On the Daily EXPRESS


Favorite Target Shoes for Summer

Today I'm highlighting three* of my favorite pairs of Target of Target shoes for summer! Why the asterisk (*) on three? Because I have one pair in two colors and both colors are staples for me. So it's one style of shoe, two colors, and that's hard to explain in a concise post title! I've had each of these shoes for over a year so I've had lots of opportunity to prove their worth in my wardrobe. For size reference, all pairs ran true to size for me.

ONE: Ema Block Heel Pump (in Black)
The Ema Block heel pump is my go-to dressy shoe! Between black and nude I am set for almost any occasion from casual date nights (like the outfit on the left below) to dressier cocktail events. The stacked heel makes them way more comfortable for a decent amount of standing and walking, though I do add a ball-of-foot pad for for extra comfort. These run true to size, and they are very similar to the Sam Edelman Yaro and Steve Madden Carrson sandals at a fraction of the cost!

TWO: White Lace Top (c/o) | Black Jeans | Sandals | Red Handbag (c/o)

ONE POINT FIVE: Ema Block Heel Pump (in Taupe)
This is the exact same shoe style as above, different color. I tend to favor the nude sandals if I'm wearing blue jeans, with the exception of the outfit above where I'm wearing a black top and wanted to "bookend" the outfit with black. In the outfit center below, I opted for nude since I was wearing shorts just to lengthen my leg line as much as possible!
FOURMoto Jacket | Lace Cami | Jeans (c/o) [Similar w/more sizes] | Sandals | Necklace | Earrings | Handbag (c/o) [Budget Option]

If you're not crazy about the heel height on these, the Target Michaela Pump, is the same shoe style with a very comfortable 2.5 inch heel. I also have those in nude and black and they're nice options to have as well.

TWO: Michelle Cork Mules
These came out last year and sold out, then they re-stocked them this year! Yay! In looking at these in photos, I never would have expected to like them as much as I do because of the heavy looking platform and heel. But they really don't bother me! They stay on my foot well and I find them easy to walk in. I only wear these with jeans...never with shorts, skirts or dresses. It's hard for me to put the "why" into words, other than they just don't look right to me with those items when I try them on. I do think they could work with certain types of dresses, possibly something with a flowy, boho vibe, but I don't own any in that style so I can't say for sure! At any rate, they are a fun shoe option for dressing up a simple jeans and a tee/tank outfit just a little bit!

EIGHT: Similar Tee | Similar Jeans | Necklace | Earrings | Tory Burch Bag

Quick Note: I am wearing the exact J. Crew Necklace I linked in the photos above. It comes as a two-segment necklace and I separated the segments to wear them separately. I did have to adjust them each slightly with some extender pieces and extra clasps from Michael's, but it's been well worth the effort since I wear both segments a lot!I don't mention this every time I wear them, but since it's featured a lot throughout this post I wanted to mention it again.

THREE: Target Two-Band Slides
This is the only pair I'm sharing today where my exact option is sold out, but they are favorites and Target still carries so many cute, affordable options in this style! You don't need this exact pair to get the same mileage out of this shoe type. I actually have these in nude and black, but the black didn't get even a "point five" feature today because I just don't use them as much to consider them a favorite. Your wardrobe and preference may vary, but I get a lot more mileage out of nude and could make do with just this color if needed.

Typically when I'm linking a similar option for my sandals, I use the Kersha Sandals, on the left below. They have the same two-band styling, nude color, and embellished straps as mine. Even though the embellishment is different from my pair, they can be styled the same way and give the same level of "fanciness" to the sandal. The braided style below is new this year and would also be a fun neutral slide option - and it's only $20!

I know must of us love and prefer to buy pieces that stand the test of time and get plenty of use with a variety of outfits, but it can be so hard to know that in advance! I have too many things in my closet that I bought thinking, "This will great and I'll wear it all the time!" ....and then I don't. So I keep sharing my favorites here in part because it helps me reflect on what works and what doesn't so I can make better selections going forward, and of course I hope it help you decide on some items that might work out equally well for you!

