hello and welcome to or welcome back to christina raquel ❤ i hope you’re having a wonderful day!
the fact that it’s already july blows my mind (insert mindblown emoji). 2021 is halfway over?? what?? but anyways, june was a great month (SUMMER) and i can’t wait to show you guys some of my favorite photos from this month. these monthly photo dumps have kind of become a thing and i honestly love them so much.
hey frens! today I’m sharing some of the books I’ve read this month and doing some mini reviews. I love reading but it’s so hard to find good books sometimes! if you have any recs share them below 👇👇
After a devastating heartbreak three years ago, genealogist and historical village owner Nora Bradford decided that burying her nose in her work and her books is far safer than romance in the here and now. Unlike Nora, former Navy SEAL John Lawson is a modern-day man, usually 100 percent focused on the present. However, when John, an adoptee, is diagnosed with an inherited condition, he’s forced to dig into the secrets of his ancestry.John enlists Nora’s help to uncover the identity of his birth mother, and as they work side by side, this pair of opposites begins to suspect that they just might be a perfect match. But can their hope for a future survive their wounds from the past?
true to you – going into this book, I assumed it would be a pretty typical fluffy, cheesy romance with zero depth. I was wrong. True to You surprised me with a couple plot twists and some depth to the story that I wasn’t expecting, but it still tied itself all up with a bow and had plenty of fluff. this book also had a lot of christian themes to it and was pretty clean (no explicit language, but some mature themes including rape/assault… these are a part of the story but aren’t described in detail at all.)
Willow Bradford is content taking a break from modeling to run her family’s inn until she comes face-to-face with NFL quarterback Corbin Stewart, the man who broke her heart–and wants to win her back. When a decades-old missing-persons case brings them together, they’re forced to decide whether they can risk falling for one another all over again.
falling for you – this is the sequel to true to you (there’s actually four books in the series but I’m not sure if I’ll read all of them) and I ended up reading it all in one afternoon! i wasn’t sure what to think going into it but I actually loved it way more than true to you?? I could relate a ton more to willow than nora so I think that was part of it lol. again plenty of christian themes, a little bit of talk about premarital sex (not in detail at all) + a pregnancy scare and also this story centered around a mystery just like true to you. the mystery for this one did involve an affair but nothing was described in detail so I’d consider this book super clean and a great read!
Mary B. Addison killed a baby. Allegedly. She didn’t say much in that first interview with detectives, and the media filled in the only blanks that mattered: A white baby had died while under the care of a churchgoing black woman and her nine-year-old daughter. The public convicted Mary and the jury made it official. But did she do it? She wouldn’t say. Mary survived six years in baby jail before being dumped in a group home. The house isn’t really “home”—no place where you fear for your life can be considered a home. Home is Ted, who she meets on assignment at a nursing home. There wasn’t a point to setting the record straight before, but now she’s got Ted—and their unborn child—to think about. When the state threatens to take her baby, Mary must find the voice to fight her past. And her fate lies in the hands of the one person she distrusts the most: her Momma. No one knows the real Momma. But who really knows the real Mary?
allegedly – I saw this on another blogger’s book haul and thought it looked interesting so I decided to read it. oh my gosh, you guys, I was not prepared at all for this book. it’s SO SO GOOD but also so messed up!! if you read this just know that you WILL cry haha. it’s so painful and I felt punched in the stomach after reading it. the writing is so good and I could not believe this is a debut novel?? like what?? in the middle I did feel like everything slowed down a bit but push through because the ending will shock you so much omg. this book literally stabbed me in the heart and I have no clue what to say. also this book is not a cotton candy rainbow unicorn book. it’s terribly unfair and it’s so hard to read. AND OH MY GOSH YOU GUYS THE ENDING. i was not expecting what happened ahhhh. to summarize: I feel so manipulated by this book but I would definitely recommend it! there is a lot of language/violence/abuse/some sexual content but the message is so good. and bring tissues you will definitely need them. if you want to talk more about this book after you read it dm me because I have so much more to say but I don’t want to spoil omg!!
