My Top 5 Inspiring Books


When it comes to  my reading list, I always mix in an inspirational book every now and again. It’s a nice break between a novel or biography for me to learn a little something I can apply to my life. Here are my top 5 recommendations for inspiring reads. Any of these would be great to pick up and read over the holidays to give you a little boost for the new year!

  1. The Joy of Less:
    This book introduced me to the concept of minimalism. I’ve since read many more books on the topic but I will always credit this one as capturing my interest in the subject and encouraging me to clear the clutter.
  2. The Defining Decade:
    I would recommend picking this up if you’re in your early twenties. It emphasizes how important this decade of our lives can be and how you can make sure to make the most of it.
  3. The Happiness Project:
    This book made me realize that by focusing on one goal at a time and breaking it into smaller tasks I can accomplish the things that really matter to me and not get swept up in the busyness of the day to day. Honestly, the author of this book did start to annoy me after some time, but overall the growth I experienced after reading this book was well worth it.
  4. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up:
    There’s been a lot of buzz about this book lately and I’ve already written some of my thoughts in this blog post, but I wanted to mention it again here as it’s one of the most inspiring books I’ve read. I continue to apply lessons from this book to my life everyday.
    The main lesson I took from this book is that you really can be successful at something if you put your mind to it and you don’t necessarily have to follow the traditional path to get there. It really inspires you to go after your dreams no matter what your circumstances or experience.

The next few books on my inspiring reads list are: Big Magic, Rising Strong and The Confidence Code.

What are some of your favorite inspiring reads?

Things I’m Loving Lately


  1. Ballet flats: I got these in nude and love that they dress up any outfit (and also make me feel like a ballerina ;). I ended up getting them in gold too for my wedding shoes!
  2. How to Get Away with Murder: The fiancé and I have been sick the last couple weeks (first me, then him once I finally started getting better) so we started watching this to get through the days spent sick on the couch. I’d never heard of it before so it was a pleasant surprise how good it is!
  3. Styled: Secrets for Arranging Rooms, from Tabletops to Bookshelves: My sister got me this book for my birthday and I’m loving it so far! It’s a fun easy read and has the same humor as Emily Henderson’s blog (which I find very funny). It starts off with a quiz to figure out your design style, and who doesn’t love a good quiz?!
  4. Cuyana laptop sleeve: I’ve had the same laptop sleeve since college so I thought it was time for a more adult upgrade. Cuyana is my go-to brand for any leather accessories and I can’t wait for this to arrive in the mail this week!

Fall in our new neighborhood

We’ve been enjoying our new house over the past few weeks (when we’ve been in town, which hasn’t been as often as I would like!). We were able to have a few good pool days but now the waters starting to get a little too cold for me (if only the air would get a little colder as well!). The best part of the new house is that it’s a 10 minute walk to the ocean! We’ve been taking a ton of walks and it’s so refreshing. My favorite is pouring some wine in a cup and camping out on a bench for the sunset. It’s the best.

donut float

Obviously the first thing I ordered after moving in was a donut float. Worth it.


The view from our neighborhood park on an early morning walk.


Our first meal outside (red wine pasta and garlic knots) using the new patio furniture.




After sunset walks home.


A little too happy + pink flamingos

IMG_5007A small nature trail leads to a drain pipe and concrete wall but also to this view.


Fall vibes at brunch.

Fall To Do’s

Like everyone else in the blogging world, I love the transition into fall. It’s a good time to settle in and set some new goals for the season. Here’s what’s on my to do list for fall:

Go camping // this has been on my to do list for the past few falls and I’m determined to check it off this year!

Make weekly crockpot meals // every monday I want to make soup, chili or other hearty meals to eat throughout the week.

Have game nights // relaxing in our new house with friends, board games, wine and snacks sounds like the perfect fall activity.

Host dinner parties // not the impromptu ones like we normally have but actual planned ahead, thought out dinner parties.

Get outdoors // enjoy the fire pit on chilly nights, go for bike rides in the cooler air and eat meals on the patio.

Nest // continuing working on making our house a cozy, comfortable home.

What’s on your list?

New House Reveal // Front Door Refresh

I’m finally ready to share a little bit of our new home! There are now a few pictures on the walls (thanks to my sister) and everything has a place (for now). We had the whole house painted while we were in Boston. The walls went from a neutral yellow to a white with a tinge of grey.  Even though I love white for walls so I can decorate with a blank slate, I also love color so I thought I’d have some fun with the inside of the front door. We went with a blue and I’m so happy with it!




couch [west elm], rug [ikea], chairs [target], white table [crate and barrel], coffee table [custom], front door rug [target] 
Paint Colors: Behr Thundercloud and Behr (52) white

And in case anyone’s interested, here’s the before:

Much better right?! Next up, new blinds!

