Friday Favorites

Since everyone’s at home and some are running out of things to do, I thought I’d share a few of my simple favorite things. I’m aware that some are outdated… okay most (oldies but goodies) and if you’re really bored maybe you’ve already watched/read them, but I’m just sharing in case there might be some you missed 😉

Movies:

  • To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (Netflix)
  • Murder Mystery (Netflix)
  • Tombstone
  • Giant
  • Some Like It Hot
  • Almost Famous
  • The Martian
  • You’ve Got Mail
  • It’s Complicated
  • Because I Said So

Movies for the Whole Family:

  • Togo (Disney+)
  • Three Men and a Baby
  • Mrs. Doubtfire
  • The Newsies
  • Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
  • White Fang
  • Dolittle (the new one!)
  • Turner & Hooch
  • Rookie of the Year
  • The Pacifier
  • The Parent Trap (the original)
  • BIG

TV Shows:

  • The Office (hands down, favorite show)
  • New Girl
  • Seinfeld
  • American Housewife (not a reality show)
  • Fraiser
  • Gossip Girl
  • Younger
  • Downton Abbey
  • Gilmore Girls
  • Cheers

Books: On the more “serious” side

  • A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken (one of my favorite books)
  • Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
  • A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers
  • An Echo in the Darkness by Francine Rivers (a sequel to the above)
  • John by Cynthia Lennon
  • The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
  • Wild at Heart by John Eldridge
  • The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks
  • Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

Books: More on the Lighthearted Side

  • The Blue Bistro by Elin Hilderbrand
  • Hissy Fit by Mary Kay Andrews
  • Faking It by Jennifer Crusie
  • A Big Little Life: A Memoir of a Joyful Dog by Dean Koontz
  • The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell
  • Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
  • Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
  • The Rumor by Elin Hilderbrand
  • The Un-Honeymooners by Christina Lauren
  • The Antelope in the Living Room by Melanie Shankle
  • And it goes without saying…the Harry Potter series ⚡️

Books: For the Little Ones

  • Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle
  • Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco
  • Clifford the Big Red Dog by Norman Bridwell
  • And to Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street by Dr.Suess
  • The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka
  • The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn
  • Springtime Babies by Dana Smith (Little Golden book)
  • Friends Stick Together by Hannah E. Harrison
  • We’re Going On A Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen
  • The B Book by Stan & Jan Berenstein

Activities with (younger) Kiddos:

  • Chalk
  • Scavenger Hunt (even if it has to be indoors!)
  • I Spy… (this can be absolutely anywhere!)
  • Simple Magic Tricks
  • Make Playdough together
  • Let them help make breakfast/lunch/supper
  • Have them draw something for each letter of the alphabet
  • Have coke floats
  • Build a fort
  • Start a Prayer/Gratitude Journal
  • Make Fossils (using salt dough and nature)
  • Write letters to family and friends

There you have it, a few things maybe you hadn’t thought of lately. Hope this can help at least one person out! 🙂

What are some of your favorites to watch/read?

*ASpottedHeart

Why You Should Be Reading Christina Lauren.

Who is Christina Lauren? This is the same question I was asking myself a few months ago when my sister told me I needed to read the book The Unhoneymooners written by Christina Lauren.

Christina Lauren isn’t actually one person, it’s two! Writers, Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings are two friends that decided to try to write together. This concept to me is a little mind blowing, I can’t even begin to imagine trying to write a story, let alone, books, with another person. To have the same writing voice, and vision, and thought process would be so difficult. But these two awesome ladies make it work, and make it work well!

I love to read and I’m finally getting back into the swing of regularly reading. I’ve always considered myself someone that keeps up with the latest literary writers and up and coming books. This one I’d definitely never heard of though. My sister is the queen of giving any good book cover a chance. (We both really prefer good ol “rom-com” books) I remember her telling me this is her favorite book cover, so I thought I’d better give it a shot.

I hadn’t read in ages and really wanted to get into a good book. So I downloaded (I know some of you are cringing) The Unhoneymooners on my Kindle and started reading. I was immediately drawn into the story. The Unhoneymooners is a story about the unluckiest girl, who has always been a bit in the shadows of her luckiest twin sister. Her fate starts to change when she goes on a fake honeymoon with her sworn enemy. What I loved most about this book was it’s humor! It had me rolling in spots, and cringing in others. What I really appreciated about the book was it had a few different layers to unfold to get the whole story. I loved this book! It kept me on my toes never wanting to put it down. It’s hilarious, it’s steamy, and it’s just a good story! Loving this led me to wanting to read more by this dynamic duo.

