Scenes From Our Gorgeous Getaway to Galena, IL {Pictures}

Scenes From Our Gorgeous Getaway to Galena, IL {Pictures}

My family and I went on a 4 day getaway to beautiful Galena, IL. Who knew Illinois could be so pretty?! We rented the most GORGEOUS lake house (think Chip and Joanna Gaines style). It was STUNNING, massive, and right on the water. PERFECT. We shopped at gorgeous boutiques, ate delicious food, played many rounds of Uno, went on a 3 mile hike (where a snake slithered right up to my foot!), roasted S’mores, and enjoyed this special time with just the 4 of us. Here are some snapshots that I took of our lovely trip 🙂

Thank you for allowing me to share a bit of my personal life with you today. I’ll be back on Wednesday with a post all about the books that I purchased while on my trip (I bought 4)!

Have you been to Galena, IL? Highly recommend. This was our 2nd trip there and I cant wait to return for a 3rd!

Until next time…

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

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

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_5573-1.jpg

2 Great Gifts for Book Lovers

Recently I bought myself 2 amazing bookish items! These would be great gifts for any book lovers in your life….orrrrr you can buy them for yourself as I did, lol 😉

Book Lover Gift #1: Book Mask

I saw a post in a book blogger Facebook group from a member making and selling the most gorgeous book masks I have seen! I had been searching for one for months but couldn’t seem to find a good one and as soon as I saw hers, I was IN LOVE. I instantly messaged her asking for her Venmo information so I could place my order! Less than a week later, my stunning mask arrived in my mailbox.

It’s PERFECT.

It’s hard to tell but it has GORGEOUS gold threading throughout. It’s AMAZING when it shines in the sun!
I was so excited to wear it that I didn’t even think to check if it has a wire on the nose! I was pleasantly surprised later to realize that it does!
Wire nose clip! Love!

The inside of it is also so beautiful!

If you would like to place your own order, here is her contact information (she gave me permission to post it):

Thank you so much, Christina! I absolutely love my beautiful book mask!

Book Lover Gift #2: Book Pop Socket

I’m obsessed with having a Pop Socket on my phone and my old one was no longer doing it’s job. It kept coming (flying!) off and I was spending more time reattaching it than actually using it! Not to mention that it’s gorgeous swirly pattern was rubbing off around all of it’s edges. Ugh! My phone was more than overdue for a refresh.

After much searching, I found the most beautiful one (linked at the bottom of this post)!

So beautiful! I love all the gorgeous colors!
Bright yellow phone, bright purple nail polish, bright colored Pop Socket = Perfection!

I’ve had it attached to my phone for almost a week now and I love it so much! Hasn’t flown off even once 😉

Happy Wednesday! I hope you are having a wonderful day! I’ll be back here on Friday with a post about a book that I disliked so much that I only made it through 5 pages before calling it quits…

Xo,

Jenny

Click the image below to order the book through my Amazon affiliate link. When you order through this link, I receive a tiny commission. Thank you for your support, Xo

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

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

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_5573-1.jpg

How I Became A Library Hero

How fun is this?!? I’m officially a Library Hero! Here is how I became one 🙂

It’s meeeee!

Back in early October, I randomly received the following email from my wonderful local library :

I responded that I was IN! How fun!

Library Hero

And then at the end of January, my friend Allison texted me a screenshot of an email that she had received from the library…with my picture on it! Turns out, this email was sent to 21,000 people!

Next thing I knew I was featured on their Facebook page…

…and Twitter…

…and Instagram!

My family and I visited gorgeous Indian Trails this past weekend and my kids thought it was so cool that THIS is what greeted us riiiiiiiiight as soon as we walked in the front door!

#noautographsplease
The words written underneath my gigantic picture!
My kids hangin’ with Mama!

As we walked through the library, we kept being greeted by my picture! My son literally pointed and yelled, “Moms on the screen! Moms on the screen!”

On your way to the first floor bathroom? Stop by and say hello!
Have a question for Adult Services on the upper level? Wave hello to me when you are there!

I’m so honored to be the face of this important campaign for one of my most favorite places. How fun is all of this?!

WEAR YOUR MASK, EVERYONE!

My dear friend (and fellow book lover) Megan texted me this:

If you go to Indian Trails, text or email me (bookcoffeehappy@gmail.com) a selfie with my poster! I’ll put it on my blog, lol 🙂

Thank you, Indian Trails, for reaching out to ask me to be a part of this! I would love to do it again for you in the future….next time I promise to wear makeup and properly style my hair, lol 😉

Between this and one of my blog posts going viral back in January, I’m feeling quite fancy over here! I should probably start holding interviews for bodyguards, limo drivers, publicists, etc…

And speaking of Indian Trails, I’m so excited about their new App which has now officially launched! You can find it in the Google Play Store and in the Apple Store (search Indian Trails Public Library). You KNOW I got mine all set up immediately! It’s GREAT and very user friendly!

