My Top 5 Books of 2017

It was really hard to choose this list. I read so many great books and to narrow it down to my top five, well, let’s say for this Libra, it was a difficult task. But I did it. 🙂

eleanor Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman.

I completely fell in love with Miss Oliphant, with all of her quirks and idiosyncrasies, she made me laugh and cry. You know throughout the story that something bad happened during her childhood and she’d spent growing up in foster homes. Now she lives by herself, goes to her job and talks to her mother once a week. Read it and love it.

 

ove A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman

Meet Ove. He’s one of those cranky old men that you see shuffling down your street yelling at the kids to get out of the way or the dog to quit pooping on his yard. But beyond the grumpiness is a story and a sadness. When a young chatty young couple and their two young daughters move in next door, Ove’s life begins to change with an unexpected friendship and a cat. I was not wanting this book to end.

 

lg Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly

I couldn’t put this book down. Inspired by real events, this is a story of three women during World War II, their lives woven together through romance and tragedy. There is Caroline, a NY socialite working at the French Embassy; Kasia is a spunky Polish teenager wanting to be fighting against the Germans and caught up in the Polish underground; and finally Herta, a Nazi doctor who has convinced herself that she is doing the right thing. I think this is the best book I read all year.

road The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Okay, so this book came out in 2007 but I’ve never read it until this year. And I finished it in a matter of days – you’d see me at the beach with my nose in this book. A son and father are wandering fire ravaged America. They must rely on each other as lookouts and the only person they trust because there is evil lurking at every turn. It’s a profoundly moving story about needing to move forward, to move on when there seems to be no hope. And a story of unconditional love.

 

rules The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy

You’ll read this as fast as you possibly can. It’s that good. A memoir by Ms. Levy as honest as I’ve ever read. She’s been knocked down, gotten up, knocked down again. It’s beautiful and messy and soul-baring with surprising humor. You won’t be disappointed.

 

 

 

What were some of your favorite books of 2017? See y’all in 2018!!

 

Stocking Stuffers Under $20

This Christmas, Felix and I are exchanging gifts every day – kind of like the advent calendar. His Mom bought us this adorable advent bag thingy and on odd days he gets a gift and on even days, I get a gift. So far he has gotten socks and chocolate but as the days get closer to Christmas I’m planning on more exciting things.

But presents can get expensive so here are a few stocking stuffers for that female you love so much in your life – your mom, your wife, your sister, your girlfriend, your bestie, your niece, your grandma …. I think you get my point. And us females love all things that pamper us and smell good. You can’t go wrong with these. And all under $20.

Bee & Flower Rose Soap Bars

soapThis sweet smelling soap is hand-milled in Shanghai to last longer and preserve moisture — plus, the long-lasting rose scent is created without any additives. Plus the package is so pretty no need to wrap it! 12 bars for $15, now that’s a steal.

French Girl Rose Lip Polish

french girlScented with organic rose otto, peppermint, and rose geranium, this super moisturizing lip rescue leaves lips smooth, plumped, and deeply hydrated. A mix of shea butter, olive oil, rare botanical waxes, and sugar gently remove dry skin and smooth the surface for your healthiest, prettiest lips ever. And for only $19.

Poo-Pourri Citrus Toilet Spray

poopouriOkay, so this one is not only funny but functional! It’s Poo-Pourri Before – You – Go Toilet Spray in citrus scent. And it works! And the 2 oz. bottle is less than $9. Who know bathroom time could be so refreshing? Spritz the bowl before you go and nobody will ever know. Scientifically-tested formula made of essential oils and other natural compounds; NO harsh chemicals, aerosol, parabens, phthalates, or formaldehyde; All stink-fighting good stuff!

Whole Seaweed Detox Bath

seaweedShow me a woman who says she doesn’t like a relaxing bath and I’ll give you $20. Seriously, every female loves a bath. And some candles, a glass of wine and this seaweed detox bath and you will be her numero uno persona. This bath naturally purifies and restores with over 65 vitamins and minerals. Also, sustainably harvested off the coast of Maine. I like that. Seaweed Bath $8.50

 

 

MERRY TREECEMBER!

Alright, how has December, Christmas, almost freaking 2018 crept up so silently?! Any of you all prepared? If so, please come over and help me. Please. I will pay you. I just baked cookies. Tempted?

Gonna send out a few Christmas ideas these next few days in case you are like me and um, completely unprepared for Christmas. So keep checking the blog and I hope to have something that tickles your fancy. I absolutely love LOVE this gift. Save the world, you know, is one of my favorite themes. And trees, I love trees. There is this oak tree over one thousand years old close to our home in Germany and I’m always in awe. Plus the 800 year old olive tree in Palma with a witches face.

olive palma

Trees help clean the air we breathe, clean the water we drink, provide habitat to over 80%+ of the World’s biodiversity, provide jobs to over 1.6 billion people on this planet, provide health in so many ways (1/4 medicines we take come from trees & plants) and trees absorb carbon from our atmosphere.

One Tree Planted is a non-profit charity/reforestation project that plants trees around the world (North America, Asia, Africa, South America and wildfire areas). One dollar = one tree, you choose your area and minimum donation is $12. You can get involved by donating or fund raising or even becoming a tree ambassador. So you can do all that but how does that work with Christmas? For $20 you can have 20 trees planted in the recipient’s name and they also receive a digital tree certificate. And if you spend $50 they will send the certificate in the mail with a t-shirt.

Pretty cool, huh? For your favorite hipsters, tree huggers and all ages. They are so gorgeous. Just like you. Mwuah.

tree

Thankful and Grateful

Happy Thanksgiving! Gosh I am so grateful for so much. I’m always surrounded by an amazing amount of love and support from Felix, my family, my friends; and grateful for a happy and healthy life. I get to be here this year in the states to celebrate turkey day with my parents, uncles and aunt. And tomorrow is Dad’s 75th birthday, so pretty much a celebration lasting through the weekend. Happiness and drinks all around!

And I got to enjoy one of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions – the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. But darn it, I missed Gwen Stefani’s performance. Oh well, I got to see SpongeBob.

Enjoy that turkey or fish or cranberries or stuffing, whatever is your favorite. Don’t forget the extra gravy. Big hugs to you and yours this Thanksgiving. #sothankful

macys tday