Nick and Noel’s Christmas Playlist- Book Review

Fair Warning: there ARE spoilers in this book review! Now, they aren’t CRAZY spoilers and if you read the book description, then you probably have your suspicions!

I will add the book description at the bottom of the blog in case you have’t read this yet! So, skip to the bottom!

As an Amazon Associate, I do earn commission through qualifying purchases. #CommissionEarned

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Rating: 4 out of 5.
  • Fiction
  • Holiday-Christmas
  • Romance

If you read my previous blog post, Top 6 Christmas Books I WANT to read, then you know I was excited for this one!

You also would know that I had this crazy feeling Nick and Noel would end up together. SPOILER ALERT: I was right! I was also right that it wouldn’t just be one kiss and they are MADLY in love, there was drama!

Now, I have a few feelings about this book:

  1. I almost felt like it was written kind of childish?! Maybe ‘cheesy’ is a better word! Yes, it was VERY cheesy! The romance, events, and all that happened was just cheesy. That’s the best way I can describe it. To be fair, it is a Christmas romance, so what was I expecting?!
  2. I felt like the author could’ve described Nick and Noel’s love scenes with less ‘steam’. I mean did we really need to know EXACTLY what was happening?! We would’ve 100% already had a good idea of what was happening without allllll of the details. And the word choices, AH! I can’t believe I am going to pass this one on to my grandma and mom!
  3. Didn’t we ALL know what was going to happen within the first few chapters? Heck, I guessed it before I even opened the book! Just by reading the back of the book you already knew! Two best friends, both looking/needing love, who are with each other all the time? DUH! I mean also, we already knew Amber and Nick were going to break up without even reading!
  4. I LOVED the part of the storyline regarding Noel’s past and healing from the loss of her parents! It added a special touch to the story, especially towards the end of the book. Healing the loss of loved ones is so different for everyone and it is something everyone needs to understand!
  5. How DRAMATIC were Amber and Noel’s fights? Throwing M&Ms?! I mean was this a middle school fight or a grown adult fight? I wasn’t quite sure. Also, super strange and suspicious a M&M just so happens to go in Noel’s eye?! These parts in the book just kind of made me laugh.
  6. Can we take a moment to appreciate HOW PRECIOUS Nick’s parents are?! Victoria is an angel on earth! ALLLL she did for Noel?! AHH, how cute. I just loved it! She was so good at knowing her boundaries while being there for Noel!
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I would give this book 4 out 5 stars because of how cheesy it was, the scenes I could’ve lived without reading, and being able to predict the ending without even opening the book.

Would I suggest this book?! Absolutely! It is still such a great book for the holiday season!

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Book Description:

Nick Winter’s Christmas at home is going nothing like he planned. What was supposed to be a memorable holiday with his long-time girlfriend goes sour when he learns she cheated on him while he was overseas. At least Nick can rely on his usual shift at the family Christmas tree farm with his best friend, Noel Carter, and her endless supply of Christmas tunes to lift his spirits. A night of fun together is just what he needs to forget about his ex.

But then they kiss. And it feels…so right.

If Noel can turn Nick’s “Blue Christmas” merry and bright, this might be the “Last Christmas” Nick spends with a broken heart. This year, they’ll be “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” as a couple- as long as Nick’s ex doesn’t go standing under any mistletoe.

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5 November Book Releases

Never in a million years did I expect to EVER discuss romance novels and become excited for new ones to be released, but here I am.

I read ONE Christmas book that was (of course) a romance novel, and I am HOOKED.

Of course, I will NEVER put a romance before a suspense book, but I am getting there! To be fair, I will probably read more romance through winter and then never pick up another until the cold returns next year. Just me? It must be the holidays!

As for book releases, I can say I am MORE excited for the December releases than I am for November. But, these are still going to be good! Although, I will probably have like 10 on my December release post, which I am already making!

Get your wallets ready! Some of these I believe will be SO GOOD.

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As an Amazon associate, I do receive some commission through qualifying purchases. #CommissionEarned IF you do not wish to use these commission links, just type the book title into Amazon!

A Match Made In Venice by Leonie Mack

  • Fiction
  • Romance
  • Holiday-Christmas
  • Travel
  • Adult

Release Date: November 9th, 2021

I can’t quite figure out if this will be a hit or miss, but we will find out!

To be honest, I can’t say I am SUPER excited to read this. I may not even get around to it this Christmas season because of how many I WANT to read.

I was drawn to this one because of the Christmas spirit, VENICE, and a romance.

I think a romance novel IN VENICE could be GOOD. I am just not sure after reading the description if I would be super into it.

What do you think?

Book Description:

When pragmatic, sensible and resolutely single Deirdre York (Didi to her friends) is sent to Venice to work she is determined to not be taken in by romantic cliches. Winter in the floating city may be breathtakingly beautiful, but she’s here with a clear purpose and will not let the magic of Venice distract her.

Piero Zanetti is the epitome of the handsome yet tortured artist. Heart-broken by the end of his love affair with a glamorous opera singer, he has lost his ability to work, and his inspiration has drained away, along with his zest for life.

But Didi needs Piero working – she has been tasked with commissioning him to do a glass centerpiece for a luxury department store Christmas display – some how Didi has to cheer Piero up or at least find him a new muse…

As Didi and Piero slowly become friends, and as Venice starts to melt Didi’s heart and gently nudge Piero out of the blues, something special begins to happen. Can Venice – the City of Love – work a Christmas miracle and help Didi and Piero to find their happiness at last…

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Just Haven’t Met You Yet by Sophie Cousens

  • Fiction
  • Romance
  • Adult
  • Contemporary

Release Date: November 9th, 2021

Of the five books I have on this list, this is probably the one I am MOST excited for!

I say this because the description doesn’t give too much away and leaves me wanting to read!

I can’t stand a book that I already KNOW what is basically going to happen minus the tiny details (AKA keep reading). It leaves me with SLIGHT anxiety just anticipating what is to come. Although, I still read them anyway.

Book Description:

Hopeless romantic and lifestyle reporter Laura’s business trip to the Channel Islands isn’t off to a great start. After an embarrassing encounter with the most attractive man she’s ever seen in real life, she arrives at her hotel and realizes she’s grabbed the wrong suitcase from the airport. Her only consolation is its irresistible contents, each of which intrigues her more and more. The owner of this suitcase is clearly Laura’s dream man. Now, all she has to do is find him.

Besides, what are the odds that she’d find The One on the same island where her parents first met and fell in love, especially as she sets out to write an article about their romance? Commissioning surly cab driver Ted to ferry her around seems like her best bet in both tracking down the mystery suitcase owner and retracing her parents’ footsteps. But as Laura’s mystery man proves difficult to find- and as she uncovers family secrets- she may have to reimagine the life, and love, she always thought she wanted.

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Never Fall for Your Fiancé by Virginia Heath

  • Fiction
  • Romance
  • Adult
  • Historical

Release Date: November 9th, 2021

As I said before, I am not too into reading books that the descriptions give it ALL away. This one did just that. We are just missing the tiny details!

With that being said, I will still read this book!

A fake engagement will ALWAYS come with some drama. We are also missing the tiny details of how the story plays out.

Although I will eventually read this, I can’t say it is at the TOP of my list. But, if you are allll caught up on your reading, here ya go!

Book Description:

The last thing Hugh Standish, Earl of Fareham, ever wants is a wife. Unfortunately for him, his mother is determined to find him one, even from across the other side of the ocean. So, Hugh invests a fake fiancee to keep his mother’s matchmaking ways at bay. But when Hugh learns his interfering mother is on a ship bound of England, he realizes his complicated, convoluted but convenient ruse is about to implode. Until he collides with a beautiful woman, who might just be the miracle he needs.

Minerva Merriwell has had to struggle to support herself and her two younger sisters ever since their feckless father abandoned them. Work as a woodcut engraver is few and far between, and the Merriwell sisters are nearly penniless. So, when Hugh asks Minerva to pose as his fiancee while his mother is visiting, she knows that while the scheme sounds ludicrous, the offer is too good to pass up.

