My Favorite Books of 2021

I read 24 books last year and wow, there were so many good ones, but these were the top picks!

I absolutely loved One to Watch! Think Bachelorette with a plus size bach! So many of the experiences our main character experiences are relatable for me. I need this to be made into a movie stat, and honestly I would love to play Bea. Witty, funny, shocking at times, this was a great read!
Elin Hildebrand has to be one of my favorite authors, and 28 Summers has to be one of my favorite novels of all time. This book follows the same time, next year type of romantic relationship over 28 years. I read this one on a plane and SOBBED. Definitely a bittersweet ending.
The Guest List is a mystery up until the very end! This is a who-done-it that keeps you turning the page. Set on an island off the Ireland coast for a wedding weekend where everyone has a secret!
I read The Last Thing He Told Me in two days! Think Enron but in The Silicon Valley. Hannah think she’s met the love of her life, widowed Dad, Owen. Things turn into an absolute nightmare when Owen takes off but leaves a note to Hannah to protect his daughter! This was a gripping read!
The Tattooist of Auschwitz is a true story of one man’s harrowing journey to survive the Holocaust and make it out with the love of his life. This is a hard read at times, but it is our responsibility to know these stories of endurance, survival, and hope.
How to Find Love in a Bookshop is tale of one British town’s people and it’s central spot, the bookshop. There’s multiple character story lines and bittersweet moment. I absolutely loved this book!

My Word of 2022

If y’all have been reading along the past couple of years, you know that I choose a word every year to focus on. In 2019 it was Growth, in 2020 it was Focus, and 2021 was Abundance. I very much enjoy picking a word instead of setting myself up for failure when I previously couldn’t meet a rigid set goal.

So my word for this year? Well, it was very hard to decide, and I will let you in on the two I’ve been going back and forth about. Ease and Grace. Here’s why I was torn. Ease is defined as freedom from labor, pain, or physical annoyance; tranquil rest; comfort, freedom from concern, anxiety, or solicitude; a quiet state of mind, freedom from difficulty or great effort; facility. Now doesn’t that just sound like what we all need? Some ease. The last almost two years now have been anything but smooth regardless of your circumstances. We have all been impacted in one way or another and in many people’s cases, in multiple ways. So I like Ease and I want to keep it in my back pocket. But then we get to Grace. And a lot of times, people think of Grace as faithfulness, empathy, and forgiveness. However, Grace can be interpreted in many ways and can also be defined as elegance or beauty of form, manner, motion, or action, a pleasing or attractive quality or endowment, favor or goodwill, moral strength. So you can probably see why I’m torn. Both are extremely relevant to me currently. I want things to be smooth this year, I want to not be so combative and find myself operating more in a state of ease rather than insecure fortitude (i.e. moving forward but with no sense of direction). I want moral strength to offer empathy, understanding, and extend grace to myself and others as needed. I sincerely need both of these things in my life.

So honestly, I don’t know why I’m holding myself to some strict rule of only one word, so I guess that decides it. I will be picking two words for 2022 and very much am willing Ease and Grace to help me live a more peaceful and happy year ahead. Did you pick a word or words?! TELL ME!

Shop: 2022 Energy Sweatshirt, Hoops, Jeans

5 Hard Truths I was Reminded in 2021

Well, hey friends! It seems like another Covid year has come and we made it. So much loss, grief, panic, and anxiety filled so many of us. I think if we’re honest with ourselves, we’ve probably also found some ways to find joy and happiness. Puppies, babies, promotions, homes, new jobs, engagements, moves, weddings, etc.

Be proud of all the pivoting, resiliency, and growth you’ve shown the last 12 months. May we leave this year stronger, wiser, and kinder.

I had several major life changes this year, some happy, some hard, but I wouldn’t change any of it. Below are 5 hard truths I was reminded of this year, and I’m sure most of you can relate.

  1. Priorities change and balancing all of them means compromise and it is important to change the things that no longer align with your values, the things you’re no longer willing to compromise on. You can’t do it all at all times, so you must re-prioritize to stay balanced. And no I don’t mean balance is 50/50 split, balance is whatever you need it to be and it is ever evolving. Be okay with it.
  2. That leads into the next one. You will disappoint people with your decisions and actions. No is a complete sentence and you don’t owe anyone anything.
  3. Everything in life is temporary. Time, relationships, jobs. Hold on tightly to the things that matter most to you and let go of the things that don’t.
  4. Don’t take it personally. Everyone is looking out for themselves and their actions say a hell of a whole lot more about them than they ever did about you. Free the sting from your heart and head and move forward (with or without said person, it is your call what you will accept and tolerate in your life).
  5. Learn to like yourself, flaws and all (hell, love yourself, but baby steps is okay, too). We are our harshest critics and that can be self-destructing. You are capable of way more than you think and your biggest person to impress, to encourage, to challenge, and to motivate is the person looking back at you in the mirror. Make her proud!
  6. Throwing in an extra one just because I think it’s noteworthy. Everyone, and I do mean EVERYONE, is fighting battles that you have absolutely no idea about. Be there when you can. Offer support and a listening ear when available. And above all, do no harm and take no shit. Be kind to you and others.

I also wanted to share this sequin shirt dress because DUH, it’s new years eve, and although I’m staying home, I still never miss an opportunity to dress up!

Shop: Dress, Bag, Hoops (old from Kendra Scott), Lipstick

Top 15 Products YOU Purchased in 2021!

For the second year in a row, y’all invested in a good strapless bra and I’m proud of us! Get those girls the support they need!
We are LOVING the straight leg jean trend and these met all my requirements, I think for y’all too!
This chunky Free People sweater was a top purchase (and unfortunately out of stock). Hope y’all love this one!
This top is another top purchase this year (was in the top 10 of 2020)! The seller is super nice and accommodating and I sent her a message asking for a 2X and she did it! I’ve ordered this in 5 colors! I love it!
We all went nuts for these affordable bow heels!
I tried the famous nap dress this year and y’all did, too! Size down in these as they run big!
The best, everyday lipstick! Even though we’re wearing masks, I still like to have a pretty pout!
White jeans are a difficult find for everyone, but we found the best with these Good American cropped jeans! Unfortunately out of stock but hopefully will be back in time for Spring!
This eyelet dress is actually full in stock in the black! Such an easy to throw on dress for casual events or can be dressed up!
These skinny jeans were also a top purchase for y’all this year! I scooped up my pair during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale! Love that Madewell offers standard and plus sizes in these! Currently unavailable
So much controversy this year about if a smocked dress was dressy enough for a wedding but y’all seemed to love this one (sold out)!
Hate getting sunburn, but this recovery lotion was a lifesaver! This took away the redness and the pain off my shoulders and it seems like y’all liked it too!
This blouse was a top seller for 2020 and I’m not surprised it made the cut this year too! Such an amazing piece for work and play!
And last but certainly not least, this amazing hat! I have it in three colors and this neutral was my latest addition! I hope y’all are loving it, too!