Posted in Not Just a Mom

Not Just a Mom: Workout Places

Hello!

How was your weekend? Ours was a good one. From Oktoberfest to cross country to a big Kentucky win to some family time, it was action packed.

Saturday sure felt like summer, and Sunday sure felt like fall. I guess we are in that time of the year.

Today, I’m co-hosting our monthly link up with these fabulous bloggers:

So far this year, we’ve discussed:

  • Favorite bloggers in January
  • Day in the life in February
  • Reading habits in March
  • What’s for lunch in April
  • Go to gift ideas in May
  • Dream travel locations in June
  • Family food traditions in July
  • Binge watching shows in August

This month’s topic is: favorite workout places

My initial answer is short and sweet: my basement.

My longer response…

Years ago (five, maybe?), when I started doing Faster Way to Fat Loss and then the Lean program, I realized how convenient it is to workout at home. Both of those programs provide gym and at home workouts, and home became my preference.

Back to Beachbody…Years ago, I ordered the 21 Day Fix DVDs and still used them off and on through the years.

I’ve shared before, but for about a year and a half, I’ve gotten back on the Beachbody On Demand workout train. I have the app on the tv in the basement, and that’s where my yoga mat, weights, and bands are.

Over the past year, I’ve completed:

  • 21 Day Fix
  • 21 Day Fix Real Time
  • 21 Day Fix Extreme
  • Muscle Burns Fat
  • Muscle Burns Fat Advanced
  • 9 Week Control Freak Off the Wall
  • Morning Meltdown 100

I’m currently doing Job One and LIIFT 4. Job One has 20 minute workouts, and I typically do those Monday evening and Friday mornings. My goal right now is to not miss a Friday morning. I’m trying to go into the weekend on the right foot and a workout helps with that. So far, I’m 5/5 on Fridays this school year. I can wake up at 5:35 and be finished with the workout by 6:05 and sipping my coffee like a typical morning. Also, most school years I take the month of August off because back to school can take it’s toll. This year, I didn’t do that. Again, I told myself that I should be able to at least do a 20 minute workout in my basement three days a week to get through the first hectic weeks back.

I’ve been doing LIIFT 4, which are longer workouts on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday. On Thursdays, I’ve been going to the gym to do the elliptical. If I can’t make it to the gym, I take a rest day or walk or do one of the 20 minute workouts.

I usually complete an entire program before starting a new one, but mixing Job One and LIIFT 4 has really been working well for me right now. After I complete a program, I usually take a week or two and just choose random workouts to go back to just to mix things up a bit.

Lastly, the app is so convenient. I don’t use it often, but it has come in handy when we are out of town. For example, I took my bands to KC this summer, and chose Beachbody workouts that didn’t use weights and did those. I was easily able to do HIIT or cardio in my dad’s basement while streaming the workout on my phone.

We do live in a big neighborhood, and I like to walk around it or in parks just when I want a different view than the basement tv.

Like I mentioned above, I try to go to the gym once a week and use the elliptical. The fee we pay our club for the pool includes gym access. My walks or elliptical workouts are when I listen to podcasts, so I do like changing things up from time to time.

I’ve taken workout classes, boot camps, and circuit training in other fitness centers, but it’s usually too hard for me to commit. It’s hard for me join those places because they typically cost so much, and I can’t make the time commitment. Even a 6am sixty minute class that might be ten minutes away from home, doesn’t easily work. I still can’t cool off, get showered and be ready to leave by 7:45 (absolute latest) for school. Evening classes are challenging for me because of all the things the kids have going on after school.

The basement and Beachbody work for me right now because it’s hard for me to tell myself I can’t do a 30 minute work out five days a week if I just have to go to my basement. For example, some evenings, I put dinner in the oven, and then do my workout during that time. I also love that Beachbody introduces new workout programs pretty regularly.

Please don’t get me wrong, I’ve lost focus many times and just had to take a break from working out, but I do know that I feel better after a workout or even just going for a walk. I also work better when I have a plan, so that’s why I try to structure my workouts and follow a plan. I’ve been very consistent since April, and I’m proud of myself for sticking with my plan. “Failing to plan is planning to fail…” #iykyk

I didn’t intend for this to be such a Beachbody heavy post, but it really has been working for me especially lately…and you can’t beat $120 a year for all the programs you can use so easily.

