Oct 2, 2017

September Book Review

Y'all, there is no way it is already October. August and September have gone by incredibly fast. Work is taking up so much of my time and brainpower and I'm finding it difficult to squeeze in time for reading. I did manage to read 6 books this month and I enjoyed almost all of them. I'd call September a successful reading month. Here's what I read this month and my thoughts on each. 

If you've been reading my book reviews for a while, then you know I love Lauren Layne's books. She's one of my favorite romance writers. I have been so excited about her newest series, Ready to Run, so I immediately downloaded it when it was released. I liked it, but I didn't love it. This is unusual for me because I normally love anything LL writes. I just didn't feel anything for the two main characters. There weren't that many cute interactions between them and I didn't buy the love story. I ended up liking it, but there was just something missing for me. I'd still recommend it to anyone who is in the mood for a romance story!

Simple Summary: A girl who works as a TV producer attempts to get a bachelor who has left three different women at the altar to play the lead in a new reality show that is like The Bachelor. He repeatedly refuses and she stays in town to try and convince him to do it and of course the two fall in love. 

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

This was a no brainer for me. I LOVE books that involve teachers and parents in a school setting. This one is written by Michael Gelman's (from Live with Kelly) wife. I really liked it! I thought it was super funny and entertaining. It wasn't my favorite book and I wasn't dying to pick it up whenever I wasn't reading it, but I always enjoyed it when I did pick it up.

Simple Summary: A woman who has two college age daughters becomes the class mom of her kindergarten son's class. The book follows her adventurous as class mom for the entire school year. I love the emails throughout the chapters. Such a funny touch!

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Now, Renee Carlino is an author that I just really want to love, but I end up not liking the majority of her books. Still, I always pick up her newest books. I tried this one and was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked it. It is definitely my favorite of hers. There were a few little details that I didn't love, but overall I really liked it.

Simple summary: A girl meets a boy (the artist) one night and ends up spending the entire night with him only to have him kick her out the next morning. She never hears from him and struggles to let it go. She meets another boy (the baseball player) and just as she is starting to fall for him, she finds out something about the artist that makes everything very complicated. 

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

My favorite of the month! I liked Shari Lepena's first book (The Couple Next Door), but I LOVED this one! Oh my goodness, this is a fabulous thriller! It kept me guessing until the very end. I loved it!

Simple Summary: A man comes home to an empty house that appears as if his wife just walked out in the middle of cooking supper. A few minutes later, he receives a call from the police saying his wife has been in a car accident in the bad part of town. She cannot remember anything from the night which the police think is convenient when a man turns up dead in the same area on the same night.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars


After watching the Emmy's, I knew I had to watch The Handmaid's Tale, but I wanted to read the book first. I started reading it and I just couldn't wait to start the show. I ended up watching the show at the same time that I was reading the book, which actually helped! The book was confusing to me because the timeline constantly shifts back and forth between the past and present and the perspectives change. I really enjoyed this story, but the show on Hulu is simply amazing. You must watch!

Simple Summary: This takes place in a dystopian setting of a future America where most women cannot have kids and women have very little freedom. Offred, the main character, is a handmaid, which are the women who can still have children and are given to the commanders so they can bear children for their family. 

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


I didn't have Fitness Junkie on my list originally because I never could get into The Knockoff. Several people recommended it to me though, so I decided to try it out. Sadly, I couldn't get into it. I read the first 75 pages and just didn't enjoy it enough to continue. 

Simple Summary (of what I read): The main character owns a wedding dress business with her best friend from high school until he forces her to take a break because she has gained weight and is now a bad image for the company, so she goes on a diet. I didn't get this friendship at all. Was he a bad character or just misunderstood? It just didn't make sense to me. 

No rating since I couldn't finish it.


This last book I read in September was a surprise. I never thought I would pick this one up, but after seeing it on another blogger's monthly reading recap, I decided to give it a go. I ended up really loving this one. There were a few little things that the main character did or said that annoyed me, but this was a surprise for me!

Simple Summary: A girl and her best friend go on a European vacation after her best friend breaks up with her boyfriend who should have been going on the trip with her. The boyfriend ends up still going and taking his best friend and the 4 meet up in several different countries. The best friend attempts to reunite with her boyfriend while the other main character struggles to not fall for his best friend. 

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

So that's what I read in the month of September. You can follow me on Goodreads here or on Instagram here. I'd love to hear what you've been reading and loving!










