My Summer Reading List

Hey y’all! This post is going to be a little bit outside of the scope of what I usually share with you but I am really trying to get outside of my comfort zone.  I want to share my summer reading list.  One of my goals at the beginning of this year was to read more books that had meaning, not just my usual “beach reads.” Well somehow, this year snuck right by me, as they usually do and now it’s May and I have read about 2.5 books all year.  Oy vey. So, it’s been long overdue that I make good on this resolution and pick up a really good book! Today I joined Reese Witherspoon’s book club Hello Sunshine  to help me find books that will help me do just that. I love that her book club chooses books that are “centered around a complex woman and her unique story” because let’s face it, every woman loves a book with a strong female lead. It’s also Reese Witherspoon’s book club and in my world, she can do no wrong, it was an easy choice.

So, below I’ve shared those five books with you.  Each of them handpicked by me (and some by Reese) with the hopes that each of them will help me grow as the strong female lead in my own story.  Some of them are self-help, some are stories about other women, and some are just meant to provoke your thoughts. I hope that by writing this post and by ordering these books, I am held accountable take the time to stop at the end of each day and settle into the comforting pages of a really good book. I’m not convinced that there is any better self-care than getting lost in a bookstore, in the library or in a really good book. I do my best thinking in a Barnes and Noble… I wish I was kidding, I’m not. Anyway, I’m done rambling on about how much I love books and now I’m just going to share my fab five with you.

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  1. Grace, Not Perfection by Emily Ley – I’m actually in the middle of reading this right now and I love each and every page of this book. Learning to strive for grace, not perfection is not an easy feat for this Type-A girl. I constantly struggle with comparing myself to others, taking on too many projects and beating myself up when I am not perfect.  This book walks you through how to prioritize your commitments, how to simplify your life, and how to give yourself and those around you grace.  After feeling overwhelmed by life and all of my commitments, this book was exactly what I needed and I hope that it does the same for each of you.                  51oTzUGhPjL._SX325_BO1,204,203,200_
  2. The Alice Network by Kate Quinn – This was a Reese Witherspoon book club pick and I am so excited to dig into it! “A female spy recruited to the real-life Alice Network in France during World War I and an unconventional American socialite searching for her cousin in 1947—are brought together in a mesmerizing story of courage and redemption.”                                                                                                          5169YLchmiL._SX321_BO1,204,203,200_
  3. Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close – This book keeps showing up on my Pinterest and on Amazon… so I finally gave in because the description is the best description of life in your 20’s… “Isabella, Mary, and Lauren feel like everyone they know is getting married. On Sunday after Sunday, at bridal shower after bridal shower, they coo over toasters, collect ribbons and wrapping paper, eat minuscule sandwiches and cakes. They wear pastel dresses and drink champagne by the case, but amid the celebration these women have their own lives to contend with: Isabella is working a dead-end job, Mary is dating a nice guy with an awful mother, and Lauren is waitressing at a midtown bar and wondering why she’s attracted to the sleazy bartender.”                                                                                                                                                                                                51Nu-VjkudL
  4. I Thought it Was Just Me (but it isn’t): Making the Journey from “What Will People Think?” to “I am enough.” by Brene Brown – This was a no-brainer for me because Brene Brown is the QUEEN of the social work/therapy world. Her other books were phenomenal and I could watch her TEDx talks over and over again. This book talks about guilt and shame and their impact on our lives, feelings, behaviors, and self-esteem. I’m so excited to read this one and share with my clients.                                    51fRrYZt84L._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_
  5. Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes – This was a last minute find for me but I love everything Shonda Rhimes has done. (I mean you guys, Olivia Pope is life goals.) Shonda explains that she is actually an introvert and struggles with fear and anxiety. To get out of her comfort zone she decided to spend a year saying “YES!” to everything that scared her and to share it with the world… Super excited about this one as well and I’m hoping to have my own “Year of Yes.”

 

Hope you enjoy these as much as I do!

Liv

**This post may contain affiliate links.**

Maaji Swimwear

IMG_5758IMG_5770IMG_5777IMG_5785IMG_8730IMG_8684IMG_5792Happy Wednesday from FREEZING cold and very snowy Michigan! I’m still dreaming of the 75-degree weather in Fort Myers that I got to enjoy this weekend, so I wanted to share a sunny post with you all to warm us up! How cute is this suit that I found at the Beach House in Naples’ Waterside Shops? I am obsessed with Maaji swimwear for so many reasons, first, the fabrics they use are beautiful and so well made. I always struggle to find swimsuits with fabric that isn’t flimsy, but I am always impressed with Maaji! Second, I love the fit of Maaji suits. They always have a swimsuit for each body style.  I have a couple of one piece suits from here and multiple mix and match bikinis.

