7 Summer Beach Reads You Won’t Be Able to Put Down

Growing up I was a voracious reader, consuming every book that came across my path – whether Harry Potter, Nancy Drew, Philip Pullman or Meg Cabot. Every summer I’d  quickly gobble up the required reading list and continue to use my imagination to discover new worlds and endearing characters through every page. Since the arrival of adulthood, my love for reading hasn’t waned, but it’s seemed to fall behind other priorities – namely work and the tedium of grown-up responsibility. I touched a bit on this in my Summer Bucket List, but this summer I want to make reading a priority again and make an effort to rekindle this great, old love.

7 Summer Beach Reads You Won't Be Able to Put Down

purple sunglasses

Luckily, there are plenty of summer beach reads that are quickly filling up my “to-read” list. I thought I’d share a few with you, and there are enough options to please every taste – from the guilty pleasure to the more refined. You won’t want to put these down!

The Girls
The Girls
The Girls is one of the most talked about books of the summer, and with good reason.  The author wrote the novel at only 25, and it’s a haunting and seductive story of a teen-aged girl who gets mixed up with a Manson-like cult in the late 60s. I’m about halfway through and fascinated by the story’s ability to fill me with such a sense of dread but keep me wanting to read more.

Rules of Civility
Rules of Civility

This book is perfect if you love The Great Gatsby. It’s set in New York City in the late 30s, and Amor Towles does a phenomenal job telling the coming of age of Katy midst the glitz and social-climbing of New York society. One of my all time favorite books – beautiful writing and fills you with longing.

the singles game
The Singles Game

My friend Christine recommended this one to me, and she has loved it so far! The author Lauren Weisberger also wrote The Devil Wears Prada, so you know it’s going to be juicy! Set in the world of high-stakes professional tennis, it follows Charlie and her rise to the top of the ranks and tabloids. Like The Devil Wears Prada, The Singles Game follows a young woman trying to balance her ambition with her morals and loved ones.

The Royal WeThe Royal We
A young American woman studying at Oxford moves in down the hall from the future King of England and falls in love. Is their love worth more than the pressure of the spotlight? Okay, this book sounds like essentially Kate Middleton/Prince William fanfiction, but that’s honestly always been a fantasy of mine, so I’m so down. Plus, the authors are behind the hilarious blog Go Fug Yourself, so you know the prose will be snappy and snarky

What I Was Doing While You Were BreedingWhat I Was Doing While You Were Breeding
Perfect for anyone, like me, with an incurable case of wanderlust. Also perfect for young women who are unsure of their future while it seems like all of their peers are getting married and having children. Kristin Newman shares her memoir of travels, including the men she loved at each stop along the way.


I highly recommend this book for anyone who loved Cheryl Strayed’s Wild. Robyn Davidson shares her perilous memoir of her solo journey across 1700 miles of Australian Outback. Like Wild, it was made into a beautiful and surreal film starring Mia Wasikowska and Adam Driver, which I also highly recommend.

The Assistants

The Assistants
I’ve heard this book described as Girls crossed with Mad Money. Hardened twenty-something assistants start scheming and skimming off the top of their wealthy bosses’ profits in order to pay off student loans and make some extra cash. Since I was a long suffering Hollywood assistant at one point, I think I’d find this book especially delicious and just the right amount of revenge fantasy.

What’s on your summer reading list?

Wordless Wednesday: So we beat on, boats against the current…

coffee and chanel

friends quote


lunch at cafe flore

makeup goals

pale pink outfit

gatsby quote

lunch in venice

piercings goals

pink pretty things

lunch over trevi



Get the look:

Image source

My Top 5 Free Blog Planner Printables

Since committing to blog more consistently (more on that here), I’ve been determined to be more organized. With a full time job, I know that I’ll only reach my blogging goals if I’m strategic and have a plan. Hence, my need for a blog planner. I’ve always had a haphazard running list of post ideas on my phone, but I’ll often forget ideas, not optimize the timing of a post, or fail to maximize upcoming trips and holidays and potential content that relates to those events. For example, I’d be wasting the chance to create Coachella content and reach festival-goers if I post my camping guide in May instead of March.

My Top 5 Free Blog Planner Printables

 Smashbox Lipglosses
Necklace // Planner

I ended up purchasing a traditional weekly planner from Sugar Paper (such cute options at Target right now!) and have adapted it to my needs, but I ended up finding (of course after I made my purchase) a wealth of free planners available right here on the lovely interwebs. There are actually quite a lot to sift through; and sift I did, so I could share only my favorites with you. Check out my top 5, get planning, and become the #blogboss you’ve always dreamed you could be.

Designer Blogs Studio Ultimate Blog Planning Kit

Designer Blogs – Their Ultimate Blog Planner Kit is so beautiful and so all-encompassing. I love the chic black and gold design.

moms small victories free blog planner

Mom’s Small Victories – Tanya’s planner has a page for tracking your link-ups and is Google Drive accessible, so you can access and plan on the go. Such a smart feature!

nina hendrick free blog planner printable

Nina Hendrick – This option is template based, so while not as detailed, it is easy to personalize and tailor to your own needs. I think this option is perfect for the pickier blogger who needs more control or is set in their own style.