Oct 1, 2017

October Book Club Choices


Okay, book club friends! It's time to pick our October book for the #lalalifebookclub. Yes, I realize I dropped the ball on September, but with school starting back, it was just impossible to get everything together. I hate that we missed September, but hopefully we will all love our October pick!

If you're new to the book club, here's a quick recap of how it works.

1) If you want to participate, comment on my Instagram picture (@lalalifebookclub) with your book choice #. I'll have a short description of each book below if you want to research to see which sounds best to you. I've never read any of these so I'm excited for any of them!

2) I'll tally up the votes and announce the winning book on tomorrow night (10/2). 

3) Once we've decided on a book, it's time to read! You can post your own pictures and thoughts or just comment on my pictures. Whatever gets us discussing the books! Just be sure and use the hashtag #lalalifebookclub so that everyone that is participating that month can follow along. 

4) If you have an Instagram account and don't really post pictures but still want to participate, just comment on others! The goal is to talk about the book!


If you want to check out each book to see what it's about, I've included a brief synopsis below.
These links will take you to each book's Goodreads page (friend me!). If you wish to order them, I've included the links from Amazon under each picture and description. These are affiliate links! :) 



Ten years ago, college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie–scale massacre. In an instant, she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to—a group of similar survivors known in the press as the Final Girls. Lisa, who lost nine sorority sisters to a college dropout's knife; Sam, who went up against the Sack Man during her shift at the Nightlight Inn; and now Quincy, who ran bleeding through the woods to escape Pine Cottage and the man she refers to only as Him. The three girls are all attempting to put their nightmares behind them, and, with that, one another. Despite the media's attempts, they never meet.

Now, Quincy is doing well—maybe even great, thanks to her Xanax prescription. She has a caring almost-fiancĂ©, Jeff; a popular baking blog; a beautiful apartment; and a therapeutic presence in Coop, the police officer who saved her life all those years ago. Her memory won’t even allow her to recall the events of that night; the past is in the past. 

That is, until Lisa, the first Final Girl, is found dead in her bathtub, wrists slit, and Sam, the second, appears on Quincy's doorstep. Blowing through Quincy's life like a whirlwind, Sam seems intent on making Quincy relive the past, with increasingly dire consequences, all of which makes Quincy question why Sam is really seeking her out. And when new details about Lisa's death come to light, Quincy's life becomes a race against time as she tries to unravel Sam's truths from her lies, evade the police and hungry reporters, and, most crucially, remember what really happened at Pine Cottage, before what was started ten years ago is finished.


Scream meets YA in this hotly-anticipated new novel from the bestselling author of Anna and the French Kiss.

One-by-one, the students of Osborne High are dying in a series of gruesome murders, each with increasing and grotesque flair. As the terror grows closer and the hunt intensifies for the killer, the dark secrets among them must finally be confronted.

International bestselling author Stephanie Perkins returns with a fresh take on the classic teen slasher story that’s fun, quick-witted, and completely impossible to put down.


The Voss family is anything but normal. They live in a repurposed church, newly baptized Dollar Voss. The once cancer-stricken mother lives in the basement, the father is married to the mother’s former nurse, the little half-brother isn’t allowed to do or eat anything fun, and the eldest siblings are irritatingly perfect. Then, there’s Merit.

Merit Voss collects trophies she hasn’t earned and secrets her family forces her to keep. While browsing the local antiques shop for her next trophy, she finds Sagan. His wit and unapologetic idealism disarm and spark renewed life into her—until she discovers that he’s completely unavailable. Merit retreats deeper into herself, watching her family from the sidelines when she learns a secret that no trophy in the world can fix.

Fed up with the lies, Merit decides to shatter the happy family illusion that she’s never been a part of before leaving them behind for good. When her escape plan fails, Merit is forced to deal with the staggering consequences of telling the truth and losing the one boy she loves.


It’s been a year since Billie Flanagan—a beautiful, charismatic Berkeley mom with an enviable life—went on a solo hike in Desolation Wilderness and vanished from the trail. No body—only a hiking boot—has ever been found. Billie’s husband and teenage daughter cope with her death the best they can: Jonathan drinks, Olive grows remote.

But then Olive starts having waking dreams—or are they hallucinations?—that her mother is still alive. Jonathan worries about Olive’s emotional stability, until he starts unearthing secrets from Billie’s past that bring into question everything he thought he knew about his wife. Together, Olive and Jonathan embark on a quest for the truth—about Billie, their family, and the stories we tell ourselves about the people we love.


