July 2018: Recap + On My Shelves

Can you believe we're halfway through August and I'm just now posting my July recap? This post ended up on the backburner in the wake of the big life changes we're currently making (see below!) and my recent visit to see Kelly!

1. Family Vacation – We went to the mountains with my family during the first week of July, and it was so much fun! My son loved everything about it, especially when we went on a hike to this waterfall. I soaked up all the extra reading time, and my favorite part was an afternoon trip to two bookstores with my sister.

2. Seventh Anniversary – Nick and I celebrated seven years of marriage on July 2! There are days when I can't believe we've been married that long – and others when it feels like we've been married forever. Haha! I'm so thankful for this man and the life we've built together. Here's a little bit about our love story, if you're curious.

3. Dino Boy – You probably can't tell, but there's a whole row of "little dinos" sitting on that windowsill in the picture. My son's love for dinosaurs has only grown with each passing month, and I love hearing his little voice tell me all about them. Every day feels like I'm getting to know something new about him, and it all amazes me. 

4. House Hunting – In July, Nick and I started house hunting! We'll be staying in the same area, just moving to a house that better suits our current needs. This picture doesn't really have anything to do with it, though I was at Target to get a few move-related items. I'm excited about the future but definitely sad, too. It's bittersweet!

Read 14 Books | Favorites:
The Engagements by J. Courtney Sullivan
Dear Mrs. Bird by AJ Pearce
Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton
And Now We Have Everything by Meaghan O'Connell

“No one can ever know the inner parts of anyone else’s marriage. It’s a strange business.”
The Engagements by J. Courtney Sullivan

“Our friends are not our second choices. They are our dates for Friday nights
and for ex-boyfriends' weddings. They are the visitors to our hometowns and hospital rooms.
They are the first people we tell about any news, whether it's good, terrible, or mundane.
They are our plus ones at office parties. They are the people we're raising children with.
They are our advocates, who, no matter what, make us feel like we won't fail.
They are the people who will struggle with us and who will stay with us.
They are who we text when we get home.”
Text Me When You Get Home by Kayleen Schaeffer

“To be Cuban is to be proud — it is both our greatest gift and biggest curse.
We serve no kings, bow no heads, bear our troubles on our back as though they are nothing at all.
There is an art to this, you see. An art to appearing as though everything is effortless,
that your world is a gilded one, when the reality is that your knees beneath your silk gown
buckle from the weight of it all. We are silk and lace, and beneath them we are steel.”
Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton

“Shall I strangle him or will you?”
She rewarded him with a devious smile.
“Oh, it must be a joint endeavor, don’t you think?”
“So that you may share the blame?” Andrew quipped.
“So that we may share the joy,” Billie corrected.
“You wound me.”
“Happily, I assure you.”
Because of Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn

 “We think it’s the big actions that shape us — the choice to pursue medical school
over business school, turning down a date with one guy in favor of another,
the regrettable decision to have an affair. But in reality, all of those things come about
from the unconscious and barely considered actions that shape a life:
blowing off studying one night to watch TV. Laughing at a lame joke to make someone feel better. Allowing more eye contact than necessary with a man you knew to be no good.
It’s the innumerable smaller choices that snowball into larger vectors, or, put another way:
it’s the choices we make when we ignore our scornful intellects and follow our thumping hearts.”
The Queen of Hearts by Kimmery Martin

“The bad thing had happened, and the baby had survived. He could be hurt without dying.
He could endure my mistakes. He was vulnerable but resilient. Human.
Wasn't that the problem, in the end? He was going to walk around in a world
 where there were a million different ways to die. One day something would kill him.
And I loved him too much for that. And yet. What else is there to say?”
And Now We Have Everything by Meaghan O'Connell

I was pretty proud of myself in July – mostly because I wrote a few posts that I'd had on my to do list for months! My first post of the month was my June 2018 Recap, of course. Even when it's late, like this month, I just can't skip it.

Then, I shared 15 Books for Summer Getaways. This is a post I've done almost every summer, inspired by a past Top Ten Tuesday topic, where I pair books with summer destinations + accessories. It's a favorite of mine!

I talked about 16 books in my June 2018 Quick Lit, and then reviewed the Darker Shade of Magic trilogy by V.E. Schwab. Those were my only reviews posted in July, but that's because I had a few other fun posts planned.

After I talked about seven things I've been loving lately, it was finally time to spend a week discussing my obsession with all things Happy Planner. Here's the breakdown: 1) my gratitude journal, 2) my daily planner, 3) my blogging planner, and 4) my reading log. I love how they turned out!

I was looking at what I'd bookmarked from July, and I couldn't figure out why there was barely anything to choose from... until I realized that I'm about a month behind on posts in my Feedly. The struggle is real. I'm hoping to have lots of posts to share with you in my August recap to make up for this month's fail! 

  Favorite Album: Magic by Ben Rector
This came out in June, but I didn't really start listening to it until July.
I had it on repeat all month, and it was the perfect soundtrack to my summer.

Tomb Raider (2018) starring Alicia Vikander and Dominic West – This movie seemed more up Nick's alley, but I have a soft spot for Alicia Vikander so I got it from Redbox. Umm... I can't tell you anything about it because I started reading my book about twenty minutes in. So maybe that tells you everything?

Love, Simon (2018) starring Nick Robinson, Jennifer Garner and Josh Duhamel – I haven't read this book, but I have a soft spot for teen movies and adore anything and everything Jennifer Garner. This didn't disappoint! I have no idea how successful it was as an adaptation, but it was an enjoyable Redbox rental. 

Sliding Doors (1998) starring Gwyneth Paltrow and John Hannah – I got a book from the library that referenced this movie in the summary, and I realized that I'd never actually watched it (though I knew the premise). I was excited to find it on Netflix, and I'm glad I finally watched it! It was enjoyable, and I love the concept.

The Bachelorette, Season 14, with Becca Kufrin – This is ALL Kelly's fault! I used to watch this franchise back in college with my roommates but hadn't turned it on since. I enjoyed laughing over it with friends but didn't really want to tune in alone. Kelly kept begging me to watch and discuss with her, and I finally caved. OMG!

New Releases: All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin, When Life Gives You Lululemons by Lauren Weisberger, Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton, and Crazy Rich Asians, China Rich Girlfriend and Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan

Online Shopping: The Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams, Anne of Green Gables: The Graphic Novel by Mariah Marsden and Brenna Thummler and House of Dreams by Liz Rosenberg

Used Bookstore: On Turpentine Lane by Eleanor Lipman and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Gifted: Dear Mrs. Bird by AJ Pearce, You Knew Me When by Emily Liebert, Pachinko by Min Jin Lee, and Just One of the Guys by Kristan Higgins 

Books for Trade: Pride by Ibi Zoboi

For Review: The Daisy Children by Sofia Grant, The Paris Seamstress by Natasha Lester and Good Luck With That by Kristan Higgins

NetGalley: Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win by Jo Piazza

Kindle: My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan and Roomies by Christina Lauren

Audible Pre-Order: Sense and Sensibility  by Jane Austen


  1. Sounds like you had a busy month! I have an ARC of Dear Mrs. Bird, but I haven't heard much about it yet. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it, that makes me more excited to get to it!

  2. So many new great books! I love Emily Giffin and Lauren Weisberger's new books, and Beatriz Williams is a favorite, as well!

  3. I was so surprised by how much I adored Love, Simon! I liked the book a lot, but the movie took my appreciation for this story to a whole new level.


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