Book Round Up

Who is ready for a great list of books? Me, that's who! With coooooold temperatures to keep me inside plus a long trip ahead of me next week, I need to make sure I have plenty of books to help pass the time. Here's a mash up of books that have caught my eye this week that I think you will all like too! 

Single, Carefree, Mellow by Katherine Heiny : Pleasure, commitment, deceit, loss. These are the ABCs of love and here is a intricate story of numerous women and how they cope with loving men who are either unavailable, cruel or all around not "the one." I feel like this should have been a book I could've read in my early twenties but nevertheless, it's always encouraging to me to read other women's stories of woe in the love department so that I know I am not alone... 

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend: Imagine having a pen pal and you travel to their hometown to meet then, and when you arrive to meet your friend, you discover that she has passed away. Most of us would turn around and go back home, but not Sara. She decided to open a bookstore in the tiny town that Amy lived in and she makes much more of a difference for its citizen than she could have ever imagined. 

Good on Paper by Rachel Cantor - Described on Amazon as a "deft, funny, and big-hearted novel about second chances" this book is a different story line than what I would usually read but it just caught my attention. What piqued my attention is the comedic side that it has...a funny account of a single mother who lives with her child and her gay friend who has hit a career stumbling block and she's given a unique opportunity to work with an eccentric poet and translate his latest work. Sounds kind of fun, right? 

The Sound of Gravel by Ruth Wariner - I am a sucker for memoirs. I become totally engrossed in other people's stories and this one, I have a feeling, is going to hook me. Ruth Wariner is the the 39th child of her polygamist father and her life is as far from typical as you can imagine. She tells the story of her life in the polygamist cult and turning her back on the things she knew were wrong in her family's lifestyle. After her father is murdered by his brother in an attempt to further his position in the church, Ruth's mother marries another polygamist. Shuffled back and forth between the U.S. and Mexico and numerous homes trying to survive, Ruth begins to think about what life and a future would look like if she was brave enough to escape her family...

The Secrets of Midwives  3 generations of midwives and the youngest is secretly pregnant. And the longer she tries to keep the secret of her baby's father, the more secrets from her mother and grandmother's past keep emerging... I have started to read this book before and can't for the life of me remember why I didn't finish reading it. Every time I see it on Goodreads, I always think it's a story I would love so I just need to buckle down and finish it.  

The Good Good-Bye by Carla Buckley  This had me at "family tension and ER thriller." As much as I love Forensic Files and 20/20 I don't know why I don't read more thrillers. I love a good family drama too. I've been trying to read The Pocket Wife for a couple weeks and I just haven't been able to get into it so maybe this cliff hanger will get me in the mood. Two college roommates, who are also cousins, lay unconscious in the hospital and their family members await news of how the fire that injured them was started.

So there you have it, six great books to get you started on your new year reading list. This week, the temperatures are suppose to plummet into the teens and I can't tell you I am happy about it. So I'll be inside, tucked deep into the couch reading and cuddling with the kids. 

This time next week, I'll be on my way to sunny California for a trip to with my mom to the Critic's Choice Awards and the Ellen Show. Excited doesn't even begin to describe what we are feeling, just in case you were wondering! 

Happy Friday! 

The Year of the House

The most exciting thing I am looking forward to in the New Year is our home.

When we bought this house last August, I was just so over the moon about living in my grandparents' home that I didn't care what it looked like. It could have had purple velvet wall paper and shag carpet and I wouldn't have cared one bit. We really didn't changed much because the house was amazing to begin with.

This was taken the day we moved in. We've since painted the walls gray, which I love in a room that has such great natural sunlight. 

Hard wood floors, stone fireplace, finished basement...there isn't much to mess with. However, I have been dreaming of a couple of things for this house... 

Here's what we are looking forward to for updates in 2016. 


I was so caught up in the kids' rooms that I kind of forgot about ours. Currently, we have white walls and no curtains...but this year that will definitely change. I want a dark paint on the walls, possibly a navy or gray... with some bold prints on the curtains and pillows. Call me crazy but a white faux fur rug and matching night stands too, with a bench at the foot of the bed, like in the pin above. A gal can dream, can't she? At least I grew out of the pink canopy stage that lasted embarrassingly into my late teens.


The family room has a great start but it needs a little love and attention. We need to find a way to mount the TV on the wall while also hiding all of the cords because OCD. I also want to do a bolder color theme downstairs because of all neutral colors upstairs. 

My other goal for downstairs: A sliding barn door. Thanks to an amazing addition off of the back of the house, we have a rustic "play room" that I envision someday will be maybe a bar area for the adults or a game/room for the kids and I'd like to find a stylish way to section that area off from the main family room. Here's what I am hoping for:


 This is CJ's favorite area of expertise so I will let him take the reigns on this project. We have a lot of potential in the front and back yards. I can't wait to see what he comes up with. 

Guest Bathroom

Even though part of me wants to keep the bathroom exactly the way it is because it takes me back in a time warp, it's time for an upgrade. Except for a new shower, the bathroom looks the same as it did when my grandparents lived here and I have a lot of memories of snooping through my step-grandma's Mary Kay makeup as a teen. But I'd like to see a new vanity, lights and paint in here. I LOVE the idea of white subway tile. There are also some tutorials on Pinterest on how to stain existing wood vanities darker so that would be interesting to try out. 

So that's the start at least. I think I might give CJ a heart attack if I add anything else to the list.  I'm excited to decorate the walls and just ordered our family pictures for the dining room. I also ordered a collection of snapshots from all of our travels over the past 2 1/2 years for the hallway that I am really excited about. We have a skyline of Brooklyn and the beaches at Jersey Shore and Ft. Lauderdale, plus mountains in Colorado and historical buildings from Philadelphia. I think they will look so great!

Here's to our first year in our dream home!