In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned - from the layout of the winding roads, to the colors of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules. 
Enter Mia Warren - an enigmatic artist and single mother - who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenaged daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community. 
When old family friends of the Richardsons attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town--and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia's past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs.


Milly's mother is a serial killer. Though Milly loves her mother, the only way to make her stop is to turn her in to the police. Milly is given a fresh start: a new identity, a home with an affluent foster family, and a spot at an exclusive private school.

But Milly has secrets, and life at her new home becomes complicated. As her mother's trial looms, with Milly as the star witness, Milly starts to wonder how much of her is nature, how much of her is nurture, and whether she is doomed to turn out like her mother after all.

When tensions rise and Milly feels trapped by her shiny new life, she has to decide: Will she be good? Or is she bad? She is, after all, her mother's daughter.
 

Sep 25, 2017

Fall Fashion Haul


Fall is officially here and though it may not feel like it here in Alabama (it's currently in the high 80s/low 90s each day), my closest is ready for the cool temps! I have been stocking up on new fall pieces since July, y'all! See this post to understand why I haven't bought new fall clothes in two years! I'm making up for lose time ;)
Like I said, I've been buying new sweaters for the last couple of months. Every few days I'll check to see if something I've got my eye on has gone on sale. I'll link everything that is still available! Runs big! I didn't size down, but I don't think it would have been too small if I had.


I'll start with my favorite sweater! I am in love with this pretty pink sweater from Free People. The minute I saw it and I knew I had to have it. It's everything I love in a sweater: pink, a high neck, and a long, almost tunic length. I bought this in late July/early August. It's currently sold out in pink on the Free People site, but it's still available at Nordstrom. It also comes in a gray, purple, and white. 
Love, love, love!


I'm not a huge fan of cardigans, but I do love this one! I hate a long cardigan that is sloppy and tends to fall down throughout the day and get bigger as you wear it. This one is made really well and stays put! GAP is always running a 40% off code on their site, which makes this piece affordable! I got the cream color, but I really want the dull rose one too!

Free People Crazy Hearts Tee ***Currently on sale for $49.95!

Y'all know I'm obsessed with the FP Crazy Hearts Tees. They run really big though, so size down if you order! I have the white, pink, and I just couldn't resist this burnt orange color for fall. 


HM 

I'll admit, I almost sent this one back because I hate a short top on me. I decided to keep it and just wear a shirt underneath to add some length because I really do like the color. It's a brighter peachy/orange. Runs TTS/slightly bigger


HM

This one photographs much sloppier than it appears IRL! I really like this one even though it's shorter. I love the neck and I really like the baggy sleeves! The material is also really good on this one. It's very soft! Runs TTS



I already shared this sweater with y'all in a Friday favs post, but it's one of my favorites that I've bought this year! I LOVE the sleeves! It runs TTS.


Loft Currently 40% off!

I LOVE this one! Give me all the turtlenecks and black and white striped tops. I especially love this one because you can wear it right now. It runs TTS. 


When I saw a fashion blogger wearing this leopard dress, I immediately ordered it. I LOVE leopard for the Fall and this one reminds me on Gossip Girl for some reason. I am obsessed! It runs slightly bigger than normal. 

Currently not available in the gingham, but I've linked the other prints/colors that are still available. FYI: That gorgeous pink is not a true color. I originally ordered it and had to send them back because they were more of a maroon 

These run small! I currently cannot wear them, but it's my goal to get in them by mid October! They are just a bit too tight in the hip area! I just love them though! I really want a pair of cute denim overalls too!



I wore this cardigan last week and I love it! I had started to send it back because it wasn't as long as I would have liked, but I ended up keeping it and I'm really glad I did. It runs TTS, but keep in mind that it isn't a longer, grandfather type cardigan like I had hoped!



This oversized sweater is the perfect thrown on sweater! I just wish it came in more colors. It runs TTS. 

**Please note, I don't plan on wearing all these sweaters with black leggings and leopard loafers. I was just trying them on for the purpose of this post! Although I am obsessed with these shoes and would wear them every single day if they went with everything! ;) Sadly they are sold out in every size except 6, so if you are loving them too but missed them, I'm dying for this pair too!


