Now that the wedding is over, I've finally had some time to read at a normal pace, and I have loved getting back to it! I'm throwing a little bit of everything into my last few weeks of reading. I would love to hear the progress and content of your summer reading lists! Share them with me in the comment sections beneath this post!
Recently, my big reading goal is to include more non-fiction - specifically history. So I'm currently reading a beautiful and thoughtful portrait of the year 1776. It reads just like a novel, so I'm thinking its a good first step.
I've been wanting to read this second book since I visited the World's Fair exhibit at the Field Museum in Chicago last year. It is the true but terrifying account of the serial killer at Chicago's 1893 World's Fair.
I'm jumping outside my comfort zone with Kite Runner to read about a time and place I know very little about. This is not the type of book I would normally grab, but Ella has raved about it for too long for me to ignore.
This not the first time I've read Pride and Prejudice, but the last time I was in my early high school years. I'm excited to approach this beautiful book with a brand new perspective.
Food for Thought
To be honest, I just finished Looking for Lovely. But it was so recent and so life changing that I need to bring it up. This book should be required reading for every young woman. Annie's writing speaks to your heart like your best friend and your counselor at the same time. She shares her weaknesses and learned wisdom in a way that spoke to me like few books have.
Rising Stong was recommended to me in college and I have watched enough of Brene Brown's Ted talks to know that she brilliant and worth reading.
Pouring into soul shaping books like these is quickly becoming my new favorite way to read.
This week's Weekend Reading is all about my favorite bakeries in my new home of Columbus. Guys, nothing cheers me up quite like hand made goodies in an adorable space. I'll tell you where they are and what you cannot miss on a visit.
1. Cherbourg Bakery
I don't even know how many times I have walked over to this adorable bakery on my breaks at CSG. I have a pretty serious tree nut allergy, so the fact that the entire bakery is nut and gluten free completely puts my mind at ease. You cannot miss the S'mores bars and double chocolate doughnut.
2. Stauf's Coffee & Bakery
Stauf's is in the heart of German Village and is right next door to the Book Loft which absolutely everyone should visit. Grab a Milky Way Mocha and a big piece of coffee cake.
3. Sassafras Bakery
I fell in love with Sassafras Bakery when I would stop in before church choir rehearsal on Thursday nights for a HUGE cinnamon roll and a hot chocolate. The space is absolutely adorable and right in the middle of downtown Worthington.
4. Laughlin's Bakery
Laughlin's is located in the Short North and is all about expertly made breads. If you know me, you know I would pretty much kill for a chocolate croissant any time of day, so trust me when I tell you that they have the very best croissants in the city.
5. Fox in the Snow
This downtown bakery plays bluegrass all day, is always cozy and dark, has a perfect back patio for long chats with good friends, and makes mind blowing pastries in house everyday. Drop by in the morning for an egg sandwich, a strawberry danish, and a mug of pour over locally sourced coffee.
I am always in the hunt for new bakeries and coffee shops to visit. Where are your favorites? Comment below!
I just got back from the most spectacular honeymoon after marrying the love of my life (more on that later of course), and I wanted to share it with all of you! These are some of the pictures from our trip as well as my can't miss experiences when visiting the breathtaking island of Cozumel. Enjoy!
We arrived at Secrets Aura Cozumel resort on Saturday afternoon and spent the whole day beaching until our beachside dinner at Windows, an adorable Mexican restaurant on the resort. Trust me, you have not had guacamole until you've had it in Mexico.
Our resort is full of beautiful places to explore so after a delicious (and FREE) breakfast in bed, we spent most of the day just getting to know our home for the week! Our room had a hammock on the patio and a private pool just outside and there are swim bars like the one above everywhere, so we swam on the resort for a few hours before heading back to the beach for snorkeling!
So snorkeling in the Caribbean is like being in a dream (or in Finding Nemo). It's magical to watch so many tropical fish swimming in such clear water. Our resort offered it for free right off the shore! When we were finally tired we walked to Aura's "sister resort" for drinks at this adorable beachside bar with swings instead of stools, and finally back home for a very fancy French dinner at Bordeaux (oh my Lord that cheesecake...). We saw our first Cozumel sunset that night and it took our breath away. God was showing off when he made this island.
On Wednesday we went on our first excursion! We traveled just down the road to Chankanaab National Park where I experienced dolphin, manatee, parrot, and sea lion kisses all in one day. You guys, I mean this, everyone should go swim with dophins at least once before they die. Hanging out with Marina and her newborn dolphin baby Miracle was absolutely the best.
Thursday was a marathon day as we spent the ENTIRE day driving off road Jeeps around the island with a precious couple of fellow honeymooners from Texas. We visited a crocodile farm (swamp) that was terrifying but awesome, climbed to the top of that giant lighthouse and bartered like crazy with some locals for black coral earrings and hand painted bowls, when snorkeling at a coral reef in the deeper ocean, stuffed ourselves at an outrageous Mexican buffet, visited the Mayan ruins and stood on the alter where all Mayan weddings were performed, and visited a family owned and operated tequila company to learn about making all organic agave only tequila.
The day was perfect, but EXHAUSTING! We finished our evening with dinner at Oceana a beachfront seafood restaurant, and a much needed Netflix marathon + insane amounts of room service food.
On our last day we spent most of our time just relaxing on the beach. We had dinner at Gohan for sushi (Ben tried some very gross looking octopus), and some incredibly good margaritas and chocolate martinis at our favorite bar on the resort, Sky Bar.
We loved our honeymoon so much and we will definitely be back to Secrets Aura someday, but we have officially caught the travel bug. We can't wait to see where we end up next.
P.S. Being married - it's the bomb.
1. 4th of July Sales
Ok this is important. These are some of my absolute favorite stores and the sales are so big. These gorgeous pants and tulip skirt are in my cart right now.
2. Zucchini Boats
So guys, we are a week away from the wedding and I'm really trying (and often failing) to eat clean. That failing is mostly because, in my humble opinion, most truly healthy food is yucky. BUT these zucchini boats are under 100 calories each and absolutely scrumptious. Click the button to see the recipe!
First of all I know I am super behind the bandwagon here, but I finally finished season 12 of Grey's Anatomy and I needed a new show. I wasn't completely sold after episode 1 but now Ella and I are nuts about it. It's your perfect summer Netflix binge.
4. Super Goop
I've finally starting believing what they all say about taking care of your skin early and have become totally anal about wearing it, in at least three forms (moisturizer, oil, and tinted sunscreen), every single day. I stay tan with Tan Towel (more on the later) and am loving how natural it looks! Back to sun protection - Super goop is one of the brands that 20% off this weekend (with code SGJUL4) and I couldn't live without this oil. Use the sale as a chance to give it a try!
5. TpT Freebies
Between all the wedding craziness, I've been doing my best to prepare for teaching in the fall. Teachers Pay Teachers is just chock full of insanely cool resources, but I do not have the budget to justify it all right now. This massive round-up of free elementary music resources is one of the most beautiful things I've seen this month. Check it out below!
Welcome! I'm a wife, mama-to-be, foster mom, fourth year music teacher, and Jesus follower, and am chronically curious about just about everything. Join me as I explore the calling God has for my family's story.
"I am the Vine, you are the Branches. If you abide in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."