A-Z Book Tag {AKA Random Facts About Myself as a Reader}

Would you like to learn random facts about myself as a reader?  As soon as I saw this book tag on Feed the Crime I knew I wanted to participate.  This one was so much fun!  Thank you to The Perpetual Page Turner for creating it!

*This post contains affiliate links.  When you click on these links to buy the book, I receive a tiny commission.  Thanks so much for your support, XO!*

Author you’ve read the most books from:

Ann M. Martin! The Babysitters Club series were hands down my FAVORITE books while growing up.  And I’m not talking about the current graphic novels…I’m talking the old school novels.  Claudia and Stacey were always my favorites.  I can’t WAIT for my daughter to read these one day!

Best Sequel Ever:

The Wedding
I’ve told this story on my blog before but I’ll tell it again…I read this on an airplane years ago.  As soon as I pulled it out of my carry on bag, the lady sitting next to me handed me a tissue!  She told me that I would be needing it.  Sure enough by the end of the flight…I was SOBBING.  Like…weeping.  Make up everywhere.  Hiccups.  The lady just looked at me, nodded once, and said, “Told you.”  If you loved The Notebook (who didn’t?!) you will love it’s sequel.  Just make sure you have plenty of Kleenex.

Currently Reading:

On The Come Up

Drink of Choice While Reading:

COFFEE.  All day, every day.  Hot, never iced.

E-reader or Physical Book?

Physical book 100% of the time.  I’ve never read anything on an e-reader and I’ve never listened to an audiobook.

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School:

Olly from this wonderful book.  Read my review here!

Glad You Gave This Book A Chance:

The Light Between Oceans Oh how I LOVED this book…once I was able to get past the extremely boring beginning.  Read more on this and my full review here!

Hidden Gem Book:

Young Jane Young!  How is this book not more popular?!?  It’s fantastic!  Read my full review here.

Important Moment in your Reading Life:

As I was reading Becoming, I was struck with the realization that I just don’t enjoy reading memoirs.  Watch my YouTube video to hear me discuss this further!

Just Finished:

Somebody’s Daughter.  Loved it.  You can read my review here.

Kinds of Books You Won’t Read:

Anything with a topic that truly doesn’t interest me.  There are too many wonderful books out there…why waste time reading one that I don’t find interesting?

Longest Book You’ve Read:

No clue…but maybe the hardcover versions of either Small Great Things or Becoming?  I didn’t love either one so maybe they just FELT like the longest books I’ve ever read?  You can read my reviews of these here and here.

Major book hangover because of:

House of Sand and Fog.  I still think about this book and I read it 16 years ago!  Read my review here.

Number of Bookcases You Own:


One Book You Have Read Multiple Times:

Shanghai Girls.  It’s so amazing. The sequel Dreams of Joy?  Not so amazing. Read my review of both books here!

Preferred Place To Read:

With a sleeping child on my chest, coffee next to me, and rain (or snow) falling outside.  Literally my version of heaven.

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read:

“You could jump so much higher when you had somewhere safe to fall” -Liane Moriarty  (Truly Madly Guilty)  I hated the book but loved this quote!

Reading Regret:

Even starting The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  I hated it so much that I threw it across the room.  You can read more about that here 🙂

Series You Started And Need To Finish(all books are out in series):

Harry Potter ! I read the first one and loved it.  I was halfway through the second…and then I got engaged 🙂  I immediately traded in poor Harry for wedding planning books and never once looked back.  I really should go back and read them.  Maybe one day with my daughter?

Three of your All-Time Favourite Books:

The Catcher in the Rye

The Help

The Hate U Give

Unapologetic Fangirl For:

Mary Kubica 🙂 I just love her writing so much!

Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others:

The Other Mrs. by Mary Kubica.  Netflix already bought the rights to it to turn the book into a feature film!  Can’t wait to read it first!

Worst Bookish Habit:

This. Yikes.

X Marks The Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book:

The Language of Flowers.  If you haven’t yet read this book, you must.  Today.

