What I've Been Reading...

Hallelujah, it's Friday! I hope you've all had a great week. Mine was exhausting now that I'm back to work but I'm hoping to check a lot off my list today. As promised, I am back today with a reading update. I constantly get questions about what I've been reading lately so I wanted to share with you all. Also, if you have any great recent reads, comment below so we can pick them up too!  Let's dive in!

A Hundred Summers

On my recent road trip to Virginia with my mom, we downloaded a couple audiobooks to keep us entertained. The first one we listened to was A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams. I've seen a couple of her books at various bookstores or on book lists but they never really appealed to me before. I finally decided to give them a try because it seems like so many people love them. I was pleasantly surprised and we both really enjoyed it!

Here is the synopsis from Amazon:
Lily Dane has returned to Seaview, Rhode Island, where her family has summered for generations. It’s an escape not only from New York’s social scene but from a heartbreak that still haunts her. Here, among the seaside community that has embraced her since childhood, she finds comfort in the familiar rituals of summer.

But this summer is different. Budgie and Nick Greenwald—Lily’s former best friend and former fiancĂ©—have arrived, too, and Seaview’s elite are abuzz. Under Budgie’s glamorous influence, Lily is seduced into a complicated web of renewed friendship and dangerous longing.

As a cataclysmic hurricane churns north through the Atlantic, and uneasy secrets slowly reveal themselves, Lily and Nick must confront an emotional storm that will change their worlds forever...

A Certain Age

We liked the first book by Williams so much that we got another one called A Certain Age. My mom didn't end up hearing the end of this one (sorry mom!), but I really liked it.  If I had to pick between the two I would say A Hundred Summers is better though. Both of the story lines were kinda out there but I like that they shared similar character histories. So neat to realize that you know part of a character's back story already. 

As the freedom of the Jazz Age transforms New York City, the iridescent Mrs. Theresa Marshall of Fifth Avenue and Southampton, Long Island, has done the unthinkable: she’s fallen in love with her young paramour, Captain Octavian Rofrano, a handsome aviator and hero of the Great War. An intense and deeply honorable man, Octavian is devoted to the beautiful socialite of a certain age and wants to marry her. While times are changing and she does adore the Boy, divorce for a woman of Theresa’s wealth and social standing is out of the question, and there is no need; she has an understanding with Sylvo, her generous and well-respected philanderer husband.
But their relationship subtly shifts when her bachelor brother, Ox, decides to tie the knot with the sweet younger daughter of a newly wealthy inventor. Engaging a longstanding family tradition, Theresa enlists the Boy to act as her brother’s cavalier, presenting the family’s diamond rose ring to Ox’s intended, Miss Sophie Fortescue—and to check into the background of the little-known Fortescue family. When Octavian meets Sophie, he falls under the spell of the pretty ingĂ©nue, even as he uncovers a shocking family secret. As the love triangle of Theresa, Octavian, and Sophie progresses, it transforms into a saga of divided loyalties, dangerous revelations, and surprising twists that will lead to a shocking transgression . . . and eventually force Theresa to make a bittersweet choice.
Full of the glamour, wit and delicious twists that are the hallmarks of Beatriz Williams’ fiction and alternating between Sophie’s spirited voice and Theresa’s vibrant timbre, A Certain Age is a beguiling reinterpretation of Richard Strauss’s comic opera Der Rosenkavalier, set against the sweeping decadence of Gatsby’s New York.

 Every Last Lie

Mary Kubica is one of my favorite authors for all things scary aka thrillers. Her books are sooo good and keep you wondering what's going on until the very last page. I loved Every Last Lie and read it super quickly. I don't want to give anything away so I'll only post part of the synopsis :) Oh and if you haven't read The Good Girl by her, stop everything you're doing and click here to buy it. I LOOOOOVED it! 

Clara Solberg's world shatters when her husband and their four-year-old daughter are in a car crash, killing Nick while Maisie is remarkably unharmed. The crash is ruled an accident…until the coming days, when Maisie starts having night terrors that make Clara question what really happened on that fateful afternoon. 
Tormented by grief and her obsession that Nick's death was far more than just an accident, Clara is plunged into a desperate hunt for the truth. Who would have wanted Nick dead? And, more important, why? Clara will stop at nothing to find out—and the truth is only the beginning of this twisted tale of secrets and deceit. 

