The Most Amazing Bookstore I’ve Ever Visited (Pictures and VIDEO)!

As a book lover, a book blogger, a book reviewer, and an overall book ADDICT, I’ve been to my fair share of bookstores. I love everything about bookstores….the peaceful tranquility I feel the moment I step in the door, the delicious smell of the books, the beautiful covers of pieces of literature lining the shelves. I have been to some AMAZING bookstores but I think this gem of a bookstore might just be my most favorite.

Hiiiii!

On our recent trip to Tennessee (that would be the trip where we were trapped on top of a mountain with no power and little food…you can read that full crazy story HERE), I came across the most amazing bookstore I have ever visited in a totally random way!

My husband has a MoonPie obsession. Yes you read that correctly…MoonPies. What is a MoonPie you ask? From Wikipedia:

moon pie, stylized as MoonPie,[1] is an American confection, popular across much of the United States, which consists of two round graham cookies, with marshmallow filling in the center, dipped in a flavored coating. The traditional pie is approximately 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter. A smaller version, called a mini moon pie, is approximately half the size, and a double-decker moon pie of the traditional diameter features a third cookie and attendant layer of marshmallow. The five main flavors are chocolate, vanilla, banana, strawberry, and salted caramel. Orange and coconut make seasonal appearances during the Mardi Gras parading season.

Jon absolutely LOVES them.

So picture it: The 4 of us were driving along through Pigeon Forge, TN on our way back to our cabin in Gatlinburg when suddenly Jon literally yelled “MOONPIES!!!! AND A BOOK WAREHOUSE FOR MOM!!!!” and made a sharp turn into a parking lot. I looked up at the sign that caught his attention and sure enough…we were at a building which apparently housed not only MoonPies but…BOOKS?!?

I’ll admit, I didn’t have very high hopes when getting out of the car. I mean, how random! MoonPies and…books? Like, how do those 2 things even go together???

The Most Amazing Bookstore I’ve Ever Visited

Once I walked in the door of the MoonPie General Store and Book Warehouse, I was pleasantly surprised to find a LOVELY bookstore to my right! My husband found a LOVELY selection of Moon Pies to his left! A building truly made just for us 🙂 Naturally we each took a kid, said good bye to each other, and set off to explore in opposite directions 🙂

My first impression was that I was greeted with a very nice and lovely bookstore. I was happy to explore! Little did I know what I would eventually discover!

Paula Deen!
Dolly Parton is everywhere in this town!

My daughter and I walked around and happily poured through the stacks. Everything was GOOD when suddenly…

The true most hidden gem of the entire experience…

THE BASEMENT.

When I walked down those stairs, I was expecting a few shelves of clearance books. I was most definitely NOT expecting…THIS.

True or false…I gasped when I got to the bottom of the staircase. True. 100 percent true.

Oh. My.

I’m still not entirely sure how MoonPies and books go together but I’m so here for it…???

I could have spent HOURS in that basement! My true version of heaven! Some of the books organized, some of the books unorganized, some books are brand new, some books are used, all of the books AMAZING. Literally THOUSANDS of treasures down in that basement. A book lover’s DREAM.

I told my daughter that she could pick any book from the store and she chose this one (from the upstairs bookstore):

I chose this one! I’ve been hunting for Diksha Basu’s Destination Wedding for over a year and can’t seem to get my hands on a copy. I finally was able to find another one of her titles so I grabbed it (from the basement)! Can’t wait to read it!

And I should probably mention the other half of the massive upstairs building dedicated to…MoonPies?!?

My husband was in absolute HEAVEN and bought lots of MoonPies as souvenirs.

2 days after our initial visit, it was a very rainy day (which later turned into snow which would be how we got stuck on that mountain). What is better to do on a rainy day…than to go BACK to the hidden gem of a bookstore! You KNOW I did! However this time, I went STRAIGHT to that basement. Perfection.

I didn’t end of buying anything on that second trip but I absolutely LOVED walking around. Jon bought more MoonPies 🙂 Chocolate, chocolate mint, strawberry, and vanilla. Some full sized, some mini sized!

3 weeks later and our pantry still contains LOTS of MoonPies. He stocked up!

If you are ever in the area, this place is a MUST visit! HERE is their website where you can learn more including the many other products they carry and it’s exact Pigeon Forge address. When we go back to Tennessee (which we absolutely will one day…maaaaabye just not during the winter), I will be sure to set aside an entire afternoon to walk through this store alllllll by myself. Scratch that…I will be sure to set aside an entire afternoon to walk through THAT BASEMENT alllllll by myself!

If my husband and I ever decide to renew our wedding vows, I kind of feel like this would be the perfect venue for us amongst the Moon Pies and books, lol! It’s like this random pairing of goods was created and housed together in a building especially for the 2 of us! Perfect 🙂

Do you like MoonPies? Have any of you been to the MoonPie General Store and Book Warehouse? What is the best bookstore you have ever visited?

