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Recently Read

Happy Wednesday friends. Hope you're easing into the week nicely - already half way to the next weekend! I mentioned in April that I signed up for Kindle Unlimited and I've been taking advantage of so many of the books! There are a few books below that are part of of a series, which can be a little bit of a turnoff for some that simply want to read a book and be done, but if you get invested in characters like I do, then these may be for you! 


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Clara Andrews Series || This is an 11 part book series on Amazon and it's perfectly light and airy to read - perfect for spring and summer! They are all free with the Kindle Unlimited option, but only $2.99 otherwise - so not terrible at all! Each book takes Clara into different scenarios from finding a boyfriend to navigating how to meet the parents to planning a wedding in a very short amount of time! It sort of reminds me of the Shopaholic Series with Rebecca Bloomwood - still one of my favorite movies and books! 
The Wife Series || Another series offered, but there are only 4 books in the series - so a lot faster to get through. I read the first book in two days and it definitely kept my interest. Michael and Ellie seemingly have the prefect marriage and relationship, but something happened that has caused them to just "not be the same." I kept trying to figure out what could have happened and you realize that it can really only be one of two things, but you aren't sure which one it is or is it both! Either way it kept my interest and I'm excited to read the rest of the series. 
After You Left || Justin walked out on Alice on their honeymoon and only left behind a cryptic note - a la Burger from Sex & the City when he broke up with Carrie on a post it note! Alice is confused and forced to put her life back together. Evelyn is an older woman who walks into the gallery where Alice works and basically shares her own heartbreaking story that in some ways is eerily similar to Alice's. I thought the author did a nice job of alternating between Evelyn's story from 30 years ago and Alice's current story. I really enjoyed the book! 
That Night || Flipping back and forth between the present and what happened leading up to "that night," Toni & her boyfriend Ryan are sent to prison for murdering her sister. The thing is, they both deny having anything to do with it. Once out on parole, Toni & Ryan are desperate to clear their names. What I really liked about this book, is that even though you sort of know who did it - there's so much more behind the why and how. This was my first thriller in quite some time and it was definitely a page turner for me! 
Slammed || This is part of a three part series from Colleen Hoover. I have the other one on loan from the library right now, but the good news is that the author doesn't leave you hanging in the first book, so you could stop at one if you wanted to, but with Colleen's books, one is never enough. She is such an enthralling author that you find yourself completely engrossed with the characters. Even thought Layken and Will are younger, you can certainly feel the power of their love and frustrations. I may have shed a tear towards the end of the book for what each character has gone through, but we could also blame pregnancy hormones. Definitely worth the read! 


I'm trying to get as much reading in these next few months as possible, so expect at least one or two more "Recently Read" posts! Would love to know what's on your summer reading list! Also, I'm not sure if anyone else's blogger is acting this way, but I am not seeing your comments via email (which is how I respond back to people that comment), so if you know how to fix this - let me know! 
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Still Weekending...

Happy Monday friends! Taking a few more days to unwind, but in case anyone wanted to link up - it's live below! See you back here Wednesday! 
America flags for memorial day, boston common, memorial day

Friday Favorites before the long weekend

Happy Friday friends! This has been quite the long week and I know it's because we're so close to the long weekend! I'm thankful for the extra day and looking forward to a bit of relaxing! 

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    I'd have to say my number one favorite this week was finding out that I passed my gestational diabetes test! Definitely going to go enjoy a bowl of ice cream this weekend! 
    Every year in the Boston Common, flags are put out in memory for those Massachusetts service members who gave his or her life defending our country since the Revolutionary War. With over 37,000 flats, it's a sight to be seen & takes your breath away!


