Wow, did June fly by for anyone else? It is always a funny month because half of it is the last two weeks of school and the other two are the first two weeks of summer break. It is a transition time for everyone in our family and the end of some things and the beginning of others which makes it very bittersweet.
While it seems like it flew by, it is also amazing to think of all the things that we did during the last 4 weeks..baseball season and regular school days feel like they were months ago!
I had a lot of reading favorites this past month, and it was also a heavier non-fiction month. My actual reading is always a bit slower this time of year but my books I listen to on audio increase.
Moving into Audiobook Season
This time of the year I spend a lot of my work time editing because it is the most wedding/photo session time of the year. This will continue into November when photo season quiets down for the winter months. I have found that audiobooks make a great work companion during editing time.
My type of work requires a lot of creative energy but is something I can easily do while listening to something which is great for a podcast and audiobook fan! I prefer to listen to non-fiction books on audio and this past month I listened to Burnout, The Moment of Lift and All The Rage. I would highly recommend all of them!
For nearly a year, Beth has been planning for this day. A day some people might call any other Wednesday, but Beth prefers to see it as her new beginning—one with a new look, new name and new city. Beth has given her plan significant thought, because one small slip and her violent husband will find her.
Sabine Hardison is missing…
A couple hundred miles away, Jeffrey returns home from a work trip to find his wife, Sabine, is missing. Wherever she is, she’s taken almost nothing with her. Her abandoned car is the only evidence the police have, and all signs point to foul play.
As the police search for leads, the case becomes more and more convoluted. Sabine’s carefully laid plans for her future indicate trouble at home, and a husband who would be better off with her gone. The detective on the case will stop at nothing to find out what happened and bring this missing woman home. Where is Sabine? And who is Beth? The only thing that’s certain is that someone is lying and the truth won’t stay buried for long.”
Dear Wife is a thriller that keeps you guessing, has plenty of twists and was definitely a page-turner. We are introduced to a missing woman/a woman on the run, and the people who were “left behind”, including a husband and a police detective who is investigating this case.
For about 75% of this book, I was very engrossed in this storyline and the main characters. I was interested in learning more about each of these characters and I enjoyed the multiple points of view narrative. Belle definitely succeeded in keeping me guessing until the end, but unfortunately, I felt disappointed. I felt like I had put a lot of energy into a person and storyline that didn’t end being flushed out. It is hard to share this review without giving away the plotlines and/or spoiling it for anyone so I am trying to be vague.
I will say that I often feel this way with thrillers so I may just be the wrong kind of reader for some of these types of books. I am a person that likes in-depth characters and knowing the backstories on them.
In order to create the “thrill” in this sort of genre, there is usually a big switch up which does usually surprise me but often makes me feel underwhelmed with the story as a whole. I can see why this will work for many readers and the style of writing is definitely engaging and fast-paced.
Thank you to NetGalley and Park Row for an advanced copy of this book, all opinions are my own.
Welcome to the most tumultuous summer of the twentieth century. It’s 1969, and for the Levin family, the times they are a-changing. Every year the children have looked forward to spending the summer at their grandmother’s historic home in downtown Nantucket. But like so much else in America, nothing is the same: Blair, the oldest sister, is marooned in Boston, pregnant with twins and unable to travel. Middle sister Kirby, caught up in the thrilling vortex of civil rights protests and determined to be independent, takes a summer job on Martha’s Vineyard. Only-son Tiger is an infantry soldier, recently deployed to Vietnam. Thirteen-year-old Jessie suddenly feels like an only child, marooned in the house with her out-of-touch grandmother and her worried mother, each of them hiding a troubling secret. As the summer heats up, Ted Kennedy sinks a car in Chappaquiddick, man flies to the moon, and Jessie and her family experience their own dramatic upheavals along with the rest of the country.
In her first historical novel, rich with the details of an era that shaped both a nation and an island thirty miles out to sea, Elin Hilderbrand once again earns her title as queen of the summer novel.
June 18th, 2019
Elin Hilderbrand is not only the queen of summer reading but she is also an auto-read author for me. I remember taking her book The Castaways on our 2009 honeymoon trip to St. John and it was just the beginning of a long love affair with her writing. At that point, I read everything on her backlist and have read every single one of her book releases since then.
Elin Hilderbrand June book releases always signify the unofficial start of summer for me. Summer of ‘69 was released on June 18th but I grabbed it a couple of weeks early in my Book of the Month box and couldn’t wait to dive in.
