Great Books to Read

Books to Read

The latest edition of my book recommendations is here to help you cross another great read off of your “to read” list.

Outlive: The Science and Art of Longevity by Peter Attia: This is the ultimate manual for living better and longer. Dr. Atttia hosts the popular podcast The Drive. Check out this set of responses to commonly asked questions about patient responsibility in one’s own health and longevity from Dr. Attia.

The Golden Spoon by Jessa Maxwell. A cozy mystery on the grounds of a baking competition show.

Scalia Rise to Greatness by James Rosen: James Rosen describes and documents the formative decades of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Scalia. It is the most definitive account of Scalia’s life, what shaped his judicial philosophy, and his own personal interactions. I enjoyed the audio version.

The Guest List by Lucy Fole: This book is a wedding mystery on an exclusive remote Irish Island filled with secrets, jealousy, betrayal, and more.

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy: This illustrated book is about friendship, love, and accepting each other.

The Art of Southern Charm by Patricia Altschul: Patricia is my favorite reality star on Bravo’s Southern Charm. Patricia’s book is filled with etiquette rules, dating advice, style tips, and plenty of stories about her fascinating life.

Just Thinking About the State by Darrell Harrison and Virgil Walker: Darrell and Virgil host the popular Just Thinking podcast. In Just Thinking About the State, they reveal a biblical understanding of the role of government in the life of believers.

Taste My Life Through Food by Stanley Tucci: Taste My Life Through Food is part memoir, part cookbook, and part manifesto on living well, but above all, it’s a warm, charming look at the different ways we can find nourishment in the world.

Lifespan: Why We Age and Why We Don’t Have To by David Sinclair: is a best-selling book by David Sinclair, a professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School. In the book, Sinclair explains his theory that aging is actually a disease that is treatable and provides insight into the latest scientific research on aging and longevity.

What Really Makes You Ill: Why Everything You Thought You Knew About Disease is Wrong by Dawn Lester & David Parker: This medical book covers all things related to health and disease. The authors address the root cause of why people get sick.

The Maid: A Novel by Nita Prose: A compelling and quirky mystery about the death of a prominent hotel guest and the maid who finds his body.

Frontier Follies: Adventures in Marriage and Motherhood in the Middle of Nowhere by Ree Drummond: I enjoyed this collection of short stories. I also recommend visiting Pawhuska near Tulsa, Oklahoma. Ree opened The Mercantile in 2016.

Greenwich Park
by Katherine Faulkner: A thrilling mystery with complex characters and gripping writing. What appears to be a budding friendship between two moms-to-be brings more than its fair share of unpleasant surprises in this debut psychological thriller. It’s the perfect book to curl up with this winter.

Nora Goes Off Script by Annabel Monaghan: A charming, hopeful book for a cold winter day, and it will be perfect for the beach, too. It’s a romantic comedy with depth and dignity for its protagonist.

Make Something Good Today by Ben & Erin Napier: If you are a fan of HGTV’s “Home Town,” this is an enjoyable memoir. The book follows Ben and Erin Napier’s lives from childhood to the present.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid: In this epic novel full of old Hollywood glamour, a legendary film actress reflects on her relentless rise to the top and the risks she took, the loves she lost, and the long-held secrets the public could never imagine. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ‘80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and great forbidden love.

Attacking Anxiety: From Panicked and Depressed to Alive and Free by Shawn Johnson: Shawn Johnson, lead pastor of Red Rocks Church, gives a searingly honest portrait of anxiety and depression and shows readers how to fight back and live free.

Unmissing by Minka Kent: Merritt Coletto and her husband, Luca, have the life they dreamed of: a coastal home, a promising future, and a growing family. That dream comes to an end with a late-night knock on the door. The story is so intriguing and full of suspense.

Trauma the Invisible Epidemic by Dr. Paul Conti: How trauma works and how we can heal from it. Every single one of us is affected by trauma, though some carry a heavier burden than others. Understanding its insidious effects and far-reaching complications is vital to charting the path to healing. Listen to an interview with Dr. Conti on the Lewis Howes Podcast Ep. 1237.

