A few of you have asked if the Kindle Paperwhite has been on sale again since the $30 off sale back at the beginning of May. I have been keeping an eye on it and am excited to share that it is on sale again! Whether you will be reading in your backyard or traveling all over this summer, the Kindle is the easiest way to have access to a bunch of books while weighing as little as a phone!
Reading on the go:
I think a Kindle is a perfect addition to your beach bag or carry-on this summer! I keep mine with me every day and find that I can add in so much extra reading time in the little chunks of waiting time during a regular work/school day. Now that summer is coming I will bring it with me when I am waiting with the kids at swim team, before an appointment or even in line in the grocery store.
Are you a Kindle reader?
Are you a Kindle reader too? What are your favorite parts about it?
This post may contain affiliate links which mean that if you click on a link and purchase something I have recommended or reviewed, I’ll receive a very small percentage of the sale. This is a way I help fund this blog with no cost to you (or obtrusive pop-up advertisements, which as a blog reader myself, I dislike so much!) To read more about this you can read my longer answer in my FAQ section HERE. Thank you for your support.
“Create space for calmer, more creative kids and restore order and happiness at the heart of family life.
In Simple Happy Parenting, Denaye Barahona, Ph.D., provides a revolutionary approach to parenting, full of practical tips to help you step back from the system overload so common in modern family life and, instead, create more time to enjoy living and learning together. From easier meal planning to mindful shopping, worry batching to waste reduction, Simple Happy Parenting is an honest and practical roadmap for all families striving for balance.
Start with the Simple Manifesto:
Then begin your journey to simple by embracing a new, lighter way of life in your home. Step-by-step projects and realistic goals guide your way. Discover how a curated toy cabinet fosters imaginative play; a smaller, carefully selected wardrobe reduces stress; and structured, nourishing meals create relaxed family dinners.
Next, expand the simplicity to your mindset. Learn how letting go of fear provides children with valuable opportunities to grow and develop; positive discipline strategies strengthen family relationships, and inviting more unscheduled time in your calendar gives your family space to thrive.
Not only will these straightforward solutions allow your children the room to progress and flourish, this mindful approach to family life will provide you with more energy, calm, and joy.”
June 4th, 2019
I was very interested in reading Simple Happy Parenting by Denaye Barahona. After parenting for almost 9 years, we have experienced the feeling of complete exhaustion, overwhelm and burnout and have worked for many years to find the right balance in our family. It is certainly always an ongoing process as parenting is always changing and evolving as our children grow, but I loved Barahona’s tips on how to simplify and prioritize what’s important.
I love that at the start the book she recognized that there is no perfect way to juggle it all, and it made the rest of the book feel more approachable because I knew she was coming from a place of relatability. Pulling out of the race of parenting and doing what is important for your own family is such simple yet important advice.
If you set your goals and expectations of parenting by the world around you, you will never find contentment or peace in your own parenting journey. We are all allowed to follow different paths, but being true to ourselves and our own desires as a family allows us to pull out of the parenting competition and prioritize what is important to our own families. “Instead of chasing the impossible, choose to live simply and love immensely.”
But how do you do this, one might wonder… It sounds easy but if you have parenting for any length of time, you know it just isn’t. Barahona shares her Simple Manifesto:
1. Fear Less
2. Hurry Less
3. Entertain Less
4. Referee Less
5. Buy Less
After sharing this manifesto, she walks you through how to accomplish these goals. I especially enjoyed the sections on entertaining less(and letting your kids be bored) and refereeing less. Both of these concepts and shifts help everyone in our family lives happier and more successful lives but often seem really hard to remember when we are in the thick of daily life. Her practical advice was relatable and things that we could easily implement into our family foundation.
The photos and illustrations were a nice addition to this text. I don’t think the photos were totally necessary, but it did help make this book feel more personal and helped connect me as a reader with this author.
If you are looking for tips on how to simplify your life as a family, I definitely recommend this book.
Thank you to NetGalley and White Lion Publishing for an advanced copy of this book.
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.
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.
I 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!
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:
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
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!