I knew going into it that this book would be a little different than her others. While it was still set on the beautiful island of Nantucket, she took us back to 1969 in her first historical fiction novel. I always love reading the authors notes at the beginning of books and Hilderbrand shared that Summer of ’69 was in honor of her 50th birthday, and I loved that connection so much.
Summer of ’69 delivered with Hilderbrand’s gift of the summer beach read while also diving into some historic events like the lunar landing, The Vietnam War and Chappaquiddick.
We meet the Levin family and with this, there is a personal look at feminist issues, the civil rights movement and the life changes and transitions for this family. This book was packed full of powerful moments but was also an enjoyable coming of age story. There were many different personalities and perspectives in this story which made it feel multifaceted while also being a completely engrossing read.
Having grown up in the 80s and 90s I couldn’t connect personally with this time period but she was able to bring me right there with her vivid details and ability to connect the music and other pop culture of this time in history. I highly recommend adding this to your summer reading list!
I can’t wait for the 2nd installment of her Paradise series later this year…and am so happy I don’t have to wait another year for more Hilderbrand writing! If you haven’t checked out the first book in this new trilogy, Winter in Paradiseis also a great summer read and What Happens in Paradise will be released in October!
Hello and happy Thursday! Today looks like another beautiful Vermont June day. Yesterday the sun was shining and the kids were happy to be at the pool and I was working on this post(yes it took me multiple days…ha!) from a table nearby in the shade.
The day before the kids had swim practice and it was pouring and freezing. Weather in New England is never very predictable but we do try to soak it all in, even if it means swimming in the rain!
Favorites by Category & Theme
I have been doing some reflecting on my most loved things lately and I thought it would fun to start regularly share some of my current favorites…each time with a different category and theme. I talk about some of these types of things on my Currently Loving posts and thought it would be a fun addition to my regular posts.
Along with Day In The Life posts, I love seeing regular everyday items that people use and love. There is something so interesting to me about practical items that people use and enjoy all the time. Do you like this kind of thing too?!
These Are Some of my Favorite Things…Summer Edition!
When thinking about the things I use the most this time of year, it was super easy to come up with a list. I am very routine oriented and there is nothing that makes me happier than structure and knowing what to expect!
I am the person who parks in the same parking spots, uses the same mug for my morning coffee(with a stainless steel straw) and don’t you dare try and make me stand in a different place of the barre studio!!! So needless to say, this list is somewhat practical but all of these things have stood the test of time which I think is very important when making a suggestion. I hope you enjoy seeing some of my very favorite things…summer edition style!
If you don’t have plastic Birkenstocks yet, how are you even surviving summer? Summer in Vermont is very unpredictable, it will be beautiful and sunny and an hour later it will be pouring rain. Sometimes it is hot and sometimes it is freezing! I have a few go-to summer shoes but my rubber Birkenstocks are my number one pick.
They are so comfortable (I love the molded footbed for arch support) and are awesome because they can get super wet (unlike the regular Birkenstocks) so they make the perfect pool, beach or just regular life shoe. I am a size 8.5 in women’s shoes and I get the 39 and it fits perfectly.
I love that I have more time with my kids this summer, but they are also LOUD!! Whether they are happy, unhappy, excited or mad, it all is a rather high noise level and most of the time that is totally fine, but everyone has a limit. 😉
I have flexibility with my job and do most of my work on the day I have a babysitter or early in the morning before they wake up, but sometimes it doesn’t all get done and life overlaps. I was hesitant to buy wireless headphones for a long time, and a lot of it had to do with the price point. I wasn’t sure if I would love them and it seemed like a big commitment. I read review after review and finally bit the bullet last fall and ordered these.
Under $40, impressive sound quality and easy to use and charge!
They were under $40 which seemed reasonable and seemed easy enough to use…which was also something I was worried about as someone who struggles with new technology…
6+ months later I am so pleased with them! I use them to listen to podcasts and audiobooks when I am working or even cleaning the house. They charge easily by plugging them into my computer (or a USB charger), are super comfortable and the sound quality is amazing. And back to the kid’s noise levels, sometimes I just wear them as noise canceling headphones and they do a great job with that too!
I talked about my love for UV sun-shirts back in April and my fondness for them is still going strong. I have worn them swimming in the ocean, at the pool, on the baseball field and while picking strawberries last weekend. I am ALL about sun protection and this top is super comfortable, fitted without being too snug and very lightweight. I am a size 8-10 in US women’s sizing and I ordered a large for reference.