Xo,

Jenny

This blog is my favorite hobby and I would so love your support!  Here are ways you can help my blog to GROW:

*Please share this page with your book and blog loving friends!*

*Please share this page with your book and blog loving friends!*

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The ultimate list of my top book suggestions can be found HERE

The 12 best books I read in 2020 can be found HERE

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I Was Stuck On A Mountain in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

Hiiiiii!!!

I hope you had a wonderful holiday. My family of 4 spent 9 days in Gatlingburg, Tennessee. We rented a log cabin on the top of a mountain. It first it was beautiful and magical…and then we got stuck on it during a blizzard!

Traveling during a pandemic can be done as long as you have clear expectations of what you are willing and are not willing to do in terms of your safety comfort level. Our family drove 12 hours (no airplane), stayed at a private log cabin (no hotel room), wiped down the entire cabin with Clorox wipes upon arrival, brought our own pillows, only ate outdoors at restaurants, didn’t do any tourist attractions, stayed away from all crowded areas, wore masks EVERYWHERE, etc.

Our 9 day trip can be broken down into 3 distinct categories: 1. Serene Mountains 2. Snowy Mountains 3. Stranded on a Mountain.

The beginning of our trip was peaceful, beautiful, and wonderful.

Our log cabin was BEAUTIFUL. It was completely private and quite literally on top of a mountain. It had an indoor pool (!!!), 2 hot tubs, a pool table, a fireplace, 2 balconies, and a Christmas tree! It was gorgeous and it smelled absolutely divine.

In the master suite. My husband refused to get in this one (!) but the kids and I loved it, lol!
Hanging on the refrigerator in our cabin!
Jon and I snuck outside to enjoy a peaceful few minutes in the rain. It was as glorious as it looks.
At one point, I looked down from our master bedroom loft and found my daughter just peacefully reading a book. PROUD MAMA.

We went on a family hike each day and saw some absolutely gorgeous sights! Hiking to the top of Laurel Falls was definitely one of the highlights of the entire trip. The long hike up was BEAUTIFUL but there aren’t even words to describe seeing the waterfall at the top. Truly one of the most magnificent things I have ever seen. I cried! If you are ever in the area, this is absolutely a must do. Stunning.

When you hike to the top of a mountain, you reward yourself with a snack. Best apple of my life!

We also loved driving (and walking) through Cades Cove. Two separate times deer came right up in front of our car! Such a fun way to spend an entire morning. So much history there, we loved going into the log cabins and old churches.

Wild turkeys just strolling along the road next to us. No big deal.
When you see a random waterfall on the road as you are driving, you pull over! Gorgeous!
Oh hi, deer.
Saw deer, immediately pulled over! So, so cool.

I found $90 cash in the bathroom at Cades Cove! I waited and waited to see if anybody was going to come back to look for it but nobody did. I was hesitant to turn it into the visitors center considering it was cash and anyone working could have taken it. My wonderful husband had the lovely idea to put it in one of the Cades Cove donation boxes and that’s exactly what we did (after already having donated our own money hours earlier). It felt great to know that the $90 went to such a wonderful cause although I so wish the owner would have come back for it. Either way it wasn’t my money to spend and it feels good to know it went to a wonderful cause 🙂

The first 6 days of our trip were spent in lovely weather. We ate outside! We hiked up mountains! We drove to Asheville and visited the Botanical Gardens!

Gatlinburg Nature Trail
Gatlinburg Nature Trail
Reading with my girl. Happy.
Paula Deen Store!
Wherever I go, I find the Dunkin’…

And then on Day 7…

SNOW.

Our loooooong and steep driveway
Grill at our cabin
Bear proof garbage cans at our cabin

Like….blizzard out of NOWHERE. I’ve never seen anything like that before. The snow just kept coming and coming! We played outside and it was honestly my favorite part of the entire trip. It was POURING on us! At one point I wrote “MOM” in the snow and 2 minutes later it was all filled in. Craaaazy. I LOVE SNOW and this snow was STUNNING. Felt like a such a bonus to have this happen while we were there…almost like 2 completely different trips in 1!

Had the weather forecast predicted this blizzard, we would have left a day or 2 earlier than planned just to ensure that we would be able to do the 12 hour drive but it legit just came out of NOWHERE.

So we played in it and sat in our hot tub on our balcony while it fell. At this point in the trip, the snow was still exciting.

Jon and I 🙂
Christmas Eve. Snowy perfection!

We went to bed that night wondering what this was going to mean for our ride home the next day ….and then in the middle of the night our power went out. IT. WAS. FREEZING. Our cabin must have been 50 degrees by early morning. It was so incredibly cold. Thank goodness for warm robes and a gas fireplace! I brushed my teeth and packed our stuff all by the light of a flashlight. The power was out for a total of 7.5 hours. The MINUTE is came on I very literally RAN to the coffee maker and made the absolute fastest pot of coffee of my entire life. I was so afraid that the power would go out again and I needed this pocket of time to make a pot of coffee! Being stuck on a mountain with no power, no car, and no food…scary. But no coffee??? TERRIFYING.

