Reading Challenge 2019

Reading Challenge 2019

In the past, you had to force me to pick up a book and read the entire title.  As a child, our mother took us into the library and we each got our own library card.  At least once a month, our mother would take us in, with a cloth bag in hand and allow us to check out books to bring home.  Now, as a child, this is fascinating, to walk into a beautiful building full of books…but picture books of course!  As I got older, I despised reading and even better, my high-school had a book requirement that had to be completed prior to graduation…oh the joy.

Now, I can’t stop reading.  I can’t stop judging a book by it’s cover.  And I can’t stop purchasing books!  I don’t know what has gotten into me, but I could read all day long!  Lunch break, okay, let me grab my book.  A sunny weekend, you can find me on the patio with a book in hand.  Airplane ride to somewhere, books packed.  Beach reading, my favorite!

So, never being good with new year resolutions, I started in 2018 with a big one!  January 1, 2018 – I challenged myself to read 50 books.  I exceeded that by reading just four over.  So with a new year here, my 2019 goal is to read 65 books!  Let’s see if I can exceed this list too!

During the next nine months of 2019, I will share all of the books I devour in.  It’s not always easy to imagine the titles that deem surprising, but I will do my best to share my favorites with all of you.  Now for the books that I just can’t finish…those will not be included on my list.  If I have a goal to read 65 books, I have to read 65 books from start to finish.  So if there is a book that I just can’t get into by the 7th chapter, I toss it.

I hope you enjoy and are inspired!  And if you have favorites, please share in the comments – I am always looking for new books to read!

You can also track my reading on the Goodreads app.  You can search me by name, ‘Meaghan.’

 

Love you Muchly,

The Gown: A Novel of the Royal Wedding by Jennifer Robson

Ok, the first book of the year has already touched my heart and became my favorite book yet!  If you are anything like me – obsessed with the royals and anything fashion – you need this book!  Take a stroll back in time and vision the sewing room where the Queens’ wedding dress was created – by hand!

Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan

Since it was still winter when I read this, why not grab a book with ‘beach’ in the title!  This was not my favorite, unfortunately, but I forced myself to read the entire book.  Characters Anna, her father and family friend Dexter are involved in a mystery and Anna must work to see where her father may have vanished.

The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner

I am not sure what it is when it comes to prison originals but I was gravitated towards Orange is the New Black and any prison show that Netflix had to offer.  So when I found this book, with a female charged with two consecutive life sentences, why not dig into this story on survival and violence!

Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker

I love a good thriller and when it involves two missing sisters and a twisted family secret, I can’t pass it up!  Page-turner and quick read!  Find out what happened to Emma and Cass in this one-of-a-kind kidnapping and betrayal story!

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

My one vacation read of 2019!  And boy was it a page turner!  I don’t even know where to start with this story and not give anything away!  A beautiful family, full of secrets and one damaged girl.  So many lies.  But where does the truth lie?

Bring me Back by B.A. Paris

I told you I like a suspenseful thriller!  Boyfriend and girlfriend take off on vacation – but only one comes back home, or so we thought!  Say no more, just go grab this book!

How to Walk Away by Katherine Center

Alright, I finished this book in less than 24-hours!  Grab this book if you want to feel all the butterflies of an unforgettable love story and finding joy.  Suddenly, on such a happy day, it all turned badly and Margaret must figure out what her new future looks like.

The Perfect Mother by Nina Darnton

Remember Amanda Knox who spent almost four years in an Italian prison?  Well, this story is very similar!  On day 2, I finished this book – I just could not put it down!  See how far a mother will go to protect her daughter!

The More of Less by Joshua Becker

Ok,

Fashion Focus

Fashion Focus

Welcome to a Month in My Closet!!

March welcomes Spring but in Michigan, you are never certain on when Spring is going to make it’s sunny debut!

With that, my style looks are mainly consisting of comfort and heavy!  With having to bust out my winter coat this morning, I just want to stay home in my robe until the warm weather comes out to play!  Did you say Netflix and Chill??

In this month’s round-up, cozy sweaters, super soft and stripe details are a hit!

 

Love you Muchly,

Fashion Focus

Fashion Focus

It’s February!

With vacation in the midst of the month, my wardrobe went from bundled up to bright and fun!

XO

 

Love you Muchly,

Love Story

Love Story

If you would have asked me in high-school how my life would pan out, I would have had it all figured out…or so I would have thought.  We all walk our own path.  We all have a different story.  And most of all, we have different needs – that tend to change as we mature and get older.

Let’s go back to 2003 when I was all butterflies for my high school romance and was lost in love…

High School Relationships 101

They don’t last, and that’s okay!

Of course I thought me and my high-school sweetie would last.  I constantly added clippings to my wedding binder and practiced my future last name.  Don’t judge, you know we all have done it!!

Of course when it was good, it was really good.  But when it was bad, it wasn’t healthy for anyone involved.  We were so young when we met and had many ups and downs.  Our relationship was launched by powerful and exciting experiences.  There was no doubting that we were ‘in-love’ through our crazy teenage years.

But as guessed, the lovey-dovey feeling wears off as a teenager.  Those years are so crucial and are mingled in so many different emotions.  Acceptance.  Drama.  Relationships.  Friendships.

