Monday, January 30, 2017

January Book Review {2017}

Good morning!

This year for my New Year's Resolution, I had a goal of simply "doing better."

I wanted to better myself in every aspect of my life, and one of my more specific goals was to read more. I've always been an avid reader, but I go through phases where I'll read a ton and then take a couple week break. I wanted to make reading a more consistent routine.

I'll have to say that I started off strong in January having read 5....yes FIVE books! I have never in my life read five books in one month. I'm keeping my hopes high that I'll keep it up!


To go along with a new year, I'll be starting book reviews at the end of each month! I'll be sharing all of the wonderful books that I've read and give you all some recommendations.

This month I had 4 books that I loved and one that was just okay. We'll start there.


I'm sorry to anyone who read and thoroughly enjoyed this book, but I wasn't a big fan. The whole thing just seemed very anti-climatic and boring. I was pretty disappointed because I'm pretty sure I found it on a list of "15 Books You Can't Put Down." Well, needless to say I put it down many times and didn't want to pick it back up. I powered through though.

The Silent Wife is about Jodi and Todd, and their marriage that is headed for a catastrophe. The infidelity and lies are what shake their relationship to the point of no return. Her being the killer and he being the victim (not giving anything away, you know this from the synopsis), tell the tale of how a great relationship turned sour. 

I'll give it a 2.5 out of 5



Oh. My. Goodness. I read Ruth Ware's first book, In a Dark, Dark Wood last month and immediately ordered this one for January. The plot and author's writing combined make for a "sitting on the edge of your seat" mystery! The Woman in Cabin 10 was just as amazing as the other and keeps you guessing until the very end! Side note: The books are not in a sequence, so you can read either one first.

The Woman in Cabin 10 is about Lo, a travel journalist who gets the opportunity of a lifetime to go on a very exclusive, luxury cruise. Lo finds herself hearing and seeing a woman go over board in the middle of the night. The only problem? All the guests and crew are accounted for!  This chilling story of a woman on a mission is one that should be on a list for books that you can't put down! ;)

I give this one a 5 out of 5


The Hypnotist's Love Story was the only Liane Moriarty book that I hadn't read. All of her books are GREAT, so I had high expectations for this one too. Although the book gets a little slow in the middle, I felt like it was a great read overall. I love the characters and how well Moriarty develops them. 

The Hypnotist's Love Story is about Ellen, a Hypnotherapist in a beach town in Australia. She's in her thirties and wondering if she'll ever find that special someone. She meets Patrick and they have great chemistry, but he's got something looming over him that he must tell Ellen. Thinking that he's about to break up with her, he reveals that he has a stalker ex-girlfriend. Little does Ellen know, it's not someone who is a stranger to her. 

I give this one a 4 out of 5



I'm not really sure how I went so long without reading Elin Hilderbrand books. Shay from Mix and Match Mama is practically president of Hilderbrand's fan club, so I trusted that these books must be amazing. This was the second one that I read, with Barefoot being the first. The first thing that I want to say is that I'm ready to book a vacation to Nantucket. The Rumor is a perfect mix of drama and romance. I never wanted to put it down.

Best friends Madeline and Grace appear to have it all together on the outside. On the inside, Madeline is struggling to write her next book and Grace is making a decision that could blow up her seemingly perfect life. Between the prediction of "two people will betray the person to their left," and the rumors spreading like wildfire through Nantucket, how will Madeline and Grace put their lives back together?

I give The Rumor a 4.5 out of 5 



This was hands down my favorite book of the month. I'm also predicting that it will also be one of my favorites of the entire year. I know it's only January and I have so many books to come, but A Dog's Purpose was really THAT good. We all know about the drama revolving around the movie, but I don't love seeing the movie version of books that I've read because I feel like it ruins it for me anyway. If you're a dog lover, you need a copy of this book pronto.

A Dog's Purpose is an emotional story of a dog with many lives. The commentary about his encounters with humans, and his journey through his lives are both heartwarming and heartbreaking.  What is a dog's purpose in life? It's so much more than you think. I will forever think of my dog 100% differently. :)

This one easily snags a 5 out of 5

Wow, friends! What a great start to a year of doing better. I already have two books for next month picked out, but I would LOVE any suggestions for books that you've read lately! 

See you all tomorrow for 10 Things on Tuesday!