We bought our Sport-Brella two summers ago and it was life changing! We store it on our boat so we have it with us when we go to the beach. This umbrella is amazing because it can be used standing upright like a regular beach umbrella or down on one side as pictured, more like a half tent. We would have loved having this with young babies but we still get so much use out of it now. It is so nice to have a shady spot that is also super easy to set up and disassemble.
To make it even easier to set up and even more secure, we have thisscrew-in sand anchor and it is the best little accessory!
Give me ALL the skorts. As someone with a more, umm, curvy figure, I know the struggles of trying to wear dresses or shirts when it is hot and sweaty out…ugh the thigh rubbing! If you don’t know this struggle, consider yourself lucky! And if you do, welcome to the club! There are many amazing options now and skorts are one of them. I have two skorts from Athleta and they are wonderful!! I have this one in grey and they also have it black. It is currently on sale and in stock in all sizes! I ordered a large for reference.
A few years ago I learned about the wonders of foot peels. If you haven’t heard about these before there are tons of articles sharing informative reviews (and very detailed photos like this one HERE). While you may think it is gross, they really work!! I have used a few different kinds and they all work the same, these are just the most cost-effective ones I have found and the foot booties are super easy to use. To make this even easier I put a pair of socks on over them while I do the peel so I can continue on with life as usual in the evening time.
I could go on and on about sun protection all day long. You will never find me out in the sun without a hat on, but it is hard to find ones that don’t make you even sweat even more. We have a few of these hats and they fit our whole family with just a quick tightening (or loosening) of the velcro in the back. They really do what they claim and they are breathable and dry super quickly, which makes them great for when we are at the pool or on the boat.
Face sunscreen always seems like a tricky thing to find, both for myself and for the kids. For me, I want to be able to put it on first thing under my makeup and not have it feel sticky or greasy. For the kids, I want it to stay on when they are in and all of the water all day and also not cause a huge fuss when we have to reapply it several times a day.
Both of these do the trick and are a go-to in my shopping cart. The Elta Md sunscreen has been a favorite of mine for years. As someone with sensitive and acne prone skin(you can read more about that HERE) I needed something that worked but that was also not irritating or super greasy. This goes on super easily just like a face lotion and I love the pump style bottle.
The Babo Botanicals face stick has been awesome for the kids and I love that it is easy to apply (no tears!) whether we are putting it on them or they are doing it themselves. It has great coverage but also rubs in really well. Highly recommend!
I talked more about my favorite body sunscreen in my Currently Loving post last week but we are obsessed with The Supergoop Everyday Sunscreen Pump. It may seem ginormous but it’s awesome and lasts a long time, even when you are using it daily. It is super easy to rub in too which we are always a fan of.
This is more of a year-round obsession but I have been so impressed with this Lavish Lash eyelash and brow serum. I have been using it since last fall to grow back in the outer parts of my eyebrows which were the result of years of serious overplucking. I started using it on my lashes too and after a couple of weeks, there was a noticeable difference!
A bottle lasts a couple months of daily use and hasn’t been irritating at all. I tend to wear less makeup in the summer, and don’t wear mascara every day, and I love how this has not only lengthened my lashes but also made them fuller.
One of the best parts about summer is that we don’t have to leave the house until almost an hour later than during the school year. This means there are a few bookworms in our house that have been staying up later and reading and these clip-on book lights are amazing! You can adjust the brightness of the light and you charge them by plugging them into your computer or USB port. They are also great for travel!
When it comes to footwear for our kids, we are in the less is more category. They have Bogs boots for fall, winter & spring, sneakers year round and Natives for summer. The kids have had these since they were toddlers and they are THE BEST!
We have always called them “racing shoes” because when our older son was little he thought they made him go SUPER FAST. 🙂 They are the best summer shoes, not just for going in the water. They are super easy to clean, we just toss them in the laundry and are so great for quick on and off. Unless we are doing a lot of walking, these are the only shoes they wear all summer.
I use my Scout bags/organizers all the time. They are structured so they stand upright and don’t lose their shape, which can happen with a lot of tote bags. They are also great because you can wipe them down(so I don’t stress about them getting a little dirty/setting them down outside) they zip closed, they have a reasonable price point and they also have the cutest patterns.
After years of having a diaper bag, it feels nice to be able to still have a lot of storage but also just have it look like a regular bag. Now to be fair, I think diaper bags have come along way in 9 years, so that is what I am comparing it to, ha!