    Along with many stores, Gap is running up to 50% off items and then an extra 20% online purchases with free shipping! I scored a couple of summer tops for under $40!  I feel like everything I've purchased has been floral patterned, so I'm happy these are more neutral! 
    I picked up a new lipstick over the weekend from L'Oreal and I have to say, I'm loving how moisturizing it makes my lips feel. The line is Color riche shine and I'll admit, the clear packaging is what sold me! I've been wearing "shining peach" all week long and it's the perfect pinky / nude/ peach colored lipstick! It's not one of those lipsticks that doesn't budge, you'll definitely find yourself reapplying throughout the day, but the consistency is one of my favorites I've found in a while! 


    I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. 
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    Six Fun Spring and Summer Bags

    It's no secret around these parts that I have a serious addiction to purses. Something about a new handbag just makes me happy! It doesn't have to be the most expensive option, but if it's going to be a trendier piece, I still want functionality! Here are a few new bags that I may or may not purchase before the end of summer! 
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    1. I definitely have a think for pink, but surprisingly don't have many pink bags - they aren't much of a neutral but perfect for spring and summer! I love this little topshop crossbody!
    2. You've probably seen the Chole Nile bag for a couple of years now, but I can't justify spending that much on a smaller trendier bag, but this dupe on Amazon seems to be the best of both worlds. They also have a half moon option. 
    3. This circle bag from White Elephant Designs is so different! I haven't seen anything like it before & I love that the blush color can be worn practically any season! 
    4. I don't have any smaller clutches that are a bit dressier, but still fun & this small palm print clutch from H&M would certainly do the trick! 
    5. I'm on the hunt for a smaller tote that's a bit smaller than my Louis Vuitton Neverfull because that is seriously a large tote! I like this powder pink one because it has a little smaller pouch on the inside, but is perfect for the client meetings I have without having to feel like I'm toting the world with me! 
    6. Straw bags are everywhere and I really feel like I should have one for summer, but I just don't know how functional they are. All the ones I've seen are completely open, so when I spotted this BP one (funny because these are my initials!) with a zipper for under $40, I thought it would be a good compromise! 

    SHOP THE POST



    Any fun purses in your shopping cart lately?
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    Nursery Planning and Inspiration

    Happy Monday friends! Hope you all had a wonderful weekend! We were quite busy with a lot of errands, Jackie & I had a venue visit in New Hampshire & of course watching the Royal Wedding! After this weekend, we've officially purchased all the "big" items for the nursery so I wanted to give you a glimpse of what we're planning! 
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    If there is an interior designer gene, then I don't think I have it! While I'm fairly certain with things I like and don't like, styling is not my forte! Alas, I did have a vision of what the nursery would look like and the colors I would use!  Gary and I have set out to create a room that serves two purposes - guest bedroom & nursery! After selling all the furniture that was previously in the office, we started on the nursery! 

    I knew I wanted all the furniture to be white with blush and grey accents. While there's no real "theme" to the room, I wanted it to be airy & light. After testing out about a dozen grey paint colors we decided on Bunny Grey from Benjamin Moore - just had it darkened up 10%. 

    Gary's parents gifted us this glider that we absolutely love. Seriously Gary sits in the glider working and watching TV - can't get him out of it! When I say set up was easy, I mean it came in two pieces and you just had to slide the back onto the bottom piece - beyond easy! Something tells me the rest of the furniture will not be so easy to put together! I really wanted the crib to be convertible & we found a few that we liked, but ultimately decided on the Delta Children "Sutton."

    Storage is our biggest issue when it comes to this room. Since the closet houses all of Gary's clothes, we needed to find furniture that had a lot of storage for the baby clothes. We decided on a dresser, shelf & day bed all from Ikea! We have a few other Ikea pieces around the house and the quality is really on par with other higher end brands for a fraction of the cost. I know a lot of people have used the Hemnes 8 drawer dresser and just changed up the knob pulls, which is what we'll do. I really like these from Home Depot & these from Anthropologie. The day bed actually comes out to be a full size bed which will be perfect for guests & mostly for my mom since she'll be staying with us for a while! It also has storage underneath which I'm so excited about. 

