3 New Releases for Your September

I just love a new release! The anticipation of a new story (especially if it's a familiar author), waiting to see what the reviews and reactions will be... here are three recent releases, perfect for your September! 

The Breakdown is the second novel from B.A. Paris. It centers on Cass, a woman who passes a stalled car late one rainy night on a deserted, windy, road - and wakes up to find that the woman had been murdered. Rattled with guilt for not helping, she slowly goes a bit crazy. Just like Behind Closed Doors (the first novel by B.A. Paris), it's a thrilling page-turner (like, literally, you won't be able to put it down).    There were a few scenarios that seemed a bit contrived toward the end in an attempt to make the plot work, but that was my only critique. If you’ve read Behind Closed Doors, you’ll figure out the twist pretty early on, but it's still a phenomenal read. 

The Lying Game is Ruth Ware's newest release (remember The Woman in Cabin 10??). I preferred the actual story of The Woman in Cabin 10 (the unique setting on the cruise ship in the fjords and how it threw together a bunch of strangers),  but The Lying Game is still just as engaging and gripping, and offers a unique setting of its own (a boarding school in coastal England) plus lots of flashbacks from the students who went there. It's another thriller/page turner (I may have had to stay up super late in bed to finish it because I was too scared to put it down mid-story and try to sleep!).

Finally, I picked up the debut novel from Alisyn Camerota. And yes, it was solely because of this cover title J  In real life, the author co-anchors CNN’s morning show and has clocked in over 15 years at FOX News. It’s evident that her book, about a news anchor for “FAIR News”, is loosely based on her experiences at FOX. It was a needed break from the above psychological thrillers! If you liked The Devil Wears Prada and are wanting to read a bit more about behind the scenes in broadcast journalism and your favorite morning shows, pick up Amanda Wakes Up.

Happy reading! 


8 Year Anni!

Eight years ago, this handsome guy and I said I do. I could go on and on about him, how happy I am that I found him, how I can't imagine life without him, but this screen shot from my phone pretty much sums up how lucky I am:

This was earlier in the month. I had spent the weekend in California for my sister's baby shower (she had the baby the day after I left, but that's another story). Max and Parker stayed in Alabama and had a boys weekend, which I completely took for granted because that's just my husband #bestdadever.

Anyway, I was returning on the Sunday night before Parker's first day of school, and my San Jose to Dallas flight was majorly delayed. To make the small commuter plane (the last one of the night!) from Dallas to Huntsville, I was going to have to run. At 5:54pm we were still taxiing, and I needed to change terminals before the 6:30pm takeoff (yes, takeoff, and you know they close those doors early). What did my husband do? He had been tracking everything, and as soon as I landed at DFW and turned my phone on, these messages came up. The exact route to get to my connecting plane. This isn't even the first time he's done this - if I'm traveling solo I'll frequently get a connection reminder with gate information from him, and when I'm flying on Southwest he always sets an alarm and checks in for me (which is important on Southwest because you want those early numbers to choose your seat!).

Max is always looking out for me, taking the best care of me and Parker both, and it's so incredibly sweet and comforting. So, did I make my flight?? Well, I didn't get off the plane until 6:15pm (thanks to our gate being occupied). I did the jet bridge sprint to the Skylink, raced to my gate, and somehow made it. I was the last one on before they closed the doors and I pretty much passed out in my seat. Such is life lately! With Max's crazy hours at work and added business travel, we definitely haven't been able to even see each other as much as we'd like (I kid you not when I say he was at work until one in the morning one night last week, and is only in town three days next month because of business travel). But I also know that this is a season, and it won't last forever. His work ethic, after all, was one of the reasons I fell in love with him!

So tonight we'll celebrate with a fancy dinner out, just the two of us, no cutting up food for the chatty four-year-old at the table ;) Cheers to eight years!


Auntie Life

August was filled with TWO quick trips to California for me! I say quick because I only stayed a couple nights each time, but since we’re now basically on the other side of the country, it takes pretty much a whole day of traveling each way to get to California and back. It still feels like home though each time I come in. California is where I spent my first 26 and a half years! And the Bay Area in particular is where I first started teaching, where I met my husband, and where I have so many wonderful memories!

So back to my auntie duties! At the beginning of August, I went out for my youngest sister’s baby shower. We had the sweetest lunch in downtown Los Gatos (which is also where I lived as a beginner teacher - I had a tiny bachelorette cottage literally in a backyard of a bigger house, and I loved it to pieces).