What about you? Where do you like to workout? Do you have a consistent routine?

I hope your week is off to a good start.

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Posted in Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites {#126}

Hello and Happy Friday. Why do the shorter weeks feel so long? We had a good week full of school and activities, but most of my favorites happened last weekend.

Today, I’m linking up with Andrea and Erika for this week’s Friday Favorites.

Here are some favorites from the week:

Last Friday, we went to the local drive in movie theater with some friends. It was the perfect way to end the week. There was a chance of rain that never happened, and it was nice to let the kids run around before the movie started, have some dinner, chat with friends, and watch Grease.

Saturday was SUCH a busy day! We were on the go the entire day.

Hayden had a cross country race, and again, there was a big chance of rain that never happened. Instead, it was muggy and hot. There were close to 200 runners, and Hayden placed 7th! The course was unlike any course I’d seen before with tight turns in some parts. The whole team did great and almost placed 3rd. They earned 4th out of 21 teams by only a few points.

While we were at the cross country race, Hadley headed to the temple ceremony of a bat mitzvah for one of her friends. She was home when we got home, and then got ready for the party part of the bat mitzvah.

She looked so grown up and ready to have lots of fun with her friends.

After she left, Travis and I went to the UK game along with Hayden and some of his friends. I ended up sitting with one of my friends on the other side of the stadium while Travis “took one for the team” and sat with the boys in our regular seats.

It was such a beautiful night. I left around halftime to make my way back home, have some dinner and then go pick up Hadley and her friend.

Then, on Sunday, I didn’t get out of my pjs which was definitely a favorite.

On Monday, I did laundry, meal prepped, and did a few things around the house.

Then, Travis and I went couch shopping, and our new couch arrived on Wednesday. I think it’s just what we need for our family and Homer. It definitely needs broken in a bit, but…

…Homer approves 🤪

Favorite Mom Meme:

So relatable 😂

Bonus Fave: Flashback Friday

With the Chiefs back in action this weekend, I love this memory of Homer as a puppy in his Chiefs scarf. I will have to recreate that this year too.

2019 Homer

Weekly Recap:

Here are this week’s posts in case you missed one:

Not Just a Mom:

We have our monthly Not Just a Mom link up on Monday…

…This month’s topic is Favorite Workout Places…

If you have a blog, we hope you’ll join us!

Before I go, it’s definitely not a favorite, but I was certainly sad to hear about the passing of Queen Elizabeth. What an amazing life she lived and her legacy will carry on forever.

What are your weekend plans? We have a little of this and that. Hayden’s going to a birthday party, we may hit up a fall festival, Hayden has a cross country meet, and more!

See you back here on Monday for Not Just a Mom. I hope you have a great weekend.

Posted in Amazon

Amazon Fall Faves

With a dreary weekend and then cool mornings this week, it’s definitely feeling more like fall. In honor of my favorite season of the year (and the easiest way to shop!), I’m sharing some of my previous favorite fall Amazon purchases.

What to Wear:

Cardigans are my “go to” all school year because classroom (and outside) temps fluctuate so much.

This waffle knit batwing kimono style cardigan is one of my favorites in the fall (and the spring) as it’s not too heavy. It’s perfect to wear with a dress or tank and jeans.

This chunky knit cardigan is one I wear more when the weather is cooler, and I love it because it’s so soft…and because of the pockets! It comes in a variety of colors too!

26,000 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I ordered this pumpkin sweatshirt for Hadley last year, and she loves it! She can’t wait to start wearing it again this fall season.

I picked up these waterproof boots for Hadley last year, and she wore them on rainy and snowy days. They are comfy and cute!

Decor:

I do find most of my fall decor at Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, Target, and other local places, but Amazon has cute decor too.

Last fall, I picked up this checkered table runner….

…and these pillow covers were the perfect touch for our sunroom and the front porch.