Your latest book purchase:

Groovy Joe: Dance Party Countdown (Groovy Joe 2) Both of my children LOVE Groovy Joe!  We were all excited to see this new Groovy Joe title at my daughter’s school book fair 🙂

Readers, I would love to hear your answers to some of these (or all of these!) in the comments below!

It would really help me if you could follow/subscribe to my blog.  Also, please “like” my Facebook page ,  follow me on Twitter, and follow me on Instagram!

Local friends, I run a storytime every Tuesday and Friday at Whimsy Cafe in Buffalo Grove, Illinois from 10:00-10:30! Bring your kids (6 months-5 years) for stories, songs, and lots of fun. Price is included in your child’s admission, no need to sign up. If you are a blog reader,

Let’s Chat: Spoilers. Love Knowing or Better Blind?


You’re in the middle of an amazing book.  You tell someone what you’re reading.  Without thinking, they give away the ending.


You’re in the middle of an amazing book.  You close it without bookmarking.  When you open again to find your place, you open the cover a wee bit too far and mistakenly read ahead.


You’re in the middle of an amazing (uplifting) book.  You tell someone what you’re reading.  They tell you how tragically sad the ending is and how it will make you sob.  You spend the rest of the book trying to figure out the sad twist that you never knew existed.


Someone posts something on Facebook and while innocently scrolling through your newsfeed, you now have books (AND REALITY TV) ruined for you.


All of these situations have happened to me and I’m quite certain they have also happened for a number of you.  Admittingly, I am more sensitive to this than most people.  I absolutely HATE knowing anything ahead of time.

When I’m reading a book and the plot is getting GOOD, it’s not uncommon for me to physically put my hand over the rest of the page so I cannot mistakenly read ahead.

When I am watching reality tv (my favorite), I mute the sound and look away when Chris Harrison announces, “Tonight on the Bachelor” or “Coming up after the break”.  Scenes from next week?????? FORGET ABOUT IT.  Hell no.

I saw Hamilton without listening to a single song first although everyone told me I needed to.  I did zero historical research.  I walked into that theater completely blind and I truly think I had a better experience because of it!

Have you ever noticed the following disclaimer that I include with every book review that I  publish on my blog?

(Disclaimer: I will never post spoilers in my reviews HOWEVER the comment section is completely fair game to discuss any and all specifics including spoilers)

I have heard that there are people who when they receive a book, the very first thing that they do is to read the last page of the book.  Do people like this really exist?!?

I never Google a television show for any reason unless I am 100 percent caught up in the current season.  I have blocked people on Facebook when they post status updates about current television shows so nothing will be ruined for me if I’m an episode or 2 behind.  I turn away from the magazines in the grocery store checkout aisle when they post photos of current reality tv stars.

I once told a friend how excited I was to watch the Bachelor finale that night and she responded with “Oh!  ____won!  I just read an article!”  This was roughly 3 hours before the finale aired.  And of course my friend was right.  And of course it was the girl who I NEVER thought was going to win.  It would have been such an amazing finale.

When I’m reading or watching television, I NEVER try to predict the ending.  I just enjoy the present and not give too much thought into trying to figure out what will happen next (on a side note, this is also a fantastic way to go about life…but that’s a different post for a different day).

To me, nothing beats an amazing twist that I never saw coming.  Nothing is better than a surprise ending.  When an author has the ability to make this happen, it’s brilliant.  So many specific books come to mind…but I don’t want to spoil any of them for you!

What are your thoughts on all of this?  How do you feel about spoilers?  Tell me a story about a time when someone ruined something for you!  

It would really help me if you could follow/subscribe to my blog.  Also, please “like” my Facebook page ,  follow me on Twitter, and follow me on Instagram!

Local friends, I run a storytime every Tuesday and Friday at Whimsy Cafe in Buffalo Grove, Illinois from 10:00-10:45! Bring your kids (6 months-5 years) for stories, songs, and lots of fun. Price is included in your child’s admission, no need to sign up. If you are a blog reader, please be sure to introduce yourself!  I can’t wait to meet you and your little ones. 🙂






Book Review: Nine Perfect Strangers {Liane Moriarty}


I am writing this from the peace and quiet of my living room. Husband at work, both kids back at school after winter break. Candle burning, Pandora playing. It’s so peaceful here on this rainy Monday morning.