So, next up, Twice In A Blue Moon. I’ll admit, once I find a really good book I’m a little hesitant to get too enthusiastic about the author and so I read a second book with caution. When I started this one out, I was a little worried. It was slow starting and the characters just didn’t seem as good as the characters in The Unhoneymooners. With that said, once I reached a certain point in the book (one that wasn’t too far in) it was hard to put it down! It’s a story of a young love affair, the only catch is the girl is the daughter of the most famous actor in the world…but he has nothing to do with her. This story takes twists and turns I didn’t see coming, a really well told story when it’s all said and done. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on another, and I was not disappointed!

Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating might be the funniest book I’ve ever read. It had me literally laughing out loud throughout the book. It’s a book about two people who have a strange past history that meet again once they’re older and fall into becoming best friends. I couldn’t get enough of this book. I really love the characters in this one! It’s pretty steamy in places, and made me blush a few times, but the story itself is just as good as those rom-coms we all like to watch. I’d love to see this one turned into a movie.

So if I haven’t convinced you with these three book recommendations, then maybe we just aren’t the same kind of people?! Haha! But really, I can’t wait for their new book Honey-Don’t List to come out in March. Until then, who are you reading?

The Unhoneymooners 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Twice In A Blue Moon 🌝🌝🌝🌝

Josh & Hazel… 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Thanks for stopping by!

*ASpottedHeart

2018 to 2019:Starting the Year of Self-Care

It’s been a little quiet on here lately. 2018 was a big year for One Cute Cowboy and I. We welcomed into our world the cutest Lil’ Cowboy and our hearts swell with love and pride each passing month as we continue to grow and learn as a family of 3. I say with confidence, I’ve grown more mentally, emotionally, and spiritually this past year, than in any other year in my life. Becoming a mom has totally rocked my world, in a good way, but also in “everything’s changed” kind of way. Being a good parent comes with a multitude of changes and self-sacrifices. Some we welcomely make, and some we make gritting our teeth.

One thing that has been hard for me, has been making time for self-care and cultivating my relationships with others. It’s easy to be completely wrapped up in your new little one and forget about yourself and others. And don’t get me wrong, I 100% believe it’s okay to be wrapped up in your new little life, I think you should be engulfed in this new treasure…but I also believe it’s incredibly important to take care of your physical and mental self, your marriage, and your close relationships.

Now, I’ve never been big on the whole “New Years” racket. Making resolutions, making a big to-do about it being a new year and a new beginning, and so on and so forth. (Obviously, I’m just now getting around to posting this a week already, into the new year!) You all know what I’m talking about. There’s nothing wrong with any of it, it’s just never been that big a deal to me I suppose...But with that being said, I would like to state a few things I look forward to working towards this coming year (See what I did there 😉)

  • Enjoy Reading Again: 2018 might be one of my slowest reading years to date. I sadly only read a handful of books, and I’m afraid to report the ones I did read are hardly mentionable. So this year I want to take some time to read some good, enjoyable books! (If you have any good recommendations please send them my way!)
  • More Water, More Veggies: Since Little Bear was born I’ve only drank water. With a sip of coke here and there and I think I’ve had 1 or 2 glasses of iced tea. Other than that it’s been my daily (sometimes 2-3 times) hot tea and then it’s just been water. That being said, I still don’t feel like I drink what I should for my daily intake. Actually this is a goal of both One Cute Cowboy’s and mine- Drink more water! And while we’re at it, let’s throw in “to eat more veggies” too! I want Little Bear to grow up loving veggies and fruits, so in order for that to happen, mom and dad need to be intaking more as well.
  • Purge: Since having a new one, we realized just how much “stuff” we have in our home. For some reason I get a sentimental attachment to odd things. Therefore every nook and cranny seem to be filled in our little home. I plan on doing some serious purging in the next few months. I’ve just started reading about KonMari’s method of decluttering. I kinda dig it and I’m wiling to try it.
  • Quality Time: I’m as guilty as anyone about constantly looking at my phone. 🙄 I plan on being more conscientious of my time spent on my phone and taking breaks from social media to make sure I’m spending quality time with my ever-learning son, and my cute husband. 😉 That being said…
    Scheduled Posting: I want to be better this year in having more of a scheduled posting so y’all are aware of when new posts are coming and it’s not so hit and miss for all of you! I haven’t quite decided what that’s going to look like yet, once a week, bi-weekly, once a month? I’m not sure yet, what would y’all like to see?
    Self Care: Lastly, I want to spend this year being sure to take time for self-care. I have a few ways I plan on doing that, but my biggest way I want to work on that is spending more time in God’s word. I’ve lacked in my daily devotionals and prayer time it seems lately, and I can definitely tell when I do. That’s something I ( and I would say all of us) need to keep a healthy mentality and attitude. But I also plan on spending some self care reading, journaling again, and just some alone time to collect my thoughts, write down my goals, and have some quiet to reflect on and listen to God’s words.