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!
“A clinical therapist’s exploration of the complexities of early motherhood, including its impact on a marriage, in a book that offers comfort, camaraderie, and practical guidance to new mothers.
When Molly Millwood became a mother, she was fully prepared for all that she would gain: an adorable baby boy, hard-won mothering skills, and a messy, chaotic, love-filled home. But she didn’t anticipate what she would lose: an identity, a baseline level of happiness, a general sense of wellbeing. And just when she was feeling her most vulnerable, her happy marriage-long a bedrock of stability and comfort-seemed to shift in unexpected ways too, tinged by anger and resentment.
As a clinical psychologist, Molly knew her experience was a normal response to a life-changing event-she was not broken, and neither was her marriage. But without the benefit of such a perspective, many of women she saw in treatment grappled with shame, self-doubt, and fear-all the while struggling to confide in, trust, or seek comfort in their partners.
In To Have and To Hold, Molly illuminates the ways in which motherhood impacts a woman emotionally, psychologically, physically, and professionally-as well as how it impacts the stability and harmony of her relationship. Along with the arrival of a bundle of joy comes thorny issues such as identity, control, autonomy, and dependency. And these issues are, most often, experienced within the context of an intimate relationship, adding another layer of complication, conflict, and confusion to an already challenging time.
As Molly examines the inextricable link between women’s wellbeing as new mothers and the wellbeing of their relationships, she offers information and guidance to help readers reclaim their identities and repair their relationships. A blend of personal narrative, rigorous research, and stories from Molly’s clinical practice, To Have and To Hold provides a lifeline to new mothers everywhere.”
March 26th, 2019
Motherhood is the hardest AND most wonderful thing I have ever done. While I am lucky to have had many conversations with the people in my personal life, never have I read something that explains the complexities of motherhood and marriage in such a profound manner until I read this book. The highs and lows of parenthood, the immense love and also the intense quest to reclaim ourselves as women and partners when our lives will never be the same are so real and valid.
To Have and to Hold spoke to me on so many levels. Millwood’s ability to write with both her voice as a professional and her voice as a mother was a perfect balance. It is relatable and real and I can’t stop thinking about it which is the sign of a 5-star book for me. If you haven’t already checked this one out I highly recommend and she was absolutely wonderful on audio.
I am going to try and do “day in the life” post every couple of months because I always find it so fascinating how so many things change and how some things are exactly the same(like folding and putting away ALL the laundry!) I last did a “Day in the Life” post back in March and you can see that blog post HERE.
I have always been so interested in seeing “regular life” much more than special events or photoshoots when I follow along with a blog. There is something so fascinating about seeing the day to day minutiae and how people complete their daily work, life, and family tasks.
So if you like that too, you are in luck! The following is a look at a regular weekday at our house….like most everything else on here it really is about what I am up to but a lot of that involves the kids too.
I have always been an early riser. When I was a kid I would wake up early and watch Flipper…does anyone else remember that show? It was the best!
I have never needed an alarm to wake up because my internal alarm is pretty strong! I usually wake up around 5am so that I have an hour before everyone else is up too. I use this time to savor my multiple mugs of coffee, catch up on work and emails and also create some the content for my bookstagram and this blog.
I am a very routine oriented person so this really doesn’t vary much…I usually run the Roomba in the evenings and I put the chairs up on the counters so that it can clean up all the crumbs that are never ending around here with the kids.
We set the coffee maker alarm fo to make 10 cups of coffee and Lucas and I split it in the mornings. I drink my coffee unsweetened but I always use half & half…milk just doesn’t cut it for me.
Buzz comes down to go outside at this time and then comes back in and goes back to sleep with Parker. He is not an early bird!
I also use this time to catch up with my other early riser friends…Kristy is one of them! Lucas leaves before 6 so this is also the time we check in quickly before we both start our days.
At 6 I go upstairs to shower and I find Parker reading in his bed. We recently made a deal (which included pokemon cards bribery)that they need to stay in their rooms until 6:30am. We were having way too much early morning sibling drama and me trying to referee from the shower and so this is a win for all of us!
