Monday, January 24, 2022
Tuesday, November 30, 2021
Tuesday, October 5, 2021
Wednesday, September 1, 2021
Golden Girl, by: Elin Hilderbrand
Of course I picked up Elin's latest release from the library (and even gifted a copy to my dear friend). Readers will find that Golden Girl is loosely based on Elin's life, as the main character Vivian is a divorced novelist with 3 children living on Nantucket. Vivian is struck down by a careless driver while on her daily jog and dies. In the afterlife, she is guided by Martha and given a 30 day window to view those she left behind (and 3 nudges for their futures). While she watches her kids struggle with their own unique problems, she also has a secret from her past come out as well as keeping tabs on her ex-husband and best friend. Yet another enjoyable read from Elin!
Eating Wildly, by: Ava Chin
The past year has pushed me into a more holistic lifestyle, so when I saw this book at the bookstore we always visit on vacation, I picked it up. My past house was well established with blueberries, raspberries, grapes, apples, pears, and woods to find morel mushrooms. I miss that aspect of my life, and unfortunately am not quite there yet to start something similar right now. However, this book is about an abundance of edibles that are not as mainstream as the list I mentioned above. My friend has gone on foraging hikes and now I would love to go on one too. What's even more interesting about Ava is, she forages in New York City! You wouldn't think there is much to find in an urban setting, but that is untrue. From writing articles and recipes in the most well known publications, to hosting themed dinner parties, Ava opens your eyes to this vast world. Her process also ties into her relationships with her family and eventual husband.
Show Me The Honey, by: Dave Doroghy
Wanting more after reading Eating Wildly, I picked up this ARC copy I got a few years ago about beekeeping. Dave becomes an accidental beekeeper after being gifted a hive. This is his humorous tale of immersing himself into this hobby, and I learned SO MUCH about bees! So very interesting, and I am definitely looking at my farmers market honey with much more appreciation. Also a good reminder of how important these little pollinators are to our world.
Mackinac Maze, by: Jerry Prescott
Since it was about this time last year that I had my first visit to Mackinac Island, I wanted to reminisce, so I started this book a friend gave to me. The book definitely brought me back there, but the story was drawn out a bit too long and with too many unnecessary details. The only reason I kept reading it was because of the setting, if I'm being honest. Two police officer from Ann Arbor are visiting the island to plan their wedding there. They stumble into a murder and their romantic weekend quickly turns into them being involved in helping the FBI investigate the continued series of events that happen.
Dare to Shift (multiple authors)
This book is a compilation of short stories from 17 amazing women. One of them is local to me, so she was selling signed copies at an event hosted at our local coffee shop. The main focus is that all of these women have a story to tell about a "shift" in their life...... whether it be a career change, discovering faith/spirituality, divorce, health issues. I was inspired by each and every one of them! Being written during the times of covid, it was comforting to relate as many of them had the same thoughts and feelings as I have about the severe change in home/work life. This is a read I am telling all of my closest girlfriends about!
Hello, Transcriber, by: Hannah Morrissey
Thank you Minotaur Books for this advance reader copy - this is released on November 30th. I felt in the mood for a darker read, so I picked up this mystery that is set in a fictional city near Milwaukee, WI (where I grew up). Hazel is a police transcriber who knows the most gruesome secrets of where she lives, but cannot talk to anyone about them. That is, until she gets wrapped up in a case with an alluring detective that makes her question her lifeless marriage and if she will ever get out of this dead end city to fulfill her dream of becoming a writer. I really enjoyed this book, and the author's descriptions definitely set a realistic tone throughout.
Wednesday, August 18, 2021
I recently saw someone I follow post the prettiest beaded sandals. When I clicked the link to purchase them, I was sticker shocked! In US Dollars, they cost $292.99! No way was I paying that much for some leather straps with plastic beads on them. As a past jewelry designer/seller, my jaw also drops when I see the prices on similar colorful jewelry that has been trendy lately (but that's a post for a different day). Of course, I wanted to DIY these sandals right away.
I first set out to buy some lace up sandals. After searching the retailers I usually shop, I ended up getting these on eBay. When you are looking, you want to make sure the straps are not "fixed" on the sides, as that will not allow you to string the beads on properly. The laces on these came all the way off, or else you want ones that you can at least unlace up to the toe area. I then went to buy some pony beads, which you can find at any craft store, Walmart, etc.... very cheap. To match the expensive pair, I noticed they used not only a mix of colors, but also finishes (i.e. solid, clear, shimmery).
To start, I undid the laces up until the first section across my toes. I started adding beads WITH my foot in the sandal. This way, you will know how much room to accommodate for your foot....... meaning, having the straps too tight, the beads would dig into your feet and hurt (and no one likes shoes that hurt). I tried to be as random with the different type of beads while still creating an ombre rainbow effect. Once you get up to the ankle straps, it is just random colors. When I had one sandal done, it was easy to just repeat the other.