Accessories:

I use my bucket bag/cross body purse for most of the summer, but then I transition to a bigger bag for the fall and winter months. I purchased this hobo style purse last fall, and used it through March. It has so many pockets and has a crossbody strap as well.

Almost 10k ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2 reviews

Keep Cozy:

This blanket was actually a Christmas gift to a few of my family members last year. It’s thick and warm with Sherpa fleece on one side. It comes in a variety of colors and sizes.

68k ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2 reviews

These are just a few faves to kickstart this fall season!

{This post contains Amazon affiliate links…Thank you for supporting my blog!}

Posted in Currently

Currently…

Hello! Well, it’s been a minute since I’ve shared a Currently post. I just thought this would be a fun way to share are few things I’ve been doing…

I’m currently…

reading…

I’ve mostly been reading on my Kindle lately, and am about 70% finished with The Younger Wife. I really enjoy Sally Hepworth’s books, and wanted to read this one when it came out. It wasn’t on Kindle yet, and just a couple of weeks ago, I decided to look again on the Libby app…and there it was.

Anyway, I’ve really enjoyed it so far!

decorating…

I’m hoping to decorate for fall later this week or over the weekend, but on Monday night, I decided to pull out my favorite light up pumpkin. I have one for the bedroom, and then one for the living room. I love the glow of the pumpkin during the dark hours of the morning while I sip my coffee.

{Peep my Pumpkin Spice candle from Antique Candle Co!)

wearing…

It’s Homecoming week this week which has made getting dressed for school easier than usual! We actually started last Friday with pj day, and I’ve never been to school so early. haha

Yesterday was “Tropical Tuesday.” We still have Wear Pink Wednesday, favorite sports team on Thursday, and then class color/school color day on Friday.

trying…

a new Dime product…I still consistently use Dime products daily.

Since Dime Beauty was having a 25% off sale to celebrate their anniversary, I decided to order this new (to me) product: the cleansing balm.

OMG…it’s like having silk on your face. This product melts away the make up you have on, and hydrates your skin. I’ve been using this most nights right before I get in the shower, and then I gently wash my face with warm water. I haven’t yet tried it as an overnight mask, but I definitely plan on doing so!

watching…

Well, I finally finished all four seasons of Drive to Survive, and I really enjoyed it. I’ve even caught the last two actual F1 races on tv the past two Sundays. #whoamIeven?! It’s all still really interesting to me, and I’m even more invested now that I know all the drivers.

With the new seasons of Goldbergs and NCIS Hawai’i starting later this month, I’m trying to get caught up on last year’s seasons.

anticipating…

I’m anticipating the arrival of our new couch. We’re either really dumb or …well, we’re probably dumb…but we are getting a new couch due to all of Homer’s dog hair on our fabric couch. Thankfully, he’s a white dog, so the hair blended in, but we just can’t keep up with it.

Also, with our previous couch, we definitely “got what we paid for…” and it just didn’t hold up to the wear and tear of our family. After only a few months, one back cushion ripped by the zipper, and then I HATE when cloth furniture gets those little fuzz balls, and our couch had lots of those.

You’d think we’d train Homer to stay off the couch…haha…and honestly, we try. Now he’s “responsible” enough to stay out during the day, so of course, there’s no one home to shoo him off the couch.

We took advantage of a Labor Day sale, and our new couch is getting delivered today. I had fully expected to not have a couch delivered until 2023! (If you are local, Burke Furniture was amazing!)

Also, I put our other couch on Facebook Marketplace for free, and it “sold” in a matter of minutes with multiple messages!

I can’t wait to get home this afternoon, and see how it looks!

What are you currently up to? Besides the above, I feel like I’m currently just trying to survive this week!

Have a great day!

Posted in Amazon

Prime Purchases: September 2022

Hello! How was your Labor Day weekend? We had a good one. As I expected, we went 100 mph all day long on Saturday, but the rest of the weekend provided more downtime. I honestly didn’t get out of my pjs on Sunday…and then Monday was a mix of relaxing and productivity.

