Coffee Talk | Currently Loving…Maine, Worklife Balance, A $12 Romper & An Upcoming Photography Workshop

currently loving...

Checking-in:

Hello!! Who else cannot believe it is the last day of July?! It always happens but after the 4th of July summer just speeds right on by. I am excited for August because we have some of our very favorite annual traditions during the next few weeks, including a visit to the Addison County Fair & Field Days…and a family trip to Maine! Here are some photos from our visit last year…

Work-Life vs. Blog Life

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Someone asked me how summer was going with work and the kids yesterday…and I think I was like “ummmmmmmmmm”.  My editing work is going fairly well because I have had some consistent childcare which is essential.

And everything else, well you can just look laptop screen and figure that one out…ha! I think it is easy to envision working “part-time” as an ideal setup (well I did anyway!!) but I often just feel pulled in all different direction and kind of feel like I am not doing anything very well.

I try to be as organized as I can but and my schedule has so many pluses but the reality is, it can feel really tricky, especially this time of the year. There are so many wonderful parts of this stage of parenting but it’s when work and family life overlap that things feel challenging and that happens more than I would like during the summer…

We have had many conversations about how to make things work the best for our family and it is really all hands on deck this time of year. While we do have a small amount of paid childcare, Lucas also takes the kids one afternoon a week which is something we figured out after reflecting on what worked and didn’t work last year. We also are lucky in the sense that my busy work season is the opposite of his, which helps everything feel more manageable.

I also have been saying NO to work lately which is really hard for me but I don’t want to say yes and not be able to give my all to someone or something. It is helpful to remind myself that just because I can’t do something right now, does not mean that chance or opportunity goes away forever…and sometimes the timing might be even better at another time. 

I am planning two articles for the newspaper after taking a little month summer hiatus, a new Mom Book Club at the library(with some amazing guest speakers!) in the fall and a lot of other ideas are stirring around in my head. It is hard not to get ahead of myself.

I get so excited about so many things but I also need to be realistic about the amount of time I actually have to work with. School and “regular life” will be here before we know it and so I am trying to really enjoy these last few weeks of summer without thinking about all the things I could be doing “better” or more.

Currently Listening To…

I have been listening to a lot of audiobooks this summer as I tend to do during my heavier computer editing seasons. I tend to listen to one Audible book a month and listen to the rest on Libby. I am planning on sharing some of my favorite audiobooks soon! I tend to listen to non-fiction for the most part but I will listen to fiction as long as it isn’t too complicated.

Our daily commute is about an hour total during the summer so podcasts have been a lifesaver! During our car rides we tend to listen to either But Why, Brains On or Smash Boom Best which are all kid-focused podcasts that I enjoy too.

When we have listened to all of those the kids also enjoy some of my podcast favorites…even though they aren’t for kids, a lot of them are totally kid-friendly and Sarah’s Book Shelves Live is one of them. It has also created some great book conversations between the three of us which I love.

Romper Weather…

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I am not someone who embraces new fashion trends quickly…or sometimes at all…BUT I had to run to Walmart last weekend to get some oil for our boat. It isn’t somewhere I tend to go a lot (and I do understand people have strong feelings about it so it’s totally cool if it isn’t your thing) but it was the only place that was open already. I ended up getting totally sidetracked by the rack of rompers and ended up leaving with two of them…and no boat oil because they were sold out, ha.

Walmart romper

I have already worn them a bunch of times and they are amazingly comfortable, breathable and great for this muggy weather we are experiencing. I am 5’4″ and a size 10 and I chose a size large…I think a medium would have been fine because they are stretchy but I am happy with it!

I convinced a few of my friends to try them and they love them as well…even my tall buddies who have had trouble with the length of this style in the past. I have zero affiliation with this but I thought I would share the link HERE if you are interested in checking it out.

Keeping Cool & Beach Reading

Last weekend was hot and humid and we spent all of Saturday out on the lake. It was wonderful and so refreshing. We started out at the Bouquet River and then headed over to Split Rock where the water is always extra chilly.

Are you a beach reader? It is one of my favorite things…I like to position my chair really close to the water so that the waves come up over my toes. I like to sit in the shade and our Sport-Brella is so easy to set up and provides awesome sun protection.

Currently Watching…

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Lucas and I just watched the Who Killed Garrett Phillips? documentary on HBO. It examines the 2011 murder of 12-year-old Garrett Phillips and the subsequent trial of Clarkson University soccer coach Oral “Nick” Hillary.  This case shares a grievous miscarriage of justice and sadly, this family still doesn’t have closure over the loss of their son. If you are looking for a conversation starter, this is it. I found it especially interesting as it all takes place just over the lake in New York so a lot of parts of it, especially the small-town politics, were all too relatable.

