. My brother came with me for some of the morning, and he wanted to stop by a local coffee shop called Lucky Goat. He felt like he knew I would enjoy their signature iced coffee, and ordered me one. I have to say, either I was desperate for caffeine that day, or it was pretty great. 
One of my favorite things to share are new favorite things! Here's a couple things I've purchased in the last month, and thought were worth sharing!
Lunch is something I struggle with. We rarely have leftovers, and while I love peanut butter sandwiches...sometimes that get's old. Just as I was trying to get some inspiration for lunch ideas, my sister sent me this chicken salad recipe. 
We've had our Our Place Always Pan and Perfect Pot for a few months now, and we are still LOVING them. They are such great pieces of cookware and absolutely live up to the hype. I reviewed both of those a few months ago when we got them. Since then, we've added two more pieces to our collection! 
Happy mail day! It's the day I got my Grove Collaborative order! If cleaning supplies make you happy, this post is for you.

If you are new to Grove Collaborative, you can get a bunch of free stuff with your first order when you use my link to sign up. AND p.s. Rakuten has a really good cash back perk for Grove! If you don't have a Rakuten account, I also have a referral link for that which gets you $30 right off the bat. I'm always looking for free money! 

Peloton Barre Classes
I'm a firm believer that you need to enjoy your workouts! Exercise should not be torture. Recently, I've been doing the barre classes on the Peloton app, and LOVING them. I've done a few Pure barre classes in the past so I knew it was a tough workout. These Peloton classes are so great. I actually love all of the Peloton classes. The bike rides are awesome of course, but we actually use the strength category far more often. 
Have I given up on my Bookstagram? Maybe. Eek, it's been so long since I've made a post there or here on the blog with a book review! It all started because I sort of got into a reading slump with a bunch of super lame reads. So I'm trying to catch up a little bit here, but I have to say I still only have just a handful of 'good' books to recommend. 

If it's one thing I love, it's a great BIG salad! Especially in the summer. There is nothing better than some fresh veggies and not heating up your kitchen this time of year. We have a few go to recipes - but we tried two new salad recipes this past week and they are worth a share!
Guest Room
Preparing for a weekend this summer when we were going to have back to back guests in a single weekend, I realized that I was not prepared on the linen front! The guest room was ready to go, but the extra sheets I had for our air mattress were despicable. I grabbed some fresh sheets from Target, and fell in love with this pale green quilt while I was there. I still love the colorful Vera Bradley quilt set I originally bought for this room, but thought I'd use the green set as we go into fall and winter. 
Coming at you on a 90 degree day, with fall on the brain! We still have weeks and weeks of summer left here, but that hasn't stopped me from bringing out all the fall scents for my diffuser. Actually, coming up here really soon, Blake and I are going to be finally going on our Europe trip! And we will most likely get some real fall weather there.


As I declutter my closet and take inventory, I have formulated a tiny wish list for the next season. 
Well it's been a hot minute since I've done a Grove haul! Although I still get orders most months, this one made me particularly happy, so I thought I'd share what we received. 

If you are new to Grove Collaborative, you can get a bunch of free stuff with your first order when you use my link to sign up. AND p.s. Rakuten has a really good cash back perk for Grove! If you don't have a Rakuten account, I also have a referral link for that which gets you $30 right off the bat. I'm always looking for free money! 
One | Disney!
My mom, sister, and I took my nephews to Disney for a couple of days! It's been so long since I've done the parks, I felt super rusty! We live an extra hour away now, so it's not likely we will become passholders again.
My younger brother and his wife live in Brooklyn, and are going to be moving out of the city soon. So, when my mom offered me a BOGO plane ticket for a quick weekend up to see them I couldn't say no! Who knows the next time we will be in the city, so we really hit as many sites as we could in a super short time.
In June of last year, Blake and I had a great weekend getaway in Apalachicola. We were on the cusp of a whole new life! He would be starting his new job in just a few weeks and we had just picked out a new place to live. To be a year out from that is so crazy cool! So much has happened and yet it feels like there is no way it's been a year already.

