May 2023: Horse Races, Concerts, Reading Slumps & Rainy Days

I’m attempting a new series on the blog inspired by Life With Deanna. Moving forward, I want to expand my wrap up posts to more than just book reviews. I feel like these little life updates will be more interesting & you, my readers, will be able to get a better glimpse into my life on a more regular basis. May was filled with lots of activity. And the April showers didn’t seem to let up either. But this month is getting me more & more excited for summer time!

Wedding Anniversary Wash Out

We originally planned to take a sunset sailing tour in St. Michael’s, Maryland to celebrate our one year wedding anniversary. Unfortunately, the weather had other plans. We still managed to have a nice dinner at this waterfront bar & grille, staying inside of course – but the views were still beautiful from the window. And of course I had to pick up a slice of Smith Island Cake for the road from this local bakery. I still hope to rebook the sailing tour for sometime this summer on a much sunnier day. Fingers crossed!

Read: How To Have a Minimalist Wedding

Blackeyed Susan’s, Crabcakes & Horse Races

“That’s what Maryland does!” We attended the 148th annual Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course with a few friends. It was a beautiful day roaming the grounds, eating tasty foods & betting on horses. For Maryland, the Preakness Stakes is a popular tradition where guests from all over come in the best attire – hats being the main attraction. The event ended with a bit of a washout of a concert by no other than, Bruno Mars! Although I ended the night with a soaked dress & countless blisters ( side note: don’t wear wedges for 10 hours straight), I had a blast! Definitely a highlight of the month. And I can’t wait for next year.

pin it for later 📌

A few other honorable mentions…

We tried out this new local coffee shop called The Human Bean. Even though I’m not the biggest fan of coffee, I do love a sweet tea or chai tea latte. My husband & I have an inside joke where we call one another human beans so clearly we found this comical.

It’s finally açaí bowl season! How pretty & delicious is this?!

sweet messages during my walks around the neighborhood 🫶🏻

What I’ve Been….


Although I was in a bit of a reading slump this month & managed to read 12 books! 🤯 A lot of them fell rather flat. But I still discovered some really great reads I’d like to mention. On a whim, I decided to pick up Happy Place by Emily Henry [ I told myself I wouldn’t get the hardcover] & I absolutely loved this book & is probably my favorite of her’s next to Beach Read. I love the found family aspect, the past & present POV’s of Wyn & Harriet’s relationship as well as the deeper topics of love, adulthood, friendships & the art of communication.

Another favorite is Six Scorched Roses, the novella to the Serpent & the Wings of Night duology. For a novella, the story was so captivating & a perfect introduction to a few of the characters that will be introduced in Ashes & The Star Cursed King by Carissa Broadbent. I’m sensing a fantasy era type of summer.

I’m of course still trucking along with the Wheel of Time series [ currently on book 11]. But I can already tell my other current read is going to be a 2023 favorite. And that is no other than, The Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros. I’ve been seeing everyone talk about this book & I just felt out of the loop. I had to order it on my Kindle because it’s basically sold out everywhere for the next few months! It’s the perfect adult fantasy with elements that remind me of Divergent & Hunger Games but with dragons.

gotta love a Barnes & Noble day 🫶🏻📖

I’ve also been trying to read more non fiction this year. Stephen King’s memoir on writing is a must read for all my fellow bloggers / writers. Especially if you have been lacking motivation & in a downright writing rut, this book was very inspiring. I loved the way King incorporated stories of his life to make it feel less bland & less textbookesque.

pin it for later 📌

Follow Me on Goodreads to see my mini reviews & all 13 books I read this month. I successfully stuck to my physical TBR & read quite a few from my bookshelves.

Binge Watching

Ted Lasso: The love I have for this wholesome show is unmatched. I laugh, I cry, I gasp. If you are unfamiliar, Ted Lasso – a former football coach from the US is hired to travel across the globe & coach a UK soccer [ futbol] team. The final season 3 episode aired May 31st. And I’m praying it returns for a new season.

