The Mothers by Brit Bennett - Book Review

I am really trying to do better with my book reviews this year. I have every intention of reviewing the books that I read on the blog but then life gets in the way. My Goodreads Reading Challenge goal this year is to read thirty books. I've read 16 so far. I'm setting another goal to review  fifteen  ten of the books I've read on the blog. ( Eeek no pressure right !) 

The Mothers by Brit Bennett is a lean 288 pages. It's set in Southern California and focuses on the lives of two small town teenage girls as they learn, love and lose their way to adulthood. Without giving away too much, family planning, suicide and infidelity are some of the themes addressed.  

The "mothers" in the title could arguably have more than one meaning but the obvious reference will be the elder women in the church who play a big part in the lives of the young women and their community. These women act as the the narrators/Greek chorus throughout the book, and their anecdotes had me laughing out loud at times and sighing with a deep understanding at others. 

This was Brit Bennet's first novel. According to the internet (here) Warner Bros. has optioned the novel and Kerry Washington has signed on to produce it so kudos to Brit!

If you've read this one I'd love to hear your thoughts. 


Le Labo: Palo Santo 14 & Bergamote 22

L. Bergamote 22 Shower Gel(8 oz/$52)
2. Palo Santo 14 candle(8.6 oz/ $75)
3. Bergamote 22 body lotion(8 oz/ $68)

Diptyque Amber(6.5oz) vs Le Labo Palo Santo 14(8.6 oz)

Diptyque Amber(6.5oz)
 Le Labo Palo Santo 14(8.6 oz)
Jo Malone English Pear & Freesia (7oz)

Le Labo was one of my best finds of 2016.  I started with some samples directly from their website and from there bought the Thé Noir perfume from my local Nordstrom.

I knew I would go back to Le Labo for Bergamot 22 eventually because if you recall from my post (here), Bergamot 22 was one of the samples that I really liked. I ended up picking up the shower gel and the body lotion. Le Labo describes Bergamot 22 as a delicate floral with the sweetness of amber and musk with a touch of vetiver. I think it's a great scent for spring. Le Labo did a great job with the formula in the shower gel and lotion. So whether you layer both or just use one, you get the same lovely scent to carry you through the day. I found the shower gel to be about average on the suds and it rinses clean. The body lotion absorbs well without leaving a white cast on my skin.

The Palo Santo 14 candle is one of Le Labo's newest offerings. If you are a fan of incense or Palo
Santo sticks this candle gives you a lighter, less heady dose of that sweet smokey goodness. Quite a few folks feel that burning Palo Santo clears away bad vibes. I loved the smell of this candle and the way this year is going I'll take all the help I can get.

You can find Le Labo at Nordstrom and online here.


Aruba: 12.5211° N, 69.9683°W

Last month I took a couple of days off for a quick getaway to the Dutch island of Aruba. I booked it with Jet Blue shortly after the holidays during one of their vacation specials. If you like to travel Jet Blue should definitely be on your email list as they offer great specials throughout the year.

Aruba is in the southern Caribbean close to Venezuela. From my neck of the woods I was able to take a direct 2.5 hour flight to the Aruban capital of Oranjestad. Their national slogan is "One Happy Island." According to the people I met the island has very little crime and a year round pleasant climate. They claim to have the most sunny days of any island in the Caribbean. They are also so far south that they are usually outside of the hurricane belt. All things that would make for a happy island.

The official currency is the florin but US dollars were accepted every where I went. During my stay in March the weather was warm and very, very windy which the locals told me was the norm. It was so windy that while at the restaurant taking the picture I posted above the wind picked up some of my salad before I started to eat.  I wasn't fast enough to get a picture of my lettuce swirling away but trust me when I tell you it was a sight to see.  With all that wind it never really got too hot so you could walk around the island and on the beach at any time during the day.

Most of the people I met spoke English, Spanish and French. The official languages of Aruba however are Dutch and Papamiento which is a mixture of Spanish, Dutch, Portuguese and Creole. I found a super cute video with a five minute Papamiento lesson here.

I spent most of my time at Eagle Beach, which has been ranked as one of the best beaches in the world. As you can see from the pictures I also stopped to snap each and every cactus I saw along the way! I found it very strange in an interesting sort of way to see cacti so close to a beach. I'd never seen anything like it so I'll fully admit that I might have gotten carried away. All in all it was a good trip. I would highly recommend Aruba to anyone looking for a nice place to get away from everything and relax.

Have a great week! 🌵