Currently Looking Foward To…

It doesn’t seem possible but fall will be here before we know it…This past week Kristy and I  have been going over our teaching plans for the rest of 2019 and the start of 2020! Teaching is one of my very favorite parts of my work and you can learn more about it HERE if you are interested…

Your Life Your Camera Workshop

Vermont introduction to photography workshopDo you have a DSLR camera you’d love to learn how to use better? Would you like to take your photos to the next level? The next run of our “Your Life Your Camera” workshop is scheduled for Saturday, November 9th from 12-4 in South Burlington. The cost is $150 and seating is limited. This workshop sells out every time- email kristy@kristydooleyphotography.com to reserve your seat today!

I hope you have a wonderful rest of your Wednesday. <3

 

Coffee Talk | Currently Loving…Summer Fruit, Pool Life, Shellac Nails, Library Book Sales & Turning Nine!

Book Blog

Checking-in:

Hello and happy Thursday. How is your week going? As many wonderful things that have happened during the last few weeks, it has also had its fair share of challenges and sadness. I often struggle with how to balance sharing a lot of my life on a public platform while also bearing in mind that we all have harder realities of everyday life that are more private.

It is a hectic time in general with work and family life and I am thankful to have so many great support systems in place that really make such a big difference with the harder parts of life. Alright, I think that was important to say, as I tend to share some of our “highlight reel” in photos on these Currently Loving posts.

So here is a little of what we have been up to…

Swimming Life

Our family wrapped up the swim meet season last week and our practices will be winding down soon too. It has been such a wonderful part of our summer. Having something that is daily works really well for us because it gets us out of the house by a certain time each day and gives us some structure that can be really hard to find this time of year.

Our boys made so much progress this summer. The swim team has been a great reminder and conversation starter about doing our best and being kind and supportive to both our teammates, competitors and ourselves. I will miss our swimming community so much but there is always next year!

Daily swimming means we are at the pool all the time. It isn’t a bad place to be and with great wifi, it makes it a great place to catch up on work. The boys practice at the same time now which if you have ever had kids on different team schedules you know what is a gift this is!

Berries galore

We are lucky to live near so many wonderful family farms and that means this time of year we are picking all the berries. We were excited to drive down the road to opening day at Adam’s Berry Farm and the berries were incredible! We didn’t last too long because it was during our brief summer heatwave so we will be back!

Library Book Sale

After berry picking, we headed to the annual town library book sale! I love supporting the library(and it’s upcoming renovation!) stocking up on past favorites and also grabbing some to share with friends! 💓

Between the kids and me we brought three totes bags and it wasn’t enough! Next year we need a duffle bag. 🤣 ⁣
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We arrived early and waited in line for about 10 minutes and it was worth sweating through our clothes. We picked up so many picture books including a bunch of golden books. Flynn also added some super informative books to our collection…first words in Italian and a guide to venomous animals, ha!

Lake Life on a Hot Summer Day…

We headed out on the boat and it was the best way to cool down. Although with the intense heat it also means there can be fast approaching summer storms. This one snuck in and surprised us and while it was very interesting to see from the boat, we were eager to get back to dry land.

Shellac Nails Home Removal

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You know I love to discuss the random and obscure and I thought it was a great time to share about my shellac nails experience. I almost never paint my nails but I do always have shellac on my toenails. I get a shellac pedicure every 4-5 weeks and it is a great and long-lasting way to keep them looking nice when I am quite rough on regular nail polish.

For the wedding a couple of weeks ago, I wanted to get my nails done and so I ended up getting a shellac manicure two days before the wedding. It lasted a good 10 days or so before they started to look a little rough and I needed to get it off ASAP. They were also starting to get longer which I don’t like the feeling of…I do a lot of computer work and it was driving me crazy! Anyway, I knew I could go in and have it removed but it really wasn’t something I could easily fit into our schedule.

So off I went to the pharmacy… I grabbed a container of full-on acetone and some cotton balls.  At first, I tried the wrapping method with soaked cotton balls and tin foil, similar to the way they remove it at the nail salon. Then I changed tactics and did the soaking method on my other hand…as suggested by the Pioneer Woman of all people…

I found that the soaking method worked better and because I don’t have a lot of nail tools, I used the end of a measuring spoon to have push off the remaining polish which was quite effective…I am nothing if not resourceful, ha!

So I am not saying this is the most non-toxic method, but I think if you are going the shellac route you know that isn’t either…I was very pleased with how easy it was and I am super happy to have short and naked nails once again! I didn’t find that it damaged them in any way and I would definitely do shellac again for a special event, I just don’t have the patience to keep up with something like that in my everyday life.

Creemees & AC

It’s totally normal to take a photo to send to your kids when you have a creemee without them right?! Don’t worry, they were off having a special dinner and having ice cream after but we couldn’t resist. Buzz spent a lot of time indoors during the heatwave because it is just so hard to keep dogs cool. We are thankful to have AC and lots of ceiling fans.

