Saturday, November 9, 2019

Life Lately: HME edition

Hi There,
   It's been a minute! I'm back on the 'ol blog with a life lately post for ya! I really really really miss putting pen to paper (err, hands to keyboard?) and writing. I've been feeling like it's been missing from my life lately and guess what one of the pages on my daily calendar was this week...."Make time for your writing. It's important." Okkk, universe, I got you, mama's listening.
  Full disclosure, I've felt like a bit of the conductor of the Hot Mess Express ever since we've returned from Hawaii. We've had a ton going on, notably our house is for sale! Ahhhh, it's true! We're building a home in Herriman, which is about 10 minutes away. However, it's contingent on our current house selling and we went on the market November 1st. We have truly loved this little place and hope it will be the perfect spot for its new owners. Keeping the house "show ready" with a toddler is FEAT, ya'll.
Hank and I dancing in our upstairs loft! 
Other things contributing to my ride on the Hot Mess Express (HME): I was hit with a random awful 24 bug during Halloween week (I'll spare you the deets, but I think I said "I feel like I'm dying" no less than a dozen times and even the very full DVR didn't provide solace), I've been putting the finishing touches on my math class project for the semester, my school is getting new carpet installed in all the classrooms (don't even talk to me about it), parent teacher conferences were last week, and ya know, just general adulting. That said, I did have yesterday off and it was just what I needed. Hank, my sister, Libby and I spent the morning visiting a new coffee shop, I napped when Hank did, and then went shopping for some winter gear for Hank.

This boy loves himself a happy meal. Mom was happy to oblige. 

AND.....Starbucks holiday cups/drinks debuted on Thursday! I haven't missed a Christmas launch in years and of course hit it up bright and early Thursday morning. While in line with the other bleary eyed Starbucks/Christmas fanatics, I just felt this great sense of community. The manager came out with gingerbread cake for everyone, people were extra nice to the incredible baristas, we were all swooning over the new seasonal ornaments and cups. It felt like the jolliest, sweetest stop aboard the HME yet. Maybe it was worth being about 1 red light from being late to school. Ha.

We had a super fun Halloween. We took Hank to the Harvest Fest/Trunk or Treat at his school and he was the cutest little Boss Baby I ever did see! On Halloween night, my family came over with dinner and held down the fort while we took Hank around the block. Hank made out like a bandit and despite us allowing him only one piece a day, his stash is significantly dwindled (she typed...while eating a handful of gummy bears).
I found his suit on KSL and ordered the tie and aviators on Amazon. I made his briefcase from a graham cracker box! 

I was Pete the Cat! This was my 3rd time being Pete. It's alllll good. 

"Talk to me" 

That smile SLAYS me

Hank loved throwing around his candy and putting it in and out of the bowl 

Halloween is hard work. Boss Baby needs some R &R 

Halloween with the G'rents
We have been soaking in as much fall as we can. I love few things as much as I love a stroller walk with my guys.

I really love my class this year. We had lots of seasonal fun reading with our "witch fingers" and doing candy corn math. Seasonal teaching is the best! Gearing up for making pilgrim butter this month and Gingerbread Day and Polar Express day next month! 

The Hot Mess Express isn't the worst place to be. Life's crazy because I spend my day with some pretty rad little humans, we're gearing up for some chaos because we're fortunate to be moving (fingers crossed) to a house with more space, toddlerhood is messy, and crazy, but hilarious and sweet. My heart swells every time Hank says a new word (even if it's repeating the "sh"word just like mom. Whoops).  We've just got lots to do, love, and be. All aboard, folks!

Savor Your Sparkle,

Saturday, November 2, 2019

October Reads

This month I read 4 books and listened to 1. I'm excited to share them with you! I always say there's nothing as awesome as snuggling under a big blanket with a mug of coffee reading a great book.....but this month, I think reading on the beach in Maui under the 85 degree sun miiiiight be just as good, maybe better! I cannot believe after this I only have two monthly book posts left this year. What a great year of reads! Here we go.....

