Friday, July 21, 2017

Book Review | June

Hi Friends!
I'm going to go ahead and say that June was a weird reading month for me.  
I tried to start a couple of books and just couldn't get into them, I hate it when that happens.  
I ended up reading 3 books and liked all of them.
 

The first one was I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh.
Man this one was intense.  
I didn't know if I was going to like it because it starts off with a little boy getting killed (not a spoiler, it's in the description) and I have a hard time reading that kind of thing.
But it kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time and there were definitely some twists and turns that I didn't see coming.
Overall a good read!


The second book I read was Behind Closed Doors by BA Paris.
Ya'll, this one is crazy!
I read it in 2 days because I had to know how it ended.
Shew, I mean major suspense thriller and heavy heavy on the creepy.  
Like make your skin crawl creepy!
If that's your thing, read this book!


The third book I read was Cancel the Wedding by Carolyn T. D.
I have been wanting to read this one for a while since Shay raved about it in her  May 2016 book review.
It didn't disappoint.  
I put this book in my southern chic lit category.  
It was definitely a welcome change after reading Behind Closed Doors.

The two books that I tried to start reading and didn't finish were The Girls and Crazy Rich Asians.  I almost finished The Girls but another book became available so I discarded this one as I wasn't crazy about it.  I just couldn't' get into the story line and the characters weren't doing it for me.  I think I got 3/4 of the way through it so I will go back and finish it, but I know it's not going to be a favorite.
Crazy Rich Asians was hard to get into for me, all the different families and names and people were too much to try and keep track.  I've read such great reviews of this book that I will probably go back and try to finish it.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

What's Up Wednesday | 6/28/17

Happy Hump Day!
I feel like Summer is in full swing and I hope you're enjoying it as much as I am!

Linking up with  MelSheaffer and Shay for What's Up Wednesday!


WHAT WE'RE EATING THIS WEEK: 

It's Summer, so that means I'm eating this.  A lot.  #yolo


Work lunch = amazing Kuban food


This past Saturday was a friends birthday party and they had an ice cream truck.
I guess you can't really tell how excited this guy was!?!


This was technically last week, but had to share the view from dinner with a girlfriend.
Nothing better than good food, good company and a gorgeous summer view.


WHAT I'M REMINISCING ABOUT:
This little nugget at his 4th of July class party last year.

WHAT I'M LOVING:
The fact that it stays light until almost 9pm.
Hearing the frogs and crickets in the evening.
Eating all the summertime foods: Hot dogs, corn, watermelon, etc.

WHAT WE'VE BEEN UP TO:
We've been enjoying summer with lots of pool days, birthday parties, movies and play dates.

WHAT I'M DREADING:
I'm not going to lie, I'm going to be undertaking a project next week to get John's art under control and I'm kind of dreading the work it's going to take.  I know that it will be great once it's done but the process is going to be painstaking.  Maybe I'll be surprised and it won't be as bad as I'm imaging though!  Stay tuned.

WHAT I'M WORKING ON:
I'm working on our stay-cation schedule.
I want to make sure we feel like we've accomplished a good bit of stuff by the end of the week.
I also want to make sure we enjoy ourselves too, it is vacation after all.😉

WHAT I'M EXCITED ABOUT:
4th of July!!!  Fireworks, cookout food, spending time with friends and loved ones and that summertime feeling.

WHAT I'M WATCHING/READING:
Getting ready to start reading this!

This is my guilty pleasure. 


And this, I can't look away!


Moana has been on repeat in our house this week.
John loves the Shiny song, especially when he says Hiney, boys.


This was hard to watch!!! I don't know what to think other than I'm scared to death for my son and what he will have to go through in school and beyond for that matter.
I feel like every generation before talks about how things have changed and it was so different in their day.  I felt myself thinking that multiple times while watching this.
I hope to keep a good line of communication open with my son and instill in him that it's okay to come to us for anything and everything.  Did anyone else watch this, what are you thoughts?  I'd love to hear.


WHAT I'M LISTENING TO:
Review on this coming soon!

WHAT I'M WEARING:
My weekend staples right now include shorts, t-shirts and sandals.
For work I found this cute green shift type dress.
BONUS: I got it from Costco and it's only $16.99!

WHAT I'M DOING THIS WEEKEND:
We are meeting John's college roomate for dinner on Friday which should be a lot of fun.
Saturday we are doing the Home Depot workshop with little man.
Sunday is Church and then heading to the parents on the river.

WHAT I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT MONTH:
Vacation Stay-cation
My Birthday
Beach Trip

WHAT ELSE IS NEW:
Nothing really, just enjoying Summer!





Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Show and Tell Tuesday | Home Tour!

Yay for Show and Tell Tuesday!  


This is one of my favorite blog posts to read (because I'm super nosy) so I had to join in!

And Andrea, can you please fly to Virginia and style my house for me?  Thanks! 
I absolutely love her taste and creativity.  
I find myself saying "What a great idea!", whenever I visit her blog.

So here's what you came for -  
**Disclaimer - I did not clean or straighten before snapping these pics so this is real life ya'll! 