Sep 23, 2017

What I Wore: Teacher Fashion

Happy Saturday! I normally post outfit recaps on Wednesdays, but this week just hasn't been my friend, y'all! Better late than never though, right? :) 

I started having a bit of an identity crisis with how I take my outfit pictures and I'm still trying to figure out how I want to do them, so some are taken by me (the old way) and some are taken by my sweet mom (the new way). Just bear with me as I figure out what I want to do. Feel free to let me know your preference! 

Happy weekend! 

top // pants // shoes (Tory Burch, old) // necklace // necklace // necklace // leopard clutch

top (bought at a local boutique, brand is Tea N Rose) // leggings // rainboots (Burberry, old similar here)// handbag // necklace

black tank // leopard cardigan // pants // handbag // shoes (White Mountain bought at TJ Maxx) // necklace // earrings

top (TJ Maxx) // pants // shoes (Sam Edleman, sold out similar here) // necklace (Charming Charlies, old) // handbag

top (TJ Maxx) // leggings // shoes (adidas, found at TJ Maxx) // tote // sunglasses (Chanel, no longer available online, but you can find them on ebay!)

Sep 22, 2017

Friday Favorites

Happy happy Friday, y'all! You know how some weeks are just uneventful and dull? I feel like this week has been that way in terms of my free time outside of work because work has been so super busy this week. I don't have a ton of favorites to share for this Friday because honestly, I've been so busy in the afternoons that when I finally get home, I just want to take a shower and watch TV. I haven't even read hardly anything this week! It's just been an off week, but that's okay! 

Have y'all tried the Bath and Body Works bath bombs? I got one last week and used it this week and I really liked it. It smelled incredible (I tried the Beautiful Day one) and it turned the water a gorgeous deep blue color. I wish they were a little cheaper, but I really liked it! I'm hoping they come out with bubble bars like LUSH next!

Oh man, part of my week was my computer crashing. I had to run and get a jump drive with a huge amount of storage on it so I could quickly grab all my files and transfer them to my newer iMac computer. Which means I now have to reinstall everything! ugh! I had a unit due on September 11th and I am having to redo the entire thing, so it's of course late. Soooo frustrating!

Aren't these flowers just gorgeous?? A sweet friend brought them to me on Tuesday, which instantly made my day better and my classroom prettier! Is there anything better than fresh flowers? :)

After a 2 and a half hour DISH appointment, my TV is finally working. Y'all my satellite has been out for the longest time and I could never think to call a schedule a service appointment. I'm not a huge TV watcher, but now that college football is back, I want to watch Alabama games...Roll Tide! The TV finally got fixed yesterday and then what did I pick to watch? Netflix! haha! 

My Thursday afternoon was a 2 and 1/2 hour DISH appointment followed by grocery shopping. Ugh! I hate crazy busy afternoons like that! Coffee and flowers helped get me through the chore!

After watching the Emmy's last Sunday night, (Scratch that. I couldn't watch them live because see above post about DISH and my TV. I had to watch the highlights Monday morning) I knew I needed to read The Handmaid's Tale so I could watch the show. I started the book and was immediately hooked. I just couldn't wait to watch the show, so I started the first episode and oh my goodness. I ended up skimming the book because I couldn't stop watching this show. I just finished the first season this morning and I cannot wait for season 2 next year. I have soooo many questions and I'm dying to see more of Nick! Anyone else watch this show?? I can't stand Luke and I really want Offred/June and Nick to end up together. I fully understand this show is so much bigger than a romance, and I have many thoughts/feelings about certain things that have happened, but I just love these two characters and wish they would have a happy ending together! Side note: this is a really odd, not very popular movie, but has anyone else ever watch Elvis and Anabelle? It has Blake Lively in it and the actor that plays Nick in The Handmaid's Tale (Max Minghella). I love this movie, so I think that's why I like this character so much. In the book, he comes across as a little creepier than in the TV show and not as likable.  

I got my ipsy this week and I think it was the best one I've ever gotten. I have been looking for a blue fall nail polish like this one for the longest so I was thrilled to get it. And I am so excited about that colorpop lipstick! I've always wanted to try colorpop, but I never have. I'm always up for mascara so that was a win. I'm not that into the other products, but the first three were more than enough for me! :)



And finally it's the first official day of Fall today! Yay! If only Alabama weather would get the memo. It was 90 degrees today. What?! I want to wear boots, scarfs, and sweaters! I'm ready to switch out closets and pack away summer!   

Happy weekend, y'all! I was late about posting my What I Wore/Teacher Fashion recap on Wednesday, so look for it tomorrow :)