Turning Nine!

Someone in our family turned NINE! For some reason, this number is hitting me hard. Maybe it is because it is halfway to 18 or maybe it is just because I can remember when I was nine so vividly…I know he is still so young but he really is growing up so quickly.

The past nine years have been filled with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. Parenting is such a gift and it is also the hardest thing I have ever done. I am so grateful to have a child that is kind, understanding and helps us learn and grow every day. 

And when you turn nine you have cinnamon rolls for breakfast and sushi and hibachi for dinner…seems pretty perfect to me!

Alright, that is all for now. I hope you have a wonderful rest of your week. <3

Currently Loving | Pressing Pause, Lake Life & A Family Wedding

Book Blog

*I was all set to publish this post on Friday and life got in the way. I wanted to share it before I post updates from our family wedding so if it sounds a little like it was written last week…it was! Thanks for understanding. 🙂

Checking-in:

family in Vermont

Hello and happy Friday! The week after 4th of July always feels like a long one, especially when you had a day off during the middle of the previous week. We have a lot going on this week because we have a family wedding this weekend! We have lots of family in town for the event and so we have been spending lots of time altogether and also doing a lot of prep for the weekend ahead! It’s going to be a fun one.

The Pace of Summer:

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While there is always this idea that summer will be a change of pace, it really is just as hectic but just in a different way. Now that our kids are getting older the activities they participate in are more frequent so the intensity for anything they are doing really ramps up. We are a “one activity at a time” family but it still adds up and there have been a lot of late nights.

It is actually quite enjoyable and they love being part of a team but there just aren’t those lazy summer evenings like I always anticipate when we are in the thick of the end of the school year rush. It is so wonderful to watch your kids participate in an activity that they practice hard at and enjoy so much and it is also a chance to socialize with other parents which I am always a fan of.

A Low-key Holiday & Choosing to Hit Pause:

I am always trying to find the right balance and once the most helpful things for has been realizing that we don’t have to do it all. I often have to remind myself of this not only with this blogging part of my life but also with family activities.

There is this pressure during the summer to do it all. On the 4th of July, there are fireworks and BBQs and parades, matching outfits and more. After having a pretty hectic last few weeks we decided to skip it all and head out for a day on the lake, with a picnic lunch, our bathing suits, and a book.

Lake Life

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After many years of these kinds of things pretty quite stressful with younger kids, we really soaked in it. We lucked out with the perfect weather and ended up staying out from before lunchtime until the sunset. The kids ended up running into some friend from school on the beach and so everyone was happy and entertained. Even Buzz met some new friends and one was a black and white springer spaniel named Dixie, so cute!

Creemees For Dinner

Vermont is for creemees

And it isn’t a summer day without having ice cream for dinner sometimes right? My creemee order is coffee with rainbow sprinkles, in a cone. We are lucky to live close to Cookie Love which has the most amazing treats!

Strawberries EVERYWHERE!

I am lucky to work somewhere that also has an incredible garden. Kristy has a green thumb and I reap the benefits! We also went picking again because the berries just keep on coming. We picked 11 pounds in about 20 minutes…and they were all gone within 2 days thanks to all our visitors. 🙂

Summer Favorites

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There is something so special about things that you can only get for a couple of weeks every year.  My favorite summer vegetable harvest is definitely sugar snap peas…followed by cherry tomatoes!

A New Neighbor in Town!

while we are very happy with Buzz being our only dog child, we do love having new additions join our neighborhood! We got to meet Piper and we are so excited that she lives right across the cornfield! I can’t wait for lost of dog and kid playdates with her family. Isn’t she the sweetest?

Three Birthdays

Finally, we celebrated three family birthdays while everyone was in town and what is a better way to do it than a BBQ and an ice cream cake from, you guessed it, Cookie Love! The cookie crumbles that were outside and in between the layers of chocolate and vanilla ice were amazing. Lucas’ brother and his family live outside of Atlanta so we don’t get to see them a lot so this time together has been so special.

Alright, that is it for now, see you soon! 

Coffee Talk | Currently…The Beginning of Summer, Strawberry Picking, Pool Days, Evenings on The Lake & Going to The Movies

Book Blog

Checking-in:

Good morning! Can you believe it is July?! The next month is filled with lots of family events, including a wedding and our older son’s 9th birthday. We have a lot of family members coming into town for the wedding that we are so excited to see. With work, swim team and regular life stuff going on at the same time, it is going to feel a little hectic but it will be so fun too.

June in a Nutshell:

We finished baseball season and school and moved right into summer mode. There isn’t a big adjustment period with summer here because everyone knows it is short so everything is jam-packed. Swim team started the very first day of school break and we have (mostly) adjusted to our new work schedules during the last two weeks as well. I always find July a little easier because we are in our groove and then August is a transition time as well with summer activities wrapping up, and school starting again.

