Being Beth

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Being Beth Book Review: The Island by Elin Hilderbrand



I was first introduced to Elin Hilderbrand last summer and became an instant fan. Her books are perfect summer reads that take place in the Nantucket area.



I read The Island as a "summer kickoff" book and was taken to the secluded beaches of (Island). According to Goodreads:

Birdie Cousins has thrown herself into the details of her daughter Chess's lavish wedding, from the floating dance floor in her Connecticut back yard to the color of the cocktail napkins. Like any mother of a bride-to-be, she is weathering the storms of excitement and chaos, tears and joy. But Birdie, a woman who prides herself on preparing for every possibility, could never have predicted the late-night phone call from Chess, abruptly announcing that she's cancelled her engagement. 

It's only the first hint of what will be a summer of upheavals and revelations. Before the dust has even begun to settle, far worse news arrives, sending Chess into a tailspin of despair. Reluctantly taking a break from the first new romance she's embarked on since the recent end of her 30-year marriage, Birdie circles the wagons and enlists the help of her younger daughter Tate and her own sister India. Soon all four are headed for beautiful, rustic Tuckernuck Island, off the coast of Nantucket, where their family has summered for generations. No phones, no television, no grocery store - a place without distractions where they can escape their troubles.
But throw sisters, daughters, ex-lovers, and long-kept secrets onto a remote island, and what might sound like a peaceful getaway becomes much more. Before summer has ended, dramatic truths are uncovered, old loves are rekindled, and new loves make themselves known. It's a summertime story only Elin Hilderbrand can tell, filled with the heartache, laughter, and surprises that have made her page-turning, bestselling novels as much a part of summer as a long afternoon on a sunny beach.

The Island is a quick and easy read that I finished in just a few days which was quite the accomplishment with the way that I've been reading lately. It's best read in a beach chair with your toes in the water and a drink in your hand. (Maybe a chilled glass of sancerre, Birdy's wine of choice.)


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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Summer Daze

This is a sponsored post. POPSUGAR sent me this Must Have box to try however all opinions are my own. 




Whether at the beach or by the pool or on a boat (and if you have a boat I'm patiently waiting for my invitation...) one must always be prepared. It's the Girl Scout code of honor. Or at least I think it is, I was never a Girl Scout.

Summer is a time of low maintenance beauty. I love being able to go from soaking up the sun to drinks with friends with minimal effort which is why I try to make sure my beach bag is packed with all of the essentials.

First you'll need a durable and cute tote bag that's not cumbersome because who wants to lug a giant, heavy bag around in the heat and humidity? I have quite the collection of totes and beach bags but I think this year my Skimm'bassador tote will be my go to. (Have you signed up for theSkimm yet? Sign up here and thank me later.)

But what do I have in my bag? I have the necessities...sunscreen, chapstick, and a good book and thanks to PopSugar's MustHaves box I'm all set to go from a day at the beach to happy hour with friends.



A pretty sarong 

As a coverup, the sarong is so versatile and can be worn in a classic sarong style, as a maxi skirt, or even as a dress. This sarong by Hat Attack is super light weight and easy to throw in a bag and go.

Neutral Diamonds-Printed Sarong by Hat Attack.

A bottle opener 

Have you ever made the treck to the beach with your cooler only to realize you left a bottle opener at the house? Keep a bottle opener in your beach bag and you won't have that problem, duh. The "Cheers" bottle opener is sleek enough to also stay on your bar cart all year round.

"Cheers" Gold Bottle Opener by Sisters of Los Angeles


A fun game 

While staring in awe out at the ocean, reading your favorite book, or taking a well deserved nap are all great fun, why not get your group thinking (and laughing) with an easy to pack game.

Ridley's Games Room "Who Am I?" Quiz by Wild and Wolf

A Compact Mirror

So when it's time to get off the beach and head out for drinks you need to make sure the sunscreen is wiped away and there's not a trace of sand left. I always have a compact in any of the bags I'm using and I love this brightly colored one. Perfect for summer!

Are You Ready (For Your Close-Up?) Compact by Knock Knock

Deodorant Wipes 

I wish I had been the person who thought these babies up. Another fantastic and low-maintence product to get you from the beach to the bar. And because these are wipes, you won't have to worry about a melted mess!

