Currently…

(I plan to do a “Currently…” post every other Tuesday. You should join me! Find the origins of the idea HERE.)

Currently

Loving

The #AuthorLifeMonth photo challenge, hosted by Dahlia Adler. I’m still going strong, and so are tons of other writers. Check out the hashtag on Instagram to see how everyone’s responding to the prompts. A few of my favorites so far…

Reading

If you remember back to my last Currently… post, I mentioned I was reading The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore. Well, I finished, and I loved it — it’s definitely a new favorite. Please, please, please pick it up! I also recently finished These Vicious Masks by fellow Swoon Reads authors Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas, and it was SO much fun. Protagonist Evelyn is the best sort of snarky, and the “Jane Austen meets X-Men” pitch is spot-on. Recommend! Now, I’m reading The Love that Split the World by Emily Henry and it is aMaZiNg so far. Guys, I’m so lucky — I’m picking up the BEST books this year!

Watching

Kendra Akins on YouTube. She posts videos on health and beauty and lifestyle. I love her makeup-focused videos most. I’ve learned tons about the big name brands, as well as lesser-known natural products. Check her out if you’re into beauty and/or healthful eating — she’s super savvy.

Listening To

I recently listened to Colleen Hoover’s November 9, which was everything I was hoping it’d be: romantic, but also angsty and overwrought — a total guilty-pleasure listen. If you can overlook some slight but irritating misogyny, you’ll likely be entertained. And I just finished Keith Donahue’s The Boy Who Drew Monsters, a creepy adult horror. Different from my usual fare, but I liked it!

Thinking About

Wrapping up the Kissing Max Holden revision I’ve been working on since Christmastime. I’ve completed all of the big-picture changes, and now I’m in the midst of a read-through, doing all the fun fine-tuning stuff. Yay!

Anticipating

My birthday… It’s Saturday! I’m going to (try to) sleep late, and then my husband and daughter are going to make me crepes for breakfast — yum! Be on the lookout for a Thirty Before 35 update later this week. Spoiler alert: I haven’t finished all of my goals, but I’m not about to let them go. 👍

Wishing

For sandals and summer and sunshine. Simple as that…

Making Me Happy

These two, as usual. My girlie has had lots of time off school lately (snow days and end-of-quarter days and holidays), and while I do value my quiet work time, I really love having her home. ❤

Did you post a “Currently…” this week?
Let me know in the comments, and I’ll be sure to visit! 

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June Reading Wrap-Up

Only four books this month, but all four were extraordinary!
(As always, covers link to Goodreads pages.)

Things We Know By Heart by Jessi Kirby – I’ve loved all of Jessi Kirby’s books, but this one’s neck-and-neck with In Honor as my favorite. What I found so brilliant about this story is the simplicity of its plot, and the nuanced, aching way the author lets her characters’ emotional journeys unfold. Things We Know By Heart is a quiet story about a sad girl and a sweet boy who fall slowly and convincingly in love, but both characters have secrets – Quinn’s last boyfriend died suddenly, and his heart now beats in Colton’s chest. I love how considerate and patient Quinn and Colton are with each other, even as they hold their secrets close. In moments of (understandable) dishonesty, there are no overblown fights or melodramatic break-ups; I got the sense that Quinn and Colton are meant to be, no matter how rutted and roundabout their path to each other has been. I also love this story’s secondary characters, particularly Ryan and Gran, who offer Quinn support that never feels preachy, as well its setting, the beautiful California coast, which allows Quinn and Colton some pretty amazing dates. Big recommend for fans of contemporary YA romance.


Something Real by Heather Demetrios – I must’ve been living under a rock when this story released in 2014, because I hadn’t heard of Heather Demetrios until I devoured I’ll Meet You There earlier this year. Shortly after, I read some friends’ rave reviews of Something Real and knew I had to get my hands on it. I’m so glad I did — this book is awesome! The “growing up on reality TV” situation is fascinating, and the “super enormous family” situation is compelling, and I always love a sweet romance. Something Real combines all three, and I could not put it down. Chloe (AKA Bonnie) is now one of my favorite YA protagonists. She’s just so real. Deeply flawed thanks to a supremely messed up childhood, but at the same time fiercely loyal, enviably tough, delightfully snarky, and heartbreakingly vulnerable. Her voice is almost conversational, and totally unflinching. Despite the utter chaos of her life, Chloe is surrounded by some wonderful people: her BFFs Tessa and Mer, her charming boyfriend Patrick, and her brother Benton, who’s funny and steadfast and, along with his boyfriend Matt, completely adorable. Something Real is a gripping sneak peek into a world that seems widely overlooked — the toll reality TV can take on its non-consenting minor stars. It’s also a story about relationships, and standing up for what’s right, and love of all sorts. Highly recommend!


