{book report} – at home in the world & it ends with us

We had a great summer filled with adventures and travel…we took a Caribbean cruise in June and spent a week in Hawaii in September. I find it hard to find time to write on the blog during the summer season but I’m back now that Fall season is here.

I’ll dive right in and start catching up on my book reports. I’ve read 31 books this year so far and I am so proud of myself for keeping up with my reading. I made it a priority at the beginning of the year to carve time to read and here we are, about 60+ days left until the end of the year and my “reading habit” is still going strong.



At Home in the World: Reflections on Belonging While Wandering the Globe by Tsh Oxenreider

This book is a travel memoir, it chronicles a family’s adventure (with 3 young kids in tow) around the world (in 9  months)—seeing, smelling, and tasting the widely varying cultures along the way—they discover what it truly means to be at home.
This was a mix of travelogue and thoughts about home, God, longing, and life in general. I think the longing she feels to travel is similar to any kind of yearning that others feel – for a different life, for a change, for the ideal. I especially loved the thoughts on finding home and community and on how wanderlust is never satisfied, but how that doesn’t have to be a bad thing.
My whole adult life, I go thru phases where I’m a restless adventurer and at times, deeply home-bodied.  I am always eager for adventure  BUT at the same time grateful for my home. I always feel  the tension and wrestle between wanderlust and the comforts of cozy hominess. This book made me realize that I am not alone and that I don’t have to choose a side, I can do both.
I recently discovered the author’s podcast and love that too.
Favorite Quotes:
“This world is huge; it is majestic; it is worth exploring just for the sake of knowing it.” 
“I was infected with an incurable sense of wanderlust, but I was also a homebody. I matured into adulthood when I acknowledged this truth.” 
“I know, in my soul, that a love for travel is a gift and not a hindrance. It feels like a burden when the bucket list is bigger than the bank account, but a thirst for more of the world is not something to apologize for. Denying its presence feels like denying something good in me. Wanderlust has a reputation as the epitome of unrequited love, something the young and naive chase after because they don’t yet realize it’s as futile as a dog chasing its tail. Turns out, ever-burning wanderlust is a good thing.” 




It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover

This was an emotional book, I felt all emotions while reading this book. My 2nd book by the author, and loved both books so far.  Some parts were hard to read, it will break you and make you cry. The story that is simultaneously gut wrenching and beautiful. It gave me a different perspective of the subject that book tackled. It is honest, raw and gritty and will take you on a journey which is unforgettable. I suggest going into the book blind, because reading about the plot will just the spoil the story for you.

This book is an ode to every woman who finds the strength to face what they never expected to and who had the courage to move on even when they think that they can’t. Most importantly it’s an ode to her strength in saying that it’s enough and ‘It Ends with Us’. One of the best reads in 2016.

Memorable Quote:
“All humans make mistakes. What determines a person’s character aren’t the mistakes we make. It’s how we take those mistakes and turn them into lessons rather than excuses.” 

“Life is a funny thing. We only get so many years to live it, so we have to do everything we can to make sure those years are as full as they can be. We shouldn’t waste time on things that might happen someday, or maybe even never.”

“Imagine all the people you meet in your life. There are so many. They come in like waves, trickling in and out with the tide. Some waves are much bigger and make more of an impact than others. Sometimes the waves bring with them things from deep in the bottom of the sea and they leave those things tossed onto the shore. Imprints against the grains of sand that prove the waves had once been there, long after the tide recedes”.

“I think that’s one of the biggest signs a person has matured—knowing how to appreciate things that matter to others, even if they don’t matter very much to you.” 


book report / present over perfect & the language of flowers


Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist

This book talks about our longing for connection, meaning, depth, but yet….we settle on being BUSY. I am a fan of Shauna Niequist, I own several of her books. Her words speaks to my soul.

She invites you to consider the landscape of your own life, and what it might look like to leave behind the pressure to be perfect and begin the life-changing practice of simply being present, in the middle of the mess and the ordinariness of life. Shauna shares her own struggles of over committing, guilt about what she isn’t doing, and how we look for validation through social media instead of the people sharing our home. It’s one of those books that you can read slowly (maybe a chapter at a time) and can re-read each year.

