Magical Book Reviews

Over the last month and a half or so I have been making a dedicated effort to get through some of the books on my reading list.

One of the blogs I frequent set a goal earlier this year to read 100 books in 2016. I scoffed. I don’t have time to read and unfortunately it isn’t high on my priority list to make time for either… but then I found audio books. I downloaded the overdrive app on my iPad and have been listening my way through my book list on my commutes and long drives to client appointments, etc., even when I’m cooking or cleaning, I’ve been listening. It’s safe to say I’m hooked. I don’t know that I will get to 100 books, but I will certainly get more read than the one book I finished last year!!

Here is what I’ve been “reading” so far:

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo: Y’all know how I feel about this book. I loved hearing Marie Kondo’s philosophy and implementing it in our life. Our condo has never felt so good to come home to, and it really feels like home. There will always be projects to be done and cleaning to do, but we aren’t bursting at the seams anymore and that is HUGE!

#GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso: Sophia Amoruso is a Bad-ass boss lady. Her story is incredibly inspiring. Her book has been floating around for a while now with a lot of positive response from the bloggers and business babes out there. Last fall I attended a book signing with her, but still hadn’t found the time to actually read the book,  so I decided to add it to my Overdrive list and I have to say it is a good read with great info and tips for anyone, even the boss men out there.

Wild by Cheryl Strayed: I purchased Wild on a whim one night while wandering the isles of Target, and I’m so glad I did. I started reading it right after purchasing and although it was exciting and has a good hook from the beginning, life and clients took the front seat and Wild was put on a shelf until we were Konmari-ing and it came out. I immediately added it to the list and was so glad when it was time to listen. This adventure filled tale of Cheryl Strayed’s trek on the Pacific Coast Trail is one of courage and bravery. I love a good hike, love nature and love getting to know myself better, so this book was meant to be read by me… I don’t think I will be taking the trek myself anytime soon, but it was thrilling to follow along with Cheryl’s adventures… some great lessons were learned. What a great story to feel inspired by… now I want to rent the movie too!

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg: Another empowering boss lady book that has been on my list since it was released. I heard mixed reviews on this one and I think if I had tried to sit down and read it, I would’ve gotten bored and stopped. I’m glad I listened instead because there were some really key points that Sheryl Sandberg touches on in this book. The lessons here are incredible, not just for women in the workforce, but for men and women in general. I think that men reading this book can get a glimpse at what the women in their life are dealing with, and offer up ways to better support them in their goals. I think there are some great points here about time management, setting goals and tearing down barriers. Though I do think the book dragged on a bit longer than it needed to, it was a good balance of anecdotes and advice and it was worth the listen.

The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and Prince Caspian by C. S. Lewis: While waiting for some books to be available on my list I had some time to listen to something more whimsical. My mom suggested that many of the books I was reading were keeping my brain turned on and although listening to great info is helpful, sometimes you just need to turn it off. So I decided to check out these old classics, I never read the Chronicals of Narnia growing up, and because I enjoyed Harry Potter immensely I thought I might enjoy these… I did enjoy The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, but I drifted off while Prince Caspian played… I didn’t really enjoy it so much… not because it was poorly written or anything like that, but it just didn’t jive with me, so I won’t be listening to the other books in the series anytime soon. That aside, C.S. Lewis’s language is truly an art. The way he describes things is truly beautiful and really sets the scene so you can imagine standing there. I love authors who write with their five senses, they can really capture your mind and take you on a journey with them… for me it makes reading much more enjoyable.

Thrive by Arianna Huffington: This book by far was the favorite one that I listened to in the past month or so. I might just put it back on my list and listen again. Thrive is a great book about balancing your work and life and not just thriving in your career, but thriving as a person going through life. Experiencing what is in front of you, not being constantly plugged in, not losing sleep over something you can do tomorrow, not losing sight of your health, your life and your loved ones. I have been working hard to implement some of the concepts from this book into my life and I have been feeling incredible doing it. It is hard at first to cut the cord but it is amazing to see the difference between a life with your device constantly in your hand and one where you are focused on those in front of you. I can’t really explain it well, but what I can say is that this book is definitely worth the read or listen.

