Summer Book Report


Since this past summer was full of so much travel, there was actually a lot of time for reading. Ready for a serious book review post? Here we go…

This summer I read:

15+ trashy romance novels: these do not get summaries but just know that I love them all and no, I’m not ashamed of it.

The Nightingale: best book I read all summer. This is very very high on my list of favorite books ever. We’re talking right behind Harry Potter, A Time to Kill, and tied with All the Light We Cannot See. It takes place in France during WWII and is the story of two sisters and the different ways the war changed their lives. I cannot recommend it enough. Thanks for insisting I read it, Leah!

Big Little Lies: second best book I read all summer. Seriously gripping and I never saw the ending coming. Not once. It is a story about a group of parents whose children all go to school together–that’s all I’ll say. Seriously, read this. Shout out to Leah for this rec, too!

The Invention of Wings: another recommendation from Leah, because she picks the best books. A really great read about Sarah Grimke, an anti-slavery activist and her relationship with a slave her family owns.

Always Looking Up: Michael J. Fox’s memoir–I had to read this for a class but I’m so glad that I did. I didn’t know much about Fox’s struggle with Parkinson’s and I found this to be so inspiring.

On the Island: this could technically fall into the trashy romance novel category but it’s a step above, I think. Leah doesn’t just recommend the best legit books but also great beach reads as well. A tutor and her student are in a plane crash and stranded alone on a deserted island. It’s good.

Look Me in the Eye: this was another school read but another good one. This is a memoir by a man with Asberger’s Syndrome, I really loved reading it.

Paper Towns: I devoured this in a day in anticipation of seeing the movie, which I still haven’t actually seen! I loved it, as I do most young adult novels.

The Reason I Jump: I know this is getting redundant but, another school read, this one by a 13 year old with autism. It was so insightful and has been groundbreaking in regards to learning more about what life is really like for someone with autism.

A Loss For Words: last one, another school book, this one about a woman whose parents are both deaf. I currently have a fascination with ASL and the deaf community and loved learning more about it. Two thumbs up.

Design Mom: Design Mom is one of my all time favorite blogs (remember that time I did a guest post there) and Gabrielle’s first book was a slam dunk. It’s all about making a home work well for the people that live in it and I loved it and look at it all the time.

Not That Kind of Girl: I love Lena Dunham and find her so inspiring, but this book didn’t thrill me at all. There were a few essays that I enjoyed but overall I found it off putting.

One Plus One: this was such a feel good book, I love JoJo Moyes’ writing style and loved meeting more of her characters and being in their world. I cannot suggest this one enough.

So all in all 12 legit books and 15 trashy romance novels. 27 books this summer! And 40 books this year! I’m really proud of myself and so happy that I’ve worked reading back into my daily routine. It does the soul some serious good and makes it much easier to fall asleep at night.

October Goals // 2015


So, September was kind of a crap shoot. I did a lot of working and not enough resting and almost burnt myself out. I’ve cleared my plate a little bit and I’m working on finding a good balance. I’m trying to cut myself some slack about how few goals I accomplished last month.

September Goals 

– Take some video on my Labor Day trip and at Taylor and Justin’s wedding. I’ve LOVED having some quick clips from this summer’s events and I’m hoping to keep this habit up. I took some video of Labor Day but haven’t put them together and I took absolutely none at the wedding.

Pack lunch and dinner for work, work, and school at least 4 days a week. Must save money, must not eat junk. I’ve done a good job of packing my meals but I’ve been buying too many snacks, need to work on that for sure. 

– Be active three days a week: yoga, running, or reaching 10k stops during the day counts. I got better about this towards the end of the month and I’m determined to keep it up.

– Practice juggling (duh, because it’s a yearly goal and I haven’t started on it, ooooooops). No comment.

Alright, let’s figure out the best way to make things happen in October.

October Goals

– Practice doing planks each morning before work. I’m only devoting five minutes to this which means it’s totally manageable and I can do it.

– Participate in the 30 day green smoothie challenge over at Simply Green Smoothies.

– Have the BEST time at Grace and Roice’s wedding and while visiting Leah and Austen in Durham mid month!

– Think of a great Halloween costume idea with Kate and actually make it out to the bar this year–which means no one losing their ID before we even get in the cab (got it, Kate?)

I’m so excited for fall and hopeful about how this month is going to go!

Gracie is a bride!

Guys! The craziest thing is happening this weekend. My cousin, Grace, is getting married. The fact that she’s getting married isn’t actually the crazy part. What’s insane is that we’re old enough for one of us to be getting married. Where did the time go?! I mean, aren’t we all still teenagers (or pre-teens, in the boys’ case)?!

