I absolutely cannot wait to celebrate my sister’s birthday (she turned 30 on Wednesday!), watch fireworks on the Fourth of July with my family, spend hours at the pool and the beach and enjoy a full week of quality time with my favorite people. Summer fun at its finest!!
I’m hoping to find time to blog a bit while I’m in Jacksonville but admittedly that can be a bit difficult with two kids in the mix and the desire to keep my focus on my family. I’ll absolutely do my best and hope to check in with you guys and share more about our Florida adventures soon. In the meantime, below you’ll find my weekly roundup of favorites, including my two latest book recommendations and a few other things that made me smile this week.
Have a fantastic weekend and for those traveling for the Fourth of July next week, I hope you all stay safe and have so much fun wherever you go!
Things I’m Loving Friday
The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
I read this book in two days because it was so gripping. The story is heartbreaking and horrifying but somehow romantic and hopeful. The Tattooist of Auschwitz is a best seller for good reason. It tells the true story of Holocaust survivor and Auschwitz-Birkenau tattooist Lale Sokolov from the moment of his transportation to the concentration camps to his immediate connection to Gita, a woman whose arm he must permanently mark after he is assigned the job of Tätowierer (tattooist).
Lale’s job as tattooist comes along with privileges and he uses his ability to speak multiple languages and sneak extra food to help his fellow prisoners, at great risk to himself. Once Lale meets Gita, he feels a renewed sense of purpose to make it out of the concentration camps alive so he can marry her and be with her forever. Imprisoned for nearly three years, Lale witnesses unbelievable cruelty and the most horrific acts of violence and inhumane treatment but he keeps his hope alive, a hope driven largely by the intense love he has for the woman he tattooed number 34902.
Earlier this week, the boys and I popped into Francesca’s to do a little birthday shopping for my sister and aside from the experience reminding my why I do nearly all of my shopping online (shopping with two boys under four = far from relaxing), we managed to find some cute things for my sister so it was an all-around success. I also couldn’t help but notice just how many incredibly cute pairs of sandals they had on sale during my visit and ended up buying two pairs that fit the style of sandals I’ve been looking for online for a few weeks now. Score!
I’ve been coveting a pair of ankle-strap sandals with a small platform and loved the look of this blush-colored pair of sandals the minute I saw them. When I tried them on in the store, I was instantly sold because the ankle strap sits lower on the ankle and helps avoid the cankle look that can easily happen to me with many ankle-strap sandals. (For my Amazon peeps, I found the same pair on Amazon in blush, brown and black as well. I’d recommend ordering a half-size sown.) I was also psyched to find a pair of double strap white sandals on sale and quickly nabbed them as well! (Click the “nude” color to find them online. They fit true to size.) I think they’ll pair well with everything from maxi skirts and distressed jeans to high-waisted shorts and breezy sundresses. A big-time bonus: Both pairs of sandals were 30% off and that same discount applies when you add the sandals to your cart online as well!
The Secrets of Midwives by Sally Hepworth
Since I had good luck with two previous novels by Sally Hepworth, I figured I’d try a third! The Secrets of Midwives was a great read and follows the lives of three generations of women — a mother, daughter and grandmother — who have all found their callings as midwives. Neva Bradley, the daughter of Grace and granddaughter of Floss, surprises her mother and grandmother with news that’s she’s pregnant but the surprise doesn’t stop there. She’s already in her third trimester and determined to keep all of the details pertaining to her pregnancy, including the baby’s father, a secret. Neva’s desire to withhold her baby’s father’s identity takes her grandmother, Floss, back nearly 60 years and forces her to deal with a potentially life-changing secret she’s held close to her heart for years.
I thoroughly enjoyed the story lines of all three women in this novel and found The Secrets of Midwives to be both interesting and intriguing. I loved reading about midwifery and while I did predict the main twist in the novel, it was still an enjoyable read.
Biceps / Triceps / Shoulders Mountain Climber Workout
I did this workout at the gym a couple of weeks ago and shared it on IG Stories and I’m glad I saved it to my phone because it was a good one! I followed the same format for my workout on Wednesday and loved the way it worked my biceps, triceps and shoulders in less than 30 minutes but also included little bursts of cardio in the form of mountain climbers (which also smoked my shoulders)!
Homemade Blueberry Crisp
Move over strawberry shortcake, it’s blueberry crisp time! Okay, maybe I shouldn’t be so quick to push our obsession with strawberry shortcake to the wayside, but this week blueberry crisp popped up as a mid-week dessert treat and it was delicious! I stocked up on lots of blueberries when they were on sale (seriously LOVING berry season!) and threw together an easy blueberry crisp with oats, flour, butter, cinnamon and brown sugar that I loosely based off this recipe and it was fabulous! I’m still kicking myself for making this when we didn’t have any vanilla ice cream on hand in the freezer but I won’t make that mistake again! And speaking of ice cream, THANK YOU for your ice cream maker recommendations! You guys are speaking my language with your intense love for ice cream out there.
Frozen Berry Yogurt Pie (Just in case you’re looking for a festive dessert to make for the Fourth of July!)
Leg Plyo Workout (A fast-paced workout with picture tutorials of each exercise.)
Question of the Day
What is one thing you’re loving this week?