Summer Love it List

Summer is almost here! While I’m looking forward to a break from the insanely early wake up time set forth by elementary schools, I’m also a little nervous about my house turning into chaos. Here’s what I’m loving now, what I can’t wait to read, and what will hopefully save my sanity when the children mutiny.


Jane the Virgin is my current obsession. I can’t even remember the last time a show sucked me in like this. I think about it when I’m not watching it. It’s a less suspenseful Veronica Mars, with an older protagonist so you’re less worried for her safety. But one of the things I love most about this show is Jane’s honesty. In any other book/movie/show, the main character gets herself in hot water and then makes it worse by lying about it. But when Jane does something she suspects is the wrong choice and gets caught, she comes clean. She shares what she was thinking and feeling, allowing the other character the empathize and the problem to begin resolving instead of spiraling. I also love how the show is willing to make fun of itself! The only downside is I have to watch it when there’s no chance of the kids walking in, because there are some inappropriate scenes. Available on Netflix


One of a Kind is a new favorite as well. This HGTV show follows a designer who makes homes super personal. We’re talking love letters into wallpaper personal. It’s funny and lighthearted but also enjoyable. And also only half an hour and I haven’t come across anything inappropriate I wouldn’t want my kids overhearing or seeing, so I can watch it while I fold laundry and not worry about scarring them for life. Available in the HGTV app.

Designated Survivor is a Netflix original I’ve been watching with my husband. It’s totally binge worthy, but he can be (annoyingly) self-disciplined so we can really only watch one at a time. We’re only on episode 4 but it’s really intriguing so far.


My summer TBR list is a bit insane. I keep finding new things I want to read! Why can’t these authors give me a chance to catch up?! Here’s what I’m most excited about.

Sunset Beach by Mary Kay Andrews- Y’all, I have been fan-girling over MKA for years and years. I’ve read nearly everything she’s written- which is quite the list, if I do say so myself. Her characters are always amazingly well developed, her settings perfectly described, and the plots are just so dang good. I always finish them too fast and then regret not savoring it more, but what can you do? I am also bananas stoked because I’m going to see her while she’s on tour for this book. Excuse me while I squeal excitedly and jump up and down.

Sunset Beach

Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson- Whew. I’m a little nervous with this one. It’s more suspenseful than her other books (of which I’ve also read all of them because I’m basically a book stalker), so it looks like I’ll only be reading it during daylight hours because I’m a big sissy. Her writing is beautiful, her characters relatable, and the plots are always unique and so flawlessly planned I get a little bit jealous.

Heart of Barkness by Spencer Quinn- These hilarious novels make suspense and mystery accessible to scaredy cats like me, because they’re narrated by a dog. That certainly brings some levity to otherwise frightening situations, but also helps paint the perfect whodunit picture, because the dog hears things the PI says (but can’t puzzle it together) while also picking up clues the PI misses due to his canine sense of smell and taste. This is the latest in a long running series, but they stand alone really well too. But I still recommend you read all of them, because they’re amazing.

Heart of Barkness

The Secret Garden/ A Little Princess/ Another classic TBD- now that my eldest kiddo is finishing kindergarten and can read (WHAT THE WHAT HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE. It is so magical. Except now we can’t spell things and not have him know what we’re talking about. Parenting is all about sacrifices, I guess), my goal for the summer it to tackle a longer book chapter by chapter together. Since I loved the movies of The Secret Garden and A Little Princess growing up, I’m thinking it’ll be fun to read the books together and then watch the movies together. I’m not certain he’s ready for it yet, though. We’ll see how it goes!


While I’ve outlined some of my favorite local activities before, and we’ll definitely revisit those, I’m planning on adding some new adventures too.

Library time- we’re going to need some structure, so weekly library story time is a must. Plus it’ll help keep me accountable about turning in the physical copies of books, since the online system has spoiled me and I’m not used to it anymore. My kiddos love picking out library books though, so we’ll be there often.


Cruze Farms is the huge deal in Knoxville, and yet we’ve never been. So it’s on our bucket list to visit and try some of this legendary ice cream.

Chalk and bikes and swimming, oh my! Our backyard is awesome. I say that humbly and with many hours put into making it so. We plan on drawing on the driveway with chalk, riding bikes, and swimming.

Travel! Whether it’s heading to visit friends on the coast, hitting up Dollywood or Splash Country, or relaxing in the Smokies.


Family movie night- I fully intend to institute a weekly family movie night, complete with popcorn and The Sandlot. I mean, I guess I may let them watch another movie too. But mostly The Sandlot and animated Disney classics.


What are you most excited about this summer?


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