5:00 AM. FREEZING.

Our driveway was absolutely massive, steep, and covered in ice. Jon tried to back our AWD SUV down it and…this happened.

Shit.

So that’s when things started to get a bit…interesting. Our car was stuck, we were stuck, and our food supply was quickly dwindling. Instacart wasn’t delievering, restaurants weren’t delivering, local grocery stores weren’t delivering. Grubhub, Ubereats, Door Dash…NOTHING. We desperatly tried and tried to place orders but soon after they were placed, they would get canceled. Yet we kept trying because we very literally had no choice. Roadside Assistance and all local towing companies were completely backed up. Cars were literally stuck EVERYWHERE! Blocking streets, blocking mountain paths, blocking everything. We very literally couldn’t leave and had absolutely nobody who could help us. So thankful that the cabin management company allowed for us to stay an an extra night. We truly had no way to leave!

Stuck on a mountain.

We basically spent all of Saturday on our phones trying to find someone to help us with our car and trying to find ANYWHERE to deliver us food (all with a HORRIBLE Internet connection)! We placed Instacart order after Instacart order and restaurant order after restaurant order and they all would inevidbly just get canceled. At this point we were tired, hungry, and feeling pretty helpless.

Our kids…omg our kids…they were WONDERFUL through all of this! They kept themselves busy while we tried to figure all of this out. We played Go Fish, Uno, and Family Trivial Pursuit to pass the time all while still trying to find someone on our phones to help us. I taught them the quote “You can’t always control what happens but you can always control how you react”. It was a perfect time for a life lesson!

And then…HOPE! After 2 days of searching, we finally found a pizza restaurant that agreed to deliver to us! We watched and watched the GPS as the car got closer and closer to us and when it was 1 minute away…it encountered a truck blocking the street and couldn’t get through. The delivery driver turned around and we were once again left hungry, frustrated, and exhausted.

About an hour later, we received a notification that another restaurant was coming (at this point we had placed multiple orders with multiple restaurants and would have gladly accepted ALL of them if need be) and….

THEY CAME!!!!

Our excitment was short lived though. Our order was for Jon S. and we received an order for John L. At this point, all we could do was laugh and dig in to John L’s food. Let’s just say that John L. had apparently placed a VERY different order than Jon S….but by this point, nobody cared. WE HAD FOOD. I don’t eat anything spicy and I hate rye bread. Corned beef with spicy mustard on rye bread??? YES PLEASE! I literally ate every last crumb. John L. wherever you are, I hope you enjoyed my turkey on whole wheat…

Once we ate, everything seemed better. Yes we were still stuck on a mountain but we were stuck on a mountain with a bit of food and power. However, we had no toothbrushes because I had thrown them away when packing by flashlight that morning. Does anyone else do that? Every time we go on vacation, I always throw our toothbrushes (and shower loofahs) away before we return home! Usually when I do that, it’s ok because we go home the same day. This time however, I maaaaaay have done that a bit prematurily. Oops.

Garbage that we couldn’t take outside because the bear proof garbage cans were locked…and the lock froze!

The next morning the very first thing we did was to search for a restaurant to deliver us both breakfast and lunch at the same time. The roads were a bit clearer by this point, it was no longer Christmas, and we continued to put a massive tip on our order. WE FOUND A RESTAURANT TO DELIVER TO US.

1 hour later and we had ice cold scrambled eggs, soggy pancakes, brown banana slices, and strange looking meats. It was one of the most delicious meals of my entire life and I was thankful for every single bite!!! I will never, ever take food for granted ever again.

We spent the entire morning once again on our phones trying to find a towing service to come and help us to get our car out of the ditch. A few claimed that they would get to us…as soon as they could. It did not look promising. Jon spent time scraping 1/4 of the massive driveway with a tiny windshield ICE SCRAPER because there wasn’t a shovel anywhere to be found. It was nuts!

If you know me in real life you know that I always try to find the humor in every situation. The snow shaped like a penis outside of our cabin made me smile!

By this point, we were slowly starting to accept the fact that we would be spending another night when suddenly…our angel showed up. A random man who was driving around the mountain with his Jeep and a towing rope just looking for people who needed help. WE NEEDED HELP! Him and Jon worked together and somehow were able to get our car OUT. There was a tiny few seconds where we thought Jon’s car might roll over down the driveway with him inside of it but I’m skipping over that part because it was terrifying. Bottom line…the car was OUT and now safely at the BOTTOM of the driveway.

The ditch where our car was. I think our tires might have mud permanently on them from now on!

It was 3:00 pm. Jon wanted to be home for work in the morning which left us with only one option: leave as soon as possible. NOT ideal to leave at 3:00 pm when you have a 12 hour drive ahead of you but we had no choice! The kids and I scrambled to repack everything while Jon walked each piece of luggage down the sheet of ice that was our ridiculously long and steep driveway. It was insane.