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Ten Ways to Wear Joggers

I'm not really a believer in those lists of fashion items that every woman MUST own or telling people that they need to have anything I share here on the blog. Mostly because I think it assumes too much about another woman's lifestyle or preferences! Every time I see a list like that I can say that at least 50% of it doesn't apply to my lifestyle. But...I do think joggers are a great pant option that you should at least try! You might decide they're not for you and that's okay...but you also might be pleasantly surprised! They have a different vibe and less revealing look than leggings. Plus the pairs I own are lighter-weight fabrics than my leggings, therefore a little more comfortable in warm weather.

I only started wearing joggers a year ago myself and now I'm a huge fan. It just took me awhile to find a pair that fit right. This is an item where you don't need to spend a lot to get a great pair - my favorites have all been under $25. But fit. is. everything. I have tried and returned numerous pairs because the fit was either too baggy or too tight in all the wrong places. I know that's going to vary by body type, so if at first you don't succeed, try a few other brands before giving up on this style entirely!

This pair is by Amazon Essentials pair and they're nicer than I expected for the under $20 price! These do run true to size and this is the cropped length. They also come in a full length option, but since I always wear my full length joggers pushed up, I thought this length would be convenient. For what it's worth I'm 5'4", but on the model these don't really look any shorter and I'm sure she's taller than me! Although I should mention I do fold over the waistband on these, so maybe that contributes to the difference. That makes them lay a little more flat over my midsection instead of having extra fabric ballooning out in that region. They also come with string ties at the waist, but I tuck those into the folded over area.

This tee is pretty simple but I like it because of the length. It's long enough for me to put into a side knot like I've done here, which I do often with tops and tees when I'm wearing joggers. I think it just makes the outfit look a little more polished than if I had a loose flowy tee hanging out, and it's less fuss than a front tuck. For me, one of the key advantages of joggers over leggings is that there are a lot more options for tops I can wear with them. With leggings, I like my tops to be long enough to cover the front and back...delicate regions, shall we say. But it can be hard to find tops that long that aren't shapeless sacks. With joggers, they're far less revealing than leggings so I don't mind wearing shorter tops with them.

While I kept it pretty simple with the outfit above, I have found joggers to be easy to style with lots of other pieces in my wardrobe! Some of these might look familiar from my Ten Work from Home Outfits post. While I try not to be too redundant with content, I do like to make it easy for readers to find posts by item or topic, which makes some overlap in outfits inevitable.

One: White Tee + Blue Joggers

TwoGrey Knit Moto Jacket + Joggers

Three: Striped Hoodie + Joggers

Four: Black Tee + Grey Joggers
T-Shirt (c/o) | Grey Joggers | Sandals (c/o)

Five: Lavender Tee + Denim Jacket + Joggers

Six: Black Cardigan + Grey Joggers

Seven: Striped Tee + Dark Blue Joggers

Eight: Denim Jacket + Taupe Henley:

Nine: Denim Jacket + Striped Top

Ten: Olive Utility Jacket + Joggers

Here's the latest of what's going on in the blog world, real life, and a few other notes!

On the Blog: On Wednesday I'm sharing my favorite Target shoes for summer, and then on Friday I have something a little different lined up! Lately I've had some friends and family members texting me for book recommendations since people seem to have a little extra time to read in the summer. So I've been wanting to put together a post with lists of books I've been recommending lately to make it easier to share (vs. scouring my past reviews for suggestions). I'm sharing my frist list on Friday, and I've invited some of my fellow avid-reading blogger friends to join me in order to help you all find a bigger variety of great read this summer!