Well, it’s the first Tuesday of the month, so I’m linking up with Tanya to share this month’s Prime Purchases.

I had a pretty “light” Amazon shopping month, but here’s what I bought:

So, I’ve shared before about my monthly facials. One of the treatments that I love the most is dermaplaning. Landyn has preached, “Girl shave your face” for years. While the monthly dermaplane seems to be all that I need, I also know some women do this once a week or twice a month. So, I purchased this “lighted dermaplane facial exfoliator.”

I’ve been using it every other week since July (wanted to use it a few times before sharing!), and I love it. I just use my face wash to get my face sudsy and go from there. Of course, be careful! (And I stay away from my eyebrows! haha)

This one lights up, and I find that I get the best results (I’m still new at doing this…) with natural light and then use the light on this, and I can see the best what I’m doing. Anyway, I guess like shaving your legs….you get quicker and better with time.

When you have a clean face, your beauty products (whether they are drug store or more expensive), can absorb better and makeup looks cleaner.

I know people who also use the Bic or Schick dermaplane razors, but so far this has worked well for me.

Almost 20,000 ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️reviews

If you need a lounging/nighttime bra, this one is so comfy. I originally bought it in black, and just ordered it in nude as well.

These joggers are so cute. There are many color options and patterns…

11,000+ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️reviews

I wore them with a tank and cardigan to school, but I know I will also pair them with a sweatshirt and tennis shoes when it gets colder outside.

I’m forever trying to drink more water. This water bottle is perfect because it’s lightweight and has the times on the side. I have a tumbler that I take to school because the water stays cold, but then I’ve been drinking at least one full water bottle when I get home from school. There are many color options too.

We were in desperate need of new pillows…especially Travis. He needed a replacement pillow. I ordered these, and they are such great quality. It’s a two pack…and they are very fluffy. When they arrived, they were rolled up flat, and a few hours later they transformed into big soft, but firm pillows.

4.500⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

Tell me you’re in middle school without telling me you are in middle school…Hayden has succumbed to the middle school “fashion” that is Crocs.

After he looked at the mall and couldn’t find his size, we ordered Crocs from Amazon, and they were cheaper than what we were finding in the stores.

Did you know that “Sports mode” means when the strap is on in the back… 😂 I hadn’t heard that and laughed when the kids mentioned it. Hadley has had a white pair since the spring. Crocs are tempting for Homer to snag, so I’ve told them to keep up with their pairs of Crocs!

360,000 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ reviews

What have you purchased lately? I’m trying to not overdo it with my Amazon purchases the next couple of months as November and December are bigger spending months with birthdays and Christmas.

I will probably have a post for tomorrow, but come back on Thursday for some of my fall favorites from Amazon.

{This post contains Amazon affiliate links…Thank you for supporting my blog!}

Posted in Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites {#125}

Hello!

How was your week? Ours was pretty good. While it’s always hectic, I do feel like we are getting into more of a routine. We have our evening activity schedule moving pretty seamlessly, and I feel like the kids are finally understanding my urgent cries for them to, for the love of Pete, complete any and all homework upon arriving home. (insert palm on forehead emoji here)

Anyway, back to something more positive. It’s Friday which means I’m linking up with Andrea and Erika for this week’s Friday Favorites.

Honestly, this recap feels pretty short and sweet, but here are a few favorites from the week.

Hayden had a cross country meet on Saturday. It was the first two mile run of the season, and shew! it was hot! Hadley was living her best life at the pool while the rest of us were sweating it out at the cross country meet.

The entire team did an awesome job…and Hayden placed 2nd overall. Also, kudos to all the runners and the team placed 4th. Also, big shout out to Coach White because he ran the course during all three races cheering on (and coaching) his runners.

I think this season will be a great one!

Y’all, I shared this recipe that I saw on Instagram with you last week (I think?!)…and I finally got around to making it.

It’s definitely a family favorite. This is an easy and delish comfort food that’s a crowd pleaser. So good. I served it with broccoli one night and a salad the other night.

Speaking of recipes…This one is a bit healthier…I also made this Ground Turkey/Sweet Potato Casserole this week, and it was a hit.

