Happy Friday, friends! It was the first week back from Thanksgiving break and it was a long one! I am so excited to have the weekend to recover. Here's a few snippets from my week. :)

Sometimes I get in a big "let me take a picture with my travel mug" mood and apparently the urge hit me this week. I am borderline obsessed with disposable travel mugs and I've recently discovered TJ Maxx has a great selection. It might just be because it's the holidays, but I'm loving them and stocking up!

At the beginning of the week, Cyber Monday happened. I was extremely busy with my TpT business for the first part of the week-I worked basically all weekend and after school when I got home the first part of the week. I would come home after working all day and then work until about 8pm. I am soooo tired and I want to just enjoy this coming weekend. No work at all! My mom's little dog was my helper, but she couldn't quite stay awake and her sleeping location made it a little difficult to work. LOL!

During my nonstop work session, I updated my Christmas Around the World Comp Files

And created a whole new unit in my Guided Read Alouds for Picture Books series. This one is for Santa Clauses: Short Poems from the North Pole

I also teamed up with RIF (Reading is Fundamental) on Giving Tuesday to share the books that I am thankful for and that have made an impact on me as a reader (The Baby Sitters Club, anyone??? Who else was obsessed??)

In house news, they got the front door installed! They are going to do a wider trim, but at least it's in. :)

They also started trim on the eaves on the back side of the house

I also bought my bed this week! Yay! I went with the intention of getting this one:

I LOVE the shape of the headboard, but when I got to the store, I didn't realize how rustic and distressed it was. It had a ton of chipped paint, which isn't my taste. I decided to go with my first choice (the first one pictured) and I'm really happy with it! 

I was watching Anthro's site during Cyber Monday to see if this gorgeous chair would go on sale. It did, but of course it was excluded from the free shipping and the shipping was $150. That made the chair cost $850, which I just couldn't do. I loved it, but not $850 worth. I did buy a rug for my office that was on sale for $150 and it was normally $375! Gotta love Rugs USA!

I had some fun book mail this week too. Berkley Publishing sent me a copy of The Au Pair by Emma Rous. This thriller comes out in January and it sounds sooo good! Add it to your TBR here on Goodreads (and while you're there, follow me!)

I finished Nine Perfect Strangers and absolutely LOVED it! You can see more of my thoughts and what else I read this month in my November Book Reviews

And finally I started The Other Woman by Sandie Jones, which I'm really excited about. I've heard great things, so I'm hoping it'll live up to all the hype!

That was a little part of my week. Hope y'all had a great week and an even better weekend! :)

Happy almost December, friends! I read 6 books this past month and I can't wait to share them with y'all! 2 were unputdownable, 1 was a complete shocker,  1 was an oldie by a favorite author, and 2 I really didn't care for...can you guess which is which??

Let's jump into my November book reviews:

(Didn't care for it)
I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of Lisa Jewell's newest thriller, Watching You. Thank you so much, Atria Books, for gifting this thriller to me. This one comes out in December and it's been on my radar for a long time! I was so excited to read this one because Lisa Jewell is one of my favorite authors. Her last book, Then She Was Gone, is one of my favorites of the year, but oh man I didn't like this one. In fact, it's probably my least favorite by her. I read it at the beginning of the month and as I'm writing this 20ish days later, I'm struggling to even remember what it's about...that should tell you something! I just didn't connect with this book. I thought there were wayyyy too many characters and that took away from the plot. I think this one needs to be read in one sitting because it’s confusing having to remember which character is which if you read it over a long period of time. 

Here's what it's about:
As the headmaster credited with turning around the local school, Tom Fitzwilliam is beloved by one and all—including Joey Mullen, his new neighbor, who quickly develops an intense infatuation with this thoroughly charming yet unavailable man. Joey thinks her crush is a secret, but Tom’s teenaged son Freddie—a prodigy with aspirations of becoming a spy for MI5—excels in observing people and has witnessed Joey behaving strangely around his father.

One of Tom’s students, Jenna Tripp, also lives on the same street, and she’s not convinced her teacher is as squeaky clean as he seems. For one thing, he has taken a particular liking to her best friend and fellow classmate, and Jenna’s mother—whose mental health has admittedly been deteriorating in recent years—is convinced that Mr. Fitzwilliam is stalking her.