Once Minerva and her sisters arrive at Hugh’s estate, of course, nothing goes according to his meticulous plan. As hilarity and miscommunication ensue, while everyone tries to keep their tangled stories straight, Hugh and Minerva’s fake engagement starts to turn into a real romance. But can they trust each other, when their relationship started with a lie?

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A Special Cornish Christmas by Phillipa Ashley

  • Fiction
  • Romance
  • Holiday- Christmas
  • Adult

Release Date: November 11th, 2021

The few reviews that there are of this book (influencers who get sent books before release) are VERY positive. To be honest, I was skeptical just because of the title and book cover.

Who doesn’t love a good Christmas book?

I have SO many books I want to read for Christmas I may not even get through them if I don’t start now.

I am excited for this one for a few reasons:

  • Christmas, duh.
  • The description is short which lets my imagination run wild! I will HAVE to read the book to really know what happens.
  • What happened last December that Bo needs to forget about?
  • How does this so ‘fate’ enter Bo’s life?

Book Description:

This Christmas everything is about to change…

When Bo Grayson and her friends meet a mysterious fortune teller, she gives each woman the same prediction. You will meet the love of your life by Christmas Day.

But Bo quickly dismisses this as nonsense. And with the festive season in full swing, she has plenty to keep her busy: creating the seasonal menu for her Boatyard Cafe, getting her rock and roll dance group ready for their Christmas show- and avoiding thinking about last December, when her fortune took a turn for the worse…

Besides, she definitely isn’t ready to open her heart again. But will fate- and perhaps a sprinkle of Christmas magic- change her mind?

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Everything We Didn’t Say by Nicole Baart

  • Fiction
  • Thriller
  • Suspense
  • Mystery
  • Adult

Release Date: November 2nd, 2021

FINALLY, a new thrill/suspense book, MY FAVS.

I won’t be reading this one anytime soon because of the Christmas season and my stack of books, but I will be reading this ASAP once I am ready!

Who killed the couple?

The end of the book description has me thinking it is someone VERY close to Juniper. Why else would the truth destroy her?

I am just excited to read how this one plays out.

Book Description:

Juniper Baker had just graduated from high school and was deep in the throes of a summer romance when Cal and Beth Murphey, a childless couple who lived on a neighboring farm, were brutally murdered. When her younger brother became the prime suspect, June’s world collapsed and everything she loved that summer fell away. She left, promising never to return to tiny Jericho, Iowa.

Until now. Officially, she’s back in town to help an ill friend manage the local library. But really, she’s returned to repair her relationship with her teenage daughter, who’s been raised by Juniper’s mother and stepfather since birth- and to solve the infamous Murphy murders once and for all. She knows the key to both lies in the darkest secret of that long ago summer night, one that’s haunted her for nearly fifteen years.

As history begins to repeat itself and a dogged local true crime podcaster start delving into the murders, the race to the truth puts past and present on a dangerous collision course. Juniper lands back in an all-too-familiar place with the answers to everything finally in her sights, but this time it’s her daughter’s life that hands in the balance. Will revealing what really happened mean a fresh start? Or will the truth destroy everything Juniper loves for a second time?

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Books I Bought in October

It is like Christmas when I get new books! Some of the fun of reading books is being able to find it in the bookstore or online! My husband doesn’t like to read, so he just doesn’t understand how fun it is to buy new ones!

If you want some new books to read, you came to the right place! I haven’t read any of these yet (well, I’ve started one), but they are on my list to read! Whether I bought these on Amazon, Target, or put a hold on these through the Libby App, these are alllll the books I bought/put a hold on in October!

I’ll go ahead and save you a trip to the store or a Google search and include the book descriptions below! I can’t say I ALWAYS read these before reading, but they are great to know if you’ll be interested or not!

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Now, five books may sound crazy to buy/put on hold in a month, but I read a new one every few days or weekly! If I have the time, I typically get through a GOOD book in two or three days!

Not a Happy Family by Shari Lapena

I actually bought this one from Amazon because I didn’t want to wait on the Libby App for it! I need to be more patient, HA, especially since I STILL haven’t been able to read it. I just have too many on my list to read! It gets hard to decide which one is next.

I bought this one for a FEW reasons:

  1. Like you’ll read again in this post, I LOVED the first book I read by Shari Lapena, so I was ready for this one! I’ve only read one of her books, but I have a feeling she will be a favorite of mine as long as this one is as good as the first!
  2. I was seeing this book in multiple places! It was on the top charts in the Libby App and I saw it posted on Instagram! If I see a book in multiple places, I typically look into it.
  3. I will be intrigued to any book that is a thriller/mystery, so naturally, I looked deeper into this because it was!
  4. The cover of the book already had me intrigued, big house along with the title. Not all rich people with perfect houses (hardly any) have a perfect life/family!

Book Genres: Thriller, Mystery, Fiction, Suspense

Book Description:

In this family, everyone is keeping secrets- especially the dead. Brecken Hill in upstate New York is an expensive place to live. You have to be rich to have a house there. And they don’t come much richer than Fred and Sheila Merton. But even all their money can’t protect them when a killer comes to call. The Mertons are brutally murdered the night after an Easter Dinner with their three adult kids: Who, of course, are devastated.

Or are they? They each stand to inherit millions. They were never a happy family, thanks to their capricious father and neglectful mother, but perhaps one of them is more disturbed than anyone knew. Did one of them snap after their dreadful evening? Or was it someone else that night who crept in with the worst of intentions? It must be. After all, if one of your siblings was a psychopath, you’d know.

Wouldn’t you?

False Witness by Karin Slaughter

This is one that I put on hold through the Libby app. It will actually be on my Kindle in about two weeks, YAY!

If you have’t read my posts before and you have a Kindle, GET THE LIBBY APP! You connect your library card and BOOM, you can read free books on your Kindle! It is a MUST.

If you don’t have a Kindle, this is only $12 on Amazon!

There really wasn’t any particular reason I wanted to read this book! I just thought by the title that it was something I would be into. By the book cover, I honestly thought it would be a book of someone running and dying in the woods, etc. After reading the description, that isn’t the case AT ALL. Read the descriptions ladies and gents! HA!

It is also a New York Times bestseller, which helps.

I have high hopes for this one! I think it will be very intriguing! I also think it might be one that keeps you reading and not wanting to put the book down!

Book Genres: Fiction, Thriller, Mystery, Suspense, Dark

Book Description:

Leigh Coulton has worked hard to build what looks like a normal life. She has a good job as a defense attorney, a daughter doing well in school, and even her divorce is relatively civilized- her life is just as unremarkable as she’d always hoped it would be.

HIDES A DEVASTATING PAST

But Leigh’s ordinary life masks a childhood which was far from average… a childhood tarnished by secrets, broken by betrayal, and finally torn apart by a devastating act of violence.

BUT NOW THE PAST IS CATCHING UP

Then a case lands on her desk- defending a wealthy man accused of rape. It’s the highest profile case she’s ever been given- a case which could transform her career, if she wins. But when she meets the accused, she realizes that it’s no coincidence that he’s chosen her as his attorney. She knows him. And he knows her. More to the point, he knows what happened twenty years ago, and why Leigh has spent two decades running.

AND TIME IS RUNNING OUT

If she can’t get him acquitted, she’ll lose much more than the case. The only person who can help her is her younger, estranged sister Calli, the last person Leigh would ever want to ask for help. But suddenly she has no choice.

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I purchased this one at Books-A-Million, but I should’ve just been patient (something I’m working on) and purchased through Amazon because it’s cheaper! I THINK I paid $16 at Books-A-Million and this book is only $12 on Amazon! I know, $4, but still.

This is actually the one I have already started. I started it now because I want my mom and grandmother to be able to read it too! This isn’t offered through the Kindle or Libby app, so they will have to read my paperback copy if they want to read it!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Now, I am only halfway through it. But, I would give it four stars from where I am at in the book! I could be wrong, but I kind of think I already know what is going to happen and I have thought it since the beginning. I will also say, I almost feel like this was written for young adults, but written like a kids book. I don’t know how to say what I am wanting to say, but that was my best go at it!

