Though it might have taken me until the very end of the month to pick up a batch of new books, they were worth the wait.  These were some really good ones.  They are all a bit different, which make them a great reading list to recommend to you all, because there truly is something for everyone.

THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW  by A.J. Finn was one of those impossible-to-put-down novels.  And it was the first one like that for me in a while.  The last couple of books I read, right before this one, I just didn’t love.  I wasn’t excited to read them.  But this, I actually looked forward to picking up and finished cover-to-cover in just 48 hours.  It was a true psychological thriller with twists and turns up until the very end.  And the premise itself was original and fresh.  The writing was fantastic.  Without revealing too much (because if you had only one book to read this month, I would say this is the one, hands-down), you are given a front-row seat inside the life of a lonely child psychologist living in New York, who, along with the reader, becomes unsure of what is real and what is imagined.

SMALL GREAT THINGS by Jodi Picoult gives us a glimpse into what racism looks like today and explores truly how difficult it is to be confronted with racism head-on.  An African-American woman and nurse finds herself on trial for the death of a newborn baby, the child of a White Supremacist leader, who had explicitly given orders to have Ruth not handle her son.  With racial tensions at a high in our country, this book is a great, thought-provoking read for right now.

WHEN BREATH BECOMES AIR by Paul Kalanithi, is the accurate account of someone’s life and death, and this was a particularly tough read for me, as a human, as a person around his age (at the time of his death), as a woman who cannot imagine how painful it would be to lose a spouse (and at such a young age), and as a mother who cannot bear to think of a time I might not be with my children.  That being said, I think it is a must-read.  Such a profound look at life from someone who knew theirs was coming to an end.

AFTER YOU by Jojo Moyes is the sequel to ME BEFORE YOU, which I loved.  And it’s always so hard to beat the original.  But it’s still a good, quick read that follows the joys and sorrows of life after losing a loved one.  And if you haven’t read ME BEFORE YOU, do it!  I loved it and have purposely avoided the movie that was made after the book was written because the movie never quite leads up to the book.  😉

Next up on my list of books to read in March:





What are you currently reading?  I would love to know!

xo gina 


Sharing my love for online boutique, Gray Monroe, today, and I’ll be highlighting some of my favorite pieces from their shop throughout the week.  First up, is this camo, lace-up pullover.  It is the perfect top for everyday and I feel like it was made to wear with leggings and white sneakers, but it can be worn with jeans just as easily.  It is super light, which makes it so versatile.  You can throw it over your workout gear when you head to the gym, sport it running errands, or even tie it around your waist with a simple t-shirt dress for an added pop of color.  I love the lace-up front, which is a fun twist on this simple sweatshirt.  And I’ve been really into camouflage lately, so this was a great new addition to my closet.

*shop here by clicking this link (or typing it into your browser) and searching ‘honor top’: http://www.graymonroe.com/#_l_1d0  (affiliate link)

*a special thanks to Gray Monroe for sponsoring this post, but as always, all opinions are my own.

Happy shopping!

 xo gina 


The truth is that before kids, I was never super into Valentine’s Day, even though my husband has been my valentine for well over a decade worth of February’s.  It’s just that between both of us working on the holiday, or traveling (we used to escape the cold a lot around President’s Day weekend), and committing to going out the night before or after to beat the crowds (sad, but true, ha!) we never focused a ton on the actual day.  Enter kids, and I am now stringing heart banners across the dining room table that has strawberry jam sandwiches and M&M popcorn all over it, and putting love notes in their school lunches throughout the month.  (See last year’s semi-homemade Valentine’s Day lunch HERE). These girls of mine have turned me into someone who loves the unofficial, official love day, and I find myself searching high and low for all the heart outfits I can find.  Whether you are spending this holiday snuggled up at home, out for date night, or just looking to get a little festive with a pop of pink, I found some Valentine’s Day outfit inspiration for any way you plan to celebrate.

1.  Love this lip-print blouse with ruffle sleeves.

2.  Ultimate vintage vibes in a soft tee that I would wear year-round.

3.  The cutest heart pajama set, perfect for movie night at home, and under $30!

4.  Loving this tee for all the single ladies.

5.  These skinny, lace-up jogger pants would fit my plans perfectly, which currently consist of school drop-off and pick-up.  😉

6.  This affordable lace number only looks expensive.

7.  Cheeky, graphic tees like this one never get old.

8.  A relaxed silhouette sweater in a pretty magenta pink, that looks so cozy and is under $50!

Happy Monday!

xo gina 


One topic I get asked a lot about is my morning beauty routine.  And since I don’t wear much makeup, I’m always surprised by it, but I think what it comes down to is the fact that women really want a regimen that’s fast, super fast!, (especially if you’re a mom of young kids) and women really want to achieve a natural look.  I will preface this post by saying that I am the furthest thing from a makeup expert.  I rarely change up my products, because the truth is, when I find something I really love, or a product that really works for my skin, I stick with it.  For a long, long time.  And again, I tend to use so few products.  But here goes!  I start out everyday with this moisturizer and once that has set in, I smooth on this sunscreen.  Yes, even in the dead of winter.  I am a sunscreen fanatic because I thrive on the sunshine and would much rather lather up with SPF than stay indoors.  I have been using this CC Cream for just over a year now, and I love how little is needed, the fact that it offers additional sun protection, and the attention to anti-aging that’s given with a boost of omega-3.  I use the light to medium shade and it sort of blends into my skin.  Using my finger, I dab three dime-sized dots of this cheek tint in an upward diagonal line from the apple of my cheek to the corner of my eye and tap into my skin until it settles and gives my face what looks like a natural glow.  I have read so much about favorite mascaras out there, but I keep coming back to this one.  It is my tried and true.  And I literally cannot leave the house without it, if it is the only single product I use.  Otherwise, I promise, you will not know if I am awake or still sleeping.  😉  If there are any dark spots or blemishes that need a little hiding, I use this foundation as a concealer.  A little goes a long way and the shade I love is ‘honey.’  Fun fact, this foundation was listed as one of the items Jennifer Anniston carries in her makeup bag, though this was forever ago, and found in an article in a women’s magazine that I cannot for the life of me remember (Shape?, InStyle?, Allure?).  All I know is that I have been a big fan of hers forever and whether or not she actually carried this beauty product in her bag, it was enough for me and have used it ever since.  I have linked all products in the content, but have also listed them (in the order in which I use them) below.  Just click to shop!

Happy Sunday!

xo gina


{Highway 70, New Mexico}

{Las Cruces, New Mexico}

{Orogrande, New Mexico}

{Orogrande, New Mexico}

{New Mexico}

{Ruidoso, New Mexico}

{Ruidoso, New Mexico}

{El Paso, Texas}

{El Paso, Texas}

{El Paso, Texas}

{El Paso, Texas}

{El Paso, Texas}

Over the holidays, we spent some time with family out west and got the chance to travel a bit along the way.  One of my favorite things about heading out that way is all of the beautiful landscape and how different it is from anything we see back home.  And those Texas sunsets are hard to beat.  The unobstructed views, those city lights, dusk there truly never disappoints.  I tend to snap photos of the scenery and rarely take photos of the girls while on the road because I am so caught up in watching them play in a new place.  Some of my favorites are actually the ones I’ve taken from inside the car, not wanting to miss the bit of sky just before the sun sinks, without even opening the window for fear of the colors running together too quickly.  Here are a few snippets of our travel through West Texas and Southern New Mexico.

Here’s to hoping for more travel in the new year!

xo gina 

« Older posts

© 2018 pumpkin + rose

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