Looking for more good books, check out all my recommendations here.


Have you read anything good or memorable lately? Leave a comment below. 

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My Morning Routine

Morning Routine

Let’s talk about morning routine ideas! Several years ago, I implemented a morning routine. After listening to Andrew Huberman’s podcast episode about Habits, I learned more about the science of habits. I also read James Clear’s book, Atomic Habits.

I have found that sticking to a morning routine sets me up for a successful day.

Most of the tasks can be completed in 30 minutes. The only rule is: do what works for you.

Let’s jump in.

Salt Water Rinse: I do this first thing every morning. I make a saltwater solution to keep in my bathroom. (16oz of spring water to 1oz of salt in a mason jar)
Continue reading “My Morning Routine”

Washington DC Travel Guide

My meticulously curated travel guide for Washington, DC, includes local hotspots, under-the-radar restaurants, can’t-miss boutiques, and hip places to stay.

Start your day with a morning run or bike ride on the National Mall.

Do not miss the “blue buck” pancakes at Eastern Market if you visit on a Saturday.

Georgetown is my favorite neighborhood for shopping. Take a coffee break and enjoy the best cupcakes in the city at Baked and Wired. Skip the long lines at Georgetown Cupcake for a tastier treat at Baked and Wired.

I recommend DC By Foot Tours. You name your price at the end of the tour and pay what you feel it was worth. My favorite is the twilight tour of the monuments.

To visit the Capitol, you should make a reservation in advance. To avoid long lines. Read all the details here. Continue reading “Washington DC Travel Guide”

Savannah Travel Guide

My meticulously curated travel guide for Savannah includes local hotspots, under-the-radar restaurants, can’t-miss boutiques, and hip places.

Savannah is the perfect weekend getaway and a great road trip for Floridians.

I’ve stayed at Mansion on Forsyth Park. The historic hotel is conveniently located across the street from Forsyth Park. The hotel is also home to the 700 Kitchen School, where you can take a hands-on cooking class.

Start your day with a jog or walk through the picturesque Forsyth Park. One of the most photographed spots in Savannah is the fountain at Forsyth Park. The Forsyth Farmer’s Market is held on Saturday mornings.

Savannah is home to so many great restaurants.  Zunzies is an excellent option for lunch. For a unique dining experience, Mrs. Wilkes features a round buffet of Southern food in a historic old boarding house. The restaurant is only open for lunch M-F. The Green Truck Pub has excellent burgers and fries. The cupcakes at Back in the Day Bakery are delicious for a sweet treat. The owners have a beautifully illustrated cookbook featuring all the bakery recipes plus handy baking tips.

Savannah has many great boutiques; most are located along Broughton Street. My favorites include the Paris MarketOne Fish Two Fish, and Copper Penny. After your downtown shopping stroll, you can enjoy homemade ice cream at Leopold’s or a French macaron at Marche de Macarons. For a live show, visit the Savannah Theatre. Finish your evening with a dessert or hot toddy at Lulu’s Chocolate Bar. I recommend a ghost tour with Blue Orb Tours for a late-night thrill. Continue reading “Savannah Travel Guide”

San Antonio Travel Guide

San Antonio Travel Guide

My meticulously curated travel guide for San Antonio, includes local hotspots, under-the-radar restaurants, can’t-miss boutiques, and hip places to stay.

San Antonio’s rich history, diverse culture, beautiful scenery, and fabulous attractions offer something for everyone to enjoy.

If you are visiting San Antonio, I recommend staying near the Pearl Brewery. It’s a former brewery that includes restaurants and shopping near the Riverwalk.

Get up early and go for a run or walk along the Riverwalk. On Saturday mornings, don’t miss the farmer’s market at the Pearl.

Skip the restaurants along the river walk. There are better options nearby. Continue reading “San Antonio Travel Guide”

Portland Maine Travel Guide

Portland Maine Travel GuideMy meticulously curated travel guide for Portland, Maine, includes local hotspots, under-the-radar restaurants, can’t-miss boutiques, and hip places to stay.

