Books, Tips

Where I Find Book Recommendations

Hello friends! On a past post, someone commented about how they were curious on where I find the books I read. If that was you then thank you for the idea! I can’t remember who it is as I type this up.

If you’ve read any of my posts, then it will come as no surprise that I am a big bookworm. Big as in I read 23 books in the first 2 months of the year. I always have a book on me so I can read whenever there’s any downtime. I would conservatively say that I read minimum 1 hour every day. Now some days that doesn’t happen but it’s something I shoot for. Once you factor in that I’m a fast reader, then you realize how I go through books so quickly. This means I’m always on the hunt for book suggestions. Without further ado, here are all of the places I find book recommendations.

People In My Life

My grandma is also a big reader. She’s won her library’s summer reading program the past three summers, which she is very proud of so go grandma! We are constantly texting back and forth with good books we have read. I know that whenever I am at her house, I can grab a book to bring back with me (or read while I’m there) since she has so many. If I don’t leave with an actual book then at a minimum I’ll add about 20 on my to read list. There’s been plenty of times that I’ll go back to my parents house and find a book sitting on my bed with a note with my name in her handwriting on it. To date, none of her recommendations have been wrong. Grandma knows her stuff!

I don’t just get book suggestions from Grandma though. If someone tells me about a book they have read, I’ll note the name and then check it out at home before I add it to my list. I will listen to anyone who has a book suggestion! I’ve gotten some from Alex’s grandma, my mom and her sisters, and Alex’s mom. No shame, one time I asked someone sitting on a flight next to me what book they were reading because the cover looked interesting.


If you read at all and don’t have a Goodreads account then you should open up a new tab and make an account. Then you can add me as a friend and finish reading this post πŸ˜‰ I adore Goodreads. It allows me to have virtual bookshelves that let me track books I want to read, am currently reading or have read. On the home page, you can see what your friends are currently reading, want to read or have read. Plus it shows top books in certain categories as well as book it thinks you will enjoy. I have found plenty of books through Goodreads that I have enjoyed. When I go to the library, I open up the app and look at books on my to read list which is really helpful.


I know what you’re thinking “Pinterest isn’t just DIYs and food recipes?” While I’m in love with those pins, I also love the book posts as well! I have looked up different genres, books being made in to movies, authors similar to other authors, books similar to shows, whatever it may be and have always found something. Whenever I do this, I always add at least 5 books to my list of ones that I want to read.

Other Bloggers

On the majority of blogs I read, the author will occasionally call out a book that they are reading. If it’s one that sounds interesting I tend to add it to my list if I haven’t read it all ready. By seeing books on blogs, they tend to be shared if the person enjoyed them and thinks others would like it. Plus I can see what the person thought of it as well which is helpful.

Walking Around The Library

While I tend to go into the library with a list of books that I want to get, sometimes I’ll just wander around and see what I spot. Sometimes these books turn out to be some of the best books that I’ve read. Both my library here as well as the one I went to growing up have book club sections. I highly recommend checking out for a section like this at your local library!

Novels By Authors I Know I Like

When I’m in need of a good book but have been in a slump of finding good ones or ones that really grab my attention, I turn to authors that I know I like. There are some authors that you know write a great story and are a great fall back option. For me these include Harlan Coben, Jennifer Chiaverini, Sandra Brown and a few others. I know I can grab a book by any of them for a good read.

Question of the day: What’s one way you find book suggestions?

Running, Tips

Ways Running And Life Are Similar

Hello friends! I hope you are checking in with a full heart (and belly) after Valentine’s Day yesterday. Alex and I kept it low key by staying home and watching Cool Runnings. Yes it is the 1993 Disney movie about the Jamaican bobsled team at the Calgary Olympics. I spent half the night singing the little song one of the characters sings to try and raise money. It was definitely not annoying at all to Alex πŸ˜‰

This past Saturday, I had an 8 mile run. Real talk right now it sucked. From the very first step to the very last, it sucked. It was so bad I stopped with less than 1.5 miles to go because I thought I would throw up (I didn’t thankfully). The entire time, I was thinking about how one bad run doesn’t mean I’m a bad runner. Which spiraled into ways running and life are similar since one bad day doesn’t mean I have a bad life. I figured I would share with you guys the ways I find running and life to be similar. Let me know how you find running (or whatever is you exercise of choice!) to be similar to life in the comments.