Revive really hit it out of the park with their summer essential oil box this year! I really liked last summers box, and you can see my review of all the boxes I've received under the essential oils tab
(I skipped this spring box this year, because I knew there would be a lot of floral oils and that's just not my thing.)
Just popping in to say you should head over to Instagram! I'm hosting a little giveaway as a thank you for all the support I've gotten with my small Etsy business. Hurry over and enter
For our annual beach vacation in West Palm, I picked up a couple of new things from Marley Lilly and they are too good not to share!

Listening To | Office Ladies Podcast
Ok, I've just been eating this up! Recently, I saw Jenna Fisher and Angela Kinsey promoting their new book, and they mentioned they've been doing a podcast about The Office. I must have been living under a rock, but I've just been devouring each episode! Obviously, I love The Office, but it's also really fun to listen to them as such good friends.
Just popping in today to tell you to go buy this dress from J Crew Factory! It's perfection. A blue and white dress in my closet is not exactly groundbreaking news, but this one is really great. I wore it right away and it got multiple compliments. Perfect for summer, and easy to dress up or down for so many occasions. AKA the perfect dress! 
It's been 2 years since my last update! My Etsy shop officially opened in 2018 with some digital downloads, but I really started putting effort into it in 2020 shortly after the pandemic began. It was sort of easy to put a lot of time into my shop during the pandemic, because we all had a little extra time on our hands. I've learned so so much during the past two years though! 



Since moving into our new home last August, we've had to do very little! That's such a change for us, because the home we owned for a decade was SUCH a money pit when it came to updates and maintenance. That's the difference between a house built in the 1950s and one that's just a year old. It's been a blessing for sure. We did put in a backsplash, but that's about it! 
Well, I'm officially over the one month mark of doing WW (aka Weight Watchers)! I should add, this is my 2nd time doing it. I was super successful with the program in 2019, but after I got my wisdom teeth out I fell off the wagon so to speak. My surgery was difficult and I had a very long recovery due to a fluke infection. I found myself just trying to eat as much as possible because the medicine was making me so sick! And, 2019 rolled into 2020 and we all know how that went.
Are you really even a grown up if getting a new vacuum cleaner wasn't the highlight of your entire month?! It might be lame, but it's me. We recently bought a new vacuum cleaner after our Dyson literally fell apart in my hands. I'll be honest we are really hard on our vacuums. #PugLife. After it fell apart, Blake admitted the Dyson was making this shrill noise for months that he couldn't stand and I apparently couldn't hear. 

As a Floridan, I can tell you we can never have too many swimsuits! Between our neighborhood pool, our proximity to the beach, annual vacations, and friends who live near the river - we are always putting some wear and tear on our bathing suits! I try, but I can never get more than 2-3 years out of a suit. This year, I definitely needed a few new swimsuits, and I'm really happy with what I got!
Ok, but are you even a blogger if you don't have an Always Pan?! This might one of the most influencer promoted items on my social media feeds! And, well, call me influenced. 😂 Actually, I first purchased an Always pan last May - except it wasn't for me. I bought it for my brother and sister in law as an anniversary gift. I really wanted one myself, but for some reason it was easier to buy one for someone else. 
Forever a fan of drugstore (and affordable!) beauty products, I wanted to try something new as I saw my makeup bag dwindling in product. When it came time to replenish some of my makeup, I wanted to replace them with some 'cleaner' options. It's a little embarrassing how much research I did on this stuff, but after some time, I settled on trying Honest Beauty!
Living my best life with our neighborhood pool being just across the street from our new house. It's glorious and easy to sneak over to every week. I've been keeping a beach bag packed in our front coat closet, just to be able to grab and go.
I'll be honest, I haven't really felt like blogging recently! I'm sure you probably already noticed that I haven't posted in awhile. But, just when I started to wonder if I'd ever post again, I got the itch to blog. So, just hang in there with me and enjoy this little photo dump of the last month or so.



