12/21/16

What's Up Wednesday December

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I'm joining What's Up Wednesday for a little end-of-the month review and to share some random topics here in addition to my usual outfits and shopping posts.

I answered several of the questions from the prompt below (a little out of order this month to make it easier on those who just want outfit details) so read on to see what's been going on around here.

What I'm wearing:
Most of the time I recap my top four most-liked outfits of the month here, but I'll save the recaps for next week as we wrap up 2016 and just share an outfit of the day here with one of my recent sale purchases.
Jacket: Express (Exact in-store only, Similar)  | Cami: Express | Jeans: Express | Boots: Express (Similar) | Bag: AmazonRing: Kendra Scott | Necklace: Kendra Scott | Nails: Essie Berry Naughty Bracelets: Charmed Stacks (inventory varies but you can always request a piece exact/similar to what I'm wearing) |

I haven't added too many Barcelona Camis to my closet this year because I felt like I had a pretty complete rainbow in my collection, but I did really like this new striped option and felt it would go well with a lot of things in my wardrobe and through multiple seasons. Here's the front view of this same outfit for a better look at the fit:


Shop the Look:


What I'm eating this week:
Every season Target comes out with different snack mixes like the one below and I love trying them to see which flavor combos I like. This season the Archer Farms Merry & Bright combo has been my favorite. I tried another one (Rudolph's Mix) and didn't like it as much because it was all sweet stuff without the salty balance. I also put this in a bowl to share at a party and it was such an easy, festive snack for people to munch on with their drinks.

What I'm reminiscing about:
My dad. (For those who don't know he passed away in November.) I reflect a lot about his life and how he accomplished so much and had such an impact on those who knew him. And in turn, it makes me think about what am I doing to make the most of my time in life, just as he did?

What I'm loving:
Holiday cards! There are so many friends and family I don't live near anymore and/or don't stay in touch with as well as I'd like, but I really love getting their cards (especially the one with pictures) during the holidays and seeing how their family has grown and changed each year. I think I left my 2015 greeting cards up in the kitchen until August or September this...I just liked looking at the pictures and didn't want to take them down!

What I've been up to:
December has been non-stop: Organizing and hosting a 5th grade holiday party, attending the the orchestra concert at school for my budding violinist (ha...TBD if he continues after this year!), extra rehearsals and a performance for the boys' parkour team, a belt test in Tae Kwon Do and lots of dance rehearsals for me, a dance studio holiday party, various doctor/orthodontist appointments for myself and the kids, buying holiday gifts, and trying to blog a little here and there in between!

What I'm working on:
Well, I can't say I'm currently working on it but once I get through Christmas I need to be working on my annual family album. I have been trying to upload the photos from the previous month and organize them into pages every month so it's not a huge end-of-year project. I got a little behind and am only done through October at the moment, but I want to get on it and finish it up so it's ready to order the first week in January.

What I'm excited about:
2017. I feel a sense of relief when the holidays are over and I'm ready for a fresh new year.

What I'm reading:
I'm happy to say my reading streak is going strong. For quite a few years I couldn't seem to make time to read and in the past year I've managed to work it back into my life. For one, my kids have to read 30 minutes a day (4 days per week) for school and I like reading when they read. It's just a nice quiet time in the house and we call it our Book Club. Even though we're not actually interacting, it still feels like we're bonding over books in a separate-but-together way. I also try to read while I wait for them at their activities instead of going on social media. And same goes for evenings: instead of watching TV or going on social media I try to pick up my book. So on to this month's books...

The first book I finished this month was The Chemist:

In a nutshell, I'll just say that the reviewer "featherlashes" on the Amazon reviews of The Chemst summed up my feelings pretty well. The book was well-researched and had a solid plot, but a lot of things bothered me. First, it was so vague for way too long. I'll try not to spoil anything, but it's hard to care about "bad guys" being after someone when you don't know who they are or why they are after the main character until over halfway through the book. Second, I didn't find the characters as engaging or the chemistry (oh the irony...) as strong as her other books. It's worth a read for the curious and wasn't a waste of time, but not my favorite this month or one I'll recommend other than to those who are curious about how the author tackles this genre.