I have the Daytripper Tote that I use as a summer purse/”catch-all” and we have the Weekender Tote that is perfect for a beach/pool trip or a night away. Although our kids are older now, we still carry around a ton of stuff. These bags are so versatile and I love that there are so many size options. I use my daytripper bag every single day, and I have a second one that I use for a work/gym bag as well.
We have the Junque Trunk in the bag of my car and it is amazing! I use the bottom if it to store things we use frequently but not all the time (waterproof blanket, Crazy Creek chair for sports games, and reusable shopping bags) and then when I get groceries, it is a great place to store them on the way home os they don’t tip over or spill.
Finally, the Packing Heat Makeup Bag is amazing! It is a perfect size and I love that it has the interior side pocket that I use for makeup brushes. It is super easy to wash out if anything spills and after a couple of years of daily use, it still looks brand new.
I told you there would be some practical items on here and these definitely fit into that category. When you can’t wear a skort, these are a great alternative! 😉 I don’t like to wear dresses that much, but when I do, these Skimmies slip shorts are awesome to wear underneath and provide the perfect defense again the dreaded “thigh rub”…
They are long enough that they don’t show when you wear a shorter dress but long enough so that they don’t ride up. I am in a wedding in a couple of weeks and you better believe I will be wearing these! They have the benefits of Spanx without the super amount of compression which often isn’t necessary or comfortable.
I have to finish this list off with my favorite thing probably ever. I love drinking water, I love having a lot of it and I love drinking with a straw. I don’t go anywhere without a water bottle and I am not joking.
A few months ago I found one of these tumblers on the clearance rack at Target because the packing was damaged, and I knew it was a sign. I probably didn’t need any more tumblers or water bottles, but it was just too good of a deal to pass up. I have not gone a day without using it! They are amazing for water but you can also use them for ice coffee/tea, or even a cocktail.
You can use it with the lid and straw or without. I love the style of the straw because unlike most stainless steel ones, it has a silicone piece in the middle so it bends! I knew I had to share this in my favorites list and even better, these colors (along with grey if you are boring) are 20% off right now! Enjoy!!!
Alright, I hope you enjoyed this collection of my tried and true summer favorites. Do you have anything you would add to yours? I would love to hear!!
Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means if you click through and make a purchase I receive a small percentage of the sale. This helps support this blog at no cost to you. Thank you so much.
Today I am excited to talk about some highly anticipated upcoming 2019 book releases! I talked about summer reading yesterday in my New Releases post HERE. With the full days and lots of interruptions(school is out for summer!) I really look to books that are easy to pick up and put down in shorter periods of time. I need real page turners in order to stay engaged and also remember what was happening in the book! Thrillers are a genre I get into a lot more during the summer months.
Conflicted Feelings About The Thriller Genre:
I have talked about my conflicted feelings about thrillers in the past but basically, I wanted to love them but I am frequently disappointed. I think I tend to have high expectations and then feel let down, that the story is totally unplausible or like I have read the same thing a hundred times before…I do have lots of favorites though and I am super excited that those authors have new books coming out during the next couple of months!
If You Liked…Then Read THIS!
Today I am going to share some past thrillers favorites and the new books those authors will be releasing during the next couple of months. I love finding new authors to love and there is nothing like the anticipation of a NEW book!
Riley Sager is one of my very favorite thriller authors and his books are so engrossing! loved the summer camp setting of The Last Time I Lied and his newest book, Lock Every Door, will be released on July 2nd!
Ruth Ware was one of the first thriller authors I really got into. I found The Woman in Cabin 10 super addicting and I can’t wait to read what she comes out with next. The Turn of The Key will be released on August 6th!
I love a domestic thriller and Kimberly Belle is amazing at writing them!! The Marriage Lie was one of those books that EVERYONE was reading a couple years ago and I think the same exact thing is going to happen with Dear Wife. I am reading it now and it is addicting, face paced and is keeping me guessing! This was released yesterday, June 25th!
I remember reading The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena in one sitting…I just needed to know what happened! Her books are always unique and engrossing and I can’t wait for Someone We Know which will be released on July 30th!
I hope this gave you some summer reading inspiration! If you are looking for more summer reading suggestions, you can check out my summer reading lists HERE & HERE. <3
Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means if you click through and make a purchase I receive a small percentage of the sale. This helps support this blog at no cost to you. Thank you so much!