Truth & Temptation by Riley Edgewood – Lucky me! I got to read Riley Edgewood’s up-and-coming contemporary new adult novel early and it’s predictably amazing. Remember Teagan from Riley’s debut, Rock & Release? Well, she’s telling her own story now, one that’s sexy and fun, but also multifaceted and deep. Teagan’s childhood was not exactly charmed, and now she’s struggling with anger issues, plus a multitude of other difficulties that are uncovered as the story progresses. But things aren’t all bad. Teagan’s got a new job, a couple of fantastically loyal friends (Cassidy and Vera – yay!), and a new guy, Alec, who’s the perfect combination of steamy and sweet. Honest confession: I didn’t love Teagan when I read R&R. She struck me as petty and, sometimes, downright mean. But T&T sheds so much light on her backstory and the personality it fostered, and it didn’t take me but a few pages to find myself firmly on Teagan’s side. I desperately wanted to see her successful and happy and at peace with herself. If you’re into NA that’s weighty as well as sexy, check out Truth & Temptation when it releases in late July.


The Wrath & the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh – I’ve read some outstanding fantasy over the last few years, and The Wrath & the Dawn is right up there with the best. I love this book. It’s a spin on The Arabian Nights: Tales From 1,001 Nights — supposedly monstrous king takes a new bride each night, then kills her in the morning; clever girl marries the king, then saves her life by telling him an infinite story. The Wrath & the Dawn is full of tension and mystery and magic, and main characters Shahrzad and Khalid have some of the best chemistry I’ve read. She’s smart and courageous and cunning, while he’s dark and brooding and furtive. Their exchanges are witty, intense, and passionate, making them so easy to root for. The Wrath & the Dawn’s secondary characters are equally absorbing. I love Despina and Jalal and Tariq, and the way they interact with the story’s protagonists. Renee Ahdieh’s prose is gorgeous and evocative, and the world she’s built is rich and vividly described. I went into this book not realizing it had a sequel, so be prepared for a cliffhanger of an ending that just might break your heart. Can’t wait for The Rose & the Dagger!

May Reading Wrap-Up

May = All the Romance
(As always, cover images link to Goodreads pages.)

The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord – I found this sophomore novel to be as close to perfect as possible. I love Emery Lord’s debut, Open Road Summer, but The Start of Me and You was absolutely unputdownable. MC Paige’s character arc is so compelling. She’s struggling to come to terms with the sudden death of her first boyfriend, but her story never feels bogged down by grief. Paige wants to feel better — she wants to make changes and find happiness — and she takes steps toward her goals with the help of her most excellent group of girl friends, plus some new boys who enter her life rather unexpectedly. It was so much fun to watch her relationships with Ryan and Max unfold and grow and deepen. While this book had moments of sadness, it had many more moments of pure joy, and it gave me actual butterflies — Seven Minutes in Heaven <3. I loved, too, the TV show references, the Quiz Bowl scenes, Paige’s many true-to-life conversations with her BFFS, and the conclusion. Recommend!

99 Days by Katie Cotugno – I love this story. I love that it is supremely messy, I love that its characters are deeply flawed, and I love that it made me think — that it changed the way I was thinking. MC Molly is in a tough spot. A year before the novel’s opening, she slept with her longtime boyfriend’s older brother. Then her mother wrote a best-selling novel based on the transgression. Molly’s getting harassed and slut-shamed, she’s grappling with guilt, and, after a year away, she’s feeling majorly displaced in her small hometown. As the summer drags on, she finds herself tangled up with the Donnelly brothers once again: Patrick hates her for her betrayal, and Gabe’s falling for her. Throughout the course of 99 Days, Molly makes decisions I fundamentally disagree with, and on occasion she’s hard to root for. Sometimes, I sort of hated her for what she was doing to the Donnelly boys. But then, I started to see things through a less judgmental filter, and my opinions began to reshape themselves. That, for me, was the magic of this book — it’s rare that my perceptions are so entirely altered by fiction. 99 Days is beautifully written, full of angst and duplicity, and it tackles some important issues in subtle, thoughtful ways. It made my heart hurt, but I can honestly say I’m better for the experience.


