In December, I announced that I was going to sunset my monthly on my nightstand posts, as they were starting to feel more like a chore and I wasn’t sure if anyone was actually referencing them to find books—especially since I share everything I am reading over on my Instagram Stories. When I made this announcement on Instagram, several people reached out and asked if I would consider bringing these back as the text is much easier to read on my blog than on Instagram Stories and the search functionality is much better. I so appreciated that feedback and decided that bringing these posts back on a quarterly basis could be a great compromise—these posts won’t be as frequent as they once were, but still often enough I can recommend books soon after reading them.
Given I decided to change up the frequency of these posts, I also wanted to change up the format. I’m now going to categorize books by what star rating I give them on Goodreads. My ranking system is as follows:
Five Stars: an amazing book I could not put down and/or stop thinking about once I finished it; would highly recommend reading it!
Four Stars: a great book that stands out above your average read that I would highly recommend reading.
Three Stars: an average book that I generally enjoyed, but if you asked me for a book recommendation, I’d probably recommend another title first.
Two Stars: a terrible book that was hard to finish; I would not recommend reading it.
One Star: a book that was among the worst I’ve ever read. You probably won’t see too many of these because I usually DNF (do not finish) these books and don’t count them towards my yearly reading goal.
As is custom on these posts, I wanted to call out that I’m part of a program where Random House will send me some of their new titles each month. I’m under no obligation to post about any titles I receive, so I really can tell you my own opinion (good or bad!) about them. I’ve starred the books Random House sent me for free below. I’m so lucky to be sent books and am really grateful for the opportunity to partner with Random House in this way. And, as always, you can follow along with what I am reading in real time over on Goodreads.
Happy reading—and please let me know if there’s been anything good on your nightstand lately.
Today is my Friday as I am off to Puerto Rico in the morning! It will be my first time visiting, and hopefully not my last. I am heading down to the island for a wedding—two of my former coworkers are getting married and I am excited to celebrate their nuptials with many people I used to work with who I am lucky enough to call my friends. We are staying at a resort about an hour outside of Old San Juan and I am excited to post up by the pool or on the beach with a tropical cocktail in hand! One day, I would love to explore Old San Juan and Condado Beach—but you always have to leave a reason to go back somewhere.
Before I jet out of town, I wanted to share the last set of photos I had taken of me in Hawaii—you can see the other outfits from this same shoot here and here. As I mentioned, I am so glad I invested in professional photographs from this trip—it was definitely one for the books as Hawaii is not a destination many are lucky to get to all that often. I am still planning on doing in-depth travel posts about our trip, too—sharing all the details about where we stayed, where we ate, what we did, and the long journey to and from that amazing archipelago in the Pacific. Given how much advice I have and how many pictures I snapped, I will likely break it down into multiple posts; stay tuned!
But while I have you here today, I wanted to call attention to the cutest Monogrammed Tote that I ordered as a beach bag for Hawaii and am taking with me to Puerto Rico, too.
Happy weekend, team! It’s hard to believe I have been back from Hawaii for over a month now. It was a trip that we looked forward to a while—and unlike some that seem to fly by, I felt like we really had a chance to savor it. I wanted to share another outfit I shot with Stephanie while I was on Oahu today—blue, pink, and green is one of my favorite color combinations, so I love how these photos turned out! The Royal Hawaiian is the second oldest hotel in Waikiki and its grounds are just so stunning—I am so grateful we were able to check in for a week and really get to know the property. (All you Mad Men fans might recognize it from Don Draper’s trip to Hawaii in the final season!)
Although Hawaii is behind us, I have a busy travel schedule coming up the next few months. This week, I am heading to Puerto Rico for a long weekend to see two of my old coworkers get married—I have never been and I am so excited to go! It should be a great weekend celebrating two great people, with lots of catching up with friends and tropical cocktails on the agenda. Two weeks after that, I am heading to Chicago for my cousin’s wedding. While I always have fun at my friends’ weddings, there is nothing like a family wedding—my family rolls deep and we just always have the best time. In May, I’ve got trips to Austin, Scottsdale, and Ocean City, Maryland lined up. Then in June, I’m down in Wilmington for my friend Kristyn’s wedding and then I’m spending a week at Ocean Isle Beach with most of my mom’s extended family! After that, I am scaling back on travel for a bit, so you’ll find me at home on my balcony enjoying the dog days of summer.