Once Jon loaded the car, he had to help the kids and I make our way down the ridiculously icy driveway. It was scary.

Our car ride home was LONG. Longest car ride of my entire life. When we walked in the door of our house at 2:30 in the morning (exactly 12 hours after we left because there was a time change), I was so thankful to be safely at home.

Looking back on our time in Tennessee, I am choosing to remember the amaaaaazing 3/4 of our time there! I’m also feeling very blessed in knowing that our situation in that cabin could have been much, much worse. We had each other and that was all we needed (although heat, lights, COFFEE, and food were all very much appreciated).

Thank you for allowing me to share a bit of my personal life with you today! Obviously you can tell that I spent time reading while in Tennessee. I read an AMAZING book on this trip! It was almost 400 pages, I devoured it while in that cabin, and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since. I’ll post my full review of it here on Wednesday!

As for now, I’m currently reading this book. It’s about people who rent a luxurious cabin on top of a mountain, get snowed in without power, and then start DYING. Thank GOD I started reading this once I safely got back home, reading this while stuck on that mountain would most definitely NOT have been a good choice, lol. Crazy to think that I actually DID have it with me in my suitcase! Thankfully it remained unopened until I was safely back in my own house with lots of power and lots of food 🙂

Happy New Year!

Xo,

Jenny

This blog is my favorite hobby and I would so love your support!  Here are ways you can help my blog to GROW:

*Please share this page with your book and blog loving friends!*

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The ultimate list of my top book suggestions can be found HERE

The 12 best books I read in 2020 can be found HERE

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Random Bookish Thoughts, Birthday Snapshots, and the Amazon Gift Card Giveaway Winner {Video}

Happy Friday! Today’s blog post will be some random bookish thoughts, snapshots from my birthday, and a video announcing my birthday Amazon gift card giveaway winner!

Random Bookish Thoughts:

My daughter did this homework over Thanksgiving and I love it so much. She said, “My teacher says it’s optional” and I replied, “Aaaaaaand your mom says it’s mandatory!” **Also, when your mom is a former teacher, she makes you complete 10 squares, not 5! **

Almost done reading this book, I’ll have my review posted ASAP!

Do you remember when I posted this review and included a picture of the fake fireplace in the Michigan cottage? I was so obsessed with reading in front of that fireplace and haven’t stopped thinking (or talking about) it since we’ve been back home. We do have a real fireplace in our family room but I REALLY wanted one of these for our living room so when I’m reading on my favorite couch, I can have the absolute perfect reading experience! My husband bought me this one for my birthday and my daughter bought me a tiny box that makes fire crackling sounds! It’s PERFECT, so warm and toast, and I’m completely 100 percent obsessed. You KNOW I read a book in front of it on the very first night and I think I smiled the entire time while reading.

Birthday Snapshots

My birthday was absolutely wonderful and included all of my favorite things: My little family, breakfast made by my daughter, a socially distanced outside visit with my amazing parents, Thai food for dinner, Culvers, decorations from my kids, a family Uno tournament, outside socially distanced visits from my best friends, and more. It was a lovely, lovely birthday and the best part was how truly loved I felt.

Swingset decorated by my son:

One of the gifts from my best friends included a gift card to enjoy my favorite drink on my special day!

If you know me in real life, you know that Culvers is my absolute most favorite dessert!

Notice the UNO cards in the above photo? Our family has had a tournament going since July with a leaderboard and everything. Guess who is currently in FIRST PLACE??? #mama

Amazon Gift Card Giveaway Winner Video:

Happy Friday, friends! I hope you have a wonderful weekend filled with love and BOOKS!

Xo,

Jenny

This blog is my favorite hobby and I would so love your support!  Here are ways you can help my blog to GROW:

*Please share this page with your book and blog loving friends!*

*Please share this page with your book and blog loving friends!*

*Subscribe with your email address to my blog (scroll all the way to the bottom of this page on mobile devices OR check the top right of this screen to enter your email address)*

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The ultimate list of my top book suggestions can be found HERE

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Today is My Birthday! *Amazon Gift Card Giveaway*

Birthday giveaway of an Amazon gift card for one blog reader 🙂

Today is my birthday! I bought this shirt as a birthday gift to myself 🙂

Love!

For the past 2 years, I’ve given away a small gift card on my birthday to a blog reader. It feels so good to share a bit of my birthday joy with you guys!

Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

Leave a comment below (on this actual blog post). I’ll randomly choose a winner and email her/him a $10.00 Amazon egift card! You can use that $10.00 and put it towards a new book or anything else that makes you feel happy. I’ll announce the winner in Friday’s blog post! You will have 48 hours from the time I post your name to email me the email address where you would like your egift card sent. If I don’t hear from you in 48 hours, I’ll choose someone else.