You have good days and bad days.

Not every day is going to be an amazing day just like not every run is going to be amazing. That’s okay! There are bad days involved with everything. Maybe you wake up on the wrong side of the bed and have an off day. Sometimes a run doesn’t go the way you want to and it’s okay. We’re allowed to feel crappy when this happens but then we wake up the next day with is a fresh start. Just don’t bring the negative thoughts/attitude with you the next day πŸ™‚

You need to celebrate, including the small things.


When something good happens celebrate! Whether it’s hitting a pace that you previously struggled with, graduating college, getting a promotion or completing a race. You need to celebrate yourself! You work hard to get to that point so why not have a cookie, glass of wine or treat yourself to a new shirt when that happens. Celebrating makes life fun and you shouldn’t just celebrate the big milestones in my opinion.

It’s hard.

Life is hard. Running is hard. But that’s okay. It’s going to be hard. We are all strong and we will overcome it. It’s that simple.

You have to be comfortable being uncomfortable.


In both life and running, you will find yourself in a situation that is uncomfortable. For me, those uncomfortable feelings come when I walk into a crowded room and realize I don’t know anyone. Hello introvert right here! Your uncomfortable feeling could be the same or different but you get what I’m saying. The feeling is the same when I go to run a new workout or have fast paces I need to hit. Those give me a similar uncomfortable feeling. In order to move forward and grow, you need to be okay with being uncomfortable.

To get what you want, you need to work for it.

If you want to get a promotion, do you just sit behind your desk and hope it falls into your lap. Heck no you don’t! You decide the way you will shine and then complete the necessary steps to get the promotion. That’s just like running. When you want to get a PR in a race, you need to push yourself to get to faster. You can’t keep running the same paces and expect to get faster. Nothing falls in your lap in both running and life.

You get out what you put into it.

The self-fulfilling prophecy is one of my favorite things I’ve ever learned about. I apply it to both life and running. When I interviewed for my current job, I told myself before both interviews that I would be myself and they would like my personality and what I could bring to the company. On runs, I look at a scary pace and think “I can do this and nothing will stop me”. For both life and running, you get what you put into it. If you put negative energy out then all you will attract is negative energy. Now I’m not saying I’m always upbeat and positive, I just don’t think that is realistic. I think about how I’m presenting myself and the thoughts in my head to do my absolute best to be sure it’s all positive.

People are always there to support you.


In life, you surround yourself with the people that you know will pick you up when you fall down. The ones that will celebrate all of the good and cry about the bad. It’s just like running! Alex doesn’t run and he doesn’t always get why I voluntarily wake up around 6:30 on Saturday mornings to run a lot of miles, but he comes to all of my races and let’s me complain about the bad runs.Β  Having a support system with you every step of the way is the best thing you can do to yourself for both running and life.

Question of the day: What’s one way you find life and running to be similar?


5 Self Care Tips

Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope your day is filled with lots of love and something fun. Thank you so much for reading this blog, I love you guys!

Now I know Valentine’s Day is considered a couple’s holiday but I don’t believe that. To me, February 14th is all about love whether it’s for a boyfriend/girlfriend, parent, pet, friend or someone else. Since today is all about love, I figured this is the perfect time to share some of my favorite self care/self love tips.