I am in LOVE with how these turned out, and being someone who enjoys wearing color they will go with a lot (today just happened to be another DIY I did - tie dye dress). How much did they end up costing? I would say under $50, and that is with having lots of leftover beads that my kids and I are now crafting up another plan with (stay tuned)!
Wednesday, August 4, 2021
I honestly didn't intend to read books from the same author all month, but I unknowingly started a book that was #1 in a series of 4 so I just went ahead and read them all right away. So if you like Mary Kay Andrews OR love something light and fun, read on......
I got this copy from my local used bookstore. Drue is down on her luck with no job and her mother just passing. Her estranged father shows up at the funeral and offers Drue a job at his busy law firm. She really doesn't want to take the job - what with her father's young new wife (her 8th grade frenemy) being the office manager she will report to - but the perk of inheriting her Grandparents run down cottage on the beach is something she can't pass up. Soon, she is up to her ears in renovating her new home, a possible office romance, and finding a part of her new job that she is really passionate about. I am rating this 3 stars. Enjoyable, but also not raving about it.
The High Tide Club
I got this copy from my local used bookstore. Brooke is a single Mom lawyer, who is summoned to a mostly private island owned an eccentric 99 year old heiress. Mrs. Warrick wants to ensure a trust to protect her land from developers that are chomping at the bit for her to pass. As the past unwinds, Brooke hears of old friendships, secret love, and even an unsolved murder. She is also torn between the father of her child, and a possible new relationship with a guy who turns out to be not what he seems. This gave me Great Expectations vibes, complete with a mansion lost in time. I give this one 5 stars.
This was the book that I learned was #1 in a series once I started reading it - I got it at my local thrift store. The main character - Weezie - is an antiques picker whose goal is to open her own store. She thought she had the perfect marriage and life after lovingly restoring her historic dream home. But she's been banished to the carriage house after divorcing her husband once his affair comes out. Soon we are in the depths of a once in a lifetime estate sale, and trying to save the historic home the sale is hosted at from demolition. Weezie thinks there is foul play here in the business dealings, especially after the woman her ex left her for is found dead. It was so interesting to learn about the network of antique dealers if you are in this business...... from camping overnight at a sale, to forgery/copies, to the ruthless competition. Since I love furnishing my home with vintage finds, I absolutely loved everything about this book which is why I decided to dive into the other 3 right away!
I borrowed the 2nd book from the library. This book focuses more on Weezie's best friend, BeBe. BeBe is a self made millionaire who has been divorced 3 times. She quickly falls for a guy who seems too good to be true - and he is. He scams her out of her fortune. Left with only a run down motel on Tybee Island to her name, she has no choice but to visit the property and decide to fix it up to make money. Along the way, she falls for the motel's groundskeeper, who couldn't be more opposite of her "type". Together, with Weezie, they track down the scam artist and use his own tricks against him to get her money back. Once her fortune is restored, she realizes she likes her new life running the motel better. Definitely Schitt's Creek vibes here, so I completely loved this book as well.
I borrowed the 3rd book from the library, and who doesn't love a little Christmas in July! This was the smallest of the 4 books, so it was a fast read. Weezie's antique shop is a success, and she's regained ownership of her historic home from her ex. She even has a great boyfriend - a chef from her friend BeBe's restaurant - and she's hoping for a ring with the upcoming holidays. As she busies herself with the window decorating competition, she finds out that her boyfriend dislikes the season and a series of odd events turn up some of his estranged family. Really enjoyed the ongoing ride with these characters!
I borrowed the final book from the library, and we are now at the following years holiday season. Weezie and Daniel are planning their Christmas wedding, and BeBe is happily pregnant and running the motel with her partner Harry. Last minute wrenches are thrown into these best friends plans, as Daniel is offered a chef job in New York, and a secret from BeBe's past comes to light. A great end to the series, but of course would welcome more if the author ever chooses to revisit!
Monday, July 26, 2021
I feel very lucky to have always lived near the Great Lakes. The city I grew up in, in Wisconsin, is right on Lake Michigan. And even though the past 18 years I've lived in more of the inland of Michigan, it's easy to get to and visit the Great Lakes on all sides. Our annual July family vacation takes us to Lake Huron, but that doesn't mean we don't get to Lake Michigan and Lake Superior for other trips. So it was only natural I bought this graphic tank from Anthropologie as soon as I saw it. For it's first outing, I thought it's colors went great with this lake landscape painting dress from Anthropologie from last year. I tied it in the back. It of course looks great with denim shorts and jeans, which lets more of the ombre bottom show. I'll be wearing this for years to come!
Pilcro Mock Neck Tank - Anthropologie