Title: East Coast Girls
Author: Kerry Kletter
Synopsis: Childhood friends Hannah, Maya, Blue and Renee share a bond that feels more like family. Growing up, they had difficult home lives, and the summers they spent together in Montauk were the happiest memories they ever made. Then, the summer after graduation, one terrible night changed everything.
Twelve years have passed since that fateful incident, and their sisterhood has drifted apart, each woman haunted by her own lost innocence. But just as they reunite in Montauk for one last summer, hoping to find happiness once more, tragedy strikes again. This time it’ll test them like never before, forcing them to confront decisions they’ve each had to live with and old secrets that refuse to stay buried.
Hey there, reader! I hope 2020 has started off treating you well. I kicked off the new year back home in Florida with my family, then drove back up to Connecticut for a month of relaxation and recharging.
My goal for this year is to bring you more recommendations, more reviews, and to keep you updated about my family life - in June my husband is officially getting out of the Navy and we will begin civilian life some place new (wherever he can find his next job). I want to remember everything I'm feeling, everything I'm doing, and everything I'm reading during this time. I hope you will follow along this ride with me.
Title: Beginner's Pluck: Build Your Life of Purpose and Impact Now
Author: Liz Forkin Bohannon
Synopsis: Liz Forkin Bohannon wants you to rethink everything you've been told about finding your passion and following your dreams. Why? Hate to break it to you, but you're likely never going to "find your passion." Because your passion and purpose are something you build--actively--day by day. In her signature tell-it-like-it-is fashion, Liz shares 14 actionable principles that will teach you how to do just that. With total transparency, Liz shares hilarious and heartbreaking stories of her journey of screwups and successes that illustrate the mindsets and principles that will give you a jolt of energy, inspiration, and direction toward your True North. By embracing your Inner Beginner, dreaming small, choosing curiosity over criticism, and so much more, Liz's story and the principles of Beginner's Pluck will have you on your way to building a life of purpose, passion, and lasting impact.
Title: Strands of Truth
Author: Colleen Coble
Genre: Christian Fiction, Mystery & Suspense
Synopsis: Harper Taylor is used to being alone—after all, she grew up in one foster home after another. Oliver Jackson finally took her under his wing when she was a runaway teenager, and now Harper pours her marine biology knowledge into Oliver’s pen shell research. But she’s never stopped wishing for a family of her own.
So when a DNA test reveals a half-sister living just two hours away, Harper is both hopeful and nervous. Over warm cinnamon rolls, Harper and Annabelle find striking similarities in their stories. Is it just a coincidence that both their mothers died tragically, without revealing Harper and Annabelle’s father’s name?
Oliver’s son Ridge still sees Harper as a troubled teen even all these years later. But when Oliver is attacked, Ridge and Harper find themselves working together to uncover dangerous secrets that threaten to destroy them all. They must unravel her past before they can have any hope for the future.
Last week, Taylor Swift dropped her newest single, Lover, that also titles the name of her newest album coming out this Friday. Lover is the ultimate love song. When you listen, I wouldn't be surprised if you imagined yourself dancing with a partner at a school dance, wedding, or in your own living room. The song is that indicative of slow dancing. I'm reminded of the love songs I grew up listening to.
Since listening to the song I've become kind of obsessed with it. I'm a sucker for a happy love song. There are so many about unrequited love and breakups. This one is ecstatically happy. My heart can't take it.
I've thought about other happy love songs I've listened to in the last couple of years. Music has been there for me my entire life to work through all the pining, heartbreak, and romantic moments of my life. It should be no surprise that I'm a playlist type of person, and that I've burned many a CD for my romantic partners.
A lot of those songs, now, are hard to listen to without thinking of people who are no longer in my life. So I put together a list of songs that remind me of falling in love with my best friend. From out first meeting to asking him to listen to Lover with me, I have songs that chronicle it all.
Title: We Came Here To Forget
Author: Andrea Dunlop
Synopsis: (From Goodreads)
Katie Cleary has always known exactly what she wants: to be the best skier in the world. As a teenager, she leaves her home to live and train full time with her two best friends, all-American brothers Luke and Blair, whose wealthy father has hired the best coaches money can buy. Together, they are the USA’s best shot at bringing home Olympic gold—as well as a love triangle waiting to happen.
But as the upward trajectory of Katie’s elite skiing career nears its zenith, a terrifying truth about her sister becomes impossible to ignore—one that will lay ruin not only to Katie’s career but to her family and her relationship with Luke and Blair.
With her life shattered and nothing left to lose, Katie flees the snowy mountainsides of home for Buenos Aires. There, she reinvents herself as Liz Sullivan, and meets a colorful group of ex-pats and the alluring, charismatic Gianluca Fortunado, a tango teacher with secrets of his own. This beautiful city, with its dark history and wild promise, seems like the perfect refuge, but can she really outrun her demons?
Told in alternating chapters, Katie grows up, falls in love, and races down the highest peaks on the planet—while Liz is reborn, falls into lust, and sinks into the underground tango scene at the bottom of the world. From the moneyed ski chalets of the American West to the dimly lit milongas of Argentina, We Came Here to Forget explores what it means to dream, to desire, to achieve—and what’s left behind after it all disappears.