I Remember You by Cathleen Davitt Bell – Overall, I found I Remember You to be poignant and absorbing. But… I did not enjoy MC Juliet. She has political opinions that really rub me the wrong way (she’s anti-military, which is a mindset I just cannot relate to), and I felt like she kind of lost herself and her backbone while falling in love. Thankfully, Juliet’s boyfriend, Lucas, balances her off-putting nature quite nicely; he’s the reason I enjoyed this story so much. The concept of this book is really cool: Lucas is dreaming the future in strange flashes, and comes to believe he’s going to die an early and painful death; it reminded me a little of The Future of Us and The Time Between Us. I was pretty much desperate to find out how this story’s plot would play out, and I wasn’t disappointed. I Remember You‘s conclusion literally gave me chills.


The Friend Zone by Kristen Callihan – I mean, this cover… Thank God it’s an eBook, ’cause I couldn’t bring a physical copy of this one to my daughter’s guitar lesson. But the story! I don’t know what it is about Kristen Callihan’s Game On books that make them so compulsively readable. Maybe it’s the football. Maybe it’s the fast pace, or the angst, or the (refreshing) lack of blown-up misunderstandings and melodrama. More than anything, though, I think it’s the characters. Kristen Callihan writes college girls who are smart, driven, confident, and relatable. She writes guys who are… hot. They’re star football players and they’re very much alpha-types, but they’re also flawed, full of personality and interesting backstory. I like, too, that these people Kristen Callihan writes fall hard and steadfast. Recommended if you’re looking for something fun and romantic and steamy (okay, smutty). 😉


Last Will and Testament by Dahlia Adler – This story’s concept reminds me of that Kate Hudson movie Raising Helen, except Dahlia Adler’s NA debut is set on a college campus, its main character, Lizzie, is all sorts of feisty and headstrong, and it’s full of forbidden romance and hot hook-ups. Lizzie was easily my favorite part of this story — she’s genuinely funny, she’s determined to keep her brothers happy and her family intact, and she’s got this hidden soft spot, a vulnerability that made her feel very relatable. Teacher’s assistant Connor, too, was endearing, balancing his inherent need to do the right thing with his growing attraction to Lizzie — his student. I went into Last Will and Testament thinking it’d be a typical NA romance, but it took some unexpected turns that kept me hooked in the best way. I can’t wait to read Dahlia’s future Radleigh University novels.


Three Day Summer by Sarvenaz Tash – This story’s mood perfectly matches its vibrant, feel-good cover. It’s hard to put into words what I love so much about this historical novel. It just made me all sorts of happy. Its setting is one of the greatest ever: Woodstock. Its pace is quick and engaging. It’s dual-POV main characters, Cora and Michael, are incredibly likable — even the one who cheats. Its voice is light and fresh, and not just when exploring bands and skinny-dipping and bad acid trips, but also when discussing the more serious issues of the time, like the draft and the conflict in Vietnam. And its romance, though quickly intense, is genuine and charming and really sexy. Three Day Summer made me sorely regret not being present (not to mention alive) for Woodstock, but the spirit of the festival is so perfectly captured in this story, I wonder if maybe I haven’t completely missed out after all.


P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han – One of my most anticipated sequels of 2015 — I had very strong feelings about how I wanted this duology to conclude. While I adore MC Lara Jean’s voice, her unapologetically innocent personality, and her family’s dynamic, I knew that my enjoyment of this book would depend solely on whether she and Peter, her love interest from To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, ended up together. Thanks to Jenny Han’s stellar romance writing, I ship them SO HARD. I’m putting the remainder of my thoughts in white because they contain All the Spoilers. Highlight at your own risk! So… I loved this story! I’m so, so happy (and so, so relieved!) about how everything played out. Even though were are misunderstandings and miscommunications that could’ve probably been avoided with some frank conversation, this story felt real and authentically teen, and so true to who Lara Jean and Peter are. They both make mistakes and assumptions, but their feelings for each other are palpable, and I was legitimately awwwing over and over. I mean, that night in the treehouse… And the hug in the kitchen… And the ending! Additionally, I enjoyed learning about Lara Jean’s childhood friendships, and I’m a big fan of how her relationship(-ish) with John evolved. I felt that he was a fully-formed character, not just a love-triangle plot-device. In fact, I kind of want him to have his very own book. Same with Genevieve, actually. 🙂 As I’ve said on this blog before, Jenny Han is one of my favorite authors, and if you’re not reading her books, you should be. 🙂

What’s the best book you read in May? 