Meanwhile, twenty years earlier, a schoolgirl writes in her diary, charting her doomed obsession with a handsome young English teacher named Mr. Fitzwilliam…

(Didn't care for it)
After that disappointing Lisa Jewell, I could feel a reading slump coming on, so I thought a YA contemporary was in order. That used to be my go to genre when I needed something light and quick. You'd Be Mine by Erin Han had a gorgeous cover (not important, but kinda is, right?) and it sounded like When It's Real by Erin Watt, which was my favorite read of 2017, so I decided to pick up this ARC that I had from Netgalley. Y'all, I was really disappointed in this one too. I didn't connect with any of the characters and the romance was lacking for me. Not a fan of this one!

Here's what it's about:
Annie Mathers is America’s sweetheart and heir to a country music legacy full of all the things her Gran warned her about. Superstar Clay Coolidge is most definitely going to end up one of those things. 

But unfortunately for Clay, if he can’t convince Annie to join his summer tour, his music label is going to drop him. That’s what happens when your bad boy image turns into bad boy reality. Annie has been avoiding the spotlight after her parents’ tragic death, except on her skyrocketing YouTube channel. Clay’s label wants to land Annie, and Clay has to make it happen. 

Swayed by Clay’s undeniable charm and good looks, Annie and her band agree to join the tour. From the start fans want them to be more than just tour mates, and Annie and Clay can’t help but wonder if the fans are right. But if there’s one part of fame Annie wants nothing to do with, it’s a high-profile relationship. She had a front row seat to her parents’ volatile marriage and isn’t interested in repeating history. If only she could convince her heart that Clay, with his painful past and head over heels inducing tenor, isn’t worth the risk. 

Erin Hahn’s thrilling debut, You’d Be Mine, asks: can the right song and the perfect summer on the road make two broken hearts whole?

(An oldie by a favorite)
By this point in the month, I was 0 for 2 and the reading slump was in full swing. I turned to Lauren Layne to pull me out and she did just that! Lauren Layne is my favorite romance writer and I have saved some of her books for rainy days like this month when I need a sure fire book to get me back on track. Isn't She Lovely is one of her earlier books and it was a really sweet and cute story that had a swoon worthy meet cute. I really enjoyed this book. Not my favorite of hers, but so so good! Seriously, if you've never read a Lauren Layne book, change that immediately! 

Here's what it's about:
Stephanie Kendrick gave up her whole summer to ace her NYU film school screenwriting course, so she's pissed to be stuck with a preppy, spoiled frat boy as her writing partner. Then again, with her piercings, black-rimmed eyes, and Goth wardrobe, Stephanie isn't exactly Ethan Price's type, either. He's probably got his eye on some leggy blonde with a trust fund... or does he?

As the summer scene kicks off in the Hamptons, Ethan is desperate to make his snobbish mother forget the pedigreed girl who broke his heart. While Stephanie's a stretch as a decoy, the right makeover and a pastel cardigan just might do the trick. She may not love the idea of playing Ethan's brainless Barbie girlfriend, but the free rent and luxurious digs make a tempting offer. So does the promise of a ready-made screenplay idea inspired by their charade.

But when Stephanie steps into Ethan's privileged world, the "acting" begins to feel all too real. The kissing and touching that were intended to fool the Hamptons crowd wind up manipulating "them." And Stephanie faces a question she's too afraid to ask: Is Ethan falling for the real her or for the dolled-up princess he wants to see?

I'll admit, when I requested an ARC of this one, it was because of the cover. How gorgeous is this cover?? And then I realized the author is the same woman who wrote On the Island, which I read years ago and LOVED. I could not put this one down! Words cannot express how much I loved this book. I wasn't expecting the ending at all because I didn't pay attention to one key detail that was throughout the book and I'm so glad I didn't because that made the ending so much more impactful. I loved the way the author handled the main character's autism. I felt like it was done really well. I highly recommend this book!

Here's what it's about:
Annika (rhymes with Monica) Rose is an English major at the University of Illinois. Anxious in social situations where she finds most people's behavior confusing, she'd rather be surrounded by the order and discipline of books or the quiet solitude of playing chess.