I wanted to read this book for two reasons.

  1. Christmas. That’s all. Christmas is my FAVORITE, so why not read a book that revolves around Christmas time? It was a duh moment.
  2. It was on the ‘must-read’ shelf at Books-A-Million. That means it’s good, right? HA! That is what goes on in my head at least!

Book Genres: Holiday-Christmas, Romance, Fiction

Book Description:

Nick Winter is just out of the military, and his Christmas homecoming is not going as planned. What was supposed to be a memorable holiday with his long-time girlfriend goes sour when he learns she cheated on him while he was stationed overseas. At least Nick can rely on his usual shift at the family Christmas tree farm with his best friend, Noel Carter, and her endless supply of Christmas tunes to lift his spirts. A night of fun together is just what he needs to forget about his ex.

But then they kiss. And it feels… so right.

If Noel can turn Nick’s Blue Christmas merry and bright, this might be the last Christmas Nick spends with a broken heart. This year, they’ll be Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree as a couple- as long as Nick’s ex doesn’t go standing under any mistletoe.

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The Quiet Girl by S.F. Kosa

This is another that I put on hold through the Libby App. I honestly would be spending my entire paycheck on books without this app, for real!

I wanted to read this one for a few reasons:

  1. Of course, the genres! I am ALL for a crime junkie moment with thrill, mystery, and suspense!
  2. The description! I actually did read the description before putting this one on hold because the title wasn’t enough to have me reading it! The description left me intrigued to find out a few things: where did the wife go and why? Who is Layla? Why and what does she have things to share?
  3. This was also seen in many places! It was on the top charts in the Libby app and a few friends of mine read it and said great things! If other people read books that I enjoy, I typically keep up with them and read what they are too!

Book Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

Book Description:

When Alex arrives in Provincetown to patch things up with his new wife, he finds an empty wine glass in the sink, her wedding ring on the desk, and a string of questions in her wake. The police believe that Alex’s wife simply left, his marriage crumbling before it truly began. But what Alex finds in their empty cottage points him toward a different reality:

His wife has always carried a secret. And now she’s disappeared.

In his hunt for the truth, Alex comes across Layla, a young woman with information to share, who may hold the key to everything his wife has kept hidden. A girl without a clear recollection of her own past. A strange, quiet girl whose memories may break them all.

To find his wife, Alex must face what Layla has forgotten. And the consequences are anything but quiet.

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The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller

Not surprising at all, I put this book on hold through the Libby app. It was a LONG wait, which is normally a good thing because a lot of people are wanting to read it!

Although this book is a little out of my comfort zone when it comes to reading, I am excited to read it and see if all the great things I’ve read about it are true!

This is one of the ones that I did NOT read the book description prior to putting the book on hold! Some I do, some I don’t. I just didn’t on this one because it was alll over social media.

Through the Libby app, this book is showing four stars. People are also saying it is a great book for secrets, lies, and love! So, probably a good drama! This book was also described as a ‘nail-bitter’ which I will be interested to see how.

I decided to read this one for a few reasons:

  1. It was ALL over the internet! I was seeing this EVERYWHERE. It was front a center in the Libby app when I was looking for new books, on Youtube in a few channels, and allll over Instagram stories.
  2. I was falling short on new thriller/suspense/mystery books, so I wanted to venture out.
  3. I was intrigued to find out more about this ‘Paper Palace’, because of course, I didn’t read the book description prior to putting this book on hold! HA, if I had, I would’ve known what this was!

Book Genres: Fiction, Contemporary, Romance

Book Description:

It is a perfect July morning, and Elle, a fifty-year-old happily married mother of three, awakens at “The Paper Palace”– the family summer place which she has visited every summer of her life. But this morning is different: last night Elle and her oldest friend Jonas crept out the back door into the darkness and had sex with each other for the first time, all while their spouses chatted away inside. Now, over the next twenty-four hours, Elle will have to decide between the life she has made with her genuinely beloved husband, Peter, and the life she always imagined she would have had with her childhood love, Jonas, if a tragic event hadn’t forever changed the course of their lives. As Heller colors in the experiences that have led Elle to this day, we arrive at her ultimate decision with all its complexity. Tender yet devastating, the Paper Palace considers the tensions between desire and dignity, the legacies of abuse, and the crimes and misdemeanors of families.

The End of Her by Shari Lapena

Can you tell I love Shari Lapena as an author? This is my THIRD book of hers that I’ve put on my list to read or already read!

I actually bought this book from Sams Club! I know, strange, but it was on sale! Of course, this is also on Amazon and I think it is even the same price that I bought it for!

I picked this one up for a couple of reasons!

  1. I LOVED “The Couple Next Door” by Shari Lapena so I wanted to explore more of her books. From the book I have read of Shari’s, they are easy to read and that make any book 10x better.
  2. Following the reason above, I figured this book would also leave me wondering and guessing until the end just like The Couple Next Door did.
  3. I LOVE reading thrillers, mysteries, and suspense books! When I looked this one up, it was just that!
  4. The back of the book description had me intrigued and normally they just leave me confused!

Book Genres: Thriller, Mystery, Fiction, Suspense

Book Description:

Stephanie and Patrick are recently married, with new-word twins. While Stephanie struggles with the disorienting effects of sleep deprivation, there’s one thing she knows for certain- she has everything she ever wanted. Then a woman from his past arrives and makes a shocking accusation about his first wife. He always claimed her death was an accident- but she says it was murder. He insists he’s innocent, that this is nothing but a blackmail attempt. But is Patrick telling the truth? Or has Stephanie made a terrible mistake? How will it end?

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Magically Making It

The 5 BEST Tips for Student Teachers

Shew, student teaching… The HARDEST year of my life! I am a first year teacher, so I just went through student teaching last year, during the midst of the Pandemic. At my college, we had a year-long student teaching! The fall semester we had a certain amount of hours that we had to be in the classroom and in the spring it was full-time.

I still have nightmares making me think I am still student teaching because of the stress that surrounds it. Learning how to teach, observations, classes, and EdTPA, I truly don’t know how I made it. Fortunately, I made it out alive, and you will too!

Over that year, I found so many things to be beneficial that made me get through it and become fully prepared stepping into my own classroom on my own! I know at this point you are probably thinking you won’t make it to graduation, but I promise you it gets better! Just keep telling yourself you are one day closer to your dream!

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  1. ASK QUESTIONS! Once you get close to your mentor teacher and feel comfortable around her/him, ask ALL the questions. I was lucky enough to have a mentor teacher that soon turned into my best friend and I could literally ask her ANYTHING. When any question comes to mind, whether you think it is silly or not, ask it! These questions will make you feel more confident and a better teacher! I would ask questions about everything. I would ask about how to handle situations, grades, assignments, etc. It made it so easy to handle these situations when I was teaching on my own because I already knew how to go about it!
  2. Stay Organized. Go ahead and put a planner into your Amazon cart to get to you ASAP. I don’t know how people in my class got all of their assignments turned in on time without one. During student teaching, you are literally taking a full load of classes and teaching! I always liked at the beginning of the semester to go through my syllabus and write down all assignments and their due dates so that I never missed any! Aside from classes, stay organized with your student teaching materials! Get plenty of binders and folders to keep grading records, rosters, users/passwords from your mentor, observation sheets, and student work! This will make your life SO much easier if you get in a habit earlier of having a specific place for everything.
  3. Make a Schedule. If your school was like mine, I had a certain amount of hours in the fall semester that I had to be in the classroom! Once I realized this, I made myself a schedule mapping out my week! I would first write down all of my classes, work (I had a part-time job), when I planned to go to the school, and when I planned to do homework. Having a schedule will show you when you can relax and look forward to other things that aren’t school related! I even would put under my homework times what classes I would be doing homework for once I figured out the load of what each teacher would assign! I will probably make a blog post on how I stayed on top of homework on its own because I was VERY organized. Don’t forget to add time in your schedule for self-care and family time!
  4. Be present. THIS IS SO IMPORTANT. You may be at the school getting your hours, but are you really present in the moment? Don’t sit in the back doing homework, texting your boyfriend, or just ‘hanging out’. Help your mentor, students, and start building those relationships! It will make a world of difference once you start teaching. Also, if you aren’t present, are you really learning anything? I learned the most when I would just sit back and watch how my mentor handled every single second of a lesson.
  5. Teach as MUCH as you can!! Even if you aren’t required to teach or only have to teach a few lessons, TEACH MORE. I know how nerve-racking it can be, but it is well worth it! My mentor had me teaching in the fall semester and full-time when I wasn’t required to be, and it truly made me SUCH a better teacher and more prepared. Even if it is just a lesson here and there, you will begin to feel so confident in yourself! I would take it slow at first. Maybe morning meeting at first, then add math, and then language arts, and eventually you will be teaching the entire day! Get outside your comfort zone!