2018 tested my patience, my marriage, my self-worth, my heart, my mind, my physical body, my organizational abilities, and my pocketbook. (If you think having a baby won’t test every single one of those aspects of life, then show me your guidebook! Haha!) But it’s also brought more love than I knew imaginable, more patience than I realized, a stronger love to my marriage, more love for myself for what my body and mind and spirit can endure, and more blessings than I knew were possible. God has favored me in this year, and I’m so grateful for His love and patience. I will continue to lean on His guidance and trust His timing and faithfulness. As I’ve been writing this and thinking about 2018, this hymn keeps coming to the surface,

“Great is thy faithfulness,

Great is thy faithfulness.

Morning by morning new mercies I see.

All I have needed thy hand has provided.

Great is thy faithfulness,

Lord unto me.”

I pray that in 2019 I never lose sight of His faithfulness, and to remember, all that I need, His hand will provide.

Happy New Year! May 2019 be full of blessings and new adventures and lots and lots of love. ❤️

The Hating Game Book Review

“I have a theory. Hating someone feels disturbing similar to being in love with them. I’ve had a lot of time to compare love and hate, and these are my observations.”

My sister originally told me about this book because she’d seen it on one of Mix and Match Mama’s book reviews. I had been looking for a new book to read and just couldn’t find anything in my own “Books to be Read” list that looked appealing. I’m so glad I went ahead and downloaded The Hating Game.

This book was wildly funny, and probably equally inappropriate! Haha! I’d say it’s a little risqué in a few spots (No, I’m not talking 50 Shades of Grey), but the characters and their antics will have you laughing from page one. It’s a really quick and enjoyable read. I finished it in about a weeks time.

The electric banter between the book’s main characters, Lucy and Joshua, is enough to make you want to scream out loud at times. You can feel the frustration and the need to “get even” with every game played.

I was shocked to find out from my sister that this is the author, Sally Thorne’s, first book! She truly captures, what can often be, the running thoughts of a woman. From second-guessing herself to being so determined it hurts. It’s funny, it’s romantic, it has some twists and turns that will leave you thumbing through the pages in no time!

If you’re looking for an entertaining, humorous book, I would definitely recommend The Hating Game.

Hocus Pocus

October is here! One of my favorite months! The weather has definitely been cooperating lately, and letting it get that Fall-ish feel. I love what Fall brings– pumpkins, apple cider, crispy leaves, full moons, black cats, and of course fall/Halloween movies! Here are a few things inspiring me this month.

Cat Cake

black cat

Fall Set-up

fall flowers

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Books

Fox

outdoor fall

cookies

scripture

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White pumpkins

tub

 

What’s inspiring you this month? Any goals this month? What’s your favorite thing about Fall? I wanna hear from you guys! Leave me a comment or e-mail me! aspottedheart@gmail.com

*ASpottedHeart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eligible: A Book Review

I was in a bit of a book slump after I read the Magnolia Story and my sister, Kizzi, suggested I read Elgible by Curtis Sittenfeld. She had just finished it and said it was a fantastic read!

Now, I’ll admit, when I saw it was a “modern re-telling of Pride & Predjudice,” I was a bit skeptical. Mainly because, fellow book lovers don’t judge me, but I’ve never actually read Pride & Predjudice. I know I know, how can I be a book lover and not have read a literary classic??! All I can say is, it’s never interested me to read it, but now that I’ve read this book, I’m oddly more interested. Maybe I’m backwards, I don’t know.