What if America had a royal family? When America won the Revolutionary War, its people offered General George Washington a crown. Two and a half centuries later, the House of Washington still sits on the throne. As Princess Beatrice gets closer to becoming America’s first queen regnant, the duty she has embraced her entire life suddenly feels stifling. Nobody cares about the spare except when she’s breaking the rules, so Princess Samantha doesn’t care much about anything, either . . . except the one boy who is distinctly off-limits to her. And then there’s Samantha’s twin, Prince Jefferson. If he’d been born a generation earlier, he would have stood first in line for the throne, but the new laws of succession make him third. Most of America adores their devastatingly handsome prince . . . but two very different girls are vying to capture his heart.
american royals – haha this book is totally opposite of the previous one. full of soap opera style drama without a ton of depth to it. BUT I live for this type of story so I loved this book! I also love the royals so if you do too you might enjoy this read. there’s a sequel coming out in september and I CANNOT WAIT! there are a ton of plot twists in this story but honestly that just feeds into the soap opera style. content warning: there is some language (not peppering the pages but it’s definitely there) and some sexual content not described in detail. overall this was a good read and I’m pumped for the sequel.
Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer—they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one terrible and wonderful summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along.
the summer I turned pretty – ahh I really, really wanted to like this book. but… I didn’t?? i think it could have been way better but here are the things I didn’t like
there’s a love square. i don’t even know what it’s called. belly likes THREE people the whole summer just make up your mind girl!!
also there were a ton of flashbacks which could have been good but they were super confusing? it was kinda hard to tell what was going on.
also i loved belly but she could be really bratty and annoying sometimes.
it was just… weird sometimes. i don’t know.
drugs/smoking/sexual things mentioned/alcohol (not too much but it was there)
but there were some redeeming qualities
susannah. i loved her so much!! I feel like her character personified summer and she was pretty much perfect.
cam. he was weird but just the right amount of weird so i liked him.
jeremiah and conrad. they annoyed me a ton but i still liked them. I kinda sympathize with belly tbh because how can you choose between all of them??? they’re all so different but they all fit belly’s personality.
belly’s mom. she wasn’t perfect and there were definitely times where she wasn’t a great role model. BUT i feel like throughout the story belly really learned how much her mom loved her and I started to see that even though she wasn’t perfect she definitely loved her daughter a lot.
so, to summarize this rather long review – I really wanted to love this book and while it didn’t quite meet my expectations I’m still going to read the other books in the series and see if they’re good! I would recommend this book though, just be prepared for it not to be amazing i guess?
I’ve definitely read more books recently, but these are some of the main ones! currently I’m reading present over perfect, the third book in the bradford sisters series, christy miller (for the millionth time), and the outsiders (for school).
what are you reading? do you have any good book recommendations?
Today I wanted to share a journal entry I recently made about intentionality, my summer goals, and screen time. My journal entries are basically blog posts (except more personal haha) and I try to make them something I would want to read again later. This doesn’t mean I try to make them perfect and they usually end up being really long lists hehe. Without further ado, my completely unedited and unfiltered (and rather long) journal entry. Let me know if this is something you’d like to see again in the future and I may share more!
Today I wanted to sit down and journal about my summer goals + how I want to be intentional this summer and screen time! It’s a lot but I think it all fits together.
My ultimate goal is: to be intentional with living out my purpose and to be loving and kind. To pursue my dreams, put God first in my life, act how I say I believe, be confident yet humble in Christ. For His love to abound through me and for me to grow in grace (philippians 1:9–11). And to have lots of fun and laughs along the way surrounded by those I love.