I hope you are all having a wonderful day! Happy birthday to ME (and also to my girl Britney Spears!)

Xo,

Jenny

This blog is my favorite hobby and I would so love your support!  Here are ways you can help my blog to GROW:

*Please share this page with your book and blog loving friends!*

*Please share this page with your book and blog loving friends!*

*Subscribe with your email address to my blog (scroll all the way to the bottom of this page on mobile devices OR check the top right of this screen to enter your email address)*

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*”Like” my Facebook page (and please comment on, “like”, and share my posts)*

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*Clicking and buying products through my Amazon Affiliate links.  The cost to you is exactly the same and I receive a tiny commission off of your purchases.*

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The ultimate list of my top book suggestions can be found HERE

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5 Bookish Things I’m Thankful For

Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate! My little family of 4 will be celebrating here, safely in our home. We miss our family SO MUCH and can’t wait to hug them and celebrate fun holidays with them in the future! I woke up extra early this morning so I could get this post published before settling myself on our couch to watch the Macy’s Day Parade with my family from our couch. One of my favorite traditions of the entire year! I’ll be curious to see how it will be done virtually this year??? In honor of Thanksgiving, here are 5 Bookish Things I’m Thankful for This Year:

1. When My Daughter Has Random Breaks Throughout Her Virtual Learning Day

My 3rd grader has been virtual learning all year and she will randomly have breaks throughout the school day. 10 minutes here, 20 minutes there, etc. We have a routine where she will yell, “BREAK” and my son and I will stop whatever we are doing to run and join her on our living room couch for some quiet reading time. I. LOVE. IT. I grab a book, she grabs a book, and my son grabs headphones and the ipad (to listen to books being real aloud to him on the EPIC app). This picture was from this past Tuesday afternoon (her school had pajama day). Remote learning for the WIN!

2. My Beloved Book Light

If you have been following me for any length of time, you most definitely already know about my obsession with my (obviously old and much loved) book light. I very literally use it EVERY SINGLE DAY. It’s one of the first things I put on my list to pack when I go on vacation! I love, love, love my dear book light. You can read all about her and my obsession with her HERE.

3. My Library’s Drive Thru Service

Illinois has already been put on strict orders to stay at home as much as possible. My amazing library drive thru has absolutely SAVED me during this pandemic, still allowing me to have access to unlimited books. I’m always thankful for this service but I’ve been a MILLION times more thankful for it in 2020! You can read about my experience with my wonderful library’s drive thru HERE.

4. Elin Hilderbrand

(Picture from Facebook)

I’m so thankful for Elin Hilderbrand. I finished reading THIS BOOK last week and I CANNOT get those characters and story lines out of my head. I’ve tried to read 2 books since then and unfortunately haven’t been able to fully appreciate either because my heart is still with Mallory and Jake. I’m fearful that I’ll never be able to love another book because I simply can’t imagine any book comparing to this one! Oh how I loved this book. If you are looking for an amazing book to read while in quarantine, this is it. Trust me.

5. The Amazon Product I Never Knew I Needed

I. LOVE. THIS. PRODUCT. How did I live without this for over 40 years??? I have been able to read so many more book pages at random times due to this product. Read more about my experience with it HERE.

And with that, I’m off to make coffee and watch the Macy’s Day Parade with my family! HAPPY THANKSGIVING to those who celebrate 🙂 I am thankful for so, so many things this year and that includes YOU!!!

What are you thankful for this year? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Xo,

Jenny

This blog is my favorite hobby and I would so love your support!  Here are ways you can help my blog to GROW:

*Please share this page with your book and blog loving friends!*

*Please share this page with your book and blog loving friends!*

*Subscribe with your email address to my blog (scroll all the way to the bottom of this page on mobile devices OR check the top right of this screen to enter your email address)*

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Random Thoughts From a Book Blogger

Hiiiiiii! This post is filled with a whole bunch of super random thoughts from a book blogger…

I won an Instagram giveaway from Jennastopreading and I’m so excited! Look at these amazing books that she sent me! Have you read any of these? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below! I’m so excited to read 3 of them (I’ve actually already read Small Great Things so I am paying it forward and giving it to one of my besties to read…you can read my VERY unpopular thoughts on that book HERE).

A few weeks ago I was laying in bed reading a library copy of The Guest List by Lucy Foley (review coming soon!) and suddenly right at a VERY intense part…this object fell out from the pages and straight onto my chest. Scared the HELL out of me. A business card. From a FUNERAL HOME. Stuck smack in the pages of a very ominous murder mystery thriller. Rigggggght as I was reading a super intense part of the story so I was already on edge. OMG.

Yesterday I posted that I was currently reading this book:

Aaaaaaand I just couldn’t get into it and decided to call it quits last night. It has the potential to be great…but honestly I was just too bored to stick around and find out. Like I always say, too many amazing books out there to read one you aren’t loving! Moving on…

I’m currently reading:

I started reading it last night and will post a full review once I finish! I’ve heard it’s amazing.