June has had some amazing new book releases and it isn’t over yet! If you are still looking for some fiction books to add to your summer reading list, you are in luck! This week there is a great mix of suspense, romance, and contemporary fiction being released, sure to meet your own summer reading desires.
Reading Choices Based on the Season
Just like with any other kind of media, everyone has very different ideas of what is preferable. My reading definitely changes by the season and there are books genres I tend to read more this time of the year than in the winter for instance. The pace of life, the weather, and my workload all play into what my preferences are for reading.
What Does Summer Reading Mean to YOU?
During the spring and summer, I tend to pick books that are a little more fast paced. I like books that are easier to pick up and put down in shorter spurts of time and so they need to be engaging enough to keep my interest. Family dramas or fiction books that are meant to savor are tougher for me to read this time of year, but I totally love them in January. What about you?!
If you are looking for an addicting psychological thriller that will keep you guessing, this is it! I am reading it now and loving it! As you might know, I am quite picky about thrillers and find myself let down by quite a few of them so this is a big compliment! Ha!
Psychological Thriller/Domestic Thriller
“CAN SHE ESCAPE THE PERSON SHE ONCE LOVED?
Beth Murphy is on the run…
For nearly a year, Beth has been plotting to leave her abusive husband. This is her one chance at freedom—one that requires a new look, new name and new city. Each part of her plan has to be carefully thought out, because one small slip and her violent husband will find her.
Sabine Hardison is missing…
A couple hundred miles away, Jeffrey returns home from a work trip to find his wife, Sabine, is missing. Wherever she is, she’s taken almost nothing with her. Her abandoned car is the only trace of her the police have to go on, and all signs point to foul play.
The detective on the case will stop at nothing to bring this missing woman home. Where is Sabine? And who is Beth? As Beth’s husband starts piecing together her whereabouts, she’ll have to make a decision about her future that will leave readers breathless.”
“A dazzling, multigenerational novel in which the four adult daughters of a Chicago couple–still madly in love after forty years–recklessly ignite old rivalries until a long-buried secret threatens to shatter the lives they’ve built.
When Marilyn Connolly and David Sorenson fall in love in the 1970s, they are blithely ignorant of all that’s to come. By 2016, their four radically different daughters are each in a state of unrest: Wendy, widowed young, soothes herself with booze and younger men; Violet, a litigator-turned-stay-at-home-mom, battles anxiety and self-doubt when the darkest part of her past resurfaces; Liza, a neurotic and newly tenured professor, finds herself pregnant with a baby she’s not sure she wants by a man she’s not sure she loves; and Grace, the dawdling youngest daughter, begins living a lie that no one in her family even suspects. Above it all, the daughters share the lingering fear that they will never find a love quite like their parents’.
As the novel moves through the tumultuous year following the arrival of Jonah Bendt–given up by one of the daughters in a closed adoption fifteen years before–we are shown the rich and varied tapestry of the Sorensons’ past: years marred by adolescence, infidelity, and resentment, but also the transcendent moments of joy that make everything else worthwhile.
Spanning nearly half a century, and set against the quintessential American backdrop of Chicago and its prospering suburbs, Lombardo’s debut explores the triumphs and burdens of love, the fraught tethers of parenthood and sisterhood, and the baffling mixture of affection, abhorrence, resistance, and submission we feel for those closest to us. In painting this luminous portrait of a family’s becoming, Lombardo joins the ranks of writers such as Celeste Ng, Elizabeth Strout, and Jonathan Franzen as visionary chroniclers of our modern lives.”
If you are looking for an engaging fiction/romance this is it. I enjoyed that this was a romance book that was actually relatable and the main characters had regular issues they had to acknowledge and address. I appreciated that the issues were not only highlighted but dealt with and this made this book so much stronger. This also added some much-needed depth while also having plenty of light-hearted moments. This was a fun feel-good read that also highlighted many important real-life issues which to me as the reader was a perfect balance! You can read my full review HERE.
“In a small town in Maine, recently widowed Eveleth “Evvie” Drake rarely leaves her house. Everyone in town, including her best friend, Andy, thinks grief keeps her locked inside, and she doesn’t correct them. In New York, Dean Tenney, former major-league pitcher and Andy’s childhood friend, is struggling with a case of the “yips”: he can’t throw straight anymore, and he can’t figure out why. An invitation from Andy to stay in Maine for a few months seems like the perfect chance to hit the reset button.