Face Masks


I love a good face mask. They make my skin feel so good and with some many different one’s for sale now, you can find one that will help your skin. I think face masks used to be really expensive but now I see them all over the place! Sheet masks are a great option and I will travel with them sometimes too. I always have a few in my bathroom since they are so easy and mess free. This may sound weird but I love peel off masks as well. There’s something so satisfying about peeling it off. This one from First Aid Beauty is a favorite (although slightly more expensive) but the tube lasted me forever! The two pictured are ones I use almost weekly and really enjoy. Formula 10.0.6 can be found at Target (linked to Amazon but Target is much cheaper!) and the clay one was bought on Amazon.

Getting a manicure


Having my nails painted always makes me feel put together. I have no problem doing them myself but having someone else paint them is such a treat. It’s a nice way to go and have some alone time. You can even grab a coffee before and sip on it while they get done. Although I would make sure you have a straw so you don’t need to use yours hands πŸ˜‰ Most nail salons that I have gone to have a rewards program so as you go, you earn points and can redeem it for a free manicure. It’s like a treat for future you!



One of the best things about spring and summer for me are flowers are blooming. The colors are so fun to look at. I also love having fresh flowers in the apartment. Let’s be real though, my centerpiece for the spring and summer is fake flowers and I have zero shame in that. But I do love fresh flowers and have gotten them from Alex a few times. There’s no reason a boy should be the only one who buys you flowers though! We all deserve to go out and get some flowers for ourselves just because we can. It doesn’t have to be a massive or fancy bouquet either. My grocery store had some nice flowers for under $5 that would be a nice little treat for yourself.

Buy yourself a present


How many times have you been shopping and seen something that you thought was cute or liked but didn’t buy because “I don’t need it”? Maybe you don’t need it but you do deserve it! The present doesn’t have to be extravagant either. You can go pick up a new nail polish, new book or a pair of shoes you’ve been eying for a while. Just spend a little bit on yourself because you’re worth it.

Take a bubble bath

Some people are not a fan of baths and I get it. Personally I don’t mind them to relax and just rinse off in the shower super quickly after. Baths are so fun to me. I will bring my computer in and put it at a safe distance away to watch a show or play music while I’m relaxing. I actually love to take epsom salt baths becauseΒ they help get rid of blisters they are relaxing to me. You could also throw in a bath bomb to add a scent and fun ambiance to the water. If you have a scrub, you can do that right before you get out then load up on some lotion before slipping into comfy clothes.


Well friends, there you have it. Those are some of my favorite tips to show myself some love. We’re all worth it.

Question of the day: What’s one thing you do for self care?

Recipes, Restaurant, Tips

Blue Apron First Impression

Hello friends! Over the weekend Alex and I tried out Blue Apron for the first time. I wanted to review it for anyone who has never tried it as well as give my opinion of it. Have a great day πŸ™‚

A few weeks (month?) ago,Β ErinnΒ was talking about Blue Apron. She said she had a week of free meals and whoever commented about it first could have it. I guess I was first because a few days later I received and email from Blue Apron. So I did not pay for the box we got but all opinions are my own.


When Alex and I were talking about which size to get we ended up going with the family plan which feeds 4 people. Now you’re probably thinking why would you get that if there’s only 2 of you which is totally fair. Leftovers are the way I keep my sanity on weeknights so by going with the option with more food, some weekday dinners would be taken care of already. Since the power was being weird Monday and Alex had a late work event Wednesday, I ended up not having to cook at all. That’s a win in my book!

I opted to get the box delivered on a Friday. Unfortunately that ended up being the Friday right after Winter Storm Grayson which meant no mail was being delivered and FedEx was closed. So instead of getting it on Friday the box arrived on Saturday instead. I was a little concerned only because there was meat involved with one of the meals so I wasn’t sure how long the box would keep it cold. Well the worry was unnecessary because the box came and everything was still cold. There was a giant hunk of ice in the bottom that the meat was packed on top of.


The first meal we tried was broccoli and mozzarella calzones on Saturday night. I had never had calzones before but I like pizza so why wouldn’t I like calzones. The recipe card was so detailed and all of the ingredients were labels so it was so easy to find what I needed once it was all in the fridge. Everything was so detailed and there was nothing I was confused about at all. Alex helped me by working the pizza dough. If you have a rolling pin then it would’ve been easier but he kind of man handled it. It got the job done though!