    As for the little details around the room - that's where Etsy, Target & Home Goods have come into play. I have found so many beautiful prints on Etsy that you can download and print on your own! We added some cute woven storage bins that we found at Home Goods & I'm leaning towards a few fun accent pieces from Target. The rug is from Rugs USA and is actually not round, it's rectangular and will fill most of the room since we have wood floors. I also found these adorable star hooks from H&M and I have no clue what I'll use them for yet, but I'm sure I'll find something! I want to add a mirror of some sort above the dresser & I'm stuck between something more modern or a little more whimsical like this mirror

    These are definitely more of the "big" items and all the little details is what will really pull the room together! I'd love to know where you love to shop for home decor pieces! 
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    Recent Product Empties

    Product empties are some of my favorite posts to read because unlike first impressions and even beauty round-ups these products have been completely used up, so you're able to get a clearer sense of whether you'll be repurchasing the item again and if it truly lived up to the hype. These posts take a long time to get together because you have to make your way through the product, remember to save the empty product and then you have to wait until you have enough to make it a lengthy post! So here are some of my recently beauty product empties! 

    Batiste Dry Shampoo for Dark Hair 

    I can't even tell you the last time I used up a full size dry shampoo, probably because it's never happened - until I started using Batiste! I don't know what took me so long to jump on this bandwagon, but I'm hooked! I do have a couple other dry shampoo's that I need to work my way through before I buy another one, but for a drug store buy this is fantastic! The smell is not over powering and it doesn't leave us girls with darker hair with a white residue. It's easily worked into the scalp / hair and doesn't leave my hair feeling heavy or greasy. This is a definitely repurchase for me! 

    Vichy Night Cream

    I scraped every last ounce of this night cream out! I used it every night until it was gone and saw a slight difference in my skin tone being a bit more rejuvenated and rested. I like that it's paraben free and formulated for sensitive skin. The brand itself is French and with all the stipulations that the European Union puts on testing, I know that I'm not putting harmful chemicals on my skin. While it's a pricier moisturizer, I have seen it sold at CVS, so you could always test it out when you have some extra bucks from previous purchases! 

    Maybelline Master Prime 

    I find myself always going back to the master prime primer by Maybelline. You can see there are two in my picture and that's because it's easy to use, easy on the wallet and I like the way my makeup looks when I use this primer. If you're on the hunt for a drug store primer, I think this is one of the better ones. I think this a good one to get started with as well if you haven't really used primers before, but I are looking for something that will help your makeup stay on better as the weather warms up! 

    Touch in Sol Primer 

    Staying on the topic of primers, I really liked using Touch In Sol primer. It's a non-greasy primer that goes on smoothly and helps fill in pores so that makeup can actually glide on. You get an airbrushed makeup look and it keeps your skin from getting oily - especially important as the weather starts to heat up. Between the few face masks I've tried that a friend brought back from a recent trip and this primer, I feel like the Korean Makeup Market is going to become even bigger here in America. Sephora has an entire section dedicated to it in our city! What I like most about this primer is that you get the higher end feel of a primer without the price tag! 

    MAC Lipstick "Snob"

     
    It's extremely hard for me to go through an entire lipstick because of the sheer amount of lipsticks I have on hand at all times! I'm constantly changing up which ones I'm using, often applying two or three different colors to create a unique color. One color that I always use on it's own is "Snob" by MAC! It's my go to pink lipstick. While it's has a matte finish, you do get a nice shine on the lips from it! It's the color I get asked about most in photos & one that I always keep restocked! 

    La Roche Posay concealer 

    I was actually sent these two concealers to try and absolutely loved them. It's really hard for me to find a concealer that is light enough not to feel cakey, but strong enough to combat under eye circles - this does both! It has a brush applicator that you twist from the bottom to get the desired amount of product. I used both the yellow beige and light beige colors and both worked well. This was my first time using anything by the La Roche brand, but what I really liked is that the products are developed in partnership with dermatologists, so they are avoiding harsh chemicals and promoting skin care above anything else. Price wise, it's right on par with other high end brands like NARS and Urban Decay concealers. 