Overall, I think all of these books were worth the “read.” Maybe I’m just happy to have literature re-incorporated into my life and over excited about some of these titles, but I think from the changes that these books (for the most part) have made in my life in just the month or less since finishing them, I would recommend reading them for sure. My heart feels lighter, my home happier, and my workplace more productive. I feel inspired each morning… and who wouldn’t want that?! What are you reading these days? Any good books you could recommend? (Either for more inspo or for some mindless entertainment?) I’d love to know what has to be on my list! Sorry for the insanely wordy post!!! I wish I could send it out over audio so you could listen if you didn’t have time to read!! LOL!

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My Fall Reading List

I can’t even tell you what the last book I read cover to cover was, and that, my friends, is a bit embarrassing. When I was a kid, I hated reading. These days, I love diving into a good book. In fact, I have a few good books I’ve started in the last year that I just haven’t had time (or made time) to pick up again. Hopefully that will all change this fall as I will make time to put reading back into my rotation of activities.

Jersey City Public Library

I’m thinking we need to go check out our local Jersey City Library and get some library cards. I love libraries. They smell like old books, they are calm and quiet — the perfect place to go to find some peace and take a break from it all while you get lost in a good book.

I wish I could say my fall reading list was a bit more exciting, but I think I really just want to read some women empowerment books, the ones that fall into the “self-help” for business entrepreneurs category.

Here is the list:

  1. #GIRLBOSS. I know I know, I am probably the last of the blogger people with an entrepreneurial mindset to not have read this yet… so I’m going, I’m going.
  2. You Are a Badass. I have followed a few gals that have read this and it seems like a good one to dive into, and let’s face it, I really am a badass, right?? (I think if I have to ask, the answer is probably not.)
  3. Big Magic. I am an Elizabeth Gilbert fan, one of my all time favorite books was Eat, Pray, Love, so how could I pass up her insight on “creative living beyond fear?”

What books are on your list this fall? Anything falling into the more fun fictional category? Maybe I will get to some of those too, but let’s be honest, I really would be happy if I could get to pick up and read through even one of the books on my list!

(Image Credit: NJ.com)

5 on Friday|Ready for the Weekend!

Some weeks, the weekends are just more exciting than others.

JC Project Eats

1.This weekend, if you are in New Jersey, driving/train-ride distance to Jersey City, you should stop by! Right outside the town hall there will be LOADS of food, drinks and good times, for Project Eats Food Festival.

2. My Seattle Mariners are in town this weekend playing the Yankees, so P & I are headed out to the game on Sunday and will be clad in opposing teams’ gear. I love going to ballgames, it is always such a good time!

Also this weekend is the Nordstrom Anniversary sale. (I must’ve watched their Instagram post about it on repeat for 15 minutes yesterday.) Here are my picks:

3. Fashion Accessories: What woman doesn’t love a good handbag?! I was in a car accident back in early April, and ever since I’ve been looking for a small cross body-bag is stylish but that won’t weigh me down. These three are perfect. (Left to Right: Vince Camuto “Baily” in Roebuck, Kate Spade “Cedar Street-Monday” in Rose Jade, Rebecca Minkoff “Mini 5-Zip” in Latte.)

The second row is filled with over-sized scarves that look so cozy they’re making me itch for autumn. Classy enough to wear to work, cozy enough to nap in and perfect for jet-setting. What’s not to love? (L to R: Halogen Cashmere Travel Wrap, Halogen Brushed Floral Print Wrap, BP Geo Print Poncho.)