Sarah Johnson 2016 Free Planner Printable

Sarah Johnson – Sarah’s creation is not specifically for blogging, but it’s too pretty to not include. You could easily adapt this for your blog priorities, scheduling, and notes, just like I have with my Sugar Paper option.

Love at First Book Free Blog Planner

Love at First Book – Girly but not too overpowering in its design, this planner is another excellent, thorough option. Some unique and useful pages include a guest post tracker and series planning inserts.

BONUS: While not a complete blog planner, I had to include this daily blog checklist by Kelly at Smart School House. I love how she organized this printable, as each blog post truly has too many moving parts to juggle, and it’s so easy to get sidetracked by one piece of the puzzle. I will definitely be using it to supplement my planner.

Smart SchoolHouse Daily Blog Checklist

What do you use to plan your blogging routine? Let me know in the comments how you like to stay organized and if there are any other great printables I should check out!

Wordless Wednesday: Take a Walk on the Wild Side

butterfly map art
ciara's wedding dress

all black and off the shoulder


emily ratajkowski street style Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset striped off the shoulder ruffle blouse and chanel

take a walk on the wild side



all white and a pop of pale pink

yachts and chanel


Get the look:

image sources: one // two // three // four // five // six 

My Summer 2016 Bucket List

While at work last week in between the emails, water cooler banter and my 8th cup of coffee, I had a rather horrifying thought – July is already almost halfway over. Which means summer is almost halfway over as well. I feel like I barely just celebrated Memorial Day weekend, so as you can imagine, I have definitely not been making the most of Summer 2016.

To make up for this oversight, I thought I’d write a summer bucket list to ensure I stop going through the motions and embrace the summer season. I may not get to experience the pure glory of a summer vacation like in school anymore, but I can do my best to appreciate the longer days, warmer weather and all around greater level of happiness that these months bring.


My Summer Bucket List


Get lost in a museum. St. Louis has an amazing art museum, and it’s free! A Saturday needs to be spent getting lost and drinking in some culture.

Refresh my wardrobe. Spring cleaning definitely didn’t happen, so better late than never. Clothes that haven’t been worn in ages need to be sold or donated. I also need to re-familiarize myself with my wardrobe, so I make new outfits using what I have, instead of resorting to buying new clothes all the time (guilty as charged).

Head on a road trip. Somewhere thousands of miles away probably isn’t in the cards, but I can easily take a quick road trip to somewhere in my home state including a winery or state park for a day. Gas is dirt cheap, so why not hit the open road, and explore the beauty of journeying to a new place?

Blog four times a week. As you’ve probably noticed, I can be a bit inconsistent when it comes to blogging. Work or simply my tiredness from work can easily get in the way during the week, so I’m trying to write more on the weekends. I love blogging, so I need to make more time for it or just figure out what works best for my schedule.

Sunbathe on the beach. I’m heading to San Diego in August, so luckily this will be a reality soon! Can’t wait for sun, sand and salt water (and surfers). Heaven.

Read two books a month. Like blogging, my love of reading can often be forgotten for newer lovers like Snapchat, Instagram and beauty YouTube videos. This summer I’m reconnecting with this old love and aiming for two books a month, to get back in the swing of enriching my mind and widening my viewpoint. Currently reading The Girls by Emma Cline, and so far it’s seductive and tense. Can’t wait to read more.

Rose all day. While it won’t exactly enrich my mind and widen my viewpoint like reading, rose is one of my favorite things about summertime. I’d like to spend a day at a winery or even just a wine bar sipping on this crisp and pretty pink summer water for a lazy catch up session with old friends.

Attend a festival. While music ones are my favorite type of festival, summer is jam-packed with events like Rib Fest, beer festivals, state fairs and cultural fetes. One of my work friends is competing in a Queen competition at a local county fair, so that may be the perfect excuse to attend one of summer’s cheesiest but probably most enjoyable fests. The fried oreos alone may get me there.

Go wild at the zoo. St. Louis has one of the best zoos in the country, and it’s also free! When it’s not oppressively hot, I’ll need to make a trip with my family, grab a frozen lemonade and say hello to my wild animal friends. Selfies in the penguin house may be in my near future.

Take a hike. I need to get active and get outdoors more. Period.

Have a photobooth photo shoot. My phone is already filled embarrassingly with dozens of selfies of my friends and me, so why not take our modeling skills to a photo booth instead? It makes for a much cuter souvenir. This may need to happen the night of our rose day.

Stargaze.  Escape the light pollution and head to the countryside or simply lay out in my backyard. No matter what, I’ll be looking up and appreciating the celestial bodies.

Treat every day like vacation. Summer vacation may be a thing of school years past, but I need to embrace that spirit of freedom and carefree joy and carry it with me into adulthood.

What’s on your summer bucket list?

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