    Voluminous Lash Paradise

     
    A lot of beauty bloggers have compared this mascara to Too Faced's Better Than Sex & I'd have to agree! For a fraction of the price you get a similar hour glass wand and volumizing mascara, even the packaging is very similar. I tend to find that "wetter" mascaras dry up a bit faster than other's but using it every day, you'll be done before it has a chance to dry out. I'm pretty agnostic when it comes to mascara's but if I find a great drug store one, then I'll be repurchasing! 

    Tried & True Favorites 


    I won't go into too much detail over the next few products because I've already shared my love for them endless times! I touched on them in this post most recently! I should buy the IT Cosmetics CC cream in bulk at this point because I'm always using it and same goes for these eye liners - they are truly the best drug store find!  

    I have a serious problem with Shadow Sticks in that I can't stop using them! Pink Sparkle & Golden Pink by Bobbi Brown have been used up and I'm on my second stick of Belle-Elle from NARS, the creamiest texture! 

    Now that I can finally throw these products away, I'm ready to start saving the newer products that I'm using up! Have you used any of these products before? Any recent product empties you've been loving?
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    Mother's Day Weekending

    Happy Monday friends! Coming off a full weekend spent with my parents who were in town to celebrate Mother's Day! I tried to be as present as possible all weekend long - from watching movies at night with my niece, to going to the flower mart with my sister, to dress shopping and finding a baby shower dress, it was the perfect weekend! Here's the weekend according to my camera roll! 
     Beautiful blooms 
     My absolute favorite - pink hydrangeas
     My dad was getting a kick out of the Instagram Story filters regardless of how serious he looks here!
     The cheese spread pre-dinner!
     My niece made two of the most incredible pies - she's 12!! 
     Asked my dad to take a photo of the three of us and he wanted a selfie instead!
    The light of our family - this woman is everything! Selfless mom, daughter, wife and grandmother! I am so grateful I was able to spend the weekend with my mom. 


    Wishing you all a great week ahead!

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    Instagram Round Up

    I haven't shared my "style" on the blog in quite some time and the place I most often share outfit photos in on Instagram. Here's a few snaps of my maternity style and also some items that I've recently ordered and haven't worn yet. 

    I can't say that I have a defined maternity style, but I know that I gravitate towards more form fitting versus loose fitting and that's how I dressed BTB (before the bump)! Loose fitting clothes always made me feel like I appeared bigger than I was, so I've been taking that same mentality while picking out clothes now! 

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    Jean Jacket || Striped Maternity Dress (non-maternity option here) || Sunglasses || Espadrilles (this season option)
    Jean Jacket || Pink Top (no longer available) || White Jeans || Slides (similar) || Sunglasses
    Faux Leather Jacket old (similar) || Non Maternity Floral Blouse  || Dark Jeans || Silver Slides (similar in gold) || Regan Satchel 
    Coral Top - I also have this top in navy & white stripes || White Jeans || Block Heel Mules old (similar) || Sunglasses 
    Denim Jacket || Floral Top || White Jeans || Slides || Sunglasses
    What I've found is that maternity stuff in stores is almost non-existent so you're pretty much forced to shop online! Here are some of my recent purchases!
    This BP dress is non-maternity and currently 40% off - so it's under $25! I sized up but I think it's going to be great through the fall as well with booties and a jacket! 
    I've seen a few bloggers rave about this tank dress and while it was on sale I decided to pick it up! I think it would be great post baby as well! Give me all the stretch :) It's currently 60% off! 
    I love H&M for their affordable options and  this Mama Jersey dress is going to be perfect as it starts to heat up here in Boston! I went for the pink color, but there three other options! 
    Even though I think maternity fashion overdoes it on the floral patterns, I did like my other top fro m H&M - so I ordered this pattern as well. It's stretchy, covers the booty and to be honest, I'll probably wear these after pregnancy as well! 

    I am on the hunt for a baby shower dress - so if you have any suggestions of non-flowy dresses, please send them my way! 
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