Thursday, June 29, 2017

TBB Book Pals: A Review

We Need to Talk About!  After this book...I am tired!! So much to say about it!  But I can't because I don't want to give too much away.  That's why I'm grappling with this review!  This book was picked for me by my Book Pal Merilee!  We were matched during The Blended Blog's June Switch-up, Book Pals.  Merilee had just read it and thought it was good.  It was a different choice for me and I was excited to start it.

The book deals with something that is all too common in this country...a school shooting!  But that's really just the backdrop.  While all too realistic, this is a faction novel.  The story is told by Eva, a mother who's son, the reader realizes very quickly, is the school's killer.  (Sadly, reading this book, I also got an education and history lesson about just how many school tragedies have occurred!)

The story is told backwards through letters Eva writes to her "estranged" husband, detailing their marriage before children, during children, and in the aftermath of the school it relates to her life  There is a serious twist in the story that I DID NOT SEE COMING...and might have just crushed me a little.  I'd say that this is not an easy read, but it's worth it.  After reading it, I kinda wanna go back and read it again to see, if their were clues to that twist.

We Need to Talk about Kevin was first published in 2006 and has since been turned into a Motion Picture.  I am not sure I'll watch...well maybe instead of reading it again, I will watch the movie instead.

This is not the easiest of reads but I definitely would recommend it!!  If you've read this book I'd love to hear what you thought of it in the comments!  Now head on over to The Blended Blog and link up your book reviews with us...and find something to read this summer via our book pals here!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Fun Summer Tops on Repeat

These last weeks of school have been a killer and the blog's taken a bit of a hit. But I promised more fashion posts this summer, so I'm so today I'm  finally getting back to linking up with my girls at The Blended Blog and share some of my favorite tops that will be on repeat this summer!

I thought this top was appropriate for the first day of summer!  This was one of my Canadian clothing store purchases in Toronto with The Blended Blog ladies.  I picked up a few fun things at stores we don't have here in the states!  Reitmens was a super fun store, that I'm pretty sure we all found something in.  Wore this top for Memorial Day and wore it again to kick off summer!  Because I was wishing  I was on a beach, on a boat...anywhere but still in school.

When I saw this pineapple top at Macy's I had to have it.  I knew it would go well with my go-to shorts and was just plain fun.  It reminded me of my girl Andrea too!  I wore it for Father's Day with family this past weekend and know I'll being wearing it lots all summer long!  The back is super cute too!

Dad's making a cameo!

I thought this Gray Monroe top was so fun and different...and I LOVE it.  When I wore it not too long ago, I got a ton of compliments.  And even  though I wore it with jeans, it's another one I can rock with my go-to' orange or blue, as we get deeper into the heat of summer!

A few more fun summer tops are on their way to me, so I'll post them soon!  But today my outfit of choice is my swimsuit!  Off to a day at my friend's pool!    Have a fashionable Wednesday!

Head to The Blended Blog to link up you fashion posts!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

It's okay...

After a crazy last few weeks of school, I am finally on Summer Vacation an totally acclimating myself to the lazy days of summer.  The blog has taken a bit of a hit lately, but I'm hoping to post more regularly now!  I'm dipping my toe back in today with another installment of It's OKAY Tuesday!  It's a bit of a recap of my life these past few weeks! Enjoy, and thanks for coming back to visit!!

It's Okay...

  • to be super excited to be on Summer Vacation!!!!

  • to be drinking before noon on the last day!

  • to already be burnt to a crisp!
  • to wear scarves in the summer

  • to go dutch...then be mad about it!
  • to have to google the word encompassment...I'm still not sure that's a word!
  • to be thinking of a quick trip, no matter the cost!  What else am I doing?!?
  • to buy 7 dresses from Nordstrom...gotta love free shipping and free returns
  • to not realize there are so many different shades of blush
  • to be 37 and love Snapchat!
  • to charge it now...hyperventilate later...
  • neglect the house and just READ!! (I'll have my TBB Book Club review up Thursday!)

Have a great Tuesday!!