I’m missing my family today. I haven’t been home alone like this in weeks! As nice and peaceful as this is….I would so much rather have everyone here with me. This morning it’s just me and the hamster.  And she’s sleeping.  Perfect time to work on my blog!

And now as previously promised…the book review of Liane Moriarty’s newest release:

**If you haven’t yet, I would suggest reading my previous post before reading the following review**

I heard such negative things about this book. In fact, I truly hadn’t heard any positive! So when I began reading, needless to say my expectations weren’t very high. Not high at all.


Synopsis from Goodreads:

Nine people gather at a remote health resort. Some are here to lose weight, some are here to get a reboot on life, some are here for reasons they can’t even admit to themselves. Amidst all of the luxury and pampering, the mindfulness and meditation, they know these ten days might involve some real work. But none of them could imagine just how challenging the next ten days are going to be.

Frances Welty, the formerly best-selling romantic novelist, arrives at Tranquillum House nursing a bad back, a broken heart, and an exquisitely painful paper cut. She’s immediately intrigued by her fellow guests. Most of them don’t look to be in need of a health resort at all. But the person that intrigues her most is the strange and charismatic owner/director of Tranquillum House. Could this person really have the answers Frances didn’t even know she was seeking? Should Frances put aside her doubts and immerse herself in everything Tranquillum House has to offer – or should she run while she still can?

It’s not long before every guest at Tranquillum House is asking exactly the same question.

My Thoughts

4 Stars

I loved it.

Yes it was weird. Yes it was dark. Yes it was twisted.  Yes it made me uncomfortable.  But…It was so brilliantly written, so very interesting, and extremely captivating! The short chapters, the different perspectives, and the colorful characters came together to create a fascinating story.  I high recommend this one!  I know I’m in the minority here but I truly thought it was GREAT.  One of the best books she’s written.  Bravo, Liane!

The ONLY real criticism (and hence my 4 star review) I have is that there are just so many characters and as a result, certain characters were much more developed than others. It was hard to keep everyone straight, especially with their backstories. I found that I had to keep looking back at previous chapters for refreshers. I HATE when books make me do that. I think this book would have been better with say 5 or 6 perfect strangers rather than 9.

Bottom Line

After reading, I now never want to go to a health resort. Like…Ever. You shouldn’t, either. Nope. Not for me. Or you. Ever again. Hard pass.

Have you read this book?  Are you planning to?  I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

I will have FANTASTIC book giveaway for you on Wednesday morning!  Make sure you stop by, you won’t want to miss this one!



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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

My Love/Hate Relationship with Liane Moriarty

Oh Liane. You and I have such a complicated relationship. At times I absolutely love you, at times I absolutely loathe you.

*This post contains affiliate links. Click each image and link below to read the synopsis and 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*

2014 was when I read The Husband’s Secret .  Like most people, I absolutely loved it!  Truly couldn’t put it down.  I have a very vivid memory of my daughter napping in her car seat while I was devouring this book for hours in the front seat…all while parked in our driveway.  Such a good book!  I was so sad when it ended.

The next book that I read was Big Little Lies.  I read it in 3 days, it was so amazing.   I remember eating meals while reading, reading long after I should have been asleep, and so many other times throughout the day.

(On a side note, I still haven’t seen the HBO miniseries!  Have you?  I’ve heard it’s fantastic!)

At was at this point that I declared Liane Moriarty to be my favorite author and my mission began to read every single book she had written.

Next up for me was The Last Anniversary. I really liked it. Not nearly as amazing as the previous 2, but it was very good.

And then…

I read Three Wishes.

Hated it. So much. It was just so BORING, painfully dull, and long.  I faithfully read until the last sentence because I had already declared Liane Moriarty to be my favorite author and how could I not read every word written by my favorite author??