While I get ready I listen to my audiobook and then have my breakfast of a perfect bar, green tea and my Care Of Vitamins. Both boys come down at 6:30am and they have their breakfasts and get ready for the day.
Buzz and those dang squirrels:
Buzz comes downstairs and places himself on his couch perch which is the perfect place to oversee the morning chaos. He is also a very routined guy.
While I pack the kids snacks (they have lunch from school) the squirrels have their morning meal at the bird feeders…they are quite the acrobats.
Also, does anyone else recognize this blue ice pack? It came with my Medela breast pump that I got when Parker was a newborn, and it is probably one of my most used baby items ever, ha! We leave for school around 7:20 if everything is running smoothly and this particular morning was super sunny and beautiful! We have had a very un-spring-like May this year so any sunshine is much appreciated around here.
School drop off, Pure Barre & more:
After school drop off I head to Pure Barre. Although my schedule ebbs and flows depending on the time of year, I try to go to barre 4-5 times a week…for both my physical AND mental health. It is one hour that sets the rest of my day off to the best start.
I started going to Pure Barre in 2015 and I haven’t looked back since! I probably talk about it too much but it really was life-changing. I had a bad back and head injury in high school and my almost life long back pain is almost non-existent since I upped my core strength through barre…and let’s be honest, 50% of why I go is to see my barre friends! They are THE best.
After barre, I get an iced latte. It is a bad addiction that also brings me so much happiness…it really is the little things. Between coffee and tea, I drink a fair amount of caffeine that my body is so used to it now…which I am not sure is a good thing or not!
After this, I head to Kristy’s. I am not working with her on this particular day but I had to pick up some books and I always love to see her! I also consider her house my South Burlington home, and I even have my own drawer in her bathroom. I get panicky about not washing my face right after I work out so I appreciate this very much! She is a very accommodating friend and co-worker. 😉
Books reviews & newspaper column:
I chat with Kristy a bit and admire her beautiful gardens and blooming trees…we have lived at our house for 4 years and we still haven’t done any landscaping so potted plants are the extent of my gardening. When I get home Buzz wakes up from his morning snooze to greet me. I get to work on finished a book review and then start working on my Charlotte News column. Next week I will be sharing my summer reading recommendations.
Multi-tasking & distractions:
While I appreciate having the flexibility to do some of both my photography and blog work at home, I have a very hard time not getting distracted. I am a terrible multitasker and so I appreciate that I do most of my work at our office at Kristy’s because I don’t get sidetracked by other things like I do at home! While I am working I have a bowl of Chex with a little maple syrup and milk for lunch and then I take Buzz for a midday bike ride/walk to check the mail.
Dog play date, wedding editing and visiting the library:
When we arrived home we were happy to see that our neighbor Mason Jar brought himself over for a dog playdate…the benefits of small town country life! I did a little wedding editing work for my amazingly talented friend Jenna and then it was time to go get the kids from school. My work is often pretty chopped up and means I do a lot of it during more “untraditional” work hours but I do appreciate the flexibility it gives me with the kid’s schedule.
After school, the kids played on the playground for a bit while I caught up with my friend Elisa. After we headed to the library so I could check with Susanna the librarian about our upcoming Libby on the Porch event next week!
Flynn was also excited to model our library bag which we use every week with our library book hauls. We were getting ready to go home and get ready for baseball when we got the email that Parker’s baseball practice was canceled due to the impending weather. While we usually play in all kinds of undesirable weather here in Vermont, it was about to really pour so we were all a bit relieved.
Rainy evening means canceled plans & ice cream:
The kids were excited to have some unexpected evening downtime and I had to switch around our dinner plans because we were planning on eating at the snack shack during Parker’s baseball…you can’t go wrong with a $3 cheeseburger! 😉 Lucas made dinner which was a mix of some random things (thanks Costco!) and then we decided to stop by Cookie Love which now has their summer evening hours. I had a coffee creemee with cookie crumble and it was amazing!