When I put the pan in the oven to cook, I was shocked at the size of the calzones. They were honestly as big as my head. I wish I had a picture but it was either risk breaking the dough before baking or touching something that had just come out of the 475 degree oven… The dish was to be served with a Caesar salad. Making the dressing was so easy and delicious. We split a single calzone in half and it was filling without making us stuffed to the max. The salad was the perfect side and so light compared to the heavier main dish. Meal 1 was a success!


Sunday night, we made the second meal which was hoisin glazed pork chops with wonton noodles and vegetables. This recipe allowed me to work with a new to me ingredient – ginger! To my knowledge I’ve never had ginger and definitely have never cooked with it. I peeled it with a spoon which made it so easy (thank you Google for that tip). Again, the recipe card was detailed and it was very easy to follow. Nothing was incredibly hard to make or prep and I was able to complete multiple steps while certain parts cooked.


The vegetables were cabbage and carrots. I wasn’t sure how I would like this meal because I’m not a cabbage fan. Well with the sauce and all of the flavors, I was converted to a cabbage person, at least for this meal ;). Like with the calzones, Alex and I kept commenting on how good the food was while we were eating it. Everything worked so well together and it was all so delicious.

Overall we had a fantastic first experience with Blue Apron! It’s something we both said we would buy again although it will not be a regular purchase for us. The only reason it won’t be a regular thing for us is for budget reasons. It’s definitely a great way to get new recipes and learn new techniques or make you work with certain ingredients. Blue Apron does offer some recipes online in their cookbook and I will definitely be checking it out for recipes ideas in the future.

Thank you again Erinn for sending this to us! We both give it to thumbs up!

Question of the day: Have you ever tried a meal delivery service?

Books, Tips

How Much Did The Library Save Me?

Hi friends! Thank you for stopping by the blog today. Have a great day πŸ™‚

Today is a little bit different of a post. As you know, I’m an avid reader and take many trips to the library. A few weeks ago, Alex and I were talking and the topic of reading came up. We were talking about how getting books from the library instead of buying them saves a bunch of money. While I know it saves money, I didn’t know how much. So for the month of August, I wrote down every book I read and the price. Although the books may be cheaper now, I took the price from what was on the book. If no price was visible I looked at Barnes and Noble’s website for their current price.

I wrote a summary of the story (without spoilers!) so you can see if any of these books are of interest to you. Enjoy πŸ™‚


“Defending Jacob”Β $28.00

Andy Barber is an assistant district attorney who is assigned a boy’s murder case. While murder cases are nothing new to him, the boy, Ben, is from his hometown and in the same class as his son Jacob. When Jacob is arrested for Ben’s murder, Andy tries to protect and defend his son.


“Big Little Lies” $26.95

“Big Little Lies” follows three women with children in the same kindergarten class. One, Jane, is new to town while the other two, Celeste and Madeline, know each already. Each of the woman are dealing with their own set of problems. Celeste and Madeline befriend Jane quickly which impacts their lives more than they thought.


“Eat Move Sleep” $24.95

Thomas Rath organizes different studies and gives his personal experiences with health. He describes how what we eat, how we move, and our sleep habits are all related. In order to be healthy, it’s important to work on all three aspects. If you’d like a more in depth review you may find itΒ here.


“The Opposite of Love” $25.00

Julie Buxbaum writes a light hearted novel about a girl who is afraid to commit. Emily breaks up with her boyfriend when he hints at a proposal. Thinking that she is fine, she throws herself into work and convinces herself that she’s better off alone. If you want a feel good, easy read I recommend this!


“A Friend of Mr. Lincoln”Β $27.95

Stephen Harrigan tells the story of a friend of Abraham Lincoln before he became the president. Cage Weatherby is a poet who is there with Lincoln while courting his future wife Mary Todd, ups and downs in his law career. I do enjoy historical fiction but I’ve read some by other authors that I enjoy more.