In Real Life: Last weekend we did our annual School's Out Clean Out. We clean out the boys' backpacks and then their closets. We used to clean out toys too, but now they've basically outgrown toys! It's kind of surreal. I cleaned a few things out of my closet while we were at it and it's just a nice way to start summer with a lighter load, so to speak. It's also nice when the boys are home to do this since they can help me haul all the stuff out to the car! The whole process just seems to go a lot faster when you're working as a team.

I'm also excited because later this week our good friends are coming in town! Some of you might remember that a couple of years back, our good friends/neighbors moved away. It just hasn't been the same here since they left! Unfortunately they're not moving back, but they are coming here for vacation so I'm excited to spend some time catching up with them. I can always use more quality time with good friends!

Linking up with: Rachelle


Everyday Outfits + Friday Favorites

Happy Friday friends! Yesterday was the last day of school in our neck of the woods (FINALLY) so all day I was thinking it was Friday. When I woke up in the morning yesterday I panicked because I didn't have my post finished! But then I remembered that it was a Thursday that felt like a Friday. Phew! Luckily I had some time to finish this one up and keep with my regular schedule. I'm just sharing some everyday outfits today along with some chit chat about where I wore it and how items fit, so let's get started!

Olive "Open Sweatshirt" + Chino Shorts:

This "open sweatshirt" came in the Daily Ritual sample selection Amazon sent me (a little more about that along with some other pieces in this post) and it's most definitely my favorite item from their selections. I call it an "open sweatshirt" because that's the product name, and it does a good job of describing the item. It feels soft like a sweatshirt, but it's not too warm or heavy. I've worn it a few times already as you'll see below! It ran true to size for me - I'm wearing an XS here which is what I typically wear in cardigans at Express or LOFT and other cardigans I have from this line.  I started my Saturday wearing this with my closet staple leopard sandals, but then my husband wanted to grab lunch so I wanted to dress the outfit up a notch with wedge sandals instead of flats. I also persuaded him to take a couple of photos while we were out so I could show the front view and length on this "open sweatshirt."

Our photo session was cut short because for one, the bright midday lighting was not helping our amateur skills, and for another, some guy kept circling the parking lot area where we were taking pictures. I try to avoid having an audience when taking blog pics because it makes me feel awkward and therefore look awkward in photos, but this guy seem determined to keep watching us. Finally he parked his car near a bench...and then got out and smoked a cigarette! I kind of had to laugh at myself because here I am thinking he's being weird watching us, but most likely he just wanted us to leave so he could smoke his cigarette in privacy. He probably wanted to make sure we didn't know him and go tell his wife or something! Anyway, that's the long way of telling you here's the front view of this outfit/open sweatshirt and this is the only semi-decent pic I could use from that day!

Olive Open Sweatshirt + Leggings:

While I'm on the topic of this cardigan/sweatshirt hybrid (I'd love to give it a clever name but I don't think "sweatigan" really has a nice ring to it..."cardishirt" doesn't sound great either!), here's one more way I wore it in a standard work from home outfit of a tank + leggings. In case you missed, it, I shared Ten Work From Home Outfits in this post, and you might also recognize this outfit and the next one as my Foolproof Outfit Formula put to work yet again!

Olive Jacket + Black Cami:

One thing I know women love are outfits that can multi-task and take them from desk to drinks. I find that doesn't work out so well for me since I work from home and like to be pretty casual and very comfortable. But what I can do is take my outfit formula from desk to drinks, if not the exact pieces. When it's 4:30 on Friday and my husband texts me and asks if I want to meet him for happy hour, my answer is yes! But chances are I want to wear something a little cuter than leggings and a sweatshirt, and I need to decide on an outfit and be out the door pretty quickly. So I took the same black-on-black + olive outfit formula and re-created the look in a happy hour-ready outfit. This also goes back to my Seasonal Shopping Strategies Post. While these outfits aren't meant for different seasons per se, I do like having a dressy and casual version of the same piece for easy outfit styling for different occasions.