My faith in Liane was 100 percent restored when I read What Alice Forgot. What a beautiful book that was! It gave me so much to think about and I truly loved everything about it.  Have you read this book?  I highly, highly recommend it!  I still think about that book’s message years after I finished reading.  Absolutely loved that book. Beautiful.

I read The Hypnotist’s Love Story during the summer of 2015. I was bored. Read half. Never finished.

HOWEVER, this was also the time when I was pregnant with my son and unless it was something about babies, breastfeeding, or nursery furniture, I wasn’t able to focus on reading anything else.  Looking back, I’m not sure if my review of this book is entirely valid. I probably should re read it at some point now that I can give it the full attention that it deserves….but I just remember being so bored with the first half that I don’t have the desire to try again.  Have you read this book all the way until the end?  What did you think?

When Liane announced that she was releasing her newest book (Truly Madly Guilty) in 2016, I immediately preordered my copy on Amazon. It arrived exactly on its release day and I literally tore the box as I ripped it open! I even wrote a Facebook status asking if anyone could get over here STAT to watch my children and dog so I could sit and read (nobody did. Apparently I need some new friends).

I hated that book. It was heartbreaking, depressing, and awful. Her attempts to lighten the story fell flat. I was so sad…I had been REALLY excited about reading this one for months. How could she do this to me???

And here we are, today. January 2019. Liane released her newest book Nine Perfect Strangers in October. The whole world seems to be reading this book right now! Have you read it?  I have. I have many thoughts. I’ll share them with you on Monday!

How do you feel about Liane Moriarty?

Do you agree or disagree with my thoughts on her books?



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I Broke My Elbow.

Do you know what a roof rake is?  It’s basically a gigantic contraption designed to scrape ice off of roofs.  Also apparently designed to break elbows when tripped over.

The fall itself on the concrete floor was dramatic.  Everything hurt at the same time.  Scraped elbows, scraped knees, top teeth clamped against bottom teeth causing jaw pain, sore ribs, and sore back.

It was Christmas Day.  We had just returned from a fantastic getaway to The Great Wolf Lodge and were on our way to fulfill our Jewish responsibilities of eating Chinese food for dinner 🙂 My husband and children were in the car waiting for me.  As soon as I fell in the garage, my husband immediately came running.

It was so bad. Jon asked if I wanted to stay home but I really thought I was ok! It would take more than a fall to keep this Jewish girl away from her Christmas Chinese food.

I truly thought it was just bruised but somewhere between the crab rangoon and the pan fried noodles, the pain started to intensify. We came home.

I iced it.  I elevated it.  I was up all night in pain.

By morning, it was apparent that this was so much more than just a bruised elbow.  Jon called my parents and for about the millionth time since we bought our house almost 9 years ago, I thanked God that we bought a house only 1 mile away from theirs.  Exactly 7 minutes later, my father was hugging me in my kitchen and feeding my children breakfast so Jon could take me to the emergency room.

The emergency room staff were lovely to me as I sobbed.  A nurse hugged me.  The X ray technician was wonderful to me as I tried not to scream out in pain while she twisted and contorted my elbow in unnatural ways to get the pictures.  They offered me pain meds but I declined…I’m always very much against taking any kind of medication. I agreed to Advil but refused anything stronger. My poor elbow was so swollen and filled with fluid that they couldn’t even read the X rays but sent me home in a cast and a sling until I could see an orthopedic surgeon.

I was a mess.

We came home and I spent the entire day in bed.

I watched Fuller House with my daughter, laid next to my napping son, and ate the lox on a bagel which my girl had so beautifully presented to me all from our bed.  I lit my favorite Bath and Body Works candle on the nightstand next to me…and I cried.  A lot.  From the pain. From the frustration of how hard everything had suddenly become. From the fact that I had so been looking forward to having this glorious time with my husband home from work and my kids home from school and I was spending it like this. So many tears.

Thank goodness my very favorite hobby involves just sitting still 🙂 Recovering with a good book is exactly my kind of medicine! And the act of holding up a book only requires 1 working arm so there’s that.