The Couple Next Door

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena was a crazy book. I've heard so many good things and it definitely lived up to those reviews. It's another thriller (shocker!) but not as scary as some of the other books I've read lately. It just leaves you wondering what is going on with each of the characters and trying to guess the motives of those involved. I also went through this one super quickly and was left in awe at the end. Pick it up asap!

It all started at a dinner party. . .

A domestic suspense debut about a young couple and their apparently friendly neighbors—a twisty, rollercoaster ride of lies, betrayal, and the secrets between husbands and wives. . .

Anne and Marco Conti seem to have it all—a loving relationship, a wonderful home, and their beautiful baby, Cora. But one night, when they are at a dinner party next door, a terrible crime is committed. Suspicion immediately lands on the parents. But the truth is a much more complicated story.

Inside the curtained house, an unsettling account of what actually happened unfolds. Detective Rasbach knows that the panicked couple is hiding something. Both Anne and Marco soon discover that the other is keeping secrets, secrets they've kept for years. 

What follows is the nerve-racking unraveling of a family—a chilling tale of  deception, duplicity, and unfaithfulness that will keep you breathless until the final shocking twist.

The Identicals

Let me preface this by saying I have a love affair with Nantucket. I have never been but LOVE reading about it and want to go so badly. I know that many of you know this already lol but it makes my book choices a little biased. The Identicals was very different from Hilderbrand's other books though and I've read almost all of them. This is an easy beach read but a refreshing change for the some of the thrillers I like to read. Everyone needs to read something light every now and then right??

Identical twin sisters who couldn't look more alike...or live more differently.Harper Frost is laid-back, easygoing. She doesn't care what anyone thinks of her. She likes a beer and a shot and wouldn't be caught dead wearing anything fashionable. She's inherited her father's rundown house on Martha's Vineyard, but she can't hold down a job, and her latest romantic disaster has the entire island talking. 

Two beautiful islands only eleven miles apart.
Tabitha Frost is dignified, refined. She prefers a fine wine and has inherited the impeccable taste of her mother, the iconic fashion designer Eleanor Roxie-Frost. She's also inherited her mother's questionable parenting skills--Tabitha's teenage daughter, Ainsley, is in full rebellion mode--and a flailing fashion boutique on Nantucket in desperate need of a cash infusion. 

One unforgettable summer that will change their lives forever.

After more than a decade apart, Harper and Tabitha switch islands--and lives--to save what's left of their splintered family. But the twins quickly discover that the secrets, lies, and gossip they thought they'd outrun can travel between islands just as easily as they can. Will Harper and Tabitha be able to bury the hatchet and end their sibling rivalry once and for all?

Five on Tuesday

Hi everyone! Life has been crazy over here because 1. moving is a pain and 2. living in a new state requires lots of changes lol. I am adjusting though and liking my new home and also missing my friends and family like crazy!

I have some favorites to share with you guys today. In typical Jessica fashion they are very random and all over the place. Let's jump in...

Pineapple Mineral Water

I have been on a serious sparkling water kick for almost two years now. I love carbonated drinks, so this makes me feel like I'm drinking soda without the junk. I've tried a ton of different brands but I just recently tried Trader Joe's Pineapple mineral water and WOW, it's so good! I want to try the tropical one next.

The Best Seasoning Ever

Speaking of more Trader Joe's goodies... has anyone else tried this seasoning blend? It's like eating an everything bagel without the carb overload. I use it on avocado toast and love it. Go pick this up asap! Trader Joe's is just the best!! 


Since moving to Virginia Beach I now realize that I had no idea what real humidity was like. I always thought San Diego was humid but boy was I wrong. It's bad here... real bad lol. I always want the summer to stay for as long as possible but I am ready to say ADIOS to this weather and welcome the boots and scarves. Yes, I'm basic lol. 

Kirkland's has had all their fall stuff out and I'm soooo obsessed. I keep drooling over everything but then I feel weird buying fall stuff in August. It's just so cute!! The tall "Hello Fall" sign is seriously my jam and I feel like I need it for next to my door. 

How to Wear Ankle Boots

With all this fall decor on display, it has gotten me so excited for fall clothing as well. One of my favorite fall items are my ankle boots. I love that they are comfy but also dress up an outfit as well. One of my favorite bloggers/ youtubers posted a video this week with some tips for how to wear ankle boots and which jeans will work best. She does a lot of fashion over 40 videos, but I still think they are great regardless of your age. Click on the video to see her tips :)

Picture Hanging Pro

Guys, I put this console together by myself. I'm pretty proud haha

So I am probably the worst at hanging pictures/ frames. I always somehow jack it all up and everything ends up a little off. Mark is the pro but unfortunately he hasn't been around for the last few weeks since we moved into the house. Since I am 1. very impatient and 2. want to get our house together, I have attempted to hang some of the smaller frames myself. Thankfully, it hasn't been a disaster because my friend Chelsea told me about this method using paper.  Here it is:
Ignore the poor picture quality and the junk in the pic lol

1. You trace all of your frames on butcher paper or in my case, wrapping paper. 
2. Then you hang them using painter's tape or washi, which is what I had. Then you can adjust them to how you want the pictures positioned. 
3. Next, you measure the width of the frames and mark the center at the top above the paper frame. 
4. If you mark the top of the frame using the washi tape, you can remove the butcher paper.
5. Measure the top of the actual frame to the hook on the back. Mark this on the wall as well and use this spot to hammer your nail. 
6. Hang your frame and you're done! I hope that made sense!!

If you made it this far in my ramblings then I am officially impressed. This is probably the most random thing I've ever posted but hey, at least I got a post up! :) Have a great day everyone!

Road Trip to Virginia Beach

Well hello blog friends! I know it's been a hot minute since I posted anything but I've been knee deep in unpacking our life haha. I finally feel like I have a minute to breath so I wanted to update you on what's been going on in the Bradford house.

Two weeks ago my mom and I left Vegas to make the drive to VA beach. We didn't want to rush the trip because we had the pups with us so it ended up taking us 5.5 days. Our first day was the longest and almost took 9 hours to get to Albuquerque, NM. We encountered a ton of rain on our drive through Arizona but overall it wasn't bad. We stayed at a Sheraton off the highway and it wasn't great. Since I had the pups, they put you in a pet friendly room aka nasty floors from other dogs and cats. There were stains everywhere and the room smelled like cleaner/ covered up pee. Yuck lol. We didn't have much time that night but we went across the street to eat dinner and then went to bed.

Our second day brought us to Oklahoma City. We stayed at the Sheraton downtown and it was sooooo cute! They didn't heave a pet fee either which was amazing. I'll link the hotel here because you should definitely check it out if you're in the area. Their lobby was adorable! We went to the Bricktown area (per Ashley's recommendation) and had dinner at a brewery. The food was delicious and the area was super cute. The next morning we walked to a Mexican restaurant for lunch and it was also delicious. It was an order at the counter place but the customer service was awesome and the dogs were a huge hit there. I would love to go back to Oklahoma City and check out more.

our interesting wine glasses lol

Next, we made our way to Little Rock. This was another low key night but ended up being a lot of fun because we hung out on the deck outside with some wine. Sadly, I was eaten alive by bugs but it was still a good time!

My favorite day of the trip was arriving in Nashville. We stayed at the Loew's West End and holy moly it was nice. When we checked in they gave us a doggie treat bag for the pups. It included metal dog bowls, a mat for them to sit on, doggie bags, and treats. They love dogs there and I highly recommend it if you have pups. We also arrived just in time for happy hour on the club level. Such a nice and relaxing way to start our time in Nashville. Afterwards, we got ready and headed out to Tootsies. The music was awesome and the atmosphere was even better! :)

We headed to Merchants for dinner and sat at the bar for quick service. We both got burgers and it was seriously the best one I've ever had. In love with that place! I want to try their fine dining level next time we are in town. We finished the night at Tin Roof and has a blast dancing to the band there. Gosh, I love Nashville!!!

The next day we got on the road after a yummy breakfast in the club level. We didn't have a plan for this day but just wanted to drive until we got tired. We ended up stopping in Roanoke to break up the long drive to VA beach. We had dinner at the hotel and watched Big Brother and Game of Thrones in the hotel room. Such fun night!

On Tuesday, we finally arrived in VA Beach just in time for our walk-through. I was so excited to 1. see my hubby and 2. see the house! So far I had just seen pictures and did a walk-through on FaceTime with our realtor. It was a great day!

The rest of the week was a little crazy because we had some issues with our close date. This was a BIG problem for us because Mark was heading out of town at the end of the week and I was going to be homeless. Thankfully the Lord protected us and Sandra worked her tail off to make it all happen. We took possession of the house on Wednesday night and closed on Thursday. Such a whirlwind of a week but we are so happy to finally own a home!

Just waiting to move into the house. Pizza and beer in the street is normal right???