I wanted to separate this journal entry into sections, so:
My ultimate goal
What I can do to further that goal (specific goals/bucket list)
How i can be intentional this summer and what I mean by that
How technology/screens fits into that
Working towards that goal: specific goals + bucket list
Work on my spanish
Earn $100 ($64 more to go)
Have a random acts of kindness day
Read 5 books
Memorize the book of philippians
Watch when calls the heart
Get together with friends 🙂
Wake up early and watch the sun rise
Have a spa day with friends
Bake something yummy
Finish couch to 5k
Find a sport/work hard/get good at it
Blog twice a week and create content you’re proud of
Sleepover with cousins
Go night swimming
Go to a movie
Have a beach day
Have a campfire
No phone for a day
Make homemade pizza
Have a shopping day
All nighter hehe
Ways to be intentional this summer
Put down your phone!
Make a list of things to do when you get bored instead of refreshing instagram
Write down goals, feelings, and experiences.
Don’t just read/study, actually learn and apply! Seek to live out your devos and make them an important part of your day
Be positive and don’t get down!! Be patient and hold your tongue
Be healthy/glow up!!
workout/eat healthy(ier)/drink more water/skincare
This is something I have been thinking a lot about lately and really want to be intentional with my screen time. Some ways i have thought of to get off my phone/be intentional:
Have a rest day: my ultimate goal is for sundays to be zero screen usage. There is nothing you are missing out on AT ALL!! I may just power off for the whole day, we will see.
Checklist before screens: my current checklist (may change) – morning routine, clean room, earn $2, pick up bathroom, start laundry, devotions, physical activity/workout, read a book, be helpful/encouraging
Be intentional about what you do: even after you complete your checklist, be intentional! Goal: two hours per day at the most (this includes social media and blogging)
When calls the heart (I’ve only watched a bit and don’t have netflix, but I may get it just for this!) or bringing up bates
Having a goal/purpose before you turn it on
Checking social media sometimes
Reading an ebook
Iffy things (put it down and do something else, come back later if you really want to)
Checking social media all. The. time.
Scrolling for no reason/with no purpose
Being on screens past 10:30 (go to bed, girl!)
I hope you enjoyed this little peek into my journal! If you’d like to read more of this type of post, let me know and I may make it a series 💛
do you have summer goals or a bucket list? any thoughts about intentionality and screen time? do you keep a journal? is it basically just lists like mine? #typeA
Summer is HERE! Though the break from school is awesome, the heat is horrible. Here in Florida it’s been feeling like 100 degrees since March. AGG!!
Today I decided to share some outfit ideas that are great for the summer but are still modest!
I’m not really a dress person unless it’s church or something like that, but this dress makes me want to be! It would be perfect for vacation because it’s super simple but would go with everything. I love the fact that it looks really lightweight and comfy too!
It might just be me, but I’ve been seeing shirts like this one everywhere lately and I love it! I would probably add a tank top because the neckline is a little low for me, but it would be perfect with white jeans/shorts.
While these aren’t only for summer, I wanted to share a staple in my closet: bermuda shorts! I like this style of shorts because of their length: it’s SO hard to find shorts that are long enough.
I know I just told you guys that I’m not really a huge dress person, but I think I *might* be changing? I found so many dresses that I would actually love to wear! This one is cute or summer/fall and I love the length – I HATE those dresses that come down to the middle of your lower leg (whatever that means)! Give me a dress that comes to my knee or my feet, but not between! (sorry for the rant there)
Eep I actually really love this dress 😍 I love the white background/pattern and the ruffle, but I wish it was sleeveless.
I love the shirt 🙂 This outfit is so easy but it looks great. Again, the shirt is super versatile (can you sense the trend?)!
Let’s face it, this is what I end up wearing every day. But this girl manages to actually look good in it… HOW?! It must be the Starbucks. *nods*
This outfit is so simple but it’s adorable! Personally, I think I would wear a shirt without the “ripped” neckline just because it’s not really my style (even though it’s not super low). Same goes for the ripped jeans, but I actually like that pair!