“All is Vanity”Β $24.95

Christina Schwarz takes a different approach to a story about friendship. Margaret is a teacher who quit her job to write a novel. She finds it incredibly difficult to get a good story. Her best friend since childhood, Letty, lives in California with her husband and four children. Letty and Margaret tell each other about their lives but Margaret takes a lot of interest in Letty’s life. The entire story, I was curious how their friendship would end. There was never a part in the story where I found it boring or predictable. I enjoyed Schwarz’s writing style and will be checking out more of her books in the future.


“Luckiest Girl Alive”Β $25.00

The novel follows the story between present day Ani and when she was a teenager. According to Barnes & Noble’s website, critics said that if you like “Gone Girl” then you would like this book. I got tired of “Gone Girl” but loved “Luckiest Girl Alive”. I was really curious how the past would affect Ani in her current life. To be honest, I was not expecting for a reveal that came towards the end at all. The ending I thought would happen didn’t. If you want a suspenseful novel but not one that is super creepy or violent, read this!


“The Obsession”Β $18.06

I forgot to write down the price of this before returning to the library. $18.06 was the price for a hardcover copy on Barnes and Noble’s website at the time this was written.Β 

I had never read a book by Nora Roberts but I will read more after this! Naomi found out a terrible secret her father was keeping right before her 12th birthday that completely changed her life. She is a photographer that lives with her mother’s maiden name instead of her fathers. Naomi tried to distance herself from her father’s crimes but they have always followed her. Part suspense, part love story, the novel is a story of someone who has to face the past with part that she did not choose.


“The Boy in the Striped Pajamas”Β $8.99

I adored everything about this book. I tend to have a hard time picking favorites of things but this book is 110% on my list of books that I think everyone needs to read. John Boyne tells a story of the Holocaust through the eyes of a child who doesn’t understand what is happening in his world. His father’s job promotion uprooted his life and he doesn’t understand why. You probably recognize this title since it was made into a movie. I want to watch the movie but I have a feeling I will cry during it. If you haven’t I truly think you should read this.


“All the Light We Cannot See”Β $27.00

I first heard about this book a few years ago when my mom received it for Christmas from one of her sister (or their husband I don’t remember). We’re big readers in the family ha! Anyways, this is another historical fiction based on World War II. It follows Marie-Laure who went blind at a child and her father built her a to scale model of the city she lives in so that she would be able to venture out on her own without getting lost. Warren was in an orphanage who rebuilds radios and other items that is then recruited to help the Nazis. Their lives intersect during the war. Anthony Doerr beautifully writes about two people who are extremely different with different paths but their good people underneath everything.


“Secret Daughter”Β $13.99

Somer is a doctor in San Francisco who discovers she cannot get pregnant after suffering two miscarriages. Khavti is a mother in India who gives birth to a daughter she cannot care for. These women go through difficult times to provide a life for the child they want but can’t have the way they want to have one. Told in a 20 year span, as their lives change and through different hardships motherhood is still their top priority. Shilpi Somaya Gowda tells the story about a mother and daughters bond whether biological or through adoption. It’s a heart warming story that I really enjoyed.


“Calico Joe”Β $24.95

I had never read a book by John Grisham but I will check out more after this. Calico Joe is a nickname given to Joe Castle, a rookie who gets called up to the Chicago Cubs and captures all of baseball’s attention. Paul is just a child when this is happening and his father plays for the New York Mets. His father and Joe had one meeting and it ended someone’s career.

Total Saved: $275.79

Over the month of August I read 12 books which I got for free through the library. Had I bought a copy of them all, I would have spent just $275! Don’t get me wrong, I love buying a new book to read but I would go broke very quickly if I bought ever book I read. If you don’t utilize the public library near you, start! Aside from just books, I use the library as well to rent movies so we don’t have to pay a few dollars if we want to watch one on pay per view.

Question of the day: What’s the best book you read last month?