I hope you are having a lovely day! Don’t forget to WEAR YOUR MASK!

Xo,

Your Favorite Library Hero 🙂

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

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

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_5573-1.jpg

Random Book Blogger Thoughts

I have so many random thoughts to share with you today that I decided to dedicate an entire post to them, lol. I actually think I will do this as a regular series on Book Coffee Happy 🙂 Welcome to the the first installment of Random Book Blogger Thoughts!

Thank You

Thank you so much for all of your kind comments on my LAST POST. To be completely transparent, I was nervous to write that post and after I finally did write it…I almost deleted it before posting. I was very worried that I was going to come across as insincere and that was absolutely NOT my intention! I was so pleasantly surprised to see that I am not the only one who feels the way that I do. Book related discussions are so amazing and some of the comments on that post brought up such excellent points! I would still love to hear from the other side but I completely respect why you might not want to comment on this topic.

Book I Recently Read

I finished reading Kelly Yang’s Parachutes yesterday. I’ll post my review here next week…stay tuned!

A Book Poll

Thank you to everyone who has answered my poll on Instagram! SO many of you did and I appreciate the advice! I have these 2 books both currently checked out of the library and I truly couldn’t decide which to read next…I’ve heard great things about both! Here are the final results! Excited to start reading Invisible Girl tonight 🙂

My Daughter’s Homework

My daughter’s 3rd grade teacher has assigned each student to read for 20 minutes each day and it has quickly turned into one of my favorite times of the entire day! She grabs a book, I grab a book, my son grabs a book, and the 3 of us cuddle up and silently read for 20 minutes. I light a candle and have a mug of steaming coffee. HEAVEN. I promised her that whenever she needs to read for homework, I will ALWAYS join her! I love, love, love this time in the day. NOTE: The second that 20 minute timer goes off, my children literally RUN out of the room…but you KNOW Mama stays and finishes whatever chapter she’s in the middle of, lol.

This Book Blogger’s Biggest Fan

Nobody on Earth has a more wonderful father than I. He reads every single post I write and always has such wonderful and supportive things to say. I LOVE YOU, DAD!

Children’s Book Giveaway

I have an AWESOME giveaway coming up on Wednesday for a BEAUTIFUL children’s book! This book truly speaks directly to my heart and I’m so excited to share it with you! Be sure to check back here on Wednesday for your chance to win.

Your turn…tell me something random 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)*

*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

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

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_5573-1.jpg

Book I’m Currently Reading, Coffee I’m Currently Drinking, 1 Thing Currently Making Me Happy (#5)

Book Coffee Happy’s newest series where I share the book I’m currently reading, the coffee I’m currently drinking, and 1 thing that is currently making me happy!

Book I’m Currently Reading:

Local Woman Missing {Mary Kubica}

Goodreads Synopsis of Local Woman Missing {Mary Kubica}:

Shelby Tebow is the first to go missing. Not long after, Meredith Dickey and her six-year-old daughter, Delilah, vanish just blocks away from where Shelby was last seen, striking fear into their once-peaceful community. Are these incidents connected? After an elusive search that yields more questions than answers, the case eventually goes cold.

Now, eleven years later, Delilah shockingly returns. Everyone wants to know what happened to her, but no one is prepared for what they’ll find…

Before I fell asleep a few nights ago, I decided to pick up this book and read the first few pages….and SEVENTY pages later I turned off my booklight! I. COULD. NOT. STOP. READING.

I actually just finished this book over the weekend and all I can say is WOW.

I can’t wait to review this one alongside Melissa Amster of Chick Lit Central as it gets closer to the book’s release date (I was fortunate enough to receive an Advance Readers Copy….it doesn’t release until May). Stay tuned!

Coffee I’m Currently Drinking:

14 years ago Jon and I took a trip to New York and visited the site of my ALL TIME favorite movie, Serendipity (for more about that trip and to see pictures of us there, check out THIS POST). I bought a coffee mug as a souvenir that day and have had it beautifully displayed in a cabinet in our dining room ever since.

A few days ago, I looked at my beautiful souvenir and thought…why have I been STARING at this gorgeous coffee mug for 14 years when I could actually be USING it??? Like so many things in life, if you aren’t using it what’s the point in even having it?!? I opened the doors to our display and promptly put my beautiful mug straight into the dishwasher. Once it was clean, my beautiful mug was filled with coffee for the very first time ever!

I swear this mug makes my coffee taste even more delicious.

It’s a gigantic mug with gorgeous pictures on all sides. Printed along the bottom states the definition of serendipity: The art of making happy discoveries, or finding the unexpectedly pleasant by chance or sagacity

So, so beautiful.

