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Reading All the Books

15 Jan

I asked you all for your book recommendations before I went on my cruise in December and you all certainly delivered (you can find the post here) My cruise reading kicked off some fun library trips and I’ve been working my way through an interesting mix of books.

Here’s what I loved… and what I didn’t. I linked to each book on Amazon so you can click through and read the full description if you’d like. However, I always recommend trying your library first, because FREE BOOKS!

Books I loved:

The Real Doctor Will See Your Shortly: A Physicians First Year – Matt McCarthy

Find it here on Amazon:

I’ve never really been a big non-fiction reader, but I’ve found myself branching out a bit lately. This book was funny and touching and all around pretty fantastic. It follows the first year of Doctor Matt McCarthy as he stumbles through trying to be a ‘real’ doctor. McCarthy is immediately likeable and the book almost has the flavor of old-school Scrubs episodes.

Normally, This Would Be Cause for Concern: Tales of Calamity and Unrelenting Awkwardness – Danielle Fishel

Find it here on Amazon:

Here’s another non-fiction book that somehow fell into my book cart. You may remember Danielle Fishel as Topanga on Boy Meets World (and more recently on Girl Meets World). Like most kids, I thought Topanga was pretty awesome, so I was down with reading about her life in Hollywood. Fishel comes off as super relatable – and yes, somewhat awkward – in her memoir and I finished the book convinced that we could easily be friends.

The Storyteller’s Secret: A Novel – Sejal Badani

Find it here on Amazon:

This book popped up on my free Kindle Unlimited recommendations, so I figured I’d give it a chance. It was immediately riveting as I followed Jaya through the unraveling of her marriage and concurrently followed her grandmother Amisha’s life in British-occupied India in the 1930’s. I thought the historic portion of the book was riveting and I enjoyed how it tied into Jaya’s modern day story. This one is still free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers, so I highly recommend downloading it!

Books I liked:

The Lilac Bouquet – Carolyn Brown

Find it here on Amazon:

I enjoy Carolyn Brown books for little happy romances that don’t stress me out. This one was cute and frothy and an enjoyable read. There were no real shockers in the ‘mystery’ of the book, but I walked away at the end feeling overall satisfied with the story. This one was free on Kindle Unlimited too, if you have that subscription.

Small Town Rumors – Carolyn Brown

Find it here on Amazon:

Another free Kindle Unlimited Carolyn Brown book that I enjoyed. This one centered around a woman who returns to her small town after a failed marriage. Yeah, we’ve all heard it before. Still, this one has some interesting stuff going on with budding friendships and parent issues. I liked this book and enjoyed some of the small town characters that became a part of Jennie Sue’s new life.

Fromage a Trois: Paris. Love. Cheese. – Victoria Brownlee

Find it here on Amazon:

I picked this one up at the library for no reason other than I liked the cover and the name of the book. Ella is unceremoniously dumped by her live-in boyfriend who decides he wants to “find himself” and has to move out of their shared apartment. So, she does what any reasonable human would do and decides to move to Paris for a year and eat ALL the cheese.  I like Ella. I like cheese. This book made me hungry.

Books I thought were just okay:

Match Making for Beginners – Maddie Dawson

Find it on Amazon:

This was another free one off Amazon Unlimited and it was fine. I mean, it was charming overall… but I had some issues with the plot and how it all wrapped up so quickly. I get that romances are ‘magical’ and in books when you know, you immediately elope and stuff. But, this one was just… okay.

The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee – Sarah Silverman

Find it on Amazon:

I like Sarah Silverman. I think she’s spunky and smart and adorable. I really wanted to love her book, but I was just left underwhelmed.

Do you have a book recommendation for me?

Disclosure: Pocketful of Joules is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

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Talking About My 2019 Goals

3 Jan

No, not resolutions. GOALS. As in attainable things. Things that make me feel good about myself… not things that make me feel like crap.