Jon surprised me with my all time favorite treat after dinner. It was so delicious. It helped.

By the next day, my cast had shifted and was digging into my wrist.  Back to the emergency room I went but this time, my daughter insisted that she be the one to come with me for moral support. They put us into a room and I asked if I should remove my shirt.  They told me yes and at this point, my little girl tugged on my (good) arm and whispered, “Mom!  Are you wearing anything under your shirt?!?”  I explained that after you’ve given birth, a nurse seeing you in your bra is absolutely nothing to be embarrassed about. 🙂

The nurse loosened the cast and my poor wrist got some relief.

Another night of sleeping with my arm straight up. Awful.

As it turns out, my husband’s old fraternity brother is a wonderful orthopedic surgeon and I was given an immediate appointment the following day. He was kind, knowledgeable, and wonderful. More X rays and then he concluded that my poor elbow was indeed broken. The best news of the day (silver lining) was that he removed my cast! Now I just need to wear a sling. This alone makes everything better. I was honestly going crazy with that cast! I couldn’t do anything. Although I’m now still much more limited in what I can do, I already feel so much more like myself. My next appointment for more X rays is in 2 weeks. Until then, I need to wear the sling, ice it twice a day, and continue to remind my son that he needs to be careful around my entire left arm 🙂

Last night I changed his diaper for the first time since all of this happened and it made me cry because it hurt so much. How on earth does one change a diaper completely one handed?!? Just one of the many things I will need to figure out when Jon goes back to work in a few days…

Speaking of, here I need to give a major shout out to Jon. He has literally done EVERYTHING around here and I couldn’t be more thankful. “In sickness and in health” has definitely been the theme in our house this week and I’m incredibly fortunate to have him by my side. I would be so lost without him.

My best friends were (are) so worried about me! They bought me lunch, took me shopping, and made me smile. As usual, laughter really is the best medicine. We missed you, Beth!

Happy New Year 🙂 My plans tonight have definitely changed but still spending them with the same people is truly all that matters. It’s my dear friend Bari’s birthday today! We were supposed to go to a nice restaurant for dinner, ice skating, and then a super fun dessert all in a crowded and awesome area with our families tonight. Now our plans have shifted to something much more low key but still super fun…a Japanese steakhouse. Perfect and safer for one armed me!

2018 was an absolutely fantastic year in so many ways. I had planned on doing a yearly blog recap post today but I had also planned on having 2 working arms today so there you go 🙂

As we are heading into the new year, I am definitely taking time to reflect on all of the positive things and people in my life. Although clearly this is not how I was planning on ending the year, I do truly realize how much worse this could be. I’m thankful for so many things in my life…this will hopefully just be a minor setback and I’ll be able to move on from all of this soon.

Bring it on, 2019! I’m ready for you. Sling and all.






Birthday of a Book Blogger

My birthday was yesterday and the entire perfect weekend was filled with fun, love, and joy.

Friday was spent with my favorite shopping partner, my mom!  We had our annual visit to our favorite craft and gift fair and it was glorious as always. It happens over my birthday weekend every year and it’s such a fun way to start off the weekend.


I came home with such treasurers!  4 unicorn hair bows for my daughter, 3 bags of beef jerky for my husband, a new set of fancy sheets for our bed, and a new scarf for me because I can’t ever go shopping without buying myself at least 1 new scarf.  Scarves are  favorite accessory of all time although by this point I own way too many and I really need to stop buying more. Can’t. Stop. See this post for more details on the background of my obsession: The Ultimate Throwback to my 20’s and Early 30’s Book Series

I bought my son a custom Mickey Mouse CD where the characters sing each song using my son’s name.  The man at the booth told me that the characters will say or sing his name for a total of 70 times throughout the songs on the CD!  I wish I had taken a video of the look on my son’s face when we were driving yesterday afternoon and he heard the CD.  “MOMMY!  Mickey knows my name!” “MOMMY!  Goofy knows it too!”  Best $22.00 I have spent in a very long time.

