Great Reads

The Shark Club by Ann Kidd Taylor

the shark club
Publish Date:
Elin Hilderbrand

Goodreads Summary:
One summer day on the beach in Florida, two extraordinary things happen to Maeve Donnelly. First, she is kissed by Daniel, the boy of her dreams. Then, she is bitten by a blacktip shark.

Eighteen years later, Maeve has thrown herself into her work as a world-travelling marine biologist discovering more about the minds of misunderstood sharks. But when Maeve returns home to the legendarily charming and eccentric Hotel of the Muses where she was raised by her grandmother, she finds more than just the blood orange sunsets and key lime pies she’s missed waiting for her.

While Maeve has always been fearless in the water, on land she is indecisive. A chance meeting on the beach with a plucky, irresistible little girl who is just as fascinated by the ocean as Maeve was growing up leaves her at a crossroads: Should she rekindle her romance with Daniel, the first love she left behind when she dove into her work? Or indulge in a new romance with her colleague, Nicholas, who turns up in her hometown to investigate an illegal shark-finning operation?

My Review:

If you know me, you probably know how much I love anything related to the ocean. When I was a kid, I had wanted to be a marine biologist but decided against it because I didn’t want to move away from my family where ideal locations for this job would be. Although I love my job, I sometimes find myself envious of this’d adventurous souls who chose this career. I’ve swam with sharks, fed and held with stingrays, and played with dolphins. I donate often to marine causes and watch countless documentaries. These preferences of mine made this book even more perfect for me but even without these personal preferences I would recommend the book!

This book is so underrated. It’s not only a book full of love, forgiveness, and adventure. It was funny, surprising, and kept me turning the pages as quickly as I could. I got to read this in the middle of the Caribbean and I’m so happy I picked this place to read it because although I wasn’t in the settings of the actual book, it was similar enough for me to get all the feels!

I felt connected to most of the characters.  This book also is a great example of being a role-model and it will make you want to find a little to help guide through the world and let that little experience their dreams! Maeve and Hazel’s relationship was amazing and I loved how Maeve was able to become a great mother figure to Hazel and look past her relationship woes finally.

Without giving up too much of the book, it is a great example of love, forgiveness, selflessness, and adventure! I have two wishes for the book which is why I knocked one star off. I wish Maeve and her twin brother, Robin’s, relationship was played out a little more. Robin ends up being such a major part and I felt like I didn’t get to know him enough. I also wish the ending and suspense was built up more. This could have turned into more of a thriller which only would have elevated this book for me. All in all, it is a book that I highly recommend. It is the perfect beach read!


Great Recipes

Iced London Fog Latte WW FRIENDLY!

Hey Ya’ll! How many of you like tea lattes? I definitely do but you can’t get them at many places around me other than Starbucks. As much as I was loving my London Fog Latte, I wasn’t loving the points and I wasn’t loving the price. A Venti was costing me $5.70 or so and that just wasn’t something I wanted to spend every single day. And then one day as I was watching them make my iced latte, I thought to myself, “Why the heck am I just not making these?” And so the next day I did and it tasted EXACTLY like what I was buying. It was less calories AND cost way less. Starbucks offers almond milk but it’s sweetened and I wasn’t sure how much they were actually using so I couldn’t count points accurately and I didn’t want it sweetened anyway! So here’s my Mock Starbucks Iced London Fog!

Iced London Fog Latte

Serves 1


  1.  Two tea bags of Earl Grey tea. You can use whatever brand you like. Amazon has many like the one I linked but you can definitely find them in your local grocer.
  2. 1/2 Cup of Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
  3. Sugar Free Vanilla Coffee Syrup (I use Torani and it can be found at most grocers as well as Amazon here)
  4. Ice (I usually use at least 1/2 of a tray because I like mine super cold)
    Continue reading “Iced London Fog Latte WW FRIENDLY!”
Great Recipes

Ground Turkey and Butternut Squash Soup

This soup recipe is so versatile and forgiving which is why it is my favorite. You can sub veggies or add veggies such as beans or spinach (at the very end). It is super filling and is literally one of my favorite soups I’ve made!

Ground Turkey and Butternut Squash Soup

Serves 6-8


  1.  One 16 oz package of ground turkey meat (I use 98% fat free but you can sub what  type of meat mixture that you want)
  2. Two large carrots
  3. Three celery stalks
  4. One red onion
  5. Six cloves of garlic (we’re garlic lovers but you can minimize your cloves if your family is not)
  6. One butternut squash
  7. Two small potatoes (about 8-10 grams total)
  8. Four cups of vegetable stock
  9. One cup of chicken broth
  10. One 28 oz. can of tomatoes
  11. Two tablespoons of dried oregano
  12. Two bay leaves
  13. One and a half cups of radiatore pasta (or other small pasta such as shells) Continue reading “Ground Turkey and Butternut Squash Soup”