Weekend Reading – January 14th, 2018

Katie and Maren

How is your weekend so far? I’m currently curled up on the couch, typing this post as I sip a glass of wine and look in awe at the pristine snow.  In New York, I feel like our snow is disgusting and dirty just hours after it falls due to foot and car traffic. But here, in the suburbs of Cincinnati, the snow is still bright white two days after falling! We are in Cincinnati visiting our good friends, Ryan and Amy, who are now the proud parents to two children, their youngest who is just a few weeks younger than Katie. It’s been wonderful curling up in their living room and watching the little girls play together while their older son reads to them. Our weekend has been relaxing as we’ve only left the house for a brisk neighborhood stroller walk and a hot yoga class. We cooked dinner in two of the three nights and tonight, we took the relaxing way out and enjoyed leftovers.

This week, instead of Friday Favorites, I’m sharing some weekend reading which includes recipes, articles, posts and other things that caught my eye this week.

  • This Bon Appetit slow cooker recipe was a hit with everyone last night and perfect for the cold, blustery weather!
  • In light of the recent articles advising us to avoid romaine lettuce, I’m glad i’m not pregnant right now. During my first trimester, romaine was the only lettuce I could stomach and I found myself craving Cesar and Greek salads multiple times a week!
  • I love making a big batch of quinoa and keeping it in the refrigerator as it is versatile enough to be used at breakfast, lunch and dinner and it’s an easy way to add protein to any meal. These 29 incredible quinoa recipes will be a delicious way to change things up while using one of my favorite refrigerator staples.
  • During my manicure on Monday I asked the nail tech to recommend a light pink and I immediately fell in love with her recommendation – CND Vinylux Romantique. which is a happy medium between gel and regular nail polish. I love the light pink color and am impressed that is hasn’t chipped yet!
  • Since our apartment tends to be cold during the winter, I’ve been wearing these cozy socks to bed each night.  After wearing them for a week, I fell in love with their warmth and weight – they aren’t as heavy or bulky as some of my socks but still keep my feet nice and toasty. In fact, I ordered two more pairs so I could wear them during the day with snow boots and then at night with pajamas!
  • After yoga yesterday, I realized just how much my body needs the practice. My back and shoulders were so tight from carrying and holding Katie and my hips are perpetually tight. I tried this 20-minute Yin Yoga class on YouTube that Grace recommended and felt SO relaxed afterwards. While my goal is still at least one hot yoga class per month, I’d like to try and do short but effective yoga videos like this more often.
  • After seeing these gold collagen eye patches on countless blogs, I finally ordered them a few weeks ago from Amazon. These 100% natural eye masks left my face looking more energized and reduced the fine lines after the first use!  I’ve been using them 3 times a week and love that they are affordable ($1.25 per use) and so easy to use.
  • Never did I ever imagine I could make my favorite everything bagels at home! But, this Easy Bagel Recipe makes me think that it may just be possible! The recipe only has five ingredients, all of which I have in our pantry at home. Since we’re not traveling next weekend, this may have to be a fun Saturday activity!
  • I’ve been searching for a pair of brown, leather booties and luckily my friend Amy introduced me to the most COMFORTABLE and stylish pair ever this weekend! Even better, they are on sale for less than $60 and the memory foam padding makes them not only stylish but also very comfortable. Amy loved her first pair so much that she immediately ordered a second pair in black. I just ordered these tonight, as brown booties or boots was one of the items on my list “to purchase” after last week’s closet purge.


Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored and instead is a list of the things of my favorite things this week. As normal, it includes lots of beauty and fashion items which means there are a few affiliate links via ShopStyle. It takes time and money to maintain a blog so I thank you for the support and few cents that come from clicking through the links!

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2018 Recommended Reading List


Growing up, reading was my favorite pastime. At one point, I had over 200 books lining the walls of my very small bedroom. I would stay up, far past my bedtime, reading under the covers and then, as I got older, would look forward to the weekends when I could go to the library and spend at least 20 to 30 minutes perusing the shelves, searching for the perfect next book.  Recently, I’ve returned to my original hobby and have been disconnecting each evening to read for 30 minutes before bed. Now I look forward to this time, typically from 9:30-10 each night, and have created a ritual that includes evening skin care, a cup of tea and a good book. In addition, any time we are on vacation or visiting family, my favorite way to relax is by enjoying fresh air and a good book. As you can see from the picture above, when we’re in Vermont, I love propping my feet up on the back porch, enjoying the sunset and a novel. These moments are far and few between now since Katie’s arrival, but this is still my preferred way to relax during one of her naps or when I have a helping hand.

