How I organize my reading life | my new book cart!

How I organize my reading life…the Target book cart!

book organization

Having systems that work for YOU

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.

4128b64035cbe9b0753bf8d48fde3588(image from HERE)

Books EVERYWHERE

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.

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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…

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Enter THE BOOKCART

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!

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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.

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(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.

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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.

book organization

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! 

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!

end of school photo

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

Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle by Amelia & Emily Nagoski | Book Review

Burnout by Emily & Amelia Nagoski

Burnout, audiobook, book review

Book Summary:

“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.”

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

My Review:

10 Things to Tell You Podcast

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.