We ran out of half and half yesterday and I’m currently drinking my coffee with milk. Ugh. Gross.

The final round of the Goodreads Best Books of 2020 is posted and voting is open until 11/30! American Dirt without a doubt got my vote in the fiction category (I LOVED THAT BOOK! Read my review HERE). Which book did you vote for???

This is the most random blog post ever! Tell me something random going on with you!

Xo,

Jenny

This blog is my favorite hobby and I would so love your support!  Here are ways you can help my blog to GROW:

*Please share this page with your book and blog loving friends!*

*Please share this page with your book and blog loving friends!*

*Subscribe with your email address to my blog (scroll all the way to the bottom of this page on mobile devices OR check the top right of this screen to enter your email address)*

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*”Like” my Facebook page (and please comment on, “like”, and share my posts)*

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*Clicking and buying products through my Amazon Affiliate links.  The cost to you is exactly the same and I receive a tiny commission off of your purchases.*

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The ultimate list of my top book suggestions can be found HERE

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1 Single Life Changing Reading Habit

I am an only child.  Growing up, my life was always so quiet as I was the only kid running around!  I absolutely LOVED it!  Reading in silence? Check! Going to sleep in silence? Check! The first time I ever had the experience of living with other peoples’ noise was when I got to college.  It was a huge wake up call for me (quite literally….for the first time ever I experienced being woken up by my peers). It was a life changing experience for me for sure. Why were people and their habits so LOUD???

The older I get, the more I appreciate the gift of being able to surround myself in silence. I have obviously always been one of those people who loves to be alone (again…only child). Being alone and being HAPPY to be alone is something that I do not take for granted. Many people HATE being alone….not I 🙂 This is something that I’m trying my best to teach my children. Surrounding yourself with people is truly a gift….but….so is loving yourself enough to enjoy your own company.

I’ve always loved quiet. Do you remember on one of my visits back to my college where I showed a picture of my favorite study spot??? Waaaaay down in the library basement alllll the way in the very corner. Where it was silent with quite literally zero distractions!

Now does it make a bit more sense as to why reading is my favorite hobby???

Since childhood, I’ve needed utter and complete silence to enjoy reading a book. If there was even the SLIGHTEST bit of noise, I couldn’t do it.

And then…the Coronavirus quarantine of 2020 happened. And each afternoon I found myself sitting outside while my kids happily frolicked together with a hose, sprinkler, sidewalk chalk, bikes, scooters, frisbees, etc. And as I watched them play, I was struck over and over by the same thought: wouldn’t this be a lovely time to enjoy a book?

I am a huge believer in self care and for me, reading IS my self care. Being quarantined with 2 young children means alone time is extremely hard to come by these days. If I was going to continue to read each day, I was going to need to come up with a solution. And fast.

One Single Life Changing Reading Habit

The first time I tried it I was completely convinced that it wouldn’t work. There was NO way that I could properly immerse myself in a book while at the same time listen to my kids happily playing with each other just a few feet from me. I gave it a shot…and….

IT. WAS. OK. Howwwwwwwwwwwwww?????

APPARENTLY I HAVE LEARNED HOW TO READ WITH BACKGROUND NOISE.

This is something I have attempted and failed at doing for YEARS! It literally took a global pandemic for me to finally embrace this new skill.

Here are some random shots of me reading throughout the quarantine WITH BACKGROUND NOISE. Mind. Blown.

(You can read a synopsis and my review of I Wish You All The Best HERE)

(You can read a synopsis and my review of Last Couple Standing HERE)

(You can read a synopsis and my review of American Dirt HERE)

(You can read the synopsis and my review of The Perfect Girlfriend HERE)

(You can read the synopsis and my review of The Sun Down Motel HERE)

(You can read my review of The Other’s Gold HERE)

Are you able to read with background noise or do you need total silence? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Happy Friday! I hope your weekend is filled with love and BOOKS (even if it’s noisy)!

Xo,

Jenny

This blog is my favorite hobby and I would so love your support!  Here are ways you can help my blog to GROW:

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The ultimate list of my top book suggestions can be found HERE

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My First Time Inside Of My Library Since March

I have been taking advantage of our library’s AMAZING drive thru service for months. I’m honestly not sure what I would have done this whole time without it! Reading is something that I obviously do on a regular basis and I depend on my library. This pandemic has taken so many things away but thanks to the amazing library drive thru, access to books has not been one of them! The drive thru window has been an absolute blessing (you can read more about my experience with this HERE) for me and has provided me with some amazing reading material over these past few months. Bless you, library drive thru window.

Last week, I was texting with a fellow book loving friend about a book I have been wanting to read (28 Summers by Elin Hildebrand). My friend texted me this:

(I cropped out her contact info before posting this screenshot but kept in my response telling her about the new Carole Baskin show. You’re welcome). As for her words about the library…that was the push that I needed! So the next day I masked up, put my fears aside, and decided that it was time.