XO,
Leslie





Friday, January 27, 2017

Friday Favorites {1.27.17}

FRI-YAY is upon us!

In honor of my favorite day of the week, I'm linking up with some of my favorite bloggers to discuss some of my favorites from the week!





Ordered these this week and are constantly lurking around the front door for the delivery man to come. Apparently these are all the rage and they're ADORABLE on everyone. I needed a pair for myself!

Find them here





Y'all this happened this week. We have a heroes contest at school and one of my students submitted as essay about ME! When I opened it, I cried like a little baby. This is what wakes me up each morning and keeps me from going insane all day. These kids are so worth it.




The weather has been so amazing the past few days! We're talking low to mid 70's! Excuse me while I bring out my spring clothes. Loving this weather!

Dress similar / Necklace / Booties similar






I'm obsessing over these necklaces! I'm considering getting one as my "everyday" necklace. What are your thoughts? Any one else have them?

Find it here




I don't want to give anything away yet, but a favorite this week has been getting ready for my January Book Review! I read 5 books this month with 4 being GREAT and one just "meh." Be sure to check back in on Monday if you want some ideas for great books! 

I hope everyone has the best weekend! See you back here on Monday!

XO,
Leslie




Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Hobo Dinner

We've made it to the middle of the week! 

Today, I'm sharing a dinner that I have on rotation in our house. It's so simple and so easy to clean up, it's a no-brainer.

Hobo Dinner


Can't you tell that I love Publix? 

What you'll need:
2 large red potatoes
Baby carrots
Seasoned meatballs (I buy the already seasoned ones from Publix but you could easily do this yourself)
Mini Corn on the Cob 
Weber Gormet Burger Seasoning
Olive Oil
Garlic Salt
Onion Powder
Aluminum foil


*This recipe is large enough for 4 "hobo bags" or 4 people.*

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Tear off about 12 inches of aluminum foil. You'll be putting the ingredients on the non-shiny side.

Pour 2 Tbps of olive oil onto the aluminum foil

Sprinkle 1/2 Tbps of gourmet burger seasoning into the olive oil

Place three seasoned meatballs into the olive oil, along with a handful of baby carrots and mini corn on the cob

Peel potato, cut into chunks, and put about 5 chunks into the mixture

Sprinkle garlic salt, onion powder and a little more burger seasoning over the entire mixture

Lift the sides of the aluminum foil over all of the ingredients


Repeat steps for each person.

Cook in oven for 45 minutes  or until meatballs are cooked thoroughly

Remove from oven and place entire hobo bag on plate and serve! 

That's it!! Once you're finished, you simply throw the bag away and you're left with no mess. This is always such a big hit with the guys! You won't be disappointed!

Thanks for joining me today!

XO,
Leslie




Tuesday, January 24, 2017

10 Things on Tuesday: Random Tidbits about Leslie

Good Morning friends! When my alarm went off this morning, I thought it was Sunday. Don't you hate when that happens?!

Instead of discussing the normal Show and Tell topic, Ill be sharing a little bit more about myself. I hope that's okay with you!

Here are 10 random tidbits about me!



I'm a teacher of little first graders! I've never wanted to pull my hair out one minute, and want to hug all over those kiddos the next. 

I feel like I'm the "Jack of all trades" when it comes to hobbies. I like to try out lots of different things, and I just happen to like doing all of them!


I'm selectively OCD about my organization/the way that I do things.  For example, my bed MUST be made before I get in it at night. If the bed is unmade in the evening, I'll make it before I get in it. Another thing I can't handle is having random things on the kitchen counters. Some things just bother me way more than others.

I love clothes, but I hate shopping for them. Even more than that, I loathe trying them on. I would 100% of the time rather have a recommendation or find something online and buy it there. I can't be the only one!

Reading a book in the bathtub with either a beer or glass of wine is the best. I could easily crank out half of a book doing that!

I have two irrational fears. The first is my fear of snakes. You might be thinking, "snakes are awful, I hate them too." Nope. I am constantly wondering or thinking that a snake is nearby. I can't walk in the grass in the dark, and when it is daytime, I am overly cautious. I also check under the covers before bed, and in the toilet. I don't know what gave me this giant fear, but it's awful! The second one is that mask from the Scream movie. I must have seen that movie too young and it has forever made me very uncomfortable. Halloween is hard, y'all. LOL.

