Beach Day Reads

Beach Day Reads

I can’t believe it’s the last week of July! I haven’t even made it to the beach yet, perhaps that’s why it hasn’t quite felt like summer yet. Not to worry, we still have 55 days of the season left. I’m on it!

I found this old photo from one of many summer adventures at Point Dume on a crisp morning, turned hot day – encapsulating all of my beach day essentials. And it’s not quite a beach day without my Kindle loaded with a new book. Does this girl love a delicious summer read!

In the spirit of a lazy Saturday spent on the beaches of Malibu with a good book and an iced latte nearby (one of my absolute favorite ways to kick-off a summer weekend!), I thought I’d share my next 5 reads that will take me through the rest of summer. Some of these are book club selections for the next few months ahead, while others are just stories I’m anxious to delve into on my own.

If you’ve read any of these, please do share your thoughts in the comments section.

Until we meet again…happy reading and happy 55 days of summer left!


Beach Day Reads ATG FINAL

1. MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend by Rachel Bertsche

2. The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

3. The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

4. China Dolls by Lisa See

5. This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper

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5 Reasons This Week Will Rock!

Three more days until my winter holiday adventure begins! While I still have to get through a pretty busy week at the office and get prepped for the holidays in general, it’s hard to concentrate on anything more than my upcoming 18 day fun-filled, adventure-packed, then totally relaxed, much-needed awesome vacation. Patience is a must this week, so while I slowly make that transition from everyday life to a “vacay state of mind” there are a few things I’m looking forward to, to pass the time or finally cross off on my “to do” list. It always seems like time slows whenever you have plans you’re looking forward to – as if to taunt you with anticipation. So while the universe makes me wait another 72 hours …here are 5 reasons this week will still rock:

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#1. I’m really enjoying and hoping to finish what is turning out to be a great holiday read – Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple. It’s light and funny and fun! I literally do “LOL” at these completely neurotic Seattleites. I recommend it if you’re looking for an awesome new read.

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#2. Attending a studio screening of American Hustle. I’m really looking forward to this one given such positive reviews.

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#3. Now that I’ve secured an estimate for the damages to my car a couple of weeks back, I’m looking forward to tightening up the details this week and taking her in for repair soon! Who-hoo!

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#4. I’m in the mood to shake things up on the mani/pedi front for the holidays. Thanks to Pinterest, I found some inspiration to play with two-tone nails. One night this week, will find me at home on my couch experimenting with festive colors.

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#5. Last, but certainly not least,  I’m starting to feel like my old self again after completing a short round of antibiotics last week. It certainly wasn’t anything life threatening, but man does it remind me to treasure my naturally good health. It always seems that you take it for granted until you’re not feeling so hot. Here’s to health!

 

What I’m Lovin’ Right Now

A few random things bringing a smile to my face at this particular moment and interestingly, that thing we call “love” open and closes my short list today. When I saw Frida Kahlo’s quote on an otherwise blah day, she kinda blew my mind with these 12 words.

And speaking of love – if you’re looking for a good Thanksgiving weekend read to lose yourself in something else besides turkey and pie, check out Falling into You, then the sequel, Falling into Us by Jasinda Wilder. I can’t recall know how I stumbled upon these books and I don’t really read much of this genre (other than 50 Shades, because hey, who hasn’t at this point?), but I couldn’t put either book down. Jasinda Wilder has a way with stories. I read Falling into You this summer (insert a handful of other books in between) and I’m just now finishing up the second. Wow! Alert: they’re “steamy!” though not pushing 50 Shades territory…and much better written.

Insert my “Carrie Bradshaw-esque” voice here: “I couldn’t help but wonder…do people actually have relationships like Colt and Nell; Jason and Becca?”

A girl can dream.

Here’s what i’m lovin’ right now…

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Frida Kahlo kinda just blew my mind | ellafrancessanders.com

Blueberry and Jam Buttermilk Coffee Cake with Buttery Vanilla Glaze | averiecooks.com

Black Rutilated Quartz Gold Necklace | Friedasophie on etsy.com

Studio M Moto Jacket | macys.com

Falling into Us | amazon.com

Highlights

I’ve got a confession to make. I caved in a pretty big way this week. Those who know me, know I’m a total book-worm. I rarely leave the house without a book in my bag. It’s about as essential to me as making sure I have my wallet, phone, and car keys at all times. I’ve been a loyal fan of reading for as long as I can remember – back to the days of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps, The Babysitters Club, and let’s not forget the seemingly never-ending Sweet Valley High series. Friday nights killing time in bookstores and Saturday afternoons in the library were quite common growing up. As I’ve gotten older, I realize just how influential those days were to me the more I think about it. I’ve even blogged about it in my Ode to Bookstores.

The funny things is almost 20 years later, nearly all of the books that I read are still checked out from the library and are, in fact, “real” books! There’s something so nostalgic about being around and carrying physical books. I love the smell. I love to turn pages. I love to see the progression of a bookmark as I make my way through a great novel.  And I love, love, love stories (hence my eternal devotion to film; a story that started on paper that became visual). So the big highlight of my week was making the decision to go digital when I gave into the new Kindle Paperwhite.

