My Summer 2023 Bucket List | Mind Beauty Simplicity

Experiences are what make life worth living. And there are so many things [ simple & extrordinary ] I want to do before the summer comes to a close. I think this will be a fun post to look back on & see which ones I end up checking off my list. I also hope this sparks inspiration for my readers as we are officially in the summer season.

Stay tuned for a collaboration post in July where I share 20 Simple Joys To Romanticize Summer [ for even more ideas ]. Here’s my summer 2023 bucket list:

Spend A Week At The Beach

we are planning to go to Virginia Beach this summer for an entire week. I’m excited to visit a beach I’ve never been to before. If you are familiar with the area, please let me know where to go [ food, activities etc].

Attend at least one baseball game

I love spending the day at the ball park during the summer. We will probably go a few times this season.

Spend the Day Little Free Library Hunting

One of my new favorite solo activities. This is my favorite way to donate books & I sometimes find some gems to take home.

Go on a Sunset Sailing Cruise

We tried to go in May for our wedding anniversary, but was canceled due to rain. Hoping to reschedule it soon.

Watch a Fireworks Display

It’s not 4th of July without fireworks

Spend the Day / Weekend in NYC

I’m thinking of taking the train to NYC for my 32nd birthday in August.

Read 20 Books

My yearly goal is 75 – but I tend to get most of my reading done in the summer. send me all your book recommendations.

Visit a Theme Park

I really want to go to Hershey Park again since it’s the sweetest place on Earth

Play Mini Golf at the Beach

I love a round of mini golf.

Attend the Preakness Stakes

already accomplished this one in May, click the link above to read all about it.

Eat Steamed Crabs

I’ve already had crabs multiple times this year – but as a Marylander, you can never have too many!

Go Horseback Riding on the Beach

Hoping to make this happen in Virginia Beach.

Visit a New Restaurant

I’m always itching to try new restaurants – ya girl loves food!

Attend an Outdoor Yoga Class

This just seems like a relaxing & fun experience.

Go Kayaking

We live by a creek & I’ve been seeing so many kayakers lately.

Rivertubing in Harper’s Ferry

I’ve never went rivertubing in this area – & I feel like it would be perfect on a hot day

Enjoy A Sweet Treat

Milkshakes, smoothies & ice cream are the trifecta of summer.

Go to an Outdoor Movie

Our historic town shows new movies outdoors, every Saturday.

Get a Library Card / Visit My Local Library

I’m trying to find more cost effective ways to fuel my love for reading.

Discover New Hiking Spots

One of my favorite activities to stay active & soak up the beauty of nature.

What is on your bucket list this summer?



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!


intentional living, Minimalism

5 Ways I Wouldn’t Be Considered A Minimalist | & Why It’s Ok

It’s so easy to place ourselves into a box. I’ve never liked strict labels because as soon as you veer off the course, you are seen as a hypocrite. Minimalism is no different. As soon as you say you enjoy living with less, people expect you to live in a barren wasteland. I’ve said it before & I’ll say it again. Minimalism & intentional living looks different for each person. But to all the critics out there, here are ways I am not the ‘less is more’ queen you all think I am.

I Enjoy Shopping & Experimenting With Fashion

The pandemic placed me in a serious style rut. I was more than happy to walk out the door makeup less & athleisure wear. And although I’m grateful it gave me a sense of confidence I didn’t realize I needed, I miss expressing myself through my appearance. Lately, I’ve been shopping more often, adding new pieces into my wardrobe & finding excitement over what I will wear to xy & z event. I do try & maintain an intentional mindset when making purchases & I don’t go overboard. But I also no longer deprive myself on new clothing. Life is too short not to experiment with trends, colors & patterns.

I’m Not 100% Sustainable

I do my best with using less & less plastic as well as finding alternative ways that benefit the environment & my wallet. But I am not 100% there. I don’t compost. I shop fast fashion more often than I’d like. And I don’t own all of the reusable tools that are offered. I still love using paper towels & napkins & even paper plates if it makes life easier. I’m trying to be more sustainable but I’m not perfect & that’s ok.

My Dream is To Own a Home Library

I strongly believe the notion, if it makes you happy – embrace it ( unless it’s drugs ). I have slowly become a guilt free collector of books. Reading is my favorite hobby & having my favorites displayed like trophies makes me so happy. It provides a homey atmosphere & I’m able to showcase a side to myself I am proud of. Now, as I read more & more books, I have learned to be more selective on the ones I purchase. I have become rather resourceful with finding free options to read most of the books on my TBR through apps, the public library & audiobooks. I also do yearly decluttering sessions of my bookshelves & donate or sell the ones I no longer wish to own. But at some point I do hope to have a room that is floor to ceiling shelves with an array of literature.

You Might Also Like: 5 Types of Books To Declutter From Your Bookshelves

I Don’t Always Live With Intention

Life can be hard. I tend to let stress overtake myself & as much as I would love to slow down & take in each moment with grace, I’m human. Endless to do lists & circumstances I just simply cannot control ultimately becomes the narrative. Sometimes I choose to scroll Tiktok for a few hours before getting out of bed. And sometimes, making a quick trip to the fast food drive through is just easier. As much as I would love to set better intentions, meditate & write in a gratitude journal regularly, it’s just not the reality.

I Don’t Keep a Strict Inventory

I’ve tried my hand in challenges such as project 333 or limiting myself to a select number of items within all categories of my life. But as someone who declutters enough & refuses to feel deprived, I don’t like limiting myself to a number of items. I will have duplicates in some cases, especially when it comes to toiletries. I own multiple pairs of black leggings because it’s a go to piece of clothing. In general, if you are looking to downsize your life, these challenges really help you open your eyes to how consumerism can get out of hand. But I also don’t want to feel like I can’t own something just because it’s not minimalistic of me.

So, no I’m not the poster child of intentional living. I don’t think there is an ideal within such a lifestyle. I love to organize & declutter. But I also tend to embrace consumerism far more than most. I don’t want to count my belongings & trap myself in this boring box of deprivation. I guess you should call me “minimalish” from now on.