I'm the most excitable person you'll ever meet. When going on a trip or doing something especially fun, I get so excited that I'm nearly jumping around like a child. I've always been that way. I consider it one of my more endearing qualities. :)

I'm definitely a night owl. The morning and I are not friends. You would think that after teaching for several years, I'd be used to waking up super early. It'll never be something that I get used to. #wheresthecoffee

I live for food. When it comes to food, I don't discriminate. I love it all! This mug is perfect and I need it pronto.



I use checklists for everything! Christmas ideas, cleaning, books to read or school work to get done, all require lists! The happiness of crossing something off of it is so freeing! 

There you have it! That's 10 random tidbits of info that you probably didn't know about me.

See you all tomorrow! I'll be sharing a recipe that you'll want to add to your rotation ASAP!

XO,
Leslie








Monday, January 23, 2017

Falcons and Friends

Morning y'all!

Sure, It's a Monday......but Atlanta is headed to the SUPER BOWL!

I can't even believe it!



On Saturday, I headed to the bead store with my mom in order to pick up beads for some new necklace designs. I'm so excited about this you guys. I use nothing but the most high-quality materials for my jewelry, so you can't beat the price. Boutiques sell these things for almost twice the price.

Find my Etsy / Jewelry Insta / Personal Insta



Saturday night we went to a friend's house for cocktails and games. We had a blast getting to know some fun, new people! I don't have any pictures, but it's always a good time when Cards Against Humanity is involved.

On Sunday, our Falcons were playing in the NFC Championship game against Green Bay, so we found a local bar to watch the game and hang out with our new friends. It was such a good game, and we crushed Green Bay! The Falcons are going to the Super Bowl! Who would have thought? Actually, back in November I had a dream that they won the Super Bowl, so I'm pretty sure I have some kind of ESP or something.


How was your weekend? Come back tomorrow for 10 Things on Tuesday: Get to know Leslie Edition

XO,
Leslie



Friday, January 20, 2017

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! We've survived the week and are ready for a relaxing weekend!

As always, I'm linking up with some awesome bloggers to share our Friday Favorites!






Obsessing over these necklaces! They add a statement to any outfit! 





I've been wanting to try a mud mask for some time now. I don't really have troublesome skin, but I do occasionally like to use a mask in order to brighten my skin. This mask that I found is wonderful! Not only did my skin feel great after using it, but I had several comments about how my skin was glowing. Plus, it doesn't break the bank!

Find it here


It was kind of a slow and uneventful week, so I only had to favorites to share today. I hope you all have a fabulous weekend and I'll see you back here on Monday!

XO,
Leslie
Monday, January 16, 2017

Stitch Fix Review #4

Happy Monday, everyone! I would be in a crummy mood, but I don't have to go back to school until tomorrow! Super thankful for this short week!

Today I'm reviewing my Stitch Fix for the month of January. I've actually belonged to Stitch Fix for about a year now, but it's only the fourth time that I've done a review.

This month, I was not so impressed.



Having Ry take pictures of me is quite the task. He makes me laugh so much that I can hardly keep it together.


Item #1
Pixels Patata Taux Suede Pocket Knit Top
Fit: A tad too tight for my liking.
Price:  $44
Verdict: Returned
Why: I thought that the faux suede pocket on this top was super cheesy. The shirt just felt cheap over all and not worth the price. 




Item #2
Alice Blue Hacienda Lace Sleeve Blouse
Fit: Too short and would reveal midsection if I were to raise my arms. No ma'am.
Price:  $48
Verdict: Returned
Why: I'm not sure if the top was too small, or if the fit was just odd, but I didn't like how it looked on my body.



Item #3
Le Lis Rory Open Drape Cardigan
Fit: It fit nicely
Price:  $54
Verdict: Returned
Why: The cardigan was alright, but I wasn't a huge fan on the color. I wear a lot of dark jeans, and it wouldn't look right.

Item #4
Bay to Baubles Sharlene Metal Lace Cuff
Fit: I think my arms are too small for large metal cuffs- it was awkward.
Price:  $28
Verdict: Return
Why: I'm not a fan of super chunky jewelry



Item #5
Margaret M Labelle Asymmetrical Skirt
Fit: Alright
Price:  $74
Verdict: Returned
Why: I wanted to like this skirt so much. I wore it around the house for a bit to see how it felt, but the skirt rode up so badly while walking around. I hate tugging and pulling at clothes while wearing them, so I couldn't bring myself to buy it. Bummer.