Currently…

(I plan to do a “Currently” post every other Tuesday, and I think y’all should join me… Find the origins of the idea HERE.)

Currently

Loving

Starbucks is my least favorite coffee chain, but they have (a version of) coconut milk now, and it is delicious with their chai, iced or hot. Also, Cougar Gold Cheese (one of my husband’s coworkers, a fellow Coug, recently hooked us up with a can — yummy!). And then there’s this “Holy Swoon” t-shirt that I want so bad, but it’s $50 and I’m trying to be reasonable and responsible. It’s really difficult. Oh, and I’m totally in love with my Pilot Frixion Erasable Markers — so cool! And, finally, my Erin Condren Life Planner which, miraculously, is just as fun to use today as it was when I got it back in February.

Reading

Last week I finished Katie Cotugno’s 99 Days, which I absolutely loved — it’s messy and angsty and enlightening. This week I read Kathleen Davitt Bell’s recently released I Remember You, a unique and heart-wrenching YA romance with an MC who I found rather prickly. More on both of these YAs in my upcoming May Reading Wrap-Up post. I also flew through two NAs: Kristen Callihan’s The Friend Zone, and Dahlia Adler’s Last Will and Testament. I definitely wouldn’t put either of these in a young adult’s hands, but they’re both super good!

Watching

On Friday we went to see Pitch Perfect 2, which was a blast. I kept my expectations low (because the original is just so freaking good), and I’m happy to report that said expectations were blown clear out of the water. I mean, there were some ridiculously silly moments, but overall, I thought the sequel was funny and genuine and entertaining. Recommend!

Listening To

I recently discovered a most excellent podcast called The Narrative Breakdown. It’s about writing of all sorts (fiction, screenplays, journals, etc), as well as the many aspects of books and publishing (character, dialogue, literary agents and query letters, etc). I highly recommend it if you’re a podcast person with an interest in growing your craft.

Thinking About

Our move. Ugh. But… we found a house and we’ve got a signed lease, and that’s all a huge, HUGE relief. I really like the house, too, and the neighborhood, and I think (hope!) we’ll be happy there for the next few years.

Anticipating

Ready. Set. WRITE! It’s a summer writing intensive that encourages goal-setting and accountability, and provides an opportunity for us to cheer each other on wherever we’re at within our writing projects—planning, drafting, revising, or polishing. This year, your RSW hosts will be Alison MillerJaime MorrowErin Funk, Elodie Nowodazkij, and myself. Find more info HERE, and look for a post with this year’s details next week. We hope you’ll join us for the fun!

Wishing

On a star (or a dandelion) that my most recently completed WiP will find success, and that my newest project (still in its brainstorming/plotting stages) will quit being such a jerk and just submit already. 😉

Making Me Happy

Date nights with my husband, and a recent visit with my mom.

  

What’s currently making YOU happy?

April Reading Wrap-Up

April: Month of the Fascinating Fictional Female
I read some seriously good books this month!
(As always, covers images link to Goodreads pages.)


Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens – While I enjoyed this book from its earliest pages, it didn’t become truly impressive until its conclusion — I loved the way author Courtney Stevens wrapped this debut up. MC Alexi is a compelling narrator who’s struggling with a dark secret. While her behavior makes sense, there were moments when I wanted to give her a little shake — I so wanted her to see that what happened to her was not her fault. Luckily, she reconnects with sweet loner Bodee, who is one of the most endearing YA boys I’ve read. He’s battling his own demons, but he’s unwaveringly there for Alexi, and in a refreshingly nonjudgemental way. Bodee helps Lex regain her autonomy and become a girl who is strong and determined and far healthier than she is at the novel’s opening. While there were a few moments in this story that (for me) bordered on preachy, I think it’s an incredibly strong debut.

Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver – I’ve read two books in the last couple of years that have a premise similar to that of Vanishing Girls, so I figured out this story’s mystery fairly quickly. That said, knowing what was coming did not ruin my reading experience; rather, I used this novel as an opportunity to study how a talented author pulls off this sort of meandering, enigmatic plot. Lauren Oliver’s prose is predictably gorgeous and, once again, she has crafted complex, unpredictable characters who I cared about genuinely. I recommend Vanishing Girls if you’re a fan of dark, twisty YA.

