Thursday Book Talk: Me Before You

I have been exhausted this week at school because I have been staying up late reading Me Before You by JoJo Moyes. Let me tell you—I could not put it down. The main narrator of the story is a twenty-six year old name Louisa. She is in-between jobs when the story begins and finds herself working as a caregiver for a quadriplegic named Will. When she first starts her job, Will is very sarcastic and brash towards Louisa. She doesn’t like him very much and tries to keep her distance by cleaning around the house. Over time, they find an understanding with one another and develop a friendship. They become very in-sync with one another as Louisa is able to anticipate Will’s every need. However, Louisa soon discovers that Will and his family are hiding a dark secret (which I will keep under raps as to not spoil anything). Louisa learns how to work with Will while knowing the secret, and develops a love for him that the reader can really feel. This book is really eye opening towards the life of a quadriplegic. And I must say, even though it has some loving and funny parts (Will really is quite the charmer, and so is his sarcasm, but hey that’s just me), it is probably one of the saddest books I have ever read. I kid you not, and I hate that I am admitting this, but tears were streaming down my face at the end. The only other book that has recently brought that much emotion from me was The Sweet Life series when I wanted to hurl my kindle through a window (to read my “rant” on that click here). I highly recommend this book, but just be sure to have some tissues on hand near the end.

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Who has read Me Before You? Any other book recommendations?!

~Jess

Wednesday Wardrobe: Our Classic Jewelry Pieces

This week we wanted to show some of our jewelry pieces that we wear constantly.

Jess’s Style

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I have said it before (if memory serves me correctly) that I do not accessorize much with my outfits. I keep it pretty simple. The pieces that I do wear constantly are my Michael Kors wrap watch, small pearl earrings from Belk, a Kate Spade bow ring, and my side cross necklace by Silpada (not pictured).

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I also have about three necklaces that I will wear with dresses or to dress up a casual outfit. All three pieces are from J. Crew Factory (surprise, surprise, right?). And true to form, they are all in a neutral palette. The left and middle are shades of blue and navy, while on the right are clusters of gems (similar here, here, and here).

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What are some of your favorite pieces?

~Jess

Ashley’s Style

Like Jess mentioned, I also do not wear a lot of jewelry. I have my Lucky Brand cross earrings that I wear with pretty much everything, my side cross necklace (Jess mentioned earlier in her post, but not pictured), my pearl Silpada ring, my Fitbit (which has replaced my watch for the most part, but not pictured), and I do have some necklaces and a few bracelets that I style with outfits (pictured below.)

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All necklaces are J. Crew Factory!

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Love this tortoise pendant necklace. Similar here.

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I’ve had this bright pretty for a while and get tons of compliments every time I wear it!

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This classic gold chain is my go-to necklace. Got it for super cheap, too!

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Adorable bracelet my sister had made for me from Etsy!

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Classic pearl bracelet with initial that I got from a sweet student last year 🙂

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Love this navy bracelet. Similar here in black.

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Last but not least is my dainty pearl ring that I rarely take off.

What are some of your go-to pieces?

~Ashley

Mother’s Day Crafts

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Along with our Mother’s Day Guide post, I thought I’d add a few cute Mother’s Day crafts for students to do at school, church, or home! It’s always so sweet seeing students make and create things for their parents. My mom still has crafts that my sister and I created from our school age days. Here are a few easy and super cute ideas.

1. Handprint art on cork-board

2. Cards made with children’s handprint

3. Fingerprint flower pot

4. Printable “5 Things I Love About Mom” card

5. “I Love You Because” picture project (I did this last year. SOOOO cute!)

6. “All About My Mom” questionnaire (there’s one for grandma, too) 🙂

7. Fun photo bookmarks

Happy crafting!

~Ashley

Fitness Countdown

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Countdown is on until the end of school…..18 days left today! I normally do some type of activity each day of the last 20 days of school with my students to make the countdown even more exciting. This year, I thought it would be fun to do a fitness countdown and do a type of exercise everyday (and to make up for the fact that I have been slightly slacking at the gym). The kids have loved it so far! They really get into it, and it’s a fun little brain break for us! You can do more than one set of each if wanted. 🙂

Days Left:

20: 20 jumping jacks

19: 19 X squats (Like a regular squat but when you come down you cross your arms like an x.)

18: 18 lunges (On each leg if you really want to feel a little burn.)

17: 17 regular crunches

16: 16 side leg raises (on each leg)

15: 15 v-ups (Almost like a regular crunch but you lie with your hand above your head. You make a “V” when you come up by raising your legs and arms at the same time.)

14: 14 push-ups

13: 13 mountain climbers (Start in push up position and alternate bringing one foot forward at a time all the way up to your arms. The faster the better.)

12: 12 side lunges (Lunge to the side on each leg.)

11: 11 burpees (Start in squat position with hands on the ground. Kick legs back behind you landing on your toes. Do a push up. Bring legs back underneath you then jump straight up into the air off of the floor. That is 1 burpee.)

10: 10 push-ups

9: 9 russian twists (Sit in a sit-up position with feet up off the ground. Twist from side to side.)

8. 8 tricep dips (Sit on a step with your arms behind you. Brace your arms on the step and dip your body down and back up.)

7: 7 arm circles (Forward and backward)

6: 6 backward lunges (Lunge backward instead of forward. On each leg.)

5: 5 minute intervals (1 minute regular jump roping, 1 minute side-to-side jump roping, 1 minute jump roping on right foot, 1 minute jump roping on left foot, 1 minute jump roping forward and backward. No jump rope required.)

4: 4 30-second knee highs (alternate bringing knees toward chest)

3: 3 30-second wall sits (back against wall in seated position with knees bent and arms out)

2: 2 minute bicycle kicks (Lie on your back and kick your legs like you are riding a bicycle. Try to keep your legs as low to the ground as you can without touching it. This can be done in 1 minute or 30 second intervals.)

1: 1 minute plank (Put elbows on the floor with both hands in a fist and on the floor too. Legs back and on the tips of your toes with your back and abs as straight as you can. Hold for two 30 second intervals if possible.)

Happy workouts!

~Ashley

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

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For Mother’s Day we have rounded-up some items we think every type of mother would enjoy on their special day.

For the bookworm: a way to keep all of her books in one place

For the music lover: an oldie but goodie upgrade

For the animal lover: a fun print for the living room

For the coffee addict: a cheery way to drink her favorite blend

For the lover of all things monogrammed: a dainty ring dish

For the fashionista: a dreamy accessory for a night out and a new piece of jewelry eye candy

For the stylish traveler: a way to carry her belongings as she’s touring a new place

For the DIYer: a nifty inspiration board with pictures

For the journalist: an adorable prayer journal and notebooks

For the photo lover: super cute photo books

For the foodie: a delicious roast recipe, yummy chicken spaghetti recipe, and mouth-watering chicken and dumplings casserole

For the sweet tooth: easy peach cobbler and 20 minute chocolate croissants

For the health nut: a Fitbit activity tracker

For any mother: a cute print for lounging

And to help express your love to your mother: a floral card, a pretty pink card, a sentimental card, #bestmomever card, confetti card, cheapest therapist card, and for a special person in your life that helps fill the “mom” roll: the honorary mom card

Happy shopping! 

~Jess and Ashley