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With all of these tips to survive student teaching, the most important one is to HAVE FUN. There is nothing like student teaching and I promise you that you will miss it EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I cried like a baby my last day of student teaching and still think about all of my fifth graders I got to teach. Your kids during student teaching will leave such a special impact on you, so make sure you do the same for them!

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Is Buying a Kindle Worth it?

Kindle- the GAME CHANGER to reading! I can’t imagine how many books were collected before the Kindle was invented!

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I have had a Kindle since I was in sixth grade (I think). I didn’t use it very much, just mainly to read Camp Rock books and easy stories! I believe I still have this Kindle somewhere, but I have moved around so much that I have NO CLUE where it is. Then, this summer, my mom said she had my grandfathers old Kindle. I had just picked up reading again and knew I wanted it. At first, I didn’t use it all that much. Once I realized you could find books for FREE, I was allllll for it.

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Have you ever heard of Libby? Libby is an app where you can connect your library card to borrow books to read on your Kindle! It is AMAZING. You can hold any book that they have and as soon as it is ready, you download it to your Kindle! It is just as easy as it sounds. Now, not all books are held on the Libby app. So, I still have had to buy a few paperback books, but not many. This app has saved me SO MUCH MONEY!! I can’t believe I was paying $10+ on paperback books when I was reading a new one every week!

Libby App

Having a Kindle also comes with the opportunity to have Kindle Unlimited through Amazon. Now, this does cost a monthly fee of $10, but you can read an unlimited amount of books. Not bad for unlimited reading on books you can’t find on Libby! Using this link, you can get a discounted price on your Kindle Unlimited plan! For 6 months, at normally $60, you can get it for $47! For a year, which is normally $120, you can get Kindle Unlimited for only $80! This is a STEAL you should take advantage of with this link! Don’t miss out if you love reading as much as my family does!

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As an Amazon Associate, I do earn commission through qualifying purchases. #CommissionEarned

With that out of the way, I will say, I believe the Kindle is 1,000% WORTH IT for SO many reasons!!

  1. No more stacks of books! There is no reason to buy books that you are going to read once and then place on a shelf to take up space in your house! With having a Kindle, you have one small item that can sit perfectly on your night stand. There is no way you’ll run out of room of your bookshelf now.
  2. Read anywhere, anytime! The Kindle is so light that you can take it ANYWHERE. I have taken it to get my nails done, to read on my lunch break, and to read by the pool! Unlike a paperback book, the Kindle is extremely light and doesn’t take up hardly any space when lugging it around!
  3. Free books! Even if you don’t use the Libby App or Kindle Unlimited, (which you should) you can still find free books through searching on the Kindle store. Now, they may not be the best, up-to-date books, but they are still free! If you do take advantage of Libby, then you will have thousands of free books waiting for you to read!
  4. No more turning a page! Have you ever been so uncomfortable reading because you had to sit a certain way just to turn to the next page? I have! When I was reading in bed, I couldn’t lay on my side or how I wanted to because I need to turn the page! With the Kindle, I can lay on my side and still enjoy my book cozied up in the bed.
  5. Reading in the dark! If you get a certain Kindle (discussed below), you don’t even have to have a light on to enjoy a book! Right now, I have the Kindle that requires light, but I will be asking for the other one for Christmas so I can read in bed at night without my light on. There is nothing worse than being into your paperback book, getting tired, and waking up all over again when you have to turn the light off!

There are many more pros to having a Kindle, but these are my top five reasons to buy one!

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Now that I have you wanting to buy a Kindle, which one should you buy? It all depends on how you want to use it and how much you read! The prices differ, so really think about how you want to use your Kindle and how much! Side note: there is even a Kindle for Kids! Ah! Get those babies a Kindle!

  1. Kindle ($90)– This is the most basic Kindle you can get! It is a great option if you are just wanting to test the waters of having one. The normal Kindle you cannot read in the dark, but is glare-free in the sun. I would say this is your best bet if this is your first ever Kindle!
  2. Kindle Paperwhite ($140)– This Kindle you can read in bed, in the dark! This is HUGE. The reason this is an upgrade from your basic Kindle is that it is waterproof, adjustable warm-light, and a better design!
  3. Kindle Oasis ($250)– The best of the best in the Kindle world and the price shows it! From the Kindle paperwhite, the Kindle Oasis also offers an adjusting light sensor, automatic page rotation, bigger, and page turn on buttons.
  4. Kindle Kids ($110)– Same as the Kindle ($90) for adults, but a kid version! This Kindle Kids and the one listed below are specifically designed for reading with no gaming, apps, or any of the extras!
  5. Kindle Paperwhite Kids ($160)– Identical to the Kindle Paperwhite ($140) for adults.

Magically Making It

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The ACTUAL Amazon Classroom Must-Haves

Let’s be real. We see all over the ‘teacher must haves’ Youtube videos, blogs, and stories on Instagram, but are they really worth it? I can say I fell into the trap of buying anything and everything that I saw on these videos and posts because how was I to know what I really needed?! As a first-year teacher, you are just trying to make it day by day!

With that being said, I will give you the classroom ‘must-haves’ that you ACTUALLY MUST HAVE.

As an Amazon Associate, I do receive commission from qualifying purchases. #CommissionEarned

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  1. Pencil Sharpener

Now, not on a single post of these must-have items did I see a pencil sharpener. Let me tell you, I went an entire month without one because I decided I just NEEDED everything else and because NO ONE mentioned it! A pencil sharpener is something that you MUST have. Some schools may provide these or you may be left one from the previous teacher, but I was not! I am sure my teacher partner is ecstatic that I finally bought one! I got a cheaper one from Amazon and the only downfalls so far is how loud it is and how little it holds of the pencil shavings! Other than this, it works just fine!

Learn from my mistake and BUY A PENCIL SHARPENER. Even if you are given or left one, it doesn’t hurt to have two!

This one on Amazon is also a great one to start out with because of the price! Pencil sharpeners can be EXPENSIVE!

2. Doorbell

At first, I would have left this off this list because I really didn’t think it was a ‘must-have’, but after using it in multiple ways, I would say it is! I was terrified the first few weeks I was going to lose the small doorbell button, but I have a specific place for it on my desk and make sure it always stays there!

I originally bought this thinking it would be an amazing attention getter for classroom management and even had some of my ‘sayings’ formed for it-

  • “Pizza’s Here!”
  • “Andy’s Coming!”

After the first few weeks of school, I realized I didn’t really want the kids screaming these things every single time I rang the doorbell! So, now my kids just stop, look, and listen when the bell is rung! It is also perfect for when students are doing group or independent work. Once the bell is rung, students know time is up!

3. FLAIR PENS

Give me ALL of the flair pens. I truly can never have enough! On my desk at this very moment I would say I have at least 30 flair pens that I use DAILY.

These are so fun for grading, writing students notes, or making yourself notes! I like to use a different color on each stack of papers when grading and it helps me sort the big stack!