Jonathan Hoffman joined the chess club and lost his first game--and his heart--to the shy and awkward, yet brilliant and beautiful Annika. He admires her ability to be true to herself, quirks and all, and accepts the challenges involved in pursuing a relationship with her. Jonathan and Annika bring out the best in each other, finding the confidence and courage within themselves to plan a future together. What follows is a tumultuous yet tender love affair that withstands everything except the unforeseen tragedy that forces them apart, shattering their connection and leaving them to navigate their lives alone.

Now, a decade later, fate reunites Annika and Jonathan in Chicago. She's living the life she wanted as a librarian. He's a Wall Street whiz, recovering from a divorce and seeking a fresh start. The attraction and strong feelings they once shared are instantly rekindled, but until they confront the fears and anxieties that drove them apart, their second chance will end before it truly begins

I picked this thriller as my November pick for Book of the Month and goodness gracious, this was an exciting book! I read this one in a day and a half. It was the perfect book to pick up during Thanksgiving break. I couldn't wait to figure out how it ended. 

Here's what it's about:
On their first date back in law school, Natalie and Will Clarke bonded over drinks, dinner and whether they could get away with murder. Now married, they’ll put the latter to the test when an unchecked danger in their community places their son in jeopardy. Working as a criminal defense attorney, Nat refuses to rely on the broken legal system to keep her family safe. She knows that if you want justice…you have to get it yourself.

Shocked to discover Nat’s taken matters into her own hands, Will has no choice but to dirty his, also. His family is in way too deep to back down now. He’s just not sure he recognizes the woman he married. Nat’s always been fiercely protective, but never this ruthless or calculating. With the police poking holes in their airtight plan, what will be the first to fall apart: their scandalous secret—or their marriage?

(A complete shocker)
I finished the month with Liane Moriarty's newest book, Nine Perfect Strangers, which was also our book club pick for #lalalifebookclub for November. I was real worried about this one, y'all. It has gotten a lot of mixed reviews and I didn't have much luck with her last book, Truly, Madly, Guilty. This one had a lot of characters and it was LONG (almost 500 pages) BUT I absolutely LOVED it, and I was so shocked at how much I loved it! I was fully prepared to DNF it because I thought it was going to be a dud, but I ended up loving it and thinking about it long after I finished it. Soooo good!

Here's what it's about:
Could ten days at a health resort really change you forever? In Liane Moriarty’s latest page-turner, nine perfect strangers are about to find out...

Nine people gather at a remote health resort. Some are here to lose weight, some are here to get a reboot on life, some are here for reasons they can’t even admit to themselves. Amidst all of the luxury and pampering, the mindfulness and meditation, they know these ten days might involve some real work. But none of them could imagine just how challenging the next ten days are going to be.

Frances Welty, the formerly best-selling romantic novelist, arrives at Tranquillum House nursing a bad back, a broken heart, and an exquisitely painful paper cut. She’s immediately intrigued by her fellow guests. Most of them don’t look to be in need of a health resort at all. But the person that intrigues her most is the strange and charismatic owner/director of Tranquillum House. Could this person really have the answers Frances didn’t even know she was seeking? Should Frances put aside her doubts and immerse herself in everything Tranquillum House has to offer – or should she run while she still can?

It’s not long before every guest at Tranquillum House is asking exactly the same question.

Combining all of the hallmarks that have made her writing a go-to for anyone looking for wickedly smart, page-turning fiction that will make you laugh and gasp, Liane Moriarty’s Nine Perfect Strangers once again shows why she is a master of her craft.

So that's what I read this month. I'd love to hear what you read or if you read any of these!

Check out my other book reviews this year:

Follow LaLa Life Book Club on Instagram and Facebook for more book recommendations!

We've made it to the two month mark, y'all! Oh how I wish we were at the finish line. 

Not a lot happened this past week with the house because it was Thanksgiving, but they did pour the front and back porch and the garage, which was super exciting!

My front door was also delivered and I was initially really unhappy with it. Because of the size of the foyer and because of the placement of the laundry room and office, I'm not able to have side lights on either side of the front door and when you look at the door, it kind of just looks plain. BUT it's grown on me and I think when it's painted a different color (I'm thinking gray or black) and when it's cased out with a wide white trim, I think it will be really pretty. 

To see more of my house construction process, check out these posts!