 

Currently Eating…All The Summer Fruit!

There is nothing better than berries you just picked. The first weekend of summer we headed to Full Belly Farm which is a nearby “pick your own” farm. We went on opening day and the strawberries were everywhere. We went with Kristy and her girls so we had some super awesome berry pickers with us and filled our flats in no time.

I always have the best plans to freeze some of what we pick but we never have any left to do so! Between eating them plain and a couple nights of strawberry shortcake for dessert, we didn’t have any left…oops!

 

Currently Spending Our Days…at the Pool!

Our older son started swim team when he was 5 and this is the 2nd year that both of our boys are participating. Having them in an activity on the same team is AMAZING! Because of their age difference in school (3 years), they are always on different practice and game schedules with other sports so this feels like such a luxury.

Anyway, swim team is the best summer activity. It gives us somewhere to be each weekday morning (structure!! routines!!) keeps the kids active outside and it is just the best community of kids and instructors.

We aren’t particularly competitive about it but the boys really get into the team spirit and it has been an awesome way for them to learn how to swim and meet new friends. I hope they want to continue until they are too old for it because I don’t know what we would do all summer long without it.

 

Currently Enjoying…Our Happy Neighbors

During the winter months, our animals are kept in the pastures closer to the barns so it is easier for hay and water to be delivered to them. This time of the year they are out and about and enjoying all the grass our town has to offer. In addition to being in the pastures next to our house, they graze in a few different neighboring fields. They are the perfect lawn mowers and are quite nice company too. We love to go talk to them after dinner and they are especially fascinated with Buzz…which maybe they think belongs with them because of his black and white coloring.

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Speaking of Buzz…

Buzz loves summer! He is ecstatic that the boys are around more and especially enjoys the hundreds of squirrels and chipmunks that roam around our home and eat all our bird seed. he likes to perch himself on the chair in my office while I am working and keep an eye on things…we clearly have no boundaries with him and furniture!!

Currently Participating in…The Kids Summer Reading Challenge!

 

The kids are signed up for the summer reading challenge through our local library and it is great motivation to keep up with their daily reading.

During the school year, we visit our town library once a week and we are trying to keep up with this schedule during the next couple of months. The summer reading challenge is a great motivation for us to get there because it allows them to add to their charts when we visit.

They have the option to either do a sticker chart or an actual list, which is great for kids of different ages and reading and writing abilities. Our younger son chose the sticker chart and our older son is keeping an actual list of the books he reads.

I talked more about this HERE if you are interested in learning more.

 

Currently Loving…ALL The Turtles!

It is time for many turtles to lay their eggs so we have spotted many nearby lately. We saw this painted turtle trying to cross the road last weekend so we got out and helped her cross…our turtle lover was in heaven!!!

We also saw this snapping turtle at Luke’s office, but we gave her a little more space. 😉

 

Currently…Loving Evenings on The Lake!

After a chilly spring, Lucas and the kids got the boat in the water last week and we were excited to get out on the lake! Going on the boat is our very favorite summer activity and there is something so special about an evening boat ride. We lucked out with the calmest waters and a gorgeous sunset on our first night out.

 

We weren’t certain about the weather forecast at first but were able to get out for a second time on Saturday. We took the boat down to the Basin Harbor Club for dinner and an evening swim and then did some kayaking in the bay when we returned. Although there are many challenging parts of the parenting stage we are at, we are finally about to embrace later evenings as a family and we are loving it!

 

Currently Watching…Toy Story 4!

I think we have gone to the movie as a family maybe one other time. For a long time, the kids didn’t have the patience to sit through all the trailers and then a entire movie. Then there was the period of time when they were nervous about a lot of movies (we had to leave Moana for example!) so we just didn’t go.

They have always loved Toy Story though so when it rained on Sunday we thought it was the perfect opportunity to try it out again. We all loved it and the scariness factor is low (besides the creepy ventriloquist dolls in the antique store which I thought were less scary than the old neighbor Sid).

Movie Snacks…

Do you have a favorite movie snack? Lucas gets popcorn, the kids usually want Sour Patch Kids and I am a Goober’s fan all the way. Goobers have been my go-to movie snack since I was a little kid and I don’t think I have ever seen a movie without them. I will be devastated if they stop having at the movies so I really hope there are other Goobers fans out there too. 😉


I hope you all have a great Tuesday morning!

Coffee Talk | Currently… | school’s out for summer, a weekend escape, ALL the sunscreen & more

Book Blog

Checking-in:

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!

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Adjustment period:

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!

kid in the pool

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!

North East Kingdom

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

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!

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Currently using…ALL the sunscreen & sun protection

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! 😉

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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.”

-32 Beauty Products You Probably Used in the 90s

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…

Sun Protection

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.

Later in the day, I reapply sunblock by using the sun protection mineral power by Derma E. My friend Kari loves the Supergoop defense refresh setting mist and that has a similar effect.

sunblock for kids

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.