I debated for a while over making the switch not only because of the cost, but because I wondered if the experience of reading would be as “genuine” as a real book. And while libraries are slowing building their downloadable e-media content for Kindle’s, I know that buying technology like this inevitably also means that I’ll be spending more money on books, which is something I’ve avoided altogether by using the library. Unlike music or films, I hardly ever re-read books, so while I do enjoy them and have a small book collection at home, I’ve never been able to justify the cost and it’s also saved me a lot of space.

Ultimately, the decision came down to ease (and I won’t lie, a little bit of awe in having a new gadget too – it’s my much belated birthday present to myself!). I can access over a millions books at any time, storing over 1,000 of them in my device; at no where near the bulk that it would take up in my purse to carry a single book (and I’ve stretched out quite a few handbags lugging around 500 page hard cover books over the years). I think future handbags and my aging shoulders are already grateful.

This doesn’t mean that my relationship with books is over, it just means it’s changing…knowing that they won’t be too far away.

I’ll let you know how it goes. Have a great weekend guys!

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How I Plan to Spend My Summer Vacation

They say youth is wasted on the young. I might also add so are summer vacations. Three months of complete carefree freedom – no bills, no big worries other than your new first day of school outfit, and plenty of opportunities to sleep during a time when 3 months seemed like a really long time. I find that as I get older, I hear myself saying “rent is due again!” more and more frequently.

Year after year of the famed summer vacation as a kid through my college years was always welcomed, though became more and more complicated as I got older (insert summer job/responsibility here), but likely nothing compared to what a summer vacation would look like today as an adult if I had 3 entire months to do whatever, whenever I wanted.

What once was an endless day doing arts and crafts at the Boys & Girls Club when I was 10, ironically would be similar, but on a yacht in the middle of the Mediterranean. I’d still read books, veg in front of the TV for hours while eating incessantly (not gaining a pound, of course) with the caveat being that I would be in the middle of a 3 month tour of Europe, and this was just how I would choose to unwind after a day exploring the city.

While I’m grateful for being steadily employed, I won’t let a little thing like a full-time job prevent me from having the summer of my life. While I won’t be in the middle of the Mediterranean making art collages, nor will I be stuffing my face with pasta all day while watching re-runs of Friends dubbed in Italian during my European adventure, I do have big plans to enjoy the California sunshine, explore the time of year that LA really comes alive, and make collages all summer long…for my blog. In fact, here’s one now…

How I Plan to Spend My Summer Vacation

How I plan to spend summer

Picnics. Outdoor movies/Cinespia. On the beach. Under the stars at the Hollywood Bowl. Hiking. Reading. At the movies. Yoga. Farmers’ markets. Eating cupcakes. Museums. Blogging. Milkshakes. Bookstores. Fruity inspired everything. LA County Fair. Drive-ins. My favorite grilled cheese joint. Iced lattes, lattes, lattes! A weekend getaway with my guy, place: TBD. The beach again.

…And exploring my beloved LA as much as I can.

Happy Summer!

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Highlights

Can you believe that we’re halfway through September already? I could have sworn I just paid rent! My goodness, how time flies. Thankfully, there were a few moments from this week that made an ordinary day, pretty extraordinary:

{FOOD.}

Is it me or does pasta taste better on the second or even third day? Monday night’s dinner was a huge highlight and success, in part because I dined on leftovers from my recent visit to Osteria Coppola. I warmed up the chicken lasagna in the oven, as opposed to throwing it in the microwave, to let it cook slowly and develop a bit of a crunch to the top layer. Things always taste better from the oven. I must remember this mantra when I don’t have the patience to wait. A quick homemade side salad and a glass of ice tea and I swear I was in Italy in my own house.

{FILM.}

By far, one of the greatest experiences this week was seeing Celeste and Jesse Forever. It’s an awesome off-beat dramedy, with a nice salute to Los Angeles. Rashida Jones (could she be anymore gorgeous?) and Andy Samberg do a superb job bringing the highs and lows of a complicated and deteriorating relationship, but an everlasting friendship to the screen. I LOL’d, felt my eyes water, and had a smile on my face the whole time. I also fell in LOVE with the music in this film and was on Amazon.com within an hour of getting home looking to purchase the soundtrack. Unfortunately, no soundtrack exists, but thanks to another fellow blogger I was directed to a playlist created on Spotify with all the film’s songs. “Drifting In and Out” by Porcelain Raft is my new chill out song. This will be added to my collection later this year when it’s released on DVD for sure!

{FUN.}

I’ve been doing a lot of reading this week, which is a nerdy love of mine. I’m currently reading The Cider House Rules by John Irving. I still have quite a way to go before my next book club meeting. I’m very much enjoying it, but it’s 561 densely packed pages!

Have a great weekend!