Food & Drink

Food & Drink
Food & Drink

SHOP MY FAVES

SHOP MY FAVES
SHOP MY FAVES

STYLE

STYLE
STYLE

Splurge vs. Save: Tory Burch Miller Sandals


I've had my eyes on the Tory Burch Miller sandal for years. Years! But I just can't seem to hit the purchase button after repeatedly adding them to my cart. I've had two pairs of the iconic TB Reva ballet flat, which retails for a little more than the cost of the Miller sandals, and I've had no problem forking over the cash for those. But the ballet flats are a more versatile shoe that can be worn most of the year. The Miller sandal, unfortunately, is very season-specific. While browsing Lord & Taylor's website recently, I found an incredibly similar looking sandal and couldn't believe the resemblance...and the vast difference in price. I was blown away by the range in price points. Obviously, it was a natural choice for a Splurge vs. Save post.
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Best Online Reads


The ten stories from around the web that I am loving this week:

1. How to live your life guilt-free via Marie Claire.

2. Seven things that happen when you try to rush a relationship via Goalcast.

3. How sore is too sore to workout via MindBodyGreen.
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Add To Your Reading List: The Girl He Used To Know


This is a sponsored book review by St. Martin's Press and SheSpeaks. All opinions and thoughts on the book are my own.

I've read enough books to know that many genres follow certain patterns. Murder mysteries generally begin and end the same. Psychological thrillers start rather slow and build up to a fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat ending. And romances are generally a lot of character development in the beginning and a love story that unfolds and ends either tragically or happily.


The Girl He Used To Know by Tracey Garvis Graves, a New York Times bestselling author, is a love story, but how this love story begins, ends, and begins again is different from any other that I've ever read. It really is a very different kind of love story, and one you don't want to miss.

This book moves back and forth from past to present. Sometimes that type of writing can be difficult to follow, but Graves does a job of seamlessly weaving the story together beautifully. The different time periods illustrate the growth between the characters as well as within the relationship.

When Annika and Jonathan meet in the chess club at the University of Illinois, it is strictly by chance.  Annika's regular partner isn't available, and she must play with the club's newest member, Jonathan. After a few chess club meetings where they are teamed up, a bond forms and soon, Annika and Jonathan are inseparable. But something happens between them that abruptly ends their relationship and sends them their separate ways upon graduation.



 And as luck (or fate, chance or coincidence) would have it, Annika and Jonathan bump into each other ten years after graduation at a grocery store in Chicago. The completely unexpected reunion causes both Annika and Jonathan to dredge up their relationship of the past and question everything that happened.

After emotionally wrestling with themselves about whether they want to go down that path again, Annika and Jonathan make plans to get together to catch up. Soon, old feeling are rekindled and the two are spending more and more time together. But can they have a second chance at love? Is the time right for Annika and Jonathan now even though it wasn't 10 years prior?

Because Annika has some complicated social issues, she and Jonathan always seem to be up against opposition. But that's what makes The Girl He Used To Know so engaging. Annika and Jonathan experience personal growth in and out of the relationship, and that growth only strengthens them as a couple.

There was a major twist at the end that I did not see coming. I was completely blindsided as I wasn't paying complete attention to the dates on the chapter headings. The major development tests everything Annika thinks she is capable and incapable of. The ending felt a bit rushed after this, whereas, up to this point, the book has a good flow and pace to it.

The characters in this book are extremely likable which makes it a fun and easy read. Overall, The Girl He Used To Know is a feel-good story and an incredibly unique book that would make for a great rom-com.

The book is available for purchase and download on April 2. You can pre-order your copy today through your favorite retailer.


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Weekend Dispatch


Last night I finished a book that I picked up by chance at the grocery store for $4 and ended up devouring it in 3 days! It was so good. It's one of those books that locks you in early and everything else in your life (laundry, cleaning, etc.) gets pushed to the side until you finish. Other than that, this week's a quiet one in contrast to last week's busy week.

Here's what I am up to this week:
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Loving Lately: Lavender

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5 Fab Finds Under $50

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On a budget but still want to look great? Here are 5 fab finds under $50 that won't break the bank but will keep you (or your home) looking cute.
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Best Online Reads


The ten stories from around the web that I am loving this week:

1. A room-by-room spring cleaning checklist via Taste of Home.

2. How to quit your job but remain friends with your boss via Glamour.

3. The most popular Trader Joe's items by state via Cooking Light.
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My Favorite Natural Deodorants


Natural deodorants have come a long way since they hit the market years ago. I recall being sent one of the very first ones on the market by a PR company and thinking it was awful. It didn't smell good, it felt grainy when it was applied, and it was barely effective. But over the years, they've improved dramatically, and the selection has grown considerably. While I haven't tried every single natural deodorant available, I have tried my fair share of them.