Based on the feedback I received on Instagram and Facebook when I asked for book recommendations this weekend, I thought it would be fun to share it on the blog today and hopefully share it more regularly since I’m reading more frequently. I love getting book suggestions from friends and other bloggers, such as Grace, so why not share with you guys too?

If you’re looking for more inspiration or more frequent updates, you can follow me on Goodreads. My “to read” list is more than 100 books long as I find myself adding new books on a weekly basis; a far faster pace than I read a book these days.

The below list is a compilation of the recommendations friends, family and readers shared over the past few days. The ones with ** next to them are ones that I have read and each of the other books were recommended by at least 2-3 people, if not more. In fact, a few of them, such as The Light We Lost, were recommended by more than 20 people!

  • When Breath Becomes Air**
  • All The Light We Cannot See**
  • The Nightingale**
  • Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo**
  • The Handmaid’s Tale
  • Lilac Girls
  • A Gentleman in Moscow
  • A Man Called Ove**
  • Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
  • The Light Between the Oceans
  • A Tangled Mercy
  • What to Do About the Solomons
  • We Are Never Meeting in Real Life
  • Small Great Things
  • Present Over Perfect 
  • The Light We Lost
  • The Leavers
  • All the Ugly & Wonderful Things
  • Exit West
  • What is Not Yours Is Not Yours
  • The Heart’s Invisible Furies
  • A Simplified Life

I will incorporate my thoughts on these books as I make my way through them, most likely via Friday Favorites posts and a few dedicated book posts.

If I’m missing your favorite, leave the title in the comments and I will update this post! 

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Your 2017 Favorites

Happy Sunday. Boy has it been a weekend on this end. Per usual, we bit off a bit more than we could handle. We were inspired by Emily Ley’s book, A Simplified Life, and organized five rooms in our home. By the time we finished today we had 17 bags to donate, 6 bags of trash, and 6 spotless closets. It feels AMAZING! The task left us a bit exhausted, as it was also combined with hosting our friends Laura & Matt as well as a fussier-than-normal baby. Based on lots of feedback from friends on Instagram, it seems that her fussiness and spitup could be a combination of teething and eating too much since we’re now introducing solids. Over the next two days we are going to try pacing her bottles better and keeping her solid foods very simple just to eliminate any allergies, sensitivities, or other issues.

For today’s post, I thought it would be fun to share some of our and your favorite things from 2017. For your ease and enjoyment, I’m dividing this post into sections including fashion, baby, recipes, books, and posts.

Books – I spent more time reading last year, though many of the books were parent or baby focused. My goal is to read 40 books this year! In order to reach that goal, I will have to stick with my plan of disconnecting and reading before bed as well as during travel and anytime I commute.

  • Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
  • The Dollhouse
  • All the Light We Cannot See
  • Present Over Perfect

Parenting/Baby Focused

  • Happiest Baby on the Block
  • Mom’s On Call
  • Bringing Up Bebe
  • The Fifth Trimester

Recipes – Based on blog traffic and pins, these were my top five recipes last year even though some are more than four years old!

Posts – These were my top five blog posts last year, based on traffic.

Fashion– Based on ShopStyle clicks and purchases, these were the top 5 items you all purchased after seeing them on the blog!

Beauty – These were my favorite beauty purchases last year and many of you purchased the same based on the ShopStyle clicks and feedback!

Baby – These are the top five things that we’ve loved during Katie’s first six months of life. There are so many more items but these are the ones that JUMPED to the top when Bo and I discussed this list.

Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored and instead is a list of the things of my favorite things this week. As normal, it includes lots of beauty and fashion items which means there are a few affiliate links via ShopStyle. It takes time and money to maintain a blog so I thank you for the support and few cents that come from clicking through the links!

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