The Supergoop pump is so convenient and lasts FOREVER and the Alba Botanica Kids Sunscreen smells amazing and is so easy to rub in…

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Currently loving…all the Pinterest Inspirational quotes!

Whenever I am feeling stressed, I find great comfort in self-help books and inspirational quotes.

self-help from the 90s

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!

Here are some of my recent favorites…

(images from Pinterest)


Alright, that is all I have for now. I  hope you have a wonderful rest of your Friday! <3

Coffee Talk | Currently Loving…Summer Reading Challenge, Skincare Updates, BOTM Club & More

Coffee Talk

Checking-in:

Hello! How is your week going? The last few weeks have been doozies…

reading as a parent

Trading in backpacks & cleats for swimsuits & long summer days:

I am excited for a change of pace and tomorrow is the last day of the school year for our boys! While summer is always hectic in its own way, there are less scheduling demands and a lot more “carefree” days.

It does mean that I will be making way more lunches (I will miss you school hot lunch!) and less work time alone, but as the kids have gotten older it has become easier in some ways. After many years the pool is finally fun and there are so many things we can all do together now. I am looking forward to lots of ice cream from Cookie Love and making lots of summer memories.

library summer reading

Summer Reading Challenge:

Do you remember being a part of a summer reading program as a kid? I have vivid memories of it myself and visiting the library during the summer was one of my very favorite activities. We would walk or ride our bikes there and there was always something so special of having a stack of new books to dive into.

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Now that we have a family of readers, I am super excited about the kids participating in the summer reading challenge at our own local library. I stopped by yesterday to talk with one of the librarians and was excited to check out the summer book log and sticker chart. Doesn’t it look fabulous? You can learn more about the Vermont summer reading program HERE. And if you are not a Vermonter, most libraries have a similar option so definitely check it out! <3

Aperol Spritz

Currently remembering our night out…

After many weeknights and weekends of spring baseball for the boys, we belatedly celebrated Lucas’ birthday last Saturday and had an evening out, just the two of us. We headed down to Middlebury and had an amazing dinner at the Arcadian. I am a huge fan of Aperol Spritz and it was so nice to catch up over a couple of cocktails and some amazing pasta. I mean how good do these sound…

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I had the crab pasta and Lucas had the squid ink pasta and I don’t know which one was better because they both were amazing and really complemented each other nicely.

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Currently loving…

I don’t talk about our farm life a lot on here but I had to share a photo of some of our neighbors, whom we also affectionately refer to as our other lawn mowers. They roam the farm and always look over to say hi when we drive by. Sometimes they are even in our driveway!

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Currently admiring…

June is shaping up to be the best book release month! I read Mrs. Everything a few months ago via NetGalley and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a hard copy!! I was at Target before they were even putting the new books out on the shelves, and it was so exciting to see them getting unboxed. This is one of my favorite books of 2019 and I highly recommend checking it out! You can read my full review HERE.

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Currently using:

I am going to have to do another skincare update on here because I have a few newer additions that I have just been loving…including Pixi Glow Tonic Glycolic Toner. I have always exfoliated with a physical exfoliator a couple of times a week, but I never had used a “chemical” unless I was at a facial.

During the last couple of months, I have incorporated this into my daily routine and it is amazing how much my skin has smoothed out. While I have the hormonal acne (mostly) under control, I have always had little bumps that popped up, especially on my forehead. I think they were tiny clogged pores and this stuff is magic!! I learned about it on the 10 Things To Tell You Podcast episode about skincare and it is life changing!

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I apply it with these reusable bamboo makeup removing pads and then just throw them in the washing machine. Highly recommend!!! I talked more about this routine HERE if you are interested.

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Currently reading:

Are you a Book of the Month member? I have been a member of BOTM for a while now and seeing the bright blue box in my mailbox each month never gets old! I was especially excited about the June selections! I picked Summer of ’69 by Elin Hilderbrand and then added in Beyond the Point by Claire Gibson which was a past BOTM reader favorite. I a reading Summer of ’69 now and I can’t wait to read Beyond The Point soon, I have heard amazing things!

If you want to join Book of the Month and get your first book FREE you can use my referral link. You can skip any month or add any additional hardcover books for only $9.99 which is a great deal! I have seen some sneak peeks of the July book selections and I don’t know how I am going to choose!


Alright, that is all for now. I hope you have a wonderful rest of your week! <3

Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means if you click through and make a purchase, it helps supports this blog at no cost to you. Thank you! 

Coffee Talk | Currently Loving…blankets in June, Chernobyl on HBO and a green lipstick?!

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Checking in:

Good morning! How is your week going? We are in our second to last week of school for the boys and life feels very full right now. This time of the year has many highs and it also is quite hectic. The days are long with late evening baseball games and the kids full of energy and excitement about all the fun end of the school year activities.