The Morning Show: Jennifer Aniston & Reese Witherspoon produce & star is this comedy- drama about the inside scoop of broadcast journalism & the real life events & movements that have occurred from 2019-2020 including The Me Too movement which is the center focus of the storyline. For someone who has been passionate about journalism her entire life, I was sucked into this show from the beginning. The acting is phenomenal in my opinion. And I can’t wait for the 3rd season.

Silo: based on the epic dystopian trilogy, Silo is a dark “end of the world” story about an underground society developed to save civilization & create a new. This new world has secrets though & what is believed may not be the visual truth. The question is whether you are safer inside or out.

Listening To

BookMarked Podcast by Destiny Sidwell & Sarah Carolli: One of my favorite down time activities is watching booktubers on Youtube. Destiny & Sarah are two of my favorites to watch & they recently announced their new book podcast. New episodes every Thursday!

Jonas Brothers The Album: I’m so excited to announce I’ll be seeing the Jonas Brothers in concert this fall for their Five Albums One Night Tour! Fun fact about me, when I was in high school, I absolutely loved the Jonas Brothers [ specifically Joe Jonas ] & listened to their music all the time. And I may or may not of had tons of magazine clippings taped to the inside of the closet doors. So, my inner child is estatic! Their new album has the most perfect summer jams! A few favorite songs of mine include Summer Baby, Sail Away, Little Bird & Vacation Eyes.

Blog Stats | Achievements

Twitter: over 6.5k followers strong & striving to possibly hit 7k. Twitter engagement has been a lot less compared to previous years, but is still one of my go-to platforms

Pinterest: 171 followers & 16.4k monthly views. I’ve been lacking a bit on this platform & want to bump up the monthly views to 25k.

Instagram: I recently created a new bookstagram & am currently 200 followers strong. I hope to find the motivation to post more frequently this summer & connect with more book lovers.

What I’m Looking Forward To Next

I’m really looking forward to the weather getting warmer & our week long vacation to Virginia Beach. I’m itching to relax by the ocean, read a few good books & soak up that sun. I’m also hoping to get to at least one baseball game & possibly Top Golf.

I’m looking into writing more posts & submit work to other companies / sites. So, if you are offering freelance writing, editing or contributions – let a girl know. I’m also looking into review more books, so if you have any ARCs you’d like me to read, please send them my way.

A summer blogging collaboration coming your way in July featuring these incredible bloggers:

Examine This Moment, Environline, The Dating Bitch, This Brit’s Life, Vic St. Michael, Riyah Speaks & Headphone Thoughts

Thanks for catching up with me!



6 Books I Read in April | & What I Want To Read Next…

April was yet another busy month – but I still managed to read quite a few books in an array of genres. Thank you, audiobooks for making multitasking so much easier. I’ve been continuing my fantasy era with an ongoing series as well as a new author who will be an automatic buy. I also dipped my toes into more romance which seems to be a trend once the weather gets warmer. From small towns to bull riding hunks, I’ve gained an appreciation of the fluff reads & will be adding more for my summer vacations these months. I did decide to break my book buying ban [ treat yo self ] so instead of reading what I already own, I am looking at those new additions with heart eyes. Luckily, I also discovered you can read a selection of books for free if you have Amazon prime. So, my wallet will thank me for that. I am just a sucker for a physical book & adding them to my home library collection like trophies. With that being said, I am challenging myself to read more of the books I already own in May & see if I will stick to my TBR this time. Fingers crossed – because I’ve already been eying Emily Henry’s new release – Happy Place [ even though it’s hardback].

Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan – Books 7 & 8

As I’m writing this, I’m little over half way through book 9 but I doubt I’ll finish it in time to include here. This was where I hit a wall with the series for a bit [ as many people tend to say]. Book 7 was pretty good with only a few slow parts here and there. Book 8 on the other hand, is my least favorite of the series. It was very slow & if it weren’t for the fact I’m listening to the audiobook along side the physical copy, I’d probably be still drugging through it. I’m reluctantly making my way through the series with only 5 1/2 more books to go. I’ve been enjoying being in this world & the characters, so I’ll definitely miss it when I’m through. It will also be quite the accomplishment.