Even if you aren’t buying for a classroom, buy flair pens just to have at home! I will say, I found that some colors are basically out of ink the minute you buy them and it drives me CRAZY.

4. Rolling Cart

Honestly, you may even want to buy more than one of these! I only have one in my classroom right now, but could see myself buying another one for next year!

I use my rolling cart everyday! It is where I place papers to grade, papers I print for the following week, and where I store papers students will need each day for language arts and social studies!

If you get one of these, I HIGHLY suggest going onto Teachers Pay Teachers and buying a set to organize your cart! On each drawer, I have them labeled from a TPT store saying, “Monday” (and all other days), “To Grade”, and “Next Week”.

This is such an easy way to keep yourself and the thousands of papers you will accumulate organized and I am ALLLL about organization.

5. Dry-Erase Pockets

These can be used in your classroom in so many different ways! I will probably be ordering more, actually. A classroom set of these just isn’t enough for me!

One way I use these is to display student work! In my third grade classroom, I put them on a cork board with push pins to hang them up! In my current classroom, I have a bulletin board that says “If you give a fourth grader a pencil…” and have used push pins to hold these dry-erase pockets up! It makes switching out there work extremely easy and adds color to the board!

Another way these are great in the classroom is there original use, for students to use dry-erase makers on! Slip whatever paper you are wanting students to work on underneath and students can go crazy with a dry-erase marker! I can see these being great for lower elementary when practicing forming letters and sentences.

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Now, I am sure you are wondering the items I bought and purposefully left off this list! I will note, the items I left off of this list may be awesome for teachers and it may be some teachers ‘must-have’ items, but for me, they weren’t! It really all depends on how you want to run your classroom and do things!

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Shopping for your classroom and need more ideas?

Check out Discount School Supply!

They have ALL OF THE THINGS! Everywhere from classroom organization, flexible seating, STEM resources, and SO MUCH MORE! I wish I had known of this site when I was setting up my classroom!

Using my code, SAVE20A, you can save $20 when spending $150 or more! This may sound like a lot, but you spend A TON on your classroom, why not save some money?

https://www.pjtra.com/t/4-462352-258889-102397

Magically Making It

The ULTIMATE Christmas Movie List

If you know me, you know I LOVE Christmas time and more importantly, Christmas movies. After Halloween, you will find me ONLY watching Christmas movies and listening to Christmas music.

Where I live, we get snow here and there, but never all of the time. Watching a Christmas movie keeps me in the festive mood and gives me all of the cozy vibes!

As an Amazon Associate, I do receive commission from qualifying purchases. #CommissionEarned

Christmas movies also take me right back to my childhood and the magic that comes along with Christmas. There is nothing like being a kid around Christmas time and anticipating Santa coming! Sitting here writing this I am immediately in the Christmas mood and it is only October, ugh. When do you being Christmas shopping? I just bought my first Christmas present yesterday!

Below I am going to list my all-time favorite Christmas movies that I have to watch AT LEAST once a year, but most I watch more than once.

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  • Home Alone (ALL of the Home Alones)- Personally, I LOVE them all. My husband on the other hand only enjoys the first two! This is a movie I find myself watching year-round, but especially around Christmas time.
  • The Santa Clause (again, ALL OF THEM)- I think of these, they are all equally as good. This is one I have been watching since I was a child and they never get old.
  • The Ultimate Christmas Present– This is a Disney Channel movie that I have literally loved since I was in elementary school. It comes a blizzard for these girls that have stolen a weather machine and Santa comes to save the day!
  • Holiday in Handcuffs– This one is from ABC Family and is one I have always loved! It is hilarious and full of Christmas vibes. This is a comedy, love story, and even has someone get abducted in it!
  • Noelle– This is a newer Disney Channel Christmas movie and it doesn’t disappoint! Noelle is full of Christmas spirit and has to go on a hunt for her brother in time to save Christmas!
  • Elf– This is a no brainer! You MUST watch Elf at least once every year, if not more. Elf is a hilarious Christmas movie that brings so much Christmas spirit!
  • A Christmas Story– Now, if you have your TV on you will watch this more than a handful of times because I swear it is ALL that plays on Christmas Day!
  • The Grinch– OMG. This movie. My husband highly dislikes this movie, but of course, it is one of my favorites! I used to get scared watching this when I was little. I personally don’t care for the newer version of this movie, but the older one is one that I watch numerous times during the holidays.
  • National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation– This movie is a great movie to watch with your family for a good laugh! Nothing right can happen when you have your in-laws in for the holidays!
  • A Madea Christmas– Who doesn’t love a Madea movie? Like, come on! This one will not disappoint. It is funny, surrounded by Christmas spirit, and the perfect bit of a love story.
  • Christmas with the Kranks– Now, this is another one that I watch year-round. I find this one to be almost my favorite Christmas movie of all time. A couple sends their daughter off, they plan a cruise at Christmas, and all of their plans come shattering down when their daughter makes a quick visit home for their favorite holiday!
  • A Charlie Brown Christmas– What 90s baby didn’t grow up watching Charlie Brown Christmas? This was something I always looked forward to watching. Now, it is hard to find to watch!
  • The Polar Express– This is my husbands FAVORITE Christmas movie! We always dedicate a night to hot chocolate and watching this movie! I can also say, it is one of my favorites!
  • A Christmas Carol– Ah, this one. When I was little, I would’ve told you this was the worst Christmas movie you could ever watch. Since living with my husband, it has grown on me, but still not what I would say is a favorite of mine!
  • Miracle on 34th Street– I haven’t watch this movie since I was in elementary school and stayed with grandparents every weekend! I remember they had this movie on VCR and I would watch it with my grandmother. This one is on my list to watch this year!
  • Four Christmases– I don’t watch this one every year, but it is a good one! This unhappy married couple soon let’s everything and everyone come together even though they weren’t expecting it.
  • Arthur Christmas– Now, not the Arthur you are thinking of if you are a 90s baby. This one can be found on Amazon Prime and is so cute!
  • Jingle All The Way– This is another one from my childhood! This one is seriously hilarious and I can still remember watching it when I was little with my mom. All the little boy wants a specific doll and his dad does EVERYTHING he can to get it for him!
  • Frosty the Snowman– This is such a classic. I can’t say I can sit down and give my full attention to this at 22 years old, but it is great to have playing decorating the Christmas Tree or wrapping presents!
  • Santa Paws– SUCH A CUTE MOVIE. I love this one! It isn’t one I would choose over all the above, but it is great for little kids and dog lovers!
  • Snow Dogs– This is another one from Disney Channel and I love it during this time because of all the snow, cozy vibes!
  • Good Luck Charlie It’s Christmas– Follow along as Charlie and the family go to Florida for a family Christmas! Unfortunately, the travel there doesn’t quite go as planned! This one is perfect to watch with the family.
  • The Mistletones– This is one on my list to watch this year that I never have before! It isn’t new, but I haven’t got around to watching it yet. It can be found on Disney Plus!
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These are all of the Christmas movies that I have on my Christmas Movie Bucket List! I can promise you that I will probably watch these all more than once! What are your favorite Christmas movies to watch with the family?

I have added links to all of the DVD forms of these movies on Amazon! I like to keep building my collection every year even if we are moving to a streaming world!

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Magically Making It

,

ULTIMATE Holiday Amazon Gifts for Her

Holiday season has hit Amazon, which means we are one step closer to the happiest time of the year!

If your significant other or best friend is anything like me, then she LOVES Amazon. She might even be obsessive when it comes to ordering things from Amazon that she MUST-HAVE (aka wants). I am guilty of ordering from Amazon just-because. Maybe it is the free shipping, it’s on sale, or it has amazing reviews.

As an Amazon Associate, I do receive commission from qualifying purchases. #CommissionEarned

I am going to give you the ULTIMATE Amazon gifts for ‘her’ for this holiday season! Whether is your wife, girlfriend, best friend, mom, or little cousin- I am sure she will LOVE these gifts!

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  1. SLIPPERS!

