Rebecca Serle has written some of my favorite books of all time; In Five Years, One Italian Summer and now, Expiration Dates.

With Serle's novels you can always expect something other worldly. There is always a thread that is supernatural and doesn't quite fit into the 'real world' that she's building through her words, but it all makes sense in some way. It's so exciting to immerse yourself into the world she builds and let go of reality without going full fantasy. 

What I also appreciate about her novels is that it's never just about romance. There are so many other themes that take center stage, like family or friendship, loss, grief, finding yourself. Her books center strong female characters with a little edge who need some help getting through life and that supernatural part is usually the answer. 

When I read the summary of Serle's latest novel, Expiration Dates, I was sold. What would you do if you knew exactly how long you would be in a relationship? That's what happens to our protagonist Daphne and it's an interesting ride.

Expiration Dates will be released on March 19th, 2024; I received an ARC from Netgalley for review consideration. 

 I don't remember when I learned the word 'Birkin', maybe I've just always known a handbag that exquisite, that desirable, that expensive existed somewhere in the world. It wasn't until much later in my life that I would come to know the bag so well that I could almost feel it in my possession. 

I've been watching handbag and luxury videos on YouTube for almost 10 years and seeing influencers unbox, review, and show off their Birkin babies still makes me salivate at the mouth. I think that will be the closest I ever get to seeing a Birkin but who knows... back then, I didn't think I'd ever own a Chanel bag and now I have two.

Hermes Birkin bags have been more popular than ever and with the rise of the luxury community on TikTok it feels like you're constantly seeing people shove their Birkins and Kellys in your face. It feels like everyone has one of the coveted handbags in their collection. Whether they're real or fake is an entirely different discussion.

Hermes and their buying game is not something that has ever intrigued me; I don't like the idea of begging to be sold a handbag but I also don't think I could ever shell out over $10,000 for one either. Not that anyone is offering it to me... 

That being said, I still love the look of a Birkin. I love what a Birkin stands for, I love the story behind Jane Birkin meeting the owner of Hermes on a plane and him designing a bag for her because she wanted something that was big enough to carry all her stuff in...up until then she carried around a wicker basket.

I have always loved a structured bag, something sleek  that has shape but could fit everything I could ever need or want inside. That's why I've always been drawn to a Birkin vs a Kelly, with a more polished & elegant shape. It makes sense though... Grace Kelly was a princess so she would have a bag that matched that personality.

Over the years, I've watched countless Birkin videos, knowing that I'll never have one but that hasn't stopped me from trying to replicate the style and fill my collection with a bag that feels the same, even if it's not the exact shape or quality of the most iconic bag in the world.

As we leave our small, micro bag era behind and enter back into the world of big bags, let's dive into my favorite 'dupes' that give off big Birkin energy.

Happy Saturday! I woke up to a snowy New York and it's so pretty. It snowed earlier in the week as well and my office ended up closing so that was a nice surprise. However, that changed my entire routine and threw me off because I ended up going into the office on Thursday, which I never do. 

The good news is that it's a 3 day weekend and I had a half day yesterday as well; an extra few hours of freedom on a Friday makes all the difference. I had a chiropractor appointment and then spent the rest of the day straightening up and organizing my house. Whenever I go into the office and have a particularly hectic week, I can't seem to focus on anything else and my house becomes a disaster. 

I needed to really focus on getting my life together and I'm hoping this long weekend will act as a reset of sorts. I definitely say that most weekends but I'm determined to make it stick this time. Consistency is my word of 2024 and while January was good to me in that way, February has been horrible. I need to get back on track with all my goals, challenges and consistent needs. 

Enough babbling, let's get into the round up! 

I've followed Lauryn Bosstick for years and have always loved her beauty and wellness tips. That's why when she announced her new brand, aptly named The Skinny Confidential, I knew we were in for a treat. I couldn't trust anyone more to produce the most perfect beauty products that will enhance our lives in so many ways.

Lauryn always waxed poetic about ice rolling and how important that was to her and her beauty routine so the fact that her first product was The Hot Mess Ice Roller made perfect sense in my eyes. I purchased it the moment it was available and it truly is one of the best beauty products I've ever owned. 

There has been a trend going around for the past year or so that I have taken to very kindly and that's tailored jackets. They've been every where for over a year and throughout the seasons, we've seen different styles, materials, colors, and silhouettes.

These tailored jackets are the definition of quiet luxury; they're fit, flattering, and completely classic. You can dress them up or down, wear them to work or to dinner and I think they are the perfect addition to every wardrobe. 

This was another intense week and I don't even know how I feel about the weekend ahead. Every year I hope and pray that the new year is better but then January and February knock me over the head with anxiety and depression. I very well could be experiencing seasonal depression but when you deal with these feelings all year, how do you figure out the difference?

I'm hoping that tomorrow and Sunday are relaxing; a few errands, cooking, baking, and writing. I'm excited to watch Taylor Swift's boyfriend in the Super Bowl on Sunday, to see Usher & all the commercials. Let's hope it's a solid weekend!

I did have a nice weekend last weekend, though! I spent Saturday with my sister - we were in Long Island, went to Ralphs, shopped and got lunch which was so delicious. Then, Sunday was spent with my friends as one of them hosted Galentine's Day. It was SO CUTE and just a lovely day with my best friends. 

I don't want to babble too much more so let's get into the roundup.

 I've been trying to make my way through my backlog of ARCs and this month the one that won the lottery was "The Heiress" by Rachel Hawkins. The book was released on January 9th of this year so I figured it was good timing.

Technically this was the first adult novel I read from Rachel Hawkins but not really because I read her YA series 'Hex Hall' back in the early 2000s. She has also published a number of books under the name Erin Sterling -- The Ex Hex and The Kiss Curse.

The Heiress was a very different writing style from her Sterling novels which I find fascinating. Usually, when you read multiple books by the same author you can see their style come through. To be honest, until I was writing this post I forgot that she wrote The Ex Hex series. That's how different they are, which I guess is why she uses a pen name. 

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed The Heiress, especially since I've seen some less than satisfactory reviews of it but it was a really great story.