When Dean moves into an apartment at the back of Evvie’s house, the two make a deal: Dean won’t ask about Evvie’s late husband, and Evvie won’t ask about Dean’s baseball career. Rules, though, have a funny way of being broken–and what starts as an unexpected friendship soon turns into something more. But before they can find out what might lie ahead, they’ll have to wrestle a few demons: the bonds they’ve broken, the plans they’ve changed, and the secrets they’ve kept. They’ll need a lot of help, but in life, as in baseball, there’s always a chance–right up until the last out.”
“After a devastating break-up with her fiancé, Geraldine is struggling to get her life back on track in Toronto. Her two old friends, Sunny and Rachel, left ages ago for New York, where they’ve landed good jobs, handsome husbands, and unfairly glamorous lives (or at least so it appears to Geraldine). Sick of watching from the sidelines, Geraldine decides to force the universe to give her the big break she knows she deserves, and moves to New York City.
As she zigzags her way through the downtown art scene and rooftop party circuit, she discovers how hard it is to find her footing in a world of influencers and media darlings. Meanwhile, Sunny’s life as an It Girl watercolorist is not nearly as charmed as it seemed to Geraldine from Toronto. And Rachel is trying to keep it together as a new mom, writer, and wife–how is it that she was more confident and successful at twenty-five than in her mid-thirties? Perhaps worst of all, why are Sunny and Rachel–who’ve always been suspicious of each other–suddenly hanging out without Geraldine?
Hilarious and fiercely observed, How Could She is an essential novel of female friendship, an insider’s look into the cutthroat world of New York media–from print to podcasting–and a witty exploration of the ways we can and cannot escape our pasts.”
I hope you find something you love from this list! <3
I know some people are just naturally organized but I am not. I get systems in place but then I either forget to use them or it feels super inconvenient…and then it is just worse!
In theory, I would like to have a place for everything but what I have realized is when everything is put away all the time, it actually becomes more of a hassle. Over time what I have realized is that we just need to have organization habits that work for our family…
For instance, we have two large bins, one for each of our boys in my office. I keep them out because I add their artwork and school projects to it multiple times a week. I tried keeping the boxes put away but then it became more of a pain every single time I wanted to add to the box, so we keep them out, and things stay tidier this way. It might not be ideal for everyone but it works for us. I don’t mind that our house looks like we live here, I just like when things are a little more contained, while also being practical.
So this a long way of saying, I don’t mind having my books around the house. I love seeing the things that make us happy in our everyday life. We have bookshelves in almost every room and they are wonderful but the books on our shelves are typically ones that I have read and loved.
What I was struggled with was the “in between” books. The books that are on my TBR list, the books I am planning on lending to a friend, the books I am still needing to review, you get the idea.
My books started to take over a bit. For a while, I thought I could keep my TBR list books in a cute little fabric box to keep everything contained. But then I was always taking them out and putting them back in and it ended up just being a mess.
Then there were books all over our table where my laptop is. It was convenient in the sense that I had easy access to them, but it was kind of making the rest of the table unusable…
I have been part of the Bookstagram community so I had seen these utility carts all over the place but I wasn’t sure if it was for me. I finally took the plunge a few weeks ago and now I can’t figure out why I waited so long!
How I use my book cart…
I have seen beautifully organized carts on Pinterest and on Bookstagram and the options on how to use these are just endless! What I was looking for most was a way to have easy access to my books and also being able to put them away easily if needed. Because the cart is on wheels, I can easily move it around (or put it away in my office) but I also love the way it looks so I have been keeping it in the corner of our dining room. I am tempted to get another one for the boy’s playroom to organize their art supplies.
(image from homeofmalones.com)
The top two shelves I have been using for book storage and the bottom shelf I am using for things like publisher paperwork, extra bookmarks, giveaway supplies, and other book blogging related items. I love knowing I have extra room if I eventually need it and it is nice having everything reading related in one place.
Where do buy this cart?!
I purchased my cart through Target for $30 and I have been so impressed! You can see it HERE. I used the pick up at the store option and it was so easy to run and grab it and then be on my way. You see, Vermont only got our first Target last fall, so we are still in the honeymoon phase over here! I have also read they have a great one at a similar price at IKEA.
So that is how I have been utilizing my new book cart
Do you have a utility cart? Do you use it to organize your books or something else? I would love to hear! <3
Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means if you click through and make a purchase, it helps support this blog. Thank you!
It surprises me every year how quickly the transition from the end of the school year to summer mode happens. Last Friday was the last day of the school year and here we are just a week later and it feels like forever ago!
