Coffee Talk | Currently Loving…Online Photography Workshops, All Things Winter Break, Parenting Life & Our First Book Club of 2020 {Gen The Bookworm}

Currently Loving

Welcome to the First Coffee Talk of 2020!

It’s been a WHILE since I have shared a Currently Loving post. December always feels like a blur and then January is a transition into a new year and into all our regular routines again.  This last week was the boy’s first full week back at school which meant it was my first full week back at work.

Your Life Your Camera Photography Workshop

Vermont photography workshop

This past weekend Kristy and I taught our first 2020 workshop of the year, our Your Life Your Camera Intermediate photography class.

Vermont photographers

We loved being reunited with participants from our past beginner workshops and it is amazing to see how much they have grown!

This week we are teaching Your Life Your Memories, our photo organization class and next week we are welcoming a whole new group of photographers into our Your Life Your Camera Beginner workshop!

I recapped what our workshops looked like in this blog post HERE and how we make a more seasonal job like portrait photography in Vermont work for us!

Learn With Kristy Dooley Photography!

Learn with Kristy Dooley Photography

Speaking of learning, we have also been busy working on something NEW! Kristy and I taught our very first photography workshops in 2014 and we have loved not only growing the workshops we offer but also being a part of building a local photography community.

Recently we have felt a pull toward wanting to reach a wider audience and while we have had people travel to our classes, (hello our favorite New Hampshire ladies!) we would love to also offer a way to learn from the time and place that works best for YOU!

Online Photography Workshops

We are working away on a new series of online workshops and we can’t wait to share more about them soon! We have put ourselves on a tight deadline for the first class (which has called for a lot of learning on our side as we make our way through templates, Keynote and Powerpoint, hence the Williston Coffee Shop chocolate chip cookies…) and we will be announcing the release in just a few weeks. Stay tuned! 

All Things Holiday Break

Gen The Bookworm

While we are definitely getting back in the swing of things, I thought it would be fun to recap a little bit of what we were up to our holiday break. Over the holiday break, there were many moments of frustration and together time AND a lot of fun were mixed in too.

Parenting is a rollercoaster of emotions and just when you think you have it figured out, it changes! Our boys are at a great age for doing so many things and they are also in a stage of a lot of sibling rivalry. I know this is a totally normal thing kids go through and it is definitely keeping Lucas and me on our toes.

We have found that doing things OUTSIDE of our house helps a lot with this so we like to be out and about as much as we can. Whether it is doing errands together, playing outside or going the movies, keeping busy is key.

(*I bought this stemless wine glass for our younger son’s teacher as one of her holiday gifts, isn’t it great?!)

Book Club Holiday Edition

book socksIt also helps getting out of the house with your friend and our holiday book club was amazing! We exchanged some bookish gifts, caught up and recapped our reading highs and lows of 2019! And how amazing are these socks?! My friend Emily found them on Etsy HERE (*I am not affiliated with this shop, I just love them!)

Hoverboards, Playdates & Setting Up Mousetrap

Gen The BookwormThank goodness for our friends who helped make the holiday break feel a little less long. My friend Kari and I did a bit of switching kids on and off so we could get some work things done or just breathe for a second.

She also is the master of setting up anything tricky or icing your child’s birthday cake…ha! I had the game Mousetrap as a kid but I don’t think I ever actually played it because setting it up was the true challenge.

coffee at home

And what’s better than a playdate for your kids? Catching up with your parent friends over coffee. I am doing a no coffee after breakfast challenge for the month of January (tea only after my morning coffee allotment from home!) but back in December, it was anything goes!

Backyard Adventures

Vermont

While we didn’t have a white Christmas as we had hoped for, we did have weather that allowed us to get outside quite a bit. Two years ago our holiday break was filled with record-setting low temperatures which made for a busy couple of weeks for Lucas at work and a lot of cabin fever setting in for the rest of us!

