Thursday Book Talk: One Plus One


Oh how I loved reading this book! From the first page to the last, I was glued to this story! Jojo Moyes may be my new favorite author! This is a heart warming story about a young mother named Jess who struggles to make ends meet for her and her two children, Tanzie and Nicky, and their big, drooling dog, Norman. Tanzie is amazingly smart and is offered a spot at a prestige private school, but Jess doesn’t have the money, even with a large scholarship. Tanzie may have a chance though if she can do well at a maths “Olympiad” and win the top prize, which is cash. This is where the character of Ed Nicholls, a wealthy technology guru, comes in when he offers to take the family on the long drive from the English shore to Scotland, which is where the Olympiad takes place. Ed has a few problems of his own as well as some selfish tendencies, but little does he know that this crazy little family and their dog will actually help him achieve several selfless acts that he probably never expected himself to do. I love this quote from the book from sweet little Tanzie, “The law of probability combined with law of large numbers states that to beat the odds, sometimes you have to repeat an event an increasing number of times in order to get you to the outcome you desire. The more you do, the closer you get. Or, as I explain it to Mum, basically, sometimes you just have to keep going.” One Plus One is a must read! 

Happy reading! 



Birthday Gift Guide


Tuesday was my birthday…the big 2-7! So I thought I would compile a wish list to help give you ideas for any upcoming birthday’s (ladies) you may have to buy for!

Rifle Paper notebook set

Inslee iPhone case

Hello Sunshine tumbler

Good Morning! mug

Amazon gift card

Why Not Me? (pre-order)

A preppy print

J. Crew Factory scarf

Emily Ley magazine box

Thank you to everyone who made my birthday so special this year!


Seattle Itinerary

My sister and I just got back from Seattle for the weekend and it’s all a blur! We had so much fun but we’re so exhausted! The plane times in and out were so weird, but we managed to make the most of our time together.

Caution: Get ready for a picture overload!

Day One:

We drove out to the see the Pacific Ocean and the Hoh Rain Forest, and full disclosure, I didn’t get out of the car because I was feeling sick so I thought it best just to hang tight. Then, we stumbled upon the cutest beach town for lunch. The community is called Seabrook and we ate at a restaurant at the front of the town called Mill 109. We decided to split a ton of appetizers (full of crab dip and shrimp) and I got a grilled chicken caesar salad. It was all so delicious! Our dad actually lives in Auburn, outside of Seattle, in apartments on a side of a mountain. But if you drive to the top, there is a little village that looks like a ski resort that has a grocery store, shopping, and restaurants. We decided to grab some doughnuts there at Legendary Doughnuts where they had the biggest doughnuts I have ever seen.

The Pacific Ocean!

The Pacific Ocean!

My adorable sister Jackie in front of the Pacific Ocean... at least she was able to get a good shot on the other side of the US of A.

My adorable sister Jackie in front of the Pacific Ocean… at least she was able to get a good shot on the other side of the US of A.

A building in the Seabrook community! It was all so cute!

A building in the Seabrook community! It was all so cute!


Mill 109...Fantastic food!

Mill 109…Fantastic food!



The two sets of doughnuts on the right are so huge! You have the “Homer Simpson” in the middle and “Fat Albert” on the right.

Day Two:

We set out into the city to see and do all the touristy things the city has to offer. Traffic is crazy so we spent a lot of the time in the car, but our first stop was at Pike’s Place Market. Loved it. It has tons of vegetables, flowers, seafood, and other produce and goods to choose from. I would have loved to pick out some flowers if we were staying longer. Off from the Market is also the Original Starbucks! We couldn’t really get anywhere near the inside (or the patience to do so), so we just snapped a pic from the outside. Then, we ventured over to the Waterfront to look at the Great Wheel and grab a snack at The Fisherman’s Restaurant and Bar (more crab dip!). Next stop, the Space Needle! Of course, the line to go to the top was outrageous so we took some photos, browsed the gift shop, and got out of there. We also saw a house that is surrounded by stores, because the owner refused to sell it (it’s said it was the inspiration for the movie UP!) and the Fremont Troll. I wanted to go do the Underground Tour, but by that time we were all exhausted so we rested for a while then ate supper at The Rock, a great pizza place with a rock n’ roll atmosphere in the village close to Dad’s apartment.




The beautiful flowers inside the Market!

The beautiful flowers inside the Market!



Just strolling through the streets of the Market...

Just strolling through the streets of the Market…

The Original Starbucks...sorry for the bad angle!

The Original Starbucks…sorry for the bad angle!


The Great Wheel!

The Great Wheel!




The Space Needle of course!



The UP! House


A sign for Edith’s Memorial Balloon wall! The lady who owned the house would not sell it, so they built buildings around it. She has now deceased but you can place balloons on the fence in her memory!


The Fremont Troll…it’s creepy and cool all at the same time…not many things could pull that off.

Day Three:

This was our last day and we were pretty tired from the day before, so we decided to take it easy. We went shopping, packed because our flight was set to leave at 12:34 the next morning, and spent a few hours at the Muckleshoot Casino (don’t worry, I lost about five bucks and was out), then we were off to the airport!

My view at 1:00 in the morning.

My view at 1:00 in the morning.


On our way back to Birmingham!

We already have a list forming of things to do when we go back! Thanks Dad for a great time!


Thursday Book Talk: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

I have been on the hunt for a novel to read to my seventh-grade class next year, and I decided on reading Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and The Maze Runner. These are two completely different books I know, but I have wanted to read both for a long time. I have finished both and The Maze Runner has won out, but that’s for a different post.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs is about a boy, Jacob, who travels to a Welsh island to investigate the childhood home of his grandfather in hopes to gain some understanding surrounding his mysterious death. Jacob and his grandfather were very close. When Jacob was a young boy, his grandfather would tell him stories of the children he grew up with at Miss Peregrine’s home including an invisible boy and a levitating girl. His grandfather would show him pictures of the children and upon his arrival to the island; Jacob was on a search for them.

From the cover of the book, my first thought was that it would be a fun, creepy read for the students. Now, it is a great read and I would definitely recommend it for seventh-grade students and up to read on their own. However, with my first intention of it being a possible novel study for the class, I’m not sure it would fit the bill. I usually read out loud to my students and there are a few unsavory words, which I wouldn’t mind to skip over, however, there are some phrases in the book that would also be uncomfortable for me to read out loud to my students. So, I just decided to not turn it into a study.

The book is the first in a series, which is a plus for a lot of students, and it has a little bit of something for each type of reader. It’s a mysterious adventure and has some romance mixed in. Plus, what makes this book really neat is the incorporation of the vintage pictures of the peculiar children. The book was actually created around collected antique pictures the author discovered at flea markets, antique shops, and homes of collectors. How cool! At the very end of the book, there is a question-answer session with the author and he includes more pictures that he found that are very creepy!


Has anyone else read this book? What are you reading for your novel studies?!


Father’s Day Gift Guide


We have rounded-up some goodies for every father!

For the history-lover: an interesting book on the Wright brothers

For the professional: polished cufflinks

For the golfer: a golf club pen set

For the traveler: a travel kit

For the outdoorsman: a navy vest

To keep him shaded from the sun: a needlepoint cap

To help keep him clean and tidy: a membership to the Dollar Shave Club

To help him out in any situation: a Swiss army USB

To add to his collection: a linen tie

For the fisherman: A River Runs Through It 

Hope you all have a great Father’s Day!

~Jess and Ashley