Striped Hoodie + Joggers:

Nothing new or exciting here! Just a standard, comfortable work from home outfit and a Starbucks Honey Citrus Mint Tea. Earlier this month our family all got hit with a virus that was something worse than a cold, not as bad as the flu. I always crave that tea when I'm under the weather, regardless of the season! Anyway, as for the clothes here, I sized up in this t-shirt hoodie for some extra length since I also like to wear it with leggings. (You can see the front view of it under my jacket in my Big Bear Weekend Recap post). The similar joggers I linked are a style that I have in two other colors (Blue and Light Grey) so I can vouch for the fact that they're very comfortable and true to size!

Maxi Dress + Denim Shirt:

This maxi dress wins the prize for item I wear the most yet post the least! I wear it almost every day after I apply my sunless tanner to let the product dry but still be covered while I work or do other things about the house. It's the Daily Ritual "supersoft terry" fabric, which is thicker and closer to a sweatshirt material. Just like the t-shirt hoodie above! I've only worn it in public once as shown above, but once was enough to make me realize I'm just not a maxi dress person. There's no rhyme or reason to it, but I either prefer pants or a shorter length skirt. That said, it's still a great dress and I do use it a lot! Just more as a functional piece rather than fashion piece.

Lavender Tee + Black Shorts:

When I bought this tee (first shared in a standard front view post here), it was $32. My guess is that it might have been price-matched or a returned item, but I have noticed that prices aren't always static on Amazon. Sometimes a different color or size of the same items costs more, and it's infuriating when it's the size I need! My point is, Amazon does still carry the exact option, but in my honest opinion it's not worth the current price of $68. I purchased this myself but I wouldn't have done so at that price! If I were shopping for a tee in this color I'd get this Ann Taylor option instead. The color is very similar to mine and I like the boat neck styling. And with the current promotion it's under $30, which is way more reasonable. At any rate, my exact version is true to size, as are my shorts and sandals.

Henley Tank + White Cardi + Black Shorts:

We had a crazy heatwave earlier this week that came out of nowhere! Our temps have generally been in the mid 70s, and then all of a sudden on Monday it was 100 degrees! Needless to say my cardigan didn't last long on this day, but I like the way the selfie looks better with it on, so it stayed for the photo! What I do love wearing on hot days are these henley tanks from Aerie. I got a couple of colors last year and still love them, and they're back again this year with a few extra colors, currently $12 each. I wear a Small in these, which is pretty standard for me in this type of fitted tank. They came out with a basic white one this year which I had to order since it's my favorite for layering. I do have this white henley tank c/o Amazon for the same price (with Prime Shipping), but honestly the Aerie ones are better. Softer material and a bit more length in the torso which seems to fit me a bit better and stay in place better. Now if only Aerie would make this in black!

Time to join up with some blogger friends for Friday Favorites!

1. Shopbop Sale: In case you haven't heard, Shopbop is having a big "Sale on Sale! Take 25% off all sale items with Code SCORE19. My top two categories to browse for these sales are Designer Handbags and Shoes

One: Sam Edelman Shoes (Bay Slide Blush Gold) 
Two: BB Dakota (Double Agent Trench Jacket)
Three: Rebecca Minkoff Bags (Small Love Crossbody

I also have to add BB Dakota to my sale "Must Check" list. They are one of the more affordable clothing brands Shopbop carries and they make some of my favorite jackets! My collection of their jackets is growing, e.g. the black jacket I'm wearing in this post and the pink fleece jacket in this post are by BB Dakota. If I didn't already have a few olive jackets, I'd be adding the "Double Agent Trench" to my collection!

The Sam Edelman Bay Slides have been a very popular shoe this year, and the Blush Gold color is included in the sale. I also love having a red crossbody bag! And the RM Small Love Crossbody is just the right size for date night, so I'd be snagging that during the sale if I didn't have a little red bag!