4. For the home, I’ve selected linens & entertaining pieces.

If you have been reading DBK for any length of time, you may already know that I am a bit of a linen snob. I love lush and decadent linens. Any of these would be great to update your master bedroom or refresh a guest bedroom. The bedding on the left is a reversible duvet set, solid either navy or grey on one side, patterned on the other, perfect to get you through the whole year! The sheet sets are simple, lux and cozy. The Creamsicle colored throw is the perfect way to add in a pop of color and texture to any bed or seating. Lastly, it’s always nice to have some decorative patterned towels to mix in with the solid ones, this option comes in a variety of colors to fit perfectly with any scheme.

In addition to my love for linens, I love to entertain. Hosting friends for anything from brunch to dinner, drinks to game night should be a treat, and with the right serving pieces, you can make prepping for any gathering less of a chore. I love these mason jar style serving pitchers, and they pair perfectly with monogrammed mason jars (with straws)! It doesn’t get much easier than topping off a pitcher and letting your guests help themselves! Copper Moscow Mule mugs make the perfect vessel for everything from it’s refreshing namesake to a hot buttered rum in the Fall, no bar cart should be without them!

5. When we aren’t busy shopping, eating, or rooting for the away team, I’m going to be perusing through our new travel books, purchased on Prime Day, they should be arriving today, and if there is one thing I love more than cozy linens and a scarf made for jet-setting, it’s layering on that scarf, crawling into that bed with a glass of wine and a travel book, dreaming about destinations afar.

What are your plans this weekend? Will you be shopping or heading out to any fairs or festivals? Or maybe just grabbing a book and heading to the beach? Whatever you are doing, I hope you get your fill and enjoy the weekend!

My Reading List

As a follow-up post to that last TV-obsessed version of me that posted all about my love for the Thursday night lIneup on ABC, I wanted to talk about some books on my radar. I do read. In fact I’m looking for a new book right now, and here are some of the books that have been recommended to me:

Lean In Book Cover

1. Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, a book about working women and their will to lead. It is Sheryl Sandberg’s own take on the task of being a high-powered, career-focused woman in today’s work force while still having a family. I think the reason it is interesting to me is that I have always wanted to work, but I have also always wanted to have a family (in due time mom). For me, this is one of the things that I love about the profession I have chosen. I’m passionate about design, and I love working with my clients, but I also know that there will come a time when I’m going to want to start a family. With my design work I hope to be fortunate to balance the two.

GirlBoss Book Cover

2. #GirlBoss by Sophia Amoruso, a book about Sophia’s own journey into life as a woman running her own company. This one feels like it will really resonate with me and where I am at right now in my own life. I know a lot of women I admire and follow along with who have read this book already and raved about it… I’m a little late to the game, but I can’t wait to get my copy and dive in!

10 percent cover

3. 10% Happier by Dan Harris, is a book about taming that nagging (and often cruel) voice inside and finding success and happiness in your day to day. I had been thinking about this book for a while, then randomly saw it at the store, picked it up and passed on it. I then read a post from another blogger I read frequently who had just finished it… I think it’s a sign that I need to pick it up!

5 Love Languages Cover

4. The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman, came highly recommended to me by a dear friend whose marriage I truly admire. In the world we live in today where the statistics of divorce are staggering (and as a child of divorce) I feel there is truly no time too early to connect with your significant other and really make the commitment to making it last. So when this book was gifted to me the other day, I became very excited to dive into it with my hubby and see what exactly these love languages are all about.

The Girl On The Train Cover

5. The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins, is a book I randomly came a cross in Costco while doing my shopping the other night, and it looked good, but I was too tired to really look through it. Last night, I was going through the remnants of last weekend’s paper for recycling, and I came across the book-review section and read through the excerpt about this book. It seems like it would be a good quick read, with a little mystery and intrigue and a main character that you can root for.

That is enough to keep this busy slow reader covered for the rest of winter! What books have you read lately? Anything you would recommend? I love hearing what people have been reading and seeing what books I can pick up next!