I can’t think of any girl who doesn’t want a cozy pair of slippers! UGG has the BEST slippers that I have found and they are sold on Amazon! They may be expensive, but they are 100% worth it! I have also linked a cheaper-dupe option to the UGG slippers!

Above is the pair that is my absolute favorite! This was always at the TOP of my Christmas list until I got the two UGG slippers that I wanted! These slippers last FOREVER. I have had mine going on three years and they still look new! If you are shopping for you wife and are a little jealous, don’t worry! They also have men UGG slippers that my husband would wear all of the time if he could!

2. Scrunchies

These may not be super in-trend to wear on your wrist anymore, but if she has a hair dresser that tells her how good these are on your hair, then she still uses them in her hair!

Personally, I still wear these on my wrist all of the time because if they match my clothes, why not?

On Amazon, they have a 60 PACK for only $10!! Now, that is a steal! Some boutiques will try to sell one for that price!

This gift will especially go over well if you are shopping for nieces, cousins, or even your daughter! Amazon has tie dye scrunchies, satin silk scrunchies, and Disney princess scrunchies! Make this Christmas, scrunchies galore!

3. All things espresso

We all need some espresso in our lives! If your wife goes to Starbucks or Dunkin EVERY. SINGLE. DAY., well she is spending well-worth $28-56/week. WOAH, that is $1,460-2,920/year! So, why not buy her an espresso machine that will make that cheaper AND from home? A Nespresso machine seems like a lot at first, but look at those numbers I just listed! You will be saving money! All you need is a Nespresso machine, espresso mugs, and some Nespresso capsules!

This is what will be on my Christmas list this year because espresso is 10/10 compared to coffee! I don’t really care for coffee at Dunkin, Starbucks, or at home, unless it is hot!

4. For tha hair

I am always on the lookout for new ways to style my hair, use heat on my hair, and the best shower products for my hair! I have naturally curly hair and it can be hard to style and tame at times!

I am sure, if you are married, you have heard her talk about Dyson! Dyson hair tools are an INVESTMENT because they are extremely expensive, but they are worth the price! Their products will last you forever and make your hair look like you just came from the hair salon, everyday. Dyson offers a set of their products, a straightener, and a hair dryer! Do you think it is worth the price?

Now, of course, Amazon offers WAY cheaper options for women hair, which are the ones that I have! They have a 6-in-1 curling iron for ONLY $40, hair straighteners, and inexpensive blow dryers for only $20!! The ones I have linked are only some of the many that Amazon offers, but most are with highest reviews and lowest prices!

As I am trying to stop using SO much heat on my hair, I have tried to find other ways to style my hair! I just recently began using claw clips and these are a GAME CHANGER. They hold forever and my hair doesn’t move all day! For $10 on Amazon, you can get 12 claw clips!

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5. Jewelry

Amazon has some of the BEST jewelry pieces for their price! I love their earrings (especially the infamous hoops), necklaces, rings, and bracelets! When searching Amazon earrings, you can expect to find gold chunky hoops, bundles of earrings for cheap, and gold statement earrings! For rings, Amazon offers sets, wedding ring look-a-likes (great for the summer), and stackable ring sets! For necklaces, Amazon offers Kendra Scott, dainty layered necklaces, and some statement necklaces.

6. The Amazon Must-Haves

Tiktok has taken over for promotion on Amazon! I have found some of my FAVORITE things on Amazon through Tiktok and its where I formed my must-have list!

  • Leggings– Everyone is here for a good Lululemon dupe! These leggings are just that and only $20! They offer just about every color you can think of or need!
  • Workout Dress– Now, this isn’t something every woman will want for Christmas, but if you live in Florida it is! This dress is the dupe to the Outdoor Voices workout dress that everyone wants, but can’t afford every color in.
  • Workout Tank– This is another Lululemon Dupe! This is honestly identical to the Lululemon align tank tops, just a MUCH better price! For only $22 compared to a $60 Lululemon tank!
  • Touch-less Trash Can– This is a GAME CHANGER and will make her EXTREMELY happy. You know you are old when you get excited over getting a trash can for Christmas!
  • Amazon Smart Plug– For all my lazy people, this is for you and I LOVE mine. All I have to say is, “Alexa, turn on the light” and BOOM. Plug this up into any wall, sync with your Alexa, and you are one step closer to becoming a couch potato. Now, make sure she has an Amazon Alexa, or this won’t work and will be a waste!
  • Projection Alarm Clock– I got this for my husband last year for Christmas and he loves it! The time projects anywhere you want it to and helps you make sure you are up when you need to be!
  • Blue light glasses– These just recently became a thing and I LOVE them! Say goodbye to headaches when you are on your computer for hours upon end.

That wraps up my Amazon gifts for her! Whoever you are shopping for, they will be ECSTATIC to get something off of this list, I know I would be!

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Magically Making It

The 5 MUST-READ Books for ‘the Crime Junkie’

CALLING ALL CRIME JUNKIES!

If you are anything like me, then you are OBSESSED with thrillers and suspense books. If that is the case, then these five books are FOR YOU!! I can honestly say I read these books within a day or no more than four days! They are THAT GOOD.

These books will make you think you are watching Lifetime movies, Law and Order, or any of those channels that you are probably obsessed with watching.

I don’t only suggest these books because they are right up my alley! I also suggest them because they are SO GOOD and will have you invested IMMEDIATELY! You need to read these NOW! ONLY one of these books is less than five stars!! That’s pretty good in my opinion!

As an Amazon Associate, I do receive commission from qualifying purchases using my links! With that being said, I receive commission when purchasing any books that I have linked below. #CommissionEarned

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The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Book Description: Anne and Marco Conti seem to have it all- a loving relationship, a wonderful home, and their beautiful baby, Cora. But one night when they are at a dinner party next door, a terrible crime is committed. Suspicion immediately focuses on the parents. But the truth is a much more complicated story. Inside the curtained house, an unsettling account of what actually happened unfolds. Detective Rasbach knows that the panicked couple is hiding something. Both Anne and Marco soon discover that the other is keeping secrets, secrets they’ve kept for years. What follows is the nerve-racking unraveling of a family- a chilling tale of deception, duplicity, and unfaithfulness that will keep you breathless until the final shocking twist.

I purchased this book from Target in the summer! It is actually the book that got me back into reading and I read it in ONE DAY! I started it by the pool and stayed up extremely late finishing it. It had me obsessed within the first few chapters.

When you read this book, you WILL NOT expect the ending. I thought I knew, but once I really knew, it was NOTHING I had expected and I mean NOTHING. I have 0 cons when it comes to this book or any reason that you shouldn’t read it! This is 100% a ‘add to cart’ book. I would give it 5 stars over, and over, and over.

I can’t say much about this book without giving away what is really happening in it. You just have to read it!

The Perfect Marriage by Jeneva Rose

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Book Description: Sarah Morgan is a successful and powerful defense attorney in Washington D.C. at 33 years old, she is named partner at her firm and life is going exactly how she planned. The same cannot be said for her husband, Adam. He is a struggling writer who has had little success in his career. He begins to tire of his and Sarah’s relationship as she is constantly working. Out in the secluded woods, at Adam and Sarah’s second home, Adam engages in a passionate affair with Kelly Summers. Then, one morning everything changes. Adam is arrested for Kelly’s murder. She had been found stabbed to death in Adam and Sarah’s second home. Sarah soon finds herself playing the defender for her own husband, a man accused of murdering his mistress.

This is a book I purchased on Amazon early on when I got back into reading! I am HUGE into thrillers and suspenseful books and this was on my must-read list. I bought this for ONLY 9!!! It is worth WAY MORE. As this is not an extremely short book, it still only took me a few days to read!

This is another one that you WILL NOT expect the ending until the very end! Unless I just don’t predict things very well, I NEVER knew what was going to happen.

Some things to think about while reading: Is the husband, Adam, really guilty? Why is he making SUCH BAD DECISIONS? Why is the wife, Sarah, trying to help him? Why is everyone around them involved in some way? What is up with Adam’s mom? Who REALLY killed Kelly?