Also, please note that for Grace’s 16th birthday she got a white Christmas tree.


Truthfully, I’m glad we’ve all gotten older. I’m glad the boys got haircuts and that we’re all a bit less awkward.

Also, big shout out to Aunt Terri for documenting our entire childhoods. I fell down a deep rabbit hole on Shutterfly browsing for pictures for this post and there are lots of staged adorable ones that I could post–but I love the weirdness of that one.

Ok wait, but also I have to post this one:


And the reenactment we did this past March:


We are one good looking group of cousins, huh? I cannot wait to all be reunited this weekend for the first of many real life adult events in our lives!

I cannot wait to be in your wedding tomorrow, Gracie, it’s going to be a magical, wonderful day (even if it does rain—but fingers crossed it doesn’t)!

Love you forever!

Summer 2015 in Numbers

This summer was one for the record books. I was out of town for all but 3 weekends and attended pretty much every type of major life event you can imagine. I did a little calculating and I present to you–summer 2015 by the numbers.

There were:


2 bachelorette parties


6 trips to Greensboro


1 college graduation


1 high school graduation


4 airplane rides


2 train rides


1 trip out of the country


1 bridal shower


1 mountain trip



2 weddings

1 RVA trip

and 2 graduate school classes–which there are for sure not photographs of.

It was a long, exhausting, exhilarating, incredibly fun, and memorable summer. And now fall, I am so ready for you.

Currently // September 2015


bummed that I only posted here 4 times this month.

hopeful that I’ll be breaking that habit next month.

relieved to have finished a marathon summer of traveling.

looking forward to Grace and Roice’s wedding this weekend!

appreciating extra free time after deciding to go down from three jobs to one.

eating Cheez-its.

watching Switched at Birth. Because again, I have a sick obsession with ABC Family shows.

loving that fall has arrived.

planning out blog posts for the month ahead.

walking around Georgetown on my lunch breaks and taking in it’s charm.

enjoying getting to know my students better every day.

crying during every single clip of Ellen I watch online. What is wrong with me.

reading nothing right this moment but considering revisiting Hogwarts this fall.

not drinking Diet Coke anymore. Time to break the addiction, again.

working on holding a plank for longer than 30 seconds.

listening to Rachel Platten. Fight Song and Stand By You are my jam.

excited for my visit to Durham later this month.

remembering what this month looked like last year.

Thank You God for Three Day Weekends


Guys, it’s time for a three day weekend. I mean, isn’t it time for a three day weekend?! Have I ever looked forward to a three day weekend more?!? The answer is no.

Per usual, I’m heading down south to (the land of the pines) West Jefferson, North Carolina for a weekend of camping and moonshine and river floating and reading and just having a jolly good time. I plan to read a lot of books and sit around a lot. There is no phone service or internet and it’s going to be GLORIOUS I TELL YOU, GLORIOUS.

Peace out and I’ll see you next Wednesday. Happy Labor Day to y’all!

September Goals // 2015


Our classroom on Day 8 of the school year!

August Goals

Blog Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I miss this space and I want to make sure I’m more consistent about posting here. I’ve got a calendar made up for August and I hope to get a jump start on September soon. I missed the last Wednesday and Friday but I managed to post every other day I planned, so this is definitely a win. 

Hit 10,000 steps on my step counting app at least 5 days a week. Switching to a new job halfway through the month is going to mean less time outside (I walk about 5 miles with my nanny babies each day) so I want to be conscious about keeping up with this. So this one took a different form than I expected. I don’t have my phone on me most of the day at either of my jobs, so I’m not getting an accurate step count. However, I decided to see if I could get a total of 50k or more steps each week, and I did! Since it’s not counting all of my steps, I’m definitely averaging more than that, which was exactly the plan.

Figure out my computer photo storage. Apple had to go and update their Photos app and ruin everything. I HATE CHANGE. Now I can’t get my photos to sync and the ones that I can are wildly out of order. All the stress. I switched allllllll of my pictures over to Google Photos and just finished getting it all organized today! Hooray for more storage on my phone!

Co-host a successful wedding shower for Taylor and Justin! Everything is pretty much done for this and the shower is this weekend, cross your fingers for good weather. The shower was wonderful and if you missed it you can watch the video and see the photos.

Take more pictures of things other than my nanny babies. I’m struggling to find good everyday pictures to use in this space and I need to step my photo game back up.