This month was a complete bust. I have to say that I might cancel my subscription. Don't get me wrong, the clothes are very cute. They just don't completely align with my style. 

I suppose it'll be something to think about. I do love seeing that little box on my doorstep! 

I'll see you all tomorrow!

XO,
Leslie


Friday, January 13, 2017

Friday Favorites

Phew. We made it to Friday and it's a long weekend! 

Insert my happy dance here.

Today I'm linking up with my favorite bloggers to share my favorites for the week!



A Little Bit of Everything       |        Grace and Love         |           Momfessionals





We're going to start my favorites off in the nail polish department. I've never been a fan of red hued polish, but I'm loving this color so much. It's still goes with everything, but it's super unique and looks like a different color in various lighting! 

Find it here





Added this gorgeous bracelet to my Etsy shop! I'm loving this new hobby so much. Be on the lookout because there will be some necklaces coming soon! To give you an idea of what kinds of necklaces that you'll see, these are very similar! 


Shop with me here




Remember that Lush top I was telling you guys about last week? Here's a picture of the shirt actually on. As you can see, it's long enough to wear with leggings, but not so long that it can't be paired with your favorite jeans. I've already ordered it in 3 other colors. 

Also, my leggings might be the most comfortable ones you could ever own. Plus, right now they're 40% off, making them less than $15. Excuse me while I order myself 5 pairs.





I've been meaning to tell you guys about my favorite eyeliner, and was reminded today when I got my Birchbox! So, I'm not super loyal to any specific eye make-up brand. The eyeliners and mascaras that I use typically come from my Birchbox subscription. I do have brands that I like, but I would much rather try out a bunch of different types. Let me know if this is bad for my skin or something, because I'm clueless.

The Eyeko eyeliner on the bottom is the one that I've had for such a long time. It's the BEST! It still hasn't run out and works so well for both natural and going out looks. Today, I got the skinny version of it and I'm so excited to try it out in the morning!

On a more general note, if you don't have Birchbox, you need it! It's only $10 a month and comes with top of the line samples. I've belonged to their subscription for over 2 years now, and I have never once considered canceling. You start by filling out a skin profile so that they know what products will work best for you. Then, each month you get a box that includes 5 samples that are tailored to fit your skin and beauty needs. Not to mention, the boxes that the samples come in are ADORABLE. I can't make myself throw them away. They're legitimately just stacking up in my closet.

Another perk is that you can review the products that you get, and earn points which lead to free and discounted, full-size products. Yes, if you love a particular item, you can purchase the full-size on their website.  If you click the link below, you can get your first box for only $5! :)

Start your subscription here






If you missed my post on Tuesday, be sure to check out all the great items I found on my shopping trip! I have a feeling that some of these outfits are going to be on repeat all season long.

I hope everyone has a restful long weekend! I'll see you all back here for my January Stitch Fix review!

XO,
Leslie
Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Working' it Wednesday- New Year Goals


It's Wednesday already! I'm super thankful for my spontaneous, icy, extra long weekend. I'll take a three day work day anytime.

Today is the first Workin' It Wednesday link up of the year and I'm super excited! If you don't know what that is, you basically discuss a predetermined topic and link up with host bloggers in order to form a giant community of people talking about the same topic. It's such a great way to meet new people and find new favorite bloggers!


Todays link up has been brought to us by Shay from Mix & Match Mama, and Erika from A Little Bit of Everything! Love these two ladies.

The topics for the year have already been planned out. Here's what we will be discussing in 2017. :)



New Year's Goals

If you missed my "New Year, New Goals" post, you can find it here.

In thinking about my resolution for this year, I wanted something that wasn't cliche and something I felt I could really succeed at.

In 2017, my goal is to:

Do better!



It's not revolutionary, it's not life changing , it's just achievable.

Meal planning- I am terrible at planning meals and I'm not exaggerating when I say that I stop by the grocery store no less than 5 times each week. I know that I'm spending way too much money each time, and I'm not planning lunches or dinners well at all. I want to do better at planning meals each week, and being efficient at the grocery store.

