Friday, February 25, 2022

Five on Friday - Shoe Organizer, Book Reviews, and a New Book That I’m SO Excited About

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Hey y’all, happy Friday!  It felt great to finally have a nice, normal week after two weeks of majorly adjusted schedules due to Covid, and we’re looking forward to so many fun things this weekend!  I think it's finally safe to say that our fam should be in the clear now, and Brian and I somehow managed to avoid it!!  I have no idea how, though, since both of our kids had it back-to-back... the germs were probably in our house for 14 days straight.  I sure am grateful, though!  Yay vaccines and boosters!  

Now for some favorites...

O N E – Shoe Organizer

We built our house back in 2009 before we had kids, but we built with the intention of living here for a very long time… maybe even forever.  After living here for over 12 years and bringing home two babies and a dog, I can honestly say that we did a fantastic job of planning ahead for all of the things we’d need for a family… except for one thing… 

A mudroom. 

I love this house just as much now as the day we moved in back in 2009, but I haaaate that we didn’t figure out a way to have a mudroom here.  It wasn’t a problem pre-kids or even when they were smaller, but the older they get, the more stuff they have, and there’s just no place to put all of it – the shoes, the jackets, the masks, the backpacks, the lunchboxes, the sports and dance bags, the sports equipment… whew. 

We do have a very small coat closet, but when I say small, I mean tiny, so there’s only enough space for Brian’s and my jackets, and that means there’s no room for anything else.

A few years ago, I managed to create a drop zone for the kids’ stuff in the tiny doorway area, and it’s worked beautifully ever since.  Until – Covid.  Once Covid started, we became more mindful about not bringing germs into the home, and one of the changes we made was that we all started taking our shoes off as soon as we got in the door. 

I know many people and other cultures have been doing that forever, but it was never something that our family did pre-Covid.  Now that we’re all taking shoes off, we always have a huge pile of shoes by the door because nobody wants to take them off and carry them upstairs right away.  I tried for months to keep the shoes in tidy piles right by the door, but since that space is so tiny, the piles were constantly getting kicked over, and we were always tripping over them. 

I finally decided to buy this shoe organizer for that space to solve the problem, but the problem with that is that the space is tiny, and it’s right next to the door, so I wasn’t sure how that would work with us coming in and out constantly.  I ended up finding this organizer, and I thought it would work well because there would be a shelf for Jacob’s shoes, a shelf for Olivia’s, and a shelf for Brian and me to share. 

I put it together last Friday and I loooove it.  It was fast and easy to put together, it’s sturdy, and it fits perfectly in that space… my only concern was that it might get in the way of us getting in and out the door.  Even though it fits perfectly in that space, it makes our entryway quite a bit more snug, so I’ve been worried about people bumping hips and scraping legs on it.  Therefore, we’ve been testing it out for a couple of weeks to make sure that it doesn’t disrupt our comings and goings before we decide if it’s a keeper.  I’m crossing all of my fingers and toes that it doesn’t because it’s soooo nice to have all of the shoes organized and out of the middle of the floor!  Once we make a decision to keep it or get rid of it, I’ll be sure to report back!


T W O – The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

I finished The Midnight Library a couple of weeks ago, and I absolutely loved it.  It was very different than anything I’ve ever read, so I think that added to the appeal, and it was just so unique that I found myself picking it up every single chance I had so I could find out what was going to happen next. 

Without spoiling anything, in a nutshell, the main character has the chance to undo regrets from the past and visit all of the other lives that she could have had if she had made different choices in life. 

Wow.  Can you even imagine??

I couldn’t put this book down.  I loved everything about it right down to the ending.  It made me think about all of the choices I’ve made during my own life, and how if I had changed even one little thing, everything could or would be totally different, not only for myself, but for others as well.  This book was thought-provoking, and it really made me ponder my past, my present, and my future, and ultimately, the importance of being grateful for all of the choices I have made that have brought me where I am today. 

There’s one quote that really resonated with me in the book, and it’ll probably stick with me for a long time…

“Never underestimate the big importance of small things.”


I highly recommend this book – five stars for sure!  I’m so glad that I decided to purchase it for my own library, because I know I’ll be reading it again!