Register my new car in DC, get it inspected, and figure out what needs to be done with my brakes. Boring adult stuff. Got it all done on Saturday, woot woot! 

– Relax. I’m starting a new job this month which will be a bit hectic but this is also the first month in three months (how many times can I say month) that I won’t be traveling during at least 3 weekends. I’m only out of town for this first weekend and then it’s time to settle back into this city and get into a good groove. I miss consistency and I feel like I didn’t get to take advantage of my city this summer. Fall will be different. I did better at this but I’m still working hard on finding a real groove. 

And our first month of Fall (sort of) is upon us! Let’s make some goals.

September Goals 

– Take some video on my Labor Day trip and at Taylor and Justin’s wedding. I’ve LOVED having some quick clips from this summer’s events and I’m hoping to keep this habit up.

– Pack lunch and dinner for work, work, and school at least 4 days a week. Must save money, must not eat junk.

– Be active three days a week: yoga, running, or reaching 10k stops during the day counts.

– Practice juggling (duh, because it’s a yearly goal and I haven’t started on it, ooooooops).

Short and sweet this month because I’m on the verge of a breakdown right now–so many jobs, so much school, so much responsibility. Ahhhh, adulthood.

August Photo Dump


My first game at Nats park was so much fun. I’ve never been much of a fan of baseball, too much downtime, not enough physical contact. But turns out in person it’s much more fun! I even picked up on most of the rules and was fairly invested by the end of it. Too bad we lost 4-3.


The school I’m working at this year seriously couldn’t be more amazing, I’m kind of in awe that I get to work with and learn from such a crazy awesome group of teachers.


I finally got to see these two again after 13 days apart from one another. They’ve grown at least two feet and learned at least one thousand new words since our last day together. My heart could barely handle it.


My mom made the most beautiful quilt for Taylor and Justin earlier this month. Mom works so hard on these quilts and they’re seriously beautiful, she made the one on my bed, too!


Lately I can’t get enough of these. I tell everyone that if I could only have one candy for the rest of my life it would be York Peppermint Patties–hands down.


And to end things, a nice bathroom selfie at Shake Shack to show off my favorite leather skirt that I wore to see Kevin Hart with Alex!

Happy Monday y’all! Today is my first full day with my students and my first day working from 8AM to 10PM–wish me luck.

Silly Gillys

IMG_2367This past weekend, during my approximately 12 waking hours off from work, I went to a live taping of my favorite podcast, alone. And before you laugh at me, I checked with Kate and even though that makes me a huge nerd it also makes me adorable. So, you can laugh. But only while contemplating how stinking cute I am.

Anywho, I’ve waxed poetically about the Gilmore Guys before on this blog but quick summary: Kevin and Demi are two 20-somethings watching each episode of Gilmore and recapping and analyzing the show in two hour-ish long episodes per week. Kevin is a die-hard fan, Demi is watching for the first time. It’s this weird, hilarious, perfect show.

The live show was all I had hoped it would be, except there was no special guest which was quite a bummer. However, Kevin and Demi delivered, as always. And sitting in a synagogue (shout out Sixth and I!) while singing the theme song to my all time favorite TV show with 800 other nerds was a highlight of the summer–seriously.

You should really listen to the show, here’s the link to their website! But skip episode 109–it’s the worst.


Emma Lou Teaches, The Beginning

I’m writing this on Thursday night. I’m exhausted. In a good way. The kind of exhausted that comes from working really hard at something because you love it and you just want to do it right and be proud of your work.

On Monday I started working at a public elementary school in Washington, D.C. I’m in the pre-k3 classroom as an assistant while I finish out my Masters. We are building the pre-k3 program from scratch which is thrilling and overwhelming all at the same time. We started with an empty classroom, waited two days for a delivery of 55 boxes, spent a day unloading boxes, and by the end of today we started to have a semblance of a classroom. Hopefully on Monday I’ll have an updated picture to share of our finished product!




So far I’m loving the school (like really, LOVING it), loving my co-workers, and mostly loving working around other adults again. I miss my nanny babies something fierce but it is so nice to be amongst taller, more articulate humans again. This year is going to be nuts because I’m teaching, working at a stationary store on nights and weekends, doing some admin work for a friend’s company, and finishing up graduate school. But it’s all work that I’m excited about and ready for and if I do a good job getting enough sleep, it’ll be wonderful.

And on that note, I’ll leave you. As you’re reading this on Friday I will be in one of my happy places, surrounded my toys that need organizing.

TGIF, peeps!