I did add in cooked rice (Trader Joe’s Brown Rice) at the end before topping with shredded cheese and baking 10 final minutes. It made it feel more like a meal than a side dish.

Homer hearts Hadley…or is it the other way around? I found this random selfie on my phone the other day.

Picture it: September 1st at 6:15 AM…

I have a heavy rotation of fall candles, and I can’t wait to use them all. Coffee and a scented candle is my favorite way to start the day.

Favorite Mom Meme:

Homework help is in full swing. Pray for me.

Bonus Fave: Flashback Friday:

In honor of college football kicking off this weekend, here are a couple of my favorite CATS fans…

Remember yesterday’s post when I shared that Hayden tries not to miss a game, and Hadley never misses a tailgate?

Well, that started in 2011…

The biscuit in Hadley’s hand…she stole that from another tailgate.

And…proof that Hayden’s been “bleeding blue” since he was born!

Weekly Recap:

This week’s posts included funny memes, the books I read in August, and what I love about fall!

What are your long weekend plans? Well, if we survive tomorrow, we’ll be home free the rest of the weekend. Tomorrow includes a cross country meet, a bat mitzvah, and a UK football game.

Sunday and Monday have very little on tap! I think I will need a little rest!

See you back here on Tuesday. Thanks so much for reading.

Posted in Holidays

Five Fall Favorites

Hello and happy September 1st!

I’m so basic it hurts! 😆

It’s no secret that fall is my favorite time of the year.

Well, I mean it’s going to be in the upper 80’s today, but hopefully soon Mr. Wilde will be correct, and summer will make way for fall!

There are so many wonderful things about fall: cooler temps, pumpkin everything, sweater weather, fires in the fire place, warm apple cider, football, and more!

Today, I’m sharing five things I love about fall.

O N E: my front porch

When we bought our house in the fall of 2014, I couldn’t wait to decorate the porch for fall. That first fall, I only had a few pumpkins, and now I have added so many other fall touches. Stackable pumpkins, mums, gourds, pillows, corn husks and more!

I love when the leaves on the trees turn to yellows, oranges, and reds.

T W O: football

Football is a big part of our fall activities. We go to as many CATS games as we can, I watch MIZZOU on tv whenever possible, and Sunday football with the Chiefs is great too!

The kids have been going to the UK games since they were babies. I remember Hadley taking food from other tailgates when she was little. 😂 Now, they are big middle schoolers who run around with their friends! Hayden doesn’t miss a game unless he absolutely has to. Hadley, on the other hand, never misses a chance to tailgate!

T H R E E: pumpkin everything

I used to love a Pumpkin Spiced Latte, but I quit ordering those a few years ago. Instead, I just add a splash of nutmeg, cinnamon or pumpkin spice to my coffee creamer every morning. We make pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, and even pumpkin sugar cookies during the fall months.

F O U R: keeneland

Keeneland has a special place in my heart. Keeneland in the fall is the best! We love seeing friends, placing bets, and enjoying the weather.

Occasionally the kids come with us too!

F I V E: holidays

The fall months include some of my favorite holidays.

I’d be lying if I said I missed the days of costumes and little kids collecting candy…

Now the kids are big enough to go out on their own with friends…and I’m back to sitting on the front porch passing out candy. Those years went by in a blink.

While it’s not an official holiday, the kids’ birthday is a special day at our house!

Again, the t-shirt tradition was one of my faves.

And…I always celebrate them big on their special day.

One tradition that I think will last forever: cookie cake!

…and I think they’ll hold up balloons until they are at least 18!

Thanksgiving is my all time favorite holiday (the 4th of July is a close 2nd!) I’ve always loved having a brief break from school, enjoying the fall weather, watching the Macy’s parade, and enjoying some of the best food of the year!

Honestly, this post easily could have been 20 things I love about fall. I even love the fact that it starts to get darker earlier with each passing day. I’m a girl who loves to “fall back” in November!

I’m all about cooler temps, sweater weather, and all things cozy. The extended forecast still shows hot and sunny for the foreseeable future, but I know it will feel more like fall soon enough.