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Let’s talk resolutions… please don’t use the New Year as a way to torture yourself. Don’t beat yourself up. Don’t make crazy goals because you feel that you’re not good enough. Don’t tell yourself you’ll only be happy or worthy if you lose 20 pounds, or change x thing about yourself. You already are perfect. Talk to yourself like a friend. Talk to yourself like someone you love. ❤️ If you want to give yourself healthy goals to work towards, that’s great! Everyone can always strive to do better. But remember, you’re already awesome. Today is my last day off of my gloriously lazy winter break! Relaxed and makeup free = a great way to start the New Year! 😘

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I actually never made any goals for 2018 and still have my 2017 goals hanging up on a chalkboard by my desk. I was still juggling my Master’s program in 2018 along with work and Jack in kindergarten… so apparently writing down goals was just too much at the time. I’m feeling a bit more optimistic about this year.

I mean, 19 is my lucky number… so 2019 must be my lucky year, right?

I’ve gotten a handle on my health by getting regular physicals for the last couple years, as well as many, many doctors’ appointments to take my blood and discuss my cholesterol. I’ve also had two mammograms in the past couple years, as well as follow up boobie ultrasounds.  I keep up with the eye doctor and dentist. Oh, and I’ve had a couple more moles cut off of me. So I’m giving myself a big gold star for all that.

For my 2019 Health Goals:

  • My gym offers 100 bonus points if you go 9x a month, so I’m making that my goal. Also, I want to try and mix it up more with trying new gym classes.
  • Sign up and run 5k and 10k races that look fun. Extra credit for running with friends and family!
  • Do a family fun run (1 mile?) with Travis and Jack.
  • Keep with my soda fast. It’s okay to have soda occasionally, but it’s a treat.
  • Pack lunch at least one day a week (I work from home 2 days a week, so this is for the other 3 days).

I finished my Master’s program in 2018, so that feels pretty great. However, I’m kind of having some learning withdrawal now that I’m over the hump of not having 20 page papers due all the time. It is really nice to read just for fun again though, so I’m really enjoying that! I’ve been brainstorming what makes me happiest and came up with a few Happiness Goals.

For my 2019 Happiness Goals:

  • Travel more! This includes vacationing somewhere new, day trips and overnight weekend trips. I’m happiest when I have a trip on the horizon, so a goal is to plan more fun!
  • Have more dates with my husband.
  • Learn something new. Pick up any book that interests me at the library. Sign up for classes and experiences like glassblowing class, an indoor skydiving session, outdoor obstacle course ropes, and more.
  • Spend time with my friends. Make more friend dates, happy hours and sleepover party plans!

In addition to my health and happiness goals for the year, I’m also going to pick a *word* of the year. For two years in a row, I went with Balance. But this year I’m going to mix it up a bit. My word for 2019 is Thrive. So many times I feel like I’m just going through the motions to get everything done, but this year I want to focus on THRIVING!

And that’s it! It looks like I can finally update my chalkboard with some new – super attainable – goals for 2019.

How about you…do you set goals or resolutions for yourself for New Years?

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Revisiting 2018 in My 146th Post of the Year

31 Dec

With the year coming to a close, I usually spend a week revisiting some of my most popular posts from the last 12 months. Rather than spending an entire week revisiting 2018, I decided to just throw together one post of all the favorites.

Today’s post is the last of 2018, which brings me to this year’s total of 146 blog posts!

Top Fashion Posts

Advice Posts:

Clothing Review Posts/Dressing Room Pics:

Top Family Posts

Self-Improvement Posts

General Awesomeness

I hope you enjoyed today’s look back before we go full steam ahead into 2019!

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Spam Me with Your Book Recommendations!

27 Nov

I last begged for book recommendations a couple years ago with In Dire Need of Good Reads and I’m right there again. I’m about to go on a trip, so I want to download a bunch of books to take with me on my Kindle, rather than weighing down my luggage with books from the library.

I have Amazon Unlimited, so there are a ton of books that I can borrow for under that membership, but I could really use some recommendations!

Here’s what I’m looking for:

  • FUN
  • Sassy
  • Romance
  • Mysteries
  • Silly Chic Lit
  • YA is cool too

What do you suggest? Bonus points if it’s available on Kindle Unlimited!

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