This truly is a 5 STAR book! I had my mom and grandma read it and they agree! I will say, they also didn’t expect the ending! So, I guess it wasn’t just me!

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The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Book Description: Meet Jane. Newly arrived to Birmingham, Alabama, Jane is a broke dog-walker in Thornfield Estates- a gated community full of McMansions, shiny SUVs, and bored housewives. The kind of place where no one will notice if Jane lifts the discarded tchotchkes and jewelry off the side tables of her well-heeled clients. Where no one will think to ask if Jane is her real name. But her luck changes when she meets Eddie Rochester. Recently widowed, Eddie is Thornfield Estates’ most mysterious resident. His wife, Bea, drowned in a boating accident with her best friend, their bodies lost to the deep. Jane can’t help but seen an opportunity in Eddie- not only is he rich, brooding, and handsome, he could also offer her the kind of protection she’s always yearned for. Yet as Jane and Eddie fall for each other, Jane is increasingly haunted by the legend of Bea, an ambitious beauty with a regs-to-riches origin story, who launched a wildly successful southern style brand. How can she, plain Jane, ever measure up? And can she win Eddie’s heart before her past- or his- catches up to her?

Of these five books, I read three of them on the Libby app (a library app service to read books on the Kindle). If you don’t know much about this app or what a Kindle is, I have a blog post coming! This is one that I read through my Kindle! Honestly, thank goodness I did because I was done in three days!! That would’ve been a lot of money for three days of reading just to go back on my bookshelf! If you don’t have a Kindle, yet again, I suggest buying this book through Amazon. With this link, it will take you straight to Amazon to purchase for $15!

I SWEAR that this book is like a Lifetime movie! It is almost like Lifetime has made one similar to this or something because I just kept thinking it while I was reading! The nice homes, rich families, family drama, mystery, it was all TOO similar.

I will just go ahead and tell you, the title gives the main event of the book away, BUT everything else that happens in this book is what makes it. Yes, there is a woman upstairs in Eddie’s home. No, Jane doesn’t know it. You just have to read to know what all comes about of this! It is WILD. EVERYONE is hiding their own secrets and I mean EVERYONE.

When I say everyone is hiding secrets, I mean it. Why did Jane go somewhere that no one would know her REAL name? Who is Bea and how did she REALLY die? What does Eddie not want to tell Jane? Why did Eddie immediately take Jane in?

Ladies, just remember those red flags! Rich man, dead wife, with nothing in his home to show of his wife that just died not too long ago?!

The Other Mrs. by Mary Kubica

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Book Description: She tried to run, but she can’t escape the other Mrs… Sadie and Will Foust have only just moved their family from bustling Chicago to small-town Maine when their neighbor Morgan Baines if found dead in her home. The murder rocks their tiny coastal island, but no one is more shaken than Sadie. But it’s not just Morgan’s death that has Sadie on edge. And as the eyes of suspicion turn toward the new family in town, Sadie is drawn deeper into the mystery of what really happened that dark and deadly night. But Sadie must be careful, for the more she discovers about Mrs. Baines, the more she begins to realize just how much she has to lose if the truth ever comes to light.

This is another book that I read through the Libby app! If you don’t have this app, I suggest purchasing this book through Amazon for the fastest shipping AND the best price! Books are EXPENSIVE. With this link, the book is ONLY 10!!!! That is a great price for a great book!!

This book is making its way to Netflix! Through my research, it is not on there yet! I looked through my Netflix and did some researching, but couldn’t find much. I am interested to see how it compares to the movie and will be on the lookout for more information!

When you begin this book, you will be obsessed the minute you read the first page! A neighbor is found dead and this couple, Sadie and Will, hear the sirens in the middle of the night. Now, everyone will be a suspect. Of course, since it is a small town!

There are SOOOO many suspicious people when you are reading. As I don’t want to give anything away, I’ll just say a few things. Why does Will, Sadie’s husband, not think the girl they moved in with is guilty? WHY does this girl they move in with act so strange? What happened in her past before her mother died? What is going on with the older couple on the street? Could the little girl have killed her mom?

When I was nearing the end of this book, I just kept thinking, WHAT THE HECK?! The turn of events is REAL. I always share good books with my mom and grandmother and it is always funny to hear what they were thinking! Even after reading, I sat there thinking about what happened throughout the book to add all the pieces together. It is CRAZY. Possibly the best on this list for many reasons.

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Book Description: When you read this book, you will make many assumptions. You will assume you are reading about a jealous ex-wife. You will assume she is obsessed with her replacement- a beautiful, younger woman who is about to marry the man they both love. You will assume you know the anatomy of this tangled love triangle. Assume nothing.

I also read this book through the Libby app. If you don’t have this app, I suggest buying this through Amazon to get the BEST price! Using my link, you can get this on sale for $9.99 instead of $16.99!!

This is the ONLY book on this list that took me a little while to get into. All of the other books I was instantly obsessed with and couldn’t put down. This one, I would read a few chapters and come back to it. I will say, once you get to a certain point in the book, you will keep reading! This the ONLY con I can think of for this book!

When you read the book description, it literally makes you already confused! I will say, you will still be confused in some way when you are reading! I had NO CLUE the first few chapters that my thoughts and assumptions would be changing, but THEY DO. You know NOTHING. You think you know, but you don’t. You truly don’t know a THING until you read the entire book.

I would give this book four stars for a few reasons! It is hard to get into, for one thing. I mean, pretty hard, BUT maybe it was only hard to get into for me! Secondly, it is just kind of confusing. Again, this could only be for me, but I would say it was quite confusing. Lastly, I just didn’t LOVE the storyline and the way the book was written. I think it could’ve been written in other ways that would’ve made it WAY better.

Magically Making It

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The TOP 6 Christmas Books I WANT to Read

Although it is only October, I am already getting my Christmas books together that I want to read! I figured if I am into reading right now, why not add more festive feels by reading festive books?! After doing some google searches, I found SO MANY that I could read! Why have I not been reading for years? I am so behind on all of these books!

If you read through the Libby app, then you know you have to be strategic when you want a certain book! The book rentals can get backed up for MONTHS. One of the books on my WANT to read list is backed up for 18 weeks!! Who wants to take bets on if I will get the rental before Christmas or not?! Side note, I will probably be buying the book early December if I haven’t been able to rent it yet. Bad of me, I know!

As an Amazon Associate, I do earn commission through qualifying purchases. With this being said, I can earn commission using my links below to the books on Amazon. #CommissionEarned

Now, these are ONLY six Christmas books that I want to read, but there are MANY more on my list. I am just trying to be realistic. Between teaching, shopping for my family (aka ordering from Amazon), and loving on my fur babies, how many will I really be able to read?

Be on the lookout for future book reviews on ALL of these books! I will be posting them as I read! Who knows, I may read more than what is on this list!

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With that being said, these are my TOP 4 that I would like to read!

Nick and Noel’s Christmas Playlist by Codi Hall

Book Description:

Nick Winter’s Christmas at home is going nothing like he planned. What was supposed to be a memorable holiday with his longtime girlfriend goes sour when he learns she cheated on him while he was overseas. At least Nick can rely on his usual shift at the family Christmas tree farm with his best friend, Noel Carter, and her endless supply of Christmas tunes to lift his spirits. A night of fun together is just what he needs to forget about his ex. But then they kiss. And it feels so… right.

This one I recently bought from Books-a-million for $15, but it is showing that it is on sale for $12 with this link through Amazon!

Let’s be honest, we probably all have our suspicions on what is going to happen by reading that book description! Do we think Nick and Noel will end up together? Maybe. I already have THAT feeling! Do I think it will be as easy as one kiss to fall in love? Absolutely NOT. There will be ALLLL the drama. Would it even be a Christmas book without some romance AND drama? AND THE CHRISTMAS TREE FARM?! WHAT A DREAM. I am already dreaming of Christmas just thinking about it. The cover is really what sold me before I even read the back of the book. It is ADORABLE. Come on!