Back to the party! We had such a sweet afternoon showering baby Sophie with love!

Flower delivery! I did the arrangement myself - it's seriously my favorite thing about party prepping.

My sister, the pretty Mama-to-Be:

Grapefruit Mimosas FTW! 

Three sisters, three different states! 💓

The rose gold balloons were from the Dollar Section at Target. Perfect, right?

For the favors, I collected tiny bud vases and filled them with flowers. They doubled as they place cards for seating!

My mom was stoked about her third grandbaby - and the first girl!

Cupcakes from Icing on the Cake - a must if you are in Los Gatos!

I was in the Bay Area less than 48 hours, but I managed to fit in a Farmer's Market stop! 

Seriously, California produce is just the best. 

Flower love.

I literally could not pass up the artichokes and flew home with two of them, right in my carry-on bag!

Plus a bunch of dahlias, wrapped in a 49ers story. Swoon. And I didn't feel at all silly about carrying them around the airport 😂

24 hours after I left California, my niece was born! She came a whole month early – and as soon as she was born I just knew I had to get back out for some newborn snuggles!!
Which is how I found myself on the same exact flights out just a week and a half later 😊

One of my favorite things about flying solo (besides being able to pack light and have free hands for books and coffee) is using my Apple watch for boarding! Plus, let's be honest, flying by myself is pretty much a mini vacay. It takes pretty much the whole day to get from Hunstville to California (a 1.5 hour commuter flight from HSV to DFW, layover time, then a larger plane for a 4ish hour flight from Dallas to San Jose) and it's filled with books, blogging, magazines, TV shows, movies - it's really a treat 😉 And once I was back on the Best West Coast, I got to meet this sweet newborn!!

I'm kind of obsessed. 

 She couldn't be cuter and my sister is already just the best Mama!

And then, just like that, I was back on a plane!

Until next time, California! 💗

The Saturday Sit-Down

Y'all. I'm stoked to be the featured blogger over at Whimsical September today for The Saturday Sit-Down! Erica is just the sweetest, and I feel such a connection to her as we've both had our families moved around the country (though she moved out of Huntsville, Alabama, whereas I moved in. Too funny, right?). Head over to her blog and stay awhile (her genuine writing and cute, attainable fashion posts are my favorite) and of course catch my interview! Happy Saturday!


Friday Five

My favorite find of the week? This brand new floral company! I've been following Old Frond via Instagram for awhile now, so I was stoked to be at her storefront grand opening in Huntsville this week.

I picked out this amnesia rose, plus some lisianthus, ranunculus, and spray roses.


After a summer of pool water and sandals, my feet were in desperate need of some TLC - enter this miracle worker! It's actually a Bath & Body Works item, but I ordered it here via Amazon because #freeshipping. 

Did y'all catch the solar eclipse on Monday? We knew we'd be at 97% in Huntsville, and I was really surprised by how light it actually stayed for the sun being mostly covered. Don't get me wrong - it looked like twilight and the cicadas even started their nighttime singing, but we didn't get that wow-factor of the corona ring when the moon fully eclipses the sun. Lesson learned - the path of totality is where it's at. 

I halfway wish we had made the couple hour drive up to see the eclipse in totality, but for Parker and me, stepping out to the backyard to view it and coming back in for a nap (and not fighting traffic) worked perfectly (though Parker is already asking to see the complete eclipse where it gets dark, dark, dark in 2024).

The most exciting part of the week? Husby snagging me last minute tickets to California so I could fly across the country to meet my new niece! Pssst, I'm still using the faux leather backpack I purchased last year for flying. It holds everything I need, and I love having my hands free - you know, so I can carry my coffee and my mobile boarding pass at the same time ;)

I got lucky with an open seat next to me on my way to my connection at DFW. Add in a cappuccino and a good book, and it was downright luxurious for this mama! (And yes, I totally purchased this book just for the cover title.)

Meeting my newborn niece!

She's perfect, right? I may have gone way overboard on the photographing while I was visiting. She didn't seem to mind. 

Taylor Swift's new single dropped last night! Thoughts on her new edgy persona? I'll love her no matter what, and I thought the new tune was so catchy. Counting the days until the album release in November!

P.S. Come back tomorrow when I'll be the featured blogger over at Whimsical September!

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