This past week I spent 4 days completing Responsive Classroom Training. I actually already knew the majority of it since I’ve worked in a district that uses Responsive Classroom. It was super time consuming though so I didn’t get much else done. I did run to the post office a few times, but other than that I was sitting in front of my computer on Zoom.
Next week, I do have some stuff to do on Monday, though so hopefully it’ll be a little more energizing.
I’m also trying really hard to have a weekly YouTube video up, make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss out!
May absolutely flew by, and its already time for another Book Chat. I’ve read a bunch of books this month to share with y’all. June and July won’t have as many books because I’m taking two grad classes (two 16-week courses pushed into 8 weeks). I will be taking Children’s Literature though, so I might share a few droplets of new knowledge from that course for moms and teachers.
Anyway, onto the Book Chat!
Reckless Memories by Catherine Cowles–5/5 stars
I loved a few books by Catherine as mentioned here. I jumped on this new book when I saw it available in the Apple Bookstore. It’s just as good if not better than the Sutter Lakes series that I’ve share with you before.
This is the story of Ford and Bell. Both had their lives ripped apart from one tragic event; however, they both handled it differently. Fate pushes them together, but is it enough?
Cowles definitely has a unique way of creating a characters and having them draw you into the story. I always end up feeling like I’m right there experiencing the story with them!
Further to Fall by Catherine Cowles—5/5 stars
Can you tell that Cowles has solidified herself as one of my favorite authors?
This story is what actually leads us to the Sutter Lake series, and we start to meet some of the characters involved. This is the story of Carter, a brand new teacher who is interested in helping her students. Then, she meets Austin, famed MMA fighter. Austin can’t believe she could care less about his career. However, there might not be a fairytale for Austin and Carter.
I felt like I was Carter’s best friend while reading this!
No Reservations by Kate Aster—2/5 stars
Bridget falls in love, but her man chooses someone else. Time passes, and she inherits an inn in Annapolis, Maryland. While working on restoring it, Maddox shows up uninvited, before the inn is even open. Fresh out of the Navy SEALS, Maddox has nowhere else to go while he starts putting plans together for his post military life.
Y’all, I wanted to like this book. I love the plot line idea. I’m a sucker for a good inn story after Gilmore Girls. However, I just could not get into this book. I do find Bridget an interesting character, but I didn’t even finish the book because I was not completely engrossed in the story.
The Play by J.H. Croix—3/5 stars
He’s a soccer player with some major problems: a torn ACL and a hot doctor. Did I mention the soccer player is British?
Liam struggles with his feelings while he goes through rehab half a world away from his grieving family.
Love love love. The only thing that could be better is if there was a little more character development. I felt like we never really understand Olivia in comparison to Liam.
Play Me by J. H. Croix—4/5 stars
This is a book in the same series as The Play.
Daisy is one of Olivia’s really good friends, and they always end up hanging out with a group of Liam’s teammates, including Tristan. Tristan is well known as the soccer world’s biggest playboy. Daisy is the complete opposite. However, they have to figure out how to handle being friends after they kissed.
I definitely felt like we got to know Daisy and Tristan fully. I really liked how Tristan was more than just the hot soccer player. I would highly recommend this one. The only critique is that I did feel like this was a very stereotypical plot line.
When Noonday Ends by Carmen DeSousa—5/5 stars
He’s the new attorney and he needs to take on more cases for the firm. She’s the wife of the richest guy in town. Life isn’t as easy as Shelby thought it would be when she got married. Instead, she’s abused with a young son. She’ll do anything to protect the most wonderful thing in her life, but it might not be enough. With a family tree more tangled and twisted than anyone can imagine, Tom ends up doing his best to keep Shelby out of jail, and keep custody of her son when her husband is murdered….on the same night Shelby was going to leave him, less than 24 hours of being released from jail for assaulting him.
I loved this book. It was definitely an unsuspecting ending which I enjoyed as I feel like I’m reading books that have been uber predictable.
Mine Until Moonrise by Jennifer Bernard—4/5 stars
Megan Miller moved to Lost Harbor, Alaska to run a wildlife tour boat. She never thought she’d have to deal with the insufferable Lucas Holt. Megan and Lucas argue consistently. Then the most precious thing in Megan’s life goes missing and Lucas is the one who rounds the entire town up to help find her. Lucas continues his saving ways when Megan has to go back to California for a custody mediation with her ex. Is it enough?
This story is so sweet….but again it’s very predictable.
Next Door to the Billionaire by Remi Carrington—5/5 stars
Livvy wants to do everything for herself, and when her mom’s boyfriend gives her the creeps one too many times, she moves out. She might be homeless but she’ll make it work. One night, the local billionaire walks into the diner she’s a waitress at. He has dinner and leaves…then his fiancé comes in to have dinner. The catch? She comes in with a different man. Leaving her engagement ring on the table, Livvy tries to give it back to Tanner. This is when chaos starts. Livvy and Tanner end up trapped in an unforeseen circumstance…and then Livvy ends up in a situation she never thought would happen: she moves in next door to the guy she’s trying to hide from.
Go to the Apple Bookstore and pick up this book! Run! I loved how we got to know Tanner, Livvy, and the most important people in their lives. The plot was developed beautifully and I felt like I was living in the story right along with them.