Linking up with Airing My Dirty Laundry

Monday, June 12, 2017

Little Letters: June

Love Linking up with Taz and Belly for the Little Letters series.  It's where, for a little while, I can feel like Jimmy Fallon writing his thank you notes!

So I give you my own Little Letters for June 2017

Dear Summer're so close but still so far away!!  Just get here already.  I can't wait for the summer days of sleeping in and laying out!  Hurry on up, would you please!?!? #10moredays

To My 8th Grade Friends,
I know we joke all the time and I've had a countdown going til your graduation, since maybe November (just kidding!!) but I might miss you most of all!  My kindergarten loves I know I'll see again!  Thanks for all the laughs (even when we shouldn't have been!) and the kind words about my fashion and style!  HA!  There were no high fives or fists bumps from me all year, but as you go off to high school, high fives and fist bumps all around!!

Dear Main Street,
Loving that you've added retail to our little town.  I love shopping your boutiques and cute shops that no other town has!!  I look forward to a summer of fun and scavenger hunting in town.

Dear Connor,
You are a stinker!  And I enjoyed every {short} minute I got to spend with you!

Dear Jet Blue,
Please have a flash sale so I can head to NC this summer...the Brew Tour MUST HAPPEN!!

Dear JCrew Factory,
Thanks for having my go-to shorts on sale every summer!  AND cheaper than Target!!  LOL

Dear Air Conditioning,
I love having you in the library and lab on these 90 days!  It's so pleasant!!  And everyone's jealous!! LOL  Having to have my door shut all day, ain't half bad either!

Dear Nashville and the Preds,
I love you, your town, and your sportsmanship.  Thanks for combining my love of country music with my newfound love of the team.   Playoff hockey is THE BEST and this was the first final I've watched in years. Thanks for making it a fun one.  I was rooting for you every step of the way...and so was everyone not in Pittsburgh, I think!
@predsnhl on Insta

Thanks for stopping by friends!!  Have a fabulous week!!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The Longest Tuesday Ever!!

This started out as a Teacher Tuesday post...the same Teacher Tuesday post I've had in draft since the first Tuesday back after Easter Vacation.  That seems like a lifetime ago.  I wanted to have another Teacher Tuesday up before the school year was out for the summer, but quite honestly I don't know what I'd say!  You see, I'm looking forward to the summer vacation, probably more than the students are.

I have hit that wall....I am over it all!!  It shows... and I know it. I think it might be a really bad thing when you always have a smile on your face!  Because when you don''s quite obvious to everyone!  LOL  Even to my students.  And that's just awful...I know.

Yesterday was not a good day!  And a student took out a book called, A Bad, Bad Day and I told the class that, I should read that book because I was having a very bad, bad day!  And then you know what they did?  Asked me why!  And I didn't want to burden them with anything and realized I shouldn't have even told them that, because good teachers...great teachers are ON... ALL. THE. TIME!  So I laughed, put that smile on my face, and told them, that it was a bad, bad day but now that they were all here, it's turned my whole day around!  And ya know was the truth!

Then I went home and went to bed...early.  So I woke up at 3 a.m. this morning!  And after an hour of trying to get back to sleep, with no luck, I got my ass out of bed and decided to get things done!  Ran the dishwasher, put clothes away that had been sitting in the basket since I got home from my trips, got my boxes ready for UPS and actually enjoyed my first cup of coffee so much that I decided to have a second!!

That was a mistake!  Because as I was taping up my UPS box, I hit my FULL cup of coffee and it went crashing to the floor.  Splashing across the entire kitchen, shattering into a million pieces and taking a huge chunk of tile with it. I was everywhere!!  I was so mad!!  I may have yelled a few unsavory, inappropriate words for so early in the morning!!  I didn't even know at first what I had hit when it was was like slo-mo.

So needless to say after being ready so early.  All my extra time was spen cleaning the kitchen floor and getting changed and ready all over again.

Day two of NOT A HAPPY CAMPER!!  And of course my co-worker friends noticed!!
 But I realized something as the day went on... I needed to get out of my slump and focus on the positive!!