It has definitely been an adjustment week as we figure out how to juggle this short but intense season of the year. Some things didn’t go that smoothly and I also think that every year we learn from the previous ones so there have been a few wins too.
We are finding out groove and I am so thankful to have something that requires us to be somewhere every morning (swim team) that both boys participate in. Just having that sense of structure even if it is only for a couple of hours is super helpful!
I have a babysitter for part of my work week and Lucas has them come to his office one afternoon a week. It isn’t perfect but it feels good to have a semi-structured plan so that work and family life don’t get too intertwined. Other than that, there is a lot of waking up early to get a few hours of work in and knowing that school will eventually start again in just a couple of months.
An escape to camp…
Last weekend was also Father’s Day and all Lucas wanted was for us to go to his family’s camp up in the North East Kingdom. He takes the boys a few times a year on my work weekends but I hadn’t been there in a while!
It is a little rustic but it sure is beautiful! The mountain off in the distance is Jay Peak. I shared a post about this on Instagram last Sunday but I thought it would be fun to share some of these photos here too…
Creemees of course!
On our way home, we obviously had to stop at a creemee stand and what better place to do it than the dairyland of Northern Vermont! We stopped at TJs Creemees in Sheldon and they were AMAZING. Buzz even had his first dog sundae ever! Vanilla ice cream topped with peanut butter sauce and a dog biscuit. He was in heaven!!
Currently listening to…
During the school year, our car ride to school is short and sweet. After I drop the boys off I have a luxurious 20 minutes in the car to listen to whatever I like, which usually means I use the time to listen to a true crime podcast or my current audiobook. This time of the year we have a 25ish minute drive to the pool each day and then back home again. This doesn’t seem that long but it is long enough for drama to ensue and noise levels to rise.
Podcasts for kids!
Last summer I realized the gift of podcasts that are geared towards kids! Every morning we start a podcast on our way into town and finish it on the way home. It is a game changer! The boys love it and I find them quite entertaining myself, especially this recent Smash Boom Best debate episode…Libraries versus Museums!
I currently have no shame in my sun protection game but I wasn’t always that way…I was a teenager in the 90s so I obviously did all the things like going to a tanning bed and laying in the sun as much as possible…I was a lifeguard after all! 😉
I even tried “sun in” which if you also have dark brown hair, you know that is a BAD idea…ha!
“If you are a natural brunette, the very sight of this bottle could cause you a nervous breakdown. Reason: Our dreams of becoming California girls were quickly crushed when, after sunbathing on our terraces for 30 minutes, we discovered our heads looked like cantaloupes.”
Those were the days though….We didn’t have millions of internet articles or youtube videos telling us what to do, so we just guessed (and read Seventeen magazine)…and we did learn from a lot of our mistakes…eventually…
Skin cancer runs in my family and I am thankful I learned when I was relatively young the dangers of the sun. I think it was a little after college that I realized embracing my pale skin might not only be helpful but also much safer in the long run.
So I have embraced, UV protection shirts, hats & lots and lots of sunscreens.
I apply sunscreen every morning after I put on my lotion…I have tried other kinds but I always go back to the tried and true Elta MD face sunscreen. It is not greasy and it great for acne prone and sensitive skin.
For our family, we are big fans of a lotion sunscreen for good body coverage and a face stick for a no tears application for our 6-year-old…;) We have had great success with the Babo Botanicals sport stick.
Currently loving…all the Pinterest Inspirational quotes!
Whenever I am feeling stressed, I find great comfort in self-help books and inspirational quotes.
Do you remember Chicken Soup for the Soul books? I was way into those as a teenager and I think they are way got me into this whole self-help genre.
Sometimes all you need is a little reminder to just do the best you can and know you are not alone when you are having a harder day. I love searching for motivational quotes on Pinterest and sometimes post them on my @genthebookworm Instagram feed. I do try to have some restraint because I would probably post them every day otherwise, ha!
“This groundbreaking book explains why women experience burnout differently than men—and provides a simple, science-based plan to help women minimize stress, manage emotions, and live a more joyful life.
Burnout. Many women in America have experienced it. What’s expected of women and what it’s really like to be a woman in today’s world are two very different things—and women exhaust themselves trying to close the gap between them. How can you “love your body” when every magazine cover has ten diet tips for becoming “your best self”? How do you “lean in” at work when you’re already operating at 110 percent and aren’t recognized for it? How can you live happily and healthily in a sexist world that is constantly telling you you’re too fat, too needy, too noisy, and too selfish?