First off, let's chat about what natural deodorants are and aren't. One of my most questionable ingredients in conventional antiperspirants is aluminum. Aluminum salts are used to clog the pores of your underarms to prevent you from sweating. Deodorants do not contain aluminum - only antiperspirants do. In many studies, aluminum has been linked to Alzheimer's Disease and there has been concern with its link to breast cancer. This article from Well+Good is a good resource and worth checking out if you have concerns or are thinking of making the switch.
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Weekend Dispatch


This past weekend started out with beautiful weather as it was nearly 70 degrees F. here in New Jersey on Friday. It was glorious. I took advantage of the warm temps to get outside. Even though I had already worked out at the gym in the morning, I took an afternoon walk to a neighborhood park. I forgot how nice it is to exercise outdoors. Just to see people out and about enjoying the weather made me so happy. Those tastes of spring sure can do wonders for your state of mind. It's back to being brisk, so I'll have to take advantage of the time indoors until the warm weather is here to stay.
Here's what I'm up to this weekend:
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Give Me All The Gingham

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10 Things I'm Loving at Nordstrom Rack Right Now


If you've never shopped at Nordstrom Rack, it's time to fix that. Think of Nordstrom Rack as the big clearance section of Nordstrom. You can shop in store (if there is a location near you) or online. The prices are unbeatable, and the sales are phenomenal. If you shop online, you do have to pay shipping fees whereas you don't when you order from Nordstrom. However, returns can be made at any Nordstrom Rack store.

I've been shopping at Rack a lot lately for spring essentials, so I thought I'd share the ten items in my cart right now.
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Best Online Reads


The ten stories from around the web that I am loving this week:

1. How to guide your child to turn around a "bad day" via Epoch Times.

2. Charming American towns you haven't heard of but should visit ASAP via House Beautiful.

3. Why you'll always be haunted by high school via Quartz.
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Weekend Dispatch


This past weekend was spent doing a deep-cleaning of Harper's bedroom in preparation of the delivery of her new mattress and box spring (the frame and headboard came a few weeks ago). I also adjusted the frame and assembled the headboard. Yesterday everything was delivered and her new bed was in place by the time school was over. It was worth setting aside an entire Sunday to prep the room to see her face when she sat on the bed for the first time. She loves it so much that morning wake up calls have been quite a struggle.

Here's what I am up to this week:
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The Books I Read In February


I started out the year strong with four books read in January (it was a looooong month, after all). But in February things slowed down a bit, and I was able to make it through only two books. But they were good books, and one of them was rather long at over 400 pages. When the book is a printed version and not an ebook, it tends to take me a bit longer to read it since I don't take it to gym with me to read while on the treadmill the way I do with my ebooks.

Here are the two books I read in February:
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5 Fab Finds Under $50: Workout Edition

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Now that I've been working out consistently and seriously for about two years now, I've streamlined my workouts as well as my gear. I've stopped using canvas totes as gym bags and wearing old tees. I've invested in new sneakers (after I had runner's knee) and a good water bottle. You don't need to spend a ton, especially since gym memberships can be expensive. I've rounded up 5 finds under $50 for the gym.
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Best Online Reads


The ten stories from around the web that I am loving this week:

1. Thirty of the most beautiful college campuses in the world via House Beautiful.

2. Talking to your pet is a sign of intelligence via People.

3. Wonderful ways to boost your child's self-esteem via Hackensack Meridian Health.
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Beach Basics Under $40!

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Whether you are lucky enough to be heading on a winter getaway (can I come?) or you are counting the days until Memorial Day (there are 81), it's time to start gathering your beach essentials. Maybe you need one of everything or maybe you just need 1 or 2 of the above. Don't wait until it's time to pack up your beach bag to discover that you are in need of a new bathing suit or your favorite flip flops are worn thin.
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Weekend Dispatch


Two weeks ago, I decided to try a new class, Active Rhythm, at my gym. I'm the type who can easily become very complacent at the gym: taking the same classes and using the same equipment, with some modifications and variations. So, when I decided on a whim to take this class, it was definitely a step outside of my comfort zone. As it turns out, I ran into two friends in the class, and we had an awesome time. Anyhow, it was a great reminder that trying something new is beneficial. I need to do it more often.

Here are a few more new things  (and few old ones) I'm enjoying this week:

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What We're Reading


My 2019 Goodreads reading challenge is moving right along. This week I'm started my 7th of 35 books. I already have my 8th book chosen and downloaded so I'll be ready to roll once I finish my current read. The book I am currently reading is an advance copy that was sent to me for a sponsored review on behalf of SheSpeaks and St. Martin's Press.

Here are the books we are currently enjoying:
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Happy March ~ Letter From The Editor


Just as expected, March came in like a lion. The first day brought a blanket of snow, and now we are expecting more snow this weekend. I can't complain. We've had a mild winter in terms of precipitation, at least here at the Jersey shore. So, I'll take it. But I'd be lying if I said I wasn't completely ready for spring. OK, let's just bring on the summer weather.

Next weekend Daylight Saving Time ends. While I'm looking forward to longer days, I'm not happy about the dark wake up calls, even though I know how temporary they are.
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