Aaaaand my children think it’s hilarious that Mommy has been drinking from a mug with naked people on it…turns out this mug is making EVERYONE smile over here, lol…

Even the very bottom of the mug is amazing:

Public Service Announcement: If you haven’t seen the movie Serendipity, WATCH THE MOVIE SERENDIPITY. My best friend Amy and I saw it 10 times while it was in still in theaters! Such a special movie that will forever hold a special place in my heart 🙂

Currently Making Me Happy:

SNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW!!!!

Chicagoland has been hit with a ridiculous amount of snow recently and I am HERE FOR IT! I have been snow obsessed throughout my entire life and I am absolutely LOVING all of this snow. As I’m typing this, the forecast is anticipating another 8-13 inches TONIGHT! Hell yes! Bring. It. ON.

***It’s worth noting that I may possibly be the one and only adult in all of the Chicagoland area who is happy about all of this snow. My Facebook newsfeed is currently filled with complaints and memes about how awful it is and I’m over here all, “IT’S SNOOOOOOOOOOWING!!!!!!!!”

What are you currently reading?

What coffee are you currently enjoying?

What is 1 thing currently making you HAPPY?

Is it snowing where you live? How do you feel about it?

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

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

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_5573-1.jpg

It Has Been a CRAZY 8 Days

I took a shower on Thursday, January 21, 2021. A normal, everyday shower. And when I came out of that shower, I glanced over at my phone not expecting to see any type of text/email notification as my shower was only about 15 minutes long.

My phone was legit BLOWING UP with blog notifications. Like…every second it was lighting up. Why??? I was so confused! What was happening??? I looked into my blog’s stats and my mouth instantly dropped open. Literally within a span of 1 shower my blog suddenly had THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS of new views???

I still have no idea how it happened but apparently while I was in that shower…

….Google put a link to my Tennessee blog post ON. THEIR. HOMEPAGE.

Whaaaaat?!?

Hell yeah!

So here’s what I know:

As that initial night went on and continued throughout the next day, the numbers on my little blog literally kept climbing BY. THE. SECOND. My husband and I watched as the insanely high number of people visiting my blog climbed and climbed. It was CRAZY and so much fun to watch!

I’ve never seen anything like that and at this point I still had no idea how all of these new readers found my blog! Readers from allllll over the United States and in countries around the world were suddenly reading Book Coffee Happy! It was baffling (and super cool).

Finally, after receiving SO MANY private messages about that Tennessee blog post, I finally started asking people where they even found my blog. Their answers were all the same…it showed up on their Google homepages! A few kind people sent me screenshots:

I sent this screenshot to my best friend and she replied “THANK GOD you look cute in the picture that Google chose of you!” 😂🤷🏻‍♀️👍🏼 Turns out to be the most famous selfie I’ve ever taken, lol.

So here we are, 8 days later, and THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF NEW PEOPLE HAVE VISITED MY BLOG. I’ve received so many new blog followers/subscribers, new Facebook followers, and new Instagram followers! The amount of visitors to my blog continues to climb and climb each day, each hour, each minute, each SECOND! It has been FUN and definitely a huge highlight of my blogging journey thus far 🙂

So…it’s probably a good idea to introduce myself since many of you are new clearly around here 🙂

I’m Jenny! I’m a former teacher and am now a stay at home mom to my 2 young children. I absolutely LOVE being a stay at home mom and it was always my dream to be one. I truly treasure this time in my life! I will always and forever be thankful for my amazing husband for so many things including working so hard so I can stay home with our kids. I have always been an avid reader and I have always loved participating in book discussions! People used to ask me ALL. THE. TIME. for book suggestions and so 2.5 years ago, I decided to start writing this blog. It has morphed into such a creative outlet for me, and I have loved all of the opportunities it has provided! It’s mostly a book blog with bits of my personal life sprinkled in. I review books, lead book discussions, host book giveaways, etc.

Thank you to everyone for your support and love! If you are new here…welcome! The more blog followers I have, the larger our book community can grow! I’m so glad to have you here. And a special thank you to Google…I have NO CLUE how all of this happened but it’s been such fun! I so hope it will happen again!

If anyone has insight into how this could have happened, SEO (search engine optimization) knowledge, etc. please send me an email (bookcoffeehappy@gmail.com). I’d love to pick your brain!

Oh and HERE is a link to the (now apparently famous, lol) Tennessee blog post that has now been viewed thousands upon thousands upon thousands of times 🙂

Happy Friday! May your weekend be filled with love and books! I’ll be back here on Monday with a post for you containing 2 book reviews…see you then!

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

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

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_5573-1.jpg

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!*

*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

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

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_5573-1.jpg

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!*

*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

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

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_5573-1.jpg

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)*

*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

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_5573-1.jpg

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)*

*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

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_5573-1.jpg