Five Books to Love.

Hello there friends I hope you’re having a wonderful Wednesday and recovering well from any Cinco de Mayo festivities you may have indulged in ūüėČ

I’m back today linking up with Belinda for the Blog Everyday in May link up. I’ve found that¬†this has helped me to really “think outside the box” when it comes to what portions of my life and my story I can share. It’s definitely helped get the writing gears turning and I’m really enjoying it! Are you following along? Let me know because I’d love to read what you have to say.

Today I’m talking about 5 Books I love. I have to confess that I love a lot of books so it was pretty hard to come up with only 5 books which is why I’m taking about the 5 books I’ve recently finished because I do really love them and think you should read them. I’m a pretty avid reader although sometimes it does take me longer to make it through a book than others. Some books are slower and some are quicker reads. Sometimes I just don’t have much time to dive in to a book. But I always enjoy getting lost in someone else’s story.

One.

My favorite series I’ve ever ready has to be the Stephanie Plum Series by Janet Evanovich. There are 21 books (number 22 comes out in November!! Just in time for my birthday!). They are super quick reads that will keep you in some suspense but also keep you laughing. Stephanie Plum is a terrible Bond Enforcement Agent that always ends up in the middle of some crazy crime investigation in which she usually makes things worse before they get better. I read the entire series from One to Twenty-One without even taking the time to read anything in between because I was so hooked.

Two.

David Baldacci Zero Day. I literally just finished this book last night. I stayed up way too late finishing it because it was so good and I didn’t want to put it down because I needed to know what was going to happen but at the same time it was so good that I didn’t want it to end. This book follows John Puller, a combat veteran, on a murder investigation in a small, coal mining West Virginia town. It takes some twists and turns along the way and Puller and Sam Cole, the local cop, make some terrifying discoveries and turn to some unexpected sources for assistance to solve this unusual murder.

Three.

I’m sure you know who The Bloggess is. If you don’t you definitely need to hop on over to her blog because she is hysterical. She also wrote a tremendously funny “mostly true memoir” about her life growing up in a small town in Texas. It is amazing and a really quick read. You should read the description on her blog because it is way better than I could describe but you should totally read this book. She also has another one coming out called Furiously Happy and I’m really excited to read that because I was so sad when this one was over!

Four.

Are you there, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea. Chelsea Handler is hysterical both in real life (ok…on TV…I don’t know her in real life) and in her book. This book is a little all over the place in how she tells her story and it ends a little abruptly (it left me wanting more for sure) but it’s really, really funny and worth the read. It’s another quick read and I can imagine going back to this book if I’m spending the day on the beach or by the pool.

Five.

I love James Patterson and have read many (many!) of his books. This is part of his Alex Cross series which is probably my favorite series of his. Alex Cross is based in DC which appeals to me since it is relatively local to where I am so I recognize a lot of the places he talks about in his books. These two books are directly connected as in Hope to Die picks up immediately where Cross My Heart leaves off. You will definitely want to have them both on hand (or in your Kindle Library) when you start because you are going to want to start Hope to Die as soon as you finish Cross My Heart.¬†Cross My Heart¬†set a jaw-dropping story in motion.¬†Hope to Die¬†propels Alex Cross’s greatest challenge to its astonishing finish.

What books have you read recently? I just started the next John Puller book but I expect to be finished with that one pretty quickly just like I did the first so I’ll be looking forward to another great book to dive in to.

 

Found Love. Now What?
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I couldn’t live without

This week I’m jumping for joy and can’t live without Apple Blossom Festival! I talked about it yesterday and how we Uncorked the Bloom last weekend which is my favorite weekend except now that I’ve had the chance to take Sydney to the carnival and see her excitement over the simplest rides I think seeing her reaction to this festival will be my new favorite part of Apple Blossom.

Since it was a nice day we went to the carnival and took Sydney on her first big girl ride (that isn’t located at the mall). I wasn’t sure how she would react to them but she did awesome.

Ready for her first ride

Ready for her first ride

She was so excited about riding the train and then was a little disappointed that we just missed it and would have to wait our turn. She waited patiently, but she did try to go through the gate a few times so that it would be her turn haha.

Wheeeee!!!!

Wheeeee!!!!

We also got to ride “the ponies” (the carousel) and she loved that one so much that we had to ride it again right away and she was not interested at all in waiting in line or even waiting for me to get our tickets out so we could get back on!

Happiness is a girl and her pony

Happiness is a girl and her pony

This weekend we’ll be taking her to her first parade as part of the festival and there will be actual fire trucks (which are super exciting to her right now) and we’ll be hanging out at the fire house in town so I think she will be really excited about that.

Uncork The Bloom

It is my favorite time of year Рspring time. And with each new spring we have this wonderful festival in our town to celebrate the coming of spring and the traditional pink and white apple blossoms.

Apple Blossom began in 1924 and it has come a long way from the one day festival it began as. If you’re interested in the full history of the festival you can check that out here on the official Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival page. Today the festival begins with a wine festival, brings us a carnival and various events during the week, and ends with the weekend in the park and two parades! It is a really fun time and¬†if you’re ever looking for something fun and different to do in the Valley and you’re here at the end of April/beginning of May then you should definitely check this out. There is something for everyone and a little bit of everything.

Enjoying live music and good wine!

Enjoying live music and good wine!

The first weekend and probably my favorite thing (because duh) is the Uncork the Bloom wine festival that really kicks off the weeks festivities. There are maybe a dozen or more wineries that come out for the two day wine festival. It’s a really fun festival with live music playing on three separate stages (since there are three separate areas set up with wine/food/vendors set up). It really spreads out the crowds which makes it easier to navigate the festival.