Favorite Quotes:

. “The world will tell you how to live, if you let it. Don’t let it. Take up your space. Raise your voice. Sing your song. This is your chance to make or remake a life that thrills you.”

“What kills a soul? Exhaustion, secret keeping, image management. And what brings a soul back from the dead? Honesty, connection, grace”

. “Present is living with your feet firmly grounded in reality, pale and uncertain as it may seem. Present is choosing to believe that your own life is worth investing deeply in, instead of waiting for some rare miracle or fairytale. Present means we understand that the here and now is sacred, sacramental, threaded through with divinity even in its plainness. Especially in its plainness.” .
“But you can’t have yes without no. Another way to say it: if you’re not careful with your yeses, you start to say no to some very important things without even realizing it.

. “How we live matters, and what you choose to own will shape your life, whether you choose to admit it or not. Let’s live lightly, freely, courageously, surrounded only by what brings joy, simplicity, and beauty.”






The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

This book is about journey of a hardened foster child and her love of flowers (and how those flowers alter the entirety of her life)

The main character shows how difficult it is to learn to love and trust, if you’ve never received any love while growing up. The story is told in two alternating story-lines, one in the here and now and one whilst she was growing up. I also really enjoyed the descriptions of what every flowers meant, the flowers are used in the story to have deeper meanings. This is ultimately a story of redemption. After reading this book, I will never look at flowers the same way again.

Memorable Quotes:

“Anyone can grow into something beautiful”

“Your behavior is a choice; it isn’t who you are.”

“I’m talking about the language of flowers. It’s from the Victorian era, like your name. If a man gave a young lady a bouquet of flowers, she would race home and try to decode it like a secret message. Red roses mean love; yellow roses infidelity. So a man would have to choose his flowers carefully.”



{weekend wandering} oak canyon nature hike

One of my main goals each summer is to spend a lot of time outdoors. I’m also proactively planning most of our activities on the weekends. I have a list of things we want to do and feels good to cross off each one as we do them. I love list making and I love […]

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book report / the opposite of everyone & all the ugly and wonderful things

    The Opposite of Everyone by Joshlyn Jackson This is a story about a tough divorce lawyer with a troubled past is forced to revisit her childhood when she discovers her estranged mother is probably dead and may have left another child behind. I like books who have strong heroines that don’t take any […]

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  re-committing to writing my “currently” posts weekly. I will look back at these posts years later and really glad that I have some documentation of this stage in life. I was looking at archives from 2 years ago and was a little dissapointed that I hardly wrote about our weekly shenanigans celebrating my birthday […]

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book report / maybe in another life & station eleven

    Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid I really enjoyed this story. It had a very “Sliding Doors” feel to it. This is my second book by Taylor Jenkins Reid and I really like her writing style. I know I will eventually read all her books. The book  has two different timelines […]

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{weekend wandering} carlsbad flower fields

  We went on a mini road trip down south to Carlsbad to hangout at the flower fields. Everything seems to be in bloom right now, the fields on the side of the freeways were all filled with yellow flowers, so the drive along the coast was pretty colorful. Last time we visited the flower […]

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  celebrating our little man’s 4th birthday. We took him to Legoland over the weekend and had his birthday lunch at school with a cake, pizza, desserts and balloons going on our monthly date night, we had dinner California Fish Grill and watched Beauty and The Beast saying goodbye to our puppy Leilani. She was […]

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book report / we were liars

  We Were Liars by E. Lockhart (4/5 stars) This story was beautiful, haunting and suspenseful. It was a quick read, perfect for a day at the beach. I had goosebumps when the twist was revealed and also felt sadness. Maybe I will go back and re-read in the future….just to figure out if there […]

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book report / year of yes

  Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes (4/5 stars) This book is written by Shonda Rhimes, creator of hit TV shows Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal. I used to watch Grey’s Anatomy religiously in the early seasons, so Shonda’s name was familiar to me. She chronicles how saying YES for one year changed her life. I […]

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