Hi everyone! We are in the final countdown to the holidays and I am feeling it. The kids are definitely amped up and there is something so special about seeing this time of the year through their eyes. While I do love the festivities, the feelings holidays can bring up are mixed for me in many ways and I can’t say that I am not really looking forward to January in a lot of ways!
While I will be home with the kids during their school break(which as any parent knows isn’t exactly a “break”), I am looking forward to a slower pace than our usual leaving the house by 7:30 weekday schedule.and just have daylight time to get out and do some winter adventures together. There’s a fine balance to do this though and having some kind of plan to get out of the house at least once a day is necessary for parent survival!
This is a busy time of year for Lucas at work so it will be a lot together time just three of us (plus Buzz!) so I am hoping that we are able to get together with friends quite a bit. I am also crossing my fingers that the snow sticks around (and more comes soon!) so that we can have a White Christmas!
‘Today I am excited to introduce to you another one of my #bookstagram friends, Stephanie. Stephanie is one of my favorite people to follow on #bookstagram. She has mastered the art of finding time to cozy up and read between the juggling of daily life as a working mom and I love how she always makes it a priority. Her reviews are always so fun to read and I love that we enjoy so many of the same genres. I hope you enjoy learning more about Stephanie today!
Nightstand Series Introduction:
Hello, hello! I’m Stephanie, wife of eleven years and mama to a four-year-old little lady who loves books almost as much as I do. We have a little Bichon Frise, Andy, we rescued eleven years ago – his favorite activity is lying on my lap while I read.
We live in a cozy century home in northeast Ohio, and it’s about the time of year that I am busily preparing for my months-long hibernation with a stash of tea and coffee alongside a pile of books and my heated blankets (yes, plural) to see me through ‘til spring.
I have worked as a travel consultant for seven years, and also do social media and marketing for our company – there are days I cannot believe I am paid to write blog posts, do creative social media and help people plan vacations.
I absolutely love my job and feel very blessed to be part of the travel community. This summer I also started teaching ESL online to children ages 4-12 in China – it is so much fun, and seeing the smiley faces of the kiddos when I log on while the rest of the Eastern Standard time zone sleeps is pretty great.
Besides reading, I love travel (obviously), crafting, playing board games and video games, doing puzzles, cooking vegan food, and making family memories at fun events and activities around Cleveland. I started a neighborhood book group for the women on our street, and we meet monthly for a hang-out but select a book for every other get-together. One of my favorite projects has been decorating our home, and I love the concept of hygge living and making it a place we love.
You can find me on IG at:
@brownhousebooks (my reading life)
@travelbystephanie (my travel life)
What Kind of Reader Are You?
I have always been an avid reader. I grew up on Little Golden Books (my mom always let me pick one when we went to the grocery store) and moved on to Beverly Cleary, The Babysitters Club, the American Girl series (when I was young there were only THREE American Girls!), the Nancy Drew series, and then read anything by VC Andrews that I could get my early teen hands-on (no judging). One of my earliest memories as a young bookworm was my mother speaking with the librarians to ensure that my reading selections were age-appropriate.
My love of reading continued through middle school, high school, and college, where I majored in English Literature and Spanish, so my final years at Ohio University were all about reading and writing papers in two languages – because of this, I barely read for pleasure during that phase of my life.
Favorite Book Genres
As an adult, I read about 80-100+ books per year across genres. I prefer literary fiction but will dabble in middle grade, narrative nonfiction, self-improvement books, mysteries, and thrillers. I don’t read much sci-fi, fantasy, or YA.
What Time of Day do you do Most of Your Reading?
I squeeze in my reading whenever I can. I used to start my day with a cup of coffee and a book before my little one would awaken, but now with teaching ESL in the morning, I don’t do this as much. I love to read before bed and during the kiddo’s nap time. When I work from home, I try to fit in some pages before I start my workday.
What Books Are You Currently Reading?
I am currently reading What Happens in Paradise (*the second book in the Paradise Trilogy) by Elin Hilderbrand and some cozy Christmas fiction. I am a HUGE seasonal reader, and I love settling in with a Christmas story during this time of year – I usually read about five of these during the season. This year has been an incredible reading year for me with so many standouts I will highly recommend to those seeking their next selection.
My favorite books so far in 2019
The One (John Marrs), How to Find Love in a Bookshop (Veronica Henry), The Mother-in-Law (Sally Hepworth), Into the Jungle (Erica Ferencik), Daisy Jones & the Six (Taylor Jenkins Reid), Evvie Drake Starts Over (Linda Holmes), The Girl He Used to Know (Tracey Garvis Graves), The Escape Room (Megan Goldin, and The Story of Arthur Truluv (Elizabeth Berg).
Are There Any Books You Didn’t Love?
My biggest disappointments of the year have been: The Unhoneymooners (Christina Lauren), The Chain (Adrian McKinty), and Nine Perfect Strangers (Liane Moriarty).
What Are You Listening To?
I don’t listen to many audiobooks because when I do work in the office my commute is short, but the bigger reason is that I LOVE PODCASTS. I have been listening to podcasts for about ten years, back when I had to hook up my iPod to my desktop computer to download them for listening. (Guys, I am old.)
I have so many downloaded and so many listed in a journal to come back to, but my current listens are: The Deck the Hallmark Podcast (to accompany our Hallmark Christmas movie viewings), The TV Talk Machine (even though I don’t watch much television I love listening to these guys), Watch What Crappens, Be Our Guest, Currently Reading, Hello from the Magic Tavern, Sorta Awesome, Stuff You Should Know, The DIS Unplugged, and The Popcast with Knox and Jamie.
What Else is on Your Nightstand?
I like a tidy nightstand, so I try to keep the stuff from accumulating. Usually on my nightstand: my earbuds, my Kindle in its Novel Nuzzler sleeve, and my vintage-inspired alarm clock.
Sometimes on my nightstand…
The tv remotes (I am bingeing ER on Hulu and watching at bedtime), my current library book, chapstick, an oil roller, and lotion. (In the winter months, my controller for the heated blanket.) I keep my acupressure mat next to my nightstand and use it every night.
Thank you so much for sharing today, Stephanie!
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