I hope you all are staying warm in this snowy weather! I’m going to go get in my cozy pj’s and plan a vacation for Tyler and I so we can get out of this cold!

XO – Liv

Swimwear Details: Suit – Maaji Swimwear – I found it at the Beach House in the Waterside Shops – here is a link to their site and here is a link to Maaji’s | Sunglasses – RayBan | Flip Flops – J.Crew – don’t be discouraged by the limited sizes, they always bring these back in the spring! |

Christmas at My Parent’s Home

IMG_4195IMG_4194IMG_4196IMG_4188IMG_4190IMG_4204IMG_4185IMG_4183IMG_4181IMG_4186IMG_4199IMG_4200IMG_4201IMG_4210IMG_4208IMG_4224IMG_4227IMG_4229IMG_4231IMG_4218Oh, my goodness! Who else is spent their weekend running around like crazy people? Tyler and I had 5 family Christmas gatherings to go to this weekend, hence why this is just getting posted! I wanted to share with you guys my parent’s beautiful new home decorated for Christmas.  Growing up our house was always decorated to the nines for Christmas and this year was no different.  It’s so magical!  Now I know where I get my love for Christmas decor! But, even with all of the crazy running around it was so nice to spend time with each of our families, I’m so sad it’s over and it’s almost time to take down all of our decorations.

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday with your families and friends. What fun traditions do you all have?

XO – Liv

Home Decor Details:

Sofas – Art Van – no longer available but they have so many similar ones! | Dining Room Set – Pottery Barn – TableChairs | Christmas Trees – Hobby Lobby | Lanterns – Pottery Barn and Hobby Lobby | Birch Trees – Pottery Barn – no longer available | Bar Stools – World Market | Stair Garland – Hobby Lobby – no longer available but they bring it back every year! |

Holiday Party Outfit…

DSC_0384DSC_0397DSC_0407DSC_0386DSC_0394 (2)Happy Saturday my loves! I wanted to share this cute outfit with you all that is perfect for holiday parties of any kind! Last Christmas someone returned this Crew Cuts skirt to J.Crew and it happened to be my size, I immediately fell in love! I love black watch plaid for the holidays.  Most of the stuff I have on is old, but I did my best to find you similar items below!

Outfit Details:

Skirt – Crew Cuts by J.Crew – old | Sweater – Ann Taylor – old, but here is a similar one that I LOVE | Booties – Via Spiga – old here is a similar pair! | Handbag – Tory Burch | Necklace – J.Crew – old but similar one here |

XO – Liv

My Favorite Apple Pie

Apple Cranberry Pie Recipe

Courtesy of Sarah from Savoring the Good

Oh my goodness you guys, I found this recipe on Pinterest over the summer and have been saving it to try this fall! I made it for my family’s Thanksgiving dinner and it was a hit! I am not much of a baker, you can ask Tyler about my banana bread extravaganza and the chaos that was fruit pizza if you really don’t believe me, BUT this recipe was so easy and so yummy.  It does come out a little tart (I like it that way), but you can always use fewer cranberries if you like it sweeter.

For the full recipe go to http://www.savoringthegood.com! Sarah has a TON of great recipes for other things too!!

So first, I peel and cut up all of my apples! Sarah says she uses 1 1/2 lbs… I don’t actually know how many apples that is, so I used about 4 large Granny Smith apples! Then add your FRESH cranberries. The colors of this pie are so beautiful…

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Next, mix up all of your dry ingredients. Again, I changed up the recipe and only did 1 teaspoon of lemon zest because I knew the kids at our Thanksgiving wouldn’t love a strong lemon flavor! IMG_8415

Now, mix it all up and give your apples and cranberries a good coat! Pour it into your pie crust (I just use the pre-made pie crusts from the store… again, I’m not a baker.) Cut up your butter and spread the pieces evenly throughout your pie. DO NOT FORGET THE BUTTER…. I totally almost did, thank goodness my mom was supervising and Sarah puts this in the instructions twice!  IMG_8417

Now you can finish it off with whatever kind of crust you like on the top! I took the second pre-made pie crust and laid it on the top of the pie. Slice 4 holes in the top just to make sure it has plenty of ventilation! Then I took my pie crust cookie cutters from Williams Sonoma and used an extra crust to make some decorative leaves and apples, you can find those here.  I also did an egg wash on my pie crust to make it shiny.  If you want to do that, combine an egg and a splash of milk in a bowl, use a brush to cover your pie with an even, light coating. Cover the edges of your pie to make sure they don’t burn and stick that baby in the oven. IMG_4081

IMG_5536Thank you all for reading! I hope your Thanksgiving was amazing and you all got to spend time making memories with your loved ones!

XO – Liv