1. Again But Better by Christine Riccio: I really enjoyed this book! I was on the waitlist for the book for what felt like months, so I decided to scrap that and try the audio version. The narrator was great and it was a light enough read that listening in the car worked well. This is about a shy college student who decides to ditch her pre-med regimented lifestyle and study literature in London. I would probably classify this book as Young Adult, but there was a great love story, fun characters, and an amazing setting. About half way through this book, I was thinking oh please, do not let this go the predictable way I'm thinking and it didn't. This is a sweet fun book about second chances, living your passion, and first loves. This would be a great little book to read this holiday season.

2. Secrets From the Eating Lab by Traci Mann: This book was a true winner in the world of diet/nutrition non-fiction. I mentioned in another post how I've been enjoying listening to the podcast, Balance 365 Life, all about maintaining a balance with health and nutrition to make healthy, sustainable decisions for busy women. The hosts of that podcast reference this book all.the.time. and even have an interview episode with Dr. Mann. I'm so glad I picked this one up. Traci Mann runs an eating lab that studies the psychology of snacking and food choices. Her discoveries basically boil down to the fact that "willpower" is a misguided tool of the diet industry, sustainable lifestyles require mastery of small, easy habits over time, and how most people who are eating a fairly balanced diet will not go to either a crazy unhealthy or crazy regimented place (as many diets lead people to believe). It's all about balance, moderation, and fueling your lifestyle. Body changes, Dr Mann says, are a bonus that will fall into place once healthy habits are practiced and ingrained. Sound advice! This book references the other diet book I read last year, Mindless Eating, which shares similar research.

3. I Liked My Life by Abby Fabiaschi: This book came onto my book pile upon the recommendation of one of my favorite authors, Jen Lancaster. This one is about a mom who dies under mysterious circumstances and how she views the life of her teenage daughter and husband in her absence. She tries to send messages from beyond and set up their lives for happiness even though she's not there. I thought that supernatural element might be a bit strange, but it actually worked well. This one has a really sweet ending and I really enjoyed all of the characters. I found out the author is actually local, from Park City, so I'd love to check out some of her other books in the future.

4. Well Met by Jen DeLuca: This book was my Book of the Month club selection over the summer and I just got around to reading it on our trip. This book was read entirely in Hawaii and was the perfect vacation read! This one is about a young woman who returns to her small hometown (sounds like the start to every Hallmark movie, right) and gets roped into volunteering for the Renaissance fair. It's cheesy. It's predictable. It's cute. It's rated R for the bedroom scenes. It's got a happy ending. This was good, but not great or memorable by any means. It was the perfect beach read, with a sweet ending, a light plot, and engaging characters.

5. What Happens in Paradise by Elin Hilderbrand: This is the second book in a 3 part series about a family on St. John's. The main character, Irene, discovers her late husband had a secret life on the island and she moves there along with her adult children. It's classic Hilderbrand--beach setting, large cast of characters, romance, friendship, etc. This book was good but I read the first book in the series last year so I spent the first 20 pages or so confused and needing a refresher. I'd recommend reading the first book, Winter in Paradise, and then reading this one right after. The third book is due out in the fall of next year.

That's a wrap on a great month of reading!

And now here are all the books I've read in 2019....with stars by my faves!
1. An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen
2. The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick
3. The Last Original Wife by Dorothea Benton Frank
4. *Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty
5. Happy Teachers Change The World by Thich Nhat Hanh and Katherine Weare
6. The Day I Went Missing by Jennifer Miller
7. *Glow Kids by Kardaras Nicholas
8. Final Girls by Riley Sager
9. *Becoming by Michelle Obama
10. As Long As We Both Shall Live by Joann Chaney
11. *The Family Next Door by Sally Hepworth
12. If You Only Knew by Jamie Ivey
13. *The Home for Unwanted Girls by Joanna Goodman
14. Adequate Yearly Progress by Roxanne Elden
15. *Regrets Only by Erin Duffy
16. *Girls in the Garden by Lisa Jewell
17. I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella
18. *The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
19. *Give Me Your Hand by Megan Abbott
20. When Did I Get Like This? by Amy Wilson
21. *Good Riddance by Elinor Lipman
22. Maid by Stephanie Land
23. Beyond the Point by Claire Gibson
24. Sh*tty Mom by Laurie Kilmartin, Karen Moline, Alicia Ybarbo, MaryAnn Zoellner
25. Someone Else's Love Story by Joshilyn Jackson
26. Dietland by Sarai Walker
27. The Mother in Law by Sally Hepworth
28. The Bride Test by Helen Hoang
29. *Life Will Be the Death of Me by Chelsea Handler
30. *Summer of '69 by Elin Hilderbrand
31. Those Other Women by Nicola Moriarty
32. *The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
33.  Roar by Cecelia Ahern
34. A Love Letter Life by Jeremy and Audrey Roloff
35. The Summer of Good Intentions by Wendy Frances
36. *Lock Every Door by Riley Sager
37. *Can I Get An Amen? by Sarah Healy
38. The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson
39. *Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
40. How Do You Tuck In a Superhero? by Rachel Balducci
41. City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert 
42. *No Exit by Taylor Adams
43. *Things You Save In a Fire by Katherine Center
44. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
45. *Again But Better by Christine Riccio
46. *Secrets from the Eating Lab by Traci Mann
47. I Liked My Life by Abby Fabiaschi
48. Well Met by Jen DeLuca
49. What Happens In Paradise by Elin Hilderbrand