Things We Never Got Over – Lucy Score

I’m happy to say this was a five star read! It’s so hard for me to rate a romance book sometimes because chances are I find them to be rather cheesy & cringe. The world of Knockemount, the characters & the trope of this book was everything to me. I also enjoyed the mystery / suspenseful subplot with Naomi’s twin sister. The grumpy sunshine / strangers to neighbors / fake dating trope was so entertaining. And I just love Naomi & Knox. I can’t wait to read Things We Hide From The Light [ Nash’s story] this summer. Lucy Score has become an automatic buy.

The Serpent & The Wings of Night by Carissa Broadbent

I wasn’t planning on reading this book until late summer / early fall but I kid you not – EVERYONE has been talking about this author & book & I just had to be in the know. A lot of it had to do with the release of the second book this month [ which, yes I did buy because I have zero self control ]. I’m so glad I read this because once again we have another high rated book. I did give this one 4.5 stars only because the ending was slightly disappointing. But it’s a STRONG 4.5. I ate this book up within the span of 2 days. I annotated the crap out of it because CB’s writing is immaculate. If you are on unaware, Serpent & The Wings of Night is about a human girl who is taken by the vampire king & is basically raised within the vampire kingdom. 23 years later, she is to compete in what I like to call, vampire hunger games. And through these trials, she meets the morally grey vampire, Raihn. I highly recommend you check out this duology as well as the novellas [ which are optional].

The Inmate by Frieda McFadden

It has been a minute since I’ve read a thriller in one sitting & the Inmate did just that. I really enjoyed her book, The Housemaid when I read that a few months ago. And I knew I wanted to read more books from her. I discovered this along with a few other of her books in the Amazon prime free reading section. This is about a nurse practitioner who gets a job working at a prison, the same prison her ex boyfriend is incarcerated. Very fast paced & didn’t see the ending coming. And the epilogue made me question everything.

Flawless by Elsie Silver

Everyone has been in their cowboy romance era lately & raving about this series. If you are a fan of the tv show, Yellowstone, this is pretty similar. I will say, this genre of book is rarely my cup of tea. It was a very fluff read with a lot of spice but those scenes felt a bit cringe in my opinion. So, I only gave this a 3.75 stars because I want to see what the rest of the series is about. I’ve heard the second book, Heartless is the best one. I think for me, it all depends on the trope. And Flawless was a forced proximity / body guard [ her] / grumpy sunshine.


Now onto the books I hope to get to in the month of May. And perhaps, I can look back on this post & see if I kept to my word.

Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan Books 9 & 10

I know for a fact I’ll finish book 9 but book 10 is a rather thick one so we will see. I’m just determined to finish this entire series by the end of the year.

The Ashes & The Star- Cursed King – Carissa Broadbent

Obviously I had to continue this duology especially because the first book fell on a cliff hanger. I just love a morally grey man with wings, what can I say?

Things We Hide From the Light – Lucy Score

I love adding a romance novel into the mix & I need to read more about the town of Knockemount & Nash’s story.

Magnolia Parks – Jessa Hastings

I really want to find another romance series I can fall in love with & so of course I’m going with the most toxic relationship trope. I’ve heard this series talked about all over the internet. People either hate it or love it. When I heard it was like Gossip Girl but with rich British socialites, I knew I had to see what the hype was about.

Hooked by Emily McIntire

I’ve been wanting to get more into dark romance & this Captain Hook retelling seemed right up my ally. I love Disney movies & the fact it’s that plus a bit of smut – sign me up.

In My Dreams I Hold a Knife by Ashley Winstead

This dark academia thriller has been on my shelves since last fall & it’s just about time I finally read it. I felt like this would be a good beach read I can knock out within a weekend. And I’m a sucker for a fast paced thriller.

Happy Place by Emily Henry

I really don’t want to purchase the hardcover of this book. But I feel really left out not reading it when everyone else seems to be. Perhaps I’ll download this on my Kindle. This book just screams summer time!!