 
Flat-Out Love and Flat-Out Matt by Jessica Park – These books were recommended to me by a friend who I now think of as my book soulmate. She was so right — I loved these stories! When I bought Flat-Out Love, I didn’t know it was a trailblazer in NA self-publishing (the paperback is now pubbed by Skyscape), nor did I know that there was a companion, Flat-Out Matt, or a follow-up, Flat-Out Celeste (which I can’t wait to read!). Flat-Out Love’s romantic tone reminded me of Anna and the French Kiss — the slow-burn romance is delicious torture. It’s so obvious who MC Julie is meant to be with, but thanks to a series of misunderstandings and missteps and messy family dynamics, her journey to coupledom is all sorts of complicated, and totally worth the ride. Flat-Out Matt is the perfection companion; several chapters from Flat-Out Love told from Matt’s POV, plus a very — ahem — special night told from Julie’s. Guys, these books are full of eccentric characters, outstanding nerd references, and writing that reads as effortless. I wish there were more NA stories like these on the market!


Bone Gap by Laura Ruby – The best book I’ve read so far this year. I’d heard that this novel is fantastical and sort of bizarre, but that’s all I knew going in, and I’m so glad I started reading blindly. Because how do you describe a book like this…? It’s about two sad brothers, a ballsy beekeeper, and a lovely, missing girl. There are summer jobs and whispering cornfields and first kisses; there is a fascinating small-town dynamic, a twisted fairy tale, and a magical horse. Bone Gap is so beautifully written, so evocative and powerful, it’s the sort of book that makes me want to work harder on my own writing. It’s a haunting, lyrical story about love and perception and feminism, and reading it is an enchanting experience — one I didn’t want to end. Highly recommend.


All the Rage by Courtney Summers – I’ve made no secret of my love of Courtney Summers’ writing. She is fearless, and her latest release is bold and gritty and so, so good. Romy is a protagonist unlike any I’ve read before. She’s rightfully lost and pissed and afraid, emotions that stem from a past sexual assault that went unpunished, as well as subsequent bullying from her classmates. Romy isn’t a likable girl in the traditional sense (she lies, she gets into fights, and she thinks cruel thoughts) but I happen to love her. She’s so honest — an uncomfortable, exhilarating sort of honest. Her supporting cast is also riveting. I particularly enjoyed Romy’s mother, who’s doing the best she can, as well as Todd and Leon, who become positive male figures in Romy’s life. All the Rage is a gut-wrenching story that illustrates how complicated it is to trudge through life as a female, and how scary it can be to raise a girl in this world. Read it.


Forged by Erin Bowman – I’ve been bad about keeping up with trilogies and series lately. I’ve started so many over the last few years, but most have fallen off my radar — even those whose first books I truly enjoyed. The Taken trilogy is one that’s held my interest since its first book released in 2013, though, and that’s because of its characters. Don’t get me wrong — the world-building is fantastic, the plot is unique, and the pacing is swift, but it’s Gray, Bree, Clipper, Emma, Sammy, and Blaine who’ve kept me committed. Bree, especially, continues to blow me away with her awesomeness. Though she’s not the lead character, she’s a standout thanks to her independence and toughness and vigor, and she lends a sense of humanity (and humility) to protagonist Gray. Author Erin Bowman concludes her debut series in a way that feels real and true and courageous and, though there were some genuinely heartbreaking moments, I closed this novel feeling hopeful and content. Recommend!

What’s the best book you read in April? 

Currently…

(I plan to do a “Currently” post every other Tuesday, and I think y’all should join me… Find the origins of the idea HERE.)

Currently

Loving

This (incredibly easy) Chocolate Cake recipe. My favorite (free!) yoga videos: Yoga With Adriene. Washi tape — I am officially obsessed. Pura Vida bracelets. This fantastic “beYOUtiful raglan t-shirt,” of which 1/4 of the price is donated to First Descents, providing free adventure experiences for cancer fighters and survivors. And a recent Pub(lishing) Crawl post by Erin Bowman, all about how to support authors before, during, and after release day.

