Aside from seeing my mom again this weekend, there are a handful of other thing making me smile this week and I’ve detailed them below. Today’s post is actually a little heavy on the book recommendations but I suppose that happens when I miss one week of a Friday post and they have time to accumulate! Hopefully that will be a good thing for the book worms out there.
Enjoy your weekend my friends!
Things I’m Loving Friday
These slippers are all kinds of amazing… and they’re only $20! I found them on Amazon when I was looking for a cozy, wintery version of the pillow slippers I wear non-stop during the warmer months of the year. They’re made with high-density memory foam and lined with a super-soft faux-fur lining. As I’ve mentioned before, pregnancy/age seems to have changed my feet and they’re now very sensitive to hard floors so I’m always wearing slippers in our house. These have quickly become my go-to pair even if they do look a little bit like space slippers. My sister slipped them on throughout her visit as well and loved them! If you like the super-cushioned feel of the crazy popular pillow slippers, I cannot recommend this cozy version enough. 10/10 fantastic! One important note: Size up!!! I’m usually an 8.5 and I ordered a size 10! (It looks like sizes in these slippers are selling out fast but this pair looks very similar with more sizes available!)
I was in the market for a matching set of refillable hand and dish soap dispensers but holy cow so many of the cute ones I found were expensive! I wanted something in an amber bottle to break up the white cabinets and countertops in our kitchen but a lot of the options I stumbled upon were $40-50+. Leave it to Amazon to deliver! This duo was only $25 and came with stickers so I could choose what I wanted the dispensers to say (dish soap, hand soap, hand lotion, shampoo or conditioner). The reviews were fantastic (5 stars!) and they claim to be designed to resist erosion which was an issue I experienced with the dispensers I purchased in the past. So far they’ve been awesome!!! You can also choose from different color dispenser tops — I opted for the brushed gold but they also have silver, bronze and matte black. Such a good home find!
When I was picking up a Target order the other day, I saw a mannequin wearing this wrap dress (currently on clearance!) and it immediately popped out at me. Truth time: I swiped the dress off the mannequin because it was the only one left and let’s just say it was worth my semi-shady move. (Don’t worry, I did notify a store associate about the now-naked mannequin.) The dress is comfortable and flattering and one I know I’ll be able to dress up or down. I paired it with these ankle booties (highly recommend!) and a super old neon clutch I’ve had for years for Tuesday night’s dinner but think it would also look cute with lug boots, simple slides or even sneakers and a denim jacket.
What Happens in Paradise by Elin Hilderbrand
My rating: A-
I just adore Elin Hilderbrand’s novels. They truly are my perfect end-of-the-day read and combine creative plotlines with interesting characters, intriguing locations and a perfect sprinkle of mystery. They’re light and breezy reads and I loved diving into What Happens in Paradise, the second book in her Paradise series last week.
What Happens in Paradise picks up right where Winter in Paradise left off. (If you’re interested in this book, definitely start with Winter in Paradise or you’ll likely be very lost!) Irene Steele is still reeling following the death of her husband of 30+ years, Russell Steele. When it becomes increasingly clear the helicopter crash that killed Russ and his now-discovered mistress Rosie may not have been an accident, Irene finds herself wrapped up in FBI investigations and questions she cannot answer. Irene returns to St. John, the island where Russ lived his double life, along with her sons, Cash and Baker, each motivated to return by the desire to find answers but also by the pull they feel toward the island and the intriguing people on it.
In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware
My rating: B+
Clearly I’ve been on a Ruth Ware kick lately since my last TILF post included two of her novels! They’re easy, suspenseful reads that tend to rope me in quickly and keep me guessing. I really enjoyed In a Dark, Dark Wood though I found it to be one of the more predictable novels I’ve read by this author. I’d still recommend it if you’re a fan of thrillers and want to read a book that will keep you invested until the very end.
The book begins when Leonora is invited to the bachelorette party (“hen weekend”) of her former best friend, Claire. She hasn’t spoken with Claire in years and is confused by the invitation. After making a pact with another friend, she decides to attend and this decision is one she instantly regrets. The weekend kicks off at the secluded countryside home of the aunt of Claire’s new best friend, a determined-to-make-the-weekend-perfect and oddly obsessive woman named Flo. When Leonora finds out who Claire is marrying, the news kicks off what feels like a series of unnerving events and revelations… and one may cost someone their life.
Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris
My rating: B
This book was a super-fast read and I flew threw it. Well, I suppose I should say it was a super-fast listen because it was another book I listened to through my library through the Libby app. I waffled back and forth from really enjoying this book to feeling like it was grasping at straws. I love trying to figure out the twists that come in the thrillers I read and found a lot of this one predictable but I definitely did not predict the very end of the book so it gets a few points for that twist! (I will say I did not love the ending but also felt a little indifferent about it which may speak to the fact that I didn’t feel overly invested in the characters or the book as a whole.) One major plus for this book is the fact that I was all-in on it from the very beginning.
Twelve years ago, Layla disappears during a vacation with Finn, her boyfriend of just over one year. Finn is shocked and devastated and initially a suspect. Eventually cleared of suspicion (thanks, in part, to lies he told), Finn tried hard to move on. He’s left confused and floundering until he eventually finds comfort and solace years later… with Layla’s sister, Ellen.
When the two become engaged, it should be the happiest time in Finn’s life but when he learns Layla us spotted by an old neighbor and items from Layla’s past begin to turn up, he is left reeling. Could Layla really be alive? Should he tell Ellen? What does this mean about the past? And his future? As Finn becomes increasingly convinced Layla may really be alive, he becomes increasingly skeptical, paranoid and disturbed, feelings that only increase when mysterious emails begin to arrive in his inbox.
Easy BBQ Meatloaf (This recipe is all kinds of nostalgic for me and reminds me of early marriage days with Ryan when we’d make it all the time. It’s still a favorite!)
Chocolate Chia Seed Protein Pudding (A fantastic protein-packed snack and a favorite prep-ahead weekday breakfast option, too!)
Question of the Day
What is one thing you’re loving this week?
Julie – I hope you and your family have a wonderful weekend with your mom. Nothing better than time with a cherished mom and grandma! Something that made me smile this week is our daughter who is a junior in college got back from her cross cultural exchange trip. It is a requirement for her college – the curriculum throughout her 4 years has a focus on learning about other cultures and doing service work. She studied the Polynesian culture and spent almost 2 weeks with her class on the big island of Hawaii. They helped replant banana trees, volunteered at a fish pond, worked on a farm and went to a language college and met with staff and students and so much more. They also did attend a Luau, went to see an active volcano and ended the trip with a visit to Pearl Harbor. She learned so much and pushed herself out of her comfort zone at times. They did have moments to enjoy the beauty of the island so each morning her and a group of students got up early to watch the sunrise. It was so interesting to hear all about her trip, see photos and see how much of a passion she has for participating in service work. She already does a lot of volunteering in the school district where she attends school because she is studying to be a special education teacher and seeks out extra opportunities to help out. But the focus of this trip was on sustainable living and she learned so much and enjoyed it too. Have a great weekend!!!
Marisa Lynn Brough says
The thing that makes me smile today is that view out your kitchen window!!!
I always love the book recs. Whenever I need something to read I’ll come to your Friday posts and check out t what you’ve been reading.
Also, thank you for the slipper recommendation. I’ve been needing a new pair and here they are.
One more thing! Love the Paradise series. My husband and I plus three other couple friends are going to St John in the summer and us girls have all read the books. ☺️
Hi julie! Can you remind me where you got those cute wooden risers? I think walmart? I saw a link at some point but now I can’t remember. The new house is beautiful!