A few years ago, after seeing it mentioned on a blog, I think, I started keeping a gratitude journal, documenting three or five positive things about the day!!  I kept it going , then as with most things in my life, I didn't keep up with it!  But today I'm bringing it back!  ON THE BLOG!!  If nothing else, my blog is my journal, and today as the day comes to close, I'm sharing my I hope you don't mind!!

Things that made me laugh and smile today...when all I really wanted to do was cry!!

  • Well there's this...not a bad way to start the day!  A sweet teacher friend knows and supports my love of pretzels, so when she saw this eye mask, she thought I just had to have it!  We laughed and laughed and laughed some more...DAY MADE!!
  • One of my most favorite Pre-K friends, turning to me in the lab and saying "Look Miss Mitch, I'm a DJ!"  (Because the headphones he's wearing are about as big as his head!)
  • Listening to the sound of first graders reading to one another during Library Buddy Reads
  • Surprise pancakes that my fave kindergartners shared with me!  They used pancakes to learn about the states of matter!
  • Packages at my doorstep when I got home!
  • two pairs of flip flops that my neighbor friend shared with me, leftover from her wedding.  I enjoyed the few minutes we spent chatting about the wedding too. and chatting about her wedding, too!!  Navy flips are always a welcome edition to any summer.
    the beautiful bride and I on her wedding day Sunday
  • Unexpected text exchanges with one of my favorite people.  Who knew I could laugh so hard over texts?  The only thing better would've been if we were laughing together...not miles apart!
  • And Finally...Going all Grey's Anatomy on this day and dancing it out!  To Despacito in my kitchen...the same kitchen that 14 hours ago was covered in coffee and shards of glass...c'mon that's funny!!!

Thanks for letting me share...vent...bitch..moan...complain...I'm off to bed with a good book!

Hope you were able to find a few bright spots in your day! Let me know in the comments below!!

Monday, June 5, 2017

May in Numbers!!

EEEKKKK It's June!!  I am so excited that the end of school is near but kinda can't believe it's here!  How are we almost half way through 2017 already?

Linking up today to share a rewind of May in Numbers with world traveler and fellow Blended Blogger, Deena I always have a fun time going through my month this way.  I'm sometimes surprised and other times I cringe, but  find it fun nonetheless!  Onward...

I had two goals this month- to drink less coffee and drink less wine!  I am happy to say I succeeded at both.  Most week days I kept it to one cup of coffee a day and didn't drink wine on too many week nights.  Except Red Nose Day, but I had a day off and that's a reason to celebrate!!  BUT I'll be honest here...may have overdid it on the margaritas on Cinco de Mayo and on the wine at the Memorial Day Family BBQ {Thanks, Mom for pointing THAT out!}.  Even when I was away I didn't drink that was good!!

With the exception of my trip to Toronto, I hit my daily water goals too!  I like the way I felt when I drank more water and less I'm going to keep it up!!

Once again the weather this month SUCKED!!!!  It rained almost on the DAILY!! And ended up on the nicer side of things just three days!! There was one good day here at home...but I was away in chilly Toronto so I didn't get to enjoy it.  I was so happy though that it did fall on my school's WALK-A-THON day, so they were able to enjoy a beautiful walk and a day at the park-85 and sunny!!

Speaking of traveling....
I went on two trips and traveled over 1600 miles.
Spent 5{ish} glorious days  in Florida.  Well really 3, because we got there super late on Friday night and after 103 days of no rain, we brought the rain!  Saturday was a washout!  But the rest of our time was 90 and sunny!!  Came back with a tan so that's a success in my book!!  Our trip to Florida for Mother's day is an annual tradition!
Happy Mother's Day Mom!

Met the ladies of The Blended Blog for the first time in Toronto and spent 4 fun days with them.
We traveled 135 kilometers (that's about 84 miles for us American folk!) from Toronto to Niagara Falls on a bus tours with  4 stops in between!

The following day we walked over 24,000 steps around Toronto, clocked hours shopping where I swiped my credit card twice and came home with 5 new items from 2 Canadian-only stores!
Then I ended my day with a beer as big as my head...a stein weighing in at 34 ounces! Oopps!!
Read more about my trip here and here!!