Savor Your Sparkle,

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Maui Part 3

Hey! hey! It's the third and final installment of my Hawaii recaps! Part 1 is HERE and Part 2 is HERE. After a day on Road to Hana, we were wiped out, but we got up early and after breakfast, decided to walk along the beach to some other resorts in the area. It was a hot day! At 11:00 I had a massage at the hotel spa. It was incredible! It was a "Lomi Lomi" massage, which is a traditional Hawaiian massage with long strokes and gentle touch. It was heavenly! During my massage, AJ went to a local golf course to check out the pro shop. We met up afterward and hit up the beach!

Our beloved breakfast buffet

Thursday at the beach we swam with sea turtles! It was amazing! We also saw some really bright and beautiful fish. Both AJ and I agreed that beach time was our favorite time of the trip. That evening we had tickets to the Old Lahaina Luau (we booked this when we booked the trip). The scenery was gorgeous and we enjoyed the food, drinks, and the show was awesome. It was about a 40 minute narrated show about the history of Hawaii. The hula dancing was impressive! 

Desserts at the Luau

The PIG! 

We were super tired after the Luau, so on Thursday we slept in and of course headed to the pool after breakfast. They had these floating bean bag things in the lazy river and we just floated around and chilled. We decided to walk around Whaler's Village in the atfternoon and then head to Lahaina again to explore and souvenir shop. I had read about Island Vintage Coffee and tried their macadamian nut coconut iced latte. It was delicious! In Lahaina, we hit up Mexican food for dinner (and of course shaved ice for dessert). 

I found this Day of the Dead Alex and Ani bracelet and just had to get it because it reminded me of Hank and his love of Coco. We just love that movie  

Life on the free shuttle lol

Thursday evening we swam again and watched the sunset over Kannapali. Friday would be our last day on Maui. Booooooo

Friday morning we continued our routine of breakfast then beach. We headed back to our room to pack up. So we discovered that many flights leaving Maui were overnight flights....including ours. So we checked out of our hotel at noon, but didn't need to be at the airport until 9. We decided to venture out to Leoda's Pie Kitchen which I had read so much about. It was amazing! We tried the chocolate macadamian pie and key lime. Splendid! Then we decided to head to the other resort area, Wailea. We walked around the shops there and it felt exactly like our resort area! It was sort of deja vu. We found an open air market and browsed a bit more. At this time it was like 4:00. We were hot, tired, and sick of walking around. We found a movie theater and decided to see whatever the next showing was. I have never done that! We ended up seeing Countdown, which was super cheesy, but definitely entertaining. By the time the movie got out, we decided to go ahead and head to the airport. The next 12 hours of travel were a blur. We had a 3 hour layover in San Francisco (where we changed into long pants and long long shorts and tanks!).

AJ captured this shot of me sleeping on the airport floor. No shame, girl needs her zzzz's! 

We arrived home in the afternoon and after a 30 minute power nap we took Hank to his harvest festival at his school. So tired, but so happy to be with our boy again. We are so thankful our amazing families cared so lovingly for Hank. This was an unforgettable week!
Savor Your Sparkle,