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! 

June 18th New Book Releases | Happy Publication Day!

June 18th New Book Releases

new book releases

Happy Publication Day!

Are any of these books on your summer reading list? I am reading The Summer of ’69 right now and I am so enjoying Elin Hilderbrand’s first historical fiction novel, set in, you guessed it…1969! And how gorgeous is this cover?!

Elin Hilderbrand

The Summer of ’69 by Elin Hilderbrand

If you are looking for an engrossing beach read that delves into some important issues of the late 60s…

“Welcome to the most tumultuous summer of the twentieth century. It’s 1969, and for the Levin family, the times they are a-changing. Every year the children have looked forward to spending the summer at their grandmother’s historic home in downtown Nantucket. But like so much else in America, nothing is the same: Blair, the oldest sister, is marooned in Boston, pregnant with twins and unable to travel. Middle sister Kirby, caught up in the thrilling vortex of civil rights protests and determined to be independent, takes a summer job on Martha’s Vineyard. Only-son Tiger is an infantry soldier, recently deployed to Vietnam. Thirteen-year-old Jessie suddenly feels like an only child, marooned in the house with her out-of-touch grandmother and her worried mother, each of them hiding a troubling secret. As the summer heats up, Ted Kennedy sinks a car in Chappaquiddick, man flies to the moon, and Jessie and her family experience their own dramatic upheavals along with the rest of the country.

In her first historical novel, rich with the details of an era that shaped both a nation and an island thirty miles out to sea, Elin Hilderbrand once again earns her title as queen of the summer novel.”


In addition to Summer of ’69, here are some other new releases today…

Gallery Books

The Stationery Shop by Marjan Kamali

If you are looking for a family drama to dive into:

“Roya is a dreamy, idealistic teenager living in 1953 Tehran who, amidst the political upheaval of the time, finds a literary oasis in kindly Mr. Fakhri’s neighborhood book and stationery shop. She always feels safe in his dusty store, overflowing with fountain pens, shiny ink bottles, and thick pads of soft writing paper.

When Mr. Fakhri, with a keen instinct for a budding romance, introduces Roya to his other favorite customer—handsome Bahman, who has a burning passion for justice and a love for Rumi’s poetry—she loses her heart at once. And, as their romance blossoms, the modest little stationery shop remains their favorite place in all of Tehran.

A few short months later, on the eve of their marriage, Roya agrees to meet Bahman at the town square, but suddenly, violence erupts—a result of the coup d’etat that forever changes their country’s future. In the chaos, Bahman never shows. For weeks, Roya tries desperately to contact him, but her efforts are fruitless. With a sorrowful heart, she resigns herself to never seeing him again.

Until, more than sixty years later, an accident of fate leads her back to Bahman and offers her a chance to ask him the questions that have haunted her for more than half a century: Why did he leave? Where did he go? How was he able to forget her?

The Stationery Shop is a beautiful and timely exploration of devastating loss, unbreakable family bonds, and the overwhelming power of love.”

domestic thriller

Her Daughter’s Mother by Daniela Petrova

If you are looking for a fast-paced domestic thriller…

“She befriended the one woman she was never supposed to meet. Now she’s the key suspect in her disappearance. For fans of The Perfect Mother and The Wife Between Us comes a gripping psychological suspense debut about two strangers, one incredible connection, and the steep price of obsession.

Lana Stone has never considered herself a stalker–until the night she impulsively follows a familiar face through the streets of New York’s Upper West Side. Her target? The “anonymous” egg donor she’d selected through an agency, the one who’s making motherhood possible for her. Hungry to learn more about her, Lana plans only to watch her from a distance. But when circumstances bring them face-to-face, an unexpected friendship is born. 

Katya, a student at Columbia, is the yin to Lana’s yang, an impulsive free spirit who lives life at the edge. And for pragmatic Lana, she’s a breath of fresh air and a welcome distraction from her painful breakup with her baby’s father. Then, just as suddenly as Katya entered Lana’s life, she disappears–and Lana might have been the last person to see her before she went missing. Determined to find out what became of the woman to whom she owes so much, Lana digs into Katya’s past, even as the police grow suspicious of her motives. But she’s unprepared for the secrets she unearths, and their power to change everything she thought she knew about those she loves best…”


Megan Miranda

The Last House Guest by Megan Miranda

If you are looking for a suspenseful read set in the idyllic summer vacationland…

“Littleport, Maine, has always felt like two separate towns: an ideal vacation enclave for the wealthy, whose summer homes line the coastline; and a simple harbor community for the year-round residents whose livelihoods rely on service to the visitors.

Typically, fierce friendships never develop between a local and a summer girl—but that’s just what happens with visitor Sadie Loman and Littleport resident Avery Greer. Each summer for almost a decade, the girls are inseparable—until Sadie is found dead. While the police rule the death a suicide, Avery can’t help but feel there are those in the community, including a local detective and Sadie’s brother, Parker, who blame her. Someone knows more than they’re saying, and Avery is intent on clearing her name before the facts get twisted against her.

Another thrilling novel from the bestselling author of All the Missing Girls and The Perfect Stranger, Megan Miranda’s The Last House Guest is a smart, twisty read with a strong female protagonist determined to make her own way in the world.”


Happy reading!! <3

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:

best friends

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!