The last days of May were uneventful as I got back into the swing of things with work.  All my traveling amounted to 4 sick days for me and 2 school days off,  so I only spent 16 days in school with the kiddos!  It also meant that the countdown to Summer Vacation is ON!!  15 more days!!  WOO HOO!!  Can't wait!!

There were 0 books read this month.  Thanks to one day on my couch (see that little Cinco de Mayo snippet above!)  and all the season finales in May, I watched a lot more TV...about 40 hours catching up on all the things on my DVR and binge watching Married at First Sight!  That show stresses me out!! LOL  I'll be better with the books this summer!!  It's five days into June and I've already finished one, so I'm on the right track!!  Oh but I did review one book this month for The Blended Blog's Virtual Book Club, which you can find here.

I feel like I always mention how much I eat out in town on the blog! LOL  I didn't eat out too too much this month!  Being away a week though, it was slim pickins in my cabinets when I got home, but I only ate out in town 4 times, once trying a new taco place, which was yummy!! I will return! Other times I had nice home cooked meals (made by someone else of course!) and I may have had way more than my fair share of pizza!  6 slices to be exact!  And perhaps too many crackers with peanut butter and jelly to count!

May on the Blog!!
Only 10 posts.  But what I did post, I loved!!
The most viewed post of the month- Friday Loves
Sad to say I've pretty much gotten away from posting my daily photos on insta!! I was just so terrible at it in May!  I did more life and less documenting!!  Follow me on Insta @solitarylife101

That's all for now I suppose!  Thanks for visiting today!!  Do you keep track of your month this way!  Link up with Deena too, here!

And don't forget to head on over to The Blended Blog now for a fun announcement!!

Friday, June 2, 2017

Summer Faves!

16 more school days til FREEDOM!!  LOL  I can't wait!!

Earlier this week my buddies at The Blended Blog shared their summer plans!!  I'm hopping on board today to share mine!! It's not a long fabulous list, as I really have no set plans on the horizon, no trips planned (I did those in May!) and none of my annual concert fun going on!

 Along with the usual antics with family and friends, it's going to be a summer filled with ordinary, everyday favorites!!

 This summer I really just hope to be...

Laying out on the Postage Stamp Patio DAILY!


Spending a few Fridays on the beach!!

Enjoying all the drinks!!

Spending some time with my Boyfriend... RALPH!!!  :)

What are your plans for the Summer of 2017?  Let me know in the comments below and head on over to The Blended Blog to link up with us!!

Linking up with Erika and the girls for Friday Favorites and Tif and the girls for High Five for Friday, too!!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

The Magnolia Story: A Review

Today I'm linking up with The Blended Blog's Virtual Book Club to share a review of one of our May picks, The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines.  As a fan of the HGTV show Fixer Upper, I was excited to read this book.  And was even more excited to find out that one of our book clubbers, Valerie, picked it!  Especially since I actually read it!

I had been seeing this book around the blogs for awhile and finally requested it at my library.  When it came in, I read the first chapter right off the bat and was instantly drawn into the story of Chip and Joanna.  Joanna's primarily the one telling the stories of their life together and all of Chips antics!
It was recommended to me that I also pick up the audio version of this since the two stars tell the story themselves.  I did and think for me, this added to the fun of the story.

Without giving too much away, I will say that it's the story of the couple's humble beginnings and their rise to fame, how they overcome the obstacles they faced, leaning on each other and their strong faith in God.

The book is billed and categorized under the Christian/Faith window, which I didn't really realize when I got it but was able to recognize as I read.  Because of what I read in the story, I examined my own faith.  Chip and Joanna were constantly hitting snags in their plans but getting big breaks.  Was this luck, as I thought, or the work of God, as they believed? It got me to thinking and praying on things in my own life.

Reviews of this were mixed in the club's Slack discussions but I will say that because I was a fan of the show, I liked this story that much more. Are you a big Fixer Upper fan?  Have you read the book? I want to hear your thoughts!  Let me know in the comments below.

What did you read in May?  Head to The Blended Blog and link up your book reviews with us HERE!  And it's never to late to join the fun that is the TBB Book Club.  Register here and read with us this summer!

Looking for more good reads?  Check out my reviews of past book club picks here!