It was harder to find things than I thought! One thing that was hard was staying off Etsy! I’m actually going to be sharing my favorite things on Etsy soon, so look out for that! 💕
Just warning you: my list of goals for this summer is… pretty long. And I doubt I’ll finish half of them. But that’s okay! I’ve never actually done summer goals before *fp* but I wanted to try them out this year.
Complete “A Trip to Spain” summer reader for Spanish – My Spanish teacher gave us this… workbook? reader? for the summer and I want to do it. It’s got little stories in Spanish that you have to translate and then questions 🙂
Make a study/school plan for 2019-2020 school year – Let’s face it – I never actually use these. But I want to make one just the same… enough said.
Practice piano daily – I want to improve my skills (and maybe start violin?) this summer!
Workout 3 times a week – My original goal was daily… but that’s SO hard for me, so I decided to make it easier.
Make ten blog posts every month – Eeep this is going to be hard but it’s summer so I have time right? (shakes head)
Prepare six blog posts for backup – I like to have several posts already written ready to post if necessary, plus if I go on vacation or something it’s a lot easier.
Find babysitting opportunities/babysit twice – Right now I only babysit for my family, but I want to start doing it for other people (probably from our church/family members)
Earn $50 – It might not be much, but I don’t want to push myself too hard.
Read at least 10 books from summer reading list – I might end up sharing this with you guys (it’s kinda boring though) but I made a summer reading list and I want to read at LEAST 10 books from it (I’ll read more than 10 books this summer for sure, but this is from the list)
Do a 30-day photography challenge – I’ve gotten really bad at taking pictures daily, and I want to do a challenge where I do a prompt daily for a picture 🙂
Drink more water (big full bottle daily) – I am SO bad at drinking water, and I need to change that this summer!
Make bread twice – Making bread is something I want to do a lot more than I do now (it’s SO fun, but it takes a lot of time). I want to make it at least twice this summer.
Reorganize desk – pretty obvious!
Journal three times a week – I’m bad at journaling daily, so I want to do it three times a week instead.
Eat healthier – SO bad at this!! I want to change that (probably going to fail but whatever)
Memorize 10 bible verses – It might not seem like much, but I definitely want to do this 🙂
Make a long list of post ideas – Just so I can have ideas for posts!
Keep room *really* clean – This is hard (especially when you’re sharing!) but I want to get really good at this this summer.
Yay, I posted 6 times this month! That’s past my goal! I also posted 2 other posts, but they are contest/giveaway reposts.
This month’s stats:
Note: I’m scheduling this ahead of time, so these might not be acurate… 😖
Total followers: 71 9 new followers in a month? I can’t believe it!!! WOW
Top three countries:
America wins with 257 views (not as many as last time)
Malaysia comes to a close second with 19 views, and
India gets 3rd place with 14 views. Again, Malaysia and India! That still amazes me!
Visitors: 105 1 less visitor that last time, lol. These numbers are staying pretty steady.
Likes: 94 Again, staying steady/
Comments: 47 Last time, I got 108. I’m not complaining at all, I promise, it’s just weird how the numbers are so different!
Those are this month’s stats. I think that this month was okay with the stats, but it’s been better.
Use my bullet journal every day, with the exception of 1 day per week. Re-doing this one!
Write 3 posts for this month.
Take photos on my blogging break.
Okay, about that blogging break…
Since it is summer, I think I’m going to take a little break from blogging this summer. I love it, but I don’t want to be pressured to post, if that makes since. I will be a little unpredictable this summer, lol, but I will try to keep getting things up for y’all.
I’m going to take an official break from June 4-22, which is about 2 1/2 weeks. I will try to get a post up at the end of the month telling you guys what I did during the summer (photos included!) and then I should be back on my regular blogging schedule for July on. If that’s too ambitious later on, I will let y’all know that my break will be extended!
Thanks so much for making my blogging experience awesome! I can’t wait to come back after the summer!