2. Favorite Blog by a Sister: Not that I'm picking favorites with my sisters because I truly love all three, but I only have one sister with a blog so this is an easy favorite! My sister Denae has made some cameo appearances here over the years and she's decided to start her own blog this summer, Denae In Motion. You might remember her from last summer when we twinned in our J. Crew Sweaters:

Or from her recent visit to San Diego with my mom and two other sisters:

Denae has a master's degree in physical education and knows her stuff when it comes to health and fitness! She's been a great resource for me over the years and I'm happy she's sharing her knowledge with everyone else now! She has a few posts up on Four key movements we should all be doing (regardless of age!), Four "Legs" of a Healthy Life, and Do You Get Enough Rest? (I got terrible sleep this week so I already know the answer to that!) She's been an amazing support to me over the years and I'm so excited to support her in this new blogging adventure! If you need some realistic, practical, and well-informed motivation for health and fitness she is your woman!

4. SUMMER BREAK! In case you missed the intro, I am more than a little excited about school being out for summer!  My day to day life doesn't change all that much since my kids will be doing action-packed summer day camps, but the evenings should be a lot more relaxing. No homework for the next nine weeks!

Hope you all have a fun, exciting or relaxing weekend lined up too and I'll see you back on Monday!

Linking up with: JoLynne | Erika, Andrea, Narci


Denim Jacket Outfits:Spring to Summer

Today I'm continuing with my Closet Staples series and sharing a six ways I've worn my denim jacket for Spring and Summer outfits. I know there are already hundreds of posts on multiple ways to wear a denim jacket and I am quite sure no one needs a "how to" on this item! But I still enjoy seeing posts along these lines for common items since I often get a new idea for how to wear what I already own or a reminder to reach for something in my closet that I haven't used in awhile. So I hope this has the same effect for you!

I have two denim jackets and they are both the "Samantha" style by Mavi Jeans, one is a lighter wash and one is darker. I reach for the lighter version about four times as often as the darker one! I can't say why exactly, but I also don't regret having the darker one on hand because sometimes I just like the way that one looks better with a particular outfit. My exact washes are sold out, though I do think their Current Katy Jacket is pretty similar to the lighter wash Samantha style I have. But for the rest of this post, I'll link this Old Navy jacket as a similar option since it's more affordable. And I'll share my try-on photo with it at the end of this post!

ONE: Tank Top  + Tiered Skirt

This type of skater skirt/tiered skirt is really trending strong this summer! Mine is from Abercrombie last year but I didn't think their current options were as similar as the ones I linked above.

TWO: White Tee + Black Jeans

I think the reason I don't wear my denim jacket as much in Fall/Winter is as I do in Spring/Summer is because I wear blue jeans so much in cooler weather. And I'm just not one to pair my denim jacket with my blue jeans. But I do love a denim jacket + black jeans combo! My jeans are Hale Jeans c/o Amazon, and they probably won't be making any future appearances on the blog unless I repost this pic! I wanted to DIY the hem for a cropped jeans option...and that didn't go as well as I hoped. I'm not sure if they can be rescued, but aside from that I do think they ran a bit smaller than their blue jeans. I got my normal size and they fit okay, but the fabric just didn't have as much stretch so they felt tighter. If I end up replacing these I may try a size up.

THREE: Cami + White Shorts

My purple cami is from Abercrombie last year and I linked the style above, though they don't carry this color right now. In general the style runs true to size. This option from Express also has a lace detail at the neckline and currently has a more similar color option to mine ("Thornberry"). 

FOUR: Colorful Dress 

This dress is true to size but a little on the small side (like Junior's sizing), so if you're between sizes or have a larger chest go up a size. My color is "Wine Red," but I think it's more berry in person than it looks in the stock photo. In case you can't tell from the photo, it also has pockets, and there's an unofficial blogging commandment that thou shalt always mention if a dress has pockets! My hand right hand is in the pocket in the photo above, but it's a little hidden back there. To be honest, this dress didn't survive my last closet cleanout. In general I still recommend it and think it's a good piece. It's cute and affordable (under $25), but ultimately I decided the style wasn't "me." I think it's the empire waistline and the fact that I didn't like how I looked in it unless I had a jacket over it, and I didn't want to be committed to always wearing a jacket with it. But what doesn't work for me may be exactly right for you if you need a cute and simple summer dress!