Another booth had these gorgeous handmade wooden boxes, hand painted mason jars, and different types of flowers.  So many colors, so many sizes, so many sayings.  I spent a LONG time choosing the perfect combination and I could not love it more:

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We came home from the craft fair and soon were off to the biggest event of the day…my daughter’s school talent show!  She was one of the youngest in the show and while she was up there dancing, I watched in awe through the blurred vision from my tears.  Her confidence amazes me.  She did a solo act!  She nailed it, she looked beautiful, and the best part…she had so much fun.  There are those special moments as a parent where you can literally feel your heart bursting with pride and love and Friday night was a perfect example of that for me.  Aaaaand now I’m crying as I type this.  I love being a mom so much.

How sweet are my in-laws?!?

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Saturday proved yet again that nobody has better friends than I do. It was pouring outside, it was freezing outside, and there was traffic. And yet…my girls were determined to take me downtown so the 4 of us could have a city day in honor of ME! I offered numerous times to change our plans but they simply wouldn’t hear of it. So they picked me up and downtown we went (over an hour drive) into the most gorgeous city in the world. I lived in downtown Chicago for 8 years before I got married and a piece of my heart still lives there. My favorite city in the world. It’s gorgeous all year round but during the holidays the whole city absolutely sparkles. It’s just so magical down there. We shopped, we laughed, we ate. A perfect day.

Rain didn’t stop us:

4 Jewish girls with 1 stunning tree:

Grand Lux Cafe for dinner:

I came home after the kids were in bed and noticed this note on my daughter’s door (apparently she hid my presents under her bed):

Sunday morning on my actual birthday my husband and I were woken up quite early by 2 very excited children singing “happy birthday”. They climbed into our bed as I was still half asleep and my birthday began with homemade cards, balloons, gifts, and a unicorn cake. Perfection.

My daughter’s gift blew me away as it does every year. She is the most thoughtful little girl I have ever met. She had Jon take her to a bookstore, went to the new release table, and picked out the book with what she thought had the prettiest cover. As surprised as I was to receive this gift, she was even more surprised when I told her that Liane Moriarty is one of my favorite authors and I’ve been DYING to read her new release!!! In fact, I commented on that just last night when my friends and I were at a bookstore in the city! How did she know???  Mothers and daughters just have that special connection 🙂 Have any of you read this yet? She also bought a Junie B. Jones box set for her and I to read together. She told me that she wanted me to have some new books to put on my blog 🙂 Sweetest girl! A perfect gift. Truly touched my heart.

Aaaaaand my 2.5 year old son’s gift for me. He picked it out all by himself:

I don’t particularly care for trucks but guess who does…


And the balloon he bought for me. We’re Jewish, lol.

My sweet little boy.  LOVE!

My husband’s gift was exactly what I ask for every year: something fun for us to do together as a family. So in a few weeks, the 4 of us will be spending the night at Great Wolf Lodge in a suite and we all can’t wait! Perfect.

I’m over wanting fancy purses or expensive jewelry for my birthday. Quality time with just the 4 of us is EXACTLY what I always want and that’s exactly what yesterday consisted of.

The 4 of us went out for breakfast (my favorite thing. I always LOVE going out for breakfast and we try to do it at least once per weekend). I ate lox, drank coffee, and watched my daughter get the hiccups from laughing at my son who was shoving banana slices directly into my mouth with his sticky syrup fingers.

Our next adventure was Legoland! We spent hours riding rides, building with Legos, watching 4D movies, and so much more. It’s so amazing there and a perfect way to spend the day.

There was one point where the kids were playing together on the climbing structure and they were laughing so loudly. I turned to my husband with tears in my eyes and told him what a perfect day it was.

Rainforest Cafe for lunch. We sat by the gorillas, bought toys in the gift shop, and my kids loved every second.

Home for a unicorn cake and singing happy birthday with 2 excited kids on my lap the whole time.

How gorgeous is this cake???

It was so delicious.

And then…the day switched. My birthday was over and suddenly HANUKKAH was here!

Our menorahs. Jon and my daughter made hers when she was 1 and him and my son made his last night while I was downtown! Both were Hanukkah presents for me. I cried when my daughter gave me hers and all of these years later I cried when my son gave me his. So, so special.

