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!*

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

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Book I’m Currently Reading, Coffee I’m Currently Drinking, 1 Thing Currently Making Me Happy (#4)

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:

Goodreads Synopsis of Every Last Secret {A.R. Torre}:

Welcome to the neighborhood. Watch your husband, watch your friends, and watch your back.

Cat Winthorpe has worked hard to get what she has: a gorgeous home; social standing; and William, her successful, handsome husband. Then a friendly new couple moves into the estate next door. While cautious, a good neighbor like Cat greets them with open arms and warm hospitality.

Neena Ryder isn’t a fellow lady of leisure. A life coach with off-the-rack dresses, personal issues, and a husband who hasn’t delivered, she’s anxious to move up in the world. This beautiful new town is a step in the right direction. It’s also making Neena aware of what she doesn’t have. Namely, William. When Neena’s infatuation escalates into obsession, it’s just a matter of eliminating a few obstacles to get the life she wants. The life next door.

As Neena’s secret fixation grows, so does her friendship with Cat. But beneath their cordial interactions is a wealth of temptations, secrets, and toxic jealousy. For both women, the desire for a perfect life can turn perfectly dangerous.

I’ll post a full review once I finish reading!

Coffee I’m Currently Drinking:

Earlier in the week, I went through a Dunkin’ drive thru (NOT one of my usual Dunkins) and ordered a coffee. The nice man working told me that they needed to brew a new pot of coffee and it would be a few minutes. He asked me to pull around to the front of the store and he would bring it out to me. A brand new pot of fresh coffee just for me? Delightful! So fresh! I paid the man and then happily pulled into a parking spot to wait for my fresh coffee.

A few minutes later, I was watching through the window as a customer was paying for his purchases and on his way out, he walked over to my car to hand me my coffee! Let me recap that for you…a random CUSTOMER was leaving with his purchases and the man working must have said something along the lines of, “Hey on your way to your car, would you please bring this coffee to the lady in the black SUV?” So the random customer walked over to me, handed me my coffee, apologized for the wait (lol), and then got into his car and drove off. It was so weird! My daughter was all, “Did that random man just give you coffee?” Um yes, yes he did. Aaaaand to make the story even better, we were behind that random good samaritan for quite a long time on the highway once we pulled out of the parking lot. My daughter and I kept laughing and talking about it the whole ride home, it was so funny and random.

Thank you, random customer!

Currently Making Me Happy:

WAERING MAKEUP!

In normal, non pandemic times I wear makeup every single day. During these weird times, wearing makeup in public feels like such a treat! The only issue is that I keep forgetting that I’ll be wearing a mask and still keep putting on lipstick, lol. Anyone else keep doing that??? Almost a full year in and I STILL haven’t figured this out yet. All of my masks have bright red lipstick marks on the insides!

Happy Friday! I hope your weekend is filled with love and BOOKS! Be sure to check the blog on Monday because I’ll be hosting an AMAZING giveaway 🙂

What are you currently reading?

What coffee are you currently enjoying?

What is 1 thing currently making you 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

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

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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

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Book Coffee Happy Random Thoughts

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New reading material from Thursday night.  As for my review of the play…is it really fair to review ANY play that you see 5 days after you see Hamiltion???

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When I receive children’s books from authors to review, I let my favorite helpers open the packages and the books are read immediately 🙂

(Spoiler: both books I received were ADORABLE!  Reviews (and giveaways!) coming soon…)

10 days ago, you might have seen that I posted this on Facebook:

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Switched On was excellent!  Easy to read and a fascinating topic which I probably would never have discovered on my own.  I loved how each “chapter” was broken down into short categories, this made it a very quick read. I learned so much and all of it was very  interesting.  I now find myself looking at everyone around me in public places in an entirely different way than I did before and reminding myself to “switch on”.  This was a great book and I really enjoyed it! My husband can’t wait to read this one this next 🙂  Visit http://www.switchedonagent.com to learn more and to order your own copy.  Thanks again, Eric J. Caron!  You wrote such an interesting book! 

Earlier in the week, my daughter and I walked past this and my heart broke:

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We stood there and she listened as I told her how important it is to support businesses that you love or they will not be able to succeed.  She patiently let me reflect on so many memories of this particular bookstore and the beauty that it brought to our community.  I told her that seeing this sight truly was breaking my heart and how it’s our responsibility to support our local businesses. She just stood there quietly as I went on and on about what a sad sight this was and how we cannot allow this to keep occurring. Aaaaaand then a man walked over to us and this happened:

“Excuse me.  I have been listening to your beautiful speech and I just thought you should know that they closed this location only so they could rebuild a much larger and more beautiful location across the street.”

So basically I had the opportunity to teach various meaningful life lessons to my daughter AND we get a new gorgeous bookstore?!?  #Winning

Check out this beautiful display at the front entrance to one of our local libraries:

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Facebook/Twitter Maddie’s Miracles Giveaway ends tonight at midnight!  I’ll announce the winner tomorrow morning…Good luck!  (Search book coffee happy on Facebook and @bookcoffeehappy on Twitter)

I hope you are having a wonderful weekend and that you are reading something amazing!  I finished an AWESOME book yesterday…my review will be on the blog tomorrow morning 🙂

Xo,

Jenny