It is a great time of year but also hard to find that feeling of balance. Work demands and everything else that comes along with “adulthood” does not just pause when family life becomes more demanding, and it is something we are constantly trying to juggle.

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There is also this frantic pace to finish “all the things” on my end before the kids are home for summer. While we do have some summer childcare, it is quite minimal, so anything that isn’t super urgent (work obligations) gets pushed to the side until school starts again.

While the kids have been in school for a while now, this is only my 2nd summer of juggling work and the kids during summer vacation and it is definitely a work in progress. From my conversations with other parents, no matter how you swing it, it is a stressful season in many ways. It is helpful to know we are not alone and like most things, it will all work out. I tend to get the most apprehension about things BEFORE they happen because I start thinking about it too much. It is good to plan, but not to overthink every possible scenario…which is easier said than done! I do know that once we make the transition we will find our groove and like all Vermont summers, it will fly by. <3

Currently Loving:

My Kelty Bestie Blanket

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While there is a lot of talk of summer, we have yet to see much summer weather around here. Usually by the time June come around it is warmer, but this year has been interesting. I shouldn’t complain because it was snowing in Quebec this week, but it has been unusually cold here. Vermonters don’t have their heat on in June, mostly out of principle, so my blanket has come in handy this week at work and at the kid’s baseball games.

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And the best part about it is it stuffs into this little bag, just like a sleeping bag, and it is super light and easy to keep in the back of your car. I think it is a camping blanket, but as someone who doesn’t do a lot of camping, I can see many other great uses for it! I wore it wrapped around my legs like a burrito the other night and it kept me toasty warm.

Currently Watching:

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I know I know, I need to stop talking about Chernobyl on HBO, but it really is that good. Lucas and finished the fifth and final episode in the docu-drama miniseries last night. It came out on Monday night, but there is no way I could stay up late enough to watch something that comes on at 9pm, ha! So anyway, we finished it last night and it was just amazingly well done. If you haven’t watched yet, you need to add it to your list.

Currently Loving:

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Lipstick Queen in Frog Prince 

I love a good tinted lip balm and a few months ago I tried the sample version of Lipstick Queen in the color Frog Prince. It is green in the tube, but it changes to a lovely shade of pinkish red (maybe a bit of coral?), depending on your pH and skin tone.

It is the perfect pop of color and moisture and I have found myself reaching for it over my previously preferred Burts Bees tinted lip balm so I thought I should share! I did try the Hello Sailor shade as well which is more of a plum color and it was a bit too purple on me for my pale skin tone but I have heard great reviews about that one as well.


I am off to grab the kids at school and then we are headed to a baseball playoff game this evening.  I hope you have a great rest of your Wednesday!

Coffee Talk | Currently Loving…| Book Mail, Listening at Work, Book Besties & Thoughts on Natural Deodorant |

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Checking-in:

Hello! How is your week going? I can’t believe it is Thursday already! Holiday weeks always throw me off and they also tend to be more hectic with 5 days of work fitting into 4 days. This is my busy work season now that it is nice out (Vermont photography season is in full swing) and I am trying to fit in as much as possible before school gets out in mid-June when our childcare will be pretty limited.

Currently listening to…

With the increase in photo editing, it means I have officially entered “audiobook” season! I am lucky to have a job that is in the creative field, which enables to listen to things while I edit photos. For weddings, I tend to choose audio books since they often are about the same amount of time it takes to edit a whole wedding…and regular sessions I tend to listen to a podcast episode or two.

The Moment of Lift by Melinda Gates

I haven’t made it that far yet but I am just loving The Moment of Lift by Melinda Gates. It is so powerful and she is a wonderful orator. The news had been hard lately and as important as I think it is to know what is going on around us, I also love something that motivates to be more proactive and supportive of others in our own daily lives.

IMG_2978I know I mentioned the docu-drama Chernobyl last week, but this week I learned that there is also a podcast that goes along with of the episodes. I talk about this more on my IG stories earlier today but it is amazing to hear the thoughts behind the making of the series and the choices that went into doing a show about this real event that affected thousands and thousands of people. If you haven’t checked it out I highly recommend it!

Currently loving…

Berkley Publishing

Book Mail!

There is NOTHING better than book mail! This week I was excited to receive packages from Berkley Publishing and St. Martin’s Press. Kristan Higgins is one of my favorite summer authors and Life and Other Inconveniences was just amazing! I have included it on my summer reading lists and think it would be a great one to toss in your beach bag. Higgin’s writing is funny and relatable but her characters are also relatable and multidimensional. Have you read any of her books before?

Friends who read together stay together:

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Speaking of Kristan Higgins, I happened to show up to work on Tuesday with the same book as Kristy and we were wearing the same color sweatshirt. We obviously had to take a selfie to document this.