FIVE: Jumpsuit
Jumpsuit (Similar /w more sizes) | Similar Denim Jacket | Earrings | Handbag (c/o) [Budget Option] | Similar Necklace

It's funny, when I first got this jumpsuit I thought it would be a piece I'd wear just for working from home/lounging at home. But as it turns out, it's something I grab when I'm in a last-minute rush to go somewhere, like the hair salon or a quick trip to the grocery store because we're out of milk. At home I still prefer separates, and now that I know that about myself I'm content with a jumpsuit collection of one! But it is nice to have for those occasional situations!

SIX: Little White (Faux) Sundress

Every summer I debate whether to get a little white summer sundress because they always look so cute and summery on others. But I'm just not convinced I would actually reach for it enough or find it practical enough for my lifestyle, so I keep holding off. Last summer I improvised and paired my white tank and skirt for a dress look, and I think it worked pretty well!

Old Navy Jacket Try-On:

As promised, here is the Old Navy jacket that I always link as a similar option to mine. I'm wearing the XS in this photo. It is a bit longer whereas mine is a more cropped style, but I think the rinse is very similar. H&M also has a similar style and it looks a bit shorter like mine. Their sizing runs 0-14, and I personally always find that more challenging to decide which size to get! They do have a size generator so if you want a more cropped length, it might be worth buying a couple of sizes there and returning what doesn't work to get the right fit.

If you'd like to refer back to this post for outfit ideas feel free to pin the image below!

I didn't set out to do so many "Multiple Ways to Wear" posts in a row but it ended up happening due to photos that didn't turn out, photographers (a.k.a. my kids) with other commitments, etc. etc. I did actually sneak a few new outfit photos in these last few posts as well, but in some cases (like today's photo with the denim jacket and black jeans), the outfit just didn't seem worthy of an entire post in all and of itself, so I opted to expand a little to make it more "post-worthy."  At any rate, that's just a little behind the scenes chatter for you. On Friday I'll be back with a more standard Friday Favorites post so I hope you'll stop by!

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June 2019 Book Reviews


Welcome to my June 2019 Book Reviews! As usual I did a mix of Kindle reading and audiobook reading, so I'll make a note if I listened on Audible with my thoughts on the narrator(s). There are no spoilers (unless it's something you learn in the first 10% of the book to set up the plot), and I also avoid sharing whether the book has some kind of twist. For me, when I'm expecting a twist because of other reviews, it changes the way I read the story and takes away some of the fun, so I want to avoid doing that to others. This definitely was not an epic reading month for me, but nonetheless here are the books I read this month followed by my reviews.

How it Happened by Michael Koryta
Basic Plot: A murder confession takes an FBI agent on a wild ride as he tries to prove whether the evidence adds up to the the story he was told.
My Verdict: Pretty Good. I liked Those Who Wish Me Dead by the same author much better. This one lacked the intensity and suspense of that one, but as a standalone it was well done and reasonably entertaining. It did get a bit confusing to me because there were quite a lot of characters and as the plot thickened (and it did go way beyond murder mystery), at times it got difficult to keep the events and people straight. I probably wouldn't give this a strong recommendation just because I don't think it will be memorable in the long run.

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
Basic Plot: Theo is a psychotherapist who wants to get involved in the case of a convicted female husband-killer. She has refused to speak since the day of the crime, which makes it difficult to know whether she's actually guilty and why she did it.
My Verdict: Very Good. This is so hard to review without spoiling! For a large part of this book I was thinking it was pretty standard mystery/suspense. It was easy to get into and held my interest pretty well throughout, but I also wasn't thinking it was exceptional...maybe 3.5 stars out of 5.  By the end of the book I guess you could say I was a bit more of fan! It's probably a solid 4 star read for me overall. I listened to this on Audible and the narrator was great. I think I would have enjoyed it equally on Kindle, though.