It took me a little bit to get into this book, but I blame that on bad timing. Once I got the characters figured out, it was hard to put down. It’s based around a family of 5 adult daughters all unmarried with a mother that is chomping at the bit to get each one married off. It’s funny, and intelligent, and keeps you guessing. If you’ve ever secretly enjoyed an episode of the Bachelor (it’s my guilty pleasure) then you’ll enjoy this book! You never know what might come out of the mouth of the two younger sisters Kitty and Lydia. Or what crazy thing Mr. and Mrs. Bennett will come up with next. It’s entertaining and the perfect, easy-breezy read to add to this Spring’s book list. I look forward to checking out a few more of Curtis Sittenfeld’s books. Fingers-crossed they’re as good and funny as this one!

What are you currently reading or wanting to read?

*ASpottedHeart
—Related Posts—

The Magnolia Story 

Thunder Cakes 

The Blue Bistro: Book Review 

Spring Mood Board

It’s March ya’ll!! How did that happen?! I must say, I’m really glad to see Spring this year for the pure fact that it means One Cute Cowboy is finally done with wheat pasture cattle. He’s been more or less gone all winter long taking care of cattle, so it’s nice to have him home more often. 

I’ve been thinking a lot about simplifying (read as: decluttering.) It’s hard because, let’s face it, I like stuff. I like knick -knacks and trinkets and sometimes I feel like Ariel in the Little Mermaid. But I truly look forward to making this happen, slowly but surely, this spring!  I think that’s reflected in this mood board. Simple, clean-cut spaces, and of course tons of gardening things coming to mind this month as I prep my flowerbeds and garden.  It’s my favorite part of spring! What’s yours? Enjoy!


Happy Spring Everyone!

January Mood Board

It’s January, mid January at that. So far this month, I feel like I have a lot of ideas and motivation. I’ve been reading Chip & Joanna Gaines’ book The Magnolia Story. It’s truly been inspiring. I like to think that if Joanna and I were to ever meet, we’d be quick friends. I feel like we’re a lot alike in the way our minds work. Now, I’m in no way saying I’m as creative or talented as she is, I’m just saying our thought process seems to be alike in ways. I’ve always wanted my own little (tea) shop, and this month, reading this book has left me inspired and motivated and creatively thinking, which is always a good thing in my books! These are a few things and spaces that I’ve found to set  the mood for my mind-set this month. What’s inspired you? What are things that help you get motivated? Hope you enjoy what’s inspired me! 









I Put A Spell On You: An October Mood Board

I love the month of October! Fall is usually in full swing and I’ll just admit it, I love Halloween. Not in the “let’s go get costumes and scare people” type way, but in the pumpkins and black cats, and magic that can happen in October. I can’t tell you how many times I will watch Hocus Pocus until October 31st. Some things never change. But here are the things that are inspiring and making me smile this month. This was the month that OneCuteCowboy proposed, so it’s a special month to me regardless of all the rest. Hope you enjoy and will share some of your inspirations this month! 









Summer Reading List

As you all well know, I love books and summertime is my favorite time to read. So here are a few books I’m hoping to get read this summer! 

Here’s my list for this summer:

1. The Weekenders by Mary Kay Andrews

MKA is another one of my sister and I’s favorites! If you want a funny, summer read, I suggest MKA! Start out with one of the Savannah books, they’re a great read. I’m so excited about this new one!


2.  The Matchmaker by Elin Hilderbrand

My sister and I have been on a bit of a Elin Hilderbrand kick lately, we’ve enjoyed her different way of writing! We just finished up Beautiful Day by her, and it was a truly good book. There are many of hers I’m excited to read, but I don’t want this whole list to turn into all of her books! 


3. Five Habits of a Woman Who Doesn’t Quit by Nicki Koziarz

My friend from work encouraged me to read this one, so I’m excited to see what it has in store.

4. Promise of the Wolves by Dorothy Hearst

If you know me at all, you know I have a passion for Wolves and so naturally this story intrigues me. It was a no-brainer to add to the list.

5. A Window Opens by Elisabth Egan

I chose this book because it was compared to Maria Semple’s Where’d You Go, Bernadette? A book I loved. So of course I can’t wait to read it!

6. A Severe Mercy by Shelden Vanauken


I fell in love with this book the very first time I read it, and have been wanting to re-read it ever since I put it down. I like to re-read books I really loved and this was definitely one of my top 10 favorite books! 
So there’s a little peak into some of the books I’ll be reading this summer. What are you reading this summer? Do you have any recommendations?