Welcome to my House

Before moving here back in 2009 we lived in a studio apartment downtown (hence the name of my blog, Downtown Southern 😉)

I scoured my old photos to find the pics I took of the house right after we moved in to give you some before and after shots.  (I love those, btw)

So come on in - this is the entryway into the living room 
(pay no attention to the mountain of shoes to your right)

Kitchen Before:




Kitchen After:



  Dining Room


Living Room Before:


Living Room After:


We just got these bookcases over the weekend and I need some major help in styling them!!  Any ideas are welcome!

Laundry Room


Heading upstairs.....

This is the office - sorry it's a bit dark.


Master Bedroom


Nook (En suite) to the Master


Hall Bath 



Little Man's Room 

This room has gone through a couple of changes since we used it as John's nursery and then changed it to his big boy room.


I can't wait to share Fall/Halloween and Christmas home tours!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Summer Bucket List


Summer is definitely my favorite season (with Fall very close behind).  
Maybe it's because I was born in the Summer, maybe it's because of Summer vacation as a kid.
There's just something about the warm weather and long days that makes my soul happy!

I also love a good bucket list, so here you go.

1. Make homemade play-dough - we've actually already done this and it was super easy and fun!
2. Pool Days - going to the pool with a 4 year old is a lot of fun, not to mention a good workout!
3. Homemade Peach preserves - I made blackberry preserves this past winter and now I want to try peach, it was easier than I thought it would be!
4. This project - I have an old tire that's been sitting in our garage for over a year and I decided I'm going to do something with it!
5. Beach vacation (Outer Banks) - my family has a house in Carova, you have to drive on the beach to get there, it's amazing.  It's also where all the wild Outer Banks horses live.
6. Fireworks on the Fourth - looking forward to fireworks with little man this year.
7. Miniature Golf - this will be a first for John.  Can't wait to see how he likes it.
8. Go camping (in the backyard) - This one is all my husband!  I don't do camping, but I'll enjoy watching them from the comfort of the house!
9. Farmers Markets - There are so many great farmers markets in Richmond!
10. Grill grill grill - Summer = grilling
11. Lay in the backyard and look at the stars - I saw an idea on pinterest where you put blankets and pillows in a blow up pool and look at the stars.  Love this idea!
12. Drive-in Movie Theatre - Ya'll, I can't wait to do this one!  All I can think of is the scene in Grease.  It's probably going to be way better in my head but I don't care I still want to do it.
13. De-cluttering John's artwork by making art books - I've saved every scrap of artwork that John has brought home since he started in daycare at 3 months old.  Needless to say it's taking over so this project is a must.  Even though it's going to be time consuming I'm excited to do this and see how it turns out.  Oh and get back half his closet space too!  I'm planning on saving my favorites and then recycling the rest once the books are done.

What's on your summer bucket list?

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Book Review | May

Book Review day!  Yay!

In May, I read/listened to 4 books.

Up first, The Handmaid's Tale.  It was not my favorite.  I've been wanting to read this book for a while since it got such good reviews and was recently a TV series.
But it fell flat for me.  
I hated the ending as well.

I also have not watched the series yet, let me know if you've watched it and what you thought?


Next up is Fall of Giants.
This was my first Ken Follett book and I enjoyed it.  
I will say that I listened to this one and I'm glad that I did because I think I would have had a hard time reading all of the war negotiating parts.
Historical Fiction is not my favorite genre but I did like this one.  
I'll definitely read the other two books in this trilogy.


I had really high hopes for, One True Loves, and it was good but not as great as I thought it was going to be.  
I have read so many amazing reviews of this book that maybe my expectations were too high?
I would definitely recommend this book if your looking for a good beach or pool read for your summer vacation.


Ending the month on a high note with, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
LOVED!
I'm a huge Harry Potter fan so I figured I would enjoy this book, and it did not disappoint.
I finished it in two days, it's quick paced although it's also written in screenplay format which is a little odd but you get used to it. 

 

That's it!  What books are you all reading/listening to?
Any recommendations?! 

Happy Friday-eve! 😍

Monday, June 5, 2017

Weekend Recap

Definitely feels like a Monday over here friends!

We had a very busy weekend with lots of running around and good fun!

How funny is this camp chair!  It was sitting in front of Bed, Bath, and Beyond and it was HUGE!

This pic is actually from last weekend, we went to the movies to see Boss Baby and little man had to take a pic in the Shark!


We hung out at the pool yesterday.  Pool days are my favorite!!!
I'm working on perfecting my pool snacks.  
Anyone have some yummy pool snack recipes they'd like to share?
I'm all ears!



Saturday hubbies soccer team made it to their cup finals and they WON!
Very proud of him and his team!


Saturday night bedtime (I love how it's still light when he goes to sleep!)


Sunday night bedtime was a different story.

I thought for sure he had gone to sleep when he walks into my bedroom like this!?!
Trying on his too small helmet and rain boots.


Does he look ready for bed?  Nope!
He did fall asleep about 20 minutes later, thank goodness!


These are my go to summer nail colors!!!
The pink is BRIGHT!
And the red is the perfect summer red with a hint of coral!


Happy Monday!