Weekend in Boston: Part 2

We’ve been back from Boston for a few days now and getting back in the swing of things. It’s hard to return to work after a vacation and even harder when your house is in boxes! Thankfully the boxes are now gone and I’m almost ready to share a bit of our new house :) In the meantime I wanted to share the rest of the Boston pictures. Boston is definitely my new favorite big city! 
fenway park image1A trip to boston isn’t complete without watching a game at Fenway! 
boston tacos el pelon taqueriaThese tacos were on a list of the 50 best tacos in the America so of course I had to try them. I was not disappointed!

I highly recommend the airbnb we stayed at. The neighborhood was so pretty!

One of my favorite things we did was taking a morning walk through Esplanade Park. We brought coffee and breakfast, sat on a bench and enjoyed the slight fall breeze in the air.

IMG_6893legal seafood

fish and chips
Our first seafood of the trip at Legal Seafoods. It also happened to be my first clam chowder!


The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is seriously the prettiest museum ever. I highly recommend it!
We had a fancy night out at Craigie on Main, a cute little restaurant with a menu that changes daily based on local and seasonal ingredients. We opted for the Monday night 3 course special (instead of the two other options of 6 or 8 courses). It was really amazing and one of the best meals I’ve had! 
IMG_6890My first course was mussels.
scallopsFollowed by scallops for the main course.
IMG_6936And finally this desert. I have no idea what it was but it was delicious!



The remaining 5 days of our trip were spent at the Inbound 2015 conference for work. The days were long but it was awesome seeing some of the speakers like Amy Shumer, Sophia Amoruso, and Aziz Ansari. Overall though, I am very happy to be home and finally enjoy the new house!

You may also be interested in:
Trip to Boston: Part 1
Welcome to New York
Weekend in Savannah, GA

Follow me on Bloglovin’

Trip to Boston: Part 1

We finally moved into our new house and shortly after jetted off to Boston for the week! This long (!) weekend we are enjoying a little vacation time before we attend a work conference starting Tuesday. I thought it would be really stressful but it’s actually nice to take a vacation from moving. When we get back to FL the new house will have a fresh coat of white paint and be ready to be decorated. And we’ll finally have wi-fi! In the meantime, it’s my first time in Boston so we’re trying to get in as much as possible while also taking some time to relax. Here’s what we were up to on our first day:

[our airbnb is a super cute one room apartment on a really pretty tree lined street that’s close to everything!]

french toast
[This is cap’t crunch french toast from The Met Back Bay. So yummy]

freedom trail boston
[The State House]
We did the self guided Freedom Trail tour and had a great time walking through Boston and stopping at whatever we found along the way, including a few of the Freedom Trail sites of course!

the freedom trail




We had a great first day that involved a lot of walking but overall I would say Boston has made it’s way into my list of favorite cities very quickly!

5 Minute Tip: Organize Mail

mail stackWhat do you do with your mail when you bring it in the house? Does it end up in a pile to go through later? A quick tip to avoid mail taking over is to take a few minutes when you first pick up the mail to go through it. Don’t get it out of the mailbox unless you know you will have time to go through it right when you bring it in. Recycle any junk mail (before you even walk inside if your recycle bins are in the garage!), open and read anything important and put it where it belongs. Have a spot where you can put anything that needs an action to be taken if you aren’t able to take that action immediately.

For magazines, once you get the newest issue, recycle the previous one. If you consistently find you haven’t had a chance to flip through the previous issue before a new one comes, consider canceling the subscription. Reading magazines should be relaxing and enjoyable but when it starts to become just another thing on your to do list, rethink your subscriptions.

How do you organize your mail?

Quinoa Tabouli Salad

quinoa tabouli salad

This past week we packed up our house, moved everything into storage and moved in with my parents. We’re closing on the new house on Monday (if we can avoid the hurricane) and will hopefully be moved in before we head to Boston next Friday. Basically, I haven’t had much time to think about blogs, let alone what we are going to do while we’re in Boston (if anyone has any suggestions, please share!) but I managed to take some pictures of the quinoa tabouli salad I made recently so here’s the recipe! It’s delicious and will be stay just as delicious all week for lunch.

– 1 1/2 cups quinoa
– 1/2 english cucumber, cut in pieces
– grape tomatoes, cut in half
– 1 can of beans (garbanzo beans are best but I didn’t have any so I used northern beans), rinse and drain
– green onion
– fresh mint
– parsley
– feta cheese


– 1/2 cup olive oil
– balsamic vinegar
– 2 tbsp lemon juice
– minced garlic
– salt and pepper
*(mix everything together in a mason jar and set aside)


1. Make quinoa according to the package and set aside.
2. In a large bowl combine cucumber, tomatoes, beans, green onions, mint, parsley and quinoa.
3. Pour the dressing over the salad and stir.
4. Add feta cheese on top.

I followed [this recipe] but made adjustments based on what ingredients I had. You could easily switch it up with a different dressing or add in other veggies you have in the fridge!