Start your day out at Tandem Coffee. It is the best coffee shop in town. The pastries are also popular, especially the biscuits. Don’t miss Holy Donut. These donuts are made with real potatoes not flour.

After exploring the city, stop by Duck Fat and order the duck fat fries and a coffee milkshake. The best french fries ever! That is all you need to know. Just go there! Continue reading “Portland Maine Travel Guide”

Charleston Travel Guide

Charleston City Guide

My meticulously curated travel guide for Charleston, South Carolina, includes local hotspots, under-the-radar restaurants, can’t-miss boutiques, and hip places to stay.

Charleston is one of the prettiest cities, a top culinary destination, a history buff’s dream, an architectural paradise, and a gorgeous seaside beach town. The Holy City is named after all the churches that dot the skyline. It’s the perfect weekend getaway.

If you have one day in Charleston, start with coffee at Second State, then go for a walk or run in the historic district.

For breakfast, swing by Callie’s Hot Biscuit or Little Line Kitchen.

After breakfast, take a carriage ride and a historical walking tour. For an afternoon snack, visit Sugar Bakeshop for a cupcake or Harken Cafe for a pastry.

The Belmont Hotel is the best place for a cocktail. For lunch or dinner, I like Basic Kitchen and Slightly North of Broad. Fleet’s Landing is on the waterfront in historic downtown Charleston, and it has the best views of Charleston Harbor. Continue reading “Charleston Travel Guide”

Baking Tips, Recipes, and Tools for the Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Plus Essential Chocolate Chip Cookie Destinations

Tips for Baking the Best Chocolate Cookies

My baking tips, favorite recipes, baking tools for the best chocolate chip cookie, and essential chocolate chip cookie destinations.

Find your perfect recipe. I like a chewy, crispy, gooey-in-the-center cookie.

My CCC all use unsalted butter. Butter provides flavor and makes cookies crispy. Baking with butter calls for chilling the dough so the cookies do not spread too much on the pan as they bake. I use Plugrá, an unsalted European-style butter. The unsalted version allows me to control the salt content in a recipe by considering only the actual added salt. And regarding European-style butter, the dairy is cultured before churning (unlike in American-style butter), adding a certain depth of flavor. I use Myoko’s Vegan European Butter for a dairy-free CCC. It’s essential to use cold butter for dairy-free CCC.

My favorite CCC has a mix of brown and white sugar. Brown sugar makes cookies chewy, and white sugar makes them crispy. I also use coconut sugar for some recipes. Continue reading “Baking Tips, Recipes, and Tools for the Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Plus Essential Chocolate Chip Cookie Destinations”

Great Books to Read

Books to Read

My latest edition of my book recommendations are here to help you cross off another great read off of your “to read” list.

Never Finished Unshackle Your Mind and Win the War Within by retired US Navy SEAL David Goggins: It’s not a self-help book but a wake-up call. A great book to kick off the new year.

Laundry Love by Patric Richardson: This book offers tips you may not have heard of before and dispels common myths about washing your clothes. I follow his recommendations, so my clothes last longer.

A Heart That Works by Rob Delaney: Comedian Rob Delaney writes about the death of his young son.

The Queen: Her Life by Andrew Morton: An in-depth look at Britain’s longest reigning monarch, exploring the influence Queen Elizabeth had on both Britain and the rest of the world for much of the last century. Continue reading “Great Books to Read”

30 A Florida Travel Guide

My meticulously curated travel guide for 30 A Florida includes local hotspots, under-the-radar restaurants, can’t-miss boutiques, and hip places to stay.

30 A Florida is my favorite vacation destination in Florida. It’s the beautiful beachside towns along Florida’s Scenic Highway 30A between Ft. Walton Beach and Panama City Beach, Florida. The beachside towns include Dune Allen, Gulf Place, Blue Mountain Beach, Seaside, Rosemary Beach, Grayton Beach, Seagrove, Alys Beach, Watersound, and Water Color. Each has guidelines against high-rises and hotels, making it an ideal location to rent a beach house for the week. It’s great for families and a bachelorette weekend.

