Five Books to Read This Winter

Winter Reading List

While I was born in Wisconsin, I swear I have Floridian blood. Therefore, winter and I have a rocky relationship. I try to make the most of the season and sprinkle in a few snow-related activities, but I’m always counting down the minutes until I can warm up under a cozy blanket at home. Oftentimes a warm cup of tea and a good book accompany my plight to stop shivering and defrost my toes. With a handful of bitter cold days behind us, I had time to read through a stack of books. Here are five of my favorite discoveries!

Winter Reading List

  1. Love and Gelato  (by Jenna Evans Welch)
  Six months after Lina’s mother passes away from pancreatic cancer Lina flies to Italy and discovers her mother’s journal. As Lina flips through the journal, she is introduced to the many hidden treasures Florence holds. With a new found friend, Ren, by her side, Lina follows her mother’s footsteps around Italy and realizes her mother kept a lot of secrets.

  2. The Sun is Also a Star (by Nicola Yoon)  Twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica, Natasha makes an appointment at Immigration Services and hopes for a miracle. Maybe she won’t have to leave New York? Maybe, just maybe, her father’s mistake won’t ruin her life. On the way to her appointment, Natasha bumps into Daniel, a cute Korean-American boy who is her polar opposite. While he believes in fate, Natasha strictly relies on science. So Daniel offers up a wager – he bets he can scientifically get Natasha to fall in love with him.

  3. The Magnolia Story (by Chip and Joanna Gaines)  Are you a fan of Fixer Upper? If so, get ready to curl up with Chip and Joanna’s first book release, The Magnolia Story. Scrawled across the pages are stories of the Gaines’ childhoods, first fixer upper and falling in love. If you thought you were a fan before reading this book, just wait!

  4. After You (by Jojo Moyes)
  Whether you got cozy and read Me Before You with a box of tissues by your side, or you wiped away tears with a box of popcorn on your lap at the theater – reading the sequel, After You, is a must. You will check in with Louisa Clark and watch her struggle to put her life back together all the while wondering if a broken heart can ever love again.

  5. One for the Money (by Janet Evanovich)  
If you haven’t fallen in love with the suspense-filled comedy series starring Stephanie Plum yet, this is your introduction. Stephanie, an out-of-work lingerie buyer, is looking for ways to earn extra cash when she turns to her cousin Vinnie for help. Vinnie owns a bail bonds company and Stephanie twists his arm to employ her. Unfortunately, the only position open is as a bounty hunter. With bills piling up and her car being repossessed, Stephanie feels like she has no other choice but to take the job. This decision is a catalyst of a series of events that leaves the reader flipping each page in suspense and occasionally crying from laughter.

What books have you been loving? Leave recommendations in the comments!


Ten Winter Date Ideas: 2015


It is hard to brainstorm date ideas when you just want to cuddle up in bed with a cup of hot chocolate. In order to avoid cabin fever, here are a few date ideas that will get you out of the house (at least for a few hours!)

  1. Look up a museum and spend an afternoon acting like kids on a field trip
  2. Go to a coffee shop with a deck of cards and play a few rounds of your favorite game
  3. Get messy and sing up for a cooking class to learn a new skill!
  4. Grab a glass of wine and channel your inner artist at a paint bar
  5. Go to a comedy club and share a few laughs
  6. Rent cross country skis and enjoy the outdoors
  7. Visit a brewery and sign up for a tour
  8. Feel like teenagers again and go bowling
  9. Stop by the library and pick up books for an afternoon of cuddling

What’s on your winter date night list?

Holiday Shopping in Paoli

Christmas Shopping | Beauty & Blooms

When I was back home we decided to forgo the busy shopping mall and head out to Paoli, WI. The small town was brimming with Christmas spirit and we enjoyed the wide range of gift options. Within a mile radius you could pop into an antique store, sample cheese and browse carefully curated art galleries. It made Christmas shopping into an experience rather than a chore. If you are ever in the Madison area I would recommend taking a detour and visiting this little town for yourself!

Christmas Shopping | Beauty & Blooms{This shop combined two of my favorite things: Christmas décor & a café)

Christmas Shopping | Beauty & Blooms{A quaint cheese shop}

Christmas Shopping | Beauty & Blooms{Eating ice cream in winter – that’s how much I love Babcock ice cream!}