Week Eight Update 

Hey y'all! I have done a Friday Favs post since way back in January! I don't know what it is about winter, but for some reason it makes me want to blog more. I think it's because I discovered lifestyle blogs during Thanksgiving break in either 2010 or 2011. I just love having a little extra time to sit down and share fun little snippets of my week with y'all. Teaching and my TpT business take up almost all of my time during the week, so I hardly have a chance to find the time to upload pictures and write the posts. I'm extra thankful for the week long break because now I can. :)

Here's a few highlights from my week and things that I've been loving.

My mom and I went to Target last weekend and I randomly discovered that Emily Ley had a new line at Target! What in the world? How did I not know this?? I walked away with a new desktop calendar (the floral one that I got isn't available online, but they do have this pretty pink stripe) for my home office and a new full size agenda for my TpT business. I LOVED this floral design. 

This has been my view all week. I redecorated for Christmas at the beginning of Thanksgiving break so I could enjoy it all week long. I know a lot of people are against decorating for Christmas before Thanksgiving, but I love the extra time with it!

Since Christmas is just around the corner, I've been preparing by stocking up on new holiday themed picture books. I picked up When Santa was a Baby, Pick a Pine Tree, and The Wish Tree this week. 

I've also been getting in lots of reading time this week. I started and finished The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves at the beginning of the week and absolutely loved it. It doesn't come out until April, but be sure and check it out when it's released. You will love!

I also did a little shopping at Homegoods and found this gorgeous piece that would be perfect for my little home library. If only I didn't drive a small two door car. *sigh*

Even though I've done a ton of basically nothing this week, I did manage to fit in a little work. I created these new little pairing cards that are Christmas theme. They are like the pairing cards in my Pineapple Project resource. I hope to have them uploaded by Sunday afternoon.

Remember this picture from a few weeks ago on my teacher Instagram account? So many of y'all loved the car print and I immediately thought of y'all when I found these placemats last weekend.

How cute are they! I ended up getting the little red houses doormat and I passed on the car, but I am kind of having regrets about it! I just love a good doormat, don't you? LOL!

At this point in the house construction process, I feel like Lowes is my second home. 

I went on another ten million trips to Lowes this week in search of appliances. You can read all about that here. I can happily say I have purchased my appliances and don't have to stress over that anymore!

And then this happened on the way back from one of those ten million trips to Lowes this week. It definitely wasn't a fav, but I thought I'd share with y'all. As we were on our way home, I ran over an empty gas can that was in the road. I saw it right before I hit it, but there was a line of cars on the other side of the road, so I couldn't swerve to miss it. I thought I had just ran over it and knocked it out of the way, but I quickly realized that it was stuck under my car. It was actually stuck between the tire and the car. I pulled over and tried to pull it out, but it was stuck. We tried to drive home with it like that, but that wasn't going to work. We ended up pulling over at a church and my uncle came and got it out for us. It made a a small dent on the front of my car and hurt the paint a little, but it could have been worse! 

In house construction news for the week, they delivered the front door this week. When I first saw it, I'm not going to lie... I really didn't like it. I almost called and asked if I could return it, but then it started to grow on me once I went on Pinterest and found some pictures of it that I loved. I was originally thinking of painting it white, but I think that's why I don't like it right now. I think it would be much prettier in either black or a charcoal gray color. Let me know what y'all think!

They also poured the front and back porch and the garage this week. We are definitely making some progress! :)

So that was a little part of my week. Hope y'all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Let the countdown to Christmas break begin! (3 weeks and 2 days!)

One word to describe this week? Windows! I was so excited to see this step because it made such a change in how the house looked. Every step makes it look more like an actual house, which is obvious, but still so exciting! The rain is starting to be an issue though. I have never in my life seen so much rain. Here's a few pictures of this stage. 
Master bedroom, bathroom, and closet window

I just this little closet window. I plan on eventually having some built ins made around the window to store shoes and handbags. Eventually LOL

The back porch view with windows! Y'all know how much I can't wait to sit out here and read! :)

Guest bedroom

Window over the tub in the master bathroom

My breakfast nook, which is one of my favorite parts of the entire house!

The front view!

Office window

The French doors in the living room were also added this week! I LOVED them! 

I talked to the contractor about adding a cased opening here in the foyer and putting in a transom like the one below. I think this will give the room some character. I want it to had little touches that make it look and feel like a 1920's bungalow and I think the transom will help!

To see more of my house construction process, check out these posts!
Week Seven Update


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