📌 on Pinterest for later

I may or may not get to all of these I’ve mentioned. And I most likely will trail off this list because I’m quite the mood reader. But as it gets closer to summer, I find more & more time to read & I am just so motivated to get a lot of reading in.


books, Uncategorized

What I Read in March | Reading Wrap Up

I managed to read 7 books this month which is great considering I was in a slight reading slump. Of course, I have been prioritizing the Wheel of Time Series but I still managed to read a lot of books that were on my physical TBR. I have been encouraging myself not to buy anymore new books until the summer time. I’d say, as a whole it was a solid reading month. But I will admit a few of these books ended up to be slight let downs. Let’s get into the wrap up…

The Fires of Heaven [ Book 5 of WOT] – Robert Jordan ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5

I don’t know if it’s because these books are very long & I’m reading this series back to back – but I’ll admit I was rather slow getting into this one. Once I got to the 100 page mark, I fell in love with this continuation. I would describe this series as a comfort fantasy read. If you are interested in diving into this 14 book series, just know it’s a slow burn & a long journey. But I have throughly enjoyed becoming deeply immersed in a fantasy world & every single one of the characters. The banter between each character is one of my favorite parts of this series. I feel so connected to these fictional characters. And without giving too much away, this book ended with a rather sad & shocking ending.

Tomorrow & Tomorrow & Tomorrow – Gabrielle Zevin ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️.5

Believe the hype around this book. I had no idea I would fall in love with a book about video games. This book tells the story about two childhood friends who form a friendship inside the walls of a hospital common room, bonding over one common entity – video games. Flash forward years later & each chapter follows the life of these two MIT students who have decided to create video games together along side a few other colleagues/ friends. This is a beautiful fond family story about the rise & falls of friendship, adulthood, disabilities & love. The NPC chapter especially was an emotional rollercoaster I was not expecting.

A Flicker in the Dark – Stacey Willingham ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Wow! This is probably going to be one of my favorite thriller reads of the year. With this being Willingham’s debut novel, I was very impressed & entertained. Such an interesting concept of a 32 year old psychologist who has a rather unique & dark past ( a serial killer father) that seems to be rearing it’s head 20 years later. There were so many twist & turns as well as multiple subplots between characters. I can’t wait to read her most recent release soon.

Twisted Love – Ana Huang ⭐️⭐️.5

This series has been extremely hyped up on Booktok, so I decided to finally see for myself. This is when the reading slump started because this book was a huge disappointment. Now, I was looking for a palette cleanser of a read & one that was an easy read with some spice. I’ve been told books 2-4 are way better, but I am slightly hesitant to continue after the first book. This is a brother’s best friend trope. But the storyline was all over the place in my opinion. And I just couldn’t connect to the characters or the relationship. Not to mention the love interest, Alex was an extreme walking red flag 🚩.

The Atlas Six – Olivie Blake ⭐️⭐️

I wanted to love this book so badly! Talk about a surprise & utter disappointment. This dark academia follows six prestige students with their own magical talents. They are all recruited to compete for a spot at the academy. But only five spots are available. The premise of this book was so promising. Unfortunately I found myself hating the characters & finding the writing so flowery to the point where I didn’t understand what I was going on. The author seemed to be adding descriptions & big words just to sound smarter. I did manage to finish the book, but the ending fell flat & the plot twist wasn’t too ground breaking. I don’t think I will be reading the sequel in the future.

The Bodyguard – Katherine Center ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I have just recently seen this book float around the internet & decided to give it a try. This is a cute fake dating rom com with no spice but tons of humor. This follows Hannah, a bodyguard who is offered a job to protect the actor, Jack Stapleton who is being stalked & dealing with personal issues. Since he doesn’t want to worry his family & admit he has a bodyguard, so he & Hannah decide to be in a fake relationship while they spend time at Jack’s family ranch.

Legends & Lattes – Travis Baldree ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️.5

This was a really cozy fantasy palette cleanser. If you love the idea of light fantasy with zero high stakes plot, coffee & cozy feelings – I highly recommend this one. It tells the story of a ogre who has retired from battle & mayhem to open up a coffee shop in this little village. It’s a bit of a fluff read with fun characters she meets a long the way & the ups & downs of starting a business. I wouldn’t say it was the most amazing read ever. But I did have me chuckling some & the atmosphere was super sweet.

Have you read any of these books yet? And let me know what you managed to read in March…