For those of you looking for a relaxing getaway, clean beaches, blue water, friendly people, shopping, beautiful rental homes, bike rides, food trucks, farmers markets, and live music, you will love visiting 30A, Florida.

Here’s some info on how to get there, where to stay, eat, and things to do in 30 A Florida. Continue reading “30 A Florida Travel Guide”

Portland Oregon Travel Guide

Portland Oregon Travel Guide

My meticulously curated travel guide for Portland, Oregon, includes local hotspots, under-the-radar restaurants, can’t-miss boutiques, and hip places to stay.

Portland is one of my favorite layovers. The city is divided into many charming neighborhoods. It is one of the best cities for hiking, gluten-free dining, outstanding coffee, boutique shopping, and craft brews.

If you are visiting for the day, take the light rail to the Hawthorne neighborhood. Grab a cup of joe at Heart Coffee and head straight to nearby Mt. Tabor Park for an early morning workout.

After working up an appetite, enjoy a mouth-watering Southern brunch at Screen Door or Fried Egg I’m in Love.

If you are in town on a Saturday, do not miss the Portland Farmer’s Market. There are many food booths at the market, not just produce.

Portland is one of my favorite places to shop since there is no sales tax and there are many boutiques. I also could spend hours browsing the books at Powell’s Books. It is the largest independent bookstore in the country.

For fantastic sunset views of Mt. Hood, drive or hike up to Pittock Mansion. The grounds outside the home are free to visit and offer stunning views of the city and Mt. Hood.

For lunch, I love the tacos and garden salad at ¿Por Qué No? The Portland City Grill is a great spot for happy hour specials. It is downtown on the 30th floor of the building with panoramic city views. Skip dinner at Portland City Grill and go to Shalom Y’all downtown. The menu features Mediterranean street food plus Turkish coffee & cocktails. Continue reading “Portland Oregon Travel Guide”

Venice Beach, California Travel Guide

Venice Beach Travel Guide

My meticulously curated travel guide for Venice Beach, California, includes local hotspots, under-the-radar restaurants, can’t-miss boutiques, and hip places.

Venice Beach is my favorite district in Los Angeles. If you are visiting for the day, download the TAP app and ride the Big Blue Bus from the LAX Bus Terminal to Venice.

Start your day with an authentic bulletproof coffee at Dave Asprey’s Upgrade Cafe, then walk or run along the beach.

For breakfast, I love the juices and smoothies at Moon Juice.

Venice has excellent shopping along Abbott Kenney Boulevard. My favorite shops are Cuyana and Christy Dawn.

Stop in Gjusta for an afternoon snack and caffeine fix.

For dinner, I recommend Gjelina. The lamb burger is outstanding, and the veggies are cooked to perfection.

Before returning to your hotel, pick up some snacks at Erehwon Market. The hot food bar is fantastic! Continue reading “Venice Beach, California Travel Guide”

Oxford Mississippi Travel Guide

Oxford Mississippi Historic Home

My meticulously curated travel recommendations for Oxford, Mississippi include local hotspots, under-the-radar restaurants, can’t-miss boutiques, and hip places to stay.

Oxford is home to the University of Mississippi, also known as Ole Miss, and is one of my favorite college towns. There are many great restaurants, shops, and bookstores. The Ole Miss campus is stunning.

Oxford is centered around “The Square.”  The gorgeous, white county courthouse anchors the square and is surrounded by restaurants, bars, and adorable shops. Continue reading “Oxford Mississippi Travel Guide”

Jacksonville Florida Travel Guide

Jacksonville City Guide

My meticulously curated travel recommendations for Jacksonville, Florida include local hotspots, under-the-radar restaurants, can’t-miss boutiques, and hip places to stay.

