July 2014: Recap + On My Shelves

Bye July! This was probably the most action-packed and, at the same time, relaxing month I've had all year. There's been so much goodness packed into these last few weeks!

1. Three-Year Anniversary - On July 2, Nick and I celebrated three years of marriage! Sometimes it feels like it was just yesterday that we were saying our vows in front of our family and friends... and then there are days when it seems like so long ago! I'm thankful every day that I get to experience life with him by my side.

2. Family Beach Trip - We went our on family beach trip earlier this month, which was absolute perfection. Clear blue water, white sand, a private pool, delicious meals, no work, time with the people I love... It was exactly what I needed! I'm pretty sure I'd move to the beach if I could.

3. Sister Got Hitched - My sister also got married this month, so it was definitely a busy July for my family. I'm so excited to have such an awesome brother-in-law - who is also named Nick! She looked gorgeous, and their small, family-only wedding was intimate, special and so memorable. I can't wait for the pictures!

Read 22 Books | Favorites:
The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
Wildlife by Fiona Wood
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
"And if I don't keep you always in my mind, won't memory walk away? Or starve thin? 
Don't memories need maintenance?" 
Wildlife by Fiona Wood

"Hell is the absence of the people you long for." 
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

"She was the heir of ash and fire, and she would bow to no one." 
Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

"You can't polish a turd, but you can roll it in glitter."
You Had Me at Hello by Mhairi McFarlane

"I don't know how it works, the science and math of it all, but I know that love given is courage gained."
Let's All Be Brave by Annie F. Downs
[Most Popular]
Overall: Q&A With Taylor Jenkins Reid + Giveaway
TTT: Top Ten Bookish Confessions
Review: One Plus One by Jojo Moyes
Discussion/Feature: Cultivating Curiosity

[Personal Favorite]
Overall: Shout or Secret?
TTT: Top Ten Authors I Own the Most Books From
Review: A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller
Discussion/Feature: Consider This Classic: Danielle Recommends
1. How I Recommend Books by Shae @ Shae Has Left the Room - I've written before about giving people books and offering (or receiving) book recommendations. Once the people in your life know that you love to read, you can quickly become the go-to source for book recommendations. It's both wonderful and stressful! I loved the questions that Shae asks in order to help someone find the book that's just right for them.

2. You Mean I Have to Work at This? by Jamie @ The Perpetual Page-Turner - Is there anything better than reading a blog post and thinking, "Yes! This person has taken the words right out of my mouth!" I loved what Jamie had to say about nurturing relationships and making the effort to be intentional. Seriously y'all, she speaks some truth in this post. It was perfect, too, because it was something that had been on my mind after reading After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid.

3. Split Second Decisions... What Would You Do? by Betty @ Book Rock Betty - Trust Betty to almost make me cry! I had to text her after reading this post to tell her how much I love when she gets a little more personal on her blog. Whether she's being sweet talking about Mr. Betty, silly when announcing her pregnancy or thoughtful and reflective like in this post, there's something special about getting a peek behind the blog. I was particularly moved by the "encore" section of her post - such a great reminder to be thankful for the many things I take for granted every day.

Favorite Song: "Like Real People Do" by Hozier on Take Me to Church EP
I'm obsessed because of a routine on So You Think You Can Dance. Keep reading to find out which one!

Begin Again (2013) starring Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo and Adam Levine - I've been dying to watch this movie ever since the trailer came out. Nick and I found time one weekend to go see it, and I was totally in heaven. I love these actors, and I found the story so unique and refreshing. It also got Nick's stamp of approval! I appreciated the substance and subtlety of this story, as well as the focus on art and music.

Jessica & Casey: Top 14 Perform | So You Think You Can DanceI mentioned it above, but I've probably watched this dance at least 10 times already. Seriously. Travis Wall is such an incredible choreographer - and he always picks the best music, too! Everything about this was perfection.

Bought for Shelves: The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen, Dollbaby by Laura Lane McNeal, In the Woods by Tana French, Faithful Place by Tana French, Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead Sabriel by Garth Nix

Bought for Kindle: Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine, Boomerang by Noelle August, The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner, The Time in Between by María Dueñas, Let's All Be Brave by Annie Downs and How to Write a Novel by Nathan Bransford

NetGalley for Review: Wherever the River Runs by Kelly Minter, Mating for Life by Marissa Stapley and Make It Happen by Lara Casey


  1. 22 books, impressive! I also loved The queen of the Tearling and I can't wait for Heir of fire :) Congrats on your three year anniversary, you two look beautiful on that picture! I liked The thief, so happy reading!


  2. You had a great month of reading! And congrats on your anniversary :D

  3. I couldn't recommend any books more than The Thief and Ella Enchanted! Ella Enchanted is one of my all time favourite books and The Thief series is my absolute favourite series. You really couldn't get any better!

  4. Hurray for July! I feel like it was certainly one of those awesome, relaxed, wonderful months of summer too -- and a month where a lot also happened for me too! It's been a great reading month for me as well, and I'm pleased that The Queen of the Tearling AND Heir of Fire were among your top reads. But really, the thing I'm most excited about in this post? That you own a copy of Sabriel!!!

  5. First, happy (belated) anniversary! July is my favorite month of summer: June is too close to school ending and August is when school starts so I can't enjoy them as much. I want to see Begin Again and I'm glad that you enjoyed it so much. It does sound so different and unique.

  6. I'm really looking forward to Queen of the Tearling -- just recently picked up a copy :)

  7. Ella Enchanted is one of my all time favourite middle grade stories :). And happy anniversary! I was just about to write that it's our third anniversary this year too, and then I counted on my fingers and realized that was last year -- d'oh! Time just flies by too fast sometimes! You look gorgeous in your dress :). And I love that your hubby and brother-in-law share the same name -- that must be fun and confusing!

  8. I can't believe you read 22 books, that's so impressive. And that dance is just stunning. I've never been a big watcher of SYTYCD, but that was incredible and I'll definitely be saving it to watch again and again. It sounds like you had an awesome month - congrats to both you and your sister!

  9. YAY for your Anniversary, vaca and sisters wedding allll being in July! Sounds perfect :) And your vaca looked awesomely gorgeous.

    You got SO MUCH awesome stuff [Tana, Lara, and Doll Baby!] and this whole post made me want to dive into Station Eleven ASAP!

    Here's hoping your August is just as fabulous! MY JULY= you owned it with organizational tools ;) Hehe, xoxoxo!

  10. I'm assuming since you just bought them for Kindle that you haven't read Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine or The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner. Boy are you in for a treat!!! Growing up Ella Enchanted was one of my favourite books, and Gail one of my favourite authors. However, my all-time favourite book by Gail is The Two Princesses of Bamarre. If you like Ella Enchanted (which I am sure you will!), TTPoB is a must-read!

    And The Thief... SO GOOD. I started that series three years ago, and fell totally in love. It's fantasy but so unique, and I bet Megan Whalen Turner will surprise you. Excited to hear your thoughts on both of these!

  11. I've never read Sabriel, but I remember it being one of my brother's favorites growing up. I couldn't be wrong, but I'm pretty sure there's a sequel to it as well.


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