The Christmas Wedding Guest by Susan Mallery

Book Description:

The Somerville sisters believe in love, but they’ve lost faith it will happen for them, Reggie hasn’t been home since the end of the world’s shortest engagement. When her parents decide to renew their vows, she buffs up her twinkle to help with the Christmas wedding. Unexpectedly, Toby, her first love, is back too, and the spark between them shines as brightly as ever. In the spirit of the season, will they let go of past hurts and greet the New Year together? Done waiting for the one, Dena is pregnant and on her own- on purpose. But then a gorgeous, sad-eyed songwriter checks in to a room at her inn. Micah, unable to write since he lost his wife, finds inspiration in Dena’s determination to be a mom. One snowflake-speckled kiss and he’s a goner. But Dena is afraid to believe that a rock star could fall for a cookie-cutter small-town girl like her. As the first Christmas wedding draws closer, these two sisters just might unwrap the most treasured gift of all- love.

This is the book I earlier said was backed up for rent for 18 weeks!! Yes, 18 weeks. The $10 price tag for this book on Amazon is looking VERY tempting to me right now, but I GUESS I’ll be patient.

That book description is A LOT to unpack! Were Reggie and Toby ‘high school sweethearts’? What were their past hurts? Was Dena also engaged before since she is pregnant? We know the pregnancy wasn’t a mistake! Poor Dena, a sad songwriter whose wife died, that is a lot! Do we think both sisters will find LOVE? Or, will only one? This one is a little more difficult to 100% predict what will happen, but that isn’t a bad thing! I have my speculations, but we will see!

I have a weird feeling that this book might be a hard one to follow! I always hate books that change perspective chapter to chapter because I can’t just sit the book down in the middle of the chapter and come back to it. When doing my searching, I saw this book in MULTIPLE places, which is a great thing! I have high hopes for this one.

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The Santa Suit by Mary Kay Andrews

Book Description:

When newly-divorced Ivy Perkins buys an old farmhouse sight unseen, she is definitely looking for a change in her life. The Four Roses, as the farmhouse is called, is a labor of love- but Ivy didn’t bargain on just how much labor. The previous family left so much furniture and so much junk, that it’s a full-time job sorting through all of it. At the top of a closet, Ivy finds an old Santa suit- beautifully made and decades old. In the pocket of a suit she finds a note written in a childish hand: it’s from a little girl who has one Christmas wish, and that is for her father to return home from the war. This discovery sets Ivy off on a mission. Who wrote the note? Did the man ever come home? What mysteries did the Rose family hold? Ivy’s west brings her into the community, at a time when all she wanted to do was be left alone and nurse her wounds. But the magic of Christmas makes miracles happen, and Ivy just might find more than she ever thought possible: a welcoming town, a family reunited, a mystery solved, and a second chance at love.

I saw this book on display while I was at Target and (of course) picked it up to be nosy! At Target, this was $20, on Amazon, with my link, it is only $13!!! If you are going to buy it, don’t waste your money at Target. We love a deal!

Before I say anything else, I want to add, this book is SHORT. I am no expert and didn’t think to look while I was at Target, but I would say this book is MAYBE 100 pages, maybe a little more. When I read this description, I almost thought I was watching a Hallmark movie. Anyone else?

I really thought until he end of that that we may have gotten away from a Christmas romance, but think again! By this description, I am going to take a WILD guess and say the family from the note in the suit were reunited because it basically says that. Now, I have questions. Is there no mom in the picture? Does Ivy fall in love with the man that was at war and returned home to his daughter? What wounds made Ivy want to be left alone? I’ll be honest, this book is so short that I think you won’t be having these questions long once you get your hands on it!

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Winter Street by Elin Hilderband

Book Description:

Kelly Quinn is the owner of Nantucket’s Winter Street Inn and the proud father of four, all of them grown and living in varying states of disarray. Patrick, the eldest, is a hedge fund manager with a guilty conscience. Kevin, a bartender, is secretly sleeping with a French housekeeper named Isabelle. Ava, a school teacher, is finally dating the perfect guy but can’t get him to commit. And Bart, the youngest and only child of Kelley’s second marriage to Mitzi, has recently shocked everyone by joining the Marines. As Christmas approaches, Kelley is looking forward to getting the family together for some quality time at the inn. But when he walks in on Mitzi kissing Santa Claus (or the guy who’s playing Santa at the inn’s annual party), utter chaos descends. With the three older children each reeling in their own dramas and Bart unreachable in Afghanistan, it might be up to Kelley’s ex-wife, nightly news anchor Margaret Quinn, to save Christmas at the Winter Street Inn. Before the mulled cider is gone, the delightfully dysfunctional Quinn family will survive a love triangle, an unplanned pregnancy, a federal crime, a small house fire, many shots of whiskey, and endless rounds of Christmas caroling, in this heart-warming novel about coming home for the holidays.

This cover is already giving me COZY, fireplace vibes. I don’t have a fireplace, but Youtube has plenty I can pull up on my TV while I read this one! This book is also VERY affordable at only $10 on Amazon! Why are these Christmas books so much cheaper? We may want to buy them before it gets closer to Christmas. Do they go up in price then? Who knows!

All I have to say is, poor Kelley. His kids are a mess, his love-life is a mess, and it sounds like he is a mess. My one concern I have for this book is being able to follow and keep all of the characters apart, but still being able to understand each of their stories. Am I the only one who can’t keep the characters straight in books? We know the love triangle is more than likely Kelley, his wife, and Santa Claus. Now for my many questions that I am sure you know I have! Who gets pregnant? Surely not Kelley’s wife. Could it be Santa’s baby? HA! What do we mean Patrick has a guilty conscience? Do we think Mitzi comes home for the holidays? Do we think that Kelley and Margaret find each-other in love again?

By the description of many shots of whiskey, I would say that Kelley does, in fact, need MANY shots of whiskey. Can the holiday season ever really be PERFECT and the ‘happiest time of the year’?!

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So, This Is Christmas by Tracy Andreen

Book Description:

When Finely Brown returned to her hometown of Christmas, Oklahoma, from boarding school, she expected to find it just as she left it. Christmas hasn’t changed much in her sixteen years. But instead she returns to find that her best friend is dating her ex-boyfriend, her parents have separated, and her arch nemesis got a job working at her grandmother’s inn. And she certainly didn’t expect to find the boy she may or may not have tricked into believing that Christmas was an idyllic holiday paradise on her grandmother’s doorstep. It’s up to Finley to make sure he gets the Christmas he was promised. This is Finley’s Christmas. It’s about home and family and friends and finding her place, and along the way she finds the best Christmas present of all: love.

I recently just added this one and The Holiday Switch to my Amazon cart and I am SOO excited to read them! This one was a little bit more expensive, but I am sure it will be worth it!

Now, it may be confusing to be able to know if you are reading about Christmas the holiday or Christmas the place, to be honest.

Can you not communicate with anyone in boarding school? I find it strange she didn’t know her parents separated?!

I think this book is going to be the perfect balance between romance, holiday, and drama, but I could be wrong!

The Holiday Switch by Tif Marcelo

Book Description:

Lila Castro is ready to take on her last winter break of high school. The snow is plentiful, the mood is full of holiday cheer, and she’s earning extra cash working at the cozy local inn. But her perfect holiday plans crash to a halt when her boss’s frustratingly cute nephew, Teddy Veracruz, becomes her coworker. When they accidentally switch phones one afternoon, they both realize they’ve been hiding things from each other. Will their secrets– and a dash of holiday spirit– bring them closer to love?

I would LOVE to know if there are any Christmas books that AREN’T romance novels?! Ha!

I don’t know about you, but I am thinking this one could be VERY cheesy?! It does say it is for young adults, so I say it will show it.

I mean, we are going to surround a book over switching phones with someone?

I am not going to right it off QUITE yet, but we will see! Make sure you keep up with my blog for a full book review!

I will say I LOVE the coziness of the book description: snow, holiday cheer, and a cozy local inn… COUNT ME IN. Sounds like a cute Hallmark scene!

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Magically Making It

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