I posted this on Facebook:

I walked in and I’m not going to lie…I was nervous! And excited! And terrified! All at the same time. This was a big step for me as our family has been taken this quarantine quite seriously.

As soon as I walked by the woman making sure the patrons were all wearing masks, the very first thing I saw was a man walking around with cleaning spray and wiping down surfaces. Made me instantly feel so much better!

I went straight to the New Releases and took my time browsing through titles. It felt so GOOD! I have missed doing this SO MUCH. Reserving books online for drive thru pickup has been an absolute blessing but being able to actually walk through the stacks made my heart so happy.

The last time I was here…March 12th. Mind. Blown.

And today:

So how was my experience visiting the library during a pandemic? GREAT. Everything was so clean, the lady at the checkout wore gloves, every safety precaution was in place, everyone was wearing a mask OVER their noses, and there were hardly any patrons there. I felt completely safe and my heart felt completely happy.

I walked around and around the stacks (I’m baaaaaaaaaack) and soon it was clear that it was my time to leave. I sadly walked out to my car…and literally laughed out loud as I said to the lady standing about 10 feet away from me, “I guess I was pretty excited when I got here!” I mean…look at how I parked my car (mine’s the black SUV), lol.

Ridiculous.

My library haul (clearly I’m in the mood for a psychological thriller, lol):

Have you read any of these books? Which should I read first?

I hope all of you are staying safe. Have you ventured into your local library yet? I can’t wait to go back! Not today…but soon 😉

Xo,

Jenny

This blog is my favorite hobby and I would so love your support!  Here are ways you can help my blog to GROW:

*Please share this page with your book and blog loving friends!*

*Please share this page with your book and blog loving friends!*

*Subscribe with your email address to my blog (scroll all the way to the bottom of this page on mobile devices OR check the top right of this screen to enter your email address)*

*If you already have a blog, please “follow” mine*

*”Like” my Facebook page (and please comment on, “like”, and share my posts)*

*Follow me on Instagram*

*Follow me on Twitter*

*Subscribe to my YouTube channel*

*Clicking and buying products through my Amazon Affiliate links.  The cost to you is exactly the same and I receive a tiny commission off of your purchases.*

*Leaving a positive review on my Facebook page*

The ultimate list of my top book suggestions can be found HERE

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Our Amazing Return Visit To Spring Lake, Michigan

2 months ago our family took the most lovely vacation to Spring Lake, Michigan. We rented a cottage literally on the lake and we spent a week frolicking in the water, playing in the sand, eating delicious food, and quarantining ourselves in the most wonderfully safe way. Before we even left, my husband had booked us a return visit over Labor Day weekend and we literally counted down the days from the second we got home until this last weekend. Read all about our first trip to Spring Lake HERE.

I mean…how could we NOT want to return when this was our backyard???

(For another video of this gorgeous view, check out my video on THIS POST)

I spent this last trip reading The Lies That Bind {Emily Giffin}(affiliate). It was the only book that I read while I was there and finished about 2 hours before we left to come home. I will have my full review posted later this week!

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I present to you…the best meal of the trip. Village Baker PERFECTION. We ate there not once, not twice, but THREE times over a 2 day span. IT’S SO DELICIOUS AND BEAUTIFUL THERE. One of the best restaurants I’ve ever been to. Absolutely love it there.

2 eggs, cheddar cheese, grilled Asiago cheese scone. And heaven. Little bits of heaven sprinkled in throughout. Omgggggg…..

We found a gorgeous bike trail in Hart, Michigan. Stunning bike ride AND every street sign has a heart on it?! My dream town 🙂

Back at our cottage, my husband and my kids spent hours fishing and caught so many fish! My choice: The Lies That Bind > squirming, bloody fish.

Meanwhile…

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My favorite Amazon product traveled with me!

Early morning reading by the lake while everyone else was still sleeping. THE BEST.

View from outside the kitchen window. So breathtaking, right? See that chair and table? Still set up from my reading scenario the previous day. LOVE.

Wouldn’t be a vacation without me noticing the local library as we drove past, lol.

I saw these earrings in a gorgeous beachside boutique and I think they might be the best thing I’ve ever seen. The Golden Girls! The Clintons! Donald Trump! Rebecca and Jack Pearson! Macaulay Culkin! Meghan and Harry! Justin Bieber! The cast of Friends! Justin Timberlake! Beyonce and Jay Z! Taylor Swift! Omgggggggggggg

Kim and Kayne! I WAS DYING.

Love this sign so, so much.

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD. IT’S NOT HARD, PEOPLE.

This was actually our 6th visit to beautiful Michigan and each time we come, we fall more and more in love with the picturesque beach towns, the gorgeous water, the friendly people, and the delicious food. 2 years ago, Jon and I came for 4 days all alone while my parents watched our kids. It was quiet, relaxing, and lovely! You can read about that trip HERE.