Sisters Emily Nagoski, PhD, and Amelia Nagoski, DMA, are here to help end the cycle of feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. Instead of asking us to ignore the very real obstacles and societal pressures that stand between women and well-being, they explain with compassion and optimism what we’re up against—and show us how to fight back. In these pages you’ll learn
• what you can do to complete the biological stress cycle—and return your body to a state of relaxation • how to manage the “monitor” in your brain that regulates the emotion of frustration • how the Bikini Industrial Complex makes it difficult for women to love their bodies—and how to defend yourself against it • why rest, human connection, and befriending your inner critic are keys to recovering and preventing burnout
With the help of eye-opening science, prescriptive advice, and helpful worksheets and exercises, all women will find something transformative in these pages—and will be empowered to create positive change. Emily and Amelia aren’t here to preach the broad platitudes of expensive self-care or insist that we strive for the impossible goal of “having it all.” Instead, they tell us that we are enough, just as we are—and that wellness, true wellness, is within our reach.”
I learned about Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle on the 10 Things To Tell You Podcast episode about anxiety. I listened to this book on audio and while I think their intentions were good, I think listeners are either going to love their narration style, or not….for me, I was somewhere in the middle.
I did think the information they shared was fabulous and the explanation of completing the actual stress cycle was brilliant. Honestly, I had never thought about it in that way before and it makes SO much sense. That section alone made this book super helpful to me and I have been recommending it to so many friends.
They also included some great practical advice about choices we CAN make when we can’t always control outside stress in our lives. While it may not have been earth-shattering information, it was a great reminder of the things that we have control over in our own lives. Suggestions like prioritizing sleep, connecting with others, and showing yourself compassion are such powerful and attainable things we can do right away to help our own responses to external stressors.
There is a big emphasis on “the patriarchy” in this book. I found that it was not the most powerful part for me as a reader but it certainly was beneficial in some ways. I think this book would have been strong enough without that section because the stress cycle parts were so hugely beneficial to me. All that said, there certainly is validity in how patriarchy affects women’s daily stress.
If you are looking for a book either as a refresher on stress management or if you are feeling like you need some new tools for handling daily stressors, I highly recommend checking this one out.
Desire as we’ve never seen it before: a riveting true story about the sex lives of three real American women, based on nearly a decade of reporting.
It thrills us and torments us. It controls our thoughts, destroys our lives, and it’s all we live for. Yet we almost never speak of it. And as a buried force in our lives, desire remains largely unexplored—until now. Over the past eight years, journalist Lisa Taddeo has driven across the country six times to embed herself with ordinary women from different regions and backgrounds. The result, Three Women, is the deepest nonfiction portrait of desire ever written and one of the most anticipated books of the year.
Based on years of immersive reporting, and told with astonishing frankness and immediacy, Three Women is a groundbreaking portrait of erotic longing in today’s America, exposing the fragility, complexity, and inequality of female desire with unprecedented depth and emotional power. It is both a feat of journalism and a triumph of storytelling, brimming with nuance and empathy, that introduces us to three unforgettable women—and one remarkable writer—whose experiences remind us that we are not alone.”
July 9th, 2019
Three Women is the heartwrenching nonfiction book written by author and journalist Lisa Taddeo. Taddeo followed three specific women and their lives over 10 years through texts, notes, and in-depth conversations. This intimate collaboration allowed her to share their stories in a vivid, honest and excruciatingly detailed manner.
Three Women was not always easy to read but it is a book that will stick with me forever. The stories are raw and it is amazing to me that Taddeo was able to write this book in the third person because her word choices and the stories she shared were so deeply personal.
I found myself lost in this book while reading it. I initially thought these stories would be a peek into the sex lives of three American women but it was so much more than that. Taddeo shared the desires and sometimes haunting true narratives of these three individuals.
While all their experiences and lives were very different, they all centered around one common theme, power. Who had it, who didn’t and the outcomes because of it. Many of the choices these women make, whether you agree with them or not, came from a lack of power as well as being rooted in experiences sometimes years prior. As a reader, you don’t have to understand or connect with something completely for it to move you and this book really drove that point home for me.
Taddeo is skilled at sharing these stories without being subjective or judgemental which is one of the reasons this book felt so compelling and personal. I highly recommend Three Women and I can’t wait to see the response when it is released in July.
Thank you to NetGalley and Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster for an advanced copy of this book.