My daughter’s has melted wax all over it from it’s many years of use and with each new bit of wax, I love it even more because of it’s memories. The year that Jon and I got married, I bought us a gorgeous silver traditional menorah that we used for a few years. Once my daughter made this one, it’s the only one we’ve used since. And now we have 2! One parent holds 1 kid while they light the candles while the other parent holds the other kid while they light the candles. And to the kids, picking out the candle colors is always part of the fun. I love Hanukkah so, so much.  Always have.

When I was a little girl, my parents used to wrap all of my presents and put them out for me on the first day. Each night for the eight nights, I was allowed to choose one gift to open. I remember making charts and obsessively thinking about which gift I would open that night during the school day. Should I open the big silver one tonight or save that one for tomorrow night and open the tiny pink one tonight? Thoughts such as this would consume me for the entire eight days and it was so much fun. I always knew that it when I had my own kids, I would absolutely continue this tradition. Jon and I have done this for kids since my daughter was born. Whichever gift she would put her hand on when she was a baby was the one she “chose” for that night! Now her choices are a little bit more strategic. My son absolutely loves opening gifts but doesn’t quite understand why he is only allowed to open one each night, LOL.

This year, things were a bit different. My daughter has been begging us for years for a hamster and this was the year that my husband and I decided to make her dreams come true! She’s been telling us for months that she has this vision where she would come downstairs to all of her gifts and one of them would have holes poked in it… and she would open that one right away because her hamster would be waiting to meet her! So we did exactly that. See video below (make sure your sound is up). ***the hamster was wrapped up like this for only about 2 minutes before the box was opened***


I’m trying hard to keep my kids and their names off of my blog for privacy reasons so I’m not going to share the video of when she came downstairs. Just know that it was amazing and a moment that none of us will ever forget.

Welcome to our family, Fluffy Rose!

Birthdays in my 20s were filled with alcohol, body glitter, dancing, leather pants, bars, and hangovers. Birthdays in my 30s were filled with learning to celebrate while holding new roles in my life…first as a new fiancee, and then as a new wife and finally (twice!) as a new mom. Birthdays in my 40’s are now filled with the 3 most important parts of my life: love, family, and friends. It’s about surrounding myself with the people that I love the most and who love me right back. It’s about taking the time to reflect upon my life and how much I truly am able to celebrate all of the day to day beauty it contains. If you would’ve asked me 10 years ago where I saw myself today…I’m exactly where I have always wanted to be. Married to the love of my life and a stay at home mom to my 2 beautiful children. Admittingly I never envisioned the hamster in this scenario but I’m welcoming the new addition 🙂

The very best part of the entire weekend? As I was about to make a wish and blow out my candles, I was struck with the realization that there was truly nothing I wanted to wish for.

I already have everything I could ever want.



A very Happy Hanukkah to all who celebrate!

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November Reflections From a Book Blogger


November was a fantastic month!  Thanksgiving with my family was so special, the ridiculously amazing SNOW we have had here was (is) beautiful, the almost week long time with my family was amazing, and I have entirely too much to be thankful for.

Let’s reflect on Book Coffee Happy’s November…

My favorite post: 

4 Best Friends, 1 Alma Mater

Well that was an easy pick.  I absolutely loved writing (and reading…and rereading) this post.  I love these girls so very much and am so beyond blessed to have them always by my side.  My birthday is on Sunday and tomorrow the 3 of them are taking me downtown for a pre birthday celebration on Michigan Avenue.  Perfection.

I also really loved writing Reading Next to Ones You Love. Reading is such a passion of mine (clearly) and being able to experience that passion surrounded by people I love is really beautiful.