Wine tasting

Wine tasting

I ended up going both days this year but only for a couple hours each day so it isn’t like I went to each winery both days because that would be crazy and I’m no longer that kind of crazy person.¬†The first year I attended the goal was to try as much wine as possible because 20’s and now… well, I wanted to taste some new wines because I like wine and not because I wanted to be hammered… my how life changes haha!

Enjoying some local Virginia wine

Enjoying some local Virginia wine

The best part about this festival, for me, is that they feature all Virginia wine. If you have never experienced Virginia wine then you are really missing out on some really good wine. I encourage you to branch out and leave California behind and head to Virginia to experience all the wine we have to offer.

I’m so excited to¬†take Sydney to the carnival this week and for her to experience her 1st parades this weekend. I’m sure it is going to be a different experience with her in tow, but I’m looking forward to experiencing this whole festival through her eyes because I think that is going to be awesome.

If you’re local here have you ever been to Apple Blossom? Do you have any fun festivals like this in your area? I’d love to hear about them!

I Couldn’t Live Without

Life has been a little rough around here lately and I’m having a little bit of a hard time seeing the light at the end of the tunnel so to speak.

The one thing that keeps me going and keeps me smiling is this little girl. She is the bright spot in my day and the light of my life.

My love.

My love.

I don’t know how I got so lucky to be her Mama but I am so glad that she’s my little girl. She’s the one thing in this world I know, for sure, I cannot live without.

The bright spot in my day.

The bright spot in my day.

I’m linking up with Lindsay at the Pursuit of Pink for her I Couldn’t Live Without link up.

I couldn’t live without

Happy Thursday! I hope you’re all enjoying the same beautiful weather we have been here lately. It’s my favorite. And it brings me exactly to what I can’t live without this week. The warm days that aren’t quite warm, really, but they feel warm after a long, cold winter. The time of year when 55-60 degree weather feels like the warmth you have been longing for since the weather turned chilly. The same 55-60 degree temperature that makes fall feel so wonderful after a long, hot summer. That’s where we have been this week. Leaving winter behind in favor of spring. I’m hoping spring sticks around with its wonderfully warm days for a good amount of time before summer comes in with its hot and humid weather.

These are the days I can’t live without.

sunshine

sunshine

Trips to the park to celebrate not freezing to death as soon as you step outside.

fun times at the park

fun times at the park

Letting this little princess run off some energy

running off some energy

running off some energy

Nice, long walks with my favorite pup.

walks with my favorite guy

walks with my favorite guy

and finding sweet sings of spring

ladybug

ladybug

How are you enjoying the final arrival of spring? I hope you’re loving it as much as we are!

I couldn’t live without.

I’m here for another link up with Lindsay over at the Pursuit of Pink talking all about things I couldn’t live without.

This week, and basically every day, I couldn’t live without water. & my water bottle. & my water flavor drops.

My favorite water bottle.

My favorite water bottle.

I am constantly armed with this water bottle. I have had it for almost¬†10 years and that is no exaggeration. I remember buying it after Steve and I moved out in to our first home together and that was after I graduated college and that was in 2005. So yeah…. maybe it’s time for a new one, but I love this one so much that it’s hard to part with.

Mio drops.

Mio drops.

Another obsession, to go with my water, is Mio. From the regular, to the energy, to the fit. I have a collection of flavors at the house. I don’t always drink water with flavor, because I only put plain water in my water bottle, but sometimes it is nice to drink have a little flavor with my water.

other water flavoring

other water flavoring

I also keep some other, non-Mio, flavors on hand. My favorites are these lemonade flavors – pink lemonade is a real favorite of mine but I also like this Crystal Light black raspberry lemonade too.

I’ve always been a big water drinker, but because sometimes I enjoy having a drink with a little flavor I would turn to juice or soda. Lately though, I’ve tried to lead a healthier life (hence Fit Friday) so I’ve tried to drink less sugary drinks just to get a flavor and I turned to these flavor drops and fell completely in love. Even though I haven’t given up soda (or coffee for that matter) completely it is nice to know that I’m still able to have a flavorful drink while maintaining a healthier lifestyle.

I couldn’t live without

Here we are for another round of I couldn’t live without link up¬†with Lindsay at the Pursuit of Pink. I am really enjoying this link up because it is helping me to really focus on being grateful for the little things in life. Not to say that I’m only grateful for one thing each week because that is far from the truth but it is nice to talk about something a little random with a lot of purpose each week. I have also really enjoyed the new blogs to read and discovering new things loved by the other girls participating in the link up.

Last week I was raving about coffee. Because duh. And the week before I was bemoaning about a snow day and how I can’t live without wine to get me through that.

This week it’s all about my love of chapstick.

My favorite.

My favorite.

You will rarely find me going anywhere to far from my chapstick. There is chapstick on my desk at work, in my purse, next to the bed, and if I don’t have my purse it’s in my pocket. My lips get so chapped especially in the winter. Maybe it’s from the chapstick, some people say that it really makes your lips more chapped, but I don’t believe it. I just like to have really soft lips so that’s why I use so much of it.

Hello childhood.

Hello childhood.

Sydney is also really fond of chapstick. I’m sure it’s because she sees me use it all the time but she loves it. Recently I found her some Lip Smacker chapstick, in bubble gum, and as soon as I opened it I was transported back to my childhood with my kit-n-caboodle filled with all my “makeup” and especially my bubble gum Lip Smacker.

A word of advice though… if you value your chapstick don’t give it to Sydney because she’ll will definitely ruin it.

What can’t you live without? What’s your favorite item this week?