Heat by Karen Foley—4/5
Callie McClain is in Montana to help out her dad after his recent heart problems. She was not expecting a massive wildfire to come in and ruin her best intentions. Tyler Dodson is a smokejumper, he manages to help Callie out…and then ends up falling in love, but is love enough?
This was definitely enjoyable. I felt like parts of the storyline were rushed trying to fit it all in.
The Last One by Tawdra Kandle—5/5 stars
Meghan Hawthorne is at SCAD trying to figure out how she’s going to spend her summer. She ends up in a small town in the very last place she wants to be on earth: the farm of the guy who accused her of being a bad friend. As time goes on, they realize they have something more than just an attraction…it might not be enough.
Loved! Meghan is the girl that everyone can relate to. I loved how we got to know so many different people that play such a large part in Sam and Meghan’s lives.
Drawing Free by Elena Aitken—1/5 stars
This is the story of the overwhelmed mother who ends up running away.
Y’all, I can’t. I could not get into this story. I read about a third of it and just could not make any connections to the characters.
Save the Date by Monica Murphy—5/5 stars
Caroline Abbott has met every type of bride known to man. She is not impressed by when she meets her latest bride…or her groom. She’s even less impressed when she finds the fiancé cheating on her groom…in his house.
Alexander Wilder is the heir to the Wilder Hotel empire and he needs a fiancée to go on a business trip with to seal the deal and prove he’s a family man. The fake engagement might end up being real.
Oh my gosh, this story is perfect! I loved everything about it. Go run and grab this one.
Inconvenient Wife by Natasha Boyd—4/5 stars
Beau Montgomery has a dream, but he needs money. The money is waiting, but there is an itsy bitsy catch-he needs a wife. Beau isn’t exactly the type to settle down quickly, as most women are after his family money and name. Gwen wants anything but the family money when it comes to her best friend, Beau. She wants to save her father’s boat business before it’s too late.
This story was so enjoyable! I loved getting to know the characters, but I felt like the secondary characters gave a lot of way that was unnecessary.
What have y’all been reading lately? Let me know in the comments below and we can chat!
As we’re all pretty much spending way more time than usual at home, I thought I would share some of my absolute favorite workout & lounge wear. For me, they pretty much double because I lounge in my workout wear all the time.
These are all my tried and true loves that I wear constantly and continuously buy. I shop for workout wear mostly at Nordstrom and Athleta. However, the nearest Nordstrom to me is supposedly closing so I’m not sure what I’ll decide to do in the future.
I hope y’all had a great week. Mine was pretty busy. I finished up the last bit of virtual teaching for the school year. I will really miss my students that I had this year, and I’m really sad I missed out on the last quarter. We did our virtual promotion ceremony last night and it just wasn’t the same as being there in person.
I’ve been vlogging all this week, and will continue into the weekend, so you’ll have a new YouTube video on Tuesday!
This next week, I will be doing Responsive Classroom training. I’ve actually have done part of it before as I worked and student taught in a district that uses Responsive Classroom. It’s pretty hefty of 4 days, 7 hours each day.
What have y’all been up to? Let’s chat in the comments!
I keep seeing tons of posts on Pinterest about how to magically gain viewers…
Most of these posts link to something that is asking you to pay money for some service. Whether it is an ebook, virtual course, or another service.
Newsflash: in today’s day and time you don’t need to pay for anything besides the host for your website.
You need to have the following accounts to help you out:
Canva/Photoshop. These are the two best options for you to create collateral, or images for your blog, social media, etc. I even created by logo on it! You can create intros and outros for YouTube on Canva as well. Pick one of these and get good at using them. Canva offers both a free and paid version, and is very versatile.
Instagram. Personally, I don’t see a need to have a separate blogger Instagram because my “personal” Instagram is already life and style, which is what my blog is. However, if you want to focus more on your work (like teaching) creating a new account can be very helpful. However, you apparently cannot have a link that asks you to sign up for something as your link in your bio. My link was solely my blog url and Instagram made it so I cannot post, comment, like, etc. when the link is in my bio. I tried doing a linktree, and it still didn’t work. Be careful! Obviously, my blog doesn’t even have a newsletter, so it isn’t like I ever ask y’all to sign up for anything….Instagram missed that memo.
Pinterest. I cannot say this enough, Pinterest is KEY. It is a quick and easy way to gain views to your blog. Plus, Pinterest is fun to see all the different ideas. I know people in the past have said post 80% of someone else’s content, 20% of your own. I don’t believe in this method. Post what you want.
Youtube. Everyone needs to diversify their content. Don’t overdo it, though. Keep in mind what content works well in which medium. There are certain things that are difficult to explain in a blog post, and there are things that don’t work in videos.
Bloglovin’. If you follow multiple bloggers, this is a great way to keep notifications in one place instead of getting multiple emails a day when someone posts something.
Obviously, people’s livlihoods can depend on those ebooks and virtual courses they are offering; however, I would not hold any one of them as the “holy grail” that you must purchase or you will fail.
It is also important that there is no one formula that works for everyone, especially since Instagram and other social media sites keep changing their algorithms.
The most important thing, no matter what, is to be authentically yourself. When you are who you are, that will shine through. Branding will be easier; your content will flow together and so much more.