The Rose Code by Kate Quinn

Basically: It's 1940 and Osla, Beth, & Mab are three very different women who have come to Bletchly Park to work as code breakers trying to intercept German messages.
Then, 7 years later, these women are no longer friends. But, they have to come together to break one last code.
The Gate River Run is a Jacksonville 15k that I've been hoping to do for years! I was so excited to check this race off my bucket list this past weekend. It had a HUGE turnout and truly a unique course. Challenging to say the least. The last mile includes a very steep bridge over the St Johns River. It just about killed me! 

Considering I sprained my ankle in October, to feel ready for this race was a miracle! Of course, what made it the most special was that we had several friends and family sign up to run too.
If you've been reading for any length of time, you probably know I make a big deal out of anniversaries! Years pass no matter what, but anniversaries aren't guaranteed, and I think that's worth celebrating. Blake and I are celebrating 12 years this year!! I can hardly believe it. 12 years is a long time, but it's really flown by. Just a drop in the bucket of forever though!
What a treat this trip to Nashville was! I rarely do any kind of 'girls' trips, because I really enjoy traveling with my husband. But, when I was invited to join my sister in law and cousin on a girls weekend in Nashville, I jumped at the chance. We all agreed we needed this getaway, and had a BLAST. And, might I add, none of us are big country music fans. I think Nashville would be even more fun if you love the music scene. We loved all the shopping, great restaurants, and some local history. Here's a couple of highlights:
Of course, it's no secret that I love to organize. It's not unusual to find me watching random organizing videos on Youtube either. I found this quiz super helpful in zeroing in on my organizing style! My result was the 'Cricket' - or someone who likes things to be visually clutter free and has some pretty detailed systems. As much as I 'hate' to admit it - this pretty much nailed how I feel. While I won't absolutely lose it if you mess something up in my house - I do prefer for everything to have a place, and for it too look nice at the same time!  
I'm constantly adding things to my Amazon cart or wish list, but almost always talk myself out of hitting check out! So, it was actually quite surprising to me to see just how many Amazon boxes we got this past month. But, there are some solid items on that list, so I thought it might be worth a share here today. 

Of course, these are the more "fun" purchases - we do buy some boring stuff on Amazon too. Garbage bags, dog food, and fridge filters were in our orders this month, but I didn't think you'd want to read about that. 
Kicking off 2022 with a few book reviews for you! It's my goal to do these posts monthly, which will hopefully help me keep up with sharing them! But, if you want real time reviews you might want to follow along on Goodreads or over on Instagram
Struggling to decide what's for dinner? I have been in such a rut, so to mix things up we tried 5 new recipes this week. All are from Defined Dish. You can find these recipes online, but I got them from The Defined Dish cookbook, which is free on Kindle Unlimited right now. 
Revive is my favorite (MLM free) place to get essential oils! I'm a huge fan, and one thing I like to treat myself to is the quarterly subscription box. Each box contains $75 worth of product, and is usually seasonally curated. 


Blake and I got away for a quick weekend to visit his mom and dad. Before I started packing, I checked the weather forecast and SURPRISE 100% chance of snow. ❄ We both hadn't seen snow in years, so that was very unexpected. Fortunately, the snowfall happened in the middle of our trip, so it didn't impact our travel days at all.

Mostly, we just hung out by the fireplace, watched movies, and drank hot chocolate - but we did get out and explore a little bit too! 
When I get dressed in the morning, I really feel like the finishing touch is spritzing on a little fragrance. In high school, I wore Hollister Co. perfume which was a unisex fragrance - and I LOVED it. They discontinued it, so I swear I rationed those last few sprays forever before I ran out for good. For graduation, I was gifted Brittney Spears Curious perfume and also really loved that scent! In fact, if I smell it today it brings me right back to 2008. 
I'm rounding out 2021 with a total of 102 books finished! This breaks every record for me. It wasn't even the fact that we were experiencing a global pandemic with loads of time at home. I barely read 40 books in 2020, and this year was almost normal times level busy. I've it narrowed down to a few suggestions I have for you today, in case you'd like to read more books this year! 
If you and I were having coffee today, this is what I'd be talking about! Recently, I've been:
Coming at you today with a ton of Book recommendations! There are some just OK reads here, but also more than one 5 Star books for you to bookmark.
Currently Crushing On:
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