This review contains SPOILERS. Not ones that affect how you read the story, I think, but spoilers if you don't want to know what her sister's secret is. You have been warned.
You've probably heard about VIPKid by now, but just in case you're reading this and thinking, huh? VIPKid is an online platform that brings native English speakers into online classrooms with Chinese students from the comfort of their home. You can teach from your couch, a desk, your balcony - you name it. I mean, there are some requirements for an educational atmosphere, but as long as you've got that, you're golden.
The best part is that Chinese students take these classes on their computer or tablet, making it really easy to learn English from a native speaker in their own time. The goal is for these kids to have a better understanding of the language by actually speaking with someone who is fluent.
I've been teaching with VIPKid for almost four weeks now and I love it. I studied English in college but never expected to be a teacher. I didn't like the idea of being in charge of a classroom full of kids. But I love that VIPKid allows me to teach a class of ONE student, making it more of a tutoring session with fun games, pictures, and opportunities to share about our different cultures.
Now that I've got you intrigued, let me tell you ten reasons why YOU should become a VIPKid teacher as well. Because if I, who has zero classroom experience and was super scared about teaching kids could do it, you can too.
10. You LOVE Kids
Okay, this one is kind of a no brainer, but I really did meant it when I said I was afraid to teach kids. In fact, my husband is the one who told me to apply for the job. I was so skeptical that I said I would look into it but I wasn't making any promises. As I read about VIPKid and the application process, as well as watched videos of current teachers who love their job, I realized that I didn't have to be scared.
I love kids, and though I don't have any of my own yet I really enjoy being around my friend's children and my younger cousins. I loved being a camp counselor every summer and joining Vacation Bible School as a volunteer. All of this made me eligible to teach English with VIPKid. Well, that and a Bachelor's degree (in any subject, by the way!)
9. You Talk With Your Hands
Since classes are online, you have to be willing to use your camera in creative ways. You'll learn through the hiring process different tricks and techniques to help you, but I found that the habit of already talking with my hands made this an easy transition. I'm already all over the place, which helps to keep the kids focused on me as the teacher.
I can't believe I'm saying this, but my first wedding anniversary is in less than two weeks. April 28th is fast approaching and I've been wracking my brain on the best ways to celebrate. I have a bottle of wine in the fridge my sisters gave me at my bridal shower to save for the anniversary date, so we'll be bringing that with us on our weekend trip to Falmouth, MA. I'm so excited for the getaway and to spoil my husband with what I have planned.
A good friend of mine gave me the idea to write about traditional anniversary traditions and how to mix them up a bit. So, thank you, Danielle, for sharing and I hope this gives you ideas for your anniversary in May! (I still can't believe you eloped but I'm also still excited about it.)
I've done a lot of pinning on Pinterest to find my favorite ideas for our first anniversary and I think I found some really cute ideas to share.
It's traditional on the first wedding anniversary to eat the top of your wedding cake. But after keeping it a year in the freezer, I've heard that it's really dry and doesn't taste very good. That, coupled with the fact that we moved cross-country a month after our wedding, made the decision to not save the top of our cake an easy one.
Luckily, you can still have something sweet without saving your cake. Some couples decide to order a small cake in the same flavor as their wedding cake, so it's still close to the tradition but much more fresh and tasty. Or, if you had a less traditional treat on your wedding day, like a donut or cupcake, indulge in them again.
For us, I want to buy a tiny cake like we had on our wedding day. It was marbled cake with white buttercream frosting. It was so dang good. Unfortunately, it was a Publix cake and they definitely don't have any Publix's in the north. So I'm still looking for a great cake place.
Title: Daisy Jones & The Six
Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid
Genre: Historical Fiction
Synopsis: (From Goodreads)
Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock and roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things.
Also getting noticed is The Six, a band led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road.
Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes that the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.
Title: She Regrets Nothing
Author: Andrea Dunlop
Genre: Fiction / Women's Fiction
Synopsis: (From Goodreads)
When Laila Lawrence becomes an orphan at twenty-three, the sudden loss unexpectedly introduces her to three glamorous cousins from New York who show up unannounced at her mother’s funeral. The three siblings are scions of the wealthy family from which Laila’s father had been estranged long before his own untimely demise ten years before.
Two years later, Laila has left behind her quiet life in Grosse Point, Michigan to move to New York City, landing her smack in the middle of her cousins’ decadent world. As the truth about why Laila’s parents became estranged from the family patriarch becomes clear, Laila grows ever more resolved to claim what’s rightfully hers. Caught between longing for the love of her family and her relentless pursuit of the lifestyle she feels she was unfairly denied, Laila finds herself reawakening a long dead family scandal—not to mention setting off several new ones—as she becomes further enmeshed in the lives and love affairs of her cousins. But will Laila ever, truly, belong in their world? Sly and sexy, She Regrets Nothing is a sharply observed and utterly seductive tale about family, fortune, and fate—and the dark side of wealth.