What’s your favorite thing about fall?

Posted in Books and Shows

August 2022: What I’ve Been Reading

Hello!

I’m happy to report that I finished strong with my summer reading! With back to school and less pool (and zero vacay) time, I wondered how many books I’d get read. The answer is five! Today, I’m sharing about the books I read this month, and almost all were so good.

This month I read…

{As always, book summaries are from Goodreads…}

Under the Southern Sky:

Summary:

Recently separated Amelia Saxton, a dedicated journalist, never expected that uncovering the biggest story of her career would become deeply personal. But when she discovers that a cluster of embryos belonging to her childhood friend Parker and his late wife Greer have been deemed “abandoned,” she’s put in the unenviable position of telling Parker—and dredging up old wounds in the process.

Parker has been unable to move forward since the loss of his beloved wife three years ago. He has all but forgotten about the frozen embryos, but once Amelia reveals her discovery, he knows that if he ever wants to get a part of Greer back, he’ll need to accept his fate as a single father and find a surrogate.

Each dealing with their own private griefs, Parker and Amelia slowly begin to find solace in one another as they navigate an uncertain future against the backdrop of the pristine waters of their childhood home, Cape Carolina. The journey of self-discovery leads them to an unforgettable and life-changing lesson: Family—the one you’re born into and the one you choose—is always closer than you think.

Quick Thoughts:

I’ve loved every Kristy Woodson Harvey book I’ve ever read, and this one was great too. I loved the characters, the setting, and the storyline. This book provided all kinds of emotions from sad to happy and everything in between. It’s definitely a great book to read!

Rating:

Book Lovers:

Summary:

Nora Stephens’ life is books—she’s read them all—and she is not that type of heroine. Not the plucky one, not the laidback dream girl, and especially not the sweetheart. In fact, the only people Nora is a heroine for are her clients, for whom she lands enormous deals as a cutthroat literary agent, and her beloved little sister Libby.

Which is why she agrees to go to Sunshine Falls, North Carolina for the month of August when Libby begs her for a sisters’ trip away—with visions of a small-town transformation for Nora, who she’s convinced needs to become the heroine in her own story. But instead of picnics in meadows, or run-ins with a handsome country doctor or bulging-forearmed bartender, Nora keeps bumping into Charlie Lastra, a bookish brooding editor from back in the city. It would be a meet-cute if not for the fact that they’ve met many times and it’s never been cute.

If Nora knows she’s not an ideal heroine, Charlie knows he’s nobody’s hero, but as they are thrown together again and again—in a series of coincidences no editor worth their salt would allow—what they discover might just unravel the carefully crafted stories they’ve written about themselves.

Quick Thoughts:

This chick lit book gets an A+ from me. First of all, the title Book Lovers…what’s not to love? I loved the small town setting, and I kind of kept picturing Virgin River on Netflix. The fact that both Nora and Charlie are book agents/editors and were living so many “chick lit” book clichés, made this book a sweet little read.

Fave quote: “Is there anything better than iced coffee and a bookstore on a sunny day? I mean, aside from hot coffee and a bookstore on a rainy day.”

Rating:

Every Summer After:

Summary:

They say you can never go home again, and for Persephone Fraser, ever since she made the biggest mistake of her life a decade ago, that has felt too true. Instead of glittering summers on the lakeshore of her childhood, she spends them in a stylish apartment in the city, going out with friends, and keeping everyone a safe distance from her heart.

Until she receives the call that sends her racing back to Barry’s Bay and into the orbit of Sam Florek—the man she never thought she’d have to live without.

For six summers, through hazy afternoons on the water and warm summer nights working in his family’s restaurant and curling up together with books—medical textbooks for him and work-in-progress horror short stories for her—Percy and Sam had been inseparable. Eventually that friendship turned into something breathtakingly more, before it fell spectacularly apart.

When Percy returns to the lake for Sam’s mother’s funeral, their connection is as undeniable as it had always been. But until Percy can confront the decisions she made and the years she’s spent punishing herself for them, they’ll never know whether their love might be bigger than the biggest mistakes of their past.