Best Book I Reviewed This Month:

Thanksgiving Thankfulness, Social Media, Giveaway Winners, and a Book Review: The Couple Next Door {Shari Lapena}

I loved that book so much!  And a fun story…I put a link of my review on Instagram and within minutes, Shari Lapena “liked” my post and watched my “story” (which was unrelated to her book)!  I love when that happens (it’s happened a few times including the author of Young Jane Young liking my blog post book review and the movie director of The Hate U Give liking a tweet that I had sent about how much I loved the book).  Social media is such an amazing way of connecting people and allowing us to show our gratitude to people whom we might not normally have that chance.  I’m so happy that Shari Lapena was able to read my glowing review of her book!  Fingers crossed it inspires her enough to write a sequel…

Worst Book I Reviewed This Month: 

Book Review: The Wife Between Us {Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen}

So many people love this book.  I am not one of those people.

Giveaways I hosted:

***GIVEAWAY (2 Winners!)*** Chuckerman Makes A Movie {Francie Arenson Dickman}

**GIVEAWAY (1 International and 1 US)** In Search of Mr. Anonymous {JB Glazer}

**Children’s Book GIVEAWAY** (3 Winners)! A Bag for Santa {Kendra Esbrook}

I loved all 3 of the books that I hosted giveaways for this month.  They were all QUITE different from each other and were wonderful in their own ways.  I have some AWESOME giveaways coming in December!  I’m so excited.  Make sure you check back often so you won’t miss out!

Total Combined Number of Book Coffee Happy Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Blog Subscribers/Followers: 1,161

Not bad for less than 3 months of blogging!

I’m so thankful for every single subscribe, follow, like, share, and comment.  I am overwhelmed at the kindness and generosity of the book blogging community and how many people have helped my blog to GROW!  To the many of you that I do not know in real life, I’m so looking forward to getting to know you though my blog.  I love sharing pieces of my life and thoughts with all of you and I have some upcoming blog posts which I am really passionate about.

One thing that would really help me would be to please subscribe/follow on my actual blog. There is a place to do this right on the top of this page where you can enter your email address (scroll all the way to the bottom of this page if you are on an a mobile device). If you have already done this, THANK YOU so much!

I would also love if you would follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (search book coffee happy).

I joined Instagram in November and I think I’m starting to get the hang of it, lol.  I’m loving making Instagram stories!  So fun.  Please follow me!

I post differently and post different things on all of the various platforms.  I would really love and appreciate your support across the board!

I have made some really nice “blogging” friends over the past few weeks.  Xo!  I love that so many new people have discovered my blog.  If you are new here…welcome!  I’m so happy that you’re here 🙂

A Bag for Santa Giveaway Winners

Congratulations to Jamie, Amy, and Melissa!  All 3 of you will receive your autographed copy in the mail just in time for the holidays 🙂

Please email me (bookcoffeehappy@gmail.com) your mailing address and get excited to receive this adorable autographed book asap!  Thank you to everyone who entered.  Stay tuned, everyone…there MIGHT just happen to be a different children’s book giveaway NEXT WEEK….

3 Days 3 Quotes Challenge

Thank you so much Facing the Story for nominating me to take part in the 3 Days, 3 Quotes Challenge! Here are the rules:


  • Thank the person who nominated you.
  • Post one quote per day for three days.
  • Nominate three blogs per day to take part in this challenge.

I don’t post every single day but I am taking part in this for 3 consecutive blog posts. You can read my favorite quote of all time that I posted on Day 1 here: SNOW, My Favorite Quote, and a Book Review: Little Fires Everywhere {Celeste Ng}  Day 2 was here: **Children’s Book GIVEAWAY** (3 Winners)! A Bag for Santa {Kendra Esbrook}

And finally Day 3:

“Worry about tomorrow steals the joy from today”

I love this quote and I think it’s so important.  I remind myself of this often although admittingly sometimes it’s easier said than done 🙂

I have had such fun participating in this challenge this week!  I now tag:

Avalinah’s Books

In Between Book Pages


Thank you everyone for all of your support over the past month.  How was your month? I would love to hear some highlights in the comments! Bloggers, feel free to link your most memorable November posts for others to check out in the comments as well 🙂

And now…my favorite month of the entire year is HERE!  Welcome December, I’m so happy to see you!



Last Month’s Reflections:

October Reflections