In addition to being my co-worker, Kristy is also my wonderful friend and reading buddy. We love discussing our current books at lunchtime but we normally aren’t reading the same one at the same time because we share most of our hard copy books…so this was really exciting! Do you have friends that you share books with? It’s the best!

If You Only Knew came highly recommended from my Bookstagram friends and Kristy already finished it and I am almost done and am loving it. It’s the perfect book for this more hectic time of year. <3

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Back to book mail & a Diane Chamberlain update!!

St. Martin’s Press was kind enough to send me the paperback release of Dream Daughter which is being published next week on 6/4! If you haven’t read this yet, this will be the perfect summer book to add to your reading list. Dream Daughter was in my top 10 books of 2018 and it might be my favorites Diane book ever and I have read A LOT of them.

I will have to do a whole post about my favorite Diane Chamberlain books but she rarely lets me down and her books are always unique and super engrossing, while also being total page-turners. I have read a lot of them while on vacation and they are the perfect books to just get lost in.

AND the most amazing exciting news of all, they announced that Diane will have another novel published in early 2020 (January 24th to be exact!) Big Lies In A Small Town!

Currently using…

natural deoderant

Lavanila deodorant in Vanilla Coconut

While I would like to say that I have parted ways with antiperspirant deodorant, I have tried and I just can’t do it. I think it has come from a lifetime of having that feeling of “dry” armpits but I just can’t get used to that “sweaty feeling”, especially while I work out.

I am all about compromise, so I have decided to use my “regular” Tom of Maine antiperspirant in the mornings and then putting on a more “natural” one, specifically Lavanila, when I get dressed for the day after class.

I don’t like to recommend things until I have really given them a fair shot but this stuff is pretty amazing! I have very sensitive skin and in addition to not cutting the sweat(deodorant just masks the smell of sweat but it doesn’t stop it like antiperspirant), it would make my underarms break out in a painful rash.

A lot of “natural” deodorants have baking soda in them which I think was the culprit. Lavanila is super gentle, smells amazing and really keeps you smelling quite fresh! And it lasts a long time. I first ordered it last May and each stick lasts 3+ months for me of daily use.

Have you made the deodorant switch?! Or are you meeting in the middle like me? 😉


Alright, that is all for this morning! I hope you have a wonderful rest of your Thursday. <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! 

 

Coffee Talk | Currently Loving…Baseball Season, Iced Lattes, Backyard Birds & More

Currently Loving…

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Checking in:

Hello! How is your week going? I haven’t had as much time to check in on here lately with anything besides book content so I thought while I had a few minutes I would do a photo-heavy “currently loving” post.

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The hecticness of Spring:

We are in the middle of the busiest part of the school year with the end of the year activities, spring baseball and everything else that happens when it is finally nice(ish) out in New England.

Yesterday I talked more about this on Instagram but while it is certainly a fun time of year, we haven’t had a real meal at home since April and the kids have been going to bed after 9pm which is about 45 minutes after my ideal bedtime. There are piles of “clean laundry” stacked on the window seat in our bedroom and I look longingly at all my books on my nightstand before I basically crash into bed each night once everyone is finally asleep and we have everything put away and laid out for the next day.

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The good thing about being here “before” is knowing that this really is just a short season and life will get back to normal eventually.  There has been a lot of coffee drinking and not a lot of downtime and I have been embracing audiobook season and reading in the short spurts when I can.

Currently Drinking…

iced latte Philo Ridge Farm

Iced lattes! I am not sure if it is a good thing or a bad thing that we finally have wonderful coffee in our small town. There is nothing like an afternoon pick me up and Philo Ridge Farm makes the best lattes. Yesterday the sun was shining and I picked one up on my way home from work before getting the kids at school, the best!

Currently Watching…

Celine! If you haven’t watched this yet, you have to!! I love me some Celine and this Carpool Karaoke is one of the best yet!

We also are up to date on Chernobyl, which isn’t the easiest to watch but it is so well done. Emily Watson and Jared Harris are just amazing!

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We have also been very entertained with all our backyard bird watching…although Buzz enjoys the squirrels the most. 😉 We have had some exciting visitors lately, including an Indigo Bunting and a Baltimore Oriole!

(These images are from the Audobon Society)

Currently Using…

Kristin Ess Shampoo

Kristin Ess shampoo and conditioner! Do you know that Vermont did not have its own Target until last fall?! A couple of months ago I tried this shampoo and conditioner when they were having a cartwheel app deal and it is my new fav! It smells incredible and it leaves my hair feeling moisturized without feeling weighed down and super shiny! I also love the dry shampoo and the blow dry mist.

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Besides the unfortunate name, these Tinkle razors are the best! If you haven’t heard about face shaving as part of your skincare routine, you NEED to listen to the 10 Things To Tell You Skincare & Makeup Favorites podcast episode. I have been using these for years and they are great for peach fuzz, random chin hairs(thanks hormone changes after kids!) and also help with exfoliating your skin. Don’t knock it until you try it!