Told over the course of six years and one weekend, Every Summer After is a big, sweeping nostalgic look at love and the people and choices that mark us forever.

Quick Thoughts:

This book may just end up in the top 5 books I’ve read this year. Every Summer After was the perfect summer read (and it wasn’t even on my summer reading list!) I loved how the plot was organized with flashbacks to previous summers along with the the present day reunion for Percy and Sam. The idea of a summer love is such a sweet one, and, as a reader, I enjoyed watching their relationship blossom with each summer. Throw in a few other characters, miscommunication, a bit of drama, and other complicated relationships, and you have the making of a great book. I loved this one so much.

Rating:

The Chain:

Summary:

It’s something parents do every morning: Rachel Klein drops her daughter at the bus stop and heads into her day. But a cell phone call from an unknown number changes everything: it’s a woman on the line, informing her that she has Kylie bound and gagged in her back seat, and the only way Rachel will see her again is to follow her instructions exactly: pay a ransom, and find another child to abduct. This is no ordinary kidnapping: the caller is a mother herself, whose son has been taken, and if Rachel doesn’t do as she’s told, the boy will die.

“You are not the first. And you will certainly not be the last.” Rachel is now part of The Chain, an unending and ingenious scheme that turns victims into criminals—and is making someone else very rich in the process. The rules are simple, the moral challenges impossible; find the money fast, find your victim, and then commit a horrible act you’d have thought yourself incapable of just twenty-four hours ago.

But what the masterminds behind The Chain know is that parents will do anything for their children. It turns out that kidnapping is only the beginning.

Quick Thoughts:

The plot idea of this book is what made me pick it up at the library. Honestly, the first half was a 5/5 to me, but then the second half felt more like a 3. Some parts just didn’t seem realistic and other parts were predictable or forced. Everything came together in the end, but I felt like I had to force myself to finish this book. It just fell flat for me in the end.

Rating:

This Time Tomorrow:

Summary:

What if you could take a vacation to your past?

On the eve of her 40th birthday, Alice’s life isn’t terrible. She likes her job, even if it isn’t exactly the one she expected. She’s happy with her apartment, her romantic status, her independence, and she adores her lifelong best friend. But her father is ailing, and it feels to her as if something is missing. When she wakes up the next morning she finds herself back in 1996, reliving her 16th birthday. But it isn’t just her adolescent body that shocks her, or seeing her high school crush, it’s her dad: the vital, charming, 40-something version of her father with whom she is reunited. Now armed with a new perspective on her own life and his, some past events take on new meaning. Is there anything that she would change if she could?

Quick Thoughts:

This book was another win for me. Like Shay mentioned yesterday, this book had a 13 Going on 30 mixed with Groundhog’s Day vibe, and I agree. Honestly, that’s what I liked about it. While reading this book, I also kept thinking of One Italian Summer that I read in July. In One Italian Summer, Katy goes to Italy after her mother dies and ends up seeing her mom when she was younger. This book felt similar in that way in regards to Alice and her father, Leonard.

I loved the connection to Leonard’s books about time travel and then that being an essential part of Alice’s life. This book tugged at my heartstrings in parts, and I loved the father/daughter relationship. Reading about how Alice’s life was, could have been, and how she was living also kept my interest. While I knew how some parts of the book would wrap up, I wanted to see how everything would end for Alice. While I don’t think this book would be a top 5 read for me this year, I think it would be a top 10 for sure.

Rating:

Summer Reading Update:

I wasn’t tied to this list, but it was a good guide for me. When I started the summer, I was on a long wait list for most of these, and then they started to become available just around vacation time….which was perfect timing!

I predicted that I’d read five of these books, and I ended up reading six of them.

  • Read: Summer Love, The Summer Job, The Summer Getaway, One Italian Summer, The Hotel Nantucket
  • Read this month: Under the Southern Sky
  • Didn’t read: Boardwalk Bookshop and Out of the Clear Blue Sky

The two I didn’t read were both in my possession at some point in the summer, but I never got to reading them. Others were waiting for them, so I did my civic library duty and returned them without reading. I didn’t want someone else to miss out! Maybe I will get to read them next year.