Reading

Jessica Park’s Flat-Out Love (NA at its most adorable), and Laura Ruby’s Bone Gap (one of the weirdest, most beautifully written books I’ve read in a long time). These two stories couldn’t be more different, but I loved them both, particularly Bone Gap — pure magic. Now, I’ve started All the Rage by one of my favorite authors, Courtney Summers. More about this recent release soon!

   

Watching

Guys, I finished Gossip Girl! I thought the series finale was quite satisfying — though I wanted more Chuck and Blair (always). I’ve just finished watching the first season of The CW’s The 100 which, as promised by many, has drastically improved since its fist few episodes. It definitely has its cheese-tastic moments, but it also has enough twists and romance to hold my attention. So far, so good. Hurry up and make season 2 available, Netflix!

Listening To

Echosmith‘s Bright, which is so damn cute. It’s the perfect theme song for my WiP, Stars Like Dust, too.

Thinking About

My Shiny New Idea! It’s in its very earliest brainstorming stages, but I’m *really* excited about it. I was at the dentist a few weeks ago and during my cleaning, two songs from the same movie soundtrack played — one of my favorite movies. I was suddenly super inspired, and I’ve been stewing over plot-ish things ever since. I’ve named my main characters, and I’ve made a mood board that’s now my computer’s desktop –> progress!

Anticipating

I can’t wait to randomly select the winner of my 5 Year Blog-iversary Giveaway! I’ve got YA books, notecards, a travel mug and Jelly Bellies up for grabs. If you haven’t already, enter HERE. The giveaway closes this Thursday, April 23rd at midnight, and is open internationally. Good luck!

Wishing

That the people who picked up the novels my daughter and I left around our community during last week’s Rock the Drop will love the stories they scored!

Making Me Happy

My family, always. ❤

What’s currently making YOU happy?

What’s Up Wednesday

d542d-wuwwinterholly1(It’s warm enough for shorts today so this graphic seems sort of odd, but I suppose it’s still winter in some places. Brrr…)

“What’s Up Wednesday” is a fun weekly meme started by my friends Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk. From Jaime: It’s similar in some respects to the Currently… post, but it’s been whittled down to only four headings to make it quicker and more manageable on a weekly basis. You’re invited to join us if you’re looking for something to blog about, a way to let your blog friends know what’s been going on with you. If you’re participating, make sure to link your What’s Up Wednesday posts to the list on Jaime’s blog each week. That way, others can visit your post and check out what you’ve been up to. And now, here’s what’s up with me this week…

What I’m Reading: Lots of love for two of my favorite NAs, both of which released recently. Find my rave reviews of Riley Edgewood’s Surf & Surrender HERE and Ellie Cahill’s When Joss Met Matt HERE. I’m currently reading Kathryn Holmes’ The Distance Between Lost and Found, which is pretty incredible so far. I love the 3rd person narrative, and the survival aspects of the story are gripping. Can’t wait to see how it plays out!

 

What I’m Writing: I FINISHED MY 1ST DRAFT OF STARS LIKE DUST. What a relief! I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to see this one through, guys. Not because I don’t love it, but because I love it so much I’m desperate to do it justice. Hopefully I’m getting there. I’m the sort of writer who revises as she drafts, so this manuscript is fairly clean. I’m taking care of some small-ish issues now, and I’m hoping to have it to my CPs in the next couple of days. For more on my writing, you can check out my #WriterRecharge Wrap-Up HERE. Goal for the next week: Start outlining my next project. 🙂

What Else I’ve Been Up To: Aside from writing and revising a TON, I’ve mostly just been hanging out with my girl…


We celebrated the end of her basketball season with a party at our favorite fro-yo spot. Is there a better way to spend an afternoon than with a cute kid and bowl of banana frozen yogurt? She and I also had a girls’ day in Pensacola, full of shopping (Target and Michael’s — yay!), plus lunch at Red Robin.

What Works For Me: I mentioned my planner in last week’s post and to be honest, I’ve gotten to the point where I live and die by the thing. (I worked out this morning because my planner told me to, and my husband was like, “I wish I had a planner that had that kind of control over me.”) As well as tracking my schedule and writing progress, I’ve also been using it to write down daily gratitudes, an idea I got from my friend Elodie — thanks, lady! Each night, I take a few minutes to jot down three things I’m thankful for. Sometimes they’re big (like finishing Stars Like Dust) and sometimes they’re little (last week I was super thankful for NyQuil). Either way, gratitudes help me reflect on and appreciate the positive things happening in my life — never a bad thing.

Tell me… What’s up with you today?