Next (thanks to @jasminrach for recommending this on Snapchat) I read The Couple Next Door:

I haven't stopped talking about this on social media because it's the most unputdownable (yes I know that's not a real word but let's go with it anyway) book I've read in awhile! If you need an escape this holiday season go get this book and say good-bye to your friends and family for a couple of days while you get through it.

Next I read What She Knew:

Meh. I don't understand all the great reviews for this on Amazon. The plot was okay but the pace felt very slow. (Maybe it's because I read it after The Couple Next Door?) The description on Amazon compares this to "Girl on the Train" and I don't get that at all. It's okay but maybe 3/5 stars.

And finally, I just finished Try Not to Breathe (thanks to Tracy for the recommendation!)

This also gets compared to Girl on the Train and the only similarity I see really is the alcoholism element. That said, this was an excellent read and held my interest very well. If I had to nitpick I would say the main character seemed to overlook the obvious (i.e. things I figured out before she did), which was hard to believe since she was able to figure so many other things out on her own. But it wasn't enough of a problem to to keep me from enjoying it or recommending it to others!

Bonus Question of the Month: Favorite Memory of 2016

My last few days with my Dad at our family reunion in June will always be cherished memories. I especially love this pic of his last dance with my mom.



Linking up with:

CONVERSATION

8 comments:

  1. I'm with you on the family album. Usually, one of my Christmas presents to the family is the finished photo album. This year, I'm not even close and the Shutterfly software program is not wanting to cooperate...and yet they beckon me with 'last day for 50% off' emails. I'm about finished with The Couple Next Door thanks to you and I completely agree about the suspense. I love seeing your book reviews and recommendations on Snapchat. Hugs to you and your family for losing your father this year.

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  2. this last of your dad dancing with your mom is so beautiful, I'm happy you had such great memories of him. Because of you I'm getting the couple next door, updating my ipad as we speak so I can use my kindle.

    xo
    Pinksole

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  3. What a great photo of your dad and mom to have! Updating family albums has been on my to-do list for way too long! I'm adding The Couple Next Door to my library list!

    Jill
    Doused In Pink

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  4. Where do u begin?!
    First, I love that you're reading and especially for 30 minutes while the boys do as well. I think it's vital that children read actual books rather than the garbage on social media or tv. I want to do that with my kids one day.

    Second, I'm going to get the couple next door because it sounds amazing!

    And third, the picture of your mom and dad dancing makes me want to cry. What a beautiful memory to have :)

    I can't wait til the holidays are over too!

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  5. I'm in tears seeing that photo of your parents! What a sweet and happy moment to cherish and remember! I am also really jealous of your book reading! I'm hoping I can get caught up over the break and have time for non work, non pilates, and non blog stuff again!
    Carylee | http://morepiecesofme.com

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  6. I've been thinking about reading The Chemist, but I might just wait for it to come to the library now. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

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  7. I finally added the Couple Next Door to my overdrive list. I can't wait to read it :) And I'm glad that you mentioned this linkup the other day so that I could finally join in! I forget every month ;)

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  8. Rudolph's Mix sounds like my kind of snack haha. i do have to bring some snacks to a party though so maybe I will grab one of each. or maybe something a bit fancier? eh.
    obviously i don't have kids or anything, but i like to find little ways to squeeze in more reading. i have the kindle app on my phone, so if i am waiting in line or whatever, i can read on that. it syncs with my actual kindle, so i can use them both interchangeably. it's perfect for little 5-10 minute things, like when i'm done at the gym before KC and i wait on him to shower. it's either that or scroll through instagram/snapchat. but yeah, i love when KC and I are both reading, i love the whole separate-but-together part haha. i don't want to read what he's reading.
    i am definitely curious about the chemist, but i'll wait for the library. i'm gonna get to The Couple Next Door once i'm through with my library pile (they are all due back like.. now. oops) but once i am done i can't wait to talk about it with you lol. added Try Not to Breathe to my list.. though it does annoy me when i figure things about before a character.. like come on, i'm not that smart. it annoys me lol.
    as usual, i talked too much about books. sorry!
    that picture of your mom and dad is fantastic. they look so happy. hugs girl xxxx

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