Currently remembering…

bridal shower

Last weekend we celebrated my SIL to be! SHe and my BIL will be getting married in July and we are so happy to be a part of their wedding celebration. We had such a fun weekend and it made me so excited for all the wedding festivities in under two months. You can read more about our weekend HERE.

mimosa bar

Last week it was also National Mimosa Day and we celebrated at the Pure Barre studio. This was also my inspiration for our own mimosa bar at Antonia’s brunch bridal shower last weekend. We had orange juice, grapefruit juice and pomegranate juice at ours and they were delicious!


Alright, that is all for now! I hope you all have a wonderful rest of your week. <3

Coffee Talk | Currently Loving…Rothy’s & Skincare Favs

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Checking-in:

Happy Monday! How was your weekend? We had a more hectic Saturday with the opening day of Little League yesterday which included a parade, team photos, and two baseball games. I love watching the kids play sports, especially one that they love so much but it was a long day for everyone.

It is a quick season that is jam-packed but I always miss it once it is over. We are in a league that is made up of a few different smaller towns so we always meet new friends. It also feels fun to be a “part” of a team without the stress of actually having to play the game…I always liked being on a team just for the camaraderie but not really the sport playing part…such an athlete over here! 😉

Yesterday we had a lazy day around the house. We had friends over in the morning and the kids played outside with the neighbors in the afternoon and I read on the porch, I would call that a win!

Currently Loving…

Rothys

My Rothy’s!! I don’t know what took me so long to try them, but when a friend sent me a link for $20 off my first order, I had to try them!  I love having ballet flats to wear in the spring but I have a hard time finding any that are comfortable and durable! Rothy’s are washable and lucky for me, I was able to put them to the day the very first day when I  was wearing them and also cooking dinner. Let me tell you, they were a breeze to throw in the wash the grease stain came right out! And they still look just as good as the day they arrived.

They are super comfortable and fit true to size for me but I have heard some people think they run a tiny bit small so keep that in mind. I am an 8.5 and that is what I ordered. I chose The Flat in the charcoal color but I was also tempted by The Loafer style, particularly in the Safari print. Have you tried these?? If you would like $20 off your order you can use my referral link HERE.

Currently listening to…

10 Things To Tell You Podcast

I have been loving the 10 Things To Tell You Podcast by Laura Tremaine. I especially loved her episode about skincare with Jamie Golden. I shared about my skincare routine back in December and while I still use all of those items…I have added in a few more as I have learned more about skincare and anti-aging routines.

I am specifically loving these things…

Differin Gel

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I have been using Differin Gel. Yup, I am in my mid-30s and I still have acne, specifically hormonal acne. While I have gotten it pretty under control there were still a couple popping up every month that were mostly annoying more than anything but sometimes could actually be quite painful.

After reading hundreds of reviews online I decided to go for it a few months ago, and I have been so impressed! My skin is used to a retinol cream which helps your skin cells “turnover” so that might have helped but basically Differin causes a similar effect..resulting in clearer pores from the inside out. I only use a tiny amount and just put it on my T-zone and chin because I found it was causing my nose, specifically underneath it to get super dried out. So far so good!

Paula’s Choice Niacinamide Booster

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To help retain moisture, Niacinamide has been a game changer! If you want to hear exactly how it works, Jamie explained it SO well in the above podcast episode in a super easy to understand manner…but this is what it is known for:

Also known as vitamin B3, niacinamide works with the natural substances in skin to visually refine large pores, fine lines + wrinkles, promote even skin tone and replenish its moisture barrier to help hold onto hydration.

Especially because I have been using something in my routine that is drying, moisturizing effectively has been SO important.

Sometimes I get a little overwhelmed because while I love skincare I feel like a real rookie and this episode was the first time it all really made sense to me and didn’t sound like a foreign language when she was explaining it!  I have been adding a few drops to my current face lotion (Countermatch lotion) and it has been a great addition.

Pixi Glow Tonic

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Finally, I have been learning more about chemical exfoliates which sound scary but they are actually way less irritating than physical exfoliants. While I think there is a place for both, I am so happy to know about something that works so well without being so abrasive. I have been applying this with my (clean) fingertips or using a reusable face pad like these below…

Green Estate Reusable Pads

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These bamboo pads are so gentle and have been great to use with face washing or applying toner and I love that I can wash them and use them again.

Currently Watching…

Chernobyl on HBO

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We have been counting down the days until Chernobyl on HBO is released and tonight is the night! I obviously cannot stay up until 10pm so we will probably watch it tomorrow but we have heard great things.


What’s new with you? Do you have anything you are currently loving? I would love to hear! Have a great Monday. <3

Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means if you click through and make a purchase, it supports this blog at no cost to you.