I ended up reading 14 books this summer (June-August), and it’s just what I needed. Going into summer, I was behind in my Goodreads goal of 40 books this year, and now I’m back on track (one book ahead!) with 27/40 books read.

What was the best book you read this summer? I will add it to my “summer list” on Goodreads.

Posted in Memes

Monday Memes

Happy Monday! How was your weekend? Ours seemed extra busy. Friday after school started with the kids going in separate directions. Eventually, Hadley had an overnight a friend’s house, and Hayden went to a football game. Saturday was spent out in the heat at Hayden’s cross country meet. Then, Sunday was full of all the things: church, volleyball, science projects, errands, and more!

We’re ready for another full week of school, but first I’m sharing some of the memes that made me laugh this month…

1.

The “Sunday scaries” are the worst in August…It’s so hard getting back in a routine.

2.

Sit down, stay humble! 😉

3.

Y’all know I love the GG. This meme with Dorothy is the best!

4.

Relatable.

5.

So true!

6.

I rarely turn to Netflix for movies. Obviously, there are shows and documentaries, but I always feel like I search for a movie, I never find one that I want to watch. Remember the OG Netlfix when they sent you three movies to watch at a time? The good old days.

7.

Life…especially on a Monday!

8.

My kids demolish a box (and the bag) of cereal on the regular. Drives me crazy!

Can you relate to any of these memes? I hope they started your week off with a laugh or two!

Tomorrow, I hope to share the books I read this month if I can get the post finished. It was a great month of reading.

Have a great day,

Posted in Friday Favorites, Kids

Friday Favorites {#124}

Well, we made it to Friday! This week was a doozy with school (of course) and then plenty of kids’ activities every night. We’re ready for the weekend, but it looks like I will need to set an alarm for Saturday wake up. Oh well…it is what it is…

Today, I’m linking up with Andrea and Erika for this week’s Friday Favorites.

Here are some favorites from the week:

Favorite Pic:

We got Hadley’s dance studio headshots back, and there were so many good ones. It was hard to narrow down a fave, but this is the one I ordered…I can’t believe how grown up she looks!

Favorite Moment:

Speaking of grown up…Hayden (and Coach White!) had his first cross country race of the season, and I apparently need to train my eyes to look for a big kid out there running. I almost missed him as he ran by. He’s off to a very solid start with a second place finish. He’s put in a lot of time (and miles) this summer, and I can’t wait to see what he accomplishes this season!

Favorite Clothing Item:

I’ve been making a point to “shop my closet” (Travis really appreciates that too!), and I’ve shared my school teacher outfits the last couple of Wednesdays.

I was reunited with these Matilda Jane pants during my closet clean out, and I really loved Monday’s outfit. I felt put together and comfy all at once.

Favorite Scent:

Sunday started off cool and rainy, so I did exactly what you’d expect me to do: I lit a fall scented candle, of course. I’d been saving this Antique Candle Co. one for just the right time. The warm caramel crumble scent was a favorite way to start the day.

Favorite Food:

I tried a new slow cooker recipe (Creamy Crockpot Crack Chicken) this week, and it was a hit. I will definitely make it again. I only used two chicken breasts, and next time will use at least one more to guarantee leftovers.

Favorite Kid Quote:

Nothing in particular stood out this week, but instead just some extra one on one time with Hayden. Travis has been extra busy in the evenings (Hadley too), and it was just Hayden and I for dinner on Wednesday night. It was nice to have some solo time with him.

Favorite Mom Meme:

Or unload the dishwasher!

Bonus Fave: Flashback Friday

With cross country starting back up, here’s a little throw back to the kids’ first ever race when they were in Kindergarten. I’ve shared this before, but they were even in the local online magazine. They were so little…

Weekly Recap:

Here are my posts from this week…a little of this and a little of that…

What are your weekend plans? I don’t think we have much going on tonight, but Hayden has a cross country meet tomorrow, and then we have some other odds and ends to get accomplished this weekend.

See you back here Monday for some of my favorite memes this month.