Laundry & Pokemon cards:
And it wouldn’t be a “day in the life” post without talking about laundry. We do at least one load of laundry a day which means the folding and putting away of clothing adds up quickly if we don’t do a little each night. We usually go upstairs around 7:15 and the boys shower and get ready for bed before having a little wind-down time, either reading, drawing or playing a game…recently it has been Pokemon of course.
So we took advantage of this and did a bunch of laundry folding and then both ended up reading on our Kindles. While the boys turn their lights off around 8(on an ideal night), Parker reads with his book light until 8:45ish and Flynn usually takes a while to fall asleep and likes having lots of extra kisses and check-ins before it happens. They also have been staying up a lot later because of baseball games so our bedtime routine is a little off and probably won’t improve much until fall when things slow down a bit again. I can’t believe that in a few years they will be staying up way later than us, but it really isn’t that far away!
So that was a day in my life! I hope you enjoyed this little snippet of randomness. Do you like reading “day in a life” posts? I would love to hear! <3
“Tiffy and Leon share an apartment. Tiffy and Leon have never met.
After a bad breakup, Tiffy Moore needs a place to live. Fast. And cheap. But the apartments in her budget have her wondering if astonishingly colored mold on the walls counts as art.
Desperation makes her open-minded, so she answers an ad for a flatshare. Leon, a night shift worker, will take the apartment during the day, and Tiffy can have it nights and weekends. He’ll only ever be there when she’s at the office. In fact, they’ll never even have to meet.
Tiffy and Leon start writing each other notes – first about what day is garbage day, and politely establishing what leftovers are up for grabs, and the evergreen question of whether the toilet seat should stay up or down. Even though they are opposites, they soon become friends. And then maybe more.
But falling in love with your roommate is probably a terrible idea…especially if you’ve never met.”
May 28th, 2019
The Flatshare is the debut novel by Beth O’Leary and came highly recommended from some of my book reviewing friends. I was excited to check it out as I was looking for something that was both light-hearted and engaging. The flatshare fit the bill and I was pleasantly surprised how well it balanced being a “romantic comedy” while also having enough depth. I was pleased to see that the author was able to incorporate some tougher issues in such a meaningful and powerful manner…this included both abusive relationships and prioritizing mental health. This book made me laugh and also get teary-eyed which was a great balance as a reader.
The Flatshare is told in a dual point of view, alternating between each chapter. I found the characters endearing and I enjoyed that the relationship grew slowly over time. This felt more realistic and allowed the relationship to come together in a more natural way than a lot of books seem to do in this kind of “accidental love story” situation. I loved the friendships in the Flatshare and this eccentric book is definitely one I would recommend adding to your summer reading list! I look forward to reading more of Beth O’Leary’s writing in the future.
Thank you to NetGalley and Flatiron Books for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
If you like following along here I recently started a Gen The Bookworm Facebook page and today I am doing my first Facebook book giveaway! If you would like to enter you can click HERE. This giveaway closes tomorrow night (4/12/19) at 8pm EST and I will announce the winner right after. <3
If you have been waiting to purchase a Kindle Paperwhite, today is the day! I bought mine when it was a special deal ($40 off!) and I haven’t seen it on sale in a while. I have the smaller storage size and it works great for my needs ( you just need wifi to download a book so you don’t need to store them all on there). I have the Paperwhite that doesn’t have special offers (ads) on the screen saver but I don’t think it is a huge deal either way!
I have the last generation Paperwhite model and it is still going strong but this new edition is waterproof which is pretty amazing. I have only heard great things but from friends who have upgraded.
Are you a Kindle reader? What is your favorite part?
The best part of the Kindle for me is being able to read FREE books through the Libby App. I am planning on doing a full post about Libby next week but if you are wanting to learn more now you can click HERE for an overview.
Libby on the Porch Event
And if you live in the area, we are doing a Libby On The Porch Event at the Charlotte Library the end of this month. I hope you can join us!
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.
Month in review & factors in determining a star rating:
Hello! How was your month of reading? April was a mix of some 4 & 5-star favorites and some 3-star books that were just okay. Last week when I was answering some reader questions on Instagram Stories, my friend Emily asked me what factors go into my star ratings for a book.