Backyard Skiing…

We did finally get some snow before the New  Year and we were excited to break out the new sleds that Santa brought at Christmas and also get out for some backyard skiing. While this looks picturesque, let me tell you, it was anything but peaceful!

Parker has been skiing for a few years now but I have been trying to teach Flynn and as someone who isn’t’ very good at it herself, I am probably not the best teacher! I am going to bring the boys to a local x-country skiing place soon and I am thinking this will probably be better for everyone! 😉

Bowling & Arcade Games

Vermont

Towards the end of the break, we were ready to mix it up so we were thrilled to join some friends for a couple of games of bowling. Of course, that means we also had to visit the arcade game room which is one of my least favorite parts of parenting for sure. Olivia was a much better sport about it than me!

Parenting Life

family life

If I could summarize our parenting life right now, I would say there’s a big emphasis on getting together with friends, sports (both participating and watching), playing ALL the games, still lots of LEGOs, bickering with each other and Buzz is the happiest to be photographed now…hence all the dog photos! We will have a middle schooler next year which is kind of hard to believe!

Evenings at Home & Kindle Pillow Stand

kindle book

I am a homebody for sure and while it isn’t always calm and peaceful here these days, sometimes the stars align and our evenings are filled with reading in our lounge clothes. We tend to head upstairs about an hour before the kid’s bedtime (also ours, ha) and everyone is supposed to do more quiet(ish) activities.

This doesn’t always happen but we are working on it! It has been great for us being able to have some downtime now that they stay up almost as late as we do and it is has been great for encouraging independent reading time for the boys.

Buzz is a big cuddler and he is the best reading buddy. A lot of you asked me what I thought of my Kindle pillow stand (pictured above) when I shared about it on my Bookworm Favorite Things blog post. I use it every night and it makes it so you can read pretty much hands-free (just turning the pages…) It feels kind of like a big bean bag so you can prop up your kindle all different ways and It is also a multipurpose pillow so you can use pretty much any tablet-sized item on it.

Currently Loving Winter Accessories & Mabels Labels

name tags

Winter is hard in Vermont because it is long and you want(and really need) cold-weather accessories that are durable (which often means they are a bit pricier), but that also means it is extra scary to send them off to school because things get misplaced all the time. I don’t think I have ever walked by the school’s lost and found table without seeing at least three things from our family on it.

We do our best to label EVERYTHING because of this and I was super excited when I saw that their loves from Burton have a super-easy way to personalize them! We have had the best luck with gloves from Burton and Head (the ones they sell in the fall at Costco!) and the worst luck with LlBean gloves(I love everything from LLbean but the gloves fall apart so quickly).

We have been using Mabel’s Labels (*not affiliated just love them) since our older son started preschool way back in 2012. I have tried a few other brands over the years but have always gone right back to these because they are the best!

Using Your Last Name…

Also, if you have a less common last name, try simplifying and instead of getting a bunch of individual stickers for all your family members and just one with the last name that you can use for everyone.

First Better Together Book Club of 2020!

Better Together Book Club

Last week we had our first Better Together book club of 2020 and we discussed The Gift of Failure by Jessica Lahey. Not only did we have an animated discussion but author Jessica Lahey joined us! It was amazing to hear the backyard of her own work and also how her book came to be. If you haven’t read The Gift of Failure yet, it is a must! Whether you are a parent yourself or work with kids, you will get so much out of it.

Coming Up on Gen The Bookworm

guest posts

I have a lot of fun things in store for Gen The Bookworm in 2020. I am especially excited about welcoming some new guest posters who will be sharing on topics related to reading.

In a couple of weeks, my friend Kelly who is a reading specialist will be sharing about How to Raise A Lifelong Reader. My reading friend Michelle will be sharing the first What’s On Your Nightstand post of 2020 this week and I have own Reading Highs & Lows of 2019 recap coming along with the 2020 books I am most excited about!

Thank you for stopping by being a part of this reading community, I appreciate each and everyone one of you! <3


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I so appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts or feedback below! Please email me at genthebookworm@gmail.com to connect further.