After living a real-life soap opera of break ups and make ups, my seven year itch ended.  The loyalty to build on our love was hard work and strenuous to keep up with.  As soon as I was able to move on, that particular journey made me feel alive again.

I rode the high tide of youthful love.  Built up on big feelings and messy drama.  And thank goodness I had friends to catch me when I fell…and more than once.  Even though the love did not survive, the capability and perception did.  There was no more of me hiding in a turtle shell of high-school fantasies.

I adored.  I developed.  I rode the constant sea of waves and learned to roll solo for some time.

Everything Happens for a Reason

Next Chapter – it’s true.  Everything does happen for a reason.  Even though I would have never believed this statement in the past, I can stand true to the meaning now.

Fairytales, princesses, prince charming’s – these stories have appeared in our story times, our dreams and our movie nights. Generations are sketched of happily ever afters’ and Disney Classics set the benchmark.  We constantly wait for prince charming to suddenly appear and we immediately settle.  This princess persona has turned into the new status quo.  Sorry to bust your bubble but you may want to take a different route…

I can tell you firsthand that waiting and waiting for prince charming is something special.  Don’t settle.  Wait if you want to wait.  I guarantee he or she is out there.

My love story…is not your ‘normal’ situation as some would say.  What seemed impossible to others, seemed quite impossible in the beginning, and even I thought so.  But after giving up preconceived notions (which was not easy) of what life was supposed to look like and the plans that I had for myself…all those negative ideas I once had about love just started to disappear.

NO ONE expected this love.  Trust me, I didn’t even expect this love because it came my way when I was not even looking!  This wasn’t even the love I dreamt of.

This love surprised me.  But It forced me to never look back.

Enter Him. <3

God has a plan for everyone and truly, love never fails.  This new love is a representation of my own fairy-tale, the happy, butterfly feeling one, with tons of puppies running around.  He came into my life for a reason and we took a HUUUUGE leap of faith together.  The two of us (and of course Lou and Tucker) created a new life which is absolutely magnificent.  My joyous life tucked away in a small town feels pretty good.

Sometimes love can find you in the least likely place we would ever expect it and boy did this love sweep me off my feet.  And sometimes, we just need that someone to catch us when we sweep.

Just ask yourself, is this love a season, a reason or a lifetime…

 

Love you Muchly,

Living the Next Chapter

Living the Next Chapter

As I pick-up four more books for my 2019 reading challenge…what better time to talk about YOUR life chapters.  There is no better time than the future to turn the page…

Are you living in the moment but find yourself afraid to turn the page?  Staring endlessly attempting to figure out the happy ending?  Why?  What is holding you back?  The princess fairytale crystal ball life you have imagined and have programed into your mind is nowhere near to your current situation?  Don’t let that hold you back – there is, spoiler alert, no fairytale and no schedule to follow.  God has a plan for all of us – and sometimes, it’s not like you have dreamt it your entire teenage years and young adulthood.

Real talk here.  A few years ago, I was hesitant to advance to the next chapter.  I was so focused on the end goal and my own pre-calculated happy ending that I spent much of my time and energy forcing the final conclusion to the surface instead of allowing the chapters to fall into place.  All my friends were dating, engaged, purchasing their first homes, planning their weddings and hoping for children soon after.  For me, I was still living my twenty something life – coming home to my dog Lou and living off boxed wine and Ramen noodles…

I felt empty.  I felt alone.  I felt I was not on the right track.

I had lost my bookmark.

 

In all of this, I honestly wanted to skim the plot twist (insert dramatic scene here).  During this time, it was difficult for me the grasp the idea of what my future had planned for me.  Was something hidden in-between the lines of my current chapter that I kept missing?  What was my purpose if everyone else was buying houses with their significant other and planning vacations together?  I was anxious to turn the page and quite frankly, I was not thinking very highly of myself.  It was hard to believe that God did have a wonderful plan for me.

The realization that everyone was dating someone, celebrating their wedding, receiving a surprise engagement or announcing their first child to the world was like a knife twisting in my heart.  Not because I wasn’t happy for them, I was over the moon for their milestones – but I was entering my mid-twenties with none of the above.  But guess what, you can always paint the grass is greener picture.  Your life is just as important and special.  Careers, blogs, awards, yada yada – it all means something and you deserve to show it off, even if that means you are on an entirely different chapter than the rest of them.

Two words.  Move on.

Move on from what you have dreamed and imagined and design your own chapter.  Each new day is a new page in your book, a fresh start, a blank canvas.

There are several paths to take in your story and God has a plan for every single one of us.  Be a believer, just as I became.  Trust me, I know how difficult it can be to feel stuck in a rut while you see everyone else advancing.  Think positive and write down a list of what you are achieving and gloat over that damn list – hell, frame it and put it on your refrigerator, do whatever you have to do to remind yourself of your life creations.  Just because your friends are getting married and having babies, doesn’t mean it is your time for that.  Instead, spoil yourself over that promotion or congratulate yourself on purchasing your first home, solo!  These are your accomplishments and life advances, so be very proud of them.

Now, I have a story worth sharing.  The past chapters shaped my experiences that were some of the most difficult times of my life, but in the end, my story makes one hell of a great story.

If you continue to make your life a calming read, we are all guaranteed a happy ending in our own book.  It’s your story, so don’t get obsessed with the status quo.

Category:  Best Seller!

 

Love you Muchly,