Underarm Deoderant Wipes by Pacifica

Snacks 

What is it about being by the water that makes me want to snack? If someone figures that out, would you please let me know? When it comes to beach and poolside snacking I want something quick and light with easy cleanup. These Pressels are perfect! And the siracha flavor? Ah-mah-zing!

Siracha Pressels

And while I tend to not keep nail polish in my beach bag, tis the season for showing off our toes so keep them polished in festive colors all season long with nail polish like this Born on the 4th glitter, developed exclusively for PopSugar.

Born on the 4th Nail Lacquer by NCLA

POPSUGAR's Must Have box got me ready for an awesome summer. Their monthly box subscription is filled with awesome goodies that are more than just samples. Click here to start your own subscription. Follow them on Instagram @POPSUGARMH and under the hashtag #MustHaveBox


Now that you know what I keep in my beach bag, what must haves do you keep in your beach bag?


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Friday, June 24, 2016

Shady Brook Farm Summer Concert Series



Beautiful summer nights are meant to be spent outside. The end. That's all she wrote. Blog post over.

Or maybe not...

If you're reading this and the sun is setting and the day is turning to dusk bring your favorite portal to the interwebs outside. (What's that? You're on a desktop computer? Well isn't that why they invented extension cords?)

And now I don't even know what this blog post is supposed to be about.



Oh, yes. Beautiful summer nights spent outside. Preferably enjoying live music. Outdoor concerts are a quintessential part of summer and if you're in the New Jersey/Philadelphia region I suggest taking in one of the summer concerts at Shady Brook Farm. 

From June through August, Shady Brook is hosting concerts every Friday night. I took my mom and nephew to the first concert a few weeks ago and it was an awesome summer kickoff. The weather was beautiful and when the sun went down it was chilly enough for a sweatshirt. A bonfire would have been ideal but I think had I set a fire it may have been frowned upon. 



Shady Brook Farm has plenty of things to keep the kids occupied; a playground, a bounce area, animals to feed, and what looked like a bike track that I had to lie convince my nephew only 5 year olds were allowed to use so maybe next year...They also have a brand new wine bar and a local brewery is available so it's like a playground for adults.

My nephew had a great time playing and when the music started he was a dancing machine. Unfortunately his idea of dancing is running manically in circles. He is such a white boy. 



A bottle of wine, live music, and spending time with friends and family is my favorite way to relax after a week of work. There is a $5 per person entrance fee plus the cost of food and drinks (no outside food or drinks allowed) but prices are reasonable so it makes for an inexpensive night out with the family. Also, if you plan on drinking wine my suggestion is always to opt for a bottle.



For more information, visit Shady Brook Farm's website and Facebook page

What are your favorite ways to wind down on a Friday night? 


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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Being Beth In Winter Park, Florida



A few weeks back, I headed to Orlando for a weekend getaway to catch up with a friend from college. Having only ever really been to Disney, I had no agenda other than catching up and checking out Orlando. 



First up was Winter Park, Florida which is right outside of Orlando. The city of Winter Park is perfect for a day trip. Park Avenue has over 140 shops, cafes, and museums and was bustling by 11 AM. It is home to Rollins College. While being a "college town" it was very family friendly. 



We started with breakfast at Barnie's CoffeeKitchen which is located on South Park Avenue. One of. It's a small coffee shop with plenty of outdoor seating so you can sit back, relax, and enjoy some people watching as you sip your coffee or tea. 


My breakfast was fantastic and the iced coffee was just what I needed to keep cool. One of my must dos when traveling is checking out the local coffee shops and Barnie's didn't disappoint! 

We strolled down Park Avenue which offers great shopping (or window shopping in my case).



Winter Park is very dog friendly and I loved seeing so many shops offering water bowls out front. 


We then took a scenic boat tour which was an hour out in the sun and on the water learning a bit of history of Winter Park and admiring the vast and beautiful Winter Park homes (one of those homes being Mr. Roger's, who was a Rollins College alum). 



If you only have a few hours I suggest starting out with some food at one of the many cafes along Park Avenue and then checking out the boat tour. It's a great way to soak up the sun while enjoying the breeze off the three Winter Park lakes you'll tour. 

For the latest on what's going on in Winter Park check out their website and Park Avenue's own dedicated website

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Monday, June 20, 2016

The Hardest Part Of Loving An Animal

Often, when a dog comes into a human's life it is due to some planning. We decide to add a dog to our family. That's how Gunny became a member of our family.

