{book report} how to hygge & modern romance

New Year, new reading goals for me! 2017 was the first year that I really, really kept my intention of making time to read on a daily basis. As a result, I read 40 books in 2017!!

Reading kept me sane, reading kept my work related stress under control, reading gave me alone time and most importantly, reading kept my brain engaged and help me to continue to learn.

Here goes my first book report for the new year!



How to Hygge – The Nordic Secrets to a Happy Life



Denmark is often said to be the happiest country in the world. That’s down to one thing: hygge (pronounced HOO-GA)

You know hygge when you feel it. It is when you are cuddled up on a sofa with a loved one, or sharing comfort food with your closest friends. It is those crisp blue mornings when the light through your window is just right.

I liked this book because at the end of the day, I just love the cosier, quieter side of life and want to implement more hygge. This is a beautifully designed little book which talks about the benefits of coziness/homebodyness and good friends/good food as the way to happiness. The author of this book studies human happiness. He argues that Hygge contributes to the overall happiness and satisfaction of Danes. You get a glimpse into Danish life and their interesting accounts of what contributes to happiness.
We can all do with more Hygge. We can all do with more happiness.

Memorable Quotes:

“Hygge has been called everything from “the art of creating intimacy,” “coziness of the soul,” and “the absence of annoyance,” to “taking pleasure from the presence of soothing things,” “cozy togetherness,” and my personal favorite, “cocoa by candlelight”.

“We are social creatures, and the importance of this is clearly seen when one compares the satisfaction people feel in relationships with their overall satisfaction with life. The most important social relationships are close relationships in which you experience things together with others, and experience being understood; where you share thoughts and feelings, and both give and receive support. In one word: hygge.”

“Benjamin Franklin said it best: “Happiness consists more in small conveniences or pleasures that occur every day, than in great pieces of good fortune that happen but seldom.” .
“So, to all you introverts out there, do not feel embarrassed or boring for being a person who prefers things that are hygge.”

“Gratitude is more than just a simple “thank you” when you receive a gift. It is about keeping in mind that you live right now, allowing yourself to focus on the moment and appreciate the life you lead, to focus on all that you do have, not what you don’t. Cliches? Totally”








Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari (3.5 stars/5)


Funny, engaging and the research was interesting. Loved the audio version because of Aziz’s comedic timing. He discusses his mishaps with flirting via text, as well as worse transgressions, and how technology has changed courtship in this day and age. Kudos to him for taking what could have been a typical celeb memoir and actually turning it into something educational and enlightening.

I think non-singles will also benefit from reading it for the exploration of how technology affects our relationships.

Memorable Quotes:

“Marriage was an economic institution in which you were given a partnership for life in terms of children and social status and succession and companionship. But now we want our partner to still give us all these things, but in addition I want you to be my best friend and my trusted confidant and my passionate lover to boot, and we live twice as long. So we come to one person, and we basically are asking them to give us what once an entire village used to provide: Give me belonging, give me identity, give me continuity, but give me transcendence and mystery and awe all in one. Give me comfort, give me edge. Give me novelty, give me familiarity. Give me predictability, give me surprise. And we think it’s a given, and toys and lingerie are going to save us with that. Ideally, though, we’re lucky, and we find our soul mate and enjoy that life-changing mother lode of happiness. But a soul mate is a very hard thing to find.” .

“To be honest, I tend to romanticize the past, and though I appreciate all the conveniences of modern life, sometimes I yearn for simpler times.”


{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 […]

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{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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