Waiting for Eden by Elliot Ackerman
Basic Plot: A soldier is severely injured in an attack and his friend is killed. The dead friend narrates the story and explains what happens when the soldier gets home as well as events leading up to the deployment.
My Verdict: Very Good. This book is surprisingly short but compelling. It's also sad so if you want a happy, pick-me-up book...this isn't it. If you want a make-you-think book about war and death and decisions that change lives forever...this is a good one.

The Lost Man by Jane Harper
Basic Plot: A man dies in the Australian Outback under peculiar circumstances. His brother tries to make sense of what really happened and learns a lot about his brother in the process.
My Verdict: Very Good. First, let me say I listened to this on Audible and I think I should have read it on Kindle. The narrator was great, but I had to rewind more times in this book than any other book I've read. You have to be very focused on the dialogue and events in order to make sense of the plot. Also, the narrator doesn't use distinct voice for different characters. So when two people are talking back and forth, it can be confusing to figure out who said what. There were also parts that I presume were character thoughts not spoken out loud. I imagine in the print/Kindle form of the book those were in italics, but in the audio version there is no distinction, so again it got confusing at times. I could usually figure it out via the context but still, I think this would be better in written form. All that said, I really did enjoy the careful building of the characters, their history and the suspense of trying to figure out who did what. It's not a fast paced book but it's a good one and I enjoyed it. I've read all three Jane Harper books now and I think this one is my favorite of hers.

Lying Next to Me by Gregg Olsen
Basic Plot: A young family goes to a cabin getaway in Washington State for Memorial Day Weekend and the wife/mother is abducted in broad daylight.
My Verdict: Do Not Recommend. This book just dragged onnnnnn and on. Most of the characters were ultimately unlikable, which makes it hard for me to like a book. I actually read this over Memorial Day Weekend so it was kind of fun to have that timing coincidence, but that and the location references that were familiar to me were about the only things I enjoyed. Also: this book marked a first for me: it was the first time I switched back and forth between the print and audio version. I've never done that before! This book was Free on Kindle Unlimited and came with Audible narration, so I tried a little of each. The narrators were fine, and ultimately I did more listening with this one because the print just didn't hold my attention very well. As a background book throughout the day I was able to get through it.

A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams
Basic Plot: A love quadrangle between 1930s college students who meet and fall in love, then reunite many years later in a summer vacation town when things in life haven't turned out the way any of them expected back in college.
My Verdict: Recommend. This is a quintessential "summer read." If you want something easy to get into with elements of romance and complicated friendships and community drama...look no further! I really don't have much else to say about this. I enjoyed it and only wish I had been able to read it lounging poolside or on the beach to enhance the experience!

Children of Blood and Bone by Tony Adeyemi
Basic Plot: A common girl and a princess go on an epic journey to bring magic back to their kingdom.
My Verdict: Not My Thing. Here's the deal: this is YA fantasy, and I knew going into it that I'm not really into that genre and I likely wouldn't love this. But I was curious based on the fact that other adults enjoyed it, and one of my son's schoolteachers also recommended it for him. So I read it to be in-the-know, and I didn't entirely dislike it, but it also didn't make me a fan. I listened on Audible and it is a really long book - almost 18 hours compared to the usual 8-13 for most fiction books, (e.g. Where the Crawdads Sing was 12 hours). It felt very long, and I think it could have held my interest better if it had been about half as long. For the first few hours I found it engaging, but the more it went on the more fantasy became a bigger part of the plot and the more I lost interest. The narrators were excellent though, so no complaints there. Objectively I think it was really well done for what it is, but I would only recommend it for those who already consider fantasy is a genre they enjoy. The YA part really wasn't an issue for me since the characters were reasonably mature and in such a different time/place that it's nothing like reading about contemporary young adults. But honestly, if I'd read this on Kindle I don't think I would have finished. Audiobooks have to be pretty terrible for me to quit them, and this certainly wasn't terrible. Just...not my thing!