Other times, a dog enters your life unexpectedly, because you decided to take your nephew to the playground on an unassuming Wednesday morning.



And that's how Chewbacca came into my life. She was this little black and white furball that came right up to my nephew and I as I went towards her to check for a collar. There was a woman sitting on a picnic table and I asked her if the dog belonged to her. She said no. She cried a little as my nephew and I played in the fenced in area of the park. When we tried to make a quiet exit, she followed along. Leading the way right up to my sister-in-law and brothers house. After spending a week in North Carolina trying to find her owners, taking her to a vet to check for a microchip, and being unsuccessful in getting her home; I decided she was meant to go home with me.

We had found each other.

But as unexpectedly as she came, she unexpectedly left yesterday.

And that is the hardest part of loving an animal. Having to let go and say goodbye far sooner than you're ready to. This isn't the first dog that we've lost and it never gets easier.  Because when you let an animal into your heart, you have to be willing to let your heart break.



For the past 9 months, Chewie has brought me so much joy. I loved watching her hold her own against Gunny, who has no idea what personal space means and wanted to play, all.the.time. And while I love my other 85 lb. lapdog, Chewbacca was great for snuggles hugs. She made me laugh as she tried to act big and tough, barking at other dogs. Or our neighbors. I also loved that she was tiny and I could dress her up because yes, I am the type of person who will dress up my dog. I'll miss our morning snuggles before getting out of bed. 

I don't know where she came from or what her life had been like previous to September but I know her life was filled with love at the end.

Also, because I was preoccupied with Chewbacca this weekend, I realized I forgot about Gunny's 8th birthday on Saturday so we'll be celebrating with a dog cake today. Because yes, I'm also the type of person to get a birthday cake for a dog.

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Friday, June 17, 2016

Friday Favorites - June 17, 2016



First I would like to say I almost wrote APRIL 17th. W.T.F. Where have I been?

Anyway it's Friday and on Friday's we share our favorite things so here are mine this week.

This announcement




Are all of my dreams coming true?! I think they may be! Finally, finally, finally Wicked will be turned into a movie and they have a release date. Mind you it's over 3 years away but that's OK. I'll just go see the musical a few more times and listen to the soundtrack every day. Not that that doesn't happen anyway.

This fun summer pastime



Ya'll the carnival is in town and it has been years since this happened. I feel like I'm in elementary school. There's rides and games and the food....your typical corn dogs, funnel cake, and cotton candy but we also have BACON BREAD. If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen this gem.



What is Bacon Bread? Well it's a Roebling delicacy. And it's delicious. It has bacon. And that's all you need to know. But if we ever hang out I promise I'll feed it to you. Or give it to you to feed yourself.

This candle


Target has done it again! Sometimes when you're feeling confused about life and need a little pick me up you should go to Target and buy a candle because it says 'Namaste'. You won't be sorry because the light scent of citrus, chamomile, and jasmine will have you in heaven.

This wine label


How cute is this wine label?! That's it. That's all I have to say about this wine.

It's Friday! Go to work, come home, and watch The Tony's (again) on your DVR. Get crazy kids!

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On Friday's I link up with Amanda at Meet At The Barre

Thursday, June 16, 2016

All Southern Charm, All The Time




It has been quite a ride the past few weeks on Southern Charm. This past Monday's episode is one that I've been looking forward to all season long (I'm pretty sure any dedicated Southern Charmer has been) (Do ya'll like that? Southern Charmer....hire me, Andy Cohen.)

The past few weeks I have really been rooting for Kathryn & Thomas to work past their issues and grow out of their toxicity. (Is that even a thing?) I think that deep down they really love each other, as most dysfunctional and unhealthy couples do. I was really starting to root for them. BUT THEN THIS WEEK HAPPENED.

Holy Crap. Can we talk about how I do not want to throw around dangerous accusations on this here blog but what was Thomas on?

And was Kathryn partaking?

And was she the one whispering these things in his ear?

Thomas went completely crazy on each and every one of his dinner guests and Kathryn didn't look shocked or appalled at all.

I'm so sad next week is the finale.

Also, I'm annoyed that RealityTVGIFs doesn't have any Southern Charm gifs.

I have a lot of Bravo catching up to do. I'm going to try to give Real Housewives of Dallas more of a chance and I'm behind on the NYC ladies.

Who else is excited for OC? And NJ's season will be here before we know it. I may need to quit my job for this...


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