Being Active- This one is pretty self-explanatory. I'm not setting a goal about working out ____ times each week, or setting weight loss goals because it sets me up to fail. I want to be more active in general in 2017. Little things can add up to a healthier lifestyle and I plan to do just that. I also plan on getting back into the gym more, just not giving myself an exact expectation. 

Blogging- I love all of you fellow bloggers so much! You are all so encouraging and sweet. In 2017, I want to maximize my blogging potential. If anyone has suggestions for things that you would want to see in this coming year, please comment and let me know! 

Saving money- This is a big one. I need to add to my savings. The holidays are behind us, so my bank account needs to recover accordingly!

Reading more- I definitely read more than the average person, especially someone working a full-time job AND being in grad school. Books bring me to the most amazing place, and I want to read even more than I already do. I'm going to be doing more regular book reviews to share the great books that I read.


That's it! Doing things that I already do, but better.

So far, I'm off to a great start! I have all my lunch meals prepared for the week and are already on book #3 for the month. 

What are your New Year's goals?

XO,
Leslie
Tuesday, January 10, 2017

10 Things on Tuesday - What I'm Shopping For

Happy Tuesday! 

Yesterday our county closed schools because of the icy roads and to our surprise, today is closed too! I may or may not have been spraying my street with a hose to make it worse. ;)

Since I had an unexpected day off, I took the cherished time to do what I do best. 

Shopping!

I stopped at several of my favorite places and thought I could share some great things that I found! I tried to find all the links so that you can find these items at home too.

LOFT


 

This top was AWESOME! It was almost like a boyfriend-fit button down that still flattered in all the right places. The sleeves on this top were darling as well. For a size reference, I'm wearing a small and it was plenty long to wear with leggings! I ended up buying this top.

Find it here



This dress was DARLING! I tried it on with my favorite Loft leggings for a more fall/winter look, and then tried it on sans leggings for a more spring look. I loved it both ways, although I would probably match it with grey leggings instead of black. I didn't buy this dress, but I was left thinking about it for the rest of the day.

Find it here


Y'all this top. I'm wanting to cry because they no longer have this top online, meaning I can't share it with you! When I bought it yesterday, it was in the clearance section at 60% off. This black off the shoulder top was super flattering and had a precious lace bottom trim. I bought a small.

Find similar here



This was definitely my favorite Loft purchase yesterday. This top was to die for! The slits of the side gave it such character, while remaining simple enough to dress up in a variety of ways! I bought a small and it was a perfect length for both jeans and leggings.

Find it here

NORDSTROM


I must be going through a phase of off the shoulder tops, because I can't tell you how many I picked up. This one was a winner as well. The color was gorgeous and it fit so well. I'm wearing an XS, so I would definitely size down from your norm. This would definitely need to be worn with pants, as it wasn't long enough to wear with leggings.

Find it here

Side note: why is the Nordstrom lighting so terrible?


This top was perfect in every way. This color looks much better in person than it does in the picture, but it was super adorable and super comfortable. It comes in 5 colors, and I had to stop myself from buying every single one. Wearing a small.

Find it here



I have needed a great leather jacket so badly, and I set out yesterday to find a great one. This one caught my eye on the sale rack! I didn't end up buying, but I know I'll regret that. Wearing a medium.

Find it here



I was so bummed when this scarf sold out online during the half yearly sale. Someone must have returned it, because it was the only one sitting all lonely and by itself on the table. I practically ran over and snatched it up. Another plus is that it was only $8. 


TARGET


I don't know about you guys, but my Target has seriously upped it's activewear game! Have you seen this fleece jacket?!? I think I almost shrieked when I picked it up! PS) If you have the cartwheel app, anything in the C9 brand is 25% off! For a size reference, I bought a small in the jacket and medium-long in the pants.

Jacket here / pants here

Also, staying on the topic of Target activewear, what do you all think of these pants?


I love them, but was unsure about purchasing them. I was hoping for you thoughts! 

Find them here

For my final purchase of the day, I found the most appropriate mug while shopping in Francesca's. Am I the only one who skips looking at the clothes, and goes straight for accessories/gifts?



Find it here

Well those are my finds from my shopping trip yesterday! Lots of great after holiday sales happening and lots of new things out for the new year! I hope this helped you find something new and exciting for yourself! :)

See you all tomorrow! 

XO,
Leslie