During that trip 2 years ago, I came across the cutest coffee mug in one of the stores in Grand Haven. I even took a picture with it:

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I’m not sure why I didn’t buy it but that mug has literally haunted me for the past 2 years. When we were shopping in downtown Grand Haven this past July, I was determined to figure out which store I found it at and to see if by some miracle they still had it! I described the store to another shop owner in the area who immediately told me where the shop was located. I was so excited! I went straight there…and discovered that half of it is now a dog products store (??) and the other half is now a toy store…and although they DID randomly have tons of mugs, none were mine. I even sat there and went through EVERY. SINGLE. MUG. BOX. in search of my special mug. Nothing. The man working gave me the name of another store down the strip which had bought lots of the goods from the store when it was divided up. So….I dragged my family to yet ANOTHER store in search of my mug. Found the store, did not find the mug. I went into a bunch of other stores on the strip in hopes that THEY might have it and…nothing. I was brokenhearted but accepted that it just wasn’t meant to be.

Fast forward 2 months later and we were in the brand new to us town of Pentwater, Michigan (side note: LOVED THIS TOWN). My daughter and I were walking through an adorably cluttered store where you literally had to look evvvvvvvvverywhere because there was so much to look at. I spy old school trolls (the BEST) on the ceiling!

So her and I were walking along when suddenly…

I grabbed her arm and just stared. She followed my eyes and exclaimed, “CUP OF HAPPY!” This mug is even more beautiful than the original and so much more “me”. Totally meant to be. SOLD. I have happily used it every single day since we’ve been back.

Best, happiest souvenir. Literally brings me such joy when I use it! Totally worth the 2 year wait.

Thank you, Michigan, for once again providing our family with the very best memories. Already trying to figure out when we can return!

I hope you had a lovely long Labor Day weekend! I’ll have my review of The Lies That Bind posted later this week!

Xo,

Jenny

This blog is my favorite hobby and I would so love your support!  Here are ways you can help my blog to GROW:

*Please share this page with your book and blog loving friends!*

*Subscribe with your email address to my blog (scroll all the way to the bottom of this page on mobile devices OR check the top right of this screen to enter your email address)*

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*”Like” my Facebook page (and please comment on, “like”, and share my posts)*

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*Clicking and buying products through my Amazon Affiliate links.  The cost to you is exactly the same and I receive a tiny commission off of your purchases.*

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The ultimate list of my top book suggestions can be found HERE

Happy 2nd Birthday, Book Coffee Happy!

Today Book Coffee Happy turns TWO! Happy 2nd Birthday to my most favorite hobby!

2 years ago, I decided that it was time for me to stop only READING blogs and it was time for me to start WRITING my own blog.

Writing this blog has proven to be the creative outlet that I didn’t even know I was missing. I love writing it, researching for it, planning my posts, and thinking of the little reading community that I have built here.

I have met so many wonderful people through my little corner of the Internet. I have reconnected with old friends, made many new friends, discovered WONDERFUL books, and have found a way to share my passion of reading with so many people. All because of Book Coffee Happy.

I have allowed myself to share bits of my personal life on here which have proven to be some of my favorite posts I’ve written!

Thank you for reading my blog. Thank you for subscribing to my blog, following me on Facebook, following me on Instagram, following me on Twitter (I’m still not entirely sure how to use Twitter but I try, lol) and following me on YouTube.

Thank you for all of your support and most of all, thank you for all of your love!

You can read about Book Coffee Happy’s 1st birthday where I accidentally dropped a cupcake directly onto my sleeping child last year HERE.

**Note that the 1st birthday post is so much grander than the 2nd birthday post. We are in the middle of a global pandemic, we just returned from a vacation, and I haven’t been to the grocery store to buy what I was hoping would become an annual celebratory cupcake. All I’ve got here is a “2” candle because when I saw these perfect pink candles when my daughter was 1 year old…I BOUGHT ALL OF THE NUMBERS FOR HER CAKES UNTIL SHE TURNS 13. I dare you to find anyone else more Type A than I.**

Happy 2nd Birthday, Book Coffee Happy!

Xo,

Jenny

This blog is my favorite hobby and I would so love your support!  Here are ways you can help my blog to GROW:

*Please share this page with your book and blog loving friends!*

*Subscribe with your email address to my blog (scroll all the way to the bottom of this page on mobile devices OR check the top right of this screen to enter your email address)*

*If you already have a blog, please “follow” mine*

*”Like” my Facebook page (and please comment on, “like”, and share my posts)*

*Follow me on Instagram*

*Follow me on Twitter*

*Subscribe to my YouTube channel*

*Clicking and buying products through my Amazon Affiliate links.  The cost to you is exactly the same and I receive a tiny commission off of your purchases.*

*Leaving a positive review on my Facebook page*

The ultimate list of my top book suggestions can be found HERE