Quick Picks
For quick recommendation without the specifics of what I did/didn't like, here are the books from this month that I'm likely to recommend to friends and family in real life:
Fiction: A Hundred Summers for a perfect summer read. The Silent PatientWaiting for Eden, and The Lost Man were all good too, so I'd recommend them depending on your reading mood assuming the basic plot intrigues you. Those probably won't be on any of my favorites lists of all time, but they were still good reads overall.

Current Reads + Up Next:
I'm currently reading If She Wakes by Michael Koryta on Kindle and The Huntress by Kate Quinn (author of The Alice Network). So far I'm really liking both of these a lot! I also have One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid and According to a Source by Abby Stern loaded on my Kindle and ready to go for next month!

Can't wait to hear what you all ready this month and your thoughts on any of these books!

Linking up with: Steph & Jana


Summer Staple: White Shorts

I'm on a roll with sharing some of my Closet Staples for summer, and my white shorts are today's featured item. In going through my outfit archives to create this post...wow, I was surprised by how often I wear mine! I guess they are just easy to match with every color and a great way to make a simple outfit pop a little more. I have three kinds of white shorts: white chino shorts, white denim shorts, and white linen pull-on shorts. I reach for the latter two the most, most likely because they are more casual and therefore more suited to my lifestyle these days. But I have had my chino shorts for several years and don't plan to part with them because they're nice for dressier outfits with shorts. Whichever style you prefer, here are thirteen ways to wear them this summer!

TWO: Tee (c/o) | Sandals (c/o) | White Shorts | Necklace | Earrings | Bracelet Option | Sunglasses (c/o)

THREE: Striped Sweater Tank (c/o) | Shorts | Sandals (c/o) | Handbag (c/o) [Budget Option] | Exact Earrings (My color sold out, Similar Color/Style) | Necklace

My exact Chino Shorts (shown in Outfit Four) were originally from J. Crew. They don't have a good similar option right now so I linked to the J. Crew Factory version. Old Navy also has a very similar, reasonably priced pair that gets great reviews! I have white denim shorts from Target and Old Navy, and I can't even tell the difference in photos or when I'm wearing them, so I linked to both interchangeably above. Both ran true to size for me, and I like having two pair on hand in case one gets dirty. And finally, my white pull-on shorts are from Old Navy. I got mine last year but this year's version looks identical as far as I can tell. All of my exact pairs ran true to size.

I wanted to show at least one front view outfit for each of the shorts styles I own so you can see the fit and style differences between each type of shorts. But the remaining outfits are top view/selfie outfits since I have a much larger "inventory" of these photos. I wanted to give as much color variety as possible here so hopefully you can find something that resonates with your style or what you already have in your closet!

SEVEN: Navy Jacket + Grey Tank

EIGHT: Lavender Sweater

NINE: Coral Tee

TEN: Blue Button Down

ELEVEN: Navy Tee

TWELVE: Pink Jacket + Striped Tank
Tank Top (This year's version) | Jacket | Similar Shorts | Necklace | Sandals

THIRTEEN: Camo Jacket + Grey Tank

For the sake of an even number for a collage, I narrowed it down to twelve outfits in on easy-to-pin image below. Two outfits were virtually identical (black top + nude sandals) in top view form anyway, so my outfit with the off-the-shoulder tee didn't make the cut below. Plus, those are a nightmare to photograph from the top angle since they don't like to stay down when your arms are going up!

Things are heating up in my neck of the woods this week so I'll probably be repeating some of these outfits myself! Thanks for stopping by today and I'll see you back tomorrow for June Book Reviews!