I thought this was a fantastic question and now that I have been a part of the Bookstagram community for a while now, I have seen that people’s answers for this can vary so much! Here is how I decide what to rate a book I have read…
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5 stars mean I loved the book so much that I couldn’t stop thinking about it long after I had finished!
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 4.5 stars mean I enjoyed it a lot. <3
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4 stars mean I highly recommend it and there was maybe a thing or two that gave me pause but all in all I enjoyed it very much.
⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 3.5 stars mean it was a solid read with a few things that didn’t work for me as a reader.
⭐️⭐️⭐️ 3 stars mean it was just okay.
⭐️⭐️ 2 stars mean that the book was not for me and I would not recommend it. These are tough ratings for me to give because I really try to be thoughtful about the positives aspects when reviewing a book but sometimes a book just isn’t the right fit. Whenever I write a more “negative” review, I do try to share both the highs and the lows and I also recognize that our own perspectives and even mood can change our reactions to books.
⭐️ I have never rated a book with just 1 star. As a reader, I do think there is something you can get out of everything you read and so I avoid this rating just because I don’t think it allows for a lot of conversation.
April was a pretty great reading month. While I did read some books that were just so-so, I also read so many wonderful ones! Life and Other Conveniences was such a great and enjoyable read and To Have and To Hold will definitely make my top 10 of the year.
Trophy Wife was also one of my book highlights because it was light but also engaging and it had the perfect amount of humor and relatability that didn’t make it fall into the “fluff” category for me. It would make a great beach read!
Hello from sunny Florida! we are away this week visiting family on the gulf coast. After a long Vermont winter and a busy work season for Lucas, it feels great to have a week together as a family. We have been spending a lot of time finding shark teeth at the beach, eating delicious food and swimming in the pool.
Coffee Talk, Vacation Edition!
This week I thought it would be fun to share some things we are loving while on vacation…
White Noise Machine:
At home, we sleep with sound machines, something we started when our kids were babies and we have really grown used to ourselves over the years. When we travel we love using the White Noise Ambience app on our phone. We downloaded it when we were traveling when our first son was a toddler and we have used it ever since!
We really love the “white noise” selections that provide a constant soothing sound. We have grown to used to sleeping with a sound machine now and this provides great noise canceling from any nearby sounds…especially helpful at a hotel or resort and just makes it so much easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. There are so many sounds you can choose from, but these are our favorites…
UV Protection Sunshirt:
I love the sun but I don’t love being in it. I am very careful about sun exposure due to having very pale skin but I don’t like when it stops me from wanting to do things where you can hide under an umbrella. I finally decided a sunshirt was the way to go and now I will never go back! I found this UV sun protection shirt and it is perfect! It is great coverage, not too loose and not too tight and has kept me totally sunburn free the last two days in the Florida sun. I am a size 8/10 and I got a size large for reference.
We are in the Venice area so we have been on the hunt for fossilized shark teeth at the beach, and so this means we have been in the water most of the day. Between this shirt and a great sun hat….I feel super covered while also still being able to have fun in the sun! And look at all our treasures!
Like all things Scout, this thing is rugged and wipes clean which is a major plus with any bag but especially with a makeup bag. I love that it has the side pocket which is great for makeup brushes and it is a perfect size to carry everything I need.
I couldn’t write this post without talking about my beloved Kindle Paperwhite! I am going to write a much more detailed post soon about all things Kindle, but for now, I thought I would share why I love it so much for vacation.
I used to bring ALL THE BOOKS on vacation. I like reading new releases which often means I have hardcover books either from the library or from the bookstore. On our honeymoon, I brought 9 hardcover books, and I read them all…but oh man, that was a lot of extra weight!
Kindles are life-changing for this! I brought hundreds of books to choose from (hello Libby app!) on our current trip, but they only weigh less than half a pound. 😉
Alright, that’s all for today! I will be back soon with more vacation updates and my regular book chatter. <3