When I have a layover in Jacksonville, I start my day with a run along the river downtown. If I am in Jacksonville on a Saturday morning, I stop by the Riverside Arts Market to pick up some fresh produce. After a run, I hit the juice bar at Natural Food Market in the eclectic Five Points neighborhood. I love cherry limeade. I like to peek inside Jane Doe, an adorable fashion boutique.  Nearby is my favorite coffee shop, Bold Bean.  Sweet Theory is my next stop to pick up gluten-free and vegan treats. Everything is made fresh daily. The next stop is Southern Roots, a great cafe for lunch. I love the vegan queso. Other popular spots for lunch include Whiteway Deli. It is the oldest deli in Jacksonville and where the locals dine for lunch. Order the Tabouli. Stop at Carmin’s Pie House if you are craving Italian food.
Avondale is another lovely neighborhood near Five Points. Check out Crave and the jewelry at Ellie Bing for designer trends. There are several antique and vintage shops. Moon River Pizza serves pizza by the slice.
San Marco is my favorite neighborhood for boutique shopping. For the latest fashion trends, stop by Rosie True and ReveWardroom LTD is an adorable gift boutique. A few notable restaurants in San Marco include Maple Street Biscuit Company and the Olive Tree Mediterranean Grille.
I also love checking out Chamblin Book Mine downtown. It is a treasure hunt for book lovers. Eat at Taco Lou if you spend the day at the beach. Continue reading “Jacksonville Florida Travel Guide”

Home Gym and Hotel Room Workouts

 Resource guide for setting up a home gym plus my favorite fitness apps, streaming services, and accessories.

Below is a list of my favorite workout apps, streaming services, equipment, and products for home gym and hotel room workouts.


Forma Pilates App($49.99 per month or $480 per year).: Forma Pilates has quickly become the most in-demand workout. Started by Liana Levi in her Los Angeles home, Forma soon garnered attention as the Pilates workout of choice for Hailey Bieber, Kaia Gerber, and Kendall Jenner.

The Forma Pilates app has a library of over 100 videos for all levels, new videos uploaded monthly, and a combination of reformer and mat Pilates classes. Continue reading “Home Gym and Hotel Room Workouts”

Palm Springs Travel Guide

Palm Springs Travel Guide

My meticulously curated travel recommendations for Palm Springs, California include local hotspots, under-the-radar restaurants, can’t-miss boutiques, and hip places to stay.

With Midcentury Modern architecture, poolside glamour, vintage shops, and delicious eateries, what’s not to love about Palm Springs?

*Check hours on everything because there are a lot of summer closures. Continue reading “Palm Springs Travel Guide”

Link Love

Tech tips, gluten-free recipes, travel guides and more good reads.

Here are a few fun and informative links from around the web. I hope you enjoy this edition of link love.

  1. The real-life diet of Andrew Huberman. The neuroscientist and podcaster caught up with GQ about his daily routine: his morning dose of sunlight, his meditation to recharge, and why he prefers to eat his carbs in the evening.
  2. Could the Covid-19-driven increase in Ivermectin lead to imbalanced gut microbiota and dysbiosis incidents?
  3. Nothing drains you like mixed emotions.
  4. The best free or cheap fitness apps, sites, and podcasts.
  5. How to get the best from your immune system.
  6. Why zinc is so important.
  7. A great interview with Will and Harry’s former press secretary, who explained what it was like to work for the brothers for ten years and their personalities.
  8. There are good reasons you always feel 20 percent younger than your actual age.
  9. Scientists at Columbia University say they have early evidence that links eating less to longer lifespans.
  10. diabetes drug has become an off-label appetite suppressant, changing the definition of being thin and what it takes to get there.
  11. Stephanie shares some great tips for flying with a baby.
  12. A great travel guide for visiting Willamette Valley. See my Portland guide if you want to visit Oregon for more recommendations.
  13. Has anyone ever told you to “stop being so sensitive”? Or perhaps you need to “toughen up and develop a thicker skin”? Suppose you’ve spent much of your life feeling like you’re much more sensitive and responsive than others to the things happening around you, physically, mentally, and emotionally. In that case, you might be what’s known as a highly sensitive person.
  14. How to print anything from your phone.
  15. Understanding weight gain and menopause.
  16. Do greens powders do anything?
  17. Everything you need to know about The Laundress safety recall.

Continue reading “Link Love”