T H R E E – The Wish by Nicholas Sparks

I don’t buy many books, but when I do, it’s one by Nicholas Sparks or Emily Giffin!  Ever since I started utilizing the library a few years ago (don’t know what took me so long), I rarely buy books, but I do still buy them from my favorite authors.  Nicholas Sparks has always been a favorite even if some of his books are a bit predictable, but I have to say that he broke out of his mold a little bit with The Wish.

For starters, the book is partially set in New York City (at Christmastime!!) which I love, so the focus wasn’t completely on the Carolinas like they typically are in his other books.  This one was also a bit more unpredictable than some of his others, and I was truly surprised when I realized where the book was going at the end. 

This one made me cry probably more than any of his other books, and it was just a fantastic read.  Heartwarming.  Bittersweet.  Sad.  Poignant.  Mark my words, this is one that will eventually be turned into a movie!


F O U R – Emily Giffin’s New Book

And speaking of Emily Giffin… y’all!!!!  She has a new book coming out in May!!!!  She has only released 10 books since 2004, so she doesn’t tend to crank them out quickly like some other authors do.  Therefore, I feel like my anticipation for a new book from her is always so high!  I’ve never read a single book by her that I didn’t love, and I’ve actually read several of her books multiple times. 

Her newest book is called Meant to Be and it sounds so good!  Here’s the synopsis from Amazon:

The Kingsley family is American royalty, beloved for their military heroics, political service, and unmatched elegance. In 1967, after Joseph S. Kingsley, Jr. is killed in a tragic accident, his charismatic son inherits the weight of that legacy. But Joe III is a free spirit—and a little bit reckless. Despite his best intentions, he has trouble meeting the expectations of a nation, as well as those of his exacting mother, Dottie.

Meanwhile, no one ever expected anything of Cate Cooper. She, too, grew up fatherless—and after her mother marries an abusive man, she is forced to fend for herself. After being discovered by a model scout at age sixteen, Cate decides that her looks may be her only ticket out of the cycle of disappointment that her mother has always inhabited. Before too long, Cate’s face is in magazines and on billboards. Yet she feels like a fraud, faking it in a world to which she’s never truly belonged.

When Joe and Cate unexpectedly cross paths one afternoon, their connection is instant and intense. But can their relationship survive the glare of the spotlight and the so-called Kingsley curse? In a beautifully written novel that captures a gilded moment in American history, Emily Giffin tells the story of two people searching for belonging and identity, as well as the answer to the question: Are certain love stories meant to be?

The book is already available for pre-order on Amazon, and Amazon has a pre-order price guarantee, which means if you order it now, they’ll give you the lowest price between now and end-of-day on release day, which is May 31.  I’ll be ordering mine soon!  It’ll be the perfect book to take to the beach!


F I V E – Happy Birthday to Olivia!

And last but not least, my favorite girl is turning EIGHT today!!!!  I posted her birthday interview on Monday and her birthday letter on Wednesday and I can’t believe how much older she seems this year compared to last year on her seventh birthday.  She is a ray of sunshine, that girl, and we are so very excited to celebrate her all weekend! 


Friday Funnies

Exactly how I feel after having Covid in the house for two weeks and not getting it.  Hahahaha.  


On the Blog This Week

 This is Eight... Olivia's Birthday Interview

Our Week – The One with Valentine's Day, Quarantine, with Olivia, and Brian's Birthday

Happy 8th Birthday to Our Olivia Cate!


Happy Friday, y’all!

*Linking up with A Little Bit of Everything for Friday Favorites.


  1. The Matt Haig book sounds so good. Great funnies and Happy 8th to your babe!

  2. I have a trick to getting your kids to put their shoes away - get a dog who will eat them. lol. Actually, if the dog eats their shoes they'd probably just want you to get them new ones, so never mind.

  3. I love Emily Giffin books so much. I will check that one out. Happy Birthday Olivia!

  4. I enjoyed both the books you've read